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1  Discussions / Business and Project Management Discussions / Re: Island Forge Kickstarter Success - Now Free-to-Play! on: 2012-10-16 14:45:21
I'm currently reading the 4-Hour Workweek (Timothy Ferriss). Sounds like Nate already has the lifestyle figured out.

@ReBirth - don't worry about hijacking this thread. The Kickstarter project is complete, so this discussion might as well wander about.
2  Discussions / Business and Project Management Discussions / Re: Island Forge Kickstarter Success - Now Free-to-Play! on: 2012-10-14 00:08:03
The ToS cover my legal requirements to operate a business in which players interact with each other via the Internet and can post player-created content.

Sounds like the typical forum...

If I'd have taken the same route as you (asking a laywer for advice and doing everything he told me to) I'd have made JGO only available for the Dutch, as I live in the Netherlands. Screw everybody else with their risky local laws, I'm playing it safe! Oh wait..

I appreciate your point of view.

EDIT: By the way, know anyone hiring in the Netherlands? I'd love to live there. I'm good at writing Java code. Just don't put me in charge of marketing or legal.
3  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: [Island Forge] Single-dev MMORPG * Now Free-to-Play! on: 2012-10-10 20:29:43
This is the first chat bar issue I've heard. Thanks for the report. I have not tested in Fedora yet, so I'd be interested to hear how it goes.
Do yourself a huge favor and pipe System.out and System.err to a server that logs it!

About 99% of users with crashes/issues won't tell you, so better automate that process (and mention it in the EULA).

Thanks Riven, that's excellent advice; it does and it is. The OOM error is a known problem. Next step (for this case) is to see whether the chat box failure is even related to that, or if it's a new issue.

I had my cursor over free-to-play and thought it said fresto-play. One click later I'm slightly disappointed, and like all the times I've gotten to this topic, impressed by how much you've invested in this.

I'd be interested to hear what you find slightly disappointing, so I can try to make it better.
4  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: [Island Forge] Single-dev MMORPG * Now Free-to-Play! on: 2012-10-10 14:15:48
This is the first chat bar issue I've heard. Thanks for the report. I have not tested in Fedora yet, so I'd be interested to hear how it goes.

Did you run with this command-line (see the Play page): java -Xmx1024m -jar IslandForge.jar

The Windows and Mac wrapper set the RAM cap, but the Jar cannot (I need a better Linux wrapper executable, like the other platforms). It's a known issue that if the client hits an OutOfMemoryError it fails in various ways (I have a task to handle the situation a bit more gracefully).

Thanks for trying it out!
5  Discussions / Business and Project Management Discussions / Re: Island Forge Kickstarter Success - Now Free-to-Play! on: 2012-10-10 14:09:01
The ToS cover my legal requirements to operate a business in which players interact with each other via the Internet and can post player-created content. It is an unfortunate necessity. I understand that some potential players are uncomfortable clicking through the agreement. (Actually, I'm more surprised when anyone stops to read it in the first place.)

Thanks for your interest in Island Forge!
6  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: [Island Forge] Single-dev MMORPG * Now Free-to-Play! on: 2012-10-09 20:27:36
Quick note (big announcement): Island Forge is now Free-to-Play with one-time Membership and Upgrade options! Thanks for your interest, JGO community.
7  Discussions / Business and Project Management Discussions / Re: Island Forge Kickstarter Success - Now Free-to-Play! on: 2012-10-09 18:16:05
Kickstarter was a success! Thanks for those who visited from the JGO community. (See the original post in this topic regarding the new Free-to-Play mode!)
8  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Island Forge (single-dev MMORPG) [Kickstarter Update!] on: 2012-09-14 01:31:22
Good to hear. Good luck with your game, I'm really liking your creativity.

Thanks a lot! I'm in-world right now, and my Kickstarter project has less than 30 minutes left!
9  Discussions / Business and Project Management Discussions / Re: Island Forge @ Kickstarter! on: 2012-09-13 14:22:09
Thanks everyone! Still 12 hours left at Kickstarter.

