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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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Byte Compare - a file comparison utility 
A new project has prompted me to add a new area to the site. I have recently created a file comparison tool designed to quickly identify similar chunks of data amongst a set of files.

I have created Byte Compare to test out a theory I had for a comparison methodology which would allow accurate analyses to be performed quickly. While I fully anticipate being rumbled on this, I am not aware of any one else having conceived of this approach to-date, making this application unique.

This is the first release, but it has undergone nearly three weeks of development including a substantial testing period. I am currently scouting around communities to see who this solution might suit beyond those already cited in the ReadMe.

It is highly customizable, including save facilities for logs and profiles.

For more information on how Byte Compare scans differently to any other comparison tool, please see the heading 'How it works' in the accompanying documentation.

This project - along with Random Terrain - fall under the heading of applications most fittingly, prompting me to add the new section (see 'apps' in the top right menu).

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Portfolio page & cleanup 
I have added a portfolio page to this site. It is designed to accompany my CV and offer a third dimension - backing up what I say with real world and academic examples. The aim from here is to get a job in game design - specifically on the concept and team management side.

If you are in the game design industry and are visiting this site for the first time, please contact me for a CV. If my CV has brought you here - then I'm delighted and please feel free to comment on any of the projects here that strike you.

Finally - one tiny clean up: the tab 'blog' has been changed to 'news' so it is less likely to get overlooked when people link to other pages.

Lots of things change from here, but they're exciting times and I'm sure future projects on this page will demonstrate that.

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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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