REVIEW - Micro Java Game Development

Title:

Micro Java Game Development

Author:

David Fox, Roman Verhovsek

ISBN:

0672323427

Publisher:

Addison-Wesley Professional (2002)

Pages:

548pp

Reviewer:

Matthew Strawbridge

Reviewed:

October 2003

Rating:

★★☆☆☆

The target audience for this book, according to its 'mission', consists of professional game designers, games programmers, Micro Java enthusiasts and micro gamers. However, it soon becomes clear from the informal language used throughout ('there are already scads of cool Java applications and applets out there', to, most tellingly, 'this isn't your dad's old reliable J2SE Image class') that it is aimed at the youth market. Since knowledge of Java is assumed, but the concept of gaming is explored in painful detail from the ground up, this seems rather strange.

If the style grates slightly, the content really annoys. It is the errors, which are mainly typographical, that cause the problem and it's fair to say that there are 'scads' of them! One paragraph even reads as follows

Although keeping an By default, HTTP connections are kept alive This means that the same connection will be used for multiple requests. HTTP connection alive is well and good, it is usually cleaner and easier for a server to close out a connection after every request.

This slap-dash approach is also evident in the code snippets - random indentation is the rule rather than the exception and several of the classes seem to have been renamed since they were first written, so that the code and the commentary do not tie up. When some code is rewritten to reduce the size of its class files by a third, the text suggests that the size is reduced from 654KB to 431 bytes.

It is worth noting that one of the authors is from Slovenia and so it is fair to assume that the book has already been subject to a fair amount of copy editing - but clearly not enough.

It's not all negative - there are some useful tips and the source code for a whole game - but I cannot recommend this book in its present ragged state.Other Programming Languages


Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.