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1  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: prime number decomposition (math) on: 2005-04-08 01:43:58
The method will work. It sounds very tedious and will take awhile if you use very large number, but unless you are checking to see if special types of numbers (i.e. (2^n)-1 ) are prime there isn't much else you could do.
2  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Storm the Castle on: 2005-04-07 22:41:35
The mouse aiming makes it much easier. The guards are still hard to kill and you have to kite (meaning running away and shooting then running away and shooting) them to down it. Also using this method to kill the guards takes up a lot of space and tends to attract the attention of other guards. I think the guards should be easier to kill.

The ability to strafe left and right would be really nice and make a lot of things much easier (more elaboration below).

I like how it looks up for you when you move the mouse up, but sometimes this is annoying like when you are trying to aim for something at the top of the screen.

I really like the controls in games like Unreal Tournament where the arrows (or W,A,S,D if you so please) move you up, down, strafe left, strafe right, and the cursor is locked in the center of the screen. Moving the mouse rotates your characer and changes what you see (because the cursor is always in the center of the screen, so moving your mouse to the left turns you left). Those controls word best in first person combat games (not necessarily shooters, because games like UT2K4 have combat weapons in addition to guns). However, implemented these types of controls is a problem in applets that are not fullscreen because users will need to have their mouse hid the edge of the screen in order to rotate, so I don't know why I even wrote this paragraph because these suggested controls are not applicable unless you want you applet to be full screen.....

The graphics runs very smoothly on my computer which is amazing because most 3D Java games lag quite a bit on it (I have a bad computer). I think you could improve the player inferface, by maybe displaying a health bar instead of just a number.

Anyway, it's much improved since when you first showed the game here, good work.
3  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Mathematics Forum? on: 2005-04-07 19:15:08
Sorry, I was tryimg to modify the original post but I ended up removing it.

Anyway, I had a question about differential equations for certain population controls and a question about data projection. I would be using these things to design certain aspects of a MMORPG, but this topic is not necessarily related to MMORPGs. If someone wanted to make a program that simulated an ecosystem, where you can introduce new elements, it would use similar mathematics.

I was thinking that maybe other people had situations where their question was more related to math than knowledge about java programming or game making and they wanted a place to post them.
4  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Come to the IRC Channel more! on: 2005-04-06 23:36:32
Maybe there should be an applet hosted by this site that allows registered forum users to chat? It would encourage people to enter the chatroom more when they come onto the website.
5  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: Randomly generated content on: 2005-04-06 19:47:21
Don't accept random names that happen to spell out profanities.

You should should have told this to the people at Matel (I think it's Matel) who make Cabbage Pach Dolls. When you buy one it has a randomly generated adoption number (a string 6 chracters long (well actually 4 characters a dash then two more characters) of up upper case letters and numbers). One girl got a Cabbage Pach Doll with the adoption number of f**k-ME.

Sorry, this dosn't really ralte to the thread but I thought it was an interesting story to share and to keep in mind whenever you are generating random names.

Another huge advantage in randomly generated content is to prevent people playing the game from using player guides. If randomly generated content is correctly implemented a player guide should become useless.
6  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Storm the Castle on: 2005-04-06 03:58:11
The guards gand up on you really fast. Like when I shot at the two guards guarding the door (from as far away as possible) the a bunch of guards came out of the castle and attacked me. The only way I think the game could be beat, is if first you heard up all the guards into one huge mob, then you drag them around the castle while running backwards turning around the 4 corners and shooting at them. This is very difficult to master and it would probably take a few weeks of intensive training to do it. Also, turning 90 degrees while running backwards is to hard because each turn is something like 20 degrees.

The graphics are great, and getting that down and getting it to run smoothly was the hard part. Getting the controls and gameplay right should be a litle bit easier.

Also, it would be nice if you could actually hide behind the trees so the guards can see you.

I assume the little dart moving forward when you press Z is an arrow? If you want to make the game look really great (without too much effort) you could have part of a bow in front of the character visisble from first person view. When he is moving it bounces to the side back and forth a little so you can tell that you are holding a bow. When you press z to fire the bow there could be an animation of the bow being raised and an arrow leaving it (if you want to get even fancier you could show an arrow being placed and then moving back before you get ready to fire). You could have a loading system, where you put the arrow in the bow and then hit z to release it. This would add some type of strategy to the game, like you reload the bow, jump out shoot, hide behind something or run away while reloading.

