Saturday, February 19, 2011

Been WAAAAAY Too Long

Well, it's been a LONG time since I've posted, but we've had a LOT going on here. To give a quick run-down:
  • The 9-5 got interesting at the end of the year as my contract may have ended abruptly. Thankfully it didn't, but it was still quite a bit of shock that it might have happened.
  • The spousal unit got REALLY sick. Sick to the point where she's still on short-term disability from HER job trying to recover. And when she does recover, she likely won't have said job. *sigh* She's been overly prone to illness lately because...
  • The spousal unit is PREGNANT! Yeah, trust me - it was a surprise. A wonderful one, no doubt, but a surprise nonetheless. SO much to do and so little time. Due date is May 2nd and his name is going to be Andrew Ximun William. Yeah, we're sort of into two middle names. His big sister is just thrilled that she's going to be a big sister. :)
Other than that, the work I've decided to tackle for Alpha 4 is the meat of the project - two player, server-based games. That's requiring a lot of doing both PHP and Objective-C, but things are progressing. I've gotten a lot accomplished over the past few days, getting friends lists into the database and retrievable. I just finished creating accounts/logging into an existing account code. Took longer than I'd hoped but it came together nicely at the end. I'm storing hashed passwords (obviously) in the DB, but when I looked at the size of the hash I calculated half the size it really was, so I couldn't log in (because the two hashes didn't match - I wonder why?). I finally got that sorted out and things have progressed wonderfully since then.
Today has been a day about friends and creating games. I've got code in there to randomly find an opponent who's similarly rated (I'm using a modified Elo system for rankings). The idea is that you'll play someone who won't completely blow you away - unless you choose a friend who so far-outclasses you that it's ridiculous. Good thing is that Elo takes that into account and more than 400 point ratings differences tend to result in no change (as the result is practically guaranteed).
Searching for an opponent by their email is almost there as well. I just need to hook up the iOS code to do the query, but the PHP is solid on the back-end. One thing that I haven't done yet and I really need to make sure happens before release is to bullet-proof the PHP back-end. PHP is generally derided for being not-as-security-rich as some other technologies. If you've got pretty confined entry/exit points, though, I think it can be pretty solid. Regardless, in the interest of getting Alpha 4 done and out to testers I've neglected that, but it will need to happen for Alpha 5/Beta 1.
Also thrown into the mix is a new website design. I think I'm getting a lot closer to actually finishing this bloody project and I thought the old design (while state of the art in 2001) has not aged well and was in sore need of replacement. I've gone with a Wordpress front end, but I need to tweak the hell out of it to make it more aligned with my ideas. There are some things that I'm not grokking from the posting/pages side of things with WP, but I'll beat up on it once I'm done with Alpha 3.
So, that's it from here for now. LOTS happening, but hopefully this will be done by May and I can take my paternity leave in the knowledge that I've got my game in the App Store paying for at least some of the diapers we'll need to get.