[Journal] Steel Mill Duke

Duke has recruited you to work in his steel mill turning out widgets.
You have to cut and bend them to size. Needless to say Duke won’t be happy if you don’t make them right.

Progress so far:

  • sprites animate, desired widget design decoded and displayed correctly.

To do
-Write user interface (easy)
-Write nasty complex code for displaying widget bending (not easy)
-Replace rough sprite sheets with something better. (fairly easy)
-Find some suitable music/sound effects (easy)


  • Game play dynamics unknown - may suck badly


  • Saturday morning finish first cut of code
  • Saturday afternoon and evening - doing something else
  • Sunday polish code and do proper sprite sheets.

Going to sleep now.

Well, I got onto the hard part, modeling the bending of the widget. Getting the drawing routine and user interface working was harder than expected and it still needs a bit of work as it is not obvious when to apply a bend to get the correct segment length. I made the background a chequer board which helps, but there are registration issues because I added mitreing to the line segments, which can extend them.

The main problem area is the logic which takes the player’s finished widget and compares it against the design for scoring purposes. This converts the vector graphic widget definition into raster and then counts the number of correct and incorrect pixels. This started off seriously not working. It’s now working a bit, but very buggy. So I’m behind schedule.


  • User Interface
    – Left Cursor Key: Bend Left
    – Right Cursor Key: Bend Right
    – Both Left & Right Cursor Keys: Cut to form finished Widget
  • Widget Design View
    – Added Duke Image (rendered in Blender). Duke is holding the design of the widget you are trying to make.

Lack of Progress

  • Widget evaluation logic - sucks badly, buggy, behind schedule.
  • Level progression logic - not done

I’m going to a Lindyhop workshop this afternoon and going to a dance this evening, so this is now parked until Sunday :-\

Hi Alan,

Sounds like a difficult task for both programmer
and player … still I’m looking forward of
attempting to please Duke!

Best regards from


Things are looking up :smiley:

The game is playable, although are still some must-fix bugs. Gameplay seems reasonable.


  • Comparison logic of manufactured widget against pattern works.
  • Added level progression logic
  • Sound finished

To Do

  • New sprite graphics
  • New levels
  • Check game complete logic
  • Yet more bug squashing


  • Still squashing bugs. Hoped to be polishing by now.

Squashed most of the bugs now.

-Known bugs squashed
-Levels added (and mostly played through)

To Do

  • Update graphics
  • More playtesting
  • Sort out a page on my website and webstart version.

Screenshot attached.

Done - see separate poll thread

Outstanding issues

  • Doesn’t work correctly on the Mac - antialiasing is on by default and mucks up the scoring logic - can fix, but out of time
  • May be an issue with 64bit Java on Vista.

Good luck everyone