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1  Games Center / Featured Games / Re: Resistance Force on: 2012-12-09 21:15:58
Hi

The lighting effects (shadows, ...) are nice but the game is extremely slow on my machine (Intel Pentium D, Nvidia Quadro NVS 285 supporting OpenGL 2.1), I only get about 6 frames per second.

That's to be expected as this video card (equivalent of 6200TC) is very lowend and much less than the minimum required 6600GT or similar (in computational power, eg. 3dmark06).

However this will be probably improved in future by introducing SW renderer of which I have prototype (already planning to use part of it for determining visible sectors on CPU as it's better method than relying on GPU for this) and possibly fixed pipeline GL renderer (using most of SW renderer infrastructure, just using OpenGL for the actual rendering). These alternative renderers would of course use lower quality rendering and no dynamic shadows.
2  Games Center / Featured Games / Re: Resistance Force on: 2012-12-08 19:34:13
there seems to be something wrong with your downloads, why is the x64 linux build >200mb and the x86 onl 77mb

Nothing wrong, it just contains more current stuff, so less to download with the auto updater in the 64bit build Smiley
3  Games Center / Featured Games / Re: Resistance Force on: 2012-12-08 14:54:58
New version is available, adding dynamic shadows to point lights, weapon recoil, updates to Central map and other improvements and bug fixes.

We now also have the ability to download custom content when joining a server, and there is already one community map available by Leiche. You can test it by joining the community server and using map vote to choose the map.




You can see more screenshots and download the game
(available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X)

Build #17 2012/12/08 (public alpha):
- Added dynamic shadows to point lights
- Fixed garbled texturing of some polygons on player model
- Improved dynamic weapon movement
- Added weapon recoil
- Adjusted weapon fire positions
- Slowed down fire rate for SMG weapon
- Added server configuration file
- Added support for downloading custom maps when connecting to server
- Lowered volume of footsteps when walking crouched or aimed
- Added displaying of player name who killed you
- Fixed loading of controls from config file
- Updated Central map
4  Games Center / Featured Games / Re: Resistance Force on: 2012-11-14 20:42:18
New version is available, introducing three new maps, improved leaning, server browser and other improvements and bug fixes.

The biggest news is however that since this year we're now two people team, both dedicated to this game. This is a big boost to development of Resistance Force. BirthNight is audio/music guy primarily but fell love into mapping, modelling and many other things. This allows me to focus more on the game core and together making assets faster and better.




You can see more screenshots and download the game
(available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X)

Build #16 2012/11/13 (public alpha):
- Added 3 new maps
- Fixed reloading animation
- Added dynamic weapon movement when moving mouse
- Improved leaning
- Added correct penumbra for dynamic shadows
- Removed tips
- Added server browser
- Added ability to call vote (for map change)
- Fixed head triangles that were popping into view sometimes
- Fixed visible floating weapon at origin when player connects
- Added 64bit binaries for Linux (also fixes problem with ATI drivers)
5  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Old Video Games on: 2012-09-27 08:20:00
Steam has made it incredibly easy for friends to play games together on the PC. Not only the fact that it's got all that friend stuff in it and groups but also the Steamworks APIs that make it trivial(ish) to integrate meta-networking stuff into games to make it easy for it to happen. Even stuff like voice chat is built-in.

Then what Steam does is massively and subtly advertise all the games your friends are playing all the time. And makes it easy for you to ask to join in, or be invited.

You're overestimating the value of Steam Friends. From my experience playing online games with friends before Steam and with Steam, not much changed. In practice Steam Friends is just another IM/chat system. The advertising of what game you're playing has very little effect, without Steam it was usually matter of looking into (being in) mumble/TS/irc/icq/whatever channel. Some experimented before with Xfire that provided similar function but had little practical effect. And the other stuff, like screenshots, we've used just different service for that and posted links to each other (as we do with Steam links too).
6  Game Development / Shared Code / High quality image rescaler on: 2012-09-09 10:57:32
I've made Java port of the imageresampler library for high quality image rescaling. I'm using it for generating mipmaps as the simple box filter is too low on quality (especially for textures with obvious patterns).

