Animation4j Project Introduction

Some time ago I started an internal project to simplify working with animations and transitions when making games in Java.

It was used in some of our games, for example ZombieRockers to make different kind of effects like fade in/out of screens or the points messages when scoring, or in JSnakes to make camera effects like zoom in/out, camera movement, etc.

After using it on our games, it became more clear what kind of things are possible with it.

Now that we are using Github for our source code, we started a dedicated project named animation4j with all the stuff related with animations.

This video shows some working examples of the project:

You can download a runnable jar to test the features shown in the video.

The project is on development, so right now there are a lot of things to improve starting by making easy to understand examples.

I plan to add more posts explaining some design decisions and showing how to use the library.

Hope Java developers could find some use for it.

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JSnakes for a Contest

We are making a game for the contest we wrote about in the last post. The game is a remake of our own JSnakes we made a year ago, which is based on the classic Snake but using a free movement.

In order to make the game a bit interesting, we decided to add some minigames using the free movement basic mechanics. Some examples could be a Tron or an Arkanoid.

A core feature we have since the game started is local multiplayer, and that is one of the most funny things of the game. We think we should explore more this feature adding some coop minigames for example.

If you want to try the development version of the game, click here.

Here is a video of the game right now:

One thing we are working right now is to integrate the game with a Jbullet (a port of bullet physics engine for java) to test some interesting behaviours and see if we should add them to the game or not.

Here is a video showing a snake moving a box:

Thanks for reading.

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Game Development Contest in Uruguay

Once a year a Game Development Contest named "Concurso Nacional de Videojuegos" is made in Uruguay, organized by Ingenio and Proanima. This year corresponds to the 5th year contest, it began on July 14th and it ends on November 9th. During this time, a series of conferences are performed where people from video games industry are invited to share their experiences in developing games. All the conferences are leaded by the owner of Powerful Robot Games, Gonzalo Frasca.

Some people invited from local games companies are Fernando Sansberro from Batovi Game Studios (creators of The Adventure of Mary Ann and the Lucky Pirates, Super Vampire Ninja and some other games), Eli Barnet from Kef Sensei (creators of Parking Dash and Hotel Dash, etc), people from Trojan Chicken (creators of División Especial de Detectives for olpc and pc) and people from Kalio (creators of TriDefense for iPhone).

At the end of the last two contests, organizers invited Chaim Gingold (Spore game designer) and Robin Hunicke (Producer at thatgamecompany) to judge the contest games and share experiences as well.

This year we decided to participate with a small game in order to make a small entrance in the local industry and to establish a better relationship with the other industry members, and to win the contest, of course.

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Zombie Rockers

In our never ending quest to improve our skills and learn a little more about designing video games, we decided to make a game called Zombie Rockers.

Zombie Rockers is an example of a match three game like Zuma, Luxor and Pirate Poppers.
Basically, the objective of the game is to prevent a chain of balls of different colors rolling along a given path from reaching the end of the path by throwing balls and making groups of 3 or more balls of the same color.

We choose this game because we thought it would be a simple game, and that we could implement the basic mechanic in a simple way, generating some content and levels and make a full simple game out of it. But the reality was that it was a much harder task that what we initially thought. The basic mechanic has a lot of little details that were hard to represent in an easy way in our framework, and generating content although easy the first time, is hard to modify and tune, and we are too lazy also.

We were working on the game about two months ago and we were waiting to publish it because we wanted it to have the minimum of features it required and to remove all bugs we found. Now that it is in a playable state we decided to put it in the games section.

The biggest problem we have is that the game has the best name ever in the whole wide world, but there are no zombies.

Hope you can give it a try, play the game here.

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Jylonwars

Hi, we are starting a new game named Jylonwars its a shoot em up like geometry wars or crimsonland (only not as good).

For now the objective of the game is to last as long as possible without getting hit by the enemies. We will add new types of enemies and will be adjusting the gameplay based on the feedback we get.

jylonwars - screenshot

click the image to play

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