ThinkBoxly is the personal developer blog of Lucas Chasteen, author, programmer, artist, and always learning. Read more
Showing posts with label Archive. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Archive. Show all posts

Monday, September 12, 2016

GPU Wars: NVIDIA GTX 1070 vs 970 + Unboxing!

It's that time again! A new generation of desktop graphics technology is upon us, and that means more of every PC gamer's favorite pastime: GPU unboxings and head-to-head benchmark battles to see just how much better this year's offering is over last year's and beyond. For Team Green, the new 10-series lineup represents a very important leap forward, crossing the threshold of great VR, high-refresh rate, and ultra-HD performance, but it also marks a step up in MSRP, and—at least for the time being—you'll be lucky to see prices even that low. With everything riding on it, can the sweet-spot GTX 1070 deliver a worthy bang-for-buck? Let's find out.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Introducing ThinkBoxly Docs, Now Live!

For the past year-and-a-half since Edge Engine's inception, ThinkBoxly has been providing not only powerful tools for budding game developers, but also extensive learning resources to assist in using them effectively. However, up until now this documentation was limited to PDF files that were difficult to search locally and unwieldy to embed online. But with a new addition to the site, available live today, all that is going to change. Please welcome, aka ThinkBoxly Docs!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Edge VN 1.8.0 Released, Plus a Commercial Edge VN Novel!

Edge Engine's flagship module has reached its biggest milestone yet, and in more ways than one! For the past few months Edge VN has been receiving major updates to overhaul every aspect of the visual novel suite and bring to it a new level of features, performance, and stability. Now that quest is complete, and on top of that, one of the first commercial visual novels built on Edge VN is now available to the public!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Ultimate Guide to Upgrading a PS4 Hard Drive

Well, the current console generation is firmly in its third year now, and if you're like me you've been downloading a steady stream of digital content ever since...and playing a sort of musical chairs with any content that doesn't fit on the standard 500GB hard drive shipped with the Playstation 4. And sure, uninstalling infrequently used games is a fine way to stretch the capacity of built-in storage, but as the generation goes on, I find it harder and harder to part with my favorite titles—a list that keeps growing beyond what 500GB can reasonably handle. And let's not even get started on screenshot and video captures.

If this sounds familiar, then the good news is, upgrading your PS4’s internal storage is about as easy as can be—and no, you don't have to lose your content (or void your warranty) in the process. Yes, this includes PT. That being said, while it's not exactly complicated, it is rather involved, and there's a surprising lack of good guides out there that detail the entire process without skipping over certain optional parts.

Hence the guide you see before you. If you're interested in upgrading your PS4’s hard drive, then read on, because in this guide we're going to do it all, going for maximum storage and zero compromise, leaving no stone unturned. Let's get started!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Tales of Xillia 2 is the Best JRPG You've Never Played

The past year has been something of a lesson for me: a lesson in how little time I have to play videogames these days.

It all started in 2015 when I picked up Tales of Xillia 2 on a sale and started playing it almost on a whim. Tales of Xillia 1 was an experience I remembered enjoying a couple years prior, but its characters and story were largely lost on me. I expected the same of Xillia 2—this was a game I was playing to finish a sub-series I started, not because I was particularly anxious to return to a world I missed.

Little did I know it would not only take me a year to finally reach the credits, but that it would end up being one of the most memorable JRPG experiences I've ever had.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Top 3 E3 2016 Show Floor Games not on Stage

While E3 may be best known to the general public for its high-budget stage presentations, the real show doesn't technically even begin until the press conferences end. And every year there are always a handful of gems to play on the show floor that just didn't get the attention they deserved on-stage. Thus, for the past few years it has been ThinkBoxly's tradition to hunt down and name the top 3 games from E3 that you might've missed. And let me tell you, this year they're big ones.

E3 2016 Roundup - The Calm After the Storm

It has now been three years since the E3 that rocked the gaming space into a rollercoaster ride that has continued throughout the years since. Microsoft unveiled the Xbox One to extreme criticism and Sony the PS4 to extremely positive critical reception. In 2013, the third parties didn't matter. It was all about Xbox vs PS4—and more specifically, how Sony's press conference virtually trounced Microsoft's in every possible way. Harsh, but true. Cue E3 2014, and not much changed. Microsoft decided to play it safe with their press conference and came out looking sheepish for it while Sony steamrolled onward, riding on the market success of the PS4 as a direct result of the previous year's event. And need I even remind you of E3 2015? While Microsoft came back strong with a new controller and backwards compatibility, it's hard to beat a Final Fantasy VII remake, Shenmue 3, and The Last Guardian all making an appearance at once.

But something else happened at E3 2015 besides the ongoing Xbox vs PS4 battle. And this year, for better or worse it appears to have taken center stage. And while it may not be the most exciting press conference material, it just might also be the best thing for gamers themselves.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Oculus Rift Unboxing & Review - VR Begins

Virtual reality. Like the internet, it's something that mankind conceived of in the earliest days of modern technology, even if it wouldn't be realized until much later. For the internet, 'later' came a solid thirty years ago, although it wouldn't reach mainstream popularity for another ten. With the advent of the Oculus Rift, that's where we are again: the dark ages of something world-changing in its formative stages, impressive for where it is now, but most exciting for where it's going to be.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Edge VN Major Update! v1.7.0 Now Available!

