- Paperback: 782 pages
- Publisher: Muska and Lipman/Premier-Trade; Pap/Cdr edition (Jan. 1 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1931841071
- ISBN-13: 978-1931841078
- Product Dimensions: 18.4 x 4.4 x 23.5 cm
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 Kg
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,358,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Java 2 Game Programming Paperback – Dec 15 2001
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About the Author
Thomas Petchel has been a computer programmer for six years and an avid gamer all his life. A recent graduate of Shippensburg University, he completed an internship at Xtreme Games LLC, and lectured at the 2000 Xtreme Game Developers Conference. He may be best known for his retail 3D game Shogun: Mahjong Warriors.
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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don't seem to compile straight away and probably need to be revised -- mostly the networking section which seems outdated.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!!
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.
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.
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