Writing a book on Defold


#1

Official site: https://www.bookofdefold.com/

I’ve decided to compile a book on Defold.

It’s in progress now. It will cover everything Defold, and eventually Editor 2 for anything that has changed. It will also cover some game design patterns and general best practices.

After it’s “finished” I’ll still try to update it as features change with Defold, as I’m intending to switch to Defold fully once my team’s projects are finished with other engines.

It will include several pre-made game examples. I’ll try to follow best practices only.

It will be both free and paid. I’ll make a site for it later, and the online HTML version will be free to read. If people want to download PDFs etc. they will have to pay a fee.

Once it’s complete and solid I’ll ask some of the regular technical book publishers if they would like to make and publish a physical print run.

I’ll post in this thread when there are updates. Anyone with questions can ask here.

If you would like to get early access to the book, get updates as it’s updated, and get access to the buyer exclusive content then you can pre-purchase the book here: https://subsoap.itch.io/book-of-defold


StarOde : NES style, pixel art, grind heavy RPG (indev 7%)
Hint to improve my code - part 2 (SOLVED)
#2

This is awesome! :heart_eyes: Do you have an ETA?


#3

Wow, really exciting! Good luck!


#4

First version with first few chapters will be ready in next few days and I’ll publish it on itch. Not sure how long full book will take as I want to include a few full game tutorials, but I’ll try to get first draft done before Editor 2 is ready. Right now book outline is broken into five parts.

Part 1 - Defold A-Z : Covers all of Defold and focuses on explaining features how I feel will be easy for new users to quickly grasp and understand why they are useful. I want to go over absolutely everything Defold, but I don’t intend it to be a replacement for the docs, but a companion that explains from a 3rd party dev perspective.
Part 2 - Lua for Defold : Quick Lua tutorial, then focuses on useful ways of using Lua with Defold.
Part 3 - Defold Game Tutorials : Basic game template, RPG game… including all steps and going from nothing to full playable game though all still basic. I’ll decide more game style tutorials to do later.
Part 4 - Study Drills : Traditional learn the hard way style drills for memorization of Defold editor features + Defold API + Lua
Part 5 - Other Tools with Defold : Covering basic tutorial information on tools useful to use with Defold such as Tiled or Spine.

Much will for sure change as I get deeper into it, and I’ll probably want to add more later as well.

Writing it with Scrivener.


#5

Here’s what the outline looks like right now. Lots of writing to do! Most of the folders will have many sections inside. Writing this all out should help me to fully understand everything too. I learned everything recently so I think I can explain well based on understanding. I think it will be a good companion to official docs. My writing goal is to have a first draft of part 1 done by next Friday.


#6

Outline growing, thinking about the kinds of examples to make that would be useful for new users. Have text for first 3 chapters first draft done. Chapter 4 and 5 will be much longer though. Will try to have first readable PDF up today on itch. Thanks to first customer - it’s encouraging! I’ll thank the supporters in the final book when it’s released anyone who wants their name in it!



#7

First version of PDF is now up on https://subsoap.itch.io/book-of-defold

Still only very basics are done, but more is in heavy WIP. I will try to get up to chapter 16 first draft done before next Friday.


#8

Have up to Chapter 14 first draft done. Two sales so far.

Will upload new PDF on itch as soon as I get up to chapter 16 done first draft.

Book is probably going to be 500 pages minimum when complete… but might even near the 1k mark depending on number of tutorials.

Really busy with game projects too. Trying to get too much done fast!


#9

Have up to Chapter 16 first draft done now. I’m also doing work on other projects so taking time to do. Going to do more proofing then will upload updated PDF around tomorrow afternoon my time.

Added some more chapter outlines that I want to do. Some on monetization best practices, game design, polishing games to feel better to play, finishing commercial quality projects.


#10

For normal work, I’ve been working on game server services for a mobile game. I’m thinking about writing some chapters on one way to make game services which allow users to for example sync their save data to online (very important for games with IAP because if users lose data they will review bomb you and it sucks in general for users to lose their data) to your hosted online service, and make a service which can handle millions of daily active users without being very expensive. It will probably be another full section, and talking about all subjects related to it… other topics such as online multiplayer is possible too both for games that are turn based and ones which are active. Modern software methods are very good. Modern hardware options are also very good.

You can get an amazing server from for example Hetzner for a few hundred a month, and if you code it’s possible to have only one server while being capable of running your entire game with hundreds of thousands of online users. If you know games like slither.io or agar.io they are very possible to produce by a single person and run the entire services needed for such popular games on your own at relative low cost.


#11

Have been away and didn’t get to publish before, but now have up to chapter 21 first draft text done. Will publish latest PDF to itch.io tomorrow. Just needs to do the chapters on platform specific releases, performance, and then first draft of part one will be done.


#12

I apologize for anyone waiting on next PDF version. There are sections I want to edit more before compiling again, and I’ve been staying up late and writing, which makes more loose ends that I want to finish. I nearly have first draft of part one done, and have fleshed out some of the other parts. There are many highlighted notes in the text where I’m unsure about features or functionality didn’t work right that I need to remember to make a list of here. Going through every chapter subject one at a time and trying to be as complete as possible.

I’ll be focusing the entire rest of the month only on the book. After I get first draft of entire book done I would really appreciate some readers go through it and check for technical errors or misunderstandings on my part (I will hire an editor to do general text proofing), and to try to make the examples and recipes following the steps in the book.

I’d also like to get the book translated to some languages once it is complete. Which would be most useful?


#14

Cool to hear about the progress! :slight_smile:

There are certainly many aspects to this – but just by looking at Defold.com analytics, two countries where we see traffic coming in is Russia and South Korea. Could be worth a thought!


#15

Esperanto. Or maybe Klingon. :wink: Sorry, I have nothing productive to say.

In all seriousness, I definitely love the concept of a book, and definitely support this. I never can learn by exhausting youtube videos. Keep up great progress!


#16

Very good initiative!


#17

I’d really like to see it! Definitely documentation is not clear sometimes and having a book would be amazing!


#18

Getting much more done. Last few days I’ve been going through what’s already written in Part 1 and adding as much useful details as I can. There are many features that are not documented in the docs, but are referenced in the editor and change logs which I’m detailing too.

At 8 sales now. Big thanks to everyone who has bought! If you want to support the book please buy its early access version! It is really encouraging and motivating seeing sales go through! I have super charged motivation to make it the best book possible already, and every sale boosts that by 100x. :grin:

I’ll be continuing to focus on the book exclusively for the last few days of the month, and then publish new PDF however far I get. Section 1 “Defold A-Z” I’m polishing, editing now. Section 2 “Lua for Defold” I’m still writing. Once that is done I’m then focusing on the Defold Recipes and Defold ParticleFX Recipes. I’ve added more sections to the todo too:

  • Game Design Gems - Like the Recipes sections but detailing high concepts of game design elements which work well, are fun, engaging.
  • Monetization Gems - What is working well as far as making money methods go with apps these days. Detailing premium and freemium models.
  • Marketing Gems - Ways to get the word out about your games, promote them, encourage users to promote them for you.
  • Online Games & Services - Detailing a few projects related to this. Building a small Elixir game server for active multiplayer games and turn based type games. How to handle storing game state long term. Methods big games are using to handle millions of daily active users with small teams.
  • Extending Defold - Planning this for once the extension system is ready. Depending on how it works, I’ll include tutorials on implementing various popular SDKs for example.

#19

Ok, ok, you convinced me. You’re at 9 sales now :slight_smile:


#20

well you got another one from me


#21

and me, bought it a few days ago