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Java tips

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I am taking a computer Programming coarse in highschool. They teach Java, however it is split into two classes: grade 11 and grade 12. I checked out the course description and it says for the grade 11 they teach the basics of Java. Then in grade 12, they teach more complex Java programming such as: Arrays, GUI’s, Internet Applets,Polymorphism, Recursion, and Inheritance. Now I really don't want to wait 7 months to be able to start with slick2D. Do I need to know the grade 12 stuff to go onto slick? Edited by Mathew Bergen

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Yes, you will need more than the basics to make a graphical game. However there is no need to wait for your classes to teach you, get a good book on Java, and go for it. I reckon most people here started to learn how to program before they were formally taught it.

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Java: How To Program (Published by DEITEL) is what I learned from.
or
Building java programs by stuart Reges and Marty Stepp

Both are very good books but can get a bit pricey(Most tech books do), find a used one on amazon. Like Rip-Off said noone will ever force all the information you need in game development down your throat(yes even in college most likely). You're young, kick the asses of everyone around you and be the best; all you need is drive.

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Or since we are around computers, you can find some good online learning sites out there. Here are a few:

http://docs.oracle.com/javase/tutorial/index.html

http://www.tutorialspoint.com/java/index.htm

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I took a class exactly like that. I signed up for the class and then over the summer taught myself the curriculum. So when I got to class, I was able to finish the projects the teacher assigned us while she was still teaching the new lesson. (ie. Today we're going to learn how to create a calculator program. To do that we need functions. She teaches, I type.) And while everyone else was working on the project, I was looking up stuff to make games with.

If the class you're in is an AP track course you won't learn a whole lot more than the basics of java.

Books and the internet are your best friends.
I used Learn Java in 21 days (I didn't finish in 21 days, but it's still a good reference), and http://math.hws.edu/javanotes/.
For game related programming tips I read Core Techniques and Algorithms in Game Programming. The code's in C++ but theres more in pseudo code and the C++ code is easy to read.

Hope this helps,
Peter

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When I started on java a few months ago, my roommate lent me his copy of a College textbook "Thinking in Java" by Bruce Eckel, which I found to be a great resource. It is a text book, so it can make for some dry reading material, but it teaches it well. After getting most of the way through that, I picked up a copy of "Head First Design Patterns" which assumes you know the basics of the language, and teaches design patterns and Object Oriented design principles. These together, combined with some online resources have been my "Education" thus far into Java, and I would reccomend all of them. For online tutorials, I would suggest checking out www.TheNewBoston.org. He has something like 150 tutorials covering beginner to intermediate Java, as well as some into java game design. Each one is 5-10 minutes, and he breaks it down pretty well.

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