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1  Games Center / Featured Games / Re: Clash of the Olympians on: 2012-12-22 00:35:08
The game balance is done by one of the ironhidegames guys, as far as I know, the balance is done by playing a million times each level, some spreadsheets with magic formulas, intuition, playing a million times again :-), getting feedback from people, getting analytics, etc.

right now from what we can see with the analytics, in general the game is balanced, the progression funnel (how many people reach each level) is quite smooth, there is no huge drop in any level, but the heroes and powers are not balanced, the distribution of powers in level 5 for example, has nothing to do with the distribution of powers used by the people that finish the game. right now either fire is overpowered, or the others are underpowered, and bounce is the least successful one. We have to fix that :-)

Again thanks for the feedback.
2  Games Center / Featured Games / Re: Clash of the Olympians on: 2012-12-10 03:57:20
Thanks guys for the nice feedback :-)
3  Games Center / Featured Games / Clash of the Olympians on: 2012-12-07 21:58:01


We are really happy to announce we finally released the official Android port of the game Clash of the Olympians originally created by Ironhide Game Studio.
Made with the awesome libgdx lib of course.

Description

Become a demigod and keep the horde of heathens away from your temple!

Take on the role of one of the mighty Greek heroes and defend your temple against hordes of mythological creatures using a vast array of powerful weapons and godly powers!

Clash of the Olympians highlights:

* Action packed defend the temple game that will test your wits and precision!
* 3 Heroes to choose from: Play as the mighty Heracles, the quick Perseus or the legendary Achilles!
* Face mythological creatures with different abilities! Minotaurs, Gorgons, Harpies and more!
* Train your hero! Upgrade his weapons and grant him special powers! Each hero has his own arsenal so choose wisely!
* Arcade style rewards! Show off your skill by performing head shots, multi-kills, quick kills and more!

So what are you waiting for! The hordes of Hades are approaching and only you can stop them!
Bring'em ON!


<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/qeBHDLWWh-c?version=3&amp;hl=en_US&amp;start=" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/qeBHDLWWh-c?version=3&amp;hl=en_US&amp;start=</a>



QR code:


Homepage: link

Hope you enjoy it Smiley
4  Java Game APIs & Engines / OpenGL Development / Re: Bleeding on: 2012-07-11 23:52:50
Hi we had some problems with sprites, where the borders where looking ugly so we made a tool that bleeds the colors of the opaque pixels into the transparent ones, the pixels that are not 100% transparent are not changed, but the transparent pixels get the color of the neighouring pixels. This fixes the interpolation error that usually happens in those pixels.

The tool does this:

 the left image is the original one rendered over a red background, the middle one is the result with alpha disabled, and the right one is the result image rendered over a red background with alpha enabled.

The projects is available here: https://github.com/gemserk/imageprocessing and there is a runnable jar in the downloads section.

If you have any question feel free to ask.
5  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Android. Touch = Half FPS on: 2012-05-27 06:40:56
There was an issue with android on older version of the OS (supposed to be older than 2.0 but there are reports of people with the problem on newer versions, like 2.1 and 2.2) the problem is that the native side of the android os floods the android application with touch events, and that is why you see the game slow down, the touch handling is taking a lot of your cpu.

In newer versions this is patched and is not an issue, but on older versions the recommended fix (not a total/real fix but at least it makes it better) is to add a sleep() call in your input handling method to keep the native code from calling the input handler so much.

Since you are using libgdx you can use the class com.badlogic.gdx.backends.android.AndroidApplicationConfiguration when you create your android app and set the parameter touchSleepTime on it to 16 like it is recommended in the javadocs for the class.

hope it helps, and I would love to know if it does fix it for you, and what version of the android OS you have.

Rubén

EDIT: this is an issue about this on the android project - http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=7836
6  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Global Game Jam (Jan 27-28) on: 2012-01-31 18:24:47
Arielsan and me joined the Global Game Jam for the first time :-)

The experience was really awesome, and we were able to finish the game in time.

We wrote a postmortem about our whole experience and you can see and play the game in there.

[size=20pt]Youtube Video[/size]

[size=20pt]Postmortem and Play[/size]

We hope you like it
7  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Guuulp!? on: 2012-01-09 15:04:58
Tried to test the game, but when launching I can see a rock or something that falls, like a logo, and then after that dissapears there is something like an animation trying to play, and the whole phone dies. The first time it hang with some loud sound looping and after that the phone reset itself, and the second time it just hang no sound, and then reset itself again.

My phone is a Samsung Galaxy S2

for what is worth, really liked the screenshots on the market :-)

8  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Canonical to remove Oracle's Sun Java from User's Systems on: 2011-12-21 22:51:57
Maybe I am missreading something but:

From the mailing list

Quote
In the near future (exact date TBD), Canonical will remove all Sun JDK
packages from the Partner archive. This will be accomplished by pushing
empty packages to the archive, so that the Sun JDK will be removed from all
users machines when they do a software update. Users of these packages who
have not migrated to an alternative solution will experience failures after
the package updates have removed Oracle Java from the system.

so they are talking about removing everything from the sun sdk from users machines as an update, and they are not talking about a nice warning explaining the issue to the user, and providing a working solutions, they are talking about replacing the packages with empty packages.
So for people that don't hate applets or webstart, and want to provide their software in that way, this is hardly a non-issue.

The alternative iced-tea as a browser plugin, sucks really bad, their webstart implementation is horrible, and it has problems running lwjgl applets, and telling a user to download the jre from oracle and install it manually, is so not friendly. You get a jre working, but it isn't configured anywhere on the system, so you have to mess with update-alternatives and getting your window manager to recognize java as a way to run apps, a huge pain in the ass all around.
9  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: The "Invincible Mutant Scorpion" solution to pirating on: 2011-12-08 22:57:57
I would really love to see if instead of doing what they did
they would add to each loading screen, a message telling the user that they are glad they liked the game, and if he would consider paying for it, with a button directing the user to an easy way to buy the game (Steam, paypal, etc)

I am willing to bet that they would get some valuable conversion from that, gain lots of goodwill in reviews, and the community, and overall get a better result.

10  Games Center / Featured Games / Re: Gemserk - Vampire Runner on: 2011-12-06 19:54:32
Thanks for all the feedback, we finally release the 1.0.0 version of this game in the android market

We now have the new graphics
We added a new transformation (bat that flies over fire)
Openfeint integration for scrores on android

The new transformation looks like this:



If you want to to download the app from the market you can do it here or using the QR code from your phone:


The new Openfeint scores allow you to compete globally as well as with your friends.

As always any feedback is appreciated and if you like it please rate it, tell your friends, tweet it, +1 it, like it, etc :-)


11  Games Center / Featured Games / Re: Gemserk - Vampire Runner on: 2011-11-18 21:57:38
Thanks all of you for the feedback, we are really glad that you liked the game.

At this moment we are really happy with the aesthetic of the game, but are really having some trouble with the gameplay.

What we are trying right now is:
  • Adding different kinds of walls (obstacles), and you need to match the kind of wall with the right power to go through it
  • Changing the gameplay to one where you are always flying and you have to avoid crashing with the different obstacles, this is obviously a completely different game, but our current prototype feels "fun" and we feel with that gameplay there are a lot of opportunities to add interesting stuff, like power ups, score multipliers, etc

Keep the feedback coming
12  Games Center / Featured Games / Vampire Runner - Gemserk on: 2011-11-17 20:53:05
Hi guys, during the last Ludum Dare 21 arielsan made the game Vampire Runner as shown here we made some minor improvements to the game and at some point some people we know that are artists wanted to see how would one of our games work with their art on the android market.

We focused a lot on adding nice artwork and polish to the game, but we are having some trouble finding a fun and engaging gameplay.







The basic idea of the game, is that you are a vampire running for your life and there are some obstacles in your way, that you have to pass by transforming into a bat like mist.
You transform by touching the screen or clicking with your mouse, and there is an energy bar that is spent while you are transformed into mist, once it is empty you don't go through stuff anymore and the energy bar recharges while on normal vampire mode.

Play on PC - HERE

Play on Android - here


The latest iteration of our game before this remake is available on the android market here, in that version the game didn't have a max speed and the level generation was mostly a periodic generation of a wall with a random wall width. Some people liked the game and still play it but it failed to keep a big number of people playing.

The biggest issue we see with our game right now is one of mechanics and level generation, right now the game is really simple to play, and the mechanics are not copied from other similar games but the issue is that the gameplay is repetitive and either too easy, or it gets impossible at some point.
We are really open to any idea about the level generation, changing the mechanic, etc if you think it would make the game more fun.


We would love any feedback about the graphics, style, gameplay, or anything else you want to comment.

Hope you like it

EDITED: android version points to market release now
13  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Jagex kills reflection appearently on: 2011-10-28 21:51:08
In any game where there is a component of competition involved, or comparing skill, bots will be an issue
for almost any complexity of bot there will always be people who aren't as skilled as it at playing the game

chess, go, starcraft, diablo, wow, if someone wants to he will always be able to create a bot, that can either beat people in those games, or at least assist a human player to give him an unfair advantage (aimbot, etc).

That is not a problem of game design per se, just a problem of computers being better at some stuff than we are.

Even in the minecraft example, I am sure there are people who will find it fun to grief others, and a bot that does that would help them with it.

This is so much worse than piracy for example, a pirate you can ignore him (downloaded game is not a lost sale), attempt to use other ways to monetize your game (free to play, ads, etc), but with bots, if you are unlucky enough to be targeted by those, you can't ignore them, you really have to deal with them or find a way to keep them from ruining your other players time.

Rubén
14  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Jagex kills reflection appearently on: 2011-10-28 20:22:49
Bots would be a problem for almost any game

if your game has an economy, bots ruin it
if your game involves interaction with other players, it adds a lot of "players" that you can't interact with, and your players have to deal with them
if your game is PvP in nature, it ruins peoples games, maybe the bot can't beat the best players, but it sure as hell will ruin the noobs
if your game has highscores/achievements as one motivation for your players, then bots ruin it

Even with an onlive like system, you can make bots that scan the image, and send input

Ruben
15  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Crabs! on: 2011-10-09 23:00:46
princec, have you tried the libgdx library for doing android stuff? it is made by badlogic and now Nate is also working on it.

if I remember correctly the libgdx library fixes some performance issues with bytebuffers and the opengl apis that were present in earlier versions of android (not 1.6 early but 2.0, 2.1 early)
16  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: License for commercial project on: 2011-09-22 00:21:14
Sorry I haven´t answered here, I use google reader to read the forum, and somehow I missed this posts

nsigma: the intention is not to screw github, we are ok with developing our prototipes in the open, and we know that once the code is there, it is open forever, if we at some point feel that continuing to develop our game in the open is against our interest, we will make that change from that point on, not removing or closing the existing source.

Gudradain: we don´t have any protection, we trust each other, and so far we don´t feel that having to split our 7 dollars in revenue from ads will be much of a problem, we can share a pizza and be done with it :-)
17  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: License for commercial project on: 2011-09-12 15:42:13
GPL code will not work for what Gudradain wants, Lugaru (wolfire, humbleindiebundle) release their code as GPL, and their game got into the apple store
they could get the game taken down because the ones that uploaded the other version of the game, used their assets which weren't available for comercial use

if your game is a huge game with lots of assets, then having just the code available might be enough to keep others from releasing your code as a new game, but if your game is something simple, like a match3, canabalt like game, tower defense, etc, whats is keeping anyone from creating some new assets, and uploading the game with ads just to see if it will work? it sure as hell will be shorter than developing a game from scratch, and as long as their art is better than yours, they won't mind releasing the source code as well, and even updating to your latest code to benefit from your bugfixes and new features.

Sure you can make like idsoftware and release years later so it doesn't matter so much, or just have your engine be opensource but your game be closed, but I don't think that is what Gudradain.

In my case with arielsan, we have the same problem, we want to develop our games in the open, even allow you to take parts of the code, and do whatever you want from it, but wouldn't be happy if you took our game, improved the assets and uploaded as yours, even if you had to share the source code.

So far the approach we took is, our games make no money so far (only 7 bucks from ads, wiiiiiiii) so we will keep them on github, so we can show code, ask for a review of something, etc, and if at some point the game starts to make money, we will see what we do, either start paying in github to get private repos, of host it somewhere else.

Something that could be closer to what we want, would be to release the engine and libraries, as opensource, and have the game with a license that forbids commercial use, so that you can see the code, learn from it, but that's it. The thing with that would be that even if someone just uploads it as a free app, with their art, it could still screw us, so the license should also prevent distribution of stuff made with that code.
18  Discussions / Business and Project Management Discussions / Re: DRM ideas (actually just copy-protection) on: 2011-09-01 21:30:39
piracy is always a vector for getting your game known, more than that, unless you made the one only unbeatable and surely annoying DRM if your game is not pirated it is only because your game really really sucks, so much that no one would play it even for free.

there are people who don't want to pay for your game -> don't worry, unless your game sucks and they give bad reviews, they will only get more people to know your game
there are people who are honest and wont pirate a game -> they rock, enjoy them
there are people who pirate your game, love it become fans, and buy it or the following ones -> they really rock, and more likely will talk a lot about your game, and get their friends to buy it, etc
there are people who can't play your game -> no credit card, no money, etc, it makes no harm if they play your game and the moment they can pay for your games you will have someone who already likes your stuff, and not someone who doesn't know it
there are people who would pay for your game, but they pirated it -> this are the people you want to transform from pirates to customers

why would people who are willing to pay, pirate instead
  too expensive
  annoying drm
  wanted to try it, but they completed it in one go with the pirated version (demo? make it longer? add replayability?)
  didn't have/trust your payment handler -> get it on steam if you can, or use a known method, paypal, etc

the more likely reason why your game will fail (assuming that you finish it) is being left unknown, no one plays your game, no one buys your game, in this situation having your game pirated only means more people get to see your game, more people talk about your game, could be seen by someone that can provide a nice review, etc

if your game is good, and you price it appropriately don't worry about piracy, and specially don't treat the pirates better than your fans (don't make it so that the pirated version is better than the original full of drm one)

END OF LINE
19  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Go on, ask me anything. on: 2011-04-05 19:02:23
Hi Cas, the stupid answers you got to that bug request about struts are really sad.

Did you ever get any new info about that? other than what is in the bug report?

Did you ever try the javolution structs? are they useful or just too much overhead?

20  Discussions / Business and Project Management Discussions / Re: Browser/Applet games on: 2011-02-22 20:42:14
I don't feel ashamed to be using java in our games, on the contrary we want to raise awareness of the benefits of java and try to remove the stigma that java has.

Success stories like minecraft will repair java image if people know they are made with java, if every developer that has some success tries to hide it nothing will ever change. There may be no obligation to do that, and you believe that it would be bad for business but showing that minecraft is made in java, that it is powered by lwjgl, etc would help the community a lot.

Also it may be the best option right now to embed a jvm with your installer but that will never help make the java runtime be on more machines. If every developer made his own embeded flash plugin without using the one installed in the browser, flash would not be installed in all those machines and they would not be in the dominant spot that they are now.

Just as an example this is a blog post making some analysis of unity's penetration, in the post the author compares unity with flash, and at some point uses minecraft in an example, talking about the problem of having to download an exe, and how that is less friendly than having a browser plugin, never knowing that minecraft is made in java, and that it is available as an applet. This is not just a problem of a person being misinformed, but of java developers actively trying to hide the fact that they are using java.
21  Discussions / Business and Project Management Discussions / Re: Browser/Applet games on: 2011-02-20 01:29:38
Does anyone have any real recent experience with webstart?
all the time people are talking about how they suck, but so far we have had no problems with webstart deployment.

any concrete examples with the recent versions?

perhaps princec could share some of his experience with puppygames, since they provide webstart distribution for his games (sadly they also seem to hate that distribution channel from their comments in the update posts)
22  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: A successful attack on SMF on: 2010-12-31 19:49:32
I think http://xkcd.com/792/ explains the reality far better than I ever could.

People don´t use one password for each site, and there is a huge list of sites who have been compromised and the usernames and passwords where not stored safely (hashed and salted).

With the openid, google, facebook, etc solution, I don´t have to trust some random site to be secure, and even a site that is important and which I would trust with some of my secure passwords could be implemented by a moron who stores the passwords in an usafe way.

Using the openid solution, the only thing I have to do to make sure I am not getting screwed is checking the url bar, seeing that the domain is the one I think, and checking if the certificate is fine. I don´t depend on how well the forum/page/wiki etc was programmed.

The only way to have custom not easy to guess passwords for every site is using some digital wallet, something like keypass, but that is a hassle very few people are willing to have.

