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Game Programming With Python (Charles River Media Game Development) Paperback – October 24, 2003
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Much of the book is as interesting for its coverage of algorithms and design patterns generically as for its detailed coverage of Python programs. Riley takes care to explain, for example, the empirical logic behind the A* (a-star) path-finding algorithm as well as its specific implementation in Python. He devotes similar care to collision-detection algorithms and the simple artificial intelligence behind tic-tac-toe. Riley makes extensive use of libraries in his games, and studying his code is a good way for readers to learn about PyUI, PyOpenGL, and network services libraries. --David Wall
Topics covered: How to push Python to somewhere near the limits of its capabilities by using it to write games. The author talks about game design, useful algorithms, and strategies for using Python to interconnect game elements as well as using Python for core game functions.
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Top Customer Reviews
However, and this is a major fault of both the author and publisher, Sean's book and many code examples are based upon a User Interface library that he wrote called PyUI. Unfortunately, this library doesn't work, and hasn't been updated for quite some time. Downloading the library and using it as suggested in this book will simply not work for the vast majority of users.
If you intend to use this book to learn python game programming, it is important to gain enough familiarity with PyGame and PyOpenGL to be able to work around this broken library. It is also worth noting that you will not be able to use some of the user interface examples provided in the book.
So don't expect to be able to run much of the sample code in this book. But it's a great read if you want to learn the theory behind game and simulation design with Python...
A few years ago I happened to be writing a game in Python when I came across this book at the bookstore. I was already familiar with both Python and game development, but I was uncertain of a few details at the time, and I liked what I saw on a cursory flip-through, so I decided to take it home. A few years later, I am again attempting to write a (different) game in Python, and this book came to mind, so here I am writing this review.
Sadly, some of the information in the book was already out of date when it was published. Python 2.3 was released in July 2003 (this book was released sometime in 2004), and yet this book seems to be written for Python 2.1, which was released in 2001. The language changed a lot within that time, though not so much as to make the code completely obsolete. The book does not take advantage of "new-style" classes introduced in Python 2.2. If the author didn't want to complicate the issue by distinguishing between old-style and new-style classes, he should have used only new-style classes, not old-style. All you have to do to make a class new-style is derive it from the "object" class; the author needed to devote only a few words to the subject. There's no discussion about the semantics of division, which was already in flux: if you put "from __future__ import division" at the top of your module, the expression 1/2 returns a float (0.5); otherwise it returns an integer (0).Read more ›
The way the author builds a library of code and uses the library in increasingly complex situations make this a good showcase of how to write modular software.
I'd highly recommend this book for python programmers, game programmers interested in scripting or alternative languages, or anyone who likes to know how games actually work.
This books covers an incredible range of topics from simulations to graphics, networking and artificial intelligence. The fact that the Python code is so compact makes it possible to cram all of this useful information into a single book. If all of this code were is C++, it would take three books to hold it!
Overall, one of the best game programming books currently available.
As a newbie to games, I found this book to be an excellent introduction to game coding. It basically walks you through the material you need to create simple 2D real time games on OpenGL, including how to code simple multiplayer games (using Twisted for the networking). It does an excellent job of demystifying basic game concepts and makes me think that I could write a simple game myself, given sufficient time.
The code samples, which I mostly did not run though, are well-crafted and minimalist - just enough to get the job done and no more. This is very clean and expressive code where every line serves a purpose.
I am more interested by turn-by-turn web-based 2D games, so I am currently not using the book all that much. However, once I have figured out my user interface, I will surely return to it to learn how to manage game objects, persistence, game states, and the like.
One caveat, and not a big one. As another reviewer stated, the book excels at showing how to develop modular code by gradually building libraries of reusable code that you can use for a number of games. The author pulls off the trick of doing that in a Python-sensible manner, without adding the overhead that Java/C++ would require, but that Python doesn't.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Game Programming with Python by Sean Riley started off very informative with lots of examples. However, when I started to try these, NONE of them worked. Read morePublished on February 3, 2013 by Michael
It seems like a good book but it wasn't exactly what i wanted. I thought it would have more of a "walk through the process" with some good clear example projects but it doesn't.Published on January 23, 2011 by Geoffrey Ciccarelli
yeah i thought it was excellent until i tried out the CD and the examples didn't work or did i do something wrong. other than that this book was shipped fast and in best condition. Read morePublished on December 2, 2010 by Nick Jagger
Game Programming With Python is not for beginners. I will say that up front. There are many advanced topic that seasoned pros and up and coming programmers will enjoy --... Read morePublished on February 15, 2007 by R. Pond
I recently picked this book from my shelf as a my new bathroom material and was surprised what I was thinking two years ago. Read morePublished on February 13, 2007 by Fang Jin
When I buy a book with source code I first run the examples and then I start reading, so I followed all the installation steps and every single example worked nicely so. Read morePublished on February 24, 2006 by Pleyades