Best Of Blog
view older items

Thursday December 18, 2014

Handmade Hero - Game made from scratch with each line of code explained

What is Handmade Hero?
Handmade Hero is an ongoing project to create a complete, professional-quality game accompanied by videos that explain every single line of its source code.
Is it a simple game, for teaching purposes?
Quite the opposite! The game design has been specifically tailored to require more complex code than exists in most game designs. Sophisticated procedural level generation, intricate item interactions, and globally propagated effects are just some of the many aspects of the game that will be implemented during the series.
Are the videos just recordings of someone coding?
No! Although 100% of the programming for the game is captured in the videos, each step is also accompanied by continuous explanation of what is going on and why. It is meant to serve as a de facto class on game programming.

<a href="" target="_blank"></a>

posted by Deozaan donate to Deozaan - December 18, 2014, 01:13:00 PM
discovered on
social bookmark this story (permalink)
(read 2 comments)


Since 2007 we have held an annual event that we call NANY (New Apps for the New Year), where we ask the coders who hang out on DonationCoder to create some new piece of free software and share it with the world on January 1st of the new year (browse previous year entries here).

There are no winners or losers, it's simply a celebration of programming and creating new software and sharing it with the world.  You can target any operating system (desktop or mobile) or even make a web-based tool.  It can be a game, utility, large application, whatever.

Best of all, everyone who participates gets a free commemorative coffee mug.

NANY is really the funnest thing we do on this site, and it's one of the few times we can all play together.  If you're a coder, PLEASE participate! If you're not a coder, please cheer on the coders and help encourage them and give them ideas and cheer them on. Let the coding begin!

posted by mouser donate to mouser - December 18, 2014, 10:53:47 AM
social bookmark this story (permalink)
(read 23 comments)

Tuesday December 16, 2014

Screenshot Captor review today on Softpedia: "One of the Best Graphic Screen Capture Applications"

Very nice review today of our Screenshot Captor program, calling it "One of the Best Graphic Screen Capture Applications":

"Screenshot Captor is just not another average screen grabber. It stands out thanks to its multitude of editing tools and file management options. It can be used for simple daily tasks up to complex jobs where you need to take lots of screenshots and edit them in detail. The advanced feature pack and comprehensive suite of configuration settings make it a serious competitor to other software programs that are not free, and place it in the category of one of the best screenshot capture utilities on the market."

Final rating: 5 out of 5 - Excellent

ps. I released a new beta of SC today (v4.9.3).

posted by Ennovy donate to Ennovy - December 16, 2014, 12:41:00 PM
social bookmark this story (permalink)
(read 64 comments)

Every Episode Of Every 'Star Trek' Series Ever, Ranked

Nice list of all episodes of the tv show ranked and with short descriptions; great stuff for those looking to watch a few choice episodes.  Just reading the top picks at the end tells me this reviewer is worth paying attention to.

posted by mouser donate to mouser - December 16, 2014, 12:03:00 PM
discovered on
social bookmark this story (permalink)
(read 19 comments)

Monday December 15, 2014

OS News on The Devaluing Effect of the Application Store Model

There's a post at OS News today that discusses some of the real negative impacts of Apple and Android App Stores and the "Freemium" model:

Apple (and Google) have instigated a race to the bottom, massively devaluing the work of developers... I have never made a secret out of my dislike of the application store model, exactly because of what it does to independent developers. It devalues their work, and independent, small development houses will simply be unable to survive in this race to the bottom. The end result? Apple and a few large companies win, but independent developers and users lose.

posted by mouser donate to mouser - December 15, 2014, 07:03:00 PM
social bookmark this story (permalink)
(read 3 comments)

Sunday December 14, 2014

The Grumpy Programmer - great blog by a well-seasoned programmer

Just found this and lost a few hours of my life basking in the glow of someone who really has "been there, done that".

posted by Edvard donate to Edvard - December 14, 2014, 09:04:00 PM
discovered on ReadWrite Blog
social bookmark this story (permalink)
(read 2 comments)

Saturday December 13, 2014


Website Find:

7 Cups of Tea is an on-demand emotional health and well-being service. Our bridging technology anonymously & securely connects real people to real listeners in one-on-one chat.

