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Recommended Reading

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General Programming

Design Patterns Explained: A New Perspective on Object-Orientated Design
Author(s): Alan Shalloway; James R. Trott
Publisher: Addison Wesley
ISBN: 0-321-24714-0
An excellent introduction to Design Patterns illustrated with easy to follow examples, this book is ideal for anyone who wants to learn about Design Patterns.

MMORPGs (Design)

Designing Virtual Worlds
Author(s): Richard A. Bartle
Publisher: New Riders
ISBN: 0-131-01816-7
If you're interested in the history, design and running of MMO's (Virtual Worlds), then this is the definitive guide. Written by a co-author of one of the first virtual worlds, MUD, this book charts the history and design from these first early incarnations to the latest worlds such as Star Wars Galaxies. It tries to explain why many projects have failed, why many have succeeded and the theories behind Virtual Worlds and their design. Highly recommended whether you're looking at the subject from an academic angle, interested in writing your own, or just want to learn more about Virtual Worlds.