JMonkey development on a notebook/netbook?

Hi guys,

So, at the end of this year, I’m going away on holiday for probably just under 2 weeks. At the moment, I’m seeing this as valuable development time that I dont want to waste. Thus I’m considering buying a netbook or notebook so that I can continue development while I’m away and on leave from work.

How much time will I actually have for development? I dont know, I’m hoping for a few hours of quiet time per day at least. But I will be seeing my brothers again, who I havent seen for a year, so obviously I dont want to be too antisocial. But then, on the other hand, I am pretty serious about wanting to start my own game studio, and this game isnt going to finish itself.

So in the interest of making as good use of the holiday as possible, I am thinking of buying a portable computer of some kind. I currently use a desktop at home for development. I do have a work laptop/notebook, but I dont want to use it because I’m paranoid about my employers saying that anything I do using work resources belongs to them.

Can I afford it? Well, yes. It will have to go on my credit card, which I could probably pay off the following month. No dependents.

Oh one other upside of a netbook is testing, because it will have a different and lesser GPU than my desktop, so I can make sure the game would actually run.

My questions are:

  1. Am I being silly?
  2. What strikes you guys as important in a development netbook/notebook? Portability, battery life, screen size, CPU speed, RAM, GPU?
  3. What screen size would you say should be the minimum? 12"? 13"? 15.6"? Also in terms of keyboard size.
  4. Does anyone develop on a computer that uses an AMD Fusion CPU? I’m looking at a dual core Fusion, otherwise an Intel Core i3 of some sort.
  1. no, you are not silly, you are stupid, but in a good way ^^

    I have a friend and he has a small netbook so small like asus eee and it can runs my game, so with netbook you can still develop the game. I personally dont like those small netbook, because its keyboard are too small, the screen are alse too small. but like you said you will use it while on leave from work so i think it might be a good solution for you.

    I have a notebook or laptop 15" and it is heavy for me(3kg itself + mouse+adapter+…=4kg).

    depends on your physical strength and money.

    strong + have enough money → laptop

    weak or want to spare money or want weak pc to test game–> netbook (requirement: get used to small keyboard)

    if you want i can ask him what kind of gpu cpu his netbook has.

I always work on a laptop while developping, I would go for the laptop tbh. A netbook just has too small a screen to fit everything.

With regards to battery life, just run with the adapter in the power. Reason being that compiling eats away your battery like mad. When I run an average 3D game, my battery holds for about an hour or 2

when coding it averages around 30 minutes.

I have an intel i3, which is more then enough for developing JME.

I’m using a rf411 samsung notebook for game developing, it’s 6 gb RAM, 640 hd, nvidia gt 540m, core i5. And I’m very comfortable with that, it runs game very fast. About important thing for a notebook, I think the screen size doesn’t matter, what more matter in a notebook for game development is the graphic card. For battery life, it’s not a forte for notebooks with nice graphic cards, because it consumes a lot of GPU, but there are solutions for this “nvidia optimus”.

Thanks guys.

The netbook I’m looking at - an Asus 1215B - has a 1366 x 768 screen - but yeah its quite small, only 12 inches. Me having big hands, I think I might look at something bigger. There is a 13 inch Dell Vostro that looks quite good.

My budget? As low as possible really, because this is a secondary machine. I dont expect to use it much once I get back from holiday.

I’m leaning towards something small like a netbook, I think its the keyboard that bothers me most actually.

There are netbooks that supports OpenGL 2?

Pretty sure an AMD Fusion APU will, yeah.

I’ll carry on thinking about it tomorrow. Maybe its just a waste of money, lol.

@glaucomardano said:
There are netbooks that supports OpenGL 2?

yep the one I use now is Acer aspire one they use ati 6 something and run my tests well the ocean demo also runs about 8-15 fps,you can move around too, just always smoothly

Or maybe I should just buy an Asus Zenbook UX31? ha ha, if only they werent so expensive! Seriously tempting though.

Guess I need to decide if its worth it at all, and if it is worth it, how much I feel comfortable spending. And then what to get with that.

Whatever you chosse, be sure that it either has a nvidia or a ati grafic chip in it, since the intel support only a very basic set a features. (And at least in the shaders the intel use some dirty shortcuts, like only processing every 10th fragment and interpolate between)

Also amke sure jme can acutally run on it, so Opengl 3.0 would be nice. (Usually all graficcards that support dx11 also support opengl 3 or even 4)

To be honest, I’m almost thinking of going for an Intel GPU, as much as I hate them, precisely because potentially a lot of my players will be using them. So it would almost be a decent testing platform.

… but perhaps a horrible development platform!

Still deciding, having a hard time convincing myself its worth it considering I’m unlikely to use the thing outside of this holiday coming up and testing later.

Well of course it depends on your targeted group.

If its a small casual game, keeping the technical requirements as low as possible is probably a good idea.

Its not really what I’d call small or casual, but that being said I would like it to be playable on even basic PCs.

I mean its an action RPG. If Torchlight can run on a netbook, then I would like my game to be able to.

As people have said, make sure you get something with an Nvidia or ATI graphics chip in it. I have Core i5 Intel HD graphics, which you would think on a 2011 model might not handle Skyrim, but should be fine for pottering around in JME. It’s f******* not :stuck_out_tongue:

I get weird shaders, weird lighting, various buffer bugs and all sorts of problems with performance in what seems like a very simple scene (some advice from others has improved this to a usable level but it still sucks). Between the combination of JME3 still being a little buggy and Intel graphics having totally rubbish performance and OpenGL support, it’s really slowing me down in making my game.

When working on my desktop PC with a decent GPU things are so much easier and look so much better.

The only benefit to it is perhaps that it highlights problems which you otherwise would ignore and makes sure the game will run on low end hardware… but that probably comes at the cost of completely ignoring all the nice post effects during development because you can’t run them well enough, and thus the game will look crappy on ALL computers :slight_smile:

I don’t advise using Intel graphic cards at all with jme.