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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A tedious struggle! - but very good!, 8 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Beginning Android Games (Kindle Edition)
There have been a fair amount of good reviews about this book, and it may be that they are entirely justified. But I just found it tedious and boring. I'm not one of the worlds natural programmers, but I get by (I even have several apps on the app store and google play), so if I'm to learn a programming topic the book has to grab me right from the start with a compelling experience. This book rambled on with technical details for what seemed like ages. Now I know that games programming is a tough subject but there are plenty of books out there that manage to get you into it quickly and effectively. I can't tell you how many times I woke up with my Kindle resting on my chin covered in drool whilst I tried to read this book.

Do please note that the book may be great, I'm not saying it isn't. I'm saying that I lost interest in it way before it may have got compelling. I need things moving on a screen within 5 pages, I don't want to have to wade through chapters of dry material beforehand.

UPDATE: Since I wrote this review I have spent more time with the book and I stand by my comments, BUT have a new found admiration for the authors knowledge of the subject. It is still a bit of a slog before you get to the good stuff, and I think it would have benefitted from some class diagrams to make it a bit clearer, but this is a good book. As such I have upgraded my two star review to a four star review. But, if the author reads this review please try and make the first half of the book more exciting!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, but not quite what I was looking for., 17 Jun 2014
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This book guides you through writing an a game from bottom up.

It teaches you a lot about designing the game-engine and the game, how to save resources, how to make game assets, handling sound, touch, OpenGL, things about Android, publishing on Play store and much more.
The book teaches all these things brilliantly - I was surprised how well the author could explain advanced OpenGL mechanics, compared to all the internet tutorials I was reading before this book.

That being said, I was a little disappointed in the end. I felt much more like a game-engine developer rather than game developer. The book teaches how everything works under the hood, and it helps you write your own game-engine. The problem is that there is so much more to write on the engine that I am afraid I'll never get to write an actual game using it. Sure you can, and will throughout the book, write small, simple games, but I will probably never get to the point where I will be satisfied with the game engine to use it for a bigger project.

I don't know if it is the point, but when I finished the book, it seemed that I had 2 choices: further develop my game-engine or to start learning LibGDX, which is written by the author of this book. LibGDX is excellent, flexible and most of all, I can see similarities comparing LibGDX to the game-engine I have written following this book. It should be a breeze learning LibGDX after finishing this book, and by doing that, you truly can become a great game-developer.

TL;DR: This book teaches you a lot about game development, but mostly about how things work under the hood. I would probably suggest this book to any serious game developer, but if you are interested in writing games right away, this book might not be what you are looking for.

------------- Other notes ---------------
- This book uses OpenGL ES 1.0/1.1, which can be seen by many people as deprecated. Don't let this discourage you though, it should be pretty easy to move on to next iterations pretty easily.

- You probably want an Android phone for development. Old ones are used in the book, so any android phone should do.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cannot fault this book, 25 Mar 2014
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I've been programming Java & a bit of Android/iOS for a year now, but have never done anything to do with games or custom graphics. This book looked quite intimidating, flicking through it - a lot of 3D wireframe models with strange triangles. Also a lot of talk about OpenGL ES - something with a lot of scary sounding methods that use matrices and vertices etc - urgh sounds like maths to me.

However, after going through this book, it was not so bad! The book, to me, is really written well. Other reviews criticise the 'boring' theory chapters but to be fair there is just a LOT of stuff to learn before you can put a game together. They weren't too boring, you still got to produce little bits on the screen, and the progression from the start of a 'theory' chapter to the end is impressive. Also, if you just launched straight into a massive 3D game you'd be completely lost in a few pages (or I would anyway!).

You make 3 games, a simple Snake type game using Android's Canvas class, then start using OpenGL ES, which at first I found tough but you get used to it. Then you make a Doodle Jump rip-off. Next you go 3D and make a Space-Invaders game.

The only slight criticism I would have is that, when making the games, you go through a LOT of code before being able to run anything.I like to type the code in myself, as copy & pasting it does not help me learn, but with typing so much in before being able to run the app, finding mistakes is quite tricky! Fortunately, if you get completely stuck, there's always the back-up of using the downloadable code provided with the book.

overall though, a really great book to get you started in gaming!

edit a few weeks after completing this book:
The main difference between this book and others is that this book is teaching you how to create a game FROM SCRATCH - not using existing game frameworks like Cocos2D-x or the author's own libgdx framework. You spend a lot of time setting up a simple, but effective framework. A lot of people may find this approach slow and tedious - after all, realistically you're likely to use an existing framework when it comes to making your own games, as they make it so much easier. However, personally, I like to know what's going on behind the scenes when using a framework - and this book is a perfect introduction for someone that has not done any game programming before. If you don't care what is going on behind the scenes, you might want to get a book on Corona, Cocos2d-x or whatever framework of your choice. Since reading this book I have learnt Cocos2D for iPhone and will write games in objective-c & port the apps to Android via the Apportable SDK, but this book has given me a great grounding in game development and I would still recommend it to anyone.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good hands on instruction, 6 Oct 2014
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This book is not about reading it, but it is definitely about sitting before computer trying the author's examples and advices. The print could have been better.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 25 Nov 2014
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Simple and quite easy to read and understand
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Beginning Android Games
Beginning Android Games by Robert Green
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