David Stark / Zarkonnen
The website of David Stark, a software developer and man of too many projects.
Do not feed caffeine; will not stop talking.
Actually interested in 19th-century European history.
Overthinking everything since 1984.
Fond of mechanical and evolutionary dead-ends and alternate histories.
I have opinions on things.
- Heraldry2013-12-05 18:28
I always thought it'd be cool to be able to create your own coat of arms in a game. With Airships, this makes a fair amount of sense, as you play as one potential empire in a late-19th-century-esque setting.
- Multiplayer FAQ2013-11-29 14:53Having had a fairly lengthy conversation about the multiplayer approach in Airships, I decided to compile a FAQ answering some of the common questions that cropped up.
- Addendum2013-11-27 12:30I had short scare earlier on where I encountered desynchronization during a multiplayer game, until I determined it was simply because I'd left in some code from the non-multiplayer version of combat, and targeting commands were being executed locally rather than sent across the network.
- How I did multiplayer2013-11-25 21:45Airships' multiplayer code is now working: you can host or join a game, at which point you enter a lobby screen where you can chat and select the ships to make up your fleet. Once everyone's declared themselves ready, the combat starts.
- Favorites: Master of Orion II2013-11-21 16:14A decade-old review of one of my favorite games, which I've left as-is but added some comments to.
- Crowdsourced ship names2013-11-20 12:25You came up with a whole bunch of excellent new ship names, which I have added to the list. Having lots of names is important, because ideally, ships of the same class should have names that start with the same letter.
- Boring dialogs and fun ship names2013-11-18 16:10
The next big thing in Airships is going to be multiplayer: two-player realtime brawls of airship fleets. But before that, I needed to do a bunch of polish: most importantly, a load/save dialog for airships.
- Ramming, crashing, avoiding proper physics like the plague2013-11-10 10:49
As part of the general mayhem of the game, it's very important that airships can crash into each other, and into the ground. Having modeled what happens when they take heavy damage, it's time to get into ramming and crashing - but first, movement:
- When airships break apart2013-10-29 16:03
The previous installment of the dev blog dealt with combat and damage, but posed the question: what happens when modules disintegrate?
- Multithreading in the kitchen2013-10-29 12:33We have a pretty small kitchen, but we like to do kitchen work together. A frequent scenario occurs where one of us is standing at the sink, washing up, while the other one is tidying and needs to throw something away. Unfortunately, person A is blocking access to the bin, which is below the sink. In other words, they hold a mutual exclusion lock on that bit of the kitchen.
- Combat2013-10-27 22:02
At long last, actual fighting is happening in the game.
- Gods & Things2013-10-22 13:20
The other day I caved in and bought the expansion packs to Civ V. I've been having a fair bit of fun with it, and definitely enjoying the new religion and trade systems. Of course, it didn't take me very long to give my religion a very silly name, and from there a concept was spawned: Gods & Things - a Lovecraftian expansion for Civ V.
- Shooting2013-10-18 11:02
The code reorg I mentioned in the last development update is now pretty much complete: the editor has been relegated to a sub-module, and work on the combat mode is underway. Right now, you can spawn two ships who will shoot at one another, doing damage, but the damage has no effect yet.
- Internal consistency and dragons2013-10-17 06:00
This is another installment of "how I would do fantasy creature X". This time: dragons.
- Threads == Packages?2013-10-15 06:00This is a thought about Java that occurred to me a little while ago. Java threading is pretty scary, because the default model is based around multiple threads accessing the same mutable data and using mutexes to coordinate. This tends to go horribly wrong in all kinds of ways.
- 4kforge2013-10-14 17:03
An assembly of scripts intended to help you develop, compile, compress and test a Java game that weighs in at under 4 kB, for submission to the yearly Java4k contest.
- Addendum on pricing2013-10-12 19:54On reflection, I think the adjusting prices thing is going to have to be a bit more detailed than just reducing everything by X%.
- Subtly better villagers2013-10-12 15:27I've been playing a bit of Minecraft again, and in my most recent game, am concentrating on trading with the villagers. This turns out to be quite fun, because their changing trade demands produce incentive to do things like farm animals or look for certain items.
- A silly idea about werewolves2013-10-11 06:00Werewolves are very much a common trope in fantasy, and one infused with all kinds of cultural and sexual baggage that I can't be bothered to unpack right now. Instead, I'm going to present you with another bit of horrible worldbuilding, suited for any kind of schlocky fantasy setting.
- Reactions and interim report2013-10-08 16:25I've been working on Airships for a little over a week now, and it's been a lot of fun, and has definitely worked to distract me from my still unresolved stressful financial situation. Reactions to the game have been pretty positive too.
- Why PHP persists2013-10-08 06:00
So a while ago I was discussing with Jasmine why PHP, despite being an awful language, is so popular. In short, I think it's because it's easy to get into - and this is a quality often overlooked with other projects.
- Bumble licensing and install instructions2013-10-07 13:03
Bumble the CMS / blogging engine this site is based on, now has a clear license (GPLv2) and some installation and usage instructions.
- A rant on "is" versus "ought"2013-10-07 06:00This happens to me quite a lot, and it's really aggravating: I mention some kind of issue that concerns me, like abusive labor practices at game companies or golden parachutes for deeply incompetent managers. The response I get: "But that's just the way it is!"
- Crew2013-10-06 16:37
The airships are now crewed, and the crew move around and fetch things. This has involved introducing a whole lot of things like time tracking, crew, pathing, and a job assignment and execution system.
- Favorites: Armageddon Empires2013-10-06 06:00
Armageddon Empires is a card-based hex-based turn-based post-apocalyptic wargame. Its user interface is slow and unforgiving, music playback stutters whenever it's the AI's turn, and it's overloaded with game mechanics. And I love it.