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1  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Still hardly any games, why entity systems suck, and why 4k is good on: 2011-11-22 17:40:32

Dude I mean this in the nicest possible way: you are f**king insane.  WTF are you even talking about?  All your post scream Architecture Astronaut.  There, I said it.  If that's what you enjoy fine, but don't pretend you are carving a path forward for anyone but yourself.
2  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Still hardly any games, why entity systems suck, and why 4k is good on: 2011-11-17 15:51:32
About Flash games (and any other platform for that matter): it's absolutely fine using any of these tools. But, this is, so i'truth, anyone who says, "Just go use ${other_language}" in here basically needs to STFU. If there's one thing that ties everyone in this forum together it's Java, so we need a bit less of the hypocrisy of telling people to use some other tool. As for myself I make a vague exception for Scala, not coz I like it, but because it's Java underneath.

Note when you cited the relative power of the Java language as part of your initial argument you encouraged such responses as part of the discussion.

I did some thinking about Java4k recently and there is such a thing as going too far... one reason I've not ever bothered doing a 4k entry is that I don't really have the time to do all that byte optimisation and such. I did once moot the idea of the LWJGL16k compo as a compromise - enough bytes to give far less emphasis on pure code squeezing, and allow a balance on sound and graphics too. Maybe I should resurrect the idea?

Lwjgl doesn't have to be 3d, but moving into 3d lowers the number of possible contestants due to lower number of developers knowledgable about 3d games development.  True that 2d games are just as relavent in a lwgjl 16k contest, and the 16k limit would have a huge impact on what's possible in a 2d game.  In general I think 16k lwjgl contest would be cool.

Edit: or lwjgl 8k and I'm not saying I would participate, and it should not run concurrently with the 4k.  I think it'd be better if someone made a proof of concept then threw down the gauntlet 'here's my 8/16k wath you got huh?'
3  Games Center / 4K Game Competition - 2011 / Re: 3D Engine: Any Tips? on: 2011-11-17 15:25:28
My solution to near plane clipping was to simply not draw objects that are behind or intersect the near plane.  That wasn't an option in your cave game I suppose.
4  Games Center / 4K Game Competition - 2011 / Re: 3D Engine: Any Tips? on: 2011-11-16 18:01:48
Looks really good, especially for 4k!

I assume you're using Graphics.fillPolygon()?  If so then why clip to the view frustum at all?  FillPolygon will clip to the visible display.  You could just check if polygons are in the view only.  Same for near/far plane.

Sorting; is there a reason you didn't use Collections.sort or Arrays.sort?
5  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Still hardly any games, why entity systems suck, and why 4k is good on: 2011-11-16 14:38:28
While you are right with all your arguments, I think the main reason for this is, that most people here simply aren't interested in writing games - they just haven't realized it yet Wink

This claim might be far fetched for others here, but it was at least the truth for me. Some might remember, that I even quit my day job to be a full time game programmer, but this never took of. I spend most of the time creating 3d-engine stuff, a terrain rendering system, a component system, IoC container driven game states, a generic animation framework and incorporating multiple 3rd party stuff, like persistence frameworks etc. etc.

At the time the financial support ran out and nothing was even remotely done, I asked myself, what the problem was. After a drunk evening I realized, all I wanted was to code some fancy code. Doing stuff in innovative and - to my eyes - elegant fashion. I also was under the impression that once I have all my fancy frameworks in place, making a game on top of it, would be a breath. This is however total BS. Making a fun game is the hardest part of it - regardless how the code looks underneath.

In the end I more ore less gave up on game programming - because it was apparently not what I wanted!

I agree with this 200%.  I also came to this realization many years ago.  There are lots of interesting problems in games development, but actually making games is really A LOT of HARD WORK.  That's why I fiddle about with doing 3d in 4k.  That's fun.
6  Games Center / 4K Game Competition - 2011 / Re: 3D Engine: Any Tips? on: 2011-11-16 12:56:45
I wrote a clipping-algorythm for the polygons, and a very fast sorting for them.
So I can render continuous terrain (and fully free camera movement), with almost no "sorting" bugs.

