Flying high

Orville Wright demonstrated on December 17th 1903 that it was possible for a ‘manned heavier than air machine to fly’. But, in 1895, eight years earlier, the Sanskrit scholar Shivkar Bapuji Talpade had designed a basic aircraft called Marutsakthi (meaning Power of Air) based on Vedic technology and had it take off unmanned before a large audience in the Chowpathy beach of Bombay. The importance of the Wright brothers lies in the fact, that it was a manned flight for a distance of 120 feet and Orville Wright became the first man to fly. But Talpade’s unmanned aircraft flew to a height of 1500 feet before crashing down and the historian Evan Koshtka, has described Talpade as the ‘first creator of an aircraft’.

As the world observes the one hundredth anniversary of the first manned flight, it is interesting to consider the saga of India’s 19th century first aircraft inventor for his design was entirely based on the rich treasury of India’s Vedas. Shivkar Bapuji Talpade was born in 1864 in the locality of Chirabazar at Dukkarwadi in Bombay.

He was a scholar of Sanskrit and from his young age was attracted by the Vaimanika Sastra (Aeronautical Science) expounded by the great Indian sage Maharishi Bhardwaja. One western scholar of Indology Stephen-Knapp has put in simple words or rather has tried to explain what Talpade did and succeeded!

According to Knapp, the Vaimanika Shastra describes in detail, the construction of what is called, the mercury vortex engine the forerunner of the ion engines being made today by NASA. Knapp adds that additional information on the mercury engines can be found in the ancient Vedic text called Samaranga Sutradhara. This text also devotes 230 verses, to the use of these machines in peace and war. The Indologist William Clarendon, who has written down a detailed description of the mercury vortex engine in his translation of Samaranga Sutradhara quotes thus ‘Inside the circular air frame, place the mercury-engine with its solar mercury boiler at the aircraft center. By means of the power latent in the heated mercury which sets the driving whirlwind in motion a man sitting inside may travel a great distance in a most marvellous manner. Four strong mercury containers must be built into the interior structure. When these have been heated by fire through solar or other sources the vimana (aircraft) develops thunder-power through the mercury.

NASA (National Aeronau-tical and Space Administra-tion) world’s richest/ most powerful scientific organisation is trying to create an ion engine that is a device that uses a stream of high velocity electrified particles instead of a blast of hot gases like in present day modern jet engines. Surprisingly according to the bi-monthly Ancient Skies published in USA, the aircraft engines being developed for future use by NASA by some strange coincidence also uses mercury bombardment units powered by Solar cells! Interestingly, the impulse is generated in seven stages. The mercury propellant is first vapourised fed into the thruster discharge chamber ionised converted into plasma by a combination with electrons broke down electrically and then accelerated through small openings in a screen to pass out of the engine at velocities between 1200 to 3000 kilometres per minute! But so far NASA has been able to produce an experimental basis only a one pound of thrust by its scientists a power derivation virtually useless. But 108 years ago Talpade was able to use his knowledge of Vaimanika Shastra to produce sufficient thrust to lift his aircraft 1500 feet into the air!

According to Indian scholar Acharya, ‘Vaimanika Shastra deals about aeronautics including the design of aircraft the way they can be used for transportation and other applications in detail. The knowledge of aeronautics is described in Sanskrit in 100 sections, eight chapters, 500 principles and 3000 slokas including 32 techniques to fly an aircraft. In fact, depending on the classifications of eras or Yugas in modern Kaliyuga aircraft used are called Krithakavimana flown by the power of engines by absorbing solar energies!’ It is feared that only portions of Bharadwaja’s masterpiece Vaimanika Shas-tra survive today.

The question that comes to one’s mind is, what happened to this wonderful encyclopaedia of aeronautical knowledge accumulated by the Indian savants of yore, and why was it not used? But in those days, such knowledge was the preserve of sages, who would not allow it to be misused, just like the knowledge of atomic bombs is being used by terrorists today!

