Site News #8: Darn Robots, Get off my Lawn!

This used to be a nice neighborhood!

Hi, everyone.
We didn’t want to do this, but for our protection and yours, we’ve had to implement a registration captcha. Over the past few weeks, we’ve noticed we were suddenly receiving many new user registrations. At first, this was exciting news, but under closer examination, they were a bunch of usernames that appeared to be a random string of characters with bogus email addresses attached. Therefore, measures were needed to mitigate this problem, so began the search for anti-spam solutions.

There is good news though, and the good news is twofold. First, currently the only page that is affected is the new user registration page. That’s the only place that has been harboring trouble lately. Second, the solution is silent, so when a new user registers legitimately, they won’t have to click all the squares with stoplights in them. That said, if it comes to it, we will not hesitate to implement stronger solutions.

This site is to be as simple and welcoming as possible, so we will not be implementing annoyances like this unnecessarily. We’ll certainly react to any issues becoming a problem, but until then, we are really not interested in having our audience prove their innocence. Adding site security measures such as this also poses philosophical issues that we must internally reconcile as well. As proponents of digital privacy, we do our best to be good stewards of any potentially identifiable information (of which, very little is captured – pretty much only email addresses). However, the more measures we have to put in place here to verify people are who they say they are slowly erodes privacy and increases sharing across the web. For example: Google’s reCaptcha API collects the source IP of each request, and is thus subject to Google’s privacy policy, which we all know to be problematic. Though, to make it clear: as it stands now, no information from the anti-spam solution in place is shared with any third parties, as it does not use Google’s API. We want to ensure it stays that way for as long as possible.

If these darn robots would just stay away, we wouldn’t have need for all this pesticide in the first place…

That’s all for now. Stay safe, everyone! Protect your online privacy, and watch for some (hopefully) new content here.


Making Up for Lost Time

Happy Halloween! Happy Thanksgiving! Happy holidays! Happy New Year! Happy Et cetera!

Remember when I used to post articles here? Good times. It’s been something like four or five months since I last posted, so I have a lot of lost time to make up for. I don’t have any nice big article for you, but I do have a number of small asides that I’ve thought of over the months, some of which have to to with games. So here’s some thoughts on virtual reality, shocking things, and whatever else I can think of.

Virtual Reality is Dead, and We Killed It

By “we,” I mean Oculus and HTC, but also game developers. When VR was new and tasty


I’m Back.


As you may have noticed, I have bad habit of stopping updates once school get back in. I guess you should start expecting that, since it happens so reliably, though I will try to see what I can do next time. Anyway, I’m not dead. Just wanted to let you know that.

Ideally, the next regular post will go up some time around this Sunday. It’ll be longer than this one.

Difficulty Uncategorized

Level Up: Difficulty

This will be the title for these wrap-up sections until I end up with legal trouble from someone else’s publication called “Level Up.”  Well, anyway, these passed few weeks have been a rough ride, so let’s get started.

Difficulty Does Not Imply Quality

This article was the sole reason I wanted to do this subject.  I have no problem with knocking off some points from a game


Summer 2016 Update

“Rando posts.  I’ll get around to it reeeeaaaal soon.” – me, January 1, 2016

As it turns out, college tends to take more time than high school.  I would normally start working on summer projects in April, but this time I couldn’t until finals week (at the beginning of May), and even then, I couldn’t do much because it was finals week.  But, now that I’ve had a couple of weeks to rest, it’s time to start Summering.

So here’s the deal for this summer.  I don’t plan on releasing anything new, and have no immediate plans for announcing anything new, either.  However, I began looking at Unity over my Winter Break (using this book to start out with, but it’s turned out not to be especially useful for anything beyond the absolute basics – just an introduction to the editor and the kind of things you can do with it), so we may see some terrible Unity games (or hopefully, some good ones) in the not-so-distant future.

On the other hand, I plan on having a new post here every Sunday over the Summer, and probably beyond.  Most of them will be rando posts, but there will also be occasional news updates.  If there’s news.

Speaking of rando posts, I have a plan for them.  I will make three of them pertaining to a certain topic (the topic of the current set is education, for instance), then do a follow-up post with any new information or further comments that I may have, as well as what the next topic is going to be.  I plan on the third education post for this coming Sunday.

