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1  Games Center / Contests / Re: JAVA4K GAMES DOWNLOAD on: 2016-09-15 20:49:47
I fixed the jars on the website, they should be downloadable now.

You can get json here for contests and games (should be self explanatory):

However, it seems that 000webhost deleted the jar folder because it wasn't stored in the right place. I've restored as much as I can, with the backups I had, but it seems most recent games are missing. I will keep looking, or contact 000webhost (which I expect is futile).

2  Games Center / Contests / Re: JAVA4K GAMES DOWNLOAD on: 2016-09-14 22:12:51
I have everything backed up and I will make it available to a responsible party.
3  Java Game APIs & Engines / Engines, Libraries and Tools / Nostalgic factor... my Artemis project... on: 2015-12-11 02:01:55
Despite I have shut down the website for a while, after neglecting it for a while, I still get emails, I still see articles, ports, etc.

So, how do you quantify this?

I google the artemis entity system project and I get so many results.

But I have no idea how it is being used.

I spent a lot of time on that project, a whole summer of R&D, optimizing Java, and creating the best portable version of that ideology I could think of.

I do wonder. I could be a small thing, but to me it seems like it's more widespread in use.
4  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Should I let java4k die? on: 2015-11-26 22:30:11
The domain has been renewed for one more year, the site should return to normal soon. Apo has come forth offering his help, I will work with him to move the site to him.
5  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Should I let java4k die? on: 2015-11-25 23:09:26
We will rescue it Smiley
6  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Should I let java4k die? on: 2015-11-19 19:00:19
Yea, the domain is expiring. I have a backup of website just in case. But a few days from now nothing will be up. No big deal, as nobody can run the games anymore.
7  Discussions / General Discussions / Should I let java4k die? on: 2015-11-18 01:25:10
We're days from it...
8  Games Center / Contests / Re: Java4K Competition 2015 on: 2015-02-24 22:01:56
I just finished reading all your replies on that thread. You sway back and forth between never abandoning it, and being openminded towards potential contributers. This is not a 'prior notice' of any kind, especially as you actually continued to host the next context. For a lot of us it came as an absolute surprise that one day before the latest contest was about to start, it was pulled.

There are severe problems with applets but that is not a reason to abandon the contest. Like mentioned in the thread you refered to, Ludum Dare isn't crippled by the demise of applets: overthere native binaries/executables are OK, get many downloads, high ratings, etc. What's wrong with Java4K going the JAR route, with optional launcher? Last time I checked Java4K was by JGO, for JGO, just like Ludum Dare is pretty self-contained: only the top 10, maybe 20, is appealing to the general public.

So... JGOers will cope with whatever deployment method we pick. Nobody cares about average Joe struggling to launch our games. We're trying to have a good time among ourselves here... trying to impress everybody by either our first released game ever, or clever hack.

Regarding nobody asking you to continue Java4K, nor anyone opting to take over... I could say the same about JGO. People tend to assume you continue unless you explicitly state you're about to pull the plug.

But in any case, there was no outcry in the thread where I announced it. Some sobbed it, but most realized it was inevitable. My perception was that I should not continue it. There was no post about the 4k contest prior to me announcing it, so nobody wondered.
If someone demanded to take it over, it would have taken 5 minutes to create a new contest in the database. That's always been an offer on the table.

I won't just close down the door, the site and vanish into thin air without any chance of contact. The site is still up, I'm available for contact, and willing to hand it over. So, I guess if there are no takers then there is no interest, so the whole discussion is pointless Cheesy

btw. Riven, you've done a great job on JGO. It's a thriving community and active site despite all odds. I don't think you get enough recognition for accomplishing that.
9  Games Center / Contests / Re: Java4K Competition 2015 on: 2015-02-24 20:32:12
Appel completely dropped the ball by announcing one day prior to the start of the competition that it wouldn't continue. I would have respected his position much more if he'd have given us a few months notice.

I did give a few months notice, well over a few months notice in fact (Aug 2013!):

But I decided to do the 2013-2014 contest as a one last time thing. The writing has been on the wall ever since.

I have also offered to hand over the torch (the site, domain + code + db) to another reputable person, but no takers.

