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1  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Component Systems: Artemis style systems vs. traditional fat entities on: 2014-07-28 16:25:41
Consider an RDMBS engine that does for physical data layout what Hotspot does for bytecode compilation.

Cas Smiley
2  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Component Systems: Artemis style systems vs. traditional fat entities on: 2014-07-26 11:43:49
Let me count the ways...

SQL gives us:

The ability to specify the data but hides the actual implementation of its storage and access away
The ability to specify how the data relate to each other in the form of relations
The ability to relatively quickly and easily rearrange data*
The ability to select arbitrary subsets of that data and process it in parallel

and so on. Win.

Cas Smiley

* Occurs to me that no modern SQL engine currently has any serious refactoring support. There's an opportunity...

3  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Component Systems: Artemis style systems vs. traditional fat entities on: 2014-07-26 11:41:13
In fact the more I look at the problem the more it becomes apparent that SQL would probably have been a better place to start from.

Cas Smiley
4  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Component Systems: Artemis style systems vs. traditional fat entities on: 2014-07-26 11:40:24
It doesn't half sound like using Java for this is like whacking a round peg into a square hole with a sledgehammer. It's crying out for a DSL. All the complexity and cognitive blocking appears to stem from the problem that Java, the language, is totally unsuitable. Trivial example - runtime composition. There is simply no way to express this in Java at compile time let alone an easy way to compose things from separate classes. Furthermore there appears to be considerable emphasis on what amounts to manual memory layout in certain circles; again the sort of things a machine should be best placed to figure out at runtime. Java was designed to do small-scale problems in the OOP domain efficiently; you really need something completely different to express what you're trying to do in a way that is a) efficient and b) comprehensible and c) better than the OOP paradigm

Cas Smiley
5  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What I did today on: 2014-07-25 18:13:54
Checkbox widget finished today. Discovered a bit of an issue with layout in the process which I'm now looking at. Oh, and did the company accounts, and so on. Mind crushingly tedious in 30 degree heat with no air-con.

Cas Smiley
6  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Component Systems: Artemis style systems vs. traditional fat entities on: 2014-07-25 16:06:32
I think it means component architecture.

Cas Smiley
7  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What I did today on: 2014-07-25 00:43:54
Text editing widget working. Started on checkboxes. A surprisingly fiddly component.

Also did a fair amount of fiddling with Basingstoke, but that's Unity, and the Devil's work. We shall say no more of it here.

Cas Smiley
8  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Component Systems: Artemis style systems vs. traditional fat entities on: 2014-07-25 00:41:51
lol Smiley

The "classic" use case in games is particles. There are usually a lot of them.

Cas Smiley
9  Game Development / Game Mechanics / Re: "No Man's Sky" - Procedurally Generated Space Exploration on: 2014-07-24 16:21:05
Yes, it does, and just that promise will have the punters flocking to buy it. Which is no bad thing.

Cas Smiley
10  Game Development / Game Mechanics / Re: "No Man's Sky" - Procedurally Generated Space Exploration on: 2014-07-24 16:13:02
Well, consider Elite, for example. The game was a trading game; the procedurally generated galaxy was minimalist but complete enough to enable the trading game.

Cas Smiley
11  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What I did today on: 2014-07-24 13:45:47
Hahaar, I don't think you know Roquen eh Smiley

Cas Smiley
12  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: A rant on OpenGL's future on: 2014-07-24 12:03:36
Julien, I think you've completely missed theagentd's rant... he's saying by all means keep old shitty hardware supported by old shitty drivers. It's not like software just breaks all on its own over time (trololololol). What we want is new stuff, for new things. Then we can write new stuff for the new things, instead of having to write new stuff to work on old things, which burdens everybody, massively, probably contributing more to waste than anything.

As far as landfill and pollution goes... every bit of hardware sold is already landfill, eventually. If we slow down the rate of hardware production the people making that stuff will necessarily need to sell less of it... but make the same amount of money. So that means shittier hardware will both remain shitty and simultaneously become hugely more expensive. If you're concerned about pollution then maybe a campaign for environmentally friendly materials and recycling might be a more useful venture than supporting old, slow, power-hungry, bug-ridden, difficult-to-maintain hair-loss-instigating hardware.