Interesting, are you clipping polygons to polygons or polygons to screen?  How does your algorithm work?

I would say, based on experience with adding z-buffering to a Java software scanline triangle rasteriser, that it's a lot harder (and bigger) than you think. You have to break it down into a number of cases and then it's really easy to have a bug in one case which takes an inordinate amount of time to track down.

I think you just have interpolate the z values between vertices and then between spans as you draw each span, are you saying it's more complicated than that?
7  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Still hardly any games, why entity systems suck, and why 4k is good on: 2011-11-15 14:49:48
It's massively powerful and flexible. So powerful and flexible that people generally tend to get confused about what they're actually trying to achieve

I call bullshit on this one; this isn't a java problem, this is a '95% of developers are self absorbed, incompetent wankers' problem.  Language has nothing to do with it.  As some one stated; it's endemic in c++ game dev as well.  Also, there's an experience component involved; you learn the futility of over complicated designs from experience.  No one can tell a doe eyed newb fresh from an OOP/Java course otherwise.

With 4k you can barely do anything really. You can't fit an entity system in to 4k. Well, you can, but there won't be much of a game. In restriction there is freedom. The less you have to work with, the more you can actually achieve. Restriction is liberating. With a pencil you can't be expected to paint the Sistine Chapel murals.

I agree with this 150%.  The j4k is awesome, it's akin to hacking assembler on a game boy color.

To those who say; just use libraries to shorten the path; there's a cost there as well.  Namely learnign api's you didn't create.  Plus where does it end?  At some point game development using 3rd party engines and frameworks turns into a content creation exercise.

Ten years huh?  So what now, another 10 years beating this drum or join the ranks of people shipping games for multiple platforms in c/c++/obj c?
8  Games Center / 4K Game Competition - 2012 / Re: 4K 2012 contest preliminaries on: 2011-11-12 18:33:00
I think the current format is ideal, anything goes so long as it fits in a 4k jar .  Part of the appeal of this contest is there are no restrictions on the type of game.  Many other contests (ludum dare) place restrictions via a theme.  This has been discussed here before; there simply isn't enough room in 4k to add extra requirements regarding content.  The traditional anything goes in 4k seems best to me, and seems to have been great for the contest thus far.
9  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Island Forge (Open Beta, indie Java MMORPG) on: 2011-11-10 21:22:45
Here's the thread I referenced and wow was it hard to find:

I don't know of any articles or other documents.  This stuff is scattered all over this forum.  The 4k games generally have the simplest, most straight forward possible rendering code.  I recommend reviewing the source of some of those.
10  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Island Forge (Open Beta, indie Java MMORPG) on: 2011-11-10 15:58:17
Java2d performance has been adequate for years.  I posted an example with hundreds of manually blended alpha sprites that only moderately degraded frame rate at least 5 years ago.
11  Games Center / 4K Game Competition - 2011 / Re: 3D Engine: Any Tips? on: 2011-11-10 14:09:06
I've been playing with 3d in 4k for literally YEARS now.  I wrote my first attempt using the 'painters' algorithm and Graphics.fillPolygon for the 2005 contest.  It was an applet hosted on geocities so the page is gone now.  I still have the source:

Using the painters algorithm allows you go without z buffering, but then all your meshes should be convex.  This is a severe limitation in my opinion.  An option is to check for overlapping polygons and then split one into two so they render correctly.  I'm not sure how to do this but I think it would involve a lot more and intricate code.

The last work I did on it was flat shaded 'half space' polygon rendering.  As you can see from the code in that thread, calculating z values using the half space method is a mother f**ker.  Took me a LONG TIME to figure that out.  And I'm still not convinced I got it exactly correct.

Going forward, I think the way to go is to use scanline triangle rasterizing.  It's relatively easy to do z buffering, texture mapping, and gauroud shading using the scanline method, plus there are lots of tutorials and examples on the web.

