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1  Games Center / Showcase / Tricone Lab (released on Steam in July 2017) on: 2017-11-07 12:02:03
<a href=";hl=en_US&amp;start=" target="_blank">;hl=en_US&amp;start=</a>

It's a single player logic puzzle game with a loosely biological theme, implemented using JMonkeyEngine3 and a lot of custom maths. Took about 6 years to develop in my spare time.

Main website:

Steam store page:

If you're interested to try it contact me at and I might well send you a Steam key!  Cheesy

2  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: SquirtySquirty insects game: now play against the AI! on: 2009-09-12 20:51:54
Just bumping to gently suggest that you can now play single player vs the AI (to hone your skills before battling online). Would really like people to give it a go!


3  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Venomous insects battle online: SquirtySquirty! on: 2009-09-01 21:46:55
SquirtySquirty v.5.2 is finally out, this is the first version with Single-player vs AI. So you can download and hone your skills against the computer before you venture into online play! There are three levels of AI. I would love people to test them out and see if they are too hard / too easy etc. Feel free to mail me any feedback, or post it here!


4  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Venomous insects battle online: SquirtySquirty! on: 2009-06-24 10:00:57
Oh yeah, and if you know of any other LWJGL-based games which *do* work on your OpenSolaris machine that would be very useful -- they might contain code with a potential fix.

5  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Venomous insects battle online: SquirtySquirty! on: 2009-06-24 09:54:07
Ok.. I played against myself and the OpenGL bits worked.. but I can't make anything go!  I move the pointer around and see arrows appear for forward and turning.. but clicking does nothing and pressing keys does nothing.  That's all on OpenSolaris.  It's getting mouse motion at least, but keyboard and clicks don't seem to register.
Thanks for trying it -- I have seen this issue on one other machine -- a mac (however keyboard / mouse button input works on all other macs).

I'll investigate it for the next release and hopefully you will be able to retest it.

6  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: SquirtySquirty version 5 online test event! on: 2009-06-23 10:00:38
And it works on Windows 7 64-bit and  OpenSolaris 64-bit as well.  Yay!  Gotta love Java!
I have no idea if the game actually does work on these OSs. I have only tested it on Mac OS X and Windows XP / Vista. The lobby screens you saw when you logged in (I spotted you in the server logs!) are actually written in Java Swing; the LWJGL window doesn't pop up until the actual game starts. So, until you start a game we don't know if LWJGL works on your platform.

I include the LWJGL binaries for Solaris in the webstart so it might work. Probably should try to find out soon if Windows 7 64 bit works as well!

It looked like you were logged in at the same time as another user "enbe" but you didn't have a game with them -- was there a problem?

It is possible to run two instances of the game from the same client machine and "play against yourself", just to see how the game works.

7  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Venomous insects battle online: SquirtySquirty! on: 2009-06-22 09:28:54
Hi there,

I've started working on a basic single player human-vs-AI mode and it will be in the next version.

Until then if you want to suggest a time / date, I can play you online, or you could ask a friend to try it


8  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Can u beat me? on: 2009-04-20 14:48:18
you cannot develop a game without AI enemies

just forget about participation when no one can practice =P
Yes, I think you are right, I am having a lot of trouble getting any participation. I am now working on the AI enemies. I think that like most games, playing a single player campaign or skirmish against the AI will be fun, but online multiplayer will be better. It will be interesting to see whether adding the single player option leads to more multiplayer participation as you suggest.

There were several important reasons why I did multiplayer support first.

(1) In terms of software architecture it is much easier to add single player support to a multiplayer game than vice versa.

(2) Once you have written the AI, it is hard to change the mechanics as you will break the AI. However, once you have settled on the mechanics, it is easy to change the AI. Therefore you want to establish the game mechanics first. It is easy to get the game mechanics wrong and imho getting them right is the most important aspect of any game. So I was hoping for a good chunk of multiplayer participation in order to test that the mechanics are balanced and produce addictive gameplay.

9  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Can u beat me? on: 2009-04-16 11:13:28
Ah ok, well I can't play just now as my work network blocks external UDP traffic. I'll watch out for you when I'm at home.

10  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Can u beat me? on: 2009-04-16 10:26:32
What's JGO?

11  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Can u beat me? on: 2009-04-15 08:12:43
In this case the rules of the game are simple and easy to learn. While I am good at this game, I am in general not a brilliant game player. If you are a decent game player you may well get good enough to beat me within a reasonable time.

Plus I will be easy on you to start with!

Come on give it a try.

12  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Can u beat me? on: 2009-04-14 16:37:57
I have tested it with a few real life friends, I've organised a few online testing sessions via facebook.

I'm just finding it very difficult to get anyone who is not a real-life friend to download and play.

