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Foundation Game Design with Flash (Foundations) 1st Edition

42 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1430218210
ISBN-10: 1430218215
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rex van der Spuy is a video game designer and writer. He s written Foundation Game Design with Flash, Advanced Game Design with Flash and Foundation Game Design with AS3.0. Rex has designed games and done interactive interface programming Agency Interactive (Dallas), Scottish Power (Edinburgh), DC Interact (London), Draught Associates (London), and the Bank of Montreal (Canada). He also builds game engines and interactive interfaces for museum installations for PixelProject (Cape Town). In addition, he created and taught advanced courses in game design for the Canadian School of India (Bangalore, India). When not writing about games, making them, or playing them, he amuses himself by building experimental, autonomous, self-aware, multi-cellular parallel universes out of shoe boxes, scotch tape, spare milk bottle caps and bits of string . He claims, that this is a lot more entertaining than you might think, but we re skeptical.

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Product Details

  • Series: Foundations
  • Paperback: 650 pages
  • Publisher: friendsofED; 1 edition (May 23, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430218215
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430218210
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #874,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Robert Bergemann on July 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
I wish all computer books were written this well! This is not only the best book (by far) on this subject, but it is also the most clear, comprehensive, and engaging programming book I've read on any subject! The author is expert at building concepts at just the right pace to make the subject easy to digest, but he never skips over explaining the why, as well as the how of each concept. Chap 6 on controlling the player and overhead multi-axis scrolling (think Gauntlet, or Zelda) is well worth the book's price alone. Chap 7 "Bumping into things" gives three different methods for collision detection explaining the benefits and drawbacks of each. This is typical of the author's approach of showing you different ways to accomplish what you wish, and suggesting which method to use in different circumstances, but leaving the use of each tool up to you. He even goes so far as to first demonstrate an inferior, but common way of controlling a player's movement, so the correct method (which immediately follows) will make more sense, leading you to understand why the better method works so well. Chap 9 on platform game physics (think Mario) is superb, and like Chap 6 is worth the book's price alone. Side scrolling platform games are at best glossed over in other books. The whole time I read this book I felt like the author was reading my mind, anticipating my questions, and giving me a little more depth where it was needed. When you finish this book, there will be little (if anything) you can't do in 2D game programming in Flash. Lively, engaging, and actually fun to read, highly recommended!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By F. Stepanski on July 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
Adobe Flash has been around for over 10 years now (wow, has it been that long?) and until recently has been mainly focused on creating online games. Now that in recent versions of Flash have evolved abit, it is being used not only for game design, but also for online video, and RIA applications.

Though for the most part Flash is best suited to create online animated games because it is very efficient for download size, is fast, has a very robust programming language (AS 3.0) and has many tools for quick and easy animation using the timeline.

This book is one of the few books focusing primarily on game design with Flash as opposed to other books focusing on specific topics such as animation or coding or component creation, etc. The author assumes no previous knowledge with Flash or programming but it would be helpful in speeding up your learning curve if you had a little experience in either programming or Flash.

The author starts at the very begginning of the book in explaining the basics of Flash and the components involved as well as the interface with the timeline. The author goes into how to program with ActionScript and how it differs from other languages. Then more basic topics are discussed such as how to create symbols (buttons and movieclips) and a basic template for the first game is discussed.

More ActionScript basic topics are discussed such as variables, using objects and methods, and how to code events. Then the next chapter (chapter 4) one of the more important topics are dicussed which focus on movie clips. Movie clips are the foundation of creating Flash games (let alone almost everything else). Anything in a movie clip (image, video, sound, animation, object) can be controlled via ActionScript which is why its so powerful.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By MB on October 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
I've struggled through a number of AS books, but even the highest-rated best sellers left me feeling discouraged,frustrated and well, stupid. Not necessarily because of the books themselves-I have a learning disability, and have always struggled with this type of learning. I think the difference is that this author remains empathetic with the reader all the way through. ("Like he was reading my mind" as another reviewer said.) He doesn't "speed ahead" after covering the basics. I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who has given up on Action Script programming.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By =) on February 15, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the best book for flash game design out there. I have tried every single other one, and I can say out of experience that by far this is the most complete of them all. It is highly organized and detailed. I highly recommend this book!

Note: If you liked this book I also highly recommend "AdvancED Game Design with Flash" which is basically a continuation of this book. Also an awesome book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Zaffer on August 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
I have worked my way through several other books on ActionScript and game design and I wish I had found this one first. Rex van der Spuy clearly explains things about ActionScript that have puzzled me greatly for a long time -- things other authors glossed over. This is a Flash centered, game centered book. Instead of trying to be half Flash, half Flex like other books, this one glories in Flash as a game design tool and teaches by using all of Flash's many capabilities.

This book is very daring in scope. It starts out from "no programming experience" and takes you all the way up to the edge of design patterns, showing you how to make cool games at every level along the way.

I am a kind of medium/intermediate ActionScript programmer myself, and I found the early chapters delightfully relaxing (and learned a lot of new stuff too), the middle chapters absorbing and the final chapters challenging. Whatever level you're at this book has something for you.

Rex, how about writing another book taking us a little further along the path. I'd like to know more about how to put together a structure for a bigger, more complex game, more about composition and game design, more about event dispatching and game design. How about it?

Barbara Parkman
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