ACC v2.0 dropped for cross-platform v3.0

Just after 2.0 had made its way, I decided a month or so ago that I wanted to have Anime Character Creator be cross-platform as to appease all people (and to prevent, “is it for mac” type questions). What I will be doing is porting as much code as possible from v2.0. Then using GTK# via Mono to remake the program. It won’t look nearly as aesthetically pleasing as I want it to be, however it will be better in the end because I have some better design choices in mind, which will allow all of the features I didn’t add to 2.0.

I am not likely to engage in this project actively again until next year. Winter seems to hurt my work ethic (if I even had any), so don’t expect it soon. Plus, there will probably be a lot of speed bumps I will encounter since I’m not overly familiar with GTK#. However, one thing I’ll do different from my norm, is that I will be open sourcing the code right from the get go. That way you can compile it at your own discretion and I won’t release until official v3.0 status.

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In unrelated, I don’t feel like making another post for this, news, the next project likely to see the light of day after 3 years (holy crap), is my Kanji-Kana Tool (web edition). The original was literally made just for me to be run on my local computer Apache server. It was written in vanilla JavaScript therefore requiring no extra libraries (and it used “AJAX”, which was a complete mess without abstraction libraries). It was really quite something. Obviously now I’ve gotten spoiled since being introduced to jQuery 6 years late (I was developing back during IE 5 and 6, so I really dropped the ball on that one). Got off on a tangent there, whatever the case, it’s coming in a different form. Made for the purpose of multiple users and flexibility. If this project gets bigger than I expect it to become, I may move it to another site as a heads up.

 

Palette Extractor v1.0b (4/10/2014) Re-Released (Win and Mac)

I’m re-releasing Palette Extractor v1.0b with the correct readme.txt information and a Mac build.

Download Windows: Palette Extractor v1.0b (4/10/2014)
Download Mac OS X: Palette Extractor v1.0b (4/10/2014)

 

Duplicate Tile Finder 1.0c (10/13/2014) Released (Win and Mac)

With this release brings support for BMP files (input only) as well as a Mac build. Sadly, unlike with Windows, you’re going to have to run the program through the terminal. Just locate the folder and run as “./dtf”.

Download Windows: Duplicate Tile Finder (10/13/2014)
Download Mac OS X: Duplicate Tile Finder (10/13/2014)

 

Windows 10, I approve

So with Windows 8 having sold just horribly and a lot of developers deciding not to develop for it, like myself, it looks like Microsoft has turned the clock backwards a bit and made a true successor to Windows 7.

A bunch of my software running on the Windows 10 Tech Preview

Windows 10, originally called ‘Windows 9′, but for the sake of ’95/98′ related issues was pushed up to ’10′, is the next version of Windows. I grabbed the tech preview version recently to see what I could criticize if they kept on following the Windows 8 style. While there were some things that bothered me at first, overall I’ve had a very pleasant experience since. Let me start off with my annoyances and how I solved them in less than 20 minutes after installing.

1) Forced account login/creation
2) Start menu “Modern UI” icons
3) The same annoyances that Windows 7 had

Okay, for the first one. When you’re just trying to get it to the desktop, unlike with Windows 8, Windows 10 is really pushing for a Microsoft account junk. I obliged them with a fake person by the name of “Fudge Mania” and a very insulting fake email address which I will not replicate here. When asked to verify, I simply used the ability to skip that. Which makes sense, considering if I was installing this and had no access to the internet, that I’m installing a system so I can access the net right now.

Next I activated the administrator account using the command “net user administrator /active:yes” while running command prompt in Administrator mode. I logged out and logged into the Administrator account. I proceeded to delete the “Fudge Mania” account. Then opened up the registry. I looked up the fake vulgar email address with the search functionality and deleted or changed anywhere it appeared. For instance in ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion’ you can find the ‘Registered Owner’ who you can change to whatever you want so that when you have software like notepad opened with the about page, it’ll say the program is registered to the ‘Registered Owner’ value.

