Randomized Dungeons

Posted in Development, Software, Video Games on April 19, 2017 by osake

I wrote a little dungeon maze generator using randomize Prim’s algorithm in Ruby.  The snippet below is the algorithm itself and works off of any sort of walls/rooms combo as long as it’s valid.  This should also work in hex or even a 3D maze since floors and ceilings are effectively a wall pair.

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 6.11.26 PM

I’m looking to port this over to my new game, but wanted to prototype it in Ruby.  I think I should add some variety by dropping rooms at random on a given size.  This piece will work, but my room and wall generators will need some tuning.

Squirrel!

Posted in Rant, Video Games on March 2, 2017 by osake

I’ve been all over the place with game development lately.  I have my Eternal Card Game sim which is pretty active.  I try to code on it at least an hour per week so it doesn’t rot.  I have a deck tracker for Eternal as well, which is manual, but it is what it is.

On the non-Eternal list of stuff, I started modeling out the Dungeons and Dragons Online area known as Stormreach Harbor.  It’s felt overwhelming to say the least.  I’ve started this a few times and always end up doing something else.  I’ve been watching a lot of Unity videos, getting great ideas, but nothing started yet.  I have a bowling game, a Japanese slide puzzle, a DDO character maker, and the list goes on.  I really need to put something to bed.

If the squirrel problem wasn’t bad enough, I’ve had a resurgence in playing DDO, I’m actively playing Clash Royale, pushing for 4k trophies, I just started Torment: Tides of Numenera (I actually started twice, once on my PC and once on my laptop… different builds) because it came it recently, and I’m working on 3 different Final Fantasy games.  What is wrong with me?

I’m just looking for something to scratch that itch, and it varies every day.  I’ve also been enjoying games, puzzles, books, and snuggling with my kids.  I can’t forget them, despite what my personal plans are.  On the upside, they like to watch me play Final Fantasy and they reenact scenes with their imaginations and home-made Lego swords… okay, not the safest, so we do have to practice caution.

Anyway, this was a bit ranty, I just felt the need to get it out there and cached on the mighty Internet.

P.S. I’m also writing two books, playing a lot of Rocksmith 2014, teaching myself piano, and looking to get back into art.  If days were longer, we’d just die faster.  I envy those who have narrow scope in life.

Eternal Card Game Simulator

Posted in Development, Video Games on February 8, 2017 by osake

It’s been a long time since I posted here. Blogs are dead, right?

Anyway…

I’ve been playing Eternal (eternalcardgame.com) since closed beta. It’s a nice departure from my Hearthstone tenure (played since beta as well). One thing I really liked in Hearthstone was the deck tracker, and I knew that there was a lot of work in the Hearthstone community around simulators, etc.

Eternal seems to use HTTP traffic, at least in my first stab at deck tracking. After writing up a silly little manual deck tracking app in Javascript (eternal-deck-tracker.appspot.com) and messing with a card creation tool, I took on writing a simulator for Eternal Card Game. It’s just my own little project to mess around with Scala while recreating some behavior of the online card game I’m currently playing.

Currently, I’ve got a simple AI vs AI simulator and I’m working through the basics of solitaire mode where you can pit yourself vs AI. As a text sim, the command parsing is going to take some work, along with needing a clean-ish rendering of the board state.

I had thought of doing a few more complicated things with this simulator: creating a graphic UI with ScalaFX, exposing a RESTful JSON API with Scalatra, or maybe even rebuilding Direwolf Digital’s Unity UI. I could go on with ideas, but I think I want to stick to a simple, messy text UI for now.

The next phase I’m really interested in jumping into, once the solitaire is done, is looking at 4 player modes, so an FFA and two-headed giant. So that’s your teaser.

If you want to keep up with the simulator development, then check it out osake.github.io/EternalCardGameSimulator/ or even contribute.

Getting qt4-qtruby-2.0.3 running on Mac OS X (and Qt)

Posted in Development, Software on August 21, 2009 by osake

History

Please bear with me to share a little history of how I even got an interest in trying Ruby/Qt on the Mac.

