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Jul 14 17

Dune 2 – The Maker – 4J – Devlog – DeathHand

by stefanhendriks

When I starting dune2themaker4j, one of the first I wanted to do was create a nuclear missile in the game.

They are awesome right? Well at least to look at 😉

Although the idea was cool, there was not much of a game engine to begin with. I mean, creating a nuclear missile without things to blow up would be a bit of a waste. So I decided to get basic stuff working first. Map rendering, camera movement, unit / buildings rendering, etc.

But a while back, I wanted to do this awesome thing again.

So lately we started working on this again. We actually have it so far we can ‘build’ it from any structure (you can configure it in the rules.ini file). For now it is hard coded.

We want things to be more flexible, scriptable perhaps. This means a “super power” as the deathhand is basically a ‘script’ that is executed. In the case of a deathhand it would shoot a projectile (missile) to the target. But you can think of many more super powers which should do different things. Especially if you look into the C&C scene where super powers may even require multiple actions from the player.

Although we do not build all of that at once, we do prepare for it.

So far our pull-request is going along well. For now we actually made the super power script a bit more complex. It would shoot a rocket, then detonate and from there spawn multiple other rockets for every unit on the map. (yes even friendly ones).

Because it is fun to do.

In the more grand scheme of things, this is just one of the many gameplay elements for Alpha #4. Alpha #4 (or v 0.0.4) is quite a big upgrade compared to Alpha #3.

With Alpha #4 you get some basic economy rules, building a base, and also firing a deathhand!

Oct 28 16

Dune 2 – The Maker – 4J – Devlog – Harvester

by stefanhendriks

Since the concept of money is introduced, it would be fun to have a harvester gathering resources.

While doing so, I’m introducing a state machine for the harvesting logic. (so far, I could get away with using simple if statements, but the complexity is growing)

Although I would like to move all logic into the state machine, I tried tonight and failed. Some more thought is required in order to make movement work better.

So, what *does* work? Well, for a harvester, there is a nice little loop going on like so:
given a harvester which is ordered to harvest at a spice field:
– moves to spice field
– harvest (state)
– done harvesting? (ie, cell is ’empty’?) -> seekspice (state)
– look ‘around’ the cell for other spice cells, if found, pick one randomly (state is still ‘seekspice’)
– move to the spice field (no state change here, this is still old stuff)
– once arrived, change into harvest state again

Which looks like:

harvester state machine

PR at github is still in progress

Oct 9 16

Dune 2 – The Maker – 4J – Devlog – Concept of money

by stefanhendriks

Today I introduced the concept of money in the game.

This means players have money and building units/structure costs money. Also not enough money means no way to build it.

This is the first feature for Alpha #4, so I also created a new playlist at youtube.

Watch here the demo of the ‘concept of money’ feature:

Oct 8 16

Dune 2 – The Maker – 4J – Alpha #3 released!

by stefanhendriks

Today a new version of D2TM 4J has been released.

It requires Java 8 and runs on Windows/Mac OS X/Linux.

If you just want to see what it is capable of, watch this video:


Oct 3 16

Dune 2 – The Maker – 4J! (for Java)

by stefanhendriks

In my previous post I told you I abandoned the project.


I did abandon it. But then something happened.


Slowly, over time, I wanted to work on this ‘game’ again. This time I would start from scratch, in Java, and work on this engine. I wanted to know if it would work in Java, but also how to deal with testability of the code (something I strive for in my professional work as Software Developer).

The pace I have been working on this new thing has quickened and its reaching an Alpha #3 stage. This means it is far from anything but a game, although it does seem to do quite a lot already. In fact you can download and play it (or if you’re really bold, grab the source, build it yourself and play it). – also wait a bit longer and I’ll release Alpha 3… you can only download Alpha #2 now.


My aim with this project is two-fold. But I’ll let you in on that in the future.


This post is meant to let you know something is growing. If you just want to see a screenshot of something recent. Here ya go:



But if you want to see youtube video’s of the construction of the game so far (Alpha 1, 2 and 3) then watch these playlists

Nov 28 13


by stefanhendriks

At some point you realise that you need to let go of some things. Dune 2 – The Maker is such a thing.

I’d like to thank everyone who has played the demo’s, and sent me some feedback.

Its time to move on.

