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Foundation Game Design with Flash [Paperback]

Rex Spuy
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 42.92
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Foundation Game Design with ActionScript 3.0 Foundation Game Design with ActionScript 3.0 4.5 out of 5 stars (2)
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Book Description

May 19 2009 Foundations

Games have always been a popular pastime on the net, and estimates say that one in three internet users play online – the majority in quick, free-to-play Flash games. There has been a bit of a revolution recently in Flash games, as a few companies (such as Mochi Media) have created simple kits for ad-funding and monetizing games. This has led to a revived interest in creating Flash games, as they can now be for real profit, as well as fun. This book teaches the Flash beginner all they need to know to create addictive Flash games.


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Foundation Game Design with Flash + Foundation Actionscript 3.0 Animation: Making Things Move!
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Product Description

About the Author

Rex van der Spuy is a freelance multimedia designer specializing in Flash game design, interface design and ActionScript programming, as well as standards-based XHTML+CSS+DOM website design.

He migrated to the multimedia industry from an earlier career in film and television, having graduated with a BFA in Film/Video from York University (Toronto) in 1993 and spending a number of years working as an independent producer and freelance cameraman. He has designed Flash games and done interactive interface programming for clients such as Agency Interactive (Dallas,) Scottish Power (Edinburgh,) DC Interact (London,) Draught Associates (London) and the Bank of Montreal (Canada.) He also builds game engines and interactive interfaces for museum installations for PixelProject (Cape Town.) In addition, he taught advanced courses in Flash Game Design and Shockwave 3D Game Design for the Canadian School of India (Bangalore, India) and produced two online guide books to Flash Game Design and ActionScript programming (available for free download from his website, www.kaleidoscope-multimedia.com.)

Rex is a also a proponent of standards-based, W3C compliant accessible XHTML coding. He has produced hand-coded websites for Meon Villa, Conran Events, Apax.com, the British-German Association (UK) and the Europan 8 architecture competition,—all meeting strict W3C guidelines and accessibility requirements.

In his spare time, Rex has done a considerable amount of technical and fiction writing and maintains a semi-professional musical career as a performer on the sitar. Rex currently divides his time equally between Canada, India and South Africa and works on consulting and software development projects for clients in India, North America and the UK.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent beginners guide Sept. 9 2011
Format:Paperback
I'm not finished reading the book yet, but so far, i've learnt alot. I'm a Flash animator, so chapter 2 was skimmed through (it teaches the reader how to design in Flash), but otherwise have been learning alot. Everything is described well. A tip for the beginner would be to listen to his advice. When he says to make a game on your own, at the end of chapters, do it. Use what you learnt to make another game. After the random number guessing game chapter, I made a sliding puzzle game from scratch. It was a bit ambitious and I used the internet to find anything i was missing. Anyways, I highly recommend this book. I've already bought the advanced book that comes after this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a gem of a book* Nov. 17 2011
Format:Paperback
This is the easiest book to read if you love all things multimedia; multimedia in a fun Way, included! As a beginner of ANY today's computers(for games.) As a novice with a ;little bit of know-how.- You can have this author take you by the hand.,and EASILy not let you make any mistakes learning Games ; The fun way! As I read on Amazon.com this book (yes!) is also great for finally really hitting that AS3 (Actionscript 3) learning curve.Also non-multimedia but semi-knowing girls/women might like this intro. to making technology product & games,too!! My best read.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  41 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a wonderful book! July 27 2009
By Robert Bergemann - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I wish all computer books were written this well! This is not only the best book (by far) on this subject, but it is also the most clear, comprehensive, and engaging programming book I've read on any subject! The author is expert at building concepts at just the right pace to make the subject easy to digest, but he never skips over explaining the why, as well as the how of each concept. Chap 6 on controlling the player and overhead multi-axis scrolling (think Gauntlet, or Zelda) is well worth the book's price alone. Chap 7 "Bumping into things" gives three different methods for collision detection explaining the benefits and drawbacks of each. This is typical of the author's approach of showing you different ways to accomplish what you wish, and suggesting which method to use in different circumstances, but leaving the use of each tool up to you. He even goes so far as to first demonstrate an inferior, but common way of controlling a player's movement, so the correct method (which immediately follows) will make more sense, leading you to understand why the better method works so well. Chap 9 on platform game physics (think Mario) is superb, and like Chap 6 is worth the book's price alone. Side scrolling platform games are at best glossed over in other books. The whole time I read this book I felt like the author was reading my mind, anticipating my questions, and giving me a little more depth where it was needed. When you finish this book, there will be little (if anything) you can't do in 2D game programming in Flash. Lively, engaging, and actually fun to read, highly recommended!
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book on Undersrtanding Flash Game Design July 14 2009
By F. Stepanski - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Adobe Flash has been around for over 10 years now (wow, has it been that long?) and until recently has been mainly focused on creating online games. Now that in recent versions of Flash have evolved abit, it is being used not only for game design, but also for online video, and RIA applications.

