Java 2 Game Programming (The Premier Press Game Development Series) (英語) ペーパーバック – 2001/12/15
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Thomas Petchel has been a computer programmer for six years and an avid gamer all his life. A recent graduate of Shippensburg University, he completed an internship at Xtreme Games LLC, and lectured at the 2000 Xtreme Game Developers Conference. He may be best known for his retail 3D game Shogun: Mahjong Warriors.
I have only a few minor complaints. First, there are some errors in the code printed in the book, but these errors do not appear to be present in the code on the CD, so no real harm done. Furthermore, the real "meat and potatoes" of the examples are intact, so to an experienced programmer, such syntactical errors are merely trivial details. Just check out the CD before trusting what is printed.
Also, the book begins with a crash course on the basics of Java programming, which may have been better left to a general programming book, as opposed to one whose intended subject is game programming specifically. But even that part is well-written and concise, as is the remainder of the book.
But those trivial complaints aside, the book's content is excellent. It's organized in a logical manner, the examples are simple yet meaningful, and even experienced programmers can gain useful tips and insights on good design ideas. This book was worth the long and frustrating wait.
public String toString(
//return a verbose description of attribut
return attribute + ": " + getPointsAllocated()
I think this is supposed to be a method, but who can really tell?
I want my money back Tom you lazy no proof reading bastard!!!
When I discovered that a book on Java 2 game programming was going to be published, I pre-ordered immediately despite having extremely little information from [Amazon.com] or the publisher on what was really in it. No fault of [Amazon.com], I went through two publish date changes while waiting for this, and once it shipped it was lost by UPS in the Xmas rush. [Amazon.com] got me a new copy fairly quickly since they had limited supplies. Anyway, for all the trouble I went through, this book just wasn't quite worth it, and I doubt I'll pre-order any other books again.
The book's content is fairly good, but does fall down a few times. As with other reviewers on this one, I felt the 'Intro to Java' took up too much of the book. Anyone interested in game programming probably will get themselves good language reference books anyway. The intro section could have been compressed into a 20-30 page refresher at most. Or it could have been made into a separate book altogether. But in my opinion all that space is just 'filler' to up the page count and therefore the price. But the intro is pretty solid and well-written, so I can give a little credit for that.
That brings me to another point that other reviewers have mentioned - the page design is overdone and distracting, and takes too much space. The fonts are rather large, too, which would be useful if I had poor vision, but then I probably wouldn't be playing or programming video games in that case. Just by changing the page design and font choices, we could have saved about 75-100 pages worth of some poor tree. I'll blame the publisher for that.
The editing of the book was rather poor (if it happened at all), as a number of errors were evident just from flipping through it, not to mention the printed code errors others have mentioned. One that stuck out was the use of the term 'depreciated' several times when what should have been used was 'deprecated'. But the concepts all seemed to be reasonable and correct, so no faults there.
My final comment is regarding the example program. It wasn't very interesting. I was expecting (before I got the book) maybe a 2D platform game, simple top-down RPG, or possibly advanced clones of the standard Atari classics - at least something I could identify with. The example game appears to be original, but as an example, it doesn't seem to fit the bill. I guess I was hoping for more discussion of AI, graphics/animation, and tools.
'Game Progamming Gems' seems to have more useful content per pound/dollar for the Java game programmer, and there's no Java in it! I suspect in the end that I will learn some things from this book as I continue through it, but it was not the comprehensive and useful tome I hoped it would be. This appears to be a trend with any book associated with Andre LeMothe (spelling?).
Additional Notes, 4/9/2002 - still working my way through it. As mentioned before, the overall content is good but just not very polished, and doesn't quite cover implementing in Java some key items of interest to game programmers. I understand the example program a little better, but I'm still peeved that it's not something a little more mainstream that an aspiring programmer would recognize and learn concepts and implementation from. I raised my rating from 2 to 3 stars, but it won't ever get any higher than that. Maybe if they rework the book into a second edition it could get 4 or 4 1/2 stars.
New Note 11/27/2002 - Java 1.4 Game Programming (ISBN 1556229631) by Andrew Mulholland and Glenn Murphy (two more unknowns AFAIK) is due out in December (after a delay, of course). My recommendation is to wait until that book is published before deciding which book you need, or both. I'm placing my bets on the new one as it likely discusses important technical items and performance issues in JDK 1.4 such as volatile images, nio, and full-screen mode. These items will be more relevant to someobody who isn't interested in just applets and more in action-oriented content.
But this book is far from perfect. I think the Java basics -chapter is too long. It almost presumes no pre-knowledge of Java. The author should not have wasted so many pages on Java basics. Also, the book doesn't go that far either. After you know how to listen to the mouse/keyboard and how to double-buffer your animation for smooth operation, you're left alone.
I would have liked to see some interesting real projects done through the book, maybe a small-scale scroller shoot'em up or whatever. Now you get shown all the pieces separately but ain't shown how to solve the puzzle.