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7. March 2012

 

 

Ok, I realize my definition of a week may vary from what you might traditionally expect.  When I started this concept I thought I would find things all the time, and winnowing it down to aPyBook single item would be the biggest challenge!  Hunting down cool things is trickier than I thought!  This “week” was quite easy, it was brought to my attention using the contact form on this site.  If you have something you think other developers ( and developers in training ) would be interested in, send it to me!

 

 

Anyways, enough about my apparent inability to tell time, on to the cool thing.  Are you interested in learning game programming but are intimidated by the gigantic mountain of details ahead of you?  I understand your frustration, it’s an overwhelming subject with so much to learn and so many options available to you, options that you really aren’t well equipped to answer yet.  This is why I put together my beginners guide and you may notice that one of the languages I suggested was Python, although that section was pretty sparse.  Well this item goes a long way towards fixing that.

 

 

Author Albert Sweigart has created not just one, but two Python books about learning to program games using python.  The first book teaches the Python language by building a number of classic “basic” games including Hangman, Tic Tac Toe and Reversi.  Then around chapter 17, he starts to address more advanced games using the popular Pygame library.  Three chapters is far too little time to deal with this subject, and clearly the author agrees, as the entirety of the second book is about using Python with PyGame. 

 

 

The second book creates much more advanced games, while still teaching Python concepts by example.  In this book you create a minesweeper-esque game, a SNAFU/Nibble clone, a 2D Katamari Damacy’ish with squirrels game, a box pusher type game and a handful more.  It is slightly more involved than the first book, but together you should have no problems with it. The author set out to write a book that a 12 year old could understand and I believe he has succeeded.

 

 

At this point you may be wonder why exactly I’ve featured these particular books, there are literally thousands of books out there.  Good question and how is this for an answer…  They are free!  Al has made both books available under the creative commons license completely free, by almost any definition of the word.  You can head over to InventWithPython.com and read either book online, or download them as PDF.  Absolutely no strings attached.

 

 

That said, if you are the type that prefers a physical book in your hands, or you want to reward the author for his hard work, both Invent Your Own Computer Game with Python and Making Games with Python and PyGame are both available on Amazon, for less than 25$.  Looking at the reviews, it seems both of this books accomplished what they set out to do.

 

 

So, if you are just starting out or are picking up the Python language, these two books are a very good place to start.  Really, at a grand total price tag of 0$, what have you got to lose?

Cool Thing of the Week


7. March 2012

 

 

Back in November, Sony rather shockingly announced the closed beta of a C# based developer kit for PlayStation™Certified devices, which include their Xperia Play and moresony-playstation-vita importantly, the Playstation Vita and their as of yet unreleased Playstation tablet.  Then nothing… complete silence.  Rumour suggested a 1000$ price tag, which was reasonable in regards to a console development kit ( and downright cheap if you played Game Dev Story! ), but a rather steep price for your average indie developer.

 

 

Well, good news!  Today Sony announced an open beta in April, and more importantly, a 99$ annual price tag.  Here is the official press release:

 

 

Tokyo, March 7, 2012 – Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCE) today announced that it will release the open beta version of PlayStation®Suite SDK*1 to content developers in April 2012 and the official version later this year. Through the introduction of these SDKs, SCE will offer a more streamlined content development environment for content developers — from large game development companies to small, independent shops — and further expand the world of PlayStation® to open operating system based portable devices.

In November 2011, SCE released the closed beta version of PlayStation®Suite SDK to limited content developers in Japan, United States and the United Kingdom. The upcoming open beta version incorporates their feedback and will dramatically enhance convenience and efficiency of the content development environment. The phased rollout of the open beta version will start in April 2012 free of charge and expand target countries beyond Japan, United States and the United Kingdom. Developers will also be able to conduct performance verification of their content developed with the open beta version on PlayStation®Vita.

SCE will also release the official version of PlayStation®Suite SDK at $99 US annually later this year, allowing content developers to have their content distributed through PlayStation®Store*2 on a commercial basis. Through the official version, content developers will also be able to seamlessly continue to develop content which was created with the open beta or the closed beta versions.

Furthermore, SCE will be adding content for PlayStation®Suite in Japan, United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Australia. The phased rollout of the update will start later this year. The phased rollout will include improving the PlayStation®Suite presence on PlayStation®Store for users who want to enjoy a variety of content with ease and convenience on their PlayStation™Certified devices. SCE will also deliver content created through the official version of PlayStation®Suite SDK after the necessary procedure is completed.

As of March 7, 2012, the line-up of PlayStation™Certified devices include Xperia™ arc, Xperia™ acro, Xperia™ PLAY, Xperia™ acro HD, Xperia™ S, Xperia™ ion*3 from Sony Mobile Communications AB, and "Sony Tablet" S and "Sony Tablet" P from Sony Corporation. SCE will continue to further accelerate the expansion of PlayStation™Certified devices.

Through PlayStation®Suite, SCE will deploy various measures to support content developers in their business, and expand the PlayStation® entertainment experience on an open operating system.

※1 Software Development Kit is a set of development tools and software libraries. Developers are able to obtain this SDK by signing a license agreement with SCE.

※2 Users can download vast digital content including games through PlayStation Store for PS3, PSP, PS Vita and PS Certified devices.

※3 Model name may vary by region. Sales area may vary by model.

 

 

This news isn’t just confined to Sony devices.  Back in February HTC announced that they would be releasing Playstation certified mobile phones.  This may in fact be the movement that finally brings gaming to Android.

 

Truly a great time to be a small budget developer!

News


5. March 2012

 

 

This thread just showed up on reddit, announcing that Unity 3D Basic for Android and iOS are being offered for free until April 8th.  Considering each costs 400$, and how awesome Unity is, this is amazing news if true!

 


Truth is, I go to Unity’s store I get:

image

 

 

Then again, giving away 800$ worth of amazing software for free will cause that, no?  If you haven’t used Unity in the past, now is a very good time to check it out ( well… when the site comes back online ), it is a very impressive game engine.

 

 

So, hopefully this is true, I will keep an eye on the site and hopefully it will come back online.  If this is in fact true, you should jump all over it!  I will update here once I confirm if this is true or not.

 

 

EDIT1:

 

From Unity3d’s twitter feed:

 

image

 

So, unless they got hacked, this deal is looking to be very legit!  I think for a great many people considering targeting iOS or Android, Unity just became a much more likely engine.  Although in the grand scheme of things, 800$ isn’t all that much, it’s enough of a barrier of entry to stop many people.

 

Again, will update once I manage to connect to the store and see it for myself!

 

 

 

EDIT2:  It’s Legit!

image

 

Go get it!

News


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