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DarkBASIC Professional Discussion / TGC App Developers Group

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baxslash
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Posted: 17th Nov 2010 10:01 Edited at: 1st Mar 2012 10:42


Hi all!

A few of us are publishing games on multiple platforms and I thought it might be a good idea to pool our resources and experiences. Also we could ensure that our Apps get properly Beta tested.

My hope is that we can help each other and encourage others to submit apps too (also it would be nice to try the full working versions of some of these games wouldn't it?).

We even have our own website and article in the TGC monthly newsletter now so your games can get even more publicity!! Click the banner below to see the "ADG Games & Applications" website!



All published games can be added to the site by registering and writing a game listing. We will help you to produce the article if you have any difficulties!

We do ask that you help self-promote by including a link to the website in your game.

ADG Website
Here is some sample code [DBPro] to put a link in your game!

...and here's a version using sprites:


ADG Banner and signature images
Banner and sig images by @TheSlayer

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Van B
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Posted: 17th Nov 2010 10:15
I'm chin-deep in app-up dev .

I'm not sure if I'd have time to post on a dedicated website - but a AppUp section here would be pretty cool, maybe use password protected RAR's for demos, so not everyone can test. A little band of dev's testing each others stuff while gleaming feedback from other forum-goers.

I could put in a request for a new section just for AppUp, unless you have your heart set on a dedicated website.

Health, Ammo, and bacon and eggs!
dark coder
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Posted: 17th Nov 2010 10:23 Edited at: 17th Nov 2010 10:25
I'm in.

[edit] Below are things that would make good topics for the group, I don't expect them to be answered here!

I've only glossed over the discussions in the Intel Compo board, but what's the consensus about building installers? I read that some War Setup games weren't getting accepted? And I read other people submitted using a game built with the Visual Studio Professional demo, but that's not really a long term solution unless you want to spend thousands on the licence.

Also, the validation guideline list is quite long, some condensed version that highlights the most important parts, especially the ones that pertain to DBP/GDK would save people a lot of time. I'm still working on my entry so it'll be a while before I resubmit, so it would be better and make more sense if someone with a validated game did this.

baxslash
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Posted: 17th Nov 2010 10:24 Edited at: 14th Sep 2011 15:24
Quote: "I could put in a request for a new section just for AppUp, unless you have your heart set on a dedicated website."

That would be great Van B thanks!

I like the idea of password protected RAR's but also there needs to be some people using the AppUp beta testing route as I'm finding some issues I don't get unless loading the game from within the AppUp client. One example is when you use data files within the app folder, doesn't seem to work so I'm putting data files into the users "Documents" folder instead...

Thanks for your help, would be great to have your insights!

Quote: "what's the consensus about building installers? I read that some War Setup games weren't getting accepted? And I read other people submitted using a game built with the Visual Studio Professional demo, but that's not really a long term solution unless you want to spend thousands on the licence."

I bought VS2008 Standard for $150 and am building all of my installers using that now. I was thinking of trying War again for a tutorial (if I can get it working) maybe for the demo version of Soma (I haven't done a demo version of it yet!).

Quote: "Also, the validation guideline list is quite long, some condensed version that highlights the most important parts, especially the ones that pertain to DBP/GDK would save people a lot of time."

I'd be willing to help with this. I'll try to take a look over the next few days.

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baxslash
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Posted: 17th Nov 2010 11:10 Edited at: 17th Nov 2010 11:11
Ok, I'm keen so I've skipped through the validation guidelines and a lot of it is repeated or not massively relevant so attached is the parts I would worry about mainly.

I think the main problems most people have getting past validation are to do with:
a)GUID/password errors
b)Installers
c)General bugs

Speeking of c) @darkcoder, don't bother testing the current version of Backlash as it has an image not included and will just crash... my only other beta tester just found it (doh!)

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The Slayer
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Posted: 17th Nov 2010 12:57
I'm in too, baxslash! This would help anyone who's interested in developing a netbook game. I'm still working on BRIXOID, but that's mainly because I'm redoing some textures and images, aswell as putting in an online highscore feature (thanks to mr_d's Online Scoreboard, which can be found here: Online Scoreboard).
The problem for some, is that they don't have a netbook to test their games on, or having troubles with the installer or GUID.

