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The Essential Guide to Flash Games: Building Interactive Entertainment with ActionScript 3.0 Paperback – 2 Aug 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 666 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 1st ed. 2010 edition (2 Aug. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430226145
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430226147
  • Product Dimensions: 19.1 x 3.8 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,307,012 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Steve Fulton and Jeff Fulton are twin brothers who have worked in the web game industry for the past ten years. Together they have designed, programmed, and developed over 200 Flash games of every imaginable genre for the corporate, indie, and viral Flash game markets. The brothers run the popular and influential Flash/retro game development site 8-Bit Rocket (http://8bitrocket.com) They update the site daily with news, tutorials, games, and musing about Flash and the viral Flash game world.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By B. Palczynski on 24 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback
I finished reading the whole book a couple of weekends ago, and I finally feel ready to code something on my own. I wanted to wait until I'd read it all to give a review of the whole book, and not just the general feeling I got from the beginning.

Essential Flash Games is a really well structured book! The authors show you how to iterate and build your game up in stages, and write re-usable frameworks and code, but also how to keep things simple and meet deadlines -- which is quite a hard balance. It's a good example of using object oriented code without labouring the point, and even better -- not doing things in an overly oop approach for the sake of it (all the code is object oriented, but there's no mention of design patterns or anything too academic). Their code doesn't try to be too clever or show off, it's clear and simple.

It's quite a practical book, I feel like I've been given some tools and been shown how to use them to build something of my own, and not just what they showed in the book. They never preach, and instead will guide you through different phases of learning, showing you different approaches as you learn that achieve the same things in alternative and often better ways, and encouraging you to experiment and go back to re-implement things the way you prefer them.

It's about 600 pages long, but I managed to get through it in a couple of months reading it in spare time in evenings and on the weekend -- typing out all the code and fixing mistakes I made myself as a learning exercise. It's not for absolute beginners though, it's not going to hold your hand and tell you what a for loop is, or explain what a class is -- everything is taught by example, which I found works really well.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mike Anderson on 25 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback
This is my first title within Flash games; I am, however, not new to Flash or programming (Java + AS3). This book is so completely riddled with errors, omissions and extremely bad practices to the point of being completely useless!

The very first project resulted in 15 compiler errors! Including faulty syntax and references to several classes that don't even exist!

This is not at all intended at the beginner or result oriented developer who wants to have fun with it. This title is intended for hardcore bug hunters - if that audience exists.

I can not in any way possible recommend this title to anyone, whatever their background. This title is simply very, very, VERY bad.

A total and complete wasted amount of money for a very expensive book; someone should be ashamed of releasing this title.

Simply the lowest quality title I have ever seen.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 15 reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Book But VERY Poorly Edited 29 Aug. 2010
By David Brady - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book has some excellent educational content. If you can get past a staggering amount of typographical errors (some of them in source code!), it is a fantastic resource. If you are familiar with programming and want to learn how to program Flash and Flex games, I highly recommend these authors.

Their editor, however, needs to be shot. There are words missing from sentences every few pages, typos in the source code, and function names that change each time they are referenced. There's even a paragraph (on page 125) explaining a snippet of source code from the previous section... but the previous section of code has been totally rewritten, so the paragraph is worse than meaningless, it's totally confusing. There is an Errata section on the authors' website, but it doesn't even begin to cover the errors in this book. It is painfully apparent that the code in the book was typed in as text and then tested and debugged later, as many examples are inconsistent or have obvious syntax errors.

If you are just starting out with programming I do NOT recommend this book UNLESS you download the accompanying source code. Otherwise you will spend too much time wondering why your program doesn't work when it's an error in the book itself.

I hate to give this a crappy review. I am learning a lot from this book and I *WANT* this book to be as great as its subject matter could be. If the authors release a Second Edition or even a corrected version, I'll be first in line to pick it up.

