At the University of Reading we usually run some sessions after exams in the summer term. Last year I ran one on mobile phone programming, which was very well attended, and showed that there was a lot of interest in this area. We learned two things from this:
iPhone dev was a bit difficult to manage at UoR at present, as we don’t have enough Mac hardware in the labs, and it isn’t possible to do this on any other platforms.
Although the more advanced Android tutorials on the Android Developer site are useful for self study, they don’t seem to be appropriate for bigger classes. First of all they assume knowledge of Java – our first year students have only seen C/C++ at this stage, secondly there are quite a few hiccups and mistakes (at least a year ago), and lastly they aren’t that interesting to do as outcomes – I mean who wants to see all the different available views or think a notepad app is interesting to make…
So I’ve decided that this year we’ll split the workshop into two groups. The beginners (i.e. the students without Java knowledge) can go through the Hello Android example. After they finish that, look at differences between C/C++ and Java while tweeking this app to do more than just say Hallo, and if they feel confident have a go at more advanced tutorial, namely the tutorial for the other group.
The aim of this tutorial is to create a VERY simple game framework, which can be extended to become a “real” Android game. Although the actual game is simple – actually not really a game – it will show how to set up the skeleton, which include user interaction and threading. It is built upon code from Lunar Lander from the Google resources with a few bug fixes which I then used to further develop my own games engine which I’ve used to develop these games.
The tutorials will be split up into different blog posts, but you should be able to follow it throughthe tutorial tag and the embedded links.