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1  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Tanks game on: 2008-11-28 22:55:08
You may use my Java/Swing-based 2D tilemap editor :-)
2  Games Center / Showcase / Re: Mini 3D FPS in an Applet Update 8 on: 2008-11-28 13:21:36
Add autosloping (camera that automatically has a look-at direction parallel to the surface the player is on) and auto aiming. With some clever level design this shouldn't be a problem (although it is still a workaround for a silly limitation - Shockwave can lock the mouse and i see nobody that took advantage of this... also the runtime can always provide means to unlock the mouse - which shouldn't exist and its the reason i use LWJGL in my Java project).
3  Games Center / Showcase / Re: Mini 3D FPS in an Applet Update 8 on: 2008-11-28 01:47:28
The controlling is indeed bad and when i was trying to make a FPS-like game in Flash i had the same issue. I solved it by using WASD to move and turn around and using the mouse to aim. Here is an -unfinished- example of what i'm talking about.
4  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Musings about Java on the Mac on: 2008-11-28 01:32:18
I'm sure OpenJDK will solve this issue. There is already an OpenJDK 7 port to Darwin and although not in a "finished stable" state, i'm sure it is just a matter of time.
5  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Movement on: 2007-06-11 04:36:20
Without knowing what you're really doing, a simple thing you could do is to find the world (screen?) X,Y coordinates of your character before and after the movement and interpolate between them. That is, if startX = 10 and endX = 20, break it in -for example- five steps and move your character in the X direction (endX-startX)/steps = (20-10)/5 = 2 units in each time tick. The tick should happen periodically in some kind of game update - the more often you call it, the faster your character will move. An easy way to do this without having to worry much about losing "ticks" is to use a TimerTask in a Timer with Timer.schedule(TimerTask task, long delay, long period).
6  Discussions / Business and Project Management Discussions / Re: have anyone of you earn money from applets games? on: 2007-06-06 23:43:00
So slick I thought it was Flash. So it just goes to show that it can be done...

This line alone proves my point that Java web games tend to look ugly and the image many people (including java developers) think exactly that ... :-(

7  Discussions / Business and Project Management Discussions / Re: have anyone of you earn money from applets games? on: 2007-06-06 07:24:49
But how many people go to netcafes in order to play webgames? Hardcore games (fps, strategy, etc) yes, but for webgames it's very rare. Personally i didn't had internet connection for my home for more than two years (a big story) and i was almost every day in a few netcafes and i worked in one for a while. From all that time, from all people going to netcafes, only one person actually went to play non-hardcore games and this person used his own MAME cd-rom.
8  Discussions / Business and Project Management Discussions / Re: have anyone of you earn money from applets games? on: 2007-06-06 04:46:20
Well, a lot of computers already have Java installed (although many of them have previous versions - but i've yet to see a computer that was used to browse the net and not have at least 1.4) and when someone plays webgames, he'll need to get java at some point if he doesn't have it already.

However, i think that the reason is other: it's harder for most (non-programmer) people to make a Java game, while (for non-programmers) it's easier to make a Flash game. And from the people who make Java games, many games are actually bad mee-toos of something well known (if i had a cent for each breakout, tetris, pacman and space invaders clone applet, i would make a living out of it...) or badly made (awful -and usually pixellated- graphics are the #1 plague of Java games).

In other words, Java webgames do not play or look good. This isn't a problem of the medium, though. It's just that Java is a programming language while Flash is a "visual thing". It's "IDE" is focused to make visuals and require no programming for it. Of course with better tools in a Java programmer's disposal, one could make better games. It's all about the tools.

But anyway this is my personal opinion on why Java isn't liked that much. Since i don't have any hard facts on any opinion, from my observations i came to this conclusion. I may be totally wrong, of course :-).
9  Java Game APIs & Engines / JOGL Development / Re: Slow textures on Radeon X600 on: 2007-06-05 16:21:47
Check which gfx cards support GL_ARB_texture_non_power_of_two here - notice anything missing :-)

(and yes, they have info for ATI cards, although there aren't any 2XXX cards there yet)
10  Discussions / Business and Project Management Discussions / Re: have anyone of you earn money from applets games? on: 2007-06-05 12:55:19
You can say that again.  This game, makes this guy about $8000 a month in ad revenue alone.  You can check out a blog entry that discusses it here

I think it's a different thing. This guy gets most of the money from the ads in his own site, not by licensing the game around, so he can use whatever technology he feels like.
11  Java Game APIs & Engines / JOGL Development / Re: Slow textures on Radeon X600 on: 2007-06-05 12:52:42
The hardware doesn't support NPOTs, but it does support rectangle textures (which is a slightly different thing and requires special handle). Possibly the driver converts all NPOT creation and handling to rectangle textures in order to support them, but resulting in slow performance (IIRC, rectangle textures are a different texture target than GL_TEXTURE_2D and they require special binding).
12  Discussions / Business and Project Management Discussions / Re: have anyone of you earn money from applets games? on: 2007-06-05 01:42:48
Do they tell you any hit stats or anything like that, once they host it?