13  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Can u beat me? on: 2009-04-14 16:24:20
Okay, just name the time! Post here, PM me or email me (my address is on the game website).

AI: I have sketched out the architecture, but it will probably be another 12 months or so to get something working.

14  Games Center / Archived Projects / Can u beat me? on: 2009-04-14 16:12:50
So far, not a single person in the entire world is good enough to consistently beat me at SquirtySquirty!

I will personally play against anyone* who responds to the challenge. Just contact me and suggest a time slot between 7 and 11pm BST (GMT+1) at any time in April and you can battle the SquirtySquirty creator online.

More info on the game here:

*for reasons of latency, you probably need to live in Europe.



15  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: A call to all game developers of any genre on: 2009-04-05 21:55:35
The portability is complete shit. Don't fool yourself!

Cas Smiley
Write once - test everywhere!

But it is more portable than most other environments.

I had a pretty annoying issue recently porting to the mac. Basically, I was using Batik to render some SVGs with perfectly scaled anti-aliasing. So, I bundled the pure java Batik jars with the game. But when OS X creates a .app on the desktop to start my webstart, it starts java in some screwed up environment which prevents Batik accessing its own resources. But the problem is absent if you start the web app from the OS X java util. On the basis of that I ended up ripping out Batik and doing without it -- not ideal but it works.

But after resolving that issue my game worked fine on the mac.

16  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: A call to all game developers of any genre on: 2009-04-05 18:44:25
I've not posted much here but it looks like a relatively healthy online community compared to some others I've had the misfortune to be part of.

To be honest I am a professional Java developer in real life so I don't expect to learn much Java coding stuff here.

To reiterate what's been said, Java games development is not that different from games dev in some other language. We use it cos it's a great language with great support, features and libraries and amazing portability. But still, most games development is just generic software development, you are good at it if you are a good engineer generally, and bad at it if you are not, not really that much to do with Java. Even in those areas where games development is a bit specialised, e.g. graphics, chances are if you're using java you're just using a binding to another technology, e.g. OpenGL, so you would go on OpenGL forums to figure out any issues you had.

But it's fine -- there are just enough java-game specific issues to keep the forum going and let's face it we get slagged off pretty badly by developers using other languages (java is still widely but wrongly thought of as an inefficient, quiche language) so we might as well stick together!

I have tried to give a bit of constructive feedback on a few different games here and elsewhere. I think it's good to give encouragement to others and also I am interested in seeing novel gameplay ideas being developed.

I anticipate that I will have problems getting feedback on my project, because although it is complete / fairly polished as a multiplayer game, it is hard to get people to commit to be online at the same time. I am now switching focus to the single player aspects of my project, I think this will greatly increase the likelihood of a download.

17  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Moving away from Java on: 2009-04-05 18:13:48
My strategy is this: On windows I ship a whole private JRE, inside a self unpacking / self installing exe. On Mac I just require OSX 10.5, then just use JNLP. This is cos you can assume Java 1.5, which is the min java version for my game.

My rationale was this: Bandwidth and diskspace are getting cheaper every year. On the other hand, the cost for me to support random Windows users who haven't installed java properly is high. So shipping the whole JRE wins in the end.

If / when java kernel settles down I will use that, I just can't be bothered to hack bits out of the JRE just to save Windows users a couple of minutes in downloads.

In my day, on the ZX spectrum, you had to go 2 hours on the bus to buy the game and when you had it you had to wait 5 mins just to load it <yorkshire>AND WE WERE BLOODY GRATEFUL!</yorkshire>  Wink


18  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Venomous insects battle online: SquirtySquirty! on: 2009-04-04 13:47:27
I'm in Glasgow, Scotland, the London server is a paid for service which is provided by

I did consider getting a static IP address for my home DSL connection and then running the server at home but this would mean higher electricity bills and not very good latency for players. The bytemark servers are co-located in a major ISP PoP so most people in the UK and northern europe should have very good ping times.


19  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Venomous insects battle online: SquirtySquirty! on: 2009-04-04 10:35:24
Hope you can make it and feel free to pass on the details to any friend you think might be interested.

If not we can set up another time to test it.

The game server is a dedicated java process which I've written for the game, it runs on a virtual linux machine in London. The website is on a different server, and is done in Mambo (a php based cms).


20  Games Center / Archived Projects / SquirtySquirty version 5 online test event! on: 2009-04-02 16:29:09
OK because my game is currently multiplayer online only, I've arranged a slot when a number of users are going to be online together. The idea is that we can then get some larger multiplayer games going.

Date: 07 April 2009
Time: 20:00 - 23:00 BST (GMT+1)

This release has a few small improvements.

The main big ones are Mac OS X support (10.5 or later) and mouse controls. It should work for Linux as well, but I've never tested it. The graphics are based on LWJGL.

I hope you can join in the online fun.


