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1  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
2  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What I did today on: 2014-07-22 10:01:30
Nice island Smiley Needs chickens.

Cas Smiley
3  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
4  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
5  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
6  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
7  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
8  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
9  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
10  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Component Systems: Artemis style systems vs. traditional fat entities on: 2014-07-18 18:34:02
That doesn't necessarily lead to entity systems. I have a completely normal sort of game object hierarchy here, but all the behaviours of things are governed by sub-objects, eg. brain, weapon, movement. If you're classifying objects as ShootingUnit, MovingUnit, or ShootingMovingUnit, you've not quite grasped what it is you were trying to model in the first place. You've just got Units, and they may have Weapons and DriveUnits which are targeted by Brains and operated by Movements... but you don't end up with an entity system.

Cas Smiley
11  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What I did today on: 2014-07-18 15:37:18
Indeed, power should take precedence over negation.

Cas Smiley
12  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What I did today on: 2014-07-17 17:34:52
Absolutely.

Cas Smiley
13  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What I did today on: 2014-07-17 17:07:51
Because, of course, they don't do exactly what I want them to do Smiley

Cas Smiley
14  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: How would you define "Coding Experience"? on: 2014-07-17 14:43:29
Agreed Smiley

Kev
Heh Wink

Aye, 34 years. I just never quite progressed to the levels of Kev, Riven, Roquen, renanse, theagentd, etc. but I'm getting stuff done and earning a living at it, so that'll do.

Cas Smiley
15  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: How would you define "Coding Experience"? on: 2014-07-17 14:37:13
I've been programming for 34 years now, and I'm still no good at it  Cranky

Cas Smiley
16  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: How would you define "Coding Experience"? on: 2014-07-17 13:12:33
True, though I thought I'd throw a little real-world insight into the actual value of the figure...

Cas Smiley
17  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: How would you define "Coding Experience"? on: 2014-07-17 12:23:10
When looking at candidates at interview (this is before they even get asked in for an interview) I took no notice whatsoever about how long they'd been "programming". The things that got someone an interview, in order of importance, were:

1. A clear, concise, and neatly formatted CV with all the pertinent information simply presented and all the waffle at the end, and no spelling or grammatical errors.

If you passed #1, I would then go on to look at criterion #2 (if you didn't, it was thrown straight in the bin)...

2. Total years experience in the key platforms needed for the job. For us that meant Java and SQL at the time. We didn't care about programming experience, or programming C# experience, or programming C experience. Only Java, and SQL.

...by which we would sort candidates in order of how interesting they were and get them into interview in that order.

At interview it was all about personality and how pleasant you were to be around, with the most basic cursory technical test just to see how people would think. Almost everyone who got this far was offered a job, but the company was offering such a joke of a salary we actually got turned down more often than not Smiley

So, in a nutshell, don't bother embellishing your CV with spurious claims of experience. That's waffle, that no-one cares about. Chat about it in the interview.

Cas Smiley
18  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What I did today on: 2014-07-17 01:02:26
Layout manager finally working... in one dimension. Next step... the perils of the second dimension!

For some reason it's taken me a week and a half to get this far. I've been trying to come up with an elegant and simple algorithm that figures out how to lay out component hierarchies according to the usual sorts of constraints such as anchors and % width ratios of parents and so on, and also using layout managers that explicitly lay things out (in my case, specifically, I wanted a "Flow Layout" that arranged UI components as in AWT. I imagine a grid layout might come in handy too, and possibly a "form" layout for pairs of labels and widgets).

The trouble arises when you need to get nested components to expand to the correct size, and subsequently resize parent components, and so on, up to the top, where you've got the window.

So, what I've done, is I "inflate" my components first, from the top of the tree down. Like putting a straw in them and blowing. At the very leaves of the UI, each component must at the very minimum declare a minimum size, which it exerts "outward" pressure with. It may optionally be constrained by its own defined maximum size. And it is also restricted by its parent's maximum size. The minimum size at any point may be determined by the largest child component, or the calculated minimum size by the layout manager at this level, or by the width of some text.

If, during the process of inflation, we discover that a component's minimum and maximum sizes converge on a single value, we know that the component is of a completely fixed size, and we can then "constrain" components from this point downwards. Constraining causes all the components underneath to have their maximum sizes clamped to their parent component's size. At this point we might apply the constraints at this level, which will converge the minimum and maximum sizes once again, and cause "constraint" to happen, recursively.

Once we know a component's actual size, and it's parent's actual size, we can then position it according to its anchor.

The whole process is neatly rounded off at the end of "inflation" by the fact that the display window has a known size, which means it immediately sets about applying the "constraint" after it's blown everything up inside it.

It's a bit like attaching a balloon to a compressor, and then putting it in a vice Smiley

Anyway, I'm most pleased with myself for working it all out, because it was a complete embuggerance. The second dimension should hopefully "just work" alongside the first...

