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  Presidium- An SF Citybuilder  (Read 91169 times)
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Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #90 - Posted 2013-07-04 13:30:03 »

I'm doing a little bit of an overhaul of the interface at the moment.  The overall structure I'm hoping for should be something like the following:

*  Minimap in the top-left, with tabs for starcharts and planetary sectors.  (Minimap should also display danger levels & territorial claims, biomass vs. squalor, and/or mineral concentrations.)
*  Stardate, personal ranking, current credits and psi points in the top-middle.
*  Tabs for missions, edicts and powers on the top-right.  (Not certain about which of these to include.  Will work it out.)
*  Guild panels below this, for monitoring venues and personnel, construction and recruitment.
*  Contextual information display panel below this, varying depending on selection.
*  Quickbar on the bottom, for hotkeyed access to powers, venues and personnel.

Once that's sorted, I'm going to try implementing strike & recon missions, and finally start tying things like construction, immigration and recruitment together.  Which, even with only a portion of the above features, should put me within spitting distance of something playable.  Hopefully.
Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #91 - Posted 2013-08-18 17:30:36 »

Sorry for the long interim between replies, but I had my machine in for servicing and it took me a while to get back up to speed.

I'm probably going to simplify the UI for the sake of the upcoming demo, but Missions functionality has been implemented for exploration and combat, along with fog of war and building construction, basic recreational and medic-treatment behaviours are up and running, and I'm currently smoothing out the bugs in upgrades/research and citizen recruitment.

I do have a couple of technical questions to ask, if anyone's willing to help.  The first is that I've run into problems running the game on different or older platforms (under Windows XP on Boot Camp, for instance, the game slows to a crawl and transparent sprites turn black.  Since it's the exact same hardware that I use under OSX, I can only assume this is some kind of driver problem.  My old desktop G4 runs faster, though differences in byte order seem to be messing with some of my alpha-testing.)

Secondly, what are the better options for creating a stand-alone executable out of a bunch of class files and LWJGL jars?

Thanks in advance.
Offline BurntPizza

« JGO Bitwise Duke »

Medals: 485
Exp: 7 years

« Reply #92 - Posted 2013-08-18 18:01:01 »

Looking forward to the demo!  Smiley

Secondly, what are the better options for creating a stand-alone executable out of a bunch of class files and LWJGL jars?

Thanks in advance.

I know of several options (For windows distribution):
Launch4j, used to 'wrap' your program (jar file) in an executable. Supports embedding a JRE.
Similar is JSmooth and others. Here is a good StackOverflow on the subject: How can I convert my Java program to an .exe file?

I personally like NSIS installers for Windows distribution, super easy to make, and you can package anything you want in any way you want.

What I do with them is I write a batch file that launches my jar file, compile the batch file using a batch compiler, this gives a nice exe you can apply an icon to. Then I put that in the installer along with the actual program and whatever assets I need, etc. and have the installer make the desktop shortcut, etc link to the launcher, which then calls your Jar file. I can elaborate if need be.
Did any of that make sense?  persecutioncomplex
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Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #93 - Posted 2013-08-18 21:05:54 »

Thanks for the pointers.  I haven't much experience with windows development, but I think I've messed around with basic .bat files before.  I'll give it a shot and see if it helps at all with the graphics problems.

Fortunately, the process seems to be relatively straightforward on OSX, though good luck getting anything java-based to run on iOS. Tongue
Offline Kerai

Junior Devvie

Medals: 4

« Reply #94 - Posted 2013-08-22 21:59:13 »

Those arts look very well. You've got the skill.

Are you by any chance looking for cooperation in this?
Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #95 - Posted 2013-08-23 12:57:07 »

I'll PM you with the details, Keral.  Of course, any help would be appreciated.

Oh, in other news, citizen recruitment and upgrades/research are essentially done (though I still need to hook up said upgrades to their in-game effects), ambient danger levels should now factor into pathfinding, and citizen purchases of new weapons/armour seems to be working okay.

I've decided that, to placate my thirst for more stringent realism, I'll include an optional 'hard core SF' mode in the final release, where things like psion abilities will be reduced or eliminated, material and skill requirements for construction/manufacture are stricter, et cetera.
Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #96 - Posted 2013-09-02 19:51:00 »

Big bunch of small-to-medium updates (day/night effects, resting/recreation/performances at the cantina, medication and sick leave, plus tax and security patrols.)  Kerai has been kind enough to create a working .exe from an older version of the project, but I need to add a few more features and include a main menu before it's fit to demo, and there definitely seem to be serious performance problems under windows.  I'll keep y'all posted.

