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1  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: am thinking of getting this PC, for both gaming and developing on: 2014-12-10 06:46:50
@Catharsis -- Thanks for the plans you put together at PartPicker. My friend who is helping out with the purchase has some good reasoning about how much computing power is needed for the tasks that I have in front of me. But I also like the fact that with building one's own there are definite benefits, such as knowing you what you will end up in terms of the supporting gear, and not leave the choice of mobo, power supply, etc., in the hands of companies that seem mostly interested in maximizing their short term profit over selling high-quality products. Fine points, like having matched RAM, are easier to accomplish when building one's own.

I'm going to hit the reviews concentrating more on the supporting gear this time, and try putting something together that is solid, but looking forward to eventually getting the desired CPU and GPU, and see if I can bring this into budget. The lack of specs on the first computer I referenced, it could be a bit dicy planning on upgrading CPU & GPU sometime in the future when the other components could be weak.

@Catharsis, can you send me a link to the graphics Kickstarter project you mentioned? That sounded interesting, and I'd like to send it out via Facebook, etc., to various people I know who might be interested in checking it out.

@Riven -- The funds have to be spent on upgrading.
2  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: am thinking of getting this PC, for both gaming and developing on: 2014-12-09 21:26:15
@Catharsis - Yes, am interested. I sent a PM.

Here's a question.

Suppose we start with the purchase of the computer I listed earlier, and add another 4MB RAM for 8 total (16 possible):

Quote
CyberpowerPC Gamer Ultra 2203 Desktop PC AMD FX-Series FX-6300 (3.50GHz) 4GB DDR3 500GB HDD Windows 8.1 64-bit

How do I find out if it is possible to upgrade the graphics card to the recommended GT750Ti? (I'm thinking this should be no problem.)

How do I find out if it is possible to upgrade the CPU to the recommended  FX 8320 CPU (3.2ghz 8 core)? (I know much less about how interchangeable CPU's might be.)

I'm tempted to try and build, but I think my "angel" may be more comfortable with going with the existing pre-built unit.
3  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: am thinking of getting this PC, for both gaming and developing on: 2014-12-09 05:40:22
I went through similar hand-wringing last year and didn't pull the trigger on anything. Riven gave some advice on going through a friend (checked, none are upgrading at the moment) or CraigsList (I think he said eBay, actually).

I am going to give that idea another go. It is scary buying from strangers not in an actual business. I don't like the idea of dealing with illegal software copies (often the case). But at least, with the research and advice, I'm starting to get a better idea of what sort of cpu and graphics capabilities...

4  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: am thinking of getting this PC, for both gaming and developing on: 2014-12-09 05:22:39
I currently dual boot my PC: XP and Ubuntu. I assume I will go that route again, but with a newer Windows OS.

I'm looking at kits from Google, TigerDirect and NewEgg. It is a little overwhelming!

I have an external HD that could serve in a pinch? I do NOT want to cannibalize the existing system, as there is software that will probably have to continue to be run from the old system, at least for a few months.

I like the idea of multi-core. I don't need cutting edge games, am a moderate game player, tend to buy games that are a couple years old, if at all. Ability to run an emulator for Android & iOS would be nice, if the performance is enough to make sure something like an Avian or RoboVM (still deciding whether to try these) build isn't going to have an obvious crash before I send it to the friend with the Mac systems for further tests.

Maybe I can't do what I want for the money I have available.

On this system (recommended by @Phased, estimated $500 to $600):
Quote
an FX 8320 CPU (3.2ghz (or 3.6?) 8 core CPU)
8gb RAM
GTX 750TI (or could go for the r7 260x which would save you around $30 depending on which one you get)
1tb HDD

The FX 8320 CPU has a comment that says it can function as a Minecraft Server! That is overkill. I have no ambitions to run a server.

