Bruce Von Stiers
About a year ago, I wrote a review on a book by Gary Rosenzweig. This book dealt with Flash 5 and the fun things that could be done with it. Now Gary has updated the contents of the book and renamed it slightly. The title for the book is now Macromedia Flash MX ActionScript for Fun and Games. The book was published by Que Publishing.
Gary is one of those guys who love to write books. He has written several books about Macromedia products. His Fun and Games book for Flash 5 was well received. So it made sense to update the book for the new version of Flash.
The book begins with an Introduction. Gary lets you know what is going to be covered in the book. He also lets you know who the book is geared towards. This is not a book for the entry level Flash user. It is more for the folks who have dabbled in the program and want to have a little bit of fun with it.
The book has 17 chapters in it, along with the Introduction, a two part appendix and an Index. It has 519 pages and comes with a CD-ROM disc full of the source files from the book.
The first chapter goes over the basic framework of the Flash MX program. Find out how to create buttons, import bitmap images and put text into your Flash MX movie. This chapter is kind of a refresher for Flash users.
The second chapter gets into ActionScript, which is the meat and potatoes of what makes a Flash movie tick. In this chapter you will learn about using the Actions Panel and controlling a Flash movie playback. The second and third chapters have a series of lessons that Gary wants you to complete. This is a hands on effort that should get you pretty familiar with the different elements in the program.
Moving on to Chapter 4, Gary begins to show some things about how Flash games are put together. Learn the parts of a game and how they will affect other parts. Gary also covers the mired world of copyright law in this chapter.
The chapters that follow go through some different parts and pieces of designing several games for Flash MX. Some are pretty cool and others are just okay. But the underlying thread throughout the book is that you can design some out of this world games in Macromedia Flash MX. And not only that, Gary gives you the basic foundation to start making those too cool games you find on web sites. The book covers things like aim and shoot games, pong types of games and even (yuck!) quiz games.
At the end of the book Gary gives you a half page listing of Internet Resources that might help you get a head start on your game designing. He also briefly covers the history of electronic gaming and offers book list for further reading on the subject.
To paraphrase the conclusion of my review of the first edition of this book, it won’t have everything you need to begin building games in Macromedia Flash MX. But Gary has given you some basic tips and information. After reading the book, it is up to you to make a fantastic Flash MX game.
Macromedia Flash MX ActionScript For Fun And Games is available at major book retailers. It can also be ordered directly from Que Corp through their web site. The list price for the book is $ 45 U.S. (which is the same price as the previous version).
You can visit the Que Publishing web site at www.quepublishing.com.