May 25, 2007

My programming projects

I have several programming projects at the moment that I could work on:

Kraken prototype

There’s a game-making competition on the theme of Ocean Odyssey that VGDSoc is involved in. One of the ideas suggested was a game where you play as the Kraken, destroying passing ships.

I liked the idea, but wasn’t sure controlling a Kraken was feasible – tentacles are fairly deformable, and that’s always seemed quite complicated. So I made this prototype and decided that not only was it feasible, it was also damn cool.

Unfortunately, the competition needs to be done in XNA, which being a Microsoft thing, won’t run on Linux. Also, the competition culminates in a 48 hour session which is right in the middle of my exams…

Operation Meltdown

I want to polish off one of my games before the end of term, and since Operation Meltdown works (although isn’t yet very game-like) and Blobber was way too ambitious and is full of bugs, the decision was quite easy.

I finally got it to the stage where it contained the bare essentials of a game the other day. Then I packed it into a JAR file and it broke. Apparently you can’t read from a directory in a JAR file the same way you’d read a directory on the filesystem, so my code to load all the images in a directory broke. Okay, so I thought, I’ll do a check for that and get the directory listing another way. And I did, and it worked, so I tried uploading it.

And then it broke again when you ran it as an applet. The code was opening the JAR file containing itself and reading through the entries, but you can’t do that from an unsigned applet because you can’t read from the local filesystem. In the end, I just removed the applet version from the website; I’m not sure anybody would want to play it in applet form anyway.

Javascript for Mark

This one has the benefit of me getting paid if I do it. But it wouldn’t be as interesting as some of the alternatives, and it involves Javascript and maybe some Ajax too. I should probably do it just because I said I would ages ago and never did, though.

ezConvert for phpBB 3.0

With the release of RC1 of phpBB 3.0, I took a look at the conversion system. It assumes you have database access to the forums you’re converting from, so I’d probably have to bend it quite a bit to get it to convert from ezBoard.

The alternative is to keep it as a module in the Admin Control Panel, which is probably what I’ll do. But even though it wouldn’t require a total rewrite, I’d want to pretty it up before releasing it like that, so either way would be a fair amount of work. Probably not something I do before the exams, then.

Neeble

The Web 2.0 start-ups must be mocked! And they must be mocked at the very latest by next April Fools Day.

Blobber

Blobber is retired from development, probably until I start my third year project which will probably be a physics simulator. Because after failing to make Blobber work, trying something more complicated is the ideal plan…


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