Tag Archives for Programming

UpChomp Update!

UpChomp has been updated to version 1.02. It adds no new content but sets the stage to make adding new map packs a bit easier in the future. Version 1.02 adds support for stand alone map files, these are map files compressed inside a ZIP file. Future map pack releases will now most likely be released separate of game updates.

UpChomp New Map

Loading a UCM file should produce this message at game launch.

There is a now a Windows UpChomp installer available to make playing UpChomp on Windows quite simple! The installer also associates UCM files with UpChomp so playing a new map is as easy as double clicking. Now is the best time to try UpChomp! Feedback is very helpful, we really hope to get this game’s quality up to snuff!

A Linux binary has yet to be compiled but that should come in the new few days.

Download it on the UpChomp page!

Web Stuff

I’ve been getting down and techy tuning up my web servers. Chompycreations.com can now be accessed at https://www.chompycreations.com (HTTPS means on a secure connection) for those who like a little extra security… which really doesn’t matter, it benefits me however because I know longer have to send my password in plain text! So web security is something I’ve been researching and learning how to do a lot lately.

Another thing I’ve been keeping my eye on is IPV6, eventually everyone will have to use it and I would like to try and get all my servers compatible. Currently my home server at chompy.co appears to support IPV6 connections. My production servers which are hosted on Amazon EC2 don’t appear to have full support yet, hopefully Amazon will get on that soon.

So if you are the least bit impressed by the above and need your website hosted I can do that, see hosting.chompy.co for the details. Keep in mind my hosting is for people who don’t want to do it themselves, if you want to setup everything and essentially have complete control then you should consider a service like 1&1 Hosting.

FFXIV Skill Flow Update

Quick update! The FFXIV Skill Flow application has been updated to version 0.12. I noticed that a decent number of people were downloading the broken 0.11 version so I decided to fix it up! There might be a few problems still but as always feel free to send the bugs my way and I’ll fix them as soon as I can!

Introducing the Chomp Management System!

Chomp Management System

I’ve been working on something very cool for the past few weeks. I’ve always wanted to make my own CMS and I finally have! I started this project because the folks at my place of work wanted a small and simple CMS to allow the owner of a website to make a few simple edits. I think they might have gotten a little more then they bargained for here. This CMS is quite powerful!

The ideology behind the ChompMS is simple… Allow clients to modify their web pages with almost no risk of altering the design and layout of the page. When you hover over a editable tag it gives you the option to make changes to it in a few different ways. All editable tags are essentially various plugins that define what types of tag they are. Right now it has a plaintext, html, image, links, markdown, list, and shop plugin.

So a quick breakdown of each plugin…

  • Plaintext: Simple, just accepts plain text, no HTML tags, used for altering things like header tags.
  • HTML: Allows the use of HTML tags and uses the TinyMCE Wyiswyg.
  • Image: Displays a single image. You can change it by uploading a new one at any time.
  • Links: Makes an unordered list of links with nesting options. Ideal for navigation.
  • Markdown: A plain-text syntax that allows you to write using an easy-to-read, easy-to-write plain text format, then convert it to structurally valid XHTML (or HTML). …Read More.
  • List: Allows you make a list of post, can be used a a mini blog, tracks when and who posts to it.
  • Shop: A more advanced plugin, setups a Paypal shop on your website. Allows you to add items and coupon codes. You can view the order history right from this plugin.

Some features that the ChompMS current has…

  • Multiple user logins and support for SSL.
  • Tags get locked if one person is already editing the specific tag, so no fear of overwriting someone else’s work!
  • Quickly and easily modify the title and keywords for all your pages.
  • Optionally HTML Tidy and APC(Alternative PHP Cache) support. Allows you to optimize what gets outputted while keeping load times super speedy!
  • Easy to template, easy to add editable tags! Just make a “cms” tag with an unique ID and a a type that corresponds to the plugin you wish the tag to use.

Planned features include…

  • Automatically update ChompMS to latest version.
  • Pack and unpack websites for easy transportation to another web server.
  • Version control on all tags, ability to roll back to a previous edit painlessly.
  • Multiple User levels with permission settings. Normal users without CMS access, but ability to post to plugins that don’t require a full login.
  • Add new pages from the CMS settings page using predefined page templates. Will give non-coders a lot of flexibility to add and alter pages on their site!
  • Other cool stuff!

Skill Flow is Open Source!

As promised, XIV Skill Flow is now at version 0.10 and now comes with the source code. It has been released on the GNU Public License giving anyone the right to modify and redistribute it!

As always you can download the latest version on the XIV Skill Flow page

There was some question not too long ago on the FFXIVcore forums as to whether or not this program was against FFXIV’s terms of service. This ultimately lead to my topic I posted about it getting closed. I strongly believe that it is not against the TOS, but even after presented with what I believed to be a rather strong argument in my favor the moderators at the FFXIVcore forums have not appeared to reconsider opening the topic again. So I don’t really know what to think about that website, so I say use both FFXIVcore and XIV Skill Flow at your own digression.

