Programming 2D Games

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 Post subject: Alternative Books?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:58 am 
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Hello once again, I don't know if this appropriate question to ask you on your forums, but I couldn't figure out how to email you. Anyhow!

I was wondering if you could recommend any other books perhaps as follows ups to yours? I'm still behind in my reading, but the style in which you approach things and manage to make it feel extremely user friendly is exactly what I want. I like being guided and explained what is going on unlike many books I purchased that ether throw you in with the sharks, talk to little or not enough about an important topic, or just a cheap explanation of their theory and push you to view there source code (which I still don't think I will ever figure out how to do with outdated games). I am very interested in RPG/tile games, in fact I have Role Playing Games with DX9 and isometric game programming. But the books are extremely outdated now and I just recently after 5 years am getting back into programming and I purchased your book after reading a ton of reviews and loving the sample chapters. I have not read your chapter yet about tiles and I assume it can be expanded very easily, but I was thinking of some book maybe more linear and dedicated to one topic like tiles and RPG mechanics and some basic scripting. I don't know if I am even making sense haha. Basically what books or suggestion/techniques do you have after completing your book in order to improve to the next "Step". The book industry seems to be almost not existent compared to the early 2000's.

Thanks a lot, and as always love the book.

Bobby


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 Post subject: Re: Alternative Books?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:04 pm 
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I appreciate the comments about my book and I'm glad you like it.

I'm afraid I don't have any recommendations for other game programming books that involve RPG, tiles or scripting. This will probably sound self serving but there are no other books on 2D game programming that I would recommend. That's why I wrote my book. I could not find a book on 2D game programming that used up to date Windows programming code and was not filled with errors.

There are bits and pieces of information in the "Game Programming Gems" series. Volume 2 has a nice article on entity factories and scripting but I don't think I could justify the expense of buying the book for just one or two small articles.

Perhaps another forum member will know of a book and make a recommendation.

Of course, please post questions and discussion on this forum. If there is enough interest I may put together additional material and make it available on the forum.

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 Post subject: Re: Alternative Books?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:19 am 
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A well deserved "self serving" I say haha. It's truly one of a kind in my eyes. Future authors need to take some key pointers from your book! Well, thanks anyways I know its very hard to recommend much these days. Hopefully in the future a new set of star authors with come into the light.

PS: I have heard you state making a book or emphasis on tiles based/maybe rpg as well on request views, and I really hope you pursue it. It's a very popular topic and while most people play the new modern RPG's the tile scene is still very much alive. CONSIDER IT and also consider yourself one copy bought. :)


EDIT: And not to bash other books, but as stated I purchased Programming Role Playing Games 2nd Edition and it was a complete nightmare for newer people along with a very sloppy unedited source code from his former edition. The book itself I think produced lots of profit, because the genre and concept are a very interesting read. The source code cleanly written and update on your site along with a forum is a huge must. It's almost as if people write books, collect their check and move on. I really respect your style and helpful to ALL types of questions.

EDIT2: I feel like I can't stop editing this post. I was wondering if you considered making like a poll on the front page about maybe what others want to see in a possible future book? I think you would see lots of feedback, especially towards tiles. It's sad to say but I bet many people scan these forums and don't post because the forum itself already has a great foundation for solving common questions and problems.


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 Post subject: Re: Alternative Books?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:54 pm 
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Bobadew wrote:
I was wondering if you considered making like a poll on the front page about maybe what others want to see in a possible future book?

That would be interesting. What should the poll choices be?

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 Post subject: Re: Alternative Books?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:01 pm 
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I believe the possibilities are endless and it would be easier to poll groups of topics: Ex: Scripting, Tile Editor, Mini RPG

If you want to do a direct link off this book maybe things such as:

Scripting
Tile Editor
Advance tiling and isometric views
More on layers
Transparency
An actual mini RPG covering the complete basics. (From stores, to level grinding, to a mini end boss).
Perhaps leading decisions to have it action based (Zelda genre) or a turned base attacking (Final Fantasy Series).
2D or 3D

Some people love multiplayer sections, but I often find it would be more useful to continue or expand on an important topic.
It's hard for me to give examples because I am in the end a very new programmer (On my 3 week after 5 years of absence), but the things I listed above are thing I believe would help influence people to read on. In the end I think most people like to be guided through the process of creating a game in the end result. I guess I can't speak for everyone, but I love learning and seeing what I am learning being applied visually. But I'm sure more advance people would just find that silly and would rather move on too theories and self implementations. I guess it depends on what group you really cater too. I would assume the mini RPG would get the most appeal because that alone has you covering just about everything else mentioned. Sorry if this became long, I hope you figure out a little poll system I really believe it will help you.


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 Post subject: Re: Alternative Books?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:08 am 
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Nothing wrong with your post Proff Kelly! You are correct in what you say! (pretty much).

