Recent posts by ArreatsChozen on Kongregate

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Topic: Off-topic / Can admins see whispers?

I’m not entirely sure, you should ask.

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Topic: Game Programming / Beta Testers Wanted - Hop Til You Drop

I don’t mind doing beta-testing and would be happy to give some advice.

First, as people have pointed out, the file size is huge. You rarely need crazily high quality sounds, or really long sounds, to make a good game. You’d be better to use more focused, shorter music. Or move the file size across lots of different assets that can enhance the game (powerup sounds, hit sounds, etc).

Second the screen size is ridiculously big. Most browsers can’t display a game that large without going into fullscreen mode, and I bet there’s a huge amount of people who can’t display it at all.

The menu looks nice, but it’s not immediately obvious you’re meant to be selecting menu items with keys/ enter.
Either display some directions on the screen somewhere, or make the things clickable as buttons. I’d say definitely make them clickable as buttons.

Options menu needs to be redesigned. It’s basically a wall of text. Nobody likes this. Find a way to condense this information in a more attractive way. Also add a “back” button here instead of “escape to go back”.

You need a better character select screen. One where all characters are shown and you can select with a mouse. You should display the stats/ bio when doing hover-over.

When the game starts if you haven’t gone to the “how” you have no idea how to play, or even what the game is about.
There should at least be some little intro.
You should make space-bar jump, as well as “a”, because this is expected behaviour. When I first started, I had to spam keys until I figured out it was “a”.
I’d also recommend making up/ down switch as well, since this is rather intuitive. A lot of games let you use “up” to jump.

You need to give people more than 1 life. 1 life is really frustrating, especially when it only takes 1 hit to kill you.

You should give your guy acceleration/ friction while running left/ right.

Your “close call” slow-down is cool at first, but gets a little annoying later on.
Changing speeds, especially at really critical points in time, and doing it in a way the user doesn’t have ultimate control over, can be a bit frustrating and lead to deaths.
One way you could implement this is that close-calls powerup a bar, which when you hit shift (or some other key) you go into slow motion. So you still get the bonus, but it gives the user the control, and it might also add more strategy to the game.

The coins need better graphics, perhaps some particles, and a sound effect when picked up.

The background needs better graphics.

The hitboxes need to be better well defined.
I’d also say give the user the edge here, the game is hard enough as it is. If you’ve played bullet-hell games, these often feature single pixel hitboxes, and this still results in very very hard games.

When you die, graphics appear over the writing. You need to sort your z-ordering out.
Speaking of your death screen, it’s not the best. You should make it more visually appealing and make it display the useful information in a more obvious way.

Also it needs buttons instead of the escape/ backspace control mechanism.

The score display is pretty cruddy too. You need to display it in a more appropriate place (at the moment it’s just hanging in the top-rightish area) and make it look nicer.
Why have you got the player listed as “GUEST” when there is no way to enter in a name? Am I always a guest? Shouldn’t I be able to enter in a name? If not, why do you bother listing it at all.

The time-attack mode seems a bit like a pointless add-on really.
If you want to keep it, that’s fine, but you should sort out the challenges in it.
Time attack should be about using your skill as best you can to get the most points. But you have challenges where an entire floor is covered in spikes. If this happens on the top/ bottom, you basically have to wait 5-10 seconds until the spikes goes away, drastically reducing the time you can collect points, and making the player feel really frustrated as they wait around for no good reason.
Remove the challenges that make you wait/ are way to weighted towards luck in this mode, as it’s about skill.

These are plenty of points to get you started on some fixes.

There’s plenty more you could do too though. Powerups, better sound effects, better visual effects, better challenge/ enemy types, etc.

Good luck.

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Topic: Game Programming / Java; displaying game graphics

Don’t override the paint() method. This method is responsible for recursively calling the paint() method of all child components.
Overriding paint() and not calling super.paint() will result in basically all your content not being drawn.

What you want to do is add a JPanel to your JFrame, then override the paintComponent() method of the JPanel. In this method you are given a Graphics, cast this to Graphics2D, then do your drawing. Don’t call dispose() on the graphics, once the method returns it will do it automatically (swing is optimized to dispose of automatically created graphics contexts).

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Topic: Game Programming / Best language to write a platformer in?

Just a note about performance issues, a simple platformer/ your first game will not ever be complicated enough that it requires the performance of C++. If it did it means you are writing horribly inefficient algorithms and code. All the other languages are perfectly adequate to run a platformer.

I would suggest to go for what is easiest. That would be either java, python or flash/ AS3. Considering the vast amount of resources available, and the ease of use for games, I would suggest using flash/ AS3.

