Author Topic: New Flixel Book - suggestions wanted!  (Read 3041 times)

photonstorm

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New Flixel Book - suggestions wanted!
« on: Tue, Jul 19, 2011 »
Hey all,

As has been let out of the bag in my blog post, I'm working on a "Building games with Flixel" book for Packt Publishing.

I'd love to get your comments about what you would really like to see covered in it, and what experience level it should be aimed at.

Do you want beginner level code / examples? Or more advanced? And what style of game/s should it try to cover making? Or should I skip that entirely and create it more like a cookbook - so a chapter on explaining how to use sprites, collision, movement, etc?

The idea is that the book is a short-form digital one (with print copy if wanted). So not a massive 300+ page one, more a 70 page much more focused title - allowing me to write it faster rather than the usual 10 months it takes.
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"Tell me and I will forget, show me and I might remember, involve me and I will understand" - Confucius

felipe

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Re: New Flixel Book - suggestions wanted!
« Reply #1 on: Tue, Jul 19, 2011 »
Sound great! I really hope to see this out, make a version for kindle please!
I think something like a cookbook would be better, at least it's been easier for me that way, I don't know what others think about that way.

foosety

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Re: New Flixel Book - suggestions wanted!
« Reply #2 on: Tue, Jul 19, 2011 »
Hmm, maybe you should do both! You could do the cookbook method and then later show for examples of beginner, medium, advanced level code.
You could also do something like this: http://users.wpi.edu/~bmoriarty/imgd1001/tutorials/tut4.html
Personally I like to just compile other people's code and read their comments while I tweak different values to understand how everything works.
I wish you the best of luck.

John Hutchinson (Johntron247)

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Re: New Flixel Book - suggestions wanted!
« Reply #3 on: Tue, Jul 19, 2011 »
This is GREAT news!  I'd personally like to see mostly stuff in the intermediate to advanced stages, but I suspect that the majority of people would benfit more from beginner stuff.  Even people who have been using flixel for a while can probably benefit from some beginner stuff, as a foundational review or to get a grasp on how other people solve similar problems. Maybe go with mostly intermediate stuff, with decent beginner stuff to begin with, and with brief implementational ideas for the more advanced stuff, and where to go for more information.

There are tons of general game programming books out there already, so my main suggest would be to focus mostly on the "flixel way".

Maybe start off each chapter with an intro to the problem/task-at-hand, followed by a little general information about what's needed to tackel said topic, then how to do it in flixel on a basic level.  Then expand on the topic with intermediate implementation. Then you can either finish up the topic with short, advanced implimentations, or at least ideas of where to go from there, or revisit each topic later on in the book, after readers get their "feet wet" with flixel.  I kind of like the "cookbook" idea, but you'll need to find some way to separate basic implementation and the more advanced stuff (follow-up chapters or "final thoughts" or whatever).

Chelnok

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Re: New Flixel Book - suggestions wanted!
« Reply #4 on: Tue, Jul 19, 2011 »
Hmm, maybe you should do both! You could do the cookbook method and then later show for examples of beginner, medium, advanced level code.

I guess 70 pages aint quite enough for all those :)

I would go cookbook. Short chapter for basics and main focus to more advanced. Chapter Basic would be ideal to combine with your blog examples. More advanced chapter goes deeper to Flixel ..FlxSprite, FlxTilemap.. and all the way to the core. Well, i guess no need to explain the engine itself, but more like basic structure of engine..


osro

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Re: New Flixel Book - suggestions wanted!
« Reply #5 on: Tue, Jul 19, 2011 »
I would prefer more advanced book.

Many times I have been disappointed with the content of programming books, because they are really at the beginner level.
I think the Flixel's site already covers quite nicely the beginner stuffs.

And yeah, that "cookbook" style sounds better. More about technics used in the games than direct examples.

John Hutchinson (Johntron247)

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Re: New Flixel Book - suggestions wanted!
« Reply #6 on: Tue, Jul 19, 2011 »
Many times I have been disappointed with the content of programming books, because they are really at the beginner level.
I think the Flixel's site already covers quite nicely the beginner stuffs.

++

photonstorm

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Re: New Flixel Book - suggestions wanted!
« Reply #7 on: Tue, Jul 19, 2011 »
Thanks for the feedback guys - keep it coming :)

Personally I'm leaning more towards the "cookbook" style too. Not in the traditional O'Reilly sense, I'd like it to be a little more cohesive - but definitely a very rapid-fire focused approach. I am thinking this would be a better route to take than the "Learn to make X games in this book!" one that so many follow.

