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Microsoft Visual Basic: Game Programming for Teens 2nd Edition

2.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1598633900
ISBN-10: 1598633902
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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

Source code for the projects in this book may be downloaded from these book resource locations:
  • jharbour.com/forum (must create a free account first)

About the Author

Jon Harbour has been programming video games since the 1980s. His first video game system was an Atari 2600 which he played with disassembled on the floor of his room as a kid. He has written on languages and subjects that include: C++, C#, Basic, Java, DirectX, Allegro, Lua, DarkBasic, XNA Game Studio, Pocket PC, Nintendo GBA, and game console hacking. He is the author of Visual Basic Game Programming for Teens, 3rd Edition; Visual C# Game Programming for Teens; Beginning Game Programming, 3rd Edition; Multi-Threaded Game Engine Design and XNA Game Studio 4.0 for Xbox 360 Developers. Visit his blog and forum at jharbour.com.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning PTR; 2 edition (September 25, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1598633902
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598633900
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,126,064 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Michael J. Dolan on January 12, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like the concept of the book, but there are a lot of inconsistencies in the code for the projects. Up until the fifth chapter I was fully ready to endorse the book to my district as a textbook for an advance Visual Basic class on game programming. I like the fact that he builds a game one step at a time, starting with an experiment to illustrate the concept, then building and testing a class for the game. However, when he got to the fifth chapter, he changed his naming conventions and added code to the classes with no mention in the book of these changes. This can be frustrating especial to high school students or any new programmer. There are several places though out the book where he made changes to the classes on the CD that he does not mention in the book. Then he adds the class method to the current project and your left wondering where it came from. I felt he needed to make changes in the book, so that the code was consistent though out the book and matched what on the CD.

In my opinion, His editor should have caught this. Thomson as a publisher is starting to get a repetition for there badly coded books. It is obvious that an editor should be reviewing the code in a book along with the grammatical errors in the book and Thompson fails to do that. If you understand visual basic and you are looking for a book on game programming concepts the book is good. However I would not recommend this book if you are new to Visual Basic and I would definitely not recommend it for teenager, it will only frustrate them.
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Format: Paperback
The book was interesting for the first few chapters, but then it became frustrating. The classes for the games were constantly modified on the source disk from chapter to chapter without notifying the reader of any changes. The reader either has to open the source file for each chapter and type the changes into their source code, or the reader has to use the source code itself. One thing not to do is load the whole map. Its okay for a small map, but the author loaded a 48000 X 64000 pixels or 1500 X 2000 32X32 pixel tiles. In addition, the map is refreshing every 10 milliseconds. When I tried to run the completed game from the source disk and found out it took 300+ MB of RAM, and this is not a complete game. This takes more RAM than some 3D games I played like Orochi Warriors on PC. The game also drained 30% of from the battery from my friends laptop in less than five minutes. When testing out the actuall game play, I found that I was killing enemies behind me when I was attacking the one in from half the time. When printing text on the screen, the author .png files and placed the them on the screens like tiles. This method would make it really difficult to print text in other languages like Japanese and Chinese that contain thousands of characters. It will take a lot of effort to modify the author's code to make the a more efficient game.
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