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Learn Blackberry Games Development Paperback – March 30, 2010
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
In my opinion, this book is a diamond in the rough. It is a gem compared to many other mobile gaming books (including the ones that focus on desktop gaming). The book is packed with very interesting and exciting game ideas that utilize many of the BlackBerry mobile phone features. The authors' walk you through, step-by-step on how to get your game designed, created, secured, deployed, and published onto the BlackBerry App World or on your own website via "Over the Air" (OTA). The book begins with many core gaming concepts which enable game programming enthusiasts to get up to speed and progress to intermediate and advanced level skills. I highly recommend it to developers already familiar with the following programming languages: Java, C/C++, Objective C, or C#. The book makes a very good attempt to provide examples for many popular BlackBerry models, OS versions, and other Java ME enabled devices. If you are a beginner programmer I do not suggest the book.
* UML modeling diagrams.
* Source code listings that show both a cross platform implementation (MIDP) and a RIM specific implementation.
* Teaches Thread safety regarding your rendering and animation.
* Takes advantage of many of the mobile phone's supported features using MIDP and RIM APIs.
* Covers common interfaces for User Inputs Events:
- Keyboard - keyChar() key strokes - All BlackBerry and keyboard Java ME phones.
- Touch Surface - touchEvent() touch screen - BB Storm models
- Track Pad / Ball - navigationMovement(), navigationClick() optic track sensor or track ball center of phone.
- Accelerometer - getLastAccelerationData() - detects the tilting of the device.
- GPS - getGPSCoord() - obtains your Global Position on the Earth.
* Covers following topics & technologies:
- Graphics: 2D, 3D, SVG, OpenGL ES
- User Interface APIs: RIM, MIDP
- Communication: RIM Push API, HTTP, Bluetooth, SMS, Java USB (JSR 80)
- Location: GPS
- Sound: MIDI, MP3
- Misc: Accelerometer, XML, JSON, Google Maps API, Twitter API, DES, BES, BB MDS
* Depending on the particular game per chapter, most source code listings support practically all the popular BlackBerry platforms from RIM ranging from version 4.1.x - 5.0.x of the BlackBerry Operating System (OS).
* Game types covered: single player, two player, multi-player, First person 3D perspective,
* No real cons.
* Recalling high school Math (Trig.) concepts.
* No bold type fonts to make code sections stand out more.
Three very compelling game examples that stood out with me were:
* Swing Saber - Using the phone's accelerometer, you can wield your phone like a Jedi Knight, with cool sound effects.
* Tweet Space Game - This multiplayer game uses scalable vector graphics (SVG) and Twitter's APIs to fly around in your very own spaceship and communicate with others using its hailing frequency (Twitter).
* Fox and Hound Game - This is a game that uses the Global Positioning System (GPS) or Location API on the mobile device (based on David Vavra's popular thesis, "GPS game for mobile framework Locify").
In conclusion, I highly recommend the book for people who want to get into the smart phone game development world. An added note: It is often difficult to write once run anywhere, especially in the mobile device industry. I would suggest to the reader that, depending on the target phone device and gaming context (type of game), he / she may want to make sure that their mobile phone is capable of supporting features discussed in various chapters. For example some BlackBerry phone models do not support 3D graphics libraries. I felt the book was evenly paced and well commented when explaining technical jargon. I trust you will enjoy the book as much as I have. The authors are very helpful with questions and answers relating to topics in the book. You can visit them and download the code at [...].
It assumes you are a competent Java SE programmer, with a clear understanding of object-oriented concepts - it is not for novice programmers.
The code listings in the book have sufficient comments that it makes the code readily comprehensible. Javadoc comments in the code allow you to compile your own online doco.
Each application developed in the book has a detailed UML class diagram, which makes it easy to see how the classes relate to each other.
And most importantly, since no one wants to work for nothing, there is a chapter on how to sell your game, and securing your intellectual property.
After a quick and gentle introduction, the book dives right into the meat of the subject. Chapter 3 has a complete basic game that I could build using the MIDP and RIM classes. The concepts aren't very different from Java Graphics in general - just more tuned to the capabilities of the smaller device and its form factor. Chapter 4 helps refine the game by polishing the rough edges, and making it more professional, just about ready to sign and sell, which is the focus of the next chapter.
After this whirlwind tour of what's needed for BlackBerry Game programming in general, Andrew Davison's chapter on building a Star Wars inspired Swinging Light Saber game applies these concepts while keeping it all fun - the stuff we programmers live (and die...) for:). The game is quite polished and professional with great attention to detail. It's a lot of fun to play this game, too!
The next few chapters delve into the capabilities this unique platform provides - including playing Live opponents via SMS, using SVG, using the GPS, and creating role playing games for the Internet.
Building a remote controlled toy car is another fun project that is covered next - it's always fun to read a book that you can tell the author's had fun writing! This is followed by a web based, multiplayer, location based app called 'Fox and Hounds'. Andrew's small detour into map projections for manipulating map coordinates is a shining example of explaining difficult concepts in an easy, natural way. He creates the right motivation for learning such concepts that are so central to location based programming, and the subject of tomes by themselves. Of course, a bit of trigonometry is in order, but this is the stuff we all like.. right? The last chapter covers Open GL ES programming in a gentle way that's well suited for Java programmers. The last time I looked at this Open GL ES stuff was for iPhone development, but having this available in Java just seems to make it a lot less intimidating:)
Overall, a great book. A must have.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
We bought the book: Learn BlackBerry Games Development (Purchased on 07/16/2010), and it arrived wet. some pages we can read.Read more