I have a lot more to say about this subject but will leave it at that Smiley

Edit removed link.
12  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Brainstorming the future on: 2011-08-25 13:47:13
"and the world is moving on from the desktop, to places where java is not always an option." -nonnus

Java IS an option in Android and I believe it recently overtook iPhone in overall marketshare?(though its divided among some older phones)

Note I qualified that as indicated.  I didn't say 'java is never an option' I said 'not always'. You mention android, not me.  I can't be anymore clear, if you intentionally misread others posts that's your problem and no one elses.

Wee pissing match with some anonymous person on the intarweb isn't this grand?
13  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Brainstorming the future on: 2011-08-25 11:12:00


Oh, xmlvm and other solutions not withstanding  Grin
14  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Brainstorming the future on: 2011-08-25 10:53:22
But incase you overlooked it.  Android is a hugely growing market, and Android is nearly entirely java. ....

I honestly have no idea where you get this from my post.  But regardless, people doing cross platform game develop for the iphone and android are using objective c/c++.  You can do your boosterism fan boy act all you want but the reality hasn't changed in 15 years. Cas will attest to this.
15  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Kickstarter - Headless JVM for iOS on: 2011-08-24 21:23:53
My question for cas is: considering the years you've been lamenting this, why haven't you moved to c++ yet?  There are a lot of developers making games and money on ios and android with the same code base using g++, sdl, and opengl es.  It's possible to use a very java like subset of c++, then you just have be careful with memory allocation.  This is not meant to be snarky, I really am curious.
16  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Brainstorming the future on: 2011-08-24 21:14:11
I also down vote the 'general game dev site' suggestion, there are a lot them around (well maybe not a lot, but a few) and most have stagnant or decreasing populations of regular posters.  The kids today just don't do internet forums. Blogs, Facebook and twitter are all they know.  Hence I feel that forums are dieing venue. So far as the realm of all possible features, is site dedicated to the allegro c/c++ library that has a games depot and wiki. is the other feature-full site with dev blogs and other things.  I personally don't see that those features get a lot of use on any of the those sites.  Hence I'm just here for the forums, but I am curmudgeonly that way Tongue.

There used to be a lot of comraderie on this forum, it was the only place you wouldn't be laughed at for writing a java game.  It had the feel of 'us vs the world'.  But as cas always reminds us, there are a lot of obstacles to deploying Java apps of any kind, and the world is moving on from the desktop, to places where java is not always an option.

There is a wealth of info here, like the epic networking thread, that would be a prime candidate for the wiki. But otherwise, writing tutorials is a pita.  I tried that many years ago, and if anyone thinks it would be fun/worth while, you should try it.  You start of with the best intentions, then realize 'how much of this do I really need to explain?' can you assume the reader knows anything?  The Nehe tutorials (comments in line with code) are the best way to go for tutes imo.
17  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Working alone vs. partnering up on: 2011-06-29 19:45:36
I made serious effort on one team project; a Star Fox clone.  I was doing the level editor.  I was pretty green at the time with respect to gui coding. I put in a lot of work on it using the decided upon 'non standard' gui library.  When I showed my progress all I got was criticism from the other team members who'd done nothing.  That was a motivation destroyer.

It is a tough problem. I've often thought of developing skill in the area I lack ie graphic design slash art and going from there.  I don't really have an interest for that though so never did.  Seems like another aspect is the 'I'm not as good as I think I am' nature of software developers; most coders suck, but don't know it and think they're great.  Present company excepted of course Smiley

Very tough problem indeed.
18  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Eclipse vs. Netbeans on: 2011-03-23 19:17:02
At work I have Eclipse and Netbeans open all day every day.  Netbeans for the Netbeans RCP app development and Eclipse for the EJB backend.  IMO, the Eclipse editor (the actual text editing component) really blows.  It's ugly, buggy, and slow to edit large files (10,000 lines+).  Netbeans on the other hand fails to start a managed instance of JBoss because it can't handle the 25MB log file in it's console  output window (ie this means we can't debug into J2EE apps in Netbeans probably could by attaching the NB debugger to a running JBOss but no one has arsed about with that).

What it boils down to for a newbie is: in Netbeans everything just works after one download.  Eclipse you have to chase plugins down and it's more work to set up.  Otherwise, they provide the same functionality.  The point above about plugins for Google goodies is a good one. Netbeans generally has plugins for Google projects like gwt and appengine, but they're not as mature.

