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1  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Should I let java4k die? on: 2015-11-24 09:27:09
IMHO 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).
2  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: Anti Aimbot?? on: 2015-11-04 11:04:14
  • Step 1: Compile player stats and make them visible to all other players (Accuracy, kill ratio, etc), so superhuman stats stand out.
  • Step 2: Implement a player banning system, be it through popular vote or server admin intervention.

Those things should already be part of your standard development, are easy to pull off anyway, and allow the community to police themselves.
3  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Making Games for Nobody on: 2015-10-20 16:21:13
To be fair, Linux has a massive advantage over Windows as a development platform....

Since running windows games on it is such a pain in the ass, it's easier to avoid procrastination!   Grin Grin Grin

More seriously, my main reason to use Linux as a dev environment is because of a personal interest in using freely available tools (including the OS), as well as on multi-platform development, but it's just me (And I do test on Windows, although I guess my licensed windows version will sooner than later become outdated).

BUT, I don't live off of my game development projects, I'm just a hobbyist, so I could afford to develop on an old graphing calculator if I wanted to.

4  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Two supermassive black holes discovered in close orbit, possible merger on: 2015-09-29 13:35:09
I don't really understand how the event horizon of a black hole can stop light and matter escaping yet the force of gravity still escapes and interacts with everything else like normal.

It helps to picture a bowling ball placed on an elastic tarp. The bowling ball bends the tarp down, creating a slope.

If you were to pick up a little wind-up toy that moves at a given speed, and placed it on the slope, trying to climb out of it, as you placed it closer and closer to the bowling ball, there'd be a point where the toy wouldn't be able to climb out.

Now, imagine taking a red marker and drawing a circle on the tarp around the bowling ball at the precise distance where the wind-up toy can no longer climb out.

The bowling ball is any object with mass.
The tarp is space (in 2d).
The tarp sloping towards the ball is gravity (the gravity well).
The wind-up toy is a photon moving at light speed.
And the red line you drew, that's what we call the event horizon.

Event horizons are not an actual thing, they're just an arbitrary name we've given to the point were light can no longer escape, because, since lightspeed is the fastest speed possible, if light can't escape, nothing else can.

As for why light cannot escape but gravity can, the example illustrates that gravity is not like magnetism, a force transmitted by a particle moving at lightspeed, but rather, it is the shape of the universe at that given point.

The tricky part of this example, is trying to imagine the whole thing happening in three dimensions rather than the tarp's two.

Hope that helped.
5  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Transitioning from Windows to Linux on: 2015-09-29 13:00:12
+1 for Ubuntu

I'd say one big difference when switching to Linux is that your mindset should change too. Many things are indeed broken, and will require some fiddling* to get running, but once you get the hang of it, you'll end up making it work for your specific needs.

For example, I'm using an old Ubuntu LTS distribution, on an old "convertible" laptop (screen can swivel around and go into tablet mode), and I managed, through some scripting, to set up buttons to properly rotate the screen as needed, as well as fixing issues with the touch screen support (and if the HP sensors were any good, I'd have managed to have the screen rotate automatically, but they don't even work properly on windows).

*Note: Fiddling does include changing to a different distribution if needed.
6  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Social Stigma of Game Dev and Peer Pressure on: 2015-09-14 14:11:07
I don't think you should set any hard rules on yourself. Look at it on a case-by-case basis.

On some days you might feel like staying home coding, on some others you might feel like going out clubbing. And yet on others you might just want to do something entirely different.

Do what you feel you want or need, and both you and your peers will eventually adapt one way or the other.

7  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Best Practices for Creating New Objects on: 2015-08-06 13:23:19
The short answer: Don't worry about premature optimization. If you aren't noticing any performance hits, don't go looking to fix stuff that ain't broke. (What princec said.)

Although this is very true, I think there's some value in training yourself to use more optimal patterns from the get go.
8  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Who knows about M.A.M.E.? on: 2015-06-08 08:17:33
Your friend's arcade cabinet might just be a PC box with the MAME emulator installed, so running your game might simply require installing Java and running it like on any other PC.

Maybe throwing some JoyToKey (or similar) to parse the controller input though.

9  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Rayvolution's JGO Appreciation Thread (AKA: Free copies of Retro-Pixel Castles!) on: 2015-06-02 08:37:37

Now gimme a key so I can rip you off be inspired by you!  Wink
10  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: SourceForge seized GIMP for Windows' account on: 2015-06-02 08:32:09
As of this writing,'s main page has blog posts about this.

Here's an ArsTechnica article on the issue.

