Have you ever seen a player's eyes light up as they explore the worlds that you've created in your games? If you have, then game development probably has you hooked firmly in its grasp! If you've never taken your games beyond the PC, now's the time! `J2ME Game Programming` is a hands-on guide that teaches you how to create games for micro-devices. You'll be amazed at just how cool the games you create can look and play. Focusing primarily on mobile phone game creation, you'll jump right in and create your own games as you work your way through the book. The thought has surely crossed your mind that it would be nice to make some money off of this cool hobby of yours. J2ME offers real opportunity to profit from your games. Learn how you can earn revenue from your games by taking them to market. If you have a basic understanding of Java, then you're ready to explore all that `J2ME Game Programming` has to offer!
I purchased this book when I was doing my final year project on J2ME. Although I was even new to J2SE I started coding in J2ME since I had to finish the project, using the internet sources and some introductory books to J2ME. After lots of disappointment in understanding J2ME I found this book and in a very short time I built up my knowledge of J2ME to write a 4000 line,object-oriented,well designed J2ME application. The book was not a game book to me, it was a complete source of J2ME.
Good intro to J2ME and programming games using it
This book will show you how to code games using J2ME, with a clear focus on creating games for mobile phones. The chapters in this book are intended to be read sequentially, so if you're already familiar with the content covered in a particular section, you should skim over it rather than skipping it entirely. The author assumes you're already familiar with Java, or at least another object-oriented programming language. You don't need to be an expert, but you do need to know the basics. The book requires an understanding of rudimentary mathematics; however, the toughest level you get to is simple trigonometry, and even then the explanations are fairly detailed. It is also assumed that you're familiar with basic PC operations and can take care of environmental details such as downloading and installing software. Sometimes the language of the book is just a little too cute ala Andre LaMothe, but the information is all there.
Part I is an introduction to J2ME, including its origins and current position in the marketplace. This section also takes a look at a range of typical J2ME devices and mentions the sort of gear for which you'll be developing.
In Part II you'll grab all the tools you need and set up your environment for development. Then there is a review the APIs provided as part of Sun's J2ME SDK, along with the added features available with device-specific libraries. At the end of this part, all these tools are put into action with the creation of a small action game called `RoadRun` that presents the player with the challenge of helping a little wombat across a busy highway. The game is very simple and small, but it does illustrate some key points of J2ME game coding. I thought it was a good beginning example.
Part III covers real project development. There's a discussion of how to refine game ideas into project plans before embarking on the development of a full-scale action game called Star Assault. Then, through nine chapters the book covers all aspects of developing a commercial-quality game, including graphics, physics, environments, front ends, device-specific customization, and finally localization. This is the real meat of the book for people interested in game development, but even here there is nothing particularly difficult going on.
Part IV moves into the world of marketing and publishing games. This section looks at how to create marketing material to promote your game, as well as how and where you can earn revenue. This material is all pretty subjective.
Part V takes J2ME game development further by covering the features available in MIDP 2. The author shows how to create different types of games by developing both an isometric and 3D ray-casting engine. Finally, the book explores networking with MIDP and how it can be utilized to create multiplayer games.
All in all, this is a pretty good introduction to J2ME and to writing games using it. Just don't expect anything advanced in the arena of mathematics or physics, and get used to sitting through the author's `surfer dude` narrative style. Plus, although it is mentioned, there is a lack of sufficient information on MIDP 2.0 due to the date of publication.
Best way to learn J2ME + MIDP1.0
Some months ago I did an exhaustive research on books about J2ME + MIDP1.0.
(Although MIDP2.0 or Symbian is what you need to know to develop for the latest handsets, the big market out there is MIDP1.0)
Comparing reviews from this site and citations in expert forums like Nokia Forum, it was soon clear that this book was a winner.
This book is a heavy one. You will dedicate a complete month to master it. And a second month to develop your own game engine based on the one proposed in this book.
What I liked most about this book is exactly that. There are no open-source or cheap game engines for J2ME+MIDP1.0 around. You have to assemble your own! And Wells does a very good job explaining you every decision he made while developing the framework for the game presented in the book.
More precisely, the book presents two games. The first one is a Frogger clone, done in a pretty simple way,,.after the first chapters learning J2ME he shows you how to code a prototype of a game. But developing a real game is a much more involved task. That's he spends the next 300 pages explaining you how to develop your game in a professional way. Perfect!
The book also has chapters on marketing your game and sales aspects. It also has a brilliant chapter on isometric games and a -let's say- experimental chapter on a 3d technique known has raycasting (you probably wont use it but its very interesting to read anyway). It also has an introduction chapter to MIDP2, explaining you how some of the decisions he made in the development of the game where influenced by the migration path logic to MIDP2.
A word of warning: you will find some typographical mistakes in the book. There is even an example code at the beginning which is misplaced.
But you probably won't type anything from the book, everything you need to try the examples is located in the CD.
The book is in a way outdated. It explains how to code in a IDE like Eclipse and compile versions for the various handsets using Ants. Today we use Netbeans which does that transparently. Anyway, its good to know how is it done in the inside.
I finished reading this book 2 month ago and I still use it as reference while I'm developing games.
If you just want to know about mobile game programming, don't buy this book, it's too hard and long for you. But if you want to develop games professionally, this is the right book for you.
Review from someone currently reading the book
I bought this book because I'm looking to get into J2ME game development. There are VERY few books on the subject, and this book (although written for MIDP 1.0 and not the newer MIDP 2.0) seems to be the one that everybody recommends.
I've worked up through the examples in Chapter 5 and so far, the content is great. If I were just grading on content then I'd definately give it 5 stars. What I'm finding I'm having a huge problem with about this book is the staggering amount of errors in the code. I simply can't believe that a book could be released to the public (and have the publisher expect consumers to pay money for it) with so many typos. So far EVERY SINGLE example I've entered and ran has had errors. Not syntactical errors (so you can't chalk it up to `I just didn't type the code in right`), I'm talking LOGIC errors that either cause the sample applications to run incorrectly or completeley different than how they are described in the text (in the case of the first example in chapter 5. Its practically an entirely different application than what the text says its supposed to be).
Whoever proofread this book at Thomson publishing must not have been a technical person who just glossed over the code and focused on the content of the text. But most of the blame has to fall on the author's shoulders for writing and releasing code that doesn't work right in the first place,,.
Either way, I really can't say that I can encourage or endorse this book so far.
I hope that when I get into the main focus (after the first 200 pages of the book which rehash the same old J2ME techniques that you can read online or get from a J2ME book) that the 2 example games you write in the book from start to finish do not have so many errors.
It's a great book!
It's a great book! I recommend this book for people who want really to learn j2me.
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