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2. April 2013

 

As of this morning, my book is now available on Safari Books Online.

 

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I find this personally very exciting, as I am an avid Safari subscriber, as you may have noticed from the Safari links in all my prior book related posts! Smile

 

If you’ve never heard of Safari, it’s an online library subscription.  You pay a monthly fee and get access to over 10,000 books, all indexed and searchable.  There are also iOS and Android applications for reading books, including the ability to take up to 3 books offline at a time.

 

The PlayStation Mobile Development Cookbook was also added to Chapters/Indigo as a Kobo e-book as well as Barnes and Noble in print form.

 

While I was on Safari, looking at the new additions, I noticed another book I’ve had my eye on was released.  Developing Mobile Games with Moai ( Amazon Link ), which is the first book dedicated to Moai related development.  I have done a Moai tutorial series here on GameFromScratch.com, if you want a closer look at Moai.  It’s a very cool technology in desperate need of more documentation, so a book is certainly welcome.  I am going to have to take a closer look at this book when time permits.

General ,

26. March 2013

 

As I mentioned earlier this week, I just finished publishing my first book, the PlayStation Mobile Development Cookbook.  Since then it has been making it's way through the publishing chain.

 

 

Right now it is much more widely available.  

 

 

You can purchase and download a digital copy on Packt's website now.  Digital copies are available in epub, mobi and PDF formats.  The source code bundle is also available.  Just a bit of a warning, it weighs in at a hefty 158MB.  What can I say… there's lots of code in this book.  You can also order a print copy from the Packt website.

 

 

The book is also now on Amazon.  The Kindle version is available for download right now.  The print version ships on March 28th ( Thursday ).

 

It should also be up on Barnes and Noble and Safari Books Online shortly, I will update when links are available.   I have to say, seeing your name up on Amazon.com is a rather cool feeling! :)

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22. March 2013

 

So, some exciting personal news today, I can finally unveil what I've been working on the last several months, my new book PlayStation Mobile Cookbook!  A special thanks to my reviewers and supporters at Sony and the entire team at Packt, it was a pleasure working with you all on this book.

 

If you have never read one of Packt's "cookbook style" books, its basically composed of a series of recipes illustrating how to perform a particular task

followed by a detailed description of what's happening as well as various tips and tricks.  In this case, its contains over 60 different sample applications illustrating how to do… well, just about everything you want to with the PlayStation Mobile SDK.  If you've run through any of my tutorials, you should have a pretty good idea of what to expect.

 

For a better idea of the contents of the book, here is the Table of Contents:

 

  • Preface

 
  • Chapter 1: Getting Started

    • Introduction
    • Accessing the PlayStation Mobile portal
    • Installing the PlayStation Mobile SDK
    • Creating a simple game loop
    • Loading, displaying, and translating a textured image
    • "Hello World" drawing text on an image
    • Deploying to PlayStation certified Mobile Android devices
    • Deploying to a PlayStation Vita
    • Manipulating an image dynamically
    • Working with the filesystem
    • Handling system events
 
  • Chapter 2: Controlling Your PlayStation Mobile Device

    • Introduction
    • Handling the controller's d-pad and buttons
    • Using the Input2 wrapper class
    • Using the analog joysticks
    • Handling touch events
    • Using the motion sensors
    • Creating onscreen controls for devices without gamepads
    • Configuring an Android application to use onscreen controls
 
  • Chapter 3: Graphics with GameEngine2D

    • Introduction
    • A game loop, GameEngine2D style
    • Creating scenes
    • Adding a sprite to a scene
    • Creating a sprite sheet
    • Using a sprite sheet in code
    • Batching a sprite with SpriteLists
    • Manipulating a texture's pixels
    • Creating a 2D particle system
 
  • Chapter 4: Performing Actions with GameEngine2D

    • Introduction
    • Handling updates with Scheduler
    • Working with the ActionManager object
    • Using predefined actions
    • Transitioning between scenes
    • Simple collision detection
    • Playing background music
    • Playing sound effects
 
  • Chapter 5: Working with Physics2D

    • Introduction
    • Creating a simple simulation with gravity
    • Switching between dynamic and kinematic
    • Creating a (physics!) joint
    • Applying force and picking a physics scene object
    • Querying if a collision occurred
    • Rigid body collision shapes
    • Building and using an external library
 
  • Chapter 6: Working with GUIs

    • Introduction
    • "Hello World" – HighLevel.UI style
    • Using the UI library within a GameEngine2D application
    • Creating and using hierarchies of widgets
    • Creating a UI visually using UIComposer
    • Displaying a MessageBox dialog
    • Handling touch gestures and using UI effects
    • Handling language localization
 
  • Chapter 7: Into the Third Dimension

    • Introduction
    • Creating a simple 3D scene
    • Displaying a textured 3D object
    • Implementing a simple camera system
    • A fragment (pixel) shader in action
    • A vertex shader in action
    • Adding lighting to your scene
    • Using an offscreen frame buffer to take a screenshot
 
  • Chapter 8: Working with the Model Library

    • Introduction
    • Importing a 3D model for use in PlayStation Mobile
    • Loading and displaying a 3D model
    • Using BasicProgram to perform texture and shader effects
    • Controlling lighting using BasicProgram
    • Animating a model
    • Handling multiple animations
    • Using bones to add a sword to our animated model
 
  • Chapter 9: Finishing Touches

    • Introduction
    • Opening and loading a web browser
    • Socket-based client and server networking
    • Accessing (Twitter) data over the network using REST and HttpWebRequest
    • Copying and pasting using Clipboard
    • Embedding and retrieving a resource from the application assembly
    • Configuring your application using PublishingUtility
    • Creating downloadable content (DLC) for your application
 
  • Appendix: Publishing Your Application

    • Introduction
 
  • Index

 

The book is quite literally at the printers right now, I'll post more details once it's available on Amazon, on Safari Books Online or in stores for purchase.  It should be in the next couple of days.  You can of course order the book on the Packt website.

