12 apr 2013
Python script to pack a set of textures in to one larger texture to optimise rendering in game engines or for making sprite sheets for websites.
03 mar 2013
My brief notes on switching to HP ProLiant MicroServers for my home/office servers. It includes pictures.... yes that's right pictures of servers!
28 feb 2013
Every bloody operating system has it's own unique way of starting things at boot time. Today I bothered to learn how OS X does it. Here's how I got PostgreSQL to start when my machine is turned on.
26 feb 2013
Many years ago I bought a Current Cost meter. Infact it was so long ago now that they have called my version The Classic. I wanted to see how much electrical energy all my servers, home computers and gadgets were using.
12 nov 2012
When coding with multiple threads it can get pretty tricky using system resources. Many can only be used in the main thread. The main thread is the thread that the OS creates to run your code and your first look at it is the main() entry point.
Many UI systems/compontents like Cocoa and QT can only be safely accessed when the code is running in the main thread. In general you should construct your code so that it's clear what is running in the main thread so the code should never need to ask. The simplest was to do this is to use a Thread Pool pattern but it's not always possible to write generic code that can be called from all threads....
27 oct 2012
This is more of a reminder to myself about confusing linker errors that can appear in XCode when you are working on large projects with many dependencies.
Everything compiles just fine but when it comes to linking you get errors like this....
26 oct 2012
In order to build the assets for my games I have a series of python scripts that know how to take files TexturePacker, Tiled, and Blender and build them for use within the engine. My main platform is OS X and it has good terminal support and more importantly I am comfortable working with the terminal. The artist I work with is not so comfortable and he works on Windows where cmd.exe is painfully outdated and basically useless.
To counter this I wrote a small Python Tkinter script do display a window, text area, some checkboxes and a build button to make it a bit easier for him to work. Crucially it makes it easier to notice build errors and send me bug reports.
22 oct 2012
I'm working on a game where I need to generate anagrams of words. My new game engine, which is Max Astro's engine but with a few tweeks, integrates Lua and all the game logic is in Lua.
26 jul 2012
I've settled on using Blender 2.6 both as a level editor and modeller for my next game (code name BBM). BBM is a 2D game but modelling the characters and rendering the sprites will save a lot of time. Blender isn't the best level editor but it's pretty close and suits my needs...
27 feb 2012
I'm making some changes to the codebase that drives Max Astro before making my next game. The biggest change is that the engine is going to be controlled by Lua. Lua will run the main logic loop and lua will be the configuration language.
18 feb 2012
Previously the Execution Unit website used Wordpress. I was quite happy with Wordpress and I still think it's a great blogging platform. My problem with it is that I wanted more than a blogging platform, I wanted a platform I could easily extend. I"m thinking of offering a free version of MiniTune with a time limited trial so I needed a platform that could deal with generating temporary keys and...