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1  Java Game APIs & Engines / Java 2D / Re: Creating nice looking backgrounds for puzzle games on: 2012-07-18 07:29:08
Thanks for the input. I do use gimp. I'm getting better at it, althought I'm still totally rubbish. I think it might be wise for me to put aside some time each day just to practice creating art with it.
2  Java Game APIs & Engines / Java 2D / Re: Creating nice looking backgrounds for puzzle games on: 2012-07-17 20:32:27
masked at the point where the 1st layer bars are;

Hi, and thanks for replying. What do you mean by masked?
3  Java Game APIs & Engines / Java 2D / Creating nice looking backgrounds for puzzle games on: 2012-07-17 20:02:28

If you take a look at this photo . I think the background looks very nice. How do you think the designer went about creating that background? I mean, do you think those boxes that contain the text are seperate images created in a progam like photoshop and gimp, and then they just calculated where the position of the text should go over the images? Do you think the whole screen is just one big image?

I'm not sure what the best way of doing something like this would be.
4  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Flash, Java, or both on: 2012-06-25 17:49:40
Is it possible to develop in flash without paying a lot of money on software? I was going to give it a go. I got a book on it and everything, but even the open source software was like £400. I'm still not sure if I am missing something.

5  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Your first game release stories and experiences on: 2012-06-24 13:53:36
1. Don't make a game about maths and expect many people to actually want to play it.

I suspect it's more general than that.  Don't expect many people to play your first game, whatever it is.  Or your second, third, fourth, etc.  Get used to the idea that making games that people actually want to play is harder than just making games.

(Or maybe I'm just feeling cynical this morning...)

Yes you are right. It's easy to forget that making games is more than just learning to program. It's like, just because one can learn guitar and to sing doesn't mean they can write a hit song.

I also have to make the decision, do I make games that I want to play, or what others might want to play. Although it would be great to make a game that people loved, I think I'm just gonna make what I find interesting. I just love the freedom that programming has given me. Just to be able to make whatever I like. Lucky for me I like really simple games!

ps I tried to play one of your games, the applet wouldn't load. Applets randomly seem to do that sometimes. I'll try again later with a different browser.

Thanks for all the medals everyone. That was quite unexpected!
6  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Your first game release stories and experiences on: 2012-06-23 15:40:37

By the time I made it into an applet, no one in the showcase tried it. See point number 1. lol
7  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Your first game release stories and experiences on: 2012-06-23 06:51:36
I've finished one game proper. It's called Arithbequick and it's a maths game. I've kind of released it. Well I've put it in the showcase section and stuck it on a website. Here is what I have learned.

Oh and when I say "you" in the following post, I really just mean me, I really don't know enough to give other people advice.

1. Don't make a game about maths and expect many people to actually want to play it. "It's like homework" said one of my friends.

2. When you are nearly finished and just have some tyding up to do. Do it straight away. There are still some essential things that I have to do, (like make it save high scores) but I've put it off and now I've lost all passion for the game.

3. Java applets aren't great. Even though I had java installed, most browsers I downloaded made me download it again. Most browsers seem to block it and ask the user's permission.  I'm now learning web languages  and plan to learn to make games in javascript. Apparently that and html5 are the future.

4. Playing your own game gets you really good at it, and fast. So when people say a game is too hard, even if it feels really easy, make it easier. I started as a maths dunce but I could add up like a calculator after 50 or so goes on my own game. I have seen others make the same mistake with their own games.

5. Most people aren't that impressed by the fact that you can make a game. People are so used to computers they take everything for granted. So don't expect people to be blown away.

6. The average person will judge your programming skills  on your ability to create images. They don't give two shits about how you have organised your code, so as long it makes sense to you, who gives a crap.

7. Oh and the most important thing I have learned. People do NOT read instructions. Seriously! Nearly every person who played my game on this forum, I had to reply to individually telling them how to play because they thought the game was impossible because they didn't read the sentence in massive letters saying you could move the number tiles. They will take the time to write to you, going into great detail how mathmatically it is impossible, but they won't just say to themselves, "mmmh, maybe I'll just glance over the instructions to see if I'm missing something".

8  Games Center / Showcase / Re: Arithbequick on: 2012-06-07 15:58:17
I've not done much to the game, as I've been busy learning html, css and javascript. But I've made it into an applet. I doesn't save your highscores yet though.
Also I noticed that sometimes it loses focus and the only way to get it back is to close the browser and reopen it. Anyone know what I can do about that?

