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Adobe Flash 11 Stage3D (Molehill) Game Programming Beginner's Guide by [Kaitila, Christer]
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Adobe Flash 11 Stage3D (Molehill) Game Programming Beginner's Guide Kindle Edition

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Length: 414 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Page Flip: Enabled
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Book Description

A step-by-step guide for creating stunning 3D games in Flash 11 Stage3D (Molehill) using AS3 and AGAL with this book and ebook.

  • The first book on Adobe's Flash 11 Stage3D, previously codenamed Molehill
  • Build hardware-accelerated 3D games with a blazingly fast frame rate.
  • Full of screenshots and ActionScript 3 source code, each chapter builds upon a real-world example game project step-by-step.
  • Light-hearted and informal, this book is your trusty sidekick on an epic quest to create your very own 3D Flash game.

In Detail

Adobe's Stage3D (Molehill) is a set of 3D APIs that has brought 3D to the Flash platform. Being a completely new technology, there were almost no resources to get you acquainted with this revolutionary platform, until now.

This book will show you how to make your very own next-gen 3D games in Flash. If you have ever dreamed of writing your own console-style 3d game in Flash, get ready to be blown away by the hardware accelerated power of Stage3D. This book will lead you step-by-step through the process of programming a 3D game in Actionscript 3 using this exciting new technology. Filled with examples, pictures and source code, this is a practical and fun-to-read guide that will benefit both 3D programming beginners and expert game developers alike.

Starting with simple tasks like setting up Flash to render a simple 3d shape, each chapter presents a deeper and more complete videogame as an example project. Right from a simple tech demo, your game will grow to become a finished product - your very own playable 3d game filled with animation, special effects, sounds, and tons of action. The goal of this book is to teach you how to program a complete game in Molehill that has a beginning, middle, and game over.

As you progress further into your epic quest, you will learn all sorts of useful tricks such as ways to create eye-catching special effects using textures, special blend modes for transparent particle systems, fantastic vertex and fragment programs that are used to craft beautiful shaders and much more. You will learn how to upload the geometry of your 3D models to video RAM for ultra-fast rendering. You will dive into the magical art of AGAL shader programming. You will learn optimization tricks to achieve blazingly fast frame rate even at full screen resolutions. With each chapter, you will "level up" your game programming skills, earning the title of Molehill Master – you will be able to honestly call yourself a 3D game programmer.

This book is written for beginners by a veteran game developer. It will become your trusty companion filled with the knowledge you need to make your very own 3D games in Flash.

What you will learn from this book

  • Animate complex 3d scenes in Flash.
  • Initialize the Molehill graphics engine enabling hardware 3d acceleration.
  • Overlay 2D Flash on top of your 3d scenes for beautiful user interfaces.
  • Render splendid textures for eye-catching visuals.
  • Upload 3D model geometry for in-game items, enemies, terrain and levels.
  • Program incredible looking shaders in AGAL that run incredibly fast.
  • Make your own special effects like explosions, sparks, and magic.
  • Write event handlers and timers that control the action.
  • Track player movements, health and the game state.
  • Trigger game events, detect collisions, and control the game.
  • Compile your project to a .SWF that you can put on a web page.

Approach

Written in an informal and friendly manner, the style and approach of this book will take you on an exciting adventure. Piece by piece, detailed examples help you along the way by providing real-world game code required to make a complete 3D video game. Each chapter builds upon the experience and achievements earned in the last, culminating in the ultimate prize – your game!

Who this book is written for

If you ever wanted to make your own 3D game in Flash, then this book is for you. This book is a perfect introduction to 3D game programming in Adobe Molehill for complete beginners. You do not need to know anything about Stage3D/Molehill or Flash 11 in order to take advantage of the examples in this book. This book assumes that you have programming experience in AS3 (Actionscript 3).

About the Author

The author of this book, Christer Kaitila, B.Sc. is a veteran video game developer with 17 years of professional experience. A hardcore gamer, dad, dungeon master, artist and musician, he never takes himself too seriously and loves what he does for a living: making games! A child of the arcade scene, he programmed his first videogame in the eighties, long before the internet or hard drives existed. The first programming language he ever learned was 6809 assembly language, followed by BASIC, Turbo Pascal, VB, C++, Lingo, PHP, Javascript, and finally Actionscript. He grew up as an elite BBS sysop in the MS-DOS era and was an active member of the demoscene in his teens. He put himself through university by providing freelance software programming services for clients. Since then, he has been an active member of the indie game development community and is known by his fellow indies as Breakdance McFunkypants. Christer frequently joins game jams to keep his skills on the cutting edge of technology, is always happy to help people out with their projects by providing enthusiastic encouragement and plays an active part helping to find bugs in Adobe products that have not yet been made public. Over the years, he has programmed puzzle games, multiplayer RPGs, action titles, shooters, racing games, chat-rooms, persistent online worlds, browser games, and many business applications for clients ranging from 3d displays for industrial devices to simulations made for engineers. He is the curator of a popular news website called www.videogamecoder.com which syndicates news from hundreds of other game developer blogs. He would love to hear from you on twitter (www.twitter.com/McFunkypants) or google+ (www.gplus.to/gamedev) and is always happy to connect with his fellow game developers. His client work portfolio is available at www.orangeview.net and his personal game development blog is www.mcfunkypants.com where you can read more about the indie game community and his recent projects. He lives in Victoria, Canada with his beloved wife and the cutest baby son you've ever seen.