According to scholar Ratnakar Mahajan who wrote a brochure on Talpade. ‘Being a Sanskrit scholar interested in aeronautics, Talpade studied and consulted a number of Vedic treatises like Brihad Vaimanika Shastra of Maharishi Bharadwaja Vimanachandrika of Acharya Narayan Muni Viman yantra of Maharish Shownik Yantra Kalp by Maharishi Garg Muni Viman Bindu of Acharya Vachaspati and Vimana Gyanarka Prakashika of Maharishi Dhundiraj’. This gave him confidence that he can build an aircraft with mercury engines. One essential factor in the creation of these Vedic aircraft was the timing of the Suns Rays or Solar energy (as being now utilised by NASA) when they were most effective to activate the mercury ions of the engine. Happily for Talpade Maharaja Sayaji Rao Gaekwad of Baroda a great supporter of the Sciences in India, was willing to help him and Talpade went ahead with his aircraft construction with mercury engines. One day in 1895 (unfortunately the actual date is not mentioned in the Kesari newspaper of Pune which covered the event) before an curious scholarly audience headed by the famous Indian judge/ nationalist/ Mahadeva Govin-da Ranade and H H Sayaji Rao Gaekwad Talpade had the good fortune to see his un manned aircraft named as ‘Marutsakthi’ take off, fly to a height of 1500 feet and then fall down to earth.

But this success of an Indian scientist was not liked by the Imperial rulers. Warned by the British Government the Maharaja of Baroda stopped helping Talpade. It is said that the remains of the Marutsakthi were sold to ‘foreign parties’ by the relatives of Talpade in order to salvage whatever they can out of their loans to him. Talpade’s wife died at this critical juncture and he was not in a mental frame to continue with his researches. But his efforts to make known the greatness of Vedic Shastras was recognised by Indian scholars, who gave him the title of Vidya Prakash Pra-deep.

Talpade passed away in 1916 un-honoured, in his own country.

As the world rightly honours the Wright Brothers for their achievements, we should think of Talpade, who utilised the ancient knowledge of Sanskrit texts, to fly an aircraft, eight years before his foreign counterparts.

 

 

as Posted on http://archive.deccanherald.com/Deccanherald/dec16/snt2.asp

What is Google TalkBack?

 

Google’s TalkBack service is a great way for the vision-impaired to use all of Android’s features

Most of us take being able to see everything on our high-resolution Androids for granted. We peep at pixels, discuss the merits of display technology to death, and even tend to turn our nose up at devices that don’t have the ultra-high-res “true” HD screens some of today’s flagships offer. But that’s not the case for the large segment of us who have impaired vision.

Folks who have a hard time seeing the overload of information that a modern smartphone has to offer will need some assistance, and Google provides a really comprehensive set of tools in TalkBack. TalkBack is an Accessibility Service that helps vision-impaired users interact with, and enjoy, their devices. It uses spoken word, vibration and other audible feedback to let you know what’s on your screen, what you’re touching, and what you can do with it.

TalkBack

TalkBack was installed on your device when you bought it as part of Google’s Android application suite, and it is routinely updated with improvements and new features through Google Play. If you don’t need assistance because you’re not able to see everything on the screen clearly, you’ve probably never looked at it. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, because it wasn’t designed for those of us who can see everything and the setup and options can be confusing when you see what you want to do and hear how it all works at the same time.

How it works is that you use your finger to “explore” what is on the screen, and when you come across any element that can be acted on, or any block of text that can be read back to you, TalkBack kicks in. For text (including things like the time and notifications) the screen reader service tells you exactly what it written — including things like “colon p” for emoticons, and all the characters in a web address for example. For elements that you act on, TalkBack tells you what you’ve touched, and lets you act with a double tap or move to the next element without triggering anything. It’s pretty well thought out, and if you can follow the audible prompts you can do anything on an Android — even if you can’t see the screen. All you need to do is set it up.

