A lot has changed in the past two months. First and foremost, I’ve started working on Smear again, as of last week. This is largely due to the fact that GameMaker: Studio supports built-in networking now. It’s ironic to me that the week I decided to create a Java project for Smear is the same one during which the GM networking update is released. Sometimes I feel unnaturally lucky.
On the subject of school, Winter Quarter is coming to a close. My CS-related classes included Data Structures & Algorithms, as well as a two unit debugging seminar. I’ve actually already applied some of this new knowledge to Smear (I’m using a queue to draw sprites to the background surface now, which should be more efficient, organized, and more in-line with the new way GM handles surfaces.) My involvement with VGDC has really increased my desire to finish Smear. I hope to have a working demo of the new engine, including some form of networking, done by the end of this month. (I doubt I’ll have much time during finals, but I’ll have a whole week off for spring break, which should give me lots of development time.)
Another class that has been of particular interest to me this quarter is Making and Breaking Codes. It’s an introductory course to cryptography, with a hint of steganography. It’s not tailored for computer science majors, although there are some clear applications. [No pun intended] I’m working on an application that performs some of the basic encryption algorithms I’ve learned over the past few weeks. I have a working Vigenere cipher encrypt/decrypt system (written in Java) that I have yet to finish the GUI for. It’s on my to do list!
Finally, I’ve released my Kongregate API Extension on my site. If you’re interested in making HTML5 games with GameMaker: Studio, and you’d like to publish to the Kongregate portal, you’ll probably want to use their API. I had a dismal experience trying to get this to work on my own last summer, but I finally got it functioning. I have a feeling an extension library like this could be of value to a lot of game makers out there. I’ll write a more in depth blog post about it, or make a video tutorial, or write something to the Game Maker Community forum – one or more of these will happen, soon.
~ Dexter ~