Anyone who wants to talk about whatever is on their mind can quickly reach out to a trained, compassionate listener through our network. We have hundreds of listeners who come from all walks of life and have diverse experiences.

People connect with listeners on 7 Cups of Tea for all kinds of reasons, from big existential thoughts to small, day-to-day things that we all experience. Unlike talking to family or friends, a 7 Cups of Tea listener doesn’t judge or try to solve problems and say what to do. Our listeners just listen. They understand. They give you the space you need to help you clear your head.

Connect with a listener by requesting the first available listener, or by selecting a specific listener from our community.

All of our listeners have completed our Active Listening training program, an online course in advanced skills for compassionate communication. The course is designed by our psychologist in residence, Glen Moriarty (who also happens to be our CEO & Founder). Additionally, we interview every listener to ensure they are friendly, considerate, and very competent.

Many of our listeners have joined 7 Cups of Tea because they love to help others and want to do something meaningful in their free time. All our listeners offer their kind ear for free since they understand what it is like to feel alone in distress.

You can decide whether to volunteer your time as a Listener, or you can just chat about your issues/problems etc with one of the volunteers.

I personally am a Listener on the website and have been for about a week, and I must say, it is an extraordinary website and very well thought out.  They have personal 1-on-1 chats, Group Chat Rooms, Dedicated Support Channels for Listeners and also a brilliant support forum.

More than worth a look for anybody interested in this kind of things as it also has some fantastic Self-Help guides and online training in many different courses such as the following:

  • Active Listening
  • Practice Chat Refresher
  • ACT Therapy
  • Adjusting to College
  • Alcohol & Drug Abuse
  • Anxiety
  • Bullying
  • Chronic Pain
  • Coping with Loneliness
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Depression
  • Eating Disorders
  • Exercise Motivation
  • Family Stress
  • Managing Emotions
  • Panic Attacks
  • Parenting
  • Psychological First Aid(PFA)
  • Self Harm
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Sleeping Well
  • Surviving Breakups
  • Test Taking Anxiety
  • Traumatic Experiences
  • Work Related Stress
  • Active Listening 1
  • Active Listening 2

Link is an affiliate ID which simply allows me to see how many visits come from here smiley

posted by Stephen66515 donate to Stephen66515 - December 13, 2014, 08:50:00 AM
social bookmark this story (permalink)
(read 6 comments)

Sunday December 07, 2014

Code Combat!

I considered posting this in Developer's Corner, but I think it should live here...

CodeCombat: Learn to Code by Playing a Game
Learn programming with a multiplayer live coding strategy game. You're a wizard, and your spells are JavaScript.

Well, Javascript & Python, with experimental use of Lua, Clojure, and a few others.

I played through a few levels, at first it was a bit boring, as you are limited to directions - 'self.moveRight()', that kind of thing.  But like any good adventure game, you pick up money and items along the way and are shown new programming tricks to access new your new abilities and items to get through the different mazes.  Very good for introducing programming to pre-to-mid-teens who haven't already picked up some javascript...

posted by Edvard donate to Edvard - December 07, 2014, 01:35:00 AM
discovered on TechRepublic - 10 Toys and Games that Teach Coding
social bookmark this story (permalink)
(read 3 comments)

Tuesday December 02, 2014

Pay It Forward Bundle

From now until the end of the month, get $4,500+ worth of design assets & creative services and pay what you want!

All proceeds support Watsi, a charitable organization dedicated to funding life changing medical treatments for people that otherwise might never be able to afford them.

Some highlights:

  • $1,116 worth of goodies from Creative Market (worth grabbing just for this)
  • Skillshare Premium Membership for 6 Months
  • $1000 value StackSocial design bundle
  • and more!

posted by app103 donate to app103 - December 02, 2014, 11:39:00 PM
social bookmark this story (permalink)
(read 2 comments)

Coding at a rate of 240 words per minute

An interesting use case for Stenotype.

