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1  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Developing a multi-player game - How should I approach this? on: 2014-12-10 09:15:27
Turn-based or real time? It makes a massive difference.
2  Games Center / Contests / Re: Java4K Competition 2015 on: 2014-12-08 16:44:59
Oops! I should have said .jar file rather than .class file!
What I meant was no proguard, pack, gz compression etc, so the entire build chain would be;
jar cfM game.jar game.class

That way anyone with vanilla java and the source code could play the game.
I foresee disputes about size. Different versions of javac will produce different size class files: older ones include less cruft. (And you're even including debug information!)
3  Games Center / Contests / Re: Java4K Competition 2015 on: 2014-12-08 11:04:39
2. Does not require complex compression chains. However, it remains to be seen whether the effort to golf code is more than using the compression chains

Much more. It's possible to set up a decent compression chain from scratch in a few hours - varying according to how much you already know about what's out there: if you know that you want Proguard, Zopfli, and the zip2gzip I uploaded to the forum a couple of years ago, you could do it in less than one hour. It takes a few hours to do a proper golf of a 2k Java source file, and then once you see how small you can get it, it's in a format which makes it really hard to add new features which use the remaining space.

I'm pretty sure 8K uncompressed gives one even less (significantly less) room to work with than J4K did.

You're quite right. To inform the discussion, here's the breakdown of the three Java4k entries I finished:

GameSourceUncompressed class fileFinal file
Gravitational Fourks *29315136534054 (jar)
Quadriletteral37178117683899 (jar.pack.gz)
Stick Shift 4k48059166083704 (jar.pack.gz)

* I actually did a bit more work, so these are for v1.3 rather than the submitted version, which was 1.0.
4  Games Center / Contests / Re: Java4K Competition 2015 on: 2014-12-06 21:20:39
2) we measure the source file's file size however the source code is reviewed by the judging panel to ensure no unfair tricks have been used, and it is down to a vote of the judges whether or not a trick is fair or unfair... probably needs some more clarification there I think maybe.
This doesn't make any sense in conjunction with your point 4), and it is a major change in direction. It also forces people to write submit Java source. I know that might sound a bit silly in the context of a Java competition, but previously there was nothing in principle stopping people from writing in any other language which targets the JVM. In fact, I squeezed out the last few bytes from one of my entries by disassembling the class file, tweaking it, and reassembling it with Jasmin.

In order to stay true to the history of the J4k, I think that the download should be what's explicitly limited in size and not the source.
5  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Designing a game - hard work? on: 2014-12-02 13:01:18
I think Julien is probably correct in guessing that when you say design you mean draw (perhaps as a false friend from the French dessiner), but can you confirm that?
6  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Legends of Fore on: 2014-12-01 09:50:52
Some of the strings use phaser and others use phazer. I assume this is an unintentional difference? Another spelling mistake I spotted is Abadoned.

There are also some strings which probably shouldn't be translated (e.g. levels/moonbasealpha/mission3.xml). And thanks seems to be in there twice, which is a bit odd.
7  Games Center / Contests / Re: End of 4K. Thanks all! on: 2014-11-30 08:50:03
Just keep the site running for historical reasons, be a shame to lose all those games. Smiley

Even though half of them are broken.
With some combination of old JRMs and decompile-tweak-recompile it should be possible to get most of the broken ones working.
8  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: The C family, should I dig deeper? on: 2014-11-28 11:59:12
C is just a portable assembly language.

I would say more that C is a high-level assembly language which allows you to use a portable style, but no-one ever does. Just at the basic level of types: stdint.h / inttypes.h are 15 years old, but still terribly underused even in new projects.

I highly recommend the book The C Programming Language 2nd Edition by Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie

I see a possible connection. Why do people keep recommending using a completely outdated language reference? You wouldn't recommend a book on Java 1.1 to someone wanting to learn Java in 2014.
9  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Hexara -- work in progress on: 2014-11-28 09:31:50
I like the text you wrote. May I use it or a slightly edited version?

10  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Hexara -- work in progress on: 2014-11-27 23:47:02
If both source and dest are already placed then they should switch positions instead of clearing the source.
I concur. The clicking on a line thing isn't something I discovered by just playing the game.

It IS a difficult puzzle, like the last half of a good hard sudoku. I was envisioning it being something where one would only tackle one a day, and it would take a pleasant part of an hour to solve.
I've solved all but a couple of gold ones in 20 minutes.

Still, it seems I should make some more examples that are easier to solve, to give folks some practice and a leg up. Having been at this a while, my perspective on difficulty is skewed.
That's always a problem with puzzle game development. (And with most game development, in fact).

