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Topics - Deozaan [ switch to compact view ]

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Living Room / A Cabinet of Infocom Curiosities
« on: November 24, 2015, 03:58 PM »
If you’re coming into this relatively new, or even if you need a little brush-up, let me state: Steve Meretzky has earned the title of “Game God” several times over, having been at the center of the early zenith of computer games in the 1980s and persisting, even thriving, in the years since. He continues to work in the industry, still doing game design, 35 years since he started out as a tester at what would become Infocom.

But more than that – besides writing a large amount of game classics in the Interactive Fiction realm, he also was an incredibly good historian and archivist, saving everything.


When we finally connected during production (as it turned out, we lived within 10 miles of each other), Steve showed me his collection of items he had from the days of Infocom (which spanned from roughly 1981 through to the company’s eventual closing and absorption by Activision in the early 1990s).


DC Gamer Club / Vertiginous Golf free on Steam for 24 hours
« on: October 26, 2015, 07:07 PM »
Vertiginous Gold, a mini golf-type game, is available on Steam for free (for keeps) if you claim it within the next 24 hours.

Living Room / IPFS - Is this the future of the internet?
« on: October 05, 2015, 02:49 PM »
I just heard about IPFS last night. It sounds really neat and useful.

From my limited understanding of it, it's like a combination of the following ideas:

  • BitTorrent
  • Git

The content on the internet will be distributed P2P much like BitTorrent files are. The content is immutable like Git blobs, which means even if the "originating website" goes down or is abandoned, it will always be accessible forever on the distributed system, as long as someone, somewhere has it. And because it's immutable you know that no matter who you retrieve it from, it is the original, unmodified file.

I learned about it from this TechCrunch article:

As a peer-to-peer distributed file system that seeks to connect all computing devices with the same system of files, IPFS seeks to improve on HTTP in several ways. Two, Juan told me in a recent conversation, are key:

“We use content-addressing so content can be decoupled from origin servers, and instead, can be stored permanently. This means content can be stored and served very close to the user, perhaps even from a computer in the same room. Content-addressing allows us to verify the data too, because other hosts may be untrusted. And once the user’s device has the content, it can be cached indefinitely.”

IPFS also addresses security problems that plague our HTTP-based Internet: Content-addressing and content-signing protect IPFS-based sites, making DDoS attacks impossible. And to help mitigate the damage of discontinued websites, IPFS also archives important public-record content, and can easily store important, public-record content.

IPFS’s final core improvement is decentralized distribution, which makes it possible to access Internet content despite sporadic Internet service or even while offline: “We make websites and web apps have no central origin server,” Juan explained. “They can be distributed just like the Bitcoin network is distributed.” This is actually something that HTTP simply cannot do, and would especially be a boon to networks without top-notch connectivity (i.e., the whole developing world), and for access outside of metropolitan areas.

Here are a few videos demonstrating the idea and use of IPFS:

Does anyone else here who knows more about this or the other similar technologies it's built upon (such as Bitcoin) have an opinion on this?

Hi folks,

It's been forever since I burned audio files to an actual Audio CD, but recently the need/desire has sprung up and I can't for the life of me remember what software I used to use to do this. I mostly just use ImgBurn when I need to create or burn a disc image, but what do you use if you want to burn MP3s to an Audio CD?

I'm on Windows 10 Pro x64.

Thanks in advance!

P.S. Please don't suggest iTunes. I am not installing that on my system.

DC Gamer Club / Buy a mystery game with GOG's Indie Piñatas!
« on: September 11, 2015, 11:51 AM »
GOG is currently running a promotion where you buy a "piñata" for $3 and it will contain a random indie game ranging in value from $9.99 to $44.99.

While their "randomization" algorithm gives priority to games you don't already own, if you happen to get a game you do already own, it will be a giftable copy.

They're also running a regular sale where certain games are discounted a certain amount.

Living Room / TSA's master keys leaked, 3D printed
« on: September 10, 2015, 11:26 AM »
The TSA is learning a basic lesson of physical security in the age of 3-D printing: If you have sensitive keys—say, a set of master keys that can open locks you’ve asked millions of Americans to use—don’t post pictures of them on the Internet.

A group of lock-picking and security enthusiasts drove that lesson home Wednesday by publishing a set of CAD files to Github that anyone can use to 3-D print a precisely measured set of the TSA’s master keys for its “approved” locks—the ones the agency can open with its own keys during airport inspections. Within hours, at least one 3-D printer owner had already downloaded the files, printed one of the master keys, and published a video proving that it opened his TSA-approved luggage lock.

