I've been programming in Java for a few years now, but I've never made a proper game. In the past, I've used the Swing library, threads (rather than timers) and G2D objects. The main graphical application I've coded is a simulation of swarm intelligence - I had to represent a large number of agents on screen. The end program sometimes had up to 1000 agents on screen, and the whole thing ran pretty slowly.
My current intention is to create a fast little side scroller with some nice little physics thrown in for good measure. I've noticed a few people posting about the Slick library, and from that I've come across Phys2D as well. Does anyone have any suggestions on any better libraries to use?
If anyone could point me in the direction of some decent tutorials on using these libraries, that would be great