Quote: "I bought VS2008 Standard for $150"

Also on Ebay?
I currently have the trial version which I'll use to resubmit, but still, I think it would be best to buy the full somewhere, like you did.
I found another FREE (and even the full version is really cheap) installer here:

wItem Installer

but I haven't tested it with the AppUp yet. But, I think it would be possible with this installer.

Anyways, I'm more than happy to help in any way that I can.

Cheers

Slayer rules!!! Yeaaah, man!
baxslash
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Posted: 17th Nov 2010 13:05 Edited at: 12th Jul 2011 13:05
wItem Installer is only $49 for a single license. Not bad if it works, I will still try to get my Soma demo through using War Setup first though. It would be great to 100% be sure we can get stuff through for free!

This is a great start, if Van B can get an AppUp area started we can still use this list as a set of potential Beta testers. Those with Netbooks can test through AppUp and those without can test early "PC" friendly versions.

Hopefully everyone will have their own insights and experiences to share and get games working really well before submission...

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thenerd
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Posted: 17th Nov 2010 13:06 Edited at: 17th Nov 2010 13:07
Cool, this'll be an awesome resource for AppUP beginners... I'll contribute something for sure. And if a sub-forum gets started that'll be really helpful.

baxslash
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Posted: 17th Nov 2010 13:11 Edited at: 1st Aug 2011 13:11
If you're interested in knowing what games I have on AppUp at the moment the list so far is:
1-Search-Lite (published)
2-Search-Lite - Demo (published)
3-Soma (published)
4-The Last Stand (published)
5-The Last Stand - Demo (beta)
6-LeapFrog (published)
7-LeapFrog - Demo (published)
8-Backlash-Ninja Training (beta)
9-Backlash-Ninja Training - Demo (beta)

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Van B
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Posted: 17th Nov 2010 13:48
I've emailed Rick, and he hasn't gotten back to me yet - but I'm sure he will before long.

Hopefully we'll get it started soon, will be nice to have a WIP forum that's more suited to our needs - I don't even remember the last project that I made a WIP thread for, probably Nanoid about 3 years ago!.

That's a handsome stable of apps you have there Baxslash, you doing this full time?

Health, Ammo, and bacon and eggs!
Battoad
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Posted: 17th Nov 2010 13:57
Sorry i'm late getting here, but so busy at the mo.

Great ideas by both baxslash and Van B, so i'm in as well.

There is one point where i am very, hmm whats the word, disallusioned?

I don't want to sound pessimistic but I think the netbook might be a fish out of water being under powered, and my concern is will people buy one when there are so many alternative "gadgets". If the answer is no, or not many, should we be putting so much effort into something that may not even cover the Developer Program annual costs, when they start to apply, let alone the costs for Installer software.

Don't forget additional costings such as the Intel and PayPal percentage takes.

Would anyone mind publishing how many appups they have actually sold, and in what time scale?

baxslash
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Posted: 17th Nov 2010 14:19 Edited at: 28th Jan 2013 21:31
Quote: "I don't want to sound pessimistic but I think the netbook might be a fish out of water being under powered"

Well I've seen netbooks running Call of Duty 4 and various other high end games so I'm looking forward to finding out just how far I can push mine!!

Quote: "Would anyone mind publishing how many appups they have actually sold, and in what time scale?"

Only two downloads so far; "The Last Stand" full version x 1 and "Search-Lite - Demo" x 1... but TLS only published 3rd November and SL - Demo only published 12th November. I get the impression it can take a while to get things moving but this is a fairly new and expanding market. I read a few (none Intel) articles which sound pretty promising, for example one quoted figures from early iPhone App store sales which were a pretty close match to AppUp's sales for the same period of time.

Intel take about 30% of the App cost, but look at "Angry Birds" (iPhone App Store), it's sold over 2 million units at 79 pence each. If that was AppUp they would have cleared about £1.1 million before taxes. Not bad for a small company?

It's easy to be negative when sales are low and in the early stages but time will tell of course.

I just want to get a good batch of games going before they start charging the $99 per year for the program. I'm also willing to publish for other people who maybe don't think they'll make enough sales to make it worthwhile (hope I'm not stepping on any toes as TGC are making the same offer I'll withdraw the offer from here if I am, just trying to help!).

Quote: "That's a handsome stable of apps you have there Baxslash, you doing this full time?"