This is the biggest challenge of this puzzle game: communicating how the puzzle works.
Instructions are a good first step until you have time to work on a detailed walk-the-player-through-the-level tutorial. I would say something like:

Each vertical banner contains a sequence of tiles which must be present somewhere on the board. The sequence may be present in a straight line, or bend all over the place. Arrange the tiles so that all six sequences are present.

I haven't had problems with sound dropping out. One feature that I would prioritise is a way to give up on a level and go back to the list of levels. I'd also add the text "Choose a level" to the level selection screen, because it's not immediately obvious that it's a level selection screen. I thought at first that it was just a splashscreen. And I would find it helpful to be able to hover over a tile on a banner and see the other instances of that tile, rather than just getting that highlight when I hover over a tile on the board.
11  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: C#, did Microsoft just want to be different? on: 2014-11-27 12:13:22
Things I'm definitely not keen upon:
  The coalesce operator.


Things that could do with adding to Java other than those features mentioned that are nifty about C#:
  The elvis operator. I take back what I said about ascii Wink
The coalesce operator ?? and the elvis operator ?: are functionally the same.

Stuff I know nothing about:
Basically it's a limited form of coroutine. It is very useful for people who want to write implementations of Iterator; I haven't seen many other uses for it.

I think C#'s approach to lambdas is slightly better than Java's, although both of them would be improved (for the user - maybe not for the compiler implementer) by being more functional. Effectively they both require you to define a placeholder (respectively a delegate or a one-method interface) for the type. I would rather just be able to specify something of the form (String, String) => int as the signature.
12  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Should the player control the head or torso on: 2014-11-26 11:00:59
You don't have to force a dichotomy. The third option would be to let a player whose head becomes detached from their body switch between the two.
13  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: C#, did Microsoft just want to be different? on: 2014-11-26 10:53:17
My original post seemed biased, apologies. I know it never began at Java lol. I was merely saying that when I had a look at Java, C++ and then I opened up VS and looked at my C# code, it seemed that things were different; for no reason other than "just because".

C# wasn't only aimed at people with a C++/Java background. It was also aimed at people with a Visual Basic background. I suspect that that's the reason for the naming conventions: the .Net library followed the pre-.Net VB library and the Win32 API in general. (Quite a few parts of the .Net API are just thin wrappers around Win32).
14  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: How to distribute database with game on: 2014-11-24 11:03:14
SQLite has JDBC drivers. No need to listen on ports: it just needs to be able to access a file, and it supports basic SQL.
15  Discussions / Business and Project Management Discussions / Re: Love DC comics, Love card games, Looking for someone who wants to helpout on: 2014-11-18 07:58:15
Just the barebones in order to play, leaving the mechanics to the user, no card rules or logic for now, as if we were playing in real life on a real table. Automated things will come in the future.

You have a far more realistic goal than the vast majority of requests for collaboration on this site, for which I commend you.

On the down side, DC already have their own card game based on the comic characters. This is the kind of project which can't succeed, because if it attracts attention it will also attract lawyers.
16  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: The C family, should I dig deeper? on: 2014-11-14 10:28:43
C is just a portable assembly language.

I would say more that C is a high-level assembly language which allows you to use a portable style, but no-one ever does. Just at the basic level of types: stdint.h / inttypes.h are 15 years old, but still terribly underused even in new projects.
17  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Making your own font on: 2014-11-06 23:05:28
Ok. I'm using magenta as the "non-pixel" background, and black on white text, but you can adapt to suit. I'm taking VA as my example because that's a classic example of how well-kerned text can have overlapping bounding boxes.

The two letters with a one-pixel border on each:

If we move them so that the bounding boxes touch we get:

If we move them so that the "pixels" touch we get:

You have to be careful with characters like punctuation to make sure there's a line of "transparent" background all the way to the top and the bottom so that ," doesn't have the " move above the ,.
18  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Making your own font on: 2014-11-05 10:14:53
I'm planning to add more fonts and every font requires its own switch statement, resulting in a long, long an messy class, but it's the only solution I can see. My question is if anyone has any hints or tricks regarding bitmap-fonts.
Have two background colours, not one. For the sake of exposition, I will call them "non-pixel" and "transparent". You can calculate the width of a character by finding a minimal bounding box of the rendered and transparent pixels.

This also extends to a good approximation to proper kerning, whereby you calculate a spacing for each pair of consecutive characters rather than for each character. The way that works is to move the second character left until it can't go any further without two pixels overlapping. If you want more explanation I can give it, but I'll need to make some images so it might take me a day or two to reply.
19  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Calculating points in a circle on: 2014-10-31 09:52:09
Drawing a circle on a texture was easy, but I was wondering how to 'draw' a circle of falses in a boolean[][]. I figured I'd use the brute force approach, but was just wondering if there's a more mathematical approach.
If you don't want to reinvent the wheel, you can draw onto a buffer and use that instead of your boolean[][].

