New feature!

Grab the latest version from the link of the right —–>

A new feature has been added! That feature would be… mouse control! I also changed a few other things as far as how zombies are attracted to the healthy and how the healthy run from zombies (still a work in progress), but these things are much less evident.

This is not much progress for a whole weekend off, but there is another project that has recently been distracting most of my time. Don’t worry, I am not giving up on this project! In the past I have been distracted by new ideas and have completely shifted gears.. but I have learned that I must stick with a project until completion, otherwise I will accomplish NOTHING. So a joint venture is what I am doing now. This will require slight cutback on this development time, but I am also going to try and commit more time to both projects. We will see where that gets me!

Also, I came across this VERY good article which will help me with both professional development and personal software development. I have been working on implementing many of these ideas into my own development system.

My current score is: 5/12

Like always, leave me a comment, feedback!

Song of the minute: “The Remedy: Jason Mraz”

Yet another release!

Ahh yes, you didn’t think I would have one for you tonight did you!? I’m gonna make this one quick also.. because I need sleep!

unofficial change log:

  • The birth of AI, yes… zombies now hunt down the healthy
    • and the healthy, naturally, run like hell!
  • Totally reworked the movement algorithm
  • A few small bug fixes, and layout for future improvement 

ohh yes, and one last thing.. remember C++ does not pass variable by reference by default… I was hunting down this ‘bug’ for at least an hour before that clicked in my head. I haven’t worked with C++ in such a while that this little (yet critically important) fact slipped my mind.

Good night!

Song of the minute: “Impossible: Manafest” 

The Recap

“How did your weekend go Andy?”
“Ohh funny you asked, I was just about to blog about it!”

So this weekend I finally decided to do the big shift. I am running Linux as my only host OS, No dual booting, no split partitions, no NOTHING, it’s all Linux. Then if I need a windows OS for whatever reason, my computer can more than handle N+1 windows virtuals (for those of you that are not programmers, or an IT person (which most of you are (hence the reason I’m explaining, (Like how I’m nesting the parentheses??))), N+1 means “anything that I need” ‘N’, and then the ‘+1’ means “and then one more”).

This shift was quite the time consumer and to better explain my situation I will use the following analogy:

Think of it as a war for territory, My Windows partition is one country, and the Linux partition is the other… Well Windows really pissed off Linux, so Linux decided to invade Windows and make it one huge Linux nation… Windows was much more corrupt and weaker than Linux, and started losing the war very quickly. This lead to panic which resorted to using nukes. Needless to say, instead of one side or the other winning, they both lost and all of my data needed to be rebuilt, reinstalled, and restored from scratch and backups.

  Being as computer savvy as I am, I was smart enough to make a backup of ALL my data before I started messing around with partitions (which can be dangerous territory as it is). All in all I have a very fresh install of Linux, and even a few virtuals were rebuilt from this. So time consuming would be better phrased as “weekend consuming”. I am convinced it will be worth it in the end. I am already just loving the adjustment. Linux gave me so much freedom, I can multi-task way better now.

Song of the minute: “Path: Apocalyptica” 

A Weekends Journey

Grab the latest version on the side bar! —->

As I do understand this is a blog, and most blogs people are suppose to ramble on forever about things and stuff (if you are unsure what I mean, please refer to ANY previous post of mine).. but right now that is not the case. I need sleep before work. So this will be short and sweet, I just needed to release something before the start of the work week as to show SOME progress. You ‘public’ might like this one, its the first step towards the buzz word *interactive*!