No but I'm going to have to slow down soon (my wife wants me around a little more)...

Most of these were for the competition but I have loads of half finished games I'll be finishing off over the next six months (and a few new ones I've already started)...


this.mess = abs(sin(times#))

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The Slayer
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Posted: 17th Nov 2010 14:52
Quote: "I think the netbook might be a fish out of water being under powered, and my concern is will people buy one when there are so many alternative "gadgets". If the answer is no, or not many, should we be putting so much effort into something that may not even cover the Developer Program annual costs, when they start to apply, let alone the costs for Installer software."

Well, it's like baxslash just said. The games you can play on netbooks are getting more advanced and graphically better all the time. I even saw vids on youtube from games like Half Life 2 running on netbooks. And, don't forget that the netbooks are getting more powerfull every day.
I also asked some guy at Intel about the interest in netbooks, and this is what he told me:

Quote: "
1. Is there lots of interest in netbook games? Is there a lot of interest in the AppUp Store?

A. With the netbook being seen as the “secondary computer” or “kitchen table computer” then it makes sense that the majority of users will be will be young children right through to young adults. The perfect demographic for games developers. Netbook sales have been massive up until now and there is little to suggest it will slow up anytime soon. The AppUp store is growing and growing fast. Intel are putting a lot of money into the marketing side if the campaign with Asus, Samsung, Dixons, Croma and Best Buy. All of whom are going to preload the Intel AppUp Store onto their netbooks which will guarantee an audience in the tens of millions ( 55 million netbooks with Asus alone )
"


So, time will tell how good our games will sell, I guess.

Also, I'm planning on selling BRIXOID between 5 or 7 US$. This may sound much, but I don't think it is. I have only one game atm that I can get published, and I wanna have some revenues left after all the percentages that Intel or the taxes have taken.
There are two more games that I'm working on, so there's a good chance that they will be cheaper.

Slayer rules!!! Yeaaah, man!
Van B
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Posted: 17th Nov 2010 14:59
I only have 1 game on there so far, Netbuko, with 51 downloads - which is really quite respectable for AppUp. Thing is, we're only prodding at AppUp right now - we're making apps for a system that people currently have to find, download, and use. So having even 1 download is a good sign.

Just think what is gonna happen once AppUp is supplied on Netbooks as standard, when they want a new game, and there's a system in place for them to find games specially for the Netbook. It's getting close to christmas, so we might even see a sale surge then - but I'm thinking that early next year we'll see it become a standard install on Netbooks, then things will really take off. I'm working on a dual platform game (AppUp and iPhone), and I'm kinda leaning towards getting the AppUp version done first, I've got a feeling that it would be good to get it in place before Christmas, when there's a lot of people buying Netbooks.

I think we just have to do our best - keep the prices low, keep the polish high, and see how it goes. It's either gonna disapoint us, or blow our socks off - I guess it depends a lot on how much you hope to make from AppUp, but I would say that making an AppUp game is always gonna be worthwhile - it might only pay for some PC upgrades, or it might pay for a good family holiday, but it's always gonna be worthwhile to aim your project in that direction.

Health, Ammo, and bacon and eggs!
Battoad
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Posted: 17th Nov 2010 15:31
Thanks for all yr views, you all seem to be more optimistic than me, but having said that i'm still in, still working hard on my Appup no.2, when i can, and with many ideas to follow. So, with nothing much to lose in the short term and with possibly more to gain, as Sid James might say "Carry on AppUping".

baxslash
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Posted: 17th Nov 2010 15:34
Great! I've put the list of interested people so far in the first post.

Van B
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Posted: 17th Nov 2010 17:14
Heard back from Rick. Apparantly this falls into place with a new forum feature and section that is starting up real soon, so we should wait and see what that entails.

Health, Ammo, and bacon and eggs!
baxslash
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Posted: 17th Nov 2010 17:20
OK. In the mean time though maybe people could post here any Apps they need testers for or any AppUp specific problems/questions we might be able to help with?

There are already several posts specific to installers and the competition but perhaps this could be an interim place for anything DBP/AppUp related. Until we see what the new forum feature is going to be...

baxslash
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Posted: 18th Nov 2010 09:49
Yes!! My spangly new HP Mini 210 arrived this morning and is now charging under my desk!

