So one of the only plus points of not getting any sleep due to the effects of the extreme diet for this bodybuilding show is insomnia, my mind gets very creative and forces me to start kicking off new ideas, projects, missions et!
So, if you saw my last post, I said I was gonna finish Hack24, fix Burf.co and sort the garage! So far, Burf.co is back up, but about to completely change, the garage is nearly finished being geared up as a robotics lab and Hack24 has not moved. I do want to finish hack24 but I don’t want to rush it and I want to harness my energy on some crazy robotics ideas while my brain still works 🙂
So the plan v2! Warning it’s a little bonkers, even for me!
Build a backend set of machine learning API’s that Burf.co, mobile devices, and my robots use to send and retrieve data. The idea is I could send it a question, a command or an image and it does some magic and responds.
- So for mobile devices, they would send images and text to speech, it would return ImageNet classification or answers to questions.
- Burf.co would become more of a knowledge base system using NLP to feed into other systems.
- There would also be a public facing chatbot which would hopefully learn off of all of this. Planning a system POC using AIML to test the waters
- This would all somehow be also brought together to add some usefulness to my future robotics projects (image classification, knowledge base, etc)
I brought some odd bits of hardware, upgraded the Burf.co server, brought some domains, and started rewriting Burf.co in Java. I decided I want to try and use a common language and randomly Java seemed the best fit (client, server, mobile etc)
It’s gonna be a slow progress but I think its gonna be exciting.
Sorry for the last few months there has been little update. I decided that before I got too old I should enter a bodybuilding contest, honestly seemed like a good idea at the time. Well it’s been the hardest 3 months of my life to be honest. First off it isn’t the cheapest thing to do (I have spent £500 on chicken alone), you have to be super disciplined (up at 5, 1 hour cardio, training even if ill), you become very moody, tired and even get insomnia (writing this at 3am) because your constantly hungry! However with less than 2 weeks to go, I am still chuffed I decided to do it. On a positive side, because you don’t sleep as much, your brain seems to be come very creative!!!
So what’s the plan Batman?
So, I have many plans, lots of ideas and have been researching lots of stuff but I need to do some house keeping first!
1) Release a v1 of Hack24 cross platform to prove the framework works.
2) Fix Burf.co Search Engine because I turned it off.
3) Finish the garage so that large projects are possible 🙂
All of the above are in progress and I hope to have them done very soon. Then it is full speed ahead for some cool robotics / machine learning project that I will discuss in my next post 🙂
A small update on a Friday night! While watching Beetlejuice / Blade with the Wife and drinking beer, I have started to implement the menu systems needed for Hack24!
Looks kinda funky!
There will be more updates to the site soon, I really need to update the robots area etc!
So another night coding Hack24 fueled by sugar and Redbull (well cheapo versions). I wanted to try and get Dagger2 working on my project so I could do Dependency Injection which is something I am interested in learning. I timed boxed it to 1 hour and failed 🙁 This was due mainly to not understanding how it works with Kotlin. This project has a lot of moving parts to make my life more difficult, if it was a straight forward Android project, life would be fairly simple, however, it uses the LibGDX game engine which is cross-platform and normally in Java, and I am writing it in Kotlin. There seems to be not a single example anywhere of doing these 2 things together. My issue at the moment is with Gradle and the mass of gradle.build files that LibGDX has.
On the positive side, I did add a sound manager that does sound effects and music (quick win), I skinned the buttons, added the Hack24 logo and started building the factory methods to build the buildings in the game!
My focus is to build a minimal viable product of Hack24 before Christmas and release it on a single platform (Probably Android) as a soft launch.
Main areas I need to look at still:
- Networking and the server side
- UI for hacking a building
- The player logon model, e.g Apple Game Center, Google Play etc
So, it may end up being called something else but I have now started writing a new (well kinda) game. The last couple of weeks I have been bug fixing and improving the LibGDX framework / demo app that I made a few years ago. Code can be found here: https://github.com/burf2000/BurfEngine
Yes, it has a terrible name! Anyway it was my attempt at a simple game like Minecraft where you can place and remove cubes. I added things like chunking, gravity, and culling. It also has a database and network layer, custom collision code and works on iOS, Android, and Desktop. It has been converted to Kotlin, which I am really liking 🙂
Now, after a few long nights of fixing, that code is being parked and anyone can use it! I now plan to rip it apart and use the best bits to form the engine for Hack24 (v2). Made aim is to make a 3D game that has the same look and feel as Hack24 that’s cross-platform and easy to develop further.
I will focus on a MVP first, which should not take too long, I will try and rewrite the server in NodeJS (Well KotlinJS).
So why am I doing this? A few reasons:
I really liked Hack24 but it had some performance issues and really needs rewriting to use OpenGL VBO / VAO. It also makes sense to make it cross-platform while I am at it. I don’t fancy doing it in Unity and really want to learn Kotlin for work (which I can for LibGDX). It would be nice if people enjoy playing it too, so I hope to make it bigger with more content 🙂
Watch this space!
I May of just solved a programming issue that’s been bugging me for many months. The only way I thought I could get round it was a complete rewrite of the 3D engine for Hack24. However it seems you can get around the massive performance with Hack24 by having multiple threads. Yes seems obvious however this is OpenGL world and that is completely different, the items have to created in the main context!
The fix worked, so a new version of Hack24 has been submitted (with other bug fixes!)
So, finally I got some time to update Hack24, my first ever MMO for iOS. 2.0 is not as big upgraded as I hoped but added some more fun to the game.
- You can now customise the colour and building type
- You can now message online players
- NPC have been introduced to add more fun
- Bug fixes
- Game balancing
- iOS8 fixes
Next, I plan to improve performance, the game keeps getting new users, and so development will continue
You can get it free from iTunes
So Hack24 has seen some downloads, and some regular players. 1.01 was a fast update to fix a few issues however 1.02 (which may become 1.1) will hopefully see quite a few improvements.
New stuff coming (hopefully) soon
- Steal player buildings (done)
- Rob player item (master key for players basically) (done)
- Claim all money for buildings (would save a lot of time)
- Scan renamed to probe. (done)
- New scan item to list online players
- Some in game help to guide you on your way (done in a basic way)
- Avatar colour changes based on level / rank?
- APN’s (may not make 1.02)
- Some server securities (done)
- More game levels (may not make 1.02)
- Joystick improvements (done)
- In game messaging
- Customise buildings
- Heads up display of near users (may not make 1.02)
I decided to have a rest today as I have been training for a marathon and a few other things. I thought this lunch break I would do some important fixes to Hack24 server.
DON’T do this, lunch breaks and servers do not mix.
I assumed my fix would sort out the issues, it did, but it brought on a whole load of more because I cleared out some corrupted records and forgot the client side would have a cache that now does not match the server side. Oh boy what a mess.
Backup, nope because I was rushing as it was my lunch break!
Luckily, one of my friends managed to do some database magic. He will receive a burger on me .
So again, don’t do server upgrades at lunch time, it ruins your day when it goes wrong!
We have submitted 1.01 to iTunes and hopefully it gets accepted. It is mainly a few important bug fixes.