As long as sites feel they have the right to ask the users to generate some user/pass to access their site, things like the  Gawker compromised accounts will keep happening.

some extra info: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2010/12/the-dirty-truth-about-web-passwords.html
23  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: A successful attack on SMF on: 2010-12-31 17:22:16
Much better than a password per site, is trying to  get all sites to use an openid like solution.

The best implementation that I know of is the one in the stackoverflow/stackexchange sites.
24  Games Center / Showcase / Re: Floxels on: 2010-12-29 18:27:24
really fun game, performance was great, just at the beginning (when I first use the smallest blast)  there is a long pause of a few seconds, but after that it works great.
25  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Humble Indie Bundle on: 2010-12-26 01:22:27
Are you considering uploading your code to a public repo, like git, googlecode, etc, and working yourself from there?

that would be way easier to integrate whatever patch the community comes up with and also would make the development a lot more open, which I think is a strength of your business.
26  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Humble Indie Bundle on: 2010-12-23 18:45:56
princec: hey, congrats on the open source pledge I really hope you get there.

From @Humble: Puppy Games just told me that they will open source Revenge of the Titans if we reach $1.75 million
27  Games Center / 4K Game Competition - 2011 / Re: Can't get anything to work on a mac on: 2010-12-21 00:06:45
Hi, in our server we use apache to deliver pack200 files without any programming

we added in an .htaccess file

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AddType application/x-java-archive .jar
AddType application/x-java-jnlp-file .jnlp

<Files *.jar.pack.gz>
  AddEncoding pack200-gzip .jar
  RemoveEncoding .gz
</Files>

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP:Accept-Encoding} pack200-gzip
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME}.pack.gz -f
RewriteRule ^(.*\.jar)$ $1.pack.gz [NC,L]

RewriteCond %{HTTP:Accept-Encoding} gzip
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME}.gz -f
RewriteRule ^(.*\.jar)$ $1.gz [NC,L]

Options -MultiViews


hope it helps
28  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Java on iOS on: 2010-11-10 20:43:31
hi, ppl

cas, is this the VM you were talking about? http://blogs.oracle.com/java/2010/11/new_java_se_for_embedded_devices_release_delivers_improved_performance_more_hardware_support_latest.html
29  Java Game APIs & Engines / JInput / Re: JInput at the Maven Central Repository on: 2010-10-03 21:07:14
I am not sure what is the best way to do this. Until now I have been using classifiers to indicate the natives, as I think that it is a nicer place to put a naming convention, like natives-windows, natives-linux, etc in order to enable some automatic processing. I am not so sure how much I like having to force a naming convention into the artifactId.

from the maven reference:
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# classifier:
The classifier allows to distinguish artifacts that were built from the same POM but differ in their content. It is some optional and arbitrary string that - if present - is appended to the artifact name just after the version number.

As a motivation for this element, consider for example a project that offers an artifact targeting JRE 1.5 but at the same time also an artifact that still supports JRE 1.4. The first artifact could be equipped with the classifier jdk15 and the second one with jdk14 such that clients can choose which one to use.

Another common use case for classifiers is the need to attach secondary artifacts to the project's main artifact. If you browse the Maven central repository, you will notice that the classifiers sources and javadoc are used to deploy the project source code and API docs along with the packaged class files.  


they talk about using classifiers to separate acording to jre versions, which I think is a similar case to what we are talking here.

at least for now, my vote is to have the main jar, as the main artifact of a library, and the natives as attached artifacts using the classifier with a fixed format like
natives-windows, natives-linux, natives-mac

Rubén



30  Game Development / Networking & Multiplayer / Using VPS For Game Servers on: 2010-10-01 01:58:00
Hi, I used to have a Slicehost server with 512 MB of ram as a development server, used it for hudson, nexus, svn, trac, and some static content.

The main problem always was the amount of ram, as soon as you start using swap the server just becomes way too slow to be useful.

We eventually changed  from Slicehost to Linode because of the ram issue. Linode offers twice the amount of ram for the same price. If the situation was a temporary thing and there were any plans to improve the price in slicehost we would have stayed, as the service is excellent, but if you read their forums they have said that their focus is on big clients who need the ability to rent a lot of servers in a short time, and stuff like that. We had the server in slicehost for years, and the amount of ram was the same for the price we paid, no improvement in the ram/price.

hope this info helps.

Of course, I have no affiliation whatsoever with slicehost, or linode other than having used their service.
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