Posted on: December 02 2022 Comments: 2
Today, I finally received my yearly electricity bill:
I managed to reduce our power consumption by about 20% and recieved a pay back of 800€. Here is what we did to make this:
I reprogrammed our air heat pump to only provide hot water in the morning instead of doing this twice or three times a day. Nobody of the family members really noticed. In case we need to use more hot water later during the day (like for taking a bath) you can now simply press a button and wait 20 minutes. Works surprising... [Read more]
Posted on: May 30 2022 Comments: 3
Starting a successful new youtube channel without help isn't easy today:
Everyone and their mom wants to be a youtuber now. Not only is there so much competition, but the bar what people expect now has risen significantly in the recent years. Nevertheless, I've helped starting a youtube channel in the end of 2021 and we went from 0 to monetized (=1000 subscribers, 4000 hours watched) within just 3 months.
Here are the steps I took in order to do it. Maybe this helps you to create your own channel as w... [Read more]
Posted on: February 11 2022 Comments: 3
If you start having more than the usual amount of children, there are many interesting side effects. Also, you start running into lots of interesting problems.
Adminsitrative, cultural but also lots of timing and management problems. As programmer, you'll also find a lot of interesting optimization problems - you always struggle optimizing your time in order to be able to finish all your tasks while trying keep everybody happy at the same time. Here is a short list of things I encountered: Cars Most cars... [Read more]
Posted on: December 28 2021 Comments: 2
I started implementing the AI for competitor companies for Cargo Company, my transportation simulation game.
There are trains, trucks and rockets in the game, so for starters, I decided to implement the first version of the AI for building rocket transportation lines between the various planets. Because it is simpler than for example planning a large railway track around difficult terrain additionally.
So in order to create a new transportation line, the AI has to decide a few things:
What am ... [Read more]
Posted on: December 14 2021 Comments: 2
In order to be successful with a project today - no matter if you are creating software, games, websites, music, images, poets, art or whatever, today, you need to chase the blackbox which is the algorithm of the related platform. And it gets more difficult ever year.
Create software? - find a way not to drown in the massive amount of other apps posted daily on Google Play, Apple's App store and others.
Make videos? - have fun with Youtube's search, recommendation and tagging system. It also changes... [Read more]
Posted on: November 19 2021 Comments: 2
...or the monster that C++ has become.
C++ reinvented itself during the last years, and is barely recognizable now from the good old C++98. It's not like C++ was a simple language back then - quite the contrary. But on top of all this, so many new features have been added that it has become a monster.
And generally speaking, this is a good thing: You now have smart pointers, lambdas, ranges, a chrono library, threads, concepts, modules and so much more. But it can become quite overwhelming with ... [Read more]
Posted on: November 05 2021 Comments: 2
As new game developer, it is very difficult to get some visibility for the game your are developing.
In 2020, on Steam, 28 new games have been released EVERY DAY. In 2021, we are currently at 16 games per day. So without a lot of work, there is no chance your game will be seen by anyone.
This is a list of steps to easily market your game I have learned during the last 20 years where I created 11 commercial games single handedly. (In addition, I was also involved in more than a dozen other game pro... [Read more]
Posted on: October 22 2021 Comments: 2
I stopped blogging regularily because my blog software which was in use since about 2005 was hopelessly out of date - although manually patched mostly for security reasons - but it wasn't fun to use anymore.
So finally, I sat down for two days on a weekend, and wrote a converter to extract the arcane undocumented database of this old blog software, and put it into a mariaDB-Database, and some code to show its content to you as you read this. In plain, good old-school PHP, just because.
On top of that... [Read more]
Posted on: April 07 2020 Comments: 6
PostCollapse was my first one-man-game published on Steam, made with my also one-man-self-created 3D engine CopperCube.
Although intended to be a small side-project game, it sold around 4000 copies as of today, so here is a small Post-Mortem:
First Steps: WebGL
When I started developing PostCollapse 7 years ago, it was supposed to be a WebGL game to be run in your browser from a website.
WebGL was new and I expected it to replace the back then still popular Flash game scene (and it turned out I w... [Read more]
Posted on: June 14 2019 Comments: 7
For a few years now, I'm developing a free WYSIWYG website designer named RocketCake, which is modestly successful: I estimate a high five digit number of people actively using it today.
I don't earn very much from it (there is a 'Pro' version which you can buy to support development of the editor) but it is enough to continue doing this besides my other projects, and I enjoy that.
