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Monday 15 September 2014

Learning AndEngine - New Tutorial Style Book about AndEngine Finally Published

My book about AndEngine has finally been published. If you are interested in getting a copy, you can get one at Packt website or Amazon. The book is really basic. It teaches everything from downloading AndEngine to publishing the game. It covers most of the basic aspects of AndEngine and it does that by slowly developing a doodle-jump style game. The game is available in Google Play store.

While reading the book, you will learn a bit about game design, how to design entities and also which software development pattern to use to make the code more readable. Moving sprites, getting input from user, using physics and playing sounds and music; this all is described as well.

The story behind the book

It's almost exactly 10 months now since I was contacted by Packt Publishing representative in September 2013 with and offer to write a book called Mastering AndEngine. My idea was a bit different, because there already was an advanced book available. We have finally converged to Learning AndEngine in January 2014 when I started to work on the book. From September to January I was stuck at home with broken foot and therefore I was very glad for this opportunity to spend my time thinking about the book rather than just lying in bed doing nothing.

Before that I have published a game called Mr. Dandelion's Adventures. It was not as successful as I hoped but I learnt everything I needed about AndEngine to write the book.

It took me half a year to write the content and then couple of months of work with the editors and reviewers to get rid of mistakes; both formal and factual. The hardest part was to motivate myself and to write the code as simple as possible, sometimes sacrificing nice coding practises that would deter some of the beginners, because there was no space to explain them.

It took me about 2 weeks to write each of the 11 chapters. This included coding and debugging the code, writing the text and then reading the text again. Each chapter then needed about 1 extra weekend after the reviewers got their hands on it.

It was a great experience and people in Packt were very helpful. Thanks to them I learnt a lot about a completely new industry. I would probably consider a bit more to write another book, because it takes considerable amount of time, but it feels good after the book has been finally published.
Martin Varga is a Czech software developer who likes pygmy owls (hence Kulíš), running, ramen, travelling and living in foreign countries. He is also known as smartus or sm4 on the internet (read as smartass, but there are too many of them). He currently tries to make games in AndEngine like Mr. Dandelion's Adventures and hangs around a lot at the AndEngine forums.