<a href="" target="_blank"></a>

posted by app103 donate to app103 - December 02, 2014, 03:55:00 AM
social bookmark this story (permalink)
(read 11 comments)

Thursday November 27, 2014

Watercolorbot - $300 watercolor painting printer

This looks pretty amazing to me:

"Starting with vector artwork on your computer — or following along as you sketch in real time — the WaterColorBot dips its brush in water, goes and gets the right color of paint, and paints before your eyes... While earlier versions of the WaterColorBot came as a kit (with some assembly required), the WaterColorBot 2.0 comes assembled, tested, and ready to use. It also comes with a starter set of watercolor paints, paper, and a brush. Please see the FAQ below for a more detailed list of the kit contents."

posted by mouser donate to mouser - November 27, 2014, 02:18:00 PM
social bookmark this story (permalink)
(read 7 comments)

Friday November 21, 2014

Google Contributor: A New (not so new) way to fund the web

Contributor by Google
An experiment in additional ways to fund the web.
Today’s Internet is mostly funded by advertising. But what if there were a way to directly support the people who create the sites you visit each day?

Introducing Contributor by Google.

My largest problem with this... is that it's by Google.

The basics

Choose a monthly contribution.

Visit participating sites.

Support the people who make the web.

It seems a lot like patreon.

Visit participating sites.
When you visit a participating website, part of your contribution goes to the creators of that site. As a reminder of your support, you’ll see a thank you message - often accompanied by a pixel pattern - where you might normally see an ad.

In theory, it seems like a good idea.  In practice... well, Google long ago abandoned the do no evil pledge.

    Continue reading the rest of the entry and discuss..

posted by wraith808 donate to wraith808 - November 21, 2014, 12:10:00 AM
social bookmark this story (permalink)
(read 6 comments)

Thursday November 13, 2014

Experimenting with Other Programming Languages

I've spent most of my life coding C++, and dabbling in other languages (most recently Python).

But the list of programming languages that I've never written a line of code in is starting to get big, and I think it's time I put an end to that.

So I've decided I'm going to try to do a little experimenting with other programming languages, and wanted other coders here to join me, and post your updates here.

For my first stop on the tour, I spent today coding in Go.

I was inspired to write a program to solve a homework assignment given to the daughter of one of our fellow DC members.

The assignment is as follows:
"Given a set of numbers, and a target value, find an expression using + - * / and which uses each of the numbers exactly once, which reaches the target."

For example, given the numbers [2, 3, 6, 15] find an expression that reaches the target value of 7.
Answer: 2+(15/(6-3))

Note that there may be multiple expressions that reach a given target value.  Rather than find a specific solution to a specific problem -- I was more interested in writing a program that would find ALL possible expressions given a set of n numbers, and then looking for particular targets which have few possible solutions, reasoning that these would be nice and hard puzzles to solve.

I started out by trying to calculate a formula for the # of possible expressions of n numbers.  That turned out to be a very fun mathematical journey, and I encourage the mathematically inclined among you to give it a try.  I'll share my formula later so as not to spoil the problem.

Anyway, so today I coded this program in Go.  Looks like about 400 lines of code, and definitely a non-trivial and interesting project.
Speed and memory seemed quite reasonable, no complaints there.  Error messages were reasonable.
I'll post the source code soon after I give anyone else a chance to have some fun.
However, I can't say I really enjoy Go after my day with it.  Some parts of it are ugly and unpleasant, and I don't approve of many of the language design decisions.
In fairness, this wasn't really something that made use of the real strengths of Go, so perhaps it wasn't the fairest of tests.

Here's a test for you if you decide to try coding this program.  I will give out a prize of a free DC mug for anyone who can solve this by writing their own version of this program before I post my source code at the end of the month.
Given the numbers [2 3 4 5 6 7 8], find TWO good, and fundamentally different, solutions that yield the target value of "2741"

    Continue reading the rest of the entry and discuss..

posted by mouser donate to mouser - November 13, 2014, 02:34:00 PM
social bookmark this story (permalink)
(read 27 comments)

view older items

Where are the ads? is funded by donations from readers like you. If you find this site useful, please consider becoming a supporting member by making a small one-time donation, in the amount of your choice. | About Us