 

Are trying to figure out what to get your grandmother for her birthday?  I have the perfect recommendation! :)

 

Hope you enjoy the book!

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14. January 2013

 

One of the themes of this site has always been to focus on low cost (or free) game development technologies.  As a result, you will tend to find content here tends to focus more on products like Blender or Wings instead of 3D Studio Max or Photoshop.  I will of course share any game development related news regardless to price tag, but I tended to focus on the tools available to the most people, especially when it comes to tutorials.  As a result, one product certainly comes to the front of the pack, GIMP.  While Paint.NET is nice, the GIMP is really the only affordable (free) product that comes close to feature parity with Photoshop.

 

When I first started this site, I looked at compiling a list of resources for getting started with the GIMP and noticed well… it was a bit of a wasteland.  There were a couple books, mostly far out dated at this point.  Today on Safari Books, this title(Safari link), The Artist’s Guide to GIMP(Amazon link) was just added, although it was published a few months back.  So I decided to take a look at how well the GIMP world is represented in books since I last looked a couple years ago.  The answer is, surprisingly well.  So what follows is a list of books about GIMP, in chronological order of release date:

 

Book Title Publish Year Safari Link  
The Book of GIMP 2013 Link
The Artists Guide to GIMP 2012 Link
GIMP For Absolute Beginners 2012 Link
GIMP 2.6 for Photographers 2011 Link
GIMP 2.6 Cookbook 2011 Link
GIMP Bible 2010 Link
Beginning Digital Image Processing using Free Tools 2010  

 

 

There are more books of course, but these are the ones released in the last 2 years.  Anything much older would be rather out of date at this point. 

 

I have to admit, the body of work available for GIMP is vastly improved, as has the GIMP in general.  If you haven’t checked it out in a couple years, you really should.  The UI is a lot nicer now, although it still has a ways to go.

Art ,

4. January 2013

 

As you can see by the volume of posts here on GameFromScratch.com, I took a bit of a holiday during the, um, holidays.  During that time I did do a fair bit of reading.  One book that came up on Safari is Pro HTML5 Games  ( Safari link if you also subscribe ) that got my attention.  Now, there are a ton of HTML5 game books on the market, of which I’ve read quite a few, but this one is kinda special.  It actually shows how to create a Real Time Strategy ( RTS ) game in HTML5.  I don’t believe there has been a book on creating an RTS since the title Real-Time Strategy Game Programming way back in 1999.  A book I owned by the way and it was awesome… or at least according to my memory of 1999 it was.

 

Anyways, I haven’t completely finished the book, mostly jumped in and read a chapter here and there, but it is certainly an interesting title.  When I finish it, I might do a proper review.  Unlike most HTML books, this one is entirely about creating a single game… obviously an RTS title.  As a result, it covers pretty much every step along the way, as you can see from the detailed Table of Contents below:

 

 

 

Chapter 1: HTML5 and JavaScript Essentials


The canvas Element
The audio Element
The image Element
Animation: Timer and Game Loops
Summary


Chapter 2: Creating a Basic Game World


Basic HTML Layout
Creating the Splash Screen and Main Menu
Level Selection
Loading Images
Loading Levels
Animating the Game
Handling Mouse Input
Defining Our Game States
Summary


Chapter 3: Physics Engine Basics


Box2D Fundamentals
More Box2D Elements
Tracking Collisions and Damage
Drawing Our Own Characters
Summary


Chapter 4: Integrating The Physics Engine


Defining Entities
Adding Box2D
Creating Entities
Adding Entities to Levels
Setting Up Box2D Debug Drawing
Drawing the Entities
Animating the Box2D World
Loading the Hero
Firing the Hero
Ending the Level
Collision Damage
Drawing the Slingshot Band
Changing Levels
Adding Sound
Summary


Chapter 5: Creating the RTS Game World


Basic HTML Layout
Creating the Splash Screen and Main Menu
Creating Our First Level
Loading the Mission Briefing Screen
Implementing the Game Interface
Implementing Map Panning
Summary


Chapter 6: Adding Entities to Our World


Defining Entities
Defining Our First Entity: The Main Base
Adding Entities to the Level
Drawing the Entities
Adding the Starport
Adding the Harvester
Adding the Ground Turret
Adding the Vehicles
Adding the Aircraft
Adding the Terrain
Selecting Game Entities
Highlighting Selected Entities
Summary


Chapter 7: Intelligent Unit Movement


Commanding Units
Sending and Receiving Commands
Processing Orders
Implementing Aircraft Movement
Pathfinding
Defining Our Pathfinding Grid
Implementing Vehicle Movement
Collision Detection and Steering
Deploying the Harvester
Smoother Unit Movement
Summary


Chapter 8: Adding More Game Elements


Implementing the Basic Economy
Purchasing Buildings and Units
Ending a Level
Summary


Chapter 9: Adding Weapons and Combat


Implementing the Combat System
Building Intelligent Enemy
Adding a Fog of War
Summary


Chapter 10: Wrapping Up the Single-Player Campaign


Adding Sound
Building the Single-Player Campaign
Summary


Chapter 11: Multiplayer with WebSockets


Using the WebSocket API with Node.js
Building the Multiplayer Game Lobby
Starting the Multiplayer Game
Summary


Chapter 12: Multiplayer Gameplay


The Lock-Step Networking Model
Ending the Multiplayer Game
Implementing Player Chat
Summary

 

 

If this book sounds interesting, be sure to check it out.  Keep an eye here for a possible upcoming review.

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