Aug 202016

Gaming is a way to relief stress and not think about daily life. Lately, even gaming can’t keep me interested. But my mind is busy all day long with all kinds of stuff, so yesterday I gave mindmapping a try. A mindmap for what is needed to create a gameserver. A server that keeps track of the users, their progress, serves the game itself to the clients, etc. One thing a gameserver needs is a way to store all that data, so a proper database is needed. So I looked at several candidates and in the process I came across Redis. Maybe not the easiest backend database when you need graphing for social features, but absolutely the perfect toy to keep my mind occupied for some time.
Redis has enough client APIs, like most databases. Let’s see if we can use the C#/.Net API from within Unity. Touch/collect this item and increase a value in the Redis database: the XP of the user playing the game.

I will probably create nothing for real, but it’s nice to be not bored for some time.

Jun 272016

Yesterday I started playing Screeps and bought it even when I hadn’t finished the (free) tutorial yet. I mentioned Screeps earlier, and it’s now in an almost ready state. It’s available on Steam.

The game looks simple, but it’s not. As I mentioned before, it is only as good as the code you put into it. You can spawn creeps with certain properties, so they can harvest, or attack, or heal. But unless you run a “program” that actually uses these properties, the creep is not going to do a thing and will die without being of any use to you.
The tutorial teaches you to give a creep a role, and the behaviour of each role will be specified in a javascript file for that role.

You will make mistakes. And I don’t mean mistakes in your code, since the code will only run (of course) when it’s syntactically correct. No, I mean mistakes about how to play the game. A stupidly placed spawnpoint. Choosing a room full of swamp. Forgetting that other creeps will attack you, and you didn’t think of defending your base. Creeps will die (of old age), and you forgot to respawn them. That kind of mistakes. And with each mistake you solve, your code gets better. And meanwhile……you get better at coding!


Jan 082016

I was looking for icons to use in MenuItems in a WPF menu and found that there are a lot of questions on how to do that. It’s not very difficult, so maybe the documentation is not too clear about it.

Create a folder in your project, for example “res” or “resources” or “images”. Put some graphics files in there by right-clicking on the folder, choosing Add and then choosing Add existing items.

To use these images in your XAML, follow this example:

 <MenuItem Header="E_xit" Click="btnCancel_Click">
    <Image Source="Resources/Exit.png" Width="20" />

In my project, the images are in the Resources folder. And that’s all there is to it.

Dec 102015

As .NET developers we all know the problem: an external library/framework comes in an x86 and in an x64 flavor, so referencing one excludes building for the other and vice versa. Here’s an excellent blog post how to solve that. What surprises me, is that this post is from 2010, and Visual Studio still does not support referencing both platforms in one go.

Nov 162015

When you are a developer, you probably know this problem: you need to send mails from your application, but you cannot just use your company’s mailserver for developing/testing purposes. So you end up using Gmail or even installing a mailserver on your development PC.

When you’re using Windows, you probably don’t need to. There is this great *free* tool that enables you to receive mail via SMTP. It does not send mail, but you can view what the mailmessage was, including a option to view the headers etc. It’s called Papercut. It hides conveniently in your system tray. Go check it out!

Mar 122015

Don’t you love it how websites claim to have an API that can be used via GET requests, only to find that they don’t recognize the Access-Control-Allow-Origin header, nor do they support CORS requests. Ironic.

Jan 262015

I have a new job! I will start at IntellinQ at February 2nd (since the 1st is on a Sunday). My main concern will be the GeolinQ application, at first a requirement of the import-module and later more.

Today I met everybody in the company/team already, and look forward to working with all of them. IntellinQ is Rotterdam based (Vasteland 78, in the HNK Rotterdam building), so that will save me from the endless traffic jams I can never get used to.


Nov 122014

In case you missed it, Microsoft created a free version of Visual Studio 2013, named the community edition. You can create free or paid apps (and more), with restrictions when you use this version within a company. No such restrictions for the individual!

Download Visual Studio 2013 Community Edition

Thank you, Microsoft.

BTW I like this checkmark:

Visual Experience options

Visual Experience options