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1  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Crash - Corrupt File, Months of Work Lost on: 2015-03-20 06:37:12
The correct answer starts like this: "six months ago, establish a reliable backup procedure..."
2  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: Getting Adjacent Tiles on: 2015-03-11 06:48:06
My games all give each cell on the board an array of links to adjacent cells; and all routine navigation from cell to cell uses it instead of the coordinate system.  This has lots of advantages.  It's efficient to use.  All the standard overall geometries are obviously handled, but so are oddly shaped boards with cells missing, boards closed into a torus, boards with arbitrary networks of cells and so on.
3  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: What should i use to develop multiplayer game online in browser ? on: 2015-02-28 21:04:00
You have to jump through the right hoops to get a java version working.   To work for ordinary
users without disabling all security, the applet has to be signed by a real certificate, and if it
uses sockets it has to use the "all permissions" setting instead of sandbox.
4  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: The impossible 15-Puzzle on: 2015-02-11 07:35:21
Don't quote me, but I recall that for the classic 15 puzzle, exactly half of
all positions are impossible, and that a simple counting algorithm can be used
to determine which half any position is in.
5  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Java game : is it possible that update is called before re-paint is completed ? on: 2014-12-20 18:10:05

It's insanely difficult to get the synchronization right if you have 2 or more
threads marching through the same data structures, some making changes,
some trying to generate a new display.

A better strategy is to centralize drawing and mutating in one thread.
Other threads that feed in  events of various types, such as network activity,
mouse activity, and display update requests, should only queue these events
to have their effects one at a time.

6  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Starting a Java Game, Where to Start? Eventually want to be network multiplayer on: 2014-12-14 07:53:33
It all depends on what you value most: the result and a community of players, or the learning experience across the whole process.   It is appealing to start by mining your own sand, but not if you actually expect to love the first few castles you build.

You won't find a lot of formal teaching materials, but there are a bunch of open source frameworks you can either use or just study.
7  Game Development / Networking & Multiplayer / Re: [Solved] Three Solutions to UDP's Critical Packet Loss on: 2014-11-18 17:14:34
Unneeded "features" of TCP shouldn't be a consideration, they cost you nothing.
8  Game Development / Networking & Multiplayer / Re: Three Solutions to UDP's Critical Packet Loss on: 2014-11-17 20:46:24
Switching to TCP ought to be simple, and it solves your problem definitively.

The other solutions put a band-aid on UDP, but only probabilistically, and at the same time introduce
other problems.   A retransmitted UDP packed is out of order, and adding consideration of the state
of communications to higher levels of the program complicates things greatly.

If you think about it, the main reason not to switch is the less-predictable latentcy; and recovery
of critical packets adds this same unpredictability.

BTW, solution #6 would be to redesign your game to not have critical packets.
9  Game Development / Networking & Multiplayer / Re: connect timed out on: 2014-11-11 18:52:44
It sounds like the actual problem is that the process providing the data is blocked.
A common error is assuming that sending a small amount of data will always
succeed quickly, when in fact it can block. 

Outside of the actual data transfer, other kinds of synchronization issues
among threads can stop progress; "socket timed out" is only a symptom.
10  Game Development / Game Mechanics / Re: Packing data on: 2014-11-08 07:27:01
ignore this until your game is complete, and you metering shows that the bandwidth consumed is a major factor.
11  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: I'm desperate on: 2014-10-09 05:30:03
Learn by volunteering for some existing project, where you can absorb the gestalt
while doing something useful.
12  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Looking for a good host on: 2014-10-05 19:33:22
Good hosting sites have a significant decay rate, but as of today I'm completely satisfied
with the service I get from
13  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Are Java applets really "dead" for indie developers? on: 2014-09-23 23:27:44
The barriers are higher for both the user and developer, but applets are still viable.
With the legacy of 10+ years of coding, I'm not about to switch
to another technology. 

