Saturday, September 29, 2018

So Many Numbers: The Mobile Update

So Many Numbers! has a new update. If you primarily play the game on your smartphone, this one's for you.

  • The game now uses a numeric keypad. This gives your fingers more headroom to zip through those numbers!


  • UI adjustments - You should see less things overlapping or cut off when playing on smaller devices like the iPhone SE.

Keep at it with those numbers! Smartphone users, I look forward to your improved times.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

So Many Numbers! - Speed Arithmetic Challenge


So Many Numbers! challenges you to solve 30 arithmetic problems as fast as you can. We know you have what it takes, so have it!

This was a week-long hackathon project at Make School. Ashley Caswell and I developed the game together.

Supports the latest versions of Edge, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. Internet Explorer is not supported.

Click here to play!

My current record: 35.1 seconds

PowerPoint Macro Checker

Tired of people saying your PowerPoint game doesn't work because they didn't enable macros?

Let them know in the game.

Attached is a step-by-step tutorial on how to add macro checking to your PowerPoint projects. I can confirm fewer macro-related issues on my own projects with this, so I hope it helps you too.

The guide should be straight-forward, but let me know if you have any questions.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

New: Retired Projects

In an effort to clean up the Projects page, I now have a dedicated section to view discontinued projects. These projects no longer receive updates or support.

Current retired projects include:
  • Bingo Master Board (PPT)
  • Bingo Master Board PLUS
  • Bingo Master Board for LibreOffice
  • Cursor Adventure
  • PowerPoint Arcade

Find the description and download links for retired projects on the Misc page.

About Page Updated

I finally got around to updating the About page so it refers to Games by Tim. For old time's sake, this was the previous About page:

Monday, September 17, 2018

Bingo Master Board Version 3.0 - The Board Reborn


It's finally here! After weeks of continuous commits, I am proud to announce the stable release of Bingo Master Board's reincarnation.

It's completely rewritten for Web. It gains features I could've only dreamed for in PowerPoint. It merges two projects into one. It's Bingo Master Board, reborn!

Why version 3.0?

You may be wondering why I'm using version 3.0 instead of 1.0 for the Web release. Here's my logic:
  • The original Bingo Master Board uses version 1.x.
  • Bingo Master Board PLUS uses version 2.x.
Since the Web releases merges the two PowerPoint versions into one, it made more sense to continue counting up the version number than to start over with 1.0 (implying this is something separate).

Benefits of the Web compared to PowerPoint

  • Vastly more accessible. No need to own paid software, and for the first time, Bingo Master Board could run on devices like the iPad.
  • No downloads necessary. Just click the link to play.
  • No more macro security warnings.
  • No more weird PowerPoint frustrations, such as force-redirection to the first slide after five minutes of inactivity.
  • Ability to add features not possible in PowerPoint. The rest of the release notes will focus heavily on this.

Version 3.0's new features
(from Bingo Master Board PLUS)

Naturally, a complete rewrite would have numerous changes. Let's get started, shall we?

Onboarding

When you load Bingo Master Board for the first time, you'll see a Welcome page that introduces you to the project. This is known as onboarding, which you may have seen before with other apps. I'm proud one of my projects finally has it.

Title page

Once you click Begin, you'll find the brand new title page.


Quite different from Bingo Master Board PLUS, would you say?


Aside from the new Bingo roller backdrop and the fullscreen button, you may notice two other changes:
  • Mouseover effects. Hovering over clickable buttons now changes their colors. This makes the UI more expressive, and it wouldn't have been possible with PowerPoint.
  • The fonts have changed from Britannic Bold/Calibri to Arya/Open Sans. This is because Britannic Bold and Calibri are not free to distribute online, and I think the new font combination looks more modern anyway.

How to Use page

The How to Use page has been overhauled. There are now four sections: one for the essentials, one for the extras, one for tips and tricks, and one for additional links.


Note that you can use your arrow keys to navigate the sections. This is an example of a keyboard shortcut, which will become important for the next page. Once again, this wouldn't have been possible with PowerPoint.

The Master Board page

This is the new master board:


and this was the old one:


  • The Bingo balls look more three-dimensional and ball-like. That's because I've added circular radial gradients to the balls.
  • The big Bingo ball is bigger so it's easier to read.
  • The balls drawn/remaining pop-up is bigger so it's also easier to read.
  • The balls drawn count is now shown by default.

