Android Game Development for Beginners: A Practical and Fun Approach
The Beginner's Guide to Android Game Development book pdf
Have you ever dreamed of creating your own Android games? Do you want to learn how to make games that can run on millions of devices around the world? If so, then this article is for you. In this article, you will learn what Android game development is, how to get started with it, how to create your first Android game, and how to publish it on Google Play. You will also find a link to download a free book pdf that will teach you everything you need to know about Android game development in a simple and practical way.
The Beginner's Guide to Android Game Development book pdf
What is Android game development?
Android game development is the process of creating games that can run on Android devices, such as smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, and wearables. Android games are written in Java programming language, using an integrated development environment (IDE) called Android Studio. Android Studio provides tools and libraries that help developers create games faster and easier. One of these libraries is LibGDX, which is a cross-platform framework that allows developers to write games once and deploy them to multiple platforms, including Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, and web browsers.
Android game development has many benefits, such as:
It is fun and rewarding. You can express your creativity and imagination by making games that you and others can enjoy.
It is challenging and educational. You can learn new skills and concepts by solving problems and overcoming obstacles.
It is profitable and popular. You can earn money by selling your games or displaying ads in them. You can also reach a large audience of potential players who use Android devices.
How to get started with Android game development?
To get started with Android game development, you need some prerequisites and tools. These are:
A computer with Windows, Mac, or Linux operating system.
A basic knowledge of Java programming language.
An Android device or an emulator for testing your games.
An internet connection for downloading software and resources.
Android Studio IDE for writing code and building your games.
LibGDX framework for simplifying game development.
Java programming language
Java is a general-purpose, object-oriented, high-level programming language that is widely used for developing applications for various platforms. Java is also the official language for developing Android applications. To learn Java, you need to understand its basics and syntax, such as:
Variables and data types
Operators and expressions
Arrays and collections
Classes and objects
Inheritance and polymorphism
Interfaces and abstract classes
Exceptions and error handling
Packages and imports
Android Studio IDE
Android Studio is an IDE that provides a comprehensive set of tools and features for developing Android applications. Android Studio is based on IntelliJ IDEA, which is a popular IDE for Java development. To use Android Studio, you need to install and set it up on your computer. You can download Android Studio from the official website: https://developer.android.com/studio. To install and set up Android Studio, you need to follow these steps:
Run the installer and follow the instructions.
Choose a location for Android Studio and the Android SDK (Software Development Kit).
Select the components you want to install, such as the emulator and the Google Play services.
Wait for the installation to finish and launch Android Studio.
Create a new project or open an existing one.
Configure your project settings, such as the application name, package name, minimum SDK version, and target SDK version.
Choose an activity template for your main screen, such as a blank activity or a game activity.
Edit your layout file and add some views, such as buttons and text views.
Edit your Java file and add some code, such as event listeners and logic.
Run your application on an emulator or a real device.
LibGDX is a framework that simplifies game development by providing a common API (Application Programming Interface) for various platforms. LibGDX allows you to write your game code once and deploy it to multiple platforms, such as Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, and web browsers. LibGDX also provides many features and advantages for game development, such as:
A powerful 2D and 3D graphics engine that supports sprites, animations, shaders, particles, lights, cameras, and more.
A flexible audio system that supports sound effects, music, streaming, and spatial sound.
A robust input system that handles touch, mouse, keyboard, accelerometer, gyroscope, and gamepad events.
A comprehensive physics system that supports collision detection, rigid bodies, joints, fluids, and soft bodies.
A rich user interface system that supports buttons, labels, sliders, dialogs, tables, lists, menus, and more.
A versatile file system that supports internal, external, local, and remote files.
A convenient asset management system that loads and unloads assets asynchronously.
A modular architecture that allows you to use only the components you need or extend them with your own code.
How to create your first Android game?
To create your first Android game using LibGDX, you need to follow these steps and tips:
Designing the game concept
The first step in creating a game is to design its concept. You need to decide what kind of game you want to make, what genre it belongs to, what mechanics it involves, what goals it has, what challenges it poses, what feedback it gives, and what theme it follows. For example:
You want to make a casual game that is easy to play and suitable for all ages.