In the past I’ve tried to learn GUI development.  The biggest roadblock (aside from the learning curve) was getting one installed with all its dependencies.  And maybe I’m asking for it when developing on a Mac.  They’ve always been company provided, so I’m not going to whine too much.

Some time ago, I co-presented on a GUI toolkit talk at my Ruby user group (KCRUG).  My compatriots chose Ruby Cocoa and Gtk, while I chose Shoes (I miss you _why).  I wasn’t just chosing Shoes to be eclectic, but I wanted ease of cross-platform.  Shoes to me also seemed easier to get up and running at the time.

So now, you should understand where I’m coming from.  I want cross-platform and I want something simple to setup.  Well, unfortunately, my portion of the presentation was a fail.  Not the presentation itself, but I was unable to get what I needed to talk to Wee War’s site and do anything.  Even with an excellent Wee War API wrapper in Ruby done up by Sean.

Shoes (still young at the time) wasn’t going to float for me any longer.  It did receive constant love from contributors to the source, but the struggle for me to achieve anything on par with the excellent sample apps ruined my glorious vision of triumph with a simple, elegant tool.  Someone recently gave me their thoughts on why Shoes failed me, and maybe its true.  I just couldn’t adapt my comprehension of programming to the Shoes DSL.

Gtk and Cocoa.  Well, let’s just dump Cocoa now, I had no interest in limiting myself.  So after that presentation (which mind you, was done in an Ubuntu VM), I tried to fire up the whole Ruby/Gtk thing native on the Mac.  After flailing for a few days, I caved in and abandoned my search for some time.

Present

Well, a little more history, but relevant to the post topic.  Something recently spurred my interest in Qt.  I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve always used Gnome, Windows, or Mac for my windowing system.  I do occasionally boot Knoppix, but I really don’t get too deep into Qt stuff.  Oh yeah, and I’ve used/currently use many things that have their claim to fame in Qt.

I tried hitting up TrollTech to get started.  No go, the link I found was dead with no redirect or anything.  A quick search clued me in to Nokia’s recent involvement.  This is fine by me, there is still an LGPL version and now it’s funded love.

Let’s review real quick, my requirements: must be cross-platform, I’d like to do it in Ruby if possible, and I have to be able to get it working natively on my Mac.

Recipe

As of this post, here is what I had to grab (oh yeah, you’ll need Xcode I’m pretty sure, comes with your Mac though)

  • Qt (4.5.2 from Nokia)
  • cmake (2.6.4 from cmake)
  • ruby (1.8.6, compiled version of Ruby)
  • qt4-qtruby-2.0.3 (2.0.3 from RubyForge)

I installed Ruby first since I do that professionally.  Qt was next, and I actually went with the full SDK in case I want to explore outside the realm of Ruby, or find limitations or interests that take me back to C++.   I then made the mistake of trying to just build qt4-qtruby.  You need cmake to build it, so get cmake up and running.  I actually used the binary dmg and linked it up in my shell path during installation.

Now, just so you don’t spend a lot of time asking why cmake in the source dir fails, let’s get you on the right foot off the bat.

$ cmake -Wno-dev \
-DRUBY_INCLUDE_PATH=/usr/lib/ruby/1.8/universal-darwin9.0 \
-DRUBY_LIBRARY=/usr/lib/libruby.1.dylib \
-DENABLE_QTWEBKIT_SMOKE=off \
-DENABLE_QTWEBKIT_RUBY=off

You may need to change your Ruby paths, but the other options will help get you through cmake and make.

I saw a more detailed build on phosphorescence‘s blog, but my cmake params should suffice.

After cmake is complete:

$ make && sudo make install

Feel free to break that up, but I just like getting it all done in one pass.

The next headache that plagued me over night and into the morning was that my build was successful, but I was unable to complete the ‘helloworld’ example.

require 'Qt4'

app = Qt::Application.new(ARGV)

hello = Qt::PushButton.new('Hello World!')
hello.resize(100, 30)
hello.show()

app.exec()

Line 1 was throwing a LoadError exception for ‘qtruby4’.  I am not terribly good at figuring this sort of thing out.  I mean, I know what it’s saying, but I don’t understand why.  To my knowledge everything was done correctly.  I spent several hours in IRC and searching forums last night.

