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1  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Generated Graph optimized A* Pathfinding on: 2017-12-14 00:03:34
Cool stuff, I like your GIF's, they show the approach really well.

That's a really good game idea too, how will you represent sound? Graphically or just through the speakers? Would be cool if the sound waves were visible and diffracted around walls.

I tried something similar here:
Some screenshots are here (but the webstart and applet no longer work, I've been meaning to clean it up):

One thing I noticed is that the 'player' square sometimes gets stuck on the corners. I found that by 'buffering' the obstacles by the width of the player (making the obstacles bigger so the nodes are further from the obstacle edges), then the paths would accommodate the width of the player better. JTS is great for buffering polygons:

I've actually tried out this exact pathfinding system myself. It's REALLY nice and clean and is a LOT faster for stuff like long corridors. It pretty much generates completely optimal paths in contrast with a grid-based pathfinder. However, it really can't handle open spaces well, as you end up with all corners connecting to all other corners over extreme distances. These checks are expensive and slow. In my case I needed to be able to modify the terrain efficiently and there was a very big risk of large open rooms with massive amounts of edges, so I ended up dropping it.

I found a similar problem, so I put a limit on the maximum distance to join nodes. I found that open rooms could be sped up by ordering the obstacles from closest to furthest, so the lines between nodes can be checked for intersections against the obstacles most likely to get in the way. This provided a big boost in speed.

That's interesting about modifying terrain on the fly. I cached all fixed obstacle intersections at the very start before the game began since I also found that took a long time.

One thing that @Riven mentioned a long time ago which would be interesting, is to use 'natural pathfinding' by limiting the nodes to what is visible. This would probably involve a trial-and-error approach.

@Jono is very knowledgeable on this topic, he's actually taught A* and other algorithms in class. He provided some good tips for me here:
2  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What I did today on: 2017-12-07 00:06:12
Nice project Kai!
I've been enjoying electronics lately too. I soldered my broken car key remote and bought a bunch of electronics on ebay. Servos,  sensors and arduinos, to have some fun with soon.
I've been enjoying this blog to keep up to date with what's going on in the system on a chip SOC and single board computer SBC market:

3  Discussions / Jobs and Resumes / Games design and dev lecturer Navitas SAE london on: 2017-12-05 06:57:11
I noticed this job for a games design and dev teacher in London. Could be a great fit for some people here.
Btw I'm not affiliated with Navitas, just thought it might be interesting to some of us.
We are looking for a knowledgeable and engaging educator to teach Games Development modules and common content in SAE HE programmes under the guidance of the Programme and Academic Coordinators. The ability to supervise and guide students through individualised final projects at level 6 is especially desirable.


Key Responsibilities

●       Facilitating learning through a variety of methods

●       Planning students’ learning experience through lesson plans and deliverable course material

●       Timely marking of assessments, providing useful and on-going feedback to students

●       Engaging in recruitment and outreach events through the year.


Essential Criteria

●       Master’s degree in a related field, or Hons degree and a PG Cert Education/HEA Membership (enroute to qualification with demonstrable evidence of satisfactory progress), and/or significant industry experience

●       Teaching experience, including the creation of session plans and preparation of materials

●       Relevant expert industry experience and proficient with industry-standard equipment and software

●       Experience in Games Design & Game Production on different platforms (i.e. console, mobile, VR), Unreal (Blueprints or C++), Agile approach

●       Outstanding communication, interpersonal skills, be a collaborative and flexible team player

●       Must have rights to live and work in the UK.


Desirable Criteria

●       Ability to create and build on industry links

●       Experience in Project Based Learning, Flipped Classroom and other contemporary forms of facilitating learning, using technology in learning, including Virtual Learning Environments

Specialisms including Unity, C#, C++, A.I., Game Optimisation, Mobile Development (Android &/or Swift), VR & AR, Graphics Programming
Ability to teach across other disciplines (including common modules and from Film, Games, Audio, etc.)

Refer to the attached position description for additional details about this role.


