Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Sott out!!!

Silence of the Terminals

Using the new TGE demo 1.4 Engine this release is a new graphic treat :-)... also:
New Mortar weapon (gernade launcher - select with key '8' and stand back!)
Weapon is dropped after death
Disc's are dropped after death(save it or steal it!)
Weapons no longer need to be reloaded on pick up

Download by using the link to get the current Sott version on the right sidebar (under Silence of the Terminals).


Any problems please contact me(here) because I most likely don't know about it! Thanks!

FireFox 1.5

Finally FireFox 1.5 is out!!!

Get it at Mozilla/firefox

Friday, November 25, 2005

Changes over to 1.4 engine progress

So far looks ok...
It seems it doesn't like me using "Arial Bold" in the Markup Language for the text in Terminals so I'm also using <color:00000> for the highlighted areas in text, which maybe better!

I have to set it back to <color:00FF00> after that of cause also.

I have updated the missions so they all look ok with the new lighting model.

A Dead Winter awaits you...

TGE 1.4 demo includes Synapse Gaming Lighting Pack!

The reason why the lighting is so different is because it includes the Synapse Gaming Lighting Pack!

So there are many great things we can do now! Like make lakes of lava have a glow effect added to them, it'll look great and more lava-ery! :-)

The player models can have better lighting on them etc etc it's great! I'm excited! d:-D, and as I remember performance loss by using this is not much, I think it in fact fixed up some routes so it's faster with standard lighting.

But it looks like didn't compile it for Interior Transparent Elements, which is a shame we could of had great glass walls dividing the computer labs etc. But we can still do it in more dodgy ways. :-P

Read more about the pack which is now in the demo .exe

I'm just getting the engine CVS to see if its included in my license now! :-) I hope so....

Well I don't have it :-( I may just have to buy it after I play with it now! :-)

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Sott updates (engine update)

Well I was looking at adding a weapon and ammo drop to when the player dies, but a bug is in the code (C++) so I couldn't use the demo for it. So I was thinking maybe I could just use my Licence for it so we can get it fixed... but by luck has just released the new demo's using the 1.4 version of the Engine!

So far only for Win and Mac, but I'm sure Linux will be on its way! (it's even in the readme...)

The new Engine updates a huge amount, new graphic effects:
  • Lighting seems to be redone
  • Real-time shadows on shapes (weapon, ammo and other items)
  • The UI (buttons etc)

Problems I've found with it:
  • Some odd problems with the Scripting like player name and server name is not re-entered when restarting game.
  • More sound problems (revirted back to old 1.3 OpenAL32.dll seems better)
  • Lighting everywhere is too bright for current maps
  • Bold (highlighting) in Terminal no longer is working (maybe Markup mistake) Main problem!

With these problems I do feel keen to update the game to have these new features and so some other thigns are fixed but it maybe a while or never we'll have to see.

Until then the last 1.3 TGE release which has:
  • No editing or flying in Multiplayer mode (anti-cheating I suppose and also a safe guard anyway)
  • Clear terminal screen on respawn questions.
  • Tech tree changes so you can see better now, which team has what
Over all seems a good release no problems that I know of:
Download of Silence of the Terminals here

Sott/TGE WorkShop on Monday!

For anyone interested in adding content and working with the Torque game Engine and to see how easy you can create and work with this engine, I'll have a bit of a "workshop" of how you can do all these things.

So far planned content:
Torque Game Engine Workshop

Things to do with engine:
Creating Grenade Launcher model (MilkShape 3D)
Adding the code for the Grenade Launcher (Scripting)
Adding to game world the Grenade Launcher and ammo
Adding interiors
Creating a Terrian bitmap (Photoshop)
Adding the new Terrian

Any other suggestions?

Sott update

I've made a small update to the missions.

And thats all I can remember doing.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Code of Ethics

Code of Ethics

  • I will strive to endeavour to provide products and services which match the operational and financial needs of my clients and employers.
  • I will always make myself aware of relevant standards, and act accordingly.
  • I will respect, and seek when necessary, the professional opinions of colleagues in their areas of competence.
  • I must endeavour to preserve the confidentiality of the information of others.
  • I must advise my clients and employers when I believe a proposed project is not in their best interest.
  • I must not knowingly engage in, or be associated with, dishonest or fraudulent practices.

Edward Nicholas Smith Tuesday, 22 November 2005

This is my Code of Ethics, which is what I feel strongly about and adhere to.

The inital document I used was from the ACS And the document is

Monday, November 21, 2005

Seven deadly sins of Web Design

I was looking at news articles about Web Design came across this one:

The seven deadly sins of web design

"In a recent survey by Hostway, 70% of respondents said that they would be unlikely to purchase from a website that annoyed them. In fact, they said they probably would never even go back to that site."

Friday, November 18, 2005

Sott "Beta 0.1" release

Well I've uploaded the new files for the newest verson dubbed "Beta 0.1" it has a lot of additions and improvements/fixes:
Blue team can win now! (silly bug)
Sound issues with repeating music overlaps on walk fixed (according to my system)
Added sounds to the capturing, tech levels and terminal access
Flamer as mentioned
Tech Tree
Team Scores on HUD
Added Server Name change on "StartServer" Screen
Changed Aler's Peaks map to now have gaps in the bridges

And thats about it I think, Enjoy!

Download Sott Beta 0.1 23MB .zip file

Please comment here on any bugs or the like.

Tech Tree and Flamer

Lite my fire!

Today I've added two things so far, one is a Tech "Tree"(I like to say tree but it's just a line really), and a new weapon called "Flamer".

The Tech "Tree", looks quite simple, but was in fact the hardest thing I've had to do. Because it has to update on all players computers, weather your blue or red. Because it shows bth so you can see where your team stands when it comes to technology. Also I hope this will make people more aware of it.

It is always shown but the techs that you don't have a lighter (greyed out) and when a team gets that level it pops up looking nicer :-).

The Flamer, is a real showoff. I don't know how it performs but it looks to do quite a good job. Take a look at it in action and the Tech "Tree" in the top right hand corner.

I'll add a team score display later today aswell.

As a reminder the tech levels that the icons stand for are:
1 - HyperPistol (replaces Pistol)
2 - Increased Energy
3 - Increased Health
4 - Increased Damage output on all weapons.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Sott update

A small update but we'll see what it'll bring!

Terminals Hack Interface now supports images as well as text, so you can have the question which refers to an image. So far I've decided to make the image 200x150 and in .png format.

So now you can design questions which can have an image, go here to add your question to sott.

Here is an image of an image in the terminal:

download the newest silence of the terminals here (also now on the links sidebar)

I'm now thinking about adding the support of that people can pick which type of questions they want, so its not server dependant but client. As to say the client picks to get questions about C++, and someone else inthe server could get Java or HTML/CSS questions. Or is this unfair?

sott 2005-11-17 PLUS World Cup here we come!!!

New Sott up, which finally has Joe's great music in it! :-) Still need to change some of the datablocks relating to it, but we'll see. And other updates, see if you can find them!?

Oh and two new maps, one is huge and works, one doesn't(isn't complete)... If someone could update it, that would be great!



World Cup here we come!!! Well done Australia! (Puts away German Football Jersey for the year)

Monday, November 14, 2005

How to create a P3P Policy

P3P is a compact privacy policy, which is grabbed by the browser. And It'll affect the policy in IE etc I believe, need more information about it really.

Get this editor from IBM:
IBM P3PEditior

A link about how someone else used them and a lot of links from there.

Accessiblity legal case and legal terms for websites

The SOCOG legal suit:

An interesting quote and part that I liked was as follows:

Type-in URLs

The HREOC sided with Maguire that typing in sport-specific URLs did not constitute favourable (“equal”) treatment. As Maguire plainly put it, “that is not the way that people use Web pages.” The Commission agreed: “[T]he proposed alternative is both unorthodox and cumbersome and need not be resorted to by a sighted person.”

It must also be pointed out that the URLs in question are tongue-twisters. As examples, five sports have very long URLs differing by exactly one character. Can you guess what sport relates to each URL below?


