Top critical review
5 people found this helpful
The other lower star reviews are correct sadly...
on December 14, 2012
Well First I must say that I am still creating the first game tutorial in the book. Yes, I am not that far into it but I already feel frustrated and feel I have experienced it enough to write a review. I hope Mr. Dequadros reads these reviews and updates his book or at least writes a sequel to do the job that should have been done.
First Let's talk about the books that are available for gamesalad as a whole. There are VERY few. There is this one and the iOS one which I also own and that's it aside from the cookbook that is available on the site. The iOS book is better but not perfect. The problem with these books as a whole is that they teach you VERY VERY VERY simple games. Yes its for beginners but they needs to teach you to advance your games. Teach you how to do bigger concepts. Why not something complex at the end of the book? After all you shouldnt be a beginner at the end of the book!!! The official cookbook is very vague and to me reads more like a dictionary than it does a guide. I hope the future release of the official guide coming mid next year will be worth the wait. PLEASE NO SIMPLE TUTORIALS though out the whole book! And please have A LOT of game tutorial and include proper project files!!
Ok back to this one... Take the first game tutorial for instance. After you are first taught to create a platform for your character he tells you to experiment and make sticky surfaces. Um What? How? He NEVER talked about how to do this or how the other options affected anything. Common sense would lead me to believe you would increase the friction but that's a guess on what he may have expected me to do. Why not lead us in the right direction at first, then include an answer to key? A few more pages in he says OK now experiment and create moving platform. Um What? I have no freaking clue how to make a platform move, rotate or do ANYTHING other than have it sit their for the the character to walk on. Yes, there are mistakes in the book. Its like he forgot to include all the steps for creating something. I was creating a torch and I had trouble figuring out how to make it yellow until I realized which color box to click to change its color. There are 3 separate ones and this one wasnt completely obvious. The project files? Are just his completed levels and a copy of his story board. I understand he probably wants us to create our own to learn and that fine, but on the really simple stuff and when I am proficient in photoshop and draw/painting it would be nice to just have a quick go to for learning game salad. I think you can just drag the actor to the desktop to get the art but I would have to check that. He will also tell you to do something and then explain it a few pages away. This book really needs to be organized better.
Now in his defense gamesalad is still in beta. Its constantly changing and being updated. Some of these reviewers may have thought something was a mistake and it could very well have just changed during gamesalads updates. One example of this is telling me to change the attribute for "restitution". There is no attribute for restitution. I didn't even know what that mean't. A quick google search told me it was the "bounciness" of an object. There was in fact an option for bounciness. I would assume that this was called restitution in the past but then changed to a more common word.
So, buy at your own risk. Its not a BAD book but its far from great. I would love to see a more detailed and expanded tutorial revision of it. More complex games. Teach us to animate sprites and give us a quick run down of how to make characters that are not so simple. This stuff is required to make great games.