[NOW AVAILABLE!] The Interactive Stencyl Textbook

Photics

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  • Posts: 718
I think Apple is having a press conference this month and it might be about books. Maybe they'll announce something that might change things.

OK, after reviewing the information from Apple's press conference, I've decided to stick with the original plan... PDF or ePub... available through Photics.com/FastSpring. While I think it's great that I can easily create interactive books with the new iBooks Author app, the end result is a bit too restrictive. It seems that the book created is iPad only and it can only be sold through the iBookstore.  That's not going to work for this community... where many members may have no interest in iOS or don't even have an iOS device.

I am thinking of nice improvements for the Stencylworks textbook though.  :D

But for now, the plan is to finish Arcading. With the new "touchdown" state, I think I should be able to finish up the port of my app. This app is a big part of the book, as it is how I can help explain the basics of StencylWorks. Arcading is also part of the book's theme... like BOT was for the GameSalad textbook.
Michael Garofalohttp://photics.com – Author of The Interactive Stencyl Textbook 8)

kid clementina

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Hey, I just wanted to add in that I think an unofficial textbook is a GREAT idea. I don't know why you're getting so much push back from people.

I actually know many educators that use Stencyl (and other programs like it) as a teaching tool, and if there were an good text to go along with it, they would definitely use it.

I actually learned Stencyl in a semi-academic setting (a workshop anyways) and I would have loved some kind of text to learn from. Especially since at the time (a few scant months ago) there was pretty much only the Crash Course to learn from, and the 'Pedia was far more limited. I find even now, I'm finding strange corners of the program I didn't realize existed, because I've had to learn almost entirely from trial and error, instead of a more systematic way.

Like for example, until this week I didn't realize if you double clicked on actors in the scene editor, you can access further menus. Which was a frustrating realization...

Photics

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  • Posts: 718
Hey, I just wanted to add in that I think an unofficial textbook is a GREAT idea. I don't know why you're getting so much push back from people.

Overall, I think that the feedback is great. Some people are not interested in buying a textbook. I can respect that. Yet, those that are interested in a textbook seem to be genuinely excited about the idea. 
Michael Garofalohttp://photics.com – Author of The Interactive Stencyl Textbook 8)

gamedivision

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  • Posts: 99
hi photics
when will your textbook be released,i'll be looking forward to this and a def buy from me,soon as i have a good understanding of stencylworks ill be buying pro,but your text book will help my goals that little bit quicker,
will the book be based the same as your other book,as i bought that,and that helped lots.


thanks

Photics

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  • Posts: 718
when will your textbook be released

I'm not sure. It seems like I added more work for myself last week. The goal now is to build an interactive textbook, complete with sample assets for game development. (Apple's new "iBook Author" is nice, but I'm working on something that's better for this community.)

Web development work took priority, but now I can start focusing on the textbook again. I think the new target is by the end of Q2... that's June 30. It may be earlier or later than that date.

The immediate goal is to get the Arcading port online. (Maybe I'll be finished by this weekend.) I need some more real world experience with StencylWorks. Plus, this textbook should be better than my previous work. I'm taking this project very seriously. Jon and friends have been very enthusiastic about this textbook, so the goal is to create something amazing.
Michael Garofalohttp://photics.com – Author of The Interactive Stencyl Textbook 8)

gamedivision

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  • Posts: 99
great
make sure you keep us updated.


thanks


when will your textbook be released

I'm not sure. It seems like I added more work for myself last week. The goal now is to build an interactive textbook, complete with sample assets for game development. (Apple's new "iBook Author" is nice, but I'm working on something that's better for this community.)

Web development work took priority, but now I can start focusing on the textbook again. I think the new target is by the end of Q2... that's June 30. It may be earlier or later than that date.