No. In FreeArcade there is a ranking though and how many people ranked the game (3/5 sounds ok to me - not the best, but it's ok since i haven't seen more than 4/5 in that site - yet). But this isn't hit stats.

How did you get past: <...> when you published on the second site?

Simply: they didn't sponsored my game, they just licensed it :-). Unfortunately it's hard to sponsor a Java game because sponsoring works by putting their logos and links to their site etc in the game and spreading it all over the net (so they get the traffic back from other sites, etc). The "hardness" with Java is that people generally prefer to spread Flash games instead of Java. A Java game has to be exceptionally good and polished if it is to be sponsored, while a Flash game has just to be addictive. Not sure if i should tell this, but anyway i don't think it's a big deal... i was told that if Square Shooter was a Flash game, it would be sponsored, but since it's a Java game it didn't. I even was asked from some company at Canada to make a Flash version for phones :-) but well, i don't know anything about Flash so i didn't made it :-P.

Sponsoring a game will bring you much more than licensing it, but still not enough to live from (can't disclose numbers here, though).

The webgame "arena" is a much friendlier place for Flashers...
13  Java Game APIs & Engines / JOGL Development / Re: Slow textures on Radeon X600 on: 2007-06-04 23:04:23
I should add that size of the texture is 100 x 100.

AFAIK ATIs doesn't support non-power-of-two textures.
14  Discussions / Business and Project Management Discussions / Re: have anyone of you earn money from applets games? on: 2007-06-04 23:03:02
From the first site i got an offer of $300
From the second site i asked for $300 and they said ok  Grin
[size=7pt](note: i don't know if there are any "standard rates" for such stuff...)[/size]

So as you see, this isn't something i could live from :-) but it's ok to pay the rent (or actually the majority of it) or buy me a good second hand graphics card :-).

I'm currently writing a framework based on Square Shooter's code so i can make more simple games like that. I've got a lot of ideas for simple, small and -hopefully- addictive games like this. My plan is to license them to the sites around and once (and if) i make enough (say 6-7) of them to make a small site with them and put some ads around (i've recently added an ad above SS, but really i don't expect anything from this, i just added to see how the process is done).

Of course, as always, my main job is taking me most of my time and energy, so although in normal circumstances making a robust framework from SS's code would be a one or two days's task, i haven't done much since last week...
15  Discussions / Business and Project Management Discussions / Re: have anyone of you earn money from applets games? on: 2007-06-03 09:56:44
Square Shooter made me a bit of money by licensing it (letting them to add -and lock- to their own site with a small modification - namely their logo and a link to their page) to two sites. One is FreeArcade (which right now has SS as the newest game Grin). The other hasn't yet added the game, so i'm not sure if it's ok to mention it. When it comes to modifications, here is the original, so compare. The other site also wanted all highscore functionality to be removed too.

However this is far from being something i could live from :-). I made barely enough to pay the rent and the second deal was done about two months after the first. Of course that's better than nothing. Note though that i barely mentioned the game anywhere (i mentioned it here a few days ago while the game was made more than two months ago) and i somehow crossed roads with the sites that licensed the game. Someone who was going to spend a weekend (or more) looking for sites to license the game, could have better returns.

When it comes to own site, though, i don't know how good idea is. There are three major problems you'll face: 1. make the required games, 2. raise a lot of traffic, 3. keep that traffic :-).

In fact 2&3 are much harder than 1. I thought at some point to make a java webgames portal where other developers could post their applets and get a % from the income from ads, but while that isn't really difficult to make (although i would need a few games of my own to boot), the hard part is bringing traffic and keeping it.
16  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Square Shooter webgame :-) on: 2007-05-30 10:48:34
Thank you :-)
17  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: One more reason not to use Vista..... on: 2007-05-28 12:52:48
First you have to convince them move away from DirectX.
18  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Recreating a bouncy ball effect in Java on: 2007-05-28 09:16:56
I think something like
class Ball
    public static final double GRAVITY = 6.0;

    public double x, y; // position vector
    public double vx, vy; // velocity vector

    public Ball(double x, double y, double vx, double vy)
        this.x = x;
        this.y = y;
        this.vx = vx;
        this.vy = vy;

    public move(double seconds)
        x += seconds*vx;
        y += seconds*vy;
        if (somehow_collide_with_something)
            x = collision_point_x; // that would be the same as x for floors
            y = collision_point_y; // that would be the floor's height for floors
            vx = reflection_of_vx_on_surface; // that would be the same as vx for floors
            vy = reflection_of_vy_on_surface; // that would be -vy on floors
        vy += seconds*GRAVITY;

or something like that (i would begin with something like the above and move forward modifying that).
19  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: One more reason not to use Vista..... on: 2007-05-28 07:12:38
Depends. Some games have native Linux binaries (Quake and Unreal series f.e.).