Cas Smiley
13  Game Development / Game Mechanics / Re: "No Man's Sky" - Procedurally Generated Space Exploration on: 2014-07-24 11:06:36
I will wave my predictive wand over my crystal ball, and I see the following...

1. It will capture a large number of the interesting elements in the game in its promotional material. Coupled with the promise of "infinite" (which is always beguiling) it will sell fantastically well when launched.

2. After a fairly short while people will discover that "infinite" isn't really that infinite, it's just "a lot of variations on the same few themes that the programmers thought of", and there will be a general disgruntlement because the game will generally feel quite samey... wherever you go. When variety becomes the expected norm our brains filter out the variation as background noise.

3. At which point we're left with the game laid bare. The crystal ball grows cloudy. Will they spend all their effort on making background noise or will they figure out a way to make something fun on top of it?

(Yeah I'm cynical but we've been here before, but now we've got blackjack, and hookers. Infinitely procedurally generated blackjack and hookers! in 3D!)

Cas Smiley
14  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What I did today on: 2014-07-24 11:00:35
Looked at Rust, discovered some willfully teeth-grinding grammatical irritations. Wonder if someone might care to remake Rust using Java-like standards of readability and grammatical consistency. Core concept behind Rust is great, and well prepared for hundred-core home computers. Probably it needs an appropriately designed operating system too though, which more or less means, not Unix or Windows.

Cas Smiley
15  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Component Systems: Artemis style systems vs. traditional fat entities on: 2014-07-24 10:58:04
Or, in 3 words, a solution looking for a problem.

Cas Smiley
16  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: A rant on OpenGL's future on: 2014-07-24 10:51:44
Julien has some unorthodox views on the preservation of landfill hardware. My personal take on it is that if we didn't die the world would be full of old grumpy bastards like me and no room for the young 'uns to flourish, and thus it should be with all the fruits of our endeavours. Obsolescence is critical to advancement.

I would like an OpenGL API with everything old thrown out apart from the absolute latest cutting edge features. And I'd like that API to be built on a client-installable redistributable front end, and with all the common functionality between vendors eg. GLSL compiler moved into that layer.

And then I'd like someone to write a Java 3D library that can compete with UDK4 or Unity 5 based on it.

Cas Smiley
17  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What I did today on: 2014-07-23 17:33:48
ja, do you use any space partitioning ? .. nothing, a grid or a tree ? just curious  Wink

Scroll back a few posts and you'll get the general gist of it... basically I traverse the tree from the root to the leaves, applying constraints to the widths and heights of each component, first from its parent (a component can never be bigger than its parent), then its own constraints. Then recurse down to the children. When all the children are done (or if there are none) we ask the component how big its contents are going to be based on the constraints we've been given, and that becomes our minimum size. The contents is the larger of any text area, or child component, or the size of any calculated layout.

Maximum size overrides minimum size. If we discover that our maximum size now equals our mimimum size, we're done at this level and we know exactly how big we are going to be, and that means we  can tell all our child components that they can now position themselves within our bounds, recursively. Where any child component does not yet have matching minimum or maximum size we decide to use the minimum size.

That's the layout part.

The interpolation part isn't all that complicated or clever and literally just interpolates things like colours and constraints.

The event handling stuff is... more fiddly Smiley Basically it's a tick-based state transition manager which receives events from the input system every tick (it's possible to get several mouse events per video frame, which is how often the LWJGL input system is polled). Every component gets every event every tick. Then they all sort of figure out what's happened in isolation from each other, leading to events being fired.

It will doubtless end up open-sourced at some point in Battledroid, the plan for which is most likely to give the source away in some charitable event one day.

Cas Smiley
18  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What I did today on: 2014-07-23 16:45:31
Today finished work on all the basic area code in the new UI library. So now I've got fully resolution independent UIs which can lay themselves out every frame, with a listener/event model that can handle mouse movement, button presses, clicking and multiple clicking, and full drag and drop capability. What's more every UI element can have its layout interpolated between positions nicely, and its appearance, depending on state. Pleasingly it can cope with thousands of nested widgets being laid out and processed in realtime with almost no noticeable use of CPU (most of the time, widgets are idle, and only wake up when they need to animate or receive an event from the input system).

Now I'm "porting" my old widget code to the new stuff - checkboxes, scrollbars, scrollpanes, textfields, etc. Should have it ready by end of the week, and then I can start converting Battledroid to use the new UI.