Having said that, the whole setup routine and setting the various options is covered very well in the tutorial the first time you initiate the service. You’ll find it under “Accessibility” in your device settings, and on recent versions of Android all you need to do to enable it is slide a toggle to the on position. You’re then walked through all the ways TalkBack can help, as well as how to use gestures and dive into the settings of the service itself.

TalkBack Settings

And there are settings galore. The settings for spoken feedback — reading what you see on your screen — include options you would expect like speech volume and reading out caller ID information, as well as settings for using a different pitch when telling you what you’re typing, and a setting to allow shaking the phone start and stop screen reading. Google has really done a fine job figuring out what we might need here, and has thrown it all in. When something is this important — some of us couldn’t use a phone or tablet without some assistive technology — we’re glad to see all the options.

When it comes to other feedback, you can turn vibration on and off, set things so you’re given an audible tone when you’ve highlighted a selectable item, and control the volume of other audio — like a call or music — so you’re better able to hear TalkBack when it needs to tell you something.

You’re also able to completely customize the exploration by touch features. You can enable custom labels (which are read aloud) and gestures, change from the default double tap to activate and double finger scroll for lists and other screen items, and most importantly, activate the tutorial at any time.

TalkBack

TalkBack isn’t something you’ll want to use unless you need it. Frankly, it’s darn near impossible to use when you can see what it is telling you you’re seeing, and you can’t help but tap and try to do things before it is ready. But folks who need to rely on this sort of tech will be more attuned to following audible cues, and this is a great way to help those of us who need some help to get that help. If you have the need, or know someone who does, be sure to give Talk Back a look and see if it can make someone’s Android experience a little better.

 

As Posted on http://www.androidcentral.com/what-google-talk-back by Jerry Hildenbrand

Samsung Unpacked 2014: Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note Edge and more


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The IFA week is underway and as is usual, Samsung has been amongst the firs to announce its new smartphones. Rumours about Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 had been doing the rounds for quite a while now and Samsung finally unveiled the device today at its Samsung Unpacked 2014 event in IFA Berlin.

– Galaxy Note 4

– Galaxy Note Edge

– Gear S smartwatch

– Gear VR headset.

Here’s what you need to know about each of these products.

Galaxy Note 4

Note4

– The Galaxy Note 4 has a 5.7 inch Quad-HD Super AMOLED display with a 2,560×1,440 pixel resolution. It is powered by a 2.7 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 SoC and has a 16 MP rear camera along with a 3.7 MP front camera. The device runs on Android 4.4.4 KitKat OS and also sports a heart rate monitor like the Galaxy S5 and runs on a 3,220 mAh battery.

– The front camera on the Note 4 has a 90 degree viewing angle with a panorama-like mode. This helps you cover more area when taking selfies etc.

– Samsung also about the fast charging feature, which allows users to charge the battery from 0% to almost 50% in half an hour.

– The camera on the Note 4 also features the optical image stabilisation feature, which is a first for Samsung.

– The Note 4 also has a metallic frame along the sides.

Galaxy Note Edge

Note Dge

– This is basically the same phone as the Note 4, but it has a curved display, which bends on one side of the device. This creates a thin new screen, which can be used for app shortcuts, notifications, video playback, camera control etc.

– The device is the first of its kind from Samsung or any other manufacturer.

Gear S

GearSjpeg

– The Samsung Gear S smartwatch runs on the company’s Tizen platform and has a 2 inch AMOLED display along with a 1GHz processor, 4 GB of internal storage and 512 MB of RAM.

– It also has a heart rate sensor, UV detector, barometer, gyroscope, accelerometer and GPS Sensor.

– The Gear S can hold a SIM card and has its own 3G modem. This allows users to make calls through the watch, using the Samsung Circle Bluetooth headset.