I've learned a ton of unusual things while working on it - like there are still web servers out there choking on doub... [Read more]
Posted on: May 27 2019 Comments: 4
I did it. I just switched to an electric car.
And now after driving it for a couple of hundred KMs, I think "Why haven't I done this earlier?". It's great, and the shortcomings I feared there where are actually non-issues.
I didn't get a Tesla since they are a bit expensive for my taste (although I like them), and there are lots of good cheaper electric cars out there. Like the Nissan Leaf, Renault ZOE or Hyndai Ioniq (I chose the latter).
Here are some things I learned about all this, which maybe ... [Read more]
Posted on: January 29 2019 Comments: 4
I am developing a game named Business Magnate. This post is part 4 of its development blog (other parts: part 1, part 2, part 3)
One of the most time intensive parts of creating tycoon games or simulation games in general is also the most boring part: User interface. It is hard because the user interface needs to be functional, good looking and easy to understand at the same time.
And in addition, for the type of game I am working on: It needs to be able to update itself in realtime - everything ... [Read more]
Posted on: January 01 2019 Comments: 1
I wish all the readers of this blog a happy new year! May you be successful and have fun in 2019!
Also, as the tradition demands, I give away my software for a big discount, for a short amount of time: The ambiera new year sale is running again, currently. There is for example RocketCake 2 for -50% and CopperCube 6 for -30%, so there is something in for you too, maybe. [Read more]
Posted on: December 03 2018 Comments: 1
Today is the first sale of CopperCube 6 on Steam:
It is still basically free, but if you want to support CopperCube, you can buy the Pro or Studio edition (a DLC on Steam), now with a -30% discount for a few days.
If you already own CopperCube 5 Pro, there is also a Steam bundle which makes it even a bit more cheaper for you. [Read more]
Posted on: November 30 2018 Comments: 3
I am developing a game named Business Magnate. This post is part 3 of its development blog (other parts: part 1, part 2).
I programmed a lot of particle systems in my life, but when I started implementing the game engine for Business Magnate I wasn't aware that I would need one for that game, too. It is a tycoon game, after all. But what was I thinking, of course I need one. Besides other types of businesses, you can create space companies in that game, and launch rockets into space. Rocket engines produ... [Read more]
Posted on: November 19 2018 Comments: 0
I just uploaded version 2.2 of RocketCake, the free responsive website editor I am developing:
I had to push this out because some people sometimes had problems with the editor UI not working at all: Sometimes, ComboBoxes and sliders simply wouldn't work at all. I bought a new Mac Mini among other things too be able to reproduce and fix this problem, and after many tries, somehow, finally RocketCake behaved exactly the same as reported by some people. Still not exactly sure if this was the reason, but I ... [Read more]
Posted on: November 16 2018 Comments: 1
I just created a small gameplay video of Business Magnate, I think it shows a bit better how the game will play like:
Any feedback is welcome.
Also, there is now a steam page for the game. So you can put it on your Steam wishlist, if you like:
Also, if you want to help, you can upvote the tags of the game on the steam page. [Read more]
Posted on: November 09 2018 Comments: 3
Some friendly people let me know that the planned name for my next game, which was "Business Builder" probably wasn't a very good choice: There is a mobile game which has a similar name, although not the same one. That's also why I overlooked this. Still, unfortunate. I could go on using "Business Builder", since it is not the same, but to avoid confusion and because the game is still in development, a change of name is a good idea.
So I changed the name, and "Business Builder" will now be named "Busines... [Read more]
Posted on: November 09 2018 Comments: 0
I just received a new Mac Mini from Apple. The new one is black. Looks interesting, compared to the three older generations:
Starting it up, it is surprisingly fast (especially compared to the older versions), only that default "natural" mouse wheel scrolling (which is inverted) was annoying. It only has two 'normal' USB ports, the remaining other 4 ports are USB-C, so I guess I need to invest in a few adapters. Another change: The power adapter is now internal, as it seems. It only has a simple cable co... [Read more]
Posted on: November 05 2018 Comments: 4
I am developing a game named Business Magnate. This post is part 2 of its development blog (part 1 is here).
For making the isometric engine more useful, we need to be able to click onto buildings, in order to open dialogs and similar. Detecting if a user clicked on a building isn't actually that difficult: Just check if the mouse coordinates are within the rectangle of the drawn sprite, and if the hit pixel is solid. We also need to check if another building is drawn in front of the current one, and the... [Read more]
Posted on: November 02 2018 Comments: 3
When I started developing the Irrlicht 3D engine nearly 20 years ago, I always had a public roadmap on the website. Not sure why I didn't make one for the CopperCube 3D game engine as well. So time to change that.
