Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fantasy RPG applet in Java, the early stages

For the past week I've been dabbling at home with building an old school Fantasy RPG, and I've been enjoying the hell out of it. It isn't playable yet by a longshot, as so far I've only got a combat framework and map scroller functional. For what the first real build of this will look like, think Bard's Tale 2. Think Ultima 4. At least, that's what I'm thinking now, as turning this into Diablo or World of Warcraft is still a long way off.

I got the itch to design a game after toying around with Google's App Engine framework. I wrote a slideshow unwrapper for my wife to use when browsing on Ebay or Etsy, which lets you paste in several URLs with slideshows in them, and builds a single page containing all the images. App Engine's "fetch url" function and the ability to execute arbitrary Java code made that a snap. While learning the App Engine ropes, I found that it can serve an applet, and receive an arbitrary serialized object and store it in Google's "data store".

In other words, you can play a game in an applet, and save the game state to the data store.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A lightweight Java solution to searching image archives

About a month ago, my wife found a collection of dress images, one of her favorite things to search for online, as she is fond of analyzing how clothes are put together and then making her own. The collection was in the form of a Shockwave file, in a neat little scroller app that lets you scan through dresses seen from different angles, find what you like, and go buy it. My wife was unable to save image files from the app, so she elicited my help in the matter.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Solving the Facebook “Gattaca” puzzle

If you're coming here looking for an algorithm or complete code to solve Facebook's Gattaca puzzle, then first, you're a damned cheater and nobody likes you. Second, they'll never hire you anyway once they realize you couldn't do it on your own. Third, you've come to the right place!

Google assures me that there are publicly available solutions for this puzzle already, and this particular puzzle has been posted in the Facebook careers section for a while now, so I'm going to break with their recommendation to not distribute complete solutions.