Product Details

  • File Size: 9222 KB
  • Print Length: 414 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1849691681
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (November 25, 2011)
  • Publication Date: November 25, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006EEJSHM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,497,748 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Paperback
Flash has been repositioning itself lately as more of a general game development runtime. And the latest extension in that direction is Stage3D. While Flash has had a few minor forays into 3D, the new Flash 11 Stage3D is the first real genuine hardware-accelerated 3D for Flash. The rest were little hacks or software renderers built on Flash's 2D pipeline. With Stage3D, Flash's 3D capabilities are roughly on the same plane capability-wise as Unity 3D and WebGL.

But Stage3D is something entirely "other" than Flash's existing graphical pipeline. While Stage3D shares the existing AS3 scripting as Flash, it is otherwise a 3D engine built into Flash with its own pipeline and API. So you have some new learning to do. And that's where Adobe Flash 11 Stage3D (Molehill) Game Programming comes into play. It's an end-to-end tutorial on how to build a 3D game in Flash using Stage3D (codenamed "Molehill", hence the long-winded title). And it is a good start for people who may know Flash but don't know their 3D. Stage3D is a very capable thing if you've seen the demos, but it's also not something you can just enable by renaming your DisplayObject-based hierarchy to something else.

The book was clearly written and released before Stage3D went gold. And, at the time of this review, Stage3D is still awaiting general release for standalone mobile games. So there are a couple of URL links that point to beta information that may or may not still be there. In any case, Stage3D-enabled Flash is now in general release, so a little googling will find you all of the tools the author mentions.

I do have one quibble with Adobe Flash 11 Stage3D Etc., and that's with its selection of tools. One thing I like to see in a book is usage of free tools if they are available and high quality.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a web designer with some background years in AS3, mostly developing for web and this book is really easy to understand, obviously there will be some concepts very advanced, but they are really well explained and the book also give some good examples of development. The book and your work gradually becomes more exiting and fun as you can see your work becoming a real game.
This book begins from the ground, so that's perfect for people who already knows something about AS3, and it will be evolving the kind of knowledge you'll adquire. This book covers the basic concepts of how to develop a videogame from 0, you can't expect to develop a kickass game in your for first shot, and you can't expect to cover all the subjects and the depth of knowledge with just one book, but it gives you the basic concepts so you can dig into every aspect of the developing for your own.
I am about to finish this book, and hope to develop my first game in a few months. I encourage everyone who want to learn how to make their own games in an easy and familiar way. Flash is just awesome and out there are many tools that can help you achieve it.
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Format: Paperback
Game programming is doing quite well in the current global economy and some of you may well be tempted to do so under Adobe's Flash. The latest Flash 11 offers 3D APIs that are quite extensive. So much so that Kaitila wrote this book to aid you. It should be a straightforward read if you have done any sort of game or graphics programming before.

Prominent in the discussion is how to use AGAL - Adobe Graphics Assembly Language. Adobe has taken a hard look at how to improve its graphics performance. Nowadays in most programming books, it is rare to code in any assembly language. The only compelling reason is simply to get closer to the silicon and speed up computations. Agal code runs on the GPU of the game machine, not on the CPU. Performance is better.

Agal is where I suspect many readers will be encountering their first assembly language. OpenGL and other graphics languages or packages simply hide these lower level details.

One consequence is that unlike other graphics books that talk about shaders, this book eschews the term. It points out that a shader or most shaders are actually 2 programs - a vertex shader and a fragment shader. Did you know that? Other texts rarely make the distinction, because they operate at a higher level that only sees the 2 as a monolithic entity.

This book can qualitatively broaden your programming experience. The Agal opcodes like mov [move], add, sub, mul and div have their equivalents in most other assemblers, like the Motorola or Intel chipsets. The book has an appendix with a full list of opcodes. As a Java or C or C# [etc] programmer, just once in your career you should learn an assembler and code in it. The book and its context lets you appreciate at a lower level what it means to truly optimise.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Book is really good, informative and educational. It is one of those books which you will have to read chapter by chapter, paragraph to paragraph to get a sense of what is being taught.

It is as much about game programming and computer graphics as it is about Adobe Flash Stage3D. And is DEFINITELY for beginner computer graphics. Not that an intermediate user can't use it as a good intro to AGAL, it seems more like a conveniently-printed-online-tutorial.
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