Here it is: Resampler.java

Example usage:

1  
2  
3  
BufferedImage img = ImageIO.read(new File("original.png"));
img = Resampler.rescale(img, width, height, gamma, 1.0f, new Resampler.LanczosFilter(4)/*BoxFilter()*/, BoundaryOp.WRAP);
ImageIO.write(img, "png", new File("scaled.png"));

You can also use the contructor for more custom usage including stream processing of big images.
7  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Serialization by various means on: 2012-09-05 11:47:59
I've used Java serialization for few years as my map file format. Contrary to some, it can be used for long-term serialization with upgrading, though needs some extra code, including subclassing ObjectInputStream (could eg. change class/package names that way).

However 2 years ago I decided to ditch it because all the serialization/deserialization code (you need some extra code sometimes, either for more optimized storage or for properly initializing some fields in readResolve as serialization bypasses constructors) was too much scattered around the classes, esp. when it dealed with multiple versions of the file format.

So I redid it by having serializer and deserializer classes instead, where I have all the code on one place and for me it makes much more sense that way.
8  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Jack, Java bytecode -> C++ [Updated to be more descriptive] on: 2012-09-05 11:35:46
Having better GC is quite problem with this simple approach of cross-compiling to other language. For fast accurate GC you need cooperation with the compiler so you know the format of stack and register usage with regard to references (by having extra info about these on certain code points).

You can sidestep that by having second (shadow) stack used just for references where you know exactly it's format, for references held in registers it would be sufficient to just maintain the reference on the second stack (can be little imprecise, but never having reference in register that isn't in the stack) while it's used in registers. This incurs some speed penalty, but is probably the fastest solution.

Other alternative is to use reference counting with cycle detector (could be called manually at "safe" points in application). This would be slowest, esp. because of need of atomic updates for the reference counter for multithread usage.

Maybe some semi-manual approach (similar to real time java) would be preferrable instead of GC.
9  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Oracle effectively disables Java in all browsers? on: 2012-09-03 15:24:15
Well, if they did that, they'd pretty much kill off Java on the desktop. Nobody will pay for java. Plenty of other free alternatives.

Out of curiosity, what free alternatives? Smiley The closest thing is just Qt.
10  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Preferred OS? on: 2012-08-24 12:15:48
Er, I think that's the exact opposite to what I was asserting. It's a piece of piss to make a native looking app with Java!

Oh, thanks for the clarification, didn't know this phrase.
11  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Preferred OS? on: 2012-08-23 22:21:09
@jezek2: although I understand the position you're taking...it's kinda silly.  There's a significant logical difference between pre-compiled and dynamically compiled environments.  It's similar the asm folks saying that everything is just sugar for asm or LISP folk saying all languages are just broken versions of LISP.

Sure. But this was from outside view (from OS / user view) and from there it's just like any other language. We're talking about making Linux (or whatever else) ports written in some language. princec asserted it's harder with Java to make native app. I say that's it's just like with any other language, and what matters is to follow the practice for given platform. This means you can use cross platform libs for like 95% of code, but the last 5% must be platform specific. There is more than enough ways how to achieve that in Java. This is same for Java or say C++ using some crossplatform library.
12  Java Game APIs & Engines / Engines, Libraries and Tools / Re: 3D Physics / Collision Engine on: 2012-08-23 18:05:19
Thanks Jezek2. And I am already using an OctTree but I was implementing the SAT test for OBB and was having too many issues. I can detect the collision, but figuring out the MTV was proving to be a giant pain the ass. I hoping your library can ease the pain so I can actually start working on the game and I'll need physics eventually anyways. Can I reuse my OctTree and tell the physics engine to only perform simulation on X group of objects?

You can write custom Broadphase (needs a bit of innerworkings to know), but octree is not good structure for physics (and I suspect even in general case). JBullet has AxisSweep or DbvtBroadphase that are optimized on checking what objects are touching, the most useful property for physics engine (along with fast add/remove and position update).

In your case if you're already using it for different things I would just register the dynamic objects to JBullet, thus having them in both structures. In games that's pretty standard thing, to have different "databases" of things instead one, because different structures have different advantages, or it needs to be for different purposes (eg. spatial vs rendering order).
13  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Preferred OS? on: 2012-08-23 16:39:25
Java is absolutely not just a language like any other! Java the language runs atop Java the platform, and the platform does a very good job indeed of abstracting away a lot of OS specific crap. It even abstracts away the binary compatibility for the most part which is very nice.

Most languages run on their own "platform" defined by it's standard library API and language specifics. If it has VM or it's compiled or whatever is just minor (implementation) detail. Any of better crossplatform libs abstract stuff away, crossplatform languages have such libraries as standard library. You're too much into believing that Java is something extremely special. Sure the combo of all properties are unique, but that can be said about any language and it's combo of properties.