21  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Otto's Obstacles on: 2009-04-02 13:21:30
Yes, I have also noticed the same thing with teleports.
22  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Otto's Obstacles on: 2009-04-02 12:59:09
It works for me in IE 6.0, just not firefox 2.

23  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Otto's Obstacles on: 2009-04-02 12:47:13
Win XP, Java 1.6.0_05, Firefox 2.0.0

24  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Otto's Obstacles on: 2009-04-02 10:30:35
Nope, I still can't move

25  Games Center / Featured Games / Re: Quantum - Free RTS on: 2009-04-01 00:50:30
I got quantum working on my other machine.

This game is brilliant! I absolutely love the gameplay. Minimalist RTS is my favourite genre. It is really quite hard to beat the computer, but after about 10 goes I was able to do so on the simple maps. Like most RTSs the key is to rush any weak positions (trees with no guards) as soon as you spot them. I am surprised you want to move away from this project, I think it has a lot of potential.

I think slowing the game down a bit for beginners would help, plus perhaps showing resource levels a bit more clearly.

26  Games Center / Featured Games / Re: Incredibuilder on: 2009-03-31 16:24:55
OK, please help me and tell me what's confusing. I'll adjust the texts then.
Allowing WASD plus cursor, I guess this is to support both left and righthanded players. But introducing these in the order that you do is too much information. I would just introduce ASD first, then W, then either allow the keys to be programmable or add a note that alternatively you can use the cursor keys. Also there's nothing intuitive about W / up for rotate, but it seems you're forced into this because you want the basic tetris controls to be done with a single hand so that the other hand can use the mouse (dunno how to improve this). 

"Drop the piece inside the red rectangle" -- I should be able to clear this message with a mouse click, and then press the drop button. Also, by default it should be lined up to drop inside the rectangle.

"I recommend .... at your left" -- this comment is unnecessary at this early stage.

"The construction doesn't respect the plan" is a bit annoying because in the absence of hammer / knife, the initial sequence of shapes might make this unlikely. I feel as though I am doing something wrong when I am just learning the controls. Make the initial shapes so simple (maybe just square blocks of 4) that the construction will respect the plan unless I drop outside the shape. It's too much to ask the user to plan ahead at this stage -- this is just a tutorial.

The drop button should be disabled while a dialog is up and the dialogs should always be absent when you're actually supposed to do something. This was a big source of confusion. Or you could just move the instructions away from the play area, e.g. to the left.

At the end of the first part of the tutorial the default "skip" action (left click) restarts the tutorial, whereas most users are likely to want to move on at this stage. Have the default action move on and escape restart.

Second tutorial level: using the hammer costs 2 secs in time mode but time mode is disabled. This is too complicated, you're just trying to introduce the hammer. Forget about the costs / time limits (including the "-2 secs" fading text) and don't mention them until a later level; introduce them at the start of that level.

Also, a minor bug: I get some flickering widgets, including the tutorial dialogs, and the blue bars at the side of the play area. This may be related to the fact that I alt-tabbed out of the game, then back in?

Fine to support single mouse button users but for those of us blessed with 2 buttons, right click to drop would be nice!

Also, tool pointer should change to something else while over the drop button, otherwise it seems as though I want to smash it (!)

For the knife, the state machine is a bit weird, it unnecessarily requires two presses. Selection of the cut square should be finalised at the point when the mouse button is first pressed, a ghosted square should appear while you drag it, and then it should be placed with the button being released again. Also the knife icon should change during the drag period (and perhaps change again if the current destination square is disallowed).

I guess you could consider changing the knife to a robotic grabber or something, just an alternative metaphor I guess.



27  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Otto's Obstacles on: 2009-03-31 15:50:41
I like this genre! I think there was something on the BBC micro called repton which was quite similar.

Unfortunately the applet seems to get into a state where each time I press a cursor key the move counter goes down but the character does not move.



28  Games Center / Showcase / Re: ApoBot and ApoPolarium on: 2009-03-31 15:34:51
I tried ApoBot, I think it is quite fun. It is similar to a board game called RoboRally. I think the UI could be a bit more intuitive, e.g. allowing double click as well as drag.

29  Games Center / Featured Games / Re: Incredibuilder on: 2009-03-31 15:21:26
I really like this game and I think it has a lot of potential. I don't think you really need money mode, time mode on its own is fine.

The tutorial/keys confused the hell out of me but once I got them it was a lot of fun. The game obviously requires both keyboard and mouse. You could maybe have rightclick be drop rather than a button.

The presentation is very polished.

I also felt slightly nauseous with the spinning background at the start, and the buttons do seem to vibrate.

Well done for coming up with such an original twist!



30  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: chronicles of surbania on: 2009-03-31 14:42:20
ok but how do the users interact?
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