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1  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: The Chipped Dagger 2D MMO -- Alpha Testing on: 2010-06-05 20:53:22
I noticed a problem with the way the rules are setup. Currently a person can follow you around stealing loot off your corpses. There is no way I can think of to defend against this besides just logging till they get bored of it, as attacking/killing them would destroy my karma.

make it so dragging an item to an occupied inventory slot swaps the items.
make it so auto equipping an item works, currently the picture of the body is a lot of wasted space.

It was a fun game overall and I look forward to seeing where it goes.

I forgot to mention I found a bug where bags didn't redraw after you used an essence reclaimer or trade skill house.
And I agree there is a real need for a mini map.

Heya zoto,

I hadn't thought of that player tactic before.  You already noted one possible counter.  You could stab them in the eye, or you could lead them into a no security zone then stab them in the eye, or you could use a teleport potion to depart the area and adventure elsewhere. The world is large enough that they would waste lots of time trying to find you again.  I can see a possible issue with veteran players "baiting" new players by ninja looting monster corpses in an attempt to provoke them to pvp.  I'll have to do some thinking about good counters.  Thanks for pointing it out!

Double click to equip is an often asked for feature and it is on my todo list.  I really should get that ingame since so many players want it.

The issue with bag contents when reclaiming essences is indeed a bug.  Thanks for pointing that out as well. Smiley

build 126:
[bugfix] context menu for bags located inside banks lacked an "Open" option
[change] removed some of the higher end mobs from spawning as WEMS because they are currently unkillable by players (there's a rebalancing coming that should resolve this issue)
[change] monsters will now retarget less often than before. This should allow for more strategic fighting when players are fighting in groups.
[change] the 3 existing world event monsters had their damage reduced so they can be killed. New ones that spawn should be killable by players
2  Java Game APIs & Engines / Java Sound & OpenAL / Re: 3D Sound Engine on: 2010-06-04 19:23:37
I've been pleasantly surprised by the complete lack of any bugs.  That or maybe players are confusing sound related bugs with all my regular bugs.  persecutioncomplex  I will certainly keep you up to date with any bugs we do come across, but so far it's been smooth sailing!
3  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: The Chipped Dagger 2D MMO -- Alpha Testing on: 2010-06-04 19:21:01
This is very good.

 - More advanced walking, so it looks just a bit better without losing the retro style. Kind of like pokemon actually, with 1 spirte less or something.
 - Get rid of the java components. It looks and feel more like a game if you make a set gameframe.
 - Maybe polish the world a bit more, it is recocnize things from others.
 - And please add a map so we can see where we are  Cool

thanks for the reply Masochist.

-I'm assuming you mean walking animations?  Eventually this would be nice to add, but for the moment at least i'm really concentrating on the core gameplay functionality.
-by get rid of the java components are you referring to the metal look & feel?  One of the first things I did was try out the synthetica L&F because it's supposedly "easy" to make your own L&F.  The first two things that struck me about it was it's poor performance especially related to my custom tooltips which use the glasspane.  Secondly their idea of "easy" isn't anywhere close to what I would call easy.  Eventually i'll probably extend the basic L&F to do what I want, but for now i'll work on the gameplay instead.  It does annoy me that I cannot even do simple things like change the titlebar color of a JInternalFrame without jumping through a bunch of hoops. /boggle
-polish is coming slowly to the world.  The terrain tiles are being fleshed out and the world editors are making it a more interesting place to be. Smiley
-mini map is on my todo list!