Java will be a bit of a pain to deploy in web browsers if you did go that route – all the java vulnerabilities floating around lately has resulted in people disabling the java plugin. Flash has awesome support in browsers (this website/ the other swf hosting websites) so you would have a very easy time getting people to see it.

Flash also has heaps of online tutorials and full text books available specifically for game programming.

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Topic: Off-topic / I Got 12GB Memory

Not unless you’re doing things like rendering 3d graphics or intensive mathematical computation.

Instead of buying more RAM, I’d suggest you upgrade your graphics card, upgrade to a solid-state-drive (at least to store program files), and update all your drivers to the latest versions (as well as Microsoft updates).
This should give you a much more noticeable increase in performance than buying extra (in your case probably unneeded) RAM.

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Topic: Game Programming / Hard math problem regarding circle collisions

I don’t want to be a dick, but why are you building your own physics library. There are already many great ones out there.
Too many game developers get caught up trying to develop their “game engine” before developing their actual game and never get their feet off the ground.

If you’re doing it purely for learning purposes, then feel free to ignore this, but try not to get too caught up in building everything yourself from scratch.

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Topic: Game Programming / Save every keystroke

Just curious why you would want to do this.
It could start to lag your computer out with any decent sized file.
Perhaps you could get into the habbit of pushing ctrl + s a lot. It’s what I do. I push ctrl + s every time I take a quick “rest” after typing a line or so.
This would be better because it would ensure you save your files on any program/ system you use.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Videogames

It seems to me people are just using (violent) videogames as a convenient scapegoat. We’ve seen it in America before with lots of other activities enjoyed by youth (retro arcade style games, comic books, heavy/ rock music, etc).

Living in New Zealand, which has the same access to violent video-games, yet almost (virtually none) no gun violence, I can’t help but think the problem with America has more to do with its crazy gun culture and ease of access of dangerous weapons.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Videogames

Another consideration is if videogames are having a positive effect.

When I was younger (couldn’t give exact age, but 8-9-10), I played Final Fantasy 7 for hundreds of hours.
All the engaging dialog encouraged me to read much more than what an average child of that age would read. The various strategies required to successfully play the game also encouraged me to think carefully and critically (good real world skills).

I’ve also played lots of pointless, violent, videogames too though. And after seeing lots of gore via the internet, I can tell you 100% I am not desensitized to it. Seeing real world, violent situations still disgusts me.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Quote Discussion, Current quote: “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

Not just how we look at god, but whether we believe in him at all. Atheism is becoming more and more prominent, particularly in countries with affluent people, and a very high (relatively speaking) standard of living.

People who live in poverty and who lack knowledge about basic scientific truths usually find themselves inventing a god to give meaning and reason to what is an otherwise meaningless and confusing situation.
Affluent people who have an abundance of the necessary components required for life, as well as a lot of free time, usually don’t require such a being.
Lack of suffering and a sound knowledge of reality usually provide meaning enough.

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Topic: Game Programming / Hittest error - not the usual stuff, it's a tricky one!

Yup, what pl0xz0rz said. I actually read an article about it just the other day. Pretty common platformer problem.

Your characters move in discrete frames (giving the illusion of fluid movement). The problem is if the players hitbox happens to move completely past the object in questions hitbox, there will be no collision detected.

A few things you can do to solve it:
– increase tick speed (keeping relative acceleration/ velocity the same). This gives your boxes more frames in which to collide in
– increase the size of the hitbox. This makes it easier for a collision to take place
– impose a maximum velocity on your characters. If you have a maximum velocity, you can calculate the maximum possible distance able to be traveled in 1 frame. With this information you can give your hitboxes appropriate sizes to guarantee a collision.
– ray casting method as described above (although rather an overkill for your game)

All but the ray casting are trivial to implement. Good luck.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / The Moral Argument

So we hear the moral argument a lot in religious debates.

It goes something like this: “No objective moral truths exist without an objective moral foundation. God provides that objective moral foundation. (Therefore god exists)”.

Obviously simplified for the purposes of this discussion, but feel free to wiki it for a more detailed and rigorous explanation.

Atheists and non-theists often try to discredit this by saying we have an evolutionary basis for morality in reciprocating kindness, for the purposes of the continuation of our specifies.

What I don’t often see though are atheists and non-theists claiming that an objective moral foundation does not exist, or regardless of it existing, whether it matters.
The power of the argument relies on us accepting that objective moral foundations exist, and indeed that they matter.
I ask why is this?

What is your view? Do objective moral truths matter?
If you are religious, why do you value objective moral truths.
If you are a non-theist, why do objective moral truths matter to you? Or if they don’t, why not?

Please note I’m not asking if objective moral truths exist per se, but feel free to discuss this (although not as the focal point of this topic).

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Topic: Off-topic / I lost a point on my exam for this.