Linux itself doesn't support Windows applications, it's a totally different system. However there is "WINE", a program that loads windows PE files (EXE and DLL) and provides an emulation layer for the Win32 API and DirectX. But these are not 100% identical to Windows (mostly missing features and bugs or undocumented behavior) and DirectX is still largely unimplemented. Also Direct3D performance is a little lower in there because all Direct3D commands are translated to OpenGL (D3D is Windows only).

How Wine supports your games depend on how well the game was coded and how famous it is. Check the WineHQ AppDB for a list with games and applications that Wine users found to work (or not).
20  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: One more reason not to use Vista..... on: 2007-05-27 20:51:17
How about Shift+<right click> on a file and then choose "open with..."?

Isn't that still there?
21  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Square Shooter webgame :-) on: 2007-05-25 06:16:37
The performance is quite bad here. Thanks to antialiasing and alpha (I guess). For the most part that stuff could be done with cheating. Hm... actually... you could do everything with generated bitmasked and opaque images and it would still look pretty much the same - just with more fps.

That's strange... there isn't a single machine i tried the game and had perfomance issues. In fact, i was able to put a lot of squares in there (and they're just... squares, not anything fancy) without framerate drop. You're the first to tell me that there is such an issue. Can you please tell me your system specs?

Note that while the antialiasing in the main square and the "bullets" could be done with generated bitmasked images, when the bullets were intersecting each other or other squares, the "antialiasing" would show itself and the result would be ugly. The same applies for the main square itself intersecting other squares. Also there is no method i can think of that will mimic alpha blending. The game's graphics are simple primitives. Removing antialiasing and alpha blending will make it way too ugly.

One thing that i wanted to avoid in this game was pixellation. Most (almost every) games written in Java as applets are pixellated (in fact the first thing i think when i see a pixellated webgame is that is written in Java, for that reason alone). Flash games use antialiasing for ages and since Java provides Java2D which supports antialiasing, i'll stick with that.

Gameplay wise it's bad that you cannot aim, which makes it feel a bit more random then necessary.

I wanted to design a game that can be controlled as easylly as possible. Adding both aim and avoiding the enemy squares would complicate controls a lot. I prefer to keep it simple.

You're using the mouse position directly, which is a common mistake to make (often seen in flash, too). With a modified html or with the appletviewer you can use a bigger area, which allows you to leave the playing field. If you take a look at the highscore list you can see me at #1 (clampglitch). To fix the problem clamp the mouse coords and use those clamped values.

That's really something i didn't thought!

 I'll fix it, thanks for telling me about :-).

It's sorta easy to overlook the items. Additional visual clues could sort that out for example.

That's something other people mentioned too, so i think i'll think a bit on how to do that without changing the gameplay.

In any case, thank you for your feedback :-)
22  Games Center / Archived Projects / Square Shooter webgame :-) on: 2007-05-25 00:29:55
Not really that new (i'm actually developing a new game right now :-), but i haven't really announced it anywhere, so here it goes...

Square Shooter Link

...not that much eh? :-P

Well, basically the point is to avoid all bouncing squares and shoot them. Tour -rotating- square shoots at fixed rates all the time. All you have to do is avoid the other squares. Also make sure you get the powerups which increase the power of your "bullets" or make them spawn faster. A rare red square (which rotates very fast) will make you invulnerable to other squares which will die if they touch you. So make sure you get it when it appears.

23  Games Center / Archived Projects / Vurlio World for all J2ME (MIDP1.0) phones on: 2006-03-01 10:42:28
Vurlio World is a game i originally wrote two years ago for my Nokia 3410 phone. Unfortunatelly i lost interest when i figured out that there wasn't any other means to transfer the game to my phone except OTA (and the fact that the BW Java games era was over helped a lot). While browsing a CDROM with old stuff, i found it and i decided to  release it.

The game is not finished and it probably will never be. If i ever find the sources, i will release them for others to read and -possibly- improve. However, even if unfinished, it is fully playable and it was four levels. The number may seem small, but the game is hard enough to keep you busy for a while. Personally i find it very hard to go to the third level, but it really depends on your reflexes (and phone speed :-P).

Some screenshots:

For more information about the game and download link, see my blog.
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