Tag Archives: web
A little deviation away from my personal Pi media center for one reason, I’ve had a better idea.
Rather than build a multimedia center, I now want to build my own camera. However, this isn’t your normal camera.
I’ve always like long exposure and bending light with my camera, you can check out my dev art page to see loads of photos playing with time and light. In-fact it’s the only photography I really enjoy, because there is no subject, no pose, no time limits, no missed moments but mainly because it’s great for experimenting.
Anyway’s… When I was at uni I did a motion tracking installation and I got thinking about it, so I dug up the old project did a bit of Googling and thought, i’ll give this another go (backed with more experience and knowledge). So I did, and for the last week I’ve been working on a little Java application that will become the brains of my camera.
Why is this camera like no other? Well it does time lapse in real time… Yeah, sound odd but all im really doing is burning a trace over a trace which gives some interesting results, oh; and it doesn’t need to be dark and you don’t need a bright light source!
So how does it work? Motion tracking, by tracking objects and tracing their outline in real time. The effect is just up my road!
I’ve attached some screenshots below!
So the next step is to get this java code running on a Pi, with a web cam. This should be easy but in reality it’s not; I’ve been trying, Debian doesnt support either Java or web cams out of the box; so I have to get them working. I’ve only looked into the web cam side and that’s proving hard enough.
Anyway, as for the hardware I want to wire in a few buttons. I have the below software functions running already but I need to map them to physical buttons:
- Press to bulb
- Release to print
- Lock down
- Super Fat
New Job, new year and new goals!
I’ve set myself a personal goal to get a game on the app store that I can comfortably sell. The game? Emerald Beach, everyone keeps telling me I should do it and I planned to do it anyway but got knocked of the rails when it wouldn’t run on the Iphone and I realised I had developed it all wrong!
So over the last few days I’ve started to build a new version from fresh for the iphone, learning from all my previous “mistakes/miss-understandings”.
Emerald Beach for the web was designed using real life physics which meant it was very intensive on memory, the game had to calculate every object with real-life physics and animations every second, which is why it crashed on the Iphone.
This time I’m avoiding physics all together (or as much as I can) and the results have been very encouraging, whereas before the game would crash if four or more lines of gems appeared this time I can have a near unlimited amount and the FPS sticks at 60!!
In the web version gems would rise because new gems would appear below the original line and push all the other gems upwards, and would continue to do so for each new line, the problem was, each new line would introduce a massive amount of real time calculations.
Now my gems “jump” upwards rather than slide upwards, at first I didn’t like it, it looked odd, then I realised that all or most gem games look like this but I had never noticed it before, just accepted it. So now I’m happy, it looks good, lots of gems can be on screen and there’s no slow down!
Next was the crane, which is very important as it’s the only object you control in the game so I wanted this to feel good! In my mind I had three modes for the crane; slide, tap and drag. I wanted the crane to move left and right if the player taps the screen or drags left and right and then drop when the player slides the finger downwards. My goal is to get one handed action in place, because I feel there’s a lack of one handed games for the Iphone, the amount of times I’ve had a tinny in one hand and wanted to play something quickly on my iphone with my other hand
So, that’s where I’m at and here’s a little video to prove it:
I’m finally happy that I have a stable version of Emerald Beach! WOOOO HOOOO!!!
All major bugs have now been ironed out, which is a great feeling. I mentioned on a twitter post @zerosimms that fixing all the bugs was an odd sensation, like I’ve just stepped out the shower, all clean and shiney!
So Emerald Beach is ticking along nicely and the iphone conversion is, well… progressing.
Back with the web version apart from some new graphics the biggest change is that the purple gems now spawn from level one. I play tested it myself, which I know isn’t the ideal situation but I did find having the purple gems from the go balanced the play considerably, so now I will wait to hear back from players to see if they like it or not.
If you haven’t played Emerald Beach before why not give it a go? It’s really simple to pick up, slightly manic, nice and shiny and loads of fun! You can play it right here on my web site, or play it on Kongregate so that I get a few pence in my ever so small change jar
If anyone’s intereseted heres the list of fixes and changes since 1.1.5 (my last “major” release)
- DONE Crane set to sensor to stop it going through the floor
- DONE Scores float into score
- DONE Moved 3rd column to the right from 25 to 23 to stop gem jam occurring
- DONE Slowed down floating scores
- DONE Changed floating score code so they always updating
- DONE Moved first column to x33 from x34 to stop gems getting stuck, also moved the terrain further to the left,
- DONE Removed all unwanted attributes from green. blue and red gems
- DONE Simplified ‘Game Over’ Code
- DONE Loop menu music
- DONE Made ‘Try again’ button smaller, so that ‘level’ meter can be added.
- DONE Added level to ‘Final Scores’
- DONE Change x position of second gem to 77 from 80 to fix gap.
- DONE Post to twitter button integrated.
- DONE Emerald_Beach account set up in twitter.
- DONE Changed level 6 speed from 1 to 2
- DONE Sort out post to twitter
- DONE Bug – scores get stuck on first collision
- DONE Added new pre-loader
- DONE Shrink scores as the rise
- DONE Sorted save and load score
- DONE BUG – MINOR Gem rises sometimes happens twice in a row. Fixed by making the next round wait it’s turn before starting gem
- DONE Removed ‘Print’ command from crane functions.
- DONE Scores fixed, wasn’t adding final collision to score!
