@WhiskeyLive name change and a some useful scripts for Giant Bomb

@WhiskeyLive is now @GiantBombLive due to the CBSi acquisition. It will only tweet Giant Bomb live shows now. I'll probably setup a seperate Tested account for their live streams once they get their API working again.

For people who don't know what I'm talking about, @GiantBombLive is a twitter bot that auto tweets out when the chat goes online and again once the stream goes live. You can follow it and get it to tweet straight to your phone via text messages. This should prevent you from ever missing a show becuase you didn't know about it.

On other things, I've built a couple new scripts for people who use Chrome and FireFox. ( You'll need Greasemonkey if your using FireFox )

Quoting Minimizer

messaged me yesterday about an idea of making a script that would help stop those huge quote trees that users orchestrate in the comments/forums. ( e.g. The comments for On Kickstarter, There Are No Guarantees )

What it does is if there are more than 5 nested quotes it will hide the rest of them and put a link where you can choose to show/hide said quotes. I also removed the fading effect and some of the padding used in quoting. This should make reading these things much easier.

Download: http://www.vager.net/scripts/gb-quote-minimizer.min.user.js

Game Board Tool Tips

The Tool Tip in action

A few days ago I saw a thread on a game I've never heard of before. Instinctively, I clicked on the game's name and was kinda annoyed that it just takes you to the boards for that specific game. I needed to than click on "Overview" in the left menu to see the game's general information. I've done this before many times and it's too many clicks for my liking. So, I made a script that just changes the links to the main wiki page of instead of it's forum. After a bit, I thought to myself "Why should I even need to click a link?". So I built a tool tip that once you mouse of the board link under the thread it will display the game's boxart, release date and description using GB's API. It's kinda overkill, though it was fun to do.

There is one small caveat. The script messes with some of the javascript on the site. As the script only runs the main forum page, it won't be that big of a deal. The only things that won't work properly, is part of the search bar and the on/off toggle of the footer. And again it will only effect the main forum page. Search/Footer will work fine on any other page.

Download: http://www.vager.net/scripts/gb-gametip.min.user.js Edit: If you installed this script before this edit appeared, you will want to reinstall it. I had set the script to run on anything forum related which breaks the quote/repling and posting. It's fixed now.

If you have any other suggestions on small ways to improve the site. Let me know, I'll see if I can do something about it.

6 Comments

@GB_Live_Shows is now @WhiskeyLive -- Live Stream Twitter Bot

@WhiskeyLive

You can set your Twitter account to send you a text (if your country/carrier supports it) each time the bot tweets so you can always know about an upcoming stream.

It took me longer than expected but, I've rebuilt the twitter bot to tweet all upcoming live streams from any of Whiskey Media's sites. I also fixed every issue that came up with the orginal bot.

How It Works

Every 10 minutes it will check each of Whiskey's APIs for any open chats. If there is one It will check to see if there is a countdown timer or not. It will tweet "[Name of the Site]: [Name of the Show] -- Starting Soon - [link to the chat]" right away if there is no timer -- If there is one it'll wait till it's under an hour before it tweets. After that, it will continue to check every 10 minutes to see if the justin.tv channel is live. Once it is it will tweet again saying that it's live.

What's been Fixed

  • It will not tweet about a upcoming stream incredibly early. Like it did for the end of SWG. It will tweet when a show is under an hour from starting. (I can change this easily, if everyone wishes it to tweet earlier than that.)
  • It will not tweet again if the title of the stream changes a bit.
  • It will not tweet twice if a show is still running past midnight (PST).
  • (New) Added Whiskey's chat API as a backup in case the countdown timer doesn't show up.

What needs to been Fixed

Feb 6, 2012 - Tweeting multiple times during a Whiskey Media site wide live show. (ie. Happy Hour)

Issues came up with the latest Whiskey Media Happy Hour, which was the first time it tried to do a Whiskey Media Live Show from all the sites. It basically tweeted every time the chat came up on another Whiskey site. I had checks to prevent this from happening, but it only worked if the chats all went up during a 10 minute time frame. I'll fix this when I have the time to do so.

