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Topics - Circuit

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Other Languages & Tools / Barcode Inventory Database
« on: April 08, 2014, 01:46:55 AM »
I know that some of you have worked with SQL, so maybe you can help me.

I'm designing an inventory database which will use barcodes to track items.  First I'll use it to sell some junk on eBay, and after that, if it works well, I'll try to convince a local business owner to let me build a similar system for him.

My DB design uses a big pre-generated list of barcodes stored in a Barcode table.  This table has no foreign key relationships with other tables.  It exists to be a source of barcodes, and to record which of the barcodes have been used and which ones are free.  It's intentionally non-relational.

This is a choice I made after going through several relational designs and finding easy ways to destroy all of them.  Ultimately, it comes down to the fact that row IDs can change after a row is deleted (due to DB vacuuming/optimization), and therefore, the Barcode-Item pairing process must not involve row IDs.  An ID-based pairing would eventually lead to barcode mismatches, destroying a big chunk of the barcode system like a game of Jenga.  And if it can't involve row IDs, then it can't involve foreign key relationships because the only unique column in an Item is its row ID/primary key.

My solution: When a new Item is inserted, an SQL script will grab the next "unused" barcode, copy it to the new Item, and mark the barcode as "used" in the Barcode table.  For safety, Barcodes will remain "used" after an Item is deleted, even if it is deleted immediately after creation.  This will result in a growing block of "used" barcodes at the beginning of the Barcode table - one solid chunk, not scattered.

Assuming this is a good idea... what's the best way to get the next available Barcode?  I guess I could count the number of used barcodes, or I could use a counter variable... the first idea is definitely bad, and the second feels like a sin against SQL... what do you think?

SilverCreator / Ideas for SilverCreator
« on: March 16, 2014, 02:13:31 PM »
The current way of saving and loading data requires far too much effort for newbie programmers: they have to learn text file IO, string parsing, data validation, and so forth.  I think it scares people away from SC.

What's needed is a pair of built-in methods that can save and load a group of variables in binary form.  Before calling the methods, the programmer would use an interface to assign variables to a group.  For example: game progress, high scores, and settings are all different groups of variables.  The method call would be as simple as Save(group).

Each group would be hashed and encrypted to provide some protection against tampering (i.e. cheating).  This will never be truly secure because there's no way to truly hide the secret key (it exists in the game executable and can be hacked out), so there's no point in trying to make it perfect.  In light of that, the main factors to consider are speed of execution and simplicity of implementation.  MurmurHash3 is a fine hash function to use, and RC4 is a good cipher.

Trash Talk / Need Ideas
« on: February 11, 2014, 01:53:27 PM »
Hey guys, I need some help coming up with an idea.

I plan to participate in a 24-hour "Make-a-thon".  It's an opportunity for me to network with other programmers and develop something that I can put on my résumé. Unfortunately, I don't have any good ideas about what to make.

It can be anything: some highlights from the previous Make-a-thon include a restaurant management app, a zombie detection system, and a dating website for people with undesirable traits.  Anything.

Any ideas? If I was going to make something for you, what would you want me to make?

Trash Talk / Linux
« on: June 30, 2013, 07:53:08 PM »
I'm studying to become a professional programmer, and it's important that I start getting some experience with Linux.  To that end I've decided to install Debian on my MacBook.  I've already backed up all my critical files on both the OS X and Windows partitions, and now the only thing left to do is to modify my machine's "boot settings" (for lack of a proper term) and start installing Debian.  This is the scary part because I'm not very familiar with how the machine boots up.  Some of you guys have mentioned using Linux before.  Have any of you ever installed it on a Mac?

Trash Talk / Battle for the GMG
« on: November 15, 2012, 02:00:12 PM »
I found this on a backup disk and thought I should share it.  It's a Flash animation made in 2004 by Steve Streza, aka The Amazing Syco.  A bunch of characters from old GM and SC have a massive war!  Contains references to: Dude, Secret Agent Bob, Empathogen, and other old classics.  Enjoy.

