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1  Game Development / Game Mechanics / Re: Moving target path finding on: 2013-05-11 18:42:44
Are you setting the actual "moving target" as target or some sort of simple prediction? (Like p.e. x tiles into the direction the target is walking, where x is the distance between the chasing entity and the target now)

Depending on how much cpu you can afford to waste and how you want your entities to "react", you can get some neat looking "behaviour" by just messing around a little with the way the fake/prediction-target gets chosen or even comparing multiple fake targets (doing pathfinding from target to its potential goals first + choosing something on that path as target instead of the actual target itself can have neat results too).

If something like that makes sense can depend a lot on exactly how your game / levels look though, so maybe you should post a screen-shot or something in the hope that someone who's more experienced that me can give you more specific advice. Wink
2  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Where next? on: 2013-05-11 17:18:28
Thing is: While you work with an engine like jmonkey, you learn a lot about the big picture. That helps you to not get lost - you'll just know what you're "missing" in your own engine and that will give you a good idea about what to do / learn next, even if you plan on solving the problem entirely differently. Jmonkey is in my experience a pretty good starting point for people who want to learn java "backwards" (even without any previous knowledge at all) and if you want to teach yourself, you'll probably need to (a) learn from both directions inwards or (b) constantly find external sources that tell you what to learn next.

Also:
Ardor3D and JMonkey are open source - you can check the sources.
Yes, THAT is a big advantage, if you ever get stuck while writing your own engine and need a few hints.
3  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Where next? on: 2013-05-11 09:16:51
Did you take a look at Jmonkey (e.g. the Quads / Terrain and cams there, if that's what you're most interested in at the moment)? If you explain, what you don't like about it, that might give valuable clues as to where might be a good place for you to continue Wink

Like p.E.: Are there too many things already implemented that you'd rather build yourself from scratch?

In a more general context I'd simply suggest: Pick an application of any sort. Try to write it. You'll probably see what you're missing while you're on the way.
4  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Registration Activation Quiz on: 2013-05-10 16:54:08
I know, but thanks for reminding me.
I guess sometimes I just don't quit a discussion while there's still something semi-relevant to answer to left because that's sort of part of my job.
5  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Registration Activation Quiz on: 2013-05-10 15:37:26
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and it seems we have the luxury to reject people we deem not having the right mindset to join the community, without feeling adverse effects.
How do you know you're not feeling adverse effects? How could such effects manifest?
I deliberately said that I wasn't feeling adverse affects. How I know that for a fact? Well, because I'm not feeling it. It's indeed all about perception.
I was trying to suggest, that it might be possible that some negative effects you are feeling (or absence of some positive ones) and attributing to something else could theoretically be originating from people that simply just misunderstood what the quiz is for and you would never know. But...:
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Yadda yadda yadda
I'm out! I've got more money to make for Cas.
...that's a valid solution too, of course, if you don't have time to waste on discussing "potential minor optimization with unclear outcome".

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Thanks for the reminder. I almost would have fed this troll, which would have been a mistake.
Close enough... but I think you still need to practice "Not feeding trolls". You know - because comments like that technically qualify as "feeding the troll".  Just in case a real one ever drops by here who's not just trying to give (unwanted xD but still good Tongue) advice while he's waiting for his compiler to finish.
6  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Registration Activation Quiz on: 2013-05-10 14:56:18
People will only very rarely admit they did not like something (anything!) once they are part of a group where this something is a prerequisite of some sort.
It's kinda paints a grim picture if you believe that people sending me PMs about how they enjoyed the activation quiz are merely doing that due to social pressure to fit in. That was my point after all: unprovoked positive feedback. That's a totally different thing than a mildly positive response on an inquiry.
What makes you think I believe that? How does my statement in any way contradict the presence of different people who honestly like the same thing very much?

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Heh, you can't distance yourself from such remarks that easily. It's a common tactic, often seen in interviews / in journalism
Actually I can. Because we ARE talking about "impressions people might get when they see the quiz", which makes the comment an EXAMPLE, not a (potentially fake) SOURCE. Your benevolent motivation behind the design of the Quiz was never in question or the topic. If I wanted to use "television diversion tactics", I would have to write something like: "Some people say, that some people don't like your quiz", to distance myself from my opinion about the quiz. And that would be confusing. Which is why I won't do that xD


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Just as easily, I can make up this fictional group of people
Wait, what fictional group of people are we talking about now? I was quoting the fictional people from page 1 :3

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You're practising theory, I'm dealing with reality.
Ah, I see where this is going. But you are NOT dealing with reality. You are dealing with your perception. I know that sounds overused and silly,  but perception is a b*tch. And that's why I'm trying to bring things that might be hard to perceive to your attention.

