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1  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: How to disable the DOTA game on my LAN? on: 2015-11-26 10:55:05
It's very kind of you to try and help your brother this way.
Something you might try is to get your brother addicted to making games rather than playing them. That's how I transitioned from gamer to amateur coder.
Here is an interesting article about what makes games addictive, which might make him see the pointlessness of game addiction and the hooks that he is falling for:
Good luck!
2  Games Center / Android Showcase / Re: Cashdefense - Cashflow Simulation on: 2015-11-25 09:27:38
Yes I see what you mean about the playability, good point.
Rather than make all debt have such punitive interest rates of 2% per month, perhaps you could ration it like the way banks do in real life using some kind of maximum debt servicing ratio or loan to valuation ratio. So you can't borrow any more when your interest expense is more than say 35% of your annual income (the definition of mortgage stress in some countries) or when your LVR is more than 80 or 90%.
Just some ideas.
It's a really clever game, I like it. I'm doing research into finance and economics and often think about these things. You must be a business student as well?
It's funny how you say that having lots of cheap debt would make the game too easy, since that is what has happened in real life with zero interest rates and quantitative easing in most of the world's biggest economies. House and share prices have ballooned significantly, arguably buoyed by cheap debt.
3  Games Center / Android Showcase / Re: Cashdefense - Cashflow Simulation on: 2015-11-24 08:33:18
I played 4 times and enjoyed figuring out how it works.
The different goals of cash and wealth versus popularity and life goals is interesting. I wonder why you only put cash as the 'score' visible at the top?
There are many humourous things like the 'physical relationship' option with the rabbit icon and the comment that 'Mom still likes you' for low popularity.
There is no option to buy shares which is a common investment, perhaps that could be included in addition to property.
One thing that I thought was unusual was that borrowing to invest in real estate was at the very high rate of 2% per month, whereas the capital appreciation of the real estate asset was only 2% per year. That explains why the debt snowballs so quickly. Perhaps personal unsecured debt funding non-investment assets should attract higher interest rates while personal secured debt funding investment assets such as property or shares should have a lower interest rate, as in real life.
I found your game entertaining and liked it. It's well thought out, even the way you die at 71 if you don't do sport! Lol.
A score timeline of your different stats would be interesting.
4  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Lwjgl to browser. on: 2015-11-19 16:23:49
Adding to the list, forum member SHC recently released an interesting webGL library 'webgl4j' that is designed to work similarly to lwjgl:
5  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Isotröma on: 2015-10-22 15:13:25
It's impressive, the graphics and lights are very nice.
The scene reminds me of the film noire blade runner
6  Game Development / Shared Code / Re: Extremely Fast sine/cosine on: 2015-10-06 02:15:11
..the worst possible professors at my uni...
They're paid to help you.  Any time I type in information here I'm putting my hand in my pocket and throwing cash out the window the entire time I'm typing.  Seems pretty understandable that my willingness to do so is rather limited.
Lol, you must be an economist as well as a mathematician and programmer!
As someone who obviously understand opportunity cost, do you contribute to open source software? A truly rational person would not, it seems, since it's a complete waste of time. Yet may programmers do, for the fame, notoriety or feel-good emotion that they're part of something bigger than themselves.
I'm not faulting you and I appreciate your maths posts and your humour, demonstrated here. I just wonder how you can justify your actions based solely on opportunity cost.
7  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Two supermassive black holes discovered in close orbit, possible merger on: 2015-09-25 02:05:27
Interesting article, thanks for posting!
Unfortunately we will not see the result:
The two supermassive black holes of PG 1302-102 will not remain in their absurdly fast orbit forever. Rather, they’re expected to spiral into one another and merge in about a million years.

