Tag Archives: TI-83

More site enhancements and setbacks

For the last few days, I’ve been working on some upgrades for this site. After deciding that my site wasn’t getting enough traffic, I looked into what Google had crawled on my site and found that a lot of it was old crap that doesn’t even exist or the caches were of my index frame and not the actual page. I thought Google was smarter than this, but I guess not. So I’ve been taking some steps to allow search engines to better comb my existing content and remove non-existing pages.

To get search engines to remove old pages, you have to let them see the 404 Not Found HTTP header, which I wasn’t doing because all my pages try to go into the frameset thus returning a 200 OK. To tell search engines what pages you do want crawled regularly, you have to have a sitemap. Google’s “Webmaster Tools” system is a really useful web developer interface for their engine that allows you to do things like specify sitemaps. I submitted my already working RSS feed and then created a more complete sitemap. It only has pages that I want it to (mostly PHP pages with specific queries), so no worries about security (as a directory recursion sitemap might have). I’m hoping these steps will at least get Google to send more hits to my site.

While I was at it, I also made a simple database that will put 404 pages into a database that I can go through later and provide correct urls to. The server returns a 301 Moved Permanently header so that search engines won’t think they can still link there, but users will get to the content without any additional loading. It also allows me to tell users and search engines whether a page is gone permanently or just not there yet.

As for setbacks, the other day I was working on my TI-83 RPG and things started getting weird on the map display. Enemies had turned into exit doors and all sorts of funky business. So I go to see what’s wrong and the calc turns off. When I turned it back on, you guessed it…”RAM Cleared”. It’s a good thing I hadn’t been doing a lot of coding on it lately. I was mostly figuring out how I wanted the dice rolls to work with skills, damage, armor, attack, and defense; I had only begun to integrate the dice rolls into the main game that day. So I guess I’ll be recoding it, but this time right into the game. Luckily, I just released beta 2 a couple weeks ago.

And don’t forget to check your ceiling.

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Dungeon Crawler II beta 2

I’ve done a small update to my game, mostly consisting of fixes that I overlooked. Download. Changelog:

-fixes for getting treasure from enemies
-changed the system for xp you get from kills
-chests now randomize as you move around the map (like enemies)
-can’t try to cast spells anymore (spells aren’t working right now)
-other fixes

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Dungeon Crawler II and other cool shit.

I’ve finally gotten my TI-8x calculator RPG into a playable beta state! There’s still plenty left to do on it yet, but one may try out the new map, key, and xp systems if they like. More information and the download can be found here. Here’s a few screenshots of screens I changed:

I cleaned up the About page some yesterday–updating hardware and site descriptions. I also got my much needed uninterruptible power supply (UPS) on Monday. It has a slight hum and is heavy as fuck, but these don’t matter so much now that it’s tucked behind my loud PC. I actually had it cut on briefly for the first time a couple hours ago. The power flickered but the computer was unaffected. There’s a picture of the UPS and power cord goodness below.

I also came into the company of a new cat recently–a male tabby which I think we’re calling Gordon and you can see why.

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Alarm Status and Ti83plus Game

Nothing really to report on any previously mentioned projects. I haven’t really had time to delve into my alarm too much since I got it running stably several weeks ago. It hasn’t failed any in the last month, not even from human error (which I tried to minimize the possibility of). Still, it needs a few more features, options, and documentation-type stuff before I feel like it can be released for a public beta. (If you beta test it and give useful feedback, I will put you in the program credits; so there’s all the incentive I can give.)

Also of interest is a game for the TI-83 plus line of calculators that I’ve been programming between classes. I’m actually making it based on code for another game, found here. It’s an RPG with 10 areas (or floors, albeit they all look the same), randomized loot, XP and character development, spells (sorta), and a combat system.

I’m redoing practically everything (or planning on it). The maps are no longer static: every map is loaded from a simplified storage program into a matrix for easy X,Y coordinate access through a grid subroutine which can turn any coord into a graphic block. There will be a new enemy type which uses spells. And spells will be totally revamped. In the original game, you could only get spells by having them as enchantments on items. In my remake, you’ll get to upgrade your spells when you level (the mage class gets more points to distribute) and choose from a larger selection like curses, healing, lightning damage, fire damage, damage reflection, etc. There will also be skills like knockdown, disarm, leech mana, steal life (vampire), and more. Obviously, to permit all these new combat features, the fight system will have to be augmented and enemies given very basic AI.

There’s tons of other features that I’m conceptualizing as well, but the only part well underway is the new map system. Programming on the calculator is difficult, though. For one thing, all variables and data structures are global. 😕 The editor has only 7 lines and no indenting. And debugging consists of programmer breaks and printing out variable values. It’s an interesting break from the norm, though. Here’s a screenshot from the new map system. You can compare it to one from the aforementioned link.


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