brandontreb.com Tips And Resources For Software Consultants

Game Dev Challenge + OpenGL ES Resource List

The other day, I was reading Ludum Dare and saw a very interesting post. It was a call to action for all game developers to get serious and actually put something out there. Here is a link to the post:

PoV’s Challenge: Make a game, sell 1 copy

The idea is for would-be indie game developers to create a game in the month of October and sell at least one copy. There are no judges, it’s not a competition with anyone other than yourself. According to PoV from Ludum Dare:

Think of this as a race (or a Nanowrimo for games+business). Have something new for sale and in a store by the end of October. And if you can sell a copy (or sign a licensing deal, or earn $1 in ad revenue), you win.

I have been attempting to learn OpenGL since my early days of programming 10 years ago and it has never stuck. I figured this would be a perfect opportunity to really buckle down and learn it. Recently, I have stumbled upon some really great **OpenGL ES resources and tutorials **that have really made things “click” for me. I wanted to share them in this post.

1. OpenGL ES From The Ground Up

URL: http://iphonedevelopment.blogspot.com/2009/05/opengl-es-from-ground-up-table-of.html

This is a blog created by Apress author Jeff Lamarche. Jeff has been blogging about opengl es for quite some time and probably has one of the best opengl series out there. His tutorials are aimed at the absolute beginner and he takes a very nice approach to teaching OpenGL ES.

The link above will take you to his table of contents of tutorials. Where you can read up on his articles ranging from drawing basic triangles to importing 3D models from Blender.
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2. Simon Maurice iPhone OpenGL ES

URL: http://www.cocoachina.com/wiki/index.php?title=Category:Simon_Maurice_iPhone_OpenGL_ES

This is an incredible 20 part series that was translated from Chinese to English and posted on the CocoaChina Wiki. These articles take a slightly different approach, while still doing a great job of teaching you OpenGL ES.

The articles are well written and quite comprehensive. It is obvious that the approach isn’t quite as professional as Jeff Lamarche’s blog, however this series goes a lot more in depth and will teach you more complex concepts such as handling touch and moving in 3D.

3. NeHe OpenGL Tutorials

URL : http://nehe.gamedev.net/lesson.asp?index=01

These are oldies but goodies. The NeHe tutorials have been around for years and years. In fact, I attempted to understand them in my early days of coding when I declared every method as static in Java so I didn’t have to instantiate the class to call it (fail). Either way, these tutorials are a staple in the Open GL community.

Although they are not written for ES, they still provide some solid OpenGL concepts. I would strongly suggest reading these after you have read through the other 2. There are some limitation of OpenGL ES (like not supporting GL_QUADS), that will quickly confuse you if you try to write the Nehe tutorials on the iPhone.

One killer thing about the first link I mentioned is, Jeff Lamarche actually ported the first 6 Nehe tutorials to the iPhone and they can be found on the page I linked to.

I will be studying these resources carefully over the coming month. I intend to take the plunge and developer a simple OpenGL ES game in the month of October and sell 1 copy.

So, please join me! If you decide to do this and are journaling your progress, link your blog in the comments. I would love to follow it. I will be doing the same here.

Happy Coding!

This Pretty Much Sums It Up

Source

App Store (Link Share) Affiliate Link Generator

A while back, I wrote a post called ”Money You Might Be Missing Out On” where I discussed the Linkshare API. Well, I took it upon myself to create a simple tool that I have been using in my blog posts to quickly generate affiliate iTunes links for iPhone apps. Here is a screenshot of the app.

The generator is quite simple and perfect for bloggers that are discussing apps. Here is how it works.

  1. Sign up for LinkShare (if you haven’t already done so)
  2. Go to http://brandontreb.com/apps/linkshare/
  3. Enter your LinkShare Token. You get this in the Web Services section if the LinkShare site when you sign up.
  4. Select a merchant. By default, I have already populated it with Apple iTunes. Linkshare supports thousands of affiliate programs, so you can click other if you are using it for something else besides the app store.
  5. Enter the App Store URL of the application that you wish to get an affiliate link for. (ex http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hundred-pushups/id301174591?mt=8)
  6. Click submit

Now, it will interface with the LinkShare API and produce an affiliate link for your account.

I hope you find this tool as useful as I do.

Great WordPress Plugin To Connect Your WordPress Blog To Your Tumblr

Ok, so maybe this is stupid, reposting your own content in multiple areas. As far as SEO goes, it may not be the best idea. However, I really love Tumblr and I really love WordPress. I can’t seem to part with either yet I don’t quite have the time for both.

I put out a quick tweet earlier today (and this is why I flippin love Twitter), asking if anyone knew of a good way to connect WordPress to Twitter. Here are the popular options.

  1. Use Tumblr’s feed importer (suggested by @abrahamvegh). This option requires you to enter your blog’s RSS feed. Tumblr then scans your RSS feed every so often and pulls the new posts. I didn’t care too much for this approach because it’s not instantaneous. I added my feed and it told me that it would refresh in about an hour. After an hour it still didn’t pull my WordPress posts and had a status of queued.
  2. There are quite a few Tumblr WordPress plugins out there. I have tried a few and have seen no success. Until one of my twitter followers (**@TheSilber) **suggested that I use tumblrize. Tumblrize is a great plugin that worked perfectly right out of the box. It was easy to set up and boasts quite a few options.”Tumblrize posts to Tumblr whenever you hit the “publish” button. It uses Tumblr’s simple API to keep posts in sync; when you edit your WordPress post, it updates your Tumblr post.”

I would highly recommend option 2 if you are planning on syncing your WordPress blog with your Tumblr.

Download Tumblr.ize Here

Would love to hear about some other interesting solutions. Feel free to post them in the comments.

SEO: Works Every Time

So I received an internal email at work the other day about how we could SEO our company website (http://elctech.com). Here was my suggestion:

“Just put up a few <h1> tags that state (in this order) Rails, Coding, Consulting, Porn, Free Porn, Porn on Rails, Viagra, iPhone, development, hot chicks, elc.

Guaranteed hits!”

Genius right? So after a while, a fellow employee (@maxmurphy) suggested we implement this rails solution:

<code class=’ruby’>["Rails", "Coding", "Consulting", "Porn", "Free Porn", "Porn on Rails", "Viagra",
"iPhone", "development", "hot chicks", "elc"].each do |seo|
  "#{seo} \n ELC ROCKS #{seo}"
end</code>

Perfect!

Feel free to steal this and you too can be an SEO Guru!