Advanced Java Game Programming Paperback – Mar 30 2004
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About the Author
David Wallace Croft is a Java software architect with a professional background in Java game development. He formerly served as the president of the Silicon Valley Java Users Group and is the founder of the Game Developers Java Users Group. Croft earned his bachelor's degree from the United States Air Force Academy in 1990 and his master's degree from the California Institute of Technology in 1995.
After a brief career in neural network chip design, he joined an online Internet multiplayer game startup in 1996 and has been programming in Java exclusively ever since. While writing this book, Croft taught Java 2D game programming within the Institute of Interactive Arts & Engineering program at the University of Texas at Dallas. In 2004, he transitioned from faculty to student and is now pursuing a doctorate in cognition and neuroscience in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at the same university. His contact information is available at www.croftsoft.com.
Top Customer Reviews
The author deals with numerous topics that are at the heart of effective game programming. The sections I found most pertinent were those covering deployment options, swing animation, frame rate issues, and http network communication. In each section the author identifies the potential problems and pitfalls, discusses several options to deal with these issues, and then proceeds to show through his framework how he addresses these problems. The writing is clear and concise, and the code samples from the author's framework illustrate the concepts well.
One thing that I don't like about a lot of Java game programming books is that they spend a lot of time talking about how to develop your game ideas. While this is important, many advanced game programmers are simply looking for sound advice to improve their underlining game design and performance. The author does a great job of speaking to this audience in dealing with the issues and problems we all face. Many of the issues discussed rang true to me as I remembered struggling to find solutions to the very same problems. The author's framework serves as a good foundation upon which to build your own games.
The only thing I wish was covered was the use of 3D in Java games. This is a huge topic with a number of pitfalls and probably would require a book of its own. This really doesn't detract from my overall view of the book though, as what the book does cover is covered very well.
Overall this book is very well done and I would recommend it to all serious Java game programmers.
This book goes well beyond simple graphics and sound examples for gaming; Croft explains many more fundamentals of online gaming, such as game architecture, artificial intelligence, and networking via HTTP Tunneling. I found the Model-View-Controller (MVC) section of game architecture extremely interesting and very powerful. Croft explains how MVC allows you to create a single environment with multiple views or controllers which all integrate with shared methods. With such an architecture, you could easily port a 2D game into 3D simply by modifying the View module, for example.
The chapters on HTTP Tunneling go into great detail about the importance and ease of use of tunneling, and why it is so important when developing network games. Using Croft's methods you will be able to avoid the headaches caused by firewalls and ultimately make things much easier for your gamers.
Advanced Java Game Programming has really inspired me to continue my development of online games.(...)
To sum things up, I highly recommend this book. With basic knowledge and experience in Java, this book can bring your game development skills to a whole new level.
demos used in the book is outlined step by step.
Then a brief tutorial on using Ant and the build file provided with the game demo examples used in the book. If you download the source code for the book, you get a generous 150 classes. Many of these are utility classes that you'll find conveniently reusable in all types of game development.
Then comes the surprising part. The chapter discusses copyright
law and licensing. If you are developing games for distribution,
you need to know these issues. It was thoughtful of the author to share his knowledge. The author then shares some sources for
obtaining graphics and audio files for use in your games.
The author's writing style is easy to read. He neither condescends to your level or talks over your head as in some books when they claim to be for the advanced programmer. The author isn't an ivory tower type that talks in the abstract
(a danger since he taught a University course on it). He gets down to the practical! I found his style so enjoyable and down-to-earth that I would always read further in the book than intended in one sitting.
Chapter 2 covers frameworks. How do you want your game to run? The author gives you the flexibility of running as an applet, from Java Web Start, or an executable Jar -- all from one source code set. The chapter shows how to use the HTMLConverter tool to "magically" change your html applet code into plug-in code that gets a later version of Java if needed. Since you will probably want Java 1.4 to run your games, this is important to do since most browsers don't yet support Java 1.4 and thus need the download.
Chapter 3 is the beginning of several chapters on animation. This is where the fun starts. You'll learn techniques for faster screen repainting, smooth animation (versus jerky), and effective use of frame rates. The game demo code lets you try out the effects of your performance enhancements.
Later chapters in the book cover game architecture, game algorithms, game data persistence, etc.
In summary, this book excellently covers what a game developer needs to know to get started developing games for distribution via the web or through jars. The book describes games that can be singly played on a desktop or multiply played via the web. This book is a must read for any serious game developer. Its content is right up to date as it is based on the latest Java 1.4 API. Applet developers who don't write games will also learn some good tips for deployment, animation, and http connections.
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