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1  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Things that get in the way of coding.. on: 2004-09-15 04:54:03
Quote
The urge to procrastinate.


Nup, never do that. But somehow, just before I start coding I usually have a new OS patch to download, or a bit more fiddling with the design, or some documentation that needs tightening up.

How come nobody mentioned documentation (or is that something we game programmers aren't supposed to worry about  Wink )
2  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: Linked Lists and memory management. on: 2004-09-15 04:35:34
What are the symptoms that lead you to beleive your entities arent being destroyed?

Looking at your test code the link list should set entities free just fine. Do your entities keep hard references to each other at any time? In which case it may be those references from a live entity to a dead one that stop it from being garbage collected.
3  Game Development / Artificial Intelligence / Re: Difficulty effects on AI on: 2004-09-13 10:18:19
Quote
Fuzzy State Machines can do all of those things anyone has suggested from the above.


Sure, but that's an implementation choice. The question is not what method to use to implement the Ai, but what Ai to implement.  Cool
4  Game Development / Artificial Intelligence / Re: Difficulty effects on AI on: 2004-09-12 08:18:46
Along the same lines you could have a ship on the easy levels take a little longer to decide to turn. Once the turn has started it can be as acurate as normal or you can have a small chance of planned over/undershoot followed by another delay before trying again.
5  Game Development / Artificial Intelligence / Re: Difficulty effects on AI on: 2004-09-12 08:15:08
Quote
scrap the random angle function altogether, and let the amount of damage done by a direct hit be adjustable so that at easier levels, less damage is incurred by each direct hit

That's an inverse of the usual smarter enemy approach in production strategy games, the "smarter" AI actually just produces more stuff than the player can. Instead of making the AI smarter or dumber the AI breaks the game rules to be more or less powerful. That's not much fun and always feels like a bit of a gyp.

Perhaps a simple thing to make the ship AIs seem more like newbies is to reduce their rate of fire or to have them fire panic shots when they haven't quite lined up on the target, or both so the panic shots use up a fire cycle.
6  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: Combat systems in RPGs / adventure games on: 2004-09-10 23:03:41
Quote
balanced, i.e. combat should pose a certain risk on the avatar, but he should not be doomed


Well, actually, in a good RPG players will get into situations that are out of their league from time to time. The game should give them hints that they are not up for it before the encounter or help them realise it during the encounter. Then the system had better let the players choose one of (at least) three options:
  • Run away quick
  • Talk their way out or trick the enemy in some way
  • Fight and die heroicly, perhaps doing some useful damage on the way down.


The "run away quick" option should have the possibility of a persiut. I rarely come across a good chase in RPGs.
7  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: Combat systems in RPGs / adventure games on: 2004-09-10 22:53:15
I've never much liked realtime combat games because the controls you get are always too tactical while the immediacy of being there in the avatars body is absent. A real time combat system should have more general controls that represent intentions, "Get that guy by any means possible", "Help Fred pin that monster down", "Sneak over here fast and shoot at the first target of opportunity". Of course, designing general enough controls for a grammer of intention will be hard, and the AI to support it harder still, but hey, we all like a challenge or we wouldn't be doing this stuff, right? ;-)
8  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Drawing game in a Frame on: 2004-09-08 22:39:12
JFrame inherits Window.getBufferedStrategy()
JPanel inherits JComponent.setDoubleBuffered()

What are you trying to achieve with the buffer strategy?
9  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Can we have a better code integration? on: 2004-09-08 04:02:49
So, as I understand it, the forum software would accept a post with a markup something like:

<java>
 bunch of code
</java>

then parse the Java code simplistically (can't know about context of code after all) and produced marked up output to store as the actual post. Of course, I've assumed a language specific markup. I'm not to sure how generic the parser/marker could be so that it decently handled php, sql, java etc. generically.
:-/
10  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Question about oop on: 2004-09-07 00:04:15
And don't forget important objects like "thePlayer (the guy that's doing everything)"  Wink
11  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: New category: "Cross-platform games dev&q on: 2004-09-06 01:10:51
+1 for me.

I had apples Java enjineers to myself for a day when MacOSX was first comming out and had to point out to them that Applets on the Mac sending URLs did not also send the cookies, wheras all other implementations did. That has since been fixed but there are still a few little cotchas.

Java with the Aqua interface is pretty good looking but it brings up some questions about making games deal with platform specific look and feel. Lots of devs seem to take full control of the L&F and ignore platform but there must be better ways of tackling this.
12  Game Development / Networking & Multiplayer / Re: TowerGames on: 2004-09-05 23:33:15
Cool site! I'm glad to see Lew Pulsipher etc. all still going strong. Send me a private email, I'd like to chat.
13  Game Development / Networking & Multiplayer / Re: TowerGames on: 2004-09-05 20:27:40
Thanks for sharing.  Wink

Yes I've been to more game sites than I care to remember over the past 4 years. Could you give me 2 specifics that you have in mind in the less mainstream group? (not including HexWar which is obvious but have visited)

I'll refrain from responding any more deeply until I have had a few more opinions posted.
14  Game Development / Networking & Multiplayer / TowerGames on: 2004-09-04 09:52:56
Hi guys,

many years ago I worked full time for a game company doing games in C, and later C++. During that time I watched the big distributors start to get a stranglehold on commercial game development. I got out and had more fun for a while working as a freelance developer/designer and was involved in some very early java web stuff. Then a couple of years ago I had a dream to use java to give game artists better access to the consumers out there. I had a half hour chat with a friend of mine and Tower Games was born.

The idea is simple, Tower Games runs a web site and a whole bunch of infrastructure, game artists develop games according to an API to plug into our web site. The site is pay_for_play and we collect the dollars and pass on a significant royalty to the writers.

We have only 1 game at the moment, a wargame, and 2 other wargames in serious development but unlikely to be ready till next year. We also have a few good 3rd party designs looking for developers who are willing to make a deal with the designers.

The whole site is 100% java - tomcat with servlets and jsp at the back and applets at the front.

Anyway, check out the site www.towergames.com, and post your thoughts about our approach to networked play here.
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