Client-Side (old)

Javascript Calendar

Javascript Calendar

The calendar created a representation of the current month with Monday to Friday across the top and the days laid out below it with today’s date highlighted. You could also go back and see the previous month and go forwards to see the next month. Javascript was my first scripting language so I wanted to use and program with it.

I’ve found the code and posted it here. From 2001.

Having moved onto other languages you have to look at what the purpose is for each project. With something like a calendar if you just want to see the days lined up in the right order a client-side solution might be ok, but I’d suggest it may be better to make server-side for an actual website (as opposed to a test), depending on the requirements.

Flash Calculator

Below is the Flash calculator I made in May 2001 and tested for bugs over the following week. This calculator has better functionality than other flash calculators I had seen at the time, is bug-free and has a hypnotic background.

Flash Games

I made a number of test websites with Flash in the early 2000’s including a game that was like the Snake game on Nokia mobile phones at the time, and a game that was similar to minesweeper called bombsweeper. Unfortunately you have to drag the flags to where you think the mines are. I can’t remember why that was. If I were to make that game again I’d want to make it more like the game for Windows and have it as a right-click.

Bombsweeper screenshots

In 2001 I remember working my way through a “Friends of Ed” book and learning a lot of the methods designers used to create the amazing Flash effects and using them in this test site.

Then, I believe this is part of a site that was made in 2002. The 2002 Flash site expands on the import capability of Flash (I believe this is Flash version 6), uses the keyboard as an input, exports variables to a PHP page and imports a very simple XML file to display the contents. On the server side the PHP wrote to a MySQL database and created an XML file.

Mechanism of the site

The .swf files may load quickly today but back when this was made you could generally appreciate the loading animation for at least a second. One .swf is there purely as a loader for the other one with all the graphics, scripting, etc in it. There is a main menu page here and three pages lead from there, each of the four pages is an HTML page with a loader .swf and a main .swf file.

In addition to the two .swf files the slideshow loads then the flash accesses the photo files externally. This means that you don’t have to load all the files at once within the main .swf file.

Racing Game 1

The first racing game is pretty simple, you move the circular blob around the track passing through all the checkpoints. You have to hit all the checkpoints and if you stray off the track the rough terrain slows you down. Also, you are timed from the moment you cross the start line to the time you cross the finish line. This is an early example of programming, this time with Flash’s Actionscript. You create all the objects (car, track, checkpoints, background, etc) and give each one certain properties then control the game with the Actionscript.

Racing game 1: title

Racing game 1: in-play

Originally the Flash was linked to a PHP highscore table, you’d enter a name in the box at the end and it would write to an XML file. The XML file could then be imported into another .swf file and the highscores could be read from the XML and presented in a highscore table.

Racing Game 2

The main difference from the first game is that in the second racing game the blob is now more like a car that needs to be steered. The keyboard left and right arrows are your steering wheel and you must point the car in the direction you want to travel in order to navigate the course. There is also a finite amount of “boost” you can use to provide extra speed for a short amount of time.

Racing game 2: title screen

Racing game 2: in-play

At the time of writing the games are very hard to play due to the increased speed of computers in 2014 compared to 2002, maybe I could have fixed this with the coding somehow.

Other Flash Game Tests

There was also a very basic pacman-type test for a game. The yellow square has to eat all the blobs before the red square catches it. There is some kind of formula here that the red square uses to chase you and it’s not that great really. Whatever that formula was would be the first thing to change here. If I was to make a full pac game each of the four characters wuld have to have their own personalities, like in the actual game.

3D Modeling

I’d started off making some short animations in Bryce 3D. Bryce was a simple modeling program but you could get some nice textures and lighting fairly easily. I started off making some animations, the first was called “The Green Man” and had me animating a man made of green blocks and spheres. There are some animated GIFs that give an idea what the short movie was all about, below, and here is the link to the movie on youtube

The Green Man - 1The Green Man - 2

After Bryce I moved onto making scaled models of real-life objects. In around 1999 I made a couple of 3D models with Autodesk’s 3DS Max software. The first thing I tried was a scaled steel, stove-top coffee maker. Next, I measured up a Technics turntable and made a scaled, version that was complete with see-in-the-dark lights. I animated a short version of the arm swinging across and the turntable spinning but here is a static version…

3D turntable