Given my failure to get started writing Flash code, I decided to try Java. I downloaded Java 5.0 (which comes after 1.4, believe it or not) and Eclipse 3.0. Both of those sites need to have a much easier way to download the software. Java led me down a maze of multiple versions, marketing material, and legalese. Eclipse led me to a page of international mirrors, none of them useful (when I clicked on them, I got a big file listing and had no idea what I needed to download).

Despite some glitches (like some dialog boxes being blank and some being far wider than the screen), I got a simple applet running. My next step is to learn how to draw lines on the screen so that I can start creating a small isometric map. After that I need to learn how mouse events work so that I can let the player select tiles on the map.

The main disadvantages of Java compared to Flash are: it’s not as widespread, and it appears to be a more verbose and cumbersome language. I'd really like to do something with Java3D, but it looks like that is not installed by default on anyone’s machine. I just installed Java and I don’t have Java3D. I don’t want to ask my readers to install new software just to look at my demos. I think Java3D would be much more popular if it were installed by default.

Update: I’m not the only one who had trouble downloading Eclipse.



Anonymous wrote at January 10, 2005 2:11 PM

I recently began working with Java.

It all started when I decided to learn Flash with the sole purpose of creating an isometric online game. I got an engine working, but Flash turned out to be too slow scrolling the map unless I performed some rather unelegant hacks which I was not willing to do.

I decided I had two other options for the web: Shockwave (which meant a whole new program [Director]) or Java. I was actually going to go for Shockwave due to some bad preconceptions about Java (too slow, inelegant, inherently ugly, etc) based on very badly-written Java apps (which seem plentiful). A friend of mine convinced me to give it a shot, and while I had some trouble at first, with some work, it turns out that I really do like Java.

Already I have a have a basic sprite engine class and an isometric extension (which is still incomplete, but finishing rapidly). The latest demo simply scrolls across a repeating "field" that is 100x100 isometric tiles in size, using hardware acceleration when possible. You can see it here (somewhat slow server):

After the scrolling has reached the edge of the field, you'll notice that the pattern corrupts. That's a side-effect of not clearing newly drawn tiles in order to speed up the drawing up combined with the scrolling technique I'm using. The game for which I'm developing the engine will not have the edges of the map visible, so it's not a problem which I'm worried about.

-- Chris Vincent

Amit wrote at January 16, 2005 10:15 AM

Someone saw my blog post and gave me a Flex CD to try out. It might be a good thing, but I can't recommend it to anyone because it costs $12,000 !

Anonymous wrote at December 07, 2007 3:12 PM

You should look into using netbeans instead of eclipse.