Archive for the ‘gaming’ Category

de_dust for Far Cry 2

Posted: January 28, 2012 by jellymann in gaming

[UPDATE: fixed some exploitable bugs and places you could get stuck]

I made a clone of the map de_dust from Counter Strike: Source.

I just finished it, so it hasn’t been play-tested yet. If you find any bugs (which I’m sure you will) please let me know in the comments.

Click here to download.

Here are some pics so you can see how it looks.

Sync saved games with DropBox

Posted: July 27, 2011 by jellymann in computers, gaming, tech, windows

If you use Steam you probably know that some games sync your saved games to the Steam cloud (e.g. Half-Life), so owning multiple gaming-capable computers doesn’t become a chore. However, not all games currently support the Steam cloud (e.g. Terraria). For those games you can use DropBox to sync your saved games across multiple computers and, due to its cross-platform nature, multiple operating systems (e.g. if your game runs on a Mac, too).

For this how-to I am going to use Terraria on Windows as an example, but it can be easily translated to other games and operating systems as well.

Firstly, locate the necessary folders. Your DropBox folder is wherever you put it, probably in Documents. Your game’s save folder is wherever they put it. Terraria’s saved games are in My Documents\My Games\Terraria, or more specifically:
Windows Vista/7: C:\Users\Username\Documents\My Games\Terraria
Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\Username\My Documents\My Games\Terraria

Secondly, copy whatever saved files you want into a folder in your DropBox folder. For Terraria I just copied my Players folder, config file and my primary world into a folder called …DropBox\savegames\Terraria. Some people working off very slow connections or strict data caps might want to leave the worlds, as they can get relatively big. After copying the files and/or folders, make note of where their originals are and what they’re called (exactly), for example World 1 is called world1.wld and is in …\Terraria\Worlds. Next, delete the original files that have been copied to your DropBox.

Thirdly, create symbolic links (symlinks). A symlink is like a shortcut to a file or folder but looks like an actual file or folder to the operating system instead of a shortcut file. Thus if we create symlinks in the Terraria save folder that point to the copies in DropBox, Terraria won’t notice the difference. To create a symlink to a file, use the command mklink in a command prompt. To create a symlink to a folder, use mklink with the /D flag set. For example, if I copied config.dat from Terraria to DropBox, I’d create the symlink with the following command:
mklink "C:\Users\Username\Documents\My Games\Terraria\config.dat" "C:\Users\Username\Documents\DropBox\savegames\Terraria\config.dat"
And I’d create the symlink to the Players folder with the following:
mklink /D "C:\Users\Username\Documents\My Games\Terraria\Players" "C:\Users\Username\Documents\DropBox\savegames\Terraria\Players"
Just replace Username with your Windows user name, and change the drive letter and/or DropBox location where necessary. Once the symlinks are created you can begin playing and your savegames should be synced to their new folders.
Note: If you’re not concerned with data usage, you can move the entire Terraria folder into DropBox and just do one directory symlink, e.g.:
mklink /D "C:\Users\Username\Documents\My Games\Terraria" "C:\Users\Username\Documents\DropBox\savegames\Terraria"

If you get stuck with making symlinks, the command mklink /? might help.

Useful tip

Create environment variables for your DropBox and the game’s save location:
set DROPBOX="C:\Users\Username\Documents\DropBox"
set TERRARIA="C:\Users\Username\Documents\My Games\Terraria"

You can then use these variables in your mklink commands like this:
mklink /D "%DROPBOX%\savegames\Terraria\Players" "%TERRARIA%\Players"

Other OS

In Linux (and possibly the same in Mac OS) the ln command creates symlinks. However, there are a few differences from mklink:
link and target are swapped, the -s flag must always be set if you want to make a symbolic link, and there’s no need for the -d flag to be set for directories, as this only applies to hard links.
If you get stuck, read the man page! (man ln)

My Minecraft House

Posted: April 10, 2011 by jellymann in gaming, minecraft

It’s just two rooms at the moment, nothing big. It’s all about living in style and luxury. Built only from locally produced goods, it blends right into the scenery. And the view from that window is amazing.

Retrostyle Arcade Tech Demo #1

Posted: January 24, 2011 by jellymann in computers, gaming, java, programming

So sorry I never got you screenshots of the game earlier, so I’ve decided to make up for it by giving you guys a video!

Enjoy :)

Retrostyle Arcade

Posted: January 18, 2011 by jellymann in computers, gaming, java, programming

Ok so I promised you I would post about the game I’ve been developing over the last I don’t know how long. I started a long time ago, maybe a year or two, and it was a bit of an on-off. It hadn’t seen the light of day for about a year but recently I’ve picked it up again and have done some major improvements.

The game, originally called Arcade, but renamed to Retrostyle Arcade, is very simple. You play as an orange arrow (), and you shoot at green triangles (). You are equipped with a gun and shields (), which can be upgraded. You can even pick up rockets () later on.

It’s not all that great, really, but it’s been a learning experience and I think with a few small changes to the gameplay and graphics it might become commercially viable.

Let me give you some details:

1. It’s written in Java, so that I can develop it in and for Windows and Ubuntu, but it will be able to run on anything (Mac, BSD, Solaris, etc).
2. It uses OpenGL, so you will need hardware acceleration.
3. I use a graphics engine called Slick, which makes writing 2D games a lot easier. It uses lwjgl but is structured a little like Java2D, so that newcomers aren’t faced with insane OpenGL calls.
3. I recently added some 8-bit sounds I made using a neat program called sfxr , which is also cross-platform.
4. The game used to have a 2-player mode, but was removed because of numerous bugs, and I didn’t think it was any fun anyways.
5. I made my own particle engine because the one supplied in Slick had problems.

No screenshots right now, I’m having technical difficulties :(

The game is far from finished, and there is no release date.

Dual-screen Gaming Not Much Fun Without Three Screens

Posted: September 15, 2010 by jellymann in computers, gaming, tech

Ever played a game with more that one screen?

It’s a very expensive thing to do, mostly because you have to pay twice or three times as much on screens. I have two 23″ FullHD displays and I’m quite happy with, depite their individual problems (One has no DVI and the other suffers from extreme backlight bleeding and a dead pixel) as well as the problems involved in dual screening them (The one is an LG and the other is a Samsung, go figure).

The first time I ever played a game with two screens was Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun. I had an old GeForce 6600, with nVidia’s horizontal and virtical spanning. This useful feature turns all your attached screens into one big one, allowing some programs to maximize across all of them. Tiberian Sun was one of those games with an ini file you could play around with. It was easy to change the width and height of the screen to anything you could imagine. e.g. 2560×1024. I only had CRT screens back then so my head hurt a lot having to look at two of them.

In my opinion, the kind of games that benefit most from multiple displays are strategy games. The extended view of the battlefield makes a huge difference. Older games such as Age of Empires and Command & Conquer had fixed 2D pictures so that the higher the resolution, the smaller the pictures on the screen, and the more of the battlefield you could see, so the poor guy with the crappy computer (yeah, one which could only run AoE at 640×480!?) or only one small screen, had a disadvantage. Most of the new 3D games don’t allow this sort of exploitation, as a change in res just means more pixels for the same-sized object.

Supreme Commander, my second dual-screen gaming experience. Now this game is serious about it’s dual-screening capabilities. It uses any other display connected to the computer to display an extra view of the battlefield. That plus the ability to partition screens allows incredible control over what’s going on. Also an extreme advantage over the guy with the 15″ CRT in the corner over there, who probably couldn’t afford a good enough graphics card to run the game smoothly at even 800×600. lol. A good thing about this game’s dual-screen capability is that it does not rely on ATi’s Hydravision or nVidia’s H-Span, so I don’t have to use funny tricks to get it to work. Bottom line here is that Gas Powered Games really hit the spot with this one! If you have two screens you should definitely try it!

Burnout Paradise interested me in it’s option in the configuration screen allowing up to three displays. In excitement I hooked up my other screen and selected “2″ to see what it looked like. I was disappointed at what I saw. All it did was make one super-wise view and squish it into only one screen. It dawned on me that it required nVidia’s horizontal spanning , which my new HD4000 did not have (damn you ATi!). So I checked it out on my friend’s computer and it didn’t look all that great anyway, so no real loss.

Determined to get horizontal spanning on my computer I Googled all over the place and found some interesting piece of software called SoftTH (Software Triple Head) which sort-of does the same thing a Matrox TripleHead2Go does but for free (instead of R3000+). What is boils down to is that I can do what nVidia can do, but with my ATi. Sure it has a few problems, but it works great! The latest 2.0.1 Alpha version is the one you should use, all the 1.x ones are old. Get it here.

Below are some of my experiences (And yes the saturation is higher on the left monitor, I only discovered after I took these screenies that it had been changed in CCC \) :

Burnout Paradise. My first run with SoftTH gave me what I thought would happen, a car cut in half in the middle.

But after changing the configuration to use 2 displays I got it right. As you can see it’s no fun unless you have three.

Counterstrike was a funny one. Look where the crosshair is!

It obviously was not designed to be played this wide…

HAWX would have cut the plane in half but I had to see what it would look like…

…but all I got was… nothing… :(

Ok so SoftTH is still in Alpha so you can’t expect everything to work as planned. But it’s some really awesome software and it allows for some pretty wicked screen setups:

Render resolution is 5888×2100!
I wish that was my desktop, except for that little screen at the top, it looks a bit weird.

P.S. I had a fail, eventually…