Been a very busy 2010 so far

It has been a long time since my last post and have been fairly quiet over the last 4-5 months. 2010 so far has been a year of first and big changes.

Since January I have been working on writing my first book. It has been on my list of things to do ever since I started my career, but never really thought it would happen. So when I was approached to write one on the new Flash iPhone Packager last November I could not pass up the opportunity. It has been a really intense process and has kept me quite busy over the last 3 months. This week I will be finishing up the last few chapter edits, and it should be available sometime in June.

April 1st, 2003 was my first day at Fuel Industries, and 7 years and a week later, yesterday was my last day. The last 7 years has been an amazing journey and have learned and seen so much.  Working at Fuel has provided me with so many opportunities that I would not have had working elsewhere. The wide variety of types of projects has exposed me to so many new and different technologies, which has helped me become a better programmer. I was also fortunate enough to travel and see many parts of the world that I would not have seen on my own. The friends that I have made there will last forever, and it was hard to say goodbye to them.

So what’s next? In a couple of weeks I am going to start work at QNX here in Ottawa. QNX is a pretty cool company and you may have seen their QNX car on display at Adobe Max last year. QNX develops an operating system for embedded devices, which has a Flash layer which can be used to create interfaces and applications which run on their OS. I can’t talk about what I will be doing too much yet, but will once I get settled there.

2010 is turning out to be a pretty monumental year, and has been a great way to start a new decade. I am really looking forward to what the rest of the year and decade has in store for me. I’ll be at FiTC for Saturday and Sunday only. So if you ar0und let’s grab a drink.

Continue reading » · Rating: · Written on: 04-08-10 · 1 Comment »

AS3 SVN Library

A few months ago I started writing a svn protocol library in as3. It started with an idea for a internal tool that would allow us to select files from our svn code repository and export it and all of it’s code dependencies. And because I haven’t done a lot of work with ByteArray, or Sockets before I was pretty excited about giving this a shot. My first attempts where really rough and basic and worked for the most part, but were in no shape to be in the form of a nice library. I let it sit for a while as I was busy getting ready for FOTB and Flashpitt. Then one night I started doing some more research about the protocol and found that SVNKit, a Java SVN library, was open source. So I started going through all the source and spent a great deal of time going through how the code was structured. I couldn’t just do a straight port because of the differences that data gets returned between Java and AS3. Long story short the way they have it set up is you can make the call to the server and on the next line read the input. In AS3 you need to wait for your event to come back, and there is no guarantees that all of it is going to come back in one event either. But I was able to port some important parts like reading and writing the data. I’ve tried to keep the API’s similar, but there are instances where they just couldn’t be or didn’t make sense to. One of my goals for this project to is to make it as platform independent as possible. And by that I mean I want you to be able to use the library in the web, air, and any other Flash Player 10 player. I’ve tried to abstract out the parts that deal with writing files to disk so that this could be accomplished. But there may come a point where a feature may need AIR for whatever reason. But I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. If that feature isn’t a super high priority chances are I will leave it out just for that reason.

That all being said I just made a fairly big commit today to the google code repository. It isn’t fully featured yet and only supports the svn:// protocol. Once I get some more of that protocol completed I plan on doing the http:// protocol. In the wiki there is an example AIR app that allows you to display directories in a tree, export files and folders, as well as trace out the log for any item in the repository.

This is still a work in progress and lots to do before it gets to a really stable state. For instance the Error handling is almost non-existent but I have placed a lot of //TODO where the errors need to be thrown. I also only have 1 svn server to test on so I am not sure how running it in other environments will work out.

I have created the library to a point where I can create our internal app, so I am not entirely sure what features I will tackle next. I may try doing commit and add, but those are fairly big. So if you have any requests I am all ears.

Continue reading » · Rating: · Written on: 11-13-09 · 5 Comments »

McDonald’s Fairies And Dragons

I have been patiently waiting for the last 6 months to write this post. Back in April of 07 we started on what I think is the coolest project I have ever had the pleasure to work on. Today we launched www.fairiesanddragons.com. This is the accompanying site for the very first Interactive Digital Happy Meal Toy that we created for McDonald’s. The toy launched this month in some markets in Europe, and will continue to roll out from now until June. It is so great to finally see our idea and characters come to life online, on tv, and in stores after working on it for over a year now.

While the developing the toys, our talent and knowledge was tested on a daily basis. It was an emotional roller coaster at times, but we came away learning a lot. I have never been so proud of our Flash team, and entire production team for that matter. I will be giving a talk at FiTC next week on the development process of creating the interactive toy and some of the things we learned along the way. I will be posting some of the content from the presentation here afterwards, so if you can’t make it be sure to come back and check it out.
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If you want to read more about the overall process and see screen shots and videos, check out the case study on our site.

If you are having problems installing any of the characters off of the CD you can contact support { at } fairiesanddragons.com. Please include what Operating System you are using and the issue that you are having.

Continue reading » · Rating: · Written on: 04-16-08 · 14 Comments »

Fuel Industries Launches All Girl Arcarde

All Girl Arcade (www.allgirlarcade.com) is a brand new gaming portal for girls aged 8 – 10 developed by Fuel Industries. It’s a completely free site with the goal of helping to fill the void of great kids content online. The site is based around the adventures of Fuel’s own original characters, the All Girl Star Squad, a trio of video game champions who, thanks to their gaming skills, become the unlikely heroes to a group of wacky space creatures trying to stop the evil Raveena from turning the universe into her own personal playground.

In addition to a collection of games based on this story, the site also features console and handheld reviews, a friends network, webisodes, and a ‘mall’ where players can spend the gems they win playing games. The more you play, the more additional content and gifts you can unlock! In a sea of make-up and shopping games for girls, All Girl Arcade stands out with a great story and unique characters which give girls a chance to carve their own space in the gaming world.

Continue reading » · Rating: · Written on: 04-15-08 · No Comments »

Fuel Industries Featured in the Ottawa Citizen

Over the weekend Fuel Industries was featured in the citizen a couple of times.

The first article was on the front page of the Saturday paper and talks about our up coming Happy Meals product with McDonald’s. I will also be speaking about this at FITC this April in Toronto.

 The second article and video takes a tour of our studio and shows of some of the cool spots in the office. The video only shows a small portion of what is a really cool space.

Continue reading » · Rating: · Written on: 03-10-08 · No Comments »