Archive for August, 2007
Yesterday I found out Windows XP has a built in FTP program.
It’s simply called ‘ftp’ and is accessed via the command line and it’s become one of my most favoriatist tools ever. Previously to update my website I had to use my browser to access cPanel and upload files one at a time – ugh.
The alternative is to use an FTP program such as cuteFTP to login and upload files that way. CuteFTP is a great program, but it’s not free, and I’m on a university student budget here.
The best thing about ftp (the program, not the protocol) is that you can create a script file with all the commands you want to perform, which means that I can create a batch file to call ftp and deloy work from my local machine to my webserver in one click.
My batch file is called with “ftp -i -s:ftp.config peachysoft.com”
Where ftp.config is the name of a text file with all the commands for logging in, updating etc..
Here is a webpage with the documentation for ftp
One last thing: If you are uploading binary files make sure you set your upload type to binary, it took me about an hour to work out why my Java Applet game I’m working on was not loading correctly.
My newest project is a Java Applet game (still hush hush on the details tho…) and I thought I’d share a nice little tip for securing a java applet so that it can only be run from within your webpage and not from anybody elses.
This is particularly useful if you don’t want others to profit by embedding your game in their site.
The code is simple
// check host
String hostname = getDocumentBase().getHost();
// All is well run the applet
// dont run the applet
Because I spend quite a bit of time on the bus everyday I have found myself with lots of reading time (my mp3 player broke.) And one of the books that I’ve been wanting to take a look at for some time now is “Understanding Comics” by Scott McCloud. Many have recommended this book including Ernast Adams in 50 books for Everyone in the Game Industry and it shows up on many lists of ‘Game Designers Recommend’ collections, even though it’s not even about video games. “Understanding Comics” is a comic book about comic books.
Now, I’m not really into the whole graphic novel thing, Sure, I had a comic book collection when I was younger but I found this book both insightful into how comics and how art in general is percevied. And the creative process that goes on in graphic art. (To which Scott devotes a chapter.)
Scott has a nack for visual storytelling – He is a comic book artist after all And I chuckled out loud in a number of places. As you accompany him throughout the book he seeks to find answers to some of the more ‘important questions’ surrounding his art. And yes, that is one of the questions he pursues, can comics be considered ‘art’? – His answer is of course a resounding yes.
There has been quite a lot of debate recently about whether video games can be considered art or not. I’d like to stay 10 miles away from this argument (I once took a philosophy of art paper at university, and we failed to even define what art was, which is a bit of a problem if you ask me.) But Scotts treatment on comics as art surely aids those who wish to show that games can be art too, as they share alot of common ground. Both are visual mediums, both are additive just as much as they are subtractive when it comes to design – The huge growth in casual games shows the subtractive side of game design, ie how to we simplify, refine, remove and still get our intended meaning across, without limiting gameplay. And both involve a “reader” who can impose themselves apon the work. The chapter in Scotts book concerning reading-in-between-the-frames, as well as the treadment of icons and abstractions in comics show just how much the control the reader has over the story.
So if you even just a passing interest in comics, or art or videogames you should give “Understanding Comics” a try – it’s quite insightful.