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Unreal Development Kit Game Programming with UnrealScript: Beginner's Guide Paperback – December 15, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rachel Cordone is a designer and self-taught UnrealScript programmer who has been working with the Unreal Engine since 1999. She has worked for various game and simulation companies since 2003 including Pipeworks Software and Parsons Brinkerhoff, and has started up her own game company, Stubborn Horse Studios, to make independent games with the Unreal Development Kit. Stubborn Horse's first project, Prometheus, won several awards in Epic Games' Make Something Unreal Contest.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 466 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (December 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849691924
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849691925
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,043,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
On ordering this book, I had a very low bar. Most UDK books are written about creating levels in the editor and a chapter (with about half a chapter's worth of information) about UnrealScript. I've always thought that UnrealScript is the one topic that is woefully under represented considering its importance it writing a quality game. At such a low price for the Kindle, I was willing to purchase this book with a high amount of skepticism.

I am so glad I did and am more than happy that I was wrong. This book goes well past the "How to write your first program" rigmarole of most UnrealScript books. It steps straight into how UnrealScript works, what the keywords are used for, and real-world examples of what you can do with UnrealScript. I thought I had a good knowledge of UnrealScript basics, but within the first 30 pages Rachel's book already showed me a MUCH simpler approach to changing a camera than what I spent three days doing.

The most amazing thing about this book is the professional approach she takes with the organization of her code. She brings up important points that novices in the development field should know about writing maintainable code. Having worked in the software development industry for 15 years, this book feels simple enough to help new people but is comprehensive enough to be a boon to a seasoned developer.

If you want to learn UnrealScript, BUY THIS BOOK.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the best UnrealScript tutorial/blog/video/book/you-name-it I have found. It is definitely an excellent place for beginners to start out with programming UnrealScript. If you have a good background in another language like Java or C#, really any other object oriented or scripting language, you can gloss over the first few chapters as the author explains what ints/floats, variables, methods, classes, loops, etc... are. She does a good job of not only explaining WHAT to do by WHY you are doing it. By the time you get halfway through the book, you will have a simple top down game working; your own weapon, power-ups, enemies and scoring. In the next few chapters she moves on to some slightly more intermediate topics like states, some Kismet (like creating actions and events that you can use in Kismet), adding multiplayer support to your simple game and how to debug and optimize your scripts. Then she finishes the book with some "odds and ends" as she calls them like using external DLL's and actor components.

This book is JUST programming. You will need to supplement it with other books or tutorials online for things like design and content creation (modeling, animation, art, etc...) to have a good looking game but, she gives you a good base to start out making the game fun to play.

Kindle buyers:
I bought the Kindle version and some of the formatting is messed up or characters were dropped in important places, like a minus sign in a function. All of them I have run across so far have been easy for an intermediate/advanced programmer to find but would probably cause some frustration for a beginner when their code won't compile. On the plus side, I do like being able to add highlights, notes, and bookmarks as well as search in the Kindle Reader app.
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Format: Paperback
Rachel Cordone's Unreal Development Kit - Game Programming with UnrealScript (Packt Publishing, 2011) is right now the best reference on the subject. The rapid release schedule of UDK makes it difficult to write about and teach, and Cordone's book uses the December 2011 version of UDK, which was released the same month. As far as I know, that makes it the only up to date reference book. More than that, it provides value to experienced coders by adding UnrealScript to their arsenal, then goes even further by adding UDK's Kismet and multiplayer development to the experienced UnrealScript writer's skills.

With more than 420 pages of instructional content, it looks a bit daunting at first, but a fast skim through the text shows Cordone is having fun with her material. Her gamer's personality comes through and the text is conversationally informal and refreshing for the reader. Overall she maintains a comfortable environment where the beginner experiences more enjoyable progress and less anxiety over the material.

The book is best for beginner game developers. or beginners to UnrealScript, but if readers have had even a basic programming course, or ever worked with any kind of scripting at all, they'll see rapid progress in the Unreal environment.

For a point of reference, I came to video game development from a multimedia and web background, and I have a little experience with other scripting, and a lot of experience in the UDK editor and with Kismet. As a game artist and level designer, I sense that some of the stuff in here I might never use, and it would be an advantage if a few more of the complex functions had descriptions of why they're used, or in what situation, from a game play standpoint instead of a coder's motives.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been programming in web development for ten years, but I've been programming applications for nearly twenty. I have been dabbling in video game development for a while and UDK two years ago, but could never find a good book on UnrealScript. I bought the two Mastering Unreal Technology books and was refunded for my preorder of their abandoned third book on UnrealScript. I soon had to sift through forum posts or the wiki, finding gems between the fluff and the useless posts "Why would you want to do that?". I just wanted a book on programming UnrealScript and how to apply it to developing games. I picked up this book on my Kindle, and I couldn't be more happy. There are few programming books that get it right, and this one does it in every single way. Flying through the chapters is exciting, because you are developing a game while learning or, in other words, developing theory with practice. Whether you are an old or new UDK game developer, I highly recommend this book. In my opinion, it is currently the best book on the market for UnrealScript.
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