The official CopperCube roadmap is now available, too. It's still a bit empty, but I guess it will fill more and more during the next months. It only contains the big items (not bug fixes and similar), but if I forgot something very important, please let me know! [Read more]
Posted on: October 26 2018 Comments: 0
When starting a 32 bit app on the newer macOS versions, you get a message box which reads like this:
And I get a lot of support requests by scared users because of this. Asking me if the app is broken.
No, it is perfectly fine. Apple just decided to throw that at them, and blame the developer once they stop supporting 32 bit apps.
From my - the developers perspective, this is really a dick move by Apple. Really, suggesting that the app is not ok and scaring my users is not ok.
Especially when "d... [Read more]
Posted on: October 22 2018 Comments: 5
For that Business Simulation Game I am working on, I decided to go with an isometric view of the buildings. 3D would have been possible too - especially since I am also working on that 3D game engine - but I think it is much easier to place buildings and have a nice overview with an isometric 2D view.
Programming wise, it is a mixture of 2D and 3D, and you have a combination of the disadvantages and benefits of both: Mostly everything is nearly in screen coordinates but you still need to do some z-sortin... [Read more]
Posted on: October 12 2018 Comments: 6
After a successful twitter poll, where 96% voted yes, I'm going to develop my next game a bit more in the open. Meaning I'll blog and tweet a bit more about it, while it still is in development, even if there isn't much to see yet. So here is the plan:
My next game will be named Business Magnate, a tycoon game with some quite unique features.
I already created a website for it (here), which was quite a bit of work. I wrote all the HTML, CSS, PHP and JS code manually and by hand, and although it is jus... [Read more]
Posted on: September 18 2018 Comments: 5
If you want to create a game, you'll probably figure this one out quickly: Game development is not easy.
You probably have read an article or two with tips about how to start game development, and I'd like to add a few things from my experience so far:
The "What if somebody else creates my game idea" syndrome
A lot people have this problem: Once you start working on your game which probably has a unique idea, you start worrying that someone else might be working on a very similar game lik... [Read more]
Posted on: September 17 2018 Comments: 0
I just added tariffs into Government Simulator's simulation engine and released it as version 1.4 on Steam.
So basically, you can now be like Trump, if you like:
The effect tariffs will have depends on how the internals of the country you are running look like, and they have limitations:
There are no individual types of goods on which you can impose tariffs, it is just an average factor, since the simulation isn't fine grained enough for this. It doesn't have a simulation running imports/exports betw... [Read more]
Posted on: September 04 2018 Comments: 1
Today, I updated the Android code base to use Android Studio (instead of previously, Eclipse with the Android SDK). Which is actually nice to work with if you have enough memory. But the amount of stuff it is doing automatically is scary, and you can only hope that it will do everything right, otherwise you really have a problem, I guess.
Anyway, I now compiled the Android app to target API version 26, which is the minimum version to be allowed on Google Play (Google changed this just now to be a new req... [Read more]
Posted on: September 03 2018 Comments: 3
It took a while, but I finally repaired the RSS feed for this blog: Previously, all the links in the feed to the articles where broken, but they should work now. Please tell me if you find any problems anywhere.
RSS feeds went out of fashion a few years ago, but it looks like they are gaining momentum again, a bit, also judging from the amount of people complaining about this. Sorry for the long time it took me to repair this, it was quite difficult to debug this blog software, and took me three attempts... [Read more]
Posted on: August 28 2018 Comments: 4
I just released RocketCake 2.1, that's the free responsive website builder I am developing.
It now has support for SFTP, which it can use when the "publish to internet" button is used. It then automatically uploads your website (or the changed items) to your server with one click.
It was quite a lot of work to make it possible so that people can write sftp:// instead of ftp://. A lot of work for just one character difference. :)
Unfortunately, there is a lot of bureaucracy related to the US law for ... [Read more]
Posted on: July 13 2018 Comments: 7
I just released CopperCube 6.0. One of the major changes is this:
CopperCube is now free.
You can develop games, sell them, publish them on Steam, any App Store, any website, for free now.
In order to support the future development of CopperCube, there are also two additional editions available with a few more features which can be bought: Professional and Studio edition.
The changes in the release are:
Full FBX import with Animation
New lighting system
... [Read more]