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1  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: SCRATCH : An excellent tool for learning the basics of programming on: 2012-02-29 22:40:17

(For those who don't know the backstory, Stencyl started outputting games using Slick2D, then PulpCore, then switched to Flash via Flixel and now also supports Objective-C via Sparrow. We dropped Java game support a while back, but the toolset is still Java-based.)
2  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Google PlayN on: 2012-02-29 20:06:00
If you asked me that a month ago, I would have said forget it. But what they've done in 3.2 has made it a viable alternative to other ways. Take it with a grain of salt, I myself have not tried it yet, but I've been talking with other developers and am in direct contact with Adobe about it, and it looks promising.

Having been down the multi-engine/language path (I'm currently maintaining an AS3 and an Objective-C engine), it's *not* a fun one to go with.

Alternatives to AIR and PlayN include NME (write in HaXe and uses SDL - it's a bit raw right now but very promising because it can hit Flash, native C++, iOS, Android and HTML5), and kevglass' Java-based solution where he writes in Java and uses a host of technologies to reach the rest (GWT, XMLVM, etc.) along with some thin wrappers.

As for a live example, the best one came even before this - if you've played the Flash game Machinarium - it was #1 on the iPad App Store when it debuted, and it's a pretty graphical game in itself.
3  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Google PlayN on: 2012-02-29 01:08:42
I don't think Adobe's competent enough to be evil.  Trying to plug all the myriad security holes in Flash probably broke something else.  AIR is about set to be EOL'd soon.

Unless you're talking about Linux, this is really far from true. They just put out an RC of the exporter to iOS and Android that now uses hardware acceleration and gets 60 FPS from games now. A big jump from before.

AIR and Flash's future is in becoming a multi-platform development framework.
4  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: SCRATCH : An excellent tool for learning the basics of programming on: 2012-02-29 01:04:25
I adopted the Scratch interface for Stencyl a while back. It took a lot of iteration to adapt it for games, and we're still learning and refining the approach a few years later...
5  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Mac App Store without Java on: 2010-10-21 17:56:32
Also as much as mac are getting a lot of mindshare they are still small fry compared to windows.

Not when one of your product's main use cases is building iOS games. I expect our share of Mac users to grow to at least a third or 50%, if not more.
6  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Mac App Store without Java on: 2010-10-21 09:26:27
Actually I see this as a good thing eventually: I'll be able to ship a bundled JRE with my games finally! OpenJDK to the rescue. Or whatever Oracle comes up with. This simplifies things for me enormously believe it or not. I'll be doing the same for Linux soon too. No more crappy Webstart.

Cas Smiley

Are you allowed to bundle the Sun/Oracle JRE?

This move definitely has shaken my venture up, particularly since we're in a transition towards supporting iOS game exporting and are courting Mac users.
7  Java Game APIs & Engines / Java 2D / Re: Swing / JScrollPane / setPrefferedSize question... on: 2009-04-23 04:31:23
It might help you to see it in a larger context. This classic example helps:

How to Use Scroll Panes
8  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Oracle buying Sun on: 2009-04-23 04:27:55
The critical part to me is Java 6u10+. If it continues to be supported on the client side then I'm fine. I don't really care about AWT/Swing/Java 2D. The crucial parts for me are fast start-up time, JRE kernel, JRE modules targeted in Java 7. JWS and applets are great too but less crucial since we have alternatives like LWJGL applets and Pulp Core.

Swing and Java2D will continue to be developed further - Oracle has a pretty big stake in this since many of its DB administration tools are written in Swing. They aren't sexy, but it would be shocking if they didn't invest further in this area or at least maintain it.

Swing's not really touched upon around these parts, but I still live and breathe Swing myself and am closely watching to see what comes of its future since I have a very vested interest in it and can't afford to see it set aside.
9  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Drag and Drop JPanel <-> JPanel on: 2009-01-15 08:00:21
Let's say that I'm creating an application that enables drag and drop from one JPanel to another JPanel. That's easy to do and is explained in the Sun tutorial. Now, here's the twist.

During the drag process, the component I am dragging is drawn as you drag it along, as opposed to the boring default rectangle. This is crucial for usability.

I can think of one way to do this that involves the glass pane, but I'm wondering if anyone here knows the preferred way of doing this?

My solution would involve using a custom JComponent as the glasspane, writing my own custom mouse handling routines and then also doing the custom drawing. Sounds a bit overkill for this though...
10  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Disable Anti-Aliasing in Swing? on: 2009-01-13 08:13:25
Did you run the example I attached? It works.

Not on my Mac, for the reasons that Dmitri stated. It does work on my PC, which I should have stated in the OP.
11  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Disable Anti-Aliasing in Swing? on: 2009-01-08 00:57:05
I get a CCE.

"java.lang.Boolean cannot be cast to sun.swing.SwingUtilities2$AATextInfo"

Is there some documentation for SwingUtilities2, or is it one of those internal classes?
12  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Disable Anti-Aliasing in Swing? on: 2009-01-07 22:54:07,%20java.lang.Object)

Call it in paintComponent(Graphics g) of the component who's appearance you want to alter.

That was actually one of the first things I tried. It didn't work at all. To be specific, I'm turning off text anti-aliasing (since small fonts look terrible when anti-aliased), so I used both the normal AA key as well as the text-specific one. To ensure that my eyes weren't deceiving me, I zoomed in 800% in Photoshop to verify this.

Is there something else I'm missing?
13  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Disable Anti-Aliasing in Swing? on: 2009-01-07 17:22:18
For a given Swing component, I'd like to explicitly DISABLE anti-aliasing just for that component, not globally.

What's the preferred way of doing this?
14  Discussions / General Discussions / Using VM's to test on multiple platforms? on: 2008-11-19 19:52:20
This issue came up peripherally at work today - do Java developers use virtualization to test on multiple platforms?

I'll be the first to admit that even I don't do this myself, but the benefits are enormous. Being able to test your game or your Swing application on all the major platforms (XP, Vista, Ubuntu) AND to test them on all the major Java versions (Java 5, Java 6u7, Java 6u10) would be a boon for rooting out distribution problems, don't you think?

All somebody needs to do is take a clean VM and generate snapshots to cover all these cases.

If that's the case, why aren't we seeing more of this done?
15  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Java Applets. Problems? What problems? on: 2008-11-16 17:36:57
people have put together some real neat tools for visual editing, where you can basically just drag and drop components and all the physics is hooked up automatically.  Pretty neat stuff, IMO.

Got a link to some of these? This sounds interesting.

The main problem with Flash these days is that the VM still has a ton of performance quirks, so it's a trip back to the bad old days of micro-optimization.  Totally bizarre stuff like linked lists being significantly faster than arrays, constructors not being JITed (so I'm told), etc.  That's not even to start on the ways of tricking graphics into drawing fast...

Very interesting. Do you have any links to blog entries or resources where all these odd little quirks are exposed? Or is this just something you pick up over time, as is the case with Java?
16  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Java Applets. Problems? What problems? on: 2008-11-15 23:52:27
Have you tried out anything with the Flash version of Box2D yet? While I only worked with the stock examples, I played around with the framerate cap, iterations, steps, etc. and got a buttery smooth 60 FPS simulation with plenty of processing to spare. Is there a particular reason why all Flash games are capped to 30 FPS, even if the client is more than capable of running it faster?
17  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Class:isAssignableFrom doesn't autobox primitives. on: 2008-11-09 06:46:30
Perhaps i'm missing something but... is this Object array 'a' being used as the 'args' parameter to your call to Method:invoke(...)?

If so, the implementation automatically unwraps the Object types to their primitive counterparts, so you won't have to do a thing?

Well, it unwraps the Object types to their primitive counterparts, but according to Sun's reflection article, isAssignableFrom returns false if either class involved is a primitive. They don't hint at any workaround though.
18  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Class:isAssignableFrom doesn't autobox primitives. on: 2008-11-08 21:34:57
Object[] a = new Object[] {1.0f};
System.out.println(float.class.isAssignableFrom(a[0].getClass())); //returns false
System.out.println(Float.class.isAssignableFrom(a[0].getClass())); //returns true

Is there an elegant solution to this? I'm using this in tandem with Method:invoke, and the hackish solution right now is to change the parameters in the called function to their non-primitive counterparts, but that's not really acceptable in the long run...
19  Java Game APIs & Engines / JavaFX / Visual designer tool? on: 2008-10-23 18:28:24
My first question, which might be among many that may soon be explained, is what kinds of tools to expect for JavaFX.