I came across a German post which Google tried to help me with it’s translation, but I didn’t quite grasp what the fellow was saying.  At this point, I tried a few things before going to sleep and eventually gave in to the sand man.

The next day, I popped in IRC and low and behold, Richard Dale himself was there.  A short while after summarizing my issue, he blessed me with the answer.  For my installation:

$ cd /Library/Ruby/Site/1.8/universal-darwin9.0
$ ln -s qtruby4.so qtruby4.bundle

So really, just change to whatever directory contains your compiled qtruby4 library and create the symlink to qtruby4.bundle.  Go figure.  I’m tempted to spend a little time understanding what these .bundle files are, but that’s another story.

Top 10 Reasons _NOT_ To Own A G1

Posted in Hardware, Rant on December 4, 2008 by osake

I thought I would try and be objective after talking up the G1 with a top ten list.  Some of these are resolvable by just writing applications, so I expect the list to shrink over time (or maybe I’ll find new aggravations):

10. Battery seems weak, especially when you have crappy service coverage and the phone is constantly searching for signal.

9. OpenGL ES version is not the latest and greatest.

8. T-Mobile’s 3G infrastructure is still really weak.

7. No multi-touch gesturing (is this patented by Apple?).

6. Some navigation is awkward requiring the use of buttons and screen touching.

5. Alert notifications cannot be customized by type.

4. No way to kill (manage) applications that are running in the background.  I really want to know what kind of resources the apps are using when I return to the home screen.

3. Not enough storage for applications pack rats such as myself.

2. No native PDF support.  Gives a nice error though 🙂

1. MachDice.  A really sweet die rolling application that uses the OpenGL library that doesn’t exist on the G1 yet.

Top 10 Reasons To Own A T-Mobile G1

Posted in Hardware, Rant, Software on November 20, 2008 by osake

In other words, ten reasons I don’t own an iPhone (or the G1 is just as good).  And in no particular order, here they are:

10. It’s not AT&T.  Honestly, I don’t have a terrible grudge against them, but several people I am close to do.  My service provider happens to be T-Mobile as well.  Call me a shill.  Meh.

9. It has a physical keyboard.  I had a Blackberry as my last data phone.  Definitely spoiled by full qwerty access and the tactile response.

8. Applications that I write can easily be put on the phone, for free.  Last I checked, you have to pay out $99 USD and own a Mac.  Neither of which I had after buying the phone itself.  I still would like to own a Mac though.

7. My fairly content relationship with Google.  I enjoy most of the services that Google provides and having a device that is built to play well with my internet love affair is just dandy. (Yes, I refuse to capitalize the internet…take that!)

6. 3G.  Okay, my city doesn’t have it yet, but the end of the year is going to level the playing ground in most major US cities with our competitor.

5. Cross-platform development kit.  Maybe a little unfair to fill the list with dev arguments, but the fact is, you can develop for this phone on your choice of three major operating systems.  Thanks Java.

4. ShopSavvy.  I was a little pessimistic about this app after some bad luck with its lacking database, but it has grown tremendously since opening day.  I’m going to retire my other barcode scanning apps now.

3. Standardized USB communications port.  It looks a little wonky, but it works fine with a Mini-USB connector.  I know iPhones use that connector similar to the iPod, which I own, but I own far more Mini-USB cables, and I like being able to switch between all my other devices without carying a bunch of different cables.

2. ConnectBot.  It’s an SSH app that rocks the block.

1. I can find Uranus any time thanks to this stellar app called “SkyMap”

There are still several improvements that could be made to the G1, and maybe I’ll gird my loins up to write a top ten to counter this list.  I do admit that, as of today, I would buy maybe an iPod touch so that I could have that MachDice, die rolling, app currently available on the iPhone/iPod touch.

Rails Rumble 2008

Posted in Development on October 20, 2008 by osake

Oh boy, this weekend was a blast.  To top it all off, Sunday was my 33rd birthday.  I am going to break down my team’s participation in Rails Rumble 2008 right here before your very eyes.

