Half of 2016's gone by speeding ahead. My, how time flies; it feels like it's only April!
So. I know it may look like ASBoxer (now HitShaper) is practically vaporware as there have been no updates, but I assure you (those of you who're still listening at this point, anyways) that it will be released this year. Current stage? Right now, I'm done with practically everything up to this point, and there's "only" three things left to do:
- Optimization - mostly complete, but I know for a fact that there'll always be some place where it's possible. I wonder how much of an impact it has, though, given that I'm using AIR -- the overhead of the AVM alone may make the optimization disappear into background noise in practical usage.
- Demoing - I might make a few demo videos and tutorial videos, for how complex this gets. I'm pretty sure that most users won't use all the features there are, but I'll put them up there, if only for name's sake.
- Marketing - Let's face it, this project is nigh invisible. Practically nobody knows about this. I have no idea how to market this though, given that this is quite a niche product. I'm considering a few avenues, such as:
- Self-publish it and make a few posts here and there on various sites catering to devs
- Go the swivel route, if possible. I don't know whether this will work or not, though, given that Swivel is way more useful -- that is, has a larger use case -- than this. Maybe @TomFulp can decide. IDK
- Other - ???
Anyhow. Until later next time.
Whoweee, this has been a...strange year to say the least. I'd like to say it was a whirlwind year, but in reality nothing much has happened. As such, this section will not be very long.
The end of last year marked the start of ASBoxer on suggestion of user @PsychoZombii, during a time when I had a lull in my programming - so thanks @PsychoZombii for helping me overcome my programming block! Ever since then, there have been a number of changes and improvements to it. It's slowly coming together, but there is the issue with its release - there's no specific date, as I don't want people to keep saying "it's been <x> years since <y>...when is it coming out?" (although that's still better than no interest in it, I guess). I guess I'll cross that bridge when it comes to it.
This year, around the middle, marked my entrance to university. I don't think many will know it even if I told them, hah, so I won't write it. If you really want to know, PM me or idk, doxx me or something. Whatever. As a result though, I had markedly less time.
Then there was also the case of the floods in my state...and I know I'm revealing location info, but again, whatever. It caused a lot of hassle to other people - luckily for me, I wasn't affected too much except for my semester exams being postponed to 2016 January since the campus got absolutely flooded with water haha.
Ooh and I'd also like to get this out there - my laptop suddenly stopped boring and instead started showing a black screen. Oh well, RIP you Acer laptop you served us well. At least I had my backups. Speaking of which, backup everything at least thrice, people!
Apart from that, nothing much noteworthy happened this year, I guess. Here's to 2016.
Finished overhauling the file load and save method (chucked the 'custom script' method due to lack of documentation. Oh the irony) amongst other things. I may be needing a few beta testers in awhile.
One of you fucks had better make a dayumn thread bout it.
edit: i am disappoint
All of my major projects which I'd abandoned earlier will now be moved to FD. Most of them are in AS3 so it should be no problem, but I'll probably end up rewriting everything from scratch so that I can improve on it instead of just copy and pasting the whole thing, and so that I may have the motivation to pick them up again instead of abandoning them possibly forever.
Also as for ASBoxer I've had so, so many patches and updates but forgotten to actually commit in BB and/or log the changes, so I'm at a loss for what was new since the last time I worked on it. Ah well, at least I recognize the code after a month of not touching it at all, so that's a small victory I guess.
I'm thinking of picking up on C#, HTML&CSS, Java, a (not programming) language, drawing (because why not) and possibly see if I can try the 6.001 course from MIT's OCW in the one free month or so that I have before uni begins. It's a long long long shot for what it's worth, but why the hell not.
So I screwed up something in ASBoxer...it's not too difficult (comparatively) to find out what's wrong since it's still fresh-ish in my mind, but it's still annoying. God dang I should've documented it earlier and I knew full well that I should have. Oh well there's next time I suppose.
Edit: Fixed the problem (or so it seems). I can rest easy...for now.
It's been so long since the last official commit that I forgot what the exact changes I made were (I remember a few major changes, though). Oh well, my target market's probably 1 at the moment since nobody really knows of this (and other reasons?). Anyways, now I'm making a rather large overhaul, backend-wise, since I didn't fully anticipate there being different sized rectangles for frames (say, for packed spritesheets with no definable progression); long story short, the official release is probably not going to see the light of day for a long time...
New (major) features since last (private) version:
- Saving a file as a *hbf (with all the boxes, etc.) (No load facility yet; that requires a major overhaul)
- Custom script for creating boxes and frames (used for saving hbf files)
In other news, I just finished watching the entire series of Blackadder. It was good. Too bad it doesn't seem like there's ever going to be any more after that.
(ASBoxer's still just a working title, so any suggestions are welcome!)
Pulled from the wiki of the (private) project:
What is ASBoxer? ASBoxer is a tool that is primarily used to create hitboxes and hurtboxes for spritesheets, much akin to those in fighting games and other similar games. The program outputs either an XML or a JSON file depending on your choice, and they contain the positions (x and y) and properties (width, height, box type, "layers" and user-specified "tags") of the boxes, each of which can be parsed automatically to make hitbox creation much easier on the programmer / artist / whomever concerned.
- Creating boxes for a particular image - Note that it's "boxes" for an "image"; you can create your own box types (there are two by default, hitboxes and hurtboxes) and use animated GIF files, too!
- Dockable Panels that can be split up into their own windows, sorta like GIMP + Flash
- Exporting box data to XML or JSON
- Converting spritesheets into GIF files, and vice versa (png ↔ jpg ↔ jxr)
- Previewing animations in application
- Motion tracking (planned)
- Clipboard support
- Pie Menu support
- Plugin (shader) support - Can apply effects to spritesheet
- Timeline support - kinda like Flash, with layers and frames. Frames are made by splitting a spritesheet or GIF into frame rectangles or its original frames, respectively.
- Native menus (top-bar, etc.)
There's obviously more of this in detail, which is covered in my previous post. Screenshots soon to follow! I promise the wait will be worth it.
Merry Christmas, everyone! Hope you're having a good one. I'll be away from NG and related stuff for a few days (maybe) and as a result...
I've put up ASBoxer on Bitbucket as a private project, currently looking for developers to join. Still got a lot of stuff to do but now hopefully it'll be more distributed...about 80% done (except for extra features). I still have no plans as far as distribution is concerned, I guess one option is adding it to the wiki (as part of Creator Resources) or just plain putting it on my UP and hoping someone notices?