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Killer Game Programming in Java Paperback – May 1, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0596007300 ISBN-10: 0596007302 Edition: 1st
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Packed with Java content, with hundreds of links to even more information. The last word in Java game programming." - Paul Hudson, Linux Format, October (Top Stuff Award)

About the Author

Andrew Davison received his Ph.D. from Imperial College in London in 1989. He was a lecturer at the University of Melbourne for six years before moving to Prince of Songkla University in Thailand in 1996. He has also taught in Bangkok, Khon Kaen, and Hanoi. His research interests include scripting languages, logic programming, visualization, and teaching methodologies. This latter topic led to an interest in teaching games programming in 1999. His O'Reilly book, "Killer Game Programming in Java", was published in 2005.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 998 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (May 30, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596007302
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596007300
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #328,713 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Blaine A. Simpson on May 27, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is miles ahead of other Java gaming books... For one thing, this is an excellent book in its own right. For another, the other existing books on the topic suck.

Anybody who spends a lot of time writing games in Java ends up running into certain challenges. For each of these real issues, it takes a lot time to identify the issue then many hours to come up a satisfactory solution or work-around. This book saves you from 99% of that work. The author has documented nearly every complication that you will run into. The other Java gaming books explain how to apply common sense and traditional gaming strategies to the Java APIs (usually following Sun's tutorials exactly), giving step-by-step instructions on how to do so. Besides the point that this adds no value for somebody capable of following Sun's tutorials and APIs, they offer no help where you need it most... where the straight-forward approach is unsatisfactory or just doesn't work for some reason.

Another thing that has saved me a ton of frustration and time is advice from the author. For my specific game project I've run into several questions which I've been unable to answer by web searches, posting to forums, etc. I've emailed Davison (the author), and he has answered each of my questions concisely and to the point every time. (I don't want you to spam him, so please don't send questions until after you have looked for the answer in his book!).

To address concerns that other reviewers have posted:

This book is not just for "advanced" Java developers. As Davison has emailed me, the intended audience is, "someone who has just got past their first Java course". He purposefully avoids avoids all but elemental Java features (e.g.
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84 of 89 people found the following review helpful By calvinnme HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 4, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of the most interesting books I have read on the subject of game programming in Java. In addition, it is a great tutorial on how to use Java to accomplish a number of multimedia programming objectives independent of game programming. Since there is no table of contents shown, I will summarize the book's contents in the context of the table of contents:
1. Why Java for Games Programming? - Many discussions are revisited about why Java is not a bad choice for game programming- speed, memory leaks, etc.
2. An Animation Framework - The animation algorithm developed through most of this chapter is embedded in a JPanel subclass (called GamePanel), which acts as a canvas for drawing 2D graphics. The animation is managed by a thread which ensures that it progresses at a consistent number of frames per second.
3. Worms in Windows and Applets - The threaded animation loop of chapter 1 is tested inside a windowed application and an applet. The programs are all variants of the same WormChase game.
4. Full-Screen Worms - Three approaches to full-screen games are investigated.
5. An Introduction to Java Imaging - The aging AWT imaging model is discussed, followed by the BufferedImage and VolatileImage classes, ImageIO, and the wide range of BufferedImageOp image operations offered by Java 2D.
6. Image Loading, Visual Effects, and Animation - This chapter examines how to efficiently load and display images, apply visual effects such as blurring, fading, and rotation, and animate them.
7. Introducing Java Sound - The Sound API is compared to the Java Media Framework (JMF), and the recently introduced JOAL, a Java binding to OpenGL's music API.
8.
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Eric Wuehler on June 6, 2005
Format: Paperback
I thought the idea of "killer" game programming in java was a bit far fetched. (Note: I have very little experience with Java3D - as in, I've gone through the demos and not much else). After reading through this book, I still think "killer" game programming is a generous description. However, I did discover a pleasant side effect; it was a fun way to explore the Java3D APIs.

This book does not spend any time on introductory java nor does it build a "killer" game from start to finish as it moves through the chapters. There are snippets of source code throughout the book, but I'd suggest downloading the source. The source code was very helpful, easy to compile and run. I had no problems running the code on a Mac and Java 1.4.2.

The text is very academic and thorough in its descriptions. While the title might suggest "game programming" as the primary focus of the book, I think this is almost a secondary issue. The real thrust (or at least what I got out of it) is a fun way to learn the techniques to 2D and 3D graphics programming, dealing with lighting, perspective, and movement using the Java Sound, Java 2D and Java 3D APIs.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By David Wallace Croft on August 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
I have all of the Java game programming books published since 1996 and this book ranks in the top three. There are no gaps in the coverage of the subject and the author has clearly done his research. While I might do some things differently here and there, overall this book is clearly one of the best. I highly recommend. -- David Wallace Croft, Founder of GameJUG.org and Author of "Advanced Java Game Programming"
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