The few weeks before finals are never fun. I have way more stuff to be doing than time to do it in, and my desire to be productive is inversely proportional to how nice the weather is. But I think I spend too much time thinking about how much work I should be doing, which generally increases stress instead of decreasing it. Let’s just talk about what’s already done.
I had a long mix session last night for my second project for recording technology class, a cover of Bill Withers’ “Use Me”. The session seemed to go on forever, and I was totally cranky and tired by the end of it, but listening to our mix this morning, it sounds even better to me than it did last night. This is our rough mix, check it out.
I played the clavinet part (not a real clav, unfortunately) and helped engineer and produce the whole thing. This has been a fun project, and it’s awesome to have another track for my portfolio.
I also was asked to present a project I did for my CS 101 class last year to the current 101 class, to give them ideas and confidence for the upcoming final project. I made this game where your cursor is a mouse and your move around collecting falling cheeses and avoiding mousetraps. Since making it, the laptop that I bring around with me has become an Ubuntu machine, and as a result, certain things I was doing in terms of graphics weren’t working anymore. So I just spent an hour or so fixing my year-old code to work on my new system, and taking a trip back in time as I did so. It’s interesting to look at my own old code and see how my practices have developed. When I finished the mouse game last April, it was throwing multiple NPEs per second as a result of some oversights I made at the time that I didn’t realize would affect performance on some systems. Clearing those up did the trick, though, and now I’ll be presenting my old work to a class of hopeful 101 students. I’m actually really excited, I love the opportunity to share knowledge (and be in a position of some power).
I think I’m going to put up the code for that old mouse game via webstart some time soon. It’s actually really addicting.
There were a lot of false starts and many attempts to get Spaceratops up and running properly, as I was just learning how to use Java Web Start this morning. But now, it appears as though you can follow this new, semipermanent link to the launcher. Click the Launch button, open or save the file, and then wait for the download to complete. After the download is done, the game should launch automatically (and you only need to go through the lengthy download process the first time you launch). Also, here’s the slightly updated source code if you care to view it.
As it’s turned out, this project has come right down to the wire. But it appears to be pretty much complete and working right now (knock on wood)(actually that’s an exaggeration, the leaderboard is broken, but I’m working on it). Anyway, have fun playing it in a form that is much more likely to actually work for you. Thanks for reading.
Over the last few months, I’ve been working on a Java game entitled Spaceratops. I started it after finishing CS 101, mainly as a tool to learn object oriented programming. It eventually grew into a project that I envisioned in my head as a grand production in for which I would draw all of the sprites, compose and record the soundtrack, design and program the game engine – something that I would see through from beginning to end as my own learning project, but also something that I could hopefully come away from being at least a little proud of. So it may not be as ‘grand’ as I’d initially intended, but it is indeed finished. I took a break of about two and a half months after completing the engine, with the thought that it would never really be finished, and then, for some reason, I picked the project up again in January.
So I can definitely say that I understand object oriented programming much more than I did when I started. I also am a lot better at programming in general (which is, I suppose, what one would hope for after completing a project of some magnitude). It’s really good to finally be done, though. I don’t know how soon I want to start another one, but something tells me that it could very well be sooner than I expect.
Try playing it, let me know what you think in the comments. Here’s the link, just click “Launch”, select “open”, and the file will download and the run automatically. I’m having issues with the leaderboard right now, but gameplay is unaffected. Also, here’s my source code, which I have been staring at without much break for the past few months, and which I’m more than happy for you to look at now.
If you have any questions or comments, please make them known. And if you finish all fifty waves, I’ll buy you lunch. Seriously. If you do, tell me your score. Thanks for playing!