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Game coding complete (Java)

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#1 stein102   Members   -  Reputation: 475

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 03:45 PM

Everyone says this book is an amazing read for aspiring game devs. My only issue is that I'm not super familiar with C++, but instead Java. My question is if this book is still worth reading for the concepts alone?

 

Thanks,

Stein102



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#2 xenobrain   Members   -  Reputation: 589

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 08:12 PM

It is a great book.  But if you're planning to use Java, I guess I would say that while reading the book, work with C++/DirectX for a bit then try implementing in Java/OpenGL a bit later, when your comfortable.  I don't think I'd try to map the code into Java straight away.

 

The level of C++ used in the book should be no issue for a reasonably experienced Java dev,  and learning DirectX before OpenGL isn't a bad thing at all, in fact in my case I didn't "get" OpenGL until I gave up, went the DirectX route and came back.

 

One of the book's qualities is the level of detail in the implementation.  Most beginner"books tend to just "tell" you a high level overview or oversimplify it to the point of lacking general utility, this book actually "shows" you a lot of the core engine stuff.

 

Again though, I wouldn't try mapping it straight away.  If you don't want to get your hands dirty in C++, DirectX, Win32 (yuck!) then there are some quality Java books out there particularly regarding Android, and most of the time their content easily portable to desktop platforms.



#3 yellowsputnik   Members   -  Reputation: 480

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 02:23 AM

It's indeed a great book. It helped me to finally start a game "the right way", clarifying a lot of concepts that I couldn't get straight in my head (logic vs views, the event system, actors), and even provided a great productivity boost for my day job in the chapter on building your program (i.e. the mention of Visual Build Pro).

 

I would say it's worth it for the concepts (and a litle bit for the funny anecdotes), but it depends on what you still have to learn. If you've never made a game before (or struggled trying to make one), then I'd say it's worth reading regardless of programming language. It's fun to read and provides a lot of valuable information.



#4 orizvi   Members   -  Reputation: 266

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 02:45 PM

Personally I would say its better not to know the language that a book presents its examples in. The temptation to cheat and simply read the examples and convince yourself that you understand it is too great.

 

Much better to learn the content, and try to implement it in a different language and have the provided examples as a guide but not a complete give away.



#5 dejaime   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3697

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 05:59 PM

I wouldn't recommend the book for Java game development, as a part of its content is basically the C++ implementation.

 

I am not saying that you wouldn't get anything from the book, it would certainly make it up for its price; but since Java is a language for faster development than C++, using a book and having to adapt every single snippet you see (code and concept wise) would make you lose quite some time, killing the very purpose of using Java in the first place. Me, as a C++ programmer have definitely not regretted my purchase, made as soon as it was out, and I recommend it to anyone wanting to learn Game Development with C++ and Lua. But to use this book for Java would be like studying human anatomy by dissecting a horse: it is a different animal, but you would learn in the end...

 

You definitely should consider getting a Java focused book though. It would save you hours and brains, especially if you read on the go without a computer to test things as you read. Maybe Killer Game Programming in Java could be a better alternative?



#6 stein102   Members   -  Reputation: 475

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 09:36 AM

Thanks for all the replies, I appreciate it.

 

 

I wouldn't recommend the book for Java game development, as a part of its content is basically the C++ implementation.

 

I am not saying that you wouldn't get anything from the book, it would certainly make it up for its price; but since Java is a language for faster development than C++, using a book and having to adapt every single snippet you see (code and concept wise) would make you lose quite some time, killing the very purpose of using Java in the first place. Me, as a C++ programmer have definitely not regretted my purchase, made as soon as it was out, and I recommend it to anyone wanting to learn Game Development with C++ and Lua. But to use this book for Java would be like studying human anatomy by dissecting a horse: it is a different animal, but you would learn in the end...

 

You definitely should consider getting a Java focused book though. It would save you hours and brains, especially if you read on the go without a computer to test things as you read. Maybe Killer Game Programming in Java could be a better alternative?

