You’ll do hands-on coding in every chapter. You’ll start by building simple animated shapes, then make your own player–who can do cartwheels! You’ll learn how to build your own games from start to finish, including a monster eating fruit, a cave puzzle, and rafting on a river. You’ll animate simple shapes to create a model of the solar system, and make your own website so that you can show off your games with your friends. If you just want to make games, jump to the lessons focusing on projects. To understand some of the theory better or if you need some help with functions, turn to the chapters that explain the programming concepts. We’ll walk you carefully through all the math needed to bring games to life.
Best of all, you get to create awesome games and say, “I made this!”
Q&A with Chris Strom, author of 3D Game Programming for Kids
Why did you write 3D Game Programming for Kids?
Like many programmers, I wanted to share my love of programming with my own kids as well as the next generation of programmers. I chose to wrap the message in the deliciousness of 3D gaming because that is what most kids (of all ages) want to create.
Let’s face it, no one learns to program because they think programming sounds like fun. Never in the history of the world was somebody sitting around the house or playing outside when the thought suddenly struck them that, “Hey, I think I’d like to learn programming, it sounds fun!” No, we all learn to program because we want to create something amazing.
And for the vast majority of kids, learning programming is something to do in order to create incredible games or weird simulations. My hope is that this book will enable kids of all ages to invent those things. And, if they fall in love with programming itself, I would not mind in the least!
What kind of games will I be able to make with this book?
The book includes a nice variety of game types. Much of the first half of the book is spent creating a 3D player in a 3D world with a focus on making it as realistic and playable as possible. After that, we learn space simulations, puzzle games, mini-games, and games that simulate real-world physics. Some games include scoring, others a countdown timer, and some a little of both. Even though the name of the book includes “3D,” we also spend time on two dimensional games (think Super Mario Brothers). About the only thing we will not talk about is a multiplayer game—maybe that’s something for another book!
We won’t go into great detail about all of these things—this is a getting started book. But you should see enough to know how to start building these on your own. I cannot wait to see what you create!
Will I learn enough to be able to move on to other programming languages?
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Project: Creating Simple Shapes
Chapter 2. Playing with the Console and Finding What’s Broken
Chapter 3. Project: Making an Avatar
Chapter 4. Project: Moving Avatars
Chapter 5. Functions: Use and Use Again
Chapter 6. Project: Moving Hands and Feet
Chapter 8. Project: Turning Our Avatar
Chapter 9. What’s All That Other Code?
Chapter 10. Project: Collisions
Chapter 11. Project: Fruit Hunt
Chapter 12. Working with Lights and Materials
Chapter 13. Project: Build Your Own Solar System
Chapter 14. Project: Phases of the Moon
Chapter 15. Project: The Purple Fruit Monster Game
Chapter 16. Project: Tilt-a-Board
Chapter 18. Project: Cave Puzzle
Chapter 19. Project: Multilevel Game
Chapter 20. Project: River Rafting
Chapter 21. Getting Code on the Web