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About this blog

Ongoing progress updates for the a href"http://www.p2pmud.com"p2pmud open-source project/A

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Back from vacation

So I took the wife to Boston for a week. It was fun, but not like I need to go back any time soon. The weather was a little too cold and rainy for us southerners!! Of course we had a bunch of parties to hit over the weekend. Oh, and the NIN concert tonite. Mmmm.. can't wait to see all the goth girls! ;-)

So project update: We've pretty much got all the major bugs wrapped up. We'll be putting out the next release in the next few days! I'm really pumped!!!

Our artist has finished the sketches of the monsters, next I think he's going to do the rooms. I can't wait to see them!!


More sketches coming in!

Our artist has been cranking out the sketches. I'm converting them to PNGs and adding a splash of color for fun, so I can use them as temporary images in the game until the real ones show up.

Last night, I worked on getting window pane splitters working. Pretty smooth for me, but Bill says they're all wonky on his Linux box.. :-(


Our artist sent along his first sketch today. It is of a Migo, and I am thrilled cause it looks so horrible! He is perfect! :-)

He sent along a huge scan like 1400x1400. Here I have scaled him down to about the size he'll be in the actual game.

Weekend Update

Made some good progress on the bug fixing front. Unfortunately we ran into an issue with packet sizes on the relay server. Seems the OS has a limit on how much you can store in the shared message queues. :-( Bill is going to rework the relay to get around that.

I was bad and snuck in a new feature (again) before release, but this one was so simple and adds so much functionality it's just crasy. Basically now you can use any arbitrary chunk of HTML as an objects graphical representation.

I used this new feature to build in some tutorial pages that are much more informative than the old ones I was working on.

I had gotten the contract for our artist on Friday, signed and sent it back to him this morning with his down payment.

Networking is done!

Bill finished up the last of the network coding. All features slated for the next release are COMPLETE! Awesome!

Now it's just a matter of hammering away on those remaining bugs.

I'm also spiffing up the base world to kinda have a mini-tutorial included, so the newbys aren't so lost when first running it.

Mmmm, I can't wait until this release gets out!!


Not much new to report! Spent last night with the wife since she was out of town the night before.

Our artist said he mailed the 'Work for Hire' contract. Looking forward to getting that out of the way. He says some sketches should be forthcoming. I'll be sure to post them once I have my greedy paws on them! :-)


So this is one of those phases of a project that it's hard to get excited about. Just patching things up and the inevitable finding of yet more things that need to be tweaked.

Spent hours last night just tinkering away on the bugs, but the list doesn't get any shorter. Bill has been busy RL, so he hasn't been able to help either.

I did make a new splash page for the project that's a lot more user friendly for the new folks.

Kickin' butt!

Got to power through a number of bugs yesterday/this morning. I wasn't really supposed to be working on containers, but they were so close, I just couldn't resist. Besides, that's the fun part about doing open source right? You get to work on the parts you really want to work on!

So my container windows are fully functioning now. You can drag them around, and resize them too! Here's a screeny:

Here's a fun story for you. We have lots of transparent images that end up overlapping each other. There is no way in AJAX to make the hit detection take any image alpha into account. So you end up playing a very frustrating game of Towers of Hanoi, trying to get to the image you want to move around. This seems to me to be a huuuge gaping hole in the AJAX process. So on a whim, I decided to email Brendan Eich about this. If you don't know him, he's the guy that invented javascript. Also, they just hired him as the Chief Architect at Mozilla. Well, he replied back last night, and CC'd lots of big wigs over there, basically saying, "You're right. We need to look into this." Hopefully they can slip something into FF V1.5 before it goes gold! W00t! My friend Bill was like, "Dude, I can't believe you had the balls to email him!" Heh. :-)


Still more bugs

Well we're still working away on bugs. Sorry it doesn't make for more interesting stuff to write about!! The networking code is all pretty much there now, just ironing things out. We found an obscure bug in the packet handling, but thankfully it was a very easy fix - duplicate variable names used, doh!

AJAX has this inherent limitation we keep running into that is very annoying. If you have an image with transparency (gif/png) there is NO way to tell if the mouse is over the transparent portion. This is very aggrevating!! We have a very ugly work around we're considering. You can make an image map for every image like this, but ewwww that's just nasty! Grrrrr...


Bugs bugs bugs

So party last nite was lotsa fun! Many peeps drunk and silly, not too much debauchery. Sent my cousin back home with my Poser, Ray Dream Studio, Bryce, and a few other apps I haven't loaded in years.

Today, mainly spent fixing bugs, nothing glamorous, but hey, someone's gotta do it!

Container windows are pretty solid now, just can't drag/resize them yet.

Bill called, he was at the renn faire. Of course he had to call me since I met my wife while we both worked the faire all those many years ago! I was doing the living chess games, she was a fairy out in the woods. Those were some good times!


Bug Fixin

Just been working away on the bug list, nothing earth shattering to report there...