Master Board keyboard shortcuts

I've added a bunch of keyboard shortcuts here to make the master board experience a lot more efficient. For instance, try drawing Bingo balls with the space bar, and try resetting the board with the r key.

Other keyboard shortcuts can be found in the How to Use page.

Themes page

The Themes page has an additional option to change the look of the Bingo numbers. If you preferred how the Bingo numbers looked from the original Bingo Master Board, you're going to like this.



Other changes to version 3.0
  • Bingo balls are now crypto-randomly drawn. For more info, see this commit post.
  • The Bingo card in the Winning Pattern page is now on the left side so your cursor doesn't have to move as much.
  • Autosave - If you leave the board and come back, all your drawn Bingo balls remain in tact. Previously with PowerPoint, you'd have to confirm saving the file.
  • The reset animation now works consistently. It had issues before with PowerPoint for Mac.
  • If the master board is hidden, changing themes no longer unhides it. This was a PowerPoint limitation that's no longer the case on the Web.
  • Revamped About/Credits page
  • Integrated with GitHub. You now get to see my commits and work in progress with future versions of this project. You'll find my latest commits in the Develop branch.

The Board Reborn

Bingo Master Board version 3.0 marks several milestones in my developmental life.
  • It's my first project to use Git extensively (commits, branches, merging, etc.)
  • It's my first project to use ES6 (a new JavaScript standard)
  • It's my first project that uses scalable vector graphics (SVG)
  • It's my first project that proves I could move on from PowerPoint.
I hope you reap as many benefits from the new Bingo Master Board as I spent working on it.

Bingo Master Board - Host Bingo games on the Web


Released (PPT): September 3, 2011
Released (Web): September 17, 2018
Updated: November 10, 2018 (Version 3.0.1)

Description

Bingo Master Board helps you host and manage your own Bingo games. You can:

  • Randomly draw and project Bingo balls
  • Display the amount of balls drawn or remaining
  • Set a winning pattern
  • Change the look of the board with themes
  • Hide drawn Bingo numbers for a tougher game
  • Manually edit the board if you're drawing balls separately

Bingo Master Board is designed for fullscreen on the Web. This version is the successor to Bingo Master Board (PowerPoint) and Bingo Master Board PLUS (PowerPoint).

Supports the latest versions of Edge, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari (including the iPad).
Internet Explorer is not supported.

Find any bugs? Read the GitHub README for more details.

Screenshots



Bingo Master Board for Web Commit 2018-09-17

  • Onboarding! When you load Bingo Master Board for the first time, you'll get a Welcome screen.
  • Optimizes SVG files for size
  • About page partially filled

This is the final planned work in progress release. Stay tuned for the stable release coming shortly!

If you're interested in any commits between now and stable, feel free to check out the Develop branch.

Try Bingo Master Board for Web (WIP)

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Bingo Master Board for Web Commits 2018-09-15 and 2018-09-15-1

Got you guys two commits today, which I will combine into a single blog post.

Commit 2018-09-15
  • The How to Use page is ready to go. It's organized into sections so it's easier to follow through. For instance, you'll find the keyboard shortcuts in Tips & Tricks.

    Have a good look at it; this is the longest time I've spent working on instructions.

Commit 2018-09-15-1

This commit focuses on optimizations, especially for iOS devices.
  • Fonts and images now preload, which should reduce jumpiness throughout the UI.
  • On iOS devices, double-tapping will no longer inadvertently zoom in the page. You can still pinch to zoom if you so desire.
  • On iOS devices, the page is now fixed so you won't inadvertently scroll the board up and down.
  • Fixes font size issues for some iOS devices

Friday, September 14, 2018

Bingo Master Board for Web Commit 2018-09-14-1

See, I wasn't kidding. Get ready for multiple commit updates per day!

This commit adds a bunch of keyboard shortcuts. Brace yourself; it's a nice, long list.

In the master board page:
  • B, I, N, G, O - Hide/show respective Bingo letters
  • H - Go to the title page
  • T - Go to the Themes page
  • V - Toggle balls drawn/remaining counter
  • W - Go the the Winning Pattern page

In the Themes/Winning Pattern pages:
  • T (Themes), W (Winning Pattern), or Enter - Go back to master board
    After you use the keyboard shortcut, leave your finger on that key while your other hand uses the mouse. When you're done with the page, you can simply press the key with your finger instead of moving your cursor to "Go Back."

