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  Dev-Diaries @ JGF  (Read 5240 times)
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Offline blahblahblahh

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« Posted 2004-05-18 19:51:01 »

In case you missed it, there are two developer-diaries running over at JGF at the moment (both in the ARTICLES section):

http://grexengine.com/sections/externalgames/

Also just added part 2 of Ground FX Racing - which has our first screenshots of a dev-diary game Smiley.

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Offline BugBear

Senior Newbie




Ground FX Racing


« Reply #1 - Posted 2004-05-18 20:23:10 »

Thanks for getting that posted so quick, Blah^3! Smiley
Offline blahblahblahh

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« Reply #2 - Posted 2004-05-25 03:54:22 »

...and we now have a third diary running. It's mine! Although, being the main author of JGF, I have decided to be "different" and start my series at "Part 4".

(or, to put it another way, I haven't had time to write up the first 3 parts, although I have been collecting all the info I need for them, and they should hopefully appear soon).

It even has a couple of screenshots of our game!

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
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Offline SpuTTer

Senior Member


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Lazy Middle Class Intellectual


« Reply #3 - Posted 2004-05-25 06:38:45 »

lol funny. The little mini-pic in the upper left isnt working. Everything else is looking good.

Possible typo at the beginning

"Our first non-trivial, seious test level isn't working."

or maybe I dont know what "seious" means...

Looking forward to seeing the game Smiley

Sacramento Volleyball
"Whitty phrase goes here."
Offline princec

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Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #4 - Posted 2004-05-25 08:51:53 »

Hey Blah, when I adjust the scale in Opera the site totally screws up its layout.

Cas Smiley

Offline blahblahblahh

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« Reply #5 - Posted 2004-05-25 12:17:56 »

Quote
lol funny.
Possible typo at the beginning


Thanks. Doh!

Quote
Hey Blah, when I adjust the scale in Opera the site totally screws up its layout.


Hmm. Email me a screenshot, and I'll have a look. It's all done in "not particularly exotic" CSS so I wasn't expecting any problems (and, nb: I've tried it at lots of different scales in Mozilla and it had no problems...). But a screenshot will probably give me a pretty good idea where it's going titsup. Thanks.

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Offline princec

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« Reply #6 - Posted 2004-05-25 13:45:26 »

Righty ho.

And get yourself Opera too, so you can try it for yourself.

Cas Smiley

Offline blahblahblahh

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« Reply #7 - Posted 2004-06-07 23:06:52 »

A couple more dev-diary updates for both Quix (OrangTang) and Survivor (myself).

Also a few extra games links updated / added.

FYI there are a couple more articles "in progress" as I type this, and a few more games in the queue to be added. So, hopefully, we'll have some more updates by the end of the week.

PS: and I *really* need some sleep now...

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Offline kevglass

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« Reply #8 - Posted 2004-06-08 07:18:26 »

The game data for the two new games seems to be broken. Both return a 404 of sorts.

Kev

PS. Finally got some sleep!

Offline monkeyget

Senior Newbie





« Reply #9 - Posted 2004-06-08 13:25:34 »

It's nice to mention updates Smiley
About opera, there is no problem with the website, the scale stuff always behave like that on sites with frames.

edit: there is a little error in Developer Diaries, "Survivor by Adam Martin" classification start at Part 4 instead of part 1
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
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Offline princec

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« Reply #10 - Posted 2004-06-08 14:43:37 »

Shouldn't really be using frames these days... frames suck, royally. CSS all the way, baby.

Cas Smiley

Offline blahblahblahh

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« Reply #11 - Posted 2004-06-08 14:58:09 »

You have got to be kidding/trolling Wink Tongue. IMHO the web is unusable without frames, unless you are only ever dealing with trivial content that all fits on one page (dividing it up onto 30 pages just to prevent scrolling is not a solution from a UI/HCI POV Sad ).

Even navbars are truly horrible when they disappear simply because I scrolled down to read the rest of the page Sad but good use of frames (e.g. multi-layered nav systems) are excellent because you can navigate backwards even more quickly than forwards Smiley.

I would rather be forced to write all webpages as single massive imagemaps than be forced to work on any webdesign where frames were banned.

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Offline zparticle

Senior Member




Thick As A Brick


« Reply #12 - Posted 2004-06-08 15:07:17 »

Actually I agree with Cas, frames should be the last resort. Actually just don't use them.

I suppose in the case where you don't have the ability to do server side includes (php, jsp, asp, etc.) you might use them to make your life easier. However this really makes the web site less usable.

Offline AndersDahlberg

Junior Member





« Reply #13 - Posted 2004-06-08 15:10:01 »

Ban frames are the way to go! Shocked

Using float style css instead is the solution, if people insist on having long unreadable pages (split them up!! Wink

Quote

(dividing it up onto 30 pages just to prevent scrolling is not a solution from a UI/HCI POV  ).

IMNSHO I would claim the opposite (depending on the situation of course - but generally I believe most people prefer short bits of information with clear navigation/location information instead of enourmous mountain-sized pages)
Offline blahblahblahh

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« Reply #14 - Posted 2004-06-08 15:26:05 »

Quote
Ban frames are the way to go! Shocked

Using float style css instead is the solution, if people insist on having long unreadable pages (split them up!! Wink


Float style navbars still run slow and jerky EVEN ON MY 1GHZ PC in all browsers. Until browsers are better (or people fix bugs in their CSS code?), that's not really an option Sad.

However, I do agree that it would be nice to achieve everything with CSS - CSS is luverly.

Quote

IMNSHO I would claim the opposite (depending on the situation of course - but generally I believe most people prefer short bits of information with clear navigation/location information instead of enourmous mountain-sized pages)


There are many many people who prefer the opposite, for very sensible reasons, but that's beside the point (FYI: anyone on a slow connection; any time you are looking at a page you want to save - classic example is manuals, e.g. beanshell.org has two parallel versions, one for reading and saving when you get to the end / or reading in one long go (easier than continually clicking "NEXT") and one as a quick reference where each section is a unique page so you can quickly jump in to specific sections).

My (badly put) point was that with variable resolutions, variable font sizes, and variable zooms (all good things for VERY good reasons that even many of the mozilla devs were too thick to understand and we had to hammer it into their skulls Angry) you end up having to stick to only one-two paragraps per page if you are going to prevent scrolling altogether, and even small amounts of info end up being split onto many pages.

I'm one of those (I believe still the majority?) who e.g. hate it when reviews and online articles are split into 6 pages for something that only takes 5 minutes to read - this should be ONE page, not 6 - and it's painfully obvious that it's not done for the reader, it's done to maximize advertising income Angry

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


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« Reply #15 - Posted 2004-06-08 15:28:40 »

Quote
Actually I agree with Cas, frames should be the last resort. Actually just don't use them.

I suppose in the case where you don't have the ability to do server side includes (php, jsp, asp, etc.) you might use them to make your life easier. However this really makes the web site less usable.


Over-use of SSI is a really bad idea for moderately high-traffic sites unless they have deep pockets - if you convert all pages to it that makes your webserver hardware + support instantaneously 3 times more expensive to support the same number of users.

You can work around the astonishingly bad performance of these things using multi-layered caches and tiered architectures, but then you're utilizing the same hardware at increased manpower cost - and men don't come cheap.

EDIT: PS I've done some work on high-performance webservers before, and the difficulty of attempting to accelerate SSI-heavy pages to the speed of HTML and lazy-XSLT-compiled stuff is enough to make you cry.

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


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« Reply #16 - Posted 2004-06-08 15:30:53 »

Actually, I'm confused - what is the PROBLEM with frames, apart from the fact that opera has bugs?

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Offline Mark Thornton

Senior Member





« Reply #17 - Posted 2004-06-08 15:43:41 »

Quote
Actually, I'm confused - what is the PROBLEM with frames, apart from the fact that opera has bugs?

References from other sites --- if done naively you either end up at the home page for the frame set or 'deeply linked' to an individual pane which then appears without the usual surrounding frame set.
Each individual pane has its own back/forward context which can be confusing.
Offline blahblahblahh

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« Reply #18 - Posted 2004-06-08 15:46:51 »

Quote

References from other sites


i.e. incompetence of other sites? Huh Doesn't seem like much of a reason against them to me - you might as well ban the use of A HREF tags becuase people abuse them by putting misleading text inside the A tag that they trick you into clicking on! (gasp).

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Offline tom
« Reply #19 - Posted 2004-06-08 15:47:43 »

Quote
Actually, I'm confused - what is the PROBLEM with frames, apart from the fact that opera has bugs?


*Scrollbars all over the place
*External links that get opened inside a frame. Soon you have frames inside frames inside frames...  Sad

Frames suck!

Offline zparticle

Senior Member




Thick As A Brick


« Reply #20 - Posted 2004-06-08 15:56:51 »

Plus you are making assumptions about the resolution the user is view the page at. Your site for instance is incredibly difficult for me (notice I'm saying me) to read because the frame at the top is sucking up a large amount of space.

Quote

EDIT: PS I've done some work on high-performance webservers before, and the difficulty of attempting to accelerate SSI-heavy pages to the speed of HTML and lazy-XSLT-compiled stuff is enough to make you cry.


I do this every day, it is my job to make complicated J2EE applications perform well under heavy loads. Haven't had an issue yet.

EDIT: part of my job

EDIT2: Again, since you are the one who has to deal with maintaining the site it is obviously up to you. Smiley Some food for thought:

http://www.useit.com/alertbox/9612.html

http://www.webstyleguide.com/page/frames.html

http://www.doghause.com/top15.html

of course you can probably find one hundred pages saying frames are great. Smiley

Offline oNyx

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


pixels! :x


« Reply #21 - Posted 2004-06-08 21:29:10 »

I'm absolutely fine with long pages. I really prefer em over those 20+ site articles.

However, frames are really annoying, because you end up with wasted space. In 800x600 it's one third(!) wich is unusable for reading the articles. It's full with that booring navbar you just don't care about while reading.

