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Topics - WarHampster

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Trash Talk / HyperCard in the history of digital art
« on: February 23, 2015, 04:08:26 PM »
Reading these two articles -

got me nostalgic for card-based development and what it meant for me as a new programmer. With the death of SilverCreator, there really is no modern equivalent.

Announcements / AbsurdEngine release
« on: August 20, 2014, 04:14:53 PM »
Today I'm releasing a project that I've been working on for a while - a framework for building native Android and iOS games from the same Java code. It uses the XMLVM cross-compiler to convert Android Java code to iOS C/ Obj-C code.

You develop your game in Eclipse with the Android plugins and then generate the corresponding Xcode project. My goal is for this to "just work" - I've tried to be very practical about supporting things that game developers might need, like networking, timing, multithreading, advertising, etc. I've been developing this alongside a game project that is based on it, so its been tested and refined to some extent.

Here's a silly blog post I wrote about it:
And here's the code:

The documentation in the code is a little sparse right now, but I put a lot of work into the installation instructions on the Bitbucket.

I'm releasing the AbsurdEngine under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, also known as "do whatever you want, just give me credit."

Enjoy! And please let me know if you have issues installing it on your machine.

Other Languages & Tools / CandyJam Game - Serving at the Arcade of the King
« on: February 10, 2014, 07:39:02 AM »
Mine took me longer than I expected, but here it is!

I wrote it in Haxe with some friends from school.

Contests / Philosopher's Cup
« on: September 24, 2012, 09:09:45 PM »
I challenge you to create an interactive computer program that expresses a philosophical idea.

Suggest rules.

Other Languages & Tools / AbsurdEngine Voxels
« on: July 30, 2012, 12:45:32 AM »
I'd like to share my progress with the voxel renderer that I started in SilverCreator two years ago and then ported to .NET and Mono. I've expanded the basic height map rendering algorithm with the ability to render arbitrary 3d scenes built with voxels.

A voxel is a 3d pixel. Voxel renders therefore do not render polygons built out of triangles like most 3d renderers, but instead render lots of little cubes. Games like Minecraft use a voxel data structure to store their world, but convert the world into polygons and render it conventionally. On the other hand, renderers like mine draw the voxels directly.

Voxels are interesting because they easily solve problems that are extremely complicated in polygon renderers such as modifying the environment at runtime and rendering fine details and rough surfaces. In my engine, it only takes a few lines of code to blast a shockwave from under the player that ripples the world dramatically. I think that a world built of voxels has the potential to feel much more dynamic and malleable than one built of polygons, which intrigues my artistic side.

Nightmare test land.

No graphics test is complete without shaded cubes.

The world is stored as a 2d array of linked lists of vertical voxel spans. I use raycasting to project spans of voxels to the screen one vertical scanline at a time with no overdraw. The major limitation of this technique is that the camera is restricted to four degrees of freedom: translation along the three axes and rotation around the vertical. I use a perspective distortion hack to achieve tilting and haven't yet implemented rolling. It is possible to achieve six degrees of mathematically correct freedom in a renderer like this, but in my opinion if it looks right, then it is.

The next step for this project is adding voxel-built models to the scene and transforming them. Then optimization. Then maybe a game.

Other Languages & Tools / Absurd Engine mobile
« on: March 08, 2012, 03:20:36 PM »

It's alive! Absurd Engine mobile: program a game once in Java; compile it natively for Android and iOS. The test program that you see running moves a sprite around the screen on a one-second timer. Here's the code:

Code: [Select]
public class Game extends GameView
    public Game(Context context)
        face = new Sprite(BitmapFactory.decodeResource(AbsurdGameTest.res, R.drawable.testface), 0, 0);
        jumpTimer = new Timer(1, this, new Delegate()
            public void function()
                face.location.set((int)(Math.random()*getWidth()), (int)(Math.random()*getHeight()));
    public void onDraw(Canvas canvas)
        canvas.drawBitmap(face.bitmap, face.location.x, face.location.y, null);
    private Sprite face;
    private Timer jumpTimer;

There's a lot going on behind the scenes here. Notice that I've implemented delegates in Java! Less obviously, game rendering and logic (such are timing) are updated from separate threads, which makes everything silky smooth, even across platforms.

My goal in this project is to simplify simple mobile development. There's an intimidating amount of overhead involved in just getting a stable game loop running on a mobile device - I want to prototype crazy ideas as fast as they come to me without having to deal with thread concurrency issues! On that note, I want to make the unique features of mobile devices - accelerometers, GPSes, etc - as accessible to develop for as possible.

Group Projects / Prototype Jam
« on: March 05, 2012, 01:24:04 PM »
We all have plenty of half-finished games, unpolished prototypes, and empty game engines lying around. They shouldn't go to waste gathering dust on external harddrives! Let's work together and finish all of them, and then submit them to the Pirate Kart (massive collection of small indie games that is being shown at GDC) I have two project stubs that we could extend: one is a sort of tower-defense game in which you play as a great-old one (lovecraftian monster) protecting your temple from invading humans, and the other is that 3d engine that you've all seen at some point. It could be an interesting abstract exploration game!

Who's interested? Anyone have prototypes of their own?

Trash Talk / Nightmare Mode
« on: June 24, 2011, 11:33:01 AM »
I'm working as a writer for Nightmare Mode, a newish game criticism, news, and analysis site:

I published my first article last night! It's relates absurdist philosophy to games, check it out:

Trash Talk / My game development class
« on: August 11, 2011, 06:26:03 PM »
I mentioned earlier this summer that I was teaching a game development class for elementary school kids. Well, the class ended a few weeks ago, and I've put together a site where you can download the kids' games! Overall the class went very well - all the students finished their first project (an adventure game). I had to leave a week before the end of the program and the other teacher kind of blew it... none of the kids finished their second project, a maze game. Still, it was fun and I think everyone learned a lot.

The website:

I recommend playing: Prince and Princess (the most complex and fully realized), 7ft 11 Inches (surreal), and Ninja Fights (coherent graphics).

I'm going to be writing an essay about my experience in general and my observations of how elementary school kids play and conceive of games for my blog and Nightmare Mode.

Trash Talk / GameMaker for mac, for real
« on: August 19, 2010, 04:06:37 PM »

Trash Talk / Laptop died
« on: June 17, 2010, 10:36:26 PM »
Well I thought that upgrading to 10.6 and cleaning things up would give my MacBook a few more years, but today the HD crashed. I think that most of my programming endeavors are backed up and I've already moved to my Dad's abandoned MacBook Air, but there was a ton of other stuff that may be lost. Tried to save the drive with some software but failed miserably, am going to end up paying way too much to get the damn thing rescued.

Trash Talk / NHSGA final project
« on: August 12, 2010, 10:23:14 PM »
I got back from the game development course around a week ago... just put some videos of my final project on YouTube. From the video's description:

My two-week final project at Carnegie Mellon's National High School Game Academy involved creating a third-person tank game controlled by a Wii-mote, displayed on a surround-screen output device, and utilizing the Panda 3D engine. A member of a team consisting of five programmers and two artists, I helped develop a game in which the player must navigate a partially procedurally generated level, exterminating mutated plants and harvesting minerals to acquire ammunition.

Sorry for the crappy cell-phone video quality :P

Overall the course was worthwhile. The lectures were a bit conservative (in terms of design philosophy) and business oriented, but what the hell... I met some great people and made some interesting games.

Edit - more pictures from the demonstration:

Trash Talk / The other GameMaker comes to the Mac
« on: May 23, 2010, 08:05:42 PM »

Looks like we have some serious competition.

Trash Talk / Upgraded to Snow Leopard!
« on: June 05, 2010, 07:33:49 PM »
Yeah, I gained like 10 gigs of space and now I can finally run all the stuff that Gan writes.

Trash Talk / Ludum Dare
« on: April 22, 2010, 09:45:33 PM »
Ludum Dare is a 48 hour game making competition, lots of people participate and make a theme-based game from scratch in a weekend. I have no time but maybe you guys could try this, "game-makers" are allowed.

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