84 of 89 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
This is one of the most interesting books I have read on the subject of game programming in Java. In addition, it is a great tutorial on how to use Java to accomplish a number of multimedia programming objectives independent of game programming. Since there is no table of contents shown, I will summarize the book's contents in the context of the table of contents:
1. Why Java for Games Programming? - Many discussions are revisited about why Java is not a bad choice for game programming- speed, memory leaks, etc.
2. An Animation Framework - The animation algorithm developed through most of this chapter is embedded in a JPanel subclass (called GamePanel), which acts as a canvas for drawing 2D graphics. The animation is managed by a thread which ensures that it progresses at a consistent number of frames per second.
3. Worms in Windows and Applets - The threaded animation loop of chapter 1 is tested inside a windowed application and an applet. The programs are all variants of the same WormChase game.
4. Full-Screen Worms - Three approaches to full-screen games are investigated.
5. An Introduction to Java Imaging - The aging AWT imaging model is discussed, followed by the BufferedImage and VolatileImage classes, ImageIO, and the wide range of BufferedImageOp image operations offered by Java 2D.
6. Image Loading, Visual Effects, and Animation - This chapter examines how to efficiently load and display images, apply visual effects such as blurring, fading, and rotation, and animate them.
7. Introducing Java Sound - The Sound API is compared to the Java Media Framework (JMF), and the recently introduced JOAL, a Java binding to OpenGL's music API.
8. Loading and Playing Sounds - Discusses a single application, LoadersTests, which demonstrates "ClipsLoader" & "MidisLoader" classes for the control of clips and sequences.
9. Audio Effects - Different ways of applying effects to audio, which is key to the advantage of the Sound API- access to audio files to the bit level.
10. Audio Synthesis - How to create tone sequences for sampled audio and how to create MIDI sequences at runtime.
11. Sprites - A game's active entities are often encoded as sprites. A sprite is a moving graphical object.The Sprite class developed in this chapter builds on the animation framework and image and audio loaders developed earlier in the book.
12. A Side-Scroller - This chapter describes JumpingJack, a side scroller much like Super Mario, but considerably simpler, that illustrates tile maps, layers, parallax scrolling, and a jumping hero called 'Jack' who has to dodge exploding fireballs.
13. An Isometric Tile Game - Isometric tiles are the basis of many real-time strategy games, war games, and simulations, and Java-based "Alien Tiles" is demo'd here.
14. Introducing Java 3D - A brief introduction to the Java 3D API.
15. A 3D Checkerboard: Checkers3D - This chapter describes a Java 3D example called Checker3D that demos many Java 3D programming techniques.
16. Loading and Manipulating External Models - Many times it makes sense to create an object using 3D modeling software, and then load it into your Java 3D application at run time.
17. Using a Lathe to Make Shapes - One of the most ingenious chapters of the books shows how to create complex 3D shapes using a Java-based 3D lathe.
18. 3D Sprites - A Sprite3D class is developed.
19. Animated 3D Sprites - Poses and animation are included for the Sprite3D class of the previous chapter.
20. An Articulated, Moveable Figure - The implementation of an articulated figure is performed, composed of rotatable limbs, which can be moved around a checkboard floor in a similar manner to the 3D sprites in Chapters 18 and 19.
21. Particle Systems - Three particle systems are developed in this chapter: one where the particles are points, another using lines, and a third using quadrilaterals (quads).
22. Flocking Boids - Flocking is a computer model for the coordinated motion of groups (or flocks) of entities called boids, performed in 3D.
23. Shooting a Gun - The application in this chapter, Shooter3D, contains a gun which fires a laser beam at the point on the checkered floor clicked on by the user. The flight of the laser beam is accompanied by a suitable sound, and followed by an explosion.
24. A First-Person Shooter - Builds on the previous chapter by putting the gun in the player's hand.
25. A 3D Maze - Emphasis is on navigation through a complex scene (a 3D maze). The two main topics will be how to generate a realistic looking scene as in "Doom", and how to use multiple views to aid navigation.
26. Fractal Land - The FractalLand3D application creates a landscape using a plasma fractal to generate height values for the landscape's component quads.
27. Terrain Generation with Terragen - Landscape is designed with Terragen, then exported as a OBJ file (representing the landscape as a mesh), and as a BMP (showing the surface viewed from above). The BMP is subsequently edited and converted into a JPG.
28. Trees That Grow - Shows foliage that actually grows over time.
29. Networking Basics - runs through networking fundamentals and explains basic network programming with sockets, URLs, and servlets.
30. Network Chat - about online chat, the "hello world" of network programming. There are three chat variants: one using a client/server model, one employing multicasting, and chatting with servlets.
31. A Networked Two-Person Game - Pulls everything together to build a simple networked 2-player game.
32. A Networked Virtual Environment - NetTour3D is a very simple networked virtual environment which allows sprites representing users (clients) on different machines to move about in a shared world. The world is a checkboard, with simple scenery and obstacles.
A. Installation Using install4j
B. Installation Using Java Web Start
If you go to the author's website, he has additional chapters that are not in the book on J2ME, bluetooth, and mobile 3D gaming. Plus the downloadable code for the book is also there. Since Amazon usually throws out reviews with web addresses, just type "Killer Game Programming in Java" into Google and the first address you see should be the author's website.
In summary, I would highly recommend this book to any experienced Java programmer who is interested in programming games, as well as those interested in advanced Java Sound or Java 3D techniques which might be of use to any Java multimedia programmer.