- Paperback: 592 pages
- Publisher: Que Publishing; 2 edition (January 23, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0789747324
- ISBN-13: 978-0789747327
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 54 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #980,899 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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ActionScript 3.0 Game Programming University (2nd Edition) 2nd Edition
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About the Author
Gary Rosenzweig is a programmer, Web site developer, Internet entrepreneur, podcaster, and computer book author. Rosenzweig hosts and publishes the MacMost video podcast His thirteen computer books include The MacMost.com Guide to Switching to the Mac, ActionScript 3.0 Game Programming University, Special Edition Using Director MX and The MacAddict Guide to GarageBand.
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While I am not a AS3/Flash developer, I am using an API (StageXL) that almost exactly replicates the AS3 API described in this book, and have been able to follow along with Gary as he shows how to build successively more challenging games, starting from simple card matching and Simon, all the way to 3D racing and dungeon crawling games (think of the original Wizardry). This book is literally a treasure trove of game developer information and inspiration which you can use to start creating whatever project you can dream in a very short period of time.
The code itself isn't exactly as object oriented as I would like, but thats true of all the other game books out there too. It does have enough object oriented content to show some amazingly different, and simple methods for making game characters, detecting collisions, and managing objects that are possible with actionscript 3.0. I value this book as a 'how to upgrade' from 2.0 to 3.0.
The games themselves are pretty good and there is a nice variety of game styles to appeal to a wide audience. For a basic game programming book, it omits or glosses over a few important topics such as caching vector objects as bitmaps, pseudo 3-D and optimization in general.
All in all, I suggest this book if you are upgrading skills to actionscript 3.0 or want to write flash games. If you get this book, I also recommend Foundation Actionscript 3.0 Animation: Making Things Move! to round out your collection.
All books covered much of the same ground, but 'University' covered a bit more. In addition to timeline-based animation, the author shows how he uses timers to allow games to operate at the correct speed regardless of the kind of computer or connection they are running on. All books had examples, but 'University' does more, showing the best approach and configuration for programming Flash games. Only 'University', I feel, was sufficiently complete to stand alone. Plus it is fun, easy to read, and succinct, using only a fraction of the space to explain common concepts. The examples are complete games in themselves, and the author grants permission to use them as a basis for your own games.
In addition, this book is supported by a Web site, [...] with source code, active forums, and frequent participation by the author. The author clearly has a committment to this material and the Flash community.
Pitched at beginning programmers (if you understand variables, conditionals, and functions, you can understand this book), I recommend this as your first book for Flash game programming. You probably won't need another.
The actual games are surprisingly varied and complete, but not so complex that they become difficult to understand. The code that I downloaded from the website works well. It is written in a practical concise manner with proper use of classes and other object-oriented techniques as required by AS3. However, as other reviews have noted, this book is not for advanced programmers that prefer a pure object-oriented style.
I recommend this book if you are moving from AS2 to AS3, even if you are not interested in writing games. Gary does not claim it is suitable for beginners without any programming experience but it is more suitable than Moock's "Essential ActionScript 3.0" (which does make such a claim). However it is not for web designers that don't want to learn programming and it is not for advanced programmers that appreciate Moock's AS3 book.