Monday, June 30, 2014

Packt Publishing celebrates their 10th Anniversary with $10 books and videos

Good Afternoon!

As anyone who reads my blog knows, I love Packt Publishing!  That's one of the reasons I was happy to hear that they are celebrating their 10th Anniversary.  I'm also happy because they decided to celebrate by making each of their books and videos available for just $10 each.  They have over 2,000 books and several videos all about the web and technology.  Please go pay them a visit and treat yourself to one of their wonderful books or videos.

 This is the blurb that Packt Publishing provided about the company and this sale:

This month marks 10 years since Packt Publishing embarked on its mission to deliver effective learning and information services to IT professionals. In that time it’s published over 2000 titles and helped projects become household names, awarding over $400,000 through its Open Source Project Royalty Scheme.
To celebrate this huge milestone, from June 26th Packt is offering all of its eBooks and Videos at just $10 each for 10 days – this promotion covers every title and customers can stock up on as many copies as they like until July 5th.
Dave Maclean, Managing Director explains ‘From our very first book published back in 2004, we’ve always focused on giving IT professionals the actionable knowledge they need to get the job done. As we look forward to the next 10 years, everything we do here at Packt will focus on helping those IT professionals, and the wider world, put software to work in innovative new ways.
We’re very excited to take our customers on this new journey with us, and we would like to thank them for coming this far with this special 10-day celebration, when we’ll be opening up our comprehensive range of titles for $10 each.
If you’ve already tried a Packt title in the past, you’ll know this is a great opportunity to explore what’s new and maintain your personal and professional development. If you’re new to Packt, then now is the time to try our extensive range – we’re confident that in our 2000+ titles you’ll find the knowledge you really need , whether that’s specific learning on an emerging technology or the key skills to keep you ahead of the competition in more established tech.’  


Thursday, June 19, 2014

My review of "Scratch 2.0 Beginner's Guide: Second Edition

                “Scratch 2.0 Beginner’s Guide: Second Edition” was written by Michael Badger and provides several projects that engage the reader and encourage exploring the Scratch 2.0 game engine.  Scratch 2.0 is a game engine that is maintained by MIT and requires very little programming knowledge.  For this reason, Scratch 2.0 is great for children and adults just getting started with creating their own games.  The book’s projects are as simple as creating a greeting card and as complex as a unique version of the classic game “Breakout.”
                I enjoyed trying the projects in the book.  Code is provided in download form from Packtpub’s webpage for the book.  I found the code a great reference for each project as it was a simple matter to compare your code to the code from the provided download.  The Scratch 2.0 engine is available online and in a desktop version.  I found myself using both versions, depending on the project.  The desktop version makes it very easy to try code that others have written; by providing an “open document” command.  If you use the online version of Scratch 2.0 you will need to upload the project; and that didn’t always work for me.
The projects that you create include a simple storybook,  a multimedia slideshow (which lets you use your own pictures), and a fortune-telling game. My favorite project is the “Breakout” clone. Each project lasts the length of a chapter, except for the “Breakout” clone which lasts two chapters. At the chapter’s end there is a short quiz, whose answers are found in Appendix B.  Appendix A provides information on using Scratch with a PicoBoard, and Raspberry Pi.
I recommend “Scratch 2.0 Beginner’s Guide: Second Edition” to anyone who is interested in trying Scratch 2.0.  By the end of the book you will have enough confidence to start a project of your own.  There is an extensive community supporting Scratch 2.0 and they will be happy to provide help with any problems that you might have.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

I will be writing a review of "Scratch 2.0 Beginner's Guide"

Good evening everyone,

I will be writing a review of the book Scratch 2.0 Beginner's Guide: Second Edition on June 19th.  I am interested in Scratch 2.0 as well as all game engines and this will be the second book on Scratch 2.0 that I will be reviewing for Packtpub.  This book has a variety of projects all aimed at beginner's so I look forward to reading and testing it.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Two new game development contests with fantastic cash prizes!

Two great websites- and are running a game development contest called 2014 Indie Game Maker Contest. The contest started on May 29, 2014 and will end on June 30, 2014.  More details can be found at The top prize is $10,000 dollars and also features some publicity for your game.

Microsoft is sponsoring a contest to bring games made with Unity to their Windows 8 and Windows Phone products.  The top prize is $50,000 dollars and the contest, which started already, ends on July 8,2014.  The main requirements are that Unity 4.3 or above is used to create the game along with Visual Studio 2013.  The full contest details are listed at this link.

Good luck to everyone that enters!