2016 7DRL Success

I just finished the 2016 7DRL Challenge. My game is called Bisbee’s Escape. It’s inspired by games like Dig Dug, Mr. Do, and Digger. Your only weapon is crates you can drop on enemies. But these crates have different effects for you to discover.

I didn’t have as much time as I wanted to work on it this year so it’s a little rough around the edges. But it’s playable enough and I hope to fix all the outstanding bugs in a later post-challenge release. Go check it out!

Bisbee's Escape Screenshot

Play Now

Starting the 2016 7DRL Challenge

I’m starting the 2016 Seven-Day Roguelike Challenge now (Sunday, March 6th, 10PM EST). Accounting for Daylight Saving Time, I have until Sunday, March 13th, 11PM EDT to finish. More interesting updates soon?

Hey, look at this.

Sometimes I want to share a few Tweets or other things as a group. But usually something like Storify is overkill for what I’m sharing. So I made this minimalist tool that can share Tweets and a few other types of social media posts as embeds.

Just type in something like this:

Hey, look at this composing.

You’ll get a giant link that looks like this:

http://walsh9.github.io/hey-look-at-this/#-&You%20can%20share%20tweets&-&t=608692357953896448&t=680491464657387520&-&And%20Other%20stuff&-&s=walsh9/messing-around-with-the-bleep-labs-nebulophone

That link will take anyone to a page that looks like this:

Hey, look at this viewing.

It’s still a work in progress but I’m happy with what it does so far.

You can find it here: http://walsh9.github.io/hey-look-at-this

Source is here: https://github.com/walsh9/hey-look-at-this

Adventures in GitHub Pages

So, I recently changed this site from a WordPress blog to a GitHub Pages-hosted Jekyll blog. Here’s how it went.

Switching from Wordpress to Jekyll

Converting the handful of posts I had to markdown was pretty simple. I used the WordPress Jekyll Exporter plugin and fixed all my image links by hand. I also set up a few redirects with jekyll-redirect-from for a few posts that had changed urls so they wouldn’t break any links.

Setting up a custom domain with GitHub Pages

After that, I had a working Jekyll blog in my GitHub user page repo, walsh9.github.io. I wanted this site to be at my walsh9.net domain. So I went to my domain name registrar and set up some DNS records according to GitHub’s instructions. I added a CNAME file to my repo with walsh9.net in it. And since I didn’t want any subdomains like www or blog, I set up an A record to pointing to GitHub’s servers.

This worked and my site was now showing up at walsh9.net. But now all my project pages were showing up there as well. For example, http://walsh9.github.io/super-micro-paint was now redirecting to and showing up at http://walsh9.net/super-micro-paint. This was kind of cool and some people might like it, but I didn’t necessarily want all my projects to be at my personal domain like this, and with this setup I couldn’t pick and choose. It was all or nothing. Basically walsh9.github.io, and all the project folders under it were entirely moved to walsh9.net.

Switching from a user page to a project page

Luckily, this was easy enough to fix. I renamed the repo from walsh9.github.io to walsh9.net. Now it was just a regular project repo. (By the way, the repo name could have been anything else. It didn’t have to be walsh9.net. What’s important is the CNAME file in the repo.) Oh, I also had to remember to create a gh-pages branch. The [username].github.io repo is special and will create pages from the master branch, but normal project repos need a gh-pages branch. Once I got that sorted, my page was showing up at walsh9.net again, but now my projects were back at their familiar walsh9.github.io/[repo-name] homes.

Moving to CloudFlare

I thought I was done at this point. But then I tried to open https://walsh9.net. It didn’t load. Okay. After some research, I found out that using HTTPS with GitHub Pages on a custom domain with no subomain does not work well. Next step was to shift hosting to CloudFlare. After creating a free CloudFlare account, and moving my DNS services over to CloudFlare I had working HTTPS, as well as a bunch of other neat features to play with.

What about email?

Oh, since I’m now using CloudFlare for DNS I can’t take advantage of my domain registrar’s email forwarding… I wasn’t really using it anyway, but now that I couldn’t have it I kind of wanted it. It’s not fully set up yet but I’ve been playing around with using a free Mailgun account and setting up some rules to redirect to my email. Seems like it might be a bit overkill but if it works it works. I’m not actually fully sold on moving my main email address to my own domain yet so this part is just an experiment anyway.

So…

I’m pretty happy with my new setup so far. I know it’s a little more dependent on external services now but I can always host a Jekyll-generated site anywhere so I’m not too worried.

Update: 11/25/2015

Well, I guess during all that moving around something weird happened to all my gh-pages project pages because they were gone. I had to force GitHub to regenerate each site with this dirty trick:

git co gh-pages
git pull gh-pages
git commit -m 'rebuild pages' --allow-empty`
git push gh-pages