What about this in its place: AMD FX-6300 Vishera 6-Core 3.5GHz (4.1GHz Turbo)
Socket AM3+ 95W Desktop Processor FD6300WMHKBOX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=19-113-286 $110

GTX 750TI: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=14-125-510 $140
How much is lost if this is substituted?
GIGABYTE GV-N750OC-2GI G-SYNC Support GeForce GTX 750 2GB 128-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 HDCP Ready Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=14-125-510
$110

I see @Gibbo3771 recommending i5, but I'm thinking again, save a little and go with something like this i3 instead?
Intel Core i3-4130 Haswell Dual-Core 3.4GHz LGA 1150 54W Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4400 BX80646I34130
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116946 with integrated GPU, $120
(But one user says this is more like a Minecraft - level games, is awaiting a GTX-750 TI.)

What can be done for under $450 (reserving some $$ for Windows OS)?
Not much?
Not much better than the earlier PC I linked?
5  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: am thinking of getting this PC, for both gaming and developing on: 2014-12-09 01:54:21
Was seriously considering building own, but even with cost savings (debatable) there's the matter of buying software for OS. Otherwise, it could be very fun and interesting.

I wish I could "wait a couple months and save" but that is just not happening. Am at 50-50% odds on whether a given month will earn or lose money! Making do within limits is the reality. I'm more concerned with Indie level games than cutting edge. Being a year or two behind the times is acceptable, and a cost that unfortunately must be paid. (Helps keep development programming tight, having to run on slower machines?)

Reviews for the processor are overall pretty positive. Thanks for the suggestion to check that out. I will probably pull trigger on this deal Tuesday, unless something better at same price shows up or some bad news about this gear appears.

Thanks!
6  Discussions / General Discussions / am thinking of getting this PC, for both gaming and developing on: 2014-12-08 23:18:52
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883229619
Quote
CyberpowerPC Gamer Ultra 2203 Desktop PC AMD FX-Series FX-6300 (3.50GHz) 4GB DDR3 500GB HDD Windows 8.1 64-bit

Any warning flags that more savvy of you have spotted?
Or is this decent upgrade from what I have for the $$?

I like that it is running lots of cores, and has room for upgrades (to 16MB). I'm guessing I'll have headaches moving my older software over, but if nothing else, there are probably 32-bit emulators in existence. Will have to upgrade the software piecemeal.

My current PC is XP and very obsolete. Budget is very tight.
7  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Anyone know the name of the piano piece on: 2014-12-04 21:04:31
Before 1:30, it seems to me to just be something the film composer put together, not an existing song. A-flat, C, G played over a few times, with A-flat Major being the key. The additional chords are standard, nothing you wouldn't hear in something like "Body and Soul" (classic fun piano duet) though it certainly isn't that piece.

Ah, the texture changes around 3:40. It THAT the section you are interested in? It is mostly a nice motif played over standard chords of A-flat major. If it matches an existing pop song, I don't recognize it (I could very well be wrong--my pop knowledge not exhaustive by any stretch). But wouldn't it HAVE to be mentioned in the credits else the film makers get in a lot of trouble, yes?

I'm going to bet it was something the composer wrote custom for the film. It's pretty, and works well with the scene, as does the device of using hints at first and later filling things out as the scene gets more dramatic.

Any decent composer should be able to replicate something similar. I wonder if it could be given an api -- set of variations that match game state dynamics...(that's the way I'm thinking about music these days).
8  Games Center / Contests / Re: Ludum Dare 31 on: 2014-12-04 05:25:10
@SHC -- I sent you a PM. Am interested.
9  Games Center / Showcase / Re: VERBAL - the fast-paced thinking word game on: 2014-12-03 21:40:07
I agree that many of the 9-letter words listed by @richierich are on the obscure side, but as they are more of a bonus than a main feature, they don't need to be as accessible or easy as the basic game play. Also, a lot of those words are perfectly reasonable. For example, I've seen "theropods" in Calvin & Hobbes cartoons.

For comparison (word lengths in current commercially successful products):
 * In Scrabble, 7-letters is a threshold for bonus points.
 * In Boggle, 8-letters or more yield the highest per-word score (11 pts, vs 5 points for 7-letter words).
 * There is a Sunday puzzle feature (related to the Scrabble brand, I think) that features 5 or 6 7-letter collections to descramble and form into the highest Scrabble score possible.

