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  It's called "recycling"...  (Read 2726 times)
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Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Posted 2005-05-20 23:18:42 »

New front page for JGF. Code re-use; I had to do a fair bit of tweaking to get the applet to work properly, fix a few 1.1-AWT issues I'd forgotten about when I wrote the applet originally (years ago, but I've done some more 1.1 java in the last 6 months, so improved my rusty skills Grin).

I know it's a tiny achievement, considering the code was already there (bar some of the shapes, which are new), but it took me 3 hours (!) just to fix the applet to work like it should in the first place, including discovering YET ANOTHER BUG IN SUN'S APPLET PLUGIN (note: if you get the "magic number" error, you have NOT got the magic-number problem: this same code also triggers on ... a FileNotFoundException! Yes, folks, welcome to the weird and wonderful world of the modern Sun JVM error handler. Sheesh).

I was stumped by that for a while, because it was one I'd never seen before except with corrupted files Sad. Wasted ages verifying file integrity Sad.

Anyway...in an effort to make the time be not in vain, I'll write up a tutorial + source for it if anyone's interested. It's just a very very old + simple game technique from the 8-bit gaming days. Each morph target is a separate class, and most are parameterized graphs (i.e. r + theta) so they are resizable and squishable quite easily...

http://javagamesfactory.org

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

JGO Kernel


Medals: 85
Projects: 25


Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #1 - Posted 2005-05-21 11:18:12 »

Runs extermely slowly here (admittedly on a laptop), then I've never seen anything else run like it.

Neat looking tho!

Kev

Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #2 - Posted 2005-05-21 11:34:53 »

Quote
Runs extermely slowly here (admittedly on a laptop), then I've never seen anything else run like it.


It's been run on lots of computers, fine. However ... that was before I went around "fixing" it last night. It's quite possible that I've done something Bad (i.e abused AWT in some way), or else that I've got some code relying on some piece of buggy AWT code (and, because it uses 1.1 AWT rather than 1.2 swing, that means it still has most of the same bugs that java 1.1.8 had).

If you could profile it (just run via appletviewer and take an hprof.txt file in the normal way - i.e. before java 5) and email it to me I'd appreciate it. Although I suspect it'll just come up saying 99% inside some Sun method.

Off the top of my head, the only worrying thing I noticed was that it creates 300 Color's on the fly every frame, and there used to be a signifivant overhead in creating Color's (i.e. using floats or ints rather than the core 16 colours) - but it's not something I've noticed in a long long time.

Hmm. Could also be a graphics driver bug: each dot is rendered in a unique colour, generated just-in-time, so maybe (just maybe) there's something nasty going on with your drivers handling of the Sun Java graphics pipeline (which does all sorts of malarky).

Quote

Neat looking tho!


Thanks Smiley.

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline nonnus29

Senior Member




Giving Java a second chance after ludumdare fiasco


« Reply #3 - Posted 2005-05-21 12:01:34 »

Nice effect, works fine on 1.4.2 and mozilla.

Quote
I'll write up a tutorial + source for it if anyone's interested.


I'm interested!
Offline Malohkan

Senior Member




while (true) System.out.println("WOO!!!!");


« Reply #4 - Posted 2005-05-21 12:20:06 »

On my laptop, 2ghz Celeron, it works like a charm Smiley  Neat effect!  Win XP SP2, IE 6.

Admin and Game Developer at
GameLizard.com
Play Rimscape!    |    Play Conquer!
Offline princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 282
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #5 - Posted 2005-05-21 13:10:02 »

Still a blank page that never returns for me. What's up with it? I used to have this problem a few years ago with AdSubtract but this is the only site I've been to recently with the problem.

Cas Smiley

Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #6 - Posted 2005-05-21 13:35:46 »

Um, you also had this problem with JGF circa 6 months ago IIRC.

Much as I'm working my ass off constantly to make sure everything works in all browsers (yes, I know there are unloved bits which are still completely unusable in e.g. MSIE - but they're on the todo list, somewhere...) if you get *nothing* then there's not much I can do.

And...my level of hatred for filters and broken proxies has built up over the last 10 years to the stage where as far as I'm concerned anyone who uses them gets what they deserve...

