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1  Java Game APIs & Engines / Engines, Libraries and Tools / Re: LWJGL3 - Precise Gamepad Input on: 2016-04-28 12:02:56
Use libgdx I'd say.

libGDX looks great, but I'm interested in a lower level approach right now.  Grin
2  Java Game APIs & Engines / Engines, Libraries and Tools / Re: LWJGL3 - Precise Gamepad Input on: 2016-04-26 11:17:35
So it would be preferable to use an alternate libray for joystick handling then?
3  Java Game APIs & Engines / Engines, Libraries and Tools / LWJGL3 - Precise Gamepad Input on: 2016-04-26 09:25:19
From what I can gather, LWJGL3 (GLFW) only offers polling when checking up on Joystick/Gamepad input, no callbacks.

If I'm not mistaken, this means I need to poll the input data on each frame (update), which means that the precision of button presses will be dependent on how often the polling is made.

I find this is a problem when requiring precise timing of inputs, for, say, a game requiring key combos, like a fighting game or the like.

So far, the best solution I can come up with is to run the gamepad polling in an independent thread so as to try and make it as fast and stable as possible, and then check the input data from the main game thread when processing the game logic.

Is this approach sound? Am I missing something? Should I throw myself out of a window?

 Clueless
4  Game Development / Performance Tuning / Re: Data array too heavy for task? on: 2016-04-18 12:13:35
Oh, no idea, I assume those are the only values I get.
5  Game Development / Performance Tuning / Re: Data array too heavy for task? on: 2016-04-18 08:02:45
Yup, analog, no virtual keyboard or the like.
6  Game Development / Performance Tuning / Re: Data array too heavy for task? on: 2016-04-15 10:47:43
Thanks for the references and examples! Smiley

For the record, I'm using that massive array because I was following a basic tutorial on LWJGL3 input handlers that had it defined as such.

In any case my worry is about the cost of merrily allocating large static arrays, like the one I mentioned, all across the program. 262kb might not seem like much (well it does feel huge to me anyway) but I suspect it can add up rather quickly.


7  Game Development / Performance Tuning / Data array too heavy for task? on: 2016-04-15 10:25:22
So, I'm implementing my input handler in LWJGL3, doing it on my own (no references) just for the heck of it.

I need to be able to keep track of how long keys have been held down, and my first instinct is to have an array of integers keeping track of the "down" time of individual keys (more precisely, keeping track of the start time).

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public static int[] keys_time = new int[65536];

···

keys_time[key_code] = start_time;


If my calculations are correct, for integers being 32-bits long, just declaring that array takes around 262Kb.

My question here is.... Is this a waste of space? Are 262Kb too much? Would it be worth it to do something like this:
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public static HashMap<Integer, Integer> keys_time = new HashMap<Integer, Integer>();

···

keys_time.put(key_code, start_time);


My intention here is not to discuss about keyboard handlers (I'll check documentation on that later today), but to discuss the ramifications of making design decisions like the above.

 Smiley
8  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Virtual Reality on: 2016-03-23 14:10:34
I'm really looking forward to this, but I agree that it will be a niche market at best, at least until hardware prices drop to more reasonable levels.

I'd compare it with all the fancy peripherals like steering wheels or advanced flightsticks, they work wonders for the games they are desinged for, but not so many games come out for them, seeing how they are horribly expensive.


Sucks too, because with VR being really new there's a lot of weird untapped (and easy to get into) markets to jump into, like hybrid "2.5d platformers" and other fun stuff that VR could make really interesting.

I'm thinking that, for 3rd person games, VR tech could finally solve most camera issues. You could control the player character with a standard peripheral (keyboard/gamepad) and point the camera with your head.

For games based on precision jumping and the like it would be natural, I mean, who hasn't reflexively tried to look beyond the screen borders when jumping around under bad camera angles?

Same with driving/piloting games, where turning the camera is usually a hassle.

