but what... is it good for?

yKeen: 13 easy, free and functional webdev toolchain elements in 2019

Webdevelopment is great. Webdevelopment is tiresome. Both statements are true. It is the best feeling to engage in so many different technologies, libraries, best practices, tools and the underlying toolchain. The knowledge to grasp and understand todays web technologies is awesome. Every major development has a vibrant, seething community behind them which have already answered most of the questions possible to arise, and if not, they sure enough have the answer within hours for you. On the other hand, developing for the web means a constant high stress level, staying up to date, replacing outdated libraries, build new toolchains bc the old api's broke and often times learn more core concepts (again). On top of this all is another "problem". There is not THE way of doing things or THE toolset to solve a problem, but a zillion. And every single one of them is better than every other, at least if you believe the communities on the backside. One could get a little bit nostalgic, thinking about times when jQuery was the only thing to know. The one and only true multitool and there were no (or not so many) questions about deployment, dependencies and task runner.

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Radventure - 2d Pixelart Platformer with Unity

In February of 2018, I decided that firstly I want to work more with Unity, secondly I want to share my knowledge about game design and thirdly I haven't worked enought with them students of mine. :D I concluded these thoughts with the idea to create a new Unity game with a bunch of interested students. Found the right people right away. As things turned out, many of them are stupid talentet and possess an unbelievable good basic knowledge about game mechanics. Motivationwise, there is work to be done tho.

After some meetings and hitting our think tank, we came to the decision our game should be a tile based platformer with a story arc revolving around technologised animals. The single levels should be held together by Mario or Rayman Origins-esque overworlds wich concludes in a bossfight each. Our title is Radventure and our main character is a red panda called "Rad". :D The player expands his skillset through milestones within the game's world, where he gets upgrades and new abilities. The battle system should feature melee as well as ranged attacks. Because we only work on this in our spare time, the planned project duration will be rather long and the primary goal is to create a runable demo and learn something about game design.

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Awaking Jelly from his slumber

I just thought, I'll let you know what I am up to these days. Hi. So yes, I am still existing and constantly occupied with several very interesting technologies and projects. Turns out I am not the guy who keeps his blog updated on a regular basis, though. Working on that :)

As you may already know, I decided to send my favourite project, the Jump'n'Run Bound-By-Magic, to sleep for the time being, because we haven't got an artist for the graphics and I don't want to use store graphics for something that important to me. In the long run, I am sure we will some day find the right partner to work on this again. The storywriting and the conceptional work already done will not lose quality over time, so this is not a big deal for us. We already created a proof of concept with Unity3d and some asset packs. You can download this early prototype here if you are interested in trying it out.

Althought it is a little bit sad to suspend the work on Bound-By-Magic, on the other hand now I got the time to continue on another prototype I am eager to work on: Jelly Bubbles.

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Dracoo leveleditor 101

Already since march 2013, our free of charge download game Dracoo the Dragon awaits you in Googles Play store. Now, we are planning on releasing him on iOS/iPhone/iPad as well. I took this opportunity to explain the level editor in more detail. After all, it is public and free accessible and we treated it shabbily after the release. We did not talk about it very much. In fact, we did not talk about it at all I guess. It is quite simple to understand and equally simple to operate. One creates a new level with a certain levelpack online, pushes it to the game server and trys it out in the very instant, still being in the browser. Maybe some of you want to distribute a new and challanging level for Dracoo the Dragon yourself. Or you just play around a little while and get comfortable with the editor.

If you send me some nice levels in JSON format, I will probably set myself to work and review your levels, pack them in a new and free Dracoo community edition or just add them to the existing levels within the actual game. Given they provide our high quality standard.

It would give me great pleasure, if you grapple with the editor and the game itself. The game is created to be played and to have fun with eventually.

So, enough said. How to create a level?

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Setup (2/2): Gradle and LibGDX Project

What we're about to do:

  • Eclipse Gradle Plugin
  • LibGDX Setup Tool (Download)
  • Projekte Eclipse-Import
  • Run HelloWorld

Within the scope of this post, we will finish setting up our libGDX development environment. After we already prepared our machine to develop Java by installing the Java Development Kit (JDK) and Android by installing the Android SDK (we did it here), we are going to take care of the proper implementation for the build automation tool Gradle, its integration with Eclipse and the creation and integration of the libGDX project files.

