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Chris G. Williams Beware: I mix tech and personal interests here. Heroic Adventure! stuff only about HA!
writing sample
The following is an excerpt from a story I'm working on. Writing fiction is a lot harder than blogging. Writing interesting fiction even harder still... so take this for what it is. A rough, first attempt. enjoy (or avoid... your choice.) Lathan swung his axe for what felt like the thousandth time that day, turning, ducking and swinging as blood and gore flew past his head. For every orc the warrior took down, it seemed as though another stepped in to continue the fight. “Where the hell is Shawna?” ......

Posted On Sunday, June 29, 2008 10:30 PM

Heroic Adventure! now with automatic updates
I've been playing with ClickOnce at work lately, and I like it, so I decided to publish HA! with it. HA! really is the perfect application for it, since there are no external dependancies (other than .NET 2.0) and it doesn't care where you put it. I'll also be able to tap into the ClickOnce On-Demand API (which you can't do unless its running under ClickOnce) and pull down updates automatically in the background. The project along with all the sourcecode, bug tracking, etc is all still hosted on ......

Posted On Monday, June 16, 2008 8:54 AM

The Gygax
I've been struggling with how to properly pay my respects to someone I never met in person, but that had such a tremendous impact on my life. I've looked at all the various tributes and cartoons, and I've heard the stories about people getting together in WoW and City of Heroes (and even City of Villains), setting aside their weapons and talking about what a huge effect Gary Gygax and D&D had on their lives. 3 days later, I'm still at a loss for words. You know, how to really express how unbelievably ......

Posted On Friday, March 7, 2008 10:55 AM

Mersenne Twister code
I recently posted the VB.NET Mersenne Twister code (rewritten from C# courtesy of Paul Vick) over at ILoveVB.NET. If you haven't looked at it before, it's pretty neat stuff. It wasn't even possible in VB.NET 1.1 because of a lack of support for unsigned integers, with VB.NET 2.0 that problem went away. If you don't know what a Mersenne Twister is, or why I would want one over, say, System.Random or System.Security.Cryptograph... then you may want to read this fine piece of ......

Posted On Tuesday, February 19, 2008 3:05 PM

Dwarf Fortress - how did I never hear about this?
From the DF wiki: Dwarf Fortress is an ASCII game which includes both a roguelike adventure mode, and the more popular Dwarf Fortress Mode, which focuses on the creation and survival of a small dwarven settlement. It has a very steep learning curve, partly due to its ASCII graphics, but also due to the fact that it is one of the most complex games ever released. Dwarf Fortress is completely free. Before you play, you must generate a world to play in, which persists until you create a new one. World ......

Posted On Wednesday, February 27, 2008 10:45 AM

The best week ever...
This just might be the best week ever, or at least the best one in a long time... Sunday I watched the new Knight Rider which was a lot of fun. I hope they make it a series. My tablet finally showed up yesterday and its working GREAT. My XBOX 360 has been repaired and is on it's way. (edit: FedEx says it will be here tomorrow.) I just finished tech editing a (IMO) terrific VB 2008 book for O'Reilly. Yesterday I got a nice letter from Microsoft, not just informing me about my MVP status & benefits ......

Posted On Wednesday, February 20, 2008 2:24 PM

HA! 0.1.6f
HA! 0.1.6f hit CodePlex tonight after a very long period of no activity on my part. The main purpose of this update is to provide a couple minor bugfixes and most importantly a working build again. I'm not sure how it happened, but HA! sat in a broken state for a long time. I would occasionally try to fix it, but there was a good bit of code "missing." I eventually found it all again, and got it working. Once that was taken care of, I actually found myself in the mood to work on HA! again and spent ......

Posted On Monday, February 18, 2008 11:58 PM

HA! mentioned on Dot Net Rocks

Recently HA! got mentioned on DotNetRocks.  (If you're interested, it's here at around the 30 minute mark.)

The whole show, about Open Source, is actually quite good. So even if you don't care about HA!, give the show a listen.


Posted On Monday, December 17, 2007 12:44 PM

Game Development w/ ADD
One of the fun things about working on HA! is all the neat ideas I come up with while coding. Annnnd, one of the downsides of having ADD (not AD&D) is all the neat ideas I come up with while coding. Today was a good example of both. I was working on the overland encounters code for HA! and was getting pretty deep into the factors that determine whether you... {Edit: ADD in action, I just stepped away to grab a drink of water and then I watched about half a game of "Ticket to Ride, sold a guy ......

