Thursday, January 21, 2010

Web Design Cafe

After scouring the web for good free image editing software, free web design software, and free graphics, I've finally decided to make a web page devoted to such- A quick directory for anyone needing web design oriented things, which include links to all of the necessary tools above.

These tools can be great for bloggers too.

You can find them all at the
Web Design Cafe
Thank You

Any suggestions are welcome.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Picnik - Free Web-Based Photo Editing!

I love this website. I had come across it before, but never did I appreciate it until the other day.

Here's the quick story; I formatted my computer and I needed to crop an image that was too small. I hadn't yet downloaded a free (client side) photo editing program like GIMP or Paint.NET, so I panicked. I googled.

Free Web based photo editing!

This website lets you upload your photos (of pretty big file size I might add, mine was almost 6MB!)

It let me crop my image to a suitable size, control the JPG file compression during save, file type, and adjust exposure, rotation, red-eye, etc.! This was perfect. I turned this >

Into this>
Which was just what I needed for my Twitter account.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Rebuilding and Moving Site

Scratch this post
At least for now. Things not going as planned. New host has too many restrictions for my plans.

This post is to let everyone know that the posts on Computer Games and Web Design will be at the new Chexed.Net. Blogger was great for the time being, but I require something more customizable and scalable. I have not the time to build a new website myself, so I've chosen to run the content management system/blog software, Serendipity on a rented portion of a (shared) server through 1And1.com.

I compared many hosts considering cost, Terms of Service, and features, but in the end, I signed up with 1And1.com because their optional software package was quite appealing; Offering Adobe GoLive CS2 as "included" with their business hosting (appx $130) package for a year for only the additional cost of shipping/handling (appx $8.00) when GoLive CS2 retails for over $200 by itself. Adobe Golive is web design software that should enable me to save a lot of time to build a completely custom version version of this website.

While signed into the 1And1 server control panel, I clicked the "Click-N-Build" link and with a few mouse clicks and some blanks typed in, Serendipity was easily installed. So far I like it, but this is my first time using Serendipity, so I'll have to put it to the test and let you know how it feels. I'm going to be testing other Content Management Systems (CMS) at the same time at other websites. Some CMS I'm considering are PostNuke, XOOPS, and Joomla- All systems I can install using the easy "Click-N-Build." With 1And1 however, I must choose wisely which Click-N-Build applications I want, because they allow only a limited number. I assume I can swap them later on by uninstalling one thus freeing up a space to install another one. I think uninstalling a CMS could be rather time consuming though if transferring of set-up and design are wanted or necessary.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Will Starcraft 2 be a RTS and FPS combination? I don't think so.

I don't think Starcraft 2 will be a RTS & FPS combination, but that doesn't matter until after I get this bit out of my system about Starcraft. The real issue is; is it doing anything at all?

In the past, Blizzard has been known to spend a lot of time perfecting a game, creating a lot of hype about it, only to suspend it. - Ghost. - Nuff said there.

Now they're sharpening Starcraft 2 so much that competitors will have all the time in the world to get a better "edge." And in the process of "sharpening," their game may end up being be so structurally sound that once it cuts, there's no going back - no balancing patch may fix it without totally changing major game elements.

Blizzard did an April 1st Fools joke for Starcraft recently, so I assume it's still very much in their hearts and at their designers finger tips (yes, that includes you programmers!). Is the game going to be much different? Probably not; without intoducing something drastically different poetntially debasing part of the current fanbase, they probably can't do it, unless they were real careful about it, making it optionally different: Like this version of an RTS / Combination I came up with:

In my opinion, the best way Starcraft 2 could have ever had a major game change was something I suggested years ago, by combinding RTS and FPS elements into the game. This would make multiplayer SO much more interesting. They could even put Ghost to use.

