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About this blog

Various ramblings about projects, ideas, concepts etc.

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Re-sock!

Just wanted to let everyone know that I made a quick page for Socky, which have been online for quite some time.

Still no sure how you post links here, you'll have to do some copy paste: http://sites.furi.dk/socky

Peace out

/Ozak
In response to the comment that I have a lot of projects, I would just like to comment on juggling multiple projects :)

To avoid stress, I first determine from a huge list which projects are going to have my attention. All the others gets trown into the backlog (like in scrum) and I totally forget about them.

Then I flesh out each project into the phases that I'm going to do. I.e. Project setup, get engine up and running (irrlicht for instance), do log system and I try to fit those roughly in order of appearence. You can't plan everything ahead, but as new tasks pop into my head they get added to the list. The idea is to empty your head, since every task in your head will add to the total stress level in your body :)

Now you have your head empty and a list of ideas as well as a rough bullet point list that details the order of implementation. (could be research points here too tho)
You now have an overview of all your projects and you have a handy list of smaller tasks you can check off when completed. This gives you a great feeling of accomplishement when you are able to take a task of the list. It also gives a handy overview of your progress.

And why have multiple projects instead of one? To expand your horizon, tax your brain and most importantly: to avoid burnout when working on a single task/project.

With this setup you can freely move between subtasks and projects if you don't feel like working on a particular task. Sometimes coming back later with a fresh perspective (from working on something totally unrelated) is what it takes to solve a task that you previously found too hard or boring.

It's just like having 2 kids. You have to plan your life much more than when you where just two adults, but that doesn't mean your life gets more boring :)

Minor news flash

Hi everybody (who is probably not listening ;)

Time for a quick update on what I've been up to.

Working on the assembly language for my new programming language.
It will compile to this assembly language, to ease the conversion between different runtime platforms. I've been looking into HTML5 canvas, and Que will definitely be able to compile to this platform.
Windows will be the first runtime platform tho.
I also switched all development to use C# and I'm at ease with this decision.
I use C# at work and I changed my linux virtual server, with a windows one.

This is mostly because I use C# and Windows server at work, so it just seemed stupid not to use those for my hobby work too.

The graphics for my online RTS/FPS is almost done, so work should start on this soon.

Also a 2D action RPG is in the works, but I can't say much about this yet ;)
I'm also doing some initial work/research on a new crazy type of ball game, but again. Not much I can divulge on that yet...

Also. Socky has seen a revival lately and will be available again from my page shortly, with new docs, tutorials etc.

Exciting times I'm sure you will agree (again, those of you who are probably not listening)

/Ozak
Anyhoo. With regards to Socky, there are a few updates in the pipeline for next version (v1.1 beta)


1)
Remove standard log output. While great fun during development, it cloggers the log file and you can get the same functionality by using the server API logging functions.


2)
Console friendly docs included in package (used to be on my blog)


3)
Add include script file function (if easily doable. Otherwise postpone to later version)


4)
Linux/OS X terminal launch scripts.


5)
Remove sample server plugins and move to seperate downloads.


6)
GUI launcher for Windows (and maybe OS X) for launching a server. If an error is detected in the script it will open a simple text editor with the cursor on the error line and you can correct it and relaunch the server.
This should make it easier to develop. A future endevor might be a live javascript debugger while the server is running but let's see ;)


One of the exciting features that will appear in a later version is the possibility of Socky to work as a master server for a batch of Socky servers.
Basically this update will allow inter-server communication.

Exciting new stuff ahead :)

Designing Que # 1

So I settled for Que to be this procedural language and I've designed the standard stuff: Variables, loops, functions, structs + variable types.

Also, Java based runtimes will be available for cellphones (J2ME), Regular applications (JavaSE) and web applications (JavaSE applets).

This means Que apps can be deployed on all major platforms (except iPhone because they won't allow Java).

The Que compiler will also be written in Java.

I might later do a compile to exe on certain platforms but that's WAY into the
future.

I also got this idea that you specify all game resources at the beginning of the file and they will get embedded into the Que executable file. Que will then be able to load on demand from within it's own executable file.

Also, Que will only be able to store key/value based text data which the runtime will direct to a safe storage place so user modifications are impossible.
I might also disallow loading from the user device/filesystem but that is still to be determined :)
Well. I finally settled for the "Ultrasonic Range Finder - Maxbotix LV-EZ1" for detecting distance to objects. (Yes real life names often matches the movie ones)
It has a range of 6,45 meters (0..255 inches. Must be 8-bit lol) with 1 inch increments.

So it won't be a real Aliens proximity device. It will just detect stuff with high accuracy.

Also, since it's ultrasonic it won't go through the walls, but it should be great fun building it. Scanning for more objects will be achieved by 4 sensors, each turned on for 50 milliseconds (according to specs so they won't mess each other up since it's kinda bat effect where the waves are reflected back ;)
This also means only 4 objects at a time will be shown. (or 4 distances).
I will show each circle at the middle of each sensor range, as I can't really tell where inside the arc of the wave it was detected.

I will probably exchange the small Sony Ericsson display with a white on green LCD of a larger size.

Sounds like great fun and I can't wait to get started.
Notice how (like a software project) I scale back the original idea to fit into the realm of the possible :)

Focus

After having worked as a professional game developer for more years than I care to remember, I finally am free to work on whatever I feel is interesting.

So after going through my lists'o'stuff I have made a list of the current projects I'm going to undertake. (Some of which are already in progress)

It is my hope that by documenting the stuff I do here, that others might learn and I myself will keep the proper focus :)

So without further ado. The list(tm):

Software:

- Que : Procedural programming language with game runtime. VM in java for app/applets. Still in languag design phase.

- Socky : javascriptable MMO game server. Already at version 1.0, but still lots to do. (http://www.furi.dk/socky)

- Undisclosed name : Space strategy mini MMO kept simple.

- Undisclosed name : Simple pseudo-3D 90 degree scrolling mini MMO RPG in the vein of Bard's Tale(tm)

- New cool website for my stuff. (Using TextPattern for now, but have given up on CMS systems. Going to do some simple stuff to my own liking)

- Mini project site here at gamedev on my webspace.

Hardware:

- Aliens style proximity tracker: Already have Arduino, breadboard and old SE k700i LCD display. I have found, but not yet ordered the proximity tracking component.

- Handheld Arduino based LCD game device with joystick. Will be able to output to PAL/NTSC TV as well.


Oh and you don't have to remind me of the pitfalls of MMO development. Already worked on two published ones ;)

The RPG's might use new raycasting engine I'm working on or maybe the cool java engine jPCT (http://www.jpct.net)

So. There you go. I will regularly post progress here
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