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Beginning Game Development with Python and Pygame: From Novice to Professional (Expert's Voice) 2007th Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1590598726
ISBN-10: 1590598725
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  • Beginning Game Development with Python and Pygame: From Novice to Professional (Expert's Voice)
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Will McGugan is a software developer living and working in northwest England. He has worked in video games and computer graphics since the early days of 3D and has created several shareware games in his spare time. Will works for Evolution Studios, one of the world's leading games development studios. He also has extensive experience in application development, having worked in the field of user interface creation and video conferencing. His current interests include application and web development in Python. Outside of work, Will enjoys juggling and cycling, although not at the same time. For more information on Will's current work and various musings, visit his blog at WillMcGugan.com.
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Product Details

  • Series: Expert's Voice
  • Paperback: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 2007 edition (October 18, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590598725
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590598726
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #949,948 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I certainly wouldn't discourage anyone from buying this book if you are interested in game programming with Python. Other than it being (I think) the only book out there on this topic, it's a pretty good and well-written book that will introduce you to a lot of material.

However, I do agree with some of the complaints from Craig Obrien's review. You can't run many of the sample programs without the author's gameobjects library. A couple of things this library does involves vectors and matrices, but I'm not sure why we weren't told about something like NumPy, which, while more complicated, allows advanced math computations like this. In other words, something that is not only pre-existing, but a standard in the Python world.

There is also at least one program later in the book that requires the win32gui and win32con modules to run, but this is not mentioned in the book, so unless you open up the code and investigate why the program won't run, you'll never know. What's even more perplexing is that the downloadable code sample that requires these extra modules is not the same code that is printed in the book, which *doesn't* require the modules. So there's misleading code in the book, and then code available to download that won't run.

One thing I enjoyed about the book was how in-depth it got concerning vectors. I love to know exactly how things are working, and it helped to read about all this. Ironically, when the discussion of matrices began in the section on 3D gaming, the author seemed to take the exact opposite approach. Instead of giving us a decent analysis of matrices and how they work, he more or less glosses over them and basically says "Don't worry, just use the gameobjects module.
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Format: Paperback
There aren't many books on this subject so I was very happy when I found out that this book was in the works. I have a growing number of books published by Apress on my shelf and the author regularly posted to the Pygame mail list while working on this book.

For the most part, Pygame a Python wrapper for SDL which is a great opensource media library. Most of my experience with SDL has been using it with C/C++ on GNU/Linux but Pygame is of interest for other reasons. For one, since it is a cross platform scripting language, set up and development time is cut down. Secondly, but related, is that as part of an educational program in NYC, I teach teachers and students various topics in multimedia and would like to move into gaming. In my opinion Pygame is perfect for that because it is powerful, fairly simple to learn and since it is cross-platform they will be able to run their programs on whatever platform they use at home.

Like a previous reviewer said, I would not discourage anyone from purchasing this book.The book did, however, surprise me a bit in the choice of topics to cover in depth. I can imagine that as an author this is always a hard decision to make if you want to keep the book at a reasonable size.

As some people have pointed out, the biggest surprise is that you don't actually work through creating a game (outside of a very simple text based game early on). So the editorial review above (bullet point two) should be changed.

Personally, I'm not sure that this bothers so much since
a. it would have lengthed the book and in many cases I don't feel that I learn that much from a lengthy example - it would really depend on how it is presented. A short 2D game with full code and documentation would have been nice.
b.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Here's my Pro/Con Opinions about this book:
Pros:
- Very easy to read.
- Great examples that actually work
- Chapters 1 & 2 give a great intro to python, so this would actually be a good book if you've never touched python before (but did have some programming experience)
- Lots of info using pygame+opengl
- A lot of examples use his gameobjects library, so a lot of the grunt-work coding is available to use already.

Cons:
- My biggest complaint is the lack of discussion on Sprites. Pygame is really a 2D library, and I think he left out a lot of very important information by not discussing how the Sprite class can be used.
- Only cursory discussion Sound. If you're writing a game and just want the basic sound effects and/or background music, this is ok. However, if you want to do something really interesting with sound, you'll need to dig way beyond what this book offers.

Overall, I think the book is worth getting unless you've already done
a few significant projects using pygame. It's definately an Intro
book, and it does a really good job giving the user an idea how to put
a project together.
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Format: Paperback
I had dabbled in Python before purchasing this book so I wasn't a complete novice, but it seemed to hit the spot in terms of easing the reader into python programming and the pygame library. It's very well written, the examples are interesting and by the end of the book I was able to put together a simple 3D shooting game pretty quickly on my own. Excellent stuff!!
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