I don't think there's much of a stronger argument against intentionally putting in backdoors to any form of security--including encryption--than this. Once the master/secret key is out, it's over for everybody!

I've been using Unity for a few years now to make all my games for Ludum Dare and NANY. One of the strange things about Unity has been that while you can make a build of a game for Linux OSes, you couldn't actually make your game in Linux because there was no Linux edition of the Unity Editor available. But they've been taking steps to rectify that and now have an experimental build of the Unity Editor for Linux:

Last month, I wrote a blog post detailing our plans for Unity on Linux.  Well, I’m back again to tell you the big day has come; today we’re releasing an experimental build of Unity for Linux!

An Experimental Build

Today’s build is what we call an experimental build; future support is not yet guaranteed.  Your adoption and feedback will help us determine if this is something we can sustain alongside our Mac and Windows builds.

Today’s build is based off Unity 5.1.0f3 and comes with the ability to export to the following runtimes:
  • Linux, Mac, Windows Standalone
  • WebGL
  • WebPlayer
  • Android
  • Tizen
  • SamsungTV

System Requirements
  • 64-bit Ubuntu 12.04 or newer (just like our player, the editor will run on most ‘modern’ 64-bit Linux distributions, but official support is only provided for 64-bit Ubuntu 12.04 or newer)
  • Modern Nvidia, AMD, or Intel graphics card with vendor-supported graphics drivers

Get download links and more info here:

Developer's Corner / Ludum Dare 33: August 21st-24th, 2015
« on: August 15, 2015, 11:07 AM »
Hi folks! LD33 is next weekend.

Right now voting for a theme is taking place.

I won't be participating this time, since I'm heading out the door any minute to start a week-long trip. I won't be back home until partway through the game jam.

I'll update this post with more of my usual details (like links to past events and stuff) sometime after I get back.

See previous DC posts about Ludum Dare:
Ludum Dare 32 - (I made Time Bomb during LD32)
Ludum Dare 31 - (I made Worm Wars during LD31)
Ludum Dare 30 - (I made Planetary Devourers during LD30)
Ludum Dare 29 - (I made It Came From... Beneath!! during LD29)
Ludum Dare [29] topic for other games - A thread about LD29 games.
Ludum Dare 23 - (I made Be Tiny, World! during LD23, and continued to work on it and improve it for years afterward!)
Ludum Dare - Game Programming Challenges

If you deal with audio files stored on CF or SD cards, be aware of this Windows 10 bug:

It appears that when accessing a card reader via USB with Broadcast Wave Files on it (possibly other types of files as well), Windows 10 immediately strips some of the metadata from the files on the original media which is not copy protectable. This renders the files unplayable and they can only be accessed by any flavor of windows with a hex editor afterwards.

If I have the files on another networked location and bring them in via wi fi or Ethernet there are no such issues. appears to be related to something Windows 10 is doing initially when reading the files from a USB connected reader.


I can also confirm that this corruption does NOT happen with a small portable USB drive on the same USB ports. It's oddly just CF and SD cards via a reader.

Read more here: http://answers.micro...b9-ab57-8784b5606d09

Living Room / New vulnerability found in older Intel processors
« on: August 09, 2015, 12:53 PM »
Emphasis added:

Security researcher Chris Domas has discovered a vulnerability in the x86 architecture of Intel processors made between 1997 and 2010 (pre-Sandy Bridge) that lets an attacker install software in a chip's protected System Management Mode space, which governs firmware-level security. Yes, that's as bad as it sounds: an intruder could not only take more control than you typically see in attacks (including wiping firmware), but infect your PC even if you wipe your hard drive and reinstall your operating system. Domas has only tested against Intel-made CPUs so far, but AMD processors could be vulnerable as well.

A would-be hacker needs low-level OS access to get in, so you at least won't face a direct assault -- you need to fall prey to another attack before this becomes an option. However, this vulnerability might be difficult or impossible to fix in a timely fashion. While it's theoretically possible to patch a computer's BIOS (or on relatively recent systems, UEFI) to prevent these attacks, the chances of that happening are slim. What's the likelihood that your motherboard maker will support a product that's at least 5 years old, or that most people are both willing and able to apply firmware upgrades? Not very high, we'd reckon.

