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As asked in a previous question, I'm looking to create a small MMO that will be deployed onto GAE.

I'm confused about what technologies I could use for the user interface, I've considered the following

  1. JSP Pages - I've got experience with JSP/JSTL and I would find this easy to work with, it would require the user having to "submit" the page each time they perform an action so may become a little clumsey for players.
  2. Applet - I could create an applet that sits on the front end and communicates to the back end game engine, however I'm not sure how good this method would be and have not used applets since university..

What other options do I have? I don't have any experience in Flash/Flex so there would be a big learning curve there.

Are there any other Java based options I may be able to use?

My game will be text based, I may use some images, but I'm not intending to have any animations/graphics etc


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up vote 2 down vote accepted

JSP Pages that automatically refresh/poll via JavaScript ("AJAX"). An applet is overkill and would be tough to get to interact with GAE as your "server". Now if you had a dedicated server for socket communications then I would say applet, but given your situation, the best option is to learn some JavaScript so that you can update the page dynamically.

That being said, if you're not familiar with JavaScript, that's a pretty big learning curve just to create your text game.

This is how, for example, Gmail can show you new emails while you're on the page; it uses JavaScript and polls the server in the background.

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If you're looking for something Java-based, GWT seems like a natural fit, even though I've never tried to use it for a game.

That being said if you're juste looking for a simple client, you might find that Flex learning curve is not so steep, and, as a bonus, it will allow you to easily extend your game if need be.

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Did you consider using WebSockets? This is a relatively new Javascript feature which allows web applications to communicate bi-directional with a server in real-time. It's much more efficient than ajax because it allows the server to send data to the client without receiving a request for it.

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