– Interestingly, while the device is designed to exist separately, you need a Galaxy smartphone to set it up initially or download apps on it. So, you can’t actually own the Gear S without a Galaxy smartphone that is supported by it.

– The device also sports a curved display.

Gear VR

Gear VRjpeg

– The Gear VR is Samsung’s virtual reality headset, powered by Ocullus Rift.

– The Galaxy Note 4 needs to be fitted into the VR headset in order to access content and give it a screen.

– This gives the Gear VR a Quad-HD screen as well.

– Samsung has partnered with the likes of Marvel, Cirque-de-soleil, IMAX, Dreamworks and many others for content on the Gear VR.

While the smartphones and smartwatch will be available in October, Samsung didn’t announce when the Gear VR headset will be made available commercially.

via Samsung Unpacked 2014: Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note Edge and more | Digit.in.

Best JavaScript Libraries of 2014 One Must Have

A JavaScript library is a pre-written JavaScript which permits to develop JavaScript-based applications easily, particularly applied for web browsers that allows to cooperate with the users and control the browser. The main use of JavaScript is to write functions that built-in HTML pages and interact with the Document Object Model (DOM) of the page. The language can be used as server side programming language for the game development and the design of desktop / mobile applications. In short, JS libraries is solution of problem as it is built to resolve the issues.

These libraries will help you to make things easier for your website related tasks. We hope these JavaScript libraries will be helpful to your website linked requirements.

Voix.js

A JavaScript library to add voice commands to your sites, apps or games.

ScrollReveal.js

ScrollReveal.js is a simple way to create and maintain how elements fade in, triggered when they enter the viewport. It helps you to build declarative on-scroll reveal animations for your websites.

AngularJS

AngularJS is a toolset for building the framework most suited to your application development. It is fully extensible and works well with other libraries. Every feature can be modified or replaced to suit your unique development workflow and feature needs.

ACE

Ace is an embeddable code editor written in JavaScript. It matches the features and performance of native editors such as Sublime, Vim and Text Mate. It can be easily embedded in any web page and JavaScript application. Ace is maintained as the primary editor for Cloud9 IDE and is the successor of the Mozilla Skywriter (Bespin) project.

Hammer.js

Hammer is an open-source library that can recognize gestures made by touch, mouse and pointer Events. It doesn’t have any dependencies, and it’s small, only 3.71 kB minified + gzipped!

Math.js

Math.js is an extensive math library for JavaScript and Node.js. It features a flexible expression parser and offers an integrated solution to work with numbers, big numbers, complex numbers, units, and matrices. Powerful and easy to use.

Type Rendering Mix

Type Rendering Mix is useful in many situations. Let’s say you are using Proxima Nova on your website. Below you can see how the “thin” weight will look in OS X and Windows 7. Due to the way the Core Text rasterizer works, fonts will look heavier on OS X and iOS than on other platforms.

Switchery

Switchery is a simple component that helps you turn your default HTML checkbox inputs into beautiful iOS 7 style switches in just few simple steps. You can easily customize switches, so that they match your design perfectly.

Unison.js

Unison.js is a small plugin (1.2kb minified) that allows you to declare named breakpoints in one place and automatically sync them across your JavaScript and markup. When all of your front-end technologies share break point information, complex responsive tasks such as conditional loading and image swapping become much simpler and straight-forward.

Ember Charts

A charting library built with the Ember.js and d3.js frameworks. It includes time series, bar, pie, and scatter charts which are easy to extend and modify. The out-of-the-box behavior these chart components represents our thoughts on best practices in chart interactivity and presentation.

Offline.js

Offline.js is a library to automatically alert your users when they’ve lost internet connectivity, like Gmail.

It captures AJAX requests which were made while the connection was down, and remakes them when it’s back up, so your app reacts perfectly.

It has a number of beautiful themes and requires no configuration.

Parallax.js

via Best JavaScript Libraries of 2014 One Must Have | Downgraf.

