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Practical Java Game Programming (Charles River Media Game Development) Paperback – June, 2004
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About the Author
Dustin Clingman (Oviedo, FL) is a professor of Game Design and Development at Full Sail Real World Education and President of the game studio Zeitgeist Games, Inc. (www.zeitgeistgames.com). He frequently speaks at IGDA events and conferences around the country.
Shawn Kendall (Winter Park, FL) also teaches at Full Sail and has developed cutting edge Java and Java3D based game technology demos for both Full Sail and Sun Microsystems. He is the founder of Immediate Mode Interactive, LLC, a game technology company (www.imilabs.com).
Syrus Mesdaghi (Orlando, FL) teaches AI courses at Full Sail and has developed cutting edge game technology for both Full Sail and Sun Microsystems.
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Top Customer Reviews
What this IS is a book that describes the +/- of the java language and the JVM and talks about PERFORMANCE issues extensively. The author goes out of his way to talk about the issues surrounding the use of Hotspot VM/JIT and benchmarks with math/IO, etc.
The last 1/2 of the book (maybe less) deals with some high-level understanding of rendering and collision detection.
Topics include bindings to OpenGL (jogl), JNI (it's cost vs. benefits in it's use), performance of java.math and where it can be optimized, some simple treatment of sockets vs. datagram/multicast sockets, audio integration, proper use and performance with direct bytebuffers vs. java arrays (java.io/java.nio), also a little on GC collection algorithms. Also a treatment of java's +/- as a scripting language, as well as a good look at rendering and collisions.
Overall a very interesting techical look at the VM and performance challenges that java as a GAME language faces.
The author makes it clear that good java games can be written but good PERFORMANCE games takes an understanding of the JVM and proper code architecture that takes into account java's strengths (as oppsed to it's weaknesses).
I would recommend this a a great starting point for someone interested in making good java games or just learning about java performance issues. If you want a 'cookbook' you'll need to look elsewhere.
The book seems to be a poor attempt in discussing games development in Java. More like an attempt to cash in the market demand.
If you are buying this book to learn about Java and 3D, then there are better books such as -Developing Games in Java- by Brackeen which has good explanations about various aspect of game development in java.
My advice is that dont waste your money on this book!
The focus of this book is off-point from the start, in my opinion. The chapters toward the end on 3D graphics provide insufficient information to build a 3D game, and yet the material up to that point is insufficient to build a 2D game. What you end up with in the end is a lot of knowledge about Java, but not a single practical program, let alone game.
This problem is exacerbated by the fact that the CD includes .java and .class files, but no explanation on what to do with them (the back cover does say this is a Beginning-Intermediate book, not Advanced).
The Java Developer's Kit comes with much better demos than you will find in this book WITH convenient .html files with code to run the applets, which is something these authors should have included.
I bought this book on the basis that it was going to be "practical" programming, i.e techniques and code, but all i found was a long winded discussion on the topic. The author does show that he has a great knowledge of java game programming but it is poorly presented to the intermediate java programmer, and not recommendable to beginners.
Do not buy this book if you think your going to be getting involved with code, rather, buy it if you do not know what techniques are used in java game programming, and wish to hear a discussion on those techniques.
Pick it up at a bargain price (under $5) and I do recommend it as a good book on JOAL and several other topics of value for Java programming (not just games).