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1  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Amazon releases "Lumberyard" on: 2016-02-09 19:46:48
Didn't anyone tell Amazon to write Games not game engines? What a waste Smiley
2  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What's your "game dev dream" on: 2016-02-09 19:39:47
CommanderKeith, that is the kind of graphical direction I want to take Vangard in, not including the oriental feel which is very pretty by the way. I'm planning on representing people as simple animated silhouettes, adding lowpoly branches to the trees and so on. I'm just permanently bogged down in the AI...

My dream game is Vangard, a whole world deep simulation. And I'm writing it!
3  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Go has been cracked! on: 2016-02-09 09:17:38
How did I miss that? I must have started skimming after the first 140 characters, it was a bit longer than a tweet Smiley
4  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Go has been cracked! on: 2016-02-08 22:33:03
I'm surprised the topic hasn't come up on the forum yet:

It's interesting that even the best Go players can't explain exactly why a certain move is good, and now we have built a Go-playing computer, and we can't say precisely (or even vaguely) how it chooses the moves it chooses Smiley

Who knows if Deep Mind has not decided the most efficient way of winning at Go is to subjugate humankind!

I've ben trying to find out what kind of hardware Google need to run this program, but the info just doesn't seem to be online. I wonder how many Watts it sucks down competing with a 20 Watt human brain?
5  Games Center / Featured Games / Re: Naroth - 3D open world RPG on: 2016-02-08 11:06:22
Very well done! I'm glad to see you got this one out the door Smiley
6  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Skullstone - a dungeon crawler game on: 2016-02-07 14:39:14
The art is looking good, but can you consider using a different image hosting service? I really don't want to be bothered by ads for hot Russian and Asian babes.

imgur comes to mind...
7  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Vangard on: 2016-02-06 23:45:06
Are you using OpenGL flags for your JVM? I enabled it and it gave me around 10x better performance (frame times of <1 ms) - transparency can be accelerated too. I could give you some pointers on your rendering code, if you like?

I really don't want to invest in the J2D rendering, but I wanted it at least functional on my PC. So I followed the suggestion of Coldstream24 and added this environment variable:


Rendering performance has increased threefold as a result. Which is good enough for now Smiley
8  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Benchmark this JAR - yes, a Vangard demo! on: 2016-02-06 23:41:40
I set this system variable:


Now I get these much improved times on my i7-6700 system:

Logic Millis: 0-1ms
Render Millis (zoomed in): 8-14
Render Millis (zoomed out): 15-20
9  Games Center / Featured Games / Re: State of Fortune on: 2016-02-06 21:46:36
I hope not...
10  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Shard Master Classic - WIP on: 2016-02-04 23:36:37
I can't speak for Archive...but hardware acceleration is for the weak... Grin

So you say that all game companies are week? Cheesy
CPU is too busy, unnecessary rendering is not his job, there are GPU to do this.

You are forgetting that CPU rendering is also an interesting and fun programming challenge.
11  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Vangard on: 2016-02-03 11:48:13
Render millis were ranging between 24ms (75x zoom) to 60ms (1x zoom) on my new HD530, so I wrote a simple batcher. With partial batching the render millis have improved to the 15-40ms range, with the small side effect that nothing is visible on-screen any more!

This is all unwanted effort as I need to be using LibGDX not Java2D, but I want a quick fix, and the batching may be useful even when I switch graphics frameworks.
12  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Vangard on: 2016-02-01 21:18:08
I use two threads per CPU core, this seems to be the optimum number for Windows (not optimal for Linux, sorry Linux). There are 10,000 one-hectare cells and these are shared out between the threads in a thread-safe order.

Rergarding A* etc pathfinding, I'm just not very interested in it. It's expensive and beeline works ok. For indoors movement I will need to have some logic to the movement, as in pathfinding with only a small number of nodes (doorways) to consider. But for outdoors movement I will keep it simple. The complexity in outdoors movement comes from including hazard avoidance, stealthy movement, grouping behavior (so citizens travelling between settlements do not travel dangerous roads alone)...

Most of the objects in the game are small, convex and reasonably spaced, so going in straight lines and sliding to the right around obstacles works for 99% of the cases. For the rarer cases where an entity gets stuck, it simply scatters randomly and tries again. This covers most the remaining cases. It only fails for very large or irregular/concave objects, and for these I will provide local waypoints to guide the entities without the need for global pathfinding.
13  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Vangard on: 2016-02-01 07:09:40
Destructor, I am targeting 30fps. regarding entities, I posted this previously:

The world is divided into a 100x100 grid, with each cell representing 100m x 100m. During an update an entity can only interact with its own cell and the neighboring cells. This means that logic updates can be done in parallel as long as each cell being updated is separate from other cells being updated concurrently by two intervening cells in all directions.

