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The Game Maker's Companion (Technology in Action) Paperback – October 19, 2010
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About the Author
Jacob's career in the games industry spans fourteen years, but he has been programming games as an amateur and professional now for a quarter of a century. During this time he has worked on over a dozen published games for all the major console platforms, including as the lead programmer of the cult British game, Hogs of War. He has programmed, designed and project-managed titles for publishers like Gremlin, Infogrames, Atari, Disney and Konami and he truly knows the meaning of the word "crunch".
Somehow he also found time to study a Ph.D. in the psychology of learning and has a passion for most things that connect video games and learning (including a whole lot of research involving zombies: zombiedivision.co.uk). This passion also extends to teaching game development, which he practices in his position as Senior Lecturer in Game Development at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK.
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Oh, and the samples projects are fun! They give immediate feedback to your learning that is both pleasing to the eye and fun. One word of caution, though. You should either read the first book in the series (The Game Maker's Apprentice: Game Development for Beginners (Book & CD)), or have a significant experience with creating games in Game Maker. As an alternative to Game Maker experience, it would also suffice to have significant experience in other programming tools. I would at the minimum recommend going through the various tutorials available with Game Maker before attempting this book.
Additionally, I would also recommend that you obtain a Pro license to Game Maker 8 if you are going to work through this book. There is a version of Game Maker 8 on the included CD, and the activation in done through the program itself. It is very inexpensive, and well worth the cost.
One caveat: I first obtained this book online via O'Relly's Safari online books. This book is of no practical use without the examples on the CD. I was not able to find a site to download the examples, even at the publisher's site. In my case, I bought a copy of the book for my son, so I copied the examples off of the CD. Perhaps there is a way to get the examples if you buy a digital copy, but I would check this out first. I would highly recommend the author/publisher provide a way for digital users, such as Safari users, to download the examples. I have filed a "bug" report about this at the Apress site.
These books are a fantastic way to get to indy game development, and flow into coding, through gml. the fact you can export so flawlessly to various platforms makes it a powerfull entry.
the books are great step by step walk throughs of examples which get you going. recomended for kids or adults who want to get into the meditation practice of building games.