2009-07-20

My First CMS

Yes, it’s now the first time I’m using a CMS (content management system) for my home page. Not just some simple html/shtml/perl/php thing anymore. The previous mostly static way served well and were really fast to serve. But even though it was quite simple to add new posts by editing some static file, adding images and even hand-modifying my rss xml file (ugh!), all made it somewhat of a chore to make any updates. So I usually didn’t. Even better is the fact that now I have support for comments, and some small bonuses such as support for scheduling postings ahead of time to be published on certain time or day. I’m not sure if I’ll ever need that feature but it sounds nice. On a second thought: I just decided to test that feature right now, so that this post will be published early morning rather than late night. :-) In any case I am planning to post a bit more often.

Now that I moved to using WordPress, I opted to move basically everything from the old system as part of this new one, even including all news/blog posts there was in the archive. It was lot of manual work, but I think it was worth it. Got the chance to reflect on the past, fix lot of links and make some late-update-notifications as well. Funnily I even kept the age-old links-page, although I sifted through it after a long while and removed many broken ones. It’s funny how many sites just disappear when you wait a few years – even some sites you certainly wouldn’t expect to go away.

Organizing the stuff has always been somewhat hard. This time I realized that most of the static pages about my things are either related to games or visuals. Other thing is that now my sidebar doesn’t contain just links to the static pages, but also to blog postings by category.

Big overall change affecting many items is that I have added links to accompanying YouTube videos. Here’s a link to my videos in YouTube if you want to check the collection out or subscribe there as well. There’s also some new info as well, e.g. in the more games page.

PS. If you already RSS-subscribed again to the new system before reading this post, please do it yet again, one more time. I just switched to use feedburner, which apparently should give me some nice statistics as well.

2009-06-05

Turska 2.0

Turska is one of these things I have been tinkering with, but for some reason have neglected to mention here until now. It is a silly little UI/framework library meant to be small and easy to use, mainly aimed for games which have modest UI requirements anyway.

The very first version of the library was featured in Truck Dismount™ back in 2003, and the library was a simple component object/event based system back then. Later I got interested of the IMGUI concept and abandoned the old API to recreate it. Along the years it has always been open source – first hosted in SourceForge.net and nowadays in Google code.

Now I have finally upgraded the library version to 2.0.0 (this version is also known as Turs2). Check out the Turska home page if you want to know more.

2009-03-09

Secret Exit: Zen Bound, Stair Dismount Touch

StairDismountTouchButton
Our company Secret Exit just recently launched Zen Bound for iPhone and iPod touch.

In other recent news, right now we’re “completely denying” existence of Stair Dismount Touch project for the very same platform.

PS. I’ll be present at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) this month.

2008-09-12

Assembly 2008 – Seminar slides, 4 KB intro, Sauna Dismount

Fountain of Mart
This is a bit late, but here’s a few things I were part of making for Assembly’08. I held an Indie Startup for Dummies seminar presentation together with Jani Kahrama (download slides). Took part in 4 KB intro compo with XMunkki, sadly our intro (pictured right) didn’t qualify to be shown, for some strange reason (download Fountain of Mart / Youtube video). I actually made a small piece for the extreme music compo as well, an executable with size under 2 KB playing a tune. And finally, we created a little game called Kiuasturvat – Sauna Dismount which took 2nd place in the game development competition (Youtube video).

Indie Startup for Dummies (2008)

I held an Indie Startup for Dummies seminar at the Assembly’08 event, together with Jani Kahrama.

Secret Exit began its game development activities in early 2007 with the aspirations to become an income-funded independent game studio. The seminar covers the first 18 months of the company, from bold plans to unfortunate setbacks to a mountain of paperwork up till today: five guys, a bit of funding and a registered console developer status.

PDF slides

2008-05-11

11th Ludum Dare – warrior

Warrior
The Ludum Dare 48 hour game development competition was again held three weeks ago, for the 11th time. The theme was minimalism, and I created a game called warrior.

It did quite well, achieving 1st place in graphics and technical votes, 2nd place for polish, and 3rd place for both audio and journal.

2008-04-12

CB update, SD2 teaser

Stair Dismount 2 dev
Last time I wrote about Cinnamon Beats. It’s going on nicely, getting an editor to create levels which helps to refine the gameplay.

Personally I have been lately more involved with development of a new entry to the Dismount™ series – Stair Dismount™ 2. Doing the necessary research and working with the base has taken a while, but now it’s starting to shape up nicely. Check out a technology test video in YouTube to get a sneak peek! I also put up a little teaser about how to find a development screenshot of new ragdoll physics model…

Update: Changed the tech test video link to an extended version with two scenes.

2008-01-24

IGF finalist again

Cinnamon Beats concept
Has been a while since last update. You probably can guess we have been quite busy with things happening at Secret Exit. The game I mentioned in my last post, Cinnamon Beats, became one of the finalists in The 10th Annual Independent Games Festival and now Gamasutra did an interview with us about the game. Very soon we’ll have more nice things to tell about, so I recommend subscribing to the Secret Exit newsletter.

2007-08-13

Assembly 2007 – Seminar slides, 4KB intro, Company news

Rose Shank
Assembly’07 is over. I held a seminar presentation there about Immediate Mode Graphical User Interfaces (IMGUI for short), together with Jari Komppa. You can check out the slides.

With XMunkki I once again created a 4 KB intro, Rose Shank (download Windows zip). What’s special about the creation is the fact that it was created in a custom language which uses LISP syntax (Lisp-ahtava aka IL4). The code is compiled into a custom minimal bytecode and a VM for that particular case. Respect to XMunkki – he is the brains behind that nice little system which we have talked about for some years, and he finally got around to implementing it!

If you hadn’t heard yet, I recently also quit working for my previous employer Sulake Corporation and co-founded Secret Exit Ltd together with Jani Kahrama. We created a prototype of one of our game concepts for the Assembly Game Development competition. Cinnamon Beats took the 3rd place although it’s still in pre-alpha and we have received many positive comments about the game.

Update: Sources for Rose Shank are available.
You can also view a YouTube video of it!

Immediate Mode Graphical User Interface seminar (2007)

At the Assembly’07 event, I held a seminar presentation about Immediate Mode Graphical User Interfaces (IMGUI for short), together with Jari Komppa.

IMGUIs are a “new old” way of creating user interfaces in interactive applications. While not a silver bullet, these lightweight user interfaces can be much easier and faster to implement than any “real” widget library, and are sufficient in many cases. The session goes through theory, a bit of practise, and some case studies.

PDF slides

Note: Big thanks go to Jere Sanisalo from Housemarque, who made it possible to use Super Stardust HD as an additional reference (images & info in the slides).


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