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Member Since 11 Sep 2000
Offline Last Active Mar 24 2014 01:47 PM

Topics I've Started

Small Town: a modern MUD

04 January 2014 - 06:46 PM

I wrote a Multi-User Domain in Node.JS! http://seanmcbeth.com:8080/


The content is pretty thin right now, but it features:

  • Scriptable AI: there is a basic tutorial at the beginning that is driven by a scripted bot, and there is a room with two bots reciting Shakespeare at each other.
  • Craftable items: though I've unfortunately not put most of the crafting materials in the game world yet.
  • Dynamic map layouts: exits can lock and unlock, or go visible or invisible based on time or keys that the user holds.
  • Open source code and content: you can fork the shit out of it!


I've had a few dozen people try it out, but so far nobody has given any feed. I'm afraid the tutorial might be too dense for them to get through. I'm at a loss for how to fix it. Most people quit after a few seconds, and for the people who stick around and complete the tutorial, they never leave the first room. So perhaps you folks who seem to may possibly understand the history of games better than randos on reddit can check it out and leave some feedback. Thanks!

Database change management

21 March 2013 - 11:35 AM

I'm curious about how other people use and live with databases, specifically the types of tools they use around their database to simplify work with it. For background info, what database(s) do you use, and what is the scope of your project? What kind of tools do you use to manage change with your database (implicit or explicit schema, server deployments, etc.)? What kind of "generator" tools are you using (thick- or thin-ORM, data access layers, whatever)? What pain points do you still experience? Thanks!

For myself, I have worked on a lot of custom enterprise resource planning systems over the years. Data is generally small, and highly relational. It's been mostly SQL Server, but there is some MySQL in there too. In other words, all pretty basic RDBMSs. I've played around with ORM systems like NHibernate and Entity Framework, found them quite useful for designing the initial database, but lacking something in the long run for any time changes were necessary after a nontrivial amount of data had been recorded. As a result, I've tended to try to leave the database changing in the database realm and use only a thin ORM (direct table mapping) with classes automatically generated from the schema. This seems to avoid lost data problems, but comes at a high development cost for constantly repeating yourself and not having change management ala source control in place.
Redgate has a tool called SQL Compare that I've used in the past that makes diffing and merging databases a snap, but it is very expensive. Without a SQL Compare-like tool, it's really easy to miss changes to tables and stored procedures without extremely comprehensive testing (and really, who does that?) when deploying from a development- to testing- or production-environment. And still, that is a uni-direction move. Unlike source control, you never get to see the past again (unless you're restoring from backup, and that is just not automatic enough or simple enough to be a workable solution).

A highly commented Pong game in JavaScript

07 August 2012 - 12:56 PM

Just wanted to put this out there for any beginners looking for some source code to read and learn from

This is where I will be posting all of the materials for a programming class I'm running here in Philadelphia. Over the next few weeks, I'll be breaking this file down and showing everyone how to rebuild it from the ground up.

This is a DHTML game right now, but eventually I'll upgrade it to HTML5 Canvas. By the end of the series, you should be pretty well versed in how to write browser-based games.

This game runs in Internet Explorer (7 - 9), Google Chrome (latest), Opera (latest), Mozilla Firefox (latest), and Safari (5.1, they haven't released 6 for Windows yet, so I can't check it). It *also* runs on the iPad version of Safari and Android 2.3 Gingerbread browser.

Hi Everyone

23 July 2012 - 12:31 PM

Long time, no talk. MY FAULT!

How has everyone been? What is everyone up to these days? Any cool projects?I miss y'all! No, I don't know why!

Myself, I've been incredibly busy. What has happened since last we talked? Hmmm, let's see. I made a Tetris Arm Wrestling game. There's this goofy synthesizer thing that I wrote in HTML5. This Laser Harp thing was commissioned by an artist. There are a bunch of other synth things that I've made, just don't have any videos of them. This web series about people surviving the zombie apocalypse had me do some special effects for them, setting things on fire and whatnot (actually, thanks to that I have an IMDB entry). Helping to run this local hackerspace takes a fair amount of time.

I have a steady girlfriend for once in my life, after the last one tried to get me into a knife fight in a biker bar (long story short, I would have known better to never started dating that person if I knew more about Philadelphia neighborhoods and understood what it meant for her to grow up where she did). And I haven't worked for The Man in over 7 months!

And the future looks great. I'm illustrating a book. Running a class or three. About to get on the Kickstarter bandwagon. And somehow there is a vacation to Belize planned in the middle. I know, right?

Well shit! Maybe I shouldn't get back into posting here, I might not get anything done ever again.

Intro to Game Programming with JavaScript

23 July 2012 - 12:03 PM

Programming is a lot of fun, and games are one of the best ways to get exposed to a variety of different programming tasks. My name is Sean McBeth and I’m versed in many ways of programming, having been working as a professional software developer for over 10 years. In that time, JavaScript has always been there for me. It is a language that everyone can run in some shape or form, thanks to the ubiquity of Web browsers; it is the BASIC of the modern computing era. Sharing that knowledge is important to me, so I am offering a class where everyone learns (or polishes) an extremely useful scripting language (JavaScript, aka ECMAScript, but NOT Java) in a very compelling medium (ahem, games).

So, I'm running a class on learning how to program.