Customer Reviews


11 Reviews
5 star:
 (1)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:
 (3)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome?
What I cannot believe is how unfair recent reviews of this book have been. If you're a beginner hobbyist, then maybe this book isn't for you?
Let's mention instance modelling, advanced collision detection, triple-buffered animation, quad trees, hardware acceleration and framerate syncing.
Maybe this book is ideal for a Mathematician interested in game...
Published on July 4 2003

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Limited usefulness, but still good
1/2002
When I discovered that a book on Java 2 game programming was going to be published, I pre-ordered immediately despite having extremely little information from [Amazon.com] or the publisher on what was really in it. No fault of [Amazon.com], I went through two publish date changes while waiting for this, and once it shipped it was lost by UPS in the Xmas rush...
Published on Feb. 6 2002 by gerryg


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome?, July 4 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Java 2 Game Programming (Paperback)
What I cannot believe is how unfair recent reviews of this book have been. If you're a beginner hobbyist, then maybe this book isn't for you?
Let's mention instance modelling, advanced collision detection, triple-buffered animation, quad trees, hardware acceleration and framerate syncing.
Maybe this book is ideal for a Mathematician interested in game development using Java. But as a newbie Java developer that just did part of a training diploma, in one word: Terrific!
I just got an invaluable introduction to linked lists and hash trees - and even better, their applications in todays professional game programming industry.
Just please don't mention Vector Geometry for now (lol).
You also get to look at implementing abstract classes -- that surely sets the programming standard? And there's a bonus for people that either do C++ or have had a long look at it. There's great looking boxes that delineate Java limitations and advantages by comparison.
On the down side, a few examples don't seem to compile straight away and probably need to be revised -- mostly the networking section which seems outdated.
Based on this I'd give this book four stars only, except for wanting to boost this books terrible review ratings!
I personally really really wish there was a home page for the included professional level Java engine - where it could be maintained and updated.
Also it could be fully documented, so newbies like me could just use the whole thing more easily.
But it was worth it even if only for the custom controls library -- Swing is SLOW! (note for Sun developers)
I think that without having a full grasp of everything that's covered (and its a lot) I'm now better equipped than ever to get those Java game applets up and running.
And now i can realistically gauge myself against the real professionals. Oh, and I loved the style too.
I shan't discourage!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1.0 out of 5 stars A complete waste of money and time., June 21 2003
This review is from: Java 2 Game Programming (Paperback)
This book is so awful it deffies description. The authors do not follow any basic Java standards and the book if rife with C++ comments, being that the author is really a C++ programmer and trying his best to help C++ programmers get into Java. Much of the book is chewwed up in aside "boxes" filled with little "gems" of interest to C++ programmers. Who cares! The book is titled "JAVA 2 GAME PROGRAMMING"!
This book covers extremely, extremely basic Java 1.2 (the current SDK from SUN is gonna be 1.5 in a month if they release on time I beleive), and ALOT of the given source code WILL NOT COMPILE. Plan on hours of fighting with, rewriting and debugging the source code from the book if you want to see practically ANYTHING that even resembles workable java code. This I find rather funny actually, being that you need to have legitmate Java experience to even be able to debug the given source code in this "begginers" book! About halfway through this one I became completely feed-up with rewriting the code from the book, opting instead to return it while I could still receive a refund. A complete waste of time this one is.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Limited usefulness, but still good, Feb. 6 2002
By 
gerryg (Albuquerque, NM USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Java 2 Game Programming (Paperback)
1/2002
When I discovered that a book on Java 2 game programming was going to be published, I pre-ordered immediately despite having extremely little information from [Amazon.com] or the publisher on what was really in it. No fault of [Amazon.com], I went through two publish date changes while waiting for this, and once it shipped it was lost by UPS in the Xmas rush. [Amazon.com] got me a new copy fairly quickly since they had limited supplies. Anyway, for all the trouble I went through, this book just wasn't quite worth it, and I doubt I'll pre-order any other books again.
The book's content is fairly good, but does fall down a few times. As with other reviewers on this one, I felt the 'Intro to Java' took up too much of the book. Anyone interested in game programming probably will get themselves good language reference books anyway. The intro section could have been compressed into a 20-30 page refresher at most. Or it could have been made into a separate book altogether. But in my opinion all that space is just 'filler' to up the page count and therefore the price. But the intro is pretty solid and well-written, so I can give a little credit for that.