So, 9 is unique, AFAIK. That can be good (branding), but it can also be risky (unproven).

Sorting out "easier" words manually should be avoidable. (One would hope! It would be a huge, time-consuming task.)

Ideas:
Look for work-frequency charts, "easier" words will tend to appear more frequently than obscure words.
Look for word lists or vocabulary lists geared for ESL or grade school levels.
And cross-reference.
[EDIT: uh, actually, if the only thing that needs this sort of evaluation is the 9-letter word list, maybe that isn't such a terrible task. There only has to be one per puzzle. How many puzzles will be packaged with the game? Are they stored, or generated?]
10  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Hexara -- work in progress on: 2014-12-01 02:14:26
Am ready to try again. I am pretty confident the bug that caused hangs has been identified and fixed. The following two programs should work with Java7 or Java8, on Mac or PC or Linux.

http://www.java-gaming.org/user-generated-content/members/27722/hexara141130.jar
http://www.java-gaming.org/user-generated-content/members/27722/hexarasoundtester141130.jar

There is a collection that I was relying on: ConcurrentSkipListSet, for scheduling audio events. I used a ">=" where there should have been a ">" in a compareTo method, and while it worked in Java 7, a new implementation of the collection exposed the sloppy compareTo and would start to spin in place. Had I been more rigorous in the compareTo, following the requirements in the JavaDoc, this would never have happened. Sad

Anyway...it will be nice getting back to making progress instead of fixing broken things.

It will be a little difficult taking the time to "finish" the game. Am going to try and stick with it, especially after having been given some good suggestions. But a lot of my brain is occupied with wanting to test out the implementation of more game scoring techniques with the audio library. And there is a little matter of pending contract work that needs to be done to pay the rent.
11  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Hexara -- work in progress on: 2014-11-28 20:59:01
Java 8 installed, along with Eclipse LUNA.
I copied Hexara and PFAudio in, and yes, they are crashing (the audio is working fine, its the Swing stuff that seems to be crashing in test programs written for PFAudio).

And that is good news. Something to debug!

[EDIT: And the bad news is, it seems to be due to a bug in the Java 8 implementation of ConcurrentSkipListSet, a vital piece of the audio scheduling system. There is a bug listed:
http://bugs.java.com/bugdatabase/view_bug.do?bug_id=8060435

Now what? Maybe will have to try and program a work-around.

Stuff like that isn't supposed to break!!]

[EDIT #2: embarrassment. The error was with a faulty compare method I wrote implementing the Comparable used by the ConcurrentSkipListSet.]
12  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: JGO social stats on: 2014-11-28 14:18:50
As someone who has occasionally had the dubious honor of being the most verbose, I think your pithiness award is a positive...

no sweat, it's good
13  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Hexara -- work in progress on: 2014-11-28 14:08:52
y u no use java 7
An Oracle website has a time line where they have scheduled discontinuing Java 7 updates in April 2015. That's coming up pretty quick.
http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/eol-135779.html

@Longarmx -- Are you using Eclipse, too? I always hesitate to jump forward to a new release. I'm still using Juno. Seems like it is time for Kepler + Java 8.

New theory on the crashes: I may be exposing myself to Swing multithreading problems, and these are more likely to go off on Java 8 than 7 for some reason. I am rereading about scheduling things on the EDT. (Book is open right next to me.) Have generally been kind of relaxed about this, as cluttering the EDT hurts performance, and haven't ever gotten in trouble prior to this.
14  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Hexara -- work in progress on: 2014-11-28 00:46:32
Windows 7 64-bit
There aren't any messages in the console.
I think that I should again point out that the animation still plays, so it doesn't crash.

Interesting. That's the first Windows complaint. Are you by chance using Java 8? The Mac computers that were having troubles are all Java 8.

I wonder what it means when a program has a single thread freeze like that. Maybe there is something going in the multithreading or concurrent processing where the spec has changed slightly. Classically, there is either an infinite loop occurring or a deadlock. I wrote this to make no use of Synchronization, though. I guess there could be a Swing conflict?

