Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Open Source Flash Development

Who says this blog isn't multi-interest?

I have decided to do some Macromedia Flash development, and in my usual frugal vein I am using open source tools. Here is what I am using:

  • Eclipse IDE v3.3.2 (Europa)
  • Motion-Twin ActionScript 2 compiler (v1.14)
  • ActionScript Development Kit (ASDT)
  • Flashout (Eclipse Plugin) (v0.2.1.6)
Making this all work together is all nicely written up on the communitymx website here.

I encountered some problems, mostly version based, with getting the HelloWorld example to work.
  • The "New Folder" right-click command is apparently not enabled by default for the ActionScript perspective in Eclipse 3.3.2. To fix this, customize the perspective, choose the "General" shortcut category and check "folder" (and probably also "file".)
  • The "core" linked directory in the example will not be created. A newer version of Motion Twin uses "std8" instead. No biggie, but a difference.
  • And speaking of std8, the Eclipse preferences for Flashout want to know the "Directory of Macromedia's core classes." Give it the sdt8 subdir of the Motion Twin installation dir.
  • The file required for compilation contains code that is not compatible with the newer version of Motion Twin. The "TRACE" function is now "trace", and no I don't know why. Open with a text editor and replace every instance of TRACE with trace. I recommend Wordpad if you use windows, since it has a replace function and treats the carriage returns in the file with respect, unlike notepad. For future covenience (read: laziness) I put it in the std8 directory in the Motion Twin install dir.
One issue I have not gotten to work is the suggestion menus for the Flashout class while editing the ActionScript class files. I'm afraid that when I move to multiple class files that one won't recognize the classes in another. It seems to compile and work okay, but it would be nice if the compiler gave some indication that it knows what I'm talking about. Yes, I've tried putting it in the source directories for the project.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Land Raider Redeemer Re-assembly

Last night I broke out the airbrush to start the Land Raider Redeemer base color. I've never built a Land Raider before, and apparently I fell into a classic assembly error. My error: I didn't sandwich the doors/control panel in between the body halves. I don't feel too bad, since I didn't have instructions. A few bonesaw swipes, some superglue and a wasted evening later, the pieces were back together and waiting for paint.

I'm excited to paint this, even though it's only for eBay. The priming has gone fairly well, with no discernible texture resulting from the spray can. The Iandan Darksun basecoat will make a nice undercoat for the golden yellow I'm making it.

One interesting Land Raider observation... if I put a pilot on top in the hatch and stick a pintle mounted Storm Bolter in front of him, it can still be fired by the Machine Spirit, right? It's odd to think of being there in the hatch and having the vehicle just wrest control of the gun right out from under you so it can shoot at something the rest of the tank was ignoring.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Codex: Space Marines... am I missing something?

Codex: Orks was filled with "huh?" moments. Are dakka-guns on bikes twin linked? What is the actual profile of a dakka gun? Can Stormboyz Waaagh? Can a mob of boyz with shootas have a Nobs with a power klaw, etc.

Codex: Space Marines is starting to cause me some head scratching. First up is the ubiquitous Signum, a sensor previously used by Techmarines to improve shooting of the squad to which they are attached. The rules for the Signum have been changed to prevent it from being used as "Gets Hot! Insurance." Instead of rolling misses (and 1's are misses!) it improves the ballistic skill of a squad member. Great! The only problem is that nobody can take one. The Techmarine doesn't have a signum in his wargear anymore and he can't buy one. In fact, no model that I can find has an option to take a signum now. Did I just miss it?
EDIT: Devastator squad sergeant gets a Signum by default now.

Next, the Razorback! First off, I love the option to have different weapon options than the heavy bolter/lascannon of the last edition. The one that I wonder about is the lascannon/plasma gun combo. In the roster entry, the upgrade specifies a single lascannon and a twin linked plasma gun. On the main page describing the Razorback a variant is described that includes a single lascannon and two twin linked plasma guns. Based on the Ork FAQ using the description page over the roster page I'm guessing it will end up as two twin linked plasma guns, so I'm going to delay modeling one of these until I know for sure. The twin linked assault cannon would use the same turret mount as a Land Raider twin linked assault cannon, but I don't know if the regular Land Raider box includes that particular bit or just the twin linked heavy bolter. The new plastic Crusader / Redeemer box has a twin linked assault cannon bit, but both variants use it. Any Land Raider owners out there want to help me out with this info?
EDIT: I completely misread this. It's "single lascannon and twin-linked plasma guns." One twin linked gun, just like it says in the army composition page.

Honor guard / Command Squad / Servitors: Both the Honor Guard and Command Squad have text that indicate that their inclusion does not take up an additional HQ slot. The servitor squad entry does not have similar text. Does that imply that servitors will take up an elite slot? I hope not. Also, am I missing something or do the independent characters no longer have to be attached to the squads they allow? Text seems to imply that the servitor squad can exist without the techmarine; there are even rules specifically based on the techmarine not being in the squad, and I'm guessing that's not just a "techmarine dies" rule.

Donut Cake Redux

Today is my department's staff picnic thing, and I (was) volunteered to bring a dessert. The coffee/donut cake a couple posts ago was a trial run for what I wanted to bring to the picnic. I made a few changes to the process, as follows:

Make the cake as per the directions on the box, substituting strong coffee (or espresso) for the water in the recipe. It's only 1 1/4 C, so it won't overpower the cake with coffee taste.

Use all large, round donuts (torus, not sphere shaped, would be more accurate I suppose.) Donut holes just didn't work out well. I might try using a chocolate covered cake donut in a future iteration. Try stuff out and tell me how it worked.

Glaze Topping:
1/4 C melted butter / margarine
2 C powdered sugar
1/4 tsp Vanilla extract
mix well, then add 2 Tbsp milk

And remember, it's better to be fat and happy than just fat.