OK well I know many people who are really serious about game programming get turned off by the Lamothe books because they basically go over the same old 2d information over and over again, and never actually seem up to date. This book is up to date, and has good information. It uses DirectX 8.0, and actually goes into 3d programming which is nice. I personally do not care for the DirectPlay information, I like Sockets, but either way they are both there. I will go through the pro's and cons.
Easy to read and understand
Has quite a bit of good information and history
Definately good as a reference book
Covers DPlay and Sockets
Covers D3D, which i believe is nice to have even though it doesnt pertain to the multiplayer end.
Great service, I emailed the author and he emailed back. Can be quite a useful thing
The code is poorly documented in many spots. While it is explained afterward, it would be nice to have a lot more comments. (which is something that Lamothe does quite nicely in his books)
Not very much ACTUAL GAME SERVER type code.. I've practically read over the book already, and while I have a general idea of how I will get this going, I feel more like i'm adapting chat programs to make my game.
Not enough on sockets... The sockets information was just too vague to me.
The DirectPlay information seemed mostly like pasted information out of the SDK Documentation. Honestly, the reason I bought the book was because I didn't get what was in the documentation very well.
And lastly i'd like to see more information on actually obtaining and setting up your server for a MMORPG. Things like security, what type of connection to get and how to get it etc.
Well, the cons seem bigger than the pros, but its really not like that. Just be warned that there are only about 200 or 400 pages out of this 800 page book that really focus on the issue of writing your server. Really, i'd like to see a sequel that really delved into the advanced issues, and really layed out things like sockets.
OK well finally, i'm glad I bought this book. I enjoyed it, and still am. It's a good book definately, and the perks of it are nice. I just feel like I want more, and there is nowhere to get it as of now. Based on this book, I would buy a sequel if it was put out. If I had it to do again, i'd buy this book again. Enough said, if you want to program games, buy this book. It's one you need on your shelf, as well as "Tricks Of The Windows Programming Gurus", and your most MOST important resource, the DirectX SDK. Because most of these books out today are just people who read and interpret the samples from it, and just print em out in a book. I learned most of the stuff from the SDK.