Your game belongs to the puzzle genre that requires logic and strategy.
Your game involves matching three or more tiles of the same color to clear them from the board.
Your game has a goal of clearing all the tiles from the board in each level.
Your game poses a challenge of limited moves or time for each level.
Your game gives feedback by showing scores, stars, sounds, and animations.
Your game follows a theme of candy or fruits or animals or anything else you like.
Creating the game assets
The next step in creating a game is to create its assets. Assets are the resources that your game uses, such as graphics and sounds. You need to create assets that match your game concept and theme. You can use tools like Photoshop or GIMP for creating graphics and Audacity or GarageBand for creating sounds. You can also use online resources like OpenGameArt or Freesound for finding free assets. For example:
You create graphics for your tiles using Photoshop. You make them colorful and cute according to your theme. You save them as PNG files with transparent backgrounds.
You create graphics for your background using GIMP. You make it simple and elegant according to your theme. You save it as a JPG file with no transparency.
You create sounds for your tile matching using Audacity. You make them pleasant and satisfying according to your theme. You save them as WAV files with no compression.
Article with HTML formatting (continued) Coding the game logic
The final step in creating a game is to code its logic. You need to write code that implements your game concept and mechanics, using the assets you created. You also need to write code that handles the input, output, and state of your game. You can use Android Studio and LibGDX for coding your game. You can also use online tutorials and documentation for learning how to use them. For example:
You create a new LibGDX project using Android Studio. You choose Android as the target platform and select the modules you need, such as core, android, and gdx-freetype.
You edit your core module and create a new class called GameScreen that implements the Screen interface. You override the methods you need, such as show, render, resize, hide, and dispose.
You edit your show method and initialize your assets using the AssetManager class. You load your graphics as Texture objects and your sounds as Sound objects. You also create a SpriteBatch object for drawing your graphics.
You edit your render method and update your game logic using the delta time parameter. You check for user input using the Gdx.input class and handle it accordingly. You also clear the screen using the Gdx.gl class and draw your graphics using the SpriteBatch object.
You edit your resize method and adjust your viewport and camera according to the new screen size. You use an OrthographicCamera object for setting up a 2D view of your game world.
You edit your hide method and dispose of your assets using the AssetManager class. You also dispose of your SpriteBatch object.
How to publish your Android game?
Once you have created your Android game, you may want to publish it on Google Play, which is the official app store for Android devices. Google Play allows you to distribute your game to millions of users around the world, as well as monetize it with ads or in-app purchases. To publish your Android game on Google Play, you need to meet some requirements and follow some steps. These are:
Signing the game APK
The first requirement for publishing your Android game is to sign it with a digital certificate. A digital certificate is a file that contains information about you and your game, such as your name, company name, and app name. Signing your game APK (Android Package) ensures that only you can update it and that it has not been tampered with by anyone else. To sign your game APK, you need to generate a keystore file and a signature file using Android Studio or the keytool command-line tool. You also need to specify some information for your certificate, such as:
Alias: A name for identifying your certificate.
Password: A password for protecting your certificate.
Validity: The number of years that your certificate is valid for.
First name and last name: Your personal or company name.
Organizational unit: Your department or division name.
Organization: Your company or organization name.
City or locality: Your city or town name.
State or province: Your state or region name.
Country code: Your two-letter country code.
Preparing the game store listing
The next requirement for publishing your Android game is to prepare its store listing. A store listing is a page that displays information about your game on Google Play, such as its title, description, screenshots, icon, video trailer, ratings, reviews, and more. Preparing a good store listing can help you attract more users and increase your downloads and revenue. To prepare your game store listing, you need to provide some information and assets for Google Play Console, which is a web-based tool that allows you to manage your apps on Google Play. You also need to follow some guidelines and best practices for creating them, such as:
Title: A short and catchy name for your game that reflects its theme and genre.
Description: A concise and engaging summary of what your game is about and what makes it unique.
Screenshots: A set of images that showcase the gameplay and features of your game.
Icon: A square image that represents your game on Google Play and on users' devices.
Video trailer: A short video that demonstrates the gameplay and highlights of your game.
Ratings: A rating that indicates the age group and content suitability of your game.