I don't really understand how the event horizon of a black hole can stop light and matter escaping yet the force of gravity still escapes and interacts with everything else like normal.
8  Games Center / Showcase / Re: Elevox - Early Demo on: 2015-09-09 00:56:34
It's beautiful scenery, worked on my windows 7 computer fine.
But the controls are frustrating, it is too hard to hit the slime monsters. I had to walk away from them then back toward them so that I was facing them when I whacked them with the hammer. Otherwise it was too hard to aim the hammer at them.
I think a typical FPS view would be better where the mouse controls where the player faces.
Good job overall, the menus worked well and the game didn't freeze.
9  Game Development / Game Mechanics / Re: Case Studies on: 2015-09-07 13:20:28
Interesting, thanks for explaining.
An additional computation saving might be making an atan2Sq which gives the square atan2 and therefore avoids the square root, and adds just a multiplication of the dot product in the numerator.
As agentd explained, this can be compared to the atan2 squared of the NPC view angle
10  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Better way to store a massive amount of variables on: 2015-09-06 13:46:49
For the sake of the IDE's auto-complete feature, I would steer clear of Maps and instead use the dot-operator or getters and setters.
Reminds me of how much I hate trying to remember the String property key "file.separator" or "" in java.lang.System.getProperty():

I wonder why the JDK designers used this map-style property mechanism for the System class? Perhaps it's a legacy thing from JDK1.0.

Maps introduce another level of indirection for little gain, in my opinion.

Someone here once said that using getters and setters in public API's for wider distribution and public variables (SomeClass.varName) in your own personal projects was the way to go.
11  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: About separating game logic from rendering on: 2015-08-26 14:04:32
But then in some respects, keeping the render method as a part of the game object being rendered also has an elegance to it. After all, the game object would know best how it should be rendered and any refactoring or improvement made to the game object state can be easily updated in the rendering code in that game object class, rather than finding the renderer class and updating it there.

I agree, and that's how I code my own games. That being said, I generally do keep my model code in a step() function, and then my render code in a draw() function. It wouldn't be too hard to move my draw() function to a rendering class, and then swap out different rendering classes. If you keep your rendering code separate from your modeling code like that, you're still semantically obeying the guideline of swappability.

Yes i do the same thing too. The alternative entity component system approach is interesting and it would be nice to try it one day.
12  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: Octalysis gamification framework on: 2015-08-26 13:27:32
Lol, he's a great presenter. I enjoyed the video too.
His comments about MMOs are hilarious.
13  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: About separating game logic from rendering on: 2015-08-26 13:24:45
Making the rendering code swappable is an interesting idea, nice one KevinWorkman.
But then in some respects, keeping the render method as a part of the game object being rendered also has an elegance to it. After all, the game object would know best how it should be rendered and any refactoring or improvement made to the game object state can be easily updated in the rendering code in that game object class, rather than finding the renderer class and updating it there.

Reminds me of argument over using classes versus entity component systems like artemis.
14  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: Octalysis gamification framework on: 2015-08-26 07:34:08
A funny video about unethical game design black hat techniques.

<a href=";hl=en_US&amp;start=" target="_blank">;hl=en_US&amp;start=</a>
15  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What I did today on: 2015-08-23 13:06:07
I once has this grid that was self-adjusting. Every N frames it would either grow or shrink in cell size, and measure performance differences. It would converge to the optimal solution, and then adjust itself when the environment changed, and converge to the new optimal solution. Give it a try, it is easy to implement.

That's an interesting idea. But how did you measure performance? Using System.nanoTime()?
If so, how would you know that the CPU your thread was being processed by didn't switch to another thread mid-way between a timing?
Did you cull outliers and average timings, hoping the effect would be averaged out?
16  Game Development / Game Mechanics / Re: Case Studies on: 2015-08-22 18:50:16
Is it possible to make arc-cos, arc-sin and arc-tan using vectors too?

The alternative cos and sin implementations with vectors are very interesting. I suppose that tan can be calculated as sinAngle/cosAngle which reduces to the cross/dot.

By the way, one disadvantage of the new angleCos method that does just one square root is a higher chance of numerical overflow if the x and y coordinates are very large. This is because they get multiplied together one extra time before being square rooted. I believe that many robust topographical API's such as JTS ( first 'normalise' the coordinates by shrinking or growing the vectors to manageable distances first. Given that JOML probably favours performance over edge-case stability, perhaps it's an acceptable trade-off.