I'm not sure which algorithm the library will use to fill a circle, but to draw its outline the standard one is Bresenham's algorithm. With that keyword you should be able to find far more explanations of it than you need.
20  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: How to create differently colored characters? on: 2014-10-30 14:16:27
  • Create the characters with the desired vari-colour areas drawn in grey scale.
  • Create mask bitmap the same shape as those areas. Imagine like you're going to spray-paint them.

When I've done this I've generated the mask in code to be the pixels which are pure grey (i.e. zero saturation). Any pixel which needs to be invariant grey can have a non-zero saturation (e.g. #cccccd) without anyone noticing.
21  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Why do I aim too high ? on: 2014-10-30 09:41:41
Write a game for the 4k contest. It might not run next year, but even if it doesn't you'll find that the space constraint forces you to aim a bit lower.
22  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Legends of Fore on: 2014-10-25 07:17:01
Offtopic: there are surprisingly many potential successors following the pattern: Legends of *ore. So many themes, too!
I must say that my first impression when I saw the title in the list of threads was "Ah, a golf game".
23  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: RSA direct bypass on: 2014-10-16 08:43:31
So give me a form of RSA encryption that is stronger.
The standard approach is to encrypt a key for a symmetric algorithm such as AES. So that's one RSA message, containing a 256-bit key padded with OAEP.
24  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: RSA direct bypass on: 2014-10-15 18:55:26
Ok, I see what the problem is. You're not even attacking naive RSA: you're attacking RSA used in ECB mode on a block size of 8 bits. This attack has real world value only against a teenager who has heard of RSA but doesn't understand it.
25  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: RSA direct bypass on: 2014-10-15 15:38:56
Is there a TL;DR version which just includes the maths and none of the UI or debug output?

That said, there are known weaknesses in the simple version of RSA which is presented in introductory number theory lessons.
26  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Name that Poker hand - Tiny Code Challenge on: 2014-10-08 08:39:16
I don't think it would take many changes to get something which can be posted to
27  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Are Java applets really "dead" for indie developers? on: 2014-09-22 13:24:23
Funorb ( is pretty successful and it's games are applets.
I don't believe FunOrb was ever a tenth as successful as RuneScape, and it's currently on ice. I think only one of the original FunOrb programmers is still at Jagex. There's been talk about some kind of revival, but it might be a port of suitable games to Android and/or iOS to join Bouncedown, Star Cannon, and Miner Disturbance.
28  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Strange grid appearing in tile based game (probably rounding error) on: 2014-09-14 16:57:19
Hmm, interesting idea though to draw everything at normal size then upscale the whole screen in one go.  Wouldn't have a clue how to go about that, but I'm sure it's possible!
If you're sticking to Java2D then you'd create a BufferedImage, call its getGraphics, paint onto that, and then do a single drawImage call on the Graphics2D you're currently drawing to.
29  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Strange grid appearing in tile based game (probably rounding error) on: 2014-09-14 13:11:54
What do you guys use to make this go smoothly?
Drawing the tiles at the right size so that no scaling is necessary.

If for some reason that's completely impossible, your options are probably either to draw everything to an unscaled back-buffer and then do one scaled draw to the main buffer or to look at setting anti-aliasing etc. rendering hints on the Graphics2D object.
30  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: So many indie games in development, how many really are completed? on: 2014-09-02 15:48:21
As I see it, there's a fine line between "indie developer" and "not-quite-yet indie developer" (or, perhaps more accurately, "hobbyists who want to sell a game"). The former group includes individuals and teams who have actually released a game. If you just focus on them,  I suspect the numbers will look different.

I doubt it. Second project syndrome. For the first project, you keep it simple. But for the second project you think you can be more ambitious, because you have experience now. My first job was for an indie company like that. The first project was in beta when I joined, and the second project had a 250-page rulebook to be converted into a proper spec and implemented. I'm not sure exactly what the current status is, but I think that 30 to 60 man-years went into it and nothing was ever published.
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Resources for WIP games
by kpars
2014-12-18 10:26:14

Understanding relations between setOrigin, setScale and setPosition in libGdx
by mbabuskov
2014-10-09 22:35:00

Definite guide to supporting multiple device resolutions on Android (2014)
by mbabuskov
2014-10-02 22:36:02

List of Learning Resources
by Longor1996
2014-08-16 10:40:00

List of Learning Resources
by SilverTiger
2014-08-05 19:33:27

Resources for WIP games
by CogWheelz
2014-08-01 16:20:17

Resources for WIP games
by CogWheelz
2014-08-01 16:19:50

List of Learning Resources
by SilverTiger
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