Something similar happened once before during version upgrades, in the audio: it used to be you could create an AudioInputLine from an InputLine in Java 6. Then, there was a slight change in how underlying lines where ordered or something obscure like that and the code "broke" in Java 7. Actually, it didn't exactly break, the test for "Markability" just started to fail where it hadn't in practice before, and a lot of us didn't know audio line input often isn't 'markable".

I did a search earlier on java 8 mac bugs. I'll try searching on Java 7 to 8 transition bugs.

[EDIT: not finding anything suggestive. But maybe it is time to download Java 8. I guess I could run it separately, rather than out-and-out replace Java 7 just yet.]

@pjt33 Good suggestions! I like the text you wrote. May I use it or a slightly edited version? I used to have a menu bar with the ability to "RESET" a puzzle or give up. It may be time to bring the bar back, and include an instruction screen as well as choices for abandoning. I was thinking a Menu bar could also allow a way to load additional puzzles (sell a set of 24 or 48 at your choice of difficulty level for $1 or 0.50 cents or something). or maybe just have a row of buttons along the bottom. You are the second person to request the additional highlighting--I probably should go ahead and do it.

Happy Thanksgiving! (to those who celebrate it)
15  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: How to add background color to an ASCII game? on: 2014-11-27 21:31:04
Dang. I can think of several possibilities using Swing and/or Java2D. I have no idea how that would work with Slick2D though.

OK, here is an idea. I do not know if it will work with Slick2D.

If you can set up the graphic as ARGB, make the alpha track 0% on the background and 100% on the letters. Then, draw the background color first and add the letter graphic on top.

Slick2D doesn't have a way to "draw" characters? No equivalent to g2.drawString?
16  Discussions / General Discussions / REVIEW: Trends in Game Scoring, SF Conservatory of Music "Game On!" conference on: 2014-11-26 23:00:24
Last night I attended the San Francisco Conservatory of Music's "Game On!" conference. I believe one goal of SFCM in hosting this evening event was to solicit interest in a new music-in-media program which they are launching in Fall 2015. This program includes instruction geared to preparing the composer to work with emerging technologies and media. Applications for Fall 2015 are now being accepted, but the deadline to apply is coming up in just a few weeks.

The evening included three sections. First was a "Demo Derby" where a panel reviewed and critiqued videos of game scores by members of the audience (many but not all being current SFMC composition students). The second part was a presentation by three industry composers of what they considered to be inspiring game scores. The third part of the evening was a concert by a string quartet comprised of selections of video game music.

The mainstream game companies represented by the composers included Sony, Valve, Pyramind and there was an impressive list of game titles from companies like Lucas and Disney in the credits.

The scoring examples submitted for the "Demo Derby" tended to emphasize the more cinematographic side of game music. Composers mostly selected video clips of popular games (Final Fantasy, Lord of the Rings, are two that come to mind) and presented scores making use of orchestral sampler technology, with three exceptions: a solo piano score, a string quartet score, and an all-synthesized score. The orchestral works tended to be anthemic and rousing, with various degrees of compositional interest and sophistication.

In general, the panel response was positive, especially about the quality of the music and its fittingness to the general mood of the selection, and the "color" of the instrumentation and its sensitivity to the color of the video. We also got to hear some notes about some common concerns that arise. One was the need to maintain the mood of the scene. One score to a battle scene had high energy and an exciting and effective use of the snare. However, the music introduced a "B" theme that contrasted with a slightly lower energy level. This is a common compositional device, but as the big battle was still ongoing, the change in mood was premature.

Another common critique involved the overuse of a single key, tempo, or of an ostinato or thematic material or texture. In particular, with scene shift or energy shifts, the panel recommended making a corresponding change in the music. It is all to tempting to "play through" these emotional shifts, rather than to focus and highlight them as they should be, as these are key moments in the game play. There were also some notes about integration with sound effects, leaving aural space for them by using instrumentation that emphasized different frequency ranges.

The last presentation was a Max/MSP program that had been rigged to work with hardware that tracked hand movments and tilting. The video showed the composer and friend combatting with "swords" that were rigged to respond to the strokes, with music written to change based on the nature of the movements. This elicited some strong interest from members of the panel, even though I was having considerable trouble figuring out what gestures were leading to what musical changes. (I asked the composer about the viability of using Max/MSP or PD in a smaller scale indy game. He said that he had heard that several larger game companies were using proprietary versions of Max/MSP, and that his target was to work in that sort of situation, and not so much with the smaller games.)

In the next segment, a slightly different group of panelists presented scores which they found to be personally "inspiring." These scores contrasted considerably with the Demo Derby submissions. Restraint was much in evidence. Instead of thematic/melodic material, we were given cues that simply heightened the sense of fear in one case, or suggested the 'open plains' in another case with evocations of classic spaghetti western cues. (My apologies for not writing down, and then forgetting the titles of the games!) The treatment in each case was much more akin to sound design, highly integrated with the texture and mood.

Particularly striking was a very violent "stealth" game. In it, the panelist spoke a bit about two new trends. The first is the use of "occlusion." By this, he was referring to the muffling of sounds that originate beyond walls or in the distance. For example, a conversation in the distance by two "enemy combatants" would sound highly filtered at first, but as the protagonist gets closer, the clarity would improve. The panelist made the point that "hidden" or obscured sounds can add considerably to tension. When you enter a new room or space, the sounds are not in your face, immediately cueing you to the prescence of the enemy. Rather, there remains a threat of lurking surprises as that which is hidden or obscured emerges.

It is my experience that a simple form of occlusion has been in use for a long while, via the use of volume to convey distance. Perhaps it is the use of filtering that is new, or maybe the filtering has gotten better recently and the practice has become much more common recently, rather than only being present in a few titles up to now.

The second concept that I recall being invoked was "the looping of sound without looping." The example score had various thematic elements, as much sound effect as music (for example, the use of dark, tense clusters of notes, a compositional device I tend to associate with Gyorgy Ligeti--e.g., the end of Kubrik's "2001"). The cues were programmed to play intermittently. The panelist referred to an algorithm combining a bank of possible cues (including the choice of "silence") and a randomizing count down that spaces out the cue calls over time. In effect, each cue was potentially a loop, but instead of being looped, the playback was distributed by a certain chance element. I did find the example to be particularly impressive. It makes sense that the tense, sparse sounds would fit the "stealth" mode, but surprisingly, they were also highly effective in the moments where the player springs into action for a quick scuffle, allowing the blows and grunts of pain to be the aural focus. Had another approach been used, such as ramping up a score with high energy action music--I can't imagine it being nearly as effective.

Along these lines, another panelist made repeated uses of the term "Cagian". This is a reference to the radical and innovative composer John Cage, who would do things like require the use of tossing I Ching coins to determine the direction of a composition, thus making the performance a result of chance operations. I can see where it is not such a leap to go from here to writing music that responds to the different game states that could arise at diverse times or in various orderings.

The panelists spoke of various compositional devices being used currently to match game state. The two I best remember are the use of branching scores, and the use of layered scores. In the first case, the composer will write two or more continuations to a score, and use game state to determine which will be the continuation in real time. In the second case, a piece is recorded in various tracks, allowing each track to be mixed in real time. One of the panelists referred to actually recording the separate groups of the orchestra (strings, winds, brass, etc.) and having access to mixing these elements in real time. A recommendation was made to pick up a free copy of FMod or another composing tool (free for non-commercial use?) and go through the experience of writing music in these two modes. Or, as one of the panelists put it: write a score, then explode it, then put it back together.

A few moments were also spent talking about the use of sound as an element in a puzzle design, the example being from Portal II. References were made to similarities with the use of sound in Art Installations.

But not all of the 'inspiring' game music consisted of these spare scores. We also had a reference to "Journey" with its nicely flowing, continuous and always appropriate music, and also to the classic "Tempest", back from when games were played in arcades and the music was LOUD, and doubled as sound effects, from synthesized bullet blasts to level-changing swooshes.
 
