Sunday, October 31, 2010

Status Update - Not dead yet...

As one might have noticed, my postings the last few weeks have been few and far between. There are a few contributing factors to this decline:
  • Large amounts of software testing reduce my motivation to come home and work on Magecrawl
  • Work on a website for my wife's business. {shamelessPlug} Music therapy in Austin, Round Rock, Georgetown {/shamelessPlug}. This involved learning pretty quickly CSS/HTML and Joomla as a CMS.
  • Starcraft II - I gave in and got it. It is video games goodness distilled into a drug like potency. I am currently playing against Gold level players on 1v1, and I have a pretty mean 4gate rush. 
 I still haven't given up on Magecrawl. With the testing at work ending and the website up and running, things should be calmer over here. The only hurdle to working on Magecrawl will be not playing SC II...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

[Offtopic] Pain in PDF printing on my mac, workaround...

So, since I spent three hours of my life on this, I figured a post on the internets for other to find was worth writing.

My goal was simple. My wife had created a document in pages and wanted it professionally printed. First attempt was a simple "save as pdf". That failed, as there were tiny inconsistencies when viewed on a PC. I installed adobe reader on my mac and low and behold, they showed up there. I thought PDFs were supposed to look the same everywhere...

Some google research pointed to PDF X-3, which iWorks claims to be able to export. It is apparently a subset of PDF that everyone agrees on. Yes, let that last sentence sink in. PDF, the format that is supposed to look the same everywhere, now has a sub-format to do that job. Eitherway, attempts to export the document fail with a generic "can not create PDF-X3" error. Apparently this is a long standing bug with iWorks where some complicated documents throw that error. No fix, no work around. This is starting to sound like bloody Linux...

Alright, next approach is using the "ColorSync Utility" to create a filter. People online seem to saying this sometimes works. After launching the beast, I find out that it apparently fails to save resolution settings at all. This means when I filter wife's document through it, it comes out looking like 1990 smacked it upside the head, low resolution and all...

The solution I have come up with is the 500 lb  (226 kg for my metric friends) sledgehammer of a solution.

  1. Open iWorks. Save document as PDF that won't work in adobe.
  2. Open PDF in preview, File->Save As.
  3. Selection JPG, change quality to full and DPI to 500.
  4. Send that 15 meg JPG to the printer...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

crawl-tiles announcned, a "public domain" source of graphical tiles

My work on getting the crawl tiles public domain is complete. Here is the "press release" that I posted to R.G.R.D:

I am happy to announce the first release of the crawl-tiles project

Crawl Stone Soup ( has a beautiful
set of graphical tiles based on rltiles ( with many extensions and modifications.

Until now, they were under the "Crawl license", derived from the
Nethack license and thus unusable by most projects.

A majority of the developers/artists have signed off their work into
the public domain (CC Zero license technically), and thus their work
is now redistributable and usable by other projects.

I have packaged that work up into a form easily consumable by other
projects, and placed it on the crawl-tiles download page.

Feel free to take a look, use them in your new project. If you do so,
please consider noting in your game where they came from.