I am not so much reviewing this engine as pointing out the obvious. Hockey challenge (active a few years ago?), no sign of it today. Tech showcases of it seem amateur, and unambitious (also a Java pattern), and not to mention it's based on Java. Sun microsystems have mis-managed Java from the beginning. I believe Java should deliver clean, fast code to power feature rich engines and games but just doesn't, even now, years after all the jME flurry and a decade after the release of Java itself - clearly not a good sign. I have to bow down and confess that I may have been wrong about Java - it's just not likely to be used for anything of consequence in gaming. (hope I'm wrong, really do)
And with Sun's mis-management, I wouldn't be surprised if they get a good thing going with the engine, and then a year later..game no longer works due to deprecated API or some other Java screw up. A real shame. But, the guys behind jME are I'm sure really competent. At least they should find new jobs in Java programming, and/or engine design/coding etc. A straight average.
Well the title of the review is "Seems to follow the same'ol J3d pattern", and I think the words "seems" and "J3D' give the game away. Get the impression they have not really used JME but rather looked at the site and lumped it in with Java 3D. Also clearly have issues with Java itself.
To be fair the are straight about it in the first sentence and the views aren't unfair (although I do always have a wry smile when I see people state what Sun should have made Java).
I certainly agree with the opinions on the showcase. Most of the prominent material used to promote JME is years old, not available in any form, and made by people who no longer work on JME. There's good reason - it's the best looking stuff we have. But that's a problem. When you're evaluating an Open Source project the last thing you want to see is old examples made by no longer active users.
What's more it's just not as impressive as it used to be. As I remember the water effect was really impressive when first done, but now it's just what you'd expect. Some of the other aspects are substandard now (eg. the testisland land, which is the most prominent of all).
Unity totally outdoes our testisland by actually including it with the engine. One of the first things you can do is fly around and play with it like a sandbox. While it's not a selling point that they do that, it certainly says to someone who just invested a lot of money "wow! this is great!" on the first run. very smart.
I agree that a rework of testisland is definitely due. perhaps a porting in 2.0.1 an with some newer stuff (animation?). Anyone know the status of that source?
What should sun do to make java more game-friendly? I can see where C++ comes in with large company adoption, flash with easy-of-use & RAD, and C# with XNA & Xbox360 support. The only thing Java has is webstart and applets, but how good are they?
Actually I have always problems with Applets! Sometimes it is working sometimes not but quite often the applet kicks the browser. But that may be a consequence of my lack of knowledge of applets. Webstart seems to me quite stable…