I am recalling two more bits of wisdom and advice that were shared: (1) the first thing to do (before writing a single note) in scoring it to try and get a sense of the tempo of the scene; (2) think about what music has (for example, things graphics can't do) that can be uniquely added to the mix, working towards a greater aesthetic whole.

Audience questions or comments were not solicited at the end of this presentation.

The last segment of the evening was a performance by a string quartet. I found the music difficult to sit through, but I am an impatient sort, bored easily, and wanted to get on with the meet-and-greet. The audience in general found it engaging and warmly applauded each piece, even calling the players out for a second bow at the end.

The composer-panelists were quite accessible for questions and comments in a reception held immediately after, though several did disappear to take an impromptu tour of the SFMC studio facilities.

***
Personal take-aways:

One of my goals was to spread information and solicit feedback on "Hexara" and my Java Audio engine. I was able to get several emails, and am in the process of sending out links. A couple of the mainstream composers were surprised to hear that Java was fast enough to handle procedural synthesis and scoring. I also found some interest among the student composers who were willing/interested to check it out. I hope I can soon successfully make the library available to JGO game programmers. I am pleased to find that much of what I put into the library is compatible with the new trends, for example, the "windchime" [SoundField object] that I have which implements "looping without loops". This makes me think I should make the full implementation available rather than an ultra-light version that only supports playback of clips and wavs.
17  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Hexara -- work in progress on: 2014-11-26 20:16:48
I tried to run the game, but all I got was the splash screen. Then, I was left with the "perlin animations" for over ten minutes until I closed it.

Are you on Mac or PC or Linux? Any error messages on the console?

This sounds similar to  SHC's crash: http://www.java-gaming.org/topics/java-jar-file-rejected-by-folks-at-need-mov-asap/34855/msg/329380/view.html#msg329380. I visited a friend with a Mac and he was able to get past the splash screen, but crashed when a puzzle was completed.

I have to arrange for Mac access for testing. I'm totally mystified what is going on, and am wondering what I'm doing in Java 7 that is making Macs bug out. I don't think I'm pushing things that hard, but who knows.
18  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Hexara -- work in progress on: 2014-11-25 20:40:35
Hey, just d/l and played your game, still going actually, my crit is that at first I had no idea what I was doing. It wasn't until I did a medium level puzzle that I started to understand how to play the game, the first three puzzles I did didn't teach me how to play, I just put random things in and it worked. I didn't feel it was complex enough to register what was going on.

Just my two cents....

anyway now that I get it I'm really digging the game. Also, the music is awesome, nice ambiance.


edit: just played the 5th bronze puzzle, from the left, and that was a good easy one. I think I would've understood what was going on there, but idk

Really valuable observation! I've been struggling with how to present the puzzles. Earlier, I was told they were too hard, but I have now seen a couple people do the random thing and not learn anything from the ones that are too easy. (Originally the first silver one was my "easiest".)

Making the puzzles is tricky. I do have a utility that allows me to test to verify the solution, and shows if there are multiple solutions--a couple of the easy ones are that way.

This is the biggest challenge of this puzzle game: communicating how the puzzle works.

I take it the sound is not breaking up. That would be good. It might also be possible if things got too busy for the volume to get too loud, which makes a nasty noise, rather than a hiccup.
19  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Hexara -- work in progress on: 2014-11-25 00:47:42
http://www.java-gaming.org/user-generated-content/members/27722/hexara141124.jar

http://www.java-gaming.org/user-generated-content/members/27722/hexara141130.jar

Some new sounds (shimmer for new puzzle, dinks for mouse-overs, stereo chorus added to this and that) and graphic effects added, as well as some cleanup of transitions.

Two concerns:

(1) I've loaded up too much sound processing and the audio will start experiencing dropouts. If you try the game and this does or doesn't occur, I'd appreciate finding out! My PC is so old that I don't know if the dropouts that I hear are going to occur for others. I'm  puzzled by a lack of consistency in the profiling.

(2) It started crash on Macs for reasons that I have been unable to figure out. Last night a friend reported a screen freeze just as a puzzle is completed, but the audio continued. Weird! I generally don't have access to Macs. I did add a few more console lines to help with diagnostics. If you have a crash, a screen shot of the console out would be helpful and appreciated.

