Resharper Templates

06.12.08

I like and use Resharper because it is cheaper than CodeRush and I don't have to remember as many key commands most things are done with an alt + enter. It also works well with Unit Testing and for more yummy goodness with testing download JP's templates for Resharper.

livetemplates.xml (14.74 KB)

filetemplates.xml (3.79 KB)

I love my job

06.11.08

I love my job it's the best job in the America.

Guild Wars vs Lord of the Rings Online vs World of Warcraft

03.19.08

This post is just some vague rambling on game mechanics and character generation I am only writing it because I graduated finally with my BS degree  and I have declaired this month of the game.

I have been trying to nail down the most important part of a character in LOTRO. So in order to do this I have been comparing it to the other MMOs that I have played.

World of Warcraft: Gear gear gear. Basically everyone in the same class has the same amount of points to spend on the same skills/traits. The only thing left to diversify your character was the gear. This makes for a very addicting game specially when most of the good gear is on "X" mob located at the End of "X" dungeon and it only has a 5% drop rate and you need 15 people to get it. I think I did Upper Black Rock Spire 30+ times trying to get my Valor chest plate. That instance was about an  hour long not to mention it took about 30mins just to get a group, so I probly spent 30+ hours for one piece of equipment which I never got. Sounds like bitching but I still had fun doing it.

Guild Wars: Skill Combos. The best description I have herd for character development in Guild Wars was comparing it to a Collectable Card Game (CCG) like Magic. The Equipment was very easy to Acquire and did not give your character a major advantage. It was all about the skills and there where a million and once at the level cap everyone had the same amount of Attribute points (i.e. str, int). It was basically trial and error trying to get a cool combination of skills for the role you wanted to accomplish. You built your character like you would build a CCG deck you had 5 skills to pick out of a few hundred then adjust your gear and attributes to match the skills gimmick you where going for. It was very fun game pvp was 100x more balanced than wow and was based more on your skills instead of I have been to MC 200 times so I have the current best gear. But it didn’t have the same social feel to it that wow did, I didn’t randomly run into the guy I use to grind with at level 15 or that retarded healer I always got stuck with when grinding UBS.

LOTRO: Lord of the rings characters are driven with traits the gear is important but it comes second. The traits are acquired by grinding mobs, doing x number of quests in an area, exploring regions, or given in quest rewards. Some traits are available to everyone, some only to a given Race, some only for given class. Gear is pretty easy to come by compared to WoW. The best gear is acquired through quests, crafting, or Reputation grinding. In the end when you are at the level cap it all comes down to if you can play, all players are diverse in there equipment and build but more or less equally effective (unless you are retarded or cant read English) there isn’t much of an Elitist factor.

Likes/Dislikes

World of Warcraft Likes: Because of the gear driven nature the economy for WOW was HOT. The Auction House was always on fire, it was a game in its self buying low selling high. Also It was really rewarding once you finally got that set of armor or that kick ass weapon you have been trying to get for the past month or two.

World of Warcraft Dislikes: Competitive/Elitist nature. You can tell from a mile off who is the noob and who is the shit this was a turn off for me because I am not online 24 hours a day but I am competitive it was a hard pill to swallow knowing I couldn’t enjoy all aspects of the game because I was on the more casual side of the players. Casual meaning I played at least 4 hours a day for over a year! There isn’t really an engaging story line.

Guild Wars Likes: It has a story! The level grind is really easy or non existent if you just want to pvp. Finding and capturing skill is fun. You can change your character play style at a whim given the role you want to fulfill.

Guild Wars Dislikes: Being that it isn’t really a Full MMORPG it is missing some of the basics like an Auction House and the ability to link Items in chat. I also like having some non-instanced areas that you can play in. It can be fun to randomly run into some one and group up.

LOTRO Likes: I like the story, the middle earth lore, engaging environments. It’s full of non essential fluff that has no other purpose than just being fun. It’s a very casual player friendly game. I really love just exploring in this game I have had some of the best experiences I have ever had in an mmo just wondering around in this game.

LOTRO Dislikes: PVP kind of sucks, the auction house is not really active and deed grinding can get old. Other than that it’s my favorite so far.

Post Seattle Code Camp

01.28.08

I spent my weekend attending Seattle code camp sessions. I learned a lot, but one of the biggest things I learned is how much I still don't know. My experience as a developer is limited I have yet to reach 2 years developing professionally and I am still in school currently working on my last quarter for my BS. I like to think that I am a good developer but speaking to people at the code camp is a nice ego check and I still have a long way to go before I can reach the status of elite alpha geek. My goals as a developer this year is to really dive into WCF and to study the code put out by the Patterns & Practices guys at Microsoft, specifically the Enterprise Library and Smart Client. What I really need is a chip I can insert behind my ear and just download the knowledge and experience I need, I cant seem to consume information fast enough otherwise.

One thing I would like to know is the process of how other people obtain deep knowledge of a subject not just an overview.  I am open to opinions please give me your 2 cents by Email Aaron@thesprage.com or leave a comment.

Eponymous Laws Of Software Development

08.22.07

Do you want to sound smart, impress your friends, increase your chances of scoring next time you go out on a night on the town? Take a look at Phil Haack's blog post on 19 Eponymous Laws Of Software Development.

My Favorites are Sturgeon's Revelation Ninety percent of everything is crud (it seems to me to have a duel meaning crud = Create Update and delete or crud = crap) and Hofstadter's Law A task always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law.

 

Getting Started with .Net Development

06.08.07

I am really impressed with the amount of developer support being put out by Microsoft; everything you need to get started is pretty much free. You can download the Express version of Visual Studios and it gives you a majority of its big brothers features which is 300$ IDE, the most notable difference is that the express version is not pluggable. There are different flavors of Visual Studio express, one for windows, web with AJAX, hardware/robotics and game /XNA development.  Although the free IDE is nice and I use visual studio as my primary development tool I am totaly blown away with the amount of resources available for learning. I am not talking about the MSDN Library, most of the time the MSDN documentation just confuses me, but webcast live and On Demand, podcasts and virtual labs are fantastic. There is tons of time worthy information put up here for beginning and advance programmers. It’s the first place I go to when I am trying to learn a new technology. I hear a lot of trash talked about Microsoft everywhere I go but I feel they have the best development support out there.

The One Game to Rule Me.

05.01.07

I feel like a recovering crack addict who fell off the wagon. I have an addiction problem with MMOs, I was stuck on World of Warcraft for about a year I could not stop playing it, it wasn't until my computer had a melt down and I was forced to take a break that I acutely was able to quit the Wow habit. I was clean for almost a year, I focused on school and learning more programming, but I found my self a new drug it is called The Lord of the Rings Online, I am ashamed to say that it is eating my sole all ready. I love Middle-Earth and the amount of lore these guy put into it is amazing, wondering around this immense world really makes you feel like you are adventuring in the same one as Bilbo and Frodo. I am trying my best to limit my fanatic zeal for playing this game but my attempts are weak and you can probly find me online I am on the server Arkenstone, and my name is Grubz hope to see you in game.

Switching to C# from VB.Net

04.05.07

My current job requires me to jump on the band wagon and start coding in the C# syntax for .Net. For the last year I have been coding in VB.Net and doing all my blog examples in VB.Net and I really started to enjoy that language. The My namespace allowed for quick access to a number of common functions, key words such as AndAlso and OrElse eliminated the need for extra if statements, the background compiler was great finding errors instantly, the VB.Net code is formatted automatically for you (in C# I find my self having to hit ctr+K+D a lot and some times still have to format braces my self), and the lack of {}.[], <>, and () makes the language easy to read.
    My switch to C# was relatively easy I can't quite code as fast as I am able to in VB.Net and I still try to write Dim, forget semicolons, and other little syntax issues like that. I like that C# seems to hide less from you than VB.Net one example is just having the namespace automatically at the top of the page. C# is also less wordy than VB.Net and I can see more of the code that is important to me at one time. Maybe its just because I am new to the language but C# seems to have less ambiguous ways of doing things as well, witch seems to make code from programmer to programmer more consistent. Example of this is casting int from a string in VB you can use Cint(str), Ctype(str,int), Integer.Parse(str), and Val(str). There are a lot of other instances of this in VB.Net I think it has a lot to do with helping the VB 6.0 coders with there transition to .Net.
    All and all it is a refreshing change and I like going back to “C” derived syntax I believe to progress as a programmer you really need to experience in multiple languages.

Long Time No Post

04.02.07

Its been a wile sense my last post but I have a good excuse. My blog was contending with finals from last quarter and a new job. I am now working for The PBA as a C# application developer and I love it.  It is a great opportunity and I get to work with great people. But now that I have finally settled in too my new job and new quarter of school I can continue my quest for mastering patterns I have already started working on a good example of the strategy pattern and will have it completed and posted by the end of the week. Cheers all I have to catch my bus.

 

Microsoft Home Server

01.12.07

I just found out about Microsoft Home Server it was unveil at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. I am very excited about the possibilities of this product it sounds like its main purpose is backing up your Data, File Share, and Remote data access. This is awsome for people like me who have a media center computer, laptop, and a desktop. The best description I can find so far is an interview Tod did from Geek News Central Pod Cast.