Review: Beginning Game Development with Python and Pygame

Published on April 13, 2008, 7:40 p.m.

It's been out for a while now, and I'd always meant to write a review for this book... I pre-ordered it, and I've had it for a
while, but I haven't worked through the whole thing (though I've hit most of the latter chapters). Actually, this is not really a review, per se... just my succinct list of pros and cons.

So, without further ado:

Pros:
  • Very easy to read.
  • Great examples that actually work
  • Chapters 1 & 2 give a great intro to python, so this would actually be a good book if you've never touched python before (but did have some programming experience)
  • Lots of info using pygame+opengl
  • A lot of examples use his gameobjects library, so a lot of the grunt-work coding is available to use already.

Cons:
  • My biggest complaint is the lack of discussion on Sprites. Pygame is really a 2D library, and I think he left out a lot of very important information by not discussing how the Sprite class can be used.
  • Only cursory discussion Sound. If you're writing a game and just want the basic sound effects and/or background music, this is ok. However, if you want to do something really interesting with sound, you'll need to dig way beyond what this book offers.


Overall, I think the book is worth getting unless you've already done
a few significant projects using pygame. It's definately an Intro
book, and it does a really good job giving the user an idea how to put
a project together.

Disclaimer: I'm a relative noob to pygame (~10 months), and I've been
using pygame for research projects in Augmented Reality (not
necessarily games) for both visual and non-visual (sound-only)
applications.
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