I wasn’t able to create a post for this week. Due to the weather and well lack of anything new to report. I’ll hopefully have more to share the first weekend of March so keep your fingers crossed and stay tuned.
Returning from a carpet bombing of my friends on FaceBook its, “This Week in V.E.” for Feb 18th 2018.
I am Ben Flanagin, developer, designer, and your host for this podcast among other things, and boy what a week! I’m still working out the format for this show, finding the right kinds of transitions, working on how I want the video version to work, if a video version is worth the time, etc, etc.
But enough about that, lets get to the news.
After last weeks announcement about the change in how we were funding the company and its projects I have gotten some really good feed back. Most people seem to think I’m crazy, which I don’t deny, but even when they question my sanity they find the concept compelling. Which I take as a good sign. However, I did get a lot of “Why Liberapay?”, “Why not PayPal?”, or “Why not Patreon?” and after some thinking on this, I really don’t know why not. I like Liberapay because its non-profit and supports teams, so when more developers join the organization Liberapay makes it easy for me to make sure everyone gets their share of the profits. Patreon is great but I’m not sure how well it works with teams, and I would hate to have to jump services when things progress to the point where team payouts are important. Then theres Paypal…Paypal does have a lot of great features, still not designed for teams, but where the others are designed for monthly contributions, PayPal allows one time payments , and as so many people use PayPal it would make sense to consider using them as a platform. So as much as I hate this part of the creative process if we want to grow we need money and if we want money we need to make it as easy as possible for those wanting to help out, to help out. So from this point forward PayPal ,and Patreon, will be added as ways to back us and our work. Feel free to check out the links here where every here happens to be.
Do you ever have one of those weeks where you work, and work ,and work, and at the end you don’t have that much to show? Well development is that way sometimes, and that was this week. However, even with that being said, CafeSync’s messaging system is on, and working, though the service is a bit odd on slower networks, and though the server has fault tolerance and send / receive feedback it isn’t working as it should on the client, BUT that isn’t a large issue and it does work as expected most of the time so I’m counting it as a working, but buggy. I’ve also re-designed the source selection area to matched the rest of the interface, because lets be honest it looked terrible. Like the chat system there is at least one known bug in it , but these will be squished in a coming release, maybe as early as next week. I’ve also updated the iOS version to get it in line with the Android client. Which I now know is completely broken…. This continues to be the worst part for me in development as it is slow, and painful on my current gear. Add in the fact that I can only get a vague idea of what it will look like in the wild I’m always hesitant to release anything on that platform. Still I truly believe the idea can help anyone that has a smart phone be it creator or consumer, so I’ll soldier on.
Code Breakers has seen a minor update to get the high scores system working again , and I’ll be dedicating time to finishing the multi-player code as it was nearly complete when I had stopped working on it some time ago.
So what HAVE I been up to that diminishes notable returns for this show. OpenSeed, the server API that Vague Entertainment has been working on since before API’s were cool, is being updated and re worked for both its decentralized future and to make creating applications easier for everyone involved in the network. I’ll be talking more about that as it becomes more stable, so for you API junkies out there, stay tuned.
Highlights of the week:
I’m afraid its another week of nothing new to report. As I joked at the top of the show I have carpet bombed all my friends and family on FaceBook with invites to like Vague Entertainment’s Page there on the book of faces. My hope is that it leads to more downloads of CafeSync, and other applications as the audience has also grown. Thank you to everyone that re-shared my page after liking it. I will find a way to repay the kindness..beyond butchering your name here of course. I would also like to point everyone to Leaflet Bomb which is a project that Ryan Sipes, and I have been working on making the world of Press Release management easier and more open. You can find out more about that at leaflet.press
And thats it for this week, thank you for tuning in and remember to like, subscribe, follow, etc. Vague Entertainment, and if you’re on Android or iOS check out CafeSync, and tell your friends why don’t you. Also, Code Breakers is only for Android, but It shouldn’t be hard (HA!) to port it to iOS..Actually lets make this a bit of a game. If I get 100 likes, shares, etc. And that will be a sum of likes and re-shares on all platforms. I will port Code Breakers to iOS. No wait, I’ll do one better, I’ll make it work on your Windows and OSX based PC’s a well. It already works on Linux PC’s as a snap package. So lets see how many we can get and when we hit that number I’ll get to porting.
So until then I’ll catch you, on the flip side.
With all that is happening here at Vague Entertainment it was high time to give everyone a low down of all the work and projects that are brewing here at VE along with highlights from our users . I am, of course, Ben Flanagin. lead developer and founder of Vague Entertainment. This broadcast will be released every weekend and will be available for download as an audio only podcast, as well a video version to highlight visual aspects of the content talked about within the show. My goal is to hit the 15 minute mark minus intro and outro music, but sometimes it might go over depending on the topics. I will be posting this on Vague Entertainments main site as a blog post with a text only version of the transcript. that way users that prefer to read can access it on the site, or if you are using CafeSync you will find it on my card by swiping to the Vague Entertainment page. If you’re unfamiliar with CafeSync stay tuned as it will be talked about in this very show.