EDIT:  Kerai is also talking about porting at least the graphics packages to use LibGDX, but I'll leave him to fill in the details.
Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #97 - Posted 2013-09-05 11:29:57 »

All-night coding binge.  Very tired, somewhat existentially disoriented.  Some interesting stuff though.

I was running my ecology simulation reasonably smoothly on a 64x64 map at 25x game speed with a population of around 220 creatures, which in principle translates to handling more than 5000 creatures at normal simulation speed.  Some actual profiling put the simulation-related CPU load at about 27%, up from 6.7% at 5x speed, which means that my original target capacity of handling 10,000 citizens on a 256x256 map ought to be feasible.  Whoo!  (Though on reflection that would probably be some kind of nightmarishly overcrowded hive-world dystopia.)

Rendering seems to be the more pressing bottleneck at the moment, and Kerai has done some very encouraging/promising work on porting milkshape models into the LibGDX environment.  I'll likely be looking into that next.
Offline ags1

JGO Kernel

Medals: 367
Projects: 7

Make code not war!

« Reply #98 - Posted 2013-09-05 21:33:48 »

This is looking very promising! How do you keep the AI load that low?

Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #99 - Posted 2013-09-06 09:44:32 »

Most of the simulation time is spent on pathfinding, so I put a lot of effort into a system for caching large-scale paths between different regions of the map.   Individual pathing-searches only happen every couple of seconds/when needed and only extend for a dozen tiles or so.  Proximity-detection uses a quad-tree registration scheme, rather than brute-force tile-checking.  And anything sim-intensive related to other AI is time-sliced using a scheduling system.

And they called me mad!  Mad they said!  Bwahahah!
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Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #100 - Posted 2013-09-07 14:08:06 »

Planning to introduce some new critters at the moment-

From bottom-left to top-right, you can see the ee-evil looking defence drone, recon drone, demolition drone, tripod, cranial and tesseract.   At least a couple should be functional for the demo.  Working on ruins placement atm.
Offline Kagesh

Junior Newbie

« Reply #101 - Posted 2013-09-28 13:34:27 »

Morgan, have you changed which class is the one for launching the app? A few months ago you said it was DebugWorld, but I don't see that class in the source.

Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #102 - Posted 2013-09-28 19:11:34 »

You can try out DebugBehaviour or DebugPathing instead (TBH, the functions are pretty loose at this stage.)  Cripes, I haven't posted in a while.  I'll letcha know what's happening soon.
Offline Kagesh

Junior Newbie

« Reply #103 - Posted 2013-09-30 13:17:01 »

Got back last night from a weekend getaway and I was able to use both classes.

All I can say is wow! I will be tracking this game and will buy when ready.

Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #104 - Posted 2013-10-02 10:40:01 »

Thanks for trying it out.  If you don't mind my asking, were you running it under windows/mac/linux?  I've had some noticeable slowdowns on other OS/hardware, so external reference points are good. Smiley

I've expanded considerably on the content associated with most of the structures in the game over the last month or so, and the economy mechanics are essentially sorted at this point.  There's a good deal of extra content to introduce or debug, but it's quantitative rather than qualitative- I know with some precision what needs to be done, and just have to follow well-defined steps to do it.  (Rather than being, e.g, paralysed with indecision over the proper tile resolution for terrain-mesh sections.)

This should be a representative sample of the current game-state:

There is one technical point I could use some advice on, though:  I've been updating the fog-of-war display so as to try and blend/fade visually between old and new fog values every second or so.  I'd prefer to do this purely using the GPU and without shaders (since I don't want to dive into those just yet.)  Is there any simple way for 'classic' GL to get and apply the weighted average of two textures, including their alpha... or have I missed something obvious?
Offline sproingie

JGO Kernel

Medals: 202

« Reply #105 - Posted 2013-10-02 16:22:22 »

Is there any simple way for 'classic' GL to get and apply the weighted average of two textures, including their alpha... or have I missed something obvious?

Blend them?

Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #106 - Posted 2013-10-02 18:18:53 »

I've tried various blending options, but either they don't do what I need or I don't understand them properly.  (e.g, GL_MODULATE seems to multiply the two textures together, GL_ADD is too bright, and others give special treatment to the alpha channel, which I don't need.)