I'll be up and ready to start testing Apps as of tonight/tomorrow so let me know if you have any you'd like testing!!

Thanks TGC!!!!

thenerd
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Posted: 19th Nov 2010 02:09
Cool! For my current community compo entry I'm planning on making it netbook compatible so that I can publish it to AppUp in time for Christmas... One of the first things that I need to do is make it resolution independent, right now it runs at 1024x768x32, which I know isn't supported on most netbooks because it isn't widescreen. However, I made most of my 2d images based on that resolution, and they would not fit well on a screen that is not 4:3...

I also have a few questions, first, what do you think is the average time it takes to get your game approved and published? I want it up for Christmas, so at most I'll have a month.

MMM
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Posted: 19th Nov 2010 05:47 Edited at: 19th Nov 2010 05:49
Some of us are still using the competition forum!

Just throwing my support behind this idea guys. Also, why not tell us exactly what is in store with this new site feature? Can't hurt to be prepared.


As for the community idea itself, I'm sitting on a buch of documents I use to validate successfully every time - but I've never shared them with anyone because that'd be like relesing my 'secret magic formula' to the masses. Point being, with a dedicated community (forum on this site) I'd be more confident in seeing a return on the help I offer to others. That alone makes this whole idea a very good one.

baxslash
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Posted: 19th Nov 2010 10:29
Quote: "what do you think is the average time it takes to get your game approved and published? I want it up for Christmas, so at most I'll have a month."

That's easily possible. If you get your game working right.

You might make it even if it fails the first 1 or 2 times. I am happy to help test to make sure the bugs are ironed out early! Get a developer ID at AppUp and get your game working really well first though.

A couple of tips:
1-Leave the AppUp side of things till the very end
2-Save game data in a folder under "My Documents" (Matrix Util has a command for this)

Do you have Visual Studio or are you going to try the War Setup route?

Quote: "As for the community idea itself, I'm sitting on a buch of documents I use to validate successfully every time - but I've never shared them with anyone because that'd be like relesing my 'secret magic formula' to the masses. Point being, with a dedicated community (forum on this site) I'd be more confident in seeing a return on the help I offer to others. That alone makes this whole idea a very good one."

Your experience would be really helpful MMM thanks! I'd be interested in seeing those 'magic formula' documents myself!

I'll add you to the list of interested people...

baxslash
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Posted: 19th Nov 2010 12:56
I'm going to start a list of Beta testers so if you wanted to be invited to test by every Tom, Dick and Harry (like wot I do) then email me your AppUp Centre Email address and I'll add you to a list we can circulate to other AppUp Developers. So far I'm the only one on it.

Anyone who wants the list can ask me for it via the AppUp developer program (my name there is "Steven Holding", I recently changed it from "baxslash").

Iceman
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Posted: 19th Nov 2010 14:24
Great Idea

I will help as much as I can too... Im grabbing a Netbook at Christmas so will be happy to help in anyway pos.

Actually, seen as im posting on here...1 quick question for those of you who have netbooks.
Im doing some animation files (avi) and I want to know if Netbooks come with the Cinepak codec by Radius or if they can run that at all.
Anyone know?? :-|
baxslash
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Posted: 19th Nov 2010 14:31
Post (or email) a link to your video and I'll try it on my netbook now. I would think so though it's a pretty standard codek for AVI. Might come down to the OS though as well... mines Windows 7 starter.

MMM
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Posted: 19th Nov 2010 14:35
As of August, XP netbooks didn't come with it - but they could run it.

Van B
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Posted: 19th Nov 2010 14:44
Quote: "Just throwing my support behind this idea guys. Also, why not tell us exactly what is in store with this new site feature? Can't hurt to be prepared."


It's a surprise! - nah, I don't know anything much about it, but I'm thinking it's something like a showcase, where we can upload demos etc, news, updates - like having a micro-forum for your project. I'm not sure of course, I'm guessing, but that's the sort of thing people have wanted for a long time, so I'm sure it's along those lines.

Health, Ammo, and bacon and eggs!
Iceman
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Posted: 19th Nov 2010 15:23
@Baxslash: ok, heres a link to a very small anim. let me know if it work ok m8
DL
baxslash
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Posted: 19th Nov 2010 15:44
Quote: "ok, heres a link to a very small anim. let me know if it work ok m8"

Worked first time here, ran from Windows Media Player. Nice Vid BTW.

