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Listing cities for Orbital Express

For my game Orbital Express, I need a list of cities that can serve as targets for the player to aim at. We’re trying to select cities that… … are somewhat uniformly spread across the globe. That way, you won’t end up always having to aim for the same densely... Continue reading

Scoring in Orbital Express

After Ludum Dare, it’s back to working on the game I blogged about last week. Name clashes notwithstanding, I’ve decided to call it Orbital Express after all. As I mentioned, there is work to be done on progression, balancing and scoring. Current state Currently, the core game loop works as... Continue reading

Glauron post-mortem

(Cross-posted to the Ludum Dare blog.) This is Glauron, my Compo entry for Ludum Dare 33, themed You Are The Monster: This was my eighth time participating in Ludum Dare, and I feel it’s my best yet. I’m very happy with what I got done, and there was even time... Continue reading

Doomsray

I’ve been working on and off on this project for almost two months now, so it’s time I blogged something about it. Here’s the elevator pitch: Ballistic Delivery Service is a wacky party game that puts your spatial insight and topographical knowledge to the test! When conventional delivery companies aren’t... Continue reading

Three challenges in game programming

Each field of programming presents its own challenges, and game programming is no exception. In fact, I would say that a game is among the hardest things you can program in general. Why? I can think of three main reasons, which are closely related, as we will see. 1. Performance... Continue reading

Bigcanvas is released!

After a weekend of toil with GRPC, ProGuard, dex, Netty, Maven, Gradle and IntelliJ, I finally managed to build a release APK of the first public version of the Bigcanvas app. Add some screenshots (inspired by – well, hopefully you can tell), and we have a publication! I made the... Continue reading

How to win at the game Pickomino

Pickomino (known as Regenwormen in Dutch, Heckmeck in German) is a dice game in which players try to get as many worms as possible. It is largely a game of chance, but there are some tactics involved, which always leaves me wondering: did I make the optimal choice? Only one... Continue reading

Bigcanvas: Concurrency

Core to the idea of Bigcanvas is that it’s a shared space, where everyone can draw at the same time. Much as it would on a real canvas, this means people can interfere with each other. Properly handling this and making sure that everybody’s brush strokes made it onto the... Continue reading

Bigcanvas: Technology

How does one store the contents of an infinite canvas into a computer’s finite memory? One cheats. In this case, by taking advantage of the fact that the canvas may be infinite, but people’s drawings are quite finite. We simply don’t store the empty regions. To that end, the canvas... Continue reading

Bigcanvas revived

Remember Bigcanvas? The infinite online canvas that anyone can draw on, which I launched in 2013? I didn’t do anything with it since, but the idea has always been at the back of my mind, biding its time. The most fun games for me are always those which give you... Continue reading

Welcome to Jekyll!

Hopefully you didn’t notice, but as of now, frozenfractal.com is generated by Jekyll, the static blog generator. Since its inception in 2010, the site had been running on my own custom-written engine, Utterson. (The name was taken from another character from R.L. Stevenson’s famous novel, since both Jekyll and Hyde... Continue reading

Patchy featuring: retrospective

It’s been two weeks since I announced that Patchy was to be featured in the Play Store. This happened roughly a week ago, and it looks like it was taken down around yesterday, so it’s time for a postmortem. There are different places where an app can be featured. In... Continue reading

How to get featured in the Google Play Store

I’m proud to announce that Frozen Fractal’s first Android release, Patchy, will soon be featured in the Google Play Store! I guess that means it’ll get a big banner at the top of this page, which is sure to drive some eyeballs my way. I don’t know what it is... Continue reading

Released: Patchy!

Yes indeed, Frozen Fractal’s first officially released game is there! It’s called Patchy, and it’s a retro arcade-style land-grabbing game for Android. This post is about its inception and also describes some bits of the technical implementation. Design Patchy is the spiritual successor to my one-weekend Ludum Dare entry Park... Continue reading

Bigcanvas

Ladies and gentlemen, Frozen Fractal presents… Bigcanvas! It’s an infinite online canvas that anyone can draw on. The ‘why’ is described within the app itself, so have a look! This blogpost focuses on the technical aspects, i.e. the ‘how’. Just for fun and challenge, efficiency was one of the main... Continue reading

Graphics are born

It’s been over two months since my last post, in which I announced that I was abandoning JavaScript for the development of Turtle Paint, and switched to Ruby instead. So far, it has been a great learning experience, and I’m loving this language more every day. There are a number... Continue reading

New application: Crossword Finder

Once upon a time, over a decade ago, I wrote a simple program in C++Builder to help my father solve crossword puzzles and cryptograms. It would let you type a word with blanks such as f....al and it would tell you which words would fit. When my father asked whether... Continue reading

Goodbye JavaScript

The JavaScript server code for Turtle Paint is becoming increasingly difficult to manage. People had warned me beforehand, but there’s no teacher like first-hand experience. The problems in a nutshell: Immaturity. Often, there are five different Node.js libraries that do approximately the same thing, but all of them are buggy... Continue reading

Getting a word list from WordNet

A good selection of words is essential for a fun drawing-and-guessing game; they must neither be too easy nor too difficult. However, I’m thoroughly lazy, so I was not going to compile a word list by hand. Instead, I used Princeton WordNet, which is essentially a graph linking English words... Continue reading

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