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1  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: "Wii" is nothing compared to this on: 2006-05-09 23:05:49
I thought this was too wierd to be true, but sadly ...

Check out the amazon reviews, These were all deleted, but the magic power of google cache resurrects them ...

google for : amazon review oozinator
and click on the 'cached' link instead of the main one.
That is some funny stuff ...

2  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: SUN Starfire on: 2006-03-18 13:16:32
You know what REALLY screams 1994 to me ? Just started watching it ...

"princess di has just been re-appointed to the house of lords"

3  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: "Project Darkstar" teaser site.... on: 2006-03-04 12:20:31
Er, what's it do, then? Is it like a laser ("solution looking for a problem") or is it like a Swiss army knife or what?
Cas Smiley

well lasers were the apocryphal 'solution looking for a problem' when they were first invented but since then they've turned up in millions of different consumer devices and have actually spawned entire industries and helped propel scientific advances that wouldn't have been possible without them, so if it does INDEED turn out to be 'like a laser' then I reckon sun ought to count themselves lucky :-)

Although, yes, I -do- find my swiss army knife considerably more useful than my laser pointer. Now if only someone would invent a suitably powerful little handheld laser 'cutting device'* of some description I'd be a happy man.


*by 'cutting device' I obviously mean a 'laser rifle' or perhaps 'orbital laser bombardment satellite' . ohhhhh yeah.
4  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Possibly a lame idea.. but meh on: 2006-02-28 07:49:43
In order to create my program (client), I'll want to be able to set up a basic button, receiving text box, and input text boxes. Is this accomplished with a different programming language? Can this be done in Java?

... yes  Smiley

check out the swing trail on the sun site. Starts off with the basics:


5  Game Development / Networking & Multiplayer / Re: Sun's GameServer tech... on: 2006-02-10 14:08:54
This is a product and project Sun has invested a great dela of time and money in.
But yes, if you are going to want to write a commercial game to make money on, expect to have to cut your tech providers in on the profits.  That is only fair.

I wasn't actually suggesting that there was anything -wrong- with Sun making money from a product they've invested in, no need to be so defensive  Smiley

Initially when reading about it though, I thought that was actually going to be the case, hence my disappointment !

6  Game Development / Networking & Multiplayer / Re: Sun's GameServer tech... on: 2006-02-09 22:36:18
Next Generation did some digging among a few of the larger players in the MMOG space and our sources at each developer/publisher has indicated that talks have happened with Sun. In one case, a source went so far as to say that the two companies are in "close contact".

Hmm. I was just about to post a question about the sun game server but luckily decided to do a search first ...
I have to say, the above quote doesn't fill me with confidence. What are the chances of being able to pick up this for free commercial use I wonder, if the 'larger players in the MMOG space' seem interested in it ? Seems like a great opportunity for sun to make a killing on licensing. The last thing I read about it seemed to indicate it was tied in to some hardware platform aswell ?

7  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: XML as a file-format for games dev on: 2006-01-28 18:05:29
How did you avoid writing a parser? How did the values in the DOM model or SAX or whatever get into your java objects? At some level you would have needed a parser surely....

okay, so minimal code then. What I meant by a parser in the OP was having to parse the file itself, getting tokens in and REing them to get values etc etc. The various XML libraries make this bit redundant.

8  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: XML as a file-format for games dev on: 2006-01-23 19:44:15
I hate XML with a passion. It all SEEMS like such a good idea. And then you have to trawl through the specs for JBI, Web services, and just to throw a spanner into the works, BPEL (or rather BPEL4WS as we haven't moved to version 2 yet). Using the PXE BPEL engine you have to write ...
1. an XML WSDL file to expose the actual BPEL service itself,
2. The BPEL process, which is a state based language with procedural elements and is the ugliest misabuse of XML I've ever seen,
3. The BPEL deployment descriptor, also in XML
4. An extra XML file for each of the WSDL services you're planning on using in the BPEL process, to expose their partnerLinks

All of these,needless to say, are completely interdependent, with various element names you have to drag from a variety of different depths in each others hierarchies and use correctly in another file. And did I mention the namespaces ? Hundreds of them. HUNDREDS ! and woe betide if you get a single thing wrong ...

-ahem- Okay, thats my little OT rant over,

back ON topic, I've used (thankfully) much simpler XML scripts for quite a while for configuration of things like models, shaders, animation effects and so on. Something like the following:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="us-ascii"?>
<model name="Peasant" animating="true">
   <mesh file="peasant.md3" base="true" fixnormals="false"/>
   <shader type="DefaultShader" texture="slayed\peasant.tga"/>
   <animation name="walking" start="32" end="61" looped="true" startloop="32" fps="20" default="true"/>
   <animation name="standing" start="62" end="78" looped="true" startloop="62" fps="8" />
   <model name="pickaxe" attachment="tag_weapon" animating="false">
      <mesh file="pickaxe.md3" />
      <shader type="DefaultShader" texture="slayed\peasant.tga"/>

I find its great for stuff like that, simple, didn't have to bother writing a parser, easily editable.

9  Java Game APIs & Engines / OpenGL Development / Re: EXT_framebuffer_object on: 2005-08-07 13:19:00
There's only a bug with the current ATI drivers (will be fixed in Catalyst 5.9), the dimensions of NPOT textures should be multiples of 32.

Ah good old ATI OGL drivers eh ??

"Use our new NPOT textures !!! (warning, texture dimension must be powers of 2) "


-edit-  Actually I feel stupid now. can a texture be (say) 96x96 ?? I just read 'multiples' as 2,4,8,16 etc etc. too much time programming i guess ! -edit-
10  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: OpenGL crippled under Windows Vista on: 2005-08-07 12:29:47
Yeah, but from what I understand its the ICD mechanism itself that isn't going to work under their 'aeroglass' scheme. So for all intents and purposes its 1.4 with no extensions. I've never really checked out whats officially available in the various different versions of OGL because generally whats important is whatever set of extensions is exported by your driverset & card, I think I'll head off to

What isn't immediately apparent is what mechanism is going to be in place to switch from this (overhyped and unneccesary IMO) aeroglass thing to the conventional desktop where the standard way of doing things will apply. Is it automatic ? will there be some sort of API call to switch between the two ? does it happen when you switch into fullscreen mode ? Thats the real kicker. The farfetched worst case scenario is having to reboot into it or something equally laborious. That would really sound the death-knell for OGL games. However I don't think MS is going to intentially break whole slews of applications so I think it'll be relatively transparent.



Main changes in 1.5 and 2.0 were the addition of buffer objects (VBO's FBO's) , pixel shaders & OGSL , occlusion queries, addition of some shadow comparison operators, point sprites, NPT textures, and seperate stencil.

Now there's some esoteric stuff in there thats more for convenience sakes than anything else, but doing without VBO's ?? no shading language ? More to the point all these things are more hardware oriented, so you have to ask, why didn't MS actually settle on 2.0 as the base spec for OGL ? Theres an old saying "never attribute to malice what you can instead attribute to incompetence" but in this case I wouldn't be too sure. If they're locking off a standard at a particular revision number and disabling the commonly implemented way of ensuring update compliance then I'd argue that they have the obligation to ensure that they at LEAST do it at the latest revision at that point in time.

I guess only time will tell.

11  Java Game APIs & Engines / Tools Discussion / Re: Webstart Configuration on: 2005-08-07 11:33:28
Be aware of the safari browser (mac os) that doesn't recognizes a .php file as of the jnlp type even with correct mime type (better stick to .jnlp and associate it with php engine on your .htaccess file)

Really ? And thats the default Mac browser ? thats pretty annoying. I'm doing a similar thing with my JNLP file. For ASP, the syntax is almost the same as the above, if anyone is interested :

I -have- to do this, I contacted my (paid !) hosting service when I discovered that JNLP wasn't set up as a MIME type on the server, and they actually just refused to do it ! Well actually first I had to explain to them what a JNLP file actually IS. Apparently it was -ahem- too much hassle -ahem- I suppose you gets what you pays for in that respect, cheapest local hosting service that allows scripting etc. in Dublin. Wouldn't recommend it to anyone else though.

12  Java Game APIs & Engines / JOGL Development / Re: about this book ... Learning Java Bindings For OpenGL on: 2005-06-20 17:15:13
I'd recommend getting a good up to date book on OpenGL and working from there. Once you get over the initial teething difficulties of using JOGL its all identical to Opengl . I ported some (reasonably complicated OGL 1.3) stuff from C++ to Java and the code was functionally almost identical with the exception of the windows specific setup stuff that had to be rewritten to use GLCanvas etc etc. Any JOGL specific problems I've encountered were fairly easily solved either by looking through the examples or by asking here.

13  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: howto implement FTL 'movement' in a scifi turn based strategy idea ? on: 2005-06-15 07:39:48

 Or stick the reference into an 'inTransit' object that has a record of where the asset has come from, where its going, and what time its going to get there at, and stick the 'insTransit' object into a 'TransitBuffer' thats polled once a turn to see if you have to pop anything out and place the contained reference into the destiniation system assetlist. I reckon thats probably the -simplest- way to do it ...

14  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: colour conundrums on: 2005-06-08 07:03:29
Actually, It was the Sun purple with transparancy.  Back to the old Jarring ones unless someone comes up with anything better.


Hold a contest for a consistent set of themed icons for the board ! Just do up a post with the current icon/graphic set and allow people to post with replacements, then vote.    Look at it this way, Its because of all the hard graft you put into the new boards that people only have the opportunity to caffle and grumble about the superficial stuff. They're a vast improvement over the old ones ! 

15  Discussions / General Discussions / colour conundrums on: 2005-06-07 23:12:39
Okay, So the bright red new-post-in-message-board tags were a little ... jarring ... But really, Pastels ? PINK pastels ?

I'd settle for some sort of compromise between the two !

16  Java Game APIs & Engines / JOGL Development / Re: Please help this newbie... on: 2005-06-03 14:17:43
Can I even compile JOGL programs with my grafics card: RADEON IGP 320M

Sure, you can both compile AND run JOGL programs with the above card. My flatmate has a laptop with the same card. Its quite limited though, no vertex shader support for example. His machine has drivers that only support 1.1 , and try as we might we haven't been able to get updated drivers that don't screw up something else. But for simple stuff its grand.

17  Java Game APIs & Engines / OpenGL Development / Re: Grayscale on: 2005-04-28 15:33:41
Is the grayscale stuff going to be static ? IE you fade the game screen to gray when you're displaying a trade or destination menu or something, but freeze the game ? In that case you could render off to a texture and process it on the CPU into grayscale and use it as a backdrop, drawing your UI elements over it in full color. This'd obviously take a bit of time but it'd be okay to do just the once when entering the menu system ...

18  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: J2SE Embedded: a leaner VM for gaming? on: 2005-04-22 05:11:44
That's without swing. Swing and awt takes up a great big chunk of the jre. It would be the first to go if you wan't to reduce size. Do your gui with opengl.

well, more to the point, do your gui (and the rest of your game obviously !) with the LWJGL bindings for OpenGL , not JOGL as Cas would be sure to point out. JOGL has several AWT dependencies. You can of course still get rid of swing. Although this is all academic given the terms of the license :-(

19  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: J2SE Embedded: a leaner VM for gaming? on: 2005-04-20 17:18:39

Cas Smiley

What? Did I insult someone here? If yes, it was not intended.

Cas is from the UK, our neighbours from across the Irish Sea are quite fond of using the word 'bugger' in much the same way as Americans might use the phrase 'well I'll be gosh darned' or something similiar. :-) I think its as a result of watching too much 'bottom' or 'men behaving badly' or something.


20  Java Game APIs & Engines / OpenGL Development / Re: Glow effects on: 2005-04-19 17:40:08
heres a solution that could work for your text :
If the text images are alpha masked (which I presume they are) , you could additively render a blue quad over the original text image, using the original image alpha mask on the quad. This would make the outlines blue (as above) and the text white ( 0,0,0 + 0,0,255 = 0,0,255 and 255,255,255 + 0,0,255 = 255,255,255) . use glTexCombine to do it. I can't remember how to do it off the top of my head, I've done something similar before for terrain texture splatting (IE using one texture for color and another different texture's alpha channel for the alpha mask), but I could dig up some of my code if you're interested.

21  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: J2SE Embedded: a leaner VM for gaming? on: 2005-04-19 17:09:53
Er, wtf?

Maybe I have the wrong end of the stick here but I've been trying to sort this out for like, years, and been told "no"?

Cas Smiley

I think I've seen this before somewhere. The key phrase is "Licensing J2SE for embedded use from Sun" From what I remember it was a full-on licensing scheme for big bucks, after which you were free to do what you wanted with the JRE. I think you can get the same deal from Sun now for the normal J2SE if you're willing to pony up the cash.

22  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Habemus Papam! on: 2005-04-19 17:06:55
Honestly, I'm not a practising catholic anymore, but I think this is the worst possible thing that could have happened to the church. Ratzinger is just the man to drag the church kicking and screaming into the ... um ... 16th century. Actually , scratch that, into the middle ages. Although of course, maybe thats just what the church needs now to hasten its senility, electing a 78 year old ex-Hitler Youth member*

*I know, I know ... but it makes for great copy.
23  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Rimscape - Almost Done on: 2005-04-19 15:24:49

Is this a beta for that new interface ? I'd definately give it a go, and as a bonus I'd be really critical ! I liked rimscape but I hated the interface so I couldn't really play it for long :-(

24  Java Game APIs & Engines / OpenGL Development / Re: Glow effects on: 2005-04-17 09:40:43
The OpenGL Superbible (Publisher: SAMS) has some stuff on dilation and erosion in chapter 23, which looks a possible starting point.  It uses Fragment shaders.

"Dilation grows the size of bright objects, whereas erosion shrinks the size of bright objects (They each have the reverse effect on dark objects)"

As a openGL beginner, I haven't done more than skim the chapters on shaders.  Maybe worth googling on "opengl" "shaders" and "erosion".  Lots of duff stuff came up but this looked interesting:

I've read about that before, to be honest I think its complete overkill for what malohkan is trying to do ! Its a neat effect though. In terms of effort, the way you're doing it know is probably the easiest way. I presume you just have alternate images  for the text/ships ? I was trying to think of some jiggery pokery you could do in a sort of multipass way and SRC_INVERT or something so you could use the same image and just additively blend it over the original but it probably wouldn't be general enough.

Is that the new GUI for rimscape ?? Its looking pretty good ! much better than the previous one if you don't mind me saying. Is that actually in the game yet ? or still in dev ?

25  Game Development / Shared Code / Re: problem in array of objects on: 2005-04-12 15:28:47
I suspect its probably because of the way that you set your position

public void setPos(int[] _iPos)
  iPos = _iPos;

do you create a new int[] every time you set the position ?
you're only passing in the reference to the position array from the calling method.  Chances are you're assigning them all to the same array reference and continually changing the values if (as I surmise) you're creating your NPCs in a big loop somewhere in your intialisation/level loading code.

26  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Storm the Castle on: 2005-04-03 20:39:48
Actually the 'z' key is a bit of a standard with the shmup crowd as well, along with 'x' for secondary fire/power ups or whatever. Every one of those wierd japanese shooters that pop up every now and again use the z & x keys so you get accustomed to trying them :-)

27  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Tribal Trouble (finally) released! on: 2005-04-02 08:52:36
Great work ! I've been following the development of this for a while so I downloaded the demo as soon as I saw this message. No problems running it but I have to agree with the points above. you need to ensure the scrolling isn't so abrupt, and make right click cancel building construction. I actually clicked it several times in puzzlement, I think its probably a UI element thats become ingrained in the brains of RTS players. If i can add a point of my own, I also kept on reflexively trying to rotate the camera by holding down the middle mouse button. That'd be a neat feature aswell.

But apart from that, It looks fantastic. Another great piece of propaganda for LWJGL !


28  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Clean up front page ;-) on: 2005-03-30 20:09:38
uhhhm, the 'affordable health insurance' add that was repeated about 10 times down the bottom of the page ?

It was there earlier on anyway, Its been reduced to one ad now. Looks like a hack or exploit anyway, unless health insurance providers have decided that java gamers are a new target market. And the link doesn't work anyway :-)

29  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Problem with Comparator interface on: 2005-03-29 20:09:54

oh right, did we decide eventually that we didn't like multiple returns in the one method ?? :-)

To be honest, though I suppose the instanceof is neccessary for robustness sakes, I wouldn't normally include it for a comparable implemented class. You're very rarely in the situation where some collection is going to be filled with a bunch of objects that aren't extended from a particular sub object, or all implement a particular interface.

30  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Problem with Comparator interface on: 2005-03-29 10:05:27
oh, and thats the Comparable interface, not the Comparator interface. I presume it was just a typo on your part, as you would have got compile time errors instead of bugs :-)

Also a bit of a brainmush on my part, I'd forgotten you couldn't override interface declarations like that. As CaptainJester said, you gotta use the same method declaration as in the interface, then cast to your particular circumstance, so your code will look something like this:

public int compareTo (Object d) 
    Module m = (Module)d;

    System.out.println("Comparing better");
    if (priority > m.priority)
        return -1;
    else if (priority < m.priority)
        return 1;
        return 0;
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