Goodbye and all the best,


(If you think I am wrong, don’t hesitate to fork it and release versions of your own, I don’t mind at all)


Oct 9 13

He who contributes controls the duniverse

by stefanhendriks

With Dune 2 – The Maker, we strongly believe the community is the driving force behind this project. We have tons of ideas but we can’t go anywhere near them without you.

Since our last update, we had quite a lot of help from our community member Koijirion. And he had great arguments to switch from SDL to SFML and had some other good suggestions. So we did follow up, accepted his help (of course!). I think this is a great example how the community has influence on this project and how we can make it better by sharing our knowledge and ideas.

Since the last update, in a nutshell, here is what we have done so far:


  1.  a total switch from SDL 1.2 to SFML 2.1
  2. gained a 20-100x performance boost (ie ~ 40 fps (sdl) versus to 4K (sfml) fps)
  3. a much easier to set-up project using CMake (guarenteed to work on OS X, Linux. Not yet tested on Windows; who wants to help out with this?)
  4. works on the ability to use a console (like you have in Quake for instance) – see this pull request in progress
  5. collision detection
  6. better movement code compared to SDL version


The infantry feature is paused a bit, but will be resumed shortly. If you want to know what we want to do (or are doing), just visit our new and public Trello board.

For our first release, we aim at a playable version where two players have units to eliminate each other. Very easy step, but it will involve quite some technical challenges. For now however, we are working on the engine basics, which evolved very nicely since our very recent (and quite a lot) additions from Kojirion. Thanks again!

Want to be part of this? You’re welcome, and contributing is easy; you can star/follow/fork our project at github. Create a feature branch, commit, push and you’re on your way.

If you are not sure yet how you can contribute, but have some awesome ideas? Just join our IRC channel (details below) and share them (you can also create forum posts, email us, etc).

IRC: Join us at channel #d2tm on

Sep 22 13

Working on infantry is tougher than expected

by stefanhendriks

But we’re having fun doing so.

We now worked on moving around units, using a vector. This is needed because the infantry will not always move in straight lines (diagonal, horizontal, or vertical). Now we can move around using a ‘direction’. Next up is working on the collision detection with infantry on cells (now infantry moves through everything).

Screen Shot 2013-09-22 at 9.36.42 PM

Sep 20 13

I believe…

by stefanhendriks

… that Dune has the most intriguing universe ever created.

… that Dune 2 is the coolest game ever made with the greatest impact on its genre.

… it is possible to make D2TM a RTS which has all the goodness of today’s RTS’s and yet keeps the feeling you had in the days of the original Dune 2.

… playing against other humans/AI is more fun than the campaign missions

… there is enough creativity around (in you?) that can make D2TM even better.

… with every contribution, D2TM grows stronger, better and more fun.

… D2TM should be a project of the community, not of a few authors.

… if you want to contribute, don’t hesitate. Be creative, there is always something. (for example: add ideas to the forum for instance?)

… if you’re a coder and you want to contribute, just head to the Github repo, fork it, and start submitting pull requests. (every little change helps!)

with your help, we can definitely make D2TM rock again!

Thank you!

Sep 15 13

It has been a while…

by stefanhendriks

As you can see on this page, it has been a long while since an update has come about development on Dune 2 – The Maker. The latest news is from a multi-os version, written in Java, which basically only has some viewports and scrolling.

And then it was quiet.

I think the real challenge with writing software in your spare time, is to find a motivation that lasts longer than a few days. And back then I think the motivation quickly ran out when real features needed to be built, as they require time and they are huge. Roughly said you’re chewing more then you can handle in one evening and basically get no results from some nights of coding (other than some refactoring, which is only satisfying to some level).

So before I wanted to take another attempt, I wanted to know how I could get myself more motivated so I can keep doing this. Well, I believe I have found a way which is very simple and yet very hard to do: Keep it small. Every night I try to deliver something of value to this project. It is a finished task, or feature and if you would get it, compile it, and run it then it should be working software. (it may not be a full game, but it won’t be a broken version either).

In order to keep the source code stable, I consider the master branch as stable and use so called ‘feature branching’ to work on new features. Once a feature is complete it is being merged back into master.

I’ve been working on a new version of D2TM since a little while now (if you follow twitter, you already saw some messages). And I am glad to say we are working on a version, steadily but surely.

If you want to know what is possible already, and how things are going, just follow us on twitter or check out the source code yourself. It is very easy to contribute!

Oh btw, it is in C++ now, it uses SDL and works on Windows, Mac OS X and Ubuntu and it looks a bit like this: