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Month: February 2015

Off to the Shadow Realms with you

Posted in Gaming

I was a little stunned by the announcement that Biowares Asymmetric multiplayer dungeon “crawler” was being canned, especially as the focus seems to indicate that the development resources were being channelled into Dragon Age, Mass Effect and another IP.

As Syp puts it, this IP was something new from Bioware in over 6 years, in all honesty I was really excited about a game with a player controlled army of minions, trap and obstacles to overcome. All my DM dreams come true. The Dragon Age and Mass Effect franchises aren’t really my cup of tea and I’ve no desire to play either of them.  As sil says at least their will be more from the company, I guess I’ll wait for news on the new IP but to be fair this was the only Bioware game to really turn my head in good number of years, so my expectations are very low.

Godus

The molyneux implosion has been rather odd to watch, the promise of a new god sim by one of the person who helped define the genre was a dream come true. Only 2 years after the kickstarter ended the veneer is flaking off the ultimate prize and latest reports aren’t great. With reports that the development team are slowing moving to another project and the kickstarter goals may never be realised, it’s a very sad state of affairs. You can see the official video here, if you can watch it all.

At this time the most successful part looks to have been the tap and giant cube app that chose one person (Bryan Henderson) to be the God of Gods, you can read more about that exciting misadventure over at Eurogamer.

I think the lesson is that even with the right people (person) and all the best will in the world backing a project isn’t alwasy certain to yield a positive result.

And weight gets thrown

As I was typing this I also spotted the layoffs at Daybreak (SOE), I loved the line “Last week … we were acquired” shortly followed by “We deeply value our employees and never take these decisions lightly”, of course a week is long enough to know that deep value for any employee. Harsh.

These first steps by Daybreak to “realign resources” it order to “better position our newly independent studio for future growth” just tell me 2 things: Firstly someone was really going for the Buzzword Bingo on the press release and secondly SOE may take some turns that veteran customer may not really like.

I hope everyone affected can find something soon.

More plugin fun

Posted in Coding

So after my toe-dipping exercise into making a plugin to cater for adding text to the publicize functionality, I decide to build a proper admin screen for the plugin, which I have to admit wasn’t as complex as I first thought it would be.

First up was the text to be inserted, I found out that spaces were being striped of the text I’d entered so I added some toggles to handle this. I also wanted to see what the end result would look like without having to create a new post to do so. Here is the latest version.

pluginadminpage

Since I was on a roll I turned my focus to another hard-coded feature of my site, the “What I’m Playing” widget. This one is a little tricker as I had to make the widget appear in the widget menu (another first for me) and then create an admin panel to populate the information from. I could have build it dynamically to allow an unlimited number of multiple entries, bt as I only tend to have a handful which I update as I go I decided to just go with a limit of 6 but usually it’s only ever 3.

game plugin admin

The image dropdown is loaded in from a list of images in a particular folder, again I feel it’s nice to see the changes in the same page so you can spot any problems after saving a little quicker.

OP Respawn timer

Posted in Websites

For us massive multiplayer gamers news about our games can often be hidden away behind the console and triple AAA game news on a mainstream game news site. It might not seem like much but Massively, as the name suggests, was just that. It was a place without the majority of column space taking about the next XBone exclusive title or how Battlefield Hardline’s pot plant.

When I heard that AOL decided to close nearly all of the weblogs Joystiq and Massively included it was quite a shock. The reason given reminded of NCSoft’s closure of Paragon Studios, spouting line such as “saving money” and “focus efforts elsewhere”, which we all know is pretty much BS.

The final post was rather moving and telling of the community which poured out their support for the website.

massop

Rather than take it all lying down the brave staff have decided to go independent with their new brand Massively Overpowered. As I write this the Kickstarter of Massively OP is over 40% of their goal with 28 days remaining.

I have gladly backed them and wish them all the best with this new venture.
I was a reader of Massively for a number of years, yes on occasion I would find myself disagreeing with some things, but as with any well thought out content it got people talking and engaged, more than can be said about some sites that just ooze trolls and bile.

#MassivelyOP

Social linking text plugin

Posted in Coding

Whenever I make a post I like to have the Publicize element of Jetpack update my Social Media stuff when I make a new post. However I like to prefix the message that goes out with the text “[Blog]” so that on twitter it’s clean that I’m not just linking to something random. I usually remember to it the text but on occasion I forget completely and kick myself as it’s rather inconsistent.

After digging about in the bowls of wordpress there appear to be some functionality you can use to default before and after the usual Publicize text and link, I know that the ability to add a #Blaugust hashtag during the event would have been useful.

A number of places I read indicated you could add this functionality to the theme, however when I tried this it didn’t work for me correctly, so I opted for the plugin method which I’ve detailed below should you want to do the same. Yes there is most likely a plugin that will do all of this for you but it’s nice to build it yourself.

Note : you will need access to your website via FTP or a website portal that allows you to create folders and files.

  1. First you will need to navigate from the root of your wordpress install to the folder wp-content and then plugins.
  2. Create a folder for your plugin, mine is called “Publicize-Plugin”
  3. Navigate to your newly created folder and create a new php file, this usually takes the same name as the plugin folder, in my example it’s called Publicize-Plugin.php
  4. You will need to create the header elements of the file to just cover the basics your file will need to look something like this:
    <?php
    /*
    Plugin Name: Publicize Plugin
    Description: Custom Code for publicize function
    Author: welshtroll
    Version: 1.0
    */
    /* Prefix Code Goes Here */
    /* Suffix Code Goes Here */
    ?>
  5. Next up is adding the logic to Prefix the text to your publicize, you need to replace the text /* Prefix Code Goes Here */ with the following:
    function Publicize_prefix() {
         return '[Blog] ';
    }
    
    add_filter('wpas_default_prefix', 'Publicize_prefix');
  6. The first part creates an function (rename as you wish) that will return the prefix “[Blog] ” (Note the space after the text to stop it going straight against the generated title and link).
  7. The second part registers that function to be called when the prefix is need, the function name will need to match.
  8. So in theory you should be able to visit your wordpress admin plugin page and enable the plugin.
  9. The final step is to replace the placeholder /* Suffix Code Goes Here */
    function Publicize_suffix() {
         return '';
    }
    
    add_filter('wpas_default_suffix', 'Publicize_suffix');
  10. This will add the suffix element, in mine it’s empty but you could add anything you like such as hashtags. Again remember it will attach it directly to the text so add a space at the start.
  11. Now when you are creating a new post your publicize should contain your additional text.

You can find the file here http://welshtroll.co.uk/files/sampleplugin.txt

And there you have it, a basic plugin to modify the default publicize text.

#Coding #Plugins

So long GChat

Posted in Software

I’ve been using Google Talk for years now, primarily because it means I don’t have to have chrome running to use the chat plus the install is very lightweight. Along with with having different styles that allow me to just see the messages and hides all avatars of the chatters.

gchatOf course the best functionality was that I could login with the Google account of my choice not be FORCED to use the first one in my google account list as I seem to be with every non webpage embedded version of Hangout I try.

 

So earlier today when I received the the following message:

gmail: Google Talk app for Windows will stop working on Feb 16 2015. It is replaced by the new Hangouts Chrome app. Install the Hangouts app from http://goo.gl/yglfk6

So mid-Feb will see the product that I use nearly everyday retire and the replacement (Hangouts), suffers from the problem I mentioned above in defaulting to the first Google account on the device, plus the only option the app gives around accounts is to logout.

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