Monday, July 18, 2011

An Ubuntu Server (1/X)

<Open case view>

<I have been playing around with the tiles and the maps for a while, it was good but if i have to finish the project in time , it's the right moment to make my own server to test SDL_Net >

<First i needed to set up a server, probably you will think i was going to use a dual xeon computer with terabytes of hard disk .... from my experience with the servers and the power needed to run the app i don't need so much hard, in fact i have decided to run it in a quite old computer, that's the server configuration:>
  • Intel 3.06Ghz CPU
  • 1GB RAM
  • 2x9GB SCSI HDDs
  • 100 MBs LAN
<The most important thing in a server is data redundancy , if the server power supply fails, you will have a server down, but you can bring it to live just replacing it, But what will happen if the hard disk crashes?, just guess.... so i decided to set up a software RAID 1 device with two SCSI hard disks, the processor and RAM are weak for a desktop gamer, but i think they are going to handle the expected amount of users, at least in the beginning>

<Dual SCSI disks>

<Now into the software, the final server configuration is going to use the Ubuntu Server edition but at the moment i need to debug and compile the project in the server, so I'm going to use the Ubuntu 10.10 Alternate edition instead of the server one>

<You may ask "Why to use the 10.10 version when there is a new version (11.04)?" , it is indeed a good question, and the quick answer is "Unity"... for all the people that have worked with Ubuntu from a few years ago , you are used to the Gnome desktop manager, so you were not forced (in the past) to use a (quite) bloated desktop manager like KDE, I'm not telling you to don't use KDE, it's good of course, but for me it smells too much like MS products...., but now Gnome has decided that to use the desktop manager you are going to need a powerful opengl card (maybe it's ok for a modern desktop computer), but it's not so ok for a server computer.., Unity tries to solve this problem, but if you have ever used the "Ubuntu Netbook Remix" you will know it's NOT a mature product, you have the feeling that is sort of mac OS/X clone, can't set up the desktop and bars the same way than in standard Gnome and finally i'm pretty sure it is much more slower than the (old) Ubuntu 10.10>

<For me it's quite clear which o.s. to use, just go and get Ubuntu Alternate 10.10 and burn the cd to start installing it>

In the next Post, installing wit Ubuntu Alternate, software RAIDs and more....

Sunday, July 10, 2011

FREE RPG - Tileset

<Updated 25/October, please read the bottom>
<Updated 25/July, added stairs, and cleaned a pair of things>

Hello, finally I'm back again!!, and that's what I've been working on:

RPG Tileset v1.0
License: GPL (Read below about nethack tileset licensing)

<Now I've got something to start working , it has taken me many , many time and i didn't had a big amount lately so what I've done to try to speed up the process was to start looking first at other's work...>

 <I watched many tilesets, found a few real impressives like the ones at lost Garden  but unfortunately they didn't were what i really need, then i started to search into the free to play rogue-like games, there are so many out there!, finally i saw the Nethack 32 graphical tileset>

<Now it is when i ran into problems , the tiles were 32x32 pixels, and i'm using 100x100 pixels tiles, so i have to adjust every tile i imported from the nethack into mine's, other problems is that the nethack tiles had a "brick"background so i had to clean it pixel a pixel, so i could paint them using the transparent pink color to overlap images (SDL_ColorKey).>

<I used the nethack tileset to import all the characters from the game, the players, the foes and the beasts too, and most of the items too, but i tried to draw the other things: i made the terrain and a few effects , there is still many work to do, but i really needed something to start working, promise I'll improve it!>


<Another important thing is i MUST give thanks to all the people that made posible to bring the nethack game to live and were so kind to share it to anyone (Please read the license), basically what it means is "You are permitted to modify NetHack, or otherwise use parts of NetHack, provided that you comply with the conditions specified above; in particular, your modified NetHack or program containing parts of NetHack must remain freely available as provided in this License Agreement. In other words, go ahead and share NetHack, but don't try to stop anyone else from sharing it farther. ", so thanks all the people again, remember that if you use the tileset for anything it MUST REMAIN under GPL, free to anyone..., that kind of things is what makes open source strong and made linux and so many programs to be available to the people....>

<now i think it is time to stop chatting and start to explain my fight against the gimp and how i actually made the tileset:>

I came from MS Windows , and my very first paint program was MS Paint, oh yes, the wonderful image editor!, since Windows 3.1 i have used it... ¿Time to upgrade right?

I started installing the Gimp , i wanted to work with the gpl tools so from all the software i chosen it, it's a powerful but not so easy to start learning, anyway there are hundreds of tutorials to learn using it, just google for "gimp-tutorial" and you will see, in Ubuntu i just went to software center and searched for it.

After installing the Gimp i created a new image, I made it 1000x1000 pixels in size, then i went to "Image" > "Configure grid" and i made a grid size of 100x100pixels (the size of an individual tile):

Now i selected "View" > "Show Grid" and "View" > "Snap to grid"

Then i filled everything with the transparent color (pink= FF00FF), notice we have the tileset ready to work, we just need to know how to organize the tiles:
  • I used the first two rows for terrain tiles
  • 3rd is used for a few terrain objects and magical effects
  • 4th is used for the players
  • 5th and 6th is used for misc. objects
  • 7th and 8th are monsters, and finally 
  • 9th and 10th are used for the gui icons
There are still many missing tiles, for example I need stairs, a portal and many other things, so probably i will enlarge the tileset

To draw the terrain tiles i just selected the tile and filled it with a texture, then i selected "Filters" > "Map" > "Make seamless" so they will fit correctly with each other.

I imported the nethack tiles selecting them with the "Rectangle select tool" one a time, then copied it and pasted it into my tileset, then i needed to "Tools" > "Transform tools" > "Scale" to the size 100x100 pixels (32x32 pixels in Nethack), finally with the "Pencil tool" i cleaned all the background to the color "FF00FF" (pink).

So basically that's how i filled 80% of the tileset, i drawed a few things, like GUI icons but explaining how i made them falls out of this tutorial....

I would really appreciate any comments about this tileset (what will you add/remove / upgrade) I really hope this helps other people than me..., I hope too to post more advances in the rpg game too soon.

A final Note: Many people has come here (in fact 100+ persons), for example you!, watched the tileset or downloaded it, but nobody has made any comment about it, it is a shame because if YOU don't say a word..

  • I don't know if people like it or find it useful.
  • I don't know if there are things that people would like to change /add / erase.
  • I'm not a magician , can't read minds, please help me to improve things.