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and it seems we have the luxury to reject people we deem not having the right mindset to join the community, without feeling adverse effects.
How do you know you're not feeling adverse effects? How could such effects manifest?
7  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Where next? on: 2013-05-10 13:07:26
What exactly do you mean with "the path of 3D graphics"?

I guess "Jmonkey" would be one of the obvious / rather comfortable places to go from "LWJGL" if that isn't too nontransparent for your taste.
8  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Registration Activation Quiz on: 2013-05-10 12:53:48
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people that come through, are usually amused by the quiz. Surely this is a biased selection, but it's not all the doom and gloom you portray it to be.
The selection isn't only biased - it's strongly systematically confounded. To stay with my theme of inadequate analogies: "It's like making a telephone survey to ask people whether they like participating in telephone surveys. Wow, almost everyone loves it!".
That's where your reasoning is flawed. It should be: "Wow, almost everybody participates!" If you'd ask people whether they truly liked it, you'd get different numbers as most people are polite not to hang up immediately once they realize it's a survey. If you'd record people making positive statements during the survey, regarding said survey without being asked on the matter, the numbers would be even lower, and merely biased, as opposed to 'strongly systematically confounded'.
There are many effects that play into those sort of things - way too many to mention them all - but in *general*, results do indeed tend to go into such directions as I discribed. 3 small examples:
- People usually won't admit they didn't like something they did out of their own free will (or will even change their opinion and believe they enjoyed it), because doing something they don't like (without being paid more than they usually expect for similar tasks or time investments) is something that creates cognitive dissonance (and stuff).
- Also generally "anonymous" people are not "polite" when they feel they are "being inconvenienced". They don't only "hang up" - they take all the free candy from the desk and smear the walls with ketchup before they go if it seems to them like there is NO chance at all they could get caught / identified (also, afterwards they keep on running down the street even if you run after them yelling: "Wait, You're not in trouble! That was part of the study! We just need you to read this final statement for ethical purposes, then you will get your 5$!")
- And last but not least: People will only very rarely admit they did not like something (anything!) once they are part of a group where this something is a prerequisite of some sort. (You can fake a little bit of that effect btw if you're telling someone on phone survey, that his answers are being recorded as "examples" for future subjects to the same survey or something like that). They tend to either avoid becoming part of the group or start "liking" everything (semi-relevant) about the group. Or at least pretending to.
... and stuff like that. Don't get me wrong, it's still all just an ad-hoc educated guess and I could be totally misjudging the sum of all "effects" in any single situation. But usually I'm not too far off... most of the time.


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If I ignore complaints, I'd come across as
...someone who quotes with "tactically adjusted" context? xD You do still remember, that that wasn't something I called you (but an example taken from a random older post on the topic, from someone else, who also only used it as an example), right?

(just checking *g*)

Also you're totally allowed to ignore complaints if you dislike that activity. There's always enough people on the Internet who enjoy to argue... many webmasters just wait for an angry mob to form + overwhelm minority opinions before they do anything. Might sound like a bad strategy at first, but afterwards when everyone is already too frustrated to "put up a fight" they can still fast-read and make up their own opinion from unique / still semi-neutral standpoint - and all that without having to type anything. It works just fine most of the time.


9  Java Game APIs & Engines / Engines, Libraries and Tools / Re: Getting started with 2d physics system of shapes connected with "springs"? on: 2013-05-10 11:42:20
Hmmm... after I fixed some bad Quaternions (I hate those things!), it looks to me like the forces work almost as intended. But the system fails to reach an equilibrium. It looks like the physics are ok, so it's probably a concept problem (and not a code problem).

The forces at work are:
- 50% dampening
- a small, fixed force pushing all object away from those they're not connected (to keep them from cluttering up - but a lot smaller than the forces of the "springs".
- a linear force that pulls the connection points towards the place where the end of the "springs end" should be and is proportional to the difference between the "should-be" position and the current position. This force reaches 0 if the point reaches the location where it should be (relative to the point on the other geometry it's connected to with this "pseydo-spring").

Now - in my mind, this system should reach a state where all the forces are either 0 (because the points are where the springs want them to be) or cancel each others out (because... uhm... well... that's the way it works in my head? xD). But that's not what's happening - instead some objects keep on rotating or even accelerating. Now the questions are:
- What am I missing?
- Does that look "springy" to you?
- Can someone with a better visual / physics thinking than me see what's happening to the rotating bodies? Looks to me like it might simply be related to the way I connected the objects... but if there's some factor that makes the connections / the equilibrium impossible then I fail to wrap my brain around it ATM.



( Btw: Still searching for an "engine / library / tools" that's better suited for things like this / has one dimension less to worry about... and stuff. Should have made 2 seperate topics I guess :/ well, too late now^^)
10  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Registration Activation Quiz on: 2013-05-10 09:48:08
I'm not going to taunt human spammers
That's an absolutely valid point to justify the decision.

I'd still guess, that the absence of an explanation is a lot more "taunting" - or more of an incentive to unleash spam (or other unwanted behaviour) than a clearer explanation would be.  Discrimination based on behaviour - especially if it's widely believe to be destructive - is usually a rather small source of negative emotions compared to on the other hand *perceived* discrimination based on "capabilities" or seemingly unnecessary "bossing around of someone in an inferior position" - both of which can easily make even unaffected bystanders uncomfortable. But there's really just no way to predict that for sure - partly because we don't know who exactly is responsible for the spam... so I guess "not wanting to taunt spammers further" is an absolutely valid point to justify the decision against a detailed explanation Wink.


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people that come through, are usually amused by the quiz. Surely this is a biased selection, but it's not all the doom and gloom you portray it to be.
The selection isn't only biased - it's strongly systematically confounded. To stay with my theme of inadequate analogies: "It's like making a telephone survey to ask people whether they like participating in telephone surveys. Wow, almost everyone loves it!". Which is the main reason why I wanted to point it out - it's just one of those things that are usually really hard to see/understand from the perspective of the "in-group". Didn't want to sound "gloomy-doomy" thought - any potentially present apocalyptic undertones are entirely due to my weird english Cheesy
11  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Registration Activation Quiz on: 2013-05-09 19:42:38
Ok, let me fix the analogy, just for the sake of accuracy. We can do stepwise corrections if you want, until it matches the actual situation in every single aspect and stops being an analogy  Wink

Let's say...
 It's like the difference between saying:
- "Quick, jump into the pool, that's standard security procedure against fire around here!"
or
- "Quick, jump into the pool, the house is on fire again (and we prepared the pool especially for such occasion. Also there will be towels once you're iside)"

 Grin

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It could be seen as the community making you earn your membership
Wait the moment... I thought that was one of those things that you DON'T want "newbies" to think?
12  Java Game APIs & Engines / Engines, Libraries and Tools / Re: Getting started with 2d physics system of shapes connected with "springs"? on: 2013-05-09 18:56:27
Oh god yes, math is horrible xD

In Addition to that "hugo elias stuff" (thanks!) I found this which looks as if it would be very helpful if I understood half of it (and the wikipedia pages it lead me to):
http://wismuth.com/elas/elasticity.html

So for now, I did some "Prototyping" in jmonkey. My shapes start rotating towards connected shapes and organizing themselves which looks fine at first, but then they just take off and fly away without me in a well organized "flock" of rotating geometries xD

Does anyone know something that's better suited for 2d physics prototyping with java? Couldn't find a single 2d engine that has rendering of physics nodes already implemented... might try one of the c++ prototyping engines if I don't manage to understand that "spring stuff" while playing with jmonkey.
13  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Registration Activation Quiz on: 2013-05-09 18:30:43
putting a more detailed explanation on the quiz-site
The quiz already explains this is an anti-spammer measure. What would you suggest?
As written above - I would suggest putting something like your post there on the quiz page. It explains everything perfectly. It's like the difference between saying: "I'm going to hit you with this wet sack for safety measures." and the slightly more accurate: "I'm going to hit you with this wet sack now because your hair is on fire". One of those two explanations makes people feel like they deserve an apology. The other one make people want to say "Oh, I see/understand, thanks for your effort!".

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Yeah, I'm simple like that. Isn't it sad. But what ya gonna do. Emo
Refer you to a semi-random wikipedia page? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Experimenter%27s_bias
Meh, ok, I'm out of ideas.

