1493033795 Collaborative Online Game Creation - Multiplayer and Network Programming - Books - Books - GameDev.net

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Collaborative Online Game Creation *----

Collaborative Online Game Creation By Nanu Swamy, Naveena Swamy
Published February 2009
List Price: $39.99, Your Amazon.com Price: $39.99

Amazon.com Sales Rank: 12,678,478
Availability: Usually ships in 24 hours

Get ready to flex your creativity as you build custom Flash games online. Collaborative Online Game Creation shows anyone interested in game development how to create Flash-based games using GameBrix, a browser-based rich media application that runs on any Internet platform. GameBrix provides you with a comprehensive toolset to help you build games online. You'll begin by working through the steps necessary to set up your GameBrix account and then get an introduction to the application. Once you're comfortable, you'll start creating your very own Flash games, following the step-by-step instructions, and adding animations, objects, and more as you progress through the book. You'll even explore some introductory ActionScript programming concepts. Screenshots, graphics, game templates, and helpful tips and tricks will guide you through the game building process, and end-of-chapter summaries ensure you'll understand all the concepts covered. Collaborative Online Game Creation provides you with everything you need to create and share browser-based Flash games. It even includes a 30-day trial subscription to the GameBrix portal so you can start building games right away. All you need to get started are some basic computer skills and a love of games. No previous programming experience required!

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Jul 12 2009 07:58 AM
I had a difficult time coming up with an assessment of Collaborative Online Game Creation. And it's for the reason that it's very closely tied to (and by "very closely tied to" I mean "is useless without") the game creation website gamebrix.com. And if the front page content of that website is any indication, GameBrix is not a serious game development tool. I would have a difficult time making heads or tails of a book released in 2009 called "Writing Games in QBASIC for MS-DOS", and I've seen better stuff done in QBASIC than is featured at gamebrix.com

Vitriol aside, Collaborative Online Game Creation isn't really so much about collaboration as it is the "missing manual" for the GameBrix platform. If you don't want to check it out, GameBrix is a subscription-based website where you can cobble together art and music assets with visual development tools and/or ActionScript code to make simple Flash-format games. . .that you apparently cannot monetize or distribute outside of the gamebrix.com website.

And, while GameBrix is an impressive example of a "top drawer" development tool implemented entirely on the web, I'm having a very hard time taking it seriously as anything other than a platform for young people to make simple platform or maze games with their friends. And if you understand its limitations and are still willing to go forward with that model, then Collaborative Online Game Creation might be for you.

The book itself really isn't so much about collaboration as it is about GameBrix. As I mentioned above, it's really more of a detailed manual for the platform than it is a guide to building multi-person projects using a collaborative system. In fact, the multi-user aspects of GameBrix don't appear until well into the second half of the book and consist of one short chapter. The rest of the book consists of how to build various types of simple 2D arcade games using the system.

I think I would have more positive things to say about Collaborative Online Game Creation if it had a different title. The book is not really about collaborative development, as it's far from a general guide to building a game with a group metaphor. If the title was a better indicator of its contents, ala Building cute 2D animated games with GameBrix, I'd have kinder things to say about it. As it stands, this book is the "dead tree" version of the GameBrix manual and little more.

If you want to dip your feet into GameBrix and want to get a handle on the system with a paper manual, then this will probably help. Otherwise, you should probably avoid Collaborative Online Game Creation.