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a long-winded series of stupid questions

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hey y'all. For the past couple weeks I've been working on a Java program that simulates a social network of 'villages', (towns, cities, whatever) with clans vieing for power within each one. My long-term intention is to use this code in an isometric RPG (Fallout is my favorite game of all time), in which the players actions can have a huge impact on their surroundings. For example: the player should be able to, without hard-coded 'quests', help or hurt any given clan's cause by killing opposing henchmen, stealing money or resources, issuing propoganda, etc. However, at this moment all I have is a bunch of buggy code; so far most of my time has been spent relearning Java. A couple years ago, I took an Intro to Java class and and another for Visual Basic, but my experience is limited. (except of course, for Qbasic, which I have been coding half-assedly in since I was 7). My question, and it is a VERY open-ended one, is this: am I approaching this project correctly? I'm coding the 'social engine' in java because it's free, I'm kind of familiar with it, and I kinda like the OO approach. I've trolled various forums and always get more confused. I hear that Java isn't a good language for games (other than small online-arcade games, which is not the kinda game I'm shooting for). Can this game be done in Java? ANY tips whatsoever, pertaining to any part of the process, would be greatly appreciated. I know this is a very vague question, but I need all the help I can get. Thanks again for any advice -Dave

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Quote:
Original post by Perma-noob
am I approaching this project correctly? I'm coding the 'social engine' in java because it's free, I'm kind of familiar with it, and I kinda like the OO approach.


Not to misdirect your questioning, but most programming languages are "free" in that you don't have to pay anything to use them. If you're referring to the IDE, Microsoft has a number of "Express Editions" out which are IDE's for various languages (C++, VB, SQL, C#...).

Quote:
I've trolled various forums and always get more confused. I hear that Java isn't a good language for games (other than small online-arcade games, which is not the kinda game I'm shooting for). Can this game be done in Java?


Of course it can be done in Java, from what I've gathered through research and (too many) articles, the whole "managed environments aren't good for games" argument stems from processor overhead being used up in the translation to native code (in your case, running on top of the Java Runtime Environment). What you're talking about doesn't sound system-intensive enough to cause a performance hit when running on top of the CLR (is CLR a universal term, or specific to .NET?)

Quote:

ANY tips whatsoever, pertaining to any part of the process, would be greatly appreciated. I know this is a very vague question, but I need all the help I can get. Thanks again for any advice


-Dave


Java should be able to do what you're talking about. If you find that you just have too much of a negative vibe coming off that whole option, I'd suggest you look into C# as you'll find it very similar to the Java language, and you can download a free IDE from microsoft (one of the express editions mentioned above). The bonus there is that the forums are having a workshop on C# starting up pretty soon.

As always, you can take my suggestions with a grain of salt seeing as I'm about as professional as a kid drawing with a crayon on the walls of the Louvre :)

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Java is perfectly suited for making games. I would highly recommend sticking with Java because you like, and you know it. There is no reason to learn another language right now just because of the largely mistaken assumption that Java is slow and inefficient.

That said the game you are describing is HUGE and would take a lot of time and effort. Consider building something on a smaller scale to get used to game programming then go for the big time.

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Thanks for the words of wisdom, I was starting to get concerned that I'd have to learn another language. I think I'll stick with Java, it's kinda growing on me. I know this projects a bit ambitious, but I'm trying to take it one little chunk at a time... right now I'm slogging through Swing because the mess of "System.out.println" 's was getting tedious, so I'm kinda learning through necessity. Luckily I remember just enough Visual Basic to feel comfortable with the Jforms, but it's slow work. Thanks again for the advice, and I'm sure I'll be coming to y'all when I hit another wall (45 minutes, tops)

-Dave

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