Here is the link to play the applet.
9  Discussions / Suggestions / Re: Order in Feature games and showcase on: 2012-06-01 17:38:40
It's most recent game first. Which I prefer as it means when I update my game thread I don't bump it back to the top and risk appearing selfish.
10  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Providence of Alchemy on: 2012-05-27 18:43:18
Ok I had a few goes, I've read the instructions semi carefully, and I haven't a clue what I'm supposed to do.  If I click on play puzzles, it takes me to a screen with a button that says play selected. But no way to select anything and pushing it closes the application.

Play random is the only thing that works for me, but I don't know what I'm supposed to do. No offence, but the instructions on how to play that you wrote in your first paragraph read like one of those internet programming tutorials that I can never follow.

11  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Diabolus Ex Machina on: 2012-05-22 08:32:24
Game balance
Yep, it's too hard. Question is, what to change.

The main thing that would make it easier would be if the player new what they were supposed to do. It might not be too hard if I knew what I was supposed to do. Your instruction page is stylish as if it's not game instructions but real life, but that just makes it confusing. I think you need to dumb it down. I would prefer instructions that told me exactly what to do.

It's hard to say what you can do to make the game easier without really understanding it. But there are a lot of robots firing me at the beginning, can't there just be one? What about an in game tutorial at the start? Because even the instructions in the message above can get a bit hard going to get through.  I don't think there is anything wrong with having a really stupidly easy level at the beginning either.

I'll definitely be back to try it again when you updated it though, it looks like it could be really good. I think from my own game and seeing others on the showcase it can be quite easy to make your game too hard.
12  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Diabolus Ex Machina on: 2012-05-21 17:51:49
It looks and sounds really great. Totally professional. I'm assuming you are a professional programmer.

But I can't last more then 30 seconds without dying. And the fact that it's such a pain to start a new game, makes me not want to. I'll probably stick with it, but that's because you're on this forum. If this was a game on the web I would have moved on by now.
13  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Diabolus Ex Machina on: 2012-05-20 20:49:05
I think it might be a bug, because when I close the application and open it again, it will start.
14  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Diabolus Ex Machina on: 2012-05-20 20:47:35
Ok the game started. I quickly posted that last response, while doing so I died, and now I can't get it to start again. I admit I don't do a lot of gaming other then retro stuff or flash games, but this seems pretty complicated to make it start. I'm not creating a new game, and hitting save and it's not starting this time.
15  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Diabolus Ex Machina on: 2012-05-20 20:44:33
Ok cool. I was just hitting new.
16  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Diabolus Ex Machina on: 2012-05-20 20:36:20
It looks very impressive. I couldn't figure out how to start a game though.
17  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Getting myself to program.. on: 2012-05-20 17:50:28
Oh were you thinking I was so young that I hadn't got to algebra in school yet? Nope just so old I've forgotten it all!
I would hesitantly suggest Geometric Tools For Computer Graphics. It's more of a reference book but it's got tons of useful info in it.

Thanks I'll check it out. I think the main reason I have trouble motivating myself to do maths is because the maths i'm doing at the moment (adding polynomials) doesn't really seem to be any use in what I'm doing, and I know with my memory I will forget how to do it two weeks after learning it. But at the same time when ever I see an explanation of something mathmatical it usually has a formula that is complicated and I don't know what it all means, so it will probably be best I finish my algebra book. It's well written and I'm not finding it hard, but it's not as much fun as programming. I've added the book you suggested to my wishlist on amazon.
18  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Getting myself to program.. on: 2012-05-20 12:45:57
Oh were you thinking I was so young that I hadn't got to algebra in school yet? Nope just so old I've forgotten it all!
19  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Getting myself to program.. on: 2012-05-20 12:04:26
It's not often I have a lot of trouble trying to motivate myself to program. But I'm at a stage where my lack of math knowledge is really affecting the kind of games I can make. I have a beginning algebra book that I still haven't managed to work my way through.
How old are you?

31. Why?
20  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Getting myself to program.. on: 2012-05-19 11:00:34
It's not often I have a lot of trouble trying to motivate myself to program. But I'm at a stage where my lack of math knowledge is really affecting the kind of games I can make. I have a beginning algebra book that I still haven't managed to work my way through.

21  Games Center / Showcase / Re: Arithbequick on: 2012-05-15 11:18:59
Latest version

This should now save your highscore in your home directory. But I've only tested it on my computer.