Extra Stuff

Dave created a blue warrior along side the Chat Dragon but he never used it for anything. So I'm going to use it as a mascot of sorts for the bot. The Chat Dragon is the thing that prevents us use from accessing the chat. It is the Whiskey Warrior what keeps the dragon away during a live stream so we can use the chat. Or that's how want it to be like!

While I was making the avatar and background for the Twitter page. I ended up making wallpapers (1920x1080) out of the Chat Dragon and the Whiskey Warrior. So here's a bit of a bonus:

The Whiskey Warrior!
The Chat Dragon!

Change Log

Jan 8, 2012 - It now tweets "Starting Soon" when the chat is up and if the countdown timer is under an hour. It will tweet "Live Now" when the justin.tv channel goes live instead of when the countdown reaches 0.

24 Comments

Twitter Bot that will Tweet when a Live Show is going to start

rjayb89 posted a suggestion on the Bug Reporting forum about a having twitter account that would tweet when a live show is about to start. I found this to be a good idea, so I built a twitter bot that will tweet when a live is going to start soon and when it goes live.

Here it is: http://twitter.com/#!/GB_Live_Shows

It basically checks every 10 minutes to see if there is a countdown timer at the top of a page on GIant Bomb. If there is, it'll tweet that a live show is starting soon. Once the count down timer switches to saying it's live, it'll tweet again saying that the show is now live while also providing a link to the chat.

I'll eventually get the bot to tweet all the shows that happen on the rest of the whiskey sites.

29 Comments

Giant Bomb's Youtube Videos on the Website

There has been a lot of really good videos coming out on Giant Bomb's youtube channel thanks to the interns, so I built a little something so that you don't have to leave giantbomb.com to see the latest videos that get posted on there.

Updated screenshot of the Youtube page.

All you need to do is download and install this browser extension: http://www.vager.net/gbyoutube/whiskey-youtubepage.user.js. *Make sure to remove the old extension first! It should work fine with Chrome and Firefox. If you're using Firefox, you'll need Greasemonkey or something similar.

The extension basically turns http://www.giantbomb.com/videos/7/ into the youtube video page, as well as adding links to that page on site's menus (in the videos submenu on the top and the category menu on the main video page).

Right now, it only shows the latest 20 videos. I'll be adding more functionality to the page overtime.

Issues that I know of:

  • Dropdown menus are underneath youtube video (wmode=transparent doesn't seem to solve this issue) - Sort of works on Firefox, Chrome not at all.
  • Link to the youtube page is on the review drop down menu. - Thought the reviews drop down only showed latest 3 reviews. Need to figure out another way to insert the link. I was using <dl> tags to determine the right location.

Things I want to add:

  • Pagination
  • Current Video Title
  • Playlist categories, so that you can easily get to all the fear gauntlet videos
  • A button to like the current video, so that Ethan can be a happy man (not sure if it's possible yet) - It's possible but requires using the API, I've been using xml to do this, so I don't think I want to rebuild it just for that.
  • Detect and change page styling depending on if you using the black or white skins on GB. - I figured out the detection part, but finding a good way to send that info into the iframe is proving to be a challenge.

If you find any issues let me know!

Also if you start seeing scroll bars you should probably check back to this post and reinstall the extension. As I add more stuff, I'll need to periodically add more height to the page, which requires modifying the extension.

Change Log

Sept 15, 2011

  • Fixed issue with video overlapping the drop down menus.
  • Added current video title.
  • Added some styling so that anyone using the white layout change see the white text.
  • Fixed issue with the fullscreen button not working.
  • Added playlist categories

Sept 16, 2011

  • Fixed Youtube Link being placed in the wrong location on the header menu. This time it searches for the correct place to put the link. It shouldn't break again. *You'll need to re-download the extension for this fix. Make sure to delete the old one first.
  • Fixed the styling on the category bar.
  • Added a community category. I'll be adding videos made by the community into this category.
  • Youtube link on video categories bar should show up no matter where you are on the videos page now.
  • Added a version checker. If you don't have an up to date extension it will show a message on the page asking you to update the extension.
  • It can now detect which skin (black or white) your using on Giant Bomb and change the styling to match it accordingly.

