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bloodisblue

Do you use outside tools to develop?

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bloodisblue    137
Currently I have made a couple smaller games using just java, no swing just Applets. (I know how to use swing in games and have made a couple. I just find swing easier). I don't quite understand why people recommend to use outside APIs to help develop games in 2D when the default APIs work just fine and can do just about everything you would want to do with the code. Maybe its because I haven't yet tried other APIs such as Slick but I am having trouble understanding why I would want to use it.

Also would you recommend to use tools available online for things such as map making and such or creating custom tools which I could tailor to the needs of my next game? Right now I'm leaning towards creating my own due to my inexperience with outside tools but I'm afraid that making custom tools might take longer then the game itself so I'm pretty hesitant about this.

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JosephParrilla    171
Well I think its all about the scale of the project as well. How simple are these games? I used JAva2d and Swing for a while, and it became very evident when I needed to move onto using Slick. Some things are just a pain to do in the regular Java libraries. I think that when your projects grow in complexity, you will understand. If what you need to accomplish is getting done, then you are right, there is no need for anything else.

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cmasupra    145
I believe that the regular Java library uses just the CPU, while Slick uses the GPU for hardware acceleration (because it uses OpenGL).

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beatlefan    198
[quote name='cmasupra' timestamp='1311472820' post='4839438']
I believe that the regular Java library uses just the CPU, while Slick uses the GPU for hardware acceleration (because it uses OpenGL).
[/quote]

I think that's true, because when I made a game with just Java2D it would lag on some computers, while that same computer could play 3D games with less lag...

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JosephParrilla    171
[quote name='beatlefan' timestamp='1311473756' post='4839440']
[quote name='cmasupra' timestamp='1311472820' post='4839438']
I believe that the regular Java library uses just the CPU, while Slick uses the GPU for hardware acceleration (because it uses OpenGL).
[/quote]

I think that's true, because when I made a game with just Java2D it would lag on some computers, while that same computer could play 3D games with less lag...
[/quote]

Its actually not entirely true. You can use Accelerated graphics with Java2D and use the graphics card. There is a VolatileImage class, which allows you to do accelerated graphics on the card as opposed to the CPU. The lag was most likely not due to that.

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beatlefan    198
[quote name='joeparrilla' timestamp='1311474497' post='4839442']
Its actually not entirely true. You can use Accelerated graphics with Java2D and use the graphics card. There is a VolatileImage class, which allows you to do accelerated graphics on the card as opposed to the CPU. The lag was most likely not due to that.
[/quote]

Ahh, I never used that, I wish I knew about that when I made my game, haha, oh well.

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JosephParrilla    171
[quote name='beatlefan' timestamp='1311475209' post='4839443']
[quote name='joeparrilla' timestamp='1311474497' post='4839442']
Its actually not entirely true. You can use Accelerated graphics with Java2D and use the graphics card. There is a VolatileImage class, which allows you to do accelerated graphics on the card as opposed to the CPU. The lag was most likely not due to that.
[/quote]

Ahh, I never used that, I wish I knew about that when I made my game, haha, oh well.
[/quote]

Yes, Ive used it. I mean it helps when drawing graphics, but in the end, the library just isnt truly made for games. Using something like Slick should just be default for anyone using Java for games in my opinion. Im all about using libraries only when necessary, and learning/doing as much as you can on your own. But simply put, plain Java2D sucks... Slick is well written, and SUPER lightweight, youre basically doing all of the same things just alot nicer.

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bloodisblue    137
[quote name='ApochPiQ' timestamp='1311469495' post='4839423']
There are many language ecosystems in the world besides Java. Just because Java has a fairly feature-rich standard library does not mean the same is true of every language.
[/quote]

I would have to agree with this which is probably why I don't quite understand the purpose of outside APIs yet. I'll probably move onto them for my next project though. I have heard about SDL and read a couple tutorials on it (not that I know C++ yet) and didn't really understand that C++ doesn't natively have graphics support so it is pretty much needed in order to do anything involving graphics.

And just a quick question but would you guys consider building a GUI level designer worth the time it takes if it isn't reusable. I'll probably attempt to build one anyways for the experience and possibly removing most hard coding from the design or would out right hard coding make more sense?

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JosephParrilla    171
[quote name='bloodisblue' timestamp='1311478786' post='4839467']
[quote name='ApochPiQ' timestamp='1311469495' post='4839423']
There are many language ecosystems in the world besides Java. Just because Java has a fairly feature-rich standard library does not mean the same is true of every language.
[/quote]

I would have to agree with this which is probably why I don't quite understand the purpose of outside APIs yet. I'll probably move onto them for my next project though. I have heard about SDL and read a couple tutorials on it (not that I know C++ yet) and didn't really understand that C++ doesn't natively have graphics support so it is pretty much needed in order to do anything involving graphics.

And just a quick question but would you guys consider building a GUI level designer worth the time it takes if it isn't reusable. I'll probably attempt to build one anyways for the experience and possibly removing most hard coding from the design or would out right hard coding make more sense?
[/quote]

SDL is a perfect example. C++ doesnt have a graphics library, so SDL allows you to use OpenGL with it.

My first question is, if you make a level editor, why wouldnt it be reusable? I think it depends on what you want to do... put it this way, there pretty much exists a tool for *almost* anything. Something like Unity provides most things so you dont have to code it yourself (a level editor, a scripting engine, physics, etc etc etc). The question you have to ask yourself is "what is my goal?" If your goal is to complete a specific game and you have no interest in learning how something like a level editor works, then the answer is no... dont build your own just go grab one that exists. If you want to learn how level editors are made, then you should make one yourself. That is pretty much the answer any time you find yourself deciding if you should use existing tech or make your own.

Level editors are really important, and something that you will continuously use. I think learning to make one is a cool experience, but then again it depends on what interests you!

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Drathis    141
I'd suggest you try to integrate an existing level editor like mappy to your game. You'll learn about reusability that way

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