Well, I helped myself with opening the links in a new tab (mouse3), but it was a forward-backward-forward (cha cha cha) experience :>

弾幕 ☆ @mahonnaiseblog
Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


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« Reply #22 - Posted 2004-06-08 21:42:10 »

Quote

However, frames are really annoying, because you end up with wasted space. In 800x600 it's one third(!) wich is unusable for reading the articles. It's full with that booring navbar you just don't care about while reading.


Have you (gasp) gone back on-topic, and are referring to JGF? Smiley

I've already shrunk Kev's original down once, but I hadn't seriously thought there were still people surfing at that res who played games Smiley.

Personally, I use mozilla and just ctrl-click anything like articles so that everything opens in a new tab - scroll down the page, ctrl-click every article that looks interesting, then ctrl-tab to go from one article to the next. I guess my use of state-of-the-art (10 year old) browsing paradigms lulls me into thinking other people have a good browsing experience too, and I tend to forget the poor sad miserable people using that pile of horse manure called MSIE. (although, looking at stats of various website I have access to, the conversion from MSIE to mozilla in the past 12 months has been pretty phenomenal on win32)

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Offline oNyx

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


pixels! :x


« Reply #23 - Posted 2004-06-09 05:05:57 »

Ye... dunno. Wanted to bitch about that anyways and it looked like a good opportunity Smiley

Oh and more back to the topic. Read the articles (apparently) and they are pretty interesting imo. I had also alot of "fun" with snap to grid. Almost went postal, but I remembered that my text routine resets everything at the end - doh Tongue

On thing I don't understand - why does the level editor of survivor uses floating point? That just doesn't make any sense - especially if the coords are relative to their room. I just use 32bit ints and that's really good enough (there is no way that I could ever build a level wich goes beyond those bounds [most likely I'll die in about 40 years - so there just isn't enough time to do that]).

For example the levelbounds in GTKRadiant (a q3 level editor) are 2^16 units in each direction. Doesn't sound like much, but the levels can be really really huge and a single unit is somewhat like 1cm. So just think about the scale and build it accordingly. If the player is 32x32 units he would fit into a map with int bounds over 130 million times on one axis. Walking from one side to the other actually takes several days. No one would ever build something like that Smiley

弾幕 ☆ @mahonnaiseblog
Offline kevglass

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Medals: 120
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Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #24 - Posted 2004-06-09 06:57:28 »

Its probably because all positions in the data model are held in floating point to support the player moving smoothly around.

It could work the otherway I suppose, have the game engine run in a scale where 1 is a tiny amount so integers are high enough granularity. Or had a translation step between editor and game engine. But it does seem quite nice from a code point of view to simply use the same data model for both parts.

Kev

Offline oNyx

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


pixels! :x


« Reply #25 - Posted 2004-06-09 08:05:26 »

Ah I see. Well, I have 3 data models. One wich is nice to edit, one wich is nice to render and one wich is nice to collide with Smiley

Sounds silly, but I want it run smoothly (60+fps) even on really old hardware (300mhz + some kind of crap accelerator [banshee/v2/rage]). Why? Uhm... just... because! Grin

弾幕 ☆ @mahonnaiseblog
Offline kevglass

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Medals: 120
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Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #26 - Posted 2004-06-09 09:21:34 »

Ah, but the single data model is nice to do all of these things again!  Grin Or maybe I'll just accept anything.

To be honest, I generally optimise for rendering, since thats normally pretty similar to what you want for collision. The editor code just has to cope. I fear having to update 3 places everytime I make change.

Kev

Offline oNyx

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


pixels! :x


« Reply #27 - Posted 2004-06-09 10:06:28 »

Ye... well, it sounds scarier than it is. The editable model is spun around polys and the two others are regular grid sektor thingies with different grid sizes. Eg the rendering part uses a grid size wich requires a maximum of 4 sectors to draw and the collide part uses grid a grid size wich requires to check the line segments of a maximum of 4 sectors.

Pretty easy to do and even the worst case won't take too long.

Well, to tell the truth... I'm only making such a big fuss out of that, because I want to use rather large parts of this project for another game (wich I have in mind for more than one year), too. It will need way more calculations (physics) therefore I try to get as much "air" as possible. It's also quite nice to do it this way (spread the work across two projects), because both will take about an equal amount of time.

I'm actually quite surprised that I managed it to plan a bit ahead of time Smiley

弾幕 ☆ @mahonnaiseblog
Offline dsellars

Junior Member




Need to write more games


« Reply #28 - Posted 2004-06-09 10:39:53 »

Yet another direction for this thread Wink

With regard to web page design and stuff, have you seen this:

http://www.csszengarden.com/

It's a verys nice page to see what can be done with style sheets.

the rescource link onthat page is also pretty good a well (mezzo bule).

Dan.
Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


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« Reply #29 - Posted 2004-06-09 11:21:09 »

Onyx, see here:

http://www.java-gaming.org/cgi-bin/JGNetForums/YaBB.cgi?board=Announcements;action=display;num=1086379007;start=90#103

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
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