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Reply to topic GDR Forum Index -> Game Developer's Refuge -> Development Log - Ludum Dare (i.e. LD itself)
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PoV
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:45 am    Post subject: Development Log - Ludum Dare (i.e. LD itself) Reply with quote

Well okay. The Ludum Dare rewrite has been my primary project the past few years, so I might as well drop little neat things here every so often.

What is it: A fully custom CMS/Wiki hybrid, written from scratch in PHP (backend) and JavaScript (frontend), intended to replace something we hacked together with Wordpress over a decade ago.

When is it: Now. It's been live since our April 2017 event (though launch was pretty rough).

Where is it: https://ldjam.com, https://github.com/ludumdare/ludumdare, and https://github.com/ludumdare/dairybox

Who is it: Me, and thanks to it being an open source project, some LD community members have started helping me. OMG!! Having help with LD again is THE BEST.

Why is it: Wordpress wasn't design for multiple users. It could handle a dozen or so, but we have hundreds of thousands of users (lots of spammers). To illustrate how bad it is, I had to upgrade the RAM in my laptop to use the admin tools of the website properly. Also the custom plugins we built for Ludum Dare weren't really designed for the scale we have. Maybe 100 people, not several thousand. Plus we have a long list of wishlist items such as notifications, team support, and a bunch more that just weren't practical to add to Wordpress.

How is it: Good! At least on the backend, we're extremely close to parity with the old website, supporting every key feature we had available to us in a better way. The frontend (UI) still needs work, but we're getting there.
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Mike Kasprzak
'eh whatever. I used to make AAA and Indie games | Ludum Dare | Blog | Tweetar
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PoV
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Screenshot Saturday. ;)



So part of the project requires writing code, but the other part is running servers and server software.

The Live Server and the VM (what we use for development) both run MariaDB (i.e. a fork of MySQL that replaces it). MariaDB/MySQL are good database engines, except they are really lackluster when it comes to something called "Fulltext Indexing". They support it, but really MariaDB/MySQL just aren't designed for it.

Fulltext Indexing is the feature you want for creating a real proper search engine.

What I'm working with right now is a piece of software called Sphinx Search. This is a Database Engine that's exclusively designed for Search. It uses a protocol that's compatible with MySQL (called SphinxQL), so that makes integrating in the codebase easy. At least that's what it says on the box.

http://sphinxsearch.com/
https://github.com/sphinxsearch/sphinx

Actually integrating it was trickier than I hoped, since it doesn't actually support the full breadth of features that MySQL does. Documentation is rather poor. Like it is there, but there's some key elements of understanding how to use Sphinx Search that just aren't represented. Sphinx has DB engines: Classic and Real Time. Real Time is the newer engine that functions more like a real database (insert and delete). The Classic Sphinx DB engine requires a very complicated process to add/remove entries (something about indexing and merging and disposing of chunks on disk). Most howto-use-sphinx docs out there use the classic engine. Boo.

Anyways, what you're seeing above is a test run via the MySQL client app. I've fetched 1000 fields from my local test database (generated by our simulator tool), and done a search for "life". The `Weight()` column gives us a useful metric. If you've used a website and noticed the "sort by relevance" option, that's what Weight does.

Oh Sphinx is notable because it's the search engine used to power Craigslist. So it's real.

That said, Sphinx had some trouble. Search is a super important feature, but the main company behind in kind-of imploded due to a lack of business. Also personal problems in the life of lead dev.

So there's now a fork that is started to pick up steam. There is active development going on, and some day it may be wise to switch away from Sphinx to it.

https://manticoresearch.com/
https://github.com/manticoresoftware/manticore

Like MariaDB is to MySQL, Mantacore Search is a drop-in replacement for Sphinx Search.
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Mike Kasprzak
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syn9ne
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Neat. I'm glad you guys are continuing to update the website. I haven't participated in a jam since 2014 (my last semester in college), but I've been considering doing the one coming up though.
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PoV
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



I should be ready for the next 3 weeks (Ludum Dare in 2 weeks, a few for the weekend itself, and a bunch more to get me until I can buy more).
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Mike Kasprzak
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0xDB
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All those energy drinks... don't get a heart attack! Stock up on bananas and apples.
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PoV
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FWIW what I drink now is mostly zero sugar/zero fat/zero calorie Energy Drinks (other than the green box, and the black cans are 30 calorie teas). They're comparable to a bottle of Gatoraide G2 (which itself has more calories), just a bit higher in sodium, and a concoction of alertness chemicals (Caffeine, Taurine, Ginseng, etc). I limit myself to 1 a day.

I really don't care for coffee. I try again and again being off caffeine for weeks at a time, but I think I'm too old now and just need to accept caffeine is a necessary evil.

The worst part is it's basically $2 a can (or $1.75 if I get a really good deal), but that's still a lot cheaper than Starbucks.
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Mike Kasprzak
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PoV
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyway, Ludum Dare 40 started this evening.

I hung up the giant sign GitHub sent me.



The Theme is: The more you have, the worse it is

I posted this alongside a GIF of someone disturbing a ball of spiders. :D :D

Here's the Keynote.



There's an inside joke about the pronunciation of Ludum Dare. The name is Latin. Technically Dare is pronounced "Dah-ray". That said I don't care much for Latin, so I say Dare (rhymes with Bear). My official word is that we don't have an official pronunciation, which is fun, since you get the debate illustrated in the video above. Going to all those lengths to prove himself right. ;)

Also for some reason Lava Lamps are trending within the community this weekend.



I have a hard time explaining Ludum Dare, so I invited the girlfriend over to experience the Ludum Dare kickoff. I promised her Chinese takeout.



Then we toasted once the theme was announced and the one bug that cropped up was fixed.



LD is off to a good start. 44 and 68 hours to go. :)
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syn9ne
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That video is amazing. Happy Jamming!
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