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The Game Maker's Companion (Technology in Action) Paperback – October 17, 2010


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The Game Maker's Companion (Technology in Action) + The Game Maker's Apprentice: Game Development for Beginners + The Ultimate Guide to Video Game Writing and Design
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Product Details

  • Series: Technology in Action
  • Paperback: 440 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1 edition (October 17, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430228261
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430228264
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #310,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jacob's career in the games industry spans fourteen years, but he has been programming games as an amateur and professional now for a quarter of a century. During this time he has worked on over a dozen published games for all the major console platforms, including as the lead programmer of the cult British game, Hogs of War. He has programmed, designed and project-managed titles for publishers like Gremlin, Infogrames, Atari, Disney and Konami and he truly knows the meaning of the word "crunch".
Somehow he also found time to study a Ph.D. in the psychology of learning and has a passion for most things that connect video games and learning (including a whole lot of research involving zombies: zombiedivision.co.uk). This passion also extends to teaching game development, which he practices in his position as Senior Lecturer in Game Development at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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If it were a strictly GML book, it would be condensed, much easier to read & understand the code.
Anonymous787
An added bonus with the Book, is a CD with all the examples from The Game Maker's Companion, which also includes Game Maker 8 to get you started.
Alexander Aris
The game maker's apprentice, will teach you the basics, but the game maker's companion will teach you to make even more professional games.
Meatloaf

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Aris on October 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
This eagerly awaited sequel was pre-ordered by myself in November 2009 and I am so glad the that time has come around to its now release date. The Game Maker's Companion touches on mostly platform games, but covers a more detailed approach giving an understandable breakdown of each step.

The main Games include : Fishpod, Zool ( Commodore Amiga fame ) and Shadows on the Deck ( fantastic ).

As well as covering Drag and Drop actions, GML ( Game Maker Language ) is covered in more detail throughout, which gives a more direct way of achieving results.

The book also has plenty of diagrams, screenshots and great artwork, which brings each associated page and chapter to life. What is even more special, is a section about story telling and how to apply it into your own games.

My favourite section of the book, is Chapter 14 : Feature Reference. This has great little routines that can be added to your own Games and Projects : 360 Degree Movement / Shooting, Cheat Codes, Countdown Clock, Homing Missiles, Mini-Map, Pausing the Game, Scrolling Text ( Horizontal / Vertical ) and many more. Each routine is in GML, but is straight forward to understand and use. This is one of the great 14 chapters to read and absorb.

An added bonus with the Book, is a CD with all the examples from The Game Maker's Companion, which also includes Game Maker 8 to get you started.

Overall, this is a well deserved follow up to The Game Maker's Apprentice, for which I could possibly see a third book covering even more styles of game design and routines. Perhaps the 3D aspects of Game Maker ?
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Gene. Poschman on October 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
I purchased the e book for this title for two reasons, first it was available immediately. When I purchased "The Game Makers Apprentice", I discovered that having the e book had many advantages. I could have the book open on my computer to create the games while learning about game design and development. It allowed me to copy and paste code rather than type it, as I am a miserable typist.

I am happy to say the "The Companion" took over in a sense where "The Apprentice" left off. I learned a fair amount about game design and development from "The Apprentice", but I wanted more in depth information of a specific genre. The platform games is is simple enough to begin with and yet it can be complex enough to allow a learner to evolve into a developer. "The Companion" handled this beautifully.

It uses the same game development instruction style as "The Apprentice" with perhaps a little more in depth explanation. This is not a short coming for "The Apprentice", its primary function was to ace as an introduction into game development and "Game Maker", which it succeeded in doing extremely well.

"The Companion" is broken into 3 sections each of which is dedicated to a specific platform game. As with "The Apprentice" the initial game is simple and is used to get across the basics of the game genre and development for this type of game.

The second section takes a classic game within the genre and adapts it to "Game Maker". It is the second evolutionary step in the complexity of the game genre and game development and design. It also lets the user work with an existing game that he or she may already be familiar with.

The third section introduces integrating story telling within the game development and design.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By driskell on November 14, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is all that I wanted, after owning the previous book (Apprentice). It continues with the more advanced features of Game Maker precisely where the other book left off. There is very little rehashing of the material from the previous book and it moves (inevitably) into much more detailed use of GML game maker language. This was expected. It is noticeably thicker than the previous (almost but not quite twice as thick) and contains a reference section at the back of the book in an almost toolbox-like utility for incorporation into your own games. If you bought the first one (and liked it all), don't think, just buy the second. You wont regret it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Anonymous787 on October 10, 2013
Format: Paperback
Overall: A must have for any gamer; Don't miss reading this one!
Intermediate-Advanced, Highly Recommended

What I Like:

Highly Valuable information in it that will help make engaging & delightful games -more than any book(s) I've come across

Throughout Has Lots of How-to-do things in games which I list most of them for you later; ch.14 is devoted only on this.

Helps understand Classic Video Games & in the long journey to make AAA games
Comprehensive In-depth coverage of 2 games broken down in easy , unrushed sections. It builds on what you learn.

Clearly Written in many parts, each GML line code is explained, including reasons behind using certain numbers (coordinate, math) in code

Animations, Art, Movie Tutorial & Software tools - learning about
cut scenes, silhouette graphics

You really achieve a lot which I find very rewarding.

What I didn't Like:

1.(D&D) over GML. If it were a strictly GML book, it would be condensed, much easier to read & understand the code.

2. Doesn't show the games in complete pseudo code (mix of spoken & programming lang.)

3. Issues practicing with book:
The download has a free game maker program which installed fine on windows 8.1 64-bit. I was able to study a sufficient, satisfying amount but not all with this version. Unfortunately, in the source code, various programs have certain features that require Game Maker Pro. & it won't run at all or properly without this version. This may still be available at yoyogames.com which also has a different free game studio version. I tried this version with the source code but found poor results in that I couldn't use it with the book.
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