Getting into Android Development

•February 6, 2012 • Leave a Comment

For some time I have wanted to get into developing for Android.  While I have some good experience in Java it has been a while and things have changed.  I hope to accurately capture the process, for better and worse, failures and success.  In searching the web for information covering basic aspects of Android Development it appears that some of the information is well constructed and some of it “… the reader is left to fill in the blanks.”

One thing I’m really interested in is 3D game development.  Cheaply!  Unity 3D ( has a great tool set.  Of course you pay for it as well!  Basic Android game engine is $400.00 (USD).  To get the good stuff requires $3000.00 (USD).  Either is too expensive when I’m just wanting to get a solid understanding of creating a game for Android.  Another tool set is Shiva3D (  The pricing is similar, $400.00 for “Indie”/Small Studio developers, and $2000.00 for more commercial ventures.  Additionally, to publish for Android requires installation of all the SDK’s.  I figure if I’m going to do that I might as well start at the basic setup and build upward.

To provide models for any game usually requires tools where the artist can construct the model with base meshes, possibly fine tune the model with a sculpting tool, apply materials and textures for realism, and finally build a skeleton and skin the mesh for the non-static model.  As with the game development environment these tools can be very expensive.  3ds Max by Autodesk is $3500.00; Cinema 4D by Maxon runs $2500.00 to $3700.00.  They are very expensive tools and do a remarkable job.  Again, I’m looking for affordable options.

So, I’ve decided on the following path … for now:

  • Eclipse Indigo (3.7.1) for Java
  • Latest Android SDK and ADT
  • JMonkeyEngine (a 3D game engine)
  • Blender 2.61 for Assest Generation (3d models)

In the following posts I will detail the setups and the issues I encountered (some of them were just lacking decent documentation).  Feel free to comment and ask questions, or point out/clear up my lack of understanding