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About mepis

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  1. Ahh...  Thanks!  That put's things a little clearer than what's been explained in the past or in classes. It's given me a bit to chew over for the future. It's also given me a more concrete reason to organize in objects. I've always been told to just do it. It's never made sense why creating multiple objects for a single use, small program made sense though. I always thought it would make more sense to separate the code into methods/functions for a tiny program (sub 150 lines) to make the program more concise and easier to follow.    I figured JavaFX was becoming the newer standard. I didn't read anything pointing at that though. There's so much information out there. That's my biggest issues, is reading and organizing all that information. It seems as if there is a different opinion or paradigm for everything.  I was also using the grid bag layout from AWT I believe. I'm not to far into the program, nor is it complicated. I might scrap it and rewrite in JavaFX. That might solve a problem I was having with buttons no being destroyed and recreated properly. Nonetheless, If I continue to have the issue I think I would rather have it with newer standard. That way when I learn the resolution it's more relevant.   I've run across the idea of a singleton pattern. Now I'll read about it. It sounds as if it could be a useful paradigm to learn.   Thanks again! I know it takes a bit of time to write all that out and you offered it to me for free. I really appreciate it!
  2. Thank you for the feedback subtle_wonders.  I didn't go to far into constructing the code with best practices for Java as I know them because I was only testing an idea. The algorithm may eventually be ported to Construct 2 for a game.   With that said though, I'm still very much a novice. I have a question. With Java best practices, is it always better to shove things into a separate class or is it acceptable, if the program is small, to keep it all in a single class? What's the pros and cons?    I actually deviated at the moment as suggested to make a minesweeper game. The logic was a breeze to zip through and gave me some better ideas to implement somethings for a planned game down the road. It actually became a better exercise in the Java GUI classes. They still confuse me just because of how many there are. I got a really good intro to the grid bag layout.    I digress though... While making the new minesweeper program I kept everything in a single class. I figured the program is small so it would create more work than needed for a program that doesn't really require any scaling later on. I separated everything into functions in the main class instead. I then made a lot of variables and objects as whole class variables and objects and labeled them as static. I did this because there would only ever be one game running at once and I would be destroying and remaking everything on resetting the game. My presumptions also guessed that doing this would make the program leaner on memory use and garbage collection. I was reading a bit on how Java and Javascript do this (two different languages, I know) and it was a practice on controlling that.   What are the thoughts on those ideas?
  3. Thank you d4n1!!!   So (and I apologize for the details now) I have been thinking about making a mindsweeper clone since I wrote the last post. I was taking a poop today and was thinking about the algorithms involved. I quickly stepped through it and thought of how I would roughly program it. Than it hit me that I could make random patterns of rooms and implement a corridor system with a very simple separate algorithm. It would create a much better effect than the code I have listed above and would ensure a random, but exact path through every single time!    You're suggestion was awesome!
  4. Thanks guys! The kind words are nice to hear.   I think I might make a quick mine sweeper type protoype game in java then for the experience. I can understand why you'd say I would benefit from it. I don't think I would need to add a lot of polish to the game. It sounds like the learning experience would be in the algorithms to make the game work. It sounds like it would be a good experience. 
  5. Thanks for the tips. Initializing everything to 0 was beaten into me in a high school programming class years ago. I've never shaken that habit. I like the criticism for everything else. That helps a lot.   I'm not sure if I can use enum. I'll have to go look at Construct again and see if there is a way to do something similar. Ultimately I plan to translate this to Construct for a game idea later on. That idea is being put on hold for the moment but I'll be getting back to it in the next few weeks. 