Hi folks,

When I do Ludum Dare, I take screenshots which I can compile into a timelapse video. This means that over the course of 72 hours I often end up with around 80,000 to 120,000 screenshots. I've recently decided that I don't need to take so many screenshots and the timelapse video will be just fine, either by being shorter or having a slower framerate. But that's all kind of beside the point.

So basically, I have ~80,000+ files all in the format of ss######.png (where the #s are actually digits, such as ss000001.png) and I'd like a utility that will allow me to easily cull them down such that I either delete every N images, or perhaps even more effective, delete all of them except every N images.

Is there already a utility that exists to do this? If not, can one be provided as a Coding Snack?


Developer's Corner / Ludum Dare 32: April 17th-20th, 2015
« on: April 02, 2015, 11:22 PM »
Ludum Dare 32 is fast approaching. Only 14 days until it begins.

This thread can be used for any and all discussion of LD32 and the games that result from it. I've entered the past three LD Jams, but felt severely burned out after the last one, so I don't know if I'm going to enter this time or not. We'll see what happens.

But in the meantime, the Theme Slaughter is going on right now! Go vote on themes you like. Slaughter the themes you hate.

See previous DC posts about Ludum Dare:
Ludum Dare 31 - (I made Worm Wars during LD31)
Ludum Dare 30 - (I made Planetary Devourers during LD30)
Ludum Dare 29 - (I made It Came From... Beneath!! during LD29)
Ludum Dare [29] topic for other games - A thread about LD29 games.
Ludum Dare 23 - (I made Be Tiny, World! during LD23, and continued to work on it and improve it for years afterward!)
Ludum Dare - Game Programming Challenges

And now an announcement by Valve that the next version of their game engine, Source 2, will be free for developers:

Valve’s sudden entry into the engine race, with an official announcement of Source 2, seems to have put them right up front alongside frenzied rivals Unity and Unreal. (Poor old Crytek, eh?) Meeting with studio founder Erik Johnson today, I learned that when they say Source 2 is “free”, they mean it. Unlike Unity’s (much lowered) subscription rates (for larger teams), and Epic’s revenue cut of successful projects, Valve won’t be asking for any money at all. Well, sort of… They just require that the game be launched on Steam, along with anywhere else you might want to sell it.

That’s pretty huge. But it’s important to point out it’s also pretty smart. In real-terms, it does mean Valve are going to be getting – in fact – 30% of your revenue, as is standard for anything sold on Steam. However, and crucially, developers are going to be free to also sell their game anywhere else, which means you can also use stores that take far lower cuts. Use Source 2, put your game on Steam and take advantage of Steamworks, the community features, and so on, but direct all your customers to your Humble store where only see 5% won’t reach you.

from Rock, Paper, Shotgun

General Software Discussion / Avoid AdBlock Plus for Android!
« on: March 04, 2015, 01:34 PM »
Hi folks,

Today my mom asked me how to check how much data she was using on her phone, so while I was walking her through the process, I followed the steps on my own tablet and came to a shocking discovery:

AdBlock Plus has consumed almost 60GB of data in the past 30 days since I installed it:

ABP Bandwidth.png

The two apps that follow behind at 10.5GB and 2.75GB are (in reverse order) Titanium Backup, which backs up my device and uploads the backup to cloud storage, and Sync, which syncs the backups to my PC. And the only reason Sync used up so much was because when I downgraded from 2.0 yesterday, I had to re-sync all the files again (about 6GB) to my devices.

In other words, the rightfully most bandwidth heavy apps only used ~2.75GB and 4GB (under normal circumstances) of data in the past 30 days. Yet for some reason an app that is supposed to be saving me bandwidth by stopping ads from downloading at all is somehow using nearly 60GB of data!

And it would be nice if it even worked. But I still have ads on my device.

So I've uninstalled it, and I'm putting out the warning to others in case they are using it, not realizing the potential damage it could have on their data plans.

General Software Discussion / BitTorrent Sync 2.0 Sucks!
« on: March 03, 2015, 09:15 PM »
Does anyone have the installer for version 1.x? I want to revert my installation. I hate the new "improved" 2.0.

It went from a great, flexible, powerful sync application to a simple, "idiot-proof" application by taking away all the features I liked (such as being able to choose where you sync your files to instead of everything having to be in a monolithic folder structure like Dropbox).