The guards have the ability to attack you with their swords. Maybe you could consider adding this ability to the character so he can charge up to the enemy and attack him?

The graphics right now are pretty awsome, they are very smooth, and the AI is quite good (infact it might even be a little too good). You could make it much better by adjusting the controls and make it look a little bit better by adding firing animations, reloading, sword as a weapon, and sword swing animations (as simple as rotating the sword down from the guards hand and then rotating it back up, asking you to add arm and body movements is too big of a step from where the game is at now.

I think you are the only person here who has beaten the game. Perhaps there is a special strategy that we are missing?
7  Game Development / Networking & Multiplayer / Re: MMORPG of another kind...advice? on: 2005-04-04 22:17:58
These article (it's part of a large Java tutorial) might be helpful in explaining the basics of advanced I/O over networks and servers. However they are very basic, so don't be surprissed if you know everything in them.

1) I could only offer a educated guess...

2) First determine how often you want data sent and received. If you want gameplay to be smooth then send/receive this data more often. If you want it to be laggy (which may be part of the design of your MMORPG based on the description you provided) then send/receive it less often, preferable at not at a constant rate to give players a feeling of true lag. This actually sounds like a good idea, you could add a lag zone to your game in which players try to play with extreme lag.

The number time data needs to be sent/received is also dependent on the game speed. If it were a fast paced game then you obviously need to send/receive it more often.

I assume that you also want keypress to be data send from the client and that you want the server to send back client locations. The old MMORPGs used to have problems with hacking because too much stuff was done client side. If you want teleport/movement hacking in your CRAPPIEST MMORPG make character location determined client side. If you want to avoid this have only keypress sent to the server and let the server calculate the next position, sending the new player location to the client.

3. I think I saw two books on Java MMORPG design on Amazon once. However both of them were quite old, out dated, and recieved less than praisworthly remarks from people who purchased them.
The solve this problem you could look for books on Java Networking and books on general MMORPG design.

The Java Networking book will help you understand how to send data to and from your server.

The general MMORPG design book will help you understand what kind of data you need to be sending, how often, and to whom. It will also cover aspects of MMORPG and it might tell you things to avoid (which are valauble for you considering that you are making the CRAPPIEST MMORPG, when it says "Make sure not to" cross out the "not" and program away.
8  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Shall I move the world or the character? on: 2005-04-04 21:42:22
A "camera" would be the best way to go and it offers the most flexibility.

I have never coded this type of thing in Java, but I did make an RPG in Flash MX using action script. I think the same basic principles apply.

In most cases you will want the location of the camera to equal the location of your character (making your character look like he is in the middle of the screen all the time). Thinking back to the old RPGs I played years ago here are the exceptions:

-When you character is in a small room the character does not stay in the center of the screen, he moves around and the building stays in place. (For this you will want want the camera to stop or just turn off, have the character move around. These controls are pretty simple and you probably know how to do them. Also, make these types of rooms a class, because they all share the control. Make different types of rooms (if you will be repeating them often with or without slight variations in color and texture) subclasses. An example where subclasses like this would be appropriate is if you were in a maze or a very box like castle where the only thing that changed from room to room was placement of furniture/artwork and where the doors are. Otherwise you just need this type of room as a class and have you different rooms stored as data. In the olden days designers had to limit the size of their games (it's still a good idea) so lots of rooms (as well as other things in the game) looked similar with other variation. If you write you game like this it will be far less tedious than having to design hundreds of rooms and more educational as well.

-Characters sometimes look ahead during cinematic sequenes or they have an ability to look ahead. A camera is very usefull here. The camera location does not equal the character location here. Either have controls move the camera (if you have the ability to look ahead) or have it done automatically if it is a cinematic sequence.

Other than that I cannot think of instances that I have seen where the character is not in the center of the screen (in RPGs where the chracter is usually in the center of the screen).

For regular situations you will want the cameras location to equal the characters location. When you press a key it changes the character's location and because the camera's location is equal to the characters location it "follows".

