Developing JAVA Entertainment Applets
COMPUTER BOOK REVIEW
Title: Developing JAVA Entertainment Applets;
John Withers; Wiley Computer Publishing;
ISBN: 0-471-16506-9; Paperback, 392 pages,
Reviewer: Tim Perkins, "Those of us who are
interested in game design, and wouldn't mind
breezing through a little Java, will find this a
Knowing the Rules of the Game before You Code It
This book is not a textbook on Java. It is an
excellent primer on writing games with some
Java tips thrown in. The author's purpose is
to provide readers with a firm grounding in
rules and principles of game design. This
should save hours of effort, and avoid
coding a virtual catastrophe.
There are step by step directions on coding
a solitaire Java applet, a chat applet (which
demonstrates the communication passing
principles that are necessary in a multi-player
applet), and an arcade-type asteroids takeoff
applet dubbed Boinkaroids.
Also included is the code for the Gamelet
Toolkit developed by Mark Tacchi (which
will be useful in developing those arcade-type
The author employs Java to teach the reader
the constitution of game design in any
language. He begins with quick run through
of Java's strengths and weaknesses to
illustrate the limitations inherent in Java.
In the case of Java game developers with
dreams of 3D applet shooters, John Withers
recommends they keep dreaming because
of the speed barrier inherent with Java.
However, he doesn't rule out the potential
for other styles of games that don't suffer
from speed problems.
Developing JAVA Entertainment Applets is
also full of examples from other games that
provide the reader with a checklist of what
to look for during the game development
It's fascinating to look through the eyes of
a game developer at games with which
one is familiar. Anyone remember Scorch
or Scorched Earth?
There is a wealth of material on the Java
language to be found between the book's
covers and the beginner in Java should
be able to pick up the techniques
There is also material on web page
development and web server issues.
There are users who may not have
considered the web programming
resources available from their ISP's
(although there are a
number of issues on the subject that
are explored in the book).
Those of us who are interested in game
design, and wouldn't mind breezing
through a little Java, will find this a fine
We will refer to John Withers; Developing
JAVA Entertainment Applets often for
ideas on new game projects and the
improvement of old ones.
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