Now everyone shut up.

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Topic: Game Programming / Grabbing Array/vector from string

Can I just ask why you are doing it like this? It may be the case you are coding to the wrong solution.
Can you elaborate more on the context, and why you think it is required to do it this way?

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Topic: Game Programming / [AS3] Collision detection?

It seems to me you are trying to add unnecessary complexity to your game, when creating your collision shapes out of simpler geometric shapes would suffice.

Pixel perfect collision detection is rather expensive from a computational point of view; it involves processing every single pixel of the two images you are testing.
Geometric shapes are rather cheap though; all you need to do is a few simple math equations per collision.

I really doubt your game (that is a top-down shooter) is complex enough to warrant pixel-perfect collision. Geometric shapes would most certainly be a better alternative.
Tank can be rectangles. Your ships hitbox can be a circle/ rectangle. Those odd-shaped enemies you have can be combinations of simple geometric shapes.

I would recommend you implement it first before saying it wouldn’t work, and then if you are unsatisfied with the precision, try pixel-perfect. Then compare and contrast the loss of speed (or increase in RAM usage) with pixel perfect. Also bear in mind that the average player really doesn’t notice such things as how you have implemented your collision system (unless it really sucks bad).

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Topic: Serious Discussion / bad test questions

I think it is unrealistic to think that people can derive formulas (no matter how ‘trivial’ you think they are!) in a high-stress test environment.

It’s amazing how some of the formulas we have today that seem incredibly simple and easy, weren’t actually derived until quite recently by extremely intelligent people. Take for example Euler’s formula: v – e + f = 2. This is a relatively simple formula and one could easily look at it and think it obvious and trivial – that is, after already knowing it.

I think maths should teach you everything you need to know, and then ask you questions that force you to use these concepts in areas that may not be immediately obvious. Students should be given all the tools they might possibly need, and it is up to them to use them in the right way to generate the answer.

Or if one wishes to test students with a new theorem they hadn’t been introduced to in class, the question should start with some situation in which the formula logically follows from the situation and in which it is reasonable the student may derive said formula, and then further parts of the question ask the student to apply this new theorem. From my university calculus classes, these were always the most fun and interesting types of questions.

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Topic: Game Programming / Need help with a few things (upgrades, destruction)

I would suggest you start with planning, and don’t start programming until you have very specific ideas in mind.

I can’t completely decipher what your plan is, but this is the jist I get…
So you have components on your character that are upgradeable. This could be weapons, armour pieces, helmets, leggings, boots, shields, etc. They are upgradeable in terms of statistics and graphics.
During gameplay the parts are destroyed and they visually deteriorate and then disappear from screen.

I would recommend deciding exactly what parts you wanted to have. Then I would note down the exact statistics you want them to have. Things such as HP, defence points, damage, etc.
Then you will need to design the upgrades, all the different graphics, transitions, prices, etc.
You will also need to define how these parts are damaged through gameplay. You will have to create elements in game that can damage your player and/ or armour pieces.

You can start to see it becomes quite complicated fast.

If you are serious about this, I would recommend just starting with 1 thing first. Perhaps a sword or something. Prototype the whole concept, and try to generalise it so that you can take the knowledge from that 1 piece to all the others you’ll need to implement. You will definitely want to look into inheritance and creating a superclass for your parts.

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Topic: Game Programming / Anti-Hack

I would agree with the MochaiAds thing.

Check the site you are currently at. If it is Kongregate, don’t display the ads. Anywhere else, display the ads.
This way you follow Kongregates rules but gain money anywhere else.

Also encrypt the swf. I know people can decrypt it, but at least make it harder for them.
This will also make it harder for them to remove MochaiAds as well.

At the end of the day, if somebody wants to steal your game, they sure as hell will. You may as well try profit out of it instead. Also if you input instructions that will upload where the game is being played from, you can check which sites are hosting your game.

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Topic: General Gaming / The "What was that game called?" Thread

Originally posted by Fireseal:
Originally posted by ArreatsChozen:

This is not a flash game, it was a windows based game, from 10 years+ back. I just remember having such fond memories of it.

It was an action/ adventure/ puzzle game, made probably some time around 2000-2004 (just a guess here) for PC. You were a guy located initially on a coastal region (I think I remember there being a lighthouse) and it was set in some-what modern times.
You had different modes your character could be in. For example I think there was an ‘aggressive’ mode, where you could attack monsters, and there were other modes, perhaps examine mode, running mode, etc, although I can’t remember what they were.

I remember you had to try build (I think, my memory is rather vague) a ship of some kind (possibly extraterrestrial) and this took you to some facility with hostiles. Then you escape and you were in some sort of desert. I remember there being an ancient Egypt themed puzzle room that could have been a pyramid you had to get through.