In order, the URLs relate to canoe/kayak slalom, canoe/kayak sprint, mountain biking, road cycling, and track cycling. You can’t assume some kind of acronym system at work: “Canoe/kayak slalom” and “canoe/kayak sprint” share the acronym CKS, but the URLs use CS and CF.

SOCOG, in all seriousness, advanced the manual typing-in of mile-long, hard-to-remember, confusable URLs as an accessibility measure.

The accessiblity laws for websites was the best I could find

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Sott update/download

Now with the following changes:
More questions
Backpack and disc models are attached to player model when they grab a disc
Tech levels as mentoned
Rocket Launcher
Copy of map with lava lake and snow textures
Hacker interface
Team score decides which team won in the EndGameGUI
Hacker bug old answer remains - fixed

And many other things that I can't think of.

Download here(Windows get others from garagegames etc):
Sott 2005-11-13


Friday, November 11, 2005

Sott Tech Levels

Tech Levels:
Everytime you capture a Holographic disc (HVD) you get one extra tech-level, which go towards major tech-levels which will effect your team.

Tech related changes are only to those tech advancements, these items and changes are only to the teams which get to the techlevels.

Tech Level
0 Major Tech Level 1 Standard Pistol on startup
3 Major Tech Level 2 HyperPistol on startup

?After this normal weapons will change? More engery? and maybe a jetpack after a while?

Does anyone have comments for/agasint or idea to Major Tech Levels?

I have tech levels make it more imortant to hack! the more you have hacking and getting back the better your weapons etc are so you can win!

It also makes hackers more important over great killers.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Sott update!

Talk about regular updates!

Silence of the Terminals is firing along, don't miss out!

download here:
Silence of the Terminals 16MB

Now it has team kill, more questions and better question design with relation to Server and Client. Thanks to Michael :-).

Next to work on is the option to pick Question catagory (category :-P - Torque Engine joke...)

If you want to add questions please go to:

It can be for HTML/CSS (XHTML), SQL, JavaScript, PHP, Java or C++

Project Management

We needed to MSProject up a project and all I could come up with was Silence of the Terminals.

Here is my Gantt Chart(at 81 Tasks its too big to be fully expanded):
"A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product,
service, or result." Kathy Schwalbe

The typical Project management Lifecycle:

lifecycle Reference

My project follows this standard line pretty much, except my init and planning are together.

The Triple Constraint:

The Quadruple Constraint:

Apart from this there is:

The Triple Constraint is made up of the most important management factors.

If I want to finish sooner, I would have to increase the Cost (Resources) or decrease the Quality.

An increase in Cost, means I can increase the Quality of the final product.

An increase in Scope would reduce my Quality. Or increase Time and Cost.

Every factor depends on each other, this is a key point. You can never change something without an effect to the other elements. This is why project mangers have to monitor everything to keep the project on track and to stay away from a degrading situation.

Project management reference
book: Kathy Schwalbe Information Technology Project Management, Fourth Edition
check her website

(the book is quite good, except if you have to read it everyday again and again!)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Silence of the Terminals Beta 0.1


This has the hacking and teams as mentioned and I decided to add the assault rifle after-all.

Give it a go, add to it, make suggestions, send me updates, have fun!

(The way of the questions in the hacking is dodgey at best we need seperate files, like xml based etc, but we're limited to scripting any ideas?)

I must say I know the number of errors but it still takes me a while to work it out :-). Because I made them all of the same bit of code... I just hope there aren't any more errors then what I put down, the code is all very simple HTML. No XHTML or CSS yet.

Key changes:
1 = Pistol
2 = Submachinegun
3 = Assault Rifle
4 = Riotgun
5 = Sniper Rifle

There is team damage, friendly fire etc... blue team is white/blue and red is the standard skin on the model, which has a redish look.

Also I made the standard res 1280x1024x32, simply because it's what I was using and forgot.


Silence of the Terminals - first Terminal hacking!

Well today I've added a simple Terminal Hacking System to the current mission, also teams and a capturing system has been made.

Yes questions do start off pretty hard!

So far there is only one question at the moment, a list of them needs to be made.

Ok so how is it done?
Client runs in to the trigger (area around the terminal) the server knows this and sends them a question and tells them to stick up a dialog box, the client answers and the server tests if there correct if there correct this get the Disc item which they can capture back at there base.

