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jMonkeyEngine SDK Game Development App

jMonkeyEngine SDK

by jMonkeyEngine

Collection of game development tools
Helps with: Game Development
Similar to: Candroid Engine App Wire3D App Adobe Air App Ardor3D App More...
Source Type: Open
License Types:
Supported OS:
Languages: C Java

What is it all about?

The jMonkeyEngine SDK (Software Development Kit) is an extensive collection of game development tools built on top of the industry leading NetBeans Platform. Proper use of these powerful tools can amount to several days of development saved.

Key Features

* General - The jMonkeyEngine SDK is true plug-and-play. Add all the things you need, remove anything you don’t. Have your pick from our curated plugin repository as well as any existing NetBeans plugins, or make your own. No ugly hacks involved. And automatic updates of course; we’re not cavemonkeys. * Simplified Assets Pipeline - Drag and drop art assets directly from your desktop into your editor and have them imported with a few button clicks. No tedious coding needed. * Scene Management Essentials - Edit your scenes and modify your assets. Add a skybox, some lights, a couple particles to go along with your models and keep tweaking until everything looks just right. * Performance Tuning - The jMonkeyEngine 3 SDK combines its own game-specific optimisations with state of the art utilities like NetBeans many performance profilers and the JUnit tests framework. Everything a serious developer needs to develop stable and performant applications.


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Product Analysis

Game Development

Frameworks and cross platform libraries for game and graphics development

Jmonkey engine

Jmonkey engine

By Hugo Reyes Navarrete | 9/25/2016 | Product Analysis |Beginners

Jmonkey engine is a SDK targeted mainly to developers who already know how to code and are experts in Java. Jmonkey is aimed to develop modern 3D games and it is a very serious competitor in the SDK scene. But, unlike many other SDKs with this quality, Jmonkey engine (Or jME) is open source, which means it won’t cost you anything to develop games with it and you will pay nothing on the profits you make.

 

FEATURES

jME uses a tree architecture in the scenes, this means a father scene can have as many son scenes as needed but one son scene can only have one dad. This way it is much easier to kill a branch if you need it. To make an example you build a lot of rooms and all of them share the same father, the apartment. And you have a lot of apartments and all of them share the same father, the building. All buildings have the same father, the town. And so on.

With this system culling can be done for graphical development. By culling we mean the camera system in jME will discard all the scenes that are not visible, saving a lot of resources in the meanwhile and also making much faster to load what is really visible.

jME is a very powerful engine, allowing the developer to use the latest 3D graphics and also operates multi-platform, allowing you to create games for a very wide range of platforms like Windows, OS X, Android and increasing every day. It is so modern that also supports the latest VR and AR devices like Oculus Rift.

Filters and effects can be done directly into jME. Filters and particles are what you need in order to implement water reflexes, fog, fire etc.. These post processor effects are used by the AAA titles and they are available in this free and open source SDK.

Materials and shades can also be done inside this SDK, although many would use a 3rd party app, we will never stop repeating this engine is totally open source and allows you to do what can be done with very expensive engines and apps. Networking is also a strong part of jME. Creating full online game or even MMORPGS is possible and doable because of the powerful networking implemented inside jME. Of course you will need to code to do this, because jME is Java based, and even though there is a good visual interface that will make you things easier than usual, coding is strictly necessary.

Do you think this is cool? Well, it doesn’t end here. jME has very strong built-in features what will help you when you develop your games. For example, when you are making games, sooner or later you will need to build terrain. Building terrain is usually quite a pain for the developers because involves to create a lot of repetitive material and scatter it around the area. JME comes with terramonkey, a built-in app that lets you create terrain in an easy way, much less of a hassle than doing it manually. Do you need cinematics for your game? No problem, there are also cinematic tools for you to build movies for your cutscenes. Planning to make a good GUI for your players? NiftyGUI is a powerful tool inside jME for that purpose.

So, you have almost everything you need to build your own games but, what about the physics? A good 3D engine needs good physics to run your games properly. The bullet physics library is being used by AAA titles for years and now jME fatures it in jBullet. This is not exactly the same library but a port especially designed for Java, the main programming language for jME.

They do have some 2D support but it is very limited due to the engine. Actually, it supports 2D because it is mandatory in order to be able to run a 3D engine, but there are no tools designed for that purpose and jmonkey is rarely used to develop 2D games. There are other engines to do that.

So, this SDK is open source and free and is powerful enough to develop top titles. It is not surprising there is a huge community supporting it and a lot of tutorials and documents to learn the ins and outs of it. There are forums, official and not official and tutorials all around the internet on how to use it. These tutorials also include some Java programming, as it is necessary to build games with jME.

What else remains to say? Well, if you are not happy enough with jME, the source code is open and free. You can just download it and tinker with it at will. This is something that may cost thousands of $$$ for any other engine, and here it is free.

PROS AND CONS

PROS

  • Great engine
  • Very good physics
  • A lot of built-in features
  • Can create assets
  • Good networking system
  • Fully 3D integrated
  • Free, open source.
  • Source code is available for free

CONS

  • You need to learn Java
  • It is not meant for novices
  • Limited to create 2D games

CONCLUSION

JME is really a great engine, open source, free and capable to develop titles for the top companies in the industry. It is widely used to build 3D games and has a huge community backing it up. With jmonkey you don’t need any other tool to create games, just download it and you have all the power at your disposal. The only problem about this engine is the fact that is not made for newbies and they also boast about it. If you have no idea about programming you have to learn to do it and if you can do it but you can’t do it in Java you’ll have to learn it, and it is not an easy code to learn. This is an engine for people who are already used to develop games and want to find something reliable, powerful and free without any kind of royalties.

 

By Hugo Reyes Navarrete | 9/25/2016 | Product Analysis

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