You covered a great deal of material this week! You went from learning about the fundamentals of Internet gaming to writing your own animated spider simulator in Java. Let's take a look at exactly what you learned so that you can prepare for next week's lesson.
On your first Chapter as an aspiring Java game programmer, you learned about the current status of games on the Internet. You saw some neat Web sites for trying out Internet games, but more importantly, you saw how great the appeal is for Internet games. Hopefully, you also saw how great the opportunity is for game designers and programmers to move games to the Internet.
On Chapter 2, you learned about Java and how its advanced features impact game programming. Although Java is still in its infancy in many ways, it is very clear that the groundwork already exists for creating compelling Internet games. You learned that the Java language and runtime system are ideally suited for the needs of the next generation of globally networked games.
It's hard to talk about Java without mentioning object-oriented programming. Chapter 3 presented a discussion of object-oriented programming concepts and how they are implemented in the Java language. This discussion of OOP wasn't meant as a rehash of standard Java knowledge; rather, it was presented to serve as the conceptual backbone for much of the code design throughout the guide. This lesson provides the background on OOP techniques that are a necessity in Java game development.
Chapter 4's lesson focused on graphics and how they are used in games. You learned about graphical images and the formats supported by Java. You also learned about a variety of graphics tools and utilities, as well as how to create, edit, and find graphics for games on
Chapter 5 marked your first foray into Java game programming. Although you didn't actually create a game, you started looking at code and getting more technical with some of the aspects of Java that are important for games. You learned how to work with Java graphics primitives and graphical images in the GIF image format. You also learned about the Media Tracker and how it is used to track images being transferred across an Internet connection.
Chapter 6's lesson presented the most crucial Java game programming information for the entire guide-sprite animation. At the heart of most of the games throughout the guide lies the sprite animation engine, which you developed entirely in this lesson. You began by learning some background on what animation is, along with the various types of animation and how they are used. You then implemented a set of Java sprite animation classes, along with a test applet called Atoms.
What better way to finish off your first week of Java game programming than with an animated spider simulator? Chapter 7 presented you with the development of a complete applet, Sim Tarantula, showing off more advanced uses of the sprite animation classes. Sim Tarantula is about as close as you can get to writing a complete game without actually doing so. After this lesson, you are definitely ready to move on to writing some real games. Don't worry, because next week's lesson wastes little time getting you ready for a full-featured game!