I appreciate the Greenlight vote, Jimmt! So far, "This game has attained 0% of necessary positive ratings so far" ... but that's to be expected. I've found that much of the Greenlight community is adverse to a game that requires a subscription (and so is everyone else, for that matter).

So, once my Kickstarter project comes to fruition, my next major focus is on providing better free-play and non-subscription options.
10  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Island Forge (single-dev MMORPG) [Kickstarter Update!] on: 2012-09-13 14:17:36
I know you have a free trial, but I think your game would get more popular if you had free-to-play with restrictions and an option to buy membership. Up to you, though.

Thanks for your comment; I agree with you!

The focus of my Kickstarter project is to offer better free-play and non-subscription options. The devil is in the details. I need to find a good balance between how to restrict "premium" membership elements while not stifling the creative aspects of the game.
11  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Island Forge (single-dev MMORPG) [Kickstarter Update!] on: 2012-09-12 16:36:56
Thanks, I've been listening to a lot of community input on the subject of free-pay and non-subscription options, and it's a direction I want/need to go, so I'm glad to hear your suggestions. One thing I want to avoid is restricting player creativity. But, providing a base set of tiles, with an upgrade could be an option. I already have support for small vs. large size island upgrades. Regarding gameplay, many folks suggest a level cap, which is OK, but not really what Island Forge is all about. Limiting exploration is a suggestion, but which islands are restricted (the most popular)? Then players are kept from the best content.

It's tricky because I want players to have the freedom to create and explore. That's why I set up a simple subscription and you can do anything. People want more choices and flexibility, which means more complication and overhead to an indie developer (me).

My first step will most likely be to provide 3, 6, 12-month packages (instead of recurring subscription). Maybe a lifetime tier. As always, expert advice from JGO is most welcome.
12  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Island Forge (single-dev MMORPG) [Kickstarter Update!] on: 2012-09-11 20:44:26
Thanks a bunch, ra4king. I've appreciated your helpful comments and support throughout.
13  Discussions / Business and Project Management Discussions / Re: Island Forge @ Kickstarter! on: 2012-09-11 18:19:57
Hurray, today Island Forge @ Kickstarter reached its base goal! But it doesn't stop there - this is where many projects really take off.

I appreciate everyone who has contributed and commented so far. Thanks for everyone's interest at JGO.

Find Island Forge on Facebook, Twitter, IndieDB, MMORPG.com, and Steam Greenlight!
14  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Kickstarter Goal (and Still Going)! on: 2012-09-11 18:17:00
Hurray, today Island Forge @ Kickstarter reached its base goal! But it doesn't stop there - this is where many projects really take off. I appreciate everyone who has contributed and commented so far. Thank you for your interest!

Find Island Forge on Facebook, Twitter, IndieDB, MMORPG.com, and Steam Greenlight!
15  Java Game APIs & Engines / Engines, Libraries and Tools / Re: Making a custom game engine vs libGDX on: 2012-08-27 14:27:18
I did a pure Java2D/Swing custom engine from scratch for Island Forge. I don't recommend this route. It's hard to make Swing behave and perform well in this regard. I haven't had time to get into the other graphic libraries, but from what I've seen here in the JGO Showcase, it would be well worth the time to learn libGDX/LWJGL.

On the other hand, if you want to increase your Swing-savvy for non-game projects, consider trying that first. If you learn to properly drive/render a game in Swing, you'll become well-versed in the intricacies of the Swing architecture. Best wishes!
16  Discussions / Business and Project Management Discussions / Re: Island Forge @ Kickstarter! on: 2012-08-27 14:12:39
Yes, I'm in the US (but very willing to relocate if anyone is hiring across the pond).

By popular demand, I am excited to offer a Lifetime Membership reward tier!
17  Discussions / Business and Project Management Discussions / Island Forge Kickstarter Success - Now Free-to-Play! on: 2012-08-20 19:34:50
Prompted by community input and the success of my recent Kickstarter project, Island Forge is now Free-to-Play with Membership and Upgrade options!