Phaser

Phaser is a fast, free and fun open source game framework for making desktop and mobile browser HTML5 games. It uses Pixi.js internally for fast 2D Canvas and WebGL rendering.

Version: 2.0.5 “Tanchico” – Released: 20th May 2014 By Richard Davey, Photon Storm

via photonstorm/phaser.

Make Games – Finishing a Game By Derek Yu

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As I work towards completing my own game, I’ve been thinking a lot about finishing projects in general. I’ve noticed that there are a lot of talented developers out there that have trouble finishing games. Truthfully, I’ve left a long trail of unfinished games in my wake… I think everyone has. Not every project is going to pan out, for whatever reason. But if you find yourself consistently backing out of game projects that have a lot of potential, it could be worth taking a step back and examining why this happens.

We’ve all had that feeling about at least one game, comic book, movie, etc., that comes out: “Gee, I could do better than this! This is overrated.” But it’s important to take a step back and realize that, hey, they put in the time to finish a project and I haven’t. That’s at least one thing they might be better than me at, and it’s probably why they have the recognition I don’t! If you treat finishing like a skill, rather than simply a step in the process, you can acknowledge not only that it’s something you can get better at, but also what habits and thought processes get in your way.

I don’t believe that there’s a right way to make games. It’s a creative endeavor, so there are no hard and fast rules that can’t be broken at some point. But as a game developer who has discussed this problem with other game developers, I feel like there are some mental traps that we all fall into at some point, especially when we’re starting out. Being aware of these traps is a great first step towards finishing something. (Between you and me, codifying these ideas is partly my way of staying on top of them, too!)

So without further ado, here is a list of 15 tips for finishing a game:

1. CHOOSE AN IDEA WITH POTENTIAL

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I’ve found that there are three types of games that pique my interest: games I want to make, games I want to have made, and games I’m good at making.

Games I want to make are games where the process itself seems really fun. Maybe the mechanic seems really fun to experiment with, or maybe there’s a character I really want to animate.

Games I want to have made are games where I’m more interested in the result than in getting there. Maybe it’s a “no-limits” concept (“OMG, GTA meets Final Fantasy meets Starcraft meets…”) or just a neat idea that’s not necessarily any fun to implement.

Games I’m good at making are games that are suited to my personality and which I have experience in making. Perhaps there’s a certain genre that you naturally gravitate towards and which you understand the rhythm and flow of very well.

In my opinion, the ideas with the most potential (to be finished, at least) fall into all three categories and also satisfy the requirement “I have the time and resources to actually make this”.

2. ACTUALLY START THE DAMN GAME

Writing your idea down is not starting the damn game. Writing a design document is not starting the damn game. Assembling a team is not starting the damn game. Even doing graphics or music is not starting the damn game. It’s easy to confuse “preparing to start the damn game” with “starting the damn game”. Just remember: a damn game can be played, and if you have not created something that can be played, it’s not a damn game!

So dammit, even creating a game engine is not necessarily starting the damn game. Which brings me to the next tip…

3. DON’T ROLL YOUR OWN TECH IF YOU DON’T HAVE TO

There are pros and cons to writing your own engine. But ask yourself, do you really have to? Is what you want to do impossible to do with what’s already out there or would you be reinventing the wheel? Of course, if you write your own engine you can make it just perfect the way you like it. But be honest, how often do you ever get past the engine to the game itself? Do you find yourself making game engines more often than you do games?

I made the original version of Spelunky in Game Maker, and it’s that “finished” game that eventually gave me the opportunity to work on an Xbox 360 version. So don’t ever feel that game-making software or other simplified tools are somehow illegitimate. The important thing is the game.

Link: The Independent Gaming Forums Technical Forums

4. PROTOTYPE

This goes with #2: prototype first with whatever you have available. Sometimes you find out right off the bat that it’s a bad idea. Sometimes you stumble upon an even BETTER idea. Either way, I usually find it difficult to figure out what I want to commit to until I actually start making something. So make something!