- DONE BUG – Major, fixed it so game doesn’t end randomly. Made it so if gem equals 60 then end.
- DONE Changed all sound FX‘s that were set to Music to their correct setting.
- DONE Added new sound effects for each gem smash.
- DONE Changed ramp and physic from 85 to 130 on ‘ben simms’ loading page. – Make gems roll without getting stuck.
- DONE Fixed scores in Bottom sensor it was only adding +20 not +20 + gem value.
- DONE Tech Bonus always displays onto of the score float.
- DONE Created a TechBonus float so it can have it’s own animations.
- DONE Put ‘Game Over’ code on rope not gems and changed endgame if last collided equals 60
- DONE Crane always on-top of the gem it’s picked up
- DONE Picked up gems now sit at Y level 40 not 50 to avoid accidental game overs.
- DONE Tech bonus now spins upwards and always launches upwards in the middle.
- DONE Stopped double ‘tech bonus’ graphics being generated by making the graphic in tech float
- DONE Added new help background and text
- DONE Added new about background and text
- DONE Highscore on main menu now loads. Add load save file to ‘Your highest score’
- DONE Score’s turn to ghost‘s when high enough
- DONE Changed the rules so that purple gems are generated from level 1!
Basically the web version has gone down well, overall people enjoy playing the game which is great! I’ve had a few request’s for new features (none of which are surprising to be honest) so I’ve spent the last few week’s putting in these changes.
It doesn’t sound like much but the biggest addition so far are the achievements. I’ve still got a bit more to do, most of the achievements now unlock and I just need to generate a few more trackers for the rest of them, then I need to get them to save, currently they re-set if a new game is launched.
I’ve re-jigged my menus slightly in an attempt to make them cleaner and neater.
I do want to re-approach the “final scores” menu. I think, once these two changes are complete I’ll do a release.
After that I’ve got a few more changes I want to make, first up, special items. I’ve made and tested one of them in my “sandpit” build which is working great, so I’ll incorporate that. This special item is the drill, when dropped it will smash out an entire column increasing the players score along the way! On that note, I do want to animate the drill before I add it.
Special items will arrive in crate form, they drop from the top landing in the arena (currently). You won’t know what’s in the create until it’s picked up by the crane. I’m thinking I may introduce “negative” special items as well to spice thing up, but I need to play test that.
Any suggestions for Special Items?
The other addition I want to do is bling up the playing board a bit. It’s a bit “static”, again, in my sandpit I’ve tried a new feature. This is “cash in”, when the points hit the top they are converted into coins, the coins come charging back down and into a purse at the bottom of the playing board. Sounds odd? Well when you see it, it may make more sense, it doesn’t change the game play at all but it busy up’s the playing board adding more sound effects, special effects and graphics and just giving it a bit more of an arcade feel.
Which brings me to my little pipe dream “Emerald Beach Arcade Edition”.
I’ll explain that some other time
Iphone conversion is still in progress… It’s a tough one…
Short and sweat post today.
So I finally managed to fix two bugs that were “bugging me”. I wont say what they are though, thats my secret
I’ve released this version to my personal, facebook, kongregate and newgrounds web sites, so please play!
In other news, now that I have got a mac sorted out and configured I’ve started to migrate my game over to the Iphone. I’m still working on the controls and expect to have the controls sorted in the next week or so, I don’t want to under estimate the controls, when I played with it last time I met a whole host of problems.
I want to get twitter high-scores and special items working in the 1.1.6 release, thats my goal at least. Oh and Facebook high-scores, anyone know how to do that??
It’s been a busy week with social life, work, the game and that I’ve not had a chance to reflect on the release of Emerald Beach but here’s my thoughts so far:
I released it last Sunday knowing full well it wasn’t complete but playable and enjoyable with the basic mechanics.I was proved right, all off the feedback has been constructive and all saying “I like it but can you add this…” etc, etc, luckily all the additions requested I have already planned for so now it just a case of time.
More importantly then new features I wanted to fix a couple of know (to me) bugs, whether or not other people had seen them but didn’t mention them I don’t know, either way, one of the two have been fixed and I fixed the other but just not released yet. I also added a few more obvious features requested such as the gem highlighter tool which actually makes a massive difference, the other feature added was to be able to drop gems on-top of each other right to the last second, making claw backs possible!
In the back of my mind I have also had the I-phone conversion banging around, I’m not sure how to do this yet, I’ve been playing with the controls but keep breaking other parts, ontop of this I’m fixing and making additions to the web version which makes my iphone version out date.
What I think I will do is finish up the web version as is, without the new features developed and not developed. I’ll then start on the iphone conversion properly and make it my main focus, my original goal when I sat out to make this game was to get it on the Apple App store, that was always my goal and I need to keep telling myself that.
I was fortunate last week to pick up a cheap Macbook, It’ll run Stenclywork, but more importantly I’ll be able to test my game on my phone without having to send my files back and forth to the guys at Stenclyworks, this will help greatly speed up the development of the Iphone conversion.
I’ll be blogging my way through the App store release!
Star Books Now
Using zen cart this time, I created a web site to sell cheap e-books and software. Then created some promotional banners.
Free book: use this code below on the checkout to get any book from the starbooksnow.com web site totally free!
There are only 10 codes so be quick
Completed the re-design on interbeatsfm.net web site, now includes new icons to launch popular music players and an embedded streaming media player!