Entries in the ‘Games’ Category:

How To Configure Onion Skinning in GAP

The Gimp Animation Package, or GAP, is a plugin that lets you do video or animation in Gimp. Like most plugins in Gimp, it is both very powerful and very unfriendly. If you have done animation in a program like Flash, you are used to having frames laid out along a visual timeline. The timeline in Flash has a bracket to show the onionskin range, which is the frames you will see overlaid on the current frame to help create a smooth animation.

None of this is readily apparent in GAP. Each frame is a separate Gimp file, and GAP sees that they’re part of the same animation because the file names end with successive numbers. There is an onion skinning item in the GAP menu (cleverly disguised as Video), but it doesn’t seem to do anything until you configure it correctly.

To configure onion skinning in GAP, go to Video » Onionskin » Configuration…. The onionskin configuration in GAP is exquisitely flexible and confusing. Here is how to configure onion skinning in GAP for a couple of common scenarios. Note that I’m using Gimp 2.8.2. Read the rest…

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Flash Game Monstrosi Stacks

I released a new Flash game, Monstrosi Stacks. It’s a take on the match-3 genre where you drag whole columns instead of swapping pieces. It features cute little monster-things I’m calling Monstrosi. There are some more games in the works that will feature the Monstrosi, so I hope to build them into something of a brand that will support secondary products.

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Puzzle 1

Rules and hints:

  • The solution is one word.
  • Post a comment with your answer. I will moderate comments so incorrect solutions will not appear.
  • Feel free to put a link to your profile or contact information in the comment with your solution, so people that are impressed with your puzzle skillz can find you.
  • Don’t submit more than one solution per day or you will be disqualified.
  • If I get more than one solution within a few days, I will post them all.
  • After a solution is posted, comments will be closed.

Puzzle

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Double Pendulum Simulation

I’ve been playing around with some of the new features in HTML5, particularly to see how the canvas stacks up to Flash. One of the things I wanted to test was javascript performance, so I ported this Flash toy I wrote a few years ago. It’s a physical simulation of a double pendulum system. It’s interactive, and it can export the line drawing it produces as a PNG.

How did canvas+JS do? The export was a lot easier: I had to write a PNG encoder in Actionscript for the original version! Pretty much everything else was harder. Canvas has features similar to Flash 5, and I missed modern Flash’s rich standard library. CSS layout is still somewhat inferior to Flex for GUI design, as the layout options are less flexible.

One of the appeals of canvas is mobile support, but I was disappointed by the performance on my Motorola Droid. Just clearing the background on a canvas larger than 500×200 took the frame rate to single digits, and I couldn’t find a reliable way to make the canvas fill the screen if other elements were present (I didn’t look too hard, since a canvas that large was unusable). The javascript performance was fine, it was just the drawing that caused problems. Let me know if you get better results on different hardware, I’d love to know that this can work better.

Overall, canvas shows promise, but I don’t think it’s ready to replace Flash for complex graphical applications.

Want to embed this on your own site? I’ve put an embeddable double pendulum simulation at Clockwork Magpie Studios.

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Fox & Geese in Haskell: Part 2

Last time we looked at how the board is represented in the little Fox & Geese game I wrote in Haskell. This time, I’ll cover the machinery that makes the game go: moving pieces, jumping, and validating moves. The code for this part is available in my GitHub repo under tag v0.1.2.

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