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1  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Wizards of Yore (second try) on: 2013-03-22 16:01:44
Good luck with WoY! I loved Chaos and I like where WoY is heading.

Also libgdx is amazing, welcome to the guild. I also think scene2d is a very overlooked part of it. It makes UI a breeze and the things you can do with it is amazing. I am planning to use it more and more.

I'd also love to see your art in dwarf fortress. That would be amazing, but it takes one probably 3 lives to create all the sprites.
2  Java Game APIs & Engines / Tools Discussion / Re: Spine: 2D skeletal animation on: 2012-11-27 16:57:47
I just had a go with it and everything is of very high quality.
It runs very nicely on a Mac so no problems there.

I sent the link to my colleagues and there are quite a few artists amongst them and I am curious of their feed-back.

But this tool is very very good for developers. I haven't used it much, I agree that there are a few actions which are not obvious right from the start but once you learned them you realise how easily accessible they are. Like the switch between the Setup and Animate screens.
Also some hints on hover over certain buttons would be great, but I reckon that is in the polish phase. Most of them are there.
Also the transitions of the widgets are very nice. It makes the app very pleasant and slick.

I will come back with more feed-back once I used it but at a glance it looks great!
Will spread the word.
3  Discussions / Business and Project Management Discussions / Re: Recommended Server Hosting? (Dedicated or VPS) on: 2012-07-19 13:09:58
I have used quite a few before I stumbled upon linode and never looked back. I used rimuhosting and slicehost before.

I need the shell access as a root and I can say I never had my server rebooted in the las 2.5 years with linode. I rebooted it myself whenever I needed to but they never did. Support is just amazing and the total control you have...oh love it.

As for uptime and money back, I couldn't care less. I need uptime and access to it as ideally the server generates more money than 50 cents an hour.

I was also made aware of a new hosting company for Java apps. http://jelastic.com/.
They claim to run any Java app.
I have only signed up with them but never had the time to properly play with it. Someone mentioned needing Java support for testing, this might be the place to go for free. I think the free account doesn't allow top level domains, but for testing one can get away with a subdomain.
4  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: I love bitbucket! on: 2012-07-05 12:33:51
A nice way to learn git is: http://try.github.com/
It takes around 15-20 minutes.

I used to hate git, now is my preferred choice. I keep the repos in dropbox and clone them wherever I am and it works great.

I found no good git integration with eclipse so I just use the command line and "gitk". Very rarely I need to do some fancy stuff and if I get lost, I use SourceTree http://www.sourcetreeapp.com/.
I'm sure there are good GUIs for Linux and Windows too.

5  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Build automation and publishing on: 2012-06-21 17:47:53
The settings.xml file is your maven configuration.
It can be found in your HOME_DIRECTORY/.m2/settings.xml

If you're on windows is
c:\Users\<you>\m2\settings.xml  (win 7)
c:\Documents and Settings\<you>\m2\settings.xml (XP and 2003)

For unix systems is ~/.m2/settings.xml

More on the settings.xml can be found here: http://maven.apache.org/settings.html but I wouldn't worry too much about reading it.
6  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Build automation and publishing on: 2012-06-21 17:31:11
Isn't this what Ant is doing? Just instead of shell scripting, one writes in XML.

For what is needed here, 2 commands in a shell-script suffice though...
7  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Build automation and publishing on: 2012-06-21 16:05:52
You can use the maven eclipse plugin.
http://www.sonatype.org/m2eclipse

All you need is a pom.xml file and you can right click in eclipse on the project and pick Maven -> Enable or something similar and there you have it.

Even without having it in eclipse, you would need to write at the prompt: mvn deploy

That's it.
8  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Build automation and publishing on: 2012-06-21 15:16:05
Spending even half a day on learning something like this will pay off big time! Not just on your hobby projects but pretty much in any job you will get as a software developer you will need to use these.

Also laziness is one of the 3 virtues remember? http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?LazinessImpatienceHubris

Now be lazy and write a script that will do that for you!
9  Java Game APIs & Engines / Engines, Libraries and Tools / Re: Libgdx #1 Android Gamedev Framework on: 2012-06-21 14:48:20
I had tons of time at some point in my life (earlier this year) and started a port to C++ with iOS back-end.
Now I've got the Raspberry PI, I am dreaming of making the glue code for this back-end too.

