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1  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What I did today on: 2016-05-12 22:18:43
Today I wrote a game on a computer older than almost all of you.

Imgur album

Excuse the potato quality.
Sadly i do believe i am older.
2  Java Game APIs & Engines / OpenGL Development / Re: Vec4 Mathematics on: 2016-05-12 03:31:49
Vertex Cache, which i mentioned *is an optimization*. Potato Patato...
That still doesn't have anything to do with GLSL compiling.
Way to miss the forest from the trees.
3  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What I did today on: 2016-05-11 22:47:33
Well weeks and little progress. This own company thing is harder than it looks. Last week was bad as a friend suddenly pass away. Sad times.

This week i have been a chronic procrastinator. So i got out the book that helps me on that and am applying that for the next little while, so far so good. Didn't muck around at all this morning. Got cracking straight out of the blocks. Lets try and keep that up eh.

You may wonder why i would post this. Well i am trying to organize some informal weekly indie thing here (Auckland NZ). Because when you work mostly on your own it is very easy to have days, weeks and even months just evaporate  and you don't really keep up with what you should be doing, and what your not doing.  I know of no silver bullets, but contact with others who can tell you "what the.. you should us that last month". Or alternatively and more common, it like Dam he got soo much done. What was i doing? So until then your my informal weekly meeting Cheesy

So lets crack on.
4  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Shareware, copyright and fangames on: 2016-05-11 22:37:04
there is in fact no requirement to protect copyright stuff, they can just let it all slide if they want (see Eve Online fan stuff). They can just leave it for 90 years then decide to sue (cease and desist first), it is trademark that you need to be vigilant about to keep it.
5  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Shareware, copyright and fangames on: 2016-05-11 08:59:31
The skinny is they probably don't care. ALSO they have to give a cease and desist notification first. Follow it and your not going to get sued. 99.9% of the time.
6  Java Game APIs & Engines / OpenGL Development / Re: Vec4 Mathematics on: 2016-05-11 08:55:34
Vertex Cache, which i mentioned *is an optimization*. Potato Patato...
7  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What I did today on: 2016-05-11 08:52:32
Compression is a good thing for lowering load time.
The fastest i have found is store it the same as in memory. Use simple fast compression. None of the xz or bzip stuff that is slow. Basically gzip. Gzip saves time of spinning disks (not RAID) but is level pegging with SSD. The space saved is worth it anyway.
8  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What I did today on: 2016-05-10 22:35:10
As long as you are below 5 or 15 seconds (depending on if you show loading screen on every level/area loading or only once when game is starting) you don't have anything to worry about. Smiley
I appreciate every effort game developers make to reducing load times. I'm disappointed that multithreaded loading is not more common in CPU limited loads...
It is not nearly as easy as it looks to make work. I know i tried it. You end up with lots of OS wait states. Really you can only read stuff from disk so fast and for the most part having a not stupid on disk format is about as good as it gets. But max IO bandwidth is not realized if your also trying to get max data to the GPU etc. In theory it can work. But even million dollar GIS systems come with custom configurations often enough to reduce the problems with streaming data. 
9  Java Game APIs & Engines / OpenGL Development / Re: Vec4 Mathematics on: 2016-05-10 22:29:32
Quote
does GLSL do any optimsations?
Yes it does, but it depends and implementation specific. ie it is up to the vendor. Assuming your using indexed primitives it can cache vertex calculations. ie properly optimized triangle soups you will very rarely calculate a vertex twice. But typically each and every vertex is calculated once even if some calculations can be taken "out of the vertex loop". But again it is Meh since cards these days just never seem to hit vertex limits anymore, matrix calculations in fragments. Well that is a different story.
10  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Shareware, copyright and fangames on: 2016-05-10 22:23:20
No don't ask. Lawyers always say no and now you have just given them proof you believe you are using there IP.

Note that copyright does *not* protect ideas. It protects a particular implementation/expression of ideas. For example anyone can write a story about an physically scared orphaned wizard that goes to a hidden school of magic with a redhead and loser for best friends. But ya can't call him harry potter, and you probably want that scar to be from something different.
11  Java Game APIs & Engines / OpenGL Development / Re: Vec4 Mathematics on: 2016-05-10 10:48:03
Mostly there just won't be a difference, cpus are that fast these days. Moving the data around costs more than working on that data in many cases. You should use what you think makes code nicer.

Having said that. Phones may be different, and different phones may be different.
12  Discussions / Business and Project Management Discussions / Re: WoW Server Development [Project Shadowcrown] on: 2016-05-08 09:42:00
Also isn't a WoW against WoW terms of service. They have shut lots of that stuff fairly consistently.
13  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Where I came from on: 2016-05-07 20:31:31
1) When did you start programming?
I was about 8 years old. My dad said that if we wanted games i had to write them myself. It was on a http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/det/40165/Sord-M23-Mark-III/. We didn't have the graphics upgrade so had to hack machine code and stuff. Even an assembler cost a lot of money back then. But dad did pony up the money (a few $100 for an 8 year old). I moved on to big iron and demos on amgias at highschool. Fave language at the time was lisp.

