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Beginning Android Games [Paperback]

Mario Zechner
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 20, 2011 1430230428 978-1430230427

Beginning Android Games offers everything you need to join the ranks of successful Android game developers. You'll start with game design fundamentals and programming basics, and then progress towards creating your own basic game engine and playable games. This will give you everything you need to branch out and write your own Android games.

The potential user base and the wide array of available high-performance devices makes Android an attractive target for aspiring game developers. Do you have an awesome idea for the next break-through mobile gaming title? Beginning Android Games will help you kick-start your project.

The book will guide you through the process of making several example games for the Android platform, and involves a wide range of topics:

  • The fundamentals of game development
  • The Android platform basics to apply those fundamentals in the context of making a game
  • The design of 2D and 3D games and their successful implementation on the Android platform

For those looking to learn about Android tablet game app development or want Android 4 SDK specific coverage, check out Beginning Android 4 Games Development, now available from Apress.

What you’ll learn

  • How to set up and use the development tools for developing your first Android application
  • The fundamentals of game programming in the context of the Android platform
  • How to use the Android's APIs for graphics (Canvas, OpenGL ES 1.0/1.1), audio, and user input to reflect those fundamentals
  • How to develop two 2D games from scratch, based on the Canvas API and OpenGL ES.
  • How to create a full-featured 3D game
  • How to publish your games, get crash reports, and support your users
  • How to complete your own playable 2D OpenGL games

Who this book is for

This book is for people with a basic knowledge of Java who want to write games on the Android platform. It also offers information for experienced game developers about the pitfalls and peculiarities of the platform.

Table of Contents

  1. Android, the New Kid on the Block
  2. First Steps with the Android SDK
  3. Game Development 101
  4. Android for Game Developers
  5. An Android Game Development Framework
  6. Mr. Nom Invades Android
  7. OpenGL ES: A Gentle Introduction
  8. 2D Game Programming Tricks
  9. Super Jumper: A 2D OpenGL ES Game
  10. OpenGL ES: Going 3D
  11. 3D Programming Tricks
  12. Droid Invaders: the Grand Finale
  13. Publishing Your Game
  14. What’s Next?

Frequently Bought Together

Beginning Android Games + Beginning Android 4 + Professional Android 4 Application Development
Price for all three: $85.88

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mario Zechner runs Badlogic Games, a game development shop focused on Android.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Apress (April 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430230428
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430230427
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.5 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #462,394 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Place to Start April 25, 2011
Format:Paperback
This book has done a great job getting me up to speed on what I needed to know in order to port my old C DirectX 3 game over to the Android platform. The book quickly introduces you to the concepts you'll need to understand in order to get user input from the device, play sounds, load resources and ultimately render them on the screen.

While the author does a solid job introducing some basic physics and collision detection, don't expect to find the information you'll need to know in order to implement any sort of artificial intelligence or network play. In my opinion that's just fine, this is a beginner's book after all.

The author's framework does a nice job making getting input from the touch screen, accelerometer, and keyboard a simple task. I don't entirely agree with some of the design decisions the author makes, but that could be due to my C/C++ vs. Java background.

As far as rendering goes, first you'll take the easy approach using Android's custom drawing API. If your game is simple enough, this may be all you need. As the book progresses you'll swap out the original renderer with one based on OpenGL ES. Although the author does a very good job covering OpenGL, keep in mind that you'll be developing 2D games and not 3D games.

There are three chapters at the end of the book that will teach you the basics of 3D games programming. You'll learn some basic concepts, how to get 3D models onto the screen, and how to do basic collision detection in 3D. However, I feel that the leap from the material in the book to an actual 3D game is fairly significant. Don't expect to finish this book and then go code the best FPS any mobile platform has ever seen.

All-in-all, I'm pretty happy with this book.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The right way to do it! May 5, 2011
Format:Paperback
I'm a 6-game and multiple app veteran of Android development. I completely agree with the approach this book takes to Android game development. Mario takes the developer through a step-by-step process in assembling a light but high quality game that isn't just the "Android" way but is the way many portable titles are built out. I also like the fact that multiple examples are given and fully functional source code to the projects.

