am 28. Dezember 2013
This book is worth its money if you want to get to know libgdx, a very elaborate and usable solution to multi platform game development, and the processes of developing games, from planning to implementation.
I have already been involved in a few smaller game development projects but have not had any coding practice in this area. On top of that has been some time since I last used Java. I feared my rather basic Java skills were already too rusty. When I started reading this book it has shown me that this would be no problem.
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." -a quote often accredited to Albert Einstein.
Accordingly the author, Andreas Oehlke, does a wonderful job at selecting a suitable level to put the topics across keeping everything as simple as possible. The demand versus simplicity are examplary well balanced. Some basic knowlege of Java is required and knowing how to work with eclipse or at least having used the Android SDK could not hurt but is not mandatory. Still, a lot is being explained quickly and pragmatically from the ground up. Beginners and people with a bit ageing Java experience, like myself, should not hesitate to try libgdx with this book. The language is kept simple, without too sophisticated terms and many screenshots will guide you through the installation routines as well as the handling of the mighty IDE eclipse.
On the other hand experienced Java developers will also have a great benefit by getting to know the libgdx framework, its mechanisms and features and the game development lifecycle. If the reader already has some proper Java development experience a few pages can be skimmed through.
The book's clear structure starts with an introduction of libgdx, its features and setting everything up for each platform. Afterwards all aspects of game development and libgdx features are pragmatically exlained with the example game application calledd "Canyon Bunny" which is a quite complex 2d side scrolling platformer game. This serves as a fun and motivating example - as opposed to many dry and sterile example projects of other software development books. Later some advanced techniques for game development are introduced such as particle systems, physics and shader programming.