Oh and for those who want to actually read a blog for its epic long story, I suppose I will post a summation of what great lengths I had to go through to get to this point of application… just not right now, maybe later.

unofficial Change log:

  • User is now in world space, instead of game space.
    • one with the others… meaning you can get sick from zombies
    • I can now request multiple ‘players’ from my engine, a nice feature for multi-player additions. Should make things easy
    • Also state changes and swap controls should be easy(ier) with this system
  • Different graphics, I feel these new place-holder graphics depict the game quite well. Gotta love programmer art.
  • Also you may notice that I was able to cut the programs size by over half.
    • quicker downloads for you, lower bandwidth for me… win-win

Song of the minute: “No Love: Eminem ft. Lil Wayne” 

The Long Road Home

Well my I have Ubuntu 10.10 64-bit reinstalled on my desktop computer, all updates have been installed, and I *think* all of my important data has been transferred over to the Linux side. I am right now creating a backup in preparation for wiping out the Windows side of my hard drive as to reclaim another 200+ GB. Theoretically all I need to do is delete that partition and grow my Linux one to fill the space. Easy? Simple enough? yes… but I have had them simple tasks catastrophically fail on me before, hence the backup. I’m also working on installing all the tools I will need or use under my Linux OS. Hopefully (soon) my next post will be an application update.

Song of the minute: “Zombie: Jay Brannan”

To Give In

In a matter of moments after this blog post gets published I will be wiping out my entire computer and starting (nearly) anew… I have more or less given up on my elegant router situation. I have decided that I will instead use my mini laptop as a network bridge, call it good. Although this is not a permanent, or ideal situation… it is one I am forced to live with until I decide to purchase a linux compatible network card ,or buy a dedicated internet line… whichever comes first.

I will post when I am up and running once again.

Song of the minute: “Elba: E.S. Posthemus” 

As Of Recent

I would like it known that I am in complete awe of every programmer and freelancer out there in the world that also works a full time job yet produces awesome products on the ‘side’. As I have known for years that it is extremely difficult to do both, where does living life fit in when one is a slave to his work? I believe the answer lies in finding passion in what you do, in that way you find a life (and a good one at that) in what products you produce. It is an amazing niche that I hope to develop for myself as well. But while I am finding that path I wish to convey the view that it is not an easy one to find! I will try to keep updates flowing through this blog, but my problem is always time. I juggle so many projects that often it becomes difficult to keep them all in the air.

I have two current reason for not having a sooner update to my application, one is that I have two customers computers at my place that both need attention and fixing, the other reason is that I am having serious troubles with my own computer. The two computers for clients are simply just rebuilds/problem fixing… usually very easy to accomplish, just time consuming. I am half way through those projects… My own personal computer starting to fail is a problem within problems. My installation of Win 7 is starting to become very unstable. I do believe that the OS is corrupt beyond repair, and within a matter of near weeks (depending on usage) it will fail completely. Before this happens I need to get my wireless router that I purchased configured to connect to my phones broadcast signal in this way I can get my computer fully running under a Linux OS. I need this because my wifi card I have is not compatible with most Linux installations, and an ethernet NIC is the only way to go. Once this transition is complete I will have: no more dual booting. I can then utilize the full 1.2 TB of disk space, I will no longer have data file strew about different areas of inaccessible partitions, my main OS will be fully stable and I can run as many virtuals as my heart desires. I really REALLY want to figure out this router issue, I am 90% of the way there… and then, brick wall. There is just that one thing I am not doing correctly that I cannot figure out, and being that I am not doing typical run of the mill wireless/networking configurations there are no tutorials to help me. The proper setup is one of the biggest keys to being as successful as the type of person stated above… and I am striving for that setup. I feel once I reach that, I will be able to push out a few more updates.

On a more direct note, I do have a few hours of progress.. I have been working on display basics: now the actors in the game look either un-sick or sick, and will change to sick when touched by a sick zombie… the other progress is working on optimizing collision detection. which is not evident that it is unoptimized with only a few objects on the scene… but it is extremely inefficient when you get thousands of items… BIG simulations.