So it's not accurate to say "it died because appel decided to drop the ball 1 day prior to the start of the competition". I've not had any request to continue the contest, nor any message from someone interested in continuing it.

The ball was dropped a long time ago, by Oracle. It's just been sort of being kicked around by a ever decreasing number of enthusiastic individuals.
10  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Markus bought a new house on: 2014-12-22 22:35:13
Whatever is said here....

all I can say...

@Markus... invite your good ol pals from JGO to a party in your new house Smiley
11  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Z-Ordering technique? on: 2014-12-08 23:50:36
I did a small framework called Apollo which somewhat solves this:

You could assign a z-indexing to each entity and then maintain a rendering array ordered by that z-index, you would recalculate that rendering array each time there's a change, like a entity being created or deleted.

I decided to have a two layers of sorting, first I put the entities into their corresponding bucket, and then sort them inside each of their buckets. That improves performance and also allows for more easy layering of the entities, like you have grouping buckets like "foreground" or "background" or "effects". For some of these groups order matters for some they don't. Explosions in the effects group don't care if they're beneath of above other explosions if they're rendered additively so rendering them makes so sense.

But in the end this is quite simple, just z-index rendering. Your game looks simple enough so you don't have to go down the rabbit hole of useless optimizing.

Btw. you can just render according to Y-value.
12  Games Center / Contests / Re: End of 4K. Thanks all! on: 2014-11-30 22:49:24
I think I have most of the games that are broken archived somewhere, but they need to be manually restored, which is something I haven't gotten around to.

I'd be interested in a html5 canvas game competition Smiley but someone has to organize it other than me Smiley
Would it be a 4k contest? Is that really feasible? You can minify Javascript, but I don't think you can compress it like you can with class files.
13  Games Center / Contests / End of 4K. Thanks all! on: 2014-11-29 22:59:32
December 1st is on Monday and usually that's the day the Java4K contest starts. But now for the first time in about 12 years there won't be a Java4K contest starting. This was really decided last year, lack of participation and loss of interest in the Java platform along with loss of support for Java applets in browsers were the final nails in the coffin. I'm also moving my interests to other pastures.

But although this is a sad thing it's also about time. I think we should celebrate the amazing games that a lot of people submitted into the contest. The contest was a success, many people had lots of fun both in making the games and also playing them, but now it's time to move on.

Thanks all.
14  Game Development / Artificial Intelligence / Re: Faster A* Pathfinding on: 2014-09-24 22:50:32
The trick to faster A* is abusing data structures and proper heuristics.

You're only using ArrayList, that's pretty poor performance.
15  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Microsoft to buy Mojang for $2 billion? on: 2014-09-15 20:09:55
He built up his reputation on giving the finger to big business, it's actually his fault people are reacting the way they are.

As I said, I'm happy for the sale. But it still doesn't change the fact Notch sold out his core ethical foundation. There's really no way you can claim he didn't. Although I'm sure he hates the fact he is in such a spotlight people are pointing it out. Notch set himself up as a shining example of sticking it to the man, then sold out to the man. There's many other ways he could of left the Mojang/Minecraft world.

Regardless, I'm not upset by any of this. I used strong words to make a point, and the point really can't be argued.. people can just be annoyed that I was so blunt about it. Wink

I guess I don't really know the details, since I never knew Notch built up his reputation as being anti-business or something of that nature. In fact, the genius-level Minecraft merchandising had me believing that he, like the rest of us, had no problem monetizing his product. Maybe I don't know enough about Notch to be commenting.

But even taking everything you said as true (despite it all being subjective and mostly from Notch's perspective), I'm still not sure why this is bothering so many people. "Oh no some guy I don't know is making money off of the product that he made and I enjoy, how terrible...." The amount of whining this is generating should at least make it pretty obvious to everybody why Notch is leaving in the first place, haha.

There were not many ways for Markus to "get out". 2 years ago a studio like Valve could have bought the game, but today Mojang could probably buy Valve. EA probably wouldn't have enough money to spend on buying Minecraft.

In the end Minecraft got so big that only a handful of corporations had enough money to buy it, and only one or two actually had a business case reason for buying it. For Markus the only way out was to "sell out" to the likes of Microsoft.

