Monday, January 20, 2020

Wheel of Fortune for Web - Wheel Demo



Here you'll find a tech demo of the wheel I intend to use for Wheel of Fortune for Web, the upcoming replacement for Wheel of Fortune for PowerPoint.

Wheel of Fortune for PowerPoint's wheel took two clicks - one to spin, and one to stop. This wheel needs just one click, and hold it to charge the new strength meter!

Advantages over the PowerPoint wheel
  • More sense of control over the wheel (although the outcome's still completely random)
  • Has inertia - will slow down as it spins
  • Uses the crypto-random API to securely determine where the wheel stops
  • Can programmatically tell what value the wheel landed at

Take the survey!

For the first time in the site's history, I'm trying out a survey to gauge how to further improve the wheel. Click here for the survey.

To Do
  • Add multiple wheel types to choose from
  • Add the wheel's second layer (wild card, Mystery wedge, etc)
  • Add sound effects to the wheel

Note that I'm long ways away from releasing Wheel of Fortune for Web. I'm just sharing these types of demos in the meantime.

License

Wheel of Fortune for Web - Wheel Demo is licensed under the GPL-3.0.

“Wheel of Fortune” is a registered trademark of Califon Productions, Inc, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product. For more information about the game show, visit www.wheeloffortune.com.

Wheel wedges created by MarioGS/wheelgenius, used with permission.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Addressing the So Many Numbers blank screen bug

I've received reports that players couldn't load So Many Numbers after I pushed a minor update last week. All they get is a blank screen, no matter how many times they refresh.


It turns out the cause of this blank screen is more complicated than I thought, What's worse, I may not fully be able to patch what I call the "blank screen of death." Allow me to explain.

(Warning: technical jargon ahead! Skip to "What you should do" if you just want to know what to do if you're affected.)

Why the blank screen of death happens

For starters, last week's update on its own did NOT cause the blank screen of death. All I did there was change some text.

What really triggers it is how the game reacts to an update. Whenever you load So Many Numbers, it caches a copy of the game to your device so you can play offline. Whenever I push an update, the game has to recreate the cache so it can load the updated version offline.

That's where things get awry.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Dark Mode for the win

Ever since Dark Mode arrived in macOS Mojave, I knew it marked the future of UI design. Now that iOS, Windows 10, and all major browsers also support dark mode, it's time for my projects to embrace the dark side!

You may wonder, haven't you tried a dark theme before? That's true, but the user had to manually toggle it for his or herself. Now that browsers can detect whether you're on light or dark mode, webpages have the ability to automatically enable dark themes. A win, win for everyone!

Here's how I intend to handle dark mode on my future dark-enabled projects:

  • By default, set the theme to light or dark based on the systemwide theme.
  • The user can toggle light or dark themes via a button on the project. This means the user can use the project's dark theme while on their system's light mode, and vice versa.
  • If the browser does not support dark mode, use the light theme by default. The theme toggle should still work, though.
  • If JavaScript is disabled, use the light theme by default, and hide the theme toggle if possible since the toggle won't work.

To practice dark mode, I edited my GitHub homepage, a basic landing page with links to my projects.



I hope to one day enable full dark mode support on my other games, such as I am Thinking of a Number and So Many Numbers. In the distant future, I may add a dark theme to the Games by Tim site as well.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Face reveal!

It's about time I make my face more public. As you can see, I'm more than a cursor around a blue circle.


My photo is now on my GitHub profile, and I plan to incorporate the photo into parts of this site in the future.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Update about the site update

Remember when I said I was in the middle of updating this site?

Well the changes I had in mind back then are complete. That said, I have ideas for another site renovation. One much larger in scope...

That's all I have to say for now.

Monday, September 23, 2019

So Many Numbers! - Major Update

So Many Numbers!

So Many Numbers has a brand new update, and it's a huge one. From redefining new gameplay features to a complete rewrite, let's get this changelog up and running!


Monday, September 2, 2019

Escape a Tower Version 2.6 - Futureproofing the Game


Escape a Tower version 2.6 is out! For this update, I focused on under-the-hood adjustments that help the game adapt to newer Web standards.

Offline support is back!

Previous versions of Escape a Tower would save the game to the hard disk so it can reload without Internet access. However, the method I used became deprecated, so I reluctantly removed this functionality in version 2.4.3.

That's why I'm excited to announce that offline functionality is back, using a modern Web standard called service workers. Service workers offer more robustness than before and should remain future proof for years to come. Special thanks to UpUp.js for making service workers easy to set up!

"Install" Escape a Tower

Chrome users may notice the new + button on the right of the address bar.


"Installing" Escape a Tower will launch the game in a dedicated window that functions like a native app on the computer. It'll appear on the start menu, taskbar, dock, etc!


Chrome does all of this because Escape a Tower is now a progressive web app (PWA). PWA's are a recent Web initiative that bridges the gap between Webpages and native apps.

New app icon

To adhere to Chrome's PWA guidelines, I needed a larger-sized app icon. That's why I resized and enhanced the icon a bit, which you can see the result above.

Still supports ancient browsers

Despite these new Web standards, Escape a Tower maintains its top-notch backwards compatibility, going as far back as IE5 from 1999. Those curious can download the game files and see for themselves (virtual machine highly recommended).

For everyone else, click the link below to enjoy Escape a Tower's new offline and install features.