I could just do it on the CPU, but it's something I'd rather not every 25th of a second.
Offline cylab

JGO Kernel

Medals: 180

« Reply #107 - Posted 2013-10-03 09:15:04 »

Mathias - I Know What [you] Did Last Summer!
Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #108 - Posted 2013-10-03 14:26:21 »

I appreciate the reference, though it seems to be going out of it's way to say 'don't ever use this, use shaders instead'.

I have thought of a different approach that might work.  I could basically store the old and new fog values as 2 layers of a 3-dimensional texture, and change the UV mapping of the fog-layer-geometry so as to interpolate between them over time.  I could either cache the intermediate results (about 1 meg per frame) or generate them as needed (maybe 1% of CPU) or simply apply the fog as one giant quad (which assumes perfectly flat terrain.)  I think the lattermost approach might be an acceptable hack for the moment (I have the capacity for proper 3d-terrain, but I'm not making any real use of it at the moment.)
Offline Opiop
« Reply #109 - Posted 2013-10-03 17:12:15 »

Wait, you're not using shaders? Sorry, that just seems a little silly Tongue They're only beneficial to your game, why wouldn't you use them?
Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #110 - Posted 2013-10-03 17:22:17 »

Oh, I fully intend to move to a shading-based engine in future, I just haven't gotten around to learning GLSL yet.  (Originally, I wanted the game to be able to run on older hardware, but at this stage anything shader-incompatible is probably on a scrapheap.)
Offline Opiop
« Reply #111 - Posted 2013-10-03 17:24:05 »

Ah, I see. Sorry for assuming! It's looking really nice so far! Do you need resources for learning GLSL? I'm sure I could dig some up, schools very boring today Smiley
Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #112 - Posted 2013-10-03 21:12:06 »

I think I have that solution working now.   ...But sure, I guess a few pointers on shading technique wouldn't hurt.
Offline Opiop
« Reply #113 - Posted 2013-10-03 21:59:07 »

Here, I'll try to find the more obscure tutorials!
Offline Kagesh

Junior Newbie

« Reply #114 - Posted 2013-10-04 15:45:29 »

I am using a MacBook Air at the moment. I can give it a try on my Windows computer and let you know how things work. I would be happy to do testing for you.

Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #115 - Posted 2013-10-05 12:12:51 »

@ Kagesh:  I appreciate the offer, though I should mention I'm going through some fixes to housing requirements that might cause massive housing de-evolution in the current saved-games.  (So, don't be surprised if that happens.)  But sure, testing is good!

@ opiop65:  Thanks for the link.  I would mention that site has a very attractive format in every respect aside from the centre-justified code segments.  ....Ow.
Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #116 - Posted 2013-10-07 22:25:00 »

...That was humour, people.

I think I just need to finish up some work on the surveillance post, sickbay and aesthete structures, and then I'll be more-or-less ready to put up something executable.
Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #117 - Posted 2013-10-17 14:01:54 »

I just stumbled upon this over on hacker news.  If I'm eventually gonna port to LibGDX/shaders for the graphics side of things, I might consider porting the logic to one of those new-fangled concurrent-execution frameworks.  (Not today, mind.)

Sickbay functions seem to be working well, adding some polish/tweaks to the audit office, mining and archives.  (I keep forgetting stuff I need to do.  Ah, well.)  Also added basic version of the holo-arcade and edifice, but I'll probably need to polish up arcologies some more.
Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #118 - Posted 2013-10-30 16:11:31 »

Well, I have good news and bad news.  The good news is, the game should be just about ready to run as a standalone application- all the main structures are implemented (barring some inevitable tweaks and polishing,) the UI has been streamlined and psy powers implemented, and there's a main menu with setup and loading options, et cetera.  Bad news is, I need to get my machine serviced before I can reinstall the developer tools needs to bundle the app on OSX (which is the only platform I'd feel comfortable about releasing on for the moment.)

So, stay tuned...
Offline quew8

JGO Knight

Medals: 53

« Reply #119 - Posted 2013-10-30 16:39:03 »

I am tuned. I've been anticipating a full featured release of this for quite a while. Now I read you'll start with just releasing for MacOSX. Please reconsider. Considering we all program here in Java and off the top of my head you don't use any other libraries, is there anything you actually don't expect to work for other OS s?

Anyway, mostly I'm just posting so you don't get hit by the "no more than N uninterrupted posts by the same person" rule. But seriously, the above and I am looking forward to this.
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