I really hope lots of cool stuff will pop up!
9  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: The point of games on: 2016-03-16 18:13:57
You could argue there is also no point in the following:

  • Movies
  • Music
  • Sculpture
  • Curry
  • Non-reproducitve sex
  • Asking questions on the point of things

The answer should be obvious... Ok, except for you, Replicoid Unit #9827772-23
10  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: 135 gigs of assets available for the low price of $13 on: 2016-03-16 18:09:22
<sarcasm>
Can't wait to see these assets start popping up in Jim Sterling's videos
</sarcasm>

I'm of the opinion that, used judiciously, pre-bought assets are OK, and the deal seems nice for people needing those kind of resources.

Unfortunately, the usual low-effort hacks will start churning out sub par games using those assets soon, which will inevitably taint any other games using them, hence my opening comment. Sad
11  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Forum is quiet on: 2016-03-10 09:15:26
sssssh! Keep quiet or IT will find us!  persecutioncomplex
12  Java Game APIs & Engines / OpenGL Development / Re: OpenGL Samples on: 2016-03-03 17:53:46
Or you could enroll in a higher-education course specializing in computer graphics.

Those teachers, man, it's like they are being paid to help people learn!  Shocked
13  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Comparing Rust and Java on: 2016-03-01 09:12:44
These types of threads make me think of C/C++ as the Dark Souls of programming: Based on old standards, requires a lot of fiddling to get running properly, and is loved mainly by masochists.

Oh, and lots of people (myself included) claim to love it, yet hardly ever use it.  Roll Eyes
14  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: I hate hi-res graphics on voxel based games on: 2016-02-29 10:12:19
I hate blocky pixel art, with very low resolution stretched up and displayed.

Everyone has their own preferences and art style. I don't think there is a point in this thread seriously.

Heh, I was being sarcastic in order to spark discussion. I don't think an specific art style is inherently superior/inferior to others, it does come down to taste, but I do find interesting how often games with specific limitations are loaded with all kinds of bells and whistles, which end up clashing horribly.

15  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / I hate hi-res graphics on voxel based games on: 2016-02-25 08:46:51
There, I said it!

From hi-def textures pack for Minecraft to new games using all the graphical bells and whistles on their voxel-based worlds.

To me it feels like they are ashamed of their natural blockyness, instead of embracing it.

</rant></sarcasm>

More seriously, the more I see of those projects, the more I realize Minecraft's retro style was about embracing the limitations of the medium and making the most of it.

We should learn from that... I guess. Tongue

16  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Realistic graphics -- how can it be achieved? on: 2016-02-24 13:40:59
Add that , imho , a perfect 3d Eva Green clone with enanced boobs riding nude a dragon
 that doesn't  know where to go is worst than a decent  "snake" clone  Smiley

Nude Dragon Rider is my new goal in life, with "the *other* kind of ride" DLC for extreme monetization. Grin
17  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Unity3D/2D on: 2016-02-24 08:31:41
I've personally only dabbled superficially with Unity, so my opinion isn't backed up with experience.

I personally feel that, sometimes, using Unity can be overkill, in that certain games don't really need all the bells and whistles that Unity offers, and could possibly be better off using a different tool.

For example, if you are going to make a standard sprite-based JRPG, RPG-Maker is probably a better fit (haven't used it either though, so just using it as an example).

What really worries me, as has been mentioned by others, is to end up with Unity (or any other engine) being the "standard", and thus forcing the "unity way" into everything, specially if said standardization is based on popularity rather than usefulness (wouldn't surprise me if that's Unity's business plan).

As has been repeated from the start of the thread, Unity is just a tool and must be regarded as such.

But hey, just the opinion of someone without much experience anyway. Smiley
18  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Realistic graphics -- how can it be achieved? on: 2016-02-19 10:41:52
I'd also advise, when looking at indie devs that have managed impressive projects, to take note of where they come from.

Some of the best indie games out there have been built by people with years of experience in the gaming industry, and in many cases, even one-man projects end up requiring a team.
19  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What's your "game dev dream" on: 2016-02-15 13:23:55
that's not enough to live off of. :/

Or, I guess, that'd force you to focus harder on marketability, which would limit the creative vision.  Undecided

I personally would stick with the solo thing if only because I know I'd end up "Phil Fishing" it if I had to deal with others  Roll Eyes
20  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Fluidity Of The Simple Pong game on: 2016-02-15 13:21:37
I had similar issues with my game project, despite rendering to 320x200, performance was atrocious, no matter how much I tried to force Java2d to use the GPU (using volatile images, setting environment settings and so forth).

So I finally bit the bullet and made the move to a proper graphics framework (LWJGL in my case).

But I guess people with more knowledge will chip in soon to give you better pointers (as they did with me). Smiley
21  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What's your "game dev dream" on: 2016-02-10 09:42:52
Being able to focus on just one game idea until completion?

I have plenty of notebooks full with designs for "dream games", but very little to show for it.


But, if I had to choose, I'd love to make a metroidvania with procedural generation and an easy to use map/asset editor. Maybe even in 3d!

Heck, I'm tempted to prototype the idea by building a "Metroid Maker" ripoff (assets are already done!)
22  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Releasing on Steam for a (very) indie developer on: 2016-02-02 08:58:34
- I can't speak exact numbers because of Valve's NDA

There's an NDA on the money you make selling your own games on their platform?  Stare
23  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Chunks? Chunk loading and unloading? on: 2016-02-01 13:44:16
You essentially need to decide how to partition and store your map data.

Minecraft, for example, divides the game map into 16 x 16 x 256 tile "chunks" which are loaded based on proximity to the player, and unloaded as the player moves away.

My guess is that Minecraft's strategy is to store the chunks in a List of sorts, which can be accessed like a 2d matrix, since individual chunks contain all the possible vertical space.

As for content generation, the chunks are generated procedurally at first, but they are then saved to disk, and loaded from there in subsequent visits.

I'd go for something like this:

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public class Chunk
{
   public static final int WIDTH  = 10;
   public static final int HEIGHT = 10;

   protected Tiles[] data;

   public Chunk()
   {
      data = new Tiles[WIDTH * HEIGHT];
   }

   public Tiles getTile(int x, int y)
   {
      return data[(y * WIDTH) + x];
   }

   public Tiles setTile(int x, int y, Tile tile)
   {
      data[(y * WIDTH) + x] = tile;
   }

   public Tiles[] getTiles()
   {
      return new ArrayList(data);
   }

  //TODO: Whatever else you need
}

public class ChunkyMap
{
   HashMap<int, Chunk> chunks;

   protected int height;
   protected int width;

   public ChunkyMap(int width, int height)
   {
      chunks = new HashMap<int, Chunk>();  
      this.height = height;
      this.width = width;
   }

   public Tiles[] getMap(int x, int y, int chunk_radius)
   {
        int chunk_x = x/Chunk.WIDTH;
        int chunk_y = y/Chunk.HEIGHT;

       //TODO: Check if coordinates are out of the map (or do something clever to get infinite maps)

        List<Tiles> retMap = new List<Tiles>();

        int startY = chunk_y - chunk_radius;
        int startX = chunk_x - chunk_radius;
        int endY = chunk_y + chunk_radius;
        int endX = chunk_x + chunk_radius;

        for(int index = (startY * width) + startX; index < (endY * width) + endX) //Note: This is quite possibly wrong...
        {
              if(chunks.containsKey(index))
              {
                    retMap.add(chunks.get(index).getTiles());
              }
              else
             {
                    Chunk newChunk = generateChunkAt(index); //TODO: You know, implement this...
                    chunks.put(index, newChunk);
                    retMap.add(newChunk.getTiles());
             }
         }

         return retMap.toArray();
   }
 
}


Anyway, just a rough idea, I've personally never implemented something like this, so keep your grain-of-salt-grabbing pincers handy Wink


