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By Rob on 05th Dec 2015 @ 04:41PM
Years since my last post. Here's a little tool I've just finished writing.

This one is a little experimental and I've thrown it together quickly for release to see if it's useful to anyone. If so I might put more effort into it in future. So if you enjoy it, let me know.

Full Download Page: VSCodeTransformer V1.1

Visual Studio Macros were really useful weren't they? Sadly they are no more. VSCodeTransformer is a neat alternative to code based macros.

VSCodeTransformer gives you a very simple interface to executing .NET macros you can run over your code.

Screenshots of the application:

If you miss those Visual Studio macros, check out VSCodeTransformer.
Rob Hutchinson
Lead Developer & Null City Admin
By Rob on 29th Aug 2012 @ 09:34PM
Version 1.1 of DSSpectate has been released.


- Support for 0.6 DSFix.
- Override default language option added (for DSFix 0.6).
- Updated help.

For more information click here: DS Spectate Page


Rob Hutchinson
Lead Developer & Null City Admin
By Rob on 28th Aug 2012 @ 10:22PM
I've just released an independent application for the recently released Dark Souls game for (by FROM Software).

DSSpectate is an application which launches the Dark Souls – Prepare to Die Edition game by From Software. It can then open a picture feed server for your game, so that your co-op friends can see the contents of your Dark Souls screen as you play. This is accomplished by capturing the desktop where your Dark Souls game is running and then feeding the captured screenshots to those who are connected to your spectator server.

DSSpectate can also be used to easily download, install and configure the popular Durante DSFix by Peter Thoman (see first screenshot below).

Screenshots of the application:

For more information click here: DS Spectate Page
By Rob on 19th Aug 2012 @ 04:35PM
Little side project: iCalShiftGenerator.

This is a small application to generate iCal (*.ics) files from shift patterns which are odd in nature. For example someone who works Days, Days, Nights, Days, Nights, Rest, Nights, Rest would struggle to produce this calendar pattern as standard in most calendar services. This can be expressed with iCalShiftGenerator and then loaded into popular calendar services such as Google Calendar.

Here's a screenshot of the application:

Move information and download in the products section
By Rob on 06th Jul 2012 @ 11:58PM
The first version of PixelArt Whiteboard has been publicly released.

PixelArt Whiteboard is a networked whiteboarding application specifically designed for pixel artists. It sports a powerful user-interface, but maintains simplicity through only providing the controls and tools needed by pixel artists.

This initial release (v0.9.0.0) is incomplete, it is being released as 'DemandWare'. That is to say, it's future rests on the demand for it. If no-one uses it or wants it then I will not be committing further development time to finishing it and putting in some of the more pro features on the feature queue.

Which means if you try it and like it, you should let me know on the forums or by email (there's further information on all of this within the application).

That being said, it's already perfectly capable of some decent artwork! Go check it out:

PixelArt Whiteboard
Rob Hutchinson
Lead Developer & Null City Admin
By Rob on 26th Jun 2012 @ 07:15PM
Finally the forums are back up and running. They've been in a state of 'half-finished' for the last, year? It's been a good while since they worked anyway, and I've finally gotten the time to finish what was left to polish them up.

The Forums

You can also now modify your Avatar URL and Signature in the profile details if you have an account in the members section.

I've also fixed a long standing bug in the Contact Us page which meant that you could only enter a Twitter-length body text. Thank you to the guy who reported that, because I had no idea it was being restricted.

Also, on the projects front. Lots of new stuff is happening. There's PixelArt Whiteboard a new whiteboarding application for pixel artists. There will be a full post on this as soon as the initial version is released. I also have a finished but as yet unannounced small application which I will make available in the coming weeks. And finally, a new game! Again, more on that soon...
Rob Hutchinson
Lead Developer & Null City Admin
By NullCityAdmin on 27th Mar 2012 @ 06:01PM
It's finally complete, last night I put the finishing touches on the Kitae State Machine editor. I actually had the idea for this a while back, and built all the base classes and tested them, but wanted to finish the IK editor for Skeletal Actors before moving on to the editor for State Machines.

Kitae's state machines mean that at code-time you do not need to worry about what actions lead to what states. For example, player on a ladder would usually not be able to either jump or run left or right. He would likely only be able to climb up, down and drop. This kind of switch from state to state is handled entirely by the state machine based on the actions you feed in and the transitions you build to link one state to another. The whole point of the StateMachine classes are to remove large nested switch statements from your main loop. These are typically difficult to follow, hard to debug at runtime, and a pain to maintain. Anyone who has written any game before will be all too familiar with the spaghetti code that often plagues character update methods. Hopefully StateMachines will allow you to take control of this problem much more easily. Update loops can typically be written as a single switch state against the current state of the StateMachine, and StateMachines are much easier to visually debug in the Game Editor.

StateMachines can be used anywhere you would normally manage state, e.g. character Update methods, managing menu selection, etc.

I'm not 100% sure I've covered everything people will want to do with state machines, but for now, they are still very useful.
NOT dead!

I've had more time recently to concentrate on Kitae again, and the upshot is... Kitae now has fully working 2D IK Skeletal Actors and animations. Rather than explain all this, I'll let the following video do the explaining:

Skeletal Actors are composite actors made from Sprite Actors, and positioned specifically around a bone structure. You can build new and interesting bone structures easily in the new editor and you are not limited to humanoid figures. The character in the video was built from a few simple renders, and then carefully cut into sprites for each individual bone in the structure. Once you have your sprites, you can build a new actor with ease, it takes only a few minutes to piece the sprites together in a useful structure.

After constructing the skeleton, you can move and rotate the joints along keyframes in the animation editor and build smooth, interpolated animations from very simple keyframes, as demonstrated in the video.

Features / Reasons to use Skeletal Actors:
* Handles the animation and bone structure entirely for you.
* Easily add geometry to parts of the body, and collide against other actors on a per bone basis.
* Easily add new animations to game characters.
* Swap out graphics for parts of the body. Skeletal Actors allow you to switch look/feel (e.g armour).
* Control bone structures via code to animate programatically.
* It's just cool!

This is the product of about 2 months work on and off and has been a fun little addition to Kitae. It was fantastic seeing the animations work for the first time in the game editor. However, getting geometry and flipping working correctly - not as much fun. Hopefully I'll be able to leverage this into a new game at some point soon.

Next up - editor support for State Machines.
Then maybe a release? Who knows. Will try to keep this space more updated.
Null City Software
Null City is dedicated to developing top quality sofware products for Windows PC, XBox and Windows Phone. We specialise in games and .NET applications & components.