So now that the source code is out there you can laugh at my pathetic excuse for a computer program! ; ;

FFXIV Exp Parser

Some friends of mine asked me to build a program that could tell them their ‘skill points’ per hour in Final Fantasy XIV. Piece of cake after building that crafting website right? Indeed, it wasn’t too bad, but it definitely has a few problems. It parses your logs in the game which are only dumped as the in game chat log fills up. Since the logs themselves don’t have any kind of time stamp in them it can only go by the modification time of the log files.

Still though it works mostly… and I plan to keep working on it!

FFXIV Skill Flow

For the latest version see this page…
FFXIV Skill Flow

Enjoy! :D

Floating Above the World!

Ok I think I'll make this short and sweet for once, just showing off a few pictures from recent developments.

First, that rendering I did a few weeks ago is now a playable level…

If you expected it to look just like the render then your expectation of my skills is a bit too high! Regardless it looks very nice in my opinion and I think most players will like it!

Second, I've been working on the abilities system. As I may have stated already you'll find abilities you can equip throughout the game that give you nice little random perks.

Here is what the menu is to look like. And if you wondering what Levitate looks like…

Works just like the hover boots in Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time! You can hover for a small amount of time before falling. It only works when walking off of a ledge, not when jumping up.

Also the other ability in the abilities menu at the moment is called 'Perception' and it will allow you to see the health of all the enemies. I imagine it'll place a health bar above the enemy's heads with a icon representing its elemental weakness next to it.

The menu is coming along nicely…still have plenty more work to do though!

Ubuntu it Up!

Well I don't really have any updates as I've been working on programming related stuff for DreamSphere lately. So no game updates other then that I've been working on the in game menus for setting up spells and abilities.

I recently got myself a new laptop, the Lenovo G555 on sale at newegg.com for $380. I loaded it up with Ubuntu 10.04 and it has become a great machine for working on the game with. I thought I'd show a screenshot of it running in Ubuntu for all you Linux junkies out there!

It's run at about 30FPS here, the max it should do is 60, the snow particle effects is killing the framerate and it really would appear that I need a better particle system. Another thing I noticed is there is no anti-aliasing I don't know if that has anything to do with the ATI drivers in Linux or with Panda3D not having support for it.

Make me a cutscene!

The action player, or system for playing out cutscene events in DreamSphere, is coming along great! I've already made it possible to make actors move in any direction and change their animations. The textbox can be triggered as well.

Making cutscenes couldn't be easier either! It reads from a very simple script that looks something like that…

player moveto 10,0,15
player animate run,1
player wait
textbox This is some important dialog!
textbox wait

This cutscene is a simple one, the player character would move to coordinates(X,Y,Z) (10,0,15) while the animation “run” is playing and looping (run,1 where the 1 indicates a loop and a 0 would indicate play once). 'player wait' indicates that the cutscene should wait for all actions involving the playing character to finish before continuing. Then it pulls up the text box and it's the same deal. It should wait for the player to finish reading the text box before proceeding. If you didn't put a 'textbox wait' you could have some actions occurring while the text box was open as well. So I'm hoping it'll be a flexible system. I really want to build a system here that makes it easy to push updates to the game as well as have a community of players make their own content!

So what's next after cutscenes? Well of course there is always tweaking to be done but ultimately we need to add…

* A way to trigger cutscenes.
* Add all the menus for the game. (ie. setting up spells, other options, etc.)
* Add all the spells.
* Add all the levels. (Will definitely take a while.)
* Add more enemies.
* Add epic boss fights.
* Make the male hero character…who still has no name.
* Make the male villain character…who also has no name.

These will probably be added after the initial release…

* Making the male hero a playable character and giving him his unique spells and abilities.
* Making it possible to add additional characters, enemies, spells, cutscenes, and levels for anyone who wishes to make their own mod.

So yep…got my work cut out for me. I know I haven't mentioned this yet but I am hoping to enter this game in the Indie Game Challenge so it has to be done by October. I don't know at this point if I can make it but I'm gonna try!

Wish me luck guys!

Going Vertical

Our friend Maleia is going to need all the tricks she can get if she is to survive the cruel ever changing environments of the DreamSphere. To aid her in her quest I have bestowed upon her the ability to wall jump! I don't think she could have ever dreamed of such a thing…oh wait… (Watch for that line as dialog in the game.)

I'm happy with what came out of adding the wall jump. It's an ability that is more or less expected in modern platformers. I am really trying to go for a feel that gamers are used to in a platformer. I should also note that the control scheme will be extremely simple as well, the game won't require any more buttons then you'd get on a NES controller.

Maleia isn't the only thing clinging to the walls either!

The earth spike spell can now be shot on to walls. So far there isn't any real use for this. I am thinking that being able to use the spike as a platform could be an interesting addition.