I've heard Killer Game programming in Java was pretty outdated and not as highly rated as Game coding complete. Another thing is that even though I have current projects in Java, I wouldn't mind learning and switching over to C++. The library/community support for C++ seems to be WAY better than it is for Java. That being said, would this book be able to "kill two birds with one stone" and perhaps teach me C++ and some game coding practices? 



#7 Glass_Knife   Moderators   -  Reputation: 3409

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 09:44 AM


You definitely should consider getting a Java focused book though. It would save you hours and brains, especially if you read on the go without a computer to test things as you read. Maybe Killer Game Programming in Java could be a better alternative?

 

That books old, and hasn't really aged well.  A better book would be: http://amzn.com/1305076532

 

(Note: I wrote the book, but I still think it's the best Java game programming book around)

 

However, Game coding complete is way better if you're not a beginner.  It uses C++ for examples, but the language is just a tool, and if you wanted to make a game and charge money for it, you really need to handle a lot of the stuff presented in the book.

 

Imagine you learned to program, and then made a game, and then thought "There are lots of problems with this game."  Then you get the Game coding complete, and it will make sense.  You can read it at first, and nothing will make sense.  You'll say "hu?"  Go make some games, come back, and you'll say "Ahhhh".  

 

Not sure if that helps...

 


Edited by Glass_Knife, 30 May 2014 - 09:45 AM.

I think, therefore I am. I think? - "George Carlin"
Indie Game Programming

#8 stein102   Members   -  Reputation: 475

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 10:01 AM

 


You definitely should consider getting a Java focused book though. It would save you hours and brains, especially if you read on the go without a computer to test things as you read. Maybe Killer Game Programming in Java could be a better alternative?

 

That books old, and hasn't really aged well.  A better book would be: http://amzn.com/1305076532

 

(Note: I wrote the book, but I still think it's the best Java game programming book around)

 

However, Game coding complete is way better if you're not a beginner.  It uses C++ for examples, but the language is just a tool, and if you wanted to make a game and charge money for it, you really need to handle a lot of the stuff presented in the book.

 

Imagine you learned to program, and then made a game, and then thought "There are lots of problems with this game."  Then you get the Game coding complete, and it will make sense.  You can read it at first, and nothing will make sense.  You'll say "hu?"  Go make some games, come back, and you'll say "Ahhhh".  

 

Not sure if that helps...

 

 

I've already made a few games. Right now I've got a 2D RPG up and running, it's nothing fantastic and has a bunch of bad design choices, but it's running.

 

Would you suggest I stay with Java and work with that, or should I just get Game Coding Complete and try to learn C++ as well as go through the book?

 

Thoughts?



#9 Glass_Knife   Moderators   -  Reputation: 3409

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 10:42 AM

Here's what I would do.  Go checkout the book from the library before you buy it, and see if is really something you should buy.  It's hard to really know if you're ready from your posts.  But if you've already got some programming going, learning C++ is never bad.  It makes all the other languages easy.  :-)


I think, therefore I am. I think? - "George Carlin"
Indie Game Programming

#10 stein102   Members   -  Reputation: 475

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 10:47 AM

Here's what I would do.  Go checkout the book from the library before you buy it, and see if is really something you should buy.  It's hard to really know if you're ready from your posts.  But if you've already got some programming going, learning C++ is never bad.  It makes all the other languages easy.  :-)

 

Well, my cities library doesn't have the best selection for programming books. I've been many times and everything is outdated and very few books related to game development.

 

I could continue on my current project and see where that takes me, along with purchasing your book.

 

Does your book use any APIs? Because I'm working with libGDX right now.



#11 Glass_Knife   Moderators   -  Reputation: 3409

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 12:50 PM


Does your book use any APIs? Because I'm working with libGDX right now.

 

No, it's more about learning to make a game from scratch.  It doesn't use any 3rd party libraries.  LibGDX is very popular right now.  I'm sure that's a fine way to go.


I think, therefore I am. I think? - "George Carlin"
Indie Game Programming





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