Tuesday, January 19th, 2010
posted 5:56pm
"Java Programming"
About 28 years ago I was given a piece of code that took computer programming to another level for me. I was only programming the Apple II, doing simple low rez things or text games, but all that was about to change. One of the guys in the computer lab had figured out how to do two-page flipping, a process of writing to one graphical page while displaying another, creating the illusion of animation. Within a year I had written a Pac-Man clone.

But without that piece of code, that example of how to write to a graphical buffer, itís almost impossible to do it on your own, and it can be a long, painful, process, alleviated a bit by such things as the Internet. So over the years you can see how I never took it any further than the Apple II. The Amiga was an amazing operate system that had 256 bit graphics well before anybody else, but there were no books about how to go about programming games for the machine. Well in the 21st Century things have changed.

I recently picked up Beginning Java Game Programming and this book is turning out to be exactly what I was looking for. The author presents two types of games in the book, one using vector graphics and another using sprites. Both using two-page buffering, giving me the same tools that Paul Leskinen gave me so many years ago. Iíve had the book less than a week and Iíve managed to put together a simple clone of Tranquility Base, including sound. Iíve been working with Java Applets for a bit, so this is the third game that Iíve written so far, but the first one using graphics.

My goal is to write some sort of Starflight (1986) clone, focused more on economy, while working in some features from Space Rangers 2 (2004). Once I understand how do to something on that scale I should be able to take on a project of my own. Keep in mind this is all on the side burner, but itís great to be able switch between projects. It keeps things fresh.

- D

Currently Playing: Star Trek Online