A downloadable book

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About this book

  • Are you trying to make a game with PICO-8, the Playdate, LÖVE, Roblox, or any other game environment that uses the Lua programming language?
  • Are you an absolute beginner with no programming experience who is overwhelmed at the prospect of learning how to code?
  • Have you tried following tutorials and guides, but get lost as it’s already assumed that you know how to code?
  • Looking for that first step to teach you all the basics you need to know about programming and Lua?

At the start of 2022, I started making development tutorials for the Playdate, a small handheld console that uses Lua as its primary programming language. As I was making these tutorials, I started getting comments from people looking to find the best ways to learn Lua. I looked around, but I found that a lot of books and guides were aimed at those who already had programming knowledge. These resources rarely acknowledged that the reader could be a complete beginner and instead assumed that the reader just needed to learn how Lua differs from other programming languages.

I wrote this book with a game development audience in mind, so the examples and vocabulary I use are from a game development perspective. Despite the fact that this book references game development situations and language, I want to stress that this book will not teach you how to make a game. It will, however, give you a foundation for programming. My goal is to bring you up to speed so you can actually follow along with game development tutorials, as opposed to being completely lost.

What's comes with the book?

  • 14 chapters (40+ pages) that take you from a complete beginner to knowing the basics of coding in Lua
  • General advice about coding beyond just the language (e.g. tips on structuring your code, best practices, etc.)
  • Lifetime free updates - I will continuously update this book with more chapters and improve the content based on your feedback

Who am I?

I’m a full-time software engineer who is a hobbyist game developer. I have a passion for teaching people how to code, and I love helping others turn their dream of making games into a reality. I started a Youtube channel to teach game development and to also document my personal game development journey. Here are some of my qualifications for writing the book.

  • I have 7+ years of programming experience
  • I have made many Lua tutorials with thousands of views on my Youtube channel
  • I have made 5+ games using Lua
  • I work as a software engineer at Microsoft and previously worked as a software engineer at Amazon

This book is probably for you if:

  • You are an absolute beginner that wants to learn both the Lua programming language and how to code
  • You already know how to code, but want to learn how Lua works
  • You are learning Lua to make games
  • You are ready to treat the book like a course by reviewing and practicing the topics covered

This book is probably not for you if:

  • You want to learn to code for non-game development reasons - I don't cover any specifics regarding using Lua in non-game development contexts
  • You are an experienced developer that already knows Lua - this book will likely teach you nothing new
  • You are expecting to be able to make a game at the end of this book - this book is meant to teach you the basics of coding in Lua, which is absolutely necessary, but you still need to learn how to work in your game environment of choice
  • You are expecting the book to be an easy read - I break down the concepts as simply as I can, but programming concepts are difficult and will require lots of review and practice on your own


  • (10/8/22) Fixed typos, new chapter on libraries, and Spanish version

If you end up purchasing this book and you feel that the book is not meeting your expectations, you can send me an email at squidgoddev@gmail.com. I take the time to read every email I receive, so I will answer your questions and make updates to the book as needed. If you're still not satisfied, I will give you a full refund, as I only want to keep your money if you're happy. All you have to do is send an email to support@itch.io. Worst case: you keep the book for future reference and get all of your money back.

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Buy Now$15.00 USD or more

In order to download this book you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $15 USD. You will get access to the following files:

TheBeginner'sGuideToLuaForGameDevelopment.pdf 1 MB
TheBeginner'sGuideToLuaForGameDevelopmentEspanol.pdf 4 MB
TheBeginner'sGuideToLuaForGameDevelopmentInverted.pdf 24 MB

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