If you'd like me to take a look at your problem, all you need to do is run a packet sniffer (Ethereal is great and has a GUI - just make sure you select the correct network card in your machine or you'll get nothing), connect to JGF and send me the first 5 seconds or so of packets. That's way more than enough to capture the entire connection to JGF.

Of course, if I see that the HTTP being returned is 100% correct, I won't do anything more: it's a problem your end, I'm afraid.

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

Senior Member


Medals: 1


Lazy Middle Class Intellectual


« Reply #7 - Posted 2005-05-24 18:07:56 »

First time I went back to the site the Java console popped up and it locked up. 2nd time it was fine. Thunderbird seems fine now aswell. Maybe just a one time thing?

The effect is cool but you cant really tell what game is what just from a tiny little picture. Are you planning on having all the games organized on this little thing or just a top 10 or whatever?

Also did you lose your layout guy? The site is looking really blah. Pun possibly intended.

Historically having an opening page with not much content and then having a micro 'go to the site here' link is very bad practice unless you are 95% sure the people you are sending to the site will be interested enough to keep clicking. To me, its not very apparent that this is just an "opening page" and I would suggest dropping them directly to the main page, or at least least least, making it more apparent that its an intro page. (which Ive never understood).

Sacramento Volleyball
"Whitty phrase goes here."
Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #8 - Posted 2005-05-24 19:22:11 »

Quote

The effect is cool but you cant really tell what game is what just from a tiny little picture.


I'm not sure what you're getting at - would you prefer a system where you could only view one game instead? 800x600 gives you very little room for large screenshots.

Although, obviously, I'd like to user higer-res screenshots and start them off shrunk, rather than low-res ones and grow them, but that will required authors having to provide a 4th image, and some don't even manage to provide 1 Sad.

Quote

Are you planning on having all the games organized on this little thing or just a top 10 or whatever?


"the random games above, or click here". ?

Quote

Also did you lose your layout guy?


Again, no idea what you're getting at here...

Quote

Historically having an opening page with not much content and


16 games == not much content ?

Quote

then having a micro 'go to the site here' link is very bad practice


On reflection, the applet ought to be click-sensitive to take you into the site.

Quote

dropping them directly to the main page, or at least least least, making it more apparent that its an intro page. (which Ive never understood).


What do you suggest?

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

Senior Member




while (true) System.out.println("WOO!!!!");


« Reply #9 - Posted 2005-05-25 01:36:25 »

Actually I like the way Puppy Games does it with icons instead of small screenshots.  The screenshots, personally, make me quick to judge a game.  If that 70x70 pixel space doesn't look interesting enough, I won't click it.  Rather, having an icon that is NOT a screenshot is more appealing to me.  Especially if there is a small summary next to the icon, I'm more likely to find something I enjoy.

Don't be afraid to make people scroll a bit.  I think packing as much as you can in that little bit of space is a mistake because it's natural for people to just say, "ugh, clutter" and move past it.  People want something to stand out and grab their attention.  If nothing stands out, then the page is boring.  Having everything clumped makes it look like those massively huge game sites with hordes of crap built for the sole purpose of generating visitors to show banners to.

JGF should be a site that draws an appreciation to each game.  Give each game a proper first impression.  Even if you only go so far as to make a mouse-over of the icon show small screen shots + description in a space below it, that's a step in the right direction.  Don't let the only thing available about the game on the page be that little tiny misleading screenshot.

When you see the Puppy Games layout, you see each game stands out on the main page.  If they added more games below it, each would STILL be distinct.  Each is noticably separate from the other.  I think you can take advantage of this strategy to positive effect.

Admin and Game Developer at
GameLizard.com
Play Rimscape!    |    Play Conquer!
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline elias

Senior Member





« Reply #10 - Posted 2005-05-25 07:50:03 »

Blah³, Regarding Cas' trouble with seeing your page: We had the same problem with our oddlabs.com site months ago, and it was caused by his Opera browser choking on some strange detail in the html. So my suggestion is to try JGF out in Opera.

