[NOW AVAILABLE!] The Interactive Stencyl Textbook

Photics

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UPDATE (4/30/2014)

The book is now available...
https://photics.com/books/stencyl-textbook/

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Hi!  :)

It's been a while since I've posted here. I've been busy building Arch Fiery. But now that it's done, I'm getting ready to move onto my next project. The next item on my to-do list is a Stencylworks textbook. I've already published a successful textbook for GameSalad. Apparently, it's been by educators in classrooms and by game developers around the world. I think that success can be built upon, with another great textbook.

Once I start this project, it becomes my top priority. So before I get going, I have some questions for this community.

1 - Do you really want a textbook?

This would be a step-by-step guide to creating apps/games with Stencylworks. The idea would be to make a resource that is useful for both beginners and advanced users of the software. There would be an emphasis on iOS publishing, but also web publishing. I think I can finally make the Photics Arcade a reality (again) with Stencylworks... and building such a site would be one of the main themes of the book.

2 - If you really do want a textbook, what's your preferred format?

There are three main choices... app, print, digital download (PDF / ePub)

I'm starting this like my previous textbook. If just 10 people post here that they want a textbook (in the next 72 hours) that's good enough for me. I'll get started immediately. (Actually, I've already started. ;D HA!) If not, then I'll probably work on a different project.

« Last Edit: December 29, 2016, 09:04:53 am by Photics »
Michael Garofalohttp://photics.com – Author of The Interactive Stencyl Textbook 8)

h0lon

  • Posts: 20
Well, I dont know how much sense it would make to spend that much time into some "book" about a programm wich is still that heavy in development. Im sure there are some pretty major changes to come. So your book would be really fast outdated and therefore near useless. Except you would keep on updating it wich would be really time intense in the future.

Photics

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Well, I dont know how much sense it would make to spend that much time into some "book" about a programm wich is still that heavy in development. Im sure there are some pretty major changes to come. So your book would be really fast outdated and therefore near useless. Except you would keep on updating it wich would be really time intense in the future.

Well, that's a good reason for an app or digital version... easy updating :)

That's why I went with an app version for The Unofficial GameSalad Textbook. While updates are not guaranteed, I've already launched several updates to the app and I've been preparing another update for the next version of the software. The problem here is that not everyone has an iOS device.

« Last Edit: October 05, 2011, 12:17:27 pm by Photics »
Michael Garofalohttp://photics.com – Author of The Interactive Stencyl Textbook 8)

Aber

  • Posts: 33
Love your website and your blog. Do you have a youtube sample of arch fiery.

I would like to see a digital version since I expect things to move fast with flash and mobile front development in stencylworks and we need to see continuous update. This is pretty much what previous poster mentioned.

I would also like to see more IOS related info not necessarily just tied to stencylworks but tips and tricks about publishing to mobile world (I've used GS forum occasionally for tips).

Another concern is, not to be impolite, we've not seen your name much with stencyl forum/community and also have not seen a stencyl game made by you. How can we trust that a relevant and quality stencylworks book can be made here?

In general, though,  I like your work and art design and think you have a great future in this area. Just not proven yet with stencyl.

Photics

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Love your website and your blog. Do you have a youtube sample of arch fiery.

YouTube, no... but there's a video on the second page...
http://photics.com/arch-fiery/2

I would like to see a digital version since I expect things to move fast with flash and mobile front development in stencylworks and we need to see continuous update. This is pretty much what previous poster mentioned.

I think that's right, so question #2 is narrowed. A print version can't work here. It's the same reason why the printed version of the GameSalad book was taken down... the software was updated too frequently.

So, that narrows it down to digital version (PDF/ePub) or app. If more people want a digital version, then I'm going to have to figure out a good e-commerce system. There are many options, but it gets tricky with New York State sales tax. Maybe the Stencyl Market is an option.

Another concern is, not to be impolite, we've not seen your name much with stencyl forum/community and also have not seen a stencyl game made by you. How can we trust that a relevant and quality stencylworks book can be made here?

That's a fair concern. As mentioned with the book's theme, the idea is to build an online arcade at Photics.com. So as I work on the book, more games made with Stencylworks should appear there. If you like how the games are made, then you'll likely like the book. Also, if the book is bad, I imagine that the community would be quickly alerted to that fact.

I would also like to see more IOS related info not necessarily just tied to stencylworks but tips and tricks about publishing to mobile world (I've used GS forum occasionally for tips).

Well, there is an iOS publishing chapter in my book. I think such material makes sense for Stencylworks too.

So... what's the score now? Is that one interested person?  :D
Michael Garofalohttp://photics.com – Author of The Interactive Stencyl Textbook 8)

chaosoul

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 I would like a book! Will this cost money though?
COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESS

SWATLLAMA

  • Posts: 1059
Chaosoul: If it were a book, it probably would cost money, since printing and ink do cost money.
I would prefer a digital one, since stency is updated very frequently - it's not like those books on how to use an operating system, where the operating system gets few changes for years.

So yes, digital!
Hail The Llama
http://www.kongregate.com/accounts/lSWATLLAMA
"Play the games" ~ The Grand Llama

It's my life goal to rickroll as many people as possible

Aber

  • Posts: 33
I would love to see some games build out with stencyl and some sample docs when they come out.

An arcade is an interesting thought but you have to have good games.

As for customers, I think you will find plenty when istencyl and their educator sector pick up. All these are in their infant stages as you know.

Photics

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I would love to see some games build out with stencyl and some sample docs when they come out.

Well, it wouldn't be a cut-and-paste book. The idea is more object orientated... how to move an actor, how to do parallax scrolling, how to send a high score to a web server. That way it helps to expand the mind of the reader, instead of just duplicating what's in the book.

An arcade is an interesting thought but you have to have good games.

Heh, that is a challenge... but I think I have a good start. I have lots of assets from my existing games... assets that also make nice artwork for the book.

As for customers, I think you will find plenty when istencyl and their educator sector pick up. All these are in their infant stages as you know.

That's true, but usually the educators wander in after the book is successful. So, this is a gauge of the interest in the community. If 10 people here, out of thousands, aren't interested... then that suggests a book wouldn't be too popular. This is not about a commitment to buy the book when it's published. It's more of a... "Yeah, I might be interested." vs. "No way dude!"
Michael Garofalohttp://photics.com – Author of The Interactive Stencyl Textbook 8)

Aber

  • Posts: 33
I think you should post this when all the serious player start coming in with launch of istencyl and the product start to take off at that point or if at all. I would not mind paying for something if my istencyl game can support the cost.

Dizko

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I personally don't see the need for a "unofficial" text book, but that's me. If I were you, I'd be working on games.

Out of curiosity, why do you want to do something like this? The cynic in me just assumes you're doing this for money, considering you charge $25 for your GS book. So with the benefit of the doubt, why spend time doing this?

Photics

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I think you should post this when all the serious player start coming in with launch of istencyl and the product start to take off at that point or if at all. I would not mind paying for something if my istencyl game can support the cost.

I think that brings the score up to 1.  :P

Isn't iOS publishing supposed to be soon? That's to be a big part of the book, so I think it's good if the book and iStencyl can launch close together. Instead of struggling with how to figure things out, there could be a helpful resource available.

I personally don't see the need for a "unofficial" text book, but that's me. If I were you, I'd be working on games.

I just did  :D
I'm waiting for Apple to approve it.

Out of curiosity, why do you want to do something like this? The cynic in me just assumes you're doing this for money, considering you charge $25 for your GS book. So with the benefit of the doubt, why spend time doing this?

I'm confused... are you thinking that I'm not going to charge for the book? That's not much of a surprise. Of course I would charge for the book. A lot of work and time goes into making something like this. On my desk are three computer books, $39.99 and up. One is really good, the other two... not so much. Obviously, I'd want to write a book that people think is very helpful. And with my previous effort, it seems that my book was very helpful.

That's another reason for me to write this book. Sure, there are other ways to make make money... but this is what I'm good at and this is what I enjoy. I like it when the great feedback comes in.

I enjoy making games and I'm planning to keep doing that. But to truly master something, you should be able to teach it. By writing this book, I also become a better game developer. I think that's a pretty good reason too.
Michael Garofalohttp://photics.com – Author of The Interactive Stencyl Textbook 8)

chaosoul

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I personally don't think so the textbook has gotten 13 ratings of all versions. A book I do not think is worth 25$. Wouldn't it be better if you just wrote articles for stencylpedia? People put lots of time into kits and articles and don't expect money why should you? Note I'm probably just saying this since I'm poor.
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Jon

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Stencylpedia is no substitute for a textbook.

If everything surrounding Stencyl is expected to be free (to the extent where it's looked down on to not be so), we're going to have an incredibly difficult time building a healthy developer ecosystem and a sustainable business.

At the risk of self-deprecation, the very fact that we're relying a lot on free contributions for documentation has stifled our progress there. (Namely, we've been getting few contributions, and most of the things that have come in are either irrelevant or too poorly written to be salvaged)

The fact that there's an offer to do a textbook is a strong indication that there's a need for this, and I can say on the record, and Joe can provide more details, that many educators who've contacted us have asked for a textbook.

« Last Edit: October 05, 2011, 08:52:48 pm by Jon »

Rhys

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I'm not really sure that StencylWorks requires a textbook - the documentation and (sort of) live support is usually enough for most users, and the only use I can see in this is as Jon said, in classrooms.