Sept 19, 2011

  • Youtube link on category bar in videos page is now dynamically positioned like the one in the drop down menu.
  • Cropped the video thumbnails to get rid of the black bars on the top and bottom.
  • Spaced out the video list a bit.
  • Fixed issue with some videos not working because they had special characters on their title.
  • Added Pagination of videos.
  • Added Youtube pages for Screened, Comic Vine, Tested and Anime Vice with their own styling to match the site.

And we're all done Folks!

Sept 27, 2011

  • Updated Tested's stylesheet to match the new site.

Oct 14, 2011

  • Youtube link in Videos menu is now before the Youtube subscribe box.

Oct 26, 2011

  • Only displays Intern Content now.
  • Calling the links on GB "Interns" instead of "YouTube" now.

Jan 11, 2012

  • Removed Screened, Tested, Comic Vine and Anime Vice pages as there are no Intern videos on those sites.
  • The old url I was using is now giving a 404 Error. Changed the URL to the Trailers category (gaintbomb.com/videos/7/).

Completely forgot about this. If don't have firefox or chrome or don't want to install anything go here: http://www.vager.net/gbyoutube/giantbomb.php. It's the same thing minus the giantbomb.com integration.

48 Comments

A slight redesign of the the Whiskey Chat

Alexis did a great job with the new design of the chat. But, I thought I could make some parts of it better.

This is what I came up with:

Click here to install the style onto Firefox or Chrome. (You need the GreaseMonkey addon if your using Firefox)

After that go check out the chat.

Let me know what you think!

Edit:

  • Fixed the issue with the comment button.
  • Fixed mouse over issue on @reply and alert messages.
  • Added styling to the @replies section.
  • @replies are orange, while alerts are now yellow.
  • Removed top/bottom border color change on hover becuase It looked like crap with the new background color on messages.
  • Removed border from avatars on mods, staff and @reply messages. Fixes the issues with extra space when messages take exactly 2 lines.
  • Restored membership medals for mods, staff and @repliers now that the avatar borders are gone.
  • Staff, mod and @reply messages have better top border styling.
  • When you hover over a user's message it will brighten the border's and name a bit so you can keep track of it.
  • Updated the screenshot of the new look.
  • Fixed mouse over issues with alert messages.
  • Fixed some issues due to the new chat layout
4 Comments

I need some help testing my UMS map

I've been working on a map for about a week and a half now. Spending probably 50+ hours on it so far.
I finished most of the fundamentals a couple days ago and populated the starting area of the map.
I have been testing it solo and with a few friends but, as this is a 10 player map and I lack the amount of friends needed to test it with a full lot myself.

So here I am asking you, the Giant Bomb community if you could spare some time and help test this out. 

Just create a custom game and under Most Popular search for: "Special Forces Extreme" 
You should be able to find it there.  
 
Play it solo or with some friends. 
 
At a later time ill try out a pre-scedualed match to test on playing with a full house.
Just add me to to your friends list: Vager - 918   

And i'll invite you to the match when I set a time for it. 

Here's some of info on the map:

It's a Special Forces style map called Specials Forces Extreme which is reminiscent to a map I did on the original Starcraft 9 years ago.
Basically, you and the other players have 1 hero character that has to battle it out against a massive swarm of Zerg.
There are some structures that spawn Zerg to attack you every few seconds. Destroy the structure to stop the constant waves of Zerg.
There are traps and ambushes that occur. Nydus Worms pop out spewing Zerg at a constant rate until killed. Large forces of Zerg burrow up out of nowhere and so on. 
I want this to feel very chaotic.
 