Neco
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Posted: 19th Nov 2010 15:52
Just curious.. you guys seen an Text based games on AppUp?

Since its all I'm really capable of atm :p I figure if I ever get it finished would be something to look into.

Iceman
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Posted: 19th Nov 2010 15:54
Great

Thanks for testing that for me Baxslash... now I can do the game ones with no worry.
baxslash
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Posted: 19th Nov 2010 16:04
Quote: "you guys seen an Text based games on AppUp?"

No but that's still a viable market. You can buy E-Books, a text adventure is (some would say) a step up from that.

Why not give it a go and see how it turns out? You could easily get a 2D artist to add a few images here and there!

I'd love to see a bit of a revival of text adventures...

baxslash
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Posted: 24th Nov 2010 12:02
Just wondering if there's any news regarding the announcement Van B?

Also, just to update you all regarding sales/game downloads. I haven't had many more sales but downloads of my demos are going well on AppUp which should generate more actual sales. The Search-Lite Demo is averaging around 1 download per day.

I think it's well worth preparing a demo alongside your full version of your game! I do this by having compile options at the start of my game.

Here's a quick example:


thenerd
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Posted: 24th Nov 2010 12:35
Ok, I have a rather large problem. Although the compo version of my competition entry is not specifically designed for netbooks, I'm worried that other people will not be able to run it at the current resolution, and I don't have enough time to redo all the 2d media to fit a larger screen. Right now my game is running at 1024x32x1 fullscreen exclusive. Do you think I'll encounter any problems?

Your signature has been erased by a mod please reduce it to 600 x 120.
Van B
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Posted: 24th Nov 2010 12:37
TGC will be holding of until the Dec newsletter, so all should be revealed in about a week and a half. Let's keep this thread alive in the meantime - I'll see if I can get a demo together for the weekend of my latest AppUp effort. Haven't tested on a netbook yet, so it would be great to get some feedback on performance. It's that busy time of year, well... busy if your determined to wrap up before the end of the year.

Health, Ammo, and bacon and eggs!
baxslash
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Posted: 24th Nov 2010 12:40 Edited at: 24th Nov 2010 13:19
I'll be happy to test it for you Van B!

Quote: "1024x32x1"

Assuming you mean 1024x320x32x1?

You might have problems. Couldn't you put some black bars at the top and bottom to fill in the gap? I'll test it for you anyway if you want a conclusive check... just email me a link or upload a demo here.

thenerd
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Posted: 24th Nov 2010 12:57 Edited at: 24th Nov 2010 13:04
Whoops. I'm really tired. I meant 1024x768x32 with vsync...

baxslash
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Posted: 24th Nov 2010 13:11
Quote: "Whoops. I'm really tired. I meant 1024x768x32 with vsync..."

Won't work. You need to be setting the display mode to something within 1024x600. For fullscreen this will only look OK at exactly 1024x600. 1024x768 will crash.

Hate to be a pain but that's the rock solid truth...

The Slayer
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Posted: 24th Nov 2010 13:15 Edited at: 24th Nov 2010 13:17
Quote: "I meant 1024x768x32 with vsync..."

Hum, maybe you could play with the camera position (have it further away from your objects), and maybe adjust the camera fov or the camera aspect ratio. But still, I think you'll have some adjusting to do on your images in order to fit the 1024x600 resolution for the netbooks.
My game was initially the same resolution as yours (1024x768), and even after tweaking the fov and the camera aspect ratio, I had to resize (or redo) some of my images.

<EDIT>
Oh, and you should set VSYNC to off, and cap your framerate.

Cheers

SLAYER RULES! YEAH, MAN!!
baxslash
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Posted: 24th Nov 2010 13:20
Quote: "Oh, and you should set VSYNC to off, and cap your framerate."

Why? I thought vsync would be OK for netbooks...

I haven't used it on any of my submitted apps but I didn't know there was an issue.

The Slayer
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Posted: 24th Nov 2010 13:27 Edited at: 24th Nov 2010 21:31
Quote: "Why? I thought vsync would be OK for netbooks..."

I think Lee mentioned it somewhere while the compo was running...
Maybe that's why you have some troubles with your game 'backlash'?
It's best to set Vsync off, and cap your framerate to 60. It was in one of his videos that he mentioned that, if I remember.

