I admit, I expected to get a little further with my blogging goal before missing a week, let alone two. Or three. I’ve kind of lost count. Suffice to say I’ve had a hard February so far. I won’t go into details, but I’m coming out of the other side feeling better than I have in a long while, and I’m eager to crack on with some self improvement. First stop, finally joining a gym in NYC.
As any mobile video game developer from the first wave of smartphones can tell you – a small group, but a proud bunch – nostalgia sells. So if you were a PC gamer in the 90s and 2000s, GOG.com might be right up your alley.
I’ll admit, I’m not a big gamer, I’ll occasionally get hooked on a story based game here and there, but I’m not the sort to spend hour after hour fragging whiny teenagers or trolling frustrated Call of Duty players. But I do get misty-eyed when I think of my childhood days playing wonderfully crafted low-res strategy or point and click games. And luckily, some part of me has managed to ignore all the frustrated hours spent trying to get DOS to actually run those games (does anyone know what an IRQ setting actually was?).
I hate budgeting. Compartmentalising my spending into arbitrary, inflexible ring-fences I can’t possibly stick to has never seemed to work, for some reason. Luckily, someone’s come up with a budgeting app that doesn’t actually require much budgeting.
Level Money is a new money management app for iOS and Android that tells you simply what you can spend each day. And that’s all. You don’t have to predict how much you’ll spend on food, you don’t get stuck deciding which bill to ignore because you needed a new winter jacket. All you need to do is to watch what you spend for the day.
It’s beautifully simple and perfect for someone like me who isn’t organized enough to do a weekly food shop. It’s the app I’ve been waiting for since I moved to Manhattan with it’s eye watering rents. In fact, I was working on something similar myself when Level was released, and I was delighted to see they got it right! Readmore »
Laravel is a powerful framework to speed PHP web development, MAMP is a handy GUI to allow quick and easy testing of websites on OS X. Smash them together and you get quick and easy web development on OS X.
My work at Spotflux has recently involved a lot of PHP development to build an account management portal for our new Premium service. This had to tie in to our exiting web APIs (which I’ll admit were a little cobbled together) and be backwards compatible with our existing database. And it had to be done yesterday. Readmore »
Happy New Year! 2013 has come and gone, a year described by a number of my Facebook friends as “crap”. Welcome to 2014, a year in which I seriously need to get back to writing.
Suffice to say, last year had its ups and downs. I’ve made new friends, visited new places, and embarked upon probably the most stable relationship I’ve ever had (more on that later). All whilst totally failing to get any exercise, or to write anything in this blog. Guess I’ve been working too hard. That’s startups for you.
I’ve had ideas, but not acted on them. I’ve started writing some notes, but never finished. And frankly, I’m getting somewhat annoyed with myself. Until now, there’s been no penalty for not writing other than a vague sense that I’m not doing something I want to do. I need to hold myself accountable. Readmore »
Shockingly, it’s been over six months since I last posted to this blog. But this isn’t because I’ve been lazy, uninspired or disillusioned. I’ve just been extremely busy through a combination of a new job, moving abroad and getting caught in a hurricane.
In April, I took a new job at a New York based startup, spotflux. spotflux (lower case ‘s’ intentional) provides a free VPN service designed to protect your privacy and security. All you need to do is download and launch the app, and it will encrypt all your internet traffic, block ads, malware and tracking code and provide you with an anonymous, US IP address.
As great as the iPhone SDK is, it wasn’t designed specifically for games, so a mini industry has sprung up to provide game developers with APIs and tools to make their lives easier. So I’m going to raid the repositories and see what I can use for my project.
Admittedly, it’s been a while since my last iOS Shooter post. Hopefully I’ll soon be able to explain all the exciting things I’ve been doing of late, but for now, here’s the next step in my game planning: API selection.
While using third-party APIs isn’t necessary by any stretch of the imagination (thanks, Mr. Turing!), there are a lot of common problems and tasks that they can simplify greatly. Animating sprites, for example, can be incredibly tedious to code directly with OpenGL. Not only that, but – as I discovered when writing Togolon – physics is hard! Given I want this to be a short project, I’ll take any short cuts I can.
I spent most of last week wracking my brains over an oddly specific bug in our product. Namely, when you installed our server software on a Turkish copy of Windows…it didn’t work. More specifically, everything started up, but nobody could login.
I’ve recently taken on the job of running the Phoenix Speakers website, so it’s high time I brushed up on my PHP. First little job: automating the “Next Meeting” box.
Phoenix meets on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month. So we’d get something like the following mapping (dates in the form Y-m-d):
nextMeeting(“2011-01-08″) => “2011-01-11″
nextMeeting(“2011-01-12″) => “2011-01-25″
nextMeeting(“2011-01-26″) => “2011-02-08″
Determining the next meeting wouldn’t be as simple as finding the next Wednesday (or two), or moving a set number of weeks from the last meeting – both of which would be easily achieved with the DateTime::modify function. This problem called for something a little more algorithmy! Readmore »
What with a few extra side projects, I’ve let myself get a little bit behind on the iOS Shooter designs. But I set aside some time today to crack on and hopefully I can get the momentum back up. Today’s design: modelling game data.
As I’ve previously identified, there will be a number of different objects that could interact with the player, with one another and with the interface as a whole. It will be crucial to ensure that each object in the game can be easily accessed with a minimum of additional processing. So today I’m looking at how these objects can be organised and related to one another bearing all this in mind.