I’m trying to think of more details, but my memory is incredibly vague. If you have any idea the game, just give me names and I’ll look up any leads.

Thank you for reading :)

Little Big Adventure, or perhaps it’s sequel? They seem to fit a lot of that description. Also known as Relentless: Twinsen’s Adventure and Twinsen’s Odyssey.

Omfg… Dude you have no idea how much I love you right now.

This is the game. This is actually it. From 10 years ago. You have no idea how much I appreciate your help lol.
I am going to download this game and play it and reminisce and be in awe of how awesome it is.

I just watched some youtube vids. It actually seems more awesome than I remember it. There are random elephants and stuff.

Once again I am eternally in your debt, thank you for your help :)

Edit. Actually 15 years now. Further back than I thought. It’s actually quite impressive the graphics they had back then I think.

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Topic: General Gaming / The "What was that game called?" Thread

This is not a flash game, it was a windows based game, from 10 years+ back. I just remember having such fond memories of it.

It was an action/ adventure/ puzzle game, made probably some time around 2000-2004 (just a guess here) for PC. You were a guy located initially on a coastal region (I think I remember there being a lighthouse) and it was set in some-what modern times.
You had different modes your character could be in. For example I think there was an ‘aggressive’ mode, where you could attack monsters, and there were other modes, perhaps examine mode, running mode, etc, although I can’t remember what they were.

I remember you had to try build (I think, my memory is rather vague) a ship of some kind (possibly extraterrestrial) and this took you to some facility with hostiles. Then you escape and you were in some sort of desert. I remember there being an ancient Egypt themed puzzle room that could have been a pyramid you had to get through.

I’m trying to think of more details, but my memory is incredibly vague. If you have any idea the game, just give me names and I’ll look up any leads.

Thank you for reading :)

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Topic: General Gaming / you only live once .sol

If you still haven’t been able to play the game, I figured out an easy workaround.

Just go into private browsing and it will not interact at all with your current saved sol files.
This allows you to play the game again as many times as you want :)

And yeah, I also tried deleting the sol file as well, but I couldn’t find the right one (for some reason this game is rather tricky at this!).

And also, check out Raitendo’s other stuff… He is one crazy bastard developer lol. His stuff is honestly mental. Very well done, but mental.

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Topic: Game Programming / Swf decompiler that actually works?

Try SoThink swf decompiler.

I’ve tried it on a few of my programs, and it managed to bring things almost exactly to how they were, variable names and all.

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Topic: Game Programming / Java

Java and Javascript are two entirely different languages. The only similarity is in the name.

Javascript is, generally speaking, a web orientating scripting language.
Java is an all purpose general programming language intended for OS neutral programming.

JavaScript is pretty (in my opinion) arbitrary, and you should only bother learning it if you have a specific need for it.

Java is much more consistent and paradigm based language, that will teach you very valuable and transferable skills.

However it is a bitch to program games in from scratch, and if you intend to write games for Kongregate, I would recommend using either Unity or Flash. Both these options have native support for games that will make programming games much easier than Java.

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Topic: Game Programming / Consecutive NUMBERS problem

First I’ll solve for 1 shake, then extend to 3 shakes.

Imagine a room with n people.
The first person can shake hands with (n-1), the 2nd person can shake hands with (n-2) people, the 3rd (n-3), etc.
This results in the summation of (n-1) + (n-2) + (n-3) + … 1, which we can rewrite as n(n-1)/2.
Also we could view the problem in a more combinatorial view and ask how many unique ways can we select 2 from a group of n, which is nC2, which comes out as n!/( n-2 ), which we can solve as…
n!/( n-2 ) = n(n-1)(n-2)!/( n-2 ) = n(n-1)/2

Now in your case, we have 6 douche bags, so in a single instance, we have 6(6-1) / 2 = 15 unique hand shakes.

You however need the case where each person shakes hands 3 times. This is very easy to calculate. We are now counting the total amount of mutually exclusive instances of a single hand shake, so we just multiply. If an event A has n permutations, and we want to perform the event x times, the number is n^x.

In our case we have 15 permutations, and we need it 3 times, so 15 ^ 3 = 3375 combinations.

Thus the final answer is 3375.

I had a think about the problem that since they are douchebags, they may try shake with themselves, and this gets rather complicated, quickly. The problem is that a person shaking with themselves only reduces the remaining shakers by 1 (instead of 2, as above), so we cannot count the number in a generic way. Each time a douchebag shakes with himself, it introduces a new possibility we have to individually calculate (of which there are a huge number for any instance of this problem).
If somebody can calculate this, I will be interested to know how you did it.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Nuclear Warfare

This: Mutually assured destruction