Home > Store

Learning Android Game Programming: A Hands-On Guide to Building Your First Android Game

Register your product to gain access to bonus material or receive a coupon.

Learning Android Game Programming: A Hands-On Guide to Building Your First Android Game


  • Sorry, this book is no longer in print.
Not for Sale



  • Perfect for game developers who don't have huge resources, and want to quickly create successful low-budget 2D games for Android smartphones and tablets
  • Offers practical guidance for designing simple games that are ideally suited to Android mobile devices
  • Provides solutions and example code for all key elements of a game app, from user interface to physics engine


  • Copyright 2012
  • Dimensions: 7" x 9"
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-321-76962-7
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-321-76962-6

Build the Next Great Android Game!


Learning Android Game Programming is your hands-on, start-to-finish guide to creating winning games for today’s rapidly growing Android mobile device marketplace. If you have even basic Android development experience, Rick Rogers will help you build on your knowledge to quickly create low-budget 2D mobile games that sell.

The book starts with an up-to-the-minute overview of today’s Android mobile games marketplace, reviews each leading genre, and teaches you the foundational concepts of game development. You’ll design a simple game, then master every step of game development with AndEngine—the powerful, open source, free game-development engine. Every chapter teaches with sample code you can actually use, including many examples drawn from the published game, Virgins Versus Vampires (V3).

With this book you’ll learn how to 

  • Use free Android tools for creating code, artwork, and sound
  • Implement the “game loop” that is at the heart of Android games
  • Bring your game to life with scene transitions and entity modifiers
  • Make the most of bitmap and vector graphics, sprites, and animation
  • Integrate user input via touch, multitouch, keyboard, voice recognition, accelerometer, location, and compass
  • Build infinite virtual worlds with tile maps
  • Create, save, and reuse powerful particle effects
  • Find, acquire, modify, and use background music and sound effects
  • Implement highly realistic physics effects with Box2D
  • Use AI techniques to make your games smarter and more fun
  • Build a scoring framework based on collisions between your game elements

Download the free version of Virgins Versus Vampires (V3) from Android Market today, as you learn how to build the game in this book

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Learning Android Game Programming: Mobile Games

Table of Contents

Foreword xix

Preface xxi

Acknowledgments xxiii

About the Author xxv


Chapter 1: Mobile Games 1

The Mobile Game Market 1

The World of Computer Games 2

AndEngine Examples 10

Summary 12

Exercises 12

Chapter 2: Game Elements and Tools 15

Software Development Tools 15

Graphics Tools 20

Audio Tools 24

Getting Our Feet Wet: The Splash Screen 26

Summary 31

Exercises 32

Chapter 3: The Game Loop and Menus 33

Game Loops in General 33

The Game Loop in AndEngine 34

Adding a Menu Screen to V3 37

Memory Usage 50

The Quit Option 51

Summary 51

Exercises 52

Chapter 4: Scenes, Layers, Transitions, and Modifiers 53

Scenes in AndEngine 53

Creating the Game Level 1 Scene 79

Summary 85

Exercises 85

Chapter 5: Drawing and Sprites 87

Quick Look Back at Entity 87

Drawing Lines and Rectangles 88

Sprites 89

Summary 106

Exercises 107

Chapter 6: Animation 109

Requirements for Animation 109

Animation Tiled Textures 110

Animation in AndEngine 111

Animation Example 113

Adding Animation to Level1Activity 118

Animation Problems 126

Advanced Topic: 2D Animations from 3D Models 127

Summary 127

Exercises 128

Chapter 7: Text 129

Fonts and Typefaces 129

Loading Fonts 130

Text in AndEngine 133

Custom Fonts 137

Adding Custom Fonts to V3 139

Summary 146

Exercises 146

Chapter 8: User Input 149

Android and AndEngine Input Methods 149

Adding User Input to V3 167

Summary 171

Exercises 172

Chapter 9: Tile Maps 173

Why Tile Maps? 173

Types of Tile Maps 173

Structure of Tile Maps 176

Tile Maps in AndEngine 176

The Tile Editor: Tiled 179

TMX Files 180

Orthogonal Game: Whack-A-Vampire 181

Isometric Tile Maps 196

Summary 197

Exercises 197

Chapter 10: Particle Systems 199

What Is a Particle Emitter? 200

How Do Particle Systems Work? 200

The AndEngine Particle System 201

Creating Particle Systems 206

Particle Emitters in V3 211

Summary 216

Exercises 217

Chapter 11: Sound 219

How Sound Is Used in Games 219

Sources of Music and Effects 220

Tools for Music and Effects 221

Sound Codec Considerations 221

Sound in AndEngine 222

Adding Sound to V3 225

Summary 241

Exercises 241

Chapter 12: Physics 243

Box2D Physics Engine 244

Building Levels for Physics Games 246

AndEngine and Box2D 248

Irate Villagers: A Physics Gamelet for V3 261

Implementing IV 261

Summary 276

Exercises 277

Chapter 13: Artificial Intelligence 279

Game AI Topics 279

Implementing AI in V3 287

Summary 297

Exercises 297

Chapter 14: Scoring and Collisions 299

Scoring Design 300

Collisions in AndEngine 306

Letting the Player Score 308

Graveyard (Level 1) 308

Whack-A-Vampire 315

Irate Villagers 318

Summary 322

Exercises 322

Chapter 15: Multimedia Extensions 325

Downloading Extensions 325

Live Wallpapers 326

MOD Music 332

Multiplayer Games 336

Multi-Touch in AndEngine 337

Augmented Reality 339

Summary 343

Exercises 344

Chapter 16: Game Integration 347

Difficulty Balancing 348

Completion 350

Level 1: The Main Game 352

Whack-A-Vampire 358

Irate Villagers 360

Options Menu 363

Summary 363

Exercises 363

Chapter 17: Testing and Publishing 365

Application Business Models 365

Testing and Getting Ready 366

Publishing 373

Promoting Your Game 376

Summary 380

Appendix: Exercise Solutions 381

Index 429


Submit Errata

More Information

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020