Edit: Another thing is gui builder: Netbeans has long had a very good gui builder in Matisse, Eclipse had no real free option here.  Google bought the best commercial Eclipse gui builder plugin and made it free.  So now Netbeans gui builder supports only Swing, while Eclipse with Google plugin supports Swing, SWT, and GWT.
19  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Go on, ask me anything. on: 2011-03-17 21:39:59
Why are there so many British people on these forums?
Because Britain makes the best games  Cool

Cas Smiley

I thought it was because they're all a bunch of lazy git's who jumped on Java because it was the first mainstream language with garbage collection (lazy, see?) and are too apathetic to change...


Wow those are ugly emoticons  Grin
20  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Early reports on JavaFX 2 are in. on: 2011-03-02 22:30:53
dunno about TWL, but I doubt its components are threadsafe.

Swing, QT, Windows forms, GTK, Cocoa are all generally non-threadsafe, at least parts related to UI.

My frustration is that Swing has been made inflexible so that it is thread-safe. To dictate that all UI code must run on a designated single thread seems silly. All that is really needed is a guarantee that UI code is run from one thread at a time. The actual thread it is run from shouldn't matter.

I wish there was a UI toolkit that had a single update(ArrayList<Event> events) method. Of course the method should only be called by one thread at a time, maybe it should be made synchronized. This method would process the list of events and run all updates. That way the UI toolkit could run on top of LWJGL or AWT or whatever without being tied to an event or threading model. The UI toolkit could be used with LWJGL where events are polled from any thread, or AWT where events are listened for on the event dispatch thread.

I do like the way all Swing painting is all done through the Graphics2D object. The GoldenT Game Engine devs even extended Graphics2D to draw using LWJGL. Pretty cool.

Along those lines the Batik svg component has long had a SVGGraphics2d component that renders to svg output.
21  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Modifying font and color on a JEditorPane on: 2011-03-02 22:12:40
You're asking for highly specific information about the guts of these components.  And these are some of the most archane an obtuse bits of the Swing framework.  I've worked with them before but it's been a couple of years.  Your best bet is to google for the 'swing text architecture' documents on the web and examine the source code of each implementation.  There are a few open source syntax highlighting components that may help like jsyntaxpane and fifesoft syntax component.  Sorry I can't help any more than that.
22  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: byte[] => String => byte[] on: 2011-03-02 17:18:54
Thanks guys, yes utf-8 doesn't work, but ISO-8859-1 works.

Doesn't solve my problem since what I really need to do is go from ascii to utf-16be and back.

Edit:  apparently

String s = new String(bytes, "UTF-16BE");



does the trick after using CharsetEncoder and CharsetDecoder.
23  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: byte[] => String => byte[] on: 2011-03-02 06:06:54
-127 is not ASCII code.  0-255 is traditionally ASCII.

Right, -127 is 0x81 in hex which is 129 in unsigned byte, in signed byte it's -127.
24  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / byte[] => String => byte[] on: 2011-03-02 04:55:11
Does anyone know how to take a byte[] to a String and back to a byte[] and get the same bytes you started with?  I figured this would just work signed bytes not with standing.  But it turns out the String(byte[]) converts negative bytes to unexpected characters, unexpected because I don't know what its doing.  Here an example:

public class Test {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        try {
            byte[] b = new byte[] {0, -127, 0, 12};
            String s = new String(b, "ascii");
            System.out.println("\ntest:" + s + ":");
        } catch(Exception e) {

    private static void printBytes(byte[] bytes) {

        for(byte b : bytes) {
            System.out.format("%d,", b);

The output is:

test: {unprintable characters}

So -127 goes to 63, that makes not sense.  Does anyone have any ideas on how to go about doing this?  Or what a good google search phrase would be?
25  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Lots of doors are being closed for Java on: 2011-02-11 13:59:03
From my point of view the problem with using Erlang for a game server isn't the language or the concurrency model, the problem is: are you going to code all the game logic in Erlang too, or do you want to use scripting?  What about physics and collision detection (which has to happen on the server to some degree to avoid cheating)?  Code all that in Erlang or use pre-existing solutions?

