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Macromedia Flash MX 2004 Game Develop (Charles River Media Game Development) Paperback – 29 May 2004

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Product details

  • Paperback: 550 pages
  • Publisher: Charles River Media; Pap/Cdr edition (29 May 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584503092
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584503095
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 18.6 x 3 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,801,300 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 8 reviews
42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Flash MX 2004 Game Development is the perfect book for developing games with Flash. It's not too verbose and takes the Flash Developer right to where they want to be, into the meat of the code behind the games.
The chapters follow a natural progression from simple games and concepts, as in Whack A Mole, to very advanced gaming. Mars Racer offers probably the best collision detecting code that I've seen in Flash. And Asteroid Run offers some really good concepts in developing games with 3D in mind.
There is a great deal of Actionscripting covered. The code behind the games, as with the chapters, follows an increasing curve in complexity. I found that as a Developer, I learned a lot from not only WHY the code was written, but HOW it was written. There is a great deal of knowledge to be garnered with good form and syntax in the code as well. And, I found the code was really well written and very easy to understand with good explanations throughout all of the chapters. The algorithm used to make the Word Search game is really well thought out.
The book does make the assumption that the reader is familiar with Flash. If you would consider various "how-to" operations in Flash, such as the creation of movieclip symbols, buttons, and adding layers. These processes are covered in earlier chapters, but are assumed to be understood later on. Focusing most of the writing on the code and developing. I've found that in previous Gaming books, the description of various "how-to" tasks become repetitive, and as a result, make the book unnecessarily longer. Not the case with this book.
Personally, there is a great deal of knowledge to be learned. As mentioned before, the collision detection code is simply some of the best code I've seen. The chapter on Optimization will save the Game Developer hours of troubleshooting to get games to perform fast even on slower machines.
The games themselves are fun. You'll probably play them many times on their own. Each chapter covering a new game starts out with a description of the game. The goals and premise of what is needed. Very important when learning the game development process.
An excellent book and a simple MUST HAVE for your Flash Library.
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
I learned to program games 7 Dec. 2004
By Dave - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I had always wanted to get into game programming but the thought of starting was very daunting to me. I knew how to program in Actionscript, but I didn't know the game concepts.

Then this book came along. I picked this up just to "see" if I could have a go at game programming. What I didn't expect was that this book would make things so easy for me. It starts off simple enough, getting into a bit of history and then goes on to simple games.

It progresses up the difficulty ladder until the last half of the book which is where some serious game wizardry takes place. Glen Rhodes takes us through all the deep dark hallways of Flash game development until we come out on the other side with a new understanding. I could confidently sit and make almost any Flash game now. Glen gives us the tools so that the only remaining limitation is our own imagination.

The physics engine is incredible, especially as it is applied to arbitrary (and randomly generated) terrain, with full motion vehicle physics. It shows that Glen Rhodes comes from the professional game programming world, where he used to make games for Playstation. It's incredible to see this brought into Flash.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
An amazing book especially for beginner 13 Dec. 2006
By H. Woodmansee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I had never made a game with Flash before and had barely had any experience with Actionscript. But the chapter "Actionscript for Games Primer" helped me learn almost everything that I needed. The3 rest of the code that I needed to make games, I learned from the exapmles of the games. The book does an amazing job of show how to use Actionscript to make fundamental features like jumping, shooting and gravity. I can make my own games with confidence now, and rarely need to refer back to the book, but when I do it is always very helpful. It also has cool things like an ASCII chart which is very helpful. Gken Rhodes is a great author.
Probably one of the best Flash books I've read so far. 30 Jun. 2007
By Akm - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In the early chapters, this book uses a tutorial styled approach with numbered steps. However, discussion and examination of game code is the approach utilized for the rest of the book. As the book states, this is a "look at and learn" approach. Some of the topics discussed include: sound, physics, optimization, and games for mobile devices. The included CD has the usual .fla sources files, trial software, images and other miscellaneous game files.

The book starts with an interesting and quite original history on gaming. Although a short section, I have never heard a history described like this before. The first game, a standard mouse clicker, is introduced in Chapter 3. In general, this book used fun and historically familiar games like block breakers, memory and various scrolling and shooting games. Only the basic foundation of each game was covered. Nevertheless, expanding the games with levels, modes of play or options should not be a problem for most. Chapter 8 on "Saving Data" covered some more useful and new material for me. Sadly, this was the first time learning that Flash uses browser like cookie files (.sol) to save data. When it came to physics, the chapters were straight to the point with what equations to use and what they do with plenty of short examples. There was no Trigonometry overview (sometimes from the beginning) that some books commonly use. While not for everyone, I actually preferred this direct approach to physics and math. Two chapters were dedicated to handling basic 3D using 2D imagery, including the final and most complex game in the book. This game, called "Asteroid Run," brought Flash to its limits while demonstrating a simple 3D shooter. All the code and concepts in the chapters were explained clearly and included plenty of screen shots. Surprisingly, it seemed as if every line of code had at least a sentence or two of related explanation. Many books might just reference a previous page or CD to save space. This book, conversely, would never hesitate to repeat code to make it easier to read and understand.

I only came across a few issues and problems with this book. First, the steps provided for creating the graphics were a bit inconsistent. Early on, they assume very little knowledge (think baby steps). Eventually, however, the graphics increase in difficulty and just become too time consuming to create. Typically, I prefer blank or codeless project files with the graphics already created as is the case with most books. In the chapter for saving data, the path listed for the .sol files was incorrect. It probably varies by system, but on my Windows XP SP2 machine it was in: "C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\Application Data\Macromedia\FlashPlayer\#SharedObjects\KDXDVGHB\localhost\)." Also, the shuffle function for the "Sound Hunter" game in Chapter 7 did not work based on either the printed code or on the CD. Finally, sometimes code snippets, that were supposed to be the same, differed a bit when repeated throughout a chapter (i.e. a function call appearing or disappearing). Ultimately, this is another book where a companion website with an errata sheet would have helped.

Although the difficulty level changed at times, this book is probably fine for beginner to intermediate level users as the back cover states. An overview on ActionScript was actually included as one of the last chapters. Even though placement was questionable, this ActionScript primer was a fairly long and thorough chapter. Macromedia Flash MX 2004 Game Development did have a few minor problems, but it had far more positives and included a few original topics (at least for me) as well. In the end, though, it turned out to be among the best of the Flash books I have read so far.

Rating: 4.5/5
Teaches you things tutorials simply cannot 6 Jan. 2007
By Michael R. Neumann - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I originally bought this book because I wanted to get better at actionscript. I, like many, had originally learned basic actionscript from tutorials. But that simply did not do it for me. So after buying this book I can happily say that I am a decent actionscripter. So far I have coded two video games since then, the first one wasnt very good, because most first times arn't, but the second one already has over 1 million views total on various different websites. This book teaches you the code, and how to code it properly. I will say that there are a few typos and errors in the book but I have noticed that in every programming book i've bought so far so no big deal. I think it was clearly worth the money and still use the book to this day.
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