The immediate goal is to get the Arcading port online. (Maybe I'll be finished by this weekend.) I need some more real world experience with StencylWorks. Plus, this textbook should be better than my previous work. I'm taking this project very seriously. Jon and friends have been very enthusiastic about this textbook, so the goal is to create something amazing.

simspon86

  • Posts: 4
One more enthusiastic vote for the textbook!
I am teaching StencylWorks to a high school class.
We are doing pretty well using the online tutorials,
but we would be thrilled to have access to a textbook.
Some kids learn well by experimentation and exploration,
but others prefer things to be very clearly explained and
step-by-step in a linear fashion that covers all the features.

Photics

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  • Posts: 718
make sure you keep us updated.

OK... I plan to keep the community updated on the progress of this book

One more enthusiastic vote for the textbook!
I am teaching StencylWorks to a high school class.
We are doing pretty well using the online tutorials,
but we would be thrilled to have access to a textbook.
Some kids learn well by experimentation and exploration,
but others prefer things to be very clearly explained and
step-by-step in a linear fashion that covers all the features.

Thanks for your enthusiasm. I was testing some technology last night. I'm really excited about the possibilities of this book. The interactive elements are going to be sweet! The mix of text, visual elements and game assets should make this book a powerful resource for Stencyl beginners and developers.
Michael Garofalohttp://photics.com – Author of The Interactive Stencyl Textbook 8)

WarMonger XIII

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Wow thanx!
I'll be looking forward for it to come out!
There're some really popular formats of e-books, and those are: pdf, djvu and eventually fb2.
Though two last ones have troubles in installing pictures.
Therefore, .pdf is the best choice.

Off the record - I'm quite surprised and kinda disappointed by the fact that the StencylPedia is not installed into the program itself (even as an add-on).

Thanks again!

Joe

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  • Posts: 2480
Off the record - I'm quite surprised and kinda disappointed by the fact that the StencylPedia is not installed into the program itself (even as an add-on).

StencylWorks 2.0 will be a huge improvement in that department.

WarMonger XIII

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Great! Happy to hear (I mean, read  ;D) that!

Photics

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  • Posts: 718
This morning was a good day for the project. It was a mix of writing, research and some design. A clear direction is starting to form. At first, I was fighting the nagging feeling of iBook Author. But once I started setting up my template, I felt more confident about my decision.

One of the most challenging parts of the book is the creation of sample files... tilesets in particular. The reality is that I could probably sell the tilesets separately for the same price as the textbook, so maybe I'm being too ambitious here. Yet, I think something awesome is happening here and it's great to be part of it.

Right now, I'm still aiming for a Summer launch.
Michael Garofalohttp://photics.com – Author of The Interactive Stencyl Textbook 8)

Vigilence

  • Posts: 62
This book sounds like a great idea.  People like me, who are new to Stencylworks would definitely benefit from such a book.  The lack of tutorials from this site, and from the public in general make it a tad hard to learn the ins and outs of the engine.

Although the book is still in the conception state, I would love to see the possible chapters planned.

bergapappa

  • Posts: 48
One more who loves this idea, one worry though.
If you are writing this now, how will you add the event-system from 2.0?
Events seems to be a fundamental, and lovable, change in how we work with Stencyl.
And later when Android is released, will you update.
2.0 and later Android and its a sure buy!!!

Photics

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  • Posts: 718
Although the book is still in the conception state, I would love to see the possible chapters planned.

The chapters aren't finalized. It should be similar to my previous textbook though. The idea is to go through the entire game development process — from start to finish.

One more who loves this idea, one worry though.
If you are writing this now, how will you add the event-system from 2.0?
Events seems to be a fundamental, and lovable, change in how we work with Stencyl.
And later when Android is released, will you update.
2.0 and later Android and its a sure buy!!!

I've been waiting for things to get settled with Android and StencylWorks 2.0 before I begin the bulk of the writing. Additionally, I'm also waiting for Stencylpedia 2.0 to be published as well. Reading the textbook should feel like a unique experience, not something that's similar to the official tutorials.

However, I've been having an awful time creating my examples. StencylWorks is harder than I expected. I suppose that the struggle is good. It shows the need for such a textbook and it makes for good writing material.
Michael Garofalohttp://photics.com – Author of The Interactive Stencyl Textbook 8)