Beyond the mostly trivial (at this point using libraries similar to enet) client server communication, there's a whole lot more going on in the server.  Erlang most likely has ways to integrate with scripting languages but how well supported are they?  Implement your own? Check Erlangs string handling ability before setting sail in that ship.  Collision detection and even rudimentary physics? Erlang strenght is not speed in numerical computations.

So yeah, there's a lot more to consider than the concurrency model.
26  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Who feels sometimes like he (she) is using the wrong language? on: 2010-12-22 15:21:00
The only problem I've ever had with Java is: no native exe, but that's not really a problem.  I work on two commercial desktop applications for my mISV and I use Java, but deploying commercial Java desktop apps is non-starter (web start? no way, ensuring correct JRE in an Enterprise?  No way, many companies are locked into whatever JRE they're using).  Cas' experience proved that to me a long time ago. So I use SWT for the gui and bought a license to Excelsior JET last year to get my native exe for windows.

But then I've written a lot of code in a lot of languages, did all my uni work in c/c++.  I still think in c.  I think Java hits the sweet spot in terms of language features.  It gives a well defined box in which to develop with the bobs and levers you need, you just have to know how to apply them.

I wish Excelsior would do an ARM compiler Smiley And a Mac one... and a Linux one. God how I wish. I'd give them $20k right now for an ARM compiler.

Yes, that would be nice.

So far as cross platform c++, this guy has ported his puzzle game originally for the iphone to just about every platform you can name.  There's a post in there some where about how he does it:
27  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Is Eclipse worth it? on: 2010-12-16 01:20:01
At work I have both Eclipse and Netbeans open all the time; Eclipse for the ebj3 backend code, and the gui is a Netbeans RCP.  So I get to jump between them both all the time.  Eclipse definitly has some bugs; the editor is a little buggy, and its really slow editing large files (we have 10,000 line stateful bean).  Netbeans has no trouble with this file, and the editor is much more stable.

I used JCreator for years for hobby dev, before I started coding Java professionally.  Now I prefer Netbeans, because everything just works, and it comes bundled with everything you need.  Eclipse is an excercise in tracking down plugins.  I say if you like JCreator, stick with it.
28  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: HUGE CHANGES FOR JGO - PLEASE READ! on: 2010-12-16 01:12:00
What could possibly go wrong  Roll Eyes

Cas Smiley

Didn't blahblahblah try something similar back in 2003, only he took donations from people, went off to write is own web server, and no one ever heard from him again?  Oh right, that was a jgo replacement attempt.

Well, good luck with this!  And thanks for the commitment!
29  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: How long? on: 2010-12-15 20:14:31
How long?  Well, I've been programming computers in one form or another since I was 12, didn't even have one back then, just a book (no internet).  Wrote my programs on paper and simulated them.  I'm 39 now.  So yeah, 27 years.
30  Games Center / 4K Game Competition - 2011 / Re: Boot up your IDE'S, the contest has started!!! on: 2010-12-03 04:37:48
Damn if zeroone is not off to a FLYING start!  Has the right idea though, doing old time pixelly gfx is the way to go. 

This is interesting: ran Rivens shrinker on the gradius4k source posted with the game: => 40022 bytes
a.class => 9083 bytes
a.normal.java6.jar => 5239 bytes
a.normal.java6.pack => 7702 bytes
a.progrd.java6.jar => 5104 bytes
a.progrd.java6.pack => 7596 bytes => 4093 bytes  => test => 4120 bytes  => test => 4137 bytes  => test => 4162 bytes  => test
db9616e30450a7ea9a010768bb4cabec.progrd.java6.7z.pack.gz => 4310 bytes  => test
db9616e30450a7ea9a010768bb4cabec.normal.java6.7z.pack.gz => 4398 bytes  => test

I figured ~9k of bytecode would get down to 4k, but above the normal jar is way smaller than the pack200 jar, that's a surprise (to me at  least...).
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