| This post has screenshots of some of the hottest maps for the computer strategy game Lux. Images below the cut (work-safe).|
Luxtoberfest is a series of tournaments and awards for my Risk inspired computer game Lux.
There are lots of maps (RSS) and people in the running for the Lux Awards. You have 1 month to send in your votes...
|Ancient Lux teaser screenshots|
| Here are a few screenshots from Sillysoft's upcoming game Ancient Empires Lux.|
|Dustin quoted in USA TODAY|
| I was quoted in a USA TODAY article that was just published. My thoughts are pretty inconsequential to the piece (written about Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz's blog), but it mentions my name and Sillysoft (and Vancouver), so that's pretty cool.|
How did this happen? Well, I read Schwartz's blog (since my business is pretty heavily tied to Java I like to keep up-to-date with the big picture going on at Sun) and occasionally comment like the opinionated guy that I am. On May 22 I got an email from the USA TODAY article's author. He was contacting some people who had posted comments on Schwartz's blog with some questions he had. I whipped off a reply the next day and forgot about it. Then today voila, the article popped up in the Google alert I have set up for "sillysoft".
|Java 4k Games Contest Winners|
| I was just amusing myself with some of the winners of the Java 4k games contest. The requirement for the contest was that each game could only take up 4k of space. This is quite a drastic limit, and it makes for some interesting results. None of the games have great graphics or sound, as it would be impossible to fit. There are a few games that have interesting and/or fun gameplay though, and I think that's what this contest brings out best.|
The games that I liked the best were Miners4k (the number 1 winner - I wish it didn't crash on level 4 every time - I want to play more!) and Balls4K. A bunch of the others are cool too. As long as you have a decent version of java installed you can use the 'Play via Webstart' links to quickly run the games from your browser.
For comparison purposes, the main jar of Lux which contains all the game logic and some built-in graphics and sounds is 4,839 k in size. The installer, which includes map graphics and other stuff clocks in at 9,008 k.
|Apple is stopping cocoa-java enhancements|
| I just saw that Apple is freezing cocoa-java development. Good thing I already ditched it myself last year. You gotta think ahead of the curve to survive.|
|Mac OS X 10.4 java bugs|
| There seems to be a few problems with Lux (actually more like with Java) on OSX 10.4. |
Problem 1 is that drawing an image into Graphics clipped with a GeneralShape polygon draw ugly boxes on top (a screenshot). I have a workaround for this problem (use a TexturePaint to draw the image into the shapes), but it's slower then the clip method.
Problem 2 is that the menubar gets duplicated for a JFrame if the window gets hidden, disposed, and then showed again. Repeat this continually and the menubar will fill up with unlimited items.
Both of these things have been reported to the Bug Reporter and to the Apple java-dev list. How's that for a good time, eh?
|Fun with swing and java2d|
| Here's a cool article with some java2d/swing tricks including painting something in the corner of a JScrollPane so that it's visible no matter where they scroll to.|
| How did the creators of Lux make non-rect areas clickable?|
|The IGF finalists are 10% java|
| An interesting thing about the 2005 Independent Games Festival finalists is that 10% of them are written in java. I am keenly aware (in a good way) that my game Lux uses java. The other java game that I saw is War! Age of Imperialism. So out of the 20 different games there are 2 written in java. This gives a pretty solid 10 percent.|
In my view the independent scene is where java stands to make the most inroads in game development. All the big established game dev houses have a commitment to C++ in the form of their existing code, the associated tools and the accumulated experience of their coders. There is no way that they are going to ditch that investment by moving to a new platform.
The place where java can compete on a level playing field is with startup studios. These guys don't have a big investment in C++. Their choice of platform will be made based on the actual cost/benefit of starting from scratch with either language. In this situation java has a much better chance of being used.
Anyway, I am going to use this nomination as an opportunity to submit my game to java.com again. Maybe this time I will get a reply. They do say "the third time's the charm".