The player then gets 50points for the team (wow!) but so far team score just doesn't count, so...
I add it to that player also so they can look high and mighty! :-)

It's a little awkward really... Could be better, The Client and Server streams of Data are different so I can't Stay with just one channel at one put it comes back out of the blue somewhat, without any connection to the fact that this client was sent a question (maybe a risk in terms of security).

I also added an Assault Rifle, but I hate the model so much its not in the map so far... we'll see.

Joe's additions to the sniper rifle have been added.

I made the Pistol a bit less over the place with relation to Spread, so it'll be more useable.

I'll post the updated files later tonight.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Today to spoke about file sizes, bits,bytes etc. And about compresssion when using for different medias like the internet, print, e-mails etc.

Above is the image we worked on.

So you've made an update to sott?

Just e-mail me the files :-)

How to make content?
Models (weapons, ammo etc) you create using: a easy to use modelling tool but only 30 day trail or $30 Great program full of everything you could need can be hard, but its free!

Buildings you use: a great free program

and code? well your fav editor will do, I use Tribal IDE myself, but nothing fancy with that.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Sott update


Two new Energy based weapons:
Sniper Rifle,

Sun water reflection (spectuclar),
and GUI


Sott game design idea

Yes its a MSPaint job! :-).

The idea, two teams and team areas as default ruling zones.

With 3 computer rooms to hack in to on both sides: (steal each others technology?)
Easy: 1 point tech
Medium: 2 points tech
Hard: 3 points tech

Then you have to take the hologram disk back to your base bay to capture it and get your points!

Tech points could release better weapon options? or modifcations to the existing ones (too much to plan for now though!)

Or at the moment you just win when you hit 10 points?

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Silence of the Terminals! An education FPS (well a base...)

Well I had quite a few hours over the weekend, more but I wasted most...

But I started to work on the education game, at the moment its just a Multiplayer FPS, with two weapons, a Submachinegun(A thompson model I did for a friend) and a Riotgun (an old gernade launcher from Arrakis, the riotgun is an Auto-Shotgun that looks like a MM1 Gernade launcher or a Chingun).

Also added ammo and magazine display, a new crosshair, no player names over head, bump-mapped detail texture for the terrain(don't know why don't use it?), magazines and reloading only automatic there but ok and added spread to the weapons firing so everything isn't so pinpoint!

I also mucked about with a door, but I could place it very well in the current buildings so I gave up.

I put it up for download in .zip format Download 13.2MB (was 9.46MB when it was a .rar!)

Why Sott? well I just named it "Silence of the Terminals" yes I'm scared too! *spooky stuff*
As a temp name all I could think of, well first it was "Silence of the Consoles" but I thought people may confuse it with Consoles like a PlayStation etc.

So give it a go, and if you could tell me what you think we can do to make this a thriller of an education game! - because there is no hacking or cracking in it yet!

CPU: 400MHz and up
Video: TNT2 and up (OpenGL 1.2/DirectX 7)
NET: 56k modem, ISDN recomended

OS: Win 95 and up, Linux and Mac (get your native file from download the Torque Game Engine Demo)

Controls are by default(can change in options):
W - forward
S - backward
A - sidestep left
D - sidestep right
Space - Jump
E - Zoom
R - Zoom x
mouse 1 - Fire
1 - Submachinegun
2 - Riotgun
t - Gobal chat
h - Apply health pack

By default its set at 640x480x32, I recommend you put this up in the options.

Any problems comments just e-mail or post here :-)

Now I'm off to install Solaris 10 :-D

P.S. You can check if there are any Sott servers up here: gglist Silence of the Terminals

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Learning Game Dev with the Torque Game Engine

Well I've been thinking about doing this, but others are rather busy(I just love to start something new! Strike Swiftly, Vietnam: Special Ops, Arrakis and The Last Kingdom never had much application of use outside of myself (Strike Swiftly been the most used by what 4-6 people)) so...

I'm thinking a FPS, because it's easier then a RPG etc and more popular at large... but it hasn't got its female market as closely as an RPG or the like would so, what can be done to mix in some elements to make it as fun for both genders.

Glore, blood etc is something of a debate also. Myself I like to run around and to blow up to gibs as much as I can.

But does this turn the female market around from titles such as Quake 3 Arena and Unreal Tournament? This also has to be a feature to the Torque game engine (an extra projectile is created and sent to the floor which then leaves a decal and splaters with some sprites Or it could be done like the how the demo has the crossbow explosion have extra models falling away from the first hit, these could stay on the ground and thus create the gib look).

After I got some LED HeadLights from Steve (His a very generous person! a bit too really I feel guilty been given things) But they would look very cool on a player because they have multiple LEDs in them and give a hexagon look and a bluish light. Maybe the computer room which you get in to hack the code, could be pitch black so you need LED headlights! Shame its more of a Shader(Hardware GPU Programming, Vertex, Pixel and Fragment Shaders e.g. Bump-mapping, Heat-Haze) effect required but may still look very good as maybe a Volume or spotlight (Which would be a "fxLight" entity).

It can't be too childish etc as there are "mature" students etc some aren't some may not be keen about computer games? The age group is about 17-47 as the main market for computer games. So the speed of the game can't be too hard to have fun. And can't be too hard to be good at.

We want to grab the people and keep them!

I was talking to Joe about weapons/firearms he likes Sniper Rifles and a submachinegun as backup, so large areas of landscape to use and cover... So the Torque Engine is well suited. But large areas require more players.

Also that suggests Classes gameplay... maybe... again that focuses for large player design.

Classes, maybe hard, as all need to focus on learning so all need the skill of "hacking" that sort of thing is usually for a single class. Like an Agent.

Player models, well I'm no artist but I think the first Torque model would suit better (not the Orc in current ones).

Weapon models I can do plus simple skinning and animation, simple no hands (Has to be the player model anyway). Sounds are fine I got a whole collection of them!

Need more input from the players... as that means that they are in more control and thus then you have input which is real and then they are keen to fix it myself also, so its an open minds project and then we get real learning for how to do things outside the normal, from graphics to scripting to modelling to landscaping to level design to sounds to user interfaces, positioning and design.

As you can see there are a huge amount of things that need to be thought about. But at least we can start to design things like the player and weapons and the levels. Get it to a stage where everyone can see something and then enter the 3d world. Gathers thought!

I thought we could have something to add scripting types and the like so it could be changed for people who are learning C or even UML (By having images and text as the question dialog boxes)!

Safari passes Acid2!

Safari has become the first browser to pass the Acid2 test. Acid2 is a CSS/HTML test suite put out by the Web Standards Project (WASP).

The patched Safari is not yet avaliable for public consumption. It is unknown when the patches will appear in a public version of Safari.

Acid 2 web test
The Lisa - 1984, was the first commercially successful product to use a GUI
The GUI it self back in 1984

Safari is a Web Browser for the Apple Macintosh.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Digital game based learning in TAFE

Leigh rocks!! what a great idea to hold PC LAN parties at TAFE. I know about 10 people or more who would come straight out! Penny knows 6, Joe knows another 10. These are people who wouldn't normally think to come to TAFE.

Here then lies and opportunity for the IT Faculties in TAFE to host LAN parties open to the public, not as a business, but as a social event for learning. TAFE have the resources to do such a thing, and if done regularly, could become an excellent way of capturing students by offering recognition for competencies demonstrated at the events. Not only would it be a way of accrediting people’s skills in LAN setup, but would likely be a way to facilitate informal learning communities around the events.
Right on!

Adding Penny, Joe's and my ideas to this must do event:

  • Start with PC LAN Parties
  • Get a local business to sponsor the game licenses (or use older games/open source)
  • Start modding games based on my games for learning idea last week
  • Put posters up for it
  • Surround sound set up
  • Games that interest both genders
  • Pizza
  • Balancing skill groups
  • Regional playoffs
  • Business research

So, we the students, think this is a good idea, but more importantly we'd like to help set it up.

Good links.

Edufrag blog
Edufrag wiki

Colour Blind test the three types (main types?)

Here is a handy website for testing your wqebsite if it is useable for colourblind people. One of the more common accessiblity issues faced by the world.

There is also a single image tester.