Part I provides you with a history of Android and mobile gaming to this point
in time. I contrast Android game development with other platforms and dis-
cuss its pros and cons. This part also helps you think through all the neces-
sary decisions before you begin to program, including the basics of designing
a mobile game for Android.
Part II: Starting to Program
Part II walks you through setting up your development environment and
installing all the necessary frameworks and tools for building Android games.
I show you how to create a simple Android project and run the resulting
app on both virtual and real devices. I then walk you through the guts of an
Android project to get a closer look at what all the pieces are and how they
all fit together to make a game.
Part III: Making Your First
Game: Crazy Eights
Part III involves making your first game, the two-player card game Crazy
Eights. You create a title screen, load and display graphics, and implement UI
elements such as buttons. You implement all the elements for a card game,
including such tasks as loading, shuffling, and dealing a virtual deck of cards.
You implement all the logic for playing cards and taking turns, and also con-
jure up a computer opponent to play against. By the end of this part, you’ll
have a complete, playable card game for Android.
Part IV: Moving On to Your Second
Part IV shows you how to make a second complete game, Whack-a-Mole. I use
a different approach than our first game that’s slightly more complex, but
provides the additional rendering speed we need for real-time arcade games.
I cover how to generate simple animations and how to load and play sounds
in response to events in the game. I also show you how to store and retrieve
data, allowing you to manage game states between sessions. By the end of
this part, you’ll have a second complete playable game.
Part V: Managing Your
Game in the Market
Part V discusses how to make money from your game, if that interests you.
I also discuss the nuts and bolts of exporting and digitally signing your
game for upload to Google Play. I walk you through the process of creating
an uploadable application file, but also all the promotional resources you’ll
need for the market listing. I then show you how to upload your game to the
market and update it when it’s there.
Part VI: The Part of Tens
Part VI provides you with some handy resources to help you develop your
own games while working through this book and moving beyond it. I dis-
cuss some intriguing open-source game projects that cover genres and
approaches that the two sample games here don’t cover — such as side-
scrolling platformers and word games. Then I point you to game engines
you can leverage to save you lots of time, and point out some features like
physics engines that handle chores like gravity and movement and would
take months to implement otherwise. I also talk about free tools to help you
create your own graphics and sound resources, as well as frameworks to
help you promote and monetize your game.