21st Century Novels v0.5.0 / Help requested

Handicapping the Great 21st Century Novels v0.5.0 – an interactive experience
I have made some updates to the interface and the data set.
One major change is that the list is limited to two books by the same author. Now all those pesky NYT bestseller writers won’t clog up the list so much. (This will be a configurable feature in the future.)
Authors can now be scored on origin (US or non-US) and historical generation. See the “Author” category for the new options. Want your list to only include Baby Boomers (1946-1960)? Looking for books by young, non-US authors? Dial away.
Also, authors are categoried by year of first publication: those published before 1991, from 1991 to 2000, and since 2001. This allow you to select “new” authors”, or select “established” authors, and so on.

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Handicapping the 21st Century Novel

Now that 2007 is well under way I thought it was time to look back at this new century and its literature. What are the great novels of the 2000’s?
Handicapping the Great 21st Century Novels – an interactive experience (special pre-Alpha preview)

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Novel Handicapping, version 0.3.6

Recent updates to the 20th Century Novel handicapper:
More books! There are 429 books on the list.
New books include entries from the Time Magazine 100 Best Novels since 1923.
New categories:
- Laurels: Time Magazine 100 Best Novels
- Titular feature: Timely titles
- Titular feature: Colorful titles
- Narrative Element: Big Dumb Object
- Narrative Element: Drugs
- Narrative Structure: Graphic Novel
- Misc: Mythopoeic
Plus other assorted updates, more bildungsromans, more single word titles, and an endless number of screenplay-tagged novels.

Untitled Project Day 6

[Project in progress]
Okay, trying to wrap this thing up. This is the point at which the Flash IDE becomes useful for building the interface structure. If you’ve got your code properly encapsulated, then constructing an interface around it won’t cause too many problems. Most “Flash game designers” start with a timeline animation, however, and then never get around to creating the critical interactivity that makes the game fun.
I’ve got a splash screen, with a generic button in the lower left corner. Click the button to start the game. Find the three buildings which change locations as you move around.

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Untitled Project Day 5

[Project in progress]
I spent about half a day on server-side stuff, creating a php script that will accept high score data (as CGI params) and put it into a MySQL database. The script does some rudimentary checksums to prevent spoofing.
The second half of the day was spent on “alien display” and “alien move logic”. The aliens (disguised as buildings) only move when you are on a different block, and there can only be one alien per block. Once you find an alien (by clicking on it) the building will turn bright green. One alien will move every time you change blocks. The result is a little too erratic, esp. if you have already spotted two aliens and are looking for the third, as the alien will always seek to avoid the player. It is about as fun as trying to guess a random number, over and over again.
In the current version the city is a 3×3 grid and there are 3 aliens to find. A nine block city is about the largest I can make with 51 building assets. The file is 238 kb, which is getting heavy for a stupid flash game.

Untitled Project Day 4

[Project in progress]
I did a little work on the game on the 17th, and a little more today, so I’ll call this day 4. 90% of the fundamental code is done, and about 25% of the interface code. In this version there is a small 3 wide, 2 high city that is navigable with the arrow buttons, the arrow keys, and the a/w/s/d keys.
I have doodled some ideas for city layouts for the different skill levels. The easy city will have 6 rooms and 2 aliens, the medium city will be 12 rooms and 3 aliens, the difficult city will have 18 rooms and 4 aliens. I will need more building assets to be able to furnish the 18 room city.
Untitled Project Day 3
Untitled Project Day 2
Untitled Project Day 1

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Untitled Project Day 3

Worked on the game a little bit yesterday and a little bit today, so we’ll consider that a third full day.
I spent some time trying to insert a preloader into the game, as the file size is now around 215kb. Unfortunately all of my graphics are library symbols that get loaded in frame 1, and the workarounds for fixing that in Flash MX (not 2004) just aren’t worth it. The best I can do is create a second preloader movie that will load the game file as an external swf — which makes it difficult to put this game up on some of the Flash sites, such as DeviantArt.com, because they want exactly one file, not two (or more).

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Untitled Project Day 2

A minor update for the day. The interface is here.
There are 37 building graphics, and the file is now 174kb. I will have to add a preloader at some point.
Today I converted a few more graphics, and made some adjustments in scale and positioning. Then I started to put together the Block object, which is used to store and display a set of buildings for each room in the game. Some temporary interface elements to test the functionality, and so I can post this second version of the prototype.
Untitled Project Day 1

Untitled Project Day 1

I have started working on a new “stupid flash game”. You can view the most recent version of the interface at http://www.antimodal.com/hideseek/.
The inspiration for this game came from a dream I had a few months ago. Aliens have landed on Earth, and are able to disguise themselves as buildings. Your job is to find the camouflaged aliens in a metropolitan sized game of hide-and-seek.
The screen is a section, or block, of a city. Each block has a number of buildings. The layout of each block is dynamically generated for each game.
The player can move north, south, east, or west to another section of the city, depending on the city layout. When the player moves, the aliens also may move. The player can identify an alien disguised as a building when one of the buildings on a block appears or disappears on subsequent visits, because otherwise the buildings should always be the same.
The aliens keep the same disguise as they move around the city. Just because a building is incongruous does not mean it is an alien, since the city blocks are random.
The game is scored by time elapsed. When the player guesses incorrectly, time is added to the score. I don’t want it to be “three tries and you are out”, nor do I want there to be a fixed time limit for the game.

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Podcast Title Generator

Need a title for your new Podcast? Just click on the Podcast Title Generator for a suggestion (or twenty).

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