That brings me to another point that other reviewers have mentioned - the page design is overdone and distracting, and takes too much space. The fonts are rather large, too, which would be useful if I had poor vision, but then I probably wouldn't be playing or programming video games in that case. Just by changing the page design and font choices, we could have saved about 75-100 pages worth of some poor tree. I'll blame the publisher for that.
The editing of the book was rather poor (if it happened at all), as a number of errors were evident just from flipping through it, not to mention the printed code errors others have mentioned. One that stuck out was the use of the term 'depreciated' several times when what should have been used was 'deprecated'. But the concepts all seemed to be reasonable and correct, so no faults there.
My final comment is regarding the example program. It wasn't very interesting. I was expecting (before I got the book) maybe a 2D platform game, simple top-down RPG, or possibly advanced clones of the standard Atari classics - at least something I could identify with. The example game appears to be original, but as an example, it doesn't seem to fit the bill. I guess I was hoping for more discussion of AI, graphics/animation, and tools.
'Game Progamming Gems' seems to have more useful content per pound/dollar for the Java game programmer, and there's no Java in it! I suspect in the end that I will learn some things from this book as I continue through it, but it was not the comprehensive and useful tome I hoped it would be. This appears to be a trend with any book associated with Andre LeMothe (spelling?).
Additional Notes, 4/9/2002 - still working my way through it. As mentioned before, the overall content is good but just not very polished, and doesn't quite cover implementing in Java some key items of interest to game programmers. I understand the example program a little better, but I'm still peeved that it's not something a little more mainstream that an aspiring programmer would recognize and learn concepts and implementation from. I raised my rating from 2 to 3 stars, but it won't ever get any higher than that. Maybe if they rework the book into a second edition it could get 4 or 4 1/2 stars.
New Note 11/27/2002 - Java 1.4 Game Programming (ISBN 1556229631) by Andrew Mulholland and Glenn Murphy (two more unknowns AFAIK) is due out in December (after a delay, of course). My recommendation is to wait until that book is published before deciding which book you need, or both. I'm placing my bets on the new one as it likely discusses important technical items and performance issues in JDK 1.4 such as volatile images, nio, and full-screen mode. These items will be more relevant to someobody who isn't interested in just applets and more in action-oriented content.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing, just awful, Jan. 28 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Java 2 Game Programming (Paperback)
I spent a considerable amount of time in the bookstore looking over this book before deciding not to buy it. The first thing that struck me was the sheer size of the book, it is very bulky and there is very little value for the size (and the price!)
The first thing you should know about this book is that it assumes that you do not know any Java, and that less than half the book is actually devoted to game programming itself. so right there is a waste of two whole sections out of four on learning Java, which really should have been left to other books (that do a heck of a better job of it, too.) The third section is about game programming concepts, and the fourth, about one example game (yes, one example.)
This book is a prime example of trying to lure the consumer with the title and the size, and just filling the book with fluff. Once you weed out everything to leave only material that will actually teach you about game programming, there is not much left. I found that the topics were covered in a very diluted way, and very little new material.
Finally, the presentation of this book is just atrocious. The layout is very ugly, and as you look through the pages it looks haphazard and disorganized. The headers and footers make you feel like you are in some kind of army boot camp.
In conclusion, I would definitely not recommend this book. However, this just being my opinion, the best advice I could give would be at least to look carefully through this book before you spend your hard-earned on it to make sure that it is indeed the kind of book you are looking for.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Not perfect, but excellent nonetheless., Jan. 25 2002
By 
Michael J. Henson "arachnojava" (High Ridge, MO USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Java 2 Game Programming (Paperback)
There are very few books on the subject of game programming in Java that are much help to an experienced programmer, and although this book does waste some time covering the fundamental basics of Java, it does a remarkable job of explaining concepts in a way that is understandable as well as accurate. Petchel has mastered the art of writing in a way that is both entertaining and informative, adequately covering technical subjects while holding the reader's interest with colorful language and down-to-earth explanations.
I have only a few minor complaints. First, there are some errors in the code printed in the book, but these errors do not appear to be present in the code on the CD, so no real harm done. Furthermore, the real "meat and potatoes" of the examples are intact, so to an experienced programmer, such syntactical errors are merely trivial details. Just check out the CD before trusting what is printed.