There 3 classes so far that each have 2 abilities: (Abilities don't cost any energy or health. They are just on a cooldown.)

Marine -  Ok damage and high attack speed Tanky style character that can take a lot of hits but, are really vulnerable when surrounded.
Abilities:

  • Stimpack - Increases attack and movement speed for 15 seconds on a 20 second cool down.
  • Shredder Grenade - Throws a grenade dealing area of effect damage to the targeted area on a 15 second cooldown.


Sniper - long range, high damage, low attack speed. Doesn't have much health but has ways to avoid damage.
Abilities:
  • Cloak - Make you invisible even to detectors for 15 seconds on a 25 second cool down.
  • Penetrator Snipe - Deals damage and goes through enemies along its path on a 15 second cooldown.


Assassin - Good damage, good attack speed and has high movement speed. Low on health but has many ways of escaping damage.
Abilities:
  • Blink - Hey, its blink on 10 second cooldown.
  • Mind Blast - Similar to Tosh's mind blast. Deals area of effect damage and applies a 10 second stun on a 15 second cooldown.
 

There are Weapons and Armour upgrades which can be researched on the character.
These upgrades increase your damage and armour slightly each time, increasing its cost for the next upgrade.

The hotkeys are assigned in such a way where you can keep your hand on the WASD keys.
A - Attack
S - 1st Ability (X is now Stop)
D - 2nd Ability
W - Upgrade menu
Q - Weapons Upgrade
E - Armour Upgrade
 
 
There are no Victory objective at the moment. Once you start seeing areas with no creep your pretty much done. 
Only a fifth of the map is populated with enemies and it usually only takes 20 to 30 minutes to complete. 
Though, the amount of Zerg is dynamic to the amount of players in the game. So who knows how long it'll be with 10 players.   

Here's hoping I can get enough of you guys read all that and hop on Starcraft 2 at 8pm CST to try it out.
9 Comments

PC Gaming and it's revalance.

Dwarf Fortress
Crysis
Starcarft
In my opinion, I believe PCs as well as PC gaming will eventually die out due to other devices taking the PC's primary roles. Such as smart phones, set-top boxes and what not. But, the things that make PC gaming great will eventually move over to consoles. For now though, PC gaming is still relevant.


To be honest, I haven't played a new big budget PC game in a while. I'm more into the indie or old school ascii and roguelike games. I believe graphics aren't the best thing PCs have to offer. Of course graphics do matter to an extent. All my friend think I'm crazy for liking a game thats completely displayed in symbols or crappy unanimated sprites.

I showed a friend of mine the Crysis demo at a reasonably high setting. He thought shooting down trees were cool but really, he did not care about the best graphics that a game has ever achieved. He later next year bought a good gaming PC for World of Warcraft after I got him to play it for the first few levels.

The controls are a barrier also. I didn't even know it but he found it increasing awkward to use the WASD keys that he went out and bought a gaming keyboard with arrows keys and a number of buttons around it.


We need to show what PCs can do differently from consoles. PCs can do Graphics better and its nice feeling seeing an awesome view but, consoles can achieve these experiences also. They are relatively short lived compared to actual gameplay. Really, there is little difference to the core gameplay between Crysis and Call of Duty 4 on consoles as they both are FPSs. Of course they all have unique features that make them different but, its not so drastic that you NEED to buy a PC right now and play it.

People need to focus on games that are completely different from consoles games like Starcraft for example. Its a RTS which has been done on consoles and has been done reasonably well in some occasions. Though the sweetness of RTSs still come from PCs.



One of which is user created content in terms of Starcraft, UMS maps or mods from Half-life. UMS maps made Starcraft a better game by far. You can play tons of different varieties of maps from role play to obstacle courses. The big thing is that its reasonably easy to make one compared to a Half-life mod, so there are tons and tons of different ones to try out.
Hell, I made a extremely popular and heavily triggered map (Special Forces Extreme) for Starcraft 7 or 8 years ago with no programming knowledge what so ever. I had my first computer for only a year. I didn't even know what a hard drive was. Now with an IT degree, I look back and I'm quite amazed that Blizzard made something that an idiot could understand and create an amazing experience with. I essentially programmed a game without realizing it.

