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1  Discussions / Business and Project Management Discussions / Re: Do you team up with marketing experts or use their services? Does Steam h_elp? on: 2015-07-28 09:57:37
The benefits of remaining in the Steam front page capsule rotation are enormous and exponentially greater than any exposure you can gain anywhere else for any kind of money. So make it count.

BTW Twitter and Facebook are quite expensive for their supposed effectiveness... but then we've also concluded that advertising takes a very long time to mature. As in, using very clever tracking techniques, we can trace sales coming in occurring over a year after advertising exposure. It's a very, very long game.

Cas Smiley
2  Discussions / Business and Project Management Discussions / Re: Do you team up with marketing experts or use their services? Does Steam h_elp? on: 2015-07-28 09:55:20
These days you'll be lucky to remain visible in New Releases for more than a few hours.

Greenlight won't really help your actual marketing efforts in any serious sort of way. It's there just to make Valve's life a little easier so that they can at least have a little bit of auto-vetting on what they bother letting onto the service.

You do get a few shots at the main capsule on the front page given to you by default when you are finally released on Steam. However you will actually need to massively push the title yourself at the same time: because Valve will perpetuate titles on the front page that start making them a lot of money or getting them a lot of downloads (it's mostly done on automatic stats). So if you want to maximise your chances, run an exposure round on the main capsule right after and during a massive marketing campaign.

Marketing campaigns these days might easily amount to the tens of thousands of dollars. This is mainly going to be in the form of generic advertising solutions (AdWords, Youtube, Project Wonderful, etc) and the odd cleverly targeted site takeover (eg. RockPaperShotgun) and so on.

Cas Smiley
3  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Virtual machine ID on: 2015-07-23 16:37:08
What he said. You need to query various things and then create a hash of the values you find.

Cas Smiley
4  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Virtual machine ID on: 2015-07-23 15:50:49
What ID number would that be?

Cas Smiley
5  Java Game APIs & Engines / Engines, Libraries and Tools / Re: Java OpenGL Math Library (JOML) on: 2015-07-23 15:49:51
Hm.. could you explain how that relates to the current debate over having relative vs. absolute NIO methods?
I am assuming that, since LWJGL's vecmath library used relative put/get operations, you are wishing that LWJGL hadn't used relative operations but absolute ones instead. So you would be in favour of the absolute methods?
All I'm saying is that basing your API design decisions on what LWJGL programmers are used to is not really a sound foundation Smiley

Cas Smiley
6  Java Game APIs & Engines / Engines, Libraries and Tools / Re: Java OpenGL Math Library (JOML) on: 2015-07-23 14:50:39
The original LWJGL vecmath library was just a temporary bodge that sort of got used a bit more than expected...

Cas Smiley
7  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: code signing certificates ...or how to ease the user? on: 2015-07-21 21:43:49
"Use Steam"

Sad but true.

Cas Smiley
8  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Best Practices for Creating New Objects on: 2015-07-21 21:40:03
 I think you misread his loop there - n is only initialised at loop start.

Cas Smiley
9  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Best Practices for Creating New Objects on: 2015-07-21 20:05:23
There's no difference in it no, except that n is nicely tucked away in the scope of the for loop in the one-line version, if you've no other use for it later.

Cas Smiley
10  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: code signing certificates ...or how to ease the user? on: 2015-07-21 18:51:52
I used Comodo before. It works, is all I can say.

Cas Smiley
11  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Best Practices for Creating New Objects on: 2015-07-21 16:21:00
Well, the one thing I did measure correctly was the jump from 30fps back to 60fps and the removal of the periodic jitter: but I'll never be entirely sure now...

Cas Smiley
12  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Best Practices for Creating New Objects on: 2015-07-21 14:19:28
As a minor case study in "behind the scenes":

working on Battledroid last year I was having a few frame rate issues (30fps - yuk).

Now I'd written all my code to that point in the nicest possible style, and the particular case that interested me was this construct:
1  
for (Entity<?> e : entities) { .... }

where entities is a List of some sort (and in fact, almost always an ArrayList).

I was doing this kind of thing so often, and in so many places, every single frame, that I was creating tens of thousands of iterators a second, and this was firstly actually slightly slower than your traditional for loop, and secondly it created tends of thousands of objects in garbage, which caused a noticeable judder every few seconds when they all got collected.

