Blogs from friends
Programming and Software Development Guru
  • The Fundamentals of COMPUTER Tips

    If you can not manage to boost your PC will certainly nonetheless be in a position to run games on lower settings. There are again several approaches to shut down your COMPUTER, yet I have actually covered the 2 chief ones. When you have picked to purchase a COMPUTER, it’s...

  • A tech blog recommendation

    I recently came across this blog in my web travels. The guy is a self described C++ hater, but also a C++ (and many other languages) super-genius, being a developer of compilers and debuggers and stuff for embedded C and C++ developers in the automotive industry. His articles aren’t too focused...

  • Stay in Sync with GCal and Thunderbird.

    For a long time I have been looking for a rock solid calendaring system. I’ve gotten too used to working for companies who have Microsoft Exchange (or, God forbid, Scalix) installed which allow me to edit and update a calendar from multiple locations and even sync...

The Escapist

The Escapist Forums : Threads
  • Even without Nuclear Weapons a World War 3 in this day and age would destroy the world?

    Universal basic income is actually a pretty capitalist idea. Capitalist require consumers and UBI ensure that there's always going to be consumer around...

    I believe it's Moody's Analytics that does regular reports on the ROI for every federal dollar spent in terms of GDP growth, and consistently the most lucrative expenditures, beyond debate, are social programs and infrastructure. Precisely because they maintain and expand the consumer base upon which corporations rely for profit while reducing logistical outlays, which overall increases money velocity.

  • Is anyone surprised the US made the ten 10 list of most dangerous countries to be a woman?

    The USA is not the tenth most dangerous country for women. (What, ahead of Eritrea? North Korea? Crimea? Sudan? Liberia? Venezuela? Thailand? Get real.)

    The inclusion in the list is down to wonky methodology. The USA did not rank in four of the six metrics used. The States ranked joint third worst for sexual violence and sixth for non-sexual violence, which is incomprehensible. The methodology used was based simply on opinion polling and we can probably conclude that the recent hyperawareness of sexual abuse and women's rights issues in the West skewed respondents perceptions to believe that the USA has a much bigger problem, relatively, than it actually has.

    I wasn't aware North Korea was a UN member state. You did read that this was only UN member states right? The opinion polling however was from experts in the field, not just random opinions like that of Batou667.

    I think if anything the US has a much larger problem than is generally perceived, rather than being misrepresented here.

    How many women are touched without their consent on a daily basis in the US, at work, on the subway, in clubs, in school? The number is staggering, I assure you.

  • ok, i have to rant somewhere, so here it is...

    Lil devils x:
    I will have to disagree with advice to use vaping as an option, as that is just another bad idea and some of those things now have more nicotine than cigarettes...

    I was a smoker for a decade, funny enough originally picked up the habit during a really bad allergy season, because I discovered it was the only thing that actually helped my symptoms. Three to four years ago, I started vaping, and while I have a cigarette occasionally, maybe a pack a year in total, I've mostly quit and have reached the point I largely find the taste and smell of cigarettes largely off-putting.

    Yes, a lot of liquids do have more nicotine than cigarettes. Depending on brand, filtering, and flavor, most cigarettes sit around the equivalent of a 6-12mg/ml juice, and most juices in my experience go up to 24mg/ml. But, on the other hand, nicotine-less and -light juice does exist. Personally, I vape 3mg/ml.

    Now, here's the thing. Smoking is a habit first, addiction second. Nicotine is an addictive drug, sure, but not that addictive, at least in the sense chemical withdrawal isn't terribly bad and short-lived. Habituation to the physical act of smoking and the ritual involved is the killer. Compounding that, is positive association between the chemical effects of nicotine, the relaxation of smoke breaks, and the social context of smoking. In short, smokers turn themselves into Pavlov's dogs as a matter of course.

    This is why cold turkey and "cessation aids" like NRT (patches, gum, nasal sprays) and prescription pharmaceuticals rarely work. They don't break the habituation, and more often than not smokers relapse when they repeatedly put themselves in situations where they've conditioned themselves to smoke. By the by, this is actually why many smokers gain weight when trying to quit; excess eating replicates the smoking "ritual", and since eating triggers dopamine release it replicates the chemical effect of nicotine in the nervous system.

    That's why vaping works to transition off tobacco products. It replicates the "ritual" of smoking, and can be performed in any scenario in which one might otherwise be tempted to smoke. And, most appealingly, one can carry out the ritual absent nicotine should they vape 0% juice. From there, it's simply a matter of weaning oneself from the habit.