Vague Entertainment is embarking on a new model of development and funding, one that I hope will benefit the company, its contributors, and its users. It is quite a risk and I have lost sleep wrestling with this idea for some time, but everything leads somewhere and this is where the path leads.
So how it works, we are aiming to be a completely user funded company, no ads, no selling of user data, no shadow company lording over the creative process. the software is free for everyone, and to the extent that we can, the software will be Open Source and available on GitHub. Those that help fund Vague Entertainment will get to vote on what softwares we work on, and what new features the software will have, and as the network of pledges and backers grow we will recruit new developers and designers to further projects, speed up return on investment, and be able to tackle bigger projects. My aim is to democratize freelance development and to create a equal pay for equal work environment for all contributors to the network. So check out what all we have created in the past, and consider pledging on Liberapay.
A link to the team account is available in the transcript and in the description below.
CafeSync, our location based professional networking platform and service, that is designed to connect the world around you. has had several major updates the last few weeks. The theme is now continued through out the application giving a more unified look. The location code has been cleaned up, and the time between updates has been decreased which gives the interface a snappier feel. And for android at least, the camera code is being reworked to help mitigate bugs found there.
As for sources, the latest version of CafeSync has better support for twitter, and tumblr, and can parse RSS feeds from various blogging platforms most notably WordPress and Medium. I’m super excited about this feature because it turns CafeSync into a great tool for those looking for new blogs to read, and in turn gives bloggers more traffic to their content. Oh, as an aside, WordPress’s RSS feed is very simple by default but there are plugins you can download to make them shine. I haven’t tried them all but I leave it up to you to find and install the one that works best for you. For those crafters and caft consumers the new Etsy source is working well in our tests, and I hope to see more people with Etsy shops picking up the software and getting more traffic from other CafeSync users. Oh, I also have added in a preview of the up coming chat features that will be included in CafeSync. I’m calling It a preview because there are certain aspects that need to be finished before I would add it to the store listings.
CafeSync, like all location based, social networking tools, it depends on users. So download it, setup you card and see where it takes you.
You can find out more about CafeSync on our site vagueentertainment.com. Or clicking on the link in the show notes ( https://www.vagueentertainment.com/?page_id=434)
Also,HelioGraph, Vague Entertainment’s photo sharing application, has had a small revival. With all the updates to the back-end services developed by Vague Entertainment. HelioGraph was left broken and in a sad state. Though it is still buggy, and somewhat broken you can now take pictures and share them on the network once more and I plan to repair and add features as we continue to move forward with our community minded approach .
You can find out more about HelioGraph on our site (https://www.vagueentertainment.com/?page_id=437)
For those that have followed Vague Entertainment for a while we have various programs that were created under the App-A-Week series. these applications where designed,developed, and distributed in only seven days. As such many of them were proof of concept at best. However, and because of the commitment to creating free and interesting software I have been going through them and updating their ability to connect to our back end services and will talk more about them when the updates warrant broadcast.
Highlight of the week:
Here I want to talk about users and contributors, that have made our software worth using. However, as this is a new broadcast, and the user base for all VE’s software is small, I haven’t much to report. So instead, I would like to acknowledge those that have been helping test CafeSync and continue to show Vague Entertainment support both monetarily and through testing the software as the network grows.
In no particular order:
Melody Leinbach, Sam Flanagin, Robbie Sipes,Edie Flanagin, Jared “mouse” Smith, Denice Herrera, James Soileau, Chris Heasley, Ryan Sipes, Kalyn Flanagin, and Alina Goldner. and to the handful of other users that opt to keep their accounts private, I assume you do it for a reason so I’m keeping you out of the list as well.
thats it for this week, thank you for tuning in and remember to like, subscribe, follow, etc. Vague Entertainment, and if you’re on Android or iOS check out CafeSync and feel free to submit bugs. If you want to try HelioGraph Its on the Google play store as well.
The company is down to just one active member now but, that doesn’t mean I’m not actively working on projects. I’m currently working on getting things updated so stay tuned for new content on our site as things progress.
Please feel free to click on the links to the left as most of them have been reworked for better clarity.
On that note we now have a Mac and an iphone at our disposal so now we can support those devices as well. Look for Mac or iOS versions of our applications in the near future.
We’ve started raising funds on kickstarter to build CafeSync and OpenSeed. Check it out! http://www.vagueentertainment.com/applications/cafesync/
The rules are simple enough. Make a line in any direction of five or more and score points. For lines with more than five tiles you receive bonus points that stack with each extra tile. Simple enough? Well, you can also make shapes with a bonus attached to each shape type. Wait! There is more! After a set time limit any locked tiles self destruct opening the location for new tiles to be placed. These locations remain volatile for 4 turns giving only a one second cool down before destruct. Any line created off of volatile… tiles increases the amount of vola-tiles and resets the 4 turn limit on all vola-tiles connected to the line/lines created. Network play is planned and will be a test bed for Cafe-Sync and its abilities.