on 26 May 2009
I read the original AS2 version of these tutorials, which the author had for free on his website. I was a complete newcomer to programming of any kind and these tutorials were by far the most useful newbie-oriented guide to programming I ever came across. Without any previous programming knowledge I ended up making several original and fairly complex Flash games directly as a result of reading these tutorials and I'm eternally grateful for the help they gave me. The author has a genius for explaining complex things to newcomers--a perfect teacher.
I recommend this to anyone who wants to be introduced to all the basics of programming (regardless of whether you want to focus on actionscript or not) but still learn enough to be able to create complex, fun things.
on 24 January 2010
Although I have a little experience with c++ I am an artist not a programmer. I have worked through this book for the last month or so, as a total beginner would and it is one of the best programming type books I have read. It is well written and even funny in places, which is always good. It leads you through setting up a project and all the basics about programming you need to know. Be aware this is a book about Actionscript3 so there is only a little about the drawing tools so learn a bit about them before you start. All coding is done within flash but as an external actionscript file with no timeline code, which is good.
There is downloadable code for each section but also a lot of code within the book. This may not be to everyones liking but for a beginner it is very handy. To start take the time to type in the code and follow along, it will be quicker to learn that way. OOP is left until half way through the book so you don't have to worry too much about the code being too complicated to start.
When the book goes to OOP it takes on a faster pace although everything is explained well and each section of code is described fully. A little more on oop structure would have been better but you will be able to figure out what it is doing and build upon the concepts you learn. Using arrays within your games is left to the end of the book which is a bit of a shame, but this is aimed at the beginner.
AI and physics is covered well with no maths talk.
In all I would say it is well worth the money and time if you want to learn Actionscript3 for games. Designers will especially like the pictoral descriptions of variables and all those other complicated concepts. Shame the oop stuff changed pace too quickly, it would have been better to add another chapter and ease you in more.
on 10 September 2009
Really good book that keeps you wanting to try more and more.
Essentially focussed on beginner programmers but would recommend for anyone wanting to learn programming, or about how games are created or how Flash CS4 works. I'm an experienced programmer but not in Actionscript 3 and still felt it was worthwhile reading even the basics as there are some useful nuggets of information throughout.
Would think that this would be ideal for teenagers interested in gaming, animation or programming as breaks down complex things in a simple, fun way without realising the complexity. And when you are finished with the book, you could take on other more powerful programming languages as this provides a great platform for another direction like animation/web/3D.
Hope Rex van der Spuy writes a more advanced sequel as can't wait to see where the space travelling pig ends up next.
on 5 March 2010
Although the first chapters seem like they were written for total novices, they can be skimmed fast and are useful. Later in the book many interesting examples with quite pretty code are revealed.
I like the book because, I believe that many of the techniques revealed can make a big difference in the applications the users write. The book clearly saves time from testing many things to re-invent the wheel.
The book could have been written with much worse code ... The Object -oriented discussions are an unexpected joy. I know I will try to use many of the code snippets shown in the book. The modular nature makes their re-use relatively easy.
Some of the :"Explaining to my grandmother" may cause reactions in the more programming savvy readers. But as a C++ programmer, I liked most of detailedness, because I know it will save time with flash user-interface. Also I liked the sections where a recommended way to do things is covered and then a better, more professional way to do the same thing is explained. These little tricks usually take a long time to learn, and usually are learned from other programmers in exchange for some other knowledge that they lacked.
on 21 March 2011
Rex Vander Spuy guides us through the process of making games with great illustrations and word-use.
He describes "event listeners" as dogs that bark and alert you to an action, and conditional operatives as "traffic cops" waiting to check codes. This really helped me keep a mental image of random codes, and understand scripts at a mere glance.
The programming language is fully up-to-date, with beginners diving into actionscript 3.0, external scripting documents.
Only downside, is that it expects you to have Flash CS4 or above. (Only worked when I opened it in CS5, as I had CS3).
Having worked as a professional 2D designer for games, this book helped put some perspective on what my graphics do, and how designers should go about preparing their graphics for a smooth transition into development.
As well as this, the writing style of this book and it's quirky jokes kept me motivated to keep going (rare, really).
I'm looking forward to progressing through this book.
The light at the end of this tunnel, is that the author has already made a 2nd book: advancED games design, which is ready for our follow-up.
on 2 March 2010
This is a great book on Flash Game Design for beginner programmers in ActionScript 3.
It can definately help you speed through learning the flash CS4 interface and programming in actionscript itself too.
Starting from simple examples using good programming practice, and gradually introduce you to oop and more advance topics like event handling.
I also love the author's style of writting, clear, entertaining and simple to read.