As someone who has been programmign for years and interested in game programming specifically since about 2005 and owns over 30 game programmign books in various languages(mainlky c++) and on several topincs to do with Game programming.. I can tell you there are not many 2D game programmign books.. and even fewer are upto date..Most use either SDL,Allegro etc.. or very old DirectX 7 or 8 which uses Direct Draw and blitting, rather than D3D.. I also own 2 - 3 that use GDI or GDI+, and one DOS! (EDIT: I sold it on Amazon last month ).

(I dont think there is any that use the latest version of DX11..).

Most game programming books use Direct X and generally concentrate and use most their pages on setting up compilers/IDE's and then its pretty much just copied from teh Direct X samples into a book... Yes there are a few that do not..But that is the problem when writing for compelte novices..You do need to show them everything right fro mthe start..which leves littel room for anything else.

I know two authours who said "I wont make my book a code dump!, I wil put it all on the CD instead , so the book can have actual useful info in it!" and basically their reders moaned at the fact the majority of the code wasnt in the book..lol Can't please them all eh ? :)

In fact there is only TWO 2D game programming books that use C++ and Direct X that are worth reading (currently) imo.. One is the book by you Proff Kelly, and the other is by my friend Jon Harbour. It is called Advanced 2D game developemnt.. He uses Direct 3D though..So its not 2D in the strictest sense. as he also deals with modles and meshes. Its actually something he told me he regretted (using the 3D stuff he did, and that he didnt focus on more traditional 2D) as it side tracked him from teh intended topic of the book and took up to much room.

His book on multiu threading, while it didnt get great reviews, mainly I think due to him using the engine form his 2D book as the base for the MUlti Threading Book engine.. but the engine in it is much more powerful and feature full than the 2D one.. There have been a few good games made with the engine. But it was modifed by those people..

The RPG book mentioned above, is by Jim Addams.. and to my knowledge the code never worked.. I brought it whne it was new and it didnt work then very well..The odler version had better code..But ofc its way outdated now as it uses DX8. (DX9c in 2nd edition). I guess its got some ok info in it.. but its not great..

There are no C++ based book that teach an RPG as the book example.. There are a few in C# and Basic..though.. One by Jim Perry and one in each of the aforementioned languages by Jon Harbour. They teach some basic concepts that could be changed to C++ if you know C++ well enough and are comftable enough to adapt code from other languages. Jons books do have an editor in, I cant rememeber if Jims does.

If you are quite advanced in C++ and DX, then I can reccomend Mike McShaffry's book..Its not really aimed at anyone anywhere near new though. Its full 3D, and its a very large book. the code base is rather large too.. It doesnt teach setting up Direct X so much and just jumps into designing a 3D engine.. and it does use quite a nice engine architecture.. I knwo a few people who dont liek it due to it not having any examples so to speak.. Just the engine, editor and the game at the end. If your not at least intermediate, you will struggle with it.. and liek I said, not 2D! It is however a good book for anyone intrested in game programming.. Mike has worked on several AAA+ games and many others over the years..Ultima online, Ultima series, Thief III:Deadly shadows to name a few.

So yeh in short:

For 2D Game/engine programming: Prof Kellys book Programmign 2D games, and Jon Harbours A2D..
For RPG specific: I would go with Jon Harbours and Jim Perrys books in C# and Basic.Net IF you get a cheap copy or rent it.. then Jim Adams may teach you some concepts, the code wont work though!

For Isometric Projection: Ernest PAzera has teh only book on the subject PERIOD! He has no plans to write a new one, Its very dated and uses DX7 and Blitting..So its very dated.

Scripting: If you want to write your own scripting language, then Game Scripting MAstery will give you a head in the right direction, again its very dated though! and its a very expensive book! It still sells for a lot of money even though its 2nd hand.. If you are far enough along, I would reccomend a book on complier and Interpreter design instead.. Or see below!

General Game Programming: Miek McShaffrys book.. Its maijn focus is its engine(C++) and editor (in C#) and ofc the game they make with it.. It was written by Mike and a fellow forum user(Mikes forum I mean) Rez.. Has some good info in it..But again its more about the engine rather than the actual game programming.. Something a LOT of books do..In fact most do! ?They concentrate on making the render engine or whatver engine they make and then do not really go into much detail teaching game programmign concepts.


When I have more time, I can if Proff Kelly wants, List all the books I own (Which is a lot!) and give a brief message about them as to whats good about them etc... Or even just a line or two on whether the yare worth it or not.. If That is ok, Proff Kelly, and you want me to ofc, then I will do it.. let me know and I will start it when I can in teh next few days.:)


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 Post subject: Re: Alternative Books?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:43 am 
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draz wrote:
When I have more time, I can if Proff Kelly wants, List all the books I own (Which is a lot!) and give a brief message about them as to whats good about them etc... Or even just a line or two on whether the yare worth it or not.. If That is ok, Proff Kelly, and you want me to ofc, then I will do it.. let me know and I will start it when I can in teh next few days.:)
That is OK with me.

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