The net of all the brouhaha is, if you want to use applets or java web start, you have to buy a certificate.
If you use sockets, you also have to switch from "applet permissions" to "all permissions", effectively making
your applets as powerful as applications.  Oracle and the browser developers have made the applet warnings
so scary, switching to "all permissions" is barely noticable.

Or you can just deploy as a java application.

If you don't have a pile of existing java code to live with, the choice of java vs ... html5, flash, ios, android
is still a conundrum - there are good and bad points and no clear winner.
14  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Are Java applets really "dead" for indie developers? on: 2014-09-23 23:14:21
But basically, a few years ago people realized that applets contained security problems that would allow bad guys to run arbitrary Java code on your computer without your knowledge. This is very bad and actually cost me a reformatting.

The sad part about this is that the primary work-around is to convert applets to applications, which run
the same "arbitrary java code".

  "Can't trust applets? Just run the untrusted code directly!"

IMO it's more about Oracle covering its corporate ass than any concern for user's safety.
15  Game Development / Networking & Multiplayer / Re: Java 8 sockets on: 2014-04-29 19:10:32
I have a fairly definitive answer on this.  Buried in the "enhancements" section of the java 8 documentation.

      "For sandbox RIAs, SocketPermissions for the origin host is no longer granted. Calls from JavaScript code to the
      RIA are not granted SocketPermissions beginning with JDK 8."

I Leave it to the reader to decide in what universe this is an enhancement.

So it appears that Oracle has decreed that sandboxed applets can't use sockets; they have to become all-permissions
applets, which have unrestricted access to the client's machine.  It mystifies me how requiring users to trust applets with
unrestricted access will enhance security.
16  Game Development / Networking & Multiplayer / Re: Java 8 sockets on: 2014-04-26 17:46:23
People still use applets? And Web start?

End users need not know your using java. Otherwise your doing it wrong. My 2c anyway.

It's true that Oracle seems to be trying to kill it by the death of 1000 cuts.  Meantime, the news is that the java plugin
that uses java 8 has appeared, so applets as well as web start are now broken.
17  Game Development / Networking & Multiplayer / Java 8 sockets on: 2014-04-25 18:27:23
Heads up for all sites which use java and sockets - java 8 seems to have broken
using sockets in sandboxed applets.  This is currently seen in java web start,
but presumably will migrate to ordinary applets when the java plug-in is upgraded
to java 8.

The complaint is

this is a new complaint in java 8 - your current working site will break.
18  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: How would I make some .jars optional? on: 2014-01-18 19:38:33
The trick is to call on the optional Jar only through interfaces. 
Make the optional jar implement the "extraStuff" interface.
Load the jars using Class.forName("..");
19  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Doomsday for unsigned and self-signed applets on: 2014-01-16 22:08:40
As for signing co-ops, the problem is that one bad apple will spoil the certificate for everyone.

That's why you have to choose your co-ops carefully, like when you "choose" your next girlfriend or boyfriend  Tongue

(Off-topic but...)  Based on the observed churn-to-burn rate, it had better be more selective than that!
20  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Doomsday for unsigned and self-signed applets on: 2014-01-16 20:53:09
I don't think Oracle is getting any money from the certificates, it's more of a CYA move.
But it is damn inconvenient.

As for signing co-ops, the problem is that one bad apple will spoil the certificate for everyone.
21  Discussions / General Discussions / Doomsday for unsigned and self-signed applets on: 2014-01-16 19:23:36
Java 7 update 51 brings us doomsday for unsigned and self-signed applets. 
It's been on the horizon for 6 months or so, but it's here.

The cheapest route I found to buy a trusted certificate is from Tucows,  Don't mess around trying to create a company name,
just get a personal certificate.