All entities have a list of behaviors. They get their behavior list from their current career. Each career has exit careers (so a warrior could become a champion or a berserker). When a character satisfies the various entry requirements and enters a new career, their set of behaviors changes.

Behaviors have a planning component and and an execution component. The planning component is more expensive but is run less frequently, while the execution component is executed each logic tick. The execution logic depends on whether the behavior is the current highest priority behavior. for example, if a woodcutter is chopping wood and is attacked by a bear, fighting has a higher priority, while crafting has a lower priority. In the implementation of crafting, no work is done if crafting is not the top priority.

Other behaviors get executed even when they are not top priority. For example, HungryBehavior increments its needToEat counter each logic tick regardless of what the character is doing.

Behaviors communicate with each other by setting shared properties on the character. For example, the woodcutter's crafting behavior can only be executed when the character is adjacent to a woodpile, so if the character is not near a woodpile, the behavior sets its priority to -1 (cannot execute) but adds the nearest woodpile to entity.movement.desirables map (the other component of the map entry is the priority of the desirable). The GoToBehavior monitors this collection and if it is not empty tries to move to the desirable with the highest priority. (more accurately, in the planning phase, GoToBehavior selects the highest priority desirable as the target, and sets the behavior priority to the desirable priority).

Likewise if a behavior needs an item from the inventory and the item is absent, the item is added to the inventory.wishlist collection. And this collection is monitored by other activities such as PickUpBehavor.

As I've learned, debugging this stuff is a nightmare and I am just writing mountains of test code at the moment. Smiley

By the way, some behaviors are not from the career. I am thinking about adding personality behaviors, like GreedyBehavior or LazyBehavior to make the characters more unique.


I think the real figure is around 60k entities now, but there are only 1k humans and a couple of thousand other active entities like animals. The rest are just trees and rocks. Entities can move anywhere; some have an ExploreBehavior that will cause them to visit the entire map (unless they get distracted by a shiny new thing along the way).

I don't do pathfinding. Entities just move towards their target and have a bit of logic to get unstuck when needed. When entities can go inside buildings, I will need a smarter and more expensive pathfinding solution.
14  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Vangard on: 2016-01-31 16:18:49
Got over the excitement of building a PC. Hunters are tracking:

Rannveig found a deer 99.76412331822027m away.
Unn found a deer 386.84841314152357m away.
Gudfinna found a deer 399.05202528122174m away.
Gunnhild found a deer 483.4492922292207m away.
Rannveig found a deer 394.834353239086m away.
Hlodvir found a deer 481.8736082024527m away.

At the moment they just run up to the deer, tag it, and run back home. Next step is they get to a certain distance, stealth their way closer, and then shoot the deer with an arrow. Got to give the deer survival behaviors too, so they know to run away and can alert each other.

In other news, my Intel IGP can't cope with the pathetic graphics in this game. I have an idea for a batcher that should improve performance.
15  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Benchmark this JAR - yes, a Vangard demo! on: 2016-01-31 00:16:33
I just ran this JAR on my new PC: it's an i7-6700 with Intel HD Graphics 530.

Logic millis = 5
Graphics millis (zoomed in): 20
Graphics millis (zoomed out): 56

16  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Starcraft 2 on an Atom Z3775 or Celeron N3150? on: 2016-01-30 21:20:03

It starts up too. Once I find the SATA cables I mislaid, I can install the OS.

I've only been thinking about building a PC since 1994.

EDIT: It's all running now, Windows 10 is installed as well as some of my favorite apps like Headline Benchmark. Here is my new build benched against my laptop:
17  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What I did today on: 2016-01-29 11:04:09
Making final preparations for my new pen-and-paper RPG campaign tonight.

This weekend: build my new desktop PC!

Vangard, I haven't forgotten you...
18  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Vangard on: 2016-01-26 23:14:49
I'm just inbetween phases, I have added most careers and now I have to go on to totally different aspects of the game. I'm working on hunters and deer and combat at the moment, and also trying to balance the economy.
19  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Vangard on: 2016-01-26 19:10:04
Huhh??? What???

It's alive and well, why do you ask?
20  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Starcraft 2 on an Atom Z3775 or Celeron N3150? on: 2016-01-26 11:06:45
I'm waiting to see what new cards come in in Q1/Q2 and I'm waiting for the prices on the GTX970 to drop.

I did look at earlier processors like Haswell and FX but there was very little price advantage.
21  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Starcraft 2 on an Atom Z3775 or Celeron N3150? on: 2016-01-26 09:53:51
I figure I won't have to upgrade the CPU for 5 years. Also, it has integrated graphics (I'm only buying the GPU in March). It also uses half the power of the FX-8350 I was considering.
22  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Starcraft 2 on an Atom Z3775 or Celeron N3150? on: 2016-01-25 21:09:17
Parts ordered... I'm building it myself. i7-6700 and 8gb ram, no graphics yet. I'll have to save a few months for that.
23  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Pong in Java on: 2016-01-25 11:23:14
There are two things you can do for the bounce angle: make the angle dependent on the position the ball hits the bat (and then make the bat sprite slightly rounded to make this truly realistic) or make the output angle dependent on the current motion of the bat. The second option works better if the motion of the bat is variable (e.g. has a simple acceleration/deceleration).
24  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Vangard on: 2016-01-21 11:58:28
I don't have a top-down control of entities so I can't just work it all out on paper. I need to set up rules and behaviors that balance by themselves and make the world behave "realistically".

These are the basic rules of the economy:

1. People work until they have enough money for their outgoings and wishlist items, then they switch to training/social behaviors. This means that poor people don't typically get rich, and rich people stay rich. If a person changes behavior and for example upgrades their hovel to a large hall, then they start having to pay servants and higher maintenance costs, so they start working longer hours to cover this. People also try to maintain a certain amount of savings, depending on their outlook and general social status.

2. Items and services have a default recommended retail price that is influenced by item quality, availability and trading skill of buyer and seller.

3. Cash-strapped Vangardians can get into debt to buy items they can't immediately afford (e.g. woodcutter breaks axe, needs new axe, has no money, would starve unless they get a new axe on credit). This means poor people tend to pay more for the same item as a rich person.

4. Money is constantly injected into the economy by mines. Also from hoards, or course Smiley

5. Surplus money is taking out of the economy as religious offerings at the temples.

I need to work out the details. For example, if food is in short supply, a peasant can get more for their apples. That means they need to make fewer apples to reach their target income, so as the item becomes scarcer, the production becomes less. If I let peasants cash in on the high market prices I can get into a situation where the peasants are weirdly rich (unless they burn their newfound wealth as temple offerings). Probably I need to add some element of planning, so that the chieftains can react to supply issues by adding new citizens to the settlements.
25  Game Development / Newbie & Debugging Questions / Re: [libgdx] How do i save data of my game on GooglePlay? on: 2016-01-21 06:30:17
26  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: Collision isn't working quite right... on: 2016-01-20 11:59:04
candidatePosition = currentPosition + deltaXy;
if (noCollisions(candidatePosition, vicinity) {
   currentPosition = currentPosition + deltaXy;
27  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Vangard on: 2016-01-20 11:56:14
I think it would be fairer to say the 7 billion minds are all actively trying to unbalance the economy in their favor, resulting in the current economic balance.
28  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What I did today on: 2016-01-18 23:15:07
Learned about web fonts so I could get one icon right.
29  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: Vangard on: 2016-01-18 22:23:51
I've got nothing against special items that cannot be made by any actor in the world, those just aren't interesting from a programming point of view at the moment. I can always add in special items, but at the moment I am just trying to get the Vangardians making all the stuff they need on a day-to-day basis.

I wouldn't say the focus of the game is crafting... this is just necessary groundwork for the world. What I really want to focus on is intrigue, backstabbing, treachery, epic destruction, magic that is not simply a glorified projectile weapon, and so on. And I also want a subtheme where you can reject all that dark stuff and withdraw from the maelstrom and lead a reclusive pure and idealistic life. But I can't get onto that until I have the world ticking over nicely. Once I have added the priests and the hunters, I can start the more difficult task of balancing the economy (if I can get it right, the economy should balance itself, once I have built in appropriate negative feedbacks to moderate behaviors and keep the low-born in their place*).

*In the real world, no-one has ever balanced an economy. So, good luck to me!
30  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Simulating simple 2D mist on: 2016-01-18 17:33:37
I believe that picture shows the high altitude haze on Uranus. If you go to lower altitudes where the pressure is greater and it is a bit warmer, the haze would dissipate (it would be permanently overcast of course).
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List of Learning Resources
by SilverTiger
2016-02-05 09:39:47

List of Learning Resources
by SilverTiger
2016-02-05 09:38:38

List of Learning Resources
by SilverTiger
2016-02-05 09:35:50

Rendering resources
by Roquen
2015-11-13 14:37:59

Rendering resources
by Roquen
2015-11-13 14:36:58

Math: Resources
by Roquen
2015-10-22 07:46:10

Networking Resources
by Roquen
2015-10-16 07:12:30

Rendering resources
by Roquen
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