GameMaker / GameMaker Classics: 2nd Terror Protocol
« on: September 13, 2012, 04:25:14 PM »
A while ago, I said that I was going to make a huge online database of all of the old GM games that were ever made.  To be honest with you, this is one of those things that I really want to do, but it's probably never going to happen.  It's just too much work, and there doesn't seem to be very much interest.  The next best thing that I can do is to upload any of the old classics which are currently missing from the GMG archive, so that they can be saved for posterity.  If you guys are interested, I'll upload more.  If not, that's OK, I won't bother.

This is 2nd Terror Protocol, the sequel to Space Can Suck!.  It's a very well-made adventure game with beautiful 3D rendered graphics.  You'll need to carbonize the game with Mike's GM Carbonizer in order to play it on OS X.  Alternatively, you can use an emulator to run the game on a classic Mac OS.  The description from the AOL library is as follows:

Subject:  GMKR: V1.0 2nd Terror Protocol
Author:  Javier Rodriguez (Mobuli Prod.)
Uploaded By:  Mobuli           
Date:  5/10/99

File:  2TP.sit (9417313 bytes)
Estimated Download Time (45575 baud):  < 56 minutes
Download Count:  107

Equipment:  Macintosh
Needs:  OS 7.5 or higher, Quicktime 2.5 or higher, speakers

Keywords:  Adventure, Color, Robot, Space Can Suck, Gamemaker, Application

Type: Freely Distributed

2ND TERROR PROTOCOL - the spin off of Space can Suck has finally arrived!

   You take control of 2TP, the sinister robot from Space can Suck.  Reassembled and reprogrammed, you now must use your hunter’s intuition to seek out the criminals and tyrants of the universe.  You must follow the trail leading you through your first mission back from your evil past.

- All 3d rendered graphics (every last card)
- Quicktime movies
- More sounds than you can shake a stick at
- non linear gaming: You choose your direction
- Good story, puzzles and shooters

E-mail MOBULI@AOL.COM with questions, comments and threats.

SilverCreator / Vigenere Encryption Program
« on: September 06, 2012, 06:24:23 PM »
~GtXeMP[efhr)PZGZYGV]el=XQe"sY7WrMVU?abNeMTaRXg )PWa[UGF]eIMpk'rZu4NrEWS5KbSe<VrYrkh)Vr+nSGVVOn9KZMrcfGpr;W[GY][l2PrZr[e<agJQYGH`UmMCZ_rct0GeaO[Aa|eIMLaYgsw)PaCgZ-NZey=WkNbk ph`aNK-NWTgMpk-bht)a`CSKG[][ CPPKegt)PWaveuGdKrMI[TaU /KiGg_7Wm[pMpk4Xje:aZQVT)aZKtM[[[rXo?Prpg4-XSX 5QZTTsr=PrCZU=PRea<FkJXge:Vr[W[Gpm4eDG^eZcn6CrOIQ-agUuME^_r# uGiGZe/Q\TaMUM_r[o7FU[MeVa<Kv3TkMbbn)agGTRGCmRi3aMTWsh=TgaaU=

Key: Game Makers Garage

SilverCreator / ...
« on: September 03, 2012, 09:49:33 PM »

Trash Talk / Looking for a special type of program
« on: August 06, 2012, 07:07:10 PM »
I need a program that can compare two files and report what consecutive sequences of bytes they have in common, and how long the sequences are.  I also need to be able to analyze a file and determine if it contains a looping sequence of bytes.  These are similar tasks, so I suppose that there might be a program that can do both.  Do you guys know of any programs that can do the job?

Announcements / Artillery game tutorial
« on: July 24, 2012, 10:54:58 PM »
Sup guys.  It's tutorial summer, and I've been working on one for the past several weeks.  I just uploaded a very rough early version of the first video to YouTube.  Please watch this and give me some honest criticism.  Tell me if there are logical gaps in my explanation, or if it just isn't clear.  (Don't be afraid to be honest, I know that my voice narration is really bad!)  I've been working on this by myself for such a long time that I don't know if it even makes sense.