As for the "beginner vs. advanced" - that is a hard one. I do not want to be teaching what objects or classes are, or how package structures work in AS3. I feel this are fundamental beginner level aspects of AS3, not Flixel. But that's going to be a hard balance to strike, that's for sure.
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John Hutchinson (Johntron247)

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Re: New Flixel Book - suggestions wanted!
« Reply #8 on: Tue, Jul 19, 2011 »
I agree with you.  You can't be wasting time/space teaching AS3 stuff, or general "how to make a game" stuff.  Make it just about using flixel and say right up front that "this book assumes you know the basics of ActionScript" or something.

If it helps, maybe think about it in the same way you approach replies on this forum, or posts on your blog, and imagine your reader as someone of reasonably high intelligence, who's made a handful of small games or prototypes in AS3 before, but who's only been using flixel for a few months.
« Last Edit: Tue, Jul 19, 2011 by JohnTron247 »

chiguire

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Re: New Flixel Book - suggestions wanted!
« Reply #9 on: Tue, Jul 19, 2011 »
I think it would be good to begin the book with a tutorial on how to make a game run with Flixel (including on where to distribute update codes in the sprites and such), and then have the more advanced stuff expressed as a cookbook, as there are poeple who have done games before that know what they want to do but are not sure on how to do it.

If planning to do a book on Flixel, I can offer for translations to Spanish :-)

initials

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Re: New Flixel Book - suggestions wanted!
« Reply #10 on: Tue, Jul 19, 2011 »
Great idea. Congratulations!

I'd like to offer the following:

I think something that would be popular would be generating a continuous, never ending level, like Canabalt. I solved in my BMX game, but it was not an elegant solution.

It would be cool to cover the new 2.5 features like the replays feature, new debug features and whatever was added because some of the new stuff is great.

Feel free to use any of the code or graphics from my games:
http://www.initialscommand.com/bmx/  Picking Up Girls Is Hard When Your Car Is A BMX (Also on iPhone)
http://www.initialscommand.com/apple/ Apple Shampoo (On the Winnitron AU, if you want any "Getting your game ready to submit to the Winnitron" stuff, let me know) (Two player game on one keyboard)
http://www.initialscommand.com/crawl/ The Crawl. Code is available, email me if you want it.

Contact Eddie Lee and see if you can include his FlxCaveGenerator. Although this might be a legal problem, that class is a powerful tool. I used it in my game The Crawl. www.initialscommand.com/crawl/
Initials: Super Lemonade Factory, Super Lemonade Factory Part Two, Above The Clouds, Revvolvver, Four Chambers of the Human Heart

test84

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Re: New Flixel Book - suggestions wanted!
« Reply #11 on: Thu, Jul 21, 2011 »
Great!
I would love to read from someone as pro as you on Flixel/Flash matter. Since I'm a newbie myself, if you want, I can read the material for you and see it as a sample from actual mass that will use it.
:)
blog, twitter, Check out my award winning game, Rot Gut:

KSLR

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Re: New Flixel Book - suggestions wanted!
« Reply #12 on: Sun, Oct 23, 2011 »
This sounds amazing and I look forward to it coming out!

KSLR

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Re: New Flixel Book - suggestions wanted!
« Reply #13 on: Sun, Oct 23, 2011 »
Cookbook it. I am a SUPER noob but I find it very usefull to poke my nose into a book and see how certain problems can be solved. If you were to make a game bit by bit to display examples maybe an action RPG would do well. You can display things like simple collisions and all that jazz for the noober audience and then leap into advanced storing of data using fancy effects.  8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) COOL SHADES

marcusmattingly

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Re: New Flixel Book - suggestions wanted!
« Reply #14 on: Thu, Oct 27, 2011 »
Even though I am new to Flixel, I personally would prefer an intermediate to advanced cookbook. There seems to be so many examples of the basics out there already.

Be sure to let us all know when it's available for purchase.

Good luck!


Cowbacca

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Re: New Flixel Book - suggestions wanted!
« Reply #15 on: Thu, Oct 27, 2011 »
I'd agree that there is a lot beginner material out there, so it may be a bit silly to reinvent then wheel so to speak.  I'd say it would be best to focus on the strong points of Flixel, like map building, but go to a greater depth than can be found elsewhere.