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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

NG Testers

I was able to strip out a HTML list of newgrounds testers using "view source" on newgrounds.
It is a huge list... I can't compose all of this information on my own... I need to learn some network programming so that I can submit information to a server and then the server can build the tester info.

Make it so users can submit their own bios if they wish.

Ugh... Need to learn database programming in addition to C++.

Ask dad what I can use to setup a database.

Having UI Trouble - and focus issues.

"A problem well stated is a problem half solved"
I believe this.

Most of the time when I have a hard time programming something, it is because I don't know exactly what I want. Yes, programming is flexible, and you don't want a completely finished "plan" before you start coding.

Because there are unforeseen variables.

But you don't want to code "straight ahead" either.

You might get away with it with SIMPLE things, or things you have a very clear vision of in your head already. Hence why I can code pretty awesome effects straight ahead. Because I am very good with geometry and visualization.

However, my "testers" menu is giving me a hard time...
And I know it is because I haven't decided exactly how it works yet.

So... What are some ways I can get unstuck?

Traditionally, this is how I get unstuck when I don't know how to finish a piece of code:

1. Write placeholder data that the code needs to work with.
It's like, the difference between practicing sauteing with a pan full of beans, and practicing sautaying with just going over the motions with an empty skillet.
In my current situation, I should assemble the JSON file that has all of the tester info within it.

2. PRETEND to use the code in your current project.
Write code calling upon public methods of the class you are writing.
These methods may not exist yet, but just pretend they do.
After writing code PRETENDING to use the unfinished class, you get a better idea
of what functions you still need to write. And what data needs to be inputted and stored within the class. I do this a LOT. This also helps make the code easy to use, since you approached it from a usability standpoint.

3. Draw out the connections. Draw out how everything is connected.

4. Related to 3:
Add comments and diagrams to the already existing code. While you are stumped, why not take time to become very familiar with the code you have already written. This will help you move forward.

I am still feeling quite lazy. Like I am spinning my wheels. I am feeling lazy and uninspired. So I figured the least I could do is document my current problems.

Looking over everything I have written... Writing a testerNameAndInfo.JSON file looks like the
next thing I need to do. I could also include a slot for their EMAIL if they have given me email.

I don't want to do it... But I listened to some TED talks that say, "You'll never feel like doing the things that need to be done."

While I disagree with the NEVER part. I sometimes feel it is necessary to force yourself to work on something that you feel uninspired by...

Though a better solution would be to figure out how to inspire myself.

Or... figure out how to take a break.

You cannot get blood from a stone.

And I still need to make a list of "things I have done today."

Okay... I will check my planner... Then create the .JSON file... Then out of here because I cannot focus.


Note: Need to learn how to use CMAKE.
This will help me setup the game engine that uses SDL.

SDL Debugger errors in visual studio

SDL Debugger errors in visual studio solution:

Cannot find or open the PDB file in Visual Studio C++ 2010

SDL Game Engine

Think the best way to learn C++ for me is to do it with a game engine for SDL.

Downloading the required libraries now.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

SFML no way. More SDL

Did another SDL tutorial today.
Couldn't focus on it. But just setup the code and ran it.
Getting pretty good at remembering how to setup includes, lib, linker, system type, and code generation within my project settings.

This link will help me avoid debugging errors:

The last lesson I did from this list was 07.

Burnt a disc of music for Tyler woods to give him inspiration. Now will need to mail it to him.

C++ flash cards might be of use to me.
A "What's been done today" list may also be useful.
Though I have this blog.

But what if what I do on a given day does not involve a computer?
Will need to think about it.

Feeling burnt out and scatter brained today.

Should write down how focused I feel in my planner so I can see any patterns.
Wish I could force myself to focus. But I cannot.

Got menus to "doze off" (partially destroy themselves) when they are non-visible in my game.
Tomorrow I want to release a new beta. Should make screen shots today.

And should get Amanda back onto messaging testers.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Cannot compile SFML for VS2013

Someone already did it... But as a beginner... This is a bit much for me.
Starting to think maybe just sticking with SDL...

Might want to give a shot at OpenGL first.

Ran into computer slow down because of DLLHost when playing MP4 files:

SFML Research:

This was my problem:
Probably going to download this sofware:
Hello, Microsoft will not help you with this problem, but I will.
 I had the same problem, I solved it completelly and in 2 minutes:

The problem appears when dllhost.exe attempts to create a thumbnail of an mp4 file, but for some reason cannot complete the task, and starts reading the hard drive non stop and filling all phisical Ram, and starts using the swap file (virtual memory file wich uses hard drive space as ram memory), slowing down or freezing the computer.
The cause is probably an error in the integrated mp4 windows codecs.

Anyway, the solution is to download and install a freeware program wich generates all video files thumbnails instead of windows. It even creates thumbails of flash (flv) files!

You can download it from this link:

Or googleing Media Preview
After the installation is complete, simply enable all the video files thumbnail  options and done.
Problem solved. You do not even need to restart the computer.

Before you install it you should kill the dllhost.exe if it is running. After the installation, just open a folder or select a file to see the thumbnails generate quickly and without any problems.

If you have the tasks monitor open, you will see the dllhost appear while the thumbnails are being generated, and then it will disappear. It will never exeed 20.000kb.

Done and done.

I hope this helps anyone with the same issue.


Time to up my game with C++

I have mastered AS3/Flash ActionScript over the course of 3 or so years.
It is now time to move on to a more stable technology so I can stop playing
musical chairs with my education.

C++ is my choice.

Some people are moving to Unity over Flash AS3.
But I anticipate Unity screwing every over just like Flash has screwed over developers.
Maybe if I find a way to port my code from C++ to unity I will do it.

But I am not going to focus on a "proprietary" language that someone can pull the strings on and make collapse like a house of cards.

This blog will be used to monitor my C++ progress.

Current SDL Progress:

SFML Progress: None
OpenGL Progress: None

I think learning all 3 at once will help me be better informed as to which technology to eventually pursue for making games in. It will also help me get used to setting up the compiler and figuring out how I need to structure the C++ section of my code library.