Cheers

SLAYER RULES! YEAH, MAN!!
Van B
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Posted: 24th Nov 2010 13:41 Edited at: 24th Nov 2010 13:44
I found it's a good idea to cap the framerate, then throw any extra performance back to the netbook, by using a sleep. For example, if your game runs nice at 30fps...

curtime=timer()
elapse=curtime-lasttime
ewait=33-elapse
if ewait>0 then sleep ewait
lasttime=curtime

I'm not sure if I used sleep, I think I used a standard windows DDL to instigate the wait. Anyway, this means that any additional performance is fed back to the netbook - so other programs have more resources - BUT! - something that people can often forget when developing specifically for netbooks is battery life. If you 'throttle' the performance down to a sensible level, it will use less battery power. I find that I avoid playing games on mobile devices that try to do too much, because they just eat battery power.
30fps is fine for my needs, and it worked out fine for my last game too - I actually had it generating Sudoku puzzles on the fly while playing the game, and still only used around 40%-50% of the processor.

One other idea might be to darken the screen after a period of inactivity, so kinda like a screensaver, but XBox 360 style - maybe just a black box, sprited onto the full screen, then set it's alpha to fade to black, or fade to dark. Little touches like that are probably more appreciated by Intel than the end user, show Intel that you want to make system friendly games, and they might offer more support than you'd usually get.

Health, Ammo, and bacon and eggs!
baxslash
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Posted: 24th Nov 2010 13:54
Quote: "Maybe that's why you have some troubles with your game 'backlash'?"

No I used sync and tried various different framerates.

Interesting, thanks guys I'll try to be more economical...

The Slayer
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Posted: 24th Nov 2010 14:09
Quote: "I think I used a standard windows DDL to instigate the wait."

Like this?



before the loop, and this:



before the sync?

Cheers

SLAYER RULES! YEAH, MAN!!
DVader
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Posted: 24th Nov 2010 14:44 Edited at: 24th Nov 2010 15:01
I have tried a couple of ideas for the app-up program, but have found that anything I do runs too slowly on them (or at least my brothers netbook, getting on average 20+ (and worse much worse lol) fps when things get busy. I doubt my current space game would get much better than 30 at the min, and I think I am being optimistic with that guess, as my test basic rig is better specced and runs at 30 or less atm. My darts game runs fine on it though lol, a little bit lower poly, and no shader .
I also for some reason cannot get app-up to actually work on my system which is a little annoying as well lol. I have always got, since the very first days 'no internet connection found', lol, although clearly I have access.
Regarding the sync issue I noticed above, I have found best performance on netbook by simply setting the flag to 0 after using the set display mode command at the beginning.
Edit lol, just noticed another entire page. All those methods have merit, but a netbook or at least an oldish netbook will struggle with high polys and slow down regardless of any of the tweaks. Also large numbers of objects will kill one fairly quickly too. So best to avoid both those if you want to keep a game fast
I found more than 1000 objects will start to give issues on screen or off, regardless of polys. Can't remember the poly limit before it started to slow down but wasn't tremendously high

Perhaps I should post a quick demo of my space game up here so I can see if it's already doomed to be a proper PC game, rather than a netbook app lol.

http://s6.bitefight.org/c.php?uid=103081
Van B
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Posted: 24th Nov 2010 14:50
I'm sure that's it Slayer, thanks.

DVader, I always have issues with AppUp client, virus protection software absolutely hates it - try adding a rule for it, or disable your protection temporarily while you run the client.

Health, Ammo, and bacon and eggs!
DVader
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Posted: 24th Nov 2010 15:30 Edited at: 24th Nov 2010 15:38
Re-downloading it and will try again Well would you believe it, worked straight away lol. Perhaps its updated or just my system is in better shape than when I tried it last. I'll have to look for some of the DB creations on there now .

http://s6.bitefight.org/c.php?uid=103081
Zeus
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Posted: 24th Nov 2010 22:12
Count me in, I plan on doing things for the netbook in the future.
baxslash
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Posted: 24th Nov 2010 22:28
Rule number 3462: Never say no to a Greek God

Zeus
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Posted: 24th Nov 2010 22:36
Lol, that generally will give you a one way trip to Hades if you do.

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