New Drawings Page

July 5th, 2012 No comments

Hey guys, just added a “Drawings” page. Still a work in progress and this was pretty much my first attempt at making something look nice. I actually used divs and style instead of frames and tables :O

For now there are just some space-fillingly Lorem Ipsum “descriptions”, but hopefully it’ll be presentable in a few days. Also, the only drawings that are up are some I did the other day of some indie games I like the looks of. Take a peek!

Categories: Crafts, Programming Tags: ,

Binding of Isaac DLC

May 29th, 2012 No comments

Disclaimer: It is quite likely that a significant number of people will find this game offensive.  Proceed at your own peril.


Now, contrary to the belief of most people who hear I’m into computers, I’m not a huge gamer.  One game that I’ve racked up a decent number of hours in is The Binding of Isaac. (We’re not talking anything crazy here, just like 15 hours over a few months).  I had sort of lost interest for a little while, but I’m writing this because of the very recent release of the new downloadable content (DLC), Wrath of the Lamb.  I write for a very mixed audience (when I have one at all), so you’ll have to cut me some slack whether I’m explaining simple concepts or glossing over (messing up?) complicated ones.

Because We May

Before I get too much further, co-incidentally, the original game, needed in order to play the new content, is on sale on Steam for a neat little toonie (plus 4 dimes if you want the soundtrack) until June 2nd.  This is as a part of the super cool Because We May event, where some game developers are discounting their game for a time, just because they can.

The Gore

The Binding of Isaac comes of course from none other than the developers of Super Meat Boy.  With this origin, one knows that it is going to take place in a darn twisted world.  If SMB explored the length to which one can splatter platforms with blood, The Binding of Isaac accomplished a similar goal in a top-down environment.  The only difference is that this time, the bodily fluids being spattered are not limited to blood – the list is quite extensive.  The monsters themselves are quite hideous to match.  And this is all before taking into account the twisted and dark story behind it all, which references the biblical tale of the same name.

The Great

Now, I’m positive that I’ve convinced most of the original few reading this article to leave.  Gore aside, this game is incredibly entertaining because of how it is laid out.  You’re under the harrowing shadow of permadeath, meaning that once your character is dead, it’s back to the drawing board.  The game is an RPG of sorts, so as you progress, you encounter items that boost your various scores and give you new abilities.  What I find really fun about the game is the fact that unlike many games, you are choosing items almost blindly as you come across them.  The game does very little explaining of what each item does, making it very exciting as you uncover what seem like long-lost artefacts in the bowels of your cellar.  This process produces extremely different characters every time, and makes for a fun game, as more items get unlocked with each playthrough.

Wrath of the Lamb

As great as the original was, the time came when one had unlocked most of the items.  After a good few hours playing, you can be pretty sure of what an item is going to do before you pick it up.  Some of those bosses you’ve seen what may seem like more than enough times.  I’ve got to admit that even though I perhaps had not mastered the game, the novelty did begin to wear off after a few days.  This timely update adds a surprising amount of content in the form of countless new items (100+!), monsters, new chapters and a pile of other completely novel additions.  I could tell after only a little time playing this expansion that it would definitely worth the $3 it cost me.  Some developers sell their expansions for what I’d say was more than they’re worth, but in this case, it is affordable and well-warranted.  Once again begins the questing!

Categories: Game Tags:

The Dull Saga of the Shiny New Computer

April 17th, 2012 No comments

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been engaging in the occasionally nerve-wracking process of building a new computer.  This is the first time I’ve really done so, which would explain any mistakes in picking components.  One point in my favour – it works! (for now).

I’m actually writing this from my netbook (Asus Eee PC 1015pn) right now, because only a few days after I ordered the new parts, my old desktop’s hard drive decided it had had enough.  Looks like this new computer comes not a moment too soon!  The reason I’m not currently using it, however, comes later in the story.

I’ll post a list of components (which I’m sure will be much more interesting than this rambling) once I get everything in order.

It all started March 19th, when I saw an SSD on sale.  By this point, I had pretty much set out what I wanted in a new computer but hadn’t fully committed to making the leap into relinquishing my money.  Seeing this let me finally decide.

A week or so later, I bought most of the rest – processor, power supply, case, memory, graphics card, motherboard, and a wireless card.  Now I was ready to build a computer.  Of course, it comes halfway through the week, making me have to work hard to focus on work.  Finally, the weekend rolled around and I got to work.  It went surprisingly without hitch, everything working fine out of the box.  I built it outside of the case this time, just to see if it would boot.  As is always the case, the weekend was not enough for my slow beginner assembly techniques, and I had to leave it for another week.

Weekend 2 started with the task of transferring all of the components to the inside of the case.  Apart from some funny-seeming standoff placements, this went fine.  The first annoyance came when I realised that though I thought the motherboard had an onboard USB 3.0 header, it didn’t.  Oh well.  Would have been nice, but I’ll live for now and get some sort of adapter later.  This weekend ended with installing Windows 7 and starting to get various useful programs installed.  This continued on and off over the course of the week.

Suddenly, disaster struck.  I started getting errors like mad.  Tried restarting, started getting claaassic blue error screens of the deadly variety.  Safe mode seemed to work, but any attempts to repair from there tended to cause spontaneous restarts.  Resorted to repairing trying to repair from outside the OS using the recovery partition and installation CD.  Neither worked, giving inconclusive errors.  Resolved to reinstall, trying a few times before realising that it was simply determined to always restart half-way through.  Finally, I narrowed it down to the RAM, and sure enough, the computer worked fine with only one of sticks in.  Darn faulty parts.

So that’s why I’m writing this from my netbook – gotta get that memory replaced!  One of the downsides of ordering parts online appears to be this process.  Doesn’t seem quite right that I should have to pay the postage to send back a broken item when it was the store (Newegg) who shipped me a useless part for my money in the first place.  Doesn’t help that the suggested online-purchasable shipping is more than half the price of the item.  Oh well, go figure.  My tracking number just whispered into my ear that the package will arrive soon, so we’ll just have to cross our collective fingers (ouch) and hope that the replacement arrives soon.

With the old computer giving up for the time being, the netbook it is.  I’ll have to add some pictures to this dull monster of a post later.

Categories: Computer, Making Tags: , , ,

Ghost in the Wires Chapter Codes – No Answers!

January 11th, 2012 3 comments

On my Christmas list this year was a book called Ghost in the Wires, a book about the life of Kevin Mitnick, most wanted ex-hacker in United States history.  Having just finished the book, I can safely say it is definitely worth the read.  The book was written by Mitnick himself along with William L. Simon, and so is basically an autobiography that really seems to tell the whole story.

Kevin Mitnick: Ghost in the Wires

Now, I’m no book critic, so I won’t go about taking the jobs of those who are, and will instead resort to posting a few links.  I would only go so far as to say that this book is not just for computer experts and is also available as an audiobook for those who prefer to listen to their printed material.

Here is a Wired article with an excerpt of the book.

Here’s another article with a brief interview of Mitnick.

To finish our set of links up, here’s a nice review by the New York Times.

This book has something neat at the beginning of each chapter that I only noticed about halfway through (I guess I don’t pay much attention to chapter headings).  Each chapter has a mysteeerious code that one can only assume is meant to be cracked.  This being easier to do on a computer, I looked around online for a list of the codes, but couldn’t find a list of them without the answers (it’s no fun when you cheat!).  I resorted to typing them out, so I can’t guarantee the complete accuracy of the codes, but we can collectively hope for the best.  Lemme know if you find something off.

Read more…

Categories: Books, Programming Tags: ,

Schedule Jumbler

December 23rd, 2011 No comments

So here the latest project!

At the prompting of a request by a schoolmate for a program that would generate possible class schedules, I created this PHP application.

Schedule Jumbler

As most of my projects, it isn’t very appealing visually, but apart from one or two unresolved bugs and a probably non-optimal structure, it does what it is supposed to do.

It is only really of use to people who are preparing to register for their schedules for the upcoming semester, making it a fairly seasonal thing.

Basically, the idea is that you get your list of which courses are being taught at which times by which teachers, and you enter the ones you like in, creating a list of your preferred classes.  The application uses what it most-likely a terrible method to cycle through all the possible viable combinations of classes, writing out a schedule for each one.

The current plan is to get together with ma buddy, Andrew Fogarty, and make it look pretty, buy a domain name, etc.  Speaking of which, I gotta think of one of those. sound good?

In case you missed it earlier: SCHEDULE JUMBLER

Categories: Making, Programming Tags: ,

The Name of the Game.

September 30th, 2011 4 comments

So, after the overwhelming response to my imploration in my last post about what I should call my game, I had no choice but to painstakingly pick one of the many amazing options.  The name of the game is Chronobe.  Maybe it’s not amazing, but ya gotta choose one eventually.

This won’t be a long post, I mainly just wanted to let my many vocal fans know that the website they are looking for has changed domains.  The link you now want is below, centered for the convenience of non-readers.

That’s about it – hopefully updating your bookmarks (or favorites, if you… prefer) will prove to be fruitful and not too complicated.

Here’s a preview of a new quest-related monster to wrap this post up.  I haven’t even put it in the game yet!  Exciting!

Escaped Robot

Categories: Game, Other, Programming Tags: ,

Titular Troubles

August 18th, 2011 1 comment

So, as mentioned in my previous post, written eons ago, I’m working on a silly little online game.

Game Screenshot

It has been progressing pretty well, with me constantly getting stuck and then coming up with some sort of solution that is probably the wrong one.  Anyway, it’s almost playable now, with monster fighting, inventory, world maps and leveling up possible.  I’m working on adding a few quests now and I have sprinkled a few screenshots throughout this post.

Here’s a link since you’re dying to try it – As-of-yet Unnamed Game – You can log in using “test123” for username and password, if you don’t want to register.

Game Screenshot

My current problem is that I can’t find a name for the darn thing.  We’ve got a few guesses at a name, but none of them really stand out to me so far.

So far we have – Chronobe, Nilrem and.. sadly, that’s about it.

The first is a mix of “chrono-” and “-be”, which together could supposedly mean time-related life in ancient greek.  Nilrem is Merlin backwards, which will be explained in the following block of text.

Here’s the relevant bit of back-story… Sorry about the block of text-ness of it, but you should be able to just skim it.

Years and years ago, the legendary Merlin of King Arthur fame got pretty annoyed. He was fed up with his reverse aging and felt like no one knew how hard it was to deal with on a daily basis. He decided to teach the world a lesson by inflicting everyone alive with the same condition. These people became Merlinoids. (or Chronobians?  Chronobes?)

He eventually became young enough that he ceased to exist as Merlin, but it was only then that he realized what he had done. As soon as he took his first breath, an incredibly powerful wizard popped into existence. Merlin had discovered the secret to immortality, of a sort, and had given it to everyone in the world. This powerful wizard was actually Merlin, living again.

Merlin II became enraged that he had inadvertently given everyone else the ability to live forever and with his new powers, created a mighty dark fortress. The story of Merlin faded from knowledge and the being that resided inside the fortress became known as the Chronomancer.

So yeah, basically everyone ages backwards.  This will factor into their “height” and “weight” stats, all of which will eventually be explained in the first few quests.

Maybe I need to reread The Once and Future King by T. H. White, which is the origin of Merlin’s reverse aging.Game Screenshot

By the way, if anyone sees this and has the sudden urge to write some amusing content (quests, monsters, items…) for me, I would most likely include it and be grateful.

Categories: Game, Programming Tags: ,

Game in the Works

April 29th, 2011 No comments

I’m working on a game… hasn’t got a name yet.  It’s an RPG sorta thing, maybe slightly MMO.  We’ll say SlightlyMORPG.

I’m making a little “wiki” just to organize my ideas for game mechanics and “world history”.  If you wanna take a look, it’s right here.  Please leave any comments or suggestions you have as a comment here on this post so that I can take a look at them.

– By the way, to anyone checking the above link to the wiki, read the History page called “Merlin” first, it should clarify things.

Yesterday I solidified the different stats that will be pivotal to the character’s progression.  These ended up being Flair (Magic/Charisma), Guile (Sneakiness/Intelligence) and my personal favourite, Pith (Strength/Constitution).  There are also semi-stats (or “anti-stats”), but those are more complicated and need some fleshing out still.  Read this page for more info about stats.

Today I finally got the three classes somewhat finalized and actually managed to draw each one and scan it on into the ol’ computer.  The classes (for now) are the Steampunkeror, the Environmentalist, and the ePirate.  Their names might still need some work, but their general function has been worked out.  Anyone familiar with Role-playing Games should recognize the base character types right away. 

Here are the pictures I drew – annoying how they always look better before they’re scanned into the computer.

3 Classes, Black and White

The Steampunkeror is a Wizard/Sorcerer type and the ePirate is a Rogue (or Thief/Ninja to non-D&Ders) type character.  A little less obvious is the Environmentalist, who could perhaps be more accurately called the “Enraged Environmentalist”, but I thought that was a bit of a mouthful.  Yes, he plays the role of the Fighter, the character that uses physical force to achieve what he wants.  There’s a bigger explanation in the wiki on this page.

I’m still not sure what visual style I like for these characters, here’s another idea I’m considering:

3 Classes in Colour

Yeah, so if you have any ideas/suggestions at all, leave a comment.

Categories: Game, Other Tags: ,

Writing Totally Rad Stuff in PHP

April 15th, 2011 No comments

Hey fellow blogians,
I’ve been working hard on teaching myself some php these past few days. I’ve been having quite a bit of fun actually, and I thought I’d share it.

I started off by watching this super-duper youtube vid made by “phpacademy”.  I found it really clear and helpful and really wanted to try some of the things the guy was explaining.  I didn’t want to risk messing up my main site, so I did a quick search for a place that does free hosting and “domain names”.  The best option I seemed to find was x10hosting, which has FTP access and PHP and a MySQL server thingy, as well as some other stuff that I haven’t figured out yet :P

It’s definitely what one would call a work in progress, but so far I’ve been updating it pretty frequently.  Just trying to slowly make it more interesting.  I mean, I started out with only a login page, and now you can battle specks**!  Yesterday I was figuring out how to join tables in a mysql query, so we’re starting small…  getting hopes up about the actual site is strictly forbidden.

Here’s the link if you wanna go take a look – just sign up with the “register” link –

** You’ll see if you sign up.  Don’t get your hopes up.

Categories: Other Tags:


January 22nd, 2011 5 comments

We were trying to convert meters of cable to feet the other day, and obviously Google was the method of choice.  So one of the first results was this … It seems okay at first, but on further reading, one notices that they are a tad off.  Ex: “Multiply 29 with 3.2808399 and your converted value in feet is 11.417.”

Hrmm. I’ve been trying to figure out what they did wrong… Anyone got any idea?  I challenge you to tell me what they did wrong.

Categories: Other Tags: