In this article, we are going to explore gaming development. Most of the gaming is written in low level languages, example C and thus, it is very complicated. This certainly introduced steep learning curve if you are a beginner. Hence, we will choose a simple startup to learn about gaming development. A example of library that can be use is Lightweight Java Game Library or its acronym LWJGL.
What is Lightweight Java Game Library?
The Lightweight Java Game Library (LWJGL) is a solution aimed directly at professional and amateur Java programmers alike to enable commercial quality games to be written in Java. LWJGL provides developers access to high performance crossplatform libraries such as OpenGL (Open Graphics Library), OpenCL (Open Computing Language) and OpenAL (Open Audio Library) allowing for state of the art 3D games and 3D sound. Additionally LWJGL provides access to controllers such as Gamepads, Steering wheel and Joysticks. All in a simple and straight forward API.
Because nature of this library deal with graphic display, hence the hardware display driver must be setup correctly. For me, my workstation is using ati radeon, and using xserver-xorg-video-radeon and enable 3D acceleration with package libgl1-mesa-dri. We won't delve deep into graphic driver installation and configuration since our focus here is the gaming development. You can check if your drive is setup properly by running glxgears via a terminal. If a windows popup with three gears spinning, your driver install and setup should be fine to continue for this coding tutorial.
In the official wiki, it is well written and documented to get you started. With this, I have setup my eclipse environment in debian sid. The library needed to should be setup in the project build path so when you run your application, the library is detected. Because I'm running linux, the native library location is pointed to lwjgl-2.9.1/native/linux. These two library must be configured before any development begin. If you noticed, I've setup the source as well, it will be convienient to read the code if you need to be sure later down the road during coding phase.
There are many tutorials to pick from, as a start, I just pick the basics - LWJGL Basics 1 (The Display). The source code should be in the link, and it is incredibly easy to create the display with few lines of codes and I got that window display with just initial try. Very impressive and promising.
It is pretty impressive what this library can do. There are many examples that come in the library and one of it is an example game. Just execute
java -cp .:res:jar/lwjgl.jar:jar/lwjgl_test.jar:jar/lwjgl_util.jar:jar/jinput.jar: -Djava.library.path=native/linux org.lwjgl.examples.spaceinvaders.Game
if you are running linux. Run fine in my environment and played the bundle game; amazing. Maybe in my next article, I'm gonna try to even complete this .