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      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
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mikejr76

A few questions new to game dev

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Hello,
I am new to game development, not new to Java. I recently made my first game. Kinda of a proof of concept. Its a space invaders / galga analog.
I made it in eclipse using swing/awt. My images are stored in an images file in the src folder and my sound effects in a sounds folder under src. Everything works fine running from eclipse. I tried making a runnable jar from eclipse. I have done this before and they worked fine, but not this game, maybe because of images and sounds. Then I tried to use launch4j. It runs but its missing the sounds and images. So:

1.Not wanting to use and applet what is the best way to package / distribute my games.
2.Are there any other libraries people are using for java 2D games besides swing and awt?
3.Is eclipse the best IDE for games in Java ( I know this my be strictly a matter of opinion)?
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1. [url="http://stackoverflow.com/questions/80105/whats-the-best-way-to-distribute-java-applications"]This thread[/url] on stack exchange explains your options pretty well, granted, it's a bit old. If you are doing a commercial release, you will probably use an installer builder of some form. If you are just sending it to friends or download from your website, jar is probably ok.

2. Ugh, swing and awt are terrible choices for games. They aren't accelerated which frankly means SLOOOOOOOW. Slick2D is probably your best choice, [url="http://www.gamefromscratch.com/post/2011/08/04/I-want-to-be-a-game-developer.aspx#Java"]but this guide [/url]goes through your options. Basically, its LWJGL on the low end, or a framework built on top of it, like Slick2D or PlayN ( which is in it's infancy ).

3. Yes, and it's crap. I suppose that's my opinion, I hate Eclipse, but so many libraries/toolchains are increasingly requiring it ( like Android for example ). I would take NetBeans or IdeaJ over Eclipse any day of the week, but almost every time I am working in Java I am forced to use Eclipse. Which means I am going to lose countless hours to stupid IDE bugs, something that should never, ever, ever happen, but does all to frequently. The above linked guide, also has links to the various IDE options, so start there.
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