In the title page:
  • Enter - Go to master board

In any page:
  • F - Toggle fullscreen

I hope these extra keyboard shortcuts enhance your Bingo Master Board experience. As far as I know, there is no simple way to have keyboard control in PowerPoint.

In addition:
  • Pressing and holding the spacebar no longer draws balls repeatedly.
  • Refreshing the page with Control-R no longer resets your Bingo balls.
  • In Safari, using the keyboard in fullscreen no longer triggers an alert sound.

UPDATE: Turns out this commit introduced a bug that prevents refreshing with Control-R for some browsers. I'll do my best to prepare a hotfix.

UPDATE 2: You should be able to refresh again. The Safari alert sound is back, but at least it only happens when holding a key. I'm satisfied for now.

Bingo Master Board for Web Commit 2018-09-14

Last night, I dreamed about being submerged in a pile of Bingo balls. I'm probably going restless about this project, but I can't stop now. The stable release is getting close!

Here's what I got for today's commit.

  • The winning pattern is back.

    It works just like Bingo Master Board PLUS with a few differences:
    • The Bingo card in the slide page is on the left side. I changed this so you don't have to move your cursor as much to edit the winning pattern.
    • You get a nice fade effect when editing the winning pattern.

  • Show number of drawn Bingo balls by default

Now that I've ported every feature from Bingo Master Board PLUS, it's time for me to work on the instructions, credits, and refinements. Expect the commit rate to increase as I grow increasingly anxious about finishing the project!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Bingo Master Board and Bingo Master Board PLUS Updates


Bingo Master Board Version 1.7.1
  • Renames the Yellow theme to Classic (just like Bingo Master Board for Web)
  • Updates links to Games by Tim

Bingo Master Board PLUS Version 2.2
  • Minor UI improvements
  • Adds a home button to the master board (backport from Bingo Master Board for Web)
  • Adds macro checking
  • Renames the Yellow theme to Classic
  • Changes the license to the more permissive Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
  • Some rewording in the How to Use slide
  • Re-credits Hugh J. Ward as the creator of 75-ball Bingo
  • Adds promotional slide for Bingo Master Board for Web
  • Updates links to Games by Tim

HEADS UP!

Bingo Master Board for Web will soon replace Bingo Master Board (PowerPoint) and Bingo Master Board PLUS. The new Web version will have all the features of Bingo Master Board PLUS, along with some not possible with PowerPoint. You can try the work-in-progress build here.

As such, Bingo Master Board (PowerPoint) and Bingo Master Board PLUS are now in maintenance mode, which means I'll only release bug fixes if necessary. Once Bingo Master Board for Web gets a stable release, both PowerPoint projects will officially be discontinued.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Bingo Master Board for Web Commit 2018-09-10

Here's a new commit I'm quite proud about.

  • You can now change the Bingo number style.

    For those who preferred the bold black numbers from the original Master Board, you're in luck. In Themes, there's a new setting that brings back the classic Bingo number look.


  • Bingo Master Board now crypto-randomly draws Bingo balls. Hear me out.

    It turns out there are different ways to generate seemingly random numbers. PowerPoint VBA's Randomize/rnd and JavaScript's math.random() can generate numbers efficiently, but they are NOT cryptographically secure. This means that someone skilled enough could predict what numbers will be generated.

    For a Bingo game with tangible prizes, this poses a problem.

    Enter crypto-random, a method to generate random numbers using the Web crypto API. Along with using a more advanced algorithm, crypto-random bases its randomness on your computer's voltage, cursor movements, keyboard timings, and much more. This makes guessing the next random numbers incredibly difficult, if not impossible.

    I hope this change helps you feel more comfortable using Bingo Master Board in a competitive environment. Remember that you can check the new code on GitHub to your satisfaction.

For reference, VBA's Randomize/rnd uses a linear congruential generator, and JavaScript's math.random() uses XorShift128+ in most browsers. Feel free to research the pros and cons of these algorithms if you're interested.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Bingo Master Board for Web Commit 2018-09-05

  • Hide/show Bingo numbers is back. (Click the Bingo letters)
  • Display drawn/remaining Bingo balls is back. (Click the big Bingo ball)

I made the drawn/remaining text bigger than it was in Bingo Master Board PLUS to improve readability.