Developer's Corner / Unity 5 now free for everyone!
« on: March 03, 2015, 01:29 PM »
Unity has had a model of a free version vs. a Pro version where many of the nicer features of the engine were available only to folks who owned a license for the Pro version. But today Unity has announced the launch of the latest version of their engine, Unity 5, along with a new license, which can be summed up in an image:


The free version is now being called the Personal edition, but all Unity 5 engine features are available for free until you make over $100,000, at which point you must buy a Professional license ($75/mo subscription or $1,500 (about 1.5% of $100,000)) but never any royalties.

More details can be found here:

Developer's Corner / Unreal Engine 4 is now free* for everyone!
« on: March 03, 2015, 01:15 PM »
Unreal announced yesterday that Unreal Engine 4 is now free* for everyone. What this means is that you can download and use the software to make a game for free. The only time you have to pay them money is if you are successful, paying 5% gross if you make more than $3,000 per quarter.

Unreal Engine 4 is now available to everyone for free, and all future updates will be free!

You can download the engine and use it for everything from game development, education, architecture, and visualization to VR, film and animation. When you ship a game or application, you pay a 5% royalty on gross revenue after the first $3,000 per product, per quarter. It’s a simple arrangement in which we succeed only when you succeed.

This is the complete technology we use at Epic when building our own games. It scales from indie projects to high-end blockbusters; it supports all the major platforms; and it includes 100% of the C++ source code. Our goal is to give you absolutely everything, so that you can do anything and be in control of your schedule and your destiny. Whatever you require to build and ship your game, you can find it in UE4, source it in the Marketplace, or build it yourself – and then share it with others.

Read more about it here:

I was trying to capture a window using the fullscreen capture, relying on the automatic border selection so I could just press the crop button and have an image of just the window. But I was running into a problem where the automatic border selection was cutting into the edges of the window, erasing some of the image I wanted to keep when I pressed the crop button.


This was annoying because it meant I had to manually grab the borders of the selection in order for it to become a rectangle. But I looked in the SC settings and found a few solutions.

The first solution I found was in Window Capturing 1. I just enabled the box that said "Restrict this operation to a rectangular region" which worked fine for my purposes:


Even though the above solution worked just fine for me, in the end, I decided that at the moment I didn't need to be capturing any of the Aero Glass effects. So I unchecked that in Window Capturing 1 and also unchecked the option to "Try to detect (active) window transparent/rounded borders using dark backgrounds" (which was probably the root of the problem) in the Window Capturing 2 section.

Now capturing is working very well:


Just thought I'd post about it here in case anyone else has a similar problem and needs help with a solution. :Thmbsup:

Let’s get the good stuff out of the way above the fold. Raspberry Pi 2 is now on sale for $35 (the same price as the existing Model B+), featuring:
  • A 900MHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU (~6x performance)
  • 1GB LPDDR2 SDRAM (2x memory)
  • Complete compatibility with Raspberry Pi 1

Because it has an ARMv7 processor, it can run the full range of ARM GNU/Linux distributions, including Snappy Ubuntu Core, as well as Microsoft Windows 10.

Read more about it here:

Living Room / The Untold Story of the Invention of the Game Cartridge
« on: January 23, 2015, 12:43 AM »
Here's an interesting article about the world before interchangeable game cartridges existed, and how the game cartridge came to be.

Consider the humble video game cartridge. It's a small, durable plastic box that imparts the most immediate, user-friendly software experience ever created. Just plug it in, and you're playing a game in seconds.

If you’ve ever used one, you have two men to thank: Wallace Kirschner and Lawrence Haskel, who invented the game cartridge 40 years ago while working at an obscure company and rebounding from a business failure. Once the pair's programmable system had been streamlined and turned into a commercial product—the Channel F console—by a team at pioneering electronics company Fairchild, it changed the fundamental business model of home video games forever. By injecting flexibility into a new technology, it paved the way for massive industry growth and the birth of a new creative medium.


Every so often I have a sequence of images that I'd like to convert into a video. This is usually a bunch of screenshots of me programming made into a timelapse video for the finished product but more recently I've been exploring the "Mandelverse" (aka 3D fractals) and have been making timelapses of my explorations in preparation of rendering frames of an image that I then also need to convert into a video with ffmpeg.

Here are some examples of the videos I've made
Timelapse of me making a game for LD31:

Timelapse of me exploring the Mandelverse:

3D Fractal animation (composed of many individually rendered frames)

I use a tool called Chronolapse to take the screenshots for my timelapses, and it has a feature to convert the screenshots into a video, but Chronolapse hasn't been updated in years so they're very low quality videos with outdated codecs and lots of compression artifacts.

