Java Programming!

Learning to Make Games with Java

Inside Java Coder's Head

  • Step 1: Learn Java
  • Many people coming to this page probably know how to program in Java. If not there are many free online books you can use to get started. I will actually start a set of notes and make them available here. I plan on using these notes in the free group meeting I am started at the local library to teach kids 12-17 how to program with Java and create cool games. In the meantime, here are some recommendations:

    Free books to learn Java

    If you have money to spend I highly recommend joining Safari Informit. It makes thousands of books available to you for a reasonable monthly fee. You can also gain access by joining the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) but that only gives you a subset of the books.

    Good but not so free books to learn Java

    • * Learn to Program with Java Applet Game Examples by Elizabeth Sugar Boese. Check out the author's website for a sample chapter and student projects. Very nice.
    • * Java How to Program by Deitel and Deitel. This is one of those large (okay huge) college textbooks that I wished was cheaper (over $100). I like the Deitel series of books. My only problem is that they may contain TOO MUCH INFORMATION, esp. in the beginning. New programmers want to get started not read 37 pages before they get to write their first programs!

    Brainycode Project Notes -

    If you want to follow or learn about how "Project Brainycode" is progressing check out the Project Page.

  • Step 2: Learn to build Java Applets and Games
  • Books I am reading

    • * Java 1.4 Game Programming by Andrew Mulhholland and Glenn Murphy. This book is a bit dated and spends the first 200 pages pretending it can teach you Java programming (see the list above) it really gets into game construction topics such as Threading, How to handle the keyboard and mouse (from a gaming persepective) and more. This book has received dreadful reviews at I am getting quite a bit out of it. I would recommend that readers be experienced with Java (so they can skip many chapters) and get to the meat. I must say it is a bit dated and many "real" Java game developers use other libraries for sound and image processing but I can't beat the information having picked up a copy with a CD very cheaply on
    • * Killer Game Programming by Andrew Davison (TBD)
    • * Beginning Java SE 6 Game Programming, Third Edition by Jonathan S. Harbour. TBD.
    • * Computer Graphics for Java Programmers, Second Edition by Leen Ammeraal, Kang Zhang. TBD

  • Step 3: Build Java Game Engine

Check out the code and design notes on my first game - FreeCell.