AdvancED Game Design with Flash

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Overview

Creating games in Flash is a never-ending journey of exploration, learning, and most of all, fun. Once you’ve mastered the basics, a new world is opened up to you, enabling you to take your existing skills to the next level and discover new skills that will in turn open new doors. This book is a direct continuation of Foundation Game Design with Flash, and is a complete point-by-point roundup of the most important skills a Flash game designer needs to know. You’ll increase your ActionScript knowledge and your ...

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AdvancED Game Design with Flash

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Overview

Creating games in Flash is a never-ending journey of exploration, learning, and most of all, fun. Once you’ve mastered the basics, a new world is opened up to you, enabling you to take your existing skills to the next level and discover new skills that will in turn open new doors. This book is a direct continuation of Foundation Game Design with Flash, and is a complete point-by-point roundup of the most important skills a Flash game designer needs to know. You’ll increase your ActionScript knowledge and your game design skills while creating some excellent example games. You’ll learn advanced collision detection skills; professional AI and pathfinding; and how to load and save game data, create destructible environments, and build and switch game levels.

  • Each chapter highlights a new advanced technique illustrated by practical examples.
  • Examples of games are given in a variety of genres, all of which take an object-oriented programming approach.
  • Advanced game design topics are covered, including vector-based collision reaction, pathfinding, billiard ball physics, and modeling game data.

What you’ll learn

  • How to use vectors to figure out where objects are going and how they should react to collisions
  • Pixel-perfect collision detection for irregular shapes using hitTest and bitmapData
  • How to use design patterns and abstract data models to manage complex games efficiently
  • How to create advanced enemy artificial intelligence systems using pathfinding strategies in grid-based environments
  • How to use XML to load and save game data
  • How to use sound and music in games and create particle effects using blitting.

Who this book is for

This book is for experienced Flash and ActionScript 3.0 developers who want to take their game design skills to a professional level. Readers should have a solid background in object-oriented ActionScript 3.0 programming, and may have attempted game projects of their own. If you have read Foundation Game Design with Flash, then this book will be a natural next step for you. The book covers game design strategies and techniques common to many game design platforms—not just Flash—and will help you create top-quality games that are quick to build and easy to maintain.

Table of Contents

  1. Modeling Game Data
  2. Vectors: Ghosts in the Machine
  3. Collisions Between Circles
  4. Collisions Between Polygons
  5. Pixel-Perfect Collision and Destructible Environments
  6. Explosions, Blitting, and Optimization
  7. Make It Fun! Sound, Music, and AI
  8. Tile-Based Game Design
  9. Pathfinding
  10. XML and External Data
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781430227397
  • Publisher: Apress
  • Publication date: 9/1/2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 808
  • Sales rank: 1,040,430
  • Product dimensions: 7.76 (w) x 11.28 (h) x 1.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Rex van der Spuy is a video game designer and writer. He's written Foundation Game Design with Flash, Advanced Game Design with Flash and Foundation Game Design with AS3.0. Rex has designed games and done interactive interface programming 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 created and taught advanced courses in game design for the Canadian School of India (Bangalore, India). When not writing about games, making them, or playing them, he amuses himself by building "experimental, autonomous, self-aware, multi-cellular parallel universes" out of "shoe boxes, scotch tape, spare milk bottle caps and bits of string". He claims, that this is "a lot more entertaining than you might think," but we're skeptical.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 14, 2010

    Outstanding, and Advanced

    If all programming books were written this way, there would be a lot more competent programmers in the world. Not only is this book chock full of useful information about ActionScript and game programming, but the author continues in the vein of his first book (Foundation Game Design with Flash) by taking his time to explain thought processes and reasons for doing--or not doing--certain things. I am impressed by Rex Van der Spuy's attention to the smallest detail. He explains code by first examining a problem, describing its general solution, then delineating the specific implementation of that solution in code, line by line. Brilliantly done, and smoothly executed. This is not, however, a book for beginners. No, this is definitely advanced; hence, the title. If you are not comfortable with class structures, design patterns and OOP concepts, or are unsure about how to write AS3 in general, I suggest you look elsewhere. Friends of Ed has some excellent titles that cater to all knowledge levels. Van der Spuy even refers to other titles/authors in his book; a non-self-serving aspect which I appreciate. This is not light reading, either. Don't skim through expecting to find a quick solution to your specific problem. Start at the beginning, including the introduction because he explains how you should set up your work environment. Then go at your own pace through each chapter. The chapter sequence is logical and cumulative, the example files/code work correctly, there is plenty of side-note information, and the spelling and grammar are near perfect. I only found one error (p. 49 -- "drawn using with the drawing API"), which is amazing considering how many books get published with typos galore. (Note to editors: do a better job. Note to publishers: LET your editors do a better job.) Topics I found to be particularly useful include: Verlet vs Euler integration, simple methods to reduce CPU load, physics modeling, blitting, pixel-perfect collisions, and pathfinding. Don't be misled into thinking that's all there is though. All 700+ pages are rife with important techniques that will keep your brain busy for months, if not longer. The few areas I thought were weak included his explanation of Flash's Sound and SoundChannel classes, his tendency at times to over-explain things, and only a scant reference to memory leaks, which Flash is known for. These are minor complaints, though; the book is ultimately an outstanding addition to any developer's library. If you are an intermediate to advanced programmer, it should be on your shelf.

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