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there will always be people thinking we are "being elitist d*cks" and write a new reply in this thread.
Yes (except many of those will just leave). And I think the goal would be to reduce the number of those people further by making it easier for people to see reason, until only those people who can't possibly solve the quiz and get in are left thinking that Wink

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Just imagine some stranger spontaneously would try to make you do some (little, easy but unexpected) thing you didn't think was necessary - wouldn't that make you angry and possibly prone to misjudgement?
If I approached that stranger and that person provides a service I'm interested in, and has a vested interest in keeping that service high quality by making me do something easy, I would consider it.
The question wasn't, if you would consider doing it. The question was, if you would be "grumpy" afterwards. :3
14  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Registration Activation Quiz on: 2013-05-09 14:48:46
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If a programmer can't be arsed to run a snippet of code, it's telling... and we're probably better off not having those lazy bums on the forum. persecutioncomplex Smiley
This is not "laziness", it's just basic human psychology. You would be surprised how much effort people usually put into avoiding doing things that they don't think they should be made to do (which is the opposite of laziness - on principle) and how easily someone can get angry just because he's supposed to "jump trough a hoop". Just imagine some stranger spontaneously would try to make you do some (little, easy but unexpected) thing you didn't think was necessary - wouldn't that make you angry and possibly prone to misjudgement?

I can see why you might be having a hard time understanding what sort of impression and feelings an "outsider" might get when he first sees that, because you are not part of that out-group and those that take such things personally probably only very rarely turn up her (for obvious reasons), but as I already tried to explain: Not being able to fully understand why an action is needed makes someone feel bad about following such requests from strangers. Or in other words: People might have (quote) "no idea that it would take that much to give you the proper screening you're looking for." and due to that think that "y'all were being elitist d*cks.". And things like that. Really, there are many possible outcomes and most of them are unwanted in a forum, which is why I'm telling you how to avoid it (partly): By putting a more detailed explanation on the quiz-site.

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I spent long enough on the activation quiz. I'm not going to poke holes in it to make the one-time activation easier for average Joe wielding his tablet, never booting up his desktop anymore. I like to think JGO is among very few open forums on the internet that don't need moderators cleaning up after spammers. The quiz does its job remarkably well, at the expense of this topic needing occasional TLC when people feel mistreated, patronized and/or otherwise offended by an entrance exam.
Oh, sry, I was under the impression that you were all ears when it comes to discussions about such things for some reason and only tried to be helpful. Wouldn't have bothered trying to cook up half-assed ideas otherwise - probably I misunderstood your intentions because I did not have enough Information Wink
15  Java Game APIs & Engines / Engines, Libraries and Tools / Getting started with 2d physics system of shapes connected with "springs"? on: 2013-05-09 12:45:10
Hi!

I need to simulate a 2d system consisting of different shapes that are attached to each others with "springs". The forces at work should position & rotate the shapes to even out the "pressure" on the system while maintaining a right angle between their line segments and the "springs" by bending the springs accordingly... and stuff like that.

Is there something better for this sort of thing than starting out with box2d? I have not delved into the requirements very deeply as of yet, but on a first glance box2d does not really look like the right tool for the job and would leave me to figure out low level math "Newton–Raphson method" stuff and such on my own to implement some of the forces at work (which considering that I don't know what the "Newton–Raphson method" is as of yet sounds like an awful lot of reading ahead).

If someone could just list a few relevant math/physics/programming terms that I should be looking up would be great, too - maybe I'm just not finding what I need to use/do/read/learn because my english lacks the right vocabulary (+search terms Wink) when it comes to things like that.
16  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Registration Activation Quiz on: 2013-05-09 11:59:04
People usually don't feel like a community they don't really know or are a part of (yet) have the right to make them "jump trough hoops". I had to fight with myself for 5 minutes over whether I could accept being made to jump or not and in the end what made the decision was that I really wanted to complain about the "registration quiz" xD

So... Since it sounds as if you really need the quiz for spam protection, I would suggest to put a somewhat more detailed explanation like in this post here above the quiz. New users are strangers after all, and strangers react a lot more positive to any sort of requests if they are given an explanation. That also should avoids unnecessary cognitive dissonance (as in "I want in" vs "you do not have reason or right to make me do such things"), leading to a more positive first impression and user experience Wink


As to a solution for the issue with phones: Have you looked at what browsers / browser capabilities your spammers usually announce? I doubt any of them are using (or faking) phone-browsing, so maybe you could just replace the trivia with an automatic activation if the request comes from unusual devices. Might not be worth the trouble to implement though - user that want to register + use the forum from their phones or xbox or whatever might really be a very small group.
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