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1  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: I'm baaaaack... on: 2015-05-20 21:00:06
Let flame this question, really I want know you’re opinion – what alternative you have? =)

I've been pondering long about this. One answer was, to migrate into the area of arts, graphical arts as well as small crafts, also photography. I'm still searching and exploring.

Since my talents in arts are limited, and I won't win any rewards, I also wanted a hobby which made me feel like doing something sensible, which felt rewarding, and so I picked up gardening again, particularly growing food crops. It is very rewarding if you can eat what you created, erm, what you managed to raise from a seed. At least for me.

But it's a question that everyone must solve on their own. One person I met wants to get into a help organisation for homeless and poor people. I imagine that can be very rewarding, too. Others want to help in a nursing home, and feel happy if they can help the old people there.




2  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: I'm baaaaack... on: 2015-05-20 11:20:45

Also, just to set a few things straight about my game engine:
- I don't actually want to be a full on games developer. I just like programming and this is a program.
- I'm making a game engine cause I like to understand and make back-ends. So yeah...
- Also, it's different from others because it's designed to be a beginners engine. In the end I am hoping to use JavaScript/Lua as a scripting language and also make a drag and drop scene editor.

I once was like that too, just used C++ and Lua for my RPG engine.

It tought me a few things:

- Making games is way harder than expected, because an engine will not make a game, and the game part on top of the engine is not "a little" but a whole lot of work.
- I'm bad at game design. And it is suprisingly hard to get advise or help on design questions. Most forums are 90% programming and art questions.
- Any programmer can make a game engine. Programmers are plenty, so are engines. Furthermore: There are teams of really skilled people who make engines, so a lone wolf developer has a hard time competing.
- People will choose popular engines. Which makes sense, because it is easier to get help with something which a lot of other people use and have experience with.

I just like programming and this is a program.

It might be different for you, by my interest in programming dropped a lot over the years. First it was all interesting and I was very proud of the high-tech solutions I could implement, including assembly coding to use all possible power of the CPU. But at some point it became more and more just basic work which I had to do, to reach the real goals. It was no longer something interesting, just a skill that I am using to make my ideas come true.

Furthermore, programming is a fairly slow process, so the "make my ideas come true" thing often meant years of work, which finally seemed to be a waste of time, and made me turn away from programming and game development.

I keep coming back, but nowadays I try to stop projects once they are getting boring to me. I only once had a successful project, it took 7 years of my free time to create and I lost it to other people in a series of unlucky circumstances, was finally kicked out of the team. So I'm having nothing out of it, even that it nowadays is a successful project and the internet still is full of pages listing me as author ...

-> Unless you plan to make money with programming or game development, be sure to only do it when it's fun, or has a chance to lead something that is fun within a short frame of time. Don't spend years of your life on something that will give you almost nothing in return.

I'm just writing this, to give you an idea what can happen, if someone starts from your position. It doesn't have to mean that your path will be the same, I just try to show some of the things that I learned and which happened to me, in hope that they will be help and warning, so that you can do it better.
3  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Solarex - Travel and Explore the Galaxy on: 2015-05-19 20:41:54
I've published a new release:

https://sourceforge.net/projects/solarex/files/Solarex_GL/r005/

Changes since r004:

- Space display uses programmable OpenGL pipeline (OpenGL 3.2) now. That should help performance but might have introduced new bugs (I'm almost certain that there are some which I haven't tracked down yet).
- Ship info panel (see: http://forum.freegamedev.net/viewtopic.php?p=64268#p64268 )
- Improved planet generator, only enabled for earth and mars type planets, mars type planets still look bad

Overall I think Solarex GL slowly reaches a playable state. Unless some crippling bugs show up which I'm not aware of at the moment. Trading goods should work fully, the quest/job system is missing an UI to see the job list and accept them, and resource harvesting is still in need of a complete new design. I think I'll do the quest panel next.
4  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Achievement Milestones on: 2015-05-19 14:26:39
So, I was wondering if some of the experienced members can make a list of things you should do to improve your skills. Like sometimes when I learn about something new and when I'm done with it, I wonder what should I learn next. I believe many of us go through this. So, as an experienced member maybe you can recommend the order in which you learned things.  Smiley

What to do to improve skills:

- use the skills

I think that is all, unless you really want to master something. But usally you get pretty far with a mediocre level, perfection is often just "art for arts sake" and not that useful in everydays work.

Well, usually I have a wish or an idea, "I want to do <this>", and then I try to figure out how to do it. This is the frist period of learning, kind of research phase. Then the actual doing comes, a second phase of learning, the practical learning.

I don't learn stuff because I might use it some day in future. Most often, the world has changed so much until I reach the point when I actually do it, that the stuff learned is no longer of use.

So it seems better to me to wait with learning until there is a real need.

Exceptions - you can always learn basics, these don't change frequently. Math is the best example, the basics won't change anymore. Same for basic geometry (if you don't consider that part of math). Basic data structures and algorithms. Knowledge in technical mechanics ans some basic in cybernetics and control theory also will help with some sorts of games.

Tools, programs, APIs and such change much more frequently. These make only sense learning when you need to actually use them.
5  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What do you define as a programming language? on: 2015-05-12 13:50:51
Often when people ask me what programming languages I know/use, I often answer "php, java, javascript, and basic SQL". Even if I can html and css I mostly don't count those since they don't have the logic php, java, and javascript have, while SQL being on the border since it have a few functions/methods. I just wonder, how many leave out languages like that?

html and css are descriptive languages. Thus they are usually not counted as programming languages which are function-oriented.
6  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Most unusual/weird syntax features in non-joke languages on: 2015-05-12 13:46:42
Function pointers to member functions in C++ give you pretty weird syntax:

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class Foo{
public:
    int f(string str){
    std::cout<<"Foo::f()"<<std::endl;
    return 1;
  }
};
 
int main(int argc, char* argv[]){
  int (Foo::*fptr) (string) = &Foo::f;
  Foo obj;
  (obj.*fptr)("str");//call: Foo::f() through an object
  Foo* p=&obj;
  (p->*fptr)("str");//call: Foo::f() through a pointer
}

7  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: [Noob] compiling java projects using the terminal on: 2015-05-12 13:28:05
Look here: http://libgdx.badlogicgames.com/download.html
8  Game Development / Game Mechanics / Re: Quadtree 2d terrain physics on: 2015-05-12 13:25:41
You can always code a sort of "quadtree-to-mesh" adapter, and hand the dapter API to the physics engine. It won't be super-efficient, but maybe good enough. This will conserve the memory efficiency of the quadtree while using more CPU.

The other way is to dump the tree and use a regular mesh for terrain. That will need more memory but less CPU.

It's a tradeoff, like always. If you change the mesh from a regular mesh to something less regular you get something in between the tree and the mesh in terms of CPU and memory.

Personally I use to take the solution that gives me the least headaches. In this case I'd use a mesh for terrain unless I know in advance that the mesh will consume too much memory for the hardware where the program is meant to be run. Look up the KISS principle if in doubt.
9  Java Game APIs & Engines / Engines, Libraries and Tools / Re: Recommendation for 2D graphic manager on: 2015-05-12 13:16:23
So, I'm not asking advice for a Game Framework (I practically made my own) but for a Graphic library.. like SDL in C

I've been using Swing for a long time, and in some cases it even speeds up development (given that you know it well, and can use UI builders for it). But for games it doesn't fit very well.

Lately I switched to LWJGL as a OpenGL wrapper, basically using OpenGL as my graphics library. That works fine, and OpenGL is a very useful library for all sorts of graphic display.

There are UI toolkits for OpenGL but I have no experience with them yet, my game only needed some buttons and that was easy to code.
10  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Contacted by a publisher to be a technical reviewer on: 2015-05-12 13:07:45
I want to second Riven's opinion that this should be a paid job. Don't sell yourself too cheap, otherwise it'll be hard to get money later on other jobs with the same studion, aka "last time you did it for a free copy".
11  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Solarex GL, a space exploration game on: 2015-05-12 13:04:36
I'm a late adopter, but when I heard that driver vendors want to stop supporting legacy OpenGL, particularly on Linux, I felt it's getting time to bit the apple and learn how to use the programmable pipeline and the OpenGl 3.2 core.

So much of the past week went into learning and testing, and finally converting parts of Solarex GL to use OpenGL 3.2, removing calls to legacy functions. There is still some functionality using legacy Gl, but the space display and related stuff is now done via shaders as VBOs. I assume this will help performance, too, but that wasn't a problem before either.

Besides that I've converted one more UI panel to OpenGl based display routines, so only the ship yard and equipment shops are left to do.

Some new screenshots can be found over here:

http://forum.freegamedev.net/viewtopic.php?p=64242#p64242

I'm also updating the planet generator, but I'm a bit stuck in a performance bottleneck there. The planets are generated during the hyperjump towards the new system, and 5 or 6 seconds don't seem much as a number, but watching the hyperjump animation for 5 seconds always makes me wonder if the game has frozen, or if something will happen. Improving the planet generation, that is, adding more realism to the planet surfaces will make it slower and the problem worse. A better hyperjump animation could help to keep the players entertained. Or I need very patient players.

Planet generation is done in parallel, so all CPU cores are used, besides improving the algorithm itself, I can't do much to speed up the planet generation.
12  Java Game APIs & Engines / OpenGL Development / Re: Precision and value range on: 2015-04-27 09:36:04
My old stellar system generator used doubles and it works fine. I'm currently just converting those to relative positions in repsect to the camera, and then had those as float to OpenGL. Works fine so far. Doubles are easy to use and I can support the examination of "it's good enough" for the purpose.
13  Java Game APIs & Engines / OpenGL Development / Re: Precision and value range on: 2015-04-23 21:35:44
I'll design my system with the idea of floats being used in calculations. At the moment I'm a bit surprised, but everything seems to work alright even that I need to reduce the precision from doubles to floats for display. I guess the tricky parts like docking at a space station are just not part of the project yet, and I'll see the problems soon enough ... but it's cool to have the systems show in 3D without too much hassle Smiley
14  Java Game APIs & Engines / OpenGL Development / Re: Precision and value range on: 2015-04-23 14:36:35
The problem with floats (and doubles) is that they have a limited number of significant digits that they can care about. So it's not really a matter of "how big a number do you need" or "how small a number do you need" - it's how many significant digits do you need?

It sounds like you want both worlds: both really small numbers, and really large numbers. And that's going to be a problem.

Yes, that's why I asked in my original posting if glTranslated will make use of the added precision of doubles compared to floats. My former test showed that doubles have a suitable range and precision for my needs, while floats didn't.

But the suggestion of thegentd to have all coordinates relative to the camera already solves most of the problem, because inn the area which is actually visble there is plenty of precision. I'm going to use this approach till I see a need for centimeter precision at the other end of the system Wink
 
15  Java Game APIs & Engines / OpenGL Development / Re: Precision and value range on: 2015-04-23 13:56:42
@Longor1996: I remember a case when my camera position didn't change anymore, because the offset I was adding was too small and eluded the precision possible at that position. But maybe I had done other things wrong there. My systems are definitely smaller than 1 ly. Largest position in my testing system was: x=2.3324265266315236E9 y=0.0 z=-2.0764744541120262E9. The smallest detauils that I'm currntly using is less than 1m though, in case of space vessels. But I don't need to use that.

The suggestion, to subtract camera position from obejct positions and display everything relative to the camera deems me a good one. This way I can have real high precision near the camera. At the moment I'm still struggling with OpenGl and the matrices, my math has become quite rusty ...

@theagentd:

Fixed precision is a good hint. I didn't think of that option yet.

Thanks to both of you, that gives me some new thoughzts to go on with.

Project info is over there: http://forum.freegamedev.net/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=6278

The original Solarex project has an old thread in JGO too. But it's locked because the breaks between the updates were too long.
16  Java Game APIs & Engines / OpenGL Development / Precision and value range on: 2015-04-23 11:05:39
I'm trying to visualize procedurally generated stellar systems with OpenGL. Before I used a selfmade 3D module, and from those time I remember that "float" as datatype neither had the value range nor the required precision to represent the system and the body positions. Thus I was using doubles - at times the camera is only a few meters from a space station while some bodies in the system are billions of meters away from the camera.

Now I feel uncertain - all the OpenGL examples use floats for positions. Will using glTranslated (as in applying the camera position to the matrix) use the added precision of doubles, or will it internally convert to floats? If the maximum precision in the matrices is float, then I need to chamnge my approach to displaying the system.
17  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Hiring a Java developer on: 2015-04-13 12:30:11
a condition that makes programming a very slow process for me

Maybe we can help there also?

Voice recognition software can help. Also, there should be keyboards suitable for typing with your toes, but I saw videos of people typing with their toes on normal keyboards as well. Yes, slowly. And there should be input devices for one-handed use, but those tend to be expensive.

Computers are basicvally well suited for disabled people, it's all a question of the interface (and that almost no-one thinks of handicapped people when designing interfaces both physical and virtual ...)

18  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: Theming Custom Game GUI Components on: 2015-04-13 09:48:48
I'm not quite sure what exactly you're looking for but to get a consistent look throughout the UI, start by defining a font, colors/texture, a basic shape etc for your controls. Then arrange controls on different places the same way if you can, so that users will have to learn only one parttern.

Usually I first think about a style like "brushed metal", "rock", "wood", "rusted/blood stained/magic glow/dragon teeth/whatever" then I make some prototype elements, usually starting with a button, and then tinker with those and some screen mockups till I'm pleased with the result. From those prototyle elements I derive all other elements, thus achieving a consistent look and feel.
19  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Hiring a Java developer on: 2015-04-13 09:42:48
There are business portals like https://www.xing.com/ or https://www.linkedin.com/ where you can find and hire freelancers. But beware, good java developers cost some money. (50-80$ an hour, maybe more, depending on the job and skill set ... consultants are even more expensive.)

In case you need a consultant, as you posted a while ago, I'm always willing to answer questions. As the others said, just post the questions. This place has some really good developers, even if the mass of newby questions shadows the fact a bit.
20  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Imp City, build an underground empire on: 2015-04-10 10:54:36
What's worse for a hero than mosquitoes? Mosquitoes under the armor!



I'm quite happy how these turned out  Grin
21  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Can Word Lists be Copyrighted on: 2015-04-09 13:13:15
There's a lot of misinformation in this thread. Anybody reading it should take everything with a grain of salt.

Can you point out some of the misinformation? Maybe I'm misinformed myself and would like to know better. So I'm asking, just in case it was something in my posting that is wrong.
22  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Can Word Lists be Copyrighted on: 2015-04-09 12:34:26
Anyone can copyright, patent, trademark "anything" but it's not enforced, YOU have to sue and then it has to hold up in court.

It depends a bit on the place where you live. In Germany you cannot actively "copyright" something. If you created it, you have author rights, which work like copyright (and often are called) copyright, but it doesn't need any action except the act of creation. You also cannot pass it to someone else - you can only pass usage rights, but you will always stay author.

Patents - actually patents were meant to protect inevtions and therefore the thing to be patented needs to be something new, a step beyond the existing. How big the step must be to justify a patent, it differs in deifferent areas of the world, but the idea is the same. You cannot patent something which isn't new. Patent offices are there to check this (well, they should ...)

There are also registered designs. Unlike patents they must not be particularly advanced, just unique. At least in my home country you can register these for a fee without any need to show some novelty löike patents require. These still give good protection to your design - no one else is allowed to use this design while your registration lasts. Fairly small modifications are often enough to circumvent this protection, though.

Trademarks, here you are right, you can trademark about anything that is used to label something. This can include but is not limited to colors, shapes, words and numbers.

Trademarks are difficult to defend though if they do not describe a well known product. E.g. the word "windows" was just a word initially, and in the very early days of MS Windows a competitor might have challended the trademark successfully. Once established, it now is easy to defend.

But IANAL and each country has different laws ...
23  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Does Internet cost matter to you? on: 2015-04-09 12:24:17
But for networking applications, compression time (or rather CPU usage) is a bottleneck. It must be done while the data is transferred.
24  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Does Internet cost matter to you? on: 2015-04-09 10:23:00
Hello I thought of making a Software which will reduce your Internet cost by compressing all data going to and coming from your computer.I wanted to know how much will it be helpful if I could reduce your data consumption by nearly 70% to 80 %  Huh Huh

Since many years I have a flatrate, e.g. fixed cost per month. There is a data volume cap, but I never even came close, so I don't care about that.

Regarding cour compression claim - I don't think you can reach 70 to 80% compression. Images (gif, png, jpeg) are already compressed, and cannot be shrunk a lot anmyore. Usually the gain is only a few percent, even with quite sophisticated compression on top of the already compressed image data.

Zip files and other archive formats are the same, already compressed and not likely to give gains in the range of 70 to 80%.

That means, the bulk of data transferred is already compressed.

On top of that, HTTP 1.1 offers gzip compression for content, so many web pages you open will be transferred compressed already, and you'll again face the problem that a compression layer on top of that is not efficient.

Encrypted data like https transfers is also hard to copmpress, because it looks like random data to the compressor.

Briefly: I don't think you can even come close to your claimed 70 to 80% compression on transferred data, becuase the bulk of thw data transferred is already compressed or hard to compress.
25  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Legality of Retro-Engineered clients on: 2015-04-08 21:01:23
To my understanding the making of such a client should be legal, but connecting it to a server will need agreement of the server owner, particularly if it's a proprietary protocol and the server was made to communicate with a specific client (unlike http servers which support all sorts of browsers)

The server owner might argument with the "community expierience" e.g. that your client could harm the playing experience of other player which use the official client, and that thus, connecting your client will be forbidden.

But IANAL ...
26  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Imp City, build an underground empire on: 2015-04-08 20:56:17
This is Corleone speaking! A new species has entered the dungeon: Chicago-style floating eyes, also known as "Mafia Eyes"



Coming soon ...
27  Game Development / Shared Code / Re: Curve fitting on: 2015-04-01 09:38:08
The idea of FT is not so different from yours, just that the basic functions are sin and cos waves of raising frequency. FT calculates coefficients for those waves, in order that the sum of those waves matches the original function.

You can simplify (or compress) the results if you leave out higher frequency coefficients, and remore coefficients which are near zero (e.g. JPEG compression does this.)
28  Game Development / Shared Code / Re: Curve fitting on: 2015-03-31 21:30:28
Maybe this page can help you - it has some pseudocode:

http://www.nayuki.io/page/how-to-implement-the-discrete-fourier-transform

Similar, with C code:

http://www.scratchapixel.com/old/lessons/mathematics-physics/discrete-fourier-transform-dft-part-1/1d-forward-and-inverse-dft-in-c/
29  Game Development / Shared Code / Re: Curve fitting on: 2015-03-31 21:14:37
Sounds a bit to me like you want to emulate a fourier transform? But I'm not sure if I understood you right. If you want to transform an image into frequencies, you can apply a 2D fourier transform, but your application seems to mean to transform a line of pixels, which is a 1D fourier transform.

30  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Imp City, build an underground empire on: 2015-03-31 21:12:09
I've published a new version:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/jewelhunt/files/imp_city/r013/

The game now tracks the playing time. Internally, this allowed to make jobs last some time, e.g. mining is no longer a "at once" action, but the imp has to work a while on a resource mound to extract a lump of ore. This also influenced the code for portals and farms. The total playing time is shown in the lower left window area.

I've also started to work on a "reputation" system for you as a keeper. At the moment the only thing that influences it are hungry creatures. If you can't feed them, your reputation will plummet. In future your reputation will influence which creatures join you and besides your creatures opinion also your dungeon and the furnishing of the dungeon will influence this stat.

I'm not quite decided when you will level up as a keeper, but after some success on the current level, you'll gain a keeper level, which unlocks new features, but also makes the game harder. Very blurry idea so far. Your level is shown in the top left window area. It won't change in this release.

The pillars are only decoration, I've put them into this release to get feedback on the looks. I made them low contrast on purpose, to make them stand out less. Occasionally a pillar might get lost ... will be fixed in the next version, noticed it too late.

The working parts of the quest system are included, but not linked to any game actions. To test it, you can press "t" and you'll be prompted with a quest message. You can assemble a party and send them off, and you'll get quest summary and log for this. The party will never find the destination though, that's not coded yet. It's only there to test the simulation logic, and the messages.

And last but not least, some graphics have been improved and some sounds were added.
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