PS: thanks for the detailed explanation theagentd
17  Game Development / Game Mechanics / Re: Case Studies on: 2015-08-22 00:56:28
I never knew about this vector-replacement for finding the cosine of an angle. Great stuff. I couldn't find a version for Math.sin on google which is a pity.

I think the additional optimisation that @Roquen is suggesting is that the two square roots can be replaced by one.
Since sqrt(x)*sqrt(y) = sqrt(x*y)

    public float angleCos(Vector3f v) {
        double length1 = Math.sqrt(x * x + y * y + z * z);
        double length2 = Math.sqrt(v.x * v.x + v.y * v.y + v.z * v.z);
        double dot = x * v.x + y * v.y + z * v.z;
        return (float) (dot / (length1 * length2));

    public float angleCos(Vector3f v) {
        double lengthSq1 = x * x + y * y + z * z;
        double lengthSq2 = v.x * v.x + v.y * v.y + v.z * v.z;
        double dot = x * v.x + y * v.y + z * v.z;
        return (float) (dot / Math.sqrt(lengthSq1 * lengthSq2));

18  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: Article on pay to win games in Japan on: 2015-08-20 15:20:10
That's interesting @Springrbua, I can see how that would be fun.
It's like buying a surprise lolly bag at a fair, or a pack of random collectable cards that might have a super valuable one inside, but probably doesn't. I believe that 'Magic the Gathering' uses this technique too.
Do you think the micro-transactions are a good element? I suppose that they would make the game better-funded and therefore better developed, balanced, content-filled, interesting and evolving?
I also wonder if it was possible to enjoy the game without the good weapons that can only be bought.

It reminds me of when I played paintball with some friends. We all agreed to get the stock standard entry level pump-action gun to avoid being up-sold by the paintball salespeople. For most of us, it's all we could afford. But some people splashed out on automatic paintball guns. They annihilated us! They were 5 times more effective and inflicted much more pain, lol. We still had fun, but there was definitely resentment against their superior fire-power. Like pay-to-win games, the paintball sales people created an arms race where the wealthiest, most determined or least rational player will win the game, but lose their cash.
19  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: Article on pay to win games in Japan on: 2015-08-19 00:04:20
If you are a fan of Southpark (I'm such a huge fan of it), there is S18E06 "Freemium Isn't Free." This episode is hilarious. (if on your country it's free to watch, you can watch it on or
But in the end, those games exploit/abuse the stupidity of people that would play those games and spend more money just to get the feeling of success. It's almost like gambling.

Thanks for the link! I'll watch that episode this weekend.
Yes I agree that this is like gambling and would give an empty feeling to players after they realise their error. In fact Yu-kai Chou who made the Octalysis framework calls these techniques 'black hat'.
To the Japanese firm's credit, the article does say that they limit the amount they charge each gamer per day.
I actually heard that in 'Game Of War', an American pay-to-play game, some child in Belgium spent 37,000 euros on their parents' credit card in that game. How absurd!

20  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Article on pay to win games in Japan on: 2015-08-17 13:50:56
I never knew about the scale of the Japanese mobile game market until I read this article.

Gung ho's puzzles and dragons grossed 1.3b$ last year.
DeNA has 50 data analysts.
Half of the top 10 mobile game publishers worldwide ranked by revenue in 2014 were Japanese, even though only one made the list ordered by number of downloads, according to App Annie.

What are your thoughts about pay to win? I would never play them
21  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: Octalysis gamification framework on: 2015-08-15 11:34:26
Also there's the:
Occasional 'boss fights' with more experienced JGO members, haha.
'Instant feedback' of being able to see who's viewing your posts and how many times it's been read
Featured game 'crowning'
'Avatar' with stars and experience
Upside down duke JGO logo 'easter egg'

22  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: Octalysis gamification framework on: 2015-08-14 17:48:06
"It's funny how depriving you of something that you want, makes you want it even more."
And welcome to lesson #1 in sociology/psychology/life. Wink
Haha, very true. Here's another one that I've often heard: "treat them mean to keep them keen".

Regarding the categorization about motivation factors in games, I think that isolating and describing any such factor on its own is good to identify them but does not help very much. Abstracting the properties of a game so much by only giving those properties "names" and not accounting for how well they are actually realized and integrated with each other, does not help either. What life taught us is that everything depends on everything else and nothing is abstractable, because every abstraction loses important essence of the problem. How good will a game be if it only had 30 of the maybe 100 properties? Will it be "half as good" as one that had 60 of those 100 properties?
Yes, that's a good point. I tried to think of a successful game that was very simple and only used one technique and naturally thought of Flappy Bird, so I looked up Yu-kai's assessment of it and he too acknowledges that this game makes use of mainly just one technique; scarcity and impatience to achieve a reasonable score.

I expect that some of these concepts are explored by the author of that site in his book, judging by the title 'Beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboards', but I haven't read it.

For feature-focused coders who can only think in terms of structures and logic, this classification of the human-focused techniques is certainly interesting.

Because actually the "people" factors are much bigger. But having grown up with mastering technology we have at times the tendency to fallback to technology when being faced with an actual people problem and try to solve it with technology.
And what makes things worse is that those people factors are given less attention and are hardly ever tackled. But I think they must be experienced to be understood.
About trying to figure out the people problems, I think that's something that the marketing professionals also struggle with as much as us coders do.
It reminds me of a quote by Henry Ford, who said "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses".

I dare say that the JGO founders and @Riven has tapped into some of these techniques with this forum:
Accomplishment - Badges, rankings and medal leaderboards.
Higher meaning - People give advice, share code and make countless tools and API's for others to use for free, partly because everyone wants to contribute to something bigger than themselves.
Friending and bragging - Showing off your latest project is always fun. And the social aspect of this forum is great.
FOMO - Need to check into JGO every day or else there might be an interesting conversation that you missed. Also, topics are locked after a time so there's some urgency to post a message sooner rather than later.
Dangling - New post messages at top of html page when someone posts something. A great addition!
23  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Octalysis gamification framework on: 2015-08-14 15:14:49
I wanted to share an interesting website that seeks to document what makes games fun and addictive.

The author Yu-Kai Chou describes and groups lots of common techniques that you will have seen in different games.
He arranges the groups of similar techniques in an octogon shape where the things on the left are 'left-brained' optimiser-related extrinsic motivators such as leveling up and score boards, and the right side are more intrinsic-motivation related things such as social interaction.

The top groupings are 'white-hat' techniques that appeal to positive things such as creativity, story-telling and life meaning. The bottom groupings are 'black-hat' techniques that I think are really interesting such as scarcity, fear of missing out and gambling-related lucky or unpredictable events.

I find it useful since I have difficulty grasping game play techniques which often work the opposite to how they logically should. For example, apparently the very successful Candy Crush game restricts users from playing for more than half an hour or so which means that they're never satiated and are always thinking about when they can log on to play again. I would never think of that! It's funny how making the game harder to play makes people want to play it more. See half-way down this page for the heading 'Gamification Core Drive #6: Scarcity and Impatience'

The author describes his approach as being human-focused rather than function-focused design. Coders are probably too function-focused most of the time. I think this is the reason why I struggle to achieve that elusive fun factor in my game ideas.
24  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Oracle working on an AOT compiler for Java on: 2015-08-14 14:26:41
I'm sorry, but I've never actually seen this behaviour. The only thing that causes Java UIs to freeze is when people don't know how (or even when) to code multithreaded UIs.
I agree that many GUI programmers don't multi-thread their GUI's enough to hide resource-loading and other freeze scenarios.
I stand corrected that the GUI slowness is probably not due to JIT compilation, but rather the lack of it.
Interpreted non-openGL software-only graphics GUI code is very slow before it has been JIT-compiled.
This is why GUI's often feel unresponsive until they've been 'warmed up'. This is an issue for custom look and feels that tax the software rendering loops, such as the Substance swing look and feel which I liked a lot but would take a while to become fast and responsive.

