What You Need

Having previous game-programming experience isn't necessary for understanding the concepts in this tutorial. However, you will need a few things:

  • You should already know how to program in Java. If you're still learning Java or you are more familiar with other object-oriented languages such as C++, then a tutorial like Learning Java, by Patrick Niemeyer and Jonathan Knudsen (Oracle and Associates, 2002), will help.
  • You'll need Java 2 Standard version SDK version 1.4.1 or newer. You can get this from http://java.oracle.com.
  • It's a good idea to get your hands on the J2SE documentation as well. Having quick access to the J2SE API documentation can greatly speed up the coding process. You can either download it from http://java.oracle.com or view it directly on that site.
  • Most of the code in this tutorial is compiled using Ant, a Java-based build tool. You'll need to get your hands on Ant if you want to use the build files in this tutorial. We'll talk about Ant later in the "Using Ant" section.
  • Finally, you'll almost certainly want to download all the code for this tutorial, which is available at www.brackeen.com/javagamebook.

But the biggest thing you need is the actual desire to make games. It's often hard work, and there will be days when you get stuck on something and can't move on. But if you have a strong desire to accomplish something, you'll also have the will to do so.