But what do we need Gradle for? Gradle allowes us the dependency and version management of the software tools and frameworks used in our projects in a very simple manner. For example, it helps us out with the updating process of the libraries like libGDX or box2d physics. In earlier days, before gradle and before other dependency management tools, it wasn't always easy to find the necessary resources, change them and link them together in the right way in your project. Gradle completely removes this burden from our shoulders. A fully fledged Gradle tutorial would be out of the scope from this tutorial, though. If you want do deepen your knowledge about gradle, feel free to check this site out.

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Setup (1/2): JDK, Android SDK, Eclipse

What we're about to do:

Because the scope of this post grew a little bit larger than I expected, I divided it into two parts. This article will cover the installation process of the Java Development Kit, setting up the path variables in Windows and installing and setting up the right version of Eclipse. If you already have a JAVA SDK installed, you are free to skip this part. At least, a Java 7 needs to be present. Java 6 is not supported for our purposes. 

Today we discuss the matter of installing a Java respectively Android development environment. We prepare everything to run and debug LibGDX Code on your computer. It is necessary to meet some software requirements.

I will explain the required steps and settings for a windows system with the IDE Eclipse. Of course, everything discussed applies in slightely modified form to Mac OSX and Linux too. A very good alternative for eclipse is the IntelliJ IDEA from jetbrains, especially in the form of the Android Studio. I for one prefer the Eclipse IDE.

Lets take a moment to talk about Java first:

Java is a widely platform independent, object oriented programming language. But what does this mean in this context?

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Joomla: obituary notice

I can't help myself, but I got the strong feeling that something regarding the content management system Joomla changed over the last couple of years. And I do not mean the good kind of change. Ok, it is true. I may have overslept some changes. And I may have missed some major releases. But should there not have been more release to miss? Does Joomla have such long release cycles? Or switched the former very active community with its component- module- and template developers to another cms tool like Wordpress? At least the graphic a quick google lookup revealed, suggested so. Market share 2015 up until now: 60.7% Wordpress, 7% Joomla, after all, second place in front of Drupal and Blogger.

Yet there is this feeling of solitude, searching the web at 3am for components and modules from solely canceled and discontinued projects of former major players, not even compatible for the last major Joomla release. Abandoned and deserted project sites with last updates mid 2013. Therebetween, fee-based components, promising god and the world while not giving me the opportunity to test or try them beforehand. At least, there seems to be some artists around which are publishing their Wordpress templates for the big J too. (Source)

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hello world!

It is time. This has been overdue long enough. The whole world forces their opinions and '2 cents' on the internet's mind about everything and nothing when I sit quietly beside and keep my mouth shut. This changes now. Hereby I officially start my own software development blog. I planned to do so for quite some time now. If it wasn't about time. So, what will be my topics? Since I work as C#.net developer and engage in 2d game development with Java in my spare time, this will be my first priority. I want to discuss various techniques, maybe dissect some code snippets and walk you through my/our game concepts and ideas.

The attendive reader has already noticed i switched from singular to plural. So, who is there else? It's simple: I work with several friends on various projects. There are graphic artists, other software engineers, audio people, hands for marketing and distribution and so on. And the many, many friends which keeps testing and reporting bugs and cheer us up if something goes the wrong way and a gameplay or concept blews up in our faces. ;) Thank you all. I guess it takes some more people than us core nerds in front of eclipse, which engage in the nitty gritty technical details. But first and foremost there will be articles and videos about game development.

So, I'm looking forward to the future, and should there be, against expectations, some human beings interested enought to keeps reading my blog, giving in to my bad grammer and worse spelling and enduring my wicked, inexperienced style of writing: You're the real mvp!

See you next time
Mike

 

public class HelloWorld { 
    public static void main(String[] args) { 
      System.out.println("Hello World!"); 
    }
}
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