Hey, i think what you're getting at is how to store information, keep that information even if the game is turned off, and read the information to re-create the scenes. One possible method, that i like is XML. There are many types, including DOM, SAX, JDOM, etc. The great thing is that you write the format, and no IDE is required.
If you want to read more, just hop over to http://www.mkyong.com/tutorials/java-xml-tutorials/
to get started. It has stuff like writing to, reading from, creating, enumerating xml files.