  6. Construct 2 is an interesting choice. I am a novice so take my opinion with a grain of salt. It's a very affordable option though and will work pretty well for what you are talking about.
  7. Code is below, but first some background:   I'm hoping to make a game via the Construct 2 engine. It intrigues my so I want to play with it. I have an idea for a game that involves dungeon/maze generation. I want it to be random for replayability. It's the first time I've done something like this though (still very much a newb) so I went to prototype the idea of the generation in Java because I can form the logic easier. I figured I could translate it to Construct's events later on. I sat down and thought about doing it and my mind drew a blank. I figured the easiest way would be to use some type of recursive methods, and after looking into the idea of maze generation algorithms, it seems I was right. The problem is though that I can't do anything recursively. It has to be done through loops. I'm also building the maze in a 2D array so I can build the map from that. That means I need empty spaces between paths. The algorithms I was looking at didn't do this. I understand the idea of running through a loop with a structure but structure are a bit non-existent in Construct from what I can tell. I can build a second 2D parallel array to track where the maze has been but I was hoping not to so I could save memory and reduce garbage collection and stuff. I got completely stuck at this point so I just started throwing ideas at the IDE and saw what stuck.   Anyway, by a really happy mistake, I came up with the code below. Now, it's not really good to develop mazes. The output results in exactly what I ultimately aim to achieve though. I wanted random tunnels and random large rooms and caverns. I wanted the path to the exit different every time. I was planning on doing some other silly stuff once a maze was created, but this creates the output right away.  I ran through the algorithm a lot of times and adjusted the chokepoint to where it gives me a seemingly good result with a viable path every time (though I still have to write something to double check this each time. The code is very much a prototype but I wanted to get opinions on it, what looks crappy, what I could improve on. I'm still very much a newb so all the criticism I can get is good. Keep in mind I want to translate this to Construct 2 at some point though it doesn't bother me if you give me tips as if I was continuing this project in Java.   I thank anyone for their feedback. I really do appreciate it. import java.util.Random; public class Main { //These variables define the size of the maze. //Change only these to change the size of the maze private static final int ROWSIZE = 40; private static final int COLUMNSIZE = 40; public static void main(String[] args) { //variable declarations int[][] maze; int randX = 0; int randY = 0; int choke = 0; int checkSurroundings = 0; Random rand = new Random(); maze = new int[ROWSIZE][COLUMNSIZE]; //Initialize maze array to all zeros (make every space a non-moveable area) for (int x = 0;x < ROWSIZE; x++){ for (int y = 0; y < COLUMNSIZE; y++){ maze[x][y] = 0; } } //Define outside walls //Construct 2 specific: //We will use the number two to define all outside walls of maze so the game engine //knows where to put these special tiles for (int x = 0; x < ROWSIZE; x++){ maze[x][0] = 2; maze[x][COLUMNSIZE - 1] = 2; } for (int x = 0; x < COLUMNSIZE; x++){ maze[0][x] = 2; maze[ROWSIZE - 1][x] = 2; } //Maze Generation randX = rand.nextInt(ROWSIZE - 10) + 5; maze[randX][0] = 1; //Mark beginning maze[randX][1] = 1; randX = rand.nextInt(ROWSIZE - 10) + 5; maze[randX][COLUMNSIZE - 1] = 1; //Mark ending maze[randX][COLUMNSIZE - 2] = 1; do { randX = rand.nextInt(ROWSIZE - 2) + 1; randY = rand.nextInt(COLUMNSIZE - 2) + 1; checkSurroundings = maze[randX - 1][randY] + maze[randX + 1][randY] + maze[randX][randY - 1] + maze[randX][randY + 1]; if (checkSurroundings < 4){ maze[randX][randY] = 1; choke = 0; } else { choke ++; } } while (choke < 4); //Print results of the maze array System.out.printf("\n"); for (int x = 0; x < ROWSIZE; x++){ for (int y = 0; y < COLUMNSIZE; y++){ if (maze[x][y] == 0 || maze[x][y] == 2) System.out.printf("%d ", maze[x][y]); if (maze[x][y] == 1) System.out.printf("# "); } System.out.print("\n"); } } }
  8. mepis

    Should games be considered art?

    Excellent responses everyone. I find it interesting to see what everyone's perspective is on the matter.
  9. mepis

    Should games be considered art?

      Exactly. It's hard to do, much less with games. This form of media is still very much in it's infancy compared to others. It doesn't help that the scope and technical advances keep it evolving faster then any other media either. I'm sure it's a debate that we will continue to have for a long time and not something solved by this thread. I'm curious to see what others think and engage in that conversation though.
  10. mepis

    Should games be considered art?

    I've had a bit of time to reflect and watch that video. On a side note, I love "Extra Credits". I've never watched that episode though. I don't know how I missed it.   To follow up with my response from earlier, do I think the act of playing chess cold be considered art? No, I don't I think using that example, the act of playing chess would be considered art. The mechanics, the chess set, the rules of the game, they all define the art. They set the boundaries like Picasso would do with his malformed shapes of humans. The define what it is. But the act of playing is more like experiencing an installation. It's more like walking into the Lincoln Memorial and viewing it from the inside.   I think games are much the same. The act of playing a video game is the act of experiencing the art. The mechanics define the boundaries of that particular piece. The same with the music, textures, models, etc...   Going back to the video posted, that exemplifies my definition I think. The only dialogue in Missile Command is 'Start' and 'The End' that I remember. That's  all the narration that communicates with the player beside the score board. Yet, as Extra Credits points out, it still offers a message. It pushes an emotional response. It makes the player feel something.    I'd contrast that with a game like The Last of Us. Would that be considered art? That's harder to say. It's a beautiful game. I would consider it more of a narration though. The game does a wonderful job by interweaving the conversations during game play instead of limiting it to cut scenes. It felt more like a natural way to tell a story in a game. It almost crosses the line into a book or an interactive entertainment movie though. It has the interactive game moments and such. It doesn't call for an emotional response though. It's a story about the growth, or lack there of, of a specific character.It's harder to say if I would consider this game a piece of art.
  11. mepis

    Should games be considered art?

     I'm leaving work so I'll get in a more detailed response to everyone later but I wanted to comment on this quick while me knee-jerk response is still there. I would question the same thing about film though to. The individual acts and pieces of a movie may not be considered art. The post production and what not may not be considered. (? debatable when thinking about it.) The end production can be considered art though. Would it not be the same for a game? The mechanics, the act of controlling a character itself, I don't know if I would call that art. But the entire production (assests, mechanics, and all) I would consider an art form. I would argue that it could be art while individual pieces that build the whole may still not be considered art.
  12. mepis

    Should games be considered art?

      But why? Why would animations be considered art and why would the simple use of animations make it be considered an art? Commercials use animations but I wouldn't always consider them art. (Not trying to disagree but just promote conversation.)
  13. mepis

    Should games be considered art?

