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Unity Game Development Essentials
Unity Game Development Essentials
by Will Goldstone
Edition: Paperback
Price: $45.89
81 used & new from $0.01

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unity Game Development Essentials is here. Now Read the F***ing Manual, November 19, 2009
Will Goldstone's Unity Game Development Essentials</a> (UGDE) has arrived. It's the first book about the [...] Unity Game Engine</a> by the person whose videos were the first and most comprehensive Unity videos to date. Will also runs [...] and [...] is a crisp and detailed primer into the powerful Unity engine, 3D programing and game development all at once. Will shares his hard-earned insight and productivity tips as he guides you through learning the Unity IDE. In the early chapters you will learn the various tools available for developing realistic terrains complete with varied trees and grass. You'll take a deep dive into the First Person Controller and its components including the CharacterController. As Will puts it, "If you know how something is put together then you're able to fix it when something goes wrong".
Unity Game Development Essentials guides the learner through importing a 3D model into Unity with animations intact. You can then control the animations from the code. Speaking of code. You'll cover how to use Javascript to add functionality to your game from requiring the player to have met conditions to earn rewards to deciding if he'll be warm by bonfire for the night. Will explains it in such a way that developers coming from a Flash background will feel at home enough to reach for Control-Enter. Everything from making your variables accessible from the Unity workspace to manipulating your public static variables from other objects and updating your Heads-up display receives a generous yet concise coverage. Subtle reminders and reviews of key procedures help you walk away from the book with a habits that will make you productive and a foundation that prepares you for exploring the Unityverse.

One of my favorite parts of the book is the coverage of Collision detection. You first use colliders, with an initial examination of "isTrigger" then use Raycasting finally followed by a deeper discussion of the role of "isTrigger". This is reviewed and summarized in the section of the book that made crystal clear the previously elusive decision-making algorithm between OnCollisionEnter(), OnTriggerEnter() and RayCasting.

My only complaint about this book is that I wish it could have gone on to some of the more advanced topics. I've read tutorials about physics and springs, and animation but the clarity that Unity Game Development Essentials provides is unmatched and I would love to be as comfortable in those advanced topics as this book has made me with the topics covered. On another note- the clarity of this book and the thorough coverage of a standard set of approaches sets expectations. As this book get more well deserved circulation asking a question that is explained within might earn someone a serving of RTFM. I wish I could have taken the 3 short days that it took me to read this book several months and many long fruitless and error filled nights ago. The first book in the Unity Game Development arena sets the bar high.

If you're a Flash developer interested in 3D in Actionscript you may also want to read Papervision3D Essentials by Paul Tondeur. It's a great book to ease the transition into 3D thinking and provides a lot of information that applies equally to 3D development in Unity.

DISCLOSURE: I Would like to thank Packt Publishing for providing me with a copy of Unity Game Development Essentials for the purpose of reviewing the book.Unity Game Development Essentials

Papervision3D Essentials
Papervision3D Essentials
by Jeff Winder
Edition: Paperback
Price: $44.99
50 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Papervision3D Essentials: The PV3D Book You've Been Waiting for, November 13, 2009
From the first page of Papervision3D Essentials you get drawn into a rhythm that lets you know what you're in for. There's a consistency woven throughout this book that sets up expectations and delivers chapter after chapter for 13 rounds of comprehensive exploration of the Papervision3D engine for Flash. I first met Paul Tondeur about a year ago when I was compiling The first version of the Flash vs Unity Blog roundup. He had written a blog entry about communicating with Unity in C# using RTMP Paul has also done several presentations including at Unite 2009 and writes frequently about Papervision3D on his blog. Jeff Winder has done extensive work with FLARToolkit for augmented reality, WiiFlash and Papervision3D. The first chapter sets the theme by taking the reader through the various options for downloading PV3D and the benefits and downsides. Chapter two gives the needed nod in the direction of teaching you object-oriented programing in one chapter (as if). In this cause though, Paul and Jeff have managed to slip in an explanation of setting up your Papervision3D dev environment, an introduction to Scene, Camera and viewport and got you set up with a template class that will carry you through the rest of the book. What's elegant about this chapter is that you don't know it yet but you're now set to be a lean, mean Papervision machine. From the template that you've set up in this chapter you're ready to efficiently deep-dive into the innards of PV3D for the rest of the book. There is an entire chapter devoted to importing models from various modeling tools and keeping the associated animations. Packt Publishing has made the External Models chapter of Papervision3D Essentials available for reading and to download in PDF Format on the web site. I won't go into all of the details of what you'll cover in the book. I can reassure you that each chapter fulfills the promise of addressing not only the logic of the API and how to best optimize it ,but also provides you with the tips that will save you hours of frustration. As I mentioned earlier, there's a deliberate rhythm to this book. As I worked through the chapters I found myself knowing where I was expected to put certain types of code because the authors took the time to explain to me what goes in my init() and about the intricacies of onRenderTick(). On another note, for those who are one foot in Flash and another tiptoeing into the world of Unity, this book provides a solid grounding in 3D Cameras and the associated rules. You'll also become comfortable with shading, lighting, bump-maps and reflection mapping. You'll also get to become familiar with exporting models from tools such as Blender, Sketchup and Max are covered as well as importing animations and optimization of your 3D content to help Papervision on the Flash player deliver a pleasant user experience. Throughout the whole book you'll find that each chapter leads you to the next. I enjoyed the approach of keeping the area of focus encapsulated in each chapter while building a structure that was carried all the way through. By the end of Papervision3D Essentials you not only know and understand Papervision3D thoroughly but are able to put thins book on your shelf to refer back to it when you're stuck along the way. It provides deep and meticulous enough coverage to serve as a reference but maintains a pace that does not sacrifice
Papervision3D Essentials

Foundation PHP 5 for Flash
Foundation PHP 5 for Flash
by David Powers
Edition: Paperback
Price: $44.99
75 used & new from $0.01

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real PHP from a Flash point of view, April 3, 2005
This book does what it promises. I'm learning a ton of PHP stuff but ,unlike the other books sitting half read in a stack, I don't feel as if I'm straying way off from my goal. This book teaches the PHP foundation but ties it in with Flash like I need it to.

I was hoping for more coverage of amfphp and more talk of PHP playing well with the V2 components but- I learned more PHP in this book because it kept my interest by being Flash relevant- and I think the foundation I've picked up as well as those great database classes have me well on my way approaching other PHP books and picking out the stuff I need knowing I have a the basics down.

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