My Creations
Artwork
Web Apps
Mobile Apps
About Me

I am the Lead Mobile Developer for Curse, Inc. From 2007 - 2011 I created and ran HaloCharts.com, a very large and active Halo community site that included stats, leaderboards, goals and awards for many different Halo games.

Firestream.net

The personal website/blog of David Marconnet

FRIDAY - OCTOBER 24TH, 2014

My first time playing DayZ

0 comments 0 likes
I'm a year or two late, but I experienced DayZ (standalone) for the first time today. I joined a server with a coworker and we were spawned pretty far apart on the map. After a few minutes figuring out the controls and graphic settings we set out to meet each other on the map. The server had 30 people total, and somehow I managed to encounter another player pretty fast. Things got crazy pretty fast after that.

The guy I ran into turned out to be friendly and we chatted for a moment and went our separate ways. After that I started north on a highway and needed to go for a long ways to meet up with my friend. I scavenged a little and found some gear and also found a number of zombies. Didn't expect them to freak me out the way they did, but it was intense. Further north I went into a town and there were two other players in the street, both with more gear and armed with axes. They called out to me and asked if I was hungry, but I never trusted them. I tried to run past and was attacked pretty fast, but managed to run like a maniac and get away from them. At that point, I decided other people on the server were more freaky than the zombies you encounter.

After a few more minutes I finally met up with my friend and he was nearly dead from hunger. For some reason we started to head inland to look for supplies, but pretty much ran around in the woods and mountains. He was nearly dead, but we decided to turn around and head back to the coast to look for food. We made it to another city, but he was super close to death. We went building to building and found pretty much nothing, and definitely no food. Finally, I found a potato in a house and as I went back out to try to give it too him he collapsed in the middle of the street.

As I ran toward him to try to give him the potato, a zombie came out of nowhere and started chasing me. I tried to run off and lose him, but that didn't work. So circling back, I got close to my friend and attempted to force feed the potato to him while still trying to avoid the zombie. That went about as well as you'd expect and I started to bleed out and eventually collapsed myself. It took quite a bit of blacking out and coming back only to have the zombie attack again, and then we both died. Good times.

This game is going to be a lot of fun.

MONDAY - OCTOBER 20TH, 2014

Xamarin Storyboard Error

0 comments 0 likes
I'm not sure if this is a problem in Xamarin or Xcode or what. Had this error though, which kept me from being able to compile on both VS and Xamarin Studio:

Error:
Exception raised while unarchiving document objects - - [NSTaggedPointerString getCharacters:range:]: Range {0,10} out of bounds; string length 6
"MainStoryboard.storyboard" could not be opened. The operation couldn't be completed. (com.apple.InterfaceBuilder error -1.)


Solution:
I had a UIImageView on the storyboard and was setting the Image property to a local resource. After clearing that out and setting Image from code, this error went away and I was able to compile again.

SATURDAY - OCTOBER 18TH, 2014

Playstation TV Initial Impressions

0 comments 1 likes
Went out last night and grabbed a Playstation TV bundle (with the controller, Lego Movie game and 8gb memory card). For $140, it seemed like a pretty good deal. The Playstation TV is basically a PS Vita without a screen that plugs into your TV. It works with either a DS3 or DS4 controller. Once setup it runs the same OS as the Vita and allows you to play Vita, PSP, PSN and PS1 Classics. Not all Vita games are supported though (here's a list)

Setup and Vita OS
Setup was pretty easy, but the Vita keypad is clunky to use with a controller as it was clearly designed with touch in mind. There's a lot of setup panels to work through and it wants you to confirm your credit card for your PSN account. After that, it literally is the same OS as what runs on the Vita. They have tweaked a few things for the lack of touchscreen.

Games
I have a lot of games on my PSN account that I've bought and collected via PS+. I've tested out a few Vita games, a PSP game and a couple PS1 Classics on the PS TV and they all ran pretty well. Fez plays wonderfully and my kids have pretty much taken over the thing to play it. Chrono Cross and FF7 certainly show their age on a 60" LCD, but they play just fine and I couldn't be happier. The Lego Movie game is ok, but I ran into a case where it wanted me to touch the screen to use a special move, clearly showing that a lot of the PS TV is an afterthought. I'd say at this point I have well over 25 games that I could download and play, and there are many other games available on PSN, so the library feels really strong at launch.

Other Apps
All of the apps that come with a Vita appear to be included with the PS TV. I haven't tried most of them, but in the past most of them were pretty useless on the Vita. A huge drawback today is that streaming apps like Netflix are disabled, so don't expect to use this (yet) as a streaming device. I can live with that as my TV already has those apps and I've got a Roku and Apple TV laying around. I think that its likely apps like Netflix work in the near future.

