- Paperback: 392 pages
- Publisher: Apress; 4th ed. edition (December 28, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1484217896
- ISBN-13: 978-1484217894
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #467,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Program Arcade Games: With Python and Pygame 4th ed. Edition
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“This book does a superb job of fitting programming concepts – and Python learning – to building several games with the ever useful Pygame library. … Aimed at younger readers, but accessible to all, Craven’s teaching experience shows through in both tone and pace … . Plentiful exercises, including a whole chapter at the end revisiting every project in the book, drive the lessons deep. Well written, well developed, and … very enjoyable to work through.” (The MagPi, Issue 46, June, 2016)
From the Back Cover
- How to create quiz games
- How to start using graphics
- How to create and animate graphics
- How to integrate and use game controllers
- How to add sound and bitmapped graphics
- How to build grid-based games
Top customer reviews
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This is a very informal style book, reads more like class notes that a "traditional" thick programming book. This is both a strength and weakness. Not every facet of the Python language is explored but for the purpose of the book's title it is only necessary to have a basic knowledge of Python. Note that this book is written for Python v3.x unlike many older books that cover v2.x. (As for which version of the language to learn I would say unless you need to maintain older code learn v3.x).
+ For beginners this might be a good starting point if you're eager to get started (even if you have never programmed before). There is no long discourse of programming concepts, history etc before the book jumps into simple commands to run in Python's IDLE IDE. If you are the type however that would like a "proper" language reference so you can explore on your own another book like Learning Python, 5th Edition would be helpful (note that Learning Python is an impressively thick book that is better as a reference book rather than a "teach yourself" book unless you already have programming experience). Another reference option is The Quick Python Book, Second Edition which isn't as thick as Learning Python but covers parts of the Python language that "Program Arcade Games" doesn't. Note that all 3 books cover Python v3.x.
+ The Review questions and online quizzes help you learn to really scrutinize your code. Some of the review questions are tricky! (but in a good way). I enjoyed working through the review questions and the use of the "find what's wrong with this code" makes this book different from many other programming books and these certainly held my interest and I looked forward to them while reading!
- Doesn't really cover how to install Python or Pygame. For the former you just download the latest stable version from python.org for your operating system and install it, accepting the defaults. The real problem is Pygame - for whatever reason the main Pygame site doesn't have updated Pygame downloads for "newer" releases of Python. (The book doesn't mention any of this!). What you need to do is go to bitbucket.org/pygame/pygame/downloads and download the appropriate version. (As of this writing Python v3.3.3 needs pygame-1.9.2a0.win32-py3.3.msi for Windows OS - if Amazon removes the link in the previous sentence enter this filename in a search engine). You run the Pygame installer, selecting "install for all users" and "Python 3.3 (from registry)". Once you finish the Pygame install, start Python (IDLE) and enter "import pygame" - if you don't get an error message you should be all set. This whole situation could easily be a source of frustration to a beginner if you didn't know where to get updated Pygame installers.
- Newer versions of IDLE (than the one shown in the book) have slightly changed some menu options. For example to use IDLE to write a new Python script/file you select "File/New File", not "File/New Window" as shown in the book.
- Some things are explained out of sequence. For example, in Chapter 4 (which discusses loops) the author gives the syntax for a "for loop" that uses a list but lists are not introduced until Chapter 7. (I understand that this is probably done so all the "for loop" stuff is in one place but a sentence saying that lists are covered later on would probably be helpful for beginners).
- There are quite a few minor typos/formatting mistakes (words without spaces right next to each other). Nothing much that will interrupt your progress though.
OVERALL I would recommend this book for learning programming. The focus on Python (an easily understandable language even for beginners) and Pygame (add-on Python library for creating video games) will certainly appeal to many readers (especially pre-teen/teen school students). For the minor flaws that the book contains the author seems like a person genuinely interested about teaching programming and has dedicated the book "to everyone who loves to learn". As mentioned above, the contents of this book is freely available on the 'Programarcadegames" website (add dot com to the quoted text). You can visit the website and preview the text before buying the printed book.
I hope you have found this useful!
Kudos to Dr. Craven. Highly recommended for anyone wanting to get started in Python game programming.