I searched and found ffmpeg which has a fairly simple commandline arguments to convert the images to a high quality video. But I can never remember all the arguments and have to resort to my notes each time I want to make a video.

What I would like is a nice, simple little GUI that had these options preset for me, would remember what I last set them to, but also allow me to easily customize them. To give you an idea of what I'm talking about, here are my notes I refer to:

From: http://notes.theorbi...pse-with-ffmpeg.html

First rename all files so they are ordered consecutively. I named them all ss######.png using XnViewMP.
Then use ffmpeg to turn them into a video with the following command:

ffmpeg -r 60 -i ss%06d.png -s 1920x1200 -vcodec libx264 ld29.mp4

[The "ss%06d" means each filename starts with "ss" followed by 6 digits, so ss000001.png through (up to) ss999999.png]

So the command is like so:

ffmpeg -r [framerate] -i [images] -s [resolution] -vcodec libx264 [videofilename].mp4

What I want the program to do:

I would like the app to allow me to customize the following values:

  • the path to ffmpeg (with file browser would be nice)
  • the framerate
  • the filename pattern for the images
  • resolution (maybe this can just be taken/grabbed from the size of the images?)
  • output video filename (with output path--file browser here would be nice as well)

Basically everything above that is in square brackets, plus the path to ffmpeg. As I said before, I'd like it to remember my settings from the last time I ran it, since I'm unlikely to change the path to ffmpeg.

It seems fairly simple to me in theory, but maybe it's more work than I would think.

Optional bonus features:

Another bonus nice thing to have (but not necessary) would be to let me browse for the images, and have it automatically figure out the pattern based on one of the images in the sequence. So for instance, if I navigate to "someImage12345678.png" it will automatically figure out the pattern and set it as "someImage%08d.png" for me. But again, that's just a nicety. All I really need is some sort of example to remind me of the format, either as a tooltip or inline.

Yet an additional bonus feature would be a wizard to batch rename files so they are numbered consecutively. When rendering frames for the animation, the frames are already named appropriately, but when capturing screenshots for the timelapses, the images are named with the timestamp. The timestamp is of course chronologically ordered, but the format is something like "Capture_2015-01-12_13-06-28.png" which isn't quite as useful as "someImage00005.png" would be. If it could count the number of images in a directory, or let me select all the images, then automatically batch rename them with enough leading zeroes, and then when finished automatically fill the "filename pattern" entry box, that would be wonderful. But again, not needed.

Thanks in advance!


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.

from http://www.tigsource...12/17/handmade-hero/

Developer's Corner / Ludum Dare 31: December 5th-8th, 2014
« on: November 25, 2014, 03:36 PM »
Ludum Dare 31 is almost upon us. Just 10 days left until it begins!

This thread can be used for any and all discussion regarding the event and the games entered into the competition/jam. I'm also planning on participating, so I'll also be posting about my experience and my entry here as well.

For now, the Theme Slaughtering is happening. Go ahead and vote on the themes, if you'd like.

See previous DC posts about Ludum Dare:
Ludum Dare 30 - (I made Planetary Devourers during LD30)
Ludum Dare 29 - (I made It Came From... Beneath!! during LD29)
Ludum Dare [29] topic for other games - A thread about LD29 games.
Ludum Dare 23 - (I made Be Tiny, World! during LD23, and continued to work on it and improve it for years afterward!)
Ludum Dare - Game Programming Challenges

DC Gamer Club / Game Giveaway - Teleglitch: Die More Edition
« on: November 24, 2014, 12:47 PM »
Hi folks,

I have an extra copy of Teleglitch: Die More Edition that I'm offering to any supporting DC member or anyone who had an account as of yesterday.

Let me know if you want it and it's yours. First come, first served. :)

Living Room / Worm's neurons mapped, simulated in robot
« on: November 18, 2014, 01:29 AM »
Scientists have mapped the neurons of a (biological) worm, simulated it in software, and put it into a robot which now behaves like a worm.

Take the connectome of a worm and transplant it as software in a Lego Mindstorms EV3 robot - what happens next?

It is a deep and long standing philosophical question. Are we just the sum of our neural networks. Of course, if you work in AI you take the answer mostly for granted, but until someone builds a human brain and switches it on we really don't have a concrete example of the principle in action.

The nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is tiny and only has 302 neurons. These have been completely mapped and the OpenWorm project is working to build a complete simulation of the worm in software. One of the founders of the OpenWorm project, Timothy Busbice, has taken the connectome and implemented an object oriented neuron program.

from Twitter

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