Friday, 12 August 2016

Happy new Pi day

My FriendlyArm NanoPi M3 arrived today. :D

Very sweet, and as always beautifully packed.

In light of some of the overheating issues I have had with other Octocores I got a heating kit with this one, consisting of a fan and big chunk of aluminium,  though the case does not seem to have any intake on the top of the board, it does oe the bottom,

Not sure thats going to provide much cooling flow but I'll let you know when I get round to setting it up and trying it out when I get the the multi core chapter of the book when I'll try it out with the BananaPi M3, the same companies T3, and the XU4 from Odroid. All 3 are octocores though the XU4 does this a bit different.
I really would love to try it out now, but am in a bit of a flow with the books and typically it takes me several hours to get a new machine set up and ready for testing, so I'll leave it till I have a day where there's no inspiration.

Sadly I wasn't in the most productive of moods today, so I decided to try it out, sure enough a few issues showed up, it refused to boot on my normally very reliable Toshiba class 10 sd's but after burning my last remaining Sandisk it worked fine. Here it is, on top of its nice little case and with its heat sink and fan fitted. The fan is quite quiet, not silent, they never are but not really noticable and may get better (or worse when installed in its case. It is doing a good job in keeping the temp down though, there's no doubt about that.

As seems to be usual with Friendly Arm, it seems to be set to 720p. I need to recompile the kernal to get a higher res, which I won't do. (cos I have no clue how)
But it is nippy, very responsive and seems stable enough like its bigger brother the T3.
I'm doing an update/install/upgrade at the moment, then I'll have to put it away for a while till to get back to writing.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Old School Gaming

The 2D engine is now working really spot on, here's a test run of the KamaKazi game in action,
Its not a complex 2D engine, and I have reworked it a few times to make it as simple as possible, but it's capable of rendering a few hundred good sized sprites (the resolution here is actually quite high, even though I'm going for a low res look


The basic game concept is familair I hope, though I have altered and simplified the gameplay to avoid it being a complete clone, its an homage to the great days of old. Which the user can enhance and fiddle with to make it a cool game,

Currently now working on the tile manager,  that allows easy platform games to be played as well as providing a simple 2D font system

Fun, but very time consuming. I can write 20 pages of content in the time it takes me to get a decent stage of project to save. But its coming along well. 427 pages :D (and still a lot of code to put in)

Saturday, 6 August 2016

How's the book doing?

Its doing really well thanks.....nice of you to ask.

Content wise I'm on track, got pretty much all the points down I need to cover to get a beginner from 1st steps and cool retro 2D games, to creating a nice 3D world based shootem up on land,sea air, or space.

I'm mainly finding the organisation of the projects so that I can provide a very simple base version, then allow the reader to add content from the book, to be the hard and time consuming part.

The 1st couple of games are done and tidy, and hopefully quite recognizable

There's 6 others in more or less complete state but need to be set up so they provide that base level and add to it.. i really want people to type code, so I'm not going to provide complete source code on the support site.

The rest of the projects  jump off from these basic concepts and then into 3D stuff which won't be quite so recognisable, though in my view pretty much every game follows the same principles of the original shoot-em-up, move, shoot, avoid...repeat. Only the complexity changes.

If I can find a nice simple way to maintain the code base I think I will be a lot faster to get more code done. That's the time killer at the moment. I am working with a code base which has to be very simple, and sometimes things need to be added to it as I'm explaining it in the you step back...fix and continue... its surprisingly hard... But also start to be a lot of fun.