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J2ME Game Programming (Game Development) 001st Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1592001187
ISBN-10: 1592001181
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Editorial Reviews


If you're interested in writing Java games for small platforms, this should probably be the first book you get. -- Gamedev.net, John Hatten May 2004

From the Publisher

Covers all the elements needed to create the reader's own J2ME game. Readers learn the essentials of J2ME game development from the ground up, including issues involved in developing for multiple target devices and how to wrestle the jungle of device specific libraries and device capabilities. Addresses important issues of J2ME game development that have been given little, or no attention in other publications such as game play design tailored for mobile devices, supporting multiple target devices, squeezing traditional game techniques, and more. Readers additionally learn how to structure code and classes to achieve as small an application footprint as possible.

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Product Details

  • Series: Game Development
  • Paperback: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Course Technology PTR; 001 edition (March 22, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592001181
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592001187
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.9 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,135,330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Finally! Ive been trying to learn how to program sprite based 2d games for a awhile now, but have not found real common sense explanations or tutorials, until i got this book. Wells explains everything in such a way that it makes you both laugh and understand his instructions at the same time.
He shows you how to program MIDP games exactly the way I would want someone to teach me, down to earth mixed with a little geek humor, which if your reading this book you will relate to.
Its takes you from basic to advanced and you never feel like your lost, its takes alot of time and concentration but thankfully to the way the book is laid out and Wells teaching style you dont get a headache, you feel like someone is right there with you showing you how to do it.
Worried about MIDP 2.0? Dont be, you need to learn everything thats in this book in the first place before you even worry about 2.0, true this book is not a 2.0 reference, but if your a java developer then you know how easy it is to transition into a new API implentation once you know the prior. After your done with this you can look at MIDP 2.0 and use what you want to from the new release to take your game one more step forward.
Highly reccomend.
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Up until now I've found a complete lack of any good books on developing games for J2ME. I previously purchased MicroJava Game Development but found it simplistic and too broad (who cares about WAP???). J2ME Game Development absolutely blew me away. This is 800 pages of some of the best game development text I've seen. That's not just J2ME development, but 2D games in general... the coverage is brilliant.
The beginning of the book provides a solid introduction to J2ME/MIDP and then shows how to create a simple game. After that the author walks through development of a sophisticated four-way scrolling action game. There's coverage of sprites, tile engines, physics, world scrolling, raycasting, map editing, save games, menu systems, device ports, isometric engines, AI coding... and the list just goes on.
From a J2ME focus there's a chapter on how to setup a build system and use preprocessing to manage all the little device specific API calls as well as a cool way of handling localization issues.
In the last half there are two chapters on how to present the game to distributors and publishers and then how to sign a deal with them to make money from the game. Nice to see some commercial sense in a technical book.
At the end there's some extra chapters covering multiplayer gaming, how to make your own raycasting engine and even how to make an isometric engine.
Thankfully this book does not fall into the trap of concentrating on MIDP 2's useless game API. I applaud the decision to stick with the core of game programming and not waste time on MIDP 2 specifics (or MIDP 1 specifics for that matter). This is a book about making games. The author's approach of teaching how to make your own sprite/tile engine and then introduce MIDP 2 as an add-on is exactly right. Well done.
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Verified Purchase
Some months ago I did an exhaustive research on books about J2ME + MIDP1.0.

(Although MIDP2.0 or Symbian is what you need to know to develop for the latest handsets, the big market out there is MIDP1.0)

Comparing reviews from this site and citations in expert forums like Nokia Forum, it was soon clear that this book was a winner.

This book is a heavy one. You will dedicate a complete month to master it. And a second month to develop your own game engine based on the one proposed in this book.

What I liked most about this book is exactly that. There are no open-source or cheap game engines for J2ME+MIDP1.0 around. You have to assemble your own! And Wells does a very good job explaining you every decision he made while developing the framework for the game presented in the book.

More precisely, the book presents two games. The first one is a Frogger clone, done in a pretty simple way...after the first chapters learning J2ME he shows you how to code a prototype of a game. But developing a real game is a much more involved task. That's he spends the next 300 pages explaining you how to develop your game in a professional way. Perfect!

The book also has chapters on marketing your game and sales aspects. It also has a brilliant chapter on isometric games and a -let's say- experimental chapter on a 3d technique known has raycasting (you probably wont use it but its very interesting to read anyway). It also has an introduction chapter to MIDP2, explaining you how some of the decisions he made in the development of the game where influenced by the migration path logic to MIDP2.

A word of warning: you will find some typographical mistakes in the book. There is even an example code at the beginning which is misplaced.
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I bought this book because I'm looking to get into J2ME game development. There are VERY few books on the subject, and this book (although written for MIDP 1.0 and not the newer MIDP 2.0) seems to be the one that everybody recommends.

I've worked up through the examples in Chapter 5 and so far, the content is great. If I were just grading on content then I'd definately give it 5 stars. What I'm finding I'm having a huge problem with about this book is the staggering amount of errors in the code. I simply can't believe that a book could be released to the public (and have the publisher expect consumers to pay money for it) with so many typos. So far EVERY SINGLE example I've entered and ran has had errors. Not syntactical errors (so you can't chalk it up to "I just didn't type the code in right"), I'm talking LOGIC errors that either cause the sample applications to run incorrectly or completeley different than how they are described in the text (in the case of the first example in chapter 5. Its practically an entirely different application than what the text says its supposed to be).

Whoever proofread this book at Thomson publishing must not have been a technical person who just glossed over the code and focused on the content of the text. But most of the blame has to fall on the author's shoulders for writing and releasing code that doesn't work right in the first place...

Either way, I really can't say that I can encourage or endorse this book so far.

I hope that when I get into the main focus (after the first 200 pages of the book which rehash the same old J2ME techniques that you can read online or get from a J2ME book) that the 2 example games you write in the book from start to finish do not have so many errors.
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