This saddens me. I though SourceForge was above this kind of thing. Oh well...
11  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Chinese Text Input on: 2015-05-12 17:03:08
So I seem to have been a victim of the Failed Search Gremlin (you know, when you look for something and find no results.... Only to look again with a slightly different approach and find what you were looking for).

Found the following info on Pinyin IMEs:

And the following example apps:

12  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Chinese Text Input on: 2015-05-12 16:43:01
So I had this idea to create an old-style text-parser-based adventure game, with the catch being that it'd had to be in Chinese (because I'm learning Chinese and could use the practice).

So I was wondering how to go about creating a text input field in Java that allows the user to type Mandarin characters using the pinyin input* method (or alternatives).

I'm not sure if the input is handled at the OS level, or if the application needs to know what to do.

From my experience I'd say some parsers use internal dictionaries, because typing several pinyin entries together will often eliminate invalid characters. (Say, typing "nihao" will result in "你好" - "Hi" instead of, say, "尼浩" - "??")

*Pinyin Input: For those who don't know what I'm talking about, in order to input Chinese characters using a standard keyboard, what you do is type the pinyin (pronunciation) and a list of homophone characters is displayed allowing the user to select them. For example, typing "wo" you'd get a list with homophones such as this:  1我 2沃 3握... So typing "wo1" would result in 我 ("I" as in "I am")

PS: Sorry if you can't see the chinese characters.
13  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Legality of Retro-Engineered clients on: 2015-04-14 08:23:22
Well, I have access to the source, so knowing what the game sends is not much of an issue.

I meant it more as an exercise to find out if, even without the source, I could've peeked into the communication protocol.

Thanks for the link, though Smiley
14  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Cross-platform Wireless connectivity on: 2015-04-13 13:21:16
OK, so here's something I've been musing.

I have two gaming devices, both capable of wireless connectivity. I am also capable of deploying custom-made applications to said devices. These devices, though, have not been designed to connect with one another.

I know one of the devices uses the 802.11b standard, but I'm not sure about the other one.

My question is, thus, what would be the approach to analyse the wireless capabilities of both devices and see if a program could be developed to communicate them?

My guess is that I need to be able to:

   a) Detect the device's wireless signal
   b) Somehow intercept said signal to be able to analyze data traffic
   c) See if both devices can connect to each other

From that point on, it would be a matter of using the same communication protocol.

I have no idea how to tackle those issues though. Currently I am thinking about deploying an app on each device that attempts to connect to a standard wi-fi, and maybe try to ping or something, but I am suspecting each device could be operating on different channels and I'm not sure how to determine that.

Keep in mind I'm not a wireless/hardware expert, hence why I'm keeping this question generic.

The devices I am thinking about connecting are:

  a) Nintendo Gameboy advance with the wireless adapter peripheral
  b) Sony PSP

So, any ideas? (And yes, I've searched online for specs on the wireless adapter, and found very little beyond the platform specific API which doesn't care about much else)
15  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Legality of Retro-Engineered clients on: 2015-04-13 08:38:20
I've been thinking about it, not only in terms of Minecraft (it was just an example), but more broadly in terms of clients that adapt to a given protocol.

Now, I'm not a lawyer either, but my understanding is that, given you don't distribute copyrighted content or use your client to somehow disrupt the service (no hacking or bypassing account verification), it should be legal to create a compatible client as long as the act of looking up the communication protocol is not illegal itself.

What I mean by this is that if the communications protocol is proprietary and, more importantly, encrypted (or otherwise protected) it would be illegal to create a compatible client as it would require illegally hacking into protected content.

I'm thinking along these lines because I've worked developing clients compatible with specific proprietary (encrypted) protocols professionally, and the documents detailing the protocol itself had a nice big "confidential" watermark on them.

In the case of Minecraft, I wonder how legal the current decompilation methods are. All mods are essentially built on decompiled versions of the game, so it could be argued that Mojang/Microsoft have tacitly accepted such practices by not cracking down on them, but then again they could turn around and claim that all that information is protected content and cannot be used.

Although I'm guessing a simple packet sniffer could probably make out most of the network communications from the game itself. Hmmmm, that's an idea there, I'll see if I can wireshark this out later at home.

In any case, I started this thread as a thought exercise on the legality of retrofitted clients, not as a proposal for a retrofitted client for Minecraft.
16  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Methods of decompiled classes on: 2015-04-09 14:02:50
Don't sweat it, I was quoting the Borg Queen from Star Trek: First Contact  Grin
17  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Methods of decompiled classes on: 2015-04-08 15:15:03
When Java compiles a class, if it doesn't have a codded constructor, it adds its own empty one
Also its not strange that there are difference between client and server code. The client handles rendering and fires events and the server handles the events and sends information back to the client so it knows what to render.

