Been having quite a bit of fun with the honours project recently and driving out the map editor for the multiplayer game itself. The game part is near completion to (code wise) with a round base system (similar to that of worms). The editor is also rather neat with saving and loading of individual players maps which they own. Currently a small array of simple tiles and objects can be placed as well as start points for each teams minions. The only real thing left to do is some last bug checking and error detection.
The BeakW story:
In the near future both radiation and genetic manipulation experiments have destroyed civilization. Humanity has been wiped out and without supervision particles in man built tubes have collided ripping the earth apart through black holes. Vast pieces of empty land float seamlessly almost tranquilly through space unclaimed. Until now.
Mutated music playing rabbits, non-deteriorating radiation riddled tin cans, almost extinct water drops and anorexic looking aliens wage war on one another.
Select your side and wipe out your opponents. Destroy everyone.
Some Screenshots of the Editor:
Came accross this today http://jqueryui.com/and from first glance it looks rather epic. I’ve implemented the calendar tool into the Glasgow storage quote form and can say it was pretty simple to do. I get the feeling I’m going to be using a lot more of the UI tools they provide and will probably be buying the book on it over the next week as well. Also now helping to support island state of Niue with my recent purcahse of www.beak.nu which is my new front domain for my web hosting after beakw.com became home for my university honours project.
There is nothing more rewarding in SEO than taking a company that is not listed on Google apart from an “Untitled Page” result when specifically searching the company name and moving to the front of Google. The feeling is great to see them rise above competition. What gives you an even better kick is when after 8 months they go from nowhere to #1 for their main key term “Storage Glasgow”. The Glasgow storage company is now top beating local competition as well as multinational. Now onwards with Spectrum Properties.
What a year. I could list a hundred great things of 2009 but it would only get boring after the first three . So 2010, in four months I will have my BSc honours which really isn’t a long time away in a galaxy far far away. 2010 is also the year I plan to start reading non-web related books again, improve on the spelling, blog more, draw more (get the laptop/tablet fixed) and relax a bit more.
When I write relax more, I really mean do less work related stuff on the net and hopefully get some more hours towards drawing and programming for fun… not that work isn’t fun but unfortunately no one is going to pay me to finish my flash ISO game …
Not sure if I did ever post something I was working on in my spare time but here it is in all its basic glory -
Basic game engine: http://beakable.com/game/013.html - Purple cubes can be clicked and moved around map using keyboard arrows, crates can be pushed and orange triangles are simple blind AI.
Basic game editor: http://beakable.com/game/E002.html – Arrrow keys to move around move map, mouse to lay tiles, white buttons bottom left of map display tiles and so on. Save feature in top left.
Till next time
Having apologised in my last post about lack of updates recently I come back again with my tail between my legs. Coming up for the last couple of weeks in my honours year semester at university now and just in the middle of wrapping up some large projects which is all peachy as I’m hoping I’ll get some time at the Christmas holidays and not need to be stuck to the box. Everything is going great though. Ages ago I had posted about doing SEO for a local Glasgow company and it really is time to blow my trumpet. On my first meeting they were failing to show up anywhere near the first page on Google, not even close. However after roughly six months on they are now 1st, 2nd or 3rd for their main key phrases in organic results. Phrases such as “self storage Glasgow”, “Glasgow storage”, “Storage units Glasgow” and “Storage space Glasgow” as well as many other phrases has seen their average monthly hits tripled from below 200 to over 600. I’m Pretty chuffed. The Glasgow storage company is http://www.aabsoluteselfstorage.co.uk.
I’ve sadly ignored updating my blog and my Facebook site page over the last month as I have really been nailed down (not even tied, but nailed). Apart from about 4 smaller websites/portfolios and larger NDA flash stuff, I’ve also began my Honours year at university. After achieving my Bachelors with distinction I decided I’d stay on and see if I can get top grades again. In my honours I have to show what I am capable of with a yearlong project, which is why I’m making http://beakw.com/. I’m hoping to progress fast through it but with the amount I have on just now it’s only getting allocated the time it requires, not the bells and whistle time I’d want. So once I’m over this current hurdle of work I might take a couple of weeks off from it all to focus on getting those top grades.
Similar to the new Projects blog category as I finish sites and so on I will post and record them here.
A few days ago I finished and went Live with the Spectrum Properties website. It uses the cakePHP framework (which I’m really starting to love) as the sites backend, which made it a doddle to generate the large database driven content. Also uses a touch of jQuery with a relatively good use of the Google Maps API to produce the office, workshops and other property locations. The sites content is still in need of some touching up and perhaps a few site tweaks as well as finishing touches to the custom CMS I made (incorporates TinyMCE and jQuery). The site can be seen at http://www.spectrumproperties.co.uk. I went for a spacious clean and professional look and as usual its XHTML & CSS valid. As always feel free to leave any feedback – positive or negative.
Just a couple of days ago I launched a Facebook page for Beakable.com seen here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Glasgow-United-Kingdom/Beakable-Web-Design/144184688922. This will be used for tracking of current and finished web design work as well as linking back to any articles that Beakable may feature in from now on. Hopefully viewers will join and give both positive and negative feedback on my work and comment on the progress of Beakable.com.
One of my current web design jobs is requiring the resizing of more than enough pictures, and then resizing again to create thumbnail versions. Fireworks and no doubt Photoshop can do batch image resizing, although last time I went through all the settings in Fireworks to do a batch image scaling process it died within two minutes (and that was before it had output the scaled images).
So along comes this web developer’s gem: http://www.rw-designer.com/picture-resize. A free batch photo resizing application, or to be more specific, an .exe icon you can drag pictures on and it instantly outputs the resized version. The .exe contains the size you want to duplicate the image into so if your .exe is named “PhotoResize800.exe” then your image output would be scaled to a resolution of 800px.
Fast, simple uncluttered and doesn’t even require an install. Easy to use so definitely worth trying out.
Personally I hate Internet Explorer 6. It’s a web browser that doesn’t speak web, a browser that pretends to be able to do what it’s used for. This isn’t what makes it truly annoying though, nor what makes it my digital enemy, and without a doubt a problem in the world of websites. What causes the friction between me and it is the fact it just won’t die. Recent reports show that there is still roughly 30% of people browsing the internet who still use IE6. Microsoft says it’s shipped with XP; we support XP, meaning we need to support IE6. Indeed most of the users still using it are coming from offices or so, that hasn’t had their browsers updated and probably don’t feel the need to neither update nor want the hassle or cost since IE6 works… in its twisted poor language interpreting way. With sites like http://deathtoie6.com/ and big online brands like YouTube now displaying “We will be phasing out support for your browser soon” to users either forced or damned to use IE6 for the time being, there is only but hope that eventual backwards compatibility and life support will begin to be switched off.
However, in the mean time I was linked to probably the most awesome Internet Explorer party there is.
I myself am a beloved Firefox fan (http://www.firefox.com) but do keep my vista up to date on both my laptop and desktop which means I’m running IE8 on both.
So the question was how does someone that escaped the plague of IE6 actually go about testing in it. The answer is IETester: http://www.my-debugbar.com/wiki/IETester/HomePage
This tool doesn’t just provide you with IE6 mode, but also IE5.5, IE7 and IE8.
Great for testing compatibility and making sure that what should work and look ok does work and look ok. It does randomly crash every now and then but who can blame it.