    It's confusing at best. I have been trying to write an article relating to this for weeks and finally gave up and ended up with what I have above. I've never found a good definition of art. There's always a counter argument for personal definitions I've heard. During my art appreciation class, the text books eluded to defining art as being a medium to deliver a message of some sort, much like literature. Instead of delivering that message through words though, it delivered it through a visual medium that provoked an emotion. The emotional response is is the passage of that message from the piece of art to the viewer.   I've had trouble finding a better definition. For instance, like I mentioned above (I think) why is pottery not considered art but architecture is? If something is created through artistic means and is aesthetically pleasing, is it still considered art? Why would film be considered art but video games are generally accepted as not being art? Why is modern art considered art? Why is expressionism considered art? This is what I mean. I haven't been able to place a definition on it.    I figured I would post that here to hear what others say. This community is generally very intelligent and I'm curious what others reasoning might be.   I think to answer your response about asking a different question, I think this is the reason why games should be considered art. (Based on my version of the definition) games  can elicit an emotional response and deliver some kind of message, whether it be more narrative or emotional. They have the capability. The medium is different and it has to be shared differently than a painting, a drawing, or film. But some sort of logic, much like modern art, classical, impressionism, cubism, film, et all, has to be used with some aesthetic response to elicit an emotional response and message passage.   It doesn't help to create a definition to better state a reason when the art world is so big. 
  14. I started writing an article a couple of weeks back considering whether games should be considered art. Ultimately I came to the conclusion that games are indeed a form of art. It wasn’t an easy decision though. I hit road blocks at every turn. Every argument I started to reason, I thought of a counter argument. I found a lot of reasons why some games should be considered art and some games shouldn’t be. I found a lot of reasons why some pieces of art should be considered art and some shouldn’t be. Let me try and explain.   I originally argued that all art can be classified as art because it delivers a message. That’s what separates the arts and crafts, the message from the utilitarian use. That definition didn’t always hold up though. The best example I can think of is listed below in my original piece – Tony Smith’s “Die”. It’s supposed to mean many different things. Its six foot by six foot in size so it represents death. I personally don’t see it. I don’t understand it. I see a large box.   I have other examples. Salvador dali, for instance, creates some very interesting work. I like it. I’ll admit, I am a fan. It has no common message though. The same goes for the countless pictures of Christian art created through the renaissance. They typically tell a story and warn people of not offending the church. They are basically period propaganda pieces. Would the propaganda posters of WW2 or today be considered art?   What about architecture? Why is that considered art while pottery is not? Both are utilitarian in nature. Both serve a purpose and neither (usually) share any message.   So what is art then? I still firmly believe that the difference between art and crafts is that art shares a message of some kind. Art will often deliver an emotional message. That is what separates literature from art; art delivers its message through emotions and images while literature delivers it through reason and words. Crafts don’t deliver a message but are merely aesthetically pleasing and help accomplish a task. Because of that definition, art may not mean the same to all people. It also encompasses my biggest conflict; why are films considered art and not video games? Certainly, not all films are art nor are all games. Like film though, games can make a person feel. They can transmit a state of being, a sense of urgency, and transplant the thoughts or a person in some other time or universe. They can deliver a message. They can provoke players to feel and to respond in the same way that traditional art would.   If one would think that games can’t make audiences feel then I would remind people of the death of Aerith. The death of Aerith at Sephiroth’s hands (Final Fantasy 7) sparked massive fan fair and rumors. Players couldn’t handle her death. Rumors spread all over the internet that Aerith was coming back and that she wasn’t really dead. (I should remind readers that these rumors spread during the early days of the computer boom and internet adoption, back during the hay days of AOL to put it into perspective. Internet use wasn’t the same then as it is now which only furthers the proof of impact of Aeirth’s death) Players actually mourned her death. They wanted to seek redemption. Her death made players feel. The Battlefield series, as much as I wouldn’t want to admit it, force players to realize the angst and destruction of war. “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream” generally make people feel despair.   Games do provoke an emotion and response. They deliver a message in a way that neither film, nor traditional art, nor literature can. It’s a new media that is still very much in its infancy. The level of detail and creativity required to provoke such response have only come about in the last 20 years, a short time in the world of art. I think that’s why many critiques don’t consider games to be art. It’s to new. I assure everyone though that games are both a form of art and entertainment. They liven the soul and speak to people. They make players react and think in ways that other media can’t.
  15. I've been thinking about this a bit lately. My wife ran a book review blog for a while. The small book review blog community is huge. A lot of publishers will send out ARCs to these blogs with traffic for free in hopes of a review. They aren't paid reviews and the bloggers get the books a lot of attention. We eventually shut my wife's blog down because of some unassociated craziness.   I could be wrong about this, but I haven't seen this type of community in the indie game world. I've been seeing a lot of articles lately about indie devs working with each other. I haven't seen indie devs promoting and reviewing each others games though. I know it seems counter intuitive, but publicity is never a bad thing. Obviously the politics of it all can get a bit shaky especially while considering the dynamics of creators reviewing each other's work. But none the less, why don't more inde devs start doing this? After being in that book review community for a couple of years and seeing how it worked, it just makes sense.
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