Sunday, January 30, 2011

J2ME MIDP2 Example Game with Sample Code

   My cousin recently got a decent feature-phone with a full qwerty keyboard. It's not a smartphone but it can run J2ME apps and since my Blackberry can as well, I decided to try and port my simplest example game to a Java midlet. The game isn't much beyond a few sprites, one of which the player moves up and down, but it's my game equivalent of "Hello World". I always port it to whatever new language or framework I'm learning because it contains the most basic things all games have.

   I had trouble finding resources that showed how the J2ME Canvas worked with a simple example game that would compile without errors on my system, that's what compelled me to post this. This is a simple and small working example for anyone new to J2ME who wants to see a basic game and build off it. Just be warned that I'm a Java newbie myself, this is the first thing I've ported to J2ME.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Playing Through My "Pile of Shame"

   I've spent way too much over the past year on games, thanks to Steam sales and things like the Humble Indie Bundle. It's hard to make an argument that I'm somehow saving money when I'm spending more than I would have had the sale not enticed me into making a purchase! Oh, well. I've built up enough of a game backlog to last me a couple of years, given the diminished rate at which I play these days. It's too bad that there's only so much time in a day, having too many different hobbies can lead to not doing much in any one of them. I still haven't made any progress reading through Essential Actionscript 3 and doing more Flash programming, like I mean to.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Masters of Doom Mini Review

   I finished reading Consider Phlebas on my Kindle 3 and then went straight for Masters of Doom, another book that's been on my not-yet-read list for way too long. While all the reading and traveling I've been doing lately is keeping me from my other hobbies and getting through Essential Actionscript, this book ties in with my interest in game development and the history of modern tech. It's a pretty quick read and is definitely worthwhile for anyone who ever played any games from id software, makers of Doom and Quake.
   The personality clashes between the founders of id and the growth of the game industry in the '90s get a lot of coverage by the author, but the tech that John Carmack worked on like dirty rectangle rendering for Wolfenstein 3D and true 3D graphics for Quake get mentioned as well. I found those tidbits interesting, especially since I've used dirty rect rendering in my pygame projects.
   I hope the book is updated at some point to cover more recent developments, like the launch and mixed reviews of Doom 3. Some coverage of id software's open source releases would have been interesting as well, but I suppose that would have moved the book away from its target audience. Overall I enjoyed the book a lot. I made for a quick and interesting walk down memory lane and told me some things I didn't know about the story of id.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Kindle 3 Tips

   My sister bought me a Kindle 3 with 3G just after I had donated my library to charity during the holidays, and I've been using it every day since. It's a great device for reading books on. I'm already half-way through Iain M. Banks first book in the Culture series:   Consider Phlebas. The screen is a bit more reflective than I had thought it would be, given that it's not backlit and is using e-ink, but it's not a huge annoyance and is certainly much more comfortable to read on than a laptop screen.
   Every time I get a new gadget I look up tips and tricks other people have found and adopt whatever I find useful. For my Kindle the 4 most useful things I've found are: