new - where to start?

supenguin
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Post: #1
Hello! I've visited this site on and off for a couple years, but never really got involved, yet. Like many people, I got involved in computer programming because I wanted to make video games. My career has been about 7 years of programming experience, but none of it has been game related. It is all web-based or command line, nothing remotely game related. Unless I felt like remaking Zork.

I think I had posted here a couple times, but I couldn't figure out what my old user name was, or find any of my old posts, so I just created a new one.

Anyway, my main development machine is a G4 Mac tower, hopefully to be upgraded soon. I originally was going to work on native Mac stuff, but it is looking like I'll be needing to learn Java at work. So - anyone have any luck developing games in Java? I'm not thinking anything complicated to start with.

-Kenny
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Luminary
Posts: 5,143
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #2
Java's pretty decent for game dev. It's fast, and it has good game APIs available. I'd suggest starting with LWJGL. Eclipse is a fantastic IDE (*really* slow on Macs, particularly PowerPC Macs, unfortunately, but if you're upgrading soon or have a Windows machine handy it should be usable).
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supenguin
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Post: #3
I've heard great things about Eclipse, and just about everyone who is doing Java at work uses it. I do have a Linux box around, so maybe I could use Eclipse on that. I plan on getting a MacBook Pro sometime in January, if the finances cooperate.

I'm assuming LWJGL is some kind of Java OpenGL library? I've never done anything with GUI programming before, unless Javascript on some web pages counts. Would it be good to learn Swing or maybe OpenGL before I dive head-first into doing LWJGL game development?

Any books or websites for newbies? I actually prefer to have a book to look at when I'm first learning and then either a book or good searchable website for references.

I probably should've mentioned what my skillset is earlier. Most of my dev experience has been in either Perl or PHP, but I've also done some C, C++, Ruby, MySQL, and JavaScript. As you can probably tell, the whole GUI development thing is pretty new to me.

-Kenny
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Luminary
Posts: 5,143
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #4
Make sure you wait for the expected January MBP refresh before you buy Wink

I found Eclipse on Linux to be very buggy, but YMMV.

LWJGL is a full game-programming API, including OpenGL bindings. Any generic book on OpenGL programming (eg. the Red Book) will be fine, or you can just learn from online tutorials.
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Member
Posts: 567
Joined: 2004.07
Post: #5
I'd work with processing. It's all the good stuff about java without the nightmare that is swing.

It's not magic, it's Ruby.
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Luminary
Posts: 5,143
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #6
LWJGL doesn't take you anywhere near Swing, IIRC. Even if I don't, the Swing bit is totally minimal Rasp

That doesn't mean that Processing isn't also a good choice, just that the anti-Swing argument is not relevant.
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