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Grand Theft Nautical - over-due update. 
A substantial update for Grand Theft Nautical has just been added. Features include:

- screen refresh issues should now be a thing of the past (eg. when you roll over a background component).
- Moving the app now sees the playfield redrawn correctly (some issues with XP).
- Major memory leak fix (when you died before, spare CPU cycles were eaten up).
- Tidy up to title screen and GUI.
- instructions updated on project page.
- game can no longer be resized by accident.

Still to-do:
- toggling radio buttons can still 'stick'. No idea why this is happening.
- would love to update a high score table automatically.
- Testing on Mac; XP anomaly when dragged off-screen.

Grand Theft Nautical is more of a desktop distraction, and is thus unlikely to feature any colleague-upsetting music or FX in future releases.

It is pretty easy to get to grips with, but difficult to master. It aims to have the same vibe as Robotron 2084: you always feel you can do better than your last go, and know it won't take long to get to where you left off.

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Blog functionality extended 
I've gone back through each blog entry and tagged them with a category. At this time of writing, they're visible to the right under 'categories' (I may try to collapse this in future, as it eats up a good amount of screen space).

The benefit of this is that now each project can have a diary section. I have added this section to Capers for a quick glimpse of how this addition will appear across the site. Some projects share blog entries, so those featuring this new diary section should have a lot of related content early on.

It is down the versatility of the SPB software that drives this site. It has been a great servant and the team behind this free engine have done a great job.

I am hoping to automate the tab population at the top of each project page. A simple script will add tabs depending on the files it finds in the same directory as it is. A file (and that may include html and php pages) containing the words 'download', 'reflection', 'play' etc. will each prompt a tab to be automatically created and added along the top. It won't look any different, but will save me a great deal of time going back and adding them all manually.

Why mention it here? Well, it may be delayed while I figure out how to integrate this new diary functionality with it.

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Last batch of UWE projects uploaded 
A good few updates this weekend brings the total number of projects under UWE to 12. The projects cover four years, and - as has long been cited as a priority - virtually all the assignments that lend themselves to web technologies are now uploaded... the good, the bad, and the downright ugly! Yes - I have completed the degree and look forward to making games for a living.

OK. I have finally uploaded the second assignment of the 3D modeling module. This is a brief character animation sequence which has been roughly rendered out from Motion Builder using a rather blunt video and sound ripping application. That said - it is better than nothing and my thanks go to the chap who made the app (the name of which I have completely forgotten!). Also to Ben for his help making this animation much better than it would otherwise have been.

Next up - I have uploaded a brief lip syncing scenario which was created as part of the 3D sequence mentioned above. It really is a largely unrelated sequence (though it is a part of the same spec) so I've added it separately - this also helps to clarify the range of technologies I covered in this module for the Portfolio page (read the next post for info on this :))

The last of the UWE projects I uploaded is Random Terrain. This is the second part of my final year project (along with the dissertation). The accompanying readme file for this app is vast and - along with the accompanying blurb on the description page - there's little more I need to say here. Suffice to say it is comfortably the biggest programming project I have been involved in.

So - the next post will introduce the plan from here and the birth of my portfolio page. Thanks for reading.

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Dissertation uploaded 
This is the dissertation I submitted for the final year. Along with the Application Development Project (yet to be uploaded), this is the most important component in terms of marks.

I will be making amendments to it in the future. It is far from perfect but I am delighted with the final piece given the difficulties of the past year. Please do not hesitate to contribute either by leaving a comment on the description's page or sending me an email. Game narrative is a topic of sincere interest to me and I welcome all opinions.

The link.

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Capers' latest fixes 
There's normally a long wait between initial releases and maintenance releases with me, but this is the second fix-up in less than month. I hope it continues.




v3.0 fixes:
- buggy engine not as loud
- status messages not displayed for as long
- switch between cameras quicker
- buggy noise no longer runs into game over message screen
- victory screen time is now correctly displayed
- background music now loops correctly.

The whole experience should now be a lot more polished. Please post your high scores in the comments section on the game page. There's no major outstanding work left (at least - I don't think so).

I would like to again thank aunt nadia for the music in this game... great job as always.

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