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Game Programming: The L Line, The Express Line to Learning 1st Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0470068229
ISBN-10: 0470068221
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Get on the fast track to creating computer games

Ever want to develop your own computer game? Learn the practical concepts of object-oriented programming for game design using Python® in this easy-to-follow, content-filled guide. Whether you're a student, aspiring game developer, or veteran programmer, you'll gain skills as you progress from station to station in a series of clear-cut tutorials on different styles of games. The last stop will be a finished game program for you to show off. Start your journey today on The Express Line to Learning and see where it takes you!

  • Learn the basics of programming and 2D graphics as you go
  • Plan programs, write and test code, and manage data
  • Create text-based games, racing games, arcade games, and more
  • Add sound, set up scorekeeping, and design avatars

All aboard for valuable online extras

Visit The L Line Web site at www.wiley.com/go/thelline for valuable online supplementary materials:

  • Test bank with challenging review questions
  • PowerPoint® slides with chapter outlines
  • Programming code from the book

Along The L Line

  • Complete tutorial coverage
  • Ample illustrations and examples
  • Real-world applications and hints for avoiding pitfalls
  • Practice exams that help evaluate your progress

About the Author

Andy Harris is a lecturer in computer science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), where he manages the streaming media laboratory and teaches classes in several programming languages. His primary interests are game development, Python, Flash, PHP, Java, Microsoft languages, Perl, JavaScript/AJAX, Web-enabled data applications, virtual reality, and programming on portable devices. He has written books on many of these technologies, including Beginning Flash Game Programming For Dummies.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 570 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (February 9, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470068221
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470068229
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #803,545 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I live near Indianapolis, Indiana.

I am a lecturer in computer science at Indiana University / Purdue University - Indianapolis (Yes, that IS officially the longest university name on the planet... we call it IUPUI)

I was an army brat. I grew up in many parts of the Eastern United States and in Japan.

I've been interested in computing since the early eighties, when my brother and I took the money we were saving for a car and blew it on a TRS-80 model 1 with the built-in Japanese character set. (That machine is still in my garage. Don't tell my wife.)

My first career was as a special education teacher. I taught young adults with severe disabilities for several years. I really enjoyed my job and my students. I learned a lot about teaching through that experience.

While doing special ed, I kept my interest in computing, doing some freelance programming and writing about computer topics. Eventually, I became a lab instructor in the computer science program at IUPUI.

I moved to IUPUI as a full-time gig in 1995. Since then, I have been involved in creating a certificate of applied computer science. I have also worked on building a distributed education program. I especially love designing curricula using emerging and interesting technology and ideas.

I have taught many applied CS topics, but there is always more to learn.
Right now my focus tends to be on applied computing in programming languages, game programming, and mobile computing.

My favorite part about writing is hearing from readers. It's great when somebody sends me a link to a game or project they've written using one of my books. I'd love to get a line from you about one of my books, what you'd like to see me work on next, or just to say hi. I hope my writing feels like a conversation, and I'm looking forward to hearing from your side of the talk.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Don't judge this book by it's cover! For some reason,
this book is part of a series of Wiley books, and they
all have the same cover.

This is a book about learning how to program computer
games using the Python programming language and the
PyGame package. PyGame is a Python wrapper around the
SDL library. This book offers step-by-step tutorials
that introduce game programming with complete Python
programs. All the programs work on several platforms:
MS-Windows, Mac, and GNU/Linux. Chapters 1-3 introduce
the Python programming language. Starting with Chapter
4, you begin to learn about graphics programming. In
Chapter 6 the programs begin to use OOP/classes. Then,
in Chapter 7, you begin to learn how to make 2D games
with sprites, sound FX, and keyboard and mouse control.
Game programming is a fun way to learn how to program
a computer, and Python with PyGame makes it relatively
easy as well.

This book has detailed information on creating graphics
and sounds for your games, using free, open source
third-party tools that are available on all platforms.
The GIMP is used for graphics, and Audacirty is used
for sounds. So unlike many other game programming books
which require expensive third-party programs in order
to make games, ALL the programs in this book are free.

The book has an easy-going, conversational style of writing
that makes it seem that the author is looking over your
shoulder, helping you to learn game programming. I'm really
glad I bought this book. It is worth many times its cover
price considering the amount of information it contains.

Things I like about this book:
1.
Read more ›
3 Comments 21 of 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
This is a great book which didn't get the attention it deserved. It was always a bargain for the 550+ pages of well written text, and it is now priced down. I am a quite experienced python programmer, new to game design, and found the book insightful and easy to read.

Major advantages:
- does not depend on any library other than pygame (obviously)
- well written, clear examples, well structured: it was easy for me to jump to the bits that were of interest to me
- good examples, all of them small enough to be understandable yet showing many aspects of 2D platform type games.
- full source for download

Drawbacks:
- The first chapter tries to introduce you to python, one of my colleagues actually learned python from this but why not refer to many resources available?
- ugly cover, doesn't even mention the author's name , nor does it mention Python!
- the introduction has some convincing arguments why aspiring game programmers should not start out with C/C++ but start with a high level language like Python instead. This should have been repeated on the back cover.

Worth every penny I paid for it!
1 Comment 8 of 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
This book was a great read. The author simplified the subjects and provided standard ways for doing what at first might seem complicated (like sprite animation). While this by no means is a complete guide to game programming, it does a very fine job of getting someone started making large, if somewhat simplistic, 2D games. It doesn't throw in complicated subjects like AI and 3D (which deserve their own books), and if you're brand new to Python it has a respectable introduction in the beginning. I suspect this would also be a great book for a high school class. It's a shame that it's not immediately obvious from the title that it uses Python and PyGame, as this really is the best book using those tools for getting into game programming.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Let me join the chorus here, this is a really well written book. The focus on free and current software tools (Stanti's Editor especially) makes following along easy. It may be a testament to the ease of use when it comes to python in general (just beware your use of the tab key!), but I had no problems getting the results described and learned buckets as a result.
1 Comment 5 of 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
Andy Harris did a great job on this book. I sponsor a computer programming club for high school students and this book is the best at getting to actual game creation. The first three chapters go over basics of programming, but then graphics and pygame are used early and well.

This book is a bargain at 570 truly helpful pages.
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Format: Paperback
I purchased this book to use as a textbook for my high school intro game programming class. The author steps through each new code segment with great care. You won't be left wondering the why or how something works. Among the dozens of books on programming, this is by far the best! The author has also created PPT slides and test questions appropriate for the classroom. A MUST BUY!
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I bought this book based on the reviews and I've been very happy with it. I'm about halfway through the book and looking through the rest I feel like I'll be able to start making some fun games when I finish. I'm using this book with python 2.7 and the corresponding pygame edition. I'll echo some of the other reviewers here and say that if you already have a little experience in programming and python this is an excellent introduction to game development, just ignore the hideous cover.
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