There were, are and will be quite amount of languages working like Java's JVM (platform). It's nothing new or special.
14  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Preferred OS? on: 2012-08-23 12:22:00
The alternative is to make a native Linux port.

Question is: wich is easier.
Well it turns out that it's a piece of piss if you use Java  Cool <Sudden massive double take>

Java is just language like any other. Most languages also have their runtimes. What matters if you follow the standard way of doing things on target platform, or if you're importing some alien ways (don't do that).
15  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Preferred OS? on: 2012-08-23 11:21:32
But I agree, Wine is daft. Hardly going to convince developers to port games to Linux if they can just tell you, "meh use Wine and go away, hippy."

Though I've got impression that these kind of people would just say that "sorry it doesn't work in Linux" if Wine wasn't available. Existence of Wine is very orthogonal (and useful for users) to availability of native Linux ports. There must be actual will to support Linux, in that case things like winelib can be useful and if done well (integrating with linux things of doing, using eg. GTK for GUI if any, properly tested, etc.) I would consider that as full port (it's just library after all).

The main thing that I find daft about the project is that the devs persistently ice skate uphill. For every bug fixed it seems two new ones are introduced. And how would it be any other way, this project must be a complete monster. Big respect for the people that keep up development on it, but it seems like such a futile effort since it will probably always have hundreds of little breakdowns.

Yes that's quite awful, though not sure if some different development approach would be better. Probably it's just result of many things interacting with others in real apps that it's quite unpredictable. Remember they're replicating undocumented APIs and behaviour, and as we've seen with alternative Java implementations (not based on OpenJDK) it can be very hard (close to impossible) to be really compatible to the last bit and last (good or bad) behaviour of class/method, even when quite well documentated.

And I would always prefer to have half-broken Wine than no Wine (esp. when different versions are broke in different ways so one can find the right combination at least Wink ). It was quite useful many times. And it's great to run old stuff.
16  Java Game APIs & Engines / Engines, Libraries and Tools / Re: 3D Physics / Collision Engine on: 2012-08-23 11:01:55
I'm looking for a decent 3rd party library for collisions and physics. It looks like the 2 major options are JBullet and ode4j. I was wondering if anyone had experience with these libraries / suggestions. JBullet looks like it hasn't release since 2010 but ode4j is still in active development.

ODE (the engine ode4j ports) isn't exactly updated either. Last release is from 2012, but according to changelog it provides just few bugfixes and the release before was from 2009. More importantly ODE is awful engine, I was very glad to leave it in 2007 when I discovered Bullet. With (J)Bullet you can use either high-level API, or when in need you can use any of the implementation classes yourself.

When doing real projects using real-time physics engine it's very often about doing many tricks, and access to implementation classes is very helpful. Also it contains continuous collision detection (EDIT: it seems ode4j got it too), not much well integrated with regular physics world, but you can invoke it manually for various needs. In my game I've used it for FPS player movement to provide sliding over walls and for detection of geometry so I can limit certain positions of player.

Also one thing to remember that even when physics engines provide collision detection it's not suitable for some tasks, like raytracing. It's way more efficient to write your own code for that, eg. using KD tree.

Yes JBullet could probably get some minor update, but the thing is that it works as is.

Also I'm wondering if anyone has actually released a game with a JBullet as a part of it. I can't much on the googles.

I've created JBullet to power my game: Resistance Force, but it will take some time to "release" that Wink Don't know of any "bigger" game (look at JME3 based games, some of them probably use JBullet), though people use it also for various non-gaming stuff.
17  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: The "Delta" variable [RELOADED] on: 2012-08-18 01:23:47
http://gafferongames.com/game-physics/fix-your-timestep/
18  Games Center / Featured Games / Re: Overbind on: 2012-08-17 13:12:19
Curious what do you so special with mipmapping that it requires GL 3.0?

glGenerateMipmap I'm guessing.  Doing it with GLU is ... not pleasant.