build 125 patch notes:
[bugfix] dagger was listed twice in copper golem lore window.
[bugfix] resolved issue where kill rights could be granted even in no security areas
[change] reduced number of uses for coin recipes
[change] lowered ore requirements for coin recipes
[change] higher level monsters now have a better chance of dropping essences (especially beholders and above to help compensate for their difficulty)
[change] it now costs fewer essences to increase health & stamina (the increases now comes at every +20 instead of every +10)
[change] increased health/stamina potion recipe drop rate
[change] decreased health/stamina potion recipe number of uses
[change] decreased teleportation potion drop rates for beholders
[change] increased deathward potion drop rates for ancient ents
[change] increased chance to get a teleportation/deathward recipe
[change] reduced teleportation/death ward potion recipe max uses
[change] pressing the esc key returns focus to the map
[bugfix] minor lore typos
[bugfix] performing a spit stack on a full bag item would cause the bag to become unusable
[bugfix] resolved issue where splitting a stack inside a corpse could result in a loss of the new stack on rare occassions
[change] corpse/bag/bank/reclamation center windows are now brought to the front when the window contents are refreshed
[bugfix] resolved an issue where a rare chain of events could strip the ownership flag from items stored inside bags rendering them invisible to the owner
[change] some serverside changes for better long-term item tracking
[change] new players cannot attack other players until they aquire at least 10 karma (karma bonuses from items do not count toward this total)
[added] minimalist "jump to page" feature in the market
[added] page up/page down can now be used to navigate market pages
[change] double clicking on the same item stack now repeatedly activates the item. For example you can now continue double clicking on a stack of potions and every second click will use an additional potion.
[feature] inventory hotkeys are now setup by default for new players
[bugfix] resolved issue where it was possible to manipulate items inside corpses from another dungeon
[feature] players now receive an event log message when entering a crevasse denoting how many monsters are inside
[feature] players now receive an event log when the last monster in a crevasse
4  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: The Chipped Dagger 2D MMO -- Alpha Testing on: 2010-05-30 15:24:28
Build 120 patch notes:
Today’s build has a new musical score and sound effects! A big thanks to Rance for composing the music/sound fx and to Will for integrating the new sound library into the game. The music is location dependent. There are many different sound effects for opening/closing/moving/creating/consuming things. Mobs also have distinct fighting sounds. You can adjust the volume properties via the menu->options window. The changes are another step toward polishing the game. Enjoy!

NOTE: Numerous players have experienced issues trying to log in. Clearing your cache seems to resolve the problem.

Also, for those interested in the technical side of the game, we integrated a Java Sound library written by

120 days and 37,512 lines of code later we've reached the 4 month mark. Alpha testing has been going on for about 5 weeks now and we've had nearly 750 people play TCD! Thanks to everyone who's played, given feedback, and helped out with the game!
5  Java Game APIs & Engines / Java Sound & OpenAL / Re: 3D Sound Engine on: 2010-05-30 14:41:27
I added your sound library to my game  It works great!  Nice work Paul!
6  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: The Chipped Dagger 2D MMO -- Alpha Testing on: 2010-05-30 00:57:02
build 119:
increased essence requirements for skillgain (health and stamina excluded from the new requirements)
lowered recovery rate for item reclamation
increased percent chance that items will have + modifiers instead of – modifiers
increased the chance that new item names will aquire a second prefix and a suffix
7  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: The Chipped Dagger 2D MMO -- Alpha Testing on: 2010-05-23 21:10:44
Grin Wow, that looks pretty sweet

I can only hope to get as far as you have with my game. I'll have a play with it later Smiley

Nice work!


Build 113 patch notes:
[bugfix] removed multiple chat depart messages for players who exit the game unexpectedly
[change] lowered MTU for players who were having issues with truncated packets
[change] player corpse decay increased from 1 day to 7 days.
[change] new magical item attribute randomness was increased a bit
[added] beholders can now drop teleporation potions (and recipes which require 4 different ingredients)
[added] ancient ents can now drop death ward potions (and recipes which require 5 different ingrdients)
[added] an event message is sent to all players when a world event (WE) monster dies
[added] event log notifies premium players how much premium time they have at login
[change] the market window is now resizeable for better name/price readability
[change] partially fixed with where on rare occassions a dead players corpse would be invisible
[bugfix] tokens will no longer drop from bags on death
[change] increased chance that a new item recipe will require an additional ingredient type
[change] doubled the chance of potion and coin recipe drops. halfed the number of uses for the recipes

Notes regarding teleportation potions: you can bind them to any spot in the world.  Stand on the location you wish to set as your teleport point.  Right click on a potion in your inventory (but not in a bag) and choose “Bind.” If successful it will give you an event log notice stating where the potion is now bound to.  If you mouse over the potion it will also give the coordinates of where it’s bound to.  You can also bind a stack of potions.  If you split stack both stacks will still be bound to the same location.  If you combine stacks, the stack you add to is the binding that is used for the new stack.  You can also remove bindings by right clicking on the potion and choosing “Unbind.”  These are very powerful because you can teleport anywhere in the world.  As a result they are also very expensive in terms of ingredient costs.  The costs will likely need to be adjusted in the future.  Currently beholders are the only monsters who can drop the potions (and thus the potion recipe).  The ingredients are very common ones.

Death ward: the death ward potion bestows a chance of keeping all of your items upon death.  You can right click “use” on one of these potions.  It grants a 50% chance to respawn with all of your gear intact.  You can stack the effects.  If you use 2 it’s 75% chance, if you use 3 it’s 87% chance and so on.  Only ancient ents drop these potions (and thus the recipes).  The recipe requires 5 different ingredients to make.  Like the teleportation potion these are very powerful and are designed to be _very_ expensive.  If they turn out to be not expensive enough I will adjust their cost accordingly.

These are just 2 of the new potions in the new alchemy update.  Other potions are forthcoming!

8  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: The Chipped Dagger 2D MMO -- Alpha Testing on: 2010-05-21 19:46:51
patch notes:

[update] many terrain tile graphical updates from krumple. Also some other item/monster graphics updates.
[added] your corpse locations are now displayed at login; corpses are displayed oldest to newest.
[change] removed destroy option for tokens
[added] essences (explained below)

There was a major addition in today's build. There are now various kinds of "essence" that can be looted from dead monsters. Each essence has a given attribute (IE health, piercing attack, backstab defense, etc). If you consume one of these essences you will gain a permanent increase in that attribute! There is no limit to the number of essenses you can use. They are rare drops however. Also, the more of a given essense that you use, the greater the number of essences you will need to increase that attribute further. For example, it might only take 1 essence of piercing attack to increase permanently increase your piercing attack up for the first 10 times you use one. On the 11th time however, it will require 2 essenses of piercing attack in order to gain the +11 bonus. It works similarly for all essence types.

This is a new system. I added it because the game needed additional ways for players to customize their character. Also, many players did not like the fact that the loot was the only thing that would affect their attributes. Since all of your items drop on death, many were discouraged. I added this system to aleviate those issues.

This is substantial change to the gameplay. It might be too overpowered it could also be underpowered, or it might be just right. We need to test it then get player feedback to see how it feels. If everyone hates this new system, i'm not totally opposed to removing it. If you do not like the new essence addition, or if you think it's out of balance please don't hesistate go give me your feedback! Please keep the comments constructive however.

I also added another tab to the market for players who wish to buy or sell essences.
9  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: The Chipped Dagger 2D MMO -- Alpha Testing on: 2010-05-19 19:21:27
thanks markus!

there is some new fauna with today's build.  I also agree more looting options would be nice.  Players have been asking for a loot all feature since the beginning. Smiley  Agree that the market needs better functionality.  You should have seen what it was like before I added the tabs!

Here's todays build info.

Build 109 patch notes:

[feature] added lore for all monster types (a big thanks to Rance for working on this project!)
[change] decreased each security zone radius from 200 to 100.  This means places more than 400 tiles of the start point is now an open pvp area (it was previously 800 tiles)
[change] criminals are no longer allowed in secure areas.  criminals are now respawned near a new lava town in the no-security zone.  Note: players are not allowed to create new accounts to avoid their criminal status.
[change] criminal status now occurs at -200 karma instead of -300 karma.
[change] some of the karma titles
[graphics] updated belt graphics, new club graphic, updated fur, updated hatchets, updated iron ore, 3 fixed terrain tiles, updated bridge tiles.
[added] extra security measures to prevent multiple account creation/logins from a single player.
[bugfix] resolved issue where higher level recipes would sometimes require stacks of the base type.  Since the base type wasn’t stackable the they couldn’t be crafted.
[change] recipes now have a small chance or requiring an additional ingredient type to craft.
[bugfix] private messages sent between players were being logged in the databse as chat messages.  Only public chat channel messages were supposed to be logged.  The bug was fixed and all private messages players sent each other were delete from the server.
[change] recipes now have a maximum numbers of uses before they are no longer usable.  Potion and coins recipes are very high.  Weapons and armor are very.  Note that recipes can be duped using reflecting ponds.  The remaining number of uses is listed in the recipe tools and lore windows. all existing recipes had uses added to them.
[bugfix] items inside bags were not removing the ownership flag of the deceased causing the new owner to be unable to remove the items.
[change] players will now respawn with their chipped dagger after death!
[added] number of world events to stats page on the website.
[added] current world events are now displayed at login.
[change] world event monsters now give more karma than others.
[change] legendary creatures now have a low chance of dropping a token.  World event creatures have a good chance of dropping a token.
[bugfix] player weights were not being updated after successful player to player trading
[feature] hotkeys can now be removed
[feature] hotkeys are now remembered between sessions
[change] player corpses now decay after 24 hours.
[bugfix] all old bugged player corpses were removed.  If you find another player corpse with inmovable items, please report the corpse coordinates!
[added] static tree and rock textures from krumple as requested by the world builders.
10  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: The Chipped Dagger 2D MMO -- Alpha Testing on: 2010-05-14 19:21:50
Builds 101, 102, and 103 are live now.  I've fixed numerous bugs related to packet loss.  There are many new small features that went live this week as well.  There are also some new weapon types and armor added to the game!
11  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: The Chipped Dagger 2D MMO -- Alpha Testing on: 2010-05-11 16:51:17
100 Days of development and 30,997 lines of code later I have a playable MMORPG!

I did some website redesign yesterday to celebrate the milestone.

I've also deployed numerous additional builds including build 100. I finally added in corpse decay as players didn't like all the dead bodies around. Smiley
12  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: The Chipped Dagger 2D MMO -- Alpha Testing on: 2010-05-07 18:10:15
today marks two weeks since I opens the doors to testing.  I've had just a touch over 250 people log in and play thus far!  I've deployed builds 95, 95a, 96, and 96a now.  I continue to fix bugs and add new features.  Yesterday I deployed the combat update which added significantly more stragety to combat.  I also revamped the event log feedback from combat to give much more granular information.  The graphics continue to get a makeover as well.

13  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: The Chipped Dagger 2D MMO -- Alpha Testing on: 2010-05-05 02:27:33
builds 93, 93a, and 94 have been deployed now.  I won't bore everyone with the patch notes, but things continue to improve!  I'll try to get an updated screenshot or two later in the week.
14  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: The Chipped Dagger 2D MMO -- Alpha Testing on: 2010-05-01 19:28:15
I put up 2 new builds today (91a and 91b).  This was mostly fixing UI issues players were having.  I did manage to add hotkeys for spells though which should help with combat. 
15  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: The Chipped Dagger 2D MMO -- Alpha Testing on: 2010-04-30 12:39:11
I'll have to look into your issue adon.  thanks for reporting it!

There is also a new build of the game up.  Infact build #90 also includes a major content update with many new mobs and lootables.  This also means that it's been 90 days since I started writing The Chipped Dagger!
16  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: The Chipped Dagger 2D MMO -- Alpha Testing on: 2010-04-28 16:44:23
@ william

i think you ran out of stamina.  most players didn't notice their stamina was gone and thought it was lag.  I guess i needed to make the stamina bar about the same size as it is in diablo 2 for players to notice.

yet, i readjusted the stamina burn rates.  thus, as low inventory weight you burn very little.  this should make it much less frustrating for new players.

I also fixed the inability to reopen the closed UI windows.  thanks for the input on that!

You don't have to click on the map to move.  You can just hold down the arrow keys, wasd keys, or even the num pad keys to move around.  I don't like clicking on the map at all myself.