Onto number 2. This one took me all of 20 seconds. I right clicked on every icon and clicked to ‘unpin’ it from the menu. In no time at all it was looking so much better. However, I also wanted things like Computer Management and the real Control Panel, not “PC Settings”. This was super easy and well placed as a right click context menu on the start menu icon. Superb job to whoever thought of adding those to the start menu. That saves me the step of having to open the start menu and right clicking on “Computer” or typing “mmc compmgmt.msc”.

Number 3 was easy as well. The same things that annoyed me about Windows 7, non Administrator account and account safety. The first one I’ve already gone over. The second one was the same from Windows 7. I hate the warning prompt about running applications. I shut that off in a heartbeat.

In the end, there were only 3 things that bothered me about the system and they were 100% solvable. That said, Windows 10 is definitely looking like a true successor to Windows 7. As of right now I can say that I have my full support behind your direction Microsoft. Please by all means continue.

 

Audio Sleeper v1.0c (9/27/2014) Released

This is a critical update for the program. It doesn’t look or act differently from v1.0b, but it fixes a processor build mismatch which could cause the program to crash or suddenly shut down on Windows 8 (32-bit). I don’t think this affects 64-bit systems (not confirmed).

Download: Audio Sleeper v1.0c (9/27/2014)

I’m just going to write this ahead of time. This will definitely not be the last release of this program. I’m fairly sure there are other crash bugs not caught or just general changes that need to be made to improve usability.

AudioSleeper3

 

Audio Sleeper Release (09/25/2014) – Updated

Update: Version 1.0 released. Link was updated. Removed “Executable Name” because it’s the same as “Process Name” only with the addition of the “exe” part. Added Master Volume option in place of “Executable Name”.
Update 2: Version 1.0b released. Link was updated. Raised maximum input value to 99999 and made it so the form is not resizable.

Audio sleeper is a little program I made to sleep the audio after a defined number of seconds, minutes, hours, or days. I have sleep issues and one of the ways I’ve managed to sort of suppress its full effects is having media playing while I’m lying down. Problem is that I had no way to suppress the sound after a bit of time, like a TV sleep timer. So I designed this program with that in mind.

It’s super simple to use, even if it seems like a lot at first. The most recommended way of usage is to first type the application Window Title into the program while “Window Title” Search Type is selected. Then click over to the “Process ID” Search Type. This will ensure that even if the Window Title changes, the program will still be able to disable the program’s audio.

You can use a gradual volume decrease if you want. That will fade out the sound over the set last seconds, minutes, hours, or (even) days.

Download: Audio Sleeper v1.0b (09/26/2014)
Requires: Microsoft.NET 4.0 Runtime, Windows Vista/7/8 (maybe XP)
Note: Program may or may not work on Windows XP. I honestly have no idea and don’t care. Windows XP is 13 years old. It’s not the future, so I’m not going to bother trying to make code for it anymore.
Note 2: The program only performs volume change on default audio device. I (might) add a feature to deal with non-default audio devices later, but for now…no.

There will be a second release of this program tomorrow. I wrote this whole program today and am actually going to bed right after I post this. I will enable the “Executable Name” option and add a “Master Volume” option as well. The Master Volume option will enable you to disable the audio system entirely instead of just a single program.

AudioSleeper1

AudioSleeper2

 

Resolution Scale Helper Release

I was having a hard time naming this little tool. It was made for calculating the width or height of an image if I scaled it down to a given pixel width or height. I added some other extra stuff to it, but its primary purpose is that of helping to scale resolution.

You can use it here: Online Tool

Check and uncheck the “Lock Scale” checkbox to get the desired scaling effect.

 

The boys are back in town…

This is a teaser cover for our next game release. “Double DeConstruction 2: The Wreckoning”

Double DeConstruction 2: The Wreckoning (DDC2)

Note: We were too new to Unity and thus have not completed the game in the Ludum Dare appointed time. That doesn’t mean that we won’t finish it though. We’re having way too much fun. DDC2 plays how the original game was supposed to be like.