Also, the book begins with a crash course on the basics of Java programming, which may have been better left to a general programming book, as opposed to one whose intended subject is game programming specifically. But even that part is well-written and concise, as is the remainder of the book.
But those trivial complaints aside, the book's content is excellent. It's organized in a logical manner, the examples are simple yet meaningful, and even experienced programmers can gain useful tips and insights on good design ideas. This book was worth the long and frustrating wait.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Good book but incomplete, Jan. 29 2002
By 
Jerome Blouin (Montreal (Canada)) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Java 2 Game Programming (Paperback)
The author is very good in explaining the core concepts and desings to build and maintain a 2D video game in Java. The explanations are very clear and the code is very clean too. The concepts that are demonstrated are rock solid to produce high quality games.
The cons about this books is that many essential concepts in game devevelopment are not covered such as artigicial intelligence, sound/music and tools to build game content (levels...)
Also I don't think it is a good idea to teach the Java language in this book. I think this subjet should be left to many other good books.
Finally, the author focuses too much on the aspect of online gaming. All the concepts are based on Applets and when the time comes to create a game for the desktop there are differences on how to build the framework.
I you are looking for game programming in Java you will learn very good and essential concepts with this book but be aware that it is incomplete.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2.0 out of 5 stars If you have zero Java experience, this book is not for you.., Feb. 14 2003
This review is from: Java 2 Game Programming (Paperback)
I recently also bit, and made the mistake of purchasing this title. This was motivated by my frustration with the incredible lask of practically ANY titles on the subject of Java Game Programming. There is something akin to less than 10 total titles printed on the subject in the last 10 years. The writers C and C++ background shine through here (which quickly becomes a significant annoyance, due to the profuse C and C++ "Comment boxes"). This would be wonderful, except for the fact that this book is supposed to be on JAVA. More time could have been spent on validating the included code examples for things like basic java standards complience, as well as actual compilable code. Many of the code examples will require significant re-writes for anyone running JDK 1.4, even though the book claims to have been written while the 1.4 spec was standard. Without a previous Java base to draw from, this book would have been practically useless to me.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Good as a starting point, with some flaws, Dec 19 2002
This review is from: Java 2 Game Programming (Paperback)
This book is a decent starting point for someone who already knows Java basics, but has no idea how games (animation, controls...) are made. After reading this book you are ready to continue on web-based articles on specifics and advanced features. I also liked the fact that this is not one of those five-year old books with obsolete/deprecated code.
But this book is far from perfect. I think the Java basics -chapter is too long. It almost presumes no pre-knowledge of Java. The author should not have wasted so many pages on Java basics. Also, the book doesn't go that far either. After you know how to listen to the mouse/keyboard and how to double-buffer your animation for smooth operation, you're left alone.
I would have liked to see some interesting real projects done through the book, maybe a small-scale scroller shoot'em up or whatever. Now you get shown all the pieces separately but ain't shown how to solve the puzzle.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1.0 out of 5 stars So many typos!!!!, Jan. 20 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Java 2 Game Programming (Paperback)
I am really pissed about this book. I waited for it for two months and when it finally came it had five useless beginner chapters and a bunch of basic applet crap. The worst thing about it is that it looks like it was proof read by a child and a careless one at that. The example code on the cd seems fine, but the printed text is missing the last character or two on every line in some examples. Ironically it occurs in an example called "A complete example". I am sorry, but this is just unacceptable!!! Code Sample From book:
public String toString(
//return a verbose description of attribut
return attribute + ": " + getPointsAllocated()
I think this is supposed to be a method, but who can really tell?
I want my money back Tom you lazy no proof reading bastard!!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2.0 out of 5 stars To bad..., Jan. 24 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Java 2 Game Programming (Paperback)
Unfortunately, this book suffers from the same problem as many other Java books on a specific subject. The author believed it necessary to explain what Java is in the first 8 chapters, instead of assuming some previous knowledge on the subject (there are plenty of better books out there on beginning Java). Game programming is an indepth field, and unfortunately is not covered in-depth in this book. There are many in-depth books for C, C++ on the subject, but as of yet, none to count for in Java. There are a few games published using Java out there, eg: Vampire:The Maquerade, Roboforge, etc. Maybe the developers for those game should write a book, as of now it's still a neech market.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Java 2 Game Programming
Java 2 Game Programming by Thomas Petchel (Paperback - Dec 15 2001)
Used & New from: CDN$ 7.05
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews