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1  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:

   
2  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.
3  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
4  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 google.com 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)
5  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.
6  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
7  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:

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// 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.
8  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.
9  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?
10  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="http://www.youtube.com/v/4F2auEHDfQc?version=3&amp;hl=en_US&amp;start=" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/4F2auEHDfQc?version=3&amp;hl=en_US&amp;start=</a>


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

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/OxkXVKYrsx0?version=3&amp;hl=en_US&amp;start=" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/OxkXVKYrsx0?version=3&amp;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.
11  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.
12  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.
13  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.
14  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
15  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Make the simplest code unreadable on: 2015-02-24 14:39:37
Woo! It's like playing in the mud!

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         private static int[] aa_aa={2,0,6,1,4,3,5};private static int[]
         aa_a_a={0x65,0x134,0x6A,0x64,0x68,0x20,0x00};
         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())
         %2.0f==0.0f?aa_a_a[3]:aAa==aa_aa[5]||aAa==aa_aa[4]?
         (a__aaa(aA_aa_)? aa_a_a[3]:aa_a_a[5]):aAa==aa_aa[6]?
         aa_a_a[1]:aa_a_a[0]);aAa=a_a_a(aAa);}System.out.println(
         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?
16  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.
17  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.
18  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
19  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.
20  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.
21  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).




22  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!
23  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.
24  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
25  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.
26  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
27  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.
28  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:

29  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:

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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
30  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.
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