Interview with Mark Kiepe

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Mark Kiepe is the author of Mastering Roblox Coding, we got the chance to sit down with him and find out more about his experience of writing with Packt.

Q: What is/are your specialist tech area(s)?

Mark: Roblox game Development/programming

Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey. What was your motivation for writing this book?

Mark: Since I have been programming games on Roblox, I have been asked by players how to start programming games. Because I started my programming journey as a self-taught Roblox developer, I know many beginners’ struggles. When Packt approached me and told me they were looking to publish a new book called Mastering Roblox Coding, I saw this as my opportunity to help new and beginner developers create the next-generation Roblox games.

Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?

Mark: Before writing the book Mastering Roblox Coding, I had about five years of experience working for many different Roblox games. While working for these games, I have seen many different programming styles and learned many ways of solving problems. In addition, I started attending my current school, the University of Applied Science in the Netherlands, where I program every day. I combined what I learned to start writing better code. I have also done hours of research for each subject explained in the book. Doing this, I learned many new tricks that speed up the development process. Of course, I have explained all of this in the book.

Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?

Mark: The primary challenge I faced was the fact that I am Dutch. English is not my primary language. However, this challenge never turned into a problem because of the amazing support and feedback I received from the team that helped me write the book.

Q: What’s your take on the technologies discussed in the book? Where do you see these technologies heading in the future?

Mark: Roblox is an incredibly popular game platform for kids. According to Roblox, over half of the children under 16 play Roblox in the US. Considering playing and developing Roblox games can be completely free, I think Roblox will only grow.

Q. Why should readers choose this book over others already on the market? How would you differentiate your book from its competition?

Mark: There are many good resources that explain how to program games on Roblox, even outside of books. However, most are tutorials or explanations for a single system or function. They assume you already know how to program games, while this might not be the case. This book explains how to program Roblox games from the basics to the most complex systems, such as data stores, while readers slowly learn advance their programming skills. They will be able to program each system with the knowledge they learned in previous chapters.

Q. What are the key takeaways you want readers to come away from the book with?

Mark: There are many ways of implementing a system. Just because someone else took a different approach does not mean that yours is wrong.

Q. What advice would you give to readers learning tech? Do you have any top tips?

Mark: Take your time understanding the basics. If you know the basics of the technology you are working with, you can divide complex concepts into smaller and understandable pieces more easily.

Q. Do you have a blog that readers can follow?

Mark: I post cool things that are related to Roblox on my Twitter: https://twitter.com/realMadpoint

Q. Can you share any blogs, websites, and forums to help readers gain a holistic view of the tech they are learning?

Mark: To stay up to date with the changes happening to Roblox, look at the Roblox Developer Forum: https://devforum.roblox.com/c/updates/45
Also, look at the Roblox creator documentation: https://create.roblox.com/docs

Q. How would you describe your author journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?

Mark: Absolutely! The journey took quite a while. This makes sense considering you cannot release a book in a week. Regardless, it was worth every minute. Packt helped me research what readers might want to learn about. Besides this, they continuously provided me with feedback on how to improve the book’s quality. Packt even provided technical reviews with other experts in this category. This significantly increased the quality of the book.

Q. What are your favorite tech journals? How do you keep yourself up to date on tech?

Mark: The only journal I am subscribed to is TLDR. They send an e-mail with the updates and new tech daily.

Q. How did you organize, plan, and prioritize your work and write the book?

Mark: Writing a book while focusing on your studies and fun activities was challenging. Informing your friends and family about when you are working and when not is something that helped me organize.

Q. What is the one writing tip that you found most crucial and would like to share with aspiring authors?

Mark: Divide each chapter into smaller chapters before writing. Doing this gives you an overview of what you will write before you do. You will also notice if you miss out on something important beforehand.

You can find Mark’s book on Amazon by following this link: Please click here

Mastering Roblox Coding – Available on Amazon.com