2013-03-29

How to Update GameMaker License/Version

It may not be readily apparent how you can upgrade from GameMaker: Studio Standard version to professional or the master collection. But, one picture can talk you through it.
Menu->Help->Update License, then type in the licence key you were emailed.
~ Simply Advanced ~



How to Save Money When Upgrading GameMaker

GameMaker is a great cross-platform game development tool. It is great for making 2D games very fast and with one code base, GameMaker can export to all major platforms, including Windows Phone, Windows 8, Android, iOS, Linux (Ubuntu), Mac, HTML5 and more. GameMaker is well worth its price.

But, I'm here to save you more money. Myself and others have purchased the GameMaker: Studio Standard version ($49) and wanted to upgrade to GameMaker: Studio Professional version ($99).

If you have purchased the standard version, then the professional version will only cost $50. What you need is your standard version's license key to save money. If you don't have it, then retrieve it at: http://www.yoyogames.com/my_licences

Then, when you go to the Buy Professional page. You can input your license key to save money on the upgrade. Click Upgrade as soon as enter the key. See picture below.
Save money when upgrading.

As soon as you click Upgrade the total price will be updated to show changes. Congrats, you just saved $50!

You can save money when upgrading from any [paid] version of GameMaker when using this method. This includes going from GameMaker Lite (8.1) to GameMaker: Studios.
Official GameMaker License Upgrades Summary


~ Simply Advanced ~

ps - There's another deal going on now for the GameMaker: Studio Master Collection version. Typically, it is $499. But, until the March 31th, it will be on sale for $199 for Professional users. So, about $300 total. More details: http://www.yoyogames.com/news/145



2013-03-26

Nounized Verbs and Verbled Nouns

Any verb can be nounized, and any noun can be verbled..

~ Simply Advanced ~



2013-03-25

I'm a Procrastinator, That's Why/How I Get So Much Done

Let me say it again, I'm a procrastinator, that's why/how I get so much done.

I'll explain...

I'm all about efficiency and productivity, but recently I've come to the realization that productivity doesn't just have to be about learning new things and writing more code. It can include hanging out with friends and exercise. I was about to write relaxing also, but, to me, learning and producing code is the same thing as relaxing.

Procrastination is putting something off until later.

..an extension of that...

Productive Procrastination is doing something worthwhile while procrastinating.

Feel free to define worthwhile any way you choose. Probably not regretting the event would be one minimum requirement of worthwhile.

One example that I gave in a speech recently was about watching The Walking Dead. If you really enjoy watching The Walking Dead and want to keep up with it every week, then that is productive procrastination. If you watch the next show afterwards just because it looks cool or interesting, then you are procrastinating. When you watch even more shows after that just because you don't want to move or change the channel, then you are being lazy.

Being lazy and being a procrastinator are two completely different things.

I procrastinate some work because it is not as intriguing as other work that I eventually would have to do anyways.

As long as I'm always doing something, then I can be fine with that. It doesn't always have to be the most urgent or important thing.

You always hear about people saying to stop procrastinating and that you should never procrastinate. But, I'm here to tell you that you should procrastinate [and need] to procrastinate.

Sometimes, you just have to have fun and enjoy yourself, enjoy life; And, forget about all other things you have to do for a little while.

If you can think of two things that you have to do, then you must procrastinate one over the other. You typically can't do two things at once (multitask); You can only switch between the tasks very fast so that it seems like you are doing two things at once. But, that is for another post.

You are going to procrastinate.

Procrastination creates time and motivation. You are highly motivated to not do something, so much that you'll do your taxes. Or people who procrastinate their taxes will enjoy a clean and organized room. There are many more examples that I don't feel like getting into.

Use can use what other people consider a flaw to your advantage.

When you are working on a project and feel you are going nowhere, get up from the desk and procrastinate productively. Get something done, like eating, exercise, nap, brainstorm, reading. Each one of those examples could provide you with a creativity boost to help you on your project.

80-20 Rule
>
Crunch time.

You could spend an entire day writing a paper, or you can spend just a couple of hours writing the paper right before it is due. Either way, it's pretty much going to be the same quality. Except, with one method you will have more free time to do things you want to do. (Warning: This line of reasoning does not apply to all examples)

If I didn't procrastinate, then I wouldn't have been able to go to the beach, go rock climbing, or complete the development of another Android app. All last week. This is what I consider to be worthwhile and productive procrastination. I was procrastinating creating a speech about productive procrastination. It truly shows that I live by that word.

