Slick-Util Library - Introduction
What is the Slick-Util Library?
Slick-Util is a small library to enable you to load various image, sound and font formats for use with LWJGL.
In order for OpenGL to display images or OpenAL to play sounds, the data needs to be provided to them in the right format. There are lots of different formats out there (png, jpg, xm, ogg, wav, etc). Manually writing a loader for a format is a time consuming task and requires learning how the format is stored and works, so it makes sense to use a library to do this task for you.
Previously LWJGL bundled the Devil and FMOD libraries to assist in loading image and sound formats. However as these were native libraries they required a java wrapper to use and this had to be maintained and updated. This also clashed with LWJGL's minimalistic philosophy. Slick-Util is a pure java alternative to these and is much lighter, requires less maintenance and easier to use with a java library like LWJGL. So those native libraries were dropped and Slick-Util is now the recommended replacement.
Why is it called Slick-Util?
Slick-Util is actually a subset of the Slick2D Library (A 2d games library which uses LWJGL). As Slick2D had features generally useful for all LWJGL games it was only logical to create a subset library which could be used with any LWJGL application (2d or 3d).
If you are looking for a library to facilitate image rendering, sprite handling, game loop setup, tiled map loading, etc. then you may prefer Slick2D rather than SlickUtil.
Slick-Util provides the following features for LWJGL:
- Load various image formats for use with OpenGL (png, gif, jpg, etc).
- Load various sound formats for use with OpenAL (.wav, .xm, .ogg, etc).
- Load Unicode Fonts for use with OpenGL.
Where to get it
You can get the Slick-Util library from here.
Setting up the Slick-Util Library
Just add the slick-util.jar as an external java library to your project like you do with the LWJGL jars.