Friday Evening

We had decided earlier in the week to go ahead and start from home on Friday and get a good night’s sleep before meeting up Saturday at one person’s house.  Our team was also short a member for the first part of the competition.

Initially, we sat with baited breath at 6pm Central (at least I did) and then realized that we are still observing DST which caused the start clock to be 7pm instead.  It worked in our favor though because we were short a guy initially and planned to meet the next day anyway.

Once the timer started, I worked on the server setup and other system tasks while my partner was cranking out the base application.  Pretty rudimentary for a start, but had to be done.  We also decided to try and be at the host’s house around 9:30-10am the next day and really punch out some work.

Saturday

I woke up late and on top of that my carpool was running behind and to keep the run-on sentence going, the host had just woke up by the time we got ready to head over to his house.  I thought, “Rock on, this is going to be an awesome day.”  Okay, I didn’t really think that…

We arrived and setup our laptops.  I was the only non-Mac user, and my laptop is so old and dysfunctional that I couldn’t connect to the wireless.  Fortunately, the boy scout in me thought to bring some ethernet in hopes of having a jack to plugging in to.

We had to sacrifice the XBOX 360’s network so that I could participate with internet access.  Oh, the drama!

We broke out a whiteboard and started talking through our idea a bit more than the scant pre-rumble meetings.  This was also important because our Friday night AWOLer, who was our designer, was in attedance.

With the game plan solidified, we were seated in front of many donuts and donut holes, plenty of soda options, and a 60″ plasma playing Bee Movie (in progress).

This is where I get tired of journaling the entire adventure, so to summarize, I consumed:

  • half a dozen donuts
  • half a dozen donut holes
  • easily 8 20oz sodas (Diet Mt.Dew, Diet Dr.Pepper, Cherry Coke Zero…and more!)
  • a double burger and cajun fries from 5 Guys Bruger and Fries
  • a dozen cookies (home cooked, not sure if home made)
  • 6 slices of pizza (Papa Johns)
  • scrambled eggs
  • 2 slices of toast
  • chips w/salsa and cheese dip

We also turned on about a half dozen movies to varying degrees of completeness and a few TV shows.

Before we got too far into the actual design of the logo and other style choices, we decided to name our application “Back In Black” to play off the accounting world where being in the red is bad and black is good.

Later in the evening, our designer had rolled out a our logo and good start on the styling of the application.  And somewhere along that time, someone queued up AC/DC’s song “Back In Black”.  As the design neared is initial phase of completion, the energy levels went through the roof.  A good design can be a great motivator.

During the wee hours, we began to lull a little bit and even took a few power naps.

Sunday

As the morning hours neared, we gather ourselves and defined a checklist of remaining goals that we wanted to see completed before turning in the final product.

We quickly hammered out the last few features and even had time to add one last feature over the following hours until deploy time.

I had already been doing deploys to ensure that worst case scenario, we had something on the server by the deadline.  There was a kink.  As I went to do the actual deploy, I had to restart Apache so that it would take the phusion changes and the new virtual host.  Uh oh, error!  What?  Why?

It turned out to be something simple in the realm of permissions.  Crisis averted, we were set.  Application turned in, ready to be tagged.  But wait!  Another problem.  Great, this is the way of software isn’t it?  An IE problem.  Fortunately, the team was quick to solve the bug, we pushed the changes, tagged the branch, bid our farewells and grabbed a container of cookies to take home.

The End

View our completed project at http://diedebtdie.r08.railsrumble.com

Damage Assessment:

  • consumed way too many calories (didn’t bother to weigh myself when I got home)
  • ear ache (might be a sinus infection) exacerbated by lack of sleep
  • I aged another year (though it’s been 365 days coming …had to calculate for leap year)
  • wet keyboard from wet dog beard (golden retriever style)
  • dog snot on pants and face (from the little guy, I forget which breed)
  • pizza sauce on my bright green shirt…very festive
  • delirium from lack of sleep

Huge thanks to Eldon for hosting and coding skills and Scotty for design and coding.  I was going to fly solo for the rumble this year, but it was easily 10x more fun with a team.  Thanks to Eldon’s wife for hooking us up with the food and drink and his pets for their entertainment.