Unity 3.x Game Development by Example Beginner's Guide (Anglais) Broché – 24 septembre 2011
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If you want a laugh read the part of the introduction where he writes "I'll call your attention to a critical piece of information like this" and "I'll highlight a crucial gotcha like this" and all eight or ten of his formatting styles are basically the same. It even says "in a block of code I'll call attention to the key concept in bold" and the bold got stripped out. What a joke. Amazon, Kindle group, and the publisher should be ashamed.
Having gotten that off my chest, the book itself is really nice. If you have the patience to follow it through start to finish, it is a great example of the art of teaching.
So I picked up this book. I'm a fan of learning by doing, and all I really needed to get into Unity is some hands-on practice to get my bearings as to where to find what. The book walks you through writing a bunch of games, starting small and building up from there. It painstakingly explains everything that's going on, meaning that more experienced developers can browse through the book quickly, but people new to the world of code aren't left behind.
A lot of the book is dedicated to whetting the readers' appetite on what's possible with unity, without going too deep into it (simply because it would be impossible to cover everything in one book). There's also a lot of humor, which may be irritating if all you want is hard facts, despite which I did find myself chuckling at some of the jokes.
I would have liked a bit more attention to the content pipeline (using blender and photoshop, for instance), but I understand that would have expanded the scope of the book too much.
As a tutorial book, it's a very good springboard into the wonderful world of game development. And it did serve my purposes well, too.
I want this guy to write books on PHP, Google Sketchup, Blender... I would rule the world, it would unlock so many pieces of software that are just too hard to learn because the support materials are awful. And yes, Unity 3x, your support materials are awful. Newbies and non-programmers are never going to use this unless you create materials like this for regular folks.
Even the downloadable samples from the publisher or broke or incomplete.
I have a BS in Comp. Sci. so I'm not a total n00b, but have little (aka almost zero) experience in game development, and this book has proven invaluable. The author takes an approach of assuming you know nothing (I approve!), so I actually had to skip through several sections, explaining how coding/programming in general works, how 3D space/origin work, etc. because I already knew all that. I think it's great he's giving this information to beginners, but having said that, I'm also willing to bet that if I had no prior schooling/experience, the little bit of help he gives wouldn't be sufficient.
Some people remark he spends too much time being casual, making jokes or pop culture references, or giving anecdotes and analogies... but I don't think so. I find it refreshing. Sometimes corny and punny, but I appreciate his sense of humor, and he seems like a cool guy. How can you expect to be a video game designer if you don't know how to lighten up and HAVE FUN? Or maybe it's just that I can relate, being about the same age as the author and seemingly coming from a very similar background.
In fact, if you ever find yourself in Napa Valley, Mr. Creighton, and you want to hang, look me up! We can talk some awesome game ideas, and how much it still irks me that Flash is not supported on iPads...
PS. I did get the Kindle edition, and there are problems with it as other people have mentioned:
* No highlighting where it says "code is highlighted"
* No call-out graphics for calling attention or denoting specific text features
* Certain punctuation -- like dashes/hyphens and ellipses -- seem to be missing, making some phrases read like awkward run-on sentences
BUT... I got it for 1/3 the price of the print edition (normally I think e-book editions are a ripoff; in this case, it's quite a bargain, despite the formatting flaws), so I'm not complaining! It gets the job done.
EDIT/UPDATE: I am removing one star because I bought both this book and Unity 3.x Game Development Essentials at the same time, and decided to start with the "by example" book (because I learn best "by example" -- by jumping right in and actually doing it)... what I didn't realize is how much BETTER the "Game Development Essentials" book does the same approach.
So, if you are truly new to Unity (and maybe even new to game development, period), THAT is the first book to get and to go through, hands-down. The only game example in it is a "first person shooter" style game, but the pacing, presentation, and activities are extremely well done to give you the know-how to make other sorts of games (racing games and 3D puzzlers come to mind) pretty easily.
So, in short: if you are only buying one book, make it the Essentials one. Read through it and follow along. THEN if you want even more examples, get THIS one (Game Development by Example)
PS. I ran into some major problems with this By Example book since Unity had just changed to version 4 when I was using it, and I suddenly got stuck and could not continue the exercises in this book due to changes that had occurred in Unity.