    This is why recovering alcoholics and other addicts are told to change their life style to avoid circumstances in which they're habituated, or conditioned, to drink. We don't do that with smokers; instead, we throw them headlong into each and every life circumstance in which they'd be tempted to smoke, give them "cessation" aids that only address the chemical aspect by prolonging or delaying withdrawal no other recourse, yet endlessly propagandize the evils of the chemicals involved without engendering a deeper understanding of what really happens inside smokers' minds. We do our hardest as a society to keep them "smokers", but throwing money at big pharma instead of big tobacco.

    Is it any wonder the pharmaceutical industry is throwing money around like it's going out of style to lock down the vaping industry?

Voronoi tiling art PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mat   
Wednesday, 30 September 2009 20:23

These tessellations have all been generated by a very simple FreeBASIC program that I wrote.

I stumbled upon this algorithm while searching for a way to generate stochastic terrain heightmaps for a 3D strategy game, and realised that it could be made to produce pretty 2D pictures.

See: Voronoi diagram at Wikipedia.

The algorithm is as follows: start by placing a number of control points in random positions in the image, and assign each one a primary colour. Then for each pixel of the image, the colour of that pixel is set to the colour of its nearest control point, and the brightness of the pixel is set to the difference between the distance from the pixel to its nearest control point and the distance from the pixel to its next nearest control point.

Numerous variations on the algorithm exist: instead of using control points, other geometric objects can be used such as line segments or circles, which both result in curved edges. Also, instead of using Pythagoras to compute the distances, other methods can be used such as the Manhattan metric or the chessboard metric, and these result in more right angles.

It is possible to achieve a finer granularity in the spectrum of colours used, by mixing together two or more layers of tilings with various weights and numbers of control points.

Tiling Tiling Tiling
Tiling Tiling Tiling
Tiling Tiling Tiling

Last Updated on Thursday, 01 October 2009 20:12
Place features PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mat   
Saturday, 17 January 2009 02:42
Current features of Place:
  • Free software, professionally finished;
  • No restrictions on licensing of your game;
  • Most of the work done for you, just tell Place where you want to place your entities and how you want them to react;
  • Movable entities automatically negotiate obstacles using shortest-path algorithm;
  • A bare minimum of scripting experience required of game designers;
  • Advanced features available to those who want to dig deeper;
  • Helpful debugging system enables rapid testing and makes it easy to find mistakes;
  • Prototyping system to reduce the amount of tediously repetitive work involved in development;
  • Free, extensible toolkit: add new features if you wish;
  • Uses a well-established, popular general-purpose scripting language with vast amounts of documentation, so there's no need to learn some adolescent, obscure single-purpose language just for scripting games;
  • Runs on Windows, Linux, Mac and various other platforms;
  • Games get an extensive menu system for making and loading savegames and configuring all of their settings;
  • Use any graphics resolution you wish; player can choose their own and your graphics will be rescaled, preserving the aspect ratio if desired;
  • Entities can automatically scale down as they move further away to give the appearance of perspective;
  • Simple yet powerful conversation system;
  • Link subtitles with the voice audio files that go with them, if you want voice acting;
  • Multi-threaded caching system pre-loads resources before they are needed, for improved responsiveness;
  • Internationalization/localization: easily support translations of a game into foreign languages;
  • Support for cut-scenes, using either the pre-existing system of rooms and entities, or MPEG format videos;
  • Extensive tutorials to get you started.

Features planned for the future:

  • Auto-package games into a Windows .exe installer, .pkg file for Macs or .deb, .rpm or .tgz package for Linux;
  • WYSIWYG game creation and editing studio, integrated with the Gimp professional, open-source image manipulation suite and featuring a text editor for scripting with syntax highlighting, auto-completion and debugging facilities;
  • Parallax scrolling background scenes;
  • Ability to use 3D models for entities instead of flat sprites;
  • Simplify programming interface further still and extend to Java, Python, Lua and Ruby;
  • More speed improvements;
  • Native support for Nintendo's DS and Wii consoles and SymbianOS (for recent phones by Nokia and others).
Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 April 2009 20:50
About Place PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mat   
Saturday, 17 January 2009 02:38
Place is a collection of modules for the programming language Perl, intended to enable non-programmers to fairly easily develop 2D point-and-click adventure games that can run on Windows, Linux and Mac. It is free software, distributed under the GNU GPL license, but that does not mean that the games that use it need to be under that license also; games developed using Place may be released under any license that their author wishes, so long as Place itself remains under the GPL.
Last Updated on Sunday, 18 January 2009 01:07