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Offline funkmasterjones

Senior Newbie




sory fo the bed speiling


« Posted 2003-04-27 12:47:37 »

I'm pretty new to java-gaming.org, but over the past couple of days I started a couple of topics that went into great detail about the relationship between gameplay and technology.

IMO the forums are primarily focused on technology and there’s little room for other things. I think a forum called gameplay (or something similar) should be created. This should be a place were we can discuss design strategies and other things that can make a game a good game other than technology and programming. Games aren’t just about programming (and I'm a programmer) but about ideas and beliefs. It sounds a bit melodramatic, but I think we should be able to discuss our personal philosophies about how games should be created.

Thanks, Derek
Offline erikd

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Medals: 16
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Maximumisness


« Reply #1 - Posted 2003-04-27 16:02:04 »

I vote for  Smiley

Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #2 - Posted 2003-04-27 16:45:13 »

Personally I don't think that's a good idea, because there are already much better (and perhaps more appropriate) places for that kind of discussion - and you'll find a MUCH broader, better-informed audience if you look in the right places.

I'll throw out various suggestions, but I don't frequent most of them these days, so you'll need to look around for yourself. Places like the IGDA forums would appear a good start, or the top-notch specialist game-design sites - e.g. Gamasutra used to have forums (although last time I looked they appeared to have died).

There's also several mailing lists devoted to the topic - at least one run by Brian Hook, IIRC (id Software).

...plus the semi-professional sites, like Flipcode and CFXWeb. Both those have very active forums.

I'm sure if you nose around, you can find places where really exciting discussions in this area are going on. If you try doing it here, on a java-games-only site, you're only going to get a tiny proportion of the participants.

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

Senior Newbie




sory fo the bed speiling


« Reply #3 - Posted 2003-04-27 17:26:05 »

I agree those sites are very good places to discuss such topics, but how a game is designed depends on the platform that it is being designed for. How a java game is designed is much different than how a c++ game is designed because of both its strengths and weaknesses.

This site would not be a good place to discuss how to make high-end commercial c++ games in java as you can't really make most of those games in java. Other sites discuss things not exactly like this but similar. If we had our own forum we could avoid these things that do not apply to java. Why would we need to talk about how hardware pixel shaders affect the immerissiveness of a game on a platform that doesn't support it?
Offline markuskidd

Junior Duke


Medals: 1



« Reply #4 - Posted 2003-04-27 18:13:09 »

Quote

This site would not be a good place to discuss how to make high-end commercial c++ games in java as you can't really make most of those games in java. Other sites discuss things not exactly like this but similar. If we had our own forum we could avoid these things that do not apply to java. Why would we need to talk about how hardware pixel shaders affect the immerissiveness of a game on a platform that doesn't support it?


There's no more polite way of saying this... it really seems like you haven't done your research. Your software rendering experiments are cool (and completely beyond my skill, btw) but hardware rendering is just as possible with Java now as it is with C++. Going the Java2D route is going to be fine for hobbiest and applet programmers like me (so far anyway, I'm going to try to get started with OpenGL this year) but that's definitely not the extent of our capabilities with on this platform.
Offline funkmasterjones

Senior Newbie




sory fo the bed speiling


« Reply #5 - Posted 2003-04-27 18:17:05 »

hardware pixel shaders are only supported on d3d from what i know, and i'm pretty sure ms didn't make a version of d3d for java
Offline markuskidd

Junior Duke


Medals: 1



« Reply #6 - Posted 2003-04-27 18:20:11 »

If you're interested in getting started with pixel shaders in Java, just head over to the LWJGL forum and I'm sure the guys there can start you off in the right direction.  Grin
Offline mill

Junior Duke




popcorn freak


« Reply #7 - Posted 2003-04-27 18:29:15 »

Quote
how a game is designed depends on the platform that it is being designed for.


ehm, no. only reason i can think of is an object oriented language versus non-OO. otherwise i don't understand what you mean.