- elias

Offline kappa
« League of Dukes »

JGO Kernel


Medals: 70
Projects: 15


★★★★★


« Reply #11 - Posted 2005-05-25 09:50:22 »

has problemson opera, the image size effect really runs badly on it.
Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #12 - Posted 2005-05-25 10:49:35 »

Quote
Blah³, Regarding Cas' trouble with seeing your page: We had the same problem with our oddlabs.com site months ago, and it was caused by his Opera browser choking on some strange detail in the html. So my suggestion is to try JGF out in Opera.

- elias



Thanks for the suggestion.

Irritatingly, I did actually download and install the latest current Opera only a few weeks ago to test this - and it worked fine!

Some of the background images didn't render properly for no obvious reason I could see, but they were just a minor annoyance. All the expanding stuff worked *perfectly*.

So...I don't know what to say, other than to suggest that everyone upgrades their opera and/or double chekcs their settings? I just downloaded, installed, and it worked Sad.

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

JGO Kernel


Medals: 282
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #13 - Posted 2005-05-25 10:52:09 »

I'm using the latest Opera on XP, and tried it with and without AdSubtract, and it didn't work at all.

I tried it with IE and it crashed so badly (some Java problem) that I had to end task it.

Grr.

My turn to bitch!

I hate fancy sites. Death to them all.

Cas Smiley

Offline princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 282
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #14 - Posted 2005-05-25 15:56:17 »

This is true, we really can't compare PG with JGF, because we've got total control of what's there, and Chaz is a completely perfectionist bastard who fine tunes everything to individual pixels.

Having said that: this is the root of all JGFs problems and the question to ask is... is it worth it? Or would JGF be better off as an "edited" site which had contributors stuff worked over by editors before it went live?

Cas Smiley

Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #15 - Posted 2005-05-25 16:49:48 »

Quote

Having said that: this is the root of all JGFs problems and the question to ask is... is it worth it? Or would JGF be better off as


Indeed. And...should it be primarily a showcase that is happily biased and unfair in the interests of the better games, or one that is equanimous and gives the same opportunities to every game, irrespective of quality, depth, etc?

Quote

an "edited" site which had contributors stuff worked over by editors before it went live?


...bearing in mind, of course, that it's already leaning strongly in that direction (files must be hosted locally, jnlps must be automatic, screenshots must be uploaded, etc etc) - and yet still has these problems.

Personally, I'd prefer to have it mostly edited, but ... that requires lots and lots of code and interfaces etc to make it work and happen and be controlled and not get out of hand - or else just ends up taking a phenomenal amount of time to maintain. When it works e.g. I was able to add 20 odd features to the 3D renderers matrix just now in less time than I could have done it in dreamweaver (+ cleaned the HTML, logged in, uploaded the 3 different files with cross-links, checked it, etc) .

So...although my next big push is probably to get the "only games that have been tested and approved are eligible for the front page etc", it's proving a huge chunk of work to get working AND be a decent UI for the people involved. And ... how much difference will it really make? Depends, in part, upon how many people want to be testers...

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

JGO Coder




Where's the Kaboom?


« Reply #16 - Posted 2005-05-26 01:37:53 »

Quote
Indeed. And...should it be primarily a showcase that is happily biased and unfair in the interests of the better games


YES.  Absolutely.  There are far too many totally crap Java games that get just as much face time on major sites (e.g. java.com) as games that are CLEARLY showing at a higher level.

I think it is significantly harmful to promote poor quality Java games.  Unless the quality meets a certain standard it shouldn't even be on the site at all.  Anyone can grab free web space and put up their game and post a link in a forum - only the showcase games should be, um, showcased.  You are working against Java gaming in general otherwise.

Offline princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 282
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #17 - Posted 2005-05-26 10:52:40 »

There are, er, sadly very few games to showcase yet Sad

Cas Smiley

Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #18 - Posted 2005-05-26 11:19:31 »

Quote
There are, er, sadly very few games to showcase yet Sad


You noticed? Smiley

And so we come back to the central problem: if you do not promote all and sundry, the well of new talent dries up rapidly. The best plan I've come up with so far is to divide games by their quality (you may remember the first one-page version of JGF listed games according to their completness - alpha, beta, gold), so that e.g. "only tested + approved games" would appear in most of the site, although a separate area would showcase *any* games (so they're there, and easy to get to, just not part of the front page etc).

e.g. the whole concept of "editor's favourites" - allowing admins to pick and choose some particular games to promote.

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