So I replaced them all with the usual:
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n = entities.size();
for (int i = 0; i < n; i ++) { Entity<?> e = entities.get(i); ... }


... and this alone was enough to stop the juddering and mostly get my framerates back to 60fps (with vsync on it only takes a tiny amount of time over 17ms to suddenly halve your framerates, see). So a small change with a surprisingly large impact.

Now, why this is relevant is because for a number of years I'd been labouring under the impression that Hotspot was being smart enough to allocate those iterators on the stack with escape analysis and so they'd never create any garbage; and furthermore that they'd be pretty efficient too. Well, it turns out after a bit of profiling, nope.

Cas Smiley
13  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Best Practices for Creating New Objects on: 2015-07-21 08:05:23
Another generalisation here but I'd avoid object pools unless your objects are expensive to construct.

Cas Smiley
14  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Best Practices for Creating New Objects on: 2015-07-21 07:50:40
Generally speaking... it will improve performance (measurably) if you consistently apply it just about everywhere.

The important thing though is not to go refactoring all your code to do this until it actually proves to be some sort of performance issue. 60 objects a second is absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things. Even 600 is nothing. Or 6,000. Maybe at 60,000 you might start to see some issues.

Cas Smiley
15  Java Game APIs & Engines / OpenGL Development / Re: Embedding bits of OpenGL in JavaFX scene graph on: 2015-07-20 10:54:29
Using the little bit of code I had and that snippet I'm getting very good performance. Or at least, far better than JavaFX on its own. NV_path_rendering is the future - I really wish it were generally available in OpenGL because it would fundamentally change everything, ever.

Cas Smiley
16  Java Game APIs & Engines / OpenGL Development / Re: Embedding bits of OpenGL in JavaFX scene graph on: 2015-07-18 11:38:43
Thanks Spasi, most useful. I'll try some experiments on Monday back at work.

I must say I'm surprised at how slow some aspects of JavaFX are that I've had to resort to trying OpenGL to get the performance I need. It's also boggling but predictable that they've not made an OpenGL backend available in the Windows distribution, nor any way to allow for hooks into the GL or DX context to make this sort of extension easy.

I notice there's a WGL extension to share resources between DX and GL which would have been ideal if JavaFX had provided some easier way in at that point.

Cas Smiley
17  Java Game APIs & Engines / OpenGL Development / Embedding bits of OpenGL in JavaFX scene graph on: 2015-07-17 16:04:50
What's the prevailing wisdom on how to draw bits of the scenegraph using OpenGL?

I'm not looking for anything particularly fancy: I'm quite happy without event/mouse integration or any of that stuff; I just want to draw rectangular areas of stuff with OpenGL rather than JavaFX primitives.

What I'm currently doing is (using LWJGL2.9.3) is using a Pbuffer, drawing whatever to it every frame using a JavaFX AnimationTimer, and then calling glReadPixels to read the rendered stuff back into a ByteBuffer.

I then feed the ByteBuffer data into a PixelWriter from an Image which is inside an ImageView node:
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2  
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   glReadPixels(0, 0, 800, 600, GL_BGRA, GL_UNSIGNED_BYTE, pixels);
   PixelWriter pw = writableImage.getPixelWriter();
   pw.setPixels(0, 0, 800, 600, javafx.scene.image.PixelFormat.getByteBgraInstance(), raw, 800 * 600 * 4 - 800 * 4, -800 * 4);

I've used some Unsafe hackery so that the "raw" array referred to there is actually being written directly into by glReadPixels, which I have to do because glReadPixels requires a direct ByteBuffer whereas setPixels only takes either a byte[] array or a heap ByteBuffer (irritating but not too hard to work around in the end). So that at least saves a fairly big copy.

Is there a better (more efficient) way than this?

Cas Smiley
18  Java Game APIs & Engines / Engines, Libraries and Tools / Re: Java OpenGL Math Library (JOML) on: 2015-07-14 09:51:22
If you go that route remember you'll be needing to provide precompiled binaries for x86 and amd64, for Windows, Linux and MacOS Smiley

Cas Smiley
19  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Something wrong with LWJGL3? on: 2015-07-10 11:22:28
Me too; might take a day or two for DNS to propagate fully perhaps?

Cas Smiley
20  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: FFXIV refunds on Mac OS through poor performance - interesting nuggets... on: 2015-07-06 13:26:20
Well, I'll be entirely happy to ditch OSX as a supported platform if they make it any more difficult than it already is. Well, not entirely happy, as OSX makes up about 5% of revenues and no-one likes a 5% pay cut.

