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1  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What I did today on: 2016-09-13 18:00:05
I did two things today;

  • Finished the levels for chapter four (of five) of my current game.
  • Came into a new realization of how much I hate level design and how bad I am at it.

2  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: First Recon - Small Online First Person Shooter on: 2016-09-08 05:50:31
This looks awesome!
Building it from scratch, including the level editor, is impressive. Well done.
3  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Lala - Brace yourselves, winter is coming! on: 2016-09-07 11:17:26
Love the visual atmosphere you've got running Shocked
Thank you!
I wish I could take credit but almost all the graphics is produced by Kenney.
4  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Lala - Brace yourselves, winter is coming! on: 2016-08-31 14:12:07
Added winter levels, with snow.
Well, I say snow, it looks more like blurry rotating plus-signs.

Click to Play


Also half-buried candy canes.
5  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: FPS Engine on: 2016-08-29 09:26:15
If you're interested in using the engine, I'll probably release it Smiley
Release it!
6  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Lala - Android bridge building game for young kids on: 2016-08-19 15:47:33
To be fair, I think in that first gif the alien could have finished the level without minding about the tipping wood block. Wink
These aliens have very sensitive feet, upon the slightest injury inflicted they rather teleport back and start again.

They are clearly not the smartest creatures in the universe,  but that also explains why you have to help them traversing the rather simple levels Smiley
7  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What I did today on: 2016-08-19 13:04:11
Built level 36 of my current game, that means I've done 60% of the work on the levels!
Not counting the ones I'll have to discard or redo  persecutioncomplex
8  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Lala - Android bridge building game for young kids on: 2016-08-17 19:04:49
The game has three types of materials for the blocks:
  • Wood
  • Metal
  • Stone
Initially these were just used to provide visual variation (and to a certain extend audio variation as well as the sound of the alien's footsteps changes depending on what he's walking on), but I've now started experimenting with having different densities associated with these materials.

So for example wood Wood being lighter than Stone leading to the right block tipping over if the following puzzle is attempted with the Stone on the left side and Wood on the right side:
Click to Play


But, if the right block is the heavier Stone block, it provides enough counter-weight to the Alien and does not tip over:
Click to Play


I am not sure if I'll just this sort of mechanic in the final version of the game though, it might be too complicated considering the age group I am targeting.
9  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Malevolent Primeval LIBGDX PC ANDROID IOS on: 2016-06-28 09:38:08
I am liking the look of this, especially the decapitating kicks Smiley
10  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Lala - Android bridge building game for young kids on: 2016-06-24 16:45:58
In this game I use dialog-boxes for simple messages, for example instructions show at the beginning of a tutorial level;

With libGDX and it's GlyphLayout it's easy to construct these.

I construct the fonts as bitmap fonts, but I generate them at run-time using the FreeTypeFontGenerator as it means I can easily modify the fonts without having to re-process my assets;

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public class FontAssets implements Disposable {
   public final BitmapFont dialog;
   public final BitmapFont menu_title;
   
   public FontAssets() {
      dialog = buildFont("fonts/Chewy.ttf", 48, 4, Color.BLACK, "ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ1234567890\"!`?'.,;:()[]{}<>|/@\\^$-%+=#_&~*");
      menu_title = buildFont("fonts/Chewy.ttf", 128, 12, Color.BLACK, "ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ1234567890\"!`?'
.,;:()[]{}<>|/@\\^$-%+=#_&~*");
   }
   
   private static BitmapFont buildFont(String filename, int size, float borderWidth, Color borderColor, String characters) {
      FreeTypeFontGenerator generator = new FreeTypeFontGenerator(Gdx.files.internal(filename));
      FreeTypeFontParameter parameter = new FreeTypeFontParameter();
      parameter.size = size;
      parameter.borderColor = borderColor;
      parameter.borderWidth = borderWidth;
      parameter.characters = characters;
      parameter.kerning = true;
      parameter.magFilter = TextureFilter.Linear;
      parameter.minFilter = TextureFilter.Linear;
      BitmapFont font = generator.generateFont(parameter);
      font.getData().markupEnabled = true;
      generator.dispose();
      return font;
   }

   @Override
   public void dispose() {
      dialog.dispose();
   }
}


When using the font I first set the GlyphLayout to the text I want;

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   public void openDialog(String text) {
      dialogEnabled = true;
      float dw = vWidth * 0.8f;
      dialogGlyphLayout.setText(Assets.instance.fonts.dialog, text, Color.WHITE, dw, Align.topLeft, true);      
   }


Here vWidth is the virtual or logical width of the screen, and I am telling the GlyphLayout to render at 80% of the width of the screen and wrap if longer.

Then, when rendering the Stage the text and it's background is rendered like this;
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      if (dialogEnabled) {
         spriteBatch.setProjectionMatrix(stage.getCamera().combined);
         spriteBatch.begin();
         
         float tw = dialogGlyphLayout.width;
         float th = dialogGlyphLayout.height;
               
         float dw = tw + 0.05f * vWidth;
         float dh = th + 0.05f * vWidth;
         
         float bx = (vWidth - dw) / 2.0f;
         float by = vHeight - dh * 1.2f;
         
         Assets.instance.hud.panel_metal.draw(spriteBatch, bx, by, dw, dh);
         Assets.instance.fonts.dialog.draw(spriteBatch, dialogGlyphLayout, bx + (dw-tw) / 2.0f, by + dh - (dh-th) / 2.0f);
         
         spriteBatch.end();
      }


This sets up a nine-patch which is the background to have a 5% padding, and then draws the message.

To get the different words highlighted requires no special code as the input string can be marked-up to change color;
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[WHITE]DRAG THE WOODEN BOX TO THE [BLUE]GAP[WHITE] TO LET THE [GREEN]ALIEN[WHITE] CROSS.


Super simple.
11  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Lala - Android bridge building game for young kids on: 2016-06-14 06:49:06
Oooh neat.
Thank you!

Nice job on this, but I want to add that 3-6 year olds don't care about unlocking things

They just want to feel accomplished in what they have so when they say, "hey daddy look" daddy could be proud of the youngin.

I am a reliable source of information. I have experience being that young  Pointing
I sort of disagree with you point about kids not caring about unlocking things, at least the older part of my target age group does, I think.

Either way, I take your point and the unlocking mechanism won't be the traditional "finish level N unlocks level N+1" approach. To make sure players don't get stuck on one level most levels will unlock several others, so the should always be an ample supply of unlocked levels and chapters for them to try.

Possibly with the exception of the first 6 levels, where I want to make sure they go through all parts of the game play.

Thanks for the feedback!
12  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Lala - Android bridge building game for young kids on: 2016-06-12 08:47:08
To make the screens more visually appealing I have been adding more things that move, clouds now drift across the sky and leaves blow off of bushes. And on some levels there are flies or bees that fly away when the player gets too close to them.

I am using the libGDX particle editor almost exclusively to create these effects, it's somewhat limited but it allows me to quickly tweak and adjust the various effects.

Click to Play


The "smoke" from the UFO and the stars falling are also particle systems.
13  Games Center / Showcase / Re: Retronix - a Xonix clone in Java (cross-platform, open source) on: 2016-06-07 06:35:10
EDIT:  played for about an hour at work. 
Played games for an hour at work?
Two questions;
  • Where are you working?
  • Are you currently hiring?
Smiley
14  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Pathway on: 2016-06-01 12:19:34
This looks cool, well done.

When you say "turn-based", is that as in X-Com or more like in Final Fantasy (i.e. is the movement turn-based or just the battles)?
15  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Questica -- 62.5% Quest, 37.5% Ica on: 2016-05-26 10:23:02
And you get this nice effect when walking under the trees
That is gorgeous. Well done!
16  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Lala - Android bridge building game for young kids on: 2016-05-16 18:53:57
As I said in my initial post I am using Box2D for this. The reason for this is partly getting collision detection for free but also because I want a badly built bridge to topple and fall over in a manner dictated by physics.

Since I want the alien to interact with the blocks I needed a way to represent him as rigid body and a way to make him move.

For Grapple when solving a simular problem I used a capsule (circle for feet and head with a box in between) that I pushed in the direction the player wanted to walk, but for this game that didn't work out as well.

It caused the alien to push some blocks around and it was messy constructing the levels.

Instead I decided to represent the alien as a sphere, and instead of pushing it I add torque to it.

So when the game looks like this;
Click to Play

It is actually doing this;
Click to Play


I am hoping the fact that the circle's shape doesn't correlate perfectly to the shape of the alien won't get in the way of this approach  persecutioncomplex.
17  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Lala - Android bridge building game for young kids on: 2016-05-08 18:34:50
I am working on the HUD and I want to use big, easy to hit buttons that will suit kids.
Click to Play

The buttons are arranged so that the most frequently used ones are at the bottom. On the left are controls for controlling the alien (i.e making him go or stop/restart) and also a button for clearing any blocks placed.
On the right are controls for rotating and mirroring the blocks.

Currently I have no touch-gestures for rotating and/or mirroring, only to move the blocks around but this might change if it looks like that's a more natural way of manipulating the blocks.

The blue tray thingie at the bottom center is where the available blocks are, it auto-hides when a block is being moved or the alien is walking.
18  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Lala - Android bridge building game for young kids on: 2016-05-06 12:29:42
I like the idea, also the effects when you complete a level look really cool. But I think the background in the menu is moving a little bit too fast to the left, maybe you can play with the velocity there.
Point taken, I've adjusted this down a bit to make the menu look less hectic.

I can't wait to see more game-play and how you handle it easy enough for little kids Wink
Hopefully I'll be able to show off more of the UI and, I am struggling a bit with the conflict between allowing many different actions whilst at the same time being intuitive enough for kids so I'm interested in any feedback I can get in this area.
19  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Libgdx Freetype font glitches on android? on: 2016-04-23 15:26:44
I can't see what's wrong with that, but then I don't know what your
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Renderer
class looks like.

You could try running something like this to figure out at what sizes it fails, and then look at the data generated by the font generator to figure out what's going wrong;
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package com.bornander.stuff;

import com.badlogic.gdx.ApplicationAdapter;
import com.badlogic.gdx.Gdx;
import com.badlogic.gdx.InputAdapter;
import com.badlogic.gdx.InputProcessor;
import com.badlogic.gdx.graphics.Color;
import com.badlogic.gdx.graphics.GL20;
import com.badlogic.gdx.graphics.Texture;
import com.badlogic.gdx.graphics.g2d.BitmapFont;
import com.badlogic.gdx.graphics.g2d.GlyphLayout;
import com.badlogic.gdx.graphics.g2d.SpriteBatch;
import com.badlogic.gdx.graphics.g2d.freetype.FreeTypeFontGenerator;

import javafx.scene.text.Font;

public class MyGdxGame extends ApplicationAdapter {
   SpriteBatch batch;
   FreeTypeFontGenerator generator;
   BitmapFont bitmapFont;
    int size = 4;
   
   @Override
   public void create () {
      batch = new SpriteBatch();
      generator = new FreeTypeFontGenerator(Gdx.files.internal("ArchivoBlack.otf"));
       getNextSize();

        Gdx.input.setInputProcessor(new InputAdapter() {
            @Override
            public boolean touchDown(int screenX, int screenY, int pointer, int button) {
                MyGdxGame.this.getNextSize();
                return super.touchDown(screenX, screenY, pointer, button);
            }
        });
   }

    private void getNextSize() {
        ++size;
        FreeTypeFontGenerator.FreeTypeFontParameter parameter = new FreeTypeFontGenerator.FreeTypeFontParameter();
        parameter.size = size;
        parameter.color = Color.WHITE;
        parameter.shadowOffsetX = 2;
        parameter.shadowOffsetY = 2;
        parameter.shadowColor = Color.GRAY;

        bitmapFont = generator.generateFont(parameter);
    }

   @Override
   public void render () {
      Gdx.gl.glClearColor(0, 0, 0, 1);
      Gdx.gl.glClear(GL20.GL_COLOR_BUFFER_BIT);
      batch.begin();
      String text = "HIGH SCORE:" + size;
      GlyphLayout layout = new GlyphLayout();
      layout.setText(bitmapFont, text);

      float x = (Gdx.graphics.getWidth() - layout.width) / 2.0f;
      float y = (Gdx.graphics.getHeight() - layout.height) / 2.0f;
      bitmapFont.draw(batch, text, x, y);
      batch.end();
   }
}


That will write a string of your choice centered on screen, and increase the font size every time to tap the screen.
20  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Libgdx Freetype font glitches on android? on: 2016-04-22 12:28:47
This is difficult to answer without more information. Is there any code you can share with us?
21  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Lala - Android bridge building game for young kids on: 2016-04-22 06:13:41
For building the UI for the menu and on-screen controls I am using  Scene2d, which is libGDX's way of composing screens using Actors and Actions.

While I am not the biggest fan of the way layouts are handled, the way you can add animations to your UI elements is really cool.
By adding Actions to Actors most transforms (and other manipulations) becomes easy to add and fine-tune.
Click to Play

To make the level selection buttons fall in like the example above I simply need to add an action for it;
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float timing = MathUtils.random(0.8f, 1.0f);
button.addAction(moveTo(xPos, yPos[row], timing, Interpolation.sine));

The timing variable is the amount of time the entire animation will take and it's set to a random value so that all the buttons fall in at slightly different speeds.

As the "old" level selection buttons needs to be removed from the scene when they've fallen off the screen I utilize the sequence Action which conveniently allows me to stack a series of Actions to be executed in order;
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float d = MathUtils.random(0.8f, 1.0f);
button.addAction(sequence(
    moveTo(button.getX(), -button.getWidth(), d, Interpolation.pow4),
    Actions.removeActor()));

This way the animate (with interpolation of my choice), to a position that is below the bottom of the screen (-button.getWidth() in this case) and then the next action of removing it is automatically executed for me.

Sometimes Actions needs to run in parallel, when a level is completed a star is added to the level that fades in and pulses, and the padlock of the next level is dropped whilst spinning;
Click to Play

Creating this effects are as simple as;
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// Fade in and pulse the star
image.addAction(
    parallel(
        alpha(1, 1, Interpolation.sine),
        sequence(
            scaleTo(2, 2, 1, Interpolation.sine),
            scaleTo(1, 1, 1, Interpolation.sine)))
);

// Drop and rotate the padlock
image.addAction(
    parallel(
        moveTo(actor.getX(), -image.getHeight()*2, duration, Interpolation.swingIn),
        rotateTo(180.0f * (RND.nextFloat() - 0.5f), duration, Interpolation.sineIn)));
22  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Lala - Android bridge building game for young kids on: 2016-04-16 15:19:55
I really like this idea for little kids...a nice idea that's not too difficult.  And I bet kids will get satisfaction out of seeing the alien able to walk across the screen.
Yeah, I think making sure that it is not too difficult and that the chance of getting stuck is low is important when your target age group is 3-6.

The game will have the normal sort of "unlock" mechanism where you get access to the level 2 only when you've completed level 1, but after the first sort of tutorial levels completing a level will unlock more than just one other level.

I am hoping that doing it that way will make it feel like there's more choice will there still is an incentive to try to complete all levels.
23  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Lala - Brace yourselves, winter is coming! on: 2016-04-14 17:56:37
For longer than it should have taken me, I have been mucking about with a prototype for a game that is sort of a bridge-building kind of physics puzzle intended for young kids.

I am doing this partly because I wanted to try doing a game where hand-eye coordination isn't the most important thing (like Hovercraft), and partly because I wanted to do a game that my kids can play (unlike Grapple, which got an age-rating of 13 and up because of the blood persecutioncomplex).

So with my daughter's "help" I've been building Lala, a game about helping aliens from planet Lala to reach their space-ships so that the can get back home.



The game is, as I am guessing most of you can see, based on Kenney's tilesets and it will when (if) finished have five different types of aliens, in five different environments in sixty different levels.



After Hovercraft I promised myself my next game wouldn't be one where I had to do a lot of level design. I broke that promise with Grapple and I am already regretting it Smiley

Game play will be about dragging blocks to make it possible for the alien to go from the left side of the screen to the right, where his space-ship is waiting.

Click to Play


The player does not directly control the alien, it's all about building by placing blocks.

Basic game play is implemented, but it's still a far away from being finished (I am sort of hoping that if I run a devlog here it will push me to finish it).

Main platform will be Android, but since I am using libGDX a desktop version might also come out of it. I am using Box2D for the physics and the levels are made using Tile Map Editor to create the levels.

Any feedback is greatly appreciated.
24  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What I did today on: 2016-04-12 17:32:24
Decided that to turn my current prototype into a finished game I need to start writing about it as a WIP-project. That should force me to produce somewhat regular updates instead of occasionally tinkering with non-important details.
25  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What I did today on: 2016-02-22 07:05:40
Wish me luck.

Good luck, I hope your venture works out!
26  Games Center / Showcase / Re: Grapple - Android 2D platformer (finally released to Google Play) on: 2015-12-18 14:14:25
Played this one after seeing it in wip... it's well done.

Interesting concept, well implemented.  I liked it.
Thank you! I appreciate the feedback.

Uses box2d right?
It does, yes. It's built with libGDX and the physics is Box2D.

Did you do the art yourself?

Where'd you get the music/sounds?
Most of the art is from OpenGameArt (A Platformer in the Forest and deadEarth's music), I can't really do any graphics or music so I'm relying on Creative Commons assets. Some of the sounds are done by me but most are from freesound.org.

(I'm assuming you're solo or small team)
I am just me. By myself. On the train to and from work. Smiley
27  Games Center / Showcase / Re: Grapple - Android 2D platformer (finally released to Google Play) on: 2015-12-15 08:35:52
Moved Smiley

Much obliged.
28  Games Center / Showcase / Re: Grapple - Android 2D platformer (finally released to Google Play) on: 2015-12-10 07:45:18
I just realized I've left this here in WIP, does anyone know what I need to do to move it away from the Work in Progress board and onto the Showcase one as I am considering this one done?
29  Games Center / Featured Games / Re: Exiled Kingdoms -Android RPG- Now with video! on: 2015-12-06 08:28:13
Spotted a typo, when you assign the initial points for a new character (yes, I am starting over again on this game now that there are so many updates) it says ┬┐Why does everyone hate you?, and it comes with weird upside down Spanish question marks Smiley
30  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Floodgate - Randomly Generated Sewer System Search Thingy on: 2015-11-18 08:20:20
"Randomly Generated Sewer System Search Thingy", now that's a game I didn't know I wanted to play until I saw it  Smiley

Looking forward to seeing what sort of problems or puzzles you can come up with for this game mechanic.
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