art with code


Hook Champ tips

Played way too much Hook Champ last week. It's a racing game disguised as a grappling hook platformer. Made by some friends of mine. So let me tell you how to get decent scores.

The fast way

First off, buy all the equipment upgrades. Then, find all the treasures in the map. A coin is worth two seconds. A jewel is worth ten seconds. If you see a stalactite hanging from the roof, that's a sign that you should go down there. Check out suspicious chimneys with rocket boots.

  1. Don't hit the walls - they kill your horizontal speed. Sometimes you can't avoid it though, but those places are mostly long drops and chimneys.
  2. Use the shotgun to accelerate - good places for that are at the start of the level and after upwards chimneys. It doesn't help as much in downwards chimneys because you can convert the downward motion to forward motion.
  3. Don't hit the floor when swinging, it slows you down.
  4. Use the rocket boots instead of trampolines, that way you don't have to go down to touch the trampoline. In multi-rocket jumps, don't wait for your upwards motion to stop before rocketing again.
  5. Don't hit the ceiling when swinging, it slows you down.
  6. Don't swing too high, it slows you down. In straight corridors, release at around the time the rope points straight down.

When you are breaking through walls, you want to hit between two blocks. If you hit only one block, you'll likely stand up on the block below and that stops your motion.

If you manage to get a coin to follow you, you can use it to see what is fast and what is slow. If the coin catches up to you, you went slow. If you outrun the coin, you're going at a good speed.

Zummm, that is all. Been working on our crazy web app project this week, to the detriment of other projects. Such is life.


CAKE documentation

I've been putting together the CAKE documentation wiki yesterday and today. My process for documenting a class is to copy-paste the whole class in the wiki editor, delete the code, and reformat the comments a bit. Maybe it'd be useful to leave the code visible in the wiki pages, opinions?

Looking at CAKE, the animation stuff needs to be better and the sound system reworked some. And I want a graphical editor with timelines and everything. And a pony.

And maybe a barebones WebGL renderer for it. It'll still get pwned by Firefox's compositing system, but at least it'll get there faster. Maybe?

Windows 7 and Linux woes

Haven't been using Windows 7 any more since last week. It didn't have drivers for my sound chip and scanner. There was no software included, and additional software was difficult to install. I didn't like the theme. It couldn't access my non-NTFS hard disks, but kept spinning them up every fifteen minutes anyway. There also were a couple strange hardware bugs: It broke my mouse's scroll wheel, I had to unplug and replug the base station to fix it. And it made my graphics card emit a high-pitched whine when using Google Chrome. Which is very odd. And worst of all, making it dual boot requires more black magic than I can arse myself to summon.

In other news, getting a Lexmark printer to work in Ubuntu is possible but reminds me of installing fiddly hardware drivers on Windows. The way that worked was to download a driver .deb from the Ubuntu wiki and add the printer from the printer control panel webapp.

Had some audio problems on the Ubuntu machine as well. As usual, the solution was to remove PulseAudio, download the OSS4 .deb and install it. Now if only Firefox's media tags had OSS output.


Intel's GMA 950 integrated graphics chip performs around the same as a GeForce2. And the GeForce2 came out in 2000. The netbooks sure are getting shafted on graphics performance...


Less whining, more homeworking!


EU MozCamp 09 sketches

Tristan Nitot preparing for his welcome keynote.

Welcome keynote fox banner.

Drumbeat logo was pretty cool.

Mike Beltzner on Saturday keynote.


EU MozCamp 2009

Let's try writing something non-trollish for a change, hm? 

So, EU MozCamp 2009. I was there to participate in the HTML5 roundtable (and to show off my new canvas animation demo (~500kB), view source for headache.) It was great visiting Prague and meeting all the web people there, thanks everyone!

Cool stuff: DailyMotion SVG video filters demo, Stratified JavaScript - JavaScript with concurrency primitives, HTML5 location API demos, boat trip on the Vltava. Massive amount of expats present (also massive amount of French.) I think I met people from Bulgaria, Czech, Estonia, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, UK and US...

I have also managed to plow through around fifteen pages of my newly-bought sketchbook, mostly at the airport and in the plane. Clouds be fabulous from above. 

Catching my flight home in a couple of hours, feeling pretty tired. I'll add some links to this post on reaching home. 

[edit] Added links.

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Built art installations, web sites, graphics libraries, web browsers, mobile apps, desktop apps, media player themes, many nutty prototypes