Customer Review

88 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From zero knowledge to programming your own games : brilliant, May 16, 2010
This review is from: Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python, 2nd Edition (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
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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.

The final chapter caps the whole thing off with a final big game that incorporates all the techniques discussed, with music and the works.

Overall, I can wholeheartedly recommend this book for it's target market: Kids who want to learn to program, specifically so they can create their own games. Adults who have never programmed before will also find it very useful, although there may be a couple of chapters they can skim over.

Inspirational and brilliant.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 16, 2013 6:44:17 PM PST
B-Rell says:
Do you happen to remember what version of Python this was book written for? As I understand it, Python 3.x has a lot of changes (including syntax for the print function) from prior versions (2.7 and earlier). I'd hate to buy a book that references Python 2.7 or older when I'm running the latest version (3.3 at the time of this comment) and starting from scratch.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2013 4:41:25 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 20, 2013 4:41:44 PM PST
Maku says:
I don't have this hard (paperback) copy from Amazon.com, but I did just download and print out the .pdf that the author makes available on his website. And to answer your question, the copy I just printed out is Version 2 of the book and does use Python 3.x. In fact, the author specifically emphasizes that the code in the book will not work with the older Python 2.x.
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