Song of the minute: “Invisible: Space Cowboy”

As Promised

For those of you that simply want the goods, here it is:

Just as I had stated that by the wee hours of the morn I would have something to show. Keep in mind that only about half of my time that I spent tonight was working on this project, another quarter went to OS customization, and then another quarter goes to the singing of “Nightmare Before Christmas” movie soundtrack (very catchy toons might I add, if you already didn’t know). I also decided to meet half way with my distribution idea, and restructure my file organization. Also I have just (re)discovered a beautiful feature built into my web server… and that would be auto created indexes! YES! What does this mean to you? Well this means that if you browse to the following link: you will see that there is (currently) one folder and a parent directory… from here you can browse to any past application that I have (or will) put out for you all to see! Of course please be aware that my current development is focused on just the zombie folder.

Here is a quick list of the yet to come ‘changelog’:

  • Added multiple ‘dumb’ AI zombies
  • Did a lot of porting and shifting and class mods (not user apparent)
  • Improved the way classes include other classes (also not user apparent)
  • I have increased the frame rate from around 1 fps… to about 60fps
  • slightly changed the way assets and application are loaded (also also not user apparent)
  • ahh yes, and I do believe the spreading of sickness is working also. It is just not apparent because there is only one graphic, and that would be the zombie graphic. Unbeknownst to the user, there is only ONE ‘sick’ zombie at the start of every game. But which one is it??? I know 🙂 , and I’m not telling!

And if you just happened to miss the huge link at the top of this blog post, here is my nights progress… presented to you in one convenient little exe:

Please do give me feedback (and due to some FB comments ->) of any kind (I suppose I will take destructive comments too (-; ). I do happen to have an old list for milestones and to track versions, but as of now that is not really applicable.

Also to add to my list of accomplishments tonight, I did FINALLY get an SVN server installed and running. It was quite the pain in the butt trying to download the OS image file, but after much digging and work arounds I was able to find a faster way then ever before way to get all of my Ubuntu files. Definitely worth my while. So as we speak (or I type, and then you read later) I am doing the initial setup of my SVN server. Very exciting…

Till next time! ~Andy

Song of the minute: “All The Lonely People: Beatles”

Whats next?

This weekend is decently open for me, I do have many projects yet to complete.. but I am an awesome multitask-er. So what is next? Currently I am downloading the latest version of Ubuntu 32-bit, this will (among other things) become a virtual machine which will house my code. A huge reason that my zombie project failed before was because I tried adding too many features at once, screwed up my code base, and then gave up because it was a LOT to undo. Source control will help this problem immensely. I have no idea why it has taken me THIS long to set one up either. It honestly should have been the first thing my college instructor taught us. A way to version and store code in an organized, proven manner. Instead it took me 5+ years after first teaching myself to program to devise a good way to store code, just NOW am I putting this organized storage method into a versioning system.

Soon after I get my SVN working I will work on incorporating the old working zombie source files into the new zombie source files, and getting everything hooked up. This should not take too long because I always try to keep my code as organized as possible, so striping out the good stuff should be easy.

After I get all of this working, I may then decide to restructure my method of distributing my zombie applications to the public… Or just go with the same method and simply release a new tester.

All in all, depending on how fast this download of Ubuntu goes (off of my cell phones internet.. thank you tethering). I do hope to have something to show before ‘normal’ people wake up on Saturday.

Whats now?

I have recently rekindled my ambition to produce at least ONE game of some sort. I AM a programmer after all (right?). I need something to actually show it, rather than old class examples that I was graded on. I am unsure of what I actually want to fully accomplish, but as of now I am going to mature my zombie/virus simulator/game. The reason that there are so many ‘/’ is because over the course of a couple years I have always thought that an application such as this would be very ‘cool’.

Naturally I get new (but oddly similar) ideas, then I finally just decided to merge all of these branched out ideas into one thing. It will be a simulator that depicts the spread of viruses, to add fun a virus will (of course) produce zombies. There will be a public, a cure rate, health, spread rate, etc… Then to add user interaction, I will put a player in this scene. Typical of many zombie games, weapons will be involved. I am unsure of what kind of weapons, but my goal is not (and was never) to make a game based on mindlessly kill things.. even if the things you are killing are already dead.. That game concept becomes very boring to me very fast, and the only reason I add a player is to draw interest (personal interest as well as public) to the game.