A long while back, Sun mentioned that it was developing something akin to Flash Studio. Is that tool still in the plans? Is it going to be a standalone tool, or does it exist more as a series of plugins to existing tools such as Photoshop/Illustrator (for graphics work) and NetBeans (for the visual designer)?
20  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Java/SVG Games on: 2008-05-06 04:21:16
I feel really bad saying this because you've put a lot of effort into your post and likely, your actual games, but your site completely blinds me, literally. I hope you don't take offense, but I can't put it any other way. It's been a long time since I had a site force me to hit back because the color scheme just killed my eyes. Sad
21  Discussions / General Discussions / Flash goes open. on: 2008-05-01 05:34:57
It finally happened...
22  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / NPE's sometimes get ignored? on: 2008-04-16 06:13:21
I just spent hours narrowing down a phantom problem, only to realize that there was a NPE being thrown, but that never hit the console for some reason. Only after I put an explicit try/catch block around the faulty code, did the NPE get thrown, but this is hardly standard protocol at all. NPE's are thrown, regardless, right?

Is there some reason for these NPE's to get consumed and never reported? Given the frequency of this kind of exception, this is terribly difficult to debug.
23  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Tangible problem with Flash vs. Java on: 2008-04-10 03:55:23
Gotta play Devil's advocate here, but the top tier Flash games are impressive and have the results to show (2+ million plays in 1 month). I can't think of any browser-based Java games that have hit that level of popularity for a long time, Runescape excepted.

Another problem is that making games the old way takes far too long. Sure, the results are fantastic (Kevin's stuff is all like that), but even a fast programmer like him will take at least several days to make anything playable, and that's with the help of his frameworks whereas in Flash, you have a full toolchain already there. This lowers the bar to entry and lets in a lot of low quality content, but statistically speaking, the more you lower the bar the higher chance you get at getting those home run games.
24  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / question on: 2008-03-02 23:58:42
I was tearing my hair out over this, and having done this so many times, forgot a simple rule - it seems like these files, or something I'm using, restricts the column size to around 70ish columns. Go beyond that, and you start getting lots of cryptic errors like no main class found or your external JAR's not loading (even though the file looks perfectly fine!). Is there really a column cap for these kinds of files?
25  Discussions / General Discussions / Sun to pursue Java-less Java? on: 2008-02-29 18:27:05
What's this all about?

And what about this? Being able to cross-compile Java straight to ActionScript is intriguing.
26  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: gone? on: 2008-02-27 03:13:01
Immense server problems the past week, and this week too. In a gist - kernel panics on the server side. We're going to upgrade to a new, better server after the month is up.
27  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Internationalization on: 2008-02-22 08:37:11
I've been dabbling with internationalizing my Swing-based programs, but for lack of a better explanation, all I ever get are placeholder boxes where the characters are supposed to be. How do I resolve this?
28  Discussions / General Discussions / Applet Cache on: 2008-02-06 04:00:46
Is there a way to poke around this and perhaps execute the stuff that's in here if a user is offline and wants to play an applet? This would save me a lot of effort on my part and would eliminate the need for some special plugin for this.
29  Games Center / Archived Projects / Applet - Platformer Physics on: 2008-01-26 18:41:15
I put this together this week.

It's a pure Java applet this time around with no natives and no deadly security prompt. This is powered by PulpCore and is integrated with the latest build of Phys2D along with some extra code for scrolling and other niceties that I ported over from SlickSet.


Left/Right = Move
Spacebar = Jump

Click to Play

Target framerate is 60 FPS (though it may fluctuate by up to 5 FPS). On a 1.6 GHz Pentium 4 / 512 MB / Radeon 7500 setup, it still clocks in at the full 60 FPS. If anybody has a worse computer (1 GHz / 256 MB), I'd be very interested in knowing what numbers you get. Smiley
30  Java Game APIs & Engines / Java Sound & OpenAL / Streaming OGG on: 2008-01-07 07:29:22
The optimal solution right now (EasyOGG) doesn't allow you to stream OGG's in, which is terribly suboptimal if you're trying to play back music. I want to do this using pure Java (no OpenAL or native libraries) - is there any pre-existing solution, and if not, how would I go about rolling my own code for this?
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