Beginning Game Development with Python and Pygame: From Novice to Professional

Author: Will McGugan
Pages: 316
ISBN: 978-1590598726
Aimed at: Novice web developers
Rating: 3
Pros: Valuable reference for the Pygame library
Cons: No complete examples
Reviewed by: Mike James

Will McGugan’s book is a little off the beaten track in the sense that Python isn’t a mainstream language and most game developers don’t use it. This is a shame because Python is a really great language and once you have tried it you are certain to become as enthusiastic as all the other Python fans. If you already know Python you might be worried that it’s a bit slow for game playing but Pygame is a library built on top of a C game creation facility and it works fast enough for most things. The first two chapters are an introduction to Python which you might regard as a waste if you already know the language. The overall treatment is very selective and mainly concentrates on 3D games at the expense of simpler 2D facilities. A possible weakness of the book, however, is that it doesn’t have any convincing examples of a complete game. As long as you are happy with being presented with small examples that demonstrate animation, collision detection and so on then this is a reasonably good book and essential if you are using Pygame.