5. MAKE SURE THE CORE MECHANICS ARE FUN

Find core mechanics that are just fun to play around with. It should be fun to execute the most basic interactions, because that’s what players will be doing the most when they play your game. Ultimately, you want this core to drive your development. This will make it a lot easier for you later on when you have to cut out parts of the game (#13) – you’ll always have this core to fall back to.

It’s possible, while prototyping, that you discover a mechanic that’s MORE fun than what you originally thought the core mechanic was – consider making that the new core mechanic!

6. CHOOSE GOOD PARTNERS (OR WORK ALONE AS LONG AS YOU CAN)

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Finding a good game-making partner is like dating in a lot of ways. You may think that all that matters is skill: “Oh cool, I’m a programmer, and this guy’s an artist… let’s DO THIS!” But no, there are other things to consider, like personality, experience, timing, and mutual interest. Like a romantic relationship, you don’t want to be in a position where either you or the other person is far less dedicated. Test each other out a bit with some smaller projects, because it can really be devastating when a key person drops out after months or years of development.

Another great thing about having finished projects is that your partners will know what you’re capable of and will feel more comfortable working with you. It’s hard to convince anyone experienced to work with you on an idea alone, considering how few ideas actually see the light of day (and how hard it is to see the value in some ideas until they’ve been executed). Good partners will want to see your finished games. So finish them!

Alternatively, find free graphics and music to use online, at least as placeholders (at The Independent Gaming Source we had a competitionin which a lot of free art and music was created). Use ASCII if you have to. As an artist, I know I’d much rather contribute to a project that is already done but just missing art. And if you need a coder… consider learning to code yourself (if I can do it, you can, too!) or picking up some game-making software (see #3).

7. GRIND IS NORMAL – FACTOR IT INTO YOUR PLAN

A lot of game-making is tedious and downright unfun. It’s not play, it’s work (and this is why you should choke out ANYONE when they joke about you “playing games all day”). At some point you’ll suddenly realize that there’s all this stuff you never thought about when you were planning your project and prototyping – stuff like menus, screen transitions, saving and loading, etc. “Shoot! I was imagining this amazing world I was going to create, or this fun mechanic I was going to experiment with… I didn’t think I’d be spending weeks making functional menus that don’t look like crap!” Or, you know, there’s stuff that’s fun in small doses, like animating characters, that becomes nightmarish when you realize you’ve set yourself up for 100 different characters.

Once you go through it a couple of times, you’ll realize how important it is to scale your project so that you don’t spend too much time in this inevitable quagmire (“too much time” being however long it takes before you quit). You’ll also realize that a lot of this boring stuff is what makes the game feel complete! A nice title screen, for example, does wonders to make a game feel legitimate.

8. USE AWARDS, COMPETITIONS, AND OTHER EVENTS AS REAL DEADLINES

When Alec and I were working on Aquaria, the Independent Games Festival submission deadline forced us to make hard decisions about the direction we were taking and it also forced us to look at our schedule more realistically. Had we not had that deadline, I’m not entirely certain we would have finished! Competitions are great to participate in because the deadlines are very real and because the rewards (recognition, awards, possibly money) are very real. Also, they can give you a way to connect with a community of like-minded people.

Links: Independent Games FestivalLudum Dare

9. PUSH FORWARD

Feeling stuck? Push forward. Start working on the next level, the next enemy, the next whatever. Not only is it helpful for motivational purposes, but you want to get a sense for how your whole game will play out. Just like writing – you don’t want to go through it sentence by sentence, making sure every sentence is perfect before you move on. Get an outline down.

10. TAKE CARE OF YOUR MENTAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH

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It can be surprisingly hard to take care of yourself when you’re focused on finishing a game. But honestly, you’re only doing your game-making a disservice by not sleeping, exercising, or eating right. At best, you’re preventing yourself from working at your full potential and making it more likely that you’ll quit. Having some doubt about your project is perfectly natural, but getting depression or falling into illness is not. It’s amazing how much you can not want to work on your dream project when your mind and body feels like crap!

