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Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python, 2nd Edition 2nd Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 125 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0982106013
ISBN-10: 0982106017
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Albert Sweigart (but you can call him Al), is a software developer in San Francisco, California who enjoys bicycling, reading, volunteering, computer security, haunting coffee shops, and making useful software. He is originally from Houston, Texas. He finally put his University of Texas at Austin computer science degree in a frame. He is a friendly introvert, an atheist, a cat person, and fears that he is losing brain cells over time. He laughs out loud when watching park squirrels, which makes people think he's a simpleton. His childhood Nintendo habit led him into programming and all the joys that come of it. His web site and blog are located at http://coffeeghost.net
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 438 pages
  • Publisher: Albert\Sweigart; 2 edition (May 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982106017
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982106013
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #358,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Hartley on May 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is totally appropriate for someone who has never programmed before. Everything is explained, right from the ground up, in a lively, interesting style which doesn't dumb things down.

In terms of the language Python, not all aspects of the language are described - only the parts that are absolutely necessary to know to create games. A reader who wants to learn more about programming should definitely start off with this book first, and then supplementing that with other books specifically about Python (or other programming ideas) if they find they have an interest in that direction.

Topics covered
--------------
The first ten chapters do a brilliant job of leading the reader through the creation of many small games in the text console, which cumulatively cover all the basics of programming: variables, datatypes, expressions, strings and their methods, booleans and if statements, loops, functions, variable scope, lists, dictionaries, string formatting, ASCII. You will use these to create text games such as hangman and choose your own adventure.

Chapter 11 explains Cartesian co-ordinates and some arithmetic that will be used later on.

Chapter 12 to 15 then create one new game per chapter, using the techniques learned so far, adding a great description of how to create simple but effective artificial intelligence.

Chapters 16 to 18 then break out of the text console, using the pygame library to display a window with coloured rectangles, polygons, circles and bitmaps. It then covers methods of animating these images, reading the keyboard, basic 2D collision detection, reading the mouse, bitmaps and scaled sprites, and creating music.
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Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book. I am a college professor who occasionally teaches courses for liberal arts students who are looking to fulfill a requirement of a quantitative course. I offered a game programming course in the Python programming language using Sweigart's book. The students loved this book. It starts at the very beginning and leads them, game by fascinating game, to become highly capable programmers.

The book is not just for college students. My thirteen-year-old son has been greatly enjoying the book. His biggest ambition for the coming summer is to publish a computer game. I feel deeply grateful to the author of this book for the inspiration he has given to my son and my students.

If you would like to have a great time while learning Python programming, you owe it to yourself to get a copy of this book.
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Verified Purchase
I bought this book but I'm returning it. Its not because of the content of the book (I think the book is good) but rather because I feel the publisher is being unethical.

I came to this conclusion when I contacted the author about this version of the book. What happened was that I saw this book on the author's site as a free pdf download ([...]). I also saw that it was going to be released in Dec 2009 by another puclisher ([...]). So I wanted to clarify what was going on. Here was the response that I received from the author (i.e. Al Sweigart):
---->
The one on Amazon is not printed by me. I'm not sure what other
changes they made, or if they just printed it from the book off the
website.

The "official" book from No Starch Press will have the four PyGame
chapters, a professional editing job, and a nice index and all the
other things a real book has.

Don't bother buying the book off Amazon. It's just someone's attempt
to make money off of other people's work. Unfortunately, I released
the book under a license that did not specify non-commercial use only,
so he's completely allowed to do it. It kind of makes me wince though,
because I'm always making changes to the book online and I don't want
someone to pay for an out of date version.

-Al
<----

So legally - this publisher (SoHo Books)has every right to print this book and sell it as their own. But from an ethical point of view I think this publisher is not being correct because:
1. They make it seem as if the author is publishing this book (you would assume that the author gets a little bit of something for his effort)
2. As a purchaser of the book - I don't get any updates. Why would I bother buying this book from this publisher if I can download an updated free version from the author's site?
4 Comments 83 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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This is the old, typo-ridden edition of the book. The newer one is available on Amazon for less money (and for free online at the author's site). There's no reason why anybody would buy this.
1 Comment 44 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
I decided to learn Python as I had heard it was a good all round Programming language for a newbie. I am working my way through this book and have found it's simplicity and clarity ideal for me. It introduces the concepts in a gentle, interesting and concise way. It makes learning gradual and fun. It certainly isn't boring and as a complete beginner to programming I would definitely recommend this book.
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Format: Paperback
This is a great introductory book for new or beginning programmers. It has been instrumental
in teaching a 13 year old the basics of programming.
Pros:
1) Clear and detailed explanations of concepts and of the different data structures.
2) Fun to read for younger readers. The examples and games are interesting.
3) There is a clear progression with every chapter.
Cons:
1) The lack of an index is a little inconveneient.
2) It would be great if after every chapter there is some suggested programming assignments.
With solutions on the website. This would've been a tremondous help for parents. I frequently had to resort
to inventing little games/programs as exercises for every chapter.

Overall it's an excellent book and highly recommended.
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