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What not to do in life | TKs weblog

Here is a great article about some advice given to a 22 year old starting his life journey. These points are applicable to anyone, but found them especially applicable to software developers in general.

http://www.tawheedkader.com/2010/11/what-not-to-do-in-life/

Here are a few that I particularly enjoyed

Do not ever work

Picasso used to paint all the time, Henry Moore sculpt the whole day. Others would have thought they were working themselves to death. They actually were reenergizing and reinvigorating themselves. Do what you enjoy doing. Do not ever work.

Do not go into any competition

Quality has no competition. Only mediocrity has competition. If you do what you do at the highest quality you have no competition. Quality creates a moat around yourself.

What this says to me is “Love what you are doing, and don’t make crap!”. These are super wise points that we often overlook. Take for example the iTunes App Store. 300,000 apps where ~ 290,000 of them are total crap. People just writing apps for the sake of making money and not truly enjoying what they are doing.

If you are competing on crap, you are always going to lose.

Tweetpress Plugin Updated

I have just posted an update to my plugin Tweetpress! In case you don’t know, Tweetpress is a plugin I created that allows you to post images to your WordPress blog from mobile Twitter clients instead of a 3rd party service like Twitpic. Here is what’s new in this version.

  • Revert back to WordPress login by default
  • Custom CSS
  • Updated so that the thumbs don’t get a size of 0px when used with SEO images plugin
  • Bug fixes
  • Revert back to WordPress login by default* Custom CSS* Updated so that the thumbs don’t get a size of 0px when used with SEO images plugin* Bug fixes
This update really focused on authentication, I have also updated the about pages for installing the plugin as well as configuring your Twitter client. Here are the important links.
Download Tweetpress from WordPress.org
Tweetpress setup
Twittelator setup
Twitter for iPhone setup

Ludum Dare Competition: Week 2 Update

So another week has gone by and I have made quite a bit of progress, here are the additions since I last posted.

  • Texturing
  • Lighting
  • Skybox
  • Better Terrain generation
  • Environment Fog
  • Basic navigation

So judging by the screenshot, you might really be thinking that I’m working on Minecraft for the iPhone (I used textures that someone created for Minecraft). While this isn’t my intention, it is starting to look like my engine would be perfect for a simple port. Perhaps, I may consider creating something inspired by Minecraft in the future. For now, I will be sticking to my current game idea which I call Cube Hive.

As I continue to update this blog, the game idea will become more and more apparent but basically I want to create a game similar to this on the iPhone in a cube environment.

Anyway, here is a screenshot of where I’m at:

Oh, and BTW doing Fog in OpenGL ES is crazy easy. Here is the code (thanks to Mike Daley of 71 Squared for showing me this)

<code class=’objc’>GLfloat fogColor[] = {1.0f, 1.0f, 1.0f, 1.0f};
    glFogf(GL_FOG_MODE, GL_LINEAR);
    glFogfv(GL_FOG_COLOR, fogColor);
    glFogf(GL_FOG_DENSITY, 0.5f);
    glHint(GL_FOG_HINT, GL_DONT_CARE);
    glFogf(GL_FOG_START, 10);
    glFogf(GL_FOG_END, 20);
    glEnable(GL_FOG);</code>

That’s it! Such a great effect with so little effort.

Anyway, I don’t foresee my game being completed by the end of this month for the Ludum Dare competition. However, I have been working on a killer MUD client for the iPhone that I will most likely submit. I feel that current solutions are clunky, ugly, and unintuitive (sorry if you are a reader and a dev of one of these :/).

I should have some screenshots up soon.

I would love to hear thoughts/opinions of doing a Minecraft inspired game as well?

Calculator Creator Released + Promo Codes

I have recently been developing an iPhone app in my free time called Calculator Creator. This application has been an idea of mine for quite some time and I finally found the time to complete it. Here is the complete description of the app.

The last calculation app you will need to buy!

With Calculator Creator, you are easily able to build your own “Calculators” as long as you know their equations. The process couldn’t be easier.

Simply:

1. Name your calculator (ex Cost Per Square Foot)
2. Add the fields involved (ex Cost, Square Foot)
3. Create the equation (ex Cost/Square Foot)
4. Use the calculator whenever you like

Why purchase a unit conversion application for more, when you could have EVERY unit conversion in one clean application.

Calculator Creator also comes packed with over 20 sample calculators including:

– Unit Conversions
– Mortgage Payments Calculator
– Temperature Conversions
– Tip Calculators
– and more!

If you are reading this and want a free copy of my Calculator Creator, try using one of the promo codes below. Also, please consider leaving me an iTunes review (especially if you are getting the app for free! :))

I would love to hear suggestions for future improvements and features.

Download Calculator Creator on iTunes

PROMO CODES
LRREPTP3E64Y
L6RPN9KYHLFR
9P3YETKR4XTW
H4HF4R4L9K7L
KTRAJYF4M97L
M34ALYRTHJRY
MMFFM7LRJTAP
A3WYL4EKF797
T93FK4479AWX
RHWWJEKNE3AM

PoV’s Challenge: Week 1

After a week of studying my butt off with OpenGL ES, I have finally started work on my game engine for my Pov’s Challenge game.

As you can tell from the screenshot below, I have been playing entirely too much Minecraft and have cube art on the brain.

It’s not much right now, but I do have a basic cube rendering engine that takes in a level file and renders the environment. Here is a screenshot of a very simple level.

It’s not looking super killer at the moment, but I have yet to do fancier lighting or any texture mapping.

Ohh My Game Idea You Ask?

Well, without going into too much detail, it’s pretty much an epic battle of mass proportion set in a 3D cube environment (hint: it’s not iMinecraft ;)).

I will give more details as I go about the month and near the completion of my game.

Also, in case you are interested, here is what the level file looks like for the generated environment.

GG,GG,GG,G,GG,GG,GG
GG,G,G,G,G,G,GG
GG,G,G,G,G,G,GG
GG,G,G,G,G,G,GG
G,G,G,GG,G,G,G
GG,G,G,G,G,G,GG
GG,G,G,G,G,G,GG
GG,G,G,G,G,G,GG
GG,GG,GG,G,GG,GG,GG

The number of G’s that appear represent the height at that location.

The current roadmap is:

  • Texturing & Lighting
  • Collision Detection / Navigation
  • Gameplay & Audio
  • AI
  • Menus / Title / Pause (secret sauce ingredients)

By next week, I should have some sort of level editor and some basic skinning going on.

Hopefully I can finish this sucker by the end of the month. Its’s been an intense journey learning openGL from scratch in 7 days and I know that I still have quite a ways to go. Again, if you are participating in this challenge, link me to your development blog in the comments.

Happy coding!