I could elaborate on an RTS and FPS combination greatly. Bringing RTS and FPS gamers together? Of course, you would need good AI controls for both the FPS and RTS for 1vs2, considering Starcraft 2 is traditionally a RTS though, the most powerful position should remain the RTS player. That shouldn't leave you to underestimate the role the FPS user can have though. Being able to make multiple quick head shots, pick off enemy special units, perhaps plant bombs on enemy vehicles? - The ways the FPS player could contribute are endless and can turn the tide of a battle or game. However, they can not win the game alone, considering the large scale of units can not be managed simutanteously for a long enough time.

If only a single player were playing, there should be an AI bot that can be turned on or off and taken control of by the user at any moment.

If an FPS player loses a unit, which may happen quickly for a single unit in the world of Starcraft games, he will go into a top down view, like the RTS players standpoint, only he will not be able to command any units from the top-down, he'll have to "become" one of the units, be going into him first person. I suppose you could could say "possess" the unit, hehe.

To keep it from being frustrating or boring to either player a second game mode where the players can "phase" in and out of roles in the game can be offered, the RTS player can possess a single unit for FPS view too, but for only 15 seconds, once that 15 seconds is up, the FPS player can (by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+CLICK (or other assignable arrangement) permanently become the RTS player. The RTS player also may become the FPS player permanantly, if the FPS player remains a RTS player for too long (not counting the "top down possesor view to choose a unit after death in transition between), they are automatically phased back to their primary role, FPS or RTS. Those timings can be tweeked in game settings with familiar names to be viewed in the available server list, like "Fast Phasing, Unlimited Phase," etc. A slider bar can also be used, but that would denote "custom."

The normal method should allow no phasing between roles once set in a given game, unless of course a player leaves, then someone else may gain that role in combination with their natural role, having unlimited phases. - This way both the opposing and defending team can have the same number of available roles, even if the number of players is unven.

I imagine 1 on 1's would most popularly be Unlimited Phasing, while more multilpayer matches would most popularly be No Phasing, or Strict RTS (old school) No Phasing (No FPS spots).

An advanced setting could be strict RTS (old school), or strict FPS in which there can be adjustable15 second phase to RTS settings, no phase settings, or no RTS going on during the same time at all.

Unless it's a "closed" setting game, if a player leaves, another player should be able to join at any time frame during the game. The player who was in the game first though should have the option set with a hotkey to transmit to the server list whether he is looking for an RTS or FPS spot to be filled, so only a player who actually wants to play in that position can be played.

This feature can be applied to many styles of multiplayer games: If a teammate is completely idle for more than 30 seconds, a partner may gain control, but gain the ability to give control back.

I get excited with the thought of combining my two favorite game types seamlessly. If you would like more elaboration on any aspect of this combination, feel free to contact me. I'm sure this is a little bit confusing, since I'm hapily helping tend to a two year old whiile writing this.

I hope Starcraft 2 doesn't go down the gutter with them waiting too long. I'll be happy if it's remains an RTS only as long as the competition, balance, and controls are good. I hope the technology of the game doesn't get outdated before it's released... IMO, that's what happened with Starcraft Ghost - They spent too much attention on one kid; e.g. World of Warcraft - All the while giving the other babies (Ghost, Diablo 2, Starcraft 2) the little bit of milk and backwash left in the bottle. Maybe that's not what's happening here though, maybe.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Starcraft II Valentine Wall Paper

I like Starcraft and the second one I'm surely looking forward to. They have valentines day wall papers up now. Who knew all of the races were so loving?



Protoss, Zerg and Terran! OH MY!

I liked the Zerg one, so that's what I put here. I don't want to put them all here os you have something to look forward to at the Blizzard website. They have more free wall papers for Starcraft 2 out now!!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

I like free software but...

Don't get me wrong, I'm all about the open-source movement... I really enjoy GIMP for image editing and Inkscape but for some reason the Adobe Master Collection still makes my heart pump harder.

That in mind, I'm going to start making more tutorials for GIMP and Inkscape AFTER I re-download them. If I make more tutorials, it should add to the overall support and user-friendliness of these programs. By the way, I only have to "re-"download them because I just reformatted my computer, which as many of us know, is always an experience with a few surprises.