Offline funkmasterjones

Senior Newbie




sory fo the bed speiling


« Reply #8 - Posted 2003-04-27 18:30:07 »

developing games in java doesn't just mean applications it means making games as applets aswell, too bad LWJGL doesn't work with applets. Grin

It was a bad example for me to use, you can tell me anything done in c++ can be done in java, true, but not always in an applet and definetly not always platform independant
Offline funkmasterjones

Senior Newbie




sory fo the bed speiling


« Reply #9 - Posted 2003-04-27 18:33:16 »

actually it does depend on the launguage used. I'm not going to make an applet (platform independant) an unreal2 game because java applets just can't do those graphics and that game is designed around those graphics
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Offline markuskidd

Junior Duke


Medals: 1



« Reply #10 - Posted 2003-04-27 18:37:36 »

Maybe you should have specified "Forum on Applet Gameplay" then. Does GL4Java support applets? It might..
Offline mill

Junior Duke




popcorn freak


« Reply #11 - Posted 2003-04-27 18:48:35 »

"IMO the forums are primarily focused on technology and there’s little room for other things. I think a forum called gameplay (or something similar) should be created. This should be a place were we can discuss design strategies and other things that can make a game a good game other than technology and programming. Games aren’t just about programming (and I'm a programmer) but about ideas and beliefs. It sounds a bit melodramatic, but I think we should be able to discuss our personal philosophies about how games should be created. "

[confused]
ehm, ok, so why did you bring up technology and platform independency etc later on?
[/confused]

Offline funkmasterjones

Senior Newbie




sory fo the bed speiling


« Reply #12 - Posted 2003-04-27 18:54:55 »

i guess the discussion get led in the wrong direction. its almost inevitable that when you talk about gameplay and making good games that technology is going to become associated with it. thats kinda what i wanted to avoid
Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #13 - Posted 2003-04-27 19:03:52 »

Quote
actually it does depend on the launguage used. I'm not going to make an applet (platform independant) an unreal2 game because java applets just can't do those graphics and that game is designed around those graphics


I'd expect the best reason not to do "Unreal2004: the applet" Smiley is because of the audience. People who are playing applets do not intend to sit down for hours of exhilarating gameplay, working out their stress; they're probably having a 15 minute coffee break and doing some surfing (well, yes of course there are exceptions - but please indulge me in my gross generalizations Wink ).

However, assume for the time being that an applet were a suitable medium for delivering UT (in terms of the audience). Java applets can -of course- "do those graphics", although (at present; perhaps in a few years time LWJGL will have changed all this? I hope so...) you have to work hard to retain the platform-independence. You can probably say "I'm not going to make an applet UT because....it's too much effort" and have most people nod their heads in sympathy.

But if you want to do it, it's certainly far from impossible...

The game you are talking about is an OpenGL game. As has been pointed out, OpenGL (and Pixel Shaders etc) are just-another-programming-language that you can invoke from C++ - and you can also invoke from Java.

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

JGO Ninja


Medals: 16
Projects: 4
Exp: 14 years


Maximumisness


« Reply #14 - Posted 2003-04-27 19:14:07 »

There's a lot of openGL discussions here as well and that's all discussed in greater detail on other boards too. There's also forums about the business side of things here. Hell, even an 'Off Topic' forum!
I really can't think of a reason why *not* to include a gameplay forum on a game programming forum, even if its focus is on java.
Currently its just a plain fact that different games *are* written in java compared to C++ games. The fact that you can do the same in java as in C++ does not change that.
So probably the gameplay and design tactics discussions will have its place here. Maybe not, but we can't tell as long as there has been none.

Quote
you can tell me anything done in c++ can be done in java, true, but not always in an applet and definetly not always platform independant

That's just a decision you are making. Not everybody makes the same decisions as you. You *can* make doom3 in java (although not in an applet, but who the hell wants to play doom3 in an applet anyway?!). You'll probably loose an insignificant number of fps, I'll give you that, but it definately can be done.
You'll also loose 100% platform independance, but even that it's not a big issue. Most important java benefits are still there, and that's increased productivity and better portability compared to C++.
I have the feeling you're not fully aware of these facts or that you're underestimating them.