If you don't have the time or inclination to wade through the signing morass, please
remove your java applets.  It will look bad for you and for java if a lot of java applets
seem to be nonfunctional.
22  Game Development / Performance Tuning / Re: Fastest way to determine if two rotated rectangles intersect? on: 2012-09-01 20:47:04
There is no single, fastest way until you nail down what else you know about the rectangles.   For example, if the rectangles are likely to be far apart, then the fastest way might be to check mins and maxes of the coordinates, and then do more detailed checks only if they might still intersect.  If they're not likely to be far apart, then the quick test would be a quick waste of time.
23  Game Development / Networking & Multiplayer / Re: Network Infrastructure on: 2012-08-07 20:09:03
Adding networked play as an afterthought is likely to be very difficult, but if you start with networking in mind, and adhere to the necessary discipline rigorously, then networking can be a painless add-on once the networking itself is reliable.

A few things
(1) Maintain a rigorous separation between events which are strictly local and events which everyone needs to know about.  Tracking the mouse or changing a view is a local event.  Moving an object is a public event.
(2) All public events have to go through a serialization knothole and will encounter random network delays.  Do this even when developing, and not really using a network.  From the viewpoint of the app, there is no difference between networked and non-networked play; the app is not aware of the network at all, all it knows is it has a sequence of events to process.

The two big confounding factors are
(1) you have to update local views immediately, even though the network delay hasn't happened yet.
(2) unless all actions are strictly synchronous, players WILL see different sequences of events and disagree about reality.  Chess is easy because it's always someone's turn.  Shooters are hard because you don't wait your turn to shoot someone.
24  Discussions / Community & Volunteer Projects / Re: Developers for a Java game wanted. on: 2011-09-08 05:34:01

It's pretty clear what you've got and what you want, but considering what you're offering (nothing except the joy of participating) you'd better find a warlords fanatic who is also a wizard programmer with time on his hands. Lots of time.

25  Discussions / Business and Project Management Discussions / Re: Fishing for players on: 2011-06-30 20:19:09
Lately I've found myself fishing for players. So if your game is the hook that keeps players on your site or paying their subscription or just plain interested in what your doing what is a good bait? What are some of the techniques that you guys have used to get people to find your games? Which types of games get more users?

Ask yourself: is "Angry Birds" really different from 1000's of other games?  My answer would be no. It's well done,
but there are many games in the same same equivalence class.   Maybe the authors could cite reasons why they're
better, but it would all be post-hoc and not useful to predict the next success.  For all practical purposes, all you
can say is that they got lucky.

You can never depend on getting lucky, and it's not a good business plan or life plan.  So I agree 100% with the
comments that you should do what you like above all.  If having actual players is what's important to you, then definitely
attach yourself to some existing site and borrow the eyeballs there.
26  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Generic meta server on: 2011-06-10 20:00:29
There is no perceived need for this, so do it as an exercise if you find it interesting, but don't expect a flock
of game developers to materialize and adopt it.
27  Game Development / Networking & Multiplayer / Re: Would this Client to Server design work? on: 2011-05-08 19:13:36
You have to adopt different strategies depending on the scale of the site.  If there are 2 users almost anything will work.  If there are 2 million users, no simple strategy will work.   Generally though, you should separate real time response from persistence.  Keep what you need to serve the client's immediate needs in working storage, and take care of recording the state of the world in a background process.
28  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: How much math do I need to know to be a good programer? on: 2011-04-11 05:36:02

The general maths that are really useful are basic algebra, trig, probability, number theory and matrix
algebra.  Don't overlook classes in numerical methods that are tailored to programming.  More advanced
math including calculus is not generally relevant or useful.

29  Game Development / Networking & Multiplayer / Re: Generic game server on: 2011-04-08 06:15:27

Loosely speaking, some server-client architectures have a very tight relationship, where the server is an integral part of the game.  Others have a looser relationship where the server expects certain things, but otherwise acts as a neutral facilitator.   It sounds like you're looking for the latter, but even there, there are many things which are pretty nailed down and might not suit you.
30  Game Development / Networking & Multiplayer / Re: Generic game server on: 2011-04-06 16:14:14
If you're set on developing your own site, there's a framework called "Jogre" on source forge
that might be your best bet.

The other likely path is to shop your game to whatever site seems most compatible.   There are a
bunch of indie game sites that use Java as their primary engine, and some no doubt would welcome
volunteer developers. is in that group.
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