Work In Progress

So today I thought it would be a good idea to document all the work I’ve been doing to get my automation test framework up and running with version control and a Continuous Integration build server. I came to the blog site and remembered that the upgrade to PHP version 5.6 had caused a few more issues than it fixed. So I’ve managed to get the blog site back up and running, but the theme is a little … black and white!

So at the moment I have a lot of things going on in the tech world concurrently. The main ones being

  • Creation of a game (primarily for the children on Android)
  • Creation of an Automation Test Framework Core
  • Creation of Automation Test Framework project specific tests
  • Updating the build system to cope with the building and testing using the Automation Test Framework and the Unity game projects
  • Fixing the WordPress Blog site (blog.shadowpuma.com)
  • Fixing the main website (www.shadowpuma.com)
  • Fixing the PHPBB Forum site (forum.shadowpuma.com)

So first thing was first and I tackled the WordPress blog for the Shadowpuma combined site. Regardless of what page I attempted to get to there was a PHP error around security. Using an FTP client (FileZilla) I connected up and changed a few permissions on the files being highlighted in the error messages. This wasn’t enough.
So I decided to do a manual upgrade to the latest version (after taking backups of both the webpages and database back end).
It was surprisingly easy to do following the instructions on the WordPress site!
The Shadowpuma theme had become very outdated so I changed it to the latest twenty-sixteen theme and so here we are.

Amongst all these updates I’m still keeping an eye open on the job market for any Software Engineer roles in the Gaming Industry. There is also the usual daily chores to get through, and most of all I have to keep active so this weight drops off again. I haven’t been able to do the usual non-eating thing yet because of all the events of the year that requires the need to receive sweets and cakes. Fathers Day being the latest of them! But the Jelly Beans, Jelly Babies, Humbugs and Skittles did all taste yummy. They are all gone.

Studies and Web development

My Train2Game Portfolio Projects 03, 04 and 05 have been submitted for marking. While I find out how long it’s going to be before they are marked I’m working on multiple projects.

Portfolio examples are something I’m going to need to put together so future employers can see my work. I’ve got a few ideas that are quick and easy and will give good impressions on my code along with enjoyable visuals.
I therefore need somewhere to host my files for these employers to view them. With my current and latest web coding skills I am putting together a personal profile website to collate my work together.

My other web projects include a new booking website for a rabbit kenneling company based in Farnborough. The Little Warrens basic information website is being updated to give information, allow online bookings, and account management.

With the Develop 2013 Conference in Brighton coming upon us soon (which I will be attending) then speed is of the essence at the moment to get a lot of this finished, or at least to a polished state.

T2G Update : Section 2 Examination Result

I PASSED!

I’m really happy that I got good marks because there were sections that I thought I needed to brush up on more.
A result of 87% is great. That’s 52 out of 60 questions correct with all questions answered.

I’m still waiting for the feedback from my Portfolio Projects 01 and 02 that I submitted.

Now on to Section 3 and all about 3D!

T2G Update : Portfolio Projects ready for submission

Today I have printed out all my Train2Game Portfolio Project documents and burnt the files on to CD. Now to get it all bound up in to a folder and posted off for marking. I feel like I have reached a great milestone on the course.

Looking back I can see that it has taken quite a varied time to get to the stage where I am. A breakdown shows it took 2 months to complete Section 1 of the course including taking the exam. For Section 2 it has taken just over 2 months to complete the parts A, B and C of Section 2, and it has then taken 12 months to complete Portfolio Projects 1 and 2. I think it took so long because I took a while getting an understanding on what was required, then I put too much detail in to the technical document to an over sized idea of a game. Once I had that document in a state of completion I went on to the 5 tasks of Portfolio Project 2 and I really got in to these and sped up towards the end.

With self studying you really have to be disciplined and be able to find the time to really get stuck in to the tasks. I feel I have managed to balance the studying, family, and personal life pretty well since September 2010 when I started the course.

Now to get these projects marked and then the Section 2 exam out the way before getting section 3 completed and off I go looking for work along with my updated and completed Portfolio of games I’m creating.

T2G Update : Portfolio Project 2 – Created a running installer and exe

I just did a silly dance in front of my PC to celebrate the fact I have just learnt to create an installer for my application I am building! I feel I’ve managed to accomplish something great in my learning of creating a game. Just a few easy steps and the code has an installer setup wizard.

This has also helped with debugging purposes since the application will need to be distributed to the memory management PC for checking and verifying the memory leaks are not too bad!

T2G Update : Portfolio Project 1 – Ready to Submit

I have managed to finish off the Technical Document for Portfolio Project 01. It has taken a while but I feel I’ve put the right amount of effort in to get a result that is good enough for submission. I can’t submit it though until I’ve complete Portfolio Project 02, so on I go in starting it…

Still loving the course. I’ve been going through the Train2Game forum and seen a lot of useful information. I have yet to post anything on there myself, but may get round to it eventually (much like I eventually get round to posting my own blogs 🙂 ).

There is also information on the Train2Game website about the second Game Jam event they are holding. Now that the children are a bit older it should be possible for me to go and attend, but part of me is a little reluctant at this time until I get a bit more experience and understanding of everything. There are little gaps that I want to fill just to reassure myself before venturing off to join in with everyone else. I guess that’s how I’ve always been, wanting to be well prepared before doing anything. A lot of thinking before actually doing. (TFD – Thinking Feeling Doing)

T2G Update : Portfolio Project 1

The Portfolio Projects are split in to various sections. I have been working on Portfolio Project 1 for three months now (on and off). The basis behind it is that I am to create a technical document that will be used to create a 2D game. The project documentation that describes what is required was pretty good giving examples where necessary, but it also left a lot open to be interpreted and lets you put your own spin on things.
So far I have a 17 page document that is still not finished. Sometimes I think I may have thought up a too complex game idea for what is actually being asked of me. But then everything I do and create during this course is going towards my portfolio at the end, so why shouldn’t I take the extra time and effort to create something that is worthwhile!
There are certain areas which I need to cover within this technical document and often I am concentrating on getting one section done that I lose focus on the overall goal and have to keep revisiting the original outline document to figure out what else I need to do.
I’d say overall I’m happy with how things are progressing, and ideally need to get this document completed by August so I can start on Portfolio Project 2 which involves actually coding up solutions to the headings given.

T2G Update : Section 2 Part C Lesson 21

The final lesson of Section 2 (Simple AI) has been completed! I scored a 95%. The question I got wrong was about what drives AI in game, a) fast, b) memory efficient, or c) complex. I went for b) since everything has to be memory efficient and therefore makes with perform better??? But that was wrong, the correct answer was a) fast. I guess AI has to be fast so that NPC’s don’t stutter around all the place and they can catch up to the player movements and actions quickly.

Two exciting things happen now…

1) Portfolio Project
2) End of Section Examination!

You have now reached the stage in your course where you need to submit your Portfolio Project work. Before progressing any further please ensure you complete the following Portfolio Project work:

Portfolio Project 1
Portfolio Project 2

Once these Portfolio Projects have been successfully completed you will be able to progress with the course.

So I better get on with the portfolio project and pass so I can get the examination out of the way and then on to the final Section of the course!