 

Upcoming things…

First let me start off by saying I have switched from a purely programming language primarily for game development over to a AAA grade game engine called Unity. I don’t have any regrets. It’s quite possibly the best move I ever made. As I’m enjoying developing games again.

Second, Active Comic Reader has drastically changed formats to use XML because, well, who cares. That’s that. It’s more flexible which makes it more useful for maintenance and future updates plus extensibility.

Third, I’m going to be releasing new software called SPFileDiff. I originally developed it to compare files on my drive to find duplicate files. It wasn’t meant for use outside of myself, however, I have reworked it to hopefully not crash and so I will release it publicly soon.

Fourth, I’m going to be doing the Ludum Dare this time around using Unity for the first time. With only a little over a weeks worth of experience, I’m hoping it’ll all go smoothly. Let me note that I used Unity ages ago and so technically have more than a weeks worth of experience, but it’s been ages so… Anyways, I’ll be streaming starting Saturday GMT-7 @ my Twitch NRGsoft channel.

That’s what’s upcoming! Enjoy it soon…

P.S. Support forums have been added to the site. Use them to make feature requests, help, etc.

 

The poll and response

So I put a poll out for 2 months before I went on full vacation (I was in burnout/hiatus mode before that). Expectedly the results were heavily skewed towards Anime Character Creator (38 votes). Next was Active Comic Reader (3 votes).

Other (T-ACT Engine), Other (I don’t care), Games, and Learning Monkey (e-book), all had 1 vote.

I’ll respond to each one in a separate paragraph below.

Didn’t expect T-ACT Engine to pop up. I figured everyone had given up on that one, including me. Let me say straight up that I would love to do T-ACT Engine. However, without funds and more experience, there’s no way that project will gain any traction. This is just a blatant fact that I have accepted and hopefully you will as well.

For the “I don’t care” option, you 1 person hit the most ironic choice on the poll. In that you took the time to care about not caring about what I do. Very interesting indeed.

For the games one, yeah, I’d love to do that too. Games burn me the hell out though. I feel like no matter how much I learn I’m still unable to accomplish what I want. Games are a hell of a thing to make. I think with more math knowledge it would benefit me a great deal.

For the learning monkey one, mmmm, no. I put that up before I decided that I’m probably going to move on to another system. Programming games from scratch wouldn’t be a problem if I didn’t have to deal with collision detection and response. I’m horrible at the math for collision and it has burned me out more than 5 times now. So I think I’m done with Monkey.

As for the most common answer, Anime Character Creator, I’m not sure how to go about completing it. I did some really strange stuff in the code and it actually locked me into a bit of a corner about how to do the addons. I didn’t think about that stuff from the start and now it seems very hard to add. I will attempt to finish up, but uh, yeah, I need some time to consider the best route to add addons.

ACR received a surprising 3 votes. This was completely unexpected. I don’t know if people accidentally clicked on it or if those were genuine votes. If they’re genuine, then great. I’m actually interested in working on it at the moment and will proceed to do so (suck it ACC voters :D). As of right now I’m in the process of enhancing it. Audio can be cached and played at will. I’m also in the process of rewriting the same code that ran the prototype but with a different and extendable style. I want to approach ACR in a somewhat robust style of programming that I’ve never tried before. We’ll see how that goes.

So there you have it. That poll was just for me to gauge interest, not to follow strictly. I’ll obviously take into consideration that ACC/2.0 is my most popular project, so not finishing it would be a lousy move on my part. However, that project was originally meant as something for me to learn from, it really wasn’t meant to be my most popular project. That was just pure chance. I was actually hoping Duplicate Tile Finder (DTF), Window Tool, or SPCalc would be more popular. Obviously this was based on my bias for tools that help in modifying and hacking, which is a very strong passion of mine.

 
 
 
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