“i am a heron. i haev a long neck and i pick fish out of the water w/ my beak. if you dont repost this comment on 10 other pages i will fly into your kitchen tonight and make a mess of your pots and pans”

That is the basic explanation for today’s useless creation, the Realistic Heron Simulator. And, you can probably guess the context. If not, go watch the video in this post. If you are too lazy, once again, Tom Scott released some ideas so I built another one. How does it work? Well, there is a GitHub repo, linked here. However, below is the main JavaScript behind it, but this time I did not comment because I am lazy.

Otherwise, go play with it. It’s fun. Anyway, goodbye!

Woah!? What’s Happened?

Okay, newsflash time. It turns out I was linked by Matt and Tom’s Park Bench for my terrible project of “Are they Break-dancing or Falling Over?” To explain, I watched this video (it does not have that image), and I decided to make the actual thing. Just thought I would acknowledge the call out, because it’s rather cool. The video I was linked in is this one:

The code behind it.

The code behind the site is so simple it’s almost a joke. There are two parts to it. The HTML page and the JavaScript. The HTML page is literally just a basic site knocked out with Bootstrap, so is nothing special, but here is the code, all nicely commented:

If you can’t see that, click me to be taken to a GitHub Gist…

Thanks for enjoying it!

In other news, I may try to make “Realistic Heron Simulator” in Unity3D. It’s tempting…

i am a heron. i have a long neck and i pick fish out of the water w/ my beak. if you dont repost this comment on 10 other pages i will fly into your kitchen tonight and make a mess of your pots and pans

About six months ago, I started working on a game for my BTEC project. However, things wen’t sour with the school and I no longer am a student there. I had a choice. Go for a super simple clone of something like Flappy Bird, or make a game that’s a bit more like a AAA game. So what did I do? I went for the AAA game.

The AAA game route was somewhat hard. I built it in Unity 3d with Networking (more on this later). The game? A World of Tanks/War Thunder game styled around the hit anime and manga Girls und Panzer. Why? I like the series and had completed it about then. Anyway, it was a semi-bad idea. Finding and then texturing and using tank models that are Creative Commons/free to use is difficult. However, the Unity Asset Store pulled through and found me a Panzer IV that I re-textured to Ooarai’s Anglerfish team skin.

The next hurdle was Networking. This is where things went horridly wrong. The initial version had two cubes that connected together and could interact. Good. And after a few months, we had a working networking thing with fully functional shooting etc. However, I went to create a “release” variant. This is where the curse of UNET strikes. To give some background, this is what Unity publish about UNET:

Unity Personal

For beginners, students and hobbyists who want to explore and get started with Unity.

FREE

No credit card required

Yeah, that’s a lie. It would cost me, on estimate, £150 a month to run this. Not going to happen. So I turned to an old friend, Photon Unity Networking, who offer legitimately free hosted networking for you. Yes you can only have 20 players concurrently, but it works fine. And is more than functional. However, this caused issues. The way that I was managing the original tank driving was poor. The implementation was terrible, and it resulted in the tanks flying rather than driving as they should. Not good enough. Back to square one. And this is where we are at.
For PTU, I picked up a copy of Physics Tank Maker from ChobiGames (it was on sale!). From this, I started building the game as it is.
The current state is to use the Physics Tank Maker to handle all tank physics driving etc. The only thing I really have to do is synchronise all the players together. Not hard right? Think again. The current tests give me anywhere between 3-6 players spawned in a two player game who are unable to interact and who’s movement is not synchronised. Amazing. However, this is vastly better than flying tanks and there is a working tutorial level.

Continue reading

The MacBook Pro I own (and did a review on) has suffered from Staingate. What!? Yes.

What is Staingate?

Staingate is where the anti-glare coating comes off the screen. It’s a natural flaw with the design Apple uses. Anyway it looks awful.

How!?

I don’t know. It’s annoying.

Can I Fix It?

Yes. I have to book an appointment with Apple. Hopefully they won’t have to remove my sweet sweet stickers. Otherwise I’ll be super sad.

More Info

Head over to the Staingate website.

For the longest time, I was the webmaster for South London Liberal Synagogue. I took care of the site, kept it relatively up to date and provided a fair amount of technical support for the various editors of the site. I originally was asked to maintain an existing site, but with a new chair came a new brand for the place, and so came a new website (built on Bootstrap because I’m lazy and it’s easy to integrate with various things).

At it’s peak, I was spending up to 5 hours a week supporting the editors, updating the various extra tools I was using to keep it together (things like calendars etc.) and generally cleaning up after people. The site functioned well; loading times were under 3 seconds on slow connections and all pages were pretty easy to edit (a nice WYSIWYG editor). All in all, it was a good site and I was proud of it.

SLLS Site (mine)

My version of the SLLS website (26th Sept. 2016)

There was one small problem. The president. She did not like the new site. The old webmaster had been her grandson and she had almost total control over it. When I came in, all that power vanished. She hated that. At points, I was receiving up to 20 e-mails a week from her, demanding various things like ‘a return to top button’ or ‘a scrolling display of events’, even though we had a calendar for the latter, and return to top buttons are not seen anymore on the web (except for strange fringe cases).

Other than that, I liked the site, and nearly everyone else did. We gained a substantial number of members though it and countless visitors.

However, this ended quickly when our chair had to step back for personal reasons. Very quickly the president (who, in our constitution, holds no power and is merely a figurehead, but in reality everyone bows to because they are manipulative and horrid) takes control by manipulating the vice chair and most council members. They “decide” that the website was “not fit for purpose”, was “difficult to update” and “constantly a nightmare for users and editors”. I was not told any of this, but was just told “you are not needed”. The site was taken over by her son (who has no technical skill what-so-ever) and my site was stripped away.

I was gutted. What happened next makes it worse.

The new site was built on WordPress, with a theme that cost a lot of money (probably put on expenses, I will find out at the next AGM). All features that I was pestered for were missing. Almost all information had vanished overnight. It’s also a nightmare for anyone to get information put back up. It is mostly just a wall of text on one page.

new site

The new WordPress based website.

It gets worse.  Notice how my assets, that I took myself with my camera, and spent time creating, for the website, were stolen. No credit is given.  The site also takes over 10 seconds to load on average, with needless animations for images that just slow the site down and make it a poor end user experience.

What angers me more is the security behind it. It is terrible. I was asked by someone to test the security. I found an open login page, the ability to get the admin username in under 5 seconds and was going to work on getting the password, but was asked to stop there.

If anyone wishes to offer me jobs to make sites, I will more than oblige. Just contact me. I really do appreciate it. You can view and toy about with my version of the site here, on the Wayback Machine. Their current site is available here.

Lesson learned? Never let manipulative people get hold of any kind of significant position. It does not end well.