Offline funkmasterjones

Senior Newbie




sory fo the bed speiling


« Reply #15 - Posted 2003-04-27 19:28:40 »

they could also make games nowadays that run twice as fast or are twice as smart, or pretty, etc. all they would have to do is write it all in assembly which would be too much effort, so they don't do it and who would want too.

Are there any forums on writing commercial-like games entirely in assembly, its a guess but I’d have to go with no. Why would people discuss something in order to learn and not actually use it, I know I wouldn't.

I think writing a game in an applet is very important because it brings in an entirely new audience. I like to program for myself because it brings me pleasure, but i also like to share what I’ve done and learned with others. If a painter painted a picture that nobody could see, its probably not as good as one that everyone could experience

I don't think I’m underestimating the benefits to what u said, but IMHO too many people underestimate the benefits of writing for applets as well as applications

maybe this is too philosophical for a web forum but I believe that making games is an art form more than a science and that its important to reach as large an audience as possible. Whether the art is good or bad, I personally believe I would benefit from experiencing it
Offline erikd

JGO Ninja


Medals: 16
Projects: 4
Exp: 14 years


Maximumisness


« Reply #16 - Posted 2003-04-27 19:40:49 »

Quote
making games is an art form more than a science and that its important to reach as large an audience as possible

If we're talking art, for me art doesn't mean that the artist has to reach as many people as possible. Many, many important artists didn't actually. Only the most popular did.

Quote
Why would people discuss something in order to learn and not actually use it, I know I wouldn't.

I don't understand what you're saying. Could you please explain?

Offline funkmasterjones

Senior Newbie




sory fo the bed speiling


« Reply #17 - Posted 2003-04-27 19:53:20 »

I'm not saying art has to reach as many people as possible and i'm not saying that art is better if it reachs more people. I'm saying that it should be the goal of the artist (from a societal point of view) to share their art with as many people as possible

i was saying that their arn't many forums talking writing big games in assembly because nobody makes them (that i know of) People read/write to forums mainly to learn. Why would u learn about something your never going to use, its just not very practical.

sorry if i can't make it any clearer Embarrassed
Offline erikd

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Medals: 16
Projects: 4
Exp: 14 years


Maximumisness


« Reply #18 - Posted 2003-04-27 20:11:28 »

Quote
I'm saying that it should be the goal of the artist (from a societal point of view) to share their art with as many people as possible

And why is that? It seems like asking from the artist to restrict himself for the sake of popularity. I certainly hope you don't think about every artist that way. Man, how dull the world would become.

Quote
sorry if i can't make it any clearer

Oh right, of course Lips Sealed I'm getting tired  :-/

This discussion should be moved to the 'Off-Topic' forum.

Back on-topic, I still vote for  Smiley

Offline funkmasterjones

Senior Newbie




sory fo the bed speiling


« Reply #19 - Posted 2003-04-27 20:19:58 »

Quote
And why is that? It seems like asking from the artist to restrict himself for the sake of popularity. I certainly hope you don't think about every artist that way. Man, how dull the world would become.


i didn't mean that they should restrict themself to become popular. The art shouldn't change unless the artist feels it should. I meant that it should be shared so that everyone can experience whether that experience was made for them or not or whether its good or not
Offline erikd

JGO Ninja


Medals: 16
Projects: 4
Exp: 14 years


Maximumisness


« Reply #20 - Posted 2003-04-27 20:34:32 »

Art shouldn't have to be shared. The artist should be concerned about creation. Everything else is secundary.
If I want to create a painting on my bedroom wall, I won't be inviting everybody.

