IMPORTANT NOTE TO READERS: This book is not written for the current Flash CS3, so you need to make a few accommodations. When the book tells you to create a new Flash program, be sure to choose the option to create an ActionScript 2.0 Flash File, NOT the current ActionScript 3.0. In the very first line of game programming code described in this book (on p.38), it uses the "onRelease" property of a button, which is no longer available in ActionScript 3.0. The program won't compile or run, and right out of the blocks, the reader is stuck. However, if you create an ActionScript 2.0 program, it works fine, and then you can continue.
NOTE: I just noticed that Adobe is releasing their CS4 suite about a week from now, which will probably also update Flash again to CS4. Hopefully, Flash CS4 will still provide the ability to create ActionScript 2.0 files, so that Flash CS4 can still be used with this book.
This is as far as we have gotten in the book so far. I will update this review if we discover more things to watch out for when using this book with Flash CS3.
This updated version of the book is copyrighted in 2006 but was released in November 2005, and was written for Macromedia Flash MX 2004. Since then, Adobe has acquired Macromedia, and Flash has gone through two more releases. Flash 8 was released in September 2005 (two months before the book was released), and Flash CS3 was released in April 2007. Flash CS3 added support for ActionScript 3.0, but fortunately also supports ActionScript 2.0 files.
Except for this slight hiccup, this book is working well for us. I've started reading it, and it is very accessible, jumping right into the game programming topics to keep the reader interested. I am a software engineer by training, but I bought the book for my 15-year-old son because he is extremely interested in writing computer games. Flash is the best platform for game writing for teens, because it's fairly easy to use, is quite powerful, and it's incredibly easy to post their completed Flash games to web sites like Kongregate where zillions of other teens will find them and play them. My excited son took to this book like a duck to water, but then got stumped on the very first programming task, because of this ActionScript 3.0 issue. I figured out the problem and got him straightened out, using ActionScript 2.0 instead.
One significant issue, which I'm sure you've discovered, is that the Flash development environment is very expensive. Flash CS3 Professional costs $699 from Adobe, or $670 on Amazon. I was able to find a legal, new, shrinkwrapped copy on eBay for $499, but that's still a lot of money to allow my teen to learn how to program games. I'm sure we'll find other uses for Flash, though, in our web site work, and overall I think it is worth it to keep my son interested in software engineering as a career.