I heard that it would be a lot easier to do java type games and then move on to Android gaming? I AM a total beginning but with motive and I have been reading about it from several sources, including similar questions on this site alone. But I need to know specific things from experienced users.

As for getting the SDK and Eclipse on the computer, I'm having trouble with it, I am running Ubuntu btw so exe files are useless. But I have tired terminal use but I kind of failed because I don't think the SDK and Eclipse are installed, just downloaded. Ubuntu users especially, I can use help from you seeing how complicated Ubuntu can be compared to windows "click install" setups.

Also if you guys really suggest me learning Java first (which is still a big question cause I don't want to waste time with something I don't want to really use, but getting the feel of gaming is pretty important I know) I am looking at this tutorial:


And it talks about using swing toolkit, but idk how to get that exactly, I tried searching. Sorry for the noobness, but gotta start somewhere and I'm new to this site so I'm really hoping you guys can really help me. I want to make simple games to put on the android market, and then advance.

So going to the tutorial above, it just kind of starts with giving me coding and whatnot which is fine, just copy it but idk where exactly to do all this on (Swing toolkit?) so I can't even start with that.

But really I want help getting this SDK and Eclipse/plugins on my computer and then I can continue with this guide:


Which is the main guide that I probably should follow, and would be great if some expert skims it a little at least to see if I should start with that guide and skip the java. But again, I'm stuck on the SDK stuff.

Sorry for the long questions, I am new and I really want to get out of this beginner stage, it's the worst part. Tank you to all and if you want my facebook or AIM to help me through with IM to at least get this SDK and stuff installed fine with Ubuntu OS, ask please (:

  • \$\begingroup\$ You should try to get your questions into the title so people know what to answer in some respect before they click on the question. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 1, 2010 at 15:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Edited to what I think it's asking. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 1, 2010 at 15:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ There are to much questions of different variety to have any of it into a title for an overall view. My title Wanting to start Android game development, is the main subject to all my questions in the post that everything relates to. \$\endgroup\$
    – Wingless
    Oct 1, 2010 at 15:22
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ It seemed like the main thing you were asking for ("But really I want help getting") . In that case, separate questions should be asked in separate question threads. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 1, 2010 at 15:25
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ There is actually an Ubuntu Stack Exchange (ubuntu.stackexchange.com) which would probably help you better and in more detail with setting up the Android SDK in Ubuntu. As far as I know, Eclipse in Ubuntu is as easy as just finding and installing it from the Ubuntu Software Center (or Synaptic) since it is now actually up-to-date in the repository. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ricket
    Oct 1, 2010 at 16:26

3 Answers 3


About game programming

  • Learn the basics of programming in the most fun and inspiring way you can, and don't be discouraged that you won't have anything good enough to release on the Android marked right away.

  • Aim for small mini-projects that can help you understand the different aspects of programming.

  • Don't bite over more than you can handle. Not understanding things is really demotivational.

  • Understand the game loop.

  • Get something visual up and running fast.

Some of the most memorable mistakes I made as a complete newbie were:

  • Creating new objects every frame of my game. Memory allocation is slow, garbage collection ( the deletion of unused objects ) even slower. If your mobile game does this your mobile will run out of juice pretty fast.
  • Incrementing my game logic every frame by a fixed rate instead of a function of the time spent between frames.
  • No overall arcitechture or idea of how I would connect different parts of the logic that has to be handled in a game.

About embedded games programming

Although Java is a great language for beginners, the Android platform is not.

I am currently working on a game engine for Android. What I can tell you is that making games is hard. Even more so on embedded systems because of limited hardware capabilities.

About the javax.swing library

I started with Java and swing as my first programming language and GUI toolkit. It was a great way to get started. The first year of programming I made more mini-projects than I have ever made since.

The swing library is built into the standard libraries in standard Java, but is stripped out of the Android specific Java that runs on the Dalvik VM.

All you need to do to use swing is to have an import javax.swing.*; statement in the top of your code file.