All that said, I still recommend this book. Their design principles are sound, and the code examples from their website actually work without any fussing or debugging. (There are some mispelled class names, but they are consistent, so the code DOES work.) If you are an experienced programmer who can spot typos in source code, and are patient with a debugger, the book will teach you exactly what you need to know to get your game off the ground.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
In serious need of better proofing. 15 Oct. 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
On the positive: I am learning a lot from this book. The authors have an excellent approach to presenting the material, and at least for me, I feel the broad brush concepts they present, especially in organizing game code are very good. What is absolutely mind boggling is the number of typos in the constantly referenced source code. You are supposed to be building your code on previous exercises (good idea), however there are often changes to function and variable names, forcing you to debug code that is presented to you as an example. Perhaps it wouldn't be as glaring if they hadn't preceded every source sample in the book with the phrase 'we have highlighted the code that is different from that game.', when as it turns out there are often dozens of other subtle changes you'll need to catch yourself.

Inconsistent, or inaccurate information presented in source code presented as educational reference is a complete fail.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Highly recomended Guide To Flash Games 19 July 2010
By Przemyslaw - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
First i must admit that I'm huge fan of [...] (Jeff and Steve Fulton's blog). It's great place for flash game developers, full of valuable tutorials and articles.Main goal of this book is to write reusable and professional ActionScript 3.0 game framework. To achieve this authors walk step by step through process of building 11 real-life games (ranging from arcade, puzzle to shooters). All source codes are avaliable for both platforms: Flash IDE and Flex (of course free to download through publisher website). First chapter cover some basic features. Introduce to main game loop (with states) and some game framework foundations. Of course it's based on some standard techniques (movie clips as actors, hitTestObject for collision detection, timeline for animations). Boring? Absolutely no! They develop two playable cool retro games just in 40 pages. Every next chapter brings more and more complex features to learn. To name a few:- tricky implementation of finite state machine pattern ( show how to manage flow of game with this states) - some free tools, that can extremely speeding up prototyping process- optimization by using tile sheets instead of individually bitmaps- sound management- deep description of "blitting" render method (explain when this method is important, and when is not - pages 233 - 238, is must read part). There is even a bit of history about blitting technique on 8-bit computers- xml based level designing- scrolling tile-based screens- pixel-level collision detectionFor those who wants to monetize theirs games there is great example of MochiAds system integration.In my opinion, it is the most valuable book about seriously flash games developing avalaible on the market. The most important thing: authors does not avoid complex techniques, they just explain problems on real-life game examples.Highly recomended!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
If you like to code, this is for you! 14 Aug. 2011
By Shantul Nigam - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First, I am only half way through this book (page 242) and so far I think this is the best flash game book out there because it covers both Flash and Flex. If you are new to Actionscript, they tell you very early on to get the Flash ActionScript 3.0 book for Flash and Flex (page 6). Basically, you need to be comfortable coding to go through this book. Second, you pretty much HAVE to get the source code. This is true no matter what for ANY code based book. If you don't you are doing yourself a disservice.

The best thing about this book is the source code. Go to the book's page on the publisher's site and download the code. You will refer to this over and over again. There are both code corrections, and versions for of the code for both the Flash and Flex code and yes, there are differences. they even have a specific download which helps you get started with Flex (Chapter 1 code). The way I have been going through this book is to read the chapter, type in the code and then make any corrections you need to make. Usually, I start with the book text and then open the source code for the Flex specific implementation. Also, they talk about FlashDevelop though they don't have a specific version for it.

One thing I did not expect was the tools that they tell you about which are critical for automating tasks like creating a levels or music and sound effect.

The only bad thing is that as you go on in the book, they split the code up into chunks with descriptions in between. Because the code (often for the same class) is fragmented, it can become difficult to follow. Again, with access to the source code, it is pretty easy to follow and review.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Fast delivery, good book but poor edition 3 Oct. 2010
By Yohai - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book itself is good and the delivery was fast but. It seems like the book I got is an early edition. there's many mistakes and typos.
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