Cas Smiley
21  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: FFXIV refunds on Mac OS through poor performance - interesting nuggets... on: 2015-07-06 13:10:47
Sorry, not Mantle... Metal.

Cas Smiley
22  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: FFXIV refunds on Mac OS through poor performance - interesting nuggets... on: 2015-07-06 12:59:14
AFAIK modern DX and GL are fairly fundamentally similar performance-wise so I'm guessing in this case that due to OpenGL capabilities being quite widely ranged that they'd had to settle for a lowest common denominator that hurt performance relative to a contemporary DirectX.

What I found more interesting was this bit:
Quote
With the adoption of DirectX11 for Mac, and the replacement of OpenGL with a new graphics API in Apple’s next OS

DirectX11 for Mac eh? And Apple is replacing OpenGL with... Mantle? Or just freezing GL where it is and concentrating on Mantle from then on?

Cas Smiley
23  Discussions / General Discussions / FFXIV refunds on Mac OS through poor performance - interesting nuggets... on: 2015-07-06 11:57:14
Skim here: http://na.finalfantasyxiv.com/lodestone/news/detail/0f6df59d2175ff4ddc26de3981641512f05a9e14

Quote
the nature of FFXIV’s graphics as an MMORPG are such that, even if we were to develop in native OpenGL, it would be exceedingly difficult to provide a level of performance that matched that of a system using DirectX. (Though it may be possible in games with less complicated graphics, there would be a much bigger tuning gap to bridge for FFXIV.)

Quote
With the adoption of DirectX11 for Mac, and the replacement of OpenGL with a new graphics API in Apple’s next OS, the fundamental gap in current performance issues may soon be eliminated.

Hmm what?

Cas Smiley

24  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What I did today on: 2015-07-06 08:11:35
I "made" the music for my brother's funeral last night (by "made" I mean a bit of judicious cutting and pasting and some post-processing). Should be amusing Smiley I'll post some public links to it after the deed is done.

Cas Smiley
25  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What I did today on: 2015-07-03 16:33:41
It's a total waste of time and space, one notch above 4chan. Which isn't saying much.

Cas Smiley
26  Games Center / Featured Games / Re: Gunslugs 2 - completed on: 2015-07-02 10:24:01
Big sales spike?

Cas Smiley
27  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Oracle are winning in the 'copyright an api' legal fight on: 2015-07-01 12:21:36
That's not the point... the point is it can be copyrighted. Just because it can only exist in one compatible form does not mean you have the right to distribute it.

Cas Smiley
28  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Oracle are winning in the 'copyright an api' legal fight on: 2015-07-01 11:12:36
Well... I don't know that they do need to add an exception. There are whole businesses that are based upon licensing interopability, predicated on the fact that it takes a huge effort to define an interface and someone's gotta be rewarded for that effort.

My personal desired outcome? Oracle and Google settle out of court. Google pays Oracle a reasonable license fee, and in return, get proper Java for Android. All problems solved.

Cas Smiley
29  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Oracle are winning in the 'copyright an api' legal fight on: 2015-07-01 10:38:26
I really don't see how APIs can be copyrighted; they're not an expression of an idea, they're a document describing an idea. The expression of the idea is the implementation itself.
1. Documents can be copyrighted - it does not matter what the content of the document is. If the contents are substantially copied into another document, you've copied it, and if you don't have the right to make a copy of it, you're in breach of copyright. This much is simple to grok.
2. I very much disagree that an expression of an idea is not itself an idea.

I suspect that the judgement will end up being something describing a level of grey between the black and white of "Google having done wrong" and "Oracle having no rights". The scale of Google's wrongdoing will be taken into account; and thus a decision could be made that will, yes, make copying copyrighted APIs a breach of copyright but only when the scale is deemed to be substantial. Something like the protections people have when using samples, or excerpts from novels - you can get away with a certain amount of lifting but at the point you take someone's work in its entirety or even a substantial amount of it - you risk being sued for breach.

Cas Smiley
30  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Oracle are winning in the 'copyright an api' legal fight on: 2015-07-01 08:21:39
There is some conflation here about the use of a copyrighted API versus the distribution of a copyrighted API. There's never going to be a way to stop people from linking to copyrighted APIs so we can all rest easy about that, because that's exactly how APIs are meant to be. The issue is that Google are redistributing a copy of the API which appears to be a 99% verbatim copy of a significant body of original work.

Cas Smiley
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