Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Wheel of Fortune for PowerPoint Version 3.1 is Here

Alright, time for a maintenance update to Wheel of Fortune for PowerPoint, along with some other improvements. Behold, the outcome of play-testing the game with my family this Christmas and researching some visual basic (the Microsoft Office programming language) for countless hours the following day!

What's Changed

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Lost in a Forest - a Text Adventure Redesign

If you haven't played Lost in a Forest, now's the perfect time to do so. And if you've already explored every nook and cranny of it, that's not the case anymore, because starting today, I am introducing an all new redesign of the game.

Here's what changed:
  • New fonts - The text adventure should look much more lively than it did before.
  • Choice box hover effects - They now change color for better feedback.
  • Every other choice you make has a different color - This change is intended to make it easier to distinguish where you are in the story.
And the biggest change of them all...
  • Animated choice boxes - That's right! Not only does it make the entire game more robust, it's also fun to click the choice boxes for the heck of it now.

All these changes have been made possible through the use of jQuery, a popular Javascript library. This is my first attempt at using it, and I hope to utilize its potential in other upcoming projects.

Click here to play.
Here's a link to the old layout in case you want to compare the changes.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Wheel of Fortune for PowerPoint Version 3.0 Has Arrived!

And here it is: a brand new Wheel of Fortune for PowerPoint update! It all started as I was watching this year's season premiere when I thought, "I should probably update the wheel values for my Wheel of Fortune for PowerPoint template." Then, when I opened up my project for the first time in a long while, many more ideas suddenly circulated around my head. The result? A much larger overhaul of the template than what I've originally imagined. Introducing version 3.0!

What's Changed

  • White tiles - In the previous version, you had to set up the puzzle board by typing underscores, which, while functional, would take a while to type out and didn't look too pretty. Now, with the inclusion of white tiles, we can kill two birds with one stone. Simply click the top of each puzzle tile to toggle green and white, and presto: a more realistic puzzle board that takes less effort on your part!

  • Graphical improvements - Not only can the puzzle tiles turn white now, the puzzle board border has transformed into gradient blue, much like the actual game show aesthetic. Various aspects of the menus should be easier to read now, and there are several alignment adjustments across the board to deal with those pesky pixel inaccuracies.
  • Updated wheel with season 34 values - Courtesy of wheelgenius from Deviantart, we have a brand new wheel that not only is up to date but also looks dramatically more pleasing than the previous version's. wheelgenius, if you are reading this, thank you so much for allowing all of us to bask in the glory of your designs!

  • Multiple rounds support - Wheel of Fortune for PowerPoint now provides four different wheels, each corresponding with the ones from the actual game show. That means for the first time ever, you can play the Mystery Round and the Express Round! For the Mystery Round wheel, there is a new Mystery button that randomly determines if the contestant wins $10,000 or falters with a Bankrupt. Click the new tab next to Calculator to switch rounds.
  • Easier to follow How to Use slides - The previous version's How to Use slide was quite cluttered and overwhelming. Therefore, I've divided the tutorial down into four manageable sections. Hopefully for new users, this should make learning the ins and outs a more efficient experience.

  • Various bug fixes
    • Fixes player 1's blue text on the round dollar amount when viewed on Windows XP
    • Fixes broken functionality buttons when played with non-updated versions of PowerPoint 2007 or 2010
    • Improves error handling when clicking on the "buy a vowel" button when there are non-numeric characters in the player box

The following features have been removed from this release:
  • The Bliss and Beta themes - As interesting as they were, I didn't want to spend three times the amount of development converting these themes that I don't think many people use to the new puzzle board/alignment. If you really want these themes back, let me know in the comments, and I'll consider reviving them if there's enough interest.
  • The Free Spin toggle - The Free Spin button, which was phased out from the actual show in 2009, is no longer compatible with the new wheel values. Therefore, I opted to replace it in favor of the multiple rounds tab. If you still desire the Free Spin button, you'll need to keep using version 2.0.1 or earlier, which you can find in the Archive.

I hope you enjoy the new and improved Wheel of Fortune for PowerPoint experience. Definitely let me know what you think!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Wheel of Fortune for PowerPoint Solution Cards

UPDATE: Solution cards are no longer needed with newer Wheel of Fortune for PowerPoint versions. Click here to download the latest version.

Instead of stumbling to recall how many M's are in your puzzle in front of everyone, how about you prepare yourself beforehand?

That's where my new Wheel of Fortune for PowerPoint solution cards come in. This handy PDF allows you to prepare your puzzles in advance, as well as providing quick access to the amount of each letter in that puzzle. Need an example? Take a look at this:

By filling out these cards and bringing them with you to your game night, your rounds should flow much more smoothly than before! Try it for yourself, and let me know how it goes.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Wheel of Fortune for PowerPoint to Resume Development

Good news, Wheel fans! Today, I officially announce that unlike my previous statements, I will continue to develop Wheel of Fortune for PowerPoint. A brand new update is currently in the works, so stay tuned to see what's in store!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Dropbox discontinuing Web hosting

Today, I received the following email from Dropbox:

In other words, we can no longer upload Webpage files to Dropbox for hosting purposes.

As older readers may recall, I used to host my HTML5 games (The Masher Series, Escape a Tower) on Dropbox. Then in 2014, I shifted to Github Pages so I can have a nicer looking domain. While I am thankful I have made this change, I still occasionally post pre-releases on Dropbox due to its convenience. This means I'll either need to start uploading multitudes of commits to Github, which I'd rather not do, or find another free Web host. If anyone can suggest a good free Web host, I'd love to hear your suggestions.

