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Beginning Android Games
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Very good job, Mr Zechner! If you're new to Android game development, this is a great way to start.
The authors did not do very much work to update this to 4.0 ICS. All of the figures are dated, showing figures from SDK 7, OS 2.1 and 2.2. Quite a few figures still show OS 1.5, presumably from early in the writing. My only objection over this is that the book has been re-packaged with the claim that it covers 4, when it does not. You can "target" 4.0 in your own projects. The authors did not take the time to update the figures, so I would question whether anything else has been updated.
It's a good book and well worth the $17 Kindle price tag. But, it's being advertised as an OS 4.0 ICS book when it seems to be their old book with a new title. That's a bit of a disappointment. Why wouldn't the authors take this opportunity to truly update it? Do they not care about their work in print?
[Edit] After finishing the book, I will repeat my claim that this book is well worth the price, and is an excellent book for a beginner since it covers in the first few chapters the components needed to make a simple game with touch input, real-time drawing, timing, bitmap loading, etc. I had no problems building any code with the SDK 3.2 or 4.0. So, although no new features were included, the book is still relevant and useful and I enjoyed reading it.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
At first I was hesitant to write this review. I borrowed the book from a friend. I didn't feel its fair to write a review on a book I didn't buy. Read morePublished 2 months ago by MoN
Incomplete code examples. Not easy to read. Games developed as part of the reading are not interesting or creative or relevant. Book is also very out-of-date now.Published 10 months ago by Ringo Starr
Great for fundamentals but is outdated as far as android api's are concerned. It says Android 4 but it's Android 3 with the 3 changed to 4 and re-released. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Evets
A good book. A good aproach to games development and gives good knowledge about OpenGL and 3D basics.Published 23 months ago by Gabriel Roldán
The book might be a bit dated now, but the general information is still useful and applicable in game programming on Android. Read morePublished on June 3, 2014 by AZach
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 morePublished on March 20, 2014 by peterzhao
This book walks you through how to make an android game using libGDX. But libGDX is so well documented that you don't need a book. Read morePublished on February 11, 2014 by Geeky Tech Guy