What we offer

The Navitas Group offers outstanding long-term career opportunities within the UK and abroad, and is values driven and an equal opportunity employer.
4  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Gosh, it's quiet in here on: 2017-11-05 06:04:56
I still read every day, it's great to hear the cool things people are up to. I still think it's an incredible community.
The few posts that we see are very high quality.
I wish some of the old timers would post what they've been up to, like kevglass, orangytang, Nate, blahblahblah, Mario badlogicgames, endolf, Markus, jeffk, chrism, Eli D, Shannon, thijs, markus.borbely, appel, delt0r and others.
I agree that web has made Java less appealing. One of the strengths of Minecraft when it first came out was that it could be played in a browser through applets which is no longer possible. However, tools like GWT and webgl4j help that. I suppose new people considering what language to learn would naturally choose JavaScript.
5  Game Development / Performance Tuning / Re: Optimal 2D rendering. on: 2017-10-18 10:28:33
As Cas says, and you may also want to try drawing the whole image, then drawing the lights as an image with alpha over the top. That way the hardware acceleration might help if it's available.
Caching unchanged data to avoid recalculating things could also help perhaps.
6  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: Open-source multiplayer FPS in Java on: 2017-10-15 09:06:35
Give it a go, some people here have managed to make fps games in java all by themselves. A very polished one we've recently seen is first recon made by orange451:

7  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: advice on creating useful tutorials on: 2017-10-03 12:28:44
Also very cheap
8  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Hosting game/demo file for download on: 2017-10-03 08:46:55
That's a very comprehensive guide, thanks for posting!
Where I live, static IP addresses are quite expensive, 10$ per month.
Is it the same in Europe?
9  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Blue Box: A bored college student project... on: 2017-10-02 13:18:16
It's a cool game, nice job. Super-fast paced at the end.
I notice that the life is given on the left hand side by boxes. Maybe it would look better if it was a tail on the ship, so the shorter the tail, the less health points.

I like the minimalism and colour scheme. But you could fit the game into some story or motivation to add more depth. Such as being a virus in a a bloodstream, trying to avoid the white blood cells rushing toward you. Or a salmon fish swimming against the river, dodging the fishing nets.

EDIT: Or a space ship trying to get out of the gravity pull of a black hole as it pulls other junk, asteroids or planets or something in.
10  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Hosting game/demo file for download on: 2017-10-02 08:38:30
Interesting, makes sense.
Do you still use Linode, Riven? If you had the time and energy to switch, would you host jgo on Amazon S3 or a VPS?
11  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Hosting game/demo file for download on: 2017-10-02 01:56:29
RamNode looks like slightly better value then.
With the '256MB CVZ' OpenVZ HDD option you pay 8$/quarter ($2.66/month) and get 256MB RAM, 1 CPU core, 120 GB storage and 1000GB/month bandwidth:
12  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Hosting game/demo file for download on: 2017-09-30 13:05:20
Gee, that's very cheap! I'll have to check it out too.
I always assumed that Amazon was the premium service used by big companies and would be expensive.
13  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Hosting game/demo file for download on: 2017-09-30 11:13:19
You could host that on a Tomcat server (it's java which make things easier) on a RamNode VPS for less than $5/month:
4 Years ago they had the best deals when I was looking. I've stayed with them and there have never been any glitches in that time which is great.
This site has some interesting discussion of the best deals these days:
14  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Anyone tried using/developing for an Android VR headset? on: 2017-09-29 05:34:31
My brother bought a Samsung phone with the great VR headset and it's cool! I haven't developed for it but was impressed at how well it worked. He said there weren't many good games yet and he hasn't used it much. Few of the games are multiplayer as well apparently which is a pity.
15  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Getting ready to release...any suggestions? on: 2017-08-05 12:58:56
Kev glass has made a success of some of his games which are low priced. Some might be free.
 If you wanted to go all out with spending your time to promote it, create a blog or forum or some other community group meeting place. Then post updates there and ask for suggestions from players. Spam gaming forums about it. Since it's free most should be ok with it. Make a leader board or ideally a multiplayer element of some sort to keep players coming back.
I have no personal experience releasing a game so take this advice with a pinch of salt.
16  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Posting to not-so-old topics on: 2017-08-04 22:45:37
New community members who wanted to get their post count up would post random unintelligent comments such as 'i agree' in the hope of attaining a higher status under their username.
Riven also attempted to fix this by amending the way the status is calculated.
17  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What I did today on: 2017-07-28 14:04:42
Judging by the video, the game looks nearly finished. The polish is already there. A differentiating feature would be interesting. How about one team of players are tiny and they fight the enemy team who are a few giants? With the blowing up gas tanks there's some room for interesting strategy. An FPS tower defence could also be interesting if it was multiplayer and had such good graphics.
18  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Game "running out of memory" with 32-bit JRE's on: 2017-07-16 06:13:34
Seems to be a known problem:

Why can't I get a larger heap with the 32-bit JVM?