Dropbox, thank you so much for being the first reliable site I could find when I started making HTML5 games. It's sad to see your Web hosting feature go, but know you've made your mark for beginner Web developers like me.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

I am Thinking of a Number Version 3.0 Released!

I am Thinking of a Number.
Version 3.0

It's been a while since my last blog update, so how about I come back with a new pristine update to our most sophisticated number guesser?

Welcome to I am Thinking of a Number, version 3.0. That's right; not 2.7.2 or even 2.8. This is serious business. Lots of changes are abound, visually AND functionally. And we are about to delve into each of these improvements right here in our always-detailed release notes!

(Note: If you're the the type of person who prefers discovering the changes for yourself, stop reading now and click here to play. Knock yourself out.)

So are you ready? Let's get rolling!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

What happened to my Masher Series save data?

UPDATE (Nov. 1): Since secure connections (HTTPS) are now enforced in Github Pages, you will no longer be able to access the unencrypted versions of the Masher Series games.

Original post:

Recently, I've rerouted all the links for Button Masher, Keyboard Masher, and Mouse Swipe to the HTTPS protocol. While this is ultimately a good thing, as your connection to all my games should be private and secure from now on, your save data unfortunately did not transfer during the conversion.

Rest assured though: your save data is still alive. If you continue to access the unencrypted (HTTP) versions of the games, you will be able to continue your progress just as before. However, if you wish to convert to the secure (HTTPS) versions, you'll have to start the games all over again.

I know it's a bummer, but I'm sure that in the long run, you'll appreciate the benefits of using a secure connection. But if that doesn't click with you, don't worry: you'll indefinitely be able to access the unencrypted versions of the games, even when they're updated. All you have to do is delete the "s" from "https" in the URL or click on the provided links below:

Monday, February 15, 2016

Escape a Tower Version 2.4

Time to roll out some more updates! This surprisingly huge Escape a Tower patch focuses on three major categories:

  • Lots of formatting improvements
  • Visual enhancements
  • Bug fixes

Due to the sheer quantity of adjustments I've made, I will simply list the entire changelog at the bottom of this post. In summary, I've rigorously reformatted the game to fix some HTML validation issues and to make things look more consistent across browsers. I've also squashed some wandering bugs I've discovered in the process. All these refinements should improve the overall gameplay experience.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Site Update: Improved Links

Today, I've made some slight tweaks to the hyperlink colors.
  • A normal hyperlink looks slightly bluer than before, improving contrast with ordinary text. 
  • A visited hyperlink now appears purple instead of dark blue. Not only does this improve contrast, it is easier to tell which links you've clicked on and which ones you haven't.
I hope these changes help you out for the better. If you have any suggestions, remember to leave a comment. Thanks!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

I shall read your comments!

Have I not been responding to your thoughtful comments/suggestions on this blog? Rest assured, it's NOT because I don't care about you guys.

It turns out the email I had set for comment notifications was my old address, one that is no longer in active use. To remedy this, I've rerouted the comment alerts to my main email address, which I keep an eye on a daily basis. So from now on, I should be aware of your comments within a day or so. This means you can expect speedier responses from me than ever before!

So go ahead, bring on your comments. Your voice shall no longer be unheard!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Updates for the Masher Series

New updates for Button Masher (version 4.3), Keyboard Masher (version 4.4), and Mouse Swipe (version 1.1) have arrived. My intention here is to resolve several issues I've thought about over the past several months.

So what exactly has changed? Let's go through the release notes:

  • Minor UI improvements
    • The back arrow from the Select Mode screen has been moved to the top for better consistency.
    • Hovering over the challenge links, back arrows, and restart buttons now change their colors. Each game uses a different color.
    • The reset button is now colored red. Be careful with that button!
    • Consecutive error messages with Custom mode will now blink at you. This helps you know that your new input is accepted, but you still get the same error.
    • (Mouse Swipe only) I fiddled around with the blank margins to improve the game's center alignment. It's still not perfect, but it's better than before.
  • Custom mode number handing improvements
    • Inputted numbers will automatically round to the nearest nonzero decimal.
    • If you enter 1 second, the header will now display "1 second" instead of "1 seconds."
    • It turns out entering any custom time above 2,147,483.647 seconds will cause glitches (here's why). Because of this, I added a new "overflow" error message. No sane person would play any of these games for over 24.8 days straight anyway.
  • "New Record!" no longer appears on the first playthrough. After all, it was redundant to see that message when you've never played the mode before.
  • High scores are now hidden if the Save High Scores setting is off. The benefits are twofold. For one, you can tell more quickly whether or not you have that setting on. Also, if you don't want high scores, you probably wouldn't want to see that anyway, even if it doesn't save.
  • The game now informs you when a reset is complete. No longer do you have to be confused whether or not your game actually did reset.
  • Access the strategy guide from the help page. Need help? Use the guide. Self explanatory.
  • (Keyboard Masher only) Fixes a bug that breaks the timer. The method to triggering the bug was fairly obscure, but it was still worth patching nonetheless.

And if that wasn't enough, this should get you: barring any major bugs, this is the final "classic" version of the Masher Series. That's right: the next update I have planned will be a massive one. At a minimum, there will be a new layout and rewrites to portions of the games. That's why I wanted to roll out these set of updates: to patch up any remaining holes from this era before transitioning to a brand new code base.

So I hope you enjoy today's release, and stay tuned here for news on the next gen Masher Series!