Now if the player does not move within 30 seconds there is a  little pop up telling them that they can move the tiles. So no one will ever tell me the game is impossible again.

There is now a Tutorial, which I hope is clear.

I've now added a Timed Game mode.
22  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: Saving high score on: 2012-05-10 12:15:45
Great thanks. I didn't even know such a thing existed!
23  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Saving high score on: 2012-05-10 11:56:20

How do I save high scores inside a jar file? Everywhere I look on the internet it says you can't write in a jar file. But I have that Pixel Towers game that's in the featured games section. That is inside a jar, there are no olther folders, that I can see, and it saves my score.

I realise with applets I can use cookies, but I still need to learn how to do that. But how do you save high scores when it's not an applet?
24  Games Center / Featured Games / Re: ApoSheeptastic on: 2012-05-07 13:53:35
I'd never noticed the number sheep bahs become annoying but I can understand why you would cut down. I still think that button noise just isn't right. It could be just something really subtle like a nice click sound. I do think a sheep bah sound effect would be good when a button that starts the actual game is pushed. So a different sound for options and such but on the final button push before the games starts a bah.
25  Games Center / Featured Games / Re: ApoSheeptastic on: 2012-05-07 06:57:34
Where is the one button game? I couldn't find the option.

One thing I was thinking when playing your game; I like the music on the menu screens but it seems odd to be me that the music continues during the game. Maybe the music should cut out there or be a different kind of music. It seems strange to me to play the game to what sounds like menu music. You could even just fade it a little.  I don't like the new  sound for your buttons. It just seems wrong to me. Did they have a sound before? I can't remember. Everthing else looks and sounds so great. Really great. I'm just nitpicking. I could ask you a million questions about how you did all this but I'd probably just annoy you. lol

Does this one button game stop the player from having the option from going through trying every sheep? Because I think that the fact that I can do this is a problem. Although maybe less conventional, I would allow the player to only play each level once before moving on, and at the end of all the levels they can see how they did. And they can start again to try and beat their score. Admittedly they could still cheat and make notes of what sheep they pressed for the next game, but I doubt most people would bother.  At the moment you have the ability to draw lines, but although a great feature It's pointless while I could just click the sheep to see if it's the right one, as I won't be punished for it in anyway if I'm wrong, because I can just try again.
26  Games Center / Showcase / Re: Arithbequick on: 2012-05-04 15:12:42
It seems that without being told people just assume the grid can not be moved. So I'm going to make it so if the user hasn't moved for 30 seconds, a little speech bubble will pop up telling them they can move the grid.

I am going to add a how to play section, where the gameplay will be automated, if that's the right word. And the user will be able to see how to play.
27  Games Center / Showcase / Re: Arithbequick on: 2012-05-04 11:34:57
Just in case any of you think I am the world's slowest programmer, I've not been feeling very well recently so I can only do bits every now and then. So this might be quite a long term project at the rate I'm going.

However there is a new version available.

Now there is a no solution button. You click this button when you are convinced that there is no solution available. You will get 25 points and 1 point per tile still left on the board, which is a great way to increase your score without increasing the speed of the game. You really don't want to push that button if there is still a solution though.
28  Games Center / Showcase / Re: Ludum Dare 23 - Forever Alone on: 2012-05-03 15:45:28
It looks great. I like the look of the menus.  Clair de lune is one of my all time favorite pieces of music, and it's unusual to have it as the backing music but it works well in creating an alone in space type atmosphere.

Gameplay wise it just wasn't my thing. I struggled to get through the instructions without my mind wandering, and could only manage playing for a few minutes. But that maybe says more about my personal taste in games then it does about your game.

Also how did you manage to get the black borders to pad out the photo on the showcase preview? The photo on my game just shows half the image.
29  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: Alternate game modes on: 2012-05-01 19:53:44
Ok, well thanks everyone. I think I will just go with inheritence then. I might actually write the new game mode from scratch and then see what is similiar and THEN write a superclass for both states.
30  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Alternate game modes on: 2012-04-30 17:26:37

You know how most puzzle games have alternate game modes? An endless mode and a timed mode for example. I was wondering what the best way to organize my code would be so I could include an alternate game mode.

I was thinking of going with inheritence. If I don't use inheritence there will be a fair bit of duplicate code. But the game modes will vary far too much to be in the same class.  Have you had alternate games modes in your game, and did you use inheritence? If not how did you organize your code?
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