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Flash Game Development by Example Paperback – 22 Mar 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (22 Mar. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849690901
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849690904
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 1.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 280,903 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Emanuele Feronato has been studying programming languages since the early eighties, with a particular interest in web and game development. He taught online programming for the European Social Fund and now owns a web development company in Italy where he also works as a lead programmer. As a game developer, he developed Flash games sponsored by the biggest game portals and played more than 50 million times. As a writer, he worked as technical reviewer for Packt Publishing. His blog, http://www.emanueleferonato.com, is one of the most visited blogs about indie programming.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rasmus Wriedt Larsen on 31 May 2011
Format: Paperback
I'm sorry to say this, because I really, really wanted a book about AS3 Game Development to be good! I just don't feel this one is. I really spend a lot of time trying to figure out if I would recommend this book for anyone... and I'm not really sure. I guess if you know how to code AS3 with OOP and good coding practises, plus being able to extract general ways of doing something from very specific examples, and being in the need for some inspiration for some tile-based game prototypes: This book is just for you!

If that's not you, I wouldn't really recommend this book for you, there are better resources out there! If you're new to programming/AS3, I would recommend a tutorial series using a simple avoider game: [...] (I learned a lot from this myself when it just got published!)

I actually shook my head many times while reading this book, I simply just didn't feel it made sense to do it the way explained.

* note: I got this book for free for reviewing it.

--- If you still think this book sounds swell, please also read the following ---

This book only teaches you how to make prototypes of popular games. That's it! You won't be able to create a full game after reading this book. For a full game you would also need to handle different screens, music, sound effects and preloading (just to mention a few things). This books also doesn't cover any kind of animations, so if you want other things than static shapes, you will probably be in trouble. All the games build are tilebased games. And sure, there's a lot of things you can do with tilebased games! But if you want to do anything else, you're probably also going to be in trouble.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Moeller on 13 May 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is written by the author of one of the largest flash game development blogs online, so you know you'll be getting information from an expert in the subject.

Each chapter involves creating a game from scratch in the flash IDE, with the games being as follows:

Chapter 1: Concentration (matching 2 card game)
Chapter 2: Minesweeper
Chapter 3: Connect Four
Chapter 4: Snake (The phone game, where the snake keeps growing longer as you eat apples)
Chapter 5: Tetris
Chapter 6: Astro-PANIC! (A shooter with the ship on the bottom of the screen, and `aliens' randomly flying around the screen)
Chapter 7: Bejeweled
Chapter 8: Puzzle Bobble (like bubble bobble- shoot circles from the bottom, have them stick together, and disappear when 3 in a row are found)
Chapter 9: Ball Balance (A addictive little game he made on kongregate, where you drop balls onto a balance, and need to keep it from tipping over by keeping it as balanced as possible)

It's neat to be able to see how each game is made, from the beginning, as well as see how another programmer goes from the design phase up to completion, and the author takes an iterative approach - every bit of code added onto the previous section adds functionality - so you get to see every change being made.

