Hi, I am a greenhorn myself, but I just wanted to say that game development takes MUCH more than you would think. I took AP Comp Sci (which teaches Java) 2 years ago and have been working on a Sonic game ever since. I am about 50% done w/ the engine at the moment, but this is two years later! I think it is really cool that you want to create a game in Java, but you really need to spend more time learning more specific things in Java, such as Graphics. I mean, even if you are able to store your level data you still need a way to play it. For things such as this, I would recommend some video tutorials. There is a very good one on TheNewBoston.org that goes over everything in Java you would need to start running your game. From that point, you can start building your game specific elements like levels and gameplay. Sorry to sound discouraging, but just a tip I would recommend after my 2 year efffort so far is to do some tutorials like this one, then start building the game itself.