No need for GL3 for that, you can use these two functions instead:

glGenerateMipmapEXT from EXT_framebuffer_object extension

or

glTexParameteri(GL_TEXTURE_2D, GL_GENERATE_MIPMAP, GL_TRUE), that's GL 1.4 stuff
19  Discussions / Business and Project Management Discussions / Re: Closed for business - Android vs. iOS on: 2012-08-17 10:51:01
And anyone doing things professionally tends to have legal copies of their tools,

Absolutely!  I knew a number of people way back using pirated copies of Macromedia Director which I think was selling for +£1000.  Personally (and maybe cynically?), I believe that they and others deliberately made such software easy to copy, to encourage people to spend time learning it, and once they're hooked and need to use it professionally - bamn!  http://www.myownlittleworld.org.uk/whimsy/dealers.htm  Wink

Yes I know there are some exceptions with even quite big companies to use pirated SW. In one case it was some specific tool they could easily afford (not cheap, it was about 10k EUR, but no brainer money for that company and being quite important tool for them), but for some reason they didn't. And more interestingly the SW authors knew about that particular company that they're using pirated copy (we've been in contact with both the offending company and the dealer for the SW as we as much smaller company bought it, the dealer told us about it), don't know how it ended, but they rather tried to encourage them to purchase it from time to time, than just suing them. Probably they don't think it would be worth it.

But in majority of other companies we met they had legal SW, especially when the company is bigger.

There are also people who are so used to warez, so they use tools like Photoshop and Illustrator for their (even within company for some non-core stuff, like creating some graphics design of their products) while they could very easily use free tools like Inkscape or GIMP, or cheap shareware. I really don't count these as lost sale, because if they couldn't use pirated version they would just use a free tool. They don't use any extra professional feature of the tools. Still they do it from some habit or something. Still using these unnecessary tools in company is just risk for nothing, but that's their problem Smiley
20  Discussions / Business and Project Management Discussions / Re: Closed for business - Android vs. iOS on: 2012-08-17 10:32:58
Interesting point raised back there: if prices are so low why is Android piracy so rife versus Steam?

Answer: (my hypothesis)
1. Steam has no refund policy, whatsoever. If you even try a chargeback your entire account is terminated and you lose everything. No comeback.
2. Android has a 24hr refund policy, which unfortunately still leaves you with the .apk which you can copy before refunding.
3. Android users are, shall we say, more tight than iOS users. Piracy isn't the only reason stuff is free on Android - it's also because many many users are too tight to pay for anything in the first place, which is why they have $100 Android phones instead of $300 iPhones.

Sounds like Google's fault mostly. Read that in the most recent version of Android they're adding locking the purchased app to given device by signing. I don't think that most users use rooted devices or alternative opensource builds of Android.

I googled some concrete example: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/appsblog/2012/jul/23/dead-trigger-android-free-piracy

In this example they mention the piracy ratio was 9:1, if I remember World of Goo had similar ratio and still was big success. Maybe they should price the game for like $5 instead of rubbish $.99. Setting too low price (unless it's limited deal) make it look cheap (=bad). If someone is willing to pay they can usually afford more than $1, and even if it was priced $0.01 it would still get pirated a lot. So no point of too much lowering of price.
21  Discussions / Business and Project Management Discussions / Re: Closed for business - Android vs. iOS on: 2012-08-17 10:24:09
Another interesting example (IHMO) is modo.  When some folks from lightwave left and formed luxology their intent was to create a groundbreaking 3D package that was affordable.  The first version (in my non-digital artist opinion) was freaking awesome and priced at something around 300USD (if my memory serves).  Whatever the price was it was significantly cheaper that updating my version of lightwave would have cost.  Sadly modo was very heavily pirated.  Although there's no reasonable way to estimate the loss in income that piracy caused, it isn't unreasonable to assume that the impact was significant.  Now modo will cost you about 900USD (if you convert from some other art package) or about 1200USD otherwise.  The legal consumer would have very much benefited from them being able to maintain a lower price point and the increased competition that would have caused.  Could that have happened if their product had been less pirated?  We can't know.

Again, is there some sort of proof (like some stats before and after the price change or something) that the users who pirated it would buy it? Or was it mostly users trying it out and not doing much real work by using it? There was good reason why Blender back then when it wasn't opensource had personal edition. And anyone doing things professionally tends to have legal copies of their tools, also the costs are typically covered within just few months.

If the price increase helped them to get funds they expected while not offending most of their customers, then it was right move. If they seek for affordable tool they can always create some lite version without some professional features or something.
22  Discussions / Business and Project Management Discussions / Re: Closed for business - Android vs. iOS on: 2012-08-17 10:05:51
Another thought, if some company can't get enough money from selling, maybe they should've invested less into the creation? There must be then some point where it's balanced between quality vs sales/costs.

