Among other gifts for the holidays, I received a copy of Adobe CS5 Design Premium. Awesome!
I had primarily wanted Flash Professional, but the Design Premium bundle includes a lot of other awesome software. Though I was not initially a fan of Flash programming, I have developed a lot of respect for Flash and ActionScript lately. Flash has been a useful resource for me to quickly throw together tests and proof-of-concepts, especially when it comes to animation programming. As an added bonus, CS5 seems to have made coding in ActionScript a lot easier.
Of course, everything comes with a downside: it is much easier to procrastinate now that I have the software on my computer. ;) Ideally, though, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
Because I’m a bit of a programming fanatic, I picked up a two books recently: Game Programming Gems and Effective C++: 55 Specific Ways to Improve Your Programs and Designs.
Effective C++ was recommended to me by one of my professors. Although I’ve only gotten through the first chapter thus far, this book is definitely an excellent resource! Effective C++ looks like a solid way to go from just knowing C++’s syntax and how it works at a basic level, to understanding how to use C++. The first few items alone have already caused me to look differently at how I program; pulling that off in a couple dozen pages is rather impressive.
Game Programming Gems is a book I’ve been meaning to pick up for a while now. Though I’d heard of the series before, I never thought too much about it until I sat down and looked at someone’s copy of the first book in the series. After reading a section or two, I was sold immediately. I’ve only looked at a small few bits and pieces thus far, but I can already tell this book–and, likely, the entire series–is something I’ll come back to again and again.