Past Projects

I have developed countless things over the last 15 or so years – some of them were commercial during my time as web developer, others for my own amusement. Only these  private projects are listed here and not even all of them right now. I’ll update the list when I find the time to do it.

The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot Auto Login (page here) – 2013

The Mighty Quest for Epic LootUbisoft’s free-to-play Diablo-meets-Dungeon-Keeper game (now that’s a lot of dashes) uses one of these annoying launchers that can’t save the password, so I made this little script. I occasionally update it when I have the time, but since it’s open source, anyone can fix it themselves should the need arise. However, since Ubisoft protected their launcher against automated logins, the script no longer works.

Created using AutoIt3.

Defiance Auto Login (page here) – 2013

DefianceFor a short while, I played Trion World’s not-really-an-MMO Defiance, and since it features a stupid launcher that can’t for the life of it remember my password, I made this script to fix this problem. In the end, Defiance really wasn’t for me as it’s a poor man’s Borderlands and the most single player MMO of all time, but I did update the script for a while until finally calling it quits. Shouldn’t be a problem to bump it to a new version tho, since it’s all open source and pretty straightforward.

Created using Autoit3.

GameCenter Achievements Information and Solutions (site defunct) – 2012

gamecenterachievementsThis project came into existence during a time period where I was heavily into mobile (read: iOS) gaming. I’ve always been interested in achievements in games, and since I couldn’t find a proper site for my needs, as I tend to do, I simply started to develop my own, very loosely based on the great TrueAchievements.com. Unfortunately, this project was doomed from the start as Apple doesn’t offer any way to automatically get achievement data from them – you have to enter everything manually, which is and exercise in futility since there are new GameCenter enabled games being released basically every hour of every day. I still managed to add 422 (!) games and 10,545 achievements (!!) by hand before getting burned out on it – and iOS gaming in general – and closing the site. Considering how bad an idea the entire thing was, I’m surprised I actually lasted as long as I did …

However, should I ever be in need of a hand-crafted forum again, I’ll have salvageable code from this site, so it wasn’t a complete waste of time. There’s also some code for an URL shortener that might come in handy in the future.

Created using PHP (with Smarty), jQuery, Bootstrap and MySQL.

Do You Know: Movies? (delisted from the Appstore) – 2010

dykm1 dykm2 dykm5

This little quiz game was the result of me dabbling in iOS development for a while. Even though it wasn’t anything to write home about – the game play was kind of lame, and the code was absolutely abysmal by any means – it was the first (and only) game I have ever published and it even had proper achievements via OpenFeint! Some people even bought a copy, which felt absolutely amazing.

Unfortunately, developing for Apple devices requires an Apple computer as well as an active development license (to the tune of $99 a year), so after my first subscription ran out and my Mac died, I didn’t renew it. No license means your apps get delisted, so that’s where the game went: into the nether.

Created using Xcode with OpenFeint.

TBA: The Burning Achievements (withdrawn from the Appstore) – 2010

ss01 ss02My very first released iOS app was nothing less than a joke. At that time, Apple didn’t have GameCenter built into their OS, so there were several alternatives for developers to use. The most relevant one was OpenFeint – it was extremely easy to implement and actually rather well thought of. However, I quickly discovered they had absolutely no policy against games handing out high-value achievements without requiring any effort from the player. Why would that matter, you ask? Because it devalues a social gaming platform when there are too many games handing out achievements like that. Certainly, if you don’t care for achievements, that’s not an issue, but there are many players who do care.

My app was a play on the game “Avatar – The Last Airbender: The Burning Earth” on Xbox 360, which is notorious for being the easiest retail title ever released on that console – getting all achievements requires a few minutes. All you have to do is to reach a 50 hit counter, which can be done by pressing the B button a lot on the first bunch of enemies you encounter. My app emulated that by having a big B button the user had to tap repeatedly. After 50 taps, all achievements would have unlocked. Just like in the console game, they were worth a 1000 points in total with the exact point values copied from THQ’s game, and also had very similar naming.

I threw the app together as my first finger warming on iOS development and released it on the Appstore for $0.99. I would never have expected Apple to even approve it, because it really didn’t do anything, but they did. I had sold about 10 copies when I got an angry “fan mail” from a gamer who noticed his achievements for my app were reset to 1 point each. I notified OpenFeint about that, who weren’t all too happy about being trolled like this. In the end, I had to give my word to remove this app from the Appstore and never release it again, but they did fix my user’s achievements and also – and that was the entire point – updated their policies to explicitly forbid achievements like I had used.

Created using Xcode with OpenFeint.