Having fun with my cousin John. Showed him our Loconet train layout over at Al's house. We're over at Ted's now, and Ted is giving him a ride in his new Lotus. Need more beers. Wife decided we should throw a huge party tonite, so that shouldn't be a problem! Everyone will prolly be drunk and nekky by midnite, too bad it's too cold to use the pool still! :-)


Bill and I sat down (well we talked in Yahoo) and hammered out just what we wanted to go into the next release and what could wait. The next release will be our Beta and codenamed Contagion! The purpose of this release is to showcase the connectivity between the peer to peer worlds.

Right now, it will consist of:

object doesn't appear on remote when first dropped
screen refresh gets out of sync and it ends up drawing the wrong room
popup menu hiding problems
move remote vars (name, pass, url) into mudinfo
history doesn't work when online (find ~/p2pmud dir when online too)

New Contagion Features:
save button
way to turn off relaying
center health bar (currently left justified)

Last night the wife was out of town, so I finally had some good productive time on my hands. I decided to implement container windows. You know, you open the chest up and it pops up a window showing the contents of the chest. You can then drag stuff in and out of the container. So I made some pretty good progress on this, but not sure if it's going to make the Contagion release or not.

My cousin John is coming in for the weekend, so I'm sure we'll tinker around with the system. John wants to learn how to make his own games in it, but I'm not sure if I'll get any coding done.

Oh yah, our PostNuke based site got hacked again. This time I went and found a bunch of patches and applied them. Sheesh, like we don't have better things to do!


Code signing success!!!

So, in order for the game to run off the web, we need to stick the code in a signed .jar file. This has been a loooong, painful learning process, involving a dozen websites, IE under Windows, FireFox under Linux, a host of obscure cryptography tools and a couple days of Bill and myself banging our collective heads on collective monitors. Whew! And that was just to get a valid PKCS #12 code signing auth certificate.

Another hour of trying this and that, and Bill got a signed jar going!

So now people can run it online! Awesome!!

If you have FireFox installed, Click here to try out our project!

Obviously, you'll have to click the security check box. That's my address in the certificate, so if anything bad happens, you can come beat me up.

Hump day

Yesterday, I had my lunch with Tim. We talked about a few possible business ventures. I'll have to write up some proposals for him, maybe he'll give us some funding for a startup? Slim chance..

Last night, had to go to the in-laws for dinner. They are great to hang out with, except of course I can't work on our project while I'm there! Bill and I talked on the phone for an hour or so trying to figure out what pieces to build out next.

I'm going to start working on making containers that can pop open windows, from which you can drag and drop items to put them inside/pull them out. Bill is going to keep working on the version that runs off the net, which I'm hoping will really speed the adoption rates of the projects.

Been emailing back and forth with Stephen, our new artist. Hopefully we can get him started soon!

So Bill got us a temporary code signing key, however it's pretty clunky to use apparently. I haven't had a chance to talk with him yet this morning about it. It does at least run off the web now so the concept has been proven. Not sure what issues maybe outstanding with it. Still looking for cheap code signing certs! Cacert.org will give you one for free, but the browsers don't consider them a legitimate authority. :-( Thawte wants like $400 for their code signing certs, sheesh!

I have lunch with my old boss Tim Choate. (He's the guy I gave Renderosity to many years ago and turned it into the insanely popular 3D site it is now!) We'll talk over some business ideas and knosh down some lusciuos Indian food! Hmmm.. I wonder if he has a code cert I can use... ;-)

I spent some time reworking the room templates to be isometric instead of the funky straight on perspective we used to have. I spent a lot of time over the weekend working on the statement of work for our new artist. I polished this up some more last night. I'm (probably needlessly) worried that there might be some miscommunication on the artwork causing headaches for everyone. I don't think our artist has ever done any isometric work before, but hey, artists should know all about perspectives, right?

Also, I cleaned up a few bugs, mostly display issues, after you die.

So everyone clamoring for screenshots again... Here's the same ones from our help wanted posting. Sorry we don't have more/better!


Cthulhu artist selected

If you've been reading the Help Wanted section, you may have noticed that we've been on the hunt for an artist to rework the graphics in our game.

Not only did we want to switch them to a more traditional isometric view, but as long as I'm paying for them, I wanted a world based upon HP Lovecraft, and not yet another medieval dungeon.

Luckily for us, Stephen Missal came along to answer our ritual sacrifices, er, prayers. You can see his works at http://www.onlytwin.com/gallery.html and http://www.bloopwatch.org/bloopmissal.html Steve is one of the illustrators featured in Wizards of the Coast's Call of Cthulhu D20 book. Also, he teaches at the Art Institute of Phoenix.

On the networking front, Bill and I (well mostly Bill) continue testing/debugging the first implementation of the relay code.

Bill is also getting our auth.jar file digitally signed, so hopefully it will run off the net to speed adoption rates.



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