Eventually I will remove the corpses.  For now i'm leaving them in too see how much stuff players aren't picking up.  I'm trying to make sure the items have enough value that players want to collect them as opposed to just leaving them on the ground.


Did you get this error more than once?  It appears it timed out.  I haven't had any other reports of this issue.

thanks for the feedback guys.
17  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: The Chipped Dagger 2D MMO -- Alpha Testing on: 2010-04-27 15:03:13
My advice is to have the option to login as guest (no registration) .
I was intersted in testing the game, but the thought of registering just to give a quick look made me give up .

It doesn't require registration.  Click the webstart, choose any username pass combo you want and you are in.

18  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: The Chipped Dagger 2D MMO -- Alpha Testing on: 2010-04-27 02:26:27
Build 86 is now live.  Thanks for those who have posted bugs and given their feedback ingame!

Is anyone having launch issues with the game?  Any other feedback or advice?

19  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / The Chipped Dagger 2D MMO -- Alpha Testing on: 2010-04-25 03:55:59
Update: players in general did not like that your character did not have any form of permanent advancement.  I have added an interesting an unique system to the game to address that.  Please see the latest post in this thread for details!

What if Swing and MMO made baby?

It might look something like this:

It's alpha, it's rough around the edges, and it's still a work in progress.

Here are some features:

•One seemless world (no sharding and no instancing).
•Random dungeons. Lots of them.
•You can find new items!
•You can invent new items!
•You can reverse engineer an existing item.
•Nearly everything in the world is craftable including the ability to mint coins.
•PvP (you can attack anyone anywhere, but in some areas there are penalties for attacking).
•Full loot PvP (if you can kill your opponent, you can loot his belongings).
•Player owned housing.
•No restrictive classes, no skill-by-use grinding. Actually play the game instead of watching your XP bar or a countdown timer all day!
•Monsters spawn in random locations at random times. Overtime they migrate. No more spawn camping.
•More than 200,000+ monsters roaming the overworld and in dungeons!
•Have an permanent impact on the world. Place your house where you want to. Setup markets where you want to. Modify the terrain near your buildings. Be remembered as the person who found (or invented) a legendary item!
•A sandbox game instead of a themepark one.
•Very low system requirements to play. Nearly any modern computer with Java installed should do.
•Runs on Windows | Mac OSX | Linux | Solaris and maybe a couple other places where Java is installed.
•Compared the multi-gigabyte downloads of many MMOs, this one is only a couple-megabytes.

and a screenie:

20  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: My Quickstart toolbar, what's yours ? on: 2010-04-02 17:37:01

- Notepad ++ (really nice text / hexa editor)

Notepad++ is really nice.  I use it almost daily. After seeing this post I decided I should check for updates.  I was still using version 3.1 and was a little behind on updates since the newest build is 5.6.8  persecutioncomplex

FWIW my toolbar contains this stuff: My Computer | Show Desktop | IE | FF | Chrome | SSH | ITunes | Ventrilo | NP++ | PSP | folder shortcut | Eclipse
21  Java Game APIs & Engines / Java 2D / Re: Transparency issues with volatile images (partially works) on: 2009-02-24 01:12:13
Shortly after making this point a friend found the problem.  The example I found on the internet suggested setting the transparency this way:

g2d.clearRect(0, 0, width, height);

It appears you need to use either setColor() with fillRect() OR setBackground() with clearRect() AND you must use New Color(0,0,0,0) instead of
So something like:

g2d.setBackground(new Color(0,0,0,0));
g2d.clearRect(0, 0, width, height);


g2d.setColor(new Color(0,0,0,0));
g2d.fillRect(0, 0, width, height);

22  Java Game APIs & Engines / Java 2D / Transparency issues with volatile images [solved] on: 2009-02-24 00:11:42
java version: 1.6.0_11-b03
OS: windowsXP w/newest service pack
gfx card: nvidia 8400, nvidia 5900

0) create frame, set undecorated, turn off paint, set fullscreen mode
1) create a buffer strategy with 2 buffers
2) to load a 32-bit translucent png
3) createCompatibleVolatileImage()
4) validate()
5) createGraphics()
5) setComposite(AlphaComposite.Src)
6) drawImage() into my VI from my BI
7) dispose()

1) getDrawGraphics()
2) setColor() then fillRect() to black
3) getLocalGraphicsEnvironment() & getDefaultScreenDevice().getDefaultConfiguration()
4) validate()
5) drawImage()
6) show()
7) dispose()

That works.  My png is loaded and the transparent parts are indeed transparent.  When I rotate the image however I end up with white areas in the corners.  The transparent areas from the original image still work correctly, but in places where there is no original image information i'm getting white when I really want transparency.

1) getLocalGraphicsEnvironment() & getDefaultScreenDevice().getDefaultConfiguration()
2) createCompatibleVolatileImage()
3) validate()
4) createGraphics()
5) setComposite(AlphaComposite.Src)
6) setRenderingHint(RenderingHints.KEY_INTERPOLATION, RenderingHints.VALUE_INTERPOLATION_BILINEAR)
7) getTransform()
Cool new AffineTransform()
9) rotate()
10) transform()
11) drawImage()
12) setTransform()
13) dispose()

When I rotate i'm creating a new VI, rotating the original VI, and copying the transformed image into my new VI (the original VI is preserved).  I then draw the _new_ image on my backbuffer and call show().  Rendering this new image gives me the white corners but the original transparency is still intact.

I was originally doing all of this with buffered Images and it worked correctly, but i'm at a point where i'm doing lots of image rotation which kills performance.  Thus the switch to VIs.

I'm at at a loss.  I'm not sure if i'm setting the incorrect composite on my surface, if my transparency is never being applied (or removed), or if i'm not correctly understanding how the image rotation works.

Additionally, if I create my VI during startup and do everything the same but skip the part where i copy my BI into my VI i get a white rectangle on my black backbuffer.  I would think I would not see the white rectangle since i'm setting the composite, but I think i'm missing something.


23  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: Executing logic outside "game loop" thread on: 2009-02-18 10:21:36
bleh, I typed up a reply only to have IE gobble it up when it became self aware.   Angry

Attempt #2:

I don't see a problem with dispatching the mouse events directly to your game logic class from your main loop thread.  I also don't see a problem with using sleep() instead of yield().  You *could* pipe the caught mouse events through your game loop thread and then to your logic class, but that's just an extraneous step.  If you only want to act on the mouse information as certain times you can always just sit on the information until you are ready to process it in your logic class. 

Those mouse events are coming to your from another thread however.  If your game loop/logic thread(s) are modifying the same data as your mouse listener methods are modifying you will get a concurrent access modification exception.  You will need to synchronize the methods and/or use synchronized code blocks to avoid the problem.

For example say you have a group of mobs onscreen that you store in a list using the java collections.  If you get a list iterator and are running over the list, and at the same time you catpure a mouse event that needs to delete one of those mobs (maybe you shot it), calling mobs.remove() is going to cause your program to go crash-boom because the first thread was iterating over the list while the second thread tried to modify it.  Again though using synchronized methods, synchronized code blocks, or in this case a sychronized list will fix the problem.

good luck!
24  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: GamePreview [VogelSang 2D free java/jogl strategy game] on: 2009-02-08 03:02:42
Your game looks great!  started and ran @ a solid 60fps 1024x768 resolution on 2ghz machine with 8x00 nvidia gfx card.  The user interface looks very nice, but it's totally unintuitive *how* to play the game.  I couldn't figure the controls out.  I chose english and I did notice a couple spelling errors.  "foreward" should be "forward" and "battel field" should be "battlefield" but those are totally minor bugs in the bigger scheme of things.  The artwork looks great by the way!   Cool
25  Game Development / Networking & Multiplayer / Re: Player movement. on: 2009-01-26 17:14:07
2 other things to look at:
are you sending these tcp or udp and are you sending 1 large packet or many small packets?  If you are using tcp then part of the "lag" might be retransmission of packets.  Remember also that each packet includes overhead.  You might only be sending 11 bytes per mobile, but the packet headers is much larger than that!  If you are sending many small packets a bulk of your bandwidth is being eaten by the headers alone.  I guess we could use some more info about your specific situation.

26  Game Development / Networking & Multiplayer / getting length of UDP packet on: 2008-09-04 18:46:38
The java docs state that if a packet exceeds the maximum packet width it will be truncated.  I want to check for possible truncation.  The UDP header has a 16-bit length field, but I don't see any way to access the UDP header in java.  There is a length() method in the datagrampacket class, but the docs are not clear whether that returns the original packet length, or the truncated packet length.  i.e. it's not clear whether length() is simply computing the length of the byte array that java gets from the OS or if length() is actually extracting the length from the packet header.

Worst-case scenario I can append 2 bytes to the front of my packets that would include the length of the packet which I could check against when the packet arrives at it's destination.  I would like to avoid this if possible though as the length is already in the packet header and sending it again adds a fair bit of overhead for small packets.

I tried sending increasingly larger packets from my dev server to my local machine and calling length() on the datagrampacket on my local machine to see if the values diverge.  The server will send increasingly larger packets starting at 100 bytes until they exceed an unsigned 16-bit length in which case the server throws an exception.  Oddly, my client stops receiving packets once they hit 3,000 bytes in length.  They leave the server, but they never make it to my client application.  I'm not sure if windows is discarding them, or if Java is doing it, or if they get lost while enroute.  Thus I wasn't able to test the packet.length() against the packet that the server sends as they stop showing up after 3,000 in size.

27  Java Game APIs & Engines / Java 2D / Re: DX won't init on win2k machine on: 2008-08-12 16:27:32
Thanks Dimitri that fixed it!

I've noticed that most roads lead to Dimitri when it comes to troubleshooting Java2D issues.  I would think that it's a bit of a waste of your time having to answer the same questions repeatedly on such issues.  I did google around and i read the Java2D troubleshooting guide before posting.  Will that guide be updated at some point, or is there another repository that holds all these great tidbits of information?

thanks again,
28  Java Game APIs & Engines / Java 2D / DX won't init on win2k machine on: 2008-08-10 22:08:43
I wanted to test my WIP game on my old windows 2000 machine.  DirectX fails to initialize on it.  Here's my info:

duron 800
512mb ram
nvidia 4200ti w/128mb ram
windows 2000 professional w/sp4
DirectX: 9.0c
Nvidia driver: 93.71 from 10/22/2006 (appears to be the newest one for my card looking at Nvidia's website)
JRE: 1.6.0_07-b06

Here's the output from J2D_TRACE_LEVEL=4:
[W] GetFlagValues: DDraw screen locking is disabled (W2k, XP+)
[I] InitDirectX
[V] CheckRegistry: Found Display Device 0: NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti 4200 with AGP8X
[I] CreateDevice: lpGUID=0x0 hMon=0x0
[I] DDSetupDevice
[E] CheckDDCreationCaps: previous surface creation failure detected
[E] DDsetupDevice: Failed to setup ddraw device

I also set the J2D_D3D_NO_HWCHECK=true environment variable thinking it might be due to win2k but to no avail.

The game runs fine, but is rendered in software and dirt slow. Sad  I've run the game on various other winxp machines without problems.

Any thoughts?
29  Game Development / Performance Tuning / short parameters on: 2008-07-19 16:01:21
public void foo(short bar)

foo(123); // compile error because the literal is converted to an int
foo((short)123); // works but icky
foo(123s); // I would like to do something like this...

Are there any tricks to get around having to manually typecast the literal using (short)?

I would like to save the 2 bytes but I would also like to avoid typing 7 extra characters each time.
30  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Event handling with custom UI on: 2008-07-19 15:53:52
Thanks for all the replies.  After spending a couple days googling around I still wasn't able to find what I was looking for.  Thus I went the same route as decaf and just wrote my own event handler.  I was worried at first that there would be performance issues, but I was pleasantly surprised by the snappy response to my input events.

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