Happy new year everyone!
I loved reading about the cool projects, games, tech demos and debates over the last year.
Here’s to more inspiring posts, started games, finished games, libraries, game engines, fun times and good health to all 8)

Happy new year.

What are everybody’s favorite accomplishments of 2017? What are you looking forward to in 2018?

For me, I managed to add a bunch of tutorials to my little tutorial site, and in 2018 I’m looking to get back into Android and libGDX programming, with the goal of making a “real” game. (Click here if you want to read more detail.)

I’m not sure I achieved anything of note! It’s been a terrible year for me.

Cas :slight_smile:

I’ve also had a tough year with game programming. Had no time at all between study and work.
But I did learn the basics of the programming language Mathematica which was interesting. I have to say that I prefer Java. It made me appreciate the benefits of open source since Mathematica is closed source and things often don’t work as expected and it’s difficult to examine why.

This year I’d like to make a Hearthstone style game. I think it’s quite incredible the way a very basic game, graphically, can be so popular.

Basingstoke is looking pretty incredible judging by the video. The lighting, colour scheme and atmosphere especially. Would be interesting to hear your thoughts about going from 2d to 3d.


I failed on my first resolution made at the start of 2017: to complete Hexara.

I wrote a web article and it was published on the Georgia State University HyperPhysics site (about acoustics/physics of the oboe).

I managed to write and post AudioCue to help with coding sound for Java games.

Worked on various sound ideas, such as a wind-in-ears affect where the turbulence hits the two ears at different times depending on the direction the head is turned relative to the wind, and a program that slices and reassembles thunder samples to make unique thunder occurrences. The latter could use some improvements still.

Installed and got somewhat familiar with Unreal and basics of C++, but unfortunately the project/person that this was for didn’t pan out. Learned a fair bit in process, can count it as “perspective”.

Started taking JavaScript/HTML/CSS more seriously (working through web courses) and learning AFrame for doing WebVR. Unclear if the funding on this project is going to stay afloat or not. Learned enough that I have written a web app where you can jump around between various 3D/panoramic photos taken in and on the USS Hornet.

Am closing in on completing “Tone Circle Drone” in Java which I am targeting for being my first published commercial software on itch.io.

So, maybe even if the main resolution from last year was a bust, some useful stuff was accomplished. Even so, there always seems to be the feeling of spinning wheels and lack of traction. Maybe that has mostly to do with barely even achieving “ramen success” with all this, financially.

2017 was fun! ;D My main resolution was to find a way to spend more time working on the things I love doing, which these days are open-source Java stuff like Praxis LIVE. Having done non-Java-related web consultancy for the last 10 years I decided it was time for a change, sold off the stake in the company I was working in, and since June given myself a year to explore new things. Amongst other things I’ve done a load of performances and workshops over Europe, went to JCrete (amazing!) and did my first Java conference keynote in Poland.

It’s been a fun ride so far, and I’m looking forward to what 2018 throws up … even if I’m still not quite sure yet where the next paycheck is going to come from in 6 months time! 8)

Happy New Year everyone!

I only had one resolution (if you’d like to call it that) which was to continue working on JOML, which I did. One nice thing later the year was an email from Prof. Dr. Scott V. Gordon from the California State University, Sacramento. Scott is the author of the book Computer Graphics Programming in OpenGL with Java and is currently working on the second edition of that book, moving away from their university-homegrown linear algebra Java library to JOML.
During the last couple of weeks I’ve been assisting him in integrating JOML into his book, which went flawlessly according to him.
So in addition to 3D Game Development with LWJGL 3 we will soon be having an actual hardcover book about JOML together with JOGL, which is pretty neat! :slight_smile:

That sounds really awesome. Congratulations!

Cool, and I remember you said that Samsung is using JOML in their Virtual Reality API as well! If you had a topic in mind and were free to travel, doing a phd in computer graphics or something similar in California would be really fun and that professor might give you a good reference. I wanted to do the same 10 years ago and visited UCLA, UC San Diego and UC Berkely just to check it out and they’re really beautiful campuses.

[quote]2017 was fun! Grin My main resolution was to find a way to spend more time working on the things I love doing, which these days are open-source Java stuff like Praxis LIVE. Having done non-Java-related web consultancy for the last 10 years I decided it was time for a change, sold off the stake in the company I was working in, and since June given myself a year to explore new things. Amongst other things I’ve done a load of performances and workshops over Europe, went to JCrete (amazing!) and did my first Java conference keynote in Poland.
That’s living the dream! Some other members here have also taken the dive out of the corporate world and head-first into their passion, usually game development. I certainly intend to. But staying on track, maintaining motivation, getting bogged down making libraries and not games, lack of market demand when there’s so many other competing games, financial hardship, family and other real life distractions could quickly derail the best made plans. Do you have any tips or suggestions? I imagine that having a date locked in to perform and speak in front of people is a (scary) motivator?

[quote]I managed to write and post AudioCue to help with coding sound for Java games.
Getting a project completed, documented, published and open-sourced is an achievement. Should help with getting more of that interesting contracting work.

Basically… groan.
It turns out 2D->3D is more like a quadrupling of work, especially for inexperienced developers. Alli has struggled with Unity pretty significantly - though he is maybe one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met, it turns out that being smart is not enough, you need education, wisdom, and experience too. So Basingstoke has taken twice as long as it should have and blown all chances of us making a profit away. In fact we’re just on a death march now trying to divest ourselves of it and minimise the damage as it was doomed from the moment it took over 2 years to make (will be 4 years on release… arrgh).

One thing we also have to figure out it how to swallow our pride at perfection and just chuck stuff out there warts and all, with missing polish and the odd bug.