Thank you for your interest in Island Forge. As always, community input is most welcome!

(PS You might notice my skyscraper ad here on JGO - happy to send some of that Kickstarter funding back to the community!)
18  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Island Forge (single-dev MMORPG) [Kickstarter Update!] on: 2012-08-16 15:53:58
I'd like to invite everyone to have a look at my Kickstarter campaign for Island Forge! See the person behind the pseudoNyhm (me). As always, I'm interested in community feedback, so please let me know what you think. If you can, help spread the word! Thanks for your support!
19  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Java Game Edition on: 2012-07-20 02:28:58
Offtopic:

Regarding forum personality: I had a high intensity ranking at one point. I think it's just how I tend to drive a conversation. Even though I give strong opinions, I'm always interested in learning more (and changing my opinions).
Don't expect the rankings to have any meaning. An SQL query certainly can't figure out the way you communicate, let alone whether you're mindlessly rambling or in an intense discussion about stuff that matters. Those rankings are purely there for my amusement (except for the numberwangers listing, that's serious).

Yes, I understand. Soon after fining these forums, I found the social numerical analysis to be a very amusing (and unique) feature, so I wanted to point it out in regards to the personality profiling prolific in this post. Regarding rambling ranking, I'm bent on bettering my present 'prone to prose' profile position. I apologize for my apparent aptitude for articulating ancillary articles of the argument. Adew.
20  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Bitcoin (+Games) on: 2012-07-20 01:00:35
I'm not saying CoinLab is hiding anything from the players, just that the players don't have to give a hoot about Bitcoin. The game credit they get could very well be more worthwhile to them than any small amount of bitcoin they could directly mine for themselves. The scheme may work for CoinLab if they can deploy it on a large enough scale, even if the actual monetary value generated by each individual player is small.

(By the way, great sig, xsvenson.)
21  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Bitcoin (+Games) on: 2012-07-20 00:31:42
1. Integrate BitCoin mining into game.
2. Run on all clients in the background.
3. Send found coins to server.
4. PROFIT!

We're on the same wavelength - I went right for that, too. I think there are those doing it. However, after spending some time researching and toying around with Bitcoin, the mining concept (while technically a brilliant proof-of-work system) is not really the interesting part to me.

Nonetheless, there are those who are banking on it. This might be vaporware, but here's what CoinLab proposes:

  • Distribute mining software to players
  • Coins generated by a player go to CoinLab, but credit the player's account
  • Player can spend credits on in-game upgrades for game companies that support the scheme
  • Game companies presumably get some cut of the coin profit

The clever part is that end-users (the players) don't have to know a thing about what they're running, just that it cranks away and they get free game credits.
22  Discussions / Business and Project Management Discussions / Re: Recommended Server Hosting? (Dedicated or VPS) on: 2012-07-19 21:59:23
I'm currently still using DreamHost VPS. They're very Web-site oriented, so it actually took some steps to make the server unmanaged and turn off apache, which is installed and running by default. Once I had that worked out, it's a basic VPS and reasonably priced. They have a slider control in their panel for configuring the RAM on the fly, with extra cost per MB (computed per minute I think). You could also adjust RAM programatically via their API, if you wanted to get real fancy. So far, I'm operating on the lowest rung (300MB).

Just having a VPS is great. It's very liberating to be able to run server software on a machine other than the one under my desk.
23  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Bitcoin (+Games) on: 2012-07-19 16:44:05
Just wanted to see if anyone here is into Bitcoin. I'm totally enthralled with the technology.

I think Bitcoin has a lot of potential for the gaming market, but it's still very new. It might be a while before players (end users) embrace Bitcoin. I'm actually offering Bitcoin membership for my game, but I've only had one Bitocoin customer so far. The biggest gaming presence in the realm of Bitcoin seems to be gambling.

