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1  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.
2  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.
3  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
4  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.
5  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.
6  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: Old 3d graphics on: 2014-12-24 01:31:52
... another thing is pre rendered backgrounds. so much pre rendered.

For some reason I really like the graphics from the first Alone In The Dark, although I guess those are way too primitive for the OP (No lighting, software rendering).

7  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: I no longer use Google Play and I block ads on: 2014-12-24 01:25:46
Isn't everything advertising?

I guess the difference lies in that the potential customer actively looks for the examples you mentioned, while the ads being discussed are brought to the customer's attention even if the customer is not interested in them.

I feel this is an old debate (about the intrusiveness of advertising), I mean, before the internet there were TV or radio commercials, as well as paper-mail spam clogging mailboxes, not to mention all the adverts so get to see as you walk around town.
Heck, I sometimes hear a car rolling down the street blaring some advert from a loudspeaker!
8  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: How do you feel about selling out? on: 2014-12-24 01:19:14
I'd only consider someone is "selling out" if they fail to fulfill their prior agreements to get more money. For example, if Notch's sale of Mojang had resulted in existing players (clients) losing access to the game they payed for (which didn't happen).

My guess is that, since people get emotionally attached to their idea of a company (or a music group, or whatever), they feel changes are betrayals, and as such bring forth the "selling out" card.

In reality, people are people, and asking anyone to give up the chance for a better life is unreasonable.
9  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Java won't let me time travel on: 2014-10-21 13:04:47
... or lasers and target prediction.

Sadly, lasers have crappy range (due to the inverse square law, the energy concentration would be worthless past certain distance)

I'm personally partial to mass drivers in fiction, and those are even worse in reality Sad
10  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Java won't let me time travel on: 2014-10-13 11:30:07
Time dilation makes sci-fi space battles interesting, since if you're far away enough (say, trying to shoot a ship on Earth's orbit from Saturn) you're actually aiming at where that ship was in the past, even if it is just a few minutes.

It's like playing a shooter with massive lag.

And it's also why, in a realistic environment, you'd resort to self-guiding missiles.
11  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Java won't let me time travel on: 2014-10-13 09:27:48
Sudden realization that E.T. was a metaphor for a naive user installing unknown software whose only purpose is to PHONE HOME.  Shocked
12  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Worried on: 2014-10-09 16:05:44
I'd guess learning another language would be a problem if you like to keep up with the bleeding edge of the java language, but, otherwise, it shouldn't be an issue.
13  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Java won't let me time travel on: 2014-10-08 11:13:28
Of course, if you're really going back:

14  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Java won't let me time travel on: 2014-10-08 11:11:04
You forgot to update your code compliance to the proper time-zone:

delay equ -1000

top:   mov ax, delay
loopa: mov bx, delay
loopb: dec bx
       jnc loopb
       dec ax
       jnc loopa

       mov ah,2
       mov dl,'A'
       int 21
       jmp top
15  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Mobile Java game development, without using a full-size laptop on: 2014-10-08 10:34:16
I'd personally avoid netbooks and tablets for development.

I once considered it, but just plugging Eclipse and trying to compile/run some demos (Box2d if anyone wonders) made them almost die.

As for size... It is true that consumer laptops do emphasize bigger screen sizes, and finding a good compact laptop is a chore, specially if you want to avoid paying overpriced products like "professional/gamer" laptops or Apple* products.

Best bet is probably to look around retailers in your area (or the net), and keep on the lookout for older models about to be taken off the shelves that might experience a price drop.

I got my rather compact Hp TM2 that way, nabbing it for almost half price when it was about to be retired, and the thing still works fine (it's even substituting my main computer while I get it fixed).

*I'm sorry, I do not intend to attack Apple users. If you like their products, more power to you, but my approach when buying hardware is to look closely at the specs, and you can buy laptops with better hardware configurations for way less than the Apple product of choice.

This is not supposition, I've been to the Apple store several times looking for laptops, talked to their reps, and they themselves admitted this when I pointed it out (when they realized that I didn't much care for the "design").

Again, some people value Apple's design, and good for them. I just say, know what you want and need, and don't let the shiny bits distract you.
16  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Whays the story behind your name on: 2014-10-02 15:01:54
"Oscuro" is spanish for "dark one". It was what people called me to my back in college because I was... well, creepy.

When they eventually told me what the nickname was... I liked it and adopted it, and switched the "C" with a "K" because I thought it looked cool.

So yeah, I still get called by that name in real life.
17  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Why are people jerks? on: 2014-09-10 14:54:21
I personally feel the issue is deeper than just "gaming" or the internet, but more about social tropes on how to deal with dissenting opinions.

The internet, and the relative "youth" of "gamers" (both as individuals and as a social group) exacerbates these attitudes, but loudly badmouthing others to the point of issuing threats and heinous remarks can be found in pretty much any environment.

Just look at the crap that goes on with political pundits on the U.S.A. (Yes, I've been watching a lot of Colbert recently).

I guess gaming culture is being used as a shield in this instance, as an excuse to get all worked up, so those offended can claim that someone is attacking "their values"...

When the only thing going on, and the thing people can't accept, is that other people are in disagreement, and voice their opinions.

I think this is the first time I've spoken my mind about this issue.  Clueless Possibly because, regardless of how it might seem to those "in the fray", the rest of the world doesn't give a crap about the whole "gamergate" thing, which makes it even sadder that so many are throwing so much hate around.
18  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Microsoft to buy Mojang for $2 billion? on: 2014-09-10 14:42:22
Does Notch have veto power over what Mojang does as a company?

He might stick to his guns, but maybe the rest of the team aren't so picky about funding.
19  Game Development / Networking & Multiplayer / Re: 10 Player(instanced) 3D Game, would TCP Suffice? on: 2014-07-17 03:26:48
10 players? Battlefield 1942 could support 64 players, and I recall games with something between 16 to 32 players not being that rare.

I'm not sure why the average playercount has gone down as sharply as it has in later years, but my guess is that the main bottleneck is in the amount of data.
20  Game Development / Networking & Multiplayer / Re: How the structure of a multiplayer game should look like? on: 2014-05-23 09:45:14
They both think they won. How does your system deal with this?

Another BF1942 example (yes, I love that game), I was dueling a friend of mine on the Desert Combat mod, both piloting modern jets. At a point I had him in my sights, fired a missile, and even though he attempted to evade, the missile hit his plane right in the middle.... And nothing happened.

He then shot me down, of course.

What happened there was that, even though in my client the missile hit, in the server it missed by a few milliseconds (or manybe even nano).

So my client showed the missile explosion, but since it didn't get confirmation that the other plane had exploded, it didn't show it (This may be due to it being possibly more efficient to have individual clients compute the visual effects of projectiles, rather than wait for server updates).

Funny thing? This happened over a LAN. So yes, even in very small latency scenarios you will get this.

Funnier thing? My friend's client was acting as the server, so he had a very noticeable advantage over everyone else. From that day forward, even on LAN games, we'd set up a dedicated server to host games.

As has been mentioned, the way to solve latency issues falls more on game mechanics than actual network implementation. Think how the gameplay can be modified to diminish the impact of high latency (even with good overall latency you can get lag spikes that screw things up).

For combat games I guess a technique would be to move away from one-hit-kill type scenarios, and rely on say long combos, or high health, so players have a chance to react to an incoming attack despite lag.
21  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: To the Minecraft Modders on: 2014-05-23 09:36:07
I've dabbled in Minecraft modding too, trying to make a flying carpet vehicle... But back when I did it there still was a divide between single and multiplayer, and my flying boat test didn't work online  Sad

Now that I've exposed my silly Minecraft credentials... I'm tempted to say "wait for the Plugin API" because it will probably be a properly maintained API for modmaking that will drastically reduce the frustration of development... But seeing how much its been delayed, I won't recommend it.

Guess it's a matter of looking at particular mod loader APIs (like bukkit) and the many examples/tutorials around.

I'm personally fond of using the MCP (minecraft coder pack) to decompile the entire thing and study it (but because I actually enjoy looking at code), but they haven't updated the pack in a while.

Seems like a lot of mods are on hold lately, word is the 1.7 update made it very hard to update mod compatibility  Clueless
22  Java Game APIs & Engines / Android / Re: What's the average size of a 3D game? on: 2014-05-20 10:04:47
Nobody uses 1 giant texture for terrain

True, if you consider John Carmack to be nobody: Megatexture
23  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: "No, You Can't Make Video Games" on: 2014-05-19 13:57:06
I wholeheartedly agree with the main point of the article: Just wanting something isn't enough.

I personally subscribe to a modified version of the "you can be anything you want" motto:

You can be anything, if you work hard enough.

The key here is swapping the "wanting" with the "putting effort".
In my opinion talent helps, but hard work is what gets result, so a person without natural talent can outdo a very talented individual if the talentless person is the one making an effort to improve.

The hard realization for essentially every one of us, is finding out what amount of effort is more than what we are willing to put into something, specially as you grow older and see there are other things you might be doing (or need to do).

In my opinion, the reason why the language used is often about "wishing hard enough" is because people don't really internalize what effort means (blame society, upbringing or whatever), hence all the pep-talks like the one the article is criticizing, with their disney-esque language, setting up people to fail by giving them disproportionate expectations.

Honestly, I think this is not only about games (and the article says as much), and I think it needs to be said more often, if only to curb inflated expectations leading to the sense of entitlement we keep seeing popping up these days.

As for the white noise comment. I don't fully agree. It is true that "noise" devalues hard work, but I believe in the long run it is best to have that noise, as it means more people experiment with the tools of the medium and thus there's a greater chance of actual talented people popping up.

To make a parallel, think of music education in schools. Most music students will be crap at it, but by giving more kids a chance to try their skills at music, more actually good musicians will get a chance to discover their true calling.

The trouble with the white noise is not about it being there, but about how we parse it to look for the good stuff, but we'll get there, if only out of necessity seeing how cheap products aren't exactly going away (app stores, steam...).

Anyway, just my opinion, as a nobody.

Edit: Woah, forgot about something. Life isn't fair, and sometimes people simply cannot do certain things. For example, an astronaut requires being in top physical conditions, and many common defects (like wearing glasses) can render someone unfit for the task.
So take my comments on effort with that caveat: Sometimes life deals you a shitty hand and you must work with what you have.
24  Game Development / Performance Tuning / Re: Questions about Java4k Code on: 2014-05-19 13:34:38
25  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: How do you keep profanity out of highscore boards? on: 2014-05-16 11:04:39
Now you have a social game.

26  Game Development / Performance Tuning / Questions about Java4k Code on: 2014-05-16 10:58:12
Hi there,

Recently I've been looking up some more Java4k sources for fun, and have noticed a common pattern that I don't fully understand.

Namely, people seem to declare all their variables and constants within the run() method, rather than at the class level. Meaning this:

public class Classy
  public void run()
      final int CONSTANT = 0;
      int VARIABLE = 1;

      // etc...

Instead of this:

public class Classy
  private final int CONSTANT = 0;
  private int VARIABLE = 1;

  public void run()
      // etc...

I was wondering if there is an actual performance/memory reason for this, or if simply people develop their Java4k games within a single method and just paste it into a standard class skeleton.
27  Game Development / Networking & Multiplayer / Re: How the structure of a multiplayer game should look like? on: 2014-05-15 14:24:09
I'm talking out of my ass, but don't some games use a form of "prediction" on the client side? For example, if a remote player is walking, and it hits a wall, the client will draw the player stopping at the wall (guess more complex approaches could use bot ai to attempt and predict remote player reaction).

What you do see quite often (it can be hilarious in, for example, BF1942) is the client predicting remote player position, but making no updates to their status/attributes (health for example), so you will clearly see, for example, a plane crash into the ground and bounce back up intact, only for the server update to reveal the remote player actually avoided crashing.... Or not.

From that point of view, rather than sending the actual player input, the server should send the player's avatar "intentions" (it is walking, it took damage, etc...).

Again, just speculating.
28  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: How do you keep profanity out of highscore boards? on: 2014-05-15 12:02:19
There's a reason why games with an online component have that "online interactions not rated" sticker.

As princec said, doing a dictionary check of forbidden words is the way to do it, but apart from the computational and maintenance cost, if you go overboard with the censorship it can be harmful to the experience.

Take, for example, silly situations in many online programs (not only games) where completely safe words are censored (for example, some time back you couldn't type the word "class" in WoW because it included the word "ass", so asking someone what character class they were playing was a dirty conversation), while bypassing the filter is trivial for those who want to do so (separating letters, for example).

In the end, it might not be worth the hassle.

29  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Is our Universe Simulatable? on: 2014-05-15 11:53:18
Some SMBC musings on the topic:

And I'm not pasting the next one because it's huge, but... Funny too, dear subroutines.

30  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Dark Souls II - Ridiculous Controls on: 2014-05-09 15:41:21
I'm with Gibbo in this one. It's the developer's responsibility to make sure the program's usability isn't crap.

I do like Dark Souls 1 (haven't tried the second one yet), even despite the port issues, but that doesn't excuse the issues themselves.
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