That said… Battledroid is also going 3D, but we are going to be “smart” about it. Well, smart-ish. We’ve got our own totally custom 3D engine for it, but it is designed around voxels (really little ones, not big fat Minecraft chunky voxels, but pixel-sized voxels). This restricts how fancy we can make things - in a good way. The more restrictions we have the easier it is to fill the creative space that it encloses. When you’ve got a totally open remit to do Anything You Want, which is more or less Unity’s selling point, you’re inexorably sucked into competing with AAA titles and failing on one or more fronts (in our case, we fail on the amount of time taken). So voxels are good because the tools are free (MagicaVoxel) and it’s easy to get good results with it provided you have an awesome rendering engine that can draw enough of them (which we have :))

Cas :slight_smile:

haha, no! At least none I’d be happy giving anyone else in case they blame me for it later! :wink: I’m just in a lucky position at the moment that financial hardship isn’t a concern for a year - though if it goes on much longer than that it might become one. Mix that with feeling stuck in a rut work-wise, and the impending end of my thirties, and I’m generally in a mood of “feck it, let’s have some fun” If worst comes to worst, I’m fairly sure I can go back to what I was doing, suitably chastened, but with some good memories.

I used to perform a lot, so getting back into that isn’t too scary - and I’m probably the only one taking NetBeans editor into nightclubs, so it’s a good niche! Workshops I enjoy, but on the other hand, talking in front of people scares the crap out of me. Talking to 750+ Java developers at JDD was definitely a scary motivator! Mind you a slight ignorance that I was a keynote speaker helped - conference intro “make sure you don’t miss our keynote tomorrow at 9:30” - oh, that’s when I’m talking … oh my god, that’s when I’m talking ;D

This x 10. Why isn’t my simple cube showing on the screen? Is it because the camera is pointing the wrong way or the cube is in the wrong place? Is the cube further away than the draw distance? Is the camera inside the cube? Do I have enough light? Has my texture loaded and been applied to the cube? Is the cube transparent? Is my cube reflecting light? Is the light pointing in the right direction? Have I accidentally added a decimal point to the cube size, making it infinitesimally small?

Compare that with drawing a bitmap to a screen.

And that’s before you even start accounting for the fact that the cube has to be rigged and animated and skinned or it looks poo.

Cas :slight_smile:

And even that looks poo… look at the handdrawn disney films, and the latest and greatest 3d disney films… they still don’t quite master the ‘rigged’ facial expressions like they did 40 years ago with pen and paper.

Interesting stories, thanks for sharing.

@princec Basingstoke really does look great, so I think people will enjoy it and pay up. Once you settle on a tool chain like the one you mentioned, I’m sure you’ll start minting quality games quickly like you did with 2d. Mini voxels will suit the puppygames pixelly art style.

I remember KevGlass saying that his venture into 3d was very difficult in terms of content, assets, lighting and so on, and his 3d tech demo was only a very limited space dungeon top down shooter type of thing with no open areas.

@nsigma Praxis live editing is an incredible concept and definitely has the cool factor with electronic music, no wonder your talk became the keynote. Most software devs are probably musically challenged like me and can only dream of composing music, let alone coding live music.

I remember some jgo people were working on composing music using artificial intelligence, to react to fights by upping the musical intensity and so on. Have you ever tried that or thought about putting it together with praxis live? I know the story about how many monkeys are needed to randomly write a Shakespearean play, but electronic music mixed using sounds from a car engine or an animal, fused in an elegant way such as some AI generated art can do, could be appealing. Would be great to see what you could do with your skills.

Praxis LIVE might be an interesting environment to play with such things in that you get instant feedback, but I personally don’t find a lot of the current creative artificial “intelligence” stuff that interesting, or intelligent! :wink: I’ve heard the same phrase a few times this (last!) year - machine learning, yeah, we used to call it statistics. I’ve made loads of self-generating/evolving things, but it’s far more interesting when you throw a human into the mix, hence why I’m more concerned with exploring new ways of interacting with tech than the AI stuff per se. The new coding interfaces stuff I’m working on, of which the music is a small part, stems from that.

The best use of A-Life / AI in computer “games” remains Creatures IMO.

I agree with this a million percent.

2D: I know how to use cos and sin, I am a math god.
3D: Quaternions are magic, I am a toddler in a vast unexplainable universe, woe is me.

This is a really interesting point. Creativity is shaped by limitations, not freedoms.

Woah what? That sounds really interesting. Can you talk more about exactly what you do?

Oh yeah, nsigma has set up public open air projector displays that react to the public dancing with Praxis live. You’d like it too since it’s open source and integrates Processing, built on the netbeans rcp platform:


@nsigma I hadn’t heard about the Creatures games, what a great concept!

Mainly AMEN $ Mother Function (https://youtu.be/SgE9POc5BdA) - deconstructing a wavetable using a single live-coded Java pure-functional lambda (and demoing Praxis LIVE’s ability to live code DSP). Did this in various events, clubs, etc. last year, including an impromptu set at the JCrete BBQ - nothing like having Jaroslav Tulach bouncing around and proclaiming NetBeans to be “the loudest IDE in the world”! ;D

There’s also the cheesy shit techno I did in my JDD talk (in their promo vid - https://youtu.be/w7f9N-laVW0) to demonstrate functional reactive coding. The FFT manipulated 3D spirals were partly live-coded earlier in the talk, and are Processing based.

Yes! Highly recommend the book he wrote about developing it - Creation: Life and How to Make It. Just found this post from 2016 too which is interesting, and to quote “But all the computer power in the world is no help unless you know how to build a mind, and despite all the ridiculous hype surrounding AI at the moment, most people really don’t.” That kind of sums up my own feelings on the topic! :slight_smile: