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Game Programming With Python (Charles River Media Game Development) Paperback – October 24, 2003


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Game Programming With Python (Charles River Media Game Development) + Beginning Game Development with Python and Pygame: From Novice to Professional (Expert's Voice) + Python Programming: An Introduction to Computer Science 2nd Edition
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Product Details

  • Series: Charles River Media Game Development
  • Paperback: 470 pages
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning; 1 edition (October 24, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584502584
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584502586
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #771,528 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Python may not be the first language you think of when you consider computer games, but it's surprising adept at tying together elements of game systems and not at all bad for the implementation of games in its own right. Game Programming With Python explains how to write game code in Python, and goes a long way toward showing that this isn't just a pet project of some hobbyists--that you'd really want to consider Python for game work. Sections dealing with graphics are particularly impressive. Even established Python enthusiasts will smile at what Sean Riley has accomplished in the area of terrain generation.

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.

Review

1 Overview SECTION I Introduction 5 2 Game Architecture 3 Python Game Architectures SECTION II Game Infrastructure 25 4 Python Game Framework 5 Simulation Concepts 6 Data-Driven Simulations 7 Collision Detection SECTION III Game Technologies 97 8 Graphics 9 Audio 10 Input 11 Unit Testing SECTION IV Game Programming 161 12 Game Simulations 13 Game Levels 14 User Interfaces 15 Artificial Intelligence 16 Procedurally Generated Game Content SECTION V Multiplayer Games 295 17 Network Concepts 18 Network Layers 19 Clients and Servers 20 Multiplayer Game Example SECTION VI Advanced Topics 389 21 Using the Python C API 22 Extending Python 23 Embedding Python

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Customer Reviews

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Not just a book on Python programming, this is a great book about game programming in general.
bob smith
In some ways, it is quite basic as it begins with simple concepts and the python code is easy to comprehend, but in other ways it is very advanced.
Herb Swanson
I give it 5 star, the only problem with this book is sometimes the variable name is misleading (ex. category part), but probably that's just me.
Fang Jin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

86 of 87 people found the following review helpful By S. Potter on October 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
Sean's introduction to Python game programming is excellent. As a professional games programmer, I found this title to provide a great foundation to the concepts of game programming frameworks, more so than many other titles that focus on more specific code-based tasks.

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.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By JH on October 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
I fully agree with an earlier reviewer of this book. I am only through to chapter 6 after getting it last week and it is a great introduction. However all the examples do rely on the author's own Python user interface library which does not work.

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...
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Kef Schecter on March 19, 2007
Format: Paperback
First, a warning about my review style: I tend to focus heavily on negative things. That's probably because negative things are easier and more fun to write about. So while this review may have a mostly negative tone, do note that I don't hate this book... I just think it has a lot of room for improvement.

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).
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Herb Swanson on March 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is packed with useful game concepts and algorithms. In some ways, it is quite basic as it begins with simple concepts and the python code is easy to comprehend, but in other ways it is very advanced. The later chapters detail AI routines, terrain generation, network protocol design and multi-language development - advanced topics for most programmers who would buy this book.
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.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By bob smith on January 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
Not just a book on Python programming, this is a great book about game programming in general. I'll keep it as a general reference on game stuff. The concepts and algorythms here are useful and relevant to game programming in any language. The use of Python as the implementation language makes the content accessible and easy for programmers of all levels to grasp.
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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By WiltDurkey on March 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
I know Python pretty well and I find that it is often an excellent way to quickly explore new programming concepts. Python is so powerful that you can quickly get a feel for the subject by coding a bit. At work, you may have to use a different language, but at least you will know the subject. That's how I got to understand XML and unit testing for example. A good book always helps the process though.

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.
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