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ActionScript 3.0 Game Programming University

ActionScript 3.0 Game Programming University

This could easily be the shortest reviews I've ever written. GET THE BOOK! Period. No more words would be needed as this is a very good book. However, I get credited per word, so I'll have to continue (of course this is a joke, but nevertheless there is more to be said).

TITLE: ActionScript 3.0 Game Programming University
AUTHOR: Gary Rosenzweig
PUBLISHER: Que (September 8, 2007)
ISBN: 978-0789737021
PAGES: 456 pages
CD: No, file on website
PRICE: £20.79 UK / $31.49 USA / $34.64 CAN
Click here to order

ActionScript 3.0 Game Programming University is, obviously, about programming games in AS 3.0. It covers many of the very classical games, it teaches how to build an arcade game and even deals with driving games. In other words; the book explains quite a lot of different game types (16 complete games with source). The reader is shown how to create games that works perfectly – and for just about every game you create, tips are given on how to improve the game in ways that weren't included in the book. This is a very nice way to inspire the reader to be creative and write their own code. The code of every game created is explained nicely, and the reader is given all opportunities to understand just about every line of code written. The skill-level also progress quite nice, so the earliest games are far easier to code that the latter games. In addition to all this, the book also has a website where you find the source-code, a forum where you can ask questions about the book and game programming in general. All in all, a very well written book, with good resources to back it up.

However, there are in my opinion one minute miss in the creation of this book. Creating a game in Flash is often done by the «try-fail-try again-create»-method. You don't always know exactly what line of code to write, or what function you need. So – one typical way a game would be written is to create one block, test it, build next block, test it – and continue this way until the game is done. Another, better approach - to plan it very thoroughly before the programming starts – but this usually requires some experience. This book has a different approach; all the code is pre-written, and kind of just listed up and explained as we go. That way, the reader don't learn about the creative process of creating a game, they «just» learn how every game in the book is written. Of course this knowledge can be used again in other games, and to include such a creative process in a book might be very difficult, so I actually understand the choice of writing-style. But showing the creative process in at least one game would make the book "complete".


I'll conclude by saying once again that this is a very good book. All readers new to game programming (or AS 3.0) will certainly learn a lot. Many seasoned game programmers will also learn a great deal from it. I would recommend it every day, to every one interested in programming games in Flash. I'll give it 8.5/10 points.


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