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Member Since 15 Sep 2003
Offline Last Active Apr 21 2016 03:53 PM

Topics I've Started

Scrolling: The leap from Slordax to Commander Keen

06 October 2015 - 03:23 PM

One of my all-time favourite books is Masters of Doom. I've been reading it since Doom3 was released, but upon reading it again I'm confused on something in the chapter "Dangerous Dave...".


The team was busy working away on the vertical shoot-em-up Slordax, and it clearly shows smooth vertical scrolling for the background.  However, when John Romero discovers the "Super Mario Bros 3" Demo one morning, hes blown away by smooth horizontal scrolling.  What puzzles me is why would he be so shocked when John Carmack had already achieved scrolling in Slordax?


Is there a difference in difficulty in programming a vertical-scrolling background and that of a game such as Super Mario Bros?  Surely scrolling is scrolling whether vertical or horizontal? 

Netbeans: Bitmaps, Jars and Manifests.

12 September 2015 - 03:16 AM

Hello there. I seem to be having trouble including a bitmap file in my project's JAR file, using Netbeans.

The actual Netbeans project I have called "GraphicsStuff", and I have written my own loader to load in Bitmap files and have successfully displayed the image in a window.  Now, I've loaded in the bitmap as a resource instead of as a file, and when I test the application in Netbeans it seems to work. So far so good.

Here is where the problem rears its ugly head! After I clean and build the project, I then try to run the jar file outside of Netbeans, and whilst I can get the window to display, it does not display the bitmap image. In the Linux terminal, I get the following message...

Error: Failed to load the file: java.io.FileNotFoundException: file:/home/steven/Desktop/JavaStuff/GraphicsStuff/dist/GraphicsStuff.jar!/data/title.bmp (No such file or directory)

...which is really odd. I have included the bitmap file in its own folder in the Source packages drop-down list in the Projects tab viewer, in Netbeans. Which is great because I can open the JAR itself and see that there is indeed a folder called "data" and it contains my bitmap file. So, I know the bitmap IS in the JAR.  However, looking inside the Manifest.MF file thats inside the JAR file, this is the contents...

Manifest-Version: 1.0
Ant-Version: Apache Ant 1.9.4
Created-By: 1.8.0_31-b13 (Oracle Corporation)
X-COMMENT: Main-Class will be added automatically by build
Main-Class: graphicsstuff.GraphicsStuff

...is it me or shouldn't there be something like "data/image.bmp" in there somewhere?  From what I can tell, the bitmap file is inside the JAR, but the manifest doesn't know about it. Have I missed an important step here where Netbeans is concerned?


If it ain't broke then don't fix it...DOH!

01 November 2012 - 02:43 PM

This has got to count as one of the most stupid things I have ever done in programming...nope, nothing comes close! O_O

So, I've been writing a ray-casting engine over the last few weeks, and despite numerous complications, I finally got my textured walls and so, to go one better I decided to finish off the engine with floor-casting...

So, I decided to use a different texture to the one I used for the walls - which had nice different colours in it. However, for this one I opened up MS Paint and filled in a blue base and then...well...using a pixel width brush, drew some lines to create a brick like pattern...

...so, with my new floor texture, I then wrote the floor casting code, and then...


...oh dear, my code seemed to be at fault! So, seven days later I eventually came to the conclusion that I simply didn't understand floor-casting, and that Permadi and Lode were talking bollocks in their tutorials. I even went to the length of reversing the maths to get original casting distances using the projection plane! Something simply wasn't right here, but I vowed to build this engine without any assistance...so asking for help here would have been pussying out...

So tonight, I thought I would muck about by using a more detailed texture from Wolfenstein3D...and discovered a truly spine-tingling fact...


...turns out my original floor texture simply didn't have enough detail to display properly! I honestly feel like such a twat for spending seven days trying to fix something that wasn't broken in the first place! o_O

Sigh, the engine is now complete and I am feeling relieved I can begin with tidying it up and optimising...then making a game of some description...

Has anyone else here done the same thing? Tried to fix something that wasn't broke in the first place? Posted Image

Sega console programming(homebrew?).

19 October 2012 - 02:41 PM

I recently saw the most amazing thing on Classic Game Room(YouTube channel) which was a new DreamCast game called Gunlord and it looks amazing.

So having finished my Degree this week and a basic Java Ray-casting demo, I'm kind of heart-set on a bit of retro-console programming as my next project. Most likely not a full game, but at least a demo or two. One concern I do have - I don't want to have to physically or software-wise modifiy a console to run my demos.

There seems to be two possible target platforms: The DreamCast(wow, I really want one of those in my collection!) or....the sega Mega-CD. Both seem to only require a user to burn a demo/game to a CD and then just pop it in the console as it is. I think the Mega-CD is going to be difficult, but the DreamCast appears to require a knowledge of C which I'm quite happy to use...

I used to program in C/C++, moved on to Java and Visual Basic for my education and even dipped my toe in C64 assembly(still a beginner, though). I would very much like to have someone's opinion on this (foolish?) ambition that has actually done some console homebrewing - and educate me as to the harsh realities one will face, and if there is an ideal console to homebrew for.

Many thanks.

Difficulty on deciding on a suitable qualification

16 October 2011 - 05:20 PM

My thanks to anyone who is kind enough to be reading this plea for help, and even more for responding.

I am stuck with a difficult decision regarding my computing education with the Open University, in the UK. I am in full time work at a food retail store(which I hate), and have been teaching myself programming for just over a decade. I am currently 31 years old and my two computing-related qualifications are...

  • Diploma of Computing (Open University)
  • City & Guilds: Introductory Computing (Computeach)
I have finished a 3rd qualification and should receive it at the end of this year, which will be...

  • Certificate in Computing & IT (Open University)
Which is fine, but I now have to make a decision on my next, and most important, qualification. I am currently pursuing what is called an "Open" Degree, without Honours, and will only be labelled as a Bachelor of Science. I will finish it in October 2012.

However, there is another qualification which has me wondering if I am going for the wrong qualification. It is a "Diploma of Higher Education in Computing & IT" and I already meet the requirements for its Software Developer option, but mopping up the last remaining modules it will take me until June 2013, although I might be able to snag - in a rather sly manner - another Diploma of Higher Education in June 2012...but only if I do go for the Comp & IT DipHE...

I feel that the Diploma will allow me to learn Maths, an area in which I struggle, and even sneak in some Assembly programming. Its also a named qualification for the field. However, I do feel that I will be filtered out of job applications without at least a Bsc Degree, even if it isn't a named qualification other than "Bachelor of Science"...

LOL, I personally wish I could just jack it all in and go back to teaching myself C++ and Maths(far more effective! ^_^), but any advice will be greatly appreciated.