@normen Most other engines that I have used, including Unity, UE4, Torque3d, Esenthel, NeoAxis to name a few ALL keep the scene editor separate from the code editor. The tooling is focused on the design side of things, whereby the scene editor allows you to place objects in the scene, place and edit terrains, add physics objects etc. etc. Most of the time the IDE is launched seperately to edit the code, with the better ones integrating the two in that they allow scripted behaviours to be written in the code IDE and then attached to nodes in the scene.
I really love the way the jMonkey approach is developer first, rather than designer first, in that nothing is hidden away in magic drag-and-drop components and there is lots of information about how to really get under the hood with JME3.
I have to say though, that both myself and my friend who have been working with JME for a few years now have found the current tooling in the editor to be very cumbersome and unintuitive and I’ve really struggled to get any models imported and laid out in a scene. The terrain editor only supports a single, tiny terrain tile - making it bigger results in memory problems and crashes. There’s no trees or foliage integrated, no support for live editing/debugging the scene (as far as I can see), no mechanism for making prefabs, editing AI etc. etc.
Of course, all this stuff can be added with plugins and custom controls, appstates and such, but in practice I think most people find it easier to just roll their own than try to figure out how to integrate everything into the IDE themselves. Thats what we ended up doing.
In fact, I had to fight very hard to convince my friend to go with JME as our engine choice because one of our criteria was that the engine should have a scene editor and even though I said it does, he said “No, I’m not even going to count that as an editor”.
My point here I guess is - the editor tools definitely need some more thought. I know loads of work has gone in already, and I’ve read your other posts where you’ve explained the logic behind this and the design philosophy and it makes total sense to me to let the IDE do the heavy lifting for updating, building for multiple platforms etc. but I think what daenim has done / is doing in terms of scene editing and an easy to use component hierarchy, visual feedback, grouping etc. is definitely a step in the right direction. It’s so much more intuitive and easy to use, and it just makes sense to people who are used to other game engines right out of the box. If this can be integrated into netbeans with a similar kind of layout and feature set then that would definitely be a better way forward.
@Daenim do you think what you’ve done could be ported to work within netbeans? I’d be happy to help a bit with this although so far I’ve not even managed to get the editor bit of the SDK to compile… I’m getting gradle errors