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Nick Gravelyn

Member Since 14 Aug 2005
Offline Last Active Oct 05 2014 03:38 PM

Topics I've Started

Shipwreck -

25 February 2014 - 10:52 PM

My little company Brushfire Games released our first title "Shipwreck" today. It's a top down adventure game inspired by classic Zelda titles.


It's available on Windows via the Humble widget and Xbox 360 via Xbox Live Indie Games. You can find the trailer and buy it via the Humble widget on our site: http://brushfiregames.com/shipwreck/. There's also a link below the widget if you want to buy it on Xbox 360.

[web] Pointers for PHP or Ruby backend for HTML/Javascript game

05 May 2011 - 12:49 PM

I'm starting to work on an HTML/Javascript game for Facebook with a friend. The game requires a database as it's essentially a non-realtime MMO where all the players are participating in one world and can interact. We plan to use PHP or Ruby as our backend for all database interaction and actual game logic, so I'm trying to get a feel for whether there are libraries out there that already solve some of this or patterns we should be following while implementing the system ourselves.

Currently I've done a little investigation and not found any existing libraries. I started writing my own system, but I'm not sure it's the right approach. Essentially I have a single file that can have data posted to it from Javascript. For example, if I wanted to buy an item, the Javascript would look like this:

$.post('http://mydomain.com/transact.php' { method: 'BuyItem', user: 1, item: 3, quantity: 1 }, function(data) { /* handle response */ });

The "method" is matched with a PHP class so that I can instantiate the class and pass it the rest of the data to handle the response, in this case ensuring the user can afford the item and if so purchasing the item. In this system I would then continue to add new classes that represent each action or set of actions such as selling items, traveling, and so on.

Does that sound like a sane approach for keeping all game logic on the server? Is there a more "standard" way to handle such interactions between Javascript and a server side language like PHP or Ruby? Is there an existing solution out there that will save me a lot of time and frustration?

Thanks in advance.

Seattle + Snow = Fun

23 November 2010 - 09:57 AM

Figured some folks would find this amusing: .

Coming from Michigan there's an initial reaction to mock the greater Seattle area for shutting down as soon as snowflakes start falling, but once you see how steep some of the hills are combined with the freezing of the water once the sun goes down, you quickly see why it doesn't take much to shut down this area.

Hopefully folks are staying inside today, or at least avoiding driving around the steeper areas. :)

Help Me Buy a Digital Piano

05 January 2010 - 12:16 PM

I need some advice from musicians, specifically piano players and more specifically those who have used digital pianos. I'm looking to get into piano and have absolutely no idea what to look for. I don't know what price ranges indicate "good", "great", or "crap" like I do with other products. What I do know is what I'm kind of looking for: 1) I live in an apartment so size and volume matter, hence my desire for a digital piano. They tend to be thinner (like this Yamaha) and can be played with headphones. 2) I'm not a piano player right now. I have been playing music for about 12 years now and taught myself guitar so I'm not too worried about the learning part; I just don't want to go all out on a piano right now in case I lose interest at some point. I eventually want something nice like that Yamaha, but don't want to drop the $1500-$2000 for it on my first piano. So any suggestions? I've seen some digital pianos (not in the fancy setup like that Yamaha I linked) for about $500-$600. Is that going to be a decent purchase? Should I care whether the output is MIDI or USB? Are there any features I should look for or avoid (i.e. bullets points that sound good but really aren't useful)? Semi-related, what good software is out there for Windows for recording from such an instrument? My only experience with recording software was GarageBand which was nice, but I no longer have a Mac. Thanks!

[.net] Why is 'object' not abstract in C#?

30 December 2009 - 11:56 AM

Something I was thinking about today as I instantiated an object to use for a piece of tag data just to flag something. Why is the 'object' type not abstract? As far as I can tell the main reason is for use with the 'lock' keyword such as:
class Foo
   private object myLock = new object();

   public DoSomething()
      lock (myLock)
         // do something thread safe

Today I was using it just as a flag. I had an object that I needed to flag as having been used. The quick and dirty way was to abuse that object's "object Tag" property by just creating a new object and assigning it. Then I can later just check if the Tag is null or not. Any other ideas or uses for instantiating the 'object' type? I'm really curious why the C#/.NET designers chose to leave 'object' as a non-abstract type though I'm not sure that's something I'll ever know for certain.