C/C++/Objective-C/D/C#/F/R / Circuit's Cryptography Program v1.0
« on: July 16, 2012, 04:53:38 PM »
I'm not sure this is appropriate to put here, since it has nothing to do with gamemaking, but a couple of you expressed interest in it when I mentioned it in chat, so I guess I'll put it here.

I wrote a very simple cryptography program in C.  It passes over a file 4 times with 4 variants of Vigenere substitution-based encryption routines.  It's nothing compared to PGP, TrueCrypt, or anything along those lines, but it's good enough to protect your data against all but the most determined of "enemies" when used properly.*

This download contains the executable, the C source code, and a test file.  Please have a look and tell me what you think.

*I wouldn't bet too much on it.

GameMaker / GM Game Database
« on: May 28, 2012, 05:21:44 PM »
I have this idea that has been bouncing around in my head for a long time.  As some of you know, I used to be a GMer.  I made a lot of games in the late 90's.  That was a very hard time in my life because I was chronically ill with celiac disease and depression.  But GM, and the GM community, were an escape for me.  I made a lot of friends, had a lot of fun, and learned a lot of things about computers and programming.  Those memories are the best memories I have of that time in my life.  As a result of that, I'm now working towards a degree in programming, hoping to make a career of it.

Anyway, here's the idea.  I want to make a database of all known GM games, of all time, not just the 90's.  Each record would have fields like: the name of a game, its creator(s), the story, the date created, the version of GM used, the features used (click areas, scripting, status bar, timer, etc.), the number of pictures and sounds, the graphic and sound tools apparently used, franchises borrowed from (Star Wars, etc.), a link to the download, background information from the AOL forums, and other miscellaneous tidbits.  The records would be sortable by any field.  Sorted chronologically, the database would be the history book of GM.

What do you guys think?  Does this sound cool?  If so, what do you think would be the best way to make it?  FileMaker, PHP, wiki, etc.?  I think a wiki would be cool, but I don't know if wiki records are sortable, and there's the question of where it would be hosted.

HTML5/Javascript / Random stuff you've made in HTML5 GM
« on: March 28, 2012, 05:50:01 PM »
... or "things that you've made in HTML5 GM which are kind of cool, but which you can't justify creating a new topic for."

What have you guys been doing in HTML5 GM?  Other than the new version of Space Marine, and a couple of little signature scripts, I don't think I've heard about anything being made with it.  But I have a feeling that you guys have been making things and just not mentioning them.  I know I have.  Let's share what we've been making.

This is my latest creation.  This is going to be at the core of the map-making tool for my artillery game, which I'm shifting from SC into HTML5 GM.  You place points on the screen, and the program generates a curve that touches all of the points.  The curve is very smooth, although sometimes unpredictable.  I find it entertaining.   :D

Trash Talk / E-readers
« on: March 17, 2012, 07:46:23 PM »
Do you guys have any experience with e-readers?  I want to get one, but I don't know which one to get.  It would be wonderful if someone could give me advice.

Assuming the answer is yes, these are the features I'm looking for:
-E-ink screen (for better readability and battery life)
-Capability to read PDF files.  This is very important because I'll probably read PDFs more than anything else.
-Good controls
-Not too expensive (preferably <$100)

Thanks in advance.

SilverCreator / intro + artillery game
« on: December 13, 2011, 04:49:38 PM »
Hey guys!  I've posted a couple of times before, but most of you probably don't know who I am.  I'm Circuit.  I used to make a lot of GM games, many years ago.  If you've played Stan's World or Mac Frost, I'm the guy who made those.

I want to share a project I've been working on, and ask for your feedback on it.  I've been working on a level editor for a turn-based artillery game.  The actual game itself doesn't exist yet, just the editor.  Please take a look at this and tell me what you think.  I'd like to get some feedback regarding the GUI: whether or not it's intuitive, how I can make it better, etc..  Also, I'd like to know how fast this runs on your machines.  Please tell me which tools are fast and which ones are slow, and tell me if the color rendering is too much slower than the black and white rendering.  You can drop bombs on the Color Range and BW Range to get an estimate of how fast/slow the game will be in either rendering mode.


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