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J2ME Games with MIDP2 by Carol Hamer

Book Review Team
Bartender

Joined: Feb 15, 2002
Posts: 933
<pre>Author/s : Carol Hamer
Publisher : Apress
Category : Miscellaneous Java
Review by : Mark Spritzler
Rating : 4 horseshoes
</pre>
Well, I have been putting off this review for a week and a half now. I have a difficult time when I have to post a bad review. I feel bad for the author, and all the time that they put into writing these books.

I was really looking forward to reading this book, as a couple of friends of mine want to write a mobile device game. I thought I would be able to learn how in this book.

In J2ME Games with MIDP2, the authors attempts to teach us how to use the Game API package that is included in MIDP2.0. Unfortunately, the book spends way too much time giving code, than in really explaining the best ways to use the API. I'd say 1/2 of the book is just code. Plus the code has so many comments that it makes it very difficult to read the code. I would have suggested printing snippets, and describing it with prose.

The games that are samples are pretty cool, and I think they are great examples that could have been put to better use.

If you get Jonathan Knudsen's book on J2ME, also printed by Apress, you can learn just as much, but only in 22 pages.


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Book Review Team
Bartender

Joined: Feb 15, 2002
Posts: 933
<pre>Author/s : Carol Hamer
Publisher : Apress
Category : Miscellaneous Java
Review by : Thomas Paul
Rating : 9 horseshoes
</pre>
I really enjoyed this book. The author does a solid job of explaining everything you need to know to write games for MIDP devices. If you are familiar with Jonathan Knudsen's book on J2ME (probably the best book on the subject), this book expands the single games chapter into a fun and interesting book.

The book starts with a quick sample showing us how to use the Sun IDE and how to run our games on the emulator and how to download our games to a phone. The author shows a couple of example games, a maze and a jumping game, that give a good overview of the basic techniques games use on MIDP devices. She then expands those examples by showing proper use of threads and shows how to play tones and music during a game. Storing information (such as high scores or user preferences) is demonstrated. Downloading game enhancements such as new levels for a dungeon game are also demonstrated. The book is full of well-commented code samples (worth stealing) that show the techniques being discussed.

The author of this book has a nice, easy to read style of writing. Her enthusiasm for the topic comes through and makes you wants to try the many sample games. If you have been spending too much time on enterprise programming then playing around with some MIDP games might be just the antidote and this book will get you started on the fun.


More info at Amazon.com
More info at Amazon.co.uk
Mark Spritzler
ranger
Sheriff

Joined: Feb 05, 2001
Posts: 17249
    
    6

I actually want to redo my review of the book, in light of using it for creating an actual J2ME Multi-player turn-based game with Bluetooth.

New Review
8 Horseshoes.

If you want a book that deals with a "Game" engine, with servers or not, then the book you want is Apress's J2ME Game Programming. It will tell you how to create a multiplayer game with a server back end. It is very helpful. When I first reviewed this book, I thought it would be a book about Sprites and the best way to create them and handle collisions, and some tricks that I had never heard of. So I was disappointed. However, when I went to create an actual J2ME Bluetooth multiplayer game, I found this book invaluable and perfect.

Mark


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