You can also have the camera lag behind in situations where the character is moving extremly fast (i.e. sprinting away from something, or riding a mine car) but now that I think of it, that sounds nausiating to have to watch.

Basically you want you camera to be responsible for drawing everything. What the camera draws is dependent on the camera's location.

Having a camera (if it is written correctly) will allow you to zoom in and out. When your character is in a dungeon or something the camera should be zoomed in so you can see within a reasonable distance. You wouldn't want to be able to see the entire dungeon on the screen upon entering it, would you? For different areas you might want a slightly different zoom. If you are using 8-bit looking sprites it probably would be best to have only 2 zooms, one for the world map, and one for places like towns, dungeons, caves, ect...

You might also want to do fancy things like rotation. The only way I can think of doing this is having the program recalculate the point of everything on the loaded map using basic trig x degrees. However this sounds like it would slow down the system a lot. I don't think the result would be pretty considering answers will not be exact and rounding could result in pixil overlap, having some locations where one pixil is assigned several different colors and other locations where a pixil is not being assigned a color..... confused..... better stick to 90 degree rotations unless someone here can explain to you how this would be done.

Anyway, using a camera and allows it to display things differently in your 2D game (zoom, rotation, to keep character in center of screen, to let character move around screen) will develop camera skills and an understanding of the role of a camera in a game. This would probably make the learning transitions from 2D graphics to 3D graphics easier for you.
9  Game Development / Networking & Multiplayer / Re: Java in consideration for MMORPG on: 2005-04-04 19:26:11
I am pretty new to Java but I think I can offer some advice.

Yes it is possible, but keep in mind that writing something like EverQuest II in java will be a huge jump from what currently exists.

From my understanding (I have never played DAoC but I was over at a friends house and watched him play for what seemed like 3 hours) DAoC has graphics similar to EQ1?

If I am right, then I think you should first try to develop somthing like DAoC or EQ (graphics wise, you don't have to copy the gameplay obviously) that can play on can play on a system with low requirements. EQ in its intial release ran perfectly on my 256 mb computer with a 32mb graphics cards. I think writing a graphics engine that has EQ (or a similar game) like graphics in Java that can run on a computer with 256 mb and a 32mb graphics card should be your first step.

Right now there are Java games out there with graphics like that, but they require more powerful systems to run on than would the same game if programmed in C/C++. Before you go about developing graphics like those in EQII, first try to make EQ1 graphics that can run on the recomended requirements for EQ1 in its initial release.

Sun is working on making Java better for game programming, and communities like these certainly give them an incentive. I think eventually Java will catch up to C/C++ but it will surpass it because Java is much easier to use and quicker to write with.
10  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Need Notepad Alternative on: 2005-04-04 18:57:00
I downloaded JEdit and it's great. Thanks for listing all those links. I clicked on each one and read about them looking at their feature. I chose JEdit because:

1. It was the simplest.
2. It's written in Java and its good for Java developers to support each other.

Anyway thanks so much for that link, I am really happy with it. I am trying to figure out how to deleted Notepad from Microsoft because I never want to see it again (just kidding, it can stay there).

I had a question about how to change something (their help program didn't help me with it) so I asked if anyone here knew. After about 10 minutes of trial and error I finally figured it out, so ignore this paragraph.
11  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Need Notepad Alternative on: 2005-04-04 16:57:36
I am getting pretty sick of using notepad to write programs in Java. As I am learning more and more about the Java language my programs are getting larger and larger and as a result it is much more tedious to make and organized in Notepad.

I want something that has shortcuts to avoid typing the same this over and over again or using copy and paste, and that helps me organize my programs. I am not getting into extremly advanced programing, so I don't really need something with tons of extra features, I would prefer something extremely simply. I would also really like it to be free.

I tried to get Eclipse, but I had problems opening and running it. I don't think it works with Windows ME  Embarrassed(I am a glutton for punishment and frustration  Shocked, which is why I have it. Actually I am just to lazy and cheap to upgrade to XP  Cool).

Yes... I have been using goggle and I have been searching through old threads, but I cannot find what I am looking for.

Please helps newbie out!  Wink
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