Other references:

I'd love to hear what others here think about Bitcoin.
24  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Java Game Edition on: 2012-07-19 13:52:27
Regarding forum personality: I had a high intensity ranking at one point. I think it's just how I tend to drive a conversation. Even though I give strong opinions, I'm always interested in learning more (and changing my opinions). Unfortunately, in my relatively brief experience here, some of the members focus on the negative and make little attempt to be cordial at all, sadly perpetuating the "jaded programmer" stereotype. I like what JGO is all about, but the community is not what I would call friendly.

On to my jaded opinion on Java+Games: Sun, and now Oracle, have never known what to do for the end-user, and games are all about the end-user. Applets offer a terrible user experience (Adobe got it right with Flash). Java is a language by developers and for developers. There is no good reason users should have to know what language anything is written in, but it takes a lot of work to hide Java from players, even with desktop applications.

On to being full of myself: I was at the first Java Game Conference (at JavaONE 2003). Three Rings Design (PuzzlePirates) presented, which was neat, but overall, the atmosphere was depressed and corporate. I recall Sun was pushing some Java Gaming API, which turned out to be nothing more than a Web page with hyperlinks to the Java2D, Sound, Keyboard, and Joystick JavaDocs. Now that's weak.

More overstated opinions: Regarding the original thread of discussion, I've been fed the it just works line before, and it tends to come from folks that like to stack up blocks rather than construct with an Erector Set. Either can build fine software, but the former is less interested in the nuts and bolts of constructing the framework. This community, for better or worse, is the latter (and I plan to stay).
25  Games Center / Featured Games / Re: Blue Saga on: 2012-07-12 13:58:37
I absolutely love the graphics style. Can't wait for a demo!

Ditto! (Plus love the new character game design elements.)
26  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Moon Lander on: 2012-07-11 22:37:34
When making my approach to land, I tend to watch the angle of entry in the data feed (upper-left corner), as well as speed indicators -- just like in a real moon lander!
27  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Moon Lander on: 2012-07-10 14:52:39
Whoa! Nice maneuver.
28  Games Center / Featured Games / Re: Forgotten Elements 3D JAVA Action MMORPG on: 2012-07-10 14:27:46
Wowww - Amazingly fully-featured. Your game achieves some of the technical goals that I had planned for my MMORPG, but haven't (yet?) accomplished, such as jumping right in and registering/saving your character later (on the fly), and supporting multiple client editions.

I'm impressed how much content you've produced. Although I've only played for a few minutes, your character and inventory systems look to have all the elements of modern hard-core MMORPGs. I went for a simpler (more casual) character/item system, which still took me a long time to develop.

By the way, I really like the 2D version. There's nothing wrong with the 3D, 2D is just my personal taste. Great accomplishment, and best wishes on continued development!
29  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Moon Lander on: 2012-07-10 13:44:28
Hurray - I won! Sadly, several crews were killed in the process. I love the last level starting position (no spoilers).

I'm always a sucker for a Lunar Lander style game. As I recall, in the original you also had to conserve thrust fuel, which was even more brutal. I always wanted to conserve fuel, so I'd have more on the next level, but I don't think it worked that way.

Your difficulty balance is good. Original Lunar Lander always made me walk away from the machine with disgust (after spending several quarters).

How about style points for not torching the flag?

Overall, your Moon Lander ran great, sounds good, and controls well. Thanks for posting it!
30  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Your first game release stories and experiences on: 2012-07-10 13:27:54
... People are often unable to understand that a computer programmer is not a computer artist.

This is essentially why I stopped reading Game Developer Magazine; it really should have been called 3D Artist Magazine, because that's almost all they talked about.

I tested Runfield in Firefox 13.0.1 in Ubuntu 10.04 with an ATI Radeon HD 4200 (on the motherboard), but without OpenCL (etc) drivers. Pretty weak, I know, (that's how much I'm into hardware acceleration). The game was playable, but inconsistently jittery.
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