it still sounds ropey, eh? Well, let me try one more time to explain exactly what I'm trying to do. Don't feel obligated to find out how to do it, you answered the question exactly with that last link, and thank you very much.
Anyway, as an example if I wanted to create an applet with hundreds of components (myriads of different buttons, images, sliders, etc) then it would be MUCH easier and time saving to do that through a gui like borland Jbuilder, instead of programatically. Similarly, I want to make a game that reuses certain classes (sprites, background, tiles, etc). If i wanted to make a full game, it would take FOREVER to do the whole thing programatically, and it would be a tedius copy/paste/modify exercise. So I want to make a "borland Jbuilder" so to speak, a gui that makes a separate program. When you save your java file in jbuilder, it doesn't save it as part of jbuilder, but a completely separate .java. Similarly, I want to use my gui.java to save a project that I could later modify called game.java.
An example is RPGMaker 2000 (http://www.gfxartist.com/features/articles/279
). in rm2k you select a sprite and drop it onto a canvas, then you select a portion of the canvas to fill with a certain tile, etc. you specify where you're main character will start, what certain events are invoked by certain actions, etc... finally, you save your project and run it. It's more work to begin with to actually MAKE rpgmaker 2000 than it would be to simply program a small game, but when the games start getting bigger it saves time this way. Does that make more sense?