As you may already know, I am a great fan of Construct 2. It is not only a great tool for 2D game development, but is a great to create complex prototypes on the fly and help aspiring game developers get enough experience to create their first games.
Well, a couple of weeks ago I had the privilege to get in my hands the incredible book Construct 2 Game Development by Example by John Bura. Today I will start a short series reviewing the book and giving you my opinion about different aspects of the book.
Don’t forget that you can purchase the book at: http://bit.ly/1pDF6C4
Today I will do a general review and in the following days I will dig in some chapters of the book that I found particularly useful.
Now, let’s get ready for the ride and let us have some fun.
Buy the book at: http://bit.ly/1pDF6C4
Who should read this book
I think anyone interested in finally taking the first step to create his first videogame should find this book extremely helpful. But regardless if you are an experienced coder who wants to test the waters with Construct 2, or if you just are a passionate gamer who has no idea what a sprite is, this book will have something for you.
John, the author, is quite straight forward and expects the readers to do not have any experience with computers or game development. But I think he underestimates the progression of the book that is able to bring an incredible amount of knowledge and firsthand experience to any reader. The projects explained in the second half of the book are quite detailed and could be the starting point for some amazing projects.
The book is divided in eight chapters. The first four chapters cover the basics with Construct 2 and lay down the basics to create a fun game with Construct 2. These chapters take almost a third of the book so, as you may imagine, the detail delivered by the author is consistent and thorough. If you read these chapters you will have a good grasp of the tools needed to start your own projects, and are clear enough to give you an idea of the skills needed to start the three big games explained in the following chapters.
If you have already some experience with Construct 2, you may be able to skip some sections in these chapters, but I would recommend you to check them anyway. Construct is a complex tool and its interface could hide some useful aspects that you may have missed.
The fifth chapter of the book covers the development of the first, out of three, full game project explained in the book: A simple shooter.
Just how you would expect, this is the simplest of the three projects, but that is precisely a strong selling point for this chapter. It not only covers the basics on how to put your game mechanics, explained in the third chapter, into an actual game but it gives you a good example on how to use the powerful system of events to let you create the game you want.
I particularly like how the example is simple to grasp but greatly extends the knowledge you should have acquired at this point with the book.
Tower Defense Time
The sixth chapter includes a detailed explanation on how to create your own tower defense, an incredibly popular kind of game on the Internet.
To be able to create the tower defense, the author dives into the different aspects of the path finding behavior, one of the most useful plugins included in Construct 2. With this behavior a regular sprite can find its own way out of a maze, making it a great AI addition to any game, and it saves you from coding a complex piece of code that would accomplish the same. With Construct 2 you can do that in just a few clicks, and this chapter is great to understand how you can customize and build on this feature.
The seventh chapter is the most detailed game project in the book. This game covers all the details you may imagine about the physics features in Construct 2 that use the Box2D physics simulator engine. The end result is a game similar to Angry Birds, so you may imagine how useful these behaviors can be.
Perhaps is this project the one who has the most applications for new different games, and at this point the readers should have an incredible understanding of the platform and its advantages.
Also, this particular chapter is not only the most detailed one, is where you feel all the lessons come together in a solid game that can give you hours of entertainment.
Publishing your game.
The final chapter of the book provides an answer to one of the most overlooked aspects by new game developers: What do I do with my game?
The author walks you through the many options you have to publish your game and share it with the world.
Because of the sheer amount of options, I think some of them could use a little more explanation, but it is great to see the level of dedication to show all the possibilities in this chapter.
If you get to this point, you will likely have some solid knowledge on how to get from you wild idea for a game to a playable game that you can share with your friends and the world in general.
I think the way the entire book is built shows a great understanding from the author on how to deliver complex subjects to new game developers. Every single chapter builds on the previous one and delivers new knowledge and creates new skills that can turn a newbie into an expert in no time.
Every example is detailed and easy to understand, if you have your copy of the book (that you should acquire here!!) next to your computer, you will have a fun time following every step and seeing immediate results and progress on your own games.
The projects explained in the book cover an incredible amount of features and abilities of Construct 2 in a fun way, which is a total plus for any developer.
Many years ago I tried to understand how to create games, and I did learn a lot in the process of perfecting my programing skills. But I have to admit that a tool like Construct two paired with this awesome book would have allowed me to experiment with my game design ideas and see the results much faster and have a lot more satisfaction in the long run.
While I was reading the book I have maybe a handful of small criticisms or suggestions, like having a few more screenshots in certain chapters or adding a paragraph here or cut one there. But in general I think this is a solid book recommended for anyone that wants to start creating his own games.
If you have had an idea for a game and don’t know where to begin, I strongly suggest that you pick this book. In just a few minutes you can start seeing the results and you will have a great entry point to the wonderful world of video games.
I would give this book a 4.5 stars out of 5. And that is just because I am certain that the author has the potential of blow our minds with new additions in future editions.
I liked the book so much that I am planning on covering different parts of the book in the following days, giving you a better idea of content included and how you can benefit from reading different parts of the book.
So, don’t forget to check the book and to come back in the following days to get more details about this book.