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1  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Making Games for Nobody on: 2015-11-04 14:30:30
These days people get more and more conditioned that they can get everything on the computer for free. Pictures, music, books ... programs and particularly games. Legal? Most don't care.

I think these days it is really difficult to make money with a game. Not only that making a game is hard already, making money with a game is substantially harder. Except for a few who are very lucky ...

And you know what? The bad news is, that people who had one successful project have it easier to establish another successful project.

2  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What are your java conventions? on: 2015-11-04 13:53:00
I like braces on their own lines. My brain needs a lower information density on screen.

Other than that I try to stick to what Sun had defined long ago. I hope Oracle hasn't changed too much of those in the meantime ... if you work with other people it's best to have some sort of official standartd.
3  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: The hunt for the lost rainbow jewels on: 2015-11-04 13:50:28
Thanks Smiley It's going slower these days, but I'm working on a UI and some code to transmute items, much like the horadric cube in Diablo II did - the basic idea is to have a magic device that takes a group of items, and transmutes that group into a new item. I liked that game mechanic in D2 a lot.
4  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: The hunt for the lost rainbow jewels on: 2015-10-29 12:11:28
I finished the basic code for a new game mechanic: Items with gem sockets, and the option to place gems in those sockets:

Calculations of the effects of gems in sockets are missing currently. It's only the data structures and the UI to add gems to items that's done. Calculating the effects will be the next step to implement.
5  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: The hunt for the lost rainbow jewels on: 2015-10-22 11:23:58
Thanks all, for the encouraging words. I'm dabbling in game creation since about 20 years, there have been ups and downs. In between I had become ill, so that there have been years, when I could not work at the computer, and this was the end of all the former projects. It's better again, but I've no more the stability and power that I once had in the past.

I'm somwhat prone to the the "I've got a better idea and start newly" syndrome, but "better idea" seldom is a better game idea, but means to either simplify the program, if the former solution was too hard to use or maintain (e.g. a former RPG attempt had detailed creature body structures, modelling all limbs, which turned out not to be really useful but just a huge overhead and cause of errors), or the other way round, to make something more flexible, becuase the former solution was too limited.

So far I'm pretty sure though, that this time it's a good compromise between "simple enough, so that it's easy to work with" and still powerful enough to let my ideas come true. The only big question left is weather to add multiplayer support, and if yes, how exactly. At the moment the decision is to stay with single player.

I've uploaded a new snapshot, because two things felt so unfinished in the last release. There was the pyramid, but you couldn't enter it. And there was the experimental item graphics overlay feature for the PC, which had a shield overlay, but no weapon. Now there is also a weapon overlay, that is shown if the PC is actually wielding a weapon, and there is a new map generator for the pyramid. It only produces a group of empty rooms though, but well, at least you can actually enter the pyramid.

All changes since r020:

- Added pond and waypoint graphics.
- All item defense values were multiplied by 10, to make a +5% mod more meaningful.
- Added new blacksmith graphics.
- Added stronghold graphics, not used in game yet.
- Fix: Monster lairs should no longer overlap.
- Added pyramid dungeon.
- Added PC graphics sword overlay.
- Added UI spell icons.
6  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: The hunt for the lost rainbow jewels on: 2015-10-20 21:48:29
I wish I could make better looking water surfaces - today I made a pond for the rainbow temple map:

And the village map got a waypoint:

Today I feel a bit disappointed - the project isn't looking bad, but I can't get it the way I want. The controls are clumsy, the magic system is largely non-existing, I have no real idea how to make good looking graphics effects with OpenGL, and still the project feels like bloatware: 12MB download for a walkaround demo - which even stalls on slower systems.

Maybe my winter depression is creeping at me again. There is little to be happy about these days. It's dark, cold, and the autumn leaves are dropping, soon the world will be brown and gray, dirty. Pale, colorless, like baddies in my project want it to be, too.
7  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Plasmoid on: 2015-10-19 09:33:30
It's terribly time consuming to make games, at least for me. Some people seem able to speed up the process, but I wouldn't be surpised if yours takes a few years to be completed.

I tell myself that it's alright to spend the time as long as it's fun, but also to stop a project once the fun turn into a chore.

Unless you plan to sell your project.
8  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: The hunt for the lost rainbow jewels on: 2015-10-15 20:03:57
I've published a new development snapshot. This time it's a more "in-between" version, because the pyramid interiors are not done yet, and the pyramid map is done only partly.

The only noteworthy change in terms of code is the switch to A* pathfinding. My priority queue implementation is cheap, and not optimal, but it produces less garbage than the old breadth-first pathfinder from the former version. I don't see any performance change on my system, but in theory, this new version should be better.

There is also a change that allows to display "equipment overlays" for the PC, depending on the used equipment. I've done only one overlay yet, though, for shields. It's only a visual goody, and quite a lot of effort to make the overlays, so I feel uncertain if I want to continue this. In the current release the system is active, though (for shields).

9  Java Game APIs & Engines / JInput / Re: Multi mice - swallow or hook event from system on: 2015-10-15 13:30:07
afterall the moto is "write one and run everywere"...

No, you#ve got that wrong. It's "write once, debug everywhere".
I can't help with the extra mice though ...
10  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: The hunt for the lost rainbow jewels on: 2015-10-14 20:58:37
Psychological trait: Late adopter.

Can't say why, but usually I stay with the things I know until there is a compelling reason to change something. Java 7 works fine for me, I'm not very curious or eager to use anything that was newly introduced in Java 8, and compiling my code on language level 7 makes it more likely to run on many other systems, including those who haven't upgraded yet.

The next release will have an A* implementation for pathfinding.
11  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: The hunt for the lost rainbow jewels on: 2015-10-14 20:21:02
Sun/Oracle JDK 7

Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7601]
Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation.  All rights reserved.

C:\>java -version
java version "1.7.0_45"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.7.0_45-b18)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 24.45-b08, mixed mode)

I've been looking into the path finding some days ago and noticed it wasn't very optimally coded. I had done that library for turn-based games some years ago, and obviously I was of the opinion it'd be "good enough". Since then I optimized it a bit, but I should implement A* some day. Currently it is a simple breadth-first search, even if now optimized it is quite a bit slower than A* in most cases. The next release should be easier on the GC in pathfinding, though, the new code creates 50% less objects.
12  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: The hunt for the lost rainbow jewels on: 2015-10-14 11:06:29
No. The main inspiration came from Diablo II, how items will be made. Also, Roguelikes, but they share a lot with Diablo II.

The game world is my design, but honestly, I'm still facing problems. After the decision that there are 7 rainbow jewels, I needed 7 locations where the thief hid them, and I couldn't come up with anything better than the classics - a dungeon, the pyramid, a tower, an ice castle, a cave, and actually I have forgotten the others. But somewhere in my notes, there should be a list of seven locations Roll Eyes

But as it seems, even if I try to keep things very simple, it will take years to finish all that ...
13  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Plasmoid on: 2015-10-13 14:23:25
Looks good again. Maybe the smoke trail should initially be narrower, to emphasizes the speed of the meteors? Although they look slow in the video, the player will have quite a frenzy to avoid them.

Also, I'd like more irregular shaped meteors. But they look good already as they are.
14  Game Development / Performance Tuning / Re: Pathfinding for tons of creatures on: 2015-10-13 14:06:23
So my question is. Is it even possible to process so many entities?

I think, yes. Many will jsut follow the path, while others are pathfinding, so the number of parallell pathfinding activities isn't that big. I'm using a thread pool, 16 pathfinders can run in parallel. If more creatures need a new path, there will be delays.

With this I copuld move 50 creatures and there was still plenty of CPU time left. I'd assume if one uses a highly optimised pathfinder (which i did not), one can have at least 500 creatures running around simulataneously on a  modern PC (4 cores).
15  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: The hunt for the lost rainbow jewels on: 2015-10-13 13:51:41
Seven jewels have been stolen. So far, the location of the first one was known. It went down the sewers and ended up in the imp catacombs.

Among the classic locations of importance, pyramids always have been among the most impressive.

And as it seems, the second jewel has been hidden in a particularly pale place, the uncolored pyramid, home of the grey mummy.

16  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Making Games for Nobody on: 2015-10-08 12:40:49
I was wondering what motivates you guys.

A while I worked on game projects in the hope to become famous. Very unsatisfying idea overall, in hindsight.

Now I try to work on games only when bored, because all hopes that I had linked to game development have failed so far. I still hope for appreciation, but unlike 20 years ago there are so many people making games nowadays, it's really unlikely that I can score in this competition.
17  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Why are voxels everywhere!? on: 2015-10-07 13:13:14
In my projectzs there are no voxels (yet). I also fail to see their benefits. But the whole minecraft hype passed me somehow, so maybe that's why I don't get it.
18  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: The hunt for the lost rainbow jewels on: 2015-10-04 14:22:23
I could test the v0.19 on a pretty old netbook, an Asus EeePC 900 HD. That was sold in 2008, and was a low-end computer already back then. Single core Celeron at 900Mhz, 1GB ram, some intel onboard graphics. It got Linux Mint 17.2 installed.

Jewelhunt 0.19 runs there, at 30-40 FPS. Basically it works, except for little delays in movement, when pathfinding is triggered. Sound didn't work. No idea why - my Linux knowledge is too little to really investigate the problem.

I'm fairly sure now that Jewelhunt should run fine on all current systems.


Working on graphics for a new game location, a sort of a temple. So far I have parts of the walls and the floors:

19  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: The hunt for the lost rainbow jewels on: 2015-10-03 14:01:49
I've published a new development snapshot:

Changes since v0.18:

- Improved visual feedback in combat.
- Fixed 'undying' invisible enemy bug.
- Added shadow effect for player character.
- Added wall mounted torches with a light effect.
- Changed pathfinding to use a thread pool instead of creating new thread instances for each path.
- Added frost nova spell effect.
- Added magic rod graphics and item data. They have no function yet, even if you might find one.
- Added a first draft of the rainbow temple map.
- Improved temple graphics.
20  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Plasmoid on: 2015-10-03 14:01:10
Looks cool Smiley
21  Game Development / Networking & Multiplayer / Re: Asking for theory about networking chat and games on: 2015-10-01 12:24:24
As a first step you need to define a protocol, i.e. the way a client will send moves to the server and how the servers answers to such data sent by the client.

Also, you should find another solution but thread.stop() There are cleaner ways to terminate threads.
22  Java Game APIs & Engines / OpenGL Development / Re: Should I learn Shaders? What can and can't be done with shaders. on: 2015-09-30 14:10:26
... as far as I can see the principle behind shaders is the future of game development.

This. Since I learned shaders, I think so, too.
23  Java Game APIs & Engines / OpenGL Development / Re: Should I learn Shaders? What can and can't be done with shaders. on: 2015-09-30 13:50:47
What do you gain by not learning something?

Free time to do stuff.
24  Java Game APIs & Engines / OpenGL Development / Re: Should I learn Shaders? What can and can't be done with shaders. on: 2015-09-30 13:50:06
When I learned shaders, I found two things

- I need to do stuff my self now, that OpenGL did for me previously
- I can control every bit of the calculation, which I could not, previously

So it's a medal with two sides - you got to do stuff yourself, but you can do stuff in the way you want to.

I don't thinkt here is anything you could do before and can't do with shaders. You have to write the code, but it allows you to do a lot more than you could, previously.

25  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Transitioning from Windows to Linux on: 2015-09-30 13:04:09
they're all relatively similar

Linux Mint is built upon Ubuntu. Ubuntu is built upon Debian.

Dual boot is a good idea. I had that too, for many years.
26  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Transitioning from Windows to Linux on: 2015-09-30 10:40:24
I'm using Linux Mint. For me it's the best flavour of Linux that I've tried so far. I still have some hardware though that works with Windows, but not with Linux, so Linux can't replace my Windows box completely.

For the hacker computer science enhusiast type of person, Linux is fine. For those who just want to use something, and not learn all the background stuff, Linux might not be the quite right choice. And that's why I switched to Windows, when Windows XP came out. I fiond that more of my stuff works fine with Windows, but almost always needs some extra work to run with Linux, and some things linke my UMTS stick for mobile internet access works as in "hardware", but there is no UI on Linux to book day or months of access time, which I need to do for my sort of contract. So it always uses the most expensive "pay per minute" mode, which is untolerable.

So even if something "works" with Linux, it doesn't mean you'll be happy with how it works ...
27  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: The hunt for the lost rainbow jewels on: 2015-09-28 09:17:15
Thanks for postingn the specs. That helps to get an idea what I need to aim for. Actually I've been thinking, until I'm done with the project, quite poewerful computers will be standard, and I can be lazy on optimizing the code Roll Eyes


To minimize the delay until the PC starts moving I'm now using a thread pool instead of creating a new thread for each pathfinding job. Doesn't make a difference on my system, but I hope that on slower systems it will help, since the overhead of creating a new thread each time the PC moves is gone.

The other news is that I've started to implement item sockets, like Diablo II had them. So one can use runes, gems and jewels to enhance the items.

I'm wondering if I should adopt "Path of Exile" system of typed sockets. It has three socket types, and gems only fit into matching sockets. Also sockets can be linked, so that one gem can affect the working of another gem in a linked socket.

At the moment my thinking is to use untyped sockets (like D2) and links (like PoE). This avoids some of the annoying "good item, but wrong socket types for my gems" problems and still allows the feature of two gems working together via a socket link.

Edit 2:

Wall mounted torches are something fine ... and these don't even stain the walls!

28  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: The hunt for the lost rainbow jewels on: 2015-09-26 14:50:26
There still seem to be performance issues ... the delay in the movement tells me. Pathfinding is done asynchronously. There is a queue for all pathfinding requests of all creatures on the map, and a thread is working through this queue. If you have to wait till your character moves, it means that the CPU was busy with something else meanwhile and the pathfinding took, well, quite a bit longer than on my test systems.

Can you give me some more specs of your system, CPU and ram? My development box has an Intel i7 CPU running at 3.4Ghz, 8 MB ram.

You can close the windows by pressing c and i (character sheet and inventory), that's the official way, or by moving the mouse out of the windows towards the main window borders (e.g. to close the inventory, move the mouse out of it to the right). I'm lazy on clicking and was looking for a way to close the windows without a click, but it's non-intuitive and there are no hints for this feature in the game.

Thanks for testing again Smiley
29  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Simple to use sound in Java games on: 2015-09-25 13:51:14
LWJGL also comes with an OpenAL wrapper. I don't like the API, but there are good tutorials and it works fine.
30  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: The hunt for the lost rainbow jewels on: 2015-09-25 13:01:25
At times I'm wondering if going 3D with rigged and animated models, but a fairly fixed viewpoint, so that it looks isometric, wouldn't be superior. I believe it is, but one must learn a whole lot more to get that working. The approach with pre-rendered graphics which are only placed onscreen is easier, but limited. And prone to visibility glitches, e.g. parts of an object being visible when they shouldn't.

One can work around it, but it is an ihnerent problem of this aproach, a problem that a "real" 3D solution doesn't have.

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