A happily productive 2014 and a better 2015!

The past year has been good to me.

I have started the development of my first RPG – Call of Saregnar – and while I haven’t progressed as far as I would have liked, it is progress nevertheless. Having a full-time job and a 2 year old kid, there isn’t much time left to dedicate to my “geeky hobby” of making games.

Let’s take a look at some game-dev highlights for 2014:

  • Came out with the idea for the game 🙂
  • Wrote the world bible and created some rudimentary world maps
  • Created the functional specification for the game
  • Drew many of the in-game interface graphics
  • Coded the game’s city/village/location exploration system
  • Started working on the first tool – the map editor

Well, that’s not too bad, now that I look at it.

I will be happy if 2015 brings on that much progress as the past year did. Hopefully, soon I will have some visuals to back up my words.

Be sure to go check out the game development section on this site for more information on the game.

Essential Web Development Apps on Mac OS X

Like every trade needs its set of tools, so do we web developers. In this article I’ll present you – what in my experience are – the best web development applications available on Mac OS X.

Graphics Manipulation

The king of all graphic manipulation apps is Adobe Photoshop ($699 or $49/month). Its performance and features are simply way above anything else, but so is its price. If you can afford to buy it, definitely go for it, else there are some alternatives – much less powerful – but way easier on your wallet:

Also if you have Photoshop and you don’t do a lot of line art, you might probably do without Adobe Illustrator. I rarely use it by itself, but sometimes I use it for more complex vector art and conversion in conjunction with Photoshop.

File Transfer

Transmit ($34) – Probably the best commercial FTP application on the Mac.
Cyberduck (free) – A great alternative to Transmit, featuring a single-pane interface.

Text Editing

If Photoshop is the king of graphics manipulation, then Macromates’ TextMate is the king of text editing. Once you start using it, all other text editors look like toys. The features of this editor are simply to many to list here, so feel free to browse the product’s web site for more info.

Database Access And Manipulation

If you need to access (mysql) databases, you need a good tool to manage it. Navicat is just that. It is however, a bit expensive, and there are other free tools that do the job quite as well:

  • Sequel Pro (free) – a fast and easy-to-use Mac database management application for working with MySQL databases.
  • Querious ($29) – a native OS X application supporting viewing, searching, editing, importing, exporting, and structuring your MySQL databases.

Browsers & Plugins

My main development browser is Mozilla Firefox with the following plugins:

For your IE debugging needs, you should probably go for a virtual machine that runs a version of windows with IE. I recommend spending your money on VMware Fusion ($79.99 – $99.99) or Parallels Desktop and install Windows XP, which comes preloaded with internet explorer version 6. You can then have separate installations with various other browser versions and run them as needed.

Nature Wallpapers For The iPhone 4

On my vacation to Thailand I had the chance to snap many beautiful photos, and two of them I’ve turned into wallpapers for the iPhone. One of them is a weathered teak tree, the other one is a palm leaf.

Feel free to download them and use them as a backdrop for your iPhone. I’ll be adding more wallpapers as I dig my way through all the pictures I’ve taken.

Note: Click the thumbnails to view and download full-sized wallpapers.

Mac OS X Lion Notes: iOS Scroll Bars, Any Corner Resizing, Dock Changes – Mac Rumors

Hmm, no indicators in the dock anymore? I am curious how will the users see this change. Also how will you prevent the app to resume the previous state? You know in case you want to start the app fresh.

Mac OS X Lion Notes: iOS Scroll Bars, Any Corner Resizing, Dock Changes – Mac Rumors.

Safari 4 Public Beta

It was a pleasantly unexpected surprise to see that my favourite browser just got much better, more polished, and I must say, fancier too.

Safari version 4 sports new Chromesque tabs on the top of the window, a smart google-powered address field, a sexy coverflow history viewer and an even sexier favourites ‘Top Sites’ view.

This is a really nice upgrade to the ol’ and dull version 3. Get your beta version from apple’s website here.

WebKit achieves Acid3 100/100 in public build

It seems webkit is the first one to obtain a 100/100 mark on the Acid3 test. They claim it passes the test, albeit they haven’t beat the smoothness animation test yet. Read more on the r31342 nightly build that passed the test here. You can get the latest nightly build here, if you are interested to test the thing, or if you simply want to be on the edge.

Safari 3.1 Update Released

Apple released an update to the Safari browser today, bringing the version number to 3.1. The new release includes support for CSS3 web fonts, CSS transforms and transitions, support for the new video and audio HTML 5 elements, and support for SQL database offline storage of web apps. The update also seems to increase javascript performance, site compatibility (time for the Acid 3 test, folks?) and improve stability.
Finally web developers can easily turn on a Develop menu with various tools of the trade. Now you can access the Web Inspector, the Network Timeline, and you can edit CSS in the Web Inspector as well.

More detailed information on this update is available on this website, and security details of the update are available here.

Happy browsing!

New Apple Keyboard

Today I finally received the apple keyboard I ordered. I was weighing the purchase decision between the wired and the wireless model; finally I settled for the wired one because of the USB 2.0 hub built in… one never has enough USB ports, right? 🙂 I also had to choose between the local Slovenian and the international (US) layout, but finally opted for the international version, which is much better suited for programming if you ask me.

Anyway, right now I am typing this entry on it and I am *very* satisfied with the look and feel of it all. The keyboard feels very sturdy and because it is so thin, typing is much more comfortable than on its predecessor. The only thing that slightly bothers me right now, is that I need to hit the keys harder than I am used to with other keyboards else I just keep skipping letters. Overall, I am impressed with the little white thing and I believe I will purchase another one for my peecee at work. Recommended!