If you can name one "good" company that could have bought Minecraft, had a business case reason and the money at hand, then please name it.
16  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Microsoft to buy Mojang for $2 billion? on: 2014-09-15 19:56:32
I'm awaiting a big donation in order to get a dedicated server or cloud for java4k and domain fees for the next 2 millennias Cheesy then he'll buy Oracle and get Java back into the browser, invent a time machine and go back to 1999 Cheesy minor things like that.

But in all seriousness, it's sort of strange. What would you do with a billion dollars in your bank account? Go back making ludum dare games?

I never really played Minecraft, tried it out at first and thought my creativity was spent better elsewhere than hatching away in some 3D matrix.

It's clear Markus has gotten very carried away and detached, he says he's not a CEO, just a programmer, but withdrew Minecraft from making it available for VR because Facebook bought Oculus. Then he sells Minecraft to Microsoft. I'm pretty sure a few guys are scratching their heads.

But now he's signed the dotted line, and he'll be able to do whatever he wishes for the rest of his life. For the rest of us, keep on scrubbing Cheesy
17  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Microsoft to buy Mojang for $2 billion? on: 2014-09-13 00:21:56
It's clearly more than a rumor, though Reuters says it is not a done deal yet. They say there will be an announcement on Monday.

Microsoft needs MineCraft to boost mobile ambitions

Figures from article:
  • MineCraft has 100 million players.
  • MineCraft is being offered $2.5 billion
  • MineCraft is being offered about 1/8 of last year's sales <$312.5 million>

Reads like this is a done deal. $2.5 billion sounds like a good retirement plan at what 35? I don't think all the pension funds combined in my country have that much money.

But I don't know if Markus owns Mojang fully or not. He's said to be "co-founder" of Mojang so that implies he's not the sole owner.
18  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Microsoft to buy Mojang for $2 billion? on: 2014-09-10 23:14:46
$2 billions are like half of what Star Wars was worth, it's crazy to think that this little indie game created quite recently by one guy as a hobby is worth half of the Star Wars empire George Lucas built.

Let's be honest, there's only so far Markus can go with Minecraft. It may be today's sensation, but in 2-3 years who knows, games fade out into nothingness all the time.

I would accept $2b simply because I know the game isn't worth that much money, and use that money to invest in all sorts of other activities, initiatives, startups or whatever. Do what Elon Musk did when he sold his stake in Paypal, go out and do more, create SpaceX and Tesla. The world will still have Minecraft, and probably more of it, but it will also have Markus investing wisely.

19  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Component Systems: Artemis style systems vs. traditional fat entities on: 2014-07-31 04:53:52
I spent a great deal of time profiling Artemis to ensure its design wasn't bottlenecking the performance, and I did not find it lagging behind its OOP alternatives, e.g. dozens of thousands of entities.

If you have more than a dozens of thousands of entities, hundreds of thousands, then you're doing something terribly wrong. No game should have that number of entities active in its world at a given time.

All I wanted was a easy design, where I wasn't schizophrenically dependent upon some hierarchical OOP structure and was fast enough.

But that doesn't mean Artemis-design is suited for all. It's quite rigid when it comes to how entities are composed.
20  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Component Systems: Artemis style systems vs. traditional fat entities on: 2014-07-21 17:05:22
And then there was Ashley...  Grin
After a quick code review though it looks like it borrows the design completely from Artemis and will have the similar performance bottlenecks and general rigidity. It will be interesting if any additional performance can be squeezed out of it and where the folks behind it will take it given that it is tied to libgdx.

Yea, seems Ashley is derived mostly from Artemis.

Java is a very cumbersome language when dealing with inherently dynamic nature of ES. Probably 90% of the overhead and complexity is the ES implemention for Java (Artemis) stems from the rigidness of the Java language.

If you were writing in JavaScript, it would be almost effortless and natural to go the ES way.
21  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Component Systems: Artemis style systems vs. traditional fat entities on: 2014-07-18 17:27:11
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
I feel like we're more discussing semantics, what these things are called and how "pure" it is.

