- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: lulu.com (August 31, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1329419561
- ISBN-13: 978-1329419568
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 22 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #437,263 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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GameMaker Language: An InDepth Guide [Soft Cover] Paperback – August 31, 2015
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The title would suggest that this is an "in-depth guide" to GML. It starts with some explanations of what variables are, what basic data structures are, and so on. It is very basic information, targeted at new users who may have little to no experience with programming in any language, let alone GML. Part of this section in the book goes into building an application to demonstrate how a stack works. The code is generally well described, and the user is told what sprites to create, which objects and events to put the code under, etc. The user is then congratulated on writing their first Game Maker program and urged to run the program and play around with it to really see how it works. This is where the book started to go off the rails.
As I said, the code structure and information for the first project was good, but it wasn't complete. If the target audience is new programmers, or even new Game Maker users, then you also need to tell them to create a room for the code, to place objects into the room, etc. None of this was done. Any new user who tried to run this by following the book would be lost. And if the user is expected to know this stuff already, then why waste time with explaining variables, stacks and other terms at such a basic level? Sadly, this trend not only continues, it gets worse.
I had enough experience with Game Maker to figure out the next few projects presented by the book, but then it came to particle emitters. There was no real discussion of how to set up the project, what objects would be needed, what events, etc. It seemed some code went in scripts, some in objects, and within those objects, the events to trigger the code were not discussed. Making some assumptions as I had with earlier projects, I was able to get particle emitters to work for the first example given (creating a blood spray), but adding the code given in the book to do snow (I think; I don't have the book sitting here with me) only produced errors. I checked around online and couldn't come up with any errata or updates to the book, and ended up learning everything by watching him go through it on Youtube. This brings me to my final comments.
There is nothing covered in this book that isn't part of one of Benjamin's Youtube videos, which again, you can watch for free. The content of the book is not much more than a summarized transcript of the videos. If you've watched them and want to support him, try his Udemy course. If you still want to support him, try Patreon, and if you still want to support him and you have a table with a short leg or REALLY like the cover art, buy this book.
TL;DR: This book targets both beginners and experienced coders and misses both targets completely. Watch the Youtube videos instead.
The author comfortably guides the reader through the logic of the code presented and explains with great understanding how it works. It's rare to find a coder that has great skills in teaching aswell, which makes this book a blessing for anyone looking to get into GML.
Takes even the most timid beginner and starts him on the path of becoming a serious user of the GameMaker coding language.
I went from being a user of a clumsy mix of basic GML and Drag 'n drop, to understanding the program itself and the language in much greater detai than I ever would have had I been left just to my own devices. If this sounds like you. don't hesitate, you need this book! If you have a friend or family member who are curious about game creation. this is the perfect gift for them!
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