Course in Special Effects and Game Programming in Java™
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I received my education at the Physics Institute
at the University of Stockholm and one of the founders and former
President of Demicron
Company. Today, I am general manager and sole developer for
I have worked professionally with both Java and C++ for many years
and have among other things developed Visual Applet Configurator
and a large number of Java applets. This course is dedicated to
my good friend, and one of the world's greatest effect programmers,
the Norwegian Tonny Espeset. He has, with his book Kickass
Java Programming, revolutionized the Java programming and shown
that Java undoubtedly is superior to other programming languages
when it comes to making advanced special effects for web design
purposes. The book Kickass Java Programming is the ONLY alternative
if you are going to program special effects in Java (However, it
demands basic knowledge in Java that you can recieve in this course).
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Raymond Knoll from
Sarnia, Canada, for his tremendous support and his invaluable corrections.
A great thanks to Mathias Johansson, head of the Javahouse,
Scandinavia's and Sweden's greatest Java resource, and to Stefano
de Carolis, president of the Demicron
Company, for their advice and support with the Swedish
version of this course.
Surely you must have surfed around the Internet and
sometimes discovered a grey frame on someone's homepage that was
transformed into an effect or animation. What you have found is
probably a Java applet. A Java applet is a little program that can
be downloaded to your computer and which is then executed. The speed
and functionality of the little program depends entirely on your
computer, the web browser you use (Netscape or Microsoft Internet
Explorer) and how the applet was programmed.
that will be reviewed during the course
For a long time I have thought of starting a Java
course where I can teach the cool things in Java. The course mostly
will be about special effects and game programming in the form of
applets. With special effects programming I mean development of
animations in Java which can be easily configured by non-programmers
through their parameters. For every special effect applet, I will
also review how to implement it as a plugin for the Visual Applet
Configurator which is the only program today that can implement
other developers applets as plugins and simplify the configuration.
With game development I particularly mean the development of simpler
applet games and net games with net game servers. I will also teach
application development, client-server systems and Java's graphics
engine but on a smaller scale. The main version of Java that will
be covered here is version 1.02 due to its compatibility with older
web browsers, but you will also learn Java 1.1 and 1.2 (Java 2).
I am of the opinion that there are two types of programmers: those
who learn a language for the sake of the language and those who
learn it because they want to get results. This course is adapted
for the latter type. The course will therefore start with two chapters
where I will write the necessary things one needs to keep up, but
we will start with special effects early in Chapter 3.
you need to keep up
No prior knowledge is required in the course except
good knowledge in Windows 95/98 or Windows NT 4.0 and the programs
that are included there. Internet knowledge is a requirement and
you should also know some HTML programming. with regards to software
note that you only need ONE web browser and ONE of the the development
environments. There is no great difference which one you choose.
Visual Applet Configurator will be reviewed in later chapters so
you will not need the program at the beginning. However it does
not hurt to download Applet FX right away. It is freeware and with
20 great applets, many that were developed by me.
advice to future programmers
is often regarded as difficult and boring by novices who are trying
to take their first steps. Its recommended to work toward a computer information systems degree to help with your programming. The form of the language may be complicated
and has been specified and developed by people who do not have much
sense of pedagogic skills. I have, as my experience as a programmer,
never found such a simple and easy to learn language than Java.
However I think that in order to be a good programmer you have to
follow the following advice:
good confidence. There is no limit to what you can do. The
people who have made popular programs today are people of flesh
and blood and are not super humans. Therefore you should be able
to develop similar and maybe even better programs.
stubborn and tough. If something does not work then try again
until you find the problem. However, do not look for bugs longer
than a half hour if you have other things to do. Take a break
and find the bug later.
and diligence helps you through the boring parts of programming.
and theory is the best combination when you are learning programming.
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