There are lot of tricks to create something great without need to use big movie-like budgets, and also to get rid of people on payroll who basically don't contribute anything (or even have negative impact) to the project?

Or are there some utterly failed polished indie games out there?
23  Games Center / Featured Games / Re: Overbind on: 2012-08-17 01:43:14
Thanks ra4king for your feedback. Interesting glitches to fix for next release. By the way, the weird lines that I can see on your screenshot are due to mipmap support. If your computer does not support openGL3.0, mipmaping is removed so you can play anyway, but graphics quality is poor.

Curious what do you so special with mipmapping that it requires GL 3.0? This is so basic feature it was always supported by GPUs and graphics of the game don't look that it needs anything special...?

Nice game, btw Smiley
24  Discussions / Business and Project Management Discussions / Re: Closed for business - Android vs. iOS on: 2012-08-17 01:33:47
You basically can't usefully pirate Steam games (because nearly the entire value in Steam games is the fact they're in your Steam account, available anywhere, anytime, anywhen, and linked into your profile with achievements, etc. etc) - and nor can you trade them. So Steam suffers very, very, very little leakage. This is how they can sell AAA titles for £4 in a sale, and they can make a million pounds pure profit in 24 hours.

Except that many games are not tied any specially to Steam. What makes them sell is the small price for limited amount of time (and good exposure for that deal), just like it works for HIB. This has nothing with piracy, just pure business. Also AAA titles are often overpriced, or they're just not that much worth for the individual (like I would buy most AAA games for 5E only, otherwise it's not worth to me, because even when some are good enough to entertain me, it's nothing great, though I don't mind waiting few years for price to fall).

Steam games are pirated, or activated on accounts used solely for that game and then shared or exchanged.

1. The vast majority of users will be on the official server, so fine if you want to play with your 2 cheapskate friends but not if you're playing a game which maybe involves a more interesting and vibrant community. Most of the value is in the fact that the majority reside there. Just look at Facebook vs Google+  Roll Eyes

This works well, though there are exceptions for very popular games. Look at Counter Strike scene, the pirated one is so strong it's total alternative to the official one, they do 'official' leagues and clan matches within it.

2. The illegal servers are painfully easy to find and shut down. If you can be arsed.

Not that easy when it's done as dedicated servers so anyone can run them. Privately, or with some web of trust for bigger community.
25  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Go on, ask me anything. on: 2012-08-15 21:50:40
Or you can use DVCS that is sane, like Monotone or probably Mercurial (not that pretty as Monotone, but similar basics).
26  Discussions / Business and Project Management Discussions / Re: Recommended Server Hosting? (Dedicated or VPS) on: 2012-07-31 08:07:34
For european folks I can recommend Xencon, it's based on Xen (so you get dedicated memory and disk resources) and thus more appropriate for serious usage than cheap virtualization solutions that overaggregates these resources. They have good support and the prices are nice too. Been using them for more than 2 years and have 829 days uptime on the VPS Smiley
27  Java Game APIs & Engines / OpenGL Development / Re: Compressing vertex normals on: 2012-07-30 09:10:36
You're doing it wrong. Focus on high-level optimizations first (like culling), only if you're out of any useable high level optimizations and the design is 'finished' go crazy with low-level optimizations. There are of course exceptions to this advice, but this is not the case.

After doing proper optimizations you may also realize it doesn't require high end GPU you're developing for and could be useable also for mere mortals too.
28  Games Center / Showcase / Re: NeoBat on: 2012-07-28 14:50:11
Had the same problem, the thing is that I always "accidentally" clicked on it before (probably habit of really force receiving the focus Wink ) Looks nice, it screams for some cool sounds effects, though the ball is hard to see with all that 'exploding' effects.
29  Java Game APIs & Engines / Java 2D / Re: Java2D Bloom on: 2012-07-26 15:48:38
I don't understand.  You say "not true", then repeat the same thing I said in different words.

Oh sorry, thought you meant the optimization in the paper I posted link to.

@jezek2 - is there a Java implementation of that anywhere?

What kind of dumb question is that? The pseudocode is trivial (and the text describing it is quite simple too), so you shouldn't have any problem translating it to Java...
30  Java Game APIs & Engines / Java 2D / Re: Java2D Bloom on: 2012-07-26 14:21:00
NOTE: That optimization and multi-dimensional arrays (in java) are mutually exclusive.

Not true, nobody sane uses multidimensional arrays in Java, you just index it manually in single dimensional array.
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