Game Development Books
Blender Master Class: A Hands-On Guide to Modeling, Sculpting, Materials, and Rendering
By Ben Simonds
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Flash Game Development by Example (Community Experience Distilled)
Published March 2011
Amazon.com Sales Rank: 1,797,962
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You can't call yourself a Flash game developer unless you know how to build certain essential games, and can quickly use the skills and techniques that make them up.
Flash Game Development by Example is an ultra-fast paced game development course. Learn step-by-step how to build 10 classic games. Each game introduces new game development skills, techniques, and concepts. By the end of the book you will have built ten complete games ''' and have the skills you need to design and build your own game ideas.
The book starts with simple well known puzzle games: Concentration and Minesweeper. After learning the basics of game design you'''ll introduce AI with a four-in-a-row game. Then as you build your own versions of old arcade games such as Snake, Tetris, and Astro Panic. The book ends with a collection of modern casual classics.
Build the classic and modern games that will turn you into a capable Flash games developer.
GDNet Staff Review:
Way back around 2002, I was given a unique opportunity. The owner of a Flash kids' game portal in Germany got a secondhand Mac for his kid at a garage sale. And that Mac happened to have installed on it my long-discontinued "24 Games For Windows And Mac" games. And his kid became enamored with one of my games. Long story short, they looked me up and asked if I would make a Flash version of the game. I agreed to do it as long as they'''d be forgiving about the time-frame, and my fee was $499, which happened to be the price of a new copy of Flash.
Knowing I needed to hit the ground running, I hit the bookstores and bought a copy of Flash 5 ActionScript For Fun and Games by Gary Rosenzweig. It was an easy enough introduction to the kind of games I wrote. And, miracle of miracles, one of the later example games had a mechanism very similar to the game I was charged to write. With the help of the book, I managed to slap together "Olive Wars" in Flash in a short time. I even managed to give the game three different levels. And the game is still out there if you look.
Fast-forward ten years, and books like that are still very useful. Flash Game Development By Example is exactly the kind of thing I would have wanted if charged with a game project today.
The book is nine chapters long, and in it you will build nine games. If you are a fan of Emanuele Fernato's Blog, you will be immediately familiar with the kind of games he builds in the book. Emanuele's blog entries are quite often multi-part "How To Build A Game Like X" where X is a game that is trendy like Plants Vs Zombies or Tiny Wings. His examples in his blog, like in the book, are not complete. They are, however, enough to move you in the direction of building the game. For example, in his Plants Vs Zombies example, he does not talk about how to draw a zombie. Instead, he details the PvZ-like "collect tokens and place stuff on the board" mechanism with playable examples, leaving the graphics and completion of the game up to you.
And the book's examples are similar. The games are not intended to be complete games to modify and place on your site. They are intended more to show you how something works. The games start out very simply (memory card match) to the more complex (Puzzle Bobble and Ball Balance).
If you are the kind of person who likes to learn by doing, this is a good introduction. Note that this is not a book for amateurs. There is no introductory "How to Install Flash" or "How to write in ActionScript" chapter. You need to have at least a little familiarity with Flash's tools and ActionScript. Also note that this is not a book on programming practices. This is a book about building a game like X with a minimum of fuss. And if that is the kind of thing you want, then this is a good quick introduction.
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