Q: What is/are your specialist tech area(s)?
Zander: Programming, Game design, Roblox development
Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey. What was your motivation for writing this book?
Zander: After being selected to write an article for the Roblox Developer Relations Medium page about the opportunities and skills Roblox has given me, I was contacted by Packt, as they were looking for someone to author a title about Roblox development. I was elated, as I have always wanted to be a published author. Immediately, I began outlining the contents of the book, making include as much useful content as possible. After a four-month journey, averaging around five hundred words a day in writing and revisions, I completed my first technical work, “Coding Roblox Games Made Easy”! My primary motivation for writing this book was to provide a guide for new and intermediate programmers on the Roblox platform to learn good development practices, general development knowledge, overcome some of the obscurities of Roblox development, and everything else I look back on and wish I had known. I hope that this book will pave the way for many creators, of any age, to make anything they envision come to life!
Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?
Zander: Aside from specificities regarding various topics, most of my research was from my experience as a developer on the platform. Anything else was researched using official Roblox documentation and occasionally cross-referencing information there with announcements and posts from the Developer Forum.
Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?
Zander: The writing process was actually quite smooth. The greatest challenge was simply managing my time, ensuring that I was making adequate progress writing each chapter, and studying for exams and other components of my academics. I wrote my chapters primarily in the evening after anything school related was already completed for the day. I personally find writing therapeutic and entrancing; I would often find myself writing for hours on end, though it felt only like minutes in my mind.
Q: What’s your take on the technologies discussed in the book? Where do you see these technologies heading in the future?
Zander: Roblox is an excellent platform and arguably the best place for anyone interested in pursuing computer science and/or game development to start. With plenty of provided resources and community support, no other platform compares in regards to the new-developer experience. Regarding Roblox itself, it can only continue to grow. With coronavirus restrictions and school shutdowns, kids from around the world were stuck inside this summer, which allowed Roblox to see unprecedented growth. Even after factors such as these subside, Roblox will continue to see major growth and additional recognition from the corporate sector, as they plan to go public at the beginning of next year. Outside of the business perspective, gaming has been growing increasingly popular in the last years and games like Roblox that focus on the multiplayer aspect, with games that are diverse, and have minimal hardware requirements are exactly the breed of gaming experiences that will thrive now and far into the future..
Q: Why should readers choose this book over others already on the market? How would you differentiate your book from its competition?
Zander: This book, compared to its competitors, has a clear, thorough, and pleasant approach to covering a wide variety of topics. The ability for this title to teach both intermediate and beginning programmers the in-depth workings of many necessary and popular game systems cannot be equated to other books that are available. Readers should choose this book if they want to really gain a knowledge-based advantage compared to those around them, as they enter the field of Roblox development.
Q. What are the key takeaways you want readers to come away from the book with?
Zander: In addition to programming skills they can utilize with Roblox, or in any environment, readers will learn professional skills, as I did, that can lead them to many great opportunities in the future. Some of these include networking, marketing, and data analysis tactics that can be used at any point in the reader’s life.
Q. What advice would you give to readers learning tech? Do you have any top tips?
Zander: Take breaks when you run into problems, especially while learning to program. Obvious issues can become easily overlooked if you become agitated or tired. Instead, take a short break, walk around, snack on something, maybe take a nap. When you return, the problem will have virtually resolved itself.
Q. Do you have a blog that readers can follow?
Zander: To follow my future endeavors or to reach out with questions, readers can contact me through Twitter: https://twitter.com/PiperRblx
Q. Can you share any blogs, websites and forums to help readers gain a holistic view of the tech they are learning?
Zander: As mentioned frequently throughout the book, the Developer Forum and Roblox Developer websites are the best free resources available for development help and demonstrations:
Q. How would you describe your author journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?
Zander: I would! This is my first published work and I found every editor and other Packt staff members incredibly supportive and helpful whenever I had questions or ran into problems during the whole process. I certainly felt that there was a whole team dedicated to me, standing by, and always caught up on all details of the project.
Q. Do you belong to any tech community groups?
Zander: I would not say so, outside of those already mentioned.