His target audience does seem to be someone familiar with drawing in flash, and who has had some actionscript, or at least programming experience before. So if you've been using flash, and have an understanding about basic programming, but haven't made many games before, I would recommend it. Even for more advanced programmers, there is still helpful advice to learn from the book, such as using recursive functions, and creating many classic games.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Brian Mcclain on 20 May 2011
Format: Paperback
I am an Adobe Certified Expert in Flash, and also an Adobe Certified Instructor, so when it comes to Flash training manuals and books, I always look for two things: is the material useful (and the code clean), AND what level is the book geared toward? All to often, the best books come with just one catch: they are totally over the head of beginners. That is why I recommend Flash Game Development by Example. The projects are advanced, but no knowledge of Actionscript is assumed by the author: the explanations are so thorough that even beginners can keep up. Each of the book's nine chapters is devoted to a different stand-alone gamer classic, such as Concentration and Tetris. Despite the necessary complexity of some of the concepts, the author goes that extra mile by walking the reader line-by-line through the code, explaining not just what's going on, but providing background info and definitions that beginners need to keep up. With all these "teachable moments", even a Flash beginner could get through the book, and come out the other end a veritable Actionscript maven. Also importantly, the nuggets of code contained in this book are broadly applicable to a variety of Flash application development scenarios, so even those who aren't really gamers can benefit enormously from the material. In short, Flash Game Development by Example is an outstanding resource for anyone interested in Flash Actionscript, regardless of their current level of knowledge or application development aspirations. That is a rare combo, so if you're into Flash, this is sure to be one of those well-thumbed books on your shelf.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 8 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Not good enough! 31 May 2011
By Rasmus Wriedt Larsen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I'm sorry to say this, because I really, really wanted a book about AS3 Game Development to be good! I just don't feel this one is. I really spend a lot of time trying to figure out if I would recommend this book for anyone... and I'm not really sure. I guess if you know how to code AS3 with OOP and good coding practises, plus being able to extract general ways of doing something from very specific examples, and being in the need for some inspiration for some tile-based game prototypes: This book is just for you!

If that's not you, I wouldn't really recommend this book for you, there are better resources out there! If you're new to programming/AS3, I would recommend a tutorial series using a simple avoider game: [...] (I learned a lot from this myself when it just got published!)

I actually shook my head many times while reading this book, I simply just didn't feel it made sense to do it the way explained.

--- If you still think this book sounds swell, please also read the following ---

This book only teaches you how to make prototypes of popular games. That's it! You won't be able to create a full game after reading this book. For a full game you would also need to handle different screens, music, sound effects and preloading (just to mention a few things). This books also doesn't cover any kind of animations, so if you want other things than static shapes, you will probably be in trouble. All the games build are tilebased games. And sure, there's a lot of things you can do with tilebased games! But if you want to do anything else, you're probably also going to be in trouble.

If you're all new at programming, you'll have a tough time following along (at least I would if this was my first book on the subject). It goes a bit into explaining everything in the start, but it's just not good enough!

He's not using a good approach to programming the games. He's not using Object Oriented Programming, which really is something great about AS3. Everything is just in one big class that handles everything! - except for chapter 3 (Connect 4), where, in my opinion, he's using it all wrong! But for some strange reason, there's a little good OOP programming in chapter 4 (Snake) [but only a little].

He's not using good coding conventions. I'm not saying it's all bad, it could just be a lot better! It seems a little like he's trying to write for JavaScript, using as few characters as possible.

He does talk about delegating code out to functions so it's more readable and understandable, and so you don't make copy/paste for the same functionality. But actually in one of the chapters, he just does this! (Tetris for moving down the teremino).

Among the things above, there's also just general mistakes in the book, for example: he is explaining a greyscale image by using colors and wanting to figure out if something is under or below something else. But there are sadly also code related mistakes, like when an if statement only has one equal sign (=), or a wrong line of code is shown for the explanation.

After reading though all the 328 pages, I can only say I've learned 2 things: filters render faster when using blur X/Y number from the power of 2 (2,4,8,16...) and how to use the 'with' operator.

---

I know Emanuele puts a lot of work into this book, but it just doesn't cut it. I know many people like his blog, but it's mostly just quick-and-dirty solutions. That's great when it's all just for free on his website, but not really suited for a book!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Not For Flash Newbies 13 April 2011
By R. Coy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Purchased the ebook yesterday. I'm not new to Flash, but I am a novice with ActionScript 3.0.

This is a great book but it moves very quickly. If you are new to AS3 I would suggest at least getting another book with more details as well as this one. Then you'll have someplace to go when you need more explanation. Items like Event Listeners are covered very quickly and you really need to understand them. The author assumes you are already familiar with the Flash IDE and things like drawing in Flash and timelines, which is fine as long as you know that before you buy the book.

