Real-World Flash Game Development: How to Follow Best Practices AND Keep Your Sanity Paperback – 21 Oct 2009
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"Written for programmers familiar with C++, Java or C#, the second edition of this guide to Flash game development is fully updated to cover improvements in Flash technology with timely new sections on developing for mobile platforms. The work covers a variety of game types and provides practical instruction for applying development knowledge to the Flash environment. Numerous code examples and color screen shots are provided and access to additional online content, including additional chapters and sample files, is included with purchase."--References and Research Book News
Top Customer Reviews
The Product Description listed above is perfectly honest in summarizing what you will find in Real-World Flash Game Development: Real-world guidance and advice for creating games in Flash.
I have been working as a developer for 10 years, making little games and demos as a hobby on the side and trying to teach myself the relevant technologies. Self teaching is a tricky undertaking many times. With lack of guidance it is very easy to lose sight of your learning goals (if you were lucky enough to understand what those goals were in the first place). That leads to many half-read books and many failed attempts to understand the technology you are aiming for, even if you make an honest effort and you persevere.
For learning how to develop games in Flash, as far as I am concerned, this book is perfect in that respect.
When I started reading it I had just managed to finish and publish a very simple Flash game that was just a proof of concept. The book took me through a well rounded course of understanding the subject of Flash games from all aspects: Programming ActionScript, managing your projects, organising your assets, animation, audio, video, xml, mathematics, best practices, things to avoid, complete walk-throughs of building a couple of games, quality assurance AND security, nothing is omitted! Even if I had managed to extend my knowledge in some way other than reading this book, I am sure that there are many things mentioned in it, that I would most probably not have found out about.Read more ›
I have developed a few games and was disappointed. I expected to learn. I didn't. Oh well.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This book covers a lot of topics I have not found in other AS books. Some examples are event propagation, dispatching events, E4X, getter/setter methods and protected variables. The chapters are very intense and delve more deeply into the workings of AS 3.0. If you want to know how and why Actionscript does what it does this is the book for you.
Real World also directs you to adopt best practices. This should keep you from developing bad habits and allow you to author modular code that could be easily modified.
The final game in the book is a platform game. You can learn how to load external SWFs containing the game's assets at runtime. This concept is very different from other game tutorials I have worked with.
I would recommend Actionscipt 3.0 Game Programming University if you haven't done any game programming. It has a much gentler approach to game programming.
Real World Flash Game Development should be an important addition to every game developer's bookshelf.
The book is well organized. Author Christopher Griffith begins by talking about computer game design in general and then hones in on Flash game development. The sections build on each other. He starts with simple concepts and program segments that you will probably use in every game you design and then works to more complex topics.
Christopher Griffith includes code snippets through the book and there is a generous collection of examples and a faux tutorial on the associated WWW site.
One note of caution! This is not a book for an absolute beginner in either Flash programming or game design.
The author adds some caveats. I found myself re-reading sections of the book several times for understanding.
Also, to get the most out of the book, you need the most recent version of Macromedia Flash.
If you have been working with Flash and Action Script and you are looking to expand and try your hand at game design then this book would be an excellent first step in that direction.
The content covers most aspects of game development from a breadth perspective rather than depth. You are shown all the basics of topics such as sprite animation, physics, shooter projectiles and targeting, dungeon mapping, multiplayer capabilities, cut-scenes, and video and sound looping. In most cases you are given one concrete example of code, and it is usually the most straightforward approach. In my experience, once you get to writing code, what you want to do is never solvable with the most straightforward approach given in books so you end up scouring the web for help; I think that will probably be the case with this book.
The subtitle of the book is How to Follow Best Practices and Keep Your Sanity, and in these regards, the book has good value. Griffith provides examples of plenty of common roadblocks hit by Flash game developers and offers tricks and tips on how to deal with them. Topics in this area include graphics performance and sizing, timing/threading issues, initial load vs deferred data and separate files, data protection, and other various performance concerns.
The games used in the book are: a tunnel shooter, crossword puzzle, driving game with drift, overhead dungeon, and a tile (moving) puzzle.
There is an online resource available that has all the code for downloading.
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