The maximum theoretical heap limit for the 32-bit JVM is 4G. Due to various additional constraints such as available swap, kernel address space usage, memory fragmentation, and VM overhead, in practice the limit can be much lower. On most modern 32-bit Windows systems the maximum heap size will range from 1.4G to 1.6G. On 32-bit Solaris kernels the address space is limited to 2G. On 64-bit operating systems running the 32-bit VM, the max heap size can be higher, approaching 4G on many Solaris systems.

As of Java SE 6, the Windows /3GB boot.ini feature is not supported.

If your application requires a very large heap you should use a 64-bit VM on a version of the operating system that supports 64-bit applications. See Java SE Supported System Configurations for details.
19  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Passion Projects and Life: Spreading Yourself Too Thin? on: 2017-07-01 13:06:19
That's so incredibly cool! I absolutely adore working with microcontrollers, I had to program a small driver in C for the ATTiny for the Robotics team! We were using UID chips that had to be interfaced with.
This sounds cool, tell us more! I went to my local university's engineering department's open day where they had lots of robots to show off which were in the FIRST competition ( and even though the students appeared quite young they made some incredible things, like a wheeled robot that threw frisbees. Quite impressive.
20  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Passion Projects and Life: Spreading Yourself Too Thin? on: 2017-07-01 12:58:54
I used to have heaps of free time as a teenager and uni student, now there's hardly any.
Sometimes I start up old game projects I made just for fun and wonder at how I was able to spend weeks and weeks on little projects, getting so deeply involved in trying to squeeze out a few extra FPS of my silly Java2D game. Looking back, I was polishing a turd lol.

I now understand that I only maintain long-term interest in things that other people find useful or interesting.
I work as a teacher and quite enjoy applying programming to that. I've got a website Java Tomcat where I post up the past exam questions and solutions which students use for their homework and self-study:
If a younger version of myself knew that I would end up applying my amateur game programming skills to make an exam question bank I would be quite demoralised! But I think I'm lucky that I enjoy work, can apply programming to it and at least some people find it useful.

Since a few weeks (2 actually) I picked up my old hobby, programming micro-controllers.

Debugging is either done over the serial bus, with LEDs indicating certain states, or my favorite: creating a high resistance voltage-divider and wiring your signal into your PC's audio-in, then using a software two-channel (left, right audio) oscilloscope.

This explains your interest in the Tiny Code Challenge!

That sound card oscilloscope is very clever. One day I'd like to try that.

I also enjoy electronics, I've bought lots of arduinos, sensors, laser pointers, stepper motors and servos (2$ each on ebay) but haven't had time to make anything cool yet. I've only programmed an arduino to switch a laser pointer on and off in a loop. I'd like to program a wheeled robot one day that can weed my lawn using AI to recognise weeds and poke them, spray herbicide, or maybe burn them. Though I doubt I'll ever find time, it's fun to make plans and chat about it with any more knowledgeable people I can find  Smiley
21  Discussions / Business and Project Management Discussions / Re: Licensing overwhelm, asking for advice on: 2017-06-27 02:00:45
Good point, new work can be relicensed.
But with old work, once the cat is out of the bag, it's out forever
22  Discussions / Business and Project Management Discussions / Re: Licensing overwhelm, asking for advice on: 2017-06-26 22:59:22
Nice of you to choose such a permissive license as BSD.
One thing that I've always thought was interesting was that you can always relicense to make your code more open, but not the other way around. By licensing permissively, you've lost the option to keep the code private.
23  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: noise sculpting experiments on: 2017-06-03 07:16:34
Very nice ambient effects.

The rumble seems to cause unpleasant high pitch pop sounds on my laptop but that could be because the speakers are poor quality. Do you think the Brownian noise needs a max or min threshold in case it's causing the high pitch pops?

I used to listen to the naturally recorded rain and thunder tracks and the artificially created ones and couldn't easily tell the difference:

Natural (appparently):

Rain and thunder sounds are quite relaxing for some reason
24  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What I did today on: 2017-05-11 14:11:00
Sorry for the delayed reply, for some reason my browser showed errors everytime I tried to reply before today.