Lastly, I would like to direct you to these pages:

gpwiki - How do I get started

gpwiki - Beginner FAQ

  • \$\begingroup\$ Emphasis on "[Swing] is stripped out of the Android specific Java that runs on the Dalvik VM"! \$\endgroup\$
    – Ricket
    Oct 1, 2010 at 16:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you Nailer! Remember I am new at this so several things you were saying weren't very comprehendible to me but god I wish they were. Like everything you said about the noobie mistakes you made when you first started idk what you are talking about, but I haven't even opened anything up yet so I might catch on to what you're saying and will definitely refer back to your comment(: \$\endgroup\$
    – Wingless
    Oct 1, 2010 at 17:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also thanks for telling me about the swing incorporated with the toolkit, I think I'll make something small out of Java and hopefully that will help to make some very simple android game that runs great. \$\endgroup\$
    – Wingless
    Oct 1, 2010 at 17:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok =) Get yourself an instructive book. The way I learned programming, although not very necessary, was to copy all the examples in the 14 first chapters of a large java book. \$\endgroup\$
    – Nailer
    Oct 1, 2010 at 18:04

The Swing library is part of the Java platform since Java 1.2, so you don't need to download the library separately. You can start following these tutorials right away assuming you got the JDK (Java Development Kit) installed.

Do you already know Java? You might want to invest some time in learning that before you start learning game programming in Java. If you already know another language such as C++ then it shouldn't be hard for you to pick it up, otherwise you need to spend some time learning how to program. The Java Tutorials are a good place to start. There are tons of other tutorials and books on programming, Java, and game development.

I know you really want to get started with making games, and don't want to go through learning java, game programming, and then Android programming, but it is worth it. You can start making a game for Android right away, but you'll get stuck sooner or later; you need to learn all of this one way or another. I completely agree with Nailer's answer and you should realize that learning to make games will take time and effort. You said that learning Java might be a waste of time but I strongly disagree, learning new skills is never a waste of time, even if you don't end up making a game using Java.

Assuming you got the latest Ubuntu version (10.04, or even 9.10), you can use the Ubuntu Software Center to download Eclipse and all of the other libraries required by it. You can find the software center through the Applications menu, and then just search for "eclipse" in the top right search box and install it. If you have an older Ubuntu version then you might need to download Eclipse from the official website. You probably need to download the JDK(sudo apt-get install sun-java6-jdk in the terminal) before you download Eclipse. Once you have both Eclipse and the JDK you can proceed to download the Android SDK and follow Google's quick start guide or this more detailed guide. Here are two more guides for you: 1, 2. Note that you just need Eclipse and the JDK to follow the Swing tutorials, but make sure you create Java applications and not Android ones because Swing is not part of the Android platform.

If you have any problems with following these guides or with installing any required programs and libraries on Ubuntu, you can always ask at the Ubuntu Stack Exchange site or the Ubuntu Forums.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks!! I will definitely look into your post more in depth with the links you gave me! Yes I want to start making games but thats just like me in school having to learn all the adobe software before building dummy websites and designing from photoshop/illustrator/InDesign ect. Learning is tough but I will have to do it and I like the idea of telling a friend to go pay my game from the market and a lot of other people playing it and commenting it. I never said java was a waste of time, just asking others if it is IF the guides out there can help just dive into the android gaming development. \$\endgroup\$
    – Wingless
    Oct 1, 2010 at 17:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ But I agree with you and will probably make little projects with java and see how that goes. Is things you do in Java like coding and structure ect the same with android? I'm trying to get a basic understanding of everything. And thank you a LOT for the SIMPLE instructions on the Ubuntu stuff, I'll try what you said out and hopefully it works out right! \$\endgroup\$
    – Wingless
    Oct 1, 2010 at 17:16

If you're using Ubuntu and want to install Eclipse then then go to Application->Ubuntu Software Center. Then type Eclipse into the search tool at the top, you'll see a list of packages, just click the ones you need. I think you need to install Eclipse and eclipse-pde for plug-ins.

For setting up the Android SDK check out this tutorial. http://lgjsheron.wordpress.com/2010/07/01/installing-eclipse-and-the-android-sdk-on-ubuntu-10-04/

If you want more help on the programming side of things then you should check out this book: http://www.amazon.com/Pro-Android-Games-Vladimir-Silva/dp/1430226471 I've used it in the past and it was pretty helpful.

  • \$\begingroup\$ If the guy above your posts instructions don't work for me I will try yours out thanks!(: \$\endgroup\$
    – Wingless
    Oct 1, 2010 at 17:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ And judging by the comments the book is real good but pretty irrelevant. But all books are when technology updates and books don't. \$\endgroup\$
    – Wingless
    Oct 1, 2010 at 17:23

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