ES is just the concept, not an implementation. It's about splitting up your code into modules and executing it the way you want.
22  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Component Systems: Artemis style systems vs. traditional fat entities on: 2014-07-18 15:48:47
I spent a great amount of time grinding my teeth over hierarchical inheritance in game programming. I ended up creating a Unit, then a ShootingUnit and then a MovingUnit, and then I had to make a ShootingMovingUnit and everything collapsed. ES approach blew those issues away. Why this is still debated simply is mind boggling.

Surely, my Artemis is just one approach, one implemention by one guy. It's even quite dated. Artemis is not be-all and end-all, and frankly I'm quite surprised how popular it has become. There are many variations of Artemis out there by now that have improved upon the original design, in many languages. The Java Artemis quite influenced by the Java language design, so for other languages you might want other approaches.

The idea is not very complex. You want the shooting behavior and the moving behavior to be separate so that you can make shooting+moving unit, a shooting unit, and a moving unit without losing sleep. You can really only achieve that by decoupling the behaviors.
23  Games Center / 4K Game Competition - 2014 / Re: Judging results on: 2014-03-22 18:06:18
Well, it's not like Java is the hottest thing anymore. It's understandable that interest in the 4k contest has dwindled, but there are still some who are interested in it and find it a fun annual contest.

But about the future, I'm not sure if I will continue to manage it anymore. Personally I'd like someone take over to continue to manage it. I think after 7 years it's time to move on  Roll Eyes I'd like to hand over the site to a capable person.
24  Games Center / 4K Game Competition - 2014 / Judging results on: 2014-03-20 22:41:40
The judging results can be found on front page:

Big thanks to the judges, teletubo and jimmt. And huge congratulations to Gef for his In The Dark 4k title, and to all the other winners Smiley
25  Games Center / 4K Game Competition - 2014 / Re: Results due soon on: 2014-03-20 18:42:45
26  Games Center / 4K Game Competition - 2014 / Re: Results due soon on: 2014-03-20 18:38:57
I woke up in the middle of the night in sweat and "omg... the 4k results!!"

Been so busy with work. I'm working on it now, publish by midnight.
27  Games Center / 4K Game Competition - 2014 / Re: Results due soon on: 2014-03-17 23:54:49
Community voting is closed. Both judging and community voting results will be published tomorrow, Tuesday!
28  Games Center / 4K Game Competition - 2014 / Re: Results due soon on: 2014-03-16 01:41:57
Still can't access the site Angry
What you mean?  Huh
29  Games Center / 4K Game Competition - 2014 / Results due soon on: 2014-03-15 22:42:35
I will extend the community voting, and thus judging panel, for a few more days. Results will be published on Monday hopefully.

30  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Do internet Game Dev Teams Actually work? on: 2014-03-10 00:09:59
I've been part of a few (attempted) projects, and honestly, online community projects are really horrible.

Even small well defined projects are likely to fail. Medium and large projects are silly to even attempt.

Let's say you're the project initiator. You end up doing at least 60% of all the work anyways, but have to spend 2x more time doing those 60% than if you would have done it alone, because trying to coordinate a team requires a lot of work and effort. Instead of being able to design things on your own, you have to discuss with others, explain, and after a lot of effort they lose interest in the project anyways. Time wasted.

If online community projects succeed, it's because of one or two extraordinary individuals willing to strive to finish it. Finding a like minded team partner is like a lottery you rarely win in. Most team members drop out fast and stop contributing very early. Also, finding a good team partner is unlikely, because all the good devs out there know well enough to stay away from these kind of projects. You end up with medicocrate people, unless they're hired for money.

If you really really want to attempt it (may the force be with you) then you have to keep things in mind:
- Be very strict regarding time put into the project, at what times people work and how many hours.
- Communicate and talk using Skype or something like that, even while working. Working together at the same time and being able to discuss at any time helps make the project more real. Having to write everything in email is horrendous and puts too much distance between you and your team partner(s)!!
- Get rid of members that don't do anything. Better to be alone than being a horse dragging a carriage of free riders.
- Define the project VERY VERY VERY WELL. What your goals are, what are the requirements, features etc. Plan things, split things up, know what you're doing, don't just go on a joy ride with no destination in mind. You end up in a ditch killing all the passengers.
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