Edit: Fixed some things with the code that were bothering me, but it is still pretty flawed
24  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Releasing on Steam for a (very) indie developer on: 2016-01-29 07:21:53
Yeah I know, I stopped trying to get a job in the industry ages ago, mainly because the prospects regarding stability were daunting  Clueless

It really helps to know that my time management woes are common even for people like you. It's encouraging to know its not just me Smiley
25  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Releasing on Steam for a (very) indie developer on: 2016-01-28 18:10:26
Thanks princec, that's exactly what I needed to read.  Smiley

26  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Releasing on Steam for a (very) indie developer on: 2016-01-28 08:36:14
I'm guessing my following question is in line with the OP, even if not Steam specific:

As someone interested in eventually moving from hobbyist to hobbyist who also sells stuff.... Any word from experienced people on what the economic expectations (rough time/effort - income relationship) for people starting would be?

I've read plenty of articles out there that just focus on selling what the article author did (almost sounding like propaganda), and none address my main concern, namely:

I have a day job that demands too much of my time (so I can barely dedicate time to game dev), in order to transition to game development, even if low key, I'd have to work towards obtaining an income to supplement my loss of income if I switch to a lower demand (say, part time) job.

So having an idea of what the prospects are, even if they are daunting, would be great.

Thanks! Smiley
27  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: Fatigue as a design element on: 2015-12-28 08:56:57
The whole idea of the player character losing focus on the world as fatigue sets in reminds me of the usual effects used in modern FPS games when the player is hurt, the whole blurring the screen and even going into black and white until health regenerates.

Obnoxious as those effects might be, to me they do feel like the player avatar is losing focus on its surroundings due to pain.

I'm guessing what you are proposing would be spread over a longer period of time, though, making it more gradual. But it's always good to have examples to work from.

The aural part, about the background noises and such, its a pretty nifty idea. You could even go so far as to create "focusing" effects in certain situations. Say, for example, a player is looking down a gun's sights, focusing to fire, and, for a few seconds, you could turn down the ambient sounds to represent the character's concentration.

As for the general idea of having players put down the game for a set period of time, I personally thing it works best in mobile games you can pick up and play for a short while anywhere you are at the time.
Sitting down in front of a computer/console only to have the game tell you to go do something else would be rather frustrating.

In my opinion, anyway....
28  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Realistic graphics -- how can it be achieved? on: 2015-12-21 09:12:51
Case in point, you can see lots of games pop up in steam, developed by small teams, using engines with all the bells and whistles graphics-wise.... And they still feel unrealistic.

Thing is, our mind is pretty good at spotting fakery (uncanny valley effect and such),  so anything that is out of place will bring the feeling of realism crashing down.

I'd say, though, that if your game achieves a good degree of immersion, the players will have an easier time suspending disbelief and feeling it as "realistic", despite the graphics not being that "photorealistic". But I don't think that's what you're asking about.
29  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: Anti Aimbot?? on: 2015-12-14 16:00:12
@Oskuro but this is also a bit dangerous... the community often abuses this right...

Yeah I know, back in the day when we used to play Return to Castle Wolfenstein in the college dorm, one of the guys had found that, if he managed to keep his score high (by doing mission tasks without actually completing the mission), other players would never vote to kick him out, so he was free to be an asshole and drop airstrikes on his unsuspecting teammates, and whenever another player would criticize him, he's start a vote and that other player would get banned.

Anyway, anecdote over.

Any system to prevent cheating will have its downsides. The advantage of community voting is that is has low impact on program development, the disadvantage, as mentioned, is that most people are dicks.

So it's, as usual, a balancing act.
30  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Should I let java4k die? on: 2015-11-24 09:27:09
IMHO java4k.com should stay online if only for historical reasons.

I second that opinion.

Isn't there a way to wrap applets so they can run as stand-alone java apps? That way they can at least be played.

I personally end up modifying the Java4k games I find interesting to run as java apps anyway (I like tinkering with the source, even if I have to decompile it).
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