11. STOP MAKING EXCUSES FOR STARTING OVER

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“My code’s a mess. And I’ve learned so much already. If I started over I could do it a lot better and faster, and then the rest of the game will go a lot faster, too!”

STOP. NO. This is true at some point during every game’s development. Your code will always be a mess. You will have learned a lot. It will never be perfect. And if you start all over, you’ll find yourself in the exact same situation when you get to this point again. It’s a terrible trap to think like this.

Here’s a joke: a man spends his entire life working on a game engine so perfect that all he has to do is press one button and the perfect game will come out of it. Actually, it’s not much of a joke, because the punchline is that he never finishes it! No such engine or game exists.

If bad organization is really slowing you down, go back and do some surgery on it so that you feel better. If it works but it’s a bit hacky, then be brave and press on!

12. SAVE IT FOR THE NEXT GAME

So partway through development you have this great new idea that’s going to blow everyone’s mind, but you’ll have to redo your whole game to implement it? Save it for the next game! Right? This won’t be the last game you ever make, hopefully. Save it for the next one… but finish this one first!

13. CUT. IT. OUT.

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Oh shit, you’re way behind schedule. You have all these ideas but they’ll colonize Mars before you have a chance to implement half of them. Oh woe is you… BUT WAIT!

Well, that’s great, actually! Because now you’re forced to decide what is really important to your game, and what you could cut. The fact is, if we all had unlimited resources and unlimited time, we’d all make the same crappy, meandering everything game and there’d be no reason to play at all. It’s our limited resources and time that forces us to make tight games that feel like they have a purpose.

If you’ve been building upon some core concepts that are provably fun, just keep cutting until you get to the very edge of that core. Everything else is probably just fluff you could do without. Or worse, it’s fluff that’s preventing people from seeing the best parts of your game.

14. IF YOU DO QUIT, SCALE DOWN, NOT UP

Okay, sometimes it is time to call it quits. Maybe there’s just no way you’ll ever finish, and what you have is too big a mess to cut anything out. Maybe the rest of your team has quit already. My hope in writing this list is to help people avoid this possibility, but hey, maybe you’re just coming off of such a project. And sometimes… shit just happens.

If there’s no salvaging it, at least make sure that you scale down your next project. It’s easy to set your sights higher and higher, even as your projects become less and less finished. “My SKILLS are improving! I’m learning from my failure,” is a common excuse. But I think this is why it’s important to treat finishing as a skill, too.

So go back down, down, down, down to a point where you may even find it somewhat beneath you. For example, instead of jumping from your 4x space sim to your 4x space sim IN 3D, try making a great game that focuses on one small element of space sims. And if you can’t finish that, try something more like Asteroids. It’s very possible that it’ll still end up being a bigger struggle than you thought (and/or more fun to make than you thought)!

15. THE LAST 10 PERCENT

They say the last 10 percent is really 90 percent, and there is truth to this. It’s the details that end up taking a long time. Sure, maybe you coded a competent combat system in a week… but making it great and making it complex (and bug-free)… these things can take months. The honest truth is that you’ll probably do a “final lap” sprint many times before you get to the real final lap.

If this sounds discouraging, it shouldn’t. While the last 10 percent is harrowing, I’ve also found that is an enormously satisfying time in the development. Because more often than not, stuff really does seem to “just come together” at the end if you’ve been spending your time properly, and turning a jumble of mish-mashed ideas and content into sweet gaming manna is a magical feeling.

It’s all about the details.

AND FINALLY… RELEASE!

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Holy crap, you released a game! Congratulations, you just leveled up, big time. Benefits include: increased confidence, a reputation for being able to complete projects, and an understanding of the entire process of game creation! The best part, though, is that you have a nice little game that I can play and enjoy! And I do like playing games, almost as much as I enjoy making them.

