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Killer Game Programming in Java [Paperback]

by Andrew Davison
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 1, 2005 0596007302 978-0596007300 1

Although the number of commercial Java games is still small compared to those written in C or C++, the market is expanding rapidly. Recent updates to Java make it faster and easier to create powerful gaming applications-particularly Java 3D-is fueling an explosive growth in Java games. Java games like Puzzle Pirates, Chrome, Star Wars Galaxies, Runescape, Alien Flux, Kingdom of Wars, Law and Order II, Roboforge, Tom Clancy's Politika, and scores of others have earned awards and become bestsellers.

Java developers new to graphics and game programming, as well as game developers new to Java 3D, will find Killer Game Programming in Java invaluable. This new book is a practical introduction to the latest Java graphics and game programming technologies and techniques. It is the first book to thoroughly cover Java's 3D capabilities for all types of graphics and game development projects.

Killer Game Programming in Java is a comprehensive guide to everything you need to know to program cool, testosterone-drenched Java games. It will give you reusable techniques to create everything from fast, full-screen action games to multiplayer 3D games. In addition to the most thorough coverage of Java 3D available, Killer Game Programming in Java also clearly details the older, better-known 2D APIs, 3D sprites, animated 3D sprites, first-person shooter programming, sound, fractals, and networked games. Killer Game Programming in Java is a must-have for anyone who wants to create adrenaline-fueled games in Java.

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Editorial Reviews


"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.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 998 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (May 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596007302
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596007300
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 9.2 x 2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #188,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
62 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Far better than any other book on this topic 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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80 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for Java game programming and much more 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.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun way to learn Java 3D June 6, 2005
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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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bad name, great book on the fundamentals June 23, 2005
I wish I could have waved O'Reilly off this name. It reminds me of the bad old days of the "Secrets of the Game Programming Mega-Gurus". Happily this is where the similarity ends. This book is far better than any of the old books that essentially covered graphics primitives and left it at that. This book goes in depth on 2D and 3D graphics and covers specifically how these interfaces are used in a game setting with real examples. Simple example games are provided and their implementation is well documented. Even network programming was discussed.

I'm pleased with this book, and the other recent gaming titles I have seen. Finally tech books that treat game programming with respect.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The best resource on Java Game Programming
I shopped around and this book is the best resource I've seen on Java game programming. It's well written and organized and gives a great general overview of the subject... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Benjamin L Bathen
2.0 out of 5 stars Not What I Expected
I strongly disliked the way this book was written. Having gone through many programming books of multiple languages, this is one of the most frustrating books I have bought. Read more
Published 8 months ago by wnuk
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Useful
I haven't gone all the way through this book but so far, it has been useful for getting a somewhat novice level programmer going on a game.
Published 10 months ago by gmcastle
4.0 out of 5 stars Old but Still Great
Book was written a while ago, but still provided me with the basis for animation framework in java and using j3d to make games. Read more
Published 13 months ago by SK
5.0 out of 5 stars i bought this
then i realized i was doing something complettely different in programming but i do like all the construct tips I.E. Read more
Published 14 months ago by nathan
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Great book for someone looking to get into game programming in the Java language. c c c c c c
Published 15 months ago by ChimneySweeper
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly Outdated, but Great at Explaining - Minus Several Typos in...
As you can tell by the publishing date, this book is rather old. Keeping that in mind, this book has a lot of good information which many beginning programmers can use. Read more
Published 17 months ago by LooseSeal
5.0 out of 5 stars Not quite what was expected
Let me start off by saying that this is good text. It's a helpful book, and brings to light some issues that a novice such as myself would never think of. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Evan
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
This is a pretty sweet book. I read it first online through my college's library website. I thought it was so good I bought it. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Brendan
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the best
I have to say I was excited when I picked up this book, but as I read the first few chapters I became extremely dissatisfied with the way it is written and the way the coding is... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Kynian
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