programming a game - how should I begin
I'm not exactly new to Java but I'm venturing into new Java territory, and so I'm hoping to get some expert advice on how to start my project off on the right foot (if this is considered the wrong section to post this, I apologize and please move it).
I plan to make an online game. I'm going to use swing, GUIs, and a lot of graphics. It's going to be a simple 2D game in which you're a guy in a maze and you have to get through it in a timely manner. I would like some advice on how to begin building the infrastructure for this.
More specifically, I have the following question:
1) I'm torn between making it into a JApplet or a downloadable application that runs automatically once downloaded (I forget what this is called but I've seen it done). Which would you say is best for my purposes (i.e. programming a 2D game in swing)?
2) How much effort should I invest into concurrency? Could I get by making the whole game run in a single thread... or would that be 'bad'?
3) Should I work within NetBeans or would it be better to work from scratch in some kind of text editor like Notepad? I would think NetBeans is better for programming any kind of application, but I'm just wondering if it's suited to my particular purposes (game programming, 2D graphics, being online, etc.).
Also, it might be important to mention that if I can develop this far enough, I might incorporate the ability for the player to save his progress. In other words, I might want to manage a database or file system on the server that stores players' accounts and progress, etc. This would require some kind of client/server interface, and so my program would have to be compatible with this (I don't know if that makes a difference to the above questions but I thought I'd throw it out there just in case).
Thanks very much for any forthcoming advice.