Reviews: A feedback system that allows users to rate and comment on your game.
Uploading the game to Google Play
The final step for publishing your Android game is to upload it to Google Play. To upload your game to Google Play, you need to create a developer account and a developer console. A developer account is a Google account that identifies you as a developer and allows you to access Google Play Console and other Google services. A developer console is a section of Google Play Console that allows you to upload and manage your apps on Google Play. To create a developer account and a developer console, you need to follow these steps:
Go to the Google Play Console website: https://play.google.com/console.
Sign in with your Google account or create a new one.
Accept the developer agreement and pay the registration fee of $25.
Fill in your developer profile and contact details.
Create a new app and enter its title and default language.
Upload your signed game APK and select its release type, such as internal, alpha, beta, or production.
Fill in your store listing information and assets.
Set up your pricing and distribution options, such as free or paid, countries, and devices.
Review and submit your app for publishing.
In this article, you have learned what Android game development is, how to get started with it, how to create your first Android game, and how to publish it on Google Play. You have also learned how to use Android Studio, LibGDX, and Google Play Console for developing and distributing your games. You have also found a link to download a free book pdf that will teach you everything you need to know about Android game development in a simple and practical way. The book is called "The Beginner's Guide to Android Game Development" and you can download it from here: https://www.apress.com/gp/book/9781484204735.
We hope you have enjoyed this article and found it useful. If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you. And if you are ready to start making your own Android games, we wish you good luck and happy coding!
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions about Android game development:
What are some examples of popular Android games?
Some examples of popular Android games are:
Candy Crush Saga: A match-three puzzle game that involves swapping candies of the same color to clear them from the board.
Angry Birds: A physics-based game that involves launching birds at pigs who have stolen their eggs.
Minecraft: A sandbox game that involves building and exploring a pixelated world of blocks.
PUBG Mobile: A battle royale game that involves fighting against 99 other players in an island map.
Among Us: A social deduction game that involves finding the impostor among a crew of astronauts.
What are some tips for improving Android game performance?
Some tips for improving Android game performance are:
Use efficient algorithms and data structures for your game logic.
Avoid unnecessary calculations and memory allocations during the game loop.
Use texture atlases and sprite sheets for reducing draw calls and texture switching.
Use bitmap fonts and distance field fonts for rendering text efficiently.
Use pooling and recycling for reusing objects instead of creating new ones.
Use culling and frustum culling for skipping invisible objects from rendering.
Use batching and instancing for drawing multiple objects with the same state in one call.
Use shaders and materials for applying effects and lighting to your graphics.
Use compression and mipmaps for reducing the size and quality of your textures.
Use profiling tools and debug tools for measuring and optimizing your game performance.
What are some resources for learning more about Android game development?
Some resources for learning more about Android game development are:
The official Android developers website: https://developer.android.com/games
The official LibGDX website: https://libgdx.com
The official Google Play Console website: https://play.google.com/console
Article with HTML formatting (continued) LibGDX Projects book pdf: https://www.packtpub.com/product/libgdx-projects/9781784399801
Android Game Development Made Easy book pdf: https://www.amazon.com/Android-Game-Development-Made-Easy/dp/1484261809
Android Game Development for Dummies book pdf: https://www.amazon.com/Android-Game-Development-Dummies-Derek-ebook/dp/B00J9T8F3S
Android Game Programming For Dummies book pdf: https://www.amazon.com/Android-Game-Programming-Dummies-James-ebook/dp/B009RBN6I2
Beginning Android Games book pdf: https://www.amazon.com/Beginning-Android-Games-Mario-Zechner/dp/1430246774
Pro Android Games book pdf: https://www.amazon.com/Pro-Android-Games-Vladimir-Silva/dp/1430226471
Learn Android Studio 3 with Kotlin book pdf: https://www.amazon.com/Learn-Android-Studio-Kotlin-Efficient-ebook/dp/B07D2H6K8N
Kotlin for Android Developers book pdf: https://leanpub.com/kotlin-for-android-developers
Kotlin in Action book pdf: https://www.manning.com/books/kotlin-in-action
Kotlin Cookbook book pdf: https://www.oreilly.com/library/view/kotlin-cookbook/9781492046677/