I foresee it being a fairly useful library for UIs in general, as it makes it so easy to make resolution and aspect independent UIs.

Cas Smiley
19  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: A rant on OpenGL's future on: 2014-07-23 14:41:04
If the game industry is amenable to rapidly iterating changes, then the CAD/CAM and medical imaging industries can get off their sodding collective idle arses and rewrite their f**king code to use the new APIs, seeing as they've got, ooh, about 10x the money compared to the game industry. Jeez, why are industry programmers so f**king lazy? Games developers practically rewrite everything from scratch with every product they make in the AAA industry.

Cas Smiley
20  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: dalvik, you suck on: 2014-07-23 11:55:18
Don't worry, Dalvik still sucks anyway.

Cas Smiley
21  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Component Systems: Artemis style systems vs. traditional fat entities on: 2014-07-23 11:02:45
It's a pretty ambitious free-to-play MMOG in which literally thousands of battledroids try to kill each other.

Cas Smiley
22  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Component Systems: Artemis style systems vs. traditional fat entities on: 2014-07-22 10:06:21
Well... that.

The game I'm making at the moment is far more complex than anything ever produced here on JGO. Or for that matter more complex than any game I've ever yet seen made in Java, ever. Still doesn't warrant it. But you know... toasters. Etc. No-one ever really learns until their livelihoods depend on it and someone's head rolls.

Cas Smiley
23  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What I did today on: 2014-07-22 10:01:30
Nice island Smiley Needs chickens.

Cas Smiley
24  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Learning to create a 3D game in Java! on: 2014-07-21 10:13:54
Go and take a look at JMonkeyEngine, and if that doesn't get you to the point of making a 3D game within a few weeks... scale back your ambitions. By about 1 dimension. 2D games are hard enough.

Cas Smiley
25  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: Fancy graphics without any skills on: 2014-07-21 10:08:59
You know how when you start thinking "hey, I'll just multithread this code and get 4x the performance with 4 cores?" and it turns out you only gain about 25%? But then when you discover you can get the CPU and GPU to split workloads cleverly and you end up with 200%? Having separate artists and programmers is a bit like that. One person focused on one task is far better than two people who try to do both. It's always better to specialise, at least in terms of delivery time. Of course, I wish I had the time to just monkey about in Photoshop till I got good at it but I've already wastedspent my life coding instead. When I retire I'll get back into art Smiley

Cas Smiley
26  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Component Systems: Artemis style systems vs. traditional fat entities on: 2014-07-20 11:42:26
This brings to mind the anecdote about the King and the Royal Toaster.

Cas Smiley
27  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: What? Your game isn't a pixelated retro masterpiece? on: 2014-07-19 01:18:04
Funny thing is... if you actually go back and look at 8 bit or 16 bit games today, say, in an emulator... by God do they look shit. And, in fact, the games are largely total shit too. Rose tinted spectacles. Even the games I used to worship - eg. Paradroid - turn out to be woefully shit by any modern understanding of game design.

I watch 8 and 16 bit game reviews and play those games every day.
Cannot agree at all.

Each to their own... as for myself I've spent a lot of time researching the old games to try and steal ideas but rarely come up with anything anyone would actually want to play these days. I loved them at the time but time has moved on.

Cas Smiley
28  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: What? Your game isn't a pixelated retro masterpiece? on: 2014-07-19 00:42:54
Funny thing is... if you actually go back and look at 8 bit or 16 bit games today, say, in an emulator... by God do they look shit. And, in fact, the games are largely total shit too. Rose tinted spectacles. Even the games I used to worship - eg. Paradroid - turn out to be woefully shit by any modern understanding of game design.

Cas Smiley
29  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: What? Your game isn't a pixelated retro masterpiece? on: 2014-07-18 21:22:25
I think it's because it's rather hard to do 3D, or even 2D-with-tools, and any fool can cobble something together in Paint and call it art. Mostly it looks shit though and just like everything else it takes years of practice before it looks good.

Let's not forget that pixels on their own aren't a "style"... the whole thing's got to come together nicely.

Minecraft I don't think had anything to do with pixel art's popularity - but it is one of the most popular games out there and it's a bit pixelly.

Cas Smiley
30  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: Fancy graphics without any skills on: 2014-07-18 21:17:55
Suddenly it becomes apparent just how valuable programmers are in games production.

Cas Smiley
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