Top positive review
Not perfect, but excellent nonetheless.
on January 25, 2002
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.