BASIC RULES: Light up a panel by placing icons in the center so that the neighbor relations are maintained. Light up all the panels at the same time to solve the puzzle.

I'm trying to come up with ways to have a 'tension level' that changes while working on the puzzle. Tension level is defined as the number of panels that are solved (0 to 5, 6 is a win).

What happens/changes with the tension level?
 - the panels light up
 - smoke now gets more active
 - chimes get more insistent
 - sweep on flanger of the drone speeds up and becomes more prominent.

Other ideas? Thx.
20  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: [Resolved] java jar file rejected by folks at "Demo Derby", need .mov ASAP on: 2014-11-19 22:44:20
I took a look at the Fraps site. Looks like a good product.
OBS doesn't seem to be available on Windows XP. Maybe when I get the alleged new computer.
I'll check out virtual dub.

Just managed to swing a couple short term projects on a long-standing contract. Will be busy for a while, but at least making some reasonable money for the rest of the month. Counting eggs before they hatch: use it for paying down CC or for a new computer?? (Rhetorical question.)
21  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: [Resolved] java jar file rejected by folks at "Demo Derby", need .mov ASAP on: 2014-11-19 20:41:18
I took the MP4 that basil_ made and converted it to MOV via Zamzar. But I didn't have any way to test the result before giving SFMC the link. SFMC was unable to open the resulting MOV file.

I also tried editing the MP4 to cut it down to under 2 minutes, but ran into problems with VLC's editor, and converting to WMV and using the Windows Movie Editor damaged the audio (added high silvery noise--probably due to 44100 vs 48000 fps issues).

The deadline has passed and the issue is now moot, at least as far as participating in the "Demo Derby" this time. I still plan show up, schmooze, and show anyone that has a laptop that can run Java the actual jar file. I'm also going to see if Mike Moravsky (Valve composer, involved in Portal II amongst other games) will take a look. We exchanged a couple emails a year or so back after another talk he gave. He is on the Panel that will discuss game composing, but wasn't going to be part of the Demo Derby.

Big thanks to everyone who helped or offered to help out!!

And the MP4 file that was made was great feedback in its own right. We should do video trials and send them back to the programmers as a regular thing, perhaps.

I need to solve this issue. I'm afraid my computer may not have enough cpu to run a screen capture AND play the game at the same time. Need to buy a new computer! I have been saying this for over a year now.

I'm going to perhaps make the next task (instead of further polishing Hexara) be making the audio engine available. I'm not sure what form this will take. I'm thinking there should be two version, a simple system and one with more features. The only way I can think to do this, though, is to have two GitHub projects running in parallel. I also have to make sure that the API for the stripped version will be a pure subset of the fancier version's.

Regardless, I think the performance and size can potentially compete with TinySound (which is pretty cool already), offering a slight performance boost and some additional features but with a slight addition of complexity and a prejudice against decompressing resource files as part of the critical inner loop of the engine.

OK enough talk, time to put up or shut up!!
22  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: java jar file rejected by folks at "Demo Derby", need .mov ASAP on: 2014-11-19 03:52:50
I wouldn't push them to do stuff they don't want... that tends to make judges biased. Why can't you cut it? Would take 5 minutes max.

Good point.

My brain is kind of stuck. I do have a Windows program that can edit video files, even though it doesn't support screen capture. I'm not sure it supports the format I have. But I will definitely look into it.
23  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: java jar file rejected by folks at "Demo Derby", need .mov ASAP on: 2014-11-19 00:26:44
Bah.

The file may be too long. NOW they tell me: 1-2 minutes max. The file is 5 minutes.

I sent a request asking if they could go ahead and take the file (it's 36MB) and just cut it short in presentation. I don't know if they are set up to be able to do that.

We shall see.
24  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: java jar file rejected by folks at "Demo Derby", need .mov ASAP on: 2014-11-18 22:30:54
@basil_

Yes, a video with instructions would be awesome! I want to do a bit more work on the game first.