If you've been using Edge VN for the past few months, you'll have noticed that it has sat at v1.5.4 for a while now. As of today, I'm very proud to unveil the reason why: v1.7.0 is now here, and as the leap in version number suggests, it's a big one! The new update completely overhauls the code from previous versions and adds a plethora of new features, making this the cleanest and best version of Edge VN yet! Read on to find out what's new:

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Edge Filesystem Update 1.2 Now Available!

You asked, and while it was a while in the making, Edge Engine is delivering! Edge Filesystem, or Edge FS for short, is a comprehensive save/load system that from the beginning has featured whole-file encryption to prevent users from tampering with saved values. However, some felt that the included form of encryption was not strong enough and requested something more secure for storing especially sensitive information. As of version 1.2, you can put all fears of security to rest.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

NieR: Automata Gets Character Trailer, Screenshots Ahead of E3

In the year since NieR: New Project, now known as NieR: Automata was announced, developer Platinum Games has been relatively quiet on the game. First we got a small peek during Paris Games Week 2015, and then...well, we never heard much of anything else, really. But development seems to be coming along speedily, if the newly-released character trailer is any indication. Gameplay begins at 0:45, following a brief introduction as part of an event dedicated to the game recently put on by Square Enix in Japan.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Edge Engine Progress Report - March 2016

It's been a quiet month for ThinkBoxly, but don't let the silence fool you: things are ramping up behind the scenes for some really big projects set to be revealed throughout the rest of the year, not limited to but certainly including Edge Engine. As it stands, most existing modules have matured to a point where all essential features have been added and all known bugs have been corrected. In fact, the month of March marks an important milestone for Edge Engine as the first month since the engine's launch in late 2014 to see no module updates at all. But you'd be sorely mistaken to think that I'm simply resting on my laurels--rather, I've been hard at work on Edge Engine's most ambitious (and most-delayed) module yet: Edge UI.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

GPU Wars: GTX 970 vs 2x GTX 960 in SLI

It's almost upon us: after decades of efforts and dreams, consumer virtual reality won't be a thing of science fiction much longer. In just over a month both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive will make their debut, and you'll need a pretty decent PC to power them—your graphics card being of particular importance. Both headset manufacturers are recommending an NVIDIA GTX 970 at minimum, and your time to upgrade before the big launch is fading fast. But what exactly will you get for your money if you decide to take the plunge? Let's find out!

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Edge Engine February 2016 Updates - New Look, Same Great Engine!

If you hadn't noticed, things have looked a bit different around here at ThinkBoxly for a few weeks now! While the latest version of ThinkBoxly was released to less fanfare than usual, it was for good reason--that reason being, the reasons for the updates had to be kept under wraps! While some of those reasons must remain secrets for a while longer, today the first step of those plans comes to completion: Edge Engine is now fully assimilated into ThinkBoxly, and ALL modules have received updates to help them settle into their new home and just be better than ever before! Note the change in URL in particular--Edge Engine can now be found at, NOT! In less than a month that domain will expire, so take your time but be sure to point your browser to the new location from now on to receive support and news of updates! What sort of updates? Read on to find out!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Amazon Fire 5th-gen Review - The $50 Tablet That Could

The 5th-gen Amazon Fire is an interesting little device, simultaneously ambitious and barebones. While the prospect of a $50 tablet is itself nothing new, in the past this price point was exclusively the domain of Chinese knockoffs and barely-functional toys for small children. But when a name like Amazon steps in, things are immediately a bit different. Amazon has already proven itself as a budget hardware manufacturer with its excellent Amazon Basics lineup, and now the Fire brings the same spirit into the tablet space, and with some pretty impressive results...considering the price.

Edge VN - Advanced Visual Novel Engine for GameMaker Studio

The Edge Visual Novel Engine, or Edge VN, is a fully cross-platform text and character engine designed for use in full visual novels and RPG-style dialog scenes. It is highly optimized for maximum performance and ease of use without sacrificing power. All code is fully notated and designed for human readability, and extensive documentation is included.

Edge FS - Save, Load, and Encryption Filesystem

Securely save and load virtually any variable! Edge FS makes it easy to store and retrieve real and string variables, arrays, data structures, surfaces, and screenshots on system storage for a complete save file solution in one small package! Also features whole file encryption and obfuscation to prevent tampering with stored data without inhibiting usability or compromising data integrity.

Edge Display Scaler - Simple Responsive Design Solution

Edge Engine Display Scaler is a fully cross-platform set of scripts designed to set your games free from fixed resolutions. With just one pre-made object, a handful of extra utility scripts, and a little of your own creativity, you can build a game once and watch as it gracefully scales to practically any alternative resolution in real-time without blur or inefficient tricks like room switching. Perfect for games meant to be run in a window or in multiple orientations on mobile devices!

Edge FMV - Experimental GML Video Player

It's finally here: full video playback in GameMaker native GML! No extensions, no DLLs, no platform-specific libraries. With Edge FMV, a few lines of simple code are all it takes to get your videos playing on nearly every platform supported by GMS.

Edge Engine Hex - True GML Hex Color Notation for GameMaker Studio

Edge Engine Splash Add true hex color notation support to Game Maker Studio...for free!

Hex or HTML color notation is one of the most popular formats for defining color, and is used across thousands of professional applications and programming and design languages. Its brevity and simplicity make it easy to use and remember, and is already the preferred form of notation for countless developers.

While Game Maker Studio has long had a rudimentary implementation of hex color notation its uses are severely limited and don't follow standard hex syntax. With Edge Engine's make_color_hex script, however, using standard hex notation for any purpose is as easy as built-in Game Maker standards—in fact, if hex is your preferred color notation, it's easier!