Now clearly I don't have any more time and the project is temporary halted...hopefully not for long.

Libgdx is the best thing ever. I have no more time partly because of it...eg. a job.
10  Games Center / Featured Games / Re: Blocks That Matter on: 2012-06-07 13:27:30
Bastion is also playable in Chrome for free.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/oohphhdkahjlioohbalmicpokoefkgid
11  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Could someone explain Component based entities and managers? on: 2012-05-28 17:21:16
I think many views are biased on the subject. I understand both sides and I agree that there is no silver bullet.
I am a big proponent of get dirty and just start doing it with the little knowledge you have and learn the hard way. But by following this mantra and working on my own game I learned about composition, entity systems and their benefits.
My conclusion is that it is rarely necessary and beneficial in small games.
Once the game expands (here I don't just mean the entities like ships, tanks, rockets but also different abilities and more complex AI) the benefits of a component based design become more and more obvious. The game has to be BIG for the entity system to save you time.

I have put a couple of articles together on this subject after I tried them out and got some quite good value out of using them. But again, I'm not proposing it and I am in favour of working games above else.

SkyAphid: here are 2 articles which may give you an explanation for 2 common patterns that make up an entity system (Java and specifically for games):
http://obviam.net/index.php/design-in-game-entities-object-composition-strategies-part-1/
http://obviam.net/index.php/design-in-game-entities-object-composition-strategies-part-2-the-state-pattern/
12  Java Game APIs & Engines / Engines, Libraries and Tools / Re: LWJGL and an IDE on: 2011-12-13 17:10:40
There are differences between them but I wouldn't be able to say what to pick, as from a game developer's perspective, there are no real benefits (that I know of) to pick one over the other.

Each IDE (eclipse, netbeans, intelliJ) has its strengths and weaknesses and I think it is a matter of style and preference. I use eclipse. I have tried the other 2 as well and they all felt awkward but that is because I haven't invested enough time to become fluent in them. I use the keyboard a lot and although there are tons of cheat-sheets out there, I felt that eclipse is the most intuitive one for me as it was the first one I used.

This is probably the same message you will get from the other camps (Netbeans and IntelliJ users) too.

I have picked eclipse because I did a lot of enterprise software and eclipse had really nice plug-ins to help me with that (eclipse, maven, hibernate, servers, sql, etc). I don't think that this is the case for game development as it is more code than other stuff so you're safe with anything that has good code completion and refactoring features.

Good luck!
13  Games Center / Showcase / Re: Arcane Tactics: applet loader on: 2011-12-13 16:24:01
You just made many of us look bad! It's very neat and polished.

It works on Windows 7 on Chrome, FireFox and Opera.

Couldn't get it working on Mac OS (both Snow Leopard and Lion). After it loads it fades to black and that's it.
Switched on the java console (Utilities -> Preferences -> Java Settings -> Console on  - I had difficulties to find it) but couldn't get hold of any logging and the servlet reported no error.

I will give it a go on Linux (Ubuntu) too and once these things are ironed out and the game finished I'm sure it will be a great asset for the Chrome Store.

As for the applet loader, I always avoided them but it seems that you did a terrific job to take out most of the pain associated with it.

Kudos!
14  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: How to build a 4x game on: 2011-12-13 11:11:00
For generating galaxies I worked out a pretty basic algorithm but gives good results.

I have a 2 dimensional array. The distance between two adjacent elements is 1.
I pass in a minimum distance to the algorithm, meaning the minimum distance between the stars. If it's 2, then at least 2 spaces around a star must remain empty.

I take the first row, pick a random position, place the star and fill in the surrounding minDistance cells with "occupied". I also fill in on the Y axis.
Pick a random position from the remaining available positions and randomly select one available space, fill in the occupied and continue until there is no more space left. Do this for each row.

For shaping the galaxy, use a probability map as mentioned before.

The distances after is finished are calculated by using simple 2D math and the graph can be built.

Hope it helps someone.
15  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Source code for Doom 3 on: 2011-12-09 17:51:06
What better way to learn than by reading the source code of a finished product?
16  Game Development / Game Mechanics / Re: Having Java as a scripting language? on: 2011-11-17 12:41:51
A bit late, but what about Beanshell?

http://www.beanshell.org/

It uses Java syntax too which makes it even easier.
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