Mac's Blog I just say what comes into my head…


Phpmorpg Alpha Almost Ready!

As alot of you know ive been working on a web based MMO style game for a while, although its taken 3 years instead of 1 to get alot of the artwork done its almost ready for the public to use.

If anyone is interested in taking a look head on over to:

<a href="" target="_BLANK">Phpmorpg Website</a>

We are hopefully going to be putting up the first test server soon for private alpha testing, so keep checking the website if you are interested and sign up to the forums.

Its crazy how one small project can spiral into a massive project and even still have LOTS of features and things that we want to add to the game, but as there are only 2 of us ACTIVELY working on it, its taking a while to get the game to the standard we originally wanted it to be...

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Retarded Programming

Ok so to some people programming seems hard, however its really quite simple if you can think logically. So why is it that soooo many people who claim to be developers couldn't develop their way out of a paper bag...

Here is a PERFECT example of code that i've seen in a commercial environment that is shoddy to say the least, lets see if you can spot the problems... (please note that im not giving out commercial code, just reconstructing a similar piece to show the problems)

Shoddy Coding 1

DBObject myDBObject = new DBObject(strSomeConnectionString);
return myDBObject.Query("SELECT * FROM myTable");

Ok so alot of you will im sure be going WTF, that means nothing... well yeah thats true but it shows 2 flaws, 1 is neligable as it is not really severe just bad error checking. However there is 1 fundamental flaw with that statement, and that flaw can and will quite possibly leak memory all over the joint.

For those of you who care the answer is:

- They are not putting an if() round the connection to see if it DID acctually connect properly.

- They are still trying to get code executing past the end of execution (return statement).

If thats wet your appetite for some shoddy code here is another great example of coding catastrophes.

Shoddy Coding 2

public void myFTPUploadFunction(Byte[] buffer)
	int i=0;
		catch(exception e)
		{ sleep(10); }

I cant really remember the exact code that i saw but it was basically a shoddy FTP class, that was about as useful as a cat on ham. Anyway can you spot the problems there?

- If there is a problem there, they will just keep looping forever... everyone loves a program that locks up when you dont have a net connection or are uploading a duff file, could also miss bytes making the upload useless

Gonna have to shoot out but will get some more choice code snippets to laugh at soon enough!

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At work we have recently been working on the final stages of this new device we made. Its at the point where some of the tests we do to make sure its ok are soooo boring that you end up laughing uncontrolably at random things.

Today we were calibrating a few of these devices and started laughing uncontrolably about how these devices acctually allow you to time travel and that the Bourne Identity acctually used them and wore flairs, he then pulled out 2 guns and shot people. Its quite crazy when i put it down like this... but it makes sense when you are that bored... Anyway after about 2 weeks of having to do this hardcore testing its quite good that even though the work is mundane and mind melting, its fun as long as you have got a good team and a good working environment.

This got me thinking about other places ive worked before and the atmospheres there. My first IT job was awesome, I was in charge of a gaming network/cyber cafe as well as fixing and building computers. It wasn't hard work and all the staff there were funny and we all had a laugh, even joined in on some of the games when we got bored and nothing was happening.

The next IT job i had was still doing building/fixing computers but was for a less fun company and usually it was just me there, so it was boring as hell and not much pay. Funny thing was the place closed down after about 8 months, as someone broke in and stole everything, although i still think it was an insurance scam from the guys who owned it, they still owed me like £300 as well... cheeky buggers!

After getting bored of the hardware industry i thought i would go into software, as had been doing development work for a good few years and its a bit more fun working in teams on stuff, rather than just doing no brainer pc stuff.

Got a job in an IT company who did mainly multimedia stuff but had a small software development team. This was quite fun to begin with as I was working with a few friends and it was fairly interesting working on an existing project that I was unfamiliar with. After a few months there i realised why so many people kept leaving the place, the work was mundane after a while and the deadlines were ridiculous, paired with very little motivation to do the work well.

There were some awesome times there though, where we all were sooo demotivated and sick of the work that we sent made up game shows/films names round. That was class, one of the all time favorites was "Snake Fingers, hes the man... the man with the fingers of snakes" as well as the ever popular "Lesley Garrets pants are too tight, LETS PULL EM DOWN" followed by "Pets do the most canabalistic things". These were definatly the hilight of our days there, we laughed soooo damn hard at some of the stupid things we all came up with. Although it was always dull when management realised we were having a modicum of fun and Captain Fun told us to stop talking and get on with our work. I wouldn't really have minded too much if we didn't get the work done, but we did, and the extra work, and the stuff that gets thrown in last minute... we had such stupid workloads that we had to permenantly give 120%.

I still dont know how companies can possibly think that this sort of regime is good? a happy worker is a productive worker, you start treating the office like a prison and no one is going to WANT to put in the extra effort, and when it comes to writing software that extra effort is what saves the company £££ on support costs and extra implementation. Fair enough if everyone talked all day and did no work it would be anarchy, but being on the opposite end of the spectrum is just as bad for the company.

These days its quite fun working in a friendly adaptive sort of environment, chatting while working, developing decent software and acctually WANTING to put in that extra effort. Anyway im going to get back to productive stuff now that my sanitys gone ++; a bit more!

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Robots.. and other stuffs

Well today MrDruidKing was telling us about this robocode stuff, and we thought... hey... lets give it a try.

So we all downloaded the SDK thingy and started screwing around, i created a mighty robot called JIMMY HILL... When i say mighty, i acctually mean it was a bag of crap. It would rather skoot around shooting at thin air than acctually shoot another robot. By this time Alex had already created ChuckNorris the robot to own all robots. However by some fluke Jimmy managed to pull a win out of the fight... i think everyone else was a bit suspicious of what we were doing when we were screaming "GO CHUCK" at the screen.

Anyway we all had a big showdown and Jimmy died quite pathetically against Alex/Druids bots, so i gave up...

The Wii

Well ive got the day off in anticipation of its release so im hoping to go get one on the day of release without pre-ordering. I also want to get Zeldump so i can find out how many ways i can make Link die in this new chapter of the series.

If anyone has any ideas of where i can get one on day of release feel free to post in the comments as atm i only have one place in mind... good old PC World, no one ever buys stuff from there so they should have tons of spare Wii's to sell. When i wanted a gamecube on day of release without pre-ordering PC World never let me down!

Still playing Final Fantasy 12, although i died quite badly on some crazy flying ship thing because i was too lazy to control the characters myself. The Gambit System is fairly awesome in the way it allows you to just sit back and let everything just happen without you worrying about stuff... like HOLY CRAP THERES A BLOB OF SLIME EATING MY FACE... who cares let the Gambit System cope with it, while i go and take a dump or something...

Got Grandia III last night too, i love the awesome fighting system in it, its like Grandia II but with some fairly nice improvements... but WHERE THE HELL IS SKYE!. One other thing ive noticed about RPG games as of late, is the fact that they are not that exciting to start, its just like you have to work on the game for a few hours to get to the good stuff.

Final Fantasy VII was awesome, load it up... im on a train... some cool musics on... BAM ive got 2 guards trying to batter me for some unknown reason. Then im blowing up some reactor, and fighting some bosses, and doing more awesome stuff... Why cant more games have great game intros like that.

Jode did make a good point thought that if every game had an intro like that it would not be so awesome anymore, but even so... only Final Fantasy VII and Suikoden II have had fairly awesome intros. Final Fantasy XII wasn't too bad though to be fair, the CGI battle things were awesome and i was quite happy to run around town doing some crappy errands for a bit before i got some action.


C#… bling?

Well after more actionscript work and PHP work the site is slowly coming together, still lots to do but at least things are still moving along with it. As much as i hated C# when it first came out i have been screwing around with it quite alot recently... Its quite good for making simple apps fairly quickly, even managed DirectX is quite good in it.

Well not much else to update, we disbanded the WoW guild after deciding most of the members were just item whores who no one cared about, so we made new level 29 characters and have started to PvP on them.

Watched Cannonball run and some other classics the other day with Jode, not much other bling really...

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I've been working on putting together some Flash components for the PHPMorpg system. Logic doesnt seem to work within Actionscript, its a case of WOW NOW THIS SHOULD WORK! and it doesn't....

Anyway works progressing slowly on PHPMorpg, Jodes still trying to find time to do more artwork, and im still trying to put together key sections behind the scenes. Anyway im off to check on some Actionscript forums before i cut off my arms and hit the keyboard with the wet bits... OH! got the Final Fantasy Movie the other day, looks pretty... story is a bit crazy...

Good friday was a laugh, we bought Vitamin Friends... Schokolate Brumbles or something, and EL TEQUITOS! We then went to Kinky Johns and kicked him off his Xbox 360 and played Oblivion for most of the day, it was full o bling!

Roger Roger need to get to level 60 on my hunter on WoW before server transfer or im going to be crying with horde eating my head...

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