Beginning Android 4 Games Development

preface: this is soley my view of things, Robert has nothing to do with this post.

So, i was asked by my publisher to write a second edition of “Beginning Android Games”, updated to ICS. At the time i was asked, ICS was not out yet, there were also just rumours and nobody really knew when it would drop. On top of that, i didn’t have the intent of writting a second edition, as i just finished the first one and was loaded with a ton of other work that had to take priority.

I declined the offer. I was informed that they would hire another person (any other person really) to do the job and that i would lose my authorship (that is, my name wouldn’t be on the book even if it was 100% my writting). The contract i signed for the first edition gives the publisher the full right to do that, for better or worse. For obvious reasons i didn’t want this to happen. So i asked Robert Green from Battery Powered Games if he wanted to take over. He’d write the additions.

The end result is an updated version of the original book, with bug and typo fixes and a few additions concerning Honeycomb and ICS. I did not invest any time.

If anything, it should have been called “Beginning Android Games, Second Edition”, putting 4 in the title is suggesting it’s full of ICS related material.

I can not add more at this point due to legal reasons. Suffice it to say that i’m not happy with it either and as with any purchase, you have to evaluate whether it’s worth it for you or not.

Here’s the second edition’s TOC on Amazon for your convenience.

19 thoughts on “Beginning Android 4 Games Development

  1. Putting “Android 4” in the title is a blatant attempt for the publisher to cash in on a buzzword. Most of the TOC is unchanged from the original book. Sorry to hear this.

    You should write a new book about android development in conjunction with libgdx. I know this is easier said than done but it would be nice since libgdx is like the one presented in the original book but on steroids.

  2. That sucks :-/

    I just bought a hard copy of the other book, so I could have one to read anywhere instead of just near a PC/android with kindle 😉

    I’ve bought a couple self-published books on Amazon – one from the guy who owned moonbeam studios (wasn’t really a great value, but did have a couple of helpful tips/advice on android development and marketing).

    If I ever wanted to write a book, it would be self-published- nice that Amazon has that now, but I wonder about the cut they take….

    It is good to know that the publisher thinks that ICS is so big that a re-publication of the original book with that keyword was worth going for-

  3. Self-publishing seems to make some business sense, especially for niches. Lars made a good example with his books, i guess i could follow suite. The cut Amazon takes can’t possibly be more than the cut the publisher gets…

  4. I’m just about to start reading this “second edition”. I found the title very confusing; there are a couple other books with similar titles on Informat’s website. I chose this book after readiting the . Even if it isn’t a true update for ICS, I think this book has what I need.

    I hope the trouble with the publisher doesn’t affect the support for the framework.

  5. I would like to see hard-commented libgdx tests in some pdf with price tag around 10 euro or something like that. I found that beginers often strugle to begin with game development because they dont have idea how to do something, tests + well explaned code are worth money.

  6. while i feel that those things have indeed value, i think they should be part of the OSS project itself, for free. It just feels cheap to write an OSS library and then demand money for code samples.

  7. Losing authorship of your work!? what a bunch of sharks there!
    +1 for Libgdx book as is becoming quickly a “de facto” standard API

  8. Sad to hear, you did create one of the most godly game development books ever though! again +1 for the libgdx book, I would buy it! ;-P

  9. Mario, I think it’s a safe bet that most of us would buy your book if you self-published =)
    After all, this is how indie games work right? Grass roots and all that jazz.

  10. I’ve owned your book for some time now and its simply the best book I’ve ever purchased for android. I’ve learned so much, and I’m using your framework as the basis for all my new apps. I would really love to see a book on libgdx that explained how to use it as well as Beginning Android Games.

  11. I was a fan of Apress. After reading this post, never again.
    Thanks for your work, great book, great lib,… But I will never buy this new “edition”, nor any other Apress book. This is what is wrong with this world, lazy greedy ones holding hard working and talented ones by the balls.

  12. I’m late to the party, but the reason I learned of libGDX and your first book was because of another Apress book with a “4” in the title. It promised “practical” Android 4 games development and fails to deliver, the author forgetting code such as attaching a renderer to a view. Having the “4” in the title is deceptive.

  13. I think i saw your post on reddit. Don’t get your hopes up high with the second edition of my book. You can find a nice blog entry on why to avoid it around here. Definitely check it out before you buy it.

  14. Have you ever considered writing one? Are you writing one? I would love to buy it. I have just started using libgdx and created my first PONG game completely from scratch so it will be fun to have your book along my side throughout this journey.

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