Phil Hassey - game dev blog
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Archive for November, 2008

Stuff-n-maintenance-n-stuff stuff stuff ..

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

So this past week or so was pretty wild. I was doing all “behind the scenes” stuff mainly. Sometimes these sorts of things are kind of weird to do, because the main goal is to do them in such a way that nobody really notices that I did them (so the point of this blog post is to point out the invisible so I can FEEL like I accomplished something in the last two weeks) … Anyway, they (supposedly) had to get done so that everything can keep moving along without collapsing.

  • Fixing up the themes on so that all the pages actually use the same header/footer and everything. I also restyled the whole site so that all the pages use the same style.css file. (Previously each part of had its own stylesheet. Weirdness.)
  • Moved to using a real mailing list (it took me forever to decide!) But in the end seemed to be the ticket. This is a pretty big step. Previously I was running some script which took a very long time to send out the newsletter and made me very nervous.
  • Updated my game server with init.d scripts so that should my server get rebooted, the game servers will automagically restart. Previously, well, if the server got rebooted, no games would come up.
  • I also migrated to point to .. So now all the “classic” Galcon customers get to see my new swell site. This is also good for search engine stuff, so has a nice position now.
  • While I was at it, I set up google mail for .. So now I can e-mail in style!
  • Upgraded the maze so that each user’s “save state” is a single database record. Previously I saved the full history of a user’s game, so a single user could have hundreds of records if they were wandering around. This table got to around 362,525 records and it was making those pages go pretty slow! With a single record per user, I’ve only got 1371 records in the table and things are nice and fast again. (BTW – Maze 2.0 is up, you can create your own separate adventure mazes now!)

On a more “in your face note” I did add in a games section to I’m sort of excited about this, because it makes it look like I’ve actually made more than one game 🙂 More importantly, it makes it really easy for me to put up a quick page for small games. I’m always making new mini-games for game-dev compos or whatever that don’t necessarily deserve their own “special custom website” but I still want people to be able to get at them. This will make that possible. It also makes it easy for me to link to some of my game-dev friend’s games.


Newsletter Update, Maze of MADNESS 2.0, and more!

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

Hey folks!  There’s an exciting update to the web-game I put together a couple weeks ago. “The Maze of MADNESS” is a “point-and-click text adventure game” .. Where you get to create the game! It must be seen to be believed.  You can even create your own new adventures! So far people have created over 400 rooms!  A few days ago I upgraded it to v2.0, meaning now you can start your OWN mazes!  There are already several new cool mazes being built.

While I’m at it, the holiday season is upon us!  So for the end of this week, I’m going to put Classic Desktop Galcon on Sale for 50% off regular price!  You can buy it at that price by using the promo code “TURKEY” when you checkout. (And remember — you save even more if you buy in BULK!)

Also, just to give you the heads up I’ve finally gotten myself onto a real mailing list service :) (The thing I was using before just wasn’t cutting it!) This is much more convenient, and I don’t have to sit around sweating hoping that all the e-mails are being sent properly anymore.  If you aren’t on the mailing list, now would be a prime time to join.  Just create a user account, select “Yes, send me e-mail updates” and confirm your account.  Or if you already have an account just click Edit Profile on the top right corner and then Newsletter Preferences.

Have fun!

The Maze of MADNESS!!

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

Hey, so I just put up a new game on my website called “The Maze of MADNESS.”  Check it out.

The interesting thing about it is that I didn’t create any of the game.  I just created a web based interface for people to create this adventure game on.  I made it for a 48 hour contest this past weekend, and the other contest people have already created 45 rooms, 40 new items, and 152 actions.

It should be interesting to see how long the game lasts before it caves under the weight of itself.  I’m quite interested in trying out user-content games.  So if this even marginally works out, there is a good chance I’ll be doing more in the future.

On another tech note, I used AS3 for the pixel art editor in the game.  I decided on this instead of haxe, because it seemed there was a lot more random bits of information on the internet about AS3.  I managed to get it to work without using a .mxml file.  The tutorial I followed was this.  I also got lots of random snippets from the internet.


Mailing list software or services

Monday, November 10th, 2008

Right now I send out my newsletter via a hand-rolled PHP script.  I just sent out a letter this morning and it took 80 minutes to process.  Not only does it take forever, but I am a bit concerned I might not be doing it “right”.

All that said, I’m in the market for getting some decent mailing list software, or subscribing to a decent service.

So, “dear lazy web” .. Can anyone give me a rec?  What’s good in the software or service markets?

My one “requirement” is the ability to import a CSV file of e-mail addresses every month.  And if someone unsubscribes, I want it to be smart enough not to re-add them if I re-import them.


New App Icon !!!

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

AI and filling and hit detection …

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

I’ve been working on the AI for my game .. I’ve implemented some floodfill and a few different types of hit detection to get the enemies to be smart. I think as of now, the AI is “smart enough”. I’ve got a few different bots for a few different game types as well.

Here’s a screenshot with some of my debug info in an overlay.

Next up, I’m going to try and get a prototype running on the iPod, so I can tweak the UI a bit so it is playable via the touch and accelerometer interfaces. Once I’m happy with that I’ll probably add in more game types. Finally I’ll wrap things up with a lot of sparkle.

Halloween ’08 – The A-Team!!

Saturday, November 1st, 2008

Here it is!


  • Cuzco the Goat as Mr. T as B.A. Baracus in The A-Team Van
  • Nan as H.M. Murdock as “Captain Cab”
  • Phil as John “Hannibal” Smith as “The Aquamaniac”

See ya next Halloween!