Thank you ags1! I wonder if the folks at SFMC are going to think so as well. It's more new-age/sound-score than something that sounds like "composed music." But this seems appropriate for this game, and that should always be the first consideration for any score, imho.

The video indicates that the playback of the audio was smooth. No interruptions to the sound! I was having terrible problems with dropouts in previous iterations. The new improved mixing and FM synths are much tighter now.

I don't know if folks realize that the sound is being generated and mixed live. No wav files. No ogg files. I am pretty close to releasing the audio engine on JGO. All the help I've been getting from this community just increases my wanting to share this work!   Smiley Kiss Cool
25  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: java jar file rejected by folks at "Demo Derby", need .mov ASAP on: 2014-11-18 21:48:25
The file plays great! It is terrific feedback for me also, to see how someone approaches the puzzle, trying to figure out WTF the rules are for solving it, especially since I didn't provide any instructions. (No I'm not a sadist, really!)

I'm going to see about converting this to .mov. There's a free service online called zamzar. Probably it will take a spell, since I have slow uploading. Maybe I can give them your URL below.
26  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: java jar file rejected by folks at "Demo Derby", need .mov ASAP on: 2014-11-18 21:04:56
I have a registered copy of fraps. Could record with that, you're using opengl right? I think fraps is capable of detecting any opengl context. Unfortunately I am in class right now, but I will check it out if you want me to when I get home in ~3 hours.

I'm downloading basil_'s video. Am going to grab a sandwich and come back. Will let you and basil_ know if this works or not, and whether more help is needed.

All the animation is Java2D, believe it or not. Actually, why not? Some of the glow effects are pretty sketchy--trying to just give the general idea, not finished product, for this deadline.
27  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: java jar file rejected by folks at "Demo Derby", need .mov ASAP on: 2014-11-18 20:54:36
I just woke up. Good timing!

Let me see if my nice new copy of VLC can play your file.

28  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: java jar file rejected by folks at "Demo Derby", need .mov ASAP on: 2014-11-18 17:35:20
I am able to record with VLC and playback the file. I'm selecting the option:
Video for MPEG4 720p TV/device

It seems to me that is what they asked for in the specs.


BUT, it doesn't seem to be recording sound. I check the audio tab and it is finding the correct line on the sound card. Am stumped. I'm going to see if it can record just audio, and see if there are any questions on the topic in their forum.

Meanwhile, once again, if there is someone willing to make a recording, that would be awesome. If the recording is to an AVI file, I think I can handle the conversion. There seem to be online converters available.

[EDIT: tried recording as ogg from the jar, but resulted in file length of 0
trying to register with VLC forum, not getting confirm email, must take a nap--pinkies are starting to go numb from lack of sleep! Will try to check in again in a couple hours. SFMC asked for ASAP, but I don't know how strict they are going to be.]

[EDIT: @basil_ hope you see this and are still available!]
29  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: java jar file rejected by folks at "Demo Derby", need .mov ASAP on: 2014-11-18 17:01:26
@SHC
Thanks for trying. I don't know what to make of that error message.

The next console line should have been: "GameFrame.noteRelease" for when the last gong note of the title is sent a "release" command. At that point it launches a drone tone.
Then, there's a console line: "GameFrame.noteEnd" at which point I launch a command to change the JPanel that is displaying on the parent JFrame.

But it seems we don't even get to the "release" of the 7th gong sound.

Very puzzling. I'll have to spend some time working on testing the jar on a Mac and figure out what is going wrong.

Meanwhile, I found some instructions on VLC capture--am going to try that route again.
 Tongue Huh Clueless Sad Angry
30  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: java jar file rejected by folks at "Demo Derby", need .mov ASAP on: 2014-11-18 16:33:05
am unable to figure out how to capture video with VLC. It seems to be geared for playback. There was a spot for displaying screen contents in the player, but unclear how to record. All I could find was a question with a complicated command line for an answer and another comment saying that command line was deprecated. maybe I downloaded the wrong VLC product...

Am going to try OBS.  Nope. XP doesn't have DirectX 10 features that they use. Not supported.
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