For a school project we have chosen to use java as it's the only programming everyone language our project group knows + compatibility with Phidgets. The basic idea is that through an external hardware interface (Phidgets) data is getting read into a board game. This is the simple part!

Now we have to realize a board game. The board game itself is not hard and we could easily program it from scratch but as nobody ever created it before we seek some advise.
  • Are there any easy to use Game Engine we can use for this?
  • If we build it our self, what kind of memory management with sprites/animations do we need to take care of?

Thanks in advance!