Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Scourge, Part V: And Miles To Go Before I Release

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Hello, I’ve returned. No, I didn’t forget to blog– I’ve just been busy. How busy, you ask? Well, Scourge now runs on Flash, HTML5 and on native targets, and on top of that it looks super great, so, pretty damn busy.

Scourge on Flash
Scourge on HTML5

It doesn’t look like much until you type in the “makeGame” command. If you follow it with a number, or with the word “circular“, you can see the game “running” with some slightly different parameters. I suggest this one:

makeGame 4 circular

Anyway. How exactly has Scourge changed in the past eight months? (more…)

Scourge, Part IV: Kneel before Quad!

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

I’ve realized recently that Scourge’s client has many layers, and jotting down a list of those layers helps maintain my perspective of the work yet to do. Distinguishing layers is an easy activity – if System A connects to System B, and A can invalidate B, but B cannot invalidate A, then A is a layer above B. That’s helped me identify the following layers, each of which has its own problem space:

  • Server connection – are we online? (HTTP/UDP comms)
  • Session – are we authenticated and up to date? (user object)
  • Battle – who are we fighting and what actions can we take? (the ROPES)
  • UI Narrative – what action/data is the player considering? (narrative tree nodes)
  • View – What does each button and view component look like? (view objects)
  • Renderer – What does each particle look like? (glyph objects, model arrays)
  • Graphics – What does each pixel look like? (GPU buffers, write-only)

And that’s only the stuff that’s going into the demo! I left out the AI stuff from this list, because like the state of the human player, it interacts with this layer cake at some level. It’s just a higher level than the one human beings interact with.

Anyway, while I’ve spent a lot of time focusing on the Session and Battle layers in the past, for this post I will focus on the Renderer and Graphics layers, which I’ve been working on for the past three months. They’re only a piece of the puzzle, and currently the Graphics layer is dependent on Flash and Stage3D, but that’s a small price to pay for the ability to work this stuff out while I wait for Haxe 3, H3D and NME’s OpenGL features to stabilize. (As I’ve previously mentioned, Scourge should be able to target every platform that one can target through NME, which is quite a lot. The graphics pipeline just needs to mature a little. I will color your pixels!) (more…)

Book review: haXe 2 Beginner’s Guide

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

So there’s this haXe book that came out in July, and I was supposed to review it.

For those of you who don’t know, haXe is an ECMAScript-based programming language with awesome features. Its compiler is fast; it targets Flash, JavaScript, PHP, nekoVM (a speedy virtual machine like Flash or Java that is extensible) and native platforms. You can even write functions in it that change the way your haXe code is compiled.

Understandably, people who are new to haXe spend a lot of time using it the way they’d use the languages they’re used to. The haXe 2 Beginner’s Guide covers all the usual things people are familiar with, but then it guides the reader steadily through the trickier concepts. Good thing too, because that’s where the fun is.

(more…)

Oh right, I have a blog.

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Hey there. I guess it’s been a while!

Since July of last year, I picked up Flex, haXe, a bit of JavaScript, and a new project called Scourge.

And an apartment in Brooklyn. And a short-lived relationship.

And a new job in a new town. I’ve been a bit busy. There’s been no time to post things so that the two or three people who visit this site with any regularity can have something to return to. However, I do intend to post more frequently again. Here goes!

Overthinking Text

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Remember 2008? What a great year. Especially in November, when we made history. I remember watching the ceremony on video feed with friends. People were cheering and crying.

No, wait. I mean 2007, not 2008. You know, when Adobe showed us a sneak peek of Flash Player 10, and Peter Elst’s posted video coverage gave his blog a bazillion hits as Flashmongers everywhere watched Emmy Huang spin a MovieClip in 3D. “Whoop dee doo”, you might say with hindsight-equipped eyes. It’s 2010 and all those new tricks are now old hat, right?

Not exactly. While the novelty of 2.5D and IK handles may have faded away, one of Flash Player 10’s new features– the advanced text engine– has lagged behind the rest. That’s because the text engine is very low-level, and wasn’t exposed to designers in the Flash Professional authoring environment. Until CS5 was released this past April, only developers had access to the FTE. That’s kind of ridiculous, and Adobe knew that. And so began the efforts (by many different people) to bring TextField-like usability and new text functionality to the Flash platform. (more…)