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Beginning Android 4 Games Development (Beginning Apress) Paperback – 3 Dec 2011

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4.1 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 696 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1st ed. edition (3 Dec. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430239875
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430239871
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 4 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,231,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Mario Zechner runs Badlogic Games, a game development shop focused on Android.


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4.1 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm not exactly a stranger to game development but have wanted to delve into the world of Android for a while and chose this as my entry. What this book does great is introduce you to all the little "issues" with developing for Android. The chapters themselves are well thought out and the progression you see is very much slow and steady. If you're familiar with Java you'll have no problems with this book.

My only gripe was that from about chapter 3 onwards I had the sneaky feeling the book was more involved with building a framework or engine than actual game development. Some of the levels of abstraction are insane. And that's where the crux of the problem falls, you get to the end and the author openly admits that you can save yourself an age and all the hassles by using one of any number of game frameworks out there (many are free), including his very own one, which is basically the book with bells on. The majority of the book is really teaching you to develop a framework that is way behind anything you could download free in 5 minutes.

If your idea of game development is actually writing the game then you could probably get away without reading this and jumping straight into a framework. If on the other hand you want to immerse yourself into the Android platform and build a game framework from the ground up then you'll be hard pushed to find a better source of information.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The more I read the book the more I wish I had other books to choose from at this difficulty which are as well written.

I really wish the booked was chaptered like this:

1) How to put a simple OpenGL object on the screen.
2) How to build an onscreen joy pad.
3) How to move a simple OpenGL object using the onscreen joypad.
4) How to add and remove multiple simple moving OpenGL objects.
5) How to add sound effects to on screen events.
6) How to add menus and music.
7) How to add extra control options.
8) How to add extra effects.

With this knowledge most people with basic java could build their own framework, design their own game, copy almost any game from the 80s era and scale the game to different devices. The steps of complexity would make sense to me. In this book they don't.

Ignoring chapters concerning getting to grips with android technology and explaining general game programming (views and view stretching, how audio is used in games, how menus are used in games etc yawn etc) the steps to programming a game are written like this:

1) How to artificially design a game on paper that handily fits in with a framework that the author is very familiar with and you aren't.
2) How to create and put input controls into a framework that the author is very familiar with and you aren't.
3) How to create and put I/O operations into a framework that the author is very familiar with and you aren't.
4) How to create and put sound controls into a framework that the author is very familiar with and you aren't.
5) How to create and put a 2D graphics system into a framework that the author is very familiar with and you aren't.
6) How to create a game loop for the framework.
Read more ›
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have this and the previous edition on Kindle.

I'm feeling a little conned at the moment. The previous version was pretty good, and I thought this would be a useful update for all things 4, but actually it's gone backward in some ways.

First, it's gone black and white. All the colour illustrations are now monochrome. It's a small thing I know, but distracting, especially when skimming through it looking for the new stuff.

Then there's the new stuff. Well, they added a 4 to the front. Everything else though is pretty much as it was. For example, all the screen shots in the opening chapter about installing Eclipse and the Android SDK are from the previous book, so relate to version 2. This is not a small thing, it's lazy and means rather than having a nice little tutorial you're going to end up guessing which bits to install.

So generally a good book, nice beginner level, but I'll probably ask for a refund as it doesn't offer anything not in the colour original.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book provides good coverage of game development on the Android platform, whilst negating the requirement for SDK level specifics which so commonly blights other books. The examples are very easy to follow and build up slowly to help the reader build a good appreciation of game frameworks and the basic development constructs necessary. The game examples are very simple so as not to confuse and helpfully the author has also minimised the level of non game related development. You will, however need to know how to develop, to a reasonable standard in Java to progress quickly through the book. I found the explanations of game mechanics and terminology very helpful to enable me to branch out to web sources and gather further information on how to optimise the code and explore alternatives.

In the latter half of the book you quickly realise that the effort expended earlier on to define and explain the game engine code is very necessary. It is these basics that will allow you to either develop your own or assess the many engines available - a list of which is provided at the back of the book. Overall I am really glad I got this book and would recommend it to anyone thinking of starting to develop games in an Android environment.
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