I'm in the midst of building a card game modeled after a popular card game called "Dominion"
I've been programming in Java for quite some time now but my job has never required me to produce any sort of GUI nor have I ever produced an application is multiplayer (I'm an integration's specialist). Note: This game is intended to be used by 2 to 8 people (in total I mean, across 1-4 games). I don't plan on distributing it or experiencing a large amount of load for the multiplayer component. The game is just going to be distributed to a few close friends who live away.
I have already laid the foundation for this game. I have modeled players, cards, card actions, win states, turn orders, etc.
I'm not overly concerned about the multiplayer concept of the game right now. I would like to know the best way to approach the GUI. I've been exploring Java Applets and I think I have an understanding of how to implement the game using an applet. From what I've read applets can be pretty slow and it's very limiting to the size of the images I can use.
Last night I started trying to figure out how user interaction was going to work. ie: How do I detect that the user has moused over a particular card (basically, inside one of many rectangles on the screen), and I was thinking to myself "There has to be a better way".
So, in your opinion j-g, what's the best way to approach this? Keeping in mind:The game will eventually be multiplayer.