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Adobe Flash 11 Stage3D (Molehill) Game Programming Beginner's Guide (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 25. November 2011

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Good intro to Stage3D 22. Februar 2012
Von johnhattan - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
Flash has been repositioning itself lately as more of a general game development runtime. And the latest extension in that direction is Stage3D. While Flash has had a few minor forays into 3D, the new Flash 11 Stage3D is the first real genuine hardware-accelerated 3D for Flash. The rest were little hacks or software renderers built on Flash's 2D pipeline. With Stage3D, Flash's 3D capabilities are roughly on the same plane capability-wise as Unity 3D and WebGL.

But Stage3D is something entirely "other" than Flash's existing graphical pipeline. While Stage3D shares the existing AS3 scripting as Flash, it is otherwise a 3D engine built into Flash with its own pipeline and API. So you have some new learning to do. And that's where Adobe Flash 11 Stage3D (Molehill) Game Programming comes into play. It's an end-to-end tutorial on how to build a 3D game in Flash using Stage3D (codenamed "Molehill", hence the long-winded title). And it is a good start for people who may know Flash but don't know their 3D. Stage3D is a very capable thing if you've seen the demos, but it's also not something you can just enable by renaming your DisplayObject-based hierarchy to something else.

The book was clearly written and released before Stage3D went gold. And, at the time of this review, Stage3D is still awaiting general release for standalone mobile games. So there are a couple of URL links that point to beta information that may or may not still be there. In any case, Stage3D-enabled Flash is now in general release, so a little googling will find you all of the tools the author mentions.

I do have one quibble with Adobe Flash 11 Stage3D Etc., and that's with its selection of tools. One thing I like to see in a book is usage of free tools if they are available and high quality. And the book is written so that you can build the examples with the (free) Flex SDK and (free) FlashDevelop as well as the (not free) FDT and Flash Professional. But the author doesn't extend this courtesy to 3D tools. All the examples are done with 3DS Max even though the author says that Blender 3D will also work. And even if 3DS Max is a superior tool for getting the job done, you're doing the reader a service if you let him build a "proof of concept" without much cash outlay. A couple of pages on connecting Blender with Stage3D would have been welcome.

That said, this book is a very well-done tutorial. As a bit of kitsch, the book is structured like a game, with each chapter covering a "level" of the 3D programming adventure. The chapters are well structured without any further cutesy-ness. Despite its size (350+ pages, big for a Packt title), it still doesn't cover everything, but it does cover enough to build a complete game, a spaceship/alien shooter. Some things, like the shader language, are covered to the extent that you can get started and with a link to further information if you want it. The author also shows how to make existing Flash 2D content work with Stage3D. And that's awfully handy for building your surrounding score/health UI, HUD display, main menus, etc. After all, if it's there and it works, there's not much point in abandoning it.

Adobe Flash 11 Stage3D (Molehill) Game Programming is, like many Packt titles, a pretty narrowly-focused work that intends to cover one topic comprehensively. And it does that well.
good reason to learn an assembly language 30. Dezember 2011
Von W Boudville - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
Game programming is doing quite well in the current global economy and some of you may well be tempted to do so under Adobe's Flash. The latest Flash 11 offers 3D APIs that are quite extensive. So much so that Kaitila wrote this book to aid you. It should be a straightforward read if you have done any sort of game or graphics programming before.

Prominent in the discussion is how to use AGAL - Adobe Graphics Assembly Language. Adobe has taken a hard look at how to improve its graphics performance. Nowadays in most programming books, it is rare to code in any assembly language. The only compelling reason is simply to get closer to the silicon and speed up computations. Agal code runs on the GPU of the game machine, not on the CPU. Performance is better.

Agal is where I suspect many readers will be encountering their first assembly language. OpenGL and other graphics languages or packages simply hide these lower level details.

One consequence is that unlike other graphics books that talk about shaders, this book eschews the term. It points out that a shader or most shaders are actually 2 programs - a vertex shader and a fragment shader. Did you know that? Other texts rarely make the distinction, because they operate at a higher level that only sees the 2 as a monolithic entity.

This book can qualitatively broaden your programming experience. The Agal opcodes like mov [move], add, sub, mul and div have their equivalents in most other assemblers, like the Motorola or Intel chipsets. The book has an appendix with a full list of opcodes. As a Java or C or C# [etc] programmer, just once in your career you should learn an assembler and code in it. The book and its context lets you appreciate at a lower level what it means to truly optimise. It can take some of the mystery out of the black box of a compiler and the executables it spits out. Since the opcodes can usually be taken to map 1-1 to machine language operations, you are sitting just one level above the hardware.

Maybe you will discover that you like this type of programming and can get good at it. Aside from the gaming applications, if you find this out about yourself, it opens up career opportunities that most programmers don't have. Assembly programming is more specialised than Java or Web programming. You can see this by looking at how few assembly books are in the computer section of a bookstore. The jobs are fewer, in part because the barriers to entry are higher. Often, such jobs are thus higher paying and more secure.
A great place to start on next-level game dev 8. Mai 2012
Von Patrick Davis - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
As a hobbyist game developer that sometimes participates in the Ludum Dare 48 competition, I've had the pleasure of knowing Christer Kaitila or Breakdance McFunkypants though that community. He has always been an extraordinarily fun and entertaining presence to have and reading through his book on Stage3D, that personality is there with you as you read.

To me, I think this is the most successful part of this book. As a reference to Stage3D and AGAL, and as an introduction to GameDev in general (since he shares a number of little tricks and time-savers in later chapters), this book is indispensable. But what makes it stand out is the tone that Christer sets from the beginning, that of a friendly Dungeon Master or guide leading the reader along. This takes the book from dry, weighty textbook territory into something that you will actually enjoy reading.

I've written a slightly more in depth review of this book at my blog, here [...]
Game programming in mind 5. Mai 2012
Von SE - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Book is really good, informative and educational. It is one of those books which you will have to read chapter by chapter, paragraph to paragraph to get a sense of what is being taught.

It is as much about game programming and computer graphics as it is about Adobe Flash Stage3D. And is DEFINITELY for beginner computer graphics. Not that an intermediate user can't use it as a good intro to AGAL, it seems more like a conveniently-printed-online-tutorial.
Really great book for begginers and flash professionals 4. März 2014
Von Alexander Aguilar - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
I am a web designer with some background years in AS3, mostly developing for web and this book is really easy to understand, obviously there will be some concepts very advanced, but they are really well explained and the book also give some good examples of development. The book and your work gradually becomes more exiting and fun as you can see your work becoming a real game.
This book begins from the ground, so that's perfect for people who already knows something about AS3, and it will be evolving the kind of knowledge you'll adquire. This book covers the basic concepts of how to develop a videogame from 0, you can't expect to develop a kickass game in your for first shot, and you can't expect to cover all the subjects and the depth of knowledge with just one book, but it gives you the basic concepts so you can dig into every aspect of the developing for your own.
I am about to finish this book, and hope to develop my first game in a few months. I encourage everyone who want to learn how to make their own games in an easy and familiar way. Flash is just awesome and out there are many tools that can help you achieve it.
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