I know about both. The classes I'm referring to handle data regarding blocks, so it's stuff both sides need to know.

The lack of a constructor would make sense if it was replaced with a private constructor to avoid instantiation, but just removing the specific constructor means the server can still instantiate the class, but won't be able to initialize the attributes.

It looks something like this:

// Client
public class Block
    private int attribute;

    public Block(int value) { this.attribute = value;}

    /* Lots of other methods here */

// Server
public class Block
    private int attribute;

    /* Lots of other methods here */

I was, in fact, hoping to be able to extract all common data into its own library so I could inspect the Client and Server specific code more cleanly, hence my wondering if this has relevance, or is just a decompilation artifact.

By extension, I'd really like to know if decompilation ignores unreferenced (never used) functions.

Of course, since the MCP does some de-obfuscating and other things, it might be something on their end too.

reflecting on decompiled code is like thinking in 4 dimensions.

You think in such three-dimensional terms. How small you've become.
18  Discussions / General Discussions / Legality of Retro-Engineered clients on: 2015-04-08 13:00:52
As I said in a previous post, I'm tinkering with the Minecraft source for fun, as well as the C++ MineTest project.

A question has come to mind, though.

By being privy to the communication protocol, it would be feasible to develop an application capable of communicating with existing Minecraft servers, so you could, theoretically, have the MineTest C++ game connect to a standard Minecraft server (after duplicating all relevant functionality).

So the question is.... How legal is this?

Note that I'm not referring to bypassing the account validation rules set by Mojang, I'm just referring to creating an alternate implementation of the client.

Not that I'm planning on undertaking such a monstrous task, mind you, but it's fun to think about.

I know retro-engineered clients used for "private" MMO servers are frowned upon, but my understanding is that the issue lies with the circumvention of user validation and payment functionalities.
19  Discussions / General Discussions / Methods of decompiled classes on: 2015-04-08 12:51:53
So I've been tinkering with Minecraft's decompiled code (via the latest MCP), and noticed something curious when comparing the Client and Server sources.

Some classes have minor differences I find strange, for example, the class might lack a constructor in the server that it doesn't on the client, even if the rest of the class (particularly the class attributes) are the same.

I'm suspecting this is due to the decompiler ignoring (or not being able to detect) methods that are not being referenced anywhere else on the code.

Is this correct? Or is there any merit in omitting a constructor of a class for server-side code that I'm not seeing?
20  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: How to win the boss-fight on: 2015-03-26 11:32:11
@Oskuro i did not  play Mario for a pretty long time, so i don't remember every detail. But i guess i meant the last fight, there you can't kill him directly, right?

Yes you can. The interesting thing is that, when you fireball Bowser in previous castles, upon dying, he transforms into a lesser mob (goomba, koopa, etc.), thus revealing the Bowser in that castle was a fake (at 0:24):

<a href=";hl=en_US&amp;start=" target="_blank">;hl=en_US&amp;start=</a>

When you do it in the last castle, it is Bowser falling down (at 0:56):

<a href=";hl=en_US&amp;start=" target="_blank">;hl=en_US&amp;start=</a>

Of course we usually reach the Bowser encounters after taking a few fireballs to the face, and thus, as regular Mario, resort to using the Axe.

Oh, and the Axe, as well as the platforms around Bowser, are the way the game communicates to the player what they need to do, which is cool too.
21  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: How will an Araknoid do? on: 2015-03-26 11:13:41
the genre has been pretty thoroughly mined for novelty over the years!

Agreed, although I'm of the opinion that these old simplistic games can be properly re-used as minigames in larger projects (like how bioshock used the pipe-connecting game to do the hacking... Even though it might not have been too good an implementation).

In any case, as a beginner project it's a great point to start from.
22  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: [libGDX] How to draw an outline around sprite when behind another image on: 2015-03-24 16:04:18
To me, that effect usually looks like some layering trickery so the outline is only rendered on the areas being occluded, kind of like a mask using the occluding object as the visible area.

But I'm not really sure, and I'm also looking into it.
23  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: How to win the boss-fight on: 2015-03-24 16:01:47
For example in Super Mario, you don't fight bowser directly, but you have to jump over him and "open" the floor under him, so he falls down.

Funny that you use that example, since, if you have the Fire Flower power-up, you can fight him directly (and reveal that, save the last one, all the other "Bowsers" are transmutated regular enemies).

So it is a nice example of how you can add layers to an encounter without being too obvious.
24  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Make the simplest code unreadable on: 2015-02-25 10:37:51
Text as unicode char, the compiler reads it as characters

Guessed as much, thanks. I just don't see how to feed it to a compile without the IDE throwing a tantrum (And I foresee the answer will point out that using an IDE for that is foolish).

I once did try to use asian characters to name classes, just to screw with coworkers not using unicode in their IDE, but my own compiler had a seizure  Clueless
25  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Make the simplest code unreadable on: 2015-02-24 14:39:37
Woo! It's like playing in the mud!

         private static int[] aa_aa={2,0,6,1,4,3,5};private static int[]
         public static void main(String[] args){int aAa=aa_aa[2];
         String aA_aa_="";for(; aaa_(aAa)<97;){aA_aa_+=(char)
         (a_aa(aA_aa_.length())?aa_a_a[4]: aa_a(aA_aa_.length())
         (a__aaa(aA_aa_)? aa_a_a[3]:aa_a_a[5]):aAa==aa_aa[6]?
         aA_aa_);}private static char aaa_(int a){return aa_aa[3]
         >a?'a':'A';}private static float aa_a(int aa){if(aa==
         aa_aa[0])return 1.0f;else return 2.0f;}private static
         boolean a__aaa(String a_aa_a){return a_aa_a.charAt(a_aa_a
         .length()-1)==aa_a_a[5];}private static int a_a_a(int a_a)
         {return a_a+=aa_aa[4];}private static boolean a_aa(int aa)
         {return aa_aa[1]==aa;}

@Riven: What... is... that?
26  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Most graphically polished games developed in Java? on: 2015-01-26 15:20:54
So if anything, languages that create polished, high-performant games would be: glsl, hlsl, cg etc. - basically everything that compiles to the GPU.

Pretty much this, in my opinion.

Discussing the graphical capabilities of an specific language would be relevant if you stuck with the most basic libraries (say, looking at what you can do with Java2d), but, the moment you start using libraries that interface with specific graphics hardware through native code, the high level language you're using is meaningless.

In other words, it'd make sense to compare, for example, OpenGL and DirectX, but languages like Java, C++ or C# are dependent on what the linked libraries can do, and their current use in the industry responds more to popularity/tradition than anything else.
27  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: New rules regarding Game Engine topics on: 2015-01-14 15:39:17
I'd even say that, if someone really wants to make something more generic/flexible, it'd probably be better to develop a game with modding capabilities, rather than a general use engine.
28  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: Lost beauties of Game Design on: 2015-01-12 14:43:21
IMHO, I think there needs to be more god-like free-rome games which just let you do whatever you want...

Like Populous? Although I think that was more Greek-based.  Tongue
29  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: Lost beauties of Game Design on: 2015-01-08 16:07:14
I remember the guys from Volition, when asked why Saints Row 3 had a less detailed city, said something along the lines of "It's not worth it to put effort into things that a minority of players will enjoy", and thus they focused on big set-pieces, as is the norm nowadays.

I really can't fault them. From a business perspective it makes perfect sense.

I'm guessing the tight release schedules are what really limit creativity in many cases. Having to churn a product out for a set release date will force you to focus on the most profitable parts first, and we all know that in today's industry, even those parts end up being shipped in an incomplete state.
30  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: I no longer use Google Play and I block ads on: 2014-12-24 16:57:08
I only block ads whenever they lag the hell out of my browser.

That's another point that I feel some ignore. Even if your audience tolerates the ads, having them decrease the performance of your site/game will, in the long run, tarnish its reputation.

In my case, at least, sites that completely surrender their layout to ads, resulting in a visually disgusting mess, are less pleasant to navigate, and will, in the long run, lose to sites that offer comparable content without the clutter.

It ends up being a balancing act, in my opinion, and as such there is no specific answer. Just keep in mind that if the audience feels wronged, their trust will be hard to earn back.

A personal example:

I'm becoming very tired of sites that abuse the layout to maximize ad revenue. How do they do it? By needlessly splitting content into several pages so more ads load. One popular way is to offer a picture gallery, and then have each picture load as a separate page so everything loads again.

The result is that I, as a user, will often refrain from clicking through, just because I feel used and it bothers me (and this is with sites I turn AdBlock off because I want to support).

I guess, in the end, it all boils down to what type of audience you want. There are those who will tolerate any kind of crap, and those who will value that you treat them with respect. What each type of audience means to your product, well, that's up to you.
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