Java is Pretty Cool
Having deployed my first Processing application on my web comic, I now am pretty into Java development. This is not to say that I’m great with Java, however, I really do value cross-platform material and web games more than being able to deploy to the Xbox 360, and having stated that value, yes, I do think I made a bit of mistake on how I chose to approach my senior project. Like this excellent blog post’s revelation, there are just clear disadvantages to XNA. Yeah, we all know that. It’s nothing new. But XNA makes things so easy.
One of the main things that indie developers struggle with is ease of development. XNA makes things easy, and on Codeplex there are tons of open-source projects, which I have had the pleasure of using. I’ve rubbed up against some excellent indie game developers, who I suspect have a lot more industry experience than I. And it’s really fun working with them, really fun using the Farseer Physics Engine and Krypton XNA, and really fun seeing quick results.
But while those results exist, I know, while I’m making them, that not everyone gets to see them and experience them. If I could do my senior project all over again, I would do it with Java, LWJGL, and whatever other technologies exist to help me in that space. Why? Well, why should anyone even have to download my project to play it? Having Java is the only requirement that users need comply with, and they can play things in a browser. Minecraft, the current rage, is doing just fine with Java, and there really doesn’t seem to be a disadvantage that would actually affect any ideas I would want to pursue. And not only does there exist web development, but the option to create a downloadable application as well.
I’m saying things that most developers already know. But I’m really figuring it out early on, I feel, that I need to work with technologies that span all platforms. I wanted to use Unity way back when I was starting, but like many great things it costs money to use the version with the features I wanted to use. I want to be able to really quickly mock up ideas I have and deploy them directly to my website, so that a link is all anyone needs to check out my work.
So that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I’m going to start using Java, LWJGL, and whatever else I can find, and from this day forward have web-deployable games. I’m going to start with a text-based interface like Phoenix Wright that I want to use with the web comic, but I do want it to expand into something greater as time goes on. The plan is to develop in iterations that are each end products themselves, not only the text-based tool, but a tool for sidescrolling and top-down movement in games as well, so that I can use them for the web comic and any other ideas I have along the way.