The programming methodology taught in this book is sound and the games are fun to build. This would be a perfect book for an AS3 programmer looking to break into game programming.

I also own ActionScript 3.0 Game Programming University (2nd Edition) and think that is a great book to accompany this one. It assumes less knowledge going in.

I give this book 5 stars, as long as you are in the target audience of people mildly familiar with AS3 and the Flash application.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Great book: advanced code explained so clearly that even beginners can keep up 13 May 2011
By Brian Mcclain - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I am an Adobe Certified Expert in Flash, and also an Adobe Certified Instructor, so when it comes to Flash training manuals and books, I always look for two things: is the material useful (and the code clean), AND what level is the book geared toward? All to often, the best books come with just one catch: they are totally over the head of beginners. That is why I recommend Flash Game Development by Example. The projects are advanced, but no knowledge of Actionscript is assumed by the author: the explanations are so thorough that even beginners can keep up. Each of the book's nine chapters is devoted to a different stand-alone gamer classic, such as Concentration and Tetris. Despite the necessary complexity of some of the concepts, the author goes that extra mile by walking the reader line-by-line through the code, explaining not just what's going on, but providing background info and definitions that beginners need to keep up. With all these "teachable moments", even a Flash beginner could get through the book, and come out the other end a veritable Actionscript maven. Also importantly, the nuggets of code contained in this book are broadly applicable to a variety of Flash application development scenarios, so even those who aren't really gamers can benefit enormously from the material. In short, Flash Game Development by Example is an outstanding resource for anyone interested in Flash Actionscript, regardless of their current level of knowledge or application development aspirations. That is a rare combo, so if you're into Flash, this is sure to be one of those well-thumbed books on your shelf.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great book, takes you through building 9 flash games! 12 May 2011
By C. Moeller - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is written by the author of one of the largest flash game development blogs online, so you know you'll be getting information from an expert in the subject.

Each chapter involves creating a game from scratch in the flash IDE, with the games being as follows:

Chapter 1: Concentration (matching 2 card game)
Chapter 2: Minesweeper
Chapter 3: Connect Four
Chapter 4: Snake (The phone game, where the snake keeps growing longer as you eat apples)
Chapter 5: Tetris
Chapter 6: Astro-PANIC! (A shooter with the ship on the bottom of the screen, and `aliens' randomly flying around the screen)
Chapter 7: Bejeweled
Chapter 8: Puzzle Bobble (like bubble bobble- shoot circles from the bottom, have them stick together, and disappear when 3 in a row are found)
Chapter 9: Ball Balance (A addictive little game he made on kongregate, where you drop balls onto a balance, and need to keep it from tipping over by keeping it as balanced as possible)

It's neat to be able to see how each game is made, from the beginning, as well as see how another programmer goes from the design phase up to completion, and the author takes an iterative approach - every bit of code added onto the previous section adds functionality - so you get to see every change being made.

His target audience does seem to be someone familiar with drawing in flash, and who has had some actionscript, or at least programming experience before. So if you've been using flash, and have an understanding about basic programming, but haven't made many games before, I would recommend it. Even for more advanced programmers, there are still helpful advice to learn from, such as using recursive functions.

You can check out the games I made from the book, a longer review, and a page about any possible syntax errors on my blog(chrismweb.com) here:

[...]
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Learning by doing 27 May 2011
By Krzysztof Satola - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Flash Game Development by Example is based on 9 Flash game projects. Every project is structured in the same way. The author starts with conceptual and design aspects and then leads the reader through the process of creating from scratch a complete game. Many diagrams, pictures and code snippets help to understand the key functional aspects of every game. Projects address some development issues which need to be resolved like showing smooth animations, preventing player from cheating, using timers, managing game assets, just to name the few.

This book is great for anyone who prefers learning by doing. I really like its simplicity and clear explanations of game's logic. The book is aimed to developers willing to begin creating Flash games. After reading it they should start developing simple Flash games on your own without any problems. A very nice book to read!
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