Jaquelina’s World of Warcraft Reputation Calculator (site defunct) – 2007-2011

WoWRepCalc.euSome time in 2007, when I was still actively playing World of Warcraft, I was farming a lot of reputation and wanted to calculate how many quest turn-ins and instance runs I would need. I came upon a web based reputation calculator which was – at that time – pretty new and while it did work, I really didn’t like exactly how it presented the data (and also not how little data they actually had). I decided I could just code my own and improve upon what I had seen, and so I did. While it was quite a challenge to implement complex faction constructs like the Shattered Sun Offensive or – even worse – the Argent Tournament, I managed to present all of them in a rather user-friendly interface. The only worry was the rather shoddy way of fetching data from the WoW Armory, which in the end was one of the reasons I stopped development early in 2011. Blizzard was in the process of rolling out their Armory API, and while I was actually invited to test the API early, I never got around to rewriting my (very unstructured) code, so in the end, I had to shut the site down. Making this decision rather easy was my rapidly dwindling interest in World of Warcraft.

Unfortunately, I have no recollection of how many users the site actually had (I used Google Analytics back then and deleted the data when migrating to Piwik), but there was a good amount of very positive user feedback. Even Blizzard recognized the site to some degree – at the very least they sent me an email letting me know about the Armory API way in advance, despite me never applying as an official fan site.

Created using PHP and MySQL.

dsDKP – Dark Secrets DKP System (site defunct) – 2009-2011

dsdkpThis project was another result of the long time playing World of Warcraft. As our guild’s loot officer, I was faced with the task to not only track raid attendance and distribute loot, but also provide a comprehensive and understandable web database of who got what, why he got it, and who was there. Back then, the de-facto standard was eqDKP, which, as the name suggests, came from EverQuest. It didn’t support addons, instead, they had to support it, and at that time, none of the available DKP addons did as well as I would have expected them to. This meant hours of adding and editing raid data by hand, which wasn’t a fun thing to do and took away precious time I needed to do dailies and farming.

LoATracker

Being faced with a similar situation in another guild, my brother went and created LoATracker, a raid tracking addon which not only tracked attendance and loot, but was also able to im- and export data via simple cut+paste in JSON format. Since I was already developing my own system, I simply had to add support for the JSON format and voila – perfect raid tracking down to the second of attendance time with integrated DKP calculation and one-click export to the DKP system. At any time of a running raid, I could tell any attendee how much DKP he had right now, including his current attendance bonus and any items he might have already looted.

dsDKP iOS AppAdvanced features were a mobile version (at one point I actually had a working iOS application – pictured to the left – but Apple rejected it because it was “too limited in scope” – I had an Apple engineer call me at home during a raid to tell me this!) as well as guild import from the Armory. When our guild faced attendance problems, I added a (configurable) option to have DKP decay for members who didn’t attend raids for a set amount of days. Of course, Wowhead integration was also implemented for providing item rarity and tooltips.

We used this system for about two years – from Ulduar to Icecrown – but after that time, my brother quit World of Warcraft, and the (broken due to game updates) raid tracking addon went with him since I couldn’t figure out how to fix it. I had planned to make dsDKP public, but sadly, I was never really able to finish working on it. It would have worked for people who knew how to set it up, but releasing it would have meant code cleanup and creating an installer, both things I wasn’t interested in doing. Right now, many parts are non-functional due to Blizzard’s Armory changes.

You can probably see how proud I am about this project from the amount I write about it. It was a lot of hard work, and I’m actually a bit sad it’ll never be used again, but hey, life goes on and I’m not even sure guilds use DKP any more nowadays.

Created using PHP (with Smarty) and MySQL.
LoATracker was developed by Raimund “ertishman” Kämmerer.

nddb – Independent Music Database (site defunct) – 2002 or 2003?

nddb

One of my first large projects was nddb.de – a database for alternative and independent music, although the main focus was the music I listened to myself: Industrial and Electronic. Modeled after MobyGames in its structure, it was a minor success in the scene and had quite a community in its best time. However, being not very adept at coding back then, the code was an absolute mess, with frames, mixed PHP and HTML, little structure and zero documentation. I also got tired quickly of the ongoing debate among certain users which music would fall under what category, or if there should be categories at all – a concept I didn’t really understand at that time. In retrospect, this would have been easy to implement by using tags instead of categories, but back then, I really didn’t think of that.

What finally made me shut down the site was a PHP update breaking everything at once. I had just found a new job requiring my attention and I didn’t have the time to rewrite whatever was needed for the new PHP version, so I made the decision to pull the plug.

Created using PHP and MySQL.