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Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python, 2nd Edition Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0982106013 ISBN-10: 0982106017 Edition: 2nd

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Books for Pragmatic Programmers
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 438 pages
  • Publisher: Albert\Sweigart; 2 edition (May 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982106017
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982106013
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,322 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Albert Sweigart (but you can call him Al), is a software developer in San Francisco, California who enjoys bicycling, reading, volunteering, computer security, haunting coffee shops, and making useful software. He is originally from Houston, Texas. He finally put his University of Texas at Austin computer science degree in a frame. He is a friendly introvert, an atheist, a cat person, and fears that he is losing brain cells over time. He laughs out loud when watching park squirrels, which makes people think he's a simpleton. His childhood Nintendo habit led him into programming and all the joys that come of it. His web site and blog are located at http://coffeeghost.net

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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There are very few of them that are simple and easy to understand.
M. Mayville
The structure of the book allows you to learn critical programming and pythonic concepts by creating fun games that keep you interested and wanting more.
Smith7929
I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn the fundamentals of programming with Python.
Jimmy Pais

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

77 of 78 people found the following review helpful By J. Hartley on May 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is totally appropriate for someone who has never programmed before. Everything is explained, right from the ground up, in a lively, interesting style which doesn't dumb things down.

In terms of the language Python, not all aspects of the language are described - only the parts that are absolutely necessary to know to create games. A reader who wants to learn more about programming should definitely start off with this book first, and then supplementing that with other books specifically about Python (or other programming ideas) if they find they have an interest in that direction.

Topics covered
--------------
The first ten chapters do a brilliant job of leading the reader through the creation of many small games in the text console, which cumulatively cover all the basics of programming: variables, datatypes, expressions, strings and their methods, booleans and if statements, loops, functions, variable scope, lists, dictionaries, string formatting, ASCII. You will use these to create text games such as hangman and choose your own adventure.

Chapter 11 explains Cartesian co-ordinates and some arithmetic that will be used later on.

Chapter 12 to 15 then create one new game per chapter, using the techniques learned so far, adding a great description of how to create simple but effective artificial intelligence.

Chapters 16 to 18 then break out of the text console, using the pygame library to display a window with coloured rectangles, polygons, circles and bitmaps. It then covers methods of animating these images, reading the keyboard, basic 2D collision detection, reading the mouse, bitmaps and scaled sprites, and creating music.
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59 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Robert C. Gann, Ph.D. on May 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book. I am a college professor who occasionally teaches courses for liberal arts students who are looking to fulfill a requirement of a quantitative course. I offered a game programming course in the Python programming language using Sweigart's book. The students loved this book. It starts at the very beginning and leads them, game by fascinating game, to become highly capable programmers.

The book is not just for college students. My thirteen-year-old son has been greatly enjoying the book. His biggest ambition for the coming summer is to publish a computer game. I feel deeply grateful to the author of this book for the inspiration he has given to my son and my students.

If you would like to have a great time while learning Python programming, you owe it to yourself to get a copy of this book.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Sharon on May 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
I decided to learn Python as I had heard it was a good all round Programming language for a newbie. I am working my way through this book and have found it's simplicity and clarity ideal for me. It introduces the concepts in a gentle, interesting and concise way. It makes learning gradual and fun. It certainly isn't boring and as a complete beginner to programming I would definitely recommend this book.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By svbassem on August 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a great introductory book for new or beginning programmers. It has been instrumental
in teaching a 13 year old the basics of programming.
Pros:
1) Clear and detailed explanations of concepts and of the different data structures.
2) Fun to read for younger readers. The examples and games are interesting.
3) There is a clear progression with every chapter.
Cons:
1) The lack of an index is a little inconveneient.
2) It would be great if after every chapter there is some suggested programming assignments.
With solutions on the website. This would've been a tremondous help for parents. I frequently had to resort
to inventing little games/programs as exercises for every chapter.

Overall it's an excellent book and highly recommended.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jacob P. Silvia on August 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
Hey, kids, have you ever wanted to make your own VIDEO GAMES!?

Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python reminds me of a book I got from the library once when I was a very young boy. It was about making video games in BASIC, and I had some fun with it. Sweigart has taken the same approach (and probably the book he mentioned as being inspiration for his book was the same book I read as a child), and has given us an updated book for an updated programming language using updated computers.

The language, no longer BASIC, is Python, one of the more simple programming languages for newbies to learn.

While the first few examples are all text-based, the latter few delve into Python's ability to draw 2D images to your screen. I would imagine somebody with a computer and a penchant for learning Python through the medium of video games would have no problem devouring this book, which is freely available from Sweigart's website devoted to it ([...]).

While I, a seasoned programmer who knows enough Python to know he likes Perl better, found the book a little too simplistic for myself. Constantly, I was optimizing his code examples in my head (which I'm sure Sweigart also was tempted to do when he wrote them out). I realized, of course, that Sweigart was going for readability, and not for line of code reduction or fewer iterations. Optimization may be too advanced a topic to teach a kid wanting to make VIDEO GAMES.

The book is written towards a younger audience, but is completely readable, and understandable, by an older audience: you computer illiterate parents whose children fix your computers for you ALL THE TIME. This book could give you a little bit higher of an advantage when it comes to out-tech-ing your kid.
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