Since you use Eclipse, which uses the SWT framework's native GUI components, you probably don't see this.

I think that start-up time improvements through caching or static compilation is a great leap forward, in the Neil Armstrong sense, not the Mao Zedong sense  Cool
25  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Oracle working on an AOT compiler for Java on: 2015-08-14 13:41:15
I agree that AOT compilation using Excelsior JET appears to be a better solution.

But startup time is one of the worst aspects of Java programs and creates negative user experiences even for non-trivial programs.
Java GUI freeze when a button is clicked for the first time is very irritating and that's due to JIT compilation.
Native programs seem to be able to start almost instantaneously.
26  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What I did today on: 2015-08-14 13:29:03
Well, took @philfrei advice and made a somewhat more interesting video of live synth coding in action!  Wink 

Cool demo, at 3:17 there was a noticeable change in the live-coded pitch and then frequency which was quite impressive.
To give the demo a wider appeal, you might consider making bigger changes earlier on, and changing the graphic visualisation too.
By the way, have any DJ's tried the project with electronic dance music? Would be great to hear what they could do with it. I've heard that Deadmau5 experiments with this sort of thing. This is one of my favourite songs of his:
27  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Oracle working on an AOT compiler for Java on: 2015-08-14 13:03:23
Can anyone give me a TL;DR?
The parts that I watched discussed caching the JIT-compiled hot-spot code to disk. But apparently this presents difficulties due to class-loading order and other traps.
So the speaker experimented with an ahead-of-time static compile which somehow works with the JIT functionality.

Apparently the proposed optimisations could not be fully realised due to budget and time constraints so the speed-ups were less than hoped for. Also, the added code complexity worked against the start-up time savings.

It does appear to be a peculiar direction to take and is certainly nothing anybody particularly wants... everyone currently content with the JVM as implemented is, well, content. Anyone who needs AOT compilation... needs straightforward, simple, full AOT compilation. There's not much of a middle ground. So this is a bit of a perplexing development really.
As an incremental improvement I think it's a good thing. Doing away with the JIT re-compilation of java code seems like a pretty obvious optimisation. Any start-up-time savings are very welcome, in whatever form.

I never watch videos...too much time commitment vs. information.  

I agree. I can't understand why people like the Khan Academy videos to learn maths for that reason. What's more, the video author can't easily edit and improve the video after its recorded. Also, search engines can't index the video.
28  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Brutal Fighters - Available for Free!! on: 2015-07-26 01:34:30
I had a game with my brother and it worked well!
The dust effect was cool, made lag look less.
The game ran flawlessly, no errors or jittery-ness. Technically the game is very impressive, but my brother had some suggested improvements about the game play which might be worth looking into:
-Should be able to shoot while jumping or walking, currently the player seems to be able to shoot only when standing still.
-Doing basic attacks while standing right on top of one another seems to not affect the enemy. This means that players having a fist fight move closer until they're on top of each other then no damage seems to be done.
-Not being able to fight when holding the flag is frustrating, particularly when there's 2 people playing and both have each others' flag!
-Needs bots.
-Level ups, items, commentator who announces triple kill bonuses and so on.

Nice job all round.
29  Game Development / Shared Code / Re: Extremely Fast atan2 on: 2015-07-26 01:22:49
These are great optimisations.

Ordering points around the players' position in an anti-clockwise direction is an interesting use-case. I made heavy use of atan2 for ordering points in path finding and line of sight algorithms.
But then I heard about an algorithm that can be used to compare points' relative angles much more quickly called relativeCCW which avoids using trigonometry. It's in the JDK's java.awt.Line2D source:

Might be interesting to people using atan2 for comparing angles.
30  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Brutal Fighters - Available for Free!! on: 2015-07-21 12:25:46
I can email you to have a game this weekend with my brothers. Just personal message me your email. It's probably too hard to coordinate during the week with the different time zones.
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Networking Resources
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