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1  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: The hunt for the lost rainbow jewels on: 2015-10-08 12:42:59
Working on graphics for a new game location, a sort of a temple. So far I have parts of the walls and the floors:

2  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.
3  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.
4  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.
5  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.
6  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Plasmoid on: 2015-10-03 14:01:10
Looks cool Smiley
7  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.
8  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.
9  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.
10  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.

11  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.
12  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 ...
13  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!

14  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
15  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.
16  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.

17  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: The hunt for the lost rainbow jewels on: 2015-09-25 12:28:20
I'm using LWJGL but no higher level frameworks. Isometric graphics are fairly easy, the axis transforms are like i = y-x and j = y+x, signs depend on the direction of the axes. The graphics are pre-rendered in the right angle and just positioned on screen.

I'm almost certain that garbage collection is not a problem, but on the other hand, I didn't see any harm in spending some time on optimizing the code a bit further, when TheBoneJarmer said it would be a problem on his system (at the moment I think he was just guessing, because GC was a problem in one of his projects, but the real problem why jewelhunt ran badly on his system was something else). I'm using Netbeans and the builtin profiler.

I haven't received any feedback yet though how the demo runs on a larger number of systems. On my two test systems it runs fine, so I can only assume it will do so for many others.

Makes me happy to hear that you like the atmosphere of the dungeon screens. I'm also quite pleased with the results of the light mapping.
18  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Two supermassive black holes discovered in close orbit, possible merger on: 2015-09-25 09:51:56
1 millions light years closer and we could see it right now! I want a warp drive!

Gravity is such a strange thing - it is usually seen as a force, but it also bends the time-space-continuum, an effect that the other forces don't exhibit.

The bent is the reason why light and matter can't escape, they run straight (from their point of view) but the space is bent by the gravity so that they actually run in circles (seen from outside the bent region).

The bent time-space near the black hole also affects the surroundings, it doesn't stop at the event horizon. I guess that's why we see the effect of gravity, but not light nor matter emitting from the black hole.

While the latter isn't entirely true. If Hawking is right, quantum effects allow matter to tunnel the even horizon in some cases, so that black holes emit matter, but at a very low rate.
19  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Two supermassive black holes discovered in close orbit, possible merger on: 2015-09-24 21:25:52
Ars Technica has an article about two supermassive black holes discovered in a close orbit:

Seven percent of light speed is already incredibly fast, and these are massive bodies, of billions of sun masses. I really wonder what will happen once their event horizons will begin to overlap.

And, unfortunatley beyond or reach of inspectation, will there be two singularities inside the merged even horizon, or two? Will the event horizon have the shape of a sphere, or will it wobble for a while?

Damnit, I want to watch and learn what happens there. Poor galaxy though, I assume the process will yield enough energy to disrupt the galaxy. Or maybe not?

What do you think about this?
20  Game Development / Game Mechanics / Re: Efficient Terraria-Like 2D Lighting on: 2015-09-24 12:22:02
I'm using a two pass process, with a light-mask rendered over the whole scene in a second pass. It works fine. You can see the results over there:
21  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Plasmoid on: 2015-09-24 12:18:50
A while I pondered about making a wizball clone myself, but the color mixing looked quite complicated to me. Even with my current project, which is about colors, too, I most likely won't change the display colors, but I guess with modern OpenGL and shaders it is doable.

Even if only remotely related to Wizball, good luck with your project! It looks very promising to me.
22  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Threads, games and running on all CPU's on: 2015-09-23 10:48:12
Also, if I have a relatively slow processor like a Celeron 2955U laptop processor (2 cores, no hyperthreading), should I still have threads 1,2 & 3 in Cas's post + another thread to simulate the sea = 4 threads? I should point out I'm not using any fancy libraries for graphics etc.

Do you really need every bit of CPU power for your game? Most hobby projects won't, and I'm a bit puzzled by the effort you take to really utilize every bit of CPU power ...

Also, laptop owners will hate your game for sucking the battery empty in no time, if you really push all cores to their limits.
23  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Plasmoid on: 2015-09-23 10:43:24
I am currently working on "Plasmoid". This game was originally inspired by an old C64 game.

A Wizball clone? I liked the game back in the days.

The graphics look great!
24  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: The hunt for the lost rainbow jewels on: 2015-09-21 19:32:54
Now with more scary! Dungeons became dark ...

@TheBoneJarmer: I've published a new version which produces less garbage. If this was a problem on your system, this version should run better:

You can find a first rainbow jewel in this version, the violet one, but since the temple map is not included yet, there is nowhere to bring it to ...
25  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: The hunt for the lost rainbow jewels on: 2015-09-19 14:21:58
I'll see if I can do a test on Linux.

I've been profiling the code for object allocations and found a few places where Integers and Strings were created in bigger counts per frame. I could eliminate a few. The next version will include the improvements, and I'll keep an eye on it from now.

Maybe there is a link between sound not working on your system and the high CPU usage.
26  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: The hunt for the lost rainbow jewels on: 2015-09-19 12:52:48
Thanks for the feedback Smiley

Yes, there is very little audio yet, only two sounds when moving item in the inventory, one of them also used if the PC picks up an item.

I wasn't aware of any performance problems, that's why I didn't spend time on optimizing anything. I'm testing on a laptop which is fairly recent, and an older desktop PC, both can run the game at 60 FPS and on the desktop (which I am using right now, so I could check this quickly), the game uses between 3 and 5% CPU while running, far from any sort of problem.

I'll still try to take a look into the garbage collection problem that you mentioned.

Since I wasn't aware of performance problems, there seemed to be no need to upgrade the LWJGL version. Usually I stay with a library version as long as possible, because new versions always bring not-yet-known problems.

Are there more people out there who are experiencing performance issues with the game? I got very little feedback so far, and it's hard for me to guess if it's a problem of one system only, or a general problem. Particularly since it runs with very little load on my test systems.


I made a quick test with -gc:verbose but I didn't see anything scary:

Startup phase:
[GC 33737K->9147K(125952K), 0.0123542 secs]
[GC 42939K->21172K(125952K), 0.0076944 secs]
[GC 54964K->26810K(125952K), 0.0048174 secs]
[GC 60602K->29049K(125952K), 0.0034013 secs]
Display up:
[GC 62185K->41519K(170496K), 0.0083056 secs]
Map creation, moving, entering catacombs, map creation again, monster etcs. Killed a few imps:
[GC 106543K->53479K(173056K), 0.0167703 secs]
Killed more imps, GC didn't output anything more. FPS were 56...60 during this test.

Seems there are plenty of objects created, but GC times are still low ... should I be scared by the last line, when the GC cleaned up 50MB of heap?
27  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: The hunt for the lost rainbow jewels on: 2015-09-18 10:35:47
I've published a new development snapshot:

Since r015, it's been mostly bugfixes and cleanup work. Item prefixes have changed, and the item-color-depends-on-mods feature is currently disabled. Some item graphics underwent some adaptations too, in lightness and size. The new walls are included as well.

Melee combat still is very clumsy, but it works. Right mouse button is bound to a fire nova spell in this release, which is handy to handle bigger groups of imps. Mana costs and mana recovery is in the demo, but there is not limit ... you can continue to cast spells even if your mana is negative already.

Same for life. You can take damage, but your character won't die.

Slain foes drop items now. 50% chance to become a magic item, 20% chance to become a double-magic item, and a 3% chance to become a rare item with 3 or more mods.

This versions almost feels like a little RPG now.

28  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: What are Scripting languages used for in games? on: 2015-09-16 12:24:00
it's not that i need a scripting language or have a problem, i'm simply asking how are they used and for what, and if it would help.

- They are useful if you want to change behaviour in the game without recompiling the whole project after a change. This is more important for languages with slow build processes. At times you can even load scripts dynamically, so you can e.g. change enemy behavior in the running game without a need to start freshly after a rebuild.

- They are useful if you want to let users change or expand the game, and don't want to open the sources of the games core.

- Sometimes they are also useful to describe game assets like levels or items, but sometimes a scripting language isn't needed, text files or the like will do, too.

29  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: The hunt for the lost rainbow jewels on: 2015-09-14 11:13:01
Thanks Smiley I must tailor some aspects of the project to my skills, but I hope I can make it fun nevertheless.
30  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: What are Scripting languages used for in games? on: 2015-09-14 10:50:04
Actually, I like that idea better than Java script. It's kind of cool to compile class files during runtime and load the bytecode. A field where interpreted languages can excel.
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