PS4 Link
You can stream your PS4 to the PS TV just like you can with the Vita. The experience in my case wasn't great though. The setup is easy as the PS TV will just find the PS4 if it's on the same network. After that, it was a laggy, nearly unusable experience. I didn't have anything downloading and my network is pretty fast. Jumped on Destiny for about 5 minutes and quickly gave up. I'm going to try again, but if that's as good as it gets, well then it is a huge disappointment.

Game Rentals with PS Now
I downloaded the PS Now app and browsed the library of games you can rent. The pricing seems really strange to me. Most titles have a 4hr - 90 day rental period. The price starts at $1.99 and goes to $7.99 for 90 days. The 4hr rental seems like a waste when you can pay another $2 and get the game for 3 days. For some of the bigger AAA titles, I could see myself paying $8 or so to rent it for 3 months. I might give it a try if there's a compelling game.

Overall
I like the PS TV so far overall. I don't feel like I need to return it and it could improve a lot in the near future. For PSN and Indie titles, its a pretty sweet system. The Vita game list is lacking, but maybe they can expand it. I didn't really buy it to play Vita games, but having access to so many awesome RPGs on PSP and PS1 is pretty great. I'd give it a 7/10 today.

SUNDAY - OCTOBER 12TH, 2014

Highlights from Xamarin Evolve 2014

0 comments 0 likes
I spent last week in Atlanta at the Xamarin Evolve 2014 mobile conference. It was a really great trip, filled with learning, many new connections and a lot of fun. This was also my first trip as a Curse employee. The first part of the week was Xamarin University training. The last three days were full of some killer sessions and some big announcements. Here's a summary of the cooler things I saw last week. Xamarin continues to expand their tools out and showed off some amazing new ones including:

Xamarin Insights - Easily track users, exceptions and more for your app. Insights appeared to be easy to integrate and offers a lot of nice features above and beyond the tracking you get from iTunes and Play. Includes a lot of nice visuals, graphs and very deep details on data, errors, stack traces, etc.

Xamarin Android Player - Blazing fast Android emulator. This solves the biggest soar spot when it comes to Android development with Xamarin. The demos of this were quite impressive with less than 20 seconds boot time and full hardware acceleration.

Xamarin Sketches - Very similar to the Swift Playground Apple showed off earlier this year. You can use Sketches to quickly mockup things in real time. This one definitely seemed to be more in preview then there rest as there were a few problems and bugs during demos.

Test Cloud - Test your app on hundreds of devices at once. They now have video replays of the app execution on each device as well. It just keeps getting better and better. Nice of them to give us each 100 hours too, so I expect to be able to work with this a lot in the near future.

Looking forward to future updates from them as well as Xamarin 2015.

THURSDAY - OCTOBER 2ND, 2014

Curse Dragon Desktop

0 comments 0 likes
The final piece to the Curse related series of desktops. This desktop looks phenomenal on a Retina display if you use the full version. Version posted below is for standard monitors. Also linked is an iPhone version.

image

Full Resolution
iPhone Resolution

TUESDAY - SEPTEMBER 30TH, 2014

Curse Flame Desktop #3

0 comments 1 likes
This time I started at a much higher resolution than I normally do. This desktop looks phenomenal on a Retina display if you use the full version. Version posted below is for standard monitors. Also linked is an iPhone version.

image

Full Resolution
iPhone Resolution
Purple Version

SATURDAY - SEPTEMBER 27TH, 2014

Curse Flame Desktop #2

0 comments 2 likes
More messing around with Curse's emblem. Enjoy!

image

FRIDAY - SEPTEMBER 26TH, 2014

Curse Flame Desktop

1 comments 3 likes
Just playing around with Curse's emblem. Enjoy!

image

UITextView styling in code not taking affect (Xamarin)

0 comments 2 likes
Had trouble today getting a UITextView to accept a change to background, text color and border from code. Had to set it "selectable" on the storyboard for it to work as expected.

Relevant StackOverflow: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/19113673/uitextview-setting-font-not-working-with-ios-6-on-xcode-5

SUNDAY - SEPTEMBER 21ST, 2014

Strange Issue: Xamarin app only partially works on iDevice

0 comments 4 likes
Ran into this problem this week. I was working on an app with Xamarin.iOS in Visual Studio and it would run just fine on the iPhone simulator, but when running on a test device, only portions of the app would load correctly. The fix was simple, but I'm a little confused to why I had this issue.

To fix: add a reference to Monotouch.dialog-1 to your project and redeploy. My app doesn't use anything from Monotouch.Dialog as far as I know and I found it strange that things ran normally on the simulator but not on actual devices without that reference.

Anybody?

TUESDAY - SEPTEMBER 2ND, 2014

'a barren wasteland' for iOS is free this month!

0 comments 4 likes
This is a little text game I made a few months ago. I've decided to make the iOS version free for the month of September! It's a navigation based story with multiple endings. Check it out and let me know what you think!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/a-barren-wasteland/id865225071?ls=1&mt=8