Posted On Saturday, May 12, 2007 7:05 PM

Shared Source vs Open Source and a new home.
Yesterday, when I mentioned the possibility of taking HA! open source, I got some terrific feedback (more than expected, in fact) in my comments section and also some private emails. One of the emails suggested I look into the Microsoft Shared Source Initiative instead of some of the more restrictive Open Source licensing options I had mentioned previously. (FYI: The licenses published on this site are intended for people using MS source code, but it wouldn't take much tweaking to adapt one of them ......

Posted On Friday, July 21, 2006 4:39 AM

TinkyWinky takes a walk... (aka AutoWalk part 2)
If you're too lazy to type in a name when creating a character in HA! I give you one randomly chosen from a list. Sometimes it's the name of a friend, like Robin, or it's androgynous, like Pat. Sometimes it's just silly, like TinkyWinky or IneedaName. So lately, in an effort to test and refine the autowalk feature, I've been creating a lot of characters that I didn't care much about. As with most manual testing, you often discover stuff along the way, while focusing on something else entirely. I've ......

Posted On Sunday, March 18, 2007 10:25 PM

In roguelike games, like HA!, there is a feature called "autowalk" that is part timesaver and part AI. When your hero is walking down a long (and possibly curvy) hallway, instead of hitting the arrow keys 40-50 times to get where you are going, most Roguelikes let you hit "w" and a directional key. The intent is that your character will walk in the direction (including making corridor turns) until it reaches an obstacle. These obstacles can be anything from a door, an intersection, or an encounter. ......

Posted On Sunday, March 4, 2007 9:01 PM

New HA! build.... 0.1.6e

New HA! prerelease build. This one includes the updated character generation UI.

Get it here

Posted On Thursday, December 28, 2006 8:31 PM

Ahhhh HA!

Yes, it's another HA! update. I spent about 5 hours late Christmas night (midnight - 5:00am) rewriting the character generation UI.*

It's not quite where I want it to be yet, though it DOES work. I plan on finishing it by tonight.

*This should also fix one the bugs in the former UI, which is a nice bonus. Hopefully it won't introduce more.

Posted On Wednesday, December 27, 2006 1:20 PM

Heroic Adventure! update
I spent some time (admittedly, not much) last night looking at the HA! code. Starting to feel that itch again. It's been neglected too long. Reviewed and responded to some of the comments I received at CodePlex (most were helpful, others were "misguided" and needed some explaining on my part.) Took a look at the Dungeon Generation code yet again. Man I hate how kludgy that stuff is. I just don't have the time or motivation (mostly the time) to rewrite something that works well 95% of the time. As ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 20, 2006 12:44 PM

Random Overland Encounters
As I mentioned previously, I'm working on the overland encounters code for HA! Basically, if you end up having an encounter on the overland map, you are brought into a tactical map that is representative of the terrain type you are standing on at the time of the encounter. If you're on a road tile, for example, the zoomed in map will feature a road, grass and trees. Combat occurs just like in the dungeon, except there are no walls, just a big open terrain map. Getting to the edge of the tactical ......

Posted On Saturday, September 30, 2006 8:14 PM

Heroic Adventure! update
Worked on HA! some last night and today. In case they weren't hard enough, Trolls now regenerate and display the appropriate messages (if you are close enough to see the regeneration occurring.) Currently there is no distinction made between regular damage and fire/acid/magic damage. I have created a tracker ticket to remind me to address this. Also noteworthy, VB.NET guru extraordinaire, Paul Vick has rewritten the Random Number Generator for HA! in VB.NET. For those of you just tuning in, it was ......

Posted On Saturday, September 30, 2006 6:23 PM

HA! exposure
Since adding HA! to CodePlex, I have been averaging roughly 1000 hits and 20 downloads per week. That might not sound high to most of you, but for HA! it's a big leap. The original site probably averaged about 1/20th of that with the occasional bump now and then. Currently I've got one other guy on the team and 1 contributor that will most likely end up on the team fairly soon ......

Posted On Monday, August 21, 2006 7:46 PM

may the source be with you...
The HA! code is uploaded and the CodePlex project has started. Feel free to visit the project at CodePlex. Just to clarify, you don't have to be "on the team" to download the source. Anyone can do that. I've already had a few people ask to be put on the team right off the bat, and I want to talk about that for a moment. Being "on the team" actually confers a lot more rights than I am willing to give a complete stranger. Please feel free to download the code, check it out and make suggestions or even ......

Posted On Wednesday, August 16, 2006 9:20 AM

new HA! release, CodePlex, Shared Source and more...
New release (0.1.6d) of HA! available here: Also, as you may have noticed above, my CodePlex project has finally been created. You can visit (and join?) that here: I haven't updated the wiki yet, but I will. So what does all of this mean? Basically, as I stated before, I'm taking HA! the shared source route. The source isn't up there yet because I'm still downloading the huge ......

Posted On Friday, August 11, 2006 5:41 PM

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