Kirill Vainer, Erlend Sogge Heggen, Skye Book, Normen Hansen, Ruth Kusterer, Rémy Bouquet, Paul Speed, Brent Owens and hundreds of collaborators.
Jun 01, 2003
Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris, SunOS, FreeBSD, Browser-based, Google Android, Other
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jMonkeyEngine (jME) is a free development kit for programmers who want to create 3D games following modern technology standards.
Our modular framework is programmed entirely in Java to make it easy for you to deploy 3D games to desktop, web, and mobile platforms.
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First of all, understand that my star-ratings are mainly in comparison with other Java game engines/APIs; not to say that jME couldn't stand its ground against those for other languages, mind you!
I came to jME not very long ago at all as a relatively new Java programmer (although I've been programming other languages for a fair while) and even though I've only been using it for less than a week I've already managed to get a simple game up and running based on the excellent tutorials available on the website. Having used other engines in the past, I must say that this learning curve is remarkable and that I have never encountered a more conistantly well designed engine; although the tutorials are complete in their explanations, the commented code they provide is usually more than enough to get an understanding of what's going on, and how many engines can claim that?
As for performance, I was honestly shocked by how well the engine holds up. I had chosen Java for my next game project for portability and deployment reasons, but the performance of both the languange and the jME engine coupled with the speed at which they allow you to get your project off the ground should make the combination a prime choice for amatuer game developers everywhere, regardless of whether they need their games to be portable or not. Do not for a minute believe the "Java is too slow for games" myths!
And most important of all, the documentation is head and shoulders above that of any other open source Java engine and the community has been amazingly helpful regarding the few problems I've had so far, with a browsing of the forums revealing this to be the rule rather than the exception.
All in all, jME is a relatively easy to use engine made even simpler by the fantastic tutorials and user community; I would not hesitate recommend it, and the Java language, to anyone looking to begin 3D game development.
jME is a fantastic engine. It has an active and extremely supportive developer community, excellent getting started material, and a very straightforward API. The feature set continues to grow at a frantic pace, and enhancements are committed to CVS daily.
jME has matured significantly since its previous releases. The documentation is far more comprehensive, the API has been partitioned into sensible functional sets to allow for smaller distributions, numerous stability and performance issues have been resolved.
I will not claim that jME is perfect. However, despite its occasional glitches, it is a fantastic engine!
jME is the first engine I've really got interested in using, mainly because of the simple tutorials and the amazing support from the users! The forum users go out of their way to help newbies (you can find the answer to almost any question about jME you could ask on the forums).
Although it hasn't got the best feature set (yet!), the engine is in very active development, and user code is always happily accepted, in the true spirit of open source!
This engine is destined for great things.
What i like best on jME is its easyness to use.
ODE gave me the creeps, when i forst tried to use it, but with jME Physics System I have a "8 lines of code and its done" abstraction layer on it.
The Community is mostly forum based and very friendly. The Wiki is empty for the most part.
With jME you can code games really fast, as it's code is quite clean and the help from the community is excellent. And you can develop larger games, too, as the design of jME is very good and it's very flexible.
Additionally the project is really lively and is promising extensibility and stability. It does support many features, yet, and most likely will support even more in the future (that's when the 'Features' rate would become 5, too ;).
Now when mac support, physics integration through ODE, and ai system is in, I can't see why you wouldn't choose jME for your game!
Because of the poor doc I'm giving it a little minus in Ease of Use. Still, it gets quite compensated due to the swift forum responses.
I simply love the engine and its community.
I like the way this is headed. The API is a bit confusing and the features are good but they don't quite feel totally up to date. Not frontline material, in other words. I'd say that this API works, but it doesn't feel complete... Given time to mature, though, it can and probably will become great.
Two words: aw-some!
Sorry, thats one word, but really, its very nice. The community is very nice. API is well documented and is very clean. Ive never looked back :)
As far as Java Scene Graph API's go, jME is the way to go. The community is awesome and the API is very easy to use and straightforward. I believe it performs better than Xith3D and the documenation is better and improving all the time.
See my weblog entry for details. http://radio.javaranch.com/channel/gthought.
I love this engine, not only is it very powerful but it is also very flexible, because it is scenegraph based it handles outdoor and indoor scenes equally well, it is very stable, and performance is increasing all the time.
As already stated in previous reviews, this engine is still evolving but it is one of the most rapidly evolving ones ive found, it is constantly being improved and updated. at the moment it probably doesnt have the best graphics here, but now that support for shaders has been added im sure that will change.
Physics and AI are being integrated at the moment, so they should soon be fully functional.
There are lots of tutorials for the noob, so its easy to get to grips with.
In short: jME is a fantastic, java-based, open source gaming engine. The performance is definitely acceptable, and the development community is top notch.
To be fair, it is still growing, and an occasional problem and/or bug are found. But, in almost every case I've seen over the past several months, they are fixed within days (usually one, but sometimes a little longer).
There are a ton of useful features and effects, with more being actively developed. Some of the power of the engine can be seen from one of the large number of demos available on the jME website.
There is a starter's guide and, as mentioned above, numerous examples of how to achieve specific effects. Like many open source projects, the documentation could be better, but it's improving.
To help make up for that, the development team is extremely helpful, and very active. Questions are answered quickly, with people going out of their way to help you figure things out. (Hence the 5 star support rating.)
The website is really pretty good, although the forums have this irritating issue of making you log in twice before you're really logged in. (This may not be an issue if you have your browser remember the login.. I don't know.)
Personally, I had explored Java3D before this. While it has its place, Java3D is really too slow for, and just isn't geared for, game development. Because I wanted to work on games, this caused me to look elsewhere, which led me to the Xith3D project. I went from there to jME, where I have stayed.
What initially attracted me to jME (away from Xith3D) was the highly active development community. I also liked that jME wasn't trying to mimic another API. Whether that's fair or not, it gave me the feeling of additional freedom and alliviated some concerns.
Overall, I have no hesitation in recommending and using jME. Although it's not perfect yet, it is definitely worth looking into if you're after a java scene-graph-based gaming engine.
jME is a great engine for new developers wanting to get up and running quickly. Between the easy to use API and the outstanding developer community that responds quickly to newbie questions you have a real platform to complete projects.