Until next time, enjoy this little gem I found while I was doing research for the next rando post.  The Paulding County GA schools probably don’t really want this out in the wild, but I figure if Google can find it, then it’s fair game.  If nothing else, I at least think page 25 is worth looking at [link]. I’ll be back Sunday with the lowdown.



I have been completely silent for the past, like, eight months or something, so I need to apologize and explain why.  Electric is just about done, for real this time, but I haven’t put it up yet.  I’m thinking it will go on IndieDB, but I still need to do a little more research on that.

Other stuff: During the summer, I worked on a thing that my old high school’s help desk is using (oh yeah, and I’m allowed to call it “old” now, because I graduated) starting Monday.  I learned Python to make it, and “finished” it in about a week.  If I have the leisure, I may put a more generalized version up… here, or somewhere or something.  We’re still figuring that out, since it’s not a game.

Also I learned more C++, and more recently, some SDL, so I can make stuff in two real languages now.  Once Electric’s out the door, I’m disowning BASIC.

Also, I’m in college now, so that’s a thing.

Also, I also thought that I should also maybe also learn some Unity3D stuff (also, of course).  So we might see that in the future.

Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo… yeah, that’s what’s up.


Site (obviously) Back Up

Hello all.

After our extended absence from the web, we’re back online. Our security issue seemed to actually have been within the DNS server we were using. Once that was switched and all machines on the network scanned and caches were cleared, all signs of the breach went away then. Thank you for your patience. Stay tuned for an exciting update tomorrow afternoon!


Scheduled Downtime, 5/6/2015

This site will be down for up to 24 hours tomorrow (5/6/15 @ 15:00). Security diagnostics need to be run following a possible network security compromise.



Last night, we discovered that 50-odd people made accounts on this site.

That’s weird.

Aside from the NSA and people who my parents know but I was too young to remember, I didn’t think there was anyone who I didn’t know, but who knew about me.

That means that I actually have to start putting real, quality content here.  For the first time, I have a responsibility to real people.


Huh.  People talk about social interactions between people over the internet as impersonal.  As far as my responsibilities to other people go, though, the ones in school or within the family seem very self-contained compared to this.  Sure, I have to do homework, but only because one person told me to, and college people judge me based on how well I do it.  But now I’m responsible to a few people who I don’t even know, or don’t even have a guess about.  These people are more “real” to me because they are outside of the pre-determined track that is education.  My existence is affecting “real” people, in the “real” world, however small that group is.


I’m probably going to make posts more frequently from now on.  I’ll think of something to talk about.  Surely.

Oh, and one more thing.  I forgot to say this in the Electric RC post:  UNINSTALL BETA II FIRST!  Things will break otherwise.  Also, the settings file will behave weird on most computers (all of them that I tried), so I recommend going into the settings and fixing up the new stuff before you play.  The music volume will be off, and the new controller inputs will all be assigned to “Button 0,” which doesn’t exist.  Also, clicking “Restore to defaults” causes a crash.  The best course of action is probably to delete the settings file after you install RC and run it the first time.  That should take care of it.  If it doesn’t, tell me, because that’s not supposed to happen.


Electric RC

Most of this happened over Fall break, Thanksgiving, and Christmas break.

RC is out, and it’s different.

  • Main menu and Options menu have cool new background, plus the text is less ugly
  • Other menus, the HUD, and the market have a brushed steel background
  • Added a random forest in the battlefield and a river*
  • Added menu and game music
  • And thus music volume controls
  • Added more functionality to controllers other than the mouse & keyboard (controllers can now toggle weapons and mods)
  • added the cruise missile – very powerful and has a blast radius, but very expensive too.  Also, it doesn’t require a direct hit, it just blows up once it reaches the closest point to its target along its trajectory.
  • removed BVR scope – suffered from uselessness and a huge bug that would have been very difficult to fix
  • replaced it with flares – confuse incoming missiles, but aren’t guaranteed to work
  • with “really good” AI, other planes can use the market (with limited selection)
  • AI planes will only fire primary weapons when within a radius of the distance between your plane and the left edge of your screen
  • Added those wing tip trails (fancy graphics only – sorry, netbook people.)
  • Boosters last 3 seconds
  • Boosters and flares are stackable
  • Speed now reads in mph (the plane’s top speed is 645.5 mph)