Oh, did I mention I still vote for? (desperately trying to keep the thread at least remotely on-topic Grin)

Offline funkmasterjones

Senior Newbie




sory fo the bed speiling


« Reply #21 - Posted 2003-04-27 20:42:40 »

art doesn't need to be shared, some of the games (i don't paint) i've made i've never shown them to anyone. But when art is shared those who experience IMHO can only benefit from it. Some art is only for certain people just as certain games arn't for me, but in experiencing them i can only become a better developer both by its pros and cons even i don't make those types of games. It isn't from the artists point of view but from a societal point of view that it should be shared
Offline cfmdobbie

Senior Duke


Medals: 1


Who, me?


« Reply #22 - Posted 2003-04-27 21:20:50 »

Seeing as being off-topic is pretty much the norm in this thread, I'd just like to take this moment to say: "Modern art, eh?  Tch.". Wink

Hellomynameis Charlie Dobbie.
Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #23 - Posted 2003-04-27 22:30:20 »

Quote
they could also make games nowadays that run twice as fast or are twice as smart, or pretty, etc. all they would have to do is write it all in assembly which would be too much effort, so they don't do it and who would want too.


I'm not sure what you're getting at here, but what you said isn't true. It's a common misconception, but the pertinent facts are:

- Assembly programs are NOT faster than compiled programs
- Programmers write the same KLOC (thousands of Lines Of Code) independent of what language they write in.
- ...hence, if you switch from C++ (or similar) to Assembly, you end up writing a game that is approximately ten times LESS complex, with ten times FEWER features, etc. (assuming you stick to the same timeframe, budget, etc).

Actually, the biggest reasons why computer games aren't faster, prettier, or more complex are probably (who really knows?):

- Game development is extremely risky, and so you either take fewer risks (deliberately simplify the game) or you go bankrupt (frequently-quote statistic that fewer than 50% of games developed for commercial release break even...)
- Balancing the different aspects of a game so that e.g. all the weapons are approximately equally powerful, or e.g. so that the computer AI is challenging - but not impossible to beat, etc etc takes huge amounts of time, and even then you often don't get it right. Someone discovers a flaw, suddenly your game is piss-easy, and people get bored really quickly
- The games industry is one of the fastest-moving industries in existence, and so you can't afford to spend a long time on one game (all the exceptions to this have been in special circumstances - Will Wright and his seven years for TheSims, id Software and their seven years for Quake (note: they were making a LOT of money from Doom most of that time) etc)
- ...and modern games are already VERY complex, so that completing them on time, and on a moving hardware target (even consoles refresh every 2 years or so, and games written for one console often get switched to another halfway through development) becomes very very very difficult.

If you ask most professional game developers, they'll probably cite the last problem. It's often heard something like "Lots of people have great ideas for great games; actually completing just one single game is horrendously hard". Bear in mind that in an extremely competitive industry, "two published titles" is often the main part of a job description - the common belief is that someone who has developed *and seen published* a title is so comparitively rare that you can use it to filter out most unwanted candidates.

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

Senior Newbie




sory fo the bed speiling


« Reply #24 - Posted 2003-04-27 22:49:12 »

i think you need to the read the posts before mine to understand what i was talking about. It was an example of an extreme that isn't done because its impractical.

Quote
Assembly programs are NOT faster than compiled programs


This is not true, many commercial developers optimize their code in assembly to make it run faster. When I said that a would be faster if written entrirely in assembly I meant that if the entire program was optimized as much as possible, which is silly because it could take forever.
Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #25 - Posted 2003-04-28 09:08:30 »

Quote
i think you need to the read the posts before mine to understand what i was talking about. It was an example of an extreme that isn't done because its impractical.


OK, will have another go at understnading that Smiley. Too little sleep the past few days, sorry.

Quote

This is not true, many commercial developers optimize their code in assembly to make it run faster. When I said that a would be faster if written entrirely in assembly I meant that if the entire program was optimized as much as possible, which is silly because it could take forever.


OK, look, I'm sorry, but you don't have the faintest idea what the hell you're talking about. I wouldn't mind you disagreeing - but you clearly know almost nothing about this.

