Programming Tutorial: Android Development; Andengine

Published: 14th February 2011
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Finally I've been able to check out the Game programming for Android. I've found several Android game programming tutorials out there, but none of them were really exciting or user friendly. However, I was able to find an open source game engine which makes the life of a programmer a lot easier when it comes to game programming for the Android platform.

Andengine

The Andengine is an open source, free game engine strictly aimed at the Android platform. It offers Physics such as gravity or collision checks to the developer. It's based on OpenGL and offers a lot of functions which make the life of a game developer a lot easier. The advantages of this game engine are that you don't need to mess around with OpenGL directly when programming games for Android. You get some easy to use and fancy classes, so you can develop fast and efficient games in no time! Also this game engine is being developed on right now, so it's not like a game engine which is dead and has a low user base. It's very wide spread and there are a lot of apps out there on the Android Market (obviously games) which were programming using the AndEngine. However, there is one problem with this game engine, which will probably scare away a lot of users; the documentation. The game engine might be coded fine and you can view the source code, but there is no or low documentation. There are examples out there for basically anything your game developer heart desires, also there is a community that will be glad to help you out, but there is no Javadoc for example, which is a badly wound for the AndEngine. However, it's open source and free, so you can't expect more, it's just great!

My own experiences with the Andengine

To be honest I haven't had that much experience with the AndEngine. I have just been playing around for a while now with the examples out there and I will soon post some game tutorials in the near future on this blog, so you can get a feeling for the AndEngine. However, it seems that stuff which should be very easy to do, such as loading a picture into the memory, is not that easy using the AndEngine. Let me put it in another way, it is easy and user friendly, but it's not very intuitive, you will need to get a feeling for the AndEngine first, if you have been programming with other Game development kits or engines, it has it's own special approach. However, the code is very readable and well maintainable. Also the source is very well written and basically anybody with some Java and Android knowledge will be able to understand the source code more or less.

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