2) Where are you currently studying (middle school / high school / college)?
I just left science to start my own company. Black Robin Games. We rock.

3) Do you have any tips for aspiring game developers / programmers?
Pick something smaller than you think you can do. And finish it. FINISH FINISH finish. It is all about Finishing. This is not just games, but life in general. You don't need to be smart to have a PhD (Like hell i have one), the trick is to finish. I say this as someone who has not finished a game and started a company anyway :/

4) What do you feel is necessary to learn in order to be considered a programmer? (data structures, multi-threading, concurrency, programming paradigms, etc.)
Experience. Real life boots on the ground experience. Theory only gets you so far. And in practice things tend to be far more messy than "In theory".

5) What motivates you to learn new things?
I never really stopped to think about it. I am just always doing it.

6) What, in your opinion, is the "right" learning attitude?
One that works for you. Really we are all different. There are no right/wrong ways, if it works it works.
14  Game Development / Shared Code / Re: Xorshift variation for getting per-coord / parameter numbers on: 2016-05-01 20:57:36
Well one that isn't totally bad and fairly fast is
((a+x)*b+y)*c+z)*d
a,b,c and d are large primes. I use the 4 largest primes for the number size i use (4 largest smaller than 2^64 for longs.)
15  Game Development / Shared Code / Re: Xorshift variation for getting per-coord / parameter numbers on: 2016-05-01 05:31:19
There have been posts on this in the past. Including my own posts. I just spent a while going through em.. it was too long ago. But I used msequences. Very fast and proper pseudo random proprieties.
16  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What I did today on: 2016-04-30 23:12:23
Sorting the isometric sprites the "correct" way is a hell, if you go for perfection you'll end up with a O(n^2) algorithm in the worst case or O(n * log n) algorithm eating up your mem in the best case.
I really don't follow, esp n^2. I did a isometric engine way back and had no such problems. Also n log n is fast enough even on old hardware for pretty big lists. If its mostly sorted, many sorts tend to O(n).

Anything that has a consistent ordering should always be sortable in n log n worst case. (broken quick sorts not withstanding)
17  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: ExoSim - Exoplanet Simulator (CWSF 2016) on: 2016-04-23 01:50:42
Interesting project and quite ambitious. I would be interested in how you decide planet composition and things.

My masters was in Astrophysics (and laser physics). A few of my old friends work on planet formation theories, and stellar evolution along with nebular composition. Obviously recent data means these models are getting some adjustments.

I can see this working and being very interesting and super cool even with very cut down models and approximations. Note sure how you would do the biology however. That is far more speculative. Hell even weather systems are hard. It is quite easy to come up with a first order weather model that allows for liquid water outside the Goldilocks zone. 

Interested in this and will watch this space.
18  Game Development / Game Mechanics / Re: [LWJGL] 3D Collision on: 2016-04-23 01:10:12
If you want to go the hard way. Which i did once, as well as write a ray tracer for shits n giggles. You have a huge set of different algorithms that are designed to be efficient in particular cases.

However all (almost) share one feature. You prune the number of pairwise checks you need to do. Typically with some spacial data structure, say a quad tree for "2.5D" cases like an RTS or even FPS. Or a full oct tree for true full 3d. jME uses the scene graph for this (I think).

Now your down to a reduced set of pairwise checks you still do some fast pruning. For example use a bounding spheres and check if they overlap. If not discard.

Now you do the real checks. This can use full math based collision if the geometry is mathematically defined (ie constructive geometry). Or polygon methods for polygon data. Polygon data may be further required to be subsets of strictly convex geometry as well. Or just use the convex hull. Typically the polygon data needs to be a specific "collision" structure so different again from what you would send to the GPU.

A good example of this is the "closest triangle" method. I have convex polygon sets A and B. In A i find the polygon closest to B, and in B the same. I keep track of those polygons from frame to frame, updating the closest polygon if needed. Then i just check to see if they "intersect". Now this is a hard check. There are many edge cases you must consider. But you get the idea.  It is easy to see that i want some data structure where each polygon has a list of adjacent polygons. this is not anything like the structure you use for drawing.

There are a lot of papers out there. From the often fairly poorly written game/graphics gems to different well written siggraph papers.
19  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Programmer jokes on: 2016-04-22 07:34:14
WTDD: Wishful thinking driven development
QFT

Almost every company i have ever worked for use this method. Including the one i just set up myself.
20  Game Development / Game Mechanics / Re: [LWJGL] 3D Collision on: 2016-04-22 05:18:52
This is where reinventing the wheel doesn't really make much sense. Trust me i know. I would just use the jMonkey engine. If you really don't want to use the whole thing. Then just use its collision code. I mean like 2 lines of code and i am done.
21  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What I did today on: 2016-04-21 09:08:52
My business cards arrived!
[...] it is far easier to give someone a card [...] than everyone getting phones out
You can even combine cards and phones: QR-codes of contact details.
Scanning the code will then add you with your contact details to their phone contacts. Or just your website.
Yea we have the website qrcode on the back.
22  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What I did today on: 2016-04-21 07:07:11
My business cards arrived!

Yes they are still a thing. I assumed not. But the fact is, it is far easier to give someone a card when at a big gathering than everyone getting phones out and exchanging details. I asked my bother to whip up a logo. And there you have it. Really pleased with it. Also did a quick and simple website to support this card.
http://www.blackrobingames.com
Yea it is basic. We will add stuff when we are ready for real announcements and stuff. In the mean time you guys get exclusives Wink

Otherwise busy because my daughter is over for a few days. It is good to be your own boss.
23  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Reserving the name of your game on: 2016-04-20 06:12:12
The only way to even reserve a name is via Trademarks or copyright. Trade marks are specific to what it is for. In other words just because someone is using a given name for something doesn't mean you can't either. You just have to be in different "industries" such that there is no likelihood to confuse the different brands. Most countries have trademark databases you can search.

Copyright is much more country specific. Lots of names wouldn't be copyright-able in many countries.

The good news is, if you can't "reserve" a name. Neither can anyone else.
24  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What I did today on: 2016-04-17 12:20:26
Blender's blend file or FBX? o:
This is with jMonkey engine. So directly from blender files.
Quote from: orange451
Can't this be done in the shader? I'm assuming you're using them to calculate a TBN matrix for your normalmapping. Though, I guess I've you've already went ahead and done it on the CPU then there's no reason to switch Tongue
I am just using the default jME system. I need to call the create binormals thing. Since default textures (spec & normal maps) is all we need right now.

This week i am adding a proper IK system to jME that will also fix some of the other blender import issues. going to be all FABRIK, much like unity. But i get to match constraints to the blender system.
25  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Ludum Dare 35: April 15th to 18th -- THEME IS SHAPESHIFT -- on: 2016-04-17 07:42:27
Yea i was going to go html5 for this dare. Maybe next time. Or the NZ game jam.
26  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What I did today on: 2016-04-17 06:06:44
So after much mucking around and playing and saving and... Anyway now my pipeline loads texture data directly from the blend files correctly. Still some funk with normal's but that was fixed by re generating them, and i need to manually create binormals.  The result however is now we have all the textures!

There is plenty to do.

As for fluids, i added fluid simulation to Art Of Illusion way back. AoI was the java version of blender. However it was mostly one guy who is now rather busy. I didn't do a great job and abandoned the project. I used Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH). I find it worked better for free surfaces. I would do things very differently if i did them again.

Lattice Boltzmann methods are pretty cool. The math even cooler. In the old days they even had integer latices gases. That was for back when floating point units were slow and expensive. These days i would look for a lib that uses the gpu. Hard to make it the same everywhere however.
27  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Adding multi-player on: 2016-04-16 21:37:08
You should design for multi-player from the ground up. 

I strongly disagree. The hard part of all games is finishing. Anything. The trick to that is have something playable as fast as you can. And just getting single player working is the main trick for that.

Adding networking after the fact. Which i have done, was in fact a fairly straightforward refactor. The hard part remains the networking.
28  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Ludum Dare 35: April 15th to 18th -- THEME IS SHAPESHIFT -- on: 2016-04-16 01:32:41
I was going to do this one.. then well life happened.
29  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Adding multi-player on: 2016-04-16 01:05:31
Kryonet handles marshaling. The hard bit is what to send and when.

Using a lib like kryonet is recommended and removes the UDP/TCP argument since the lib will make that decision for you. If not *always start with TCP*, if it really is a bad fit then you can change later. TCP gives you a lot out of the box (flow control, ordering, handshakes and of course resends with packet loss), and UDP is *not* faster as so many claim. See below for the *only exception* IMO to this rule.

The type of game strongly dictates architecture. ie Server client, or p2p, turn based. These days everyone is moving to Server client, even for RTS games, so not a bad place to start.

Now the what and when. Lets hope your game is small. That is the *entire game state* can fit in a single packet, ie about 1500bytes or less. Then every game tick the server sends the entire game state. clients send "actions" when they happen. The server constantly listens to client actions, then updates the state, and at a fix interval sends the entire state to every client. This system does in fact work well with UDP and is the only case i would recomend people use UDP. Flow control and resends are handled implicitly by the server sending a fresh update at whatever rate you deem fit (10 per sec?). Clients always ignore "older" packets. Quake/unreal uses this system. this also works really well with TCP and large states with turned based games. Think old Civ.

If you can't fit the entire state in a single packet. Then more incremental updates with sync needs to be considered and it a bit harder to do. This is where TCP shines. I don't need a billion special cases with unrecived packets or out of order packets. But exactly what to send when is much harder to deiced. there are many ways to skin this cat. More details are required.

But no matter what i would start small. Proper small. like a cut down version of the game or something.
30  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What I did today on: 2016-04-15 01:11:21
No idea what it is. I got it at a xmass market in Vienna.

My cubes. The 4x4 is harder than a 5x5 of course. Since you get parity. The 5x5 is a rubics and is crap.
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