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The Gamemaker's Apprentice

The Gamemaker's Apprentice: Game Development for Beginners

Jacob Habgood and Mark Overmars

ISBN 1-59059-615-3

Reviewed by: John K Johnson

This book will not teach you how to write your on version of Doom, Quake or any of the other incredibly rich, detailed 3D games that are the market, but it is a great first step on the path that will get you there.

The software that comes with this book (also available as a free download at http://www.yoyogames.com/make ) takes most, if not all, of the technical hurdles away and lets you create simple to complex 2D games of your very own, without having to write code (unless you want to).

The book starts at the very beginning of game design, it talks about the basic concepts of designing a good game and then slowly walks you through the process. By the time you have finished working through the chapters of the book, you will have created nine games, starting with a very simple game and progressing through several different types of games including platform and multi-player games.

Each game will introduce new concepts in both game design and using the software. In between most of the games is a chapter that discusses a game design topic in more detail, building on what you have already learned and leading into the next game.

As an added bonus, not really related to the book, the above website has hundreds of games that other readers/site members have created. All of these games can be downloaded and played for free. There are also many free resources available to help you create your own games.

If you have ever been interested in computer games {playing or creating), then this book is a must. If you get nothing else out of the book, you will learn just how much thought and work went into creating that game that you wasted so much of your youth on.

From the Back Cover

If you want to learn the craft of making computer games, then you've come to the rght place. This book, and companion CD, provide all you need to create your own games for Microsoft Windows using Game Maker. It introduces beginners of all ages to the art of creating computer games. All the graphics, sound effect, and music you'll need are included to put together no less than nine professional-looking games!

Game Maker allows you to begin creating games almost immediately, using a simple drag-and-drop system that makes learning to program much easier than traditional programming languages. This book brings together the expertise of Game Maker's creator with a professional game developer to present a complete guide to designing and programming games that are fun to play.

The author's passion and enthusiasm for game development really shine through in The Game Maker's Apprentice, and you'll soon discover that the process of creating games can be just as fun as actually playing them!

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