Very good job, Mr Zechner! If you're new to Android game development, this is a great way to start.
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44 of 52 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Does not use Android API February 19, 2012
Format:Paperback
The words on the book "Get started with game apps development for the Android platform" is misleading because the book does not cover the Android API. I checked the forum on the author's site and found out that the reason for not covering the Android API is that this API is not platform independent. So why the words "Android platform" on the book? Shouldn't the cover simply state "Creating a Java framework for beginning Android Games" because that's what the book is about.

Later, in the book, I read that he wanted to make things easier by not covering the Android API. But it is truly easier to learn how to do things the correct way than to learn the "easier" way and have to relearn everything. Plus, this book is listed second in Apress's Android book series, right after the beginning Android book; so one should already have some knowledge of the Android API before ready this book.

In reality, the book is a precursor to the open source Java-based game development framework libgdx, which the author developed. This framework works on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, as well as Android. Thus, the reason for the code not being platform dependent and, therefore, not using the Android API. The book should not be sold as an Android book. It is a Java framework that just happens to work on the Android. This does not mean it is the best way to write code if you are creating your games solely for Android devices. Otherwise, why even bother to develop the Android API?

As a book that provides a Java framework for creating games for Android mobile phones, the book is excellent. The author's framework provides a very organized structure for creating games.

However, there will be issues that will crop up if you use his framework without the Android API.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By robftw
Format:Paperback
As a hobbyist game developer since I was about 12 years old or so, I had been looking through several books to get into Android Development over the last few weeks as I have finally became proficient in Java. Unfortunately, I found that most of them make this really inconvenient by focusing primarily on the User Interface programming with XML. What I liked about this book was that it was the only one I've read so far that took a realistic approach to more interactive applications(and thus GAMES!), and from the very beginning tells the reader not to waste time with UI Programming. Considering how massive the Android API is, this is definitely a godsend. Besides that, it does not waste time teaching you the basics of Java -- it jumps straight into the good stuff. The only reason that I would give this 4 stars rather than 5 is because it does not do a good job of commenting(although it DOES break down each part, so it would be possible for you to do this yourself... it would just make it a little clearer when referencing code through the book if the comments were in fact there, though).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very informative, good introduction to game programming in Android
The book might be a bit dated now, but the general information is still useful and applicable in game programming on Android. Read more
Published 1 month ago by AZach
3.0 out of 5 stars A LOT OF GRAMMAR ERRORS
It's not a great book, but it's not too bad either. The first chapter is totally chaos, all the contents seem to be randomly pressed together. Read more
Published 3 months ago by peterzhao
5.0 out of 5 stars Beginning Android Games
I don't normally review books or products. But in this case the author did an excellent job with the subject matter discussed. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Andrew Potapov
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful, thorough, engaging!
I've had previous exposure to Java and introductory Android programming through other books, and some years of experience programming professionally, but have never created a video... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Patrick Coffey
3.0 out of 5 stars Good material, but...
The book is well covered, but way too many words which makes it an exhaustive reading. Provides too many concepts that ended forgotten when really matter due the amount of useless... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful book
I purchased this book based on the reviews here and I can't say I'm disappointed. With this book I'm able to create my own game using the engine provided in one of the game... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Michael Thielen
4.0 out of 5 stars Great intro
Pros:
Great for giving an introduction into the android world of gaming.
Great for setting up a framework for game design

Cons:
Sadly out of date. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Taylor Wacker
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for beginners in game production. Not for every one who wants to...
The best part of this book is the author delves into the details of drawing procedures and designing objects in MVC model by a certain set of example codes. Read more
Published 18 months ago by kitsutsuki
5.0 out of 5 stars Presents a great framework that includes the what, why, and how of...
A great resource for Android game development. It presents a solid framework for making a variety of games. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Samuel P. Baird
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good book!
I read this book and I love it. This is realy a very good book about game programming an android.
Published 19 months ago by Ingo
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