In years past I've tried to make games a few times. Each time I've had limited success. However I've been programming for a good three years and now that I've learned to program, I've decided it's time for me to make a serious attempt at making a game.
As far as the game I'm planning to make. As a kid, one of my favorite games what BoxHead 2 Player. It was a top-down isometric flashgame in which a player (or two) would run around shooting zombies with various guns and explosives. Me and me friends spent hours playing this. Here is a link to the flash game if your would like to see it. The game is not two complex, I definitely don't want to have to deal with 3D or OpenGL so I think that for a 2D sprite based game like this Slick2D or SFML would work just fine. And although java is not the best for games, it would be able to handle something as light as this quite easily.
I do most of my work in Java, yet while I do not have the same mastery of C/C++, I am not unfamiliar with it. My hope is to become a game developer and I know that most commercial game are written in C/C++. My question is should I use Java/Slick2D which I am more familiar but will not prepare me as well for the future or should I use C/C++/SFML(or SDL?) which I do not know too well, but will need more in the coming years.
If anyone has any insight, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!
There are a lot of games written in java as well, but almost every game developing job requires you to know C++, even when you will probably never work with C++. I use SFML and C++ for game development.
Java was inspired by C++, so it should be slightly easier to learn C++ and besides, knowning Java AND C++ will look even better on your CV.
So, my answer is, continuing with Java is not a bad choice as you will progress quicker and therefore learn about game programming quicker, but learning C++ will prepare you for the future more.
I know I am just repeating what you said, but I don't want to give you a definite answer, because I have a biased opinion on what you should do. SO instead, I have given you some more facts
FWIW, in my Old Blog (Linked in my Sig), I created a simple 2-d top-down game that you basically run around and kill enemies that are spawned from enemy generators. It uses SFML and C++, so it may help you set everything up.
The blog goes through the steps I take. I also use a 2D physics engine (chipmunk-physics), which simplifies much of the movement and collision code. Again, it's a simple game, but it handles almost everything you'd want to handle in your game. The difference might be you want to use tiles for your background, where as I just use a simple pattern I repeat.