No more standing on the sidelines, friend: YOU ARE A GAME DEVELOPER.

via Make Games – Finishing a Game by Derek Yu

Javascript Self Invoking Functions

In this article, I will discuss self-executing or self-invoking functions of javascript and their hidden power with real-world example. We will also see why using setInterval is bad in some situations and should be avoided. Let’s explore little used but extremely powerful self-invoking functions of javascript.

Self-Invoking Anonymous Function

A self-invoking anonymous runs automatically/immediately when you create it and has no name, hence called anonymous. Here is the format of self-executing anonymous function:

(function(){
 // some code…
})();

You must be aware of the fact that javascript functions run immediately when you put () after their names eg:

doStuff(); // this will run immediately

And:

doStuff; // this will not run immediately and can be used as callback

Now because () exist at the end of self-executing anonymous function above, it will run immediately.

Interestingly, if you look at the source code of jQuery, you will see that everything is wrapped in between:

(function( window, undefined ) {
 // jQuery code
})(window);

That is as can be seen also a self-executing anonymous function with arguments. A window (and undefined) argument is created and is mapped with global window object at the bottom (window).

Notice that you can also write self-executing anonymous function like this:

(function(){
 // some code…
})();

Using extra braces like before function keyword is simply coding convention and is used even by famous javascript libraries such as jQuery and also recommended by Douglas Crockford. If you are confused about that extra pair of braces, here is another easy to remember notation:

! function(){
// some code…
}();

Notice the addition of ! before function keyword, it is essentially same in functionality to previous notation and also recommended (used by twitter too), quoting docs, section 12.4:

An ExpressionStatement cannot start with the function keyword because that might make it ambiguous with a FunctionDeclaration.

Reblogged from http://sarfraznawaz.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/javascript-self-invoking-functions/

TreSensa Game Engine overview

The TreSensa Game Engine (TGE for short) is a fast javascript game engine optimized for the mobile web and has out of the box integration with TreSensa’s analytics, distribution and monetization services. It has been battle tested on hundreds of mobile devices and platforms and offers the full benefit of the TreSensa platform. Download SDK 

Ease of use:

  • During dev: Straightforward JS lib purely canvas based.
  • Object oriented and easy looking for anyone familiar with 2d game engines or Flash.
  • Helper functions and boiler plates, samples and ready-made assets.
  • 2D scene graph functionality ( Parent/child relationships)
  • High-level game features: Camera, Scene Management, Parallax Planes, etc. Asset management
  • Componentized engine For example: sound and graphics features can be used Standalone or with higher level game abstraction class. TFX
  • Device independent detection

Best Reach:

  • Efficient rendering of graphics and animation across a wide range of browser runtime environments (Mobile Safari, Mobile Chrome, Android, Silk, etc.)

Features

  • Battle Tested. The most robust JavaScript mobile-game framework on the market today.
  • Mobile First. Designed for mobile, but works on desktop equally well.
  • Fast. Optimized canvas renderer ensures speed and compatibility across all mobile devices.
  • Easy. Object oriented framework. Build off of core classes and scene graph objects.
  • Familiar. Scene graph architecture & layering system makes AS3 developers feel right at home.
  • Efficient. TexturePacker plug-in makes integrating texture-packed images trivial.
  • Versatile. Animation system supports sprite sheets and keyframed exports from Flash via TFX.
  • Cross Platform. Map user input handling to both desktop and mobile without platform specific controls.
  • Asset Manager. Supports images, audio, and js. for asset loading for entire game or per-level loads.
  • Tweening . Fully featured tweening library.
  • Dynamic Camera. Extensible camera shaking effects.
  • Documented. API docs, tutorials, code snippets, sample games with full source, and developer forums.

via TreSensa Game Engine overview