I've gotten quite a few unexpected job offers just because I am friends with many people. That never would have happened if I didn't hang out with anybody. Research agrees that most people are hired through recommendations and word-of-mouth rather than through job listings such as Monster.com.

Students with 4.0 GPAs don't necessarily do better in life than students who graduate with a 3.0 GPA.

Plan of Action.

The key to productive procrastination is to have a long list of things to accomplish and place something like "learn a language" at the very top. John Perry, philosophy professor at Stanford and author of "The Art of Procrastination", says "the trick is to put the right sorts of projects for the top of the list. The ideal sorts of things have two characteristics. First, they seem to have clear deadlines (but really don't). Second, they seem awfully important (but really aren't)."

The most productive people you know are putting something off.

So, START PROCRASTINATING TODAY!

#ProductiveProcrastination

~ Simply Advanced ~

ps - I'm currently working on a large programming project and using this as my little break. The more I put into it, ... I need to stop writing now.



2013-03-23

How To Publish a Windows 8 App Using GameMaker: Studio

This post is going to be one of my longer ones, but no worries. It still contains only the minimum amount of work needed to get done before you have the ability to publish. Here's the official YoYo Games' GameMaker Setup walkthroughhttp://help.yoyogames.com/entries/22361996-Setup-GameMaker-Studio-for-Windows-8

It has some good stuff, but not good enough. You'll be back here in order to successfully publish the Windows 8 app.


So, in this walkthrough, I will show you how to properly create the Windows 8 application for upload, using GameMaker: Studio.

I'll assume you already have:




1. First of all, make sure you have the proper GameMaker program. There are mainly two different ones to choose from. Choose one from http://www.yoyogames.com/gamemaker/studio and you must pay at least the $49.99 in order to publish to Windows 8. You must also have Microsoft Visual Studios 2012 installed.

2. The second biggest problem is not choosing the right target platform. Currently, you must choose "Windows 8 (Javascript)" option from the Target menu near the top (see pic below). Note: If you are using GameMaker in Windows 8, then choosing this method is the only way to save the project too. Having a target of regular Windows causes an error.
Platform target menu circled in red


3. Third, from the menu up top, choose File->Preferences->Windows 8. You should see something that looks like the following screen.

All this was setup for me automatically because I have created a Windows 8 app before. If these fields are not inputted, then please read http://help.yoyogames.com/entries/22361996-Setup-GameMaker-Studio-for-Windows-8. I can't describe the Preferences screen better than that (towards the bottom of the link).

4. Now that the GameMaker Preferences are set up, it is time to setup you project's Global Game Settings.
Double-click to open the Global Game Settings

This is where all other GameMaker to Windows 8 tutorials get messed up. What you need to do is open up Visual Studios 2012 and create a new basic Javascript project. It doesn't matter what you name it (for this tutorial let's call it GameMakerTest). Now, you need to reserve your app name (to ensure that it is available), associate the app with the store to get the package name, and create an app package to get the needed certificate. Where to find these options depends on if you have Visual Studios Express or Full.

4.1. To reserve your app name:

Express: In the menu bar up top: Store->Reserve App Name
Full: In the menu bar up top: Project->Store->Reserve App Name

(A new tab in your browser will open, titled "Submit an app")

Click on "App Name", which should be highlighted in blue in the middle of the screen. Then name your app. Your first choice may be taken already, so choose again. Remember this name because you will use it later back in GameMaker. Don't close this screen because you will use it again after inputting the details into GameMaker.

4.2. To associate app with the Windows Store and get the package name.

Express: In the menu bar up top: Store->Associate app with store
Full: In the menu bar up top: Project->Store->Associate app with store

Sign in with your Microsoft account. Navigate the screens and choose the one that app name that you just reserved for your GameMaker game. (Tip: The last screen shows some helpful information, like your publisher display name, if you don't remember it. You'll need to type that into GameMaker in step 5.)


4.3. To compile app and get a Windows 8 app certificate (to be used later in GameMaker):
Express: In the menu bar up top: Store->Create App Packages
Full: In the menu bar up top: Project->Store->Create App Packages

Sign in with your Microsoft account. You should see the app name that you just resevered, if not, then check the only checkbox that is there. You will need to know both the App Name and Package Identity in the Store. For this tutorial, I'm just going to say copy this information in your favorite text editor for now.
Your names and identities will be different than mine.
Highlight your app name that you want to submit. Click Next. Click Create. Click on the output location link so that the file explorer opens. Navigate one level up by clicking the up button. (You don't need to run the certification kit. It wouldn't work for you at this juncture anyways.)

The file you need here for GameMaker will be called _StoreKey.pfx (Ex: GameMakerTest_StoreKey.pfx). Keep this file explorer open so that you know where to find this file later in GameMaker.

5. Bring your project in GameMaker to the front again. You should still have Global Game Settings open on the Windows 8 tab. I will now walk you through what should go in each of the options.

Display Name - Put in the App Name that your reserved using Visual Studios
Package Name - Use the "Package Identity in the Store" value here. I told you to write this in your favorite text editor.
Package Display Name - Basically, the short name for your Display Name. It can be the same or a condensed version of it.
Publisher Display Name - What is your publisher display name when you created your Windows 8 Developer account? (It probably cost $49, or free if you are a student)
Version - Doesn't really matter. Just make sure it is higher than your last submission.

Each of the images that you see on this screen should be updated before publishing to Windows 8. So, go ahead and do that now. Don't close this screen yet. Come back here after you finish.

Currently, you should be in the General tab of the Windows8 tab in the Global Game Settings. On the left side, click the Installation tab. This is where you need to navigate to the PFX file (Ex: GameMakerTest_StoreKey.pfx). After you do that, click Install. Windows PowerShell will pop up and things will start to look very technical. Just read the options and continue moving forward. Close the Global Game Settings when you are done.

6. All the hard steps are finished. Now it's time to go to the menu bar, File->Create Application. Save it to your location of choice.

Navigate to the location you created the application. Click on the folder, then AppPackages. The *.appxupload is the file you will submit on the Windows website that you should still have open in your browser if you followed this walkthrough word for word.

UPDATE: After running through it again, I found out that you don't need to do step 4.3 if you do step 4.2. Associating the app with the store creates the certificate key. But, I'm leaving step 4.3 in just because it is easier to navigate to the file that way. Just know that next time you do this, you can remember where you save the project to and skip a step.


Please let me know if this walkthrough helped at all or if I should put in any more information. I spent about an hour creating this... after first learning how it do it myself which took much longer. =]

~ Simply Advanced ~



2013-03-20

Connect to Remote Database

Today, I tried three popular programs of connecting to a remote database. In this post I will compare the pros and cons of each of the methods. My motivation was to find a method to share access to a single database and not be able to see or access any other databases on my server. [My server (Bluehost), doesn't allow access to phpMyAdmin without going through CPanel.]

First, the summary:
 - I would use HeidiSQL for speed, responsiveness, and ease of use.
 - I would use phpMyAdmin if I wasn't on my own computer with HeidiSQL installed.
 - I wouldn't use MySQL Workbench at this time nor recommend for beginners.


HeidiSQL:
 - Very quick to learn
 - Shows exactly what I need to get started. (See lower-right window in the HeidiSQL screenshot below)
 - Very clean method of organizing everything.
 - Con: Must be downloaded first in order to work.

http://www.heidisql.com/


PhpMyAdmin:
 - Available with just about every server; on CPanel.
 - When setting up a remote login for team members, it took just 5 minutes. All I had to do was download the files from the site and upload it to my server. Then anybody can access the URL and see the login page.
 - Con: Seems a little show at times.

http://www.phpmyadmin.net/home_page/


MySQL Workbench:
 - Harder to begin with.
 - Couldn't easily show table data.
 - When first starting, user is presented with a flood of information which was a turn off for me.
 - The interface may seem a little cleaner at first, but that comes at a cost of not being able to find functionalities quickly and easily. In order to efficiently use this MySQL Workbench, user needs to spend time looking through all the menus and right-clicking everything. My first thought about the program was that it was missing basic functionalities like being able to show data from the tables. But, I eventually found the function.
 - The screenshot below show this program using null to describe the data in the first row. Having null values in each cell is different that not having any rows of data...

http://www.mysql.com/products/workbench/



I'd love to hear your comments, reviews, and comparisons of these and other programs.

