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Configuring a libGDX project to run as a desktop application in Android Studio

The following will quickly cover how to setup a newly imported libGDX project to run a desktop application, via Android Studio 1.1.0.

This assumes that you have already created a new libGDX project and have already imported it into Android Studio. If you have not, please review Creating your first libgdx project with Android Studio 1.1.0.

With the project imported, select the configurations drop-down, or navigate to Run > Edit Configurations...` in the menu.

Next click the green plus sign in the top left corner and select 'Application.'

There are now four fields you need to populate to complete this step.

Name: Enter whatever you'd like. I like using 'Desktop' to be obvious.

Main class: com.xxx.desktop.DesktopLauncher

Working directory: C:\Path\to\project\android\assets

Use classpath of mod: select the desktop module

And that's it. You should be able to select and run the configuration.

If you work on multiple machines, note that by default this configuration change will mostly likely not be checked into source control. The file that contains this configuration is located in your project directory under \.idea\workspace.xml.

(All original content on this site is licensed under the Creative Commons License Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0.)

Review: LG Electronics Gaming 24GM77 24-Inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor

The following is a review of the LG Electronics Gaming 24GM77 24-Inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor, released in late 2014, and currently available for purchase for a little over $270. The product I received was free as part of the Amazon Vine program.

Very nice, but may not be required

For context, I have two rather old HP monitors, from 2007, which up until early last year I was using for my PC monitors. I then upgraded to a 39-inch Samsung television, since my PC is effectively my living room's main entertainment station. And I'm quite happy with the setup I have.

So when I had the opportunity to review the LG Electronics Gaming 24GM77 24-Inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor as part of the Amazon Vine program, I jumped at the chance. Would a gaming monitor change my outlook on playing console and PC games? Or would I be content to continue along the path of using TVs in place of monitors.

After a little over three weeks I can honestly say I'm impressed, but I think I'll be continuing along the path I'm on.

For general PC purposes the LG Electronics Gaming 24GM77 24-Inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor works as is to be expected from any monitor, but you're not going to pick this up merely for that.

So to test this monitor, I tried the following: Starcraft II on PC (highest settings), various Xbox One games and two animated blu-ray movies.

Overall, I guess I got so into the games that I didn't really notice much of a difference. The screen is definitely crisp, but when you compare the picture of a 24-inch monitor to a 39-inch one, naturally things are going to look better at a smaller physical size.

Don't get me wrong, it's very nice, and I definitely got into the experience, but it wasn't clearly obvious to me that I was on a gaming-specific monitor.

As for the physical aspects of the monitor, I'm not quite sure what I think of the controls. There are base buttons as well as a nub that can be used to access the menu for the various options, as well as turn it off. While it feels sturdy enough, I guess a part of me would rather have an actual button for the power. But it works fairly well.

If you're thinking about using the LG Electronics Gaming 24GM77 24-Inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor as a monitor for a console, consider that the monitor does not have speakers built-in. That's fairly standard these days, but something to keep in mind. Since I didn't want to use headphones, when I used the Xbox I ended up using some USB powered speakers. Plugging into the monitor worked sufficiently fine.

The monitor does feature two HDMI inputs, so you don't necessarily need to pick between a PC or a console, as you can easily swap between them. The monitor is also fairly smart, and seemed to pick the right input for me (although I did have an oddity initially when I had it hooked up to my PC via the DVI port, and a console via the HDMI, as it kept wanting to focus on the DVI port).

Ignoring the price, the LG Electronics Gaming 24GM77 24-Inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor is a fine monitor, definitely worth 5 stars. The price, however, would knock it down one, as at almost $300 it's almost worth spending just a bit more to get a TV, which would then support component inputs.

However, ultimately I have to go with a five star rating for this monitor. I will definitely be looking at better speakers, and will absolutely have this as a part of my entertainment area. Is it required? No. But if you afford it, it comes recommended.

Tags: review

Categories: gaming, review

(All original content on this site is licensed under the Creative Commons License Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0.)

Review: LibGDX Game Development Essentials (2014)

The following is a review of LibGDX Game Development Essentials, written by Juwal Bose, and released in December 2014 by Packt Publishing.

Difficult to follow, but not a complete waste of time

LibGDX Game Development Essentials is hard to follow along with, and since I'm one of those learners who likes to follow along when I'm learning a technology, that made this book troublesome.

On the one hand, I certainly got something out of the book, and successfully got a glimpse of just how powerful LibGDX is.

But on the other hand, glossing over pieces of code, combined with incomplete (or usually just vastly different) code (and assets) in the downloadable zip files, made for a read that was just plain difficult to follow. These aren't merely typos, but rather like either the code or book was revised independently of each other.

The book focuses on a single project over its course, which is something I generally like, as it means the project is built upon and expanded. In this case it's a Flappy Bird clone, although it seems to be more of a tweaking of the LibGDX demo "The plane that couldn't fly good." Over the course of the book you learn the ins-and-outs of LibGDX as you create this, primarily from scratch (minus easy to obtain graphics).

Going merely with the flow of the book, it certainly does a good job of walking you through the process from initial creation to launch on the Google Play store (as well as a look at Apple's App store - that's all I can say as I skimmed over that particular section). I feel confident enough after reading this book that I could successfully go through that entire process (start to finish). And I have a firm grasp of what LibGDX can do.

But I am glad that I picked up two other LibGDX books, as this one just wasn't ideal enough.

While Juwal Bose certainly seems to know LibGDX, code confusion ultimately renders LibGDX Game Development Essentials a solid 3 of 5 stars.

Depending upon how the other books I purchased are, this review may be appended to in the future. I'll also note that previous to this I read most of Kevin Brothaler's OpenGL ES 2 for Android, which is an awesome book. However, given the power of the LibGDX tool, I don't see myself continuing down that path much further.

Tags: android, libgdx, review

Categories: review

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