Consoles are getting into user created content like Little Big Planet but that is only one game from one console compared to the tons of mod supported PC games. They will be catching up as I said above, all things that make PC gaming great will be heading over to consoles sooner or later.

MMOs are quite unique to PCs too. Though, it seems like it won't be long until they will start booming on consoles. But surely playing what is essentially a coop RPG is quite an experience, especially something like doing a raid in World of Warcraft. Killing a boss with the combined effort of a large group of players is truly unique to the PC.

Graphics are a nice bonus but, it won't convert most people into PC gaming. Show off games that don't need to play a brand new PC for and like the Wii, give them something they never experienced before and they will come in droves.
I play both and my friends primarily play consoles. I am not going to advocate them on buying a decent gaming PC. I'll show them awesome PC games that I think are cool and unique to PCs like RTSs and MMOs. I also do this for consoles games too. In my opinion, I believe PCs as well as PC gaming will eventually die out due to other devices taking the PC's primary roles. Such as smart phones, set-top boxes and what not. But, the things that make PC gaming great will eventually move over to consoles. For now though, PC gaming is still relevant. To be honest, I haven't played a new big budget PC game in a while. I'm more into the indie or old school ascii and roguelike games. I believe graphics aren't the best thing PCs have to offer. Of course graphics do matter to an extent. All my friend think I'm crazy for liking a game thats completely displayed in symbols or crappy un-animated sprites. I showed a friend of mine the Crysis demo at a reasonably high setting. He thought shooting down trees were cool but really, he did not care about the best graphics that a game has ever achieved. He later next year bought a good gaming PC for World of Warcraft after I got him to play it for the first few levels. The controls are a barrier also. I didn't even know it but he found it increasing awkward to use the WASD keys that he went out and bought a gaming keyboard with arrows keys and a number of buttons around it. You need to show what PCs can do differently to consoles. PCs can do Graphics better and its nice feeling seeing an awesome view but, consoles can achieve these experiences. Though, they are short lived compared to the actual gameplay. Really, there is little difference to the core gameplay between Crysis and Call of Duty 4 as they both are FPSs. Of course they all have unique features that make them different but, its not so drastic that you NEED to buy a PC right now and play it. People need to focus on games that are completely different from consoles games like Starcraft for example. Its a RTS which has been done on consoles and has been done reasonably well in some occasions. Though the sweetness of RTSs come from PCs. One of which is user created content in terms of Starcraft, UMS maps or mods from Half-life. UMS maps made Starcraft a better game by far. You can play tons of different varieties of maps from role play to obstacle courses. The big thing is that its reasonably easy to make one compared to a Half-life mod, so there are tons and tons of different ones to try out. Hell, I made a extremely popular and heavily triggered map (Special Forces Extreme) for Starcraft 7 or 8 years ago with no programming knowledge what so ever. I had my first computer for only a year. I didn't even know what a hard drive was. Now with an IT degree, I look back and I'm quite amazed that Blizzard made something that an idiot could understand and create an amazing experience. I essentially programmed a game without realizing it. Consoles are getting into user created content like Little Big Planet but that is only one game from one console compared to the tons of mod supported PC games. MMOs are quite unique to PCs, though it seems like it won't be long until they will start booming on consoles. But surely playing what is essentially a coop RPG is quite an experience, especially something like doing a Raid in World of Warcraft. Killing a boss with the combined effort of a large group of players is truly unique to the PC. Graphics are a nice bonus but, it won't convert most people into PC gaming. Show off games that don't need to play a brand new PC for and like the Wii, give them something they never experienced before and they will come in droves.

What games do you think are truly unique to PC gaming? Are there features that you think will never be accomplished on consoles to the same level as PCs? Do you think PC gaming still have some new experiences in store in the future?

38 Comments