Though for the most part Flash is best suited to create online animated games because it is very efficient for download size, is fast, has a very robust programming language (AS 3.0) and has many tools for quick and easy animation using the timeline.

This book is one of the few books focusing primarily on game design with Flash as opposed to other books focusing on specific topics such as animation or coding or component creation, etc. The author assumes no previous knowledge with Flash or programming but it would be helpful in speeding up your learning curve if you had a little experience in either programming or Flash.

The author starts at the very begginning of the book in explaining the basics of Flash and the components involved as well as the interface with the timeline. The author goes into how to program with ActionScript and how it differs from other languages. Then more basic topics are discussed such as how to create symbols (buttons and movieclips) and a basic template for the first game is discussed.

More ActionScript basic topics are discussed such as variables, using objects and methods, and how to code events. Then the next chapter (chapter 4) one of the more important topics are dicussed which focus on movie clips. Movie clips are the foundation of creating Flash games (let alone almost everything else). Anything in a movie clip (image, video, sound, animation, object) can be controlled via ActionScript which is why its so powerful.

The author gives a great explanation to these important topics and helps the reader understand what will be involved in creating Flash games.

The author then discusses other fun and important topics in game design such as how to use AS to control the player characters in the different keyboard and mouse events. Understanding how to control your characters movement in your game is very important.

I really enjoy the way the author explains the topics discussed because he describes everthing in a relaxed, easy to read format without too much technical jargon (unless needed, of course). It doesnt sound like a technical book, but sounds like a book that someone really enjoys what they are doing and that comes across from the book.

A really fun chapter (chapter 7) is the discussion of how to program collisions with your game character and teh environment you create for it. The author talks about the AS objects hitTestPoint, Collision, etc.

The rest of the book focuses on more somewhat advanced techniques such as object oriented game design, game physics, and advanced charcter control.

Its a very in-depth book and will take you awhile to go through it all but it is done very well and a highly recommeded if you want to really understand flash game design and development.

A great buy!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High Praise for Rex van der Spuy! Oct. 16 2009
By MB - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I've struggled through a number of AS books, but even the highest-rated best sellers left me feeling discouraged,frustrated and well, stupid. Not necessarily because of the books themselves-I have a learning disability, and have always struggled with this type of learning. I think the difference is that this author remains empathetic with the reader all the way through. ("Like he was reading my mind" as another reviewer said.) He doesn't "speed ahead" after covering the basics. I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who has given up on Action Script programming.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing book Feb. 15 2011
By =) - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the best book for flash game design out there. I have tried every single other one, and I can say out of experience that by far this is the most complete of them all. It is highly organized and detailed. I highly recommend this book!

Note: If you liked this book I also highly recommend "AdvancED Game Design with Flash" which is basically a continuation of this book. Also an awesome book.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very happy! Dec 15 2010
By anne - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I found this book absolutely life saving. Technical books are very rarely written in such an accessible language.

Just know that this book is for absolute BEGINNERS. That is to say - it is designed for people with NO previous experience with Action script whatsoever. And that is the best thing about it! There are just way too many books out there that claim to teach AC3.0 from 0 but require so much more. For this reason alone - this book a rare find.

It gives exactly that - very good understanding of how Action Script works and how to put things together in a workable game system, explaining every tiny step one by one.

Having said that, I warn you not expect advanced game stuff (i.e.profiling of gamers and massive multiplayer game technology) even at the end of the book. Look for this knowldege when you are done with this book.
This book will give you the confidence of being in control, knowing what is happening, and to never be frustrated with the complexity of the code ever again.

Must-have even for non-game users who want to learn Action Script.
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