Cas Smiley
19  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: A rant on OpenGL's future on: 2014-07-15 19:44:18
Some of it at least.

There have been other threads about what might be done to alleviate the pain points. For example, it'd probably be handy if OpenGL were a portable library on top of some other back end. OpenGL itself never needed to really be a "driver" as such. In fact a portable OpenGL library would just be the best thing ever.

Cas Smiley
20  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: A rant on OpenGL's future on: 2014-07-15 10:15:16
WHS. Need openGL to hit as many targets as possible with least refactoring. Wanking about wasting engineering time making multiple "back ends" for graphics rendering is just wasting time that could be put into making games.

If we were really adaptable we'd be using Unity Wink

Cas Smiley
21  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: How to get the size of a primitive/object? on: 2014-07-12 22:47:13
Is there any way I could tell the size of an object/primitive inside of the ram? I may be completely incorrect on how this works. Also, is there any way to tell how much ram is being used by your program?
Heh, accidentally whacked "Appreciate" instead of "Quote". You're welcome Wink

Primitives are all of a specific size according to the Java Language Spec (eg. 4 bytes for an int or float, 8 for longs and doubles, etc). Hotspot has documented somewhere what the overhead is for objects and arrays (which for example in the 32-bit JVM, is 8 bytes overhead for an ordinary Object and 12 bytes for an array). It's possibly the same for 64-bit with compressed OOPs, and possibly twice as big without.

Cas Smiley
22  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: [opengl] Why are LWJGL enums as integers? on: 2014-07-11 12:22:15
Having a GLEnum type would actually be at least something of a boon to avoid mixing up ordinary integer arguments with what should be, well, GL enums, however, because of the way GL works - arbitrary extensions adding symbols on an ad-hoc basis at run time - you can't really use Java enums in the way they were intended, and instead you'd have to make a GLEnum class that wasn't actually an enum. Then there'd be the irritating need to extract the int value from that enum from every parameter in every API call. It's probably not worth the effort.

Cas Smiley
23  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Libgdx sound lag? on: 2014-07-10 17:52:40
Do you mean sound lag, or just that the game runs slowly? (Which is not "lag", that's what "gamers" think it's called because they don't have any technical knowledge)

Cas Smiley
24  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What I did today on: 2014-07-10 17:49:51
Aha, there was me thinking it was all hand drawn!

Cas Smiley
25  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What I did today on: 2014-07-10 17:07:15
That's a lovely perspective, and quite difficult to do as well, so it's quite rare in 2D-tech games.

Cas Smiley
26  Game Development / Game Mechanics / Re: Any multithreading people out there? Multithreaded loading of a huge array. on: 2014-07-07 17:34:11
Hint: it's almost certainly not something you should be coding... probably ever.

Cas Smiley
27  Game Development / Game Mechanics / Re: Any multithreading people out there? Multithreaded loading of a huge array. on: 2014-07-07 17:32:46
Indeed, I hope you've actually identified this as an actual problem that needs solving rather than just you tinkering away making things faster that no-one knows about, or cares about, or even notices in the first place. Watch that talk given by Jon Blow. If you can find it.

Cas Smiley
28  Game Development / Game Mechanics / Re: Any multithreading people out there? Multithreaded loading of a huge array. on: 2014-07-07 15:29:24
Look more at the use-case that you're representing... lots of relatively small reads from many small files, rather than attempting multiple large simultaneous sequential reads. You can see the laptop actually peforms best with 8 threads in this situation.

Cas Smiley
29  Game Development / Game Mechanics / Re: Any multithreading people out there? Multithreaded loading of a huge array. on: 2014-07-07 14:58:38
Does nobody get taught anything in college these days?  Emo

Loading multiple files in multiple threads is exactly the use case of threads... load each file in a separate thread! Do it!

Cas Smiley

Start college in August Tongue


Although, correct me if I'm wrong, loading files asynchronously is a good idea, as the CPU can do stuff while you wait for the disk, performing simultaneous IO to different parts of the disk (non-contiguous operations) is counter-productive, is it not?

EDIT: I guess really, as always, an actual test is necessary before optimizations can be assumed!
A thread is generally doing one of two things*: waiting on I/O or running. I/O arrives in little dribs and drabs, and when you get a bit, you do a little bit of work with it, and then go back to waiting for more I/O to occur. So imagine you've got a pool of say 8 threads doing your I/O reading... chances are one of them will be reading a bit from the disk, and the other 7 will be either doing a little bit of work with the last bit of data they received or sat idle. End result is your disk is flat out, and you're using as much CPU as you can... which is the goal.

Cas Smiley

* unless it's otherwise waiting on synchronisation or whatever
30  Game Development / Game Mechanics / Re: Any multithreading people out there? Multithreaded loading of a huge array. on: 2014-07-07 14:26:13
Does nobody get taught anything in college these days?  Emo

Loading multiple files in multiple threads is exactly the use case of threads... load each file in a separate thread! Do it!

Cas Smiley
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