How to Make a Java Game With NetBeans
By Michael Dominick
NetBeans is a popular integrated development environment for the Java programming language. It is sponsored by Oracle and is free to use and download from the Internet.m There are versions available for Linux, Mac OSX and Windows. NetBeans includes a number of features that allow the user to develop Java applications, such as games, more efficiently than could be done in a plain text editor, such as Notepad. These features include code completion, the suggesting of code by the editor based on what is being typed, and syntax highlighting. Using NetBeans, a Java developer can create a game efficiently.
Download and install the appropriate version of NetBeans for your system. If you are running 64-bit or 32-bit Windows, there are specific versions of the software for both of these operating systems. You will be prompted to set some defaults of the tool. It is best to accept the default values for all of the fields, since not doing so can lead to you being unable to compile your game from within the tool.
Launch NetBeans, then select "New Java Project" from the file menu. You will be asked to select where you want to save your project. NetBeans projects can be saved anywhere on your hard drive or on a remote network drive. Give it a name that is both descriptive yet simple enough to remember.
Develop or purchase any art assets that you are going to need for your game. Popular illustration tools include Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and the free and open source Inkscape. When developing models for the player characters and any other characters that will be utilized in the game, save them as PNGs, since PNGs have transparent backgrounds by default.
Click on the Java file that NetBeans created for you when you created the project. NetBeans has already generated some code for you, including a main method; in Java, the compiler begins running your code starting with the main method. Since there are so many different types of games that can be written in Java, it is impossible to offer any specific code here, but there is one thing that every game is going to have: an update method. The update method checks what changes have been made in the game world periodically.
Hit F5 to compile your project. Any errors that are found in your game will be displayed in the debugging window at the bottom of your screen. These errors will need to be fixed before you can successfully compile your project.
Michael Dominick is an alumnus of Rider University and currently works as a freelance writer, Web designer and software developer. His articles specialize in technology and computing, particularly Linux and open-source.