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  Need advice regarding java libriaries  (Read 905 times)
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Offline masterOfLoN

Junior Newbie





« Posted 2013-09-14 11:34:13 »

Hello guys,


I'm thinking about programming a little game in java for the fun of it. I was thinking of making a 2D RPG with some TBS elements in it.

Now, I'm confident in my abilities to create the logical structures behind the elements I need to incorporate but my java skills are, at most, at a beginner level. My question to you lot is what you would recommend to start with? I had a look online and found some interesting tools in lwjgl, slick2d and libgdx. Should I use all of these or only a subset? Should I use something else? Any input is kindly appreciated.


Thanks,
NGD
Offline cubemaster21
« Reply #1 - Posted 2013-09-14 12:24:06 »

For my first games, I've been using Java's built in library, Java2d. It works perfectly fine for most of the stuff I do. It's just not terribly efficient though.

Check out my game, Viking Supermarket Smash
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Offline RobinB

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« Reply #2 - Posted 2013-09-14 15:14:40 »

Best advise would be to start with a simple game first, from what you learn there, you can move on to the other game.
RPG games take a lot of knowledge, because of the flexibility you will need.
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Offline masterOfLoN

Junior Newbie





« Reply #3 - Posted 2013-09-14 17:02:19 »

Thanks for the advice.

I've decided to go with lwjgl and slick2d as they seem to fill my needs the best. As for a simple game, I have made a couple of very basic games before and I am eager to get to something with more meat on its bones, even if I have to struggle to it.

Thanks again.
Offline SHC
« Reply #4 - Posted 2013-09-14 17:04:05 »

I don't recommend Slick2D since it's no longer being developed. I recommend libGdx for beginners and LWJGL if you want to go to low level OpenGL.

Offline HeroesGraveDev

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« Reply #5 - Posted 2013-09-14 19:46:17 »

I don't recommend Slick2D since it's no longer being developed. I recommend libGdx for beginners and LWJGL if you want to go to low level OpenGL.

Slick2D is still being maintained, just not by kevglass anymore.

Offline davedes
« Reply #6 - Posted 2013-09-14 20:43:08 »

Last commit to Slick2D was six months ago... The main website is down and the wiki seems to be gone. There is no online JavaDocs for the latest version. I would say it's pretty much dead.

I would second LibGDX. There is lots of documentation and tutorials. It will give you the best performance, flexibility, and portability. It also reinforces a lot of important concepts in graphics programming, like the separation of CPU Pixmaps and GPU Textures, batching geometry, and so forth.

Offline HeroesGraveDev

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« Reply #7 - Posted 2013-09-14 21:00:20 »

I would recommend LibGDX to anyone who was unsure between LibGDX and Slick2D, but I still believe Slick2D can be useful if someone wants to use it.
Just because the project is inactive doesn't mean it isn't still useful.

And AFAIK, there is this website: http://slick.ninjacave.com/

Offline CodeHead

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« Reply #8 - Posted 2013-09-15 00:30:32 »

I would recommend LibGDX to anyone who was unsure between LibGDX and Slick2D, but I still believe Slick2D can be useful if someone wants to use it.
...
And AFAIK, there is this website: http://slick.ninjacave.com/

Slick2D is infinitely useful if you want to accelerate a project that's been written to use the Java2D API. There's a minor bit of tinkering that has to be done to get existing code to work with it, but it's far less effort than trying to convert over to low level OpenGL or LibGDX. It certainly doesn't give you as much control as the other libraries, but it works as advertised, and does it extremely well from what I've experienced.