If you'd like to learn, go find books with titles such as "Compiler Construction" or "Optimizing Compilers". You probably only need to read about 1 or 2 chapters before you realise why what you are saying is completely wrong.

However, in order to spare you the hassle (most of those books are rather impenetrable unless you love mathematical theory), here's a simple explanation: Except in a few special cases, there's no human alive who can out-perform a really good modern compiler, when it comes to writing programs. On really simple programs, the best human programmer could equal the compiler. Compilers today have the collective equivalent knowledge and experience of about 100 years of human code-writing.

The special cases for writing assembly tend to be where you, as a human, are willing to deliberately do "stupid" things because you are guessing about how the program is going to be used. Even so, the days of such optimization are numbered (if not already over), because compilers are rapidly approaching the point where they can go one step further than that anyway.

...or where there are no decent compilers. Certain unusual programming languages, or languages which don't get much attention from compiler experts, are still rather poor - just because they're behind the times.

If you start looking at java, serious java VM/compiler pairs use feedback-directed optimization - e.g. they compile the same code multiple different ways, and run all of them to see which is fastest - and then continue to do this EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY whilst the program is running. Find me a human programmer who can do that...

Quote

... I meant that if the entire program was optimized as much as possible, which is silly because it could take forever.


Not impossible at all - lots of compilers come very close to doing this. It's one of the reasons for using a compiler. I'd be surprised if a  typical program, compiled on a good compiler, was less than 99% of running at the fastest possible speed.

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

JGO Kernel


Medals: 56
Projects: 11


Monkey for a head


« Reply #26 - Posted 2003-04-28 09:57:50 »

Theres a quote from John Carmack a while back which basically states that if you're writing for a single, known hardware config (ie. a console) you can usually get twice the speed compared to 'normal' coding for a platform. Basically coding right to the metal, chucking out clean code in exchange for hardware hacks etc. etc.

Personally, I don't care to program like that, and i doubt many other people would either. Now on a pc this is effectivly what you're doing when you insert hand crafted asm into your code. So whats the alternative? Create the code as elegantly as possible, and let the compiler do the leg work - tedious, repetative tasks are what computers do best anyway Smiley If you really want code tailored to a specific architecture/chip, then either compile for a specific platform (C/C++) or hope the VM will do this kind of thing under the hood (like the use of SSE instructions mentioned in another thread 'round here).

On the other hand, there is a need for a gameplay/game programming forum. Theres plenty of topics that don't sit easily in just the J2d, or just the lwjgl forums for example. But then again this place sufferes from too many forums as it is Sad

[ TriangularPixels.com - Play Growth Spurt, Rescue Squad and Snowman Village ] [ Rebirth - game resource library ]
Offline erikd

JGO Ninja


Medals: 16
Projects: 4
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Maximumisness


« Reply #27 - Posted 2003-04-28 10:12:37 »

I know this is off-topic, but in the case of emulator programming, asm can still make make huge speed differences. Think about using native cpu flag behaviour instead of 'manual' flag emulation for example (z80 flags map perfectly on an x86 for example).

Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #28 - Posted 2003-04-28 11:25:14 »

Quote
I know this is off-topic, but in the case of emulator programming, asm can still make make huge speed differences. Think about using native cpu flag behaviour instead of 'manual' flag emulation for example (z80 flags map perfectly on an x86 for example).


Interesting; any idea why your compiler is unable to see this?

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

JGO Ninja


Medals: 16
Projects: 4
Exp: 14 years


Maximumisness


« Reply #29 - Posted 2003-04-28 11:37:54 »

Quote
Interesting; any idea why your compiler is unable to see this?

It just sees variables being masked and bits being fiddled with and I guess it would be highly unlikely it makes a connection like 'hey that bit that's being changed, is changed the same way my half-carry flag is being updated in those circumstances, and guess what, that bit has the same position in the byte as my half-carry flag in the flagregister'. And that for all flags.
I guess a compiler can't know someone is trying to emulate flags or that compiler is even *fully* aware of how the flag register behaves exactly.

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