Thanks for the tips and write up! The learning process sounds fun so I'm looking forward to it. I actually bought a bunch of electronic stuff on eBay like servos and arduinos but I've not yet had time to fully dive in.
I did get a servo working on my c2 odroid mini computer using Java, and I wired up a laser pointer to an arduino programmed in their default IDE but that's it.
My dream is to eventually build a remote control thing of some sort. Given my inexperience with flying I think I'll start with a wheeled vehicle first.
Thank you for your code, very interesting. It looks like you have 7 servos on the plane judging by the code, nice!
25  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What I did today on: 2017-05-05 09:49:01
Sooo, half a year ago I said I would build a flight controller with arduino (teensy) ...
Here it is Cheesy

Sorry for giving you cancer with the video quality Roll Eyes

I've flown 1km far out yet, still plenty of signal with the RFM69H module, you can fly for at least about 20 minutes, with medium motor usage.
It has sensors for gps, air pressure, orientation and battery voltage onboard.

With all of that you can compute altitude, speed, distance and angle from home, etc with the ultimate goal of programming my own autopilot.
Right now it's just displaying the information on the transmitter-display.

That's the brain right here, painstakingly hand soldered...

Very cool project Cool Incredible that you were able to finish it and even fly that thing so well. I imagine it requires expertise in electronics, aviation and software. I'm interested to learn electronics and have some questions.

1. Do you communicate all that gps, battery usage and other info using that radio signal device? If so, did you use some API that can encode binary data over such a device? I thought radio waves are analog and therefore so lossy so I'm interested in how this is done.

2. Is there some guide you can recommend for doing such a project? I've investigated various quadcopter projects but an aeroplane with longer range is much cooler in my opinion.

26  Java Game APIs & Engines / Engines, Libraries and Tools / Re: GUI Library for Java Game Development? on: 2017-05-05 09:41:20
You're probably already aware of this interesting work in progress:

Rolling your own GUI framework is good for customisability and making nice buttons and displays.
But text editors are a nightmare! You definitely want a GUI lib if you need text entry, especially multi-line text entry.
27  Game Development / Performance Tuning / Re: Pathfinding over too large grid on: 2017-04-29 04:12:04
Dynamic terrain and unit blocking is tough. Maintaining the navigation mesh with this is hard.
Will you also incorporate fog of war or line of sight?
If so, you can make units follow dumber paths that explore as they go. This has the benefit of cheaper incremental computations. Riven recommended this to me when I investigated the path finding problem.

Cool pictures by the way  Cool
28  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Curious about loopy loops on: 2017-04-26 00:02:00
Use the profiling -Xprof JVM option to see what's taking too long. As people often say, premature optimisation is is a trap.
If you identify that the path finding is taking too long there are some handy shortcuts that you can use like measuring squared distance rather than actual distance that uses slow squared roots.
29  Games Center / Showcase / Re: Howard Phillips Lovecar - fight otherworld monsters from your car! on: 2017-04-24 12:45:15
Nice game! Worked well on windows 10 x64. Though after about 5 minutes of play where I just drove around the monsters incessantly firing I achieved a score of about 27,000 and then the game crashed. Perhaps it ran out of memory? I fired both left and right cannons non-stop so if the bullets, blood, tracks, monsters and bodies aren't disposed of, it may have overloaded the JVM memory limit.

The top-down view and effects are great. I especially like the car track effect, very satisfying  Cool

If you had time to add more weapons and a hot-seat co-op game mode where one person drives and the other shoots, perhaps with the mouse, it would be cool.
30  Discussions / Java Gaming Wiki / Re: SF/X Libraries on: 2017-03-02 10:15:59
Loving the eerie elk sounds on yellow stone national park. So generous of them to make it public domain.
Thanks for posting
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Java Gaming Resources
by philfrei
2017-12-05 19:38:37

Java Gaming Resources
by philfrei
2017-12-05 19:37:39

Java Gaming Resources
by philfrei
2017-12-05 19:36:10

Java Gaming Resources
by philfrei
2017-12-05 19:33:10

List of Learning Resources
by elect
2017-03-13 14:05:44

List of Learning Resources
by elect
2017-03-13 14:04:45

SF/X Libraries
by philfrei
2017-03-02 08:45:19

SF/X Libraries
by philfrei
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