~ Simply Advanced ~

Disclaimer: I only tested each of these programs for about 5-10 minutes before drawing a conclusion. So, this can be used as a judgement for learning curve.



2013-03-19

How To Collapse/Fold Code in Eclipse

The attached screenshot has everything you need to know about collapsing all the code and comments. The official name of it is called folding code.

If Ctrl+Shift+NumPad_Divide doesn't work, then you may have to remap the key via the Window->Preferences->Android->Key as seen on the left side of the screenshot.

If your device doesn't have a NumPad_Divide, then you may right-click on the narrow vertical bar where the little (+) looking things appear and the option will appear as show.



~ Simply Advanced ~



2013-03-11

GameMaker Versus GameMaker Studio

This post will answer the following questions and more like them:

  • "What is the difference between GameMaker 8.1 for Windows and GameMaker Studio?"
  • "Can I upgrade from GameMaker for Windows/Mac to GameMaker Studio?"
  • "Why doesn't the GameMaker licence key work?"

A quick search on the Internet for the above queries and the like do not give an answer. So, I just downloaded both of them and messed with available functions to figure it out. The following gives a basic overview of the differences between the two, which would have helped me when I was first starting. These are all the problems that I encountered when beginning.

  1. The regular GameMaker 8.1 for Windows (version 7 for Mac) is only for creating executables (.exe's) of games and easy exporting to YoYo Games for showcase. This is the version that can be upgraded for $39.99.
  2. No, GameMaker for Windows/Mac is different than the GameMaker Studio suite. I purchased the GameMaker: Studio™ Standard, got the licence key, and tried it multiple times in the GameMaker 8.1 Lite, but it didn't work.
  3. The GameMaker licence key probably doesn't work because you are trying to use a Studio key on the basic version or vise-versa. You need to download the GameMaker Studio version, then input the licence key there. There is also a link to download the proper version in the confirmation email that you will receive.

I hope this helps.

~ Simply Advanced ~



2013-03-06

Duct Tape Wallet

I created my first duct tape wallet today on a whim. The entire process was time-lapsed by my camera; Every two seconds a picture was taken. It took the length of about three YouTube videos to complete the wallet.

  • Android Design in Action - 37'07"
  • Neil deGrasse Tyson: Atheist or Agnostic - 3'49"
  • Beach Volleyball Women's - 41'20"




~ Simply Advanced ~



2013-03-04

Answered: Outlook 2010 Not Able To Send Emails

Suddenly, I couldn't send emails anymore through Outlook, I could only receive. No settings were changed since when I first set up Outlook 2010 about two months ago.

I searched five minutes online and found a few promising answer, but no solutions. Anyways, the solution that worked for me was to change to using the SSL server instead of the regular mail.domain.com server. After changing the incoming and outgoing server addresses, mail in Outlook works again. In order to find the SSL addresses, look at the properties of your email provider. (This method was only tested connecting to Bluehost mail servers)


Other answer or way get Outlook to be able to send emails again:

  • Go to File->Account Settings->Account Settings->Double-click on the problem email.Then check the box that says "Require logon using Secure Password Authentication (SPA)"


If none of those solutions helped, then Microsoft provides a comprehensive guide on troubleshooting Outlook 2010.

~ Simply Advanced ~



2013-03-02

The Basic Laws Of Human Stupidity by Carlo M. Cipolla

According to Carlo M. Cipolla, there are five basic laws surrounding human stupidity.

I just learned about these laws within the past week. And I especially liked the definition of stupid for the third basic law.

1. Always and inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation.
2. The probability that a certain person will be stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person.
3. A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.
4. Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of stupid individuals. In particular non-stupid people constantly forget that at all times and places and under any circumstances to deal and/or associate with stupid people always turns out to be a costly mistake.
5. A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person.

As a bonus, here is a TEDx video titled, "Think Stupid" which talks about stupidity and creativity and how they are both related. Ex: Some people can come up with "stupid" ideas that I never would have thought of.

~ Simply Advanced ~