Concerning the frequency of updates, the last update to Slick2D was in June. Once libraries reach a certain state of code maturity, constant updates aren't necessarily needed. Stability is a far more desirable quality in a library than constant source commits. As the saying goes, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". Cool

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Offline BenningtonHD

Junior Member


Projects: 1



« Reply #9 - Posted 2013-09-15 00:33:54 »

I would recommend LWJGL if you want to design basically ground-up everything as a learning experience

Slick2d and libgdx do a lot of the basic stuff for you, but I am glad i started on LWJGL and learned what they were actually doing for me.
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Offline SHC
« Reply #10 - Posted 2013-09-15 02:01:20 »

Slick2D is still being maintained, just not by kevglass anymore.

I just don't know that. Thanks for specifying.

Offline wessles

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« Reply #11 - Posted 2013-09-15 03:20:56 »

Last commit to Slick2D was six months ago... The main website is down and the wiki seems to be gone. There is no online JavaDocs for the latest version. I would say it's pretty much dead.

I would second LibGDX. There is lots of documentation and tutorials. It will give you the best performance, flexibility, and portability. It also reinforces a lot of important concepts in graphics programming, like the separation of CPU Pixmaps and GPU Textures, batching geometry, and so forth.

http://slick.ninjacave.com/

Last commit was actually just a few months ago, in June (far from 6, no?) The website is not down due to not being maintained by the new devs, but due to server issues. So ninjacave gave a sub-domain to the new developers (http://slick.cokeandcode.com/ for details). Slick is still useful. If you want to make a pac-man clone in 5 hours, you could still use it. Even whole rpg's have been made from it!

As for libGDX, I personally cannot say much about it, as I have never used it. I recommend that you use java2d, and then after you have made a simple enough game, use straight up lwjgl. It is a great way to get into opengl. There are a bunch of tutorials for it too, and the best part: You can search for c++ documentation too, and it will translate nicely! That is why I love lwjgl. It is fast, awesome, easy to learn, and is fun to play with.

Offline Jimmt
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« Reply #12 - Posted 2013-09-15 03:30:48 »

Comparing lwjgl to libgdx, you're not allowed to say it's easy to learn Pointing
Straight up lwjgl will take time. Make sure it's what you really want before going there.
Offline masterOfLoN

Junior Newbie





« Reply #13 - Posted 2013-09-15 09:39:41 »

Cool, thanks for all your input. Still going ahead with slick2D as some black box stuff might be more suitable for my current level of programming skills. A question remains, if you'd indulge me: if within the development cycle of my project I realize that slick2d isn't doing it for me, how hard would it be to convert the project to LibGDX or straight up lwjgbl?

Thanks,
NGD

PS: So happy that I've found such an active and helpful community here. Huzzah
Offline RobinB

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« Reply #14 - Posted 2013-09-15 13:25:29 »

Porting to libgdx -> hard because mesthods are very diffent (other mindset).
Porting to lwjgl -> Not possible, because you will need to write your own classes for everything then, what makes it more porting to your own lib.
Offline davedes
« Reply #15 - Posted 2013-09-15 13:33:29 »

Concerning the frequency of updates, the last update to Slick2D was in June. Once libraries reach a certain state of code maturity, constant updates aren't necessarily needed. Stability is a far more desirable quality in a library than constant source commits. As the saying goes, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". Cool
I would usually agree with this, but in the case of Slick2D, there are some really crippling bugs, and nobody is fixing them. Wink

It is no surprise that so many people using Slick2D for medium to large games ended up moving over the LibGDX. It is more performant, more portable, more flexible, easier to set up, and generally better documented. It also includes stronger tools and a more vivid community. It has a very rich future not just as a game dev framework, but also as a general purpose OpenGL ES wrapper.

One might even wonder why you would use LWJGL, when you can just use LibGDX's low-level GL utilities instead. Wink

Offline opiop65

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« Reply #16 - Posted 2013-09-15 13:38:58 »

Use slick2D, but don't become dependant on it. If you're going to use it a lot, at least learn some LWJGL so you know what's happening. If slick2D does really die some day, you'll need to know how to code still. Just my thoughts. Also, LibGDX is amazing and I find it far more powerful than slick2D.

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