Java in Steam Store

If you are even remotely into PC gaming, you must be familiar with Steam. And if you are familiar with Steam, you are most likely aware that they recently announced the GA version of Steam for Linux. I for one hope that this might finally signal an advent in Linux as an accepted and broadly used platform for PC gaming. One nice side-effect is that Java might get more adoption in this space, such as for casual games (Angry Birds is a good example) and for any game which doesn't require absolute 100% control over the hardware to be performant (Minecraft falls in this group). The benefit of Java is clear; porting cost between different platforms goes down. It may not be write-once-run-anywhere depending on how you use native libraries but certainly easier than porting a native game.

With this in mind, I was very happy to see this blog about Java on Steam from Puppy Games. They have built a wrapper library around the Steam APIs and use LWJGL as a graphics library. Other options would of course be JOGL or - as it matures - JavaFX, which will very soon be fully open sourced through the OpenJFX project. A great simple example of a JavaFX game is this version of Pong which is written in less than 100 lines of code.

Kudos to Puppy Games for their initiative, and to Steam for going Linux!

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Henrik Stahl is VP of Product Management in the Java Platform Group at Oracle, and is responsible for product strategy for Java ME and SE.

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