Keepin’ Busy

Written by Hunter Jansen on September 3, 2014

As I finally start on the last two credits I need to get my diploma from Seneca. The most common sense thing to do would be to split my time between my work and my course work and ensure maximum results in each. While I’ll definitely be doing that (I still need to work to get paid), I’ve also started a journey on a few learning/experimental side projects.

Traditionally, when I do these, I tend to put them into a private repo so that any interested party might not see as I embarrass myself by fumbling around as I learn and do everything the wrong way. However, I’ve been thinking that I’ll keep these repos public. I reckon that no-one’ll be paying any attention for the most part any way.

So, what am I working on?

Space D.O.O.D.z

Space Doodz is a cookie clicker style game that I’ve had the concept of for a while. I first started working on it in vanilla js without much of a framework, but then decided it would be a good project to experiment with. So, I moved on to start off with Ember.js. I got through the first little bit, but it didn’t feel like a good fit - as the app doesn’t rely on routes at all

So, what did I do? I started over again in Angular.js and as I’d expected from the outset, it was a much better fit for the style of the project. However, I didn’t think that would end up being enough of a fresh learning experience. Soooo, I decided to pick up dart and use Angular dart to build it out.

The whole thing is in super super early days, and doesn’t get too frequent an amount of love (an hour or two a week), but it’s been a fun learning experience and I look forward to a time when it’s something worthy of sharing.

Its current status can be found on github here: Space Doodz. After it reaches a point where it’s worth it, I’ll be tossing it on a server for everyone else to play with, the link will be found in the readme for that project.

Unnamed JS Game

So this game is super early on. I decided to try my hand at building a game from scratch with only JavaScript, CSS and the DOM. To add a little bit of fun, I’ve decided to use CoffeeScript instead of vanilla JS - again, as a learning opportunity. Right now, it’s only at a point where I’ve got the ability to spawn sprites and animate them walking around. It makes me chuckle, as they shuffle around and I sing circus music - but it’s not yet at a point where I’ll push it. Perhaps in a couple of weeks. There are a few things I want to do first:

Have NPCs roam around

Collision detection

After I get the base of these two things in there, I’ll push the repo, update this post, and I’ll probably also make a post talking about my preliminary thoughts/process

You Can Do The Thing (YCDTT)

This is currently my least worked upon project for a variety of reasons. In essence, it’s a simple little app for Android Wear that, should you need it, will provide you with a motivational quote. It’s a silly, simple little app - but it’s essentially just an excuse to spend some time making something not only for Android - but also for wear.

Again, no public repo yet. Considering it’s as simple as it is, I won’t put one up until v1 of the app is finished.


Plastrd started off as a simple idea, Android wallpapers that change every 24 hours. It has since ballooned into a major project that is always on the back of my mind - but never worked on. There’s a backend component that’s been started, scrapped and started over and over again. The original version was in PHP, turned into an effort in Ruby and is about to begin all over again using node and mongo.

There’s also a planned web interface component which has gone through numerous idea iterations and is about to begin being rebuilt from scratch again - this is going to be built using ember and bootstrap (I typically prefer Zurb’s foundation, but…y’know, learning).

Finally, there’s a long neglected Android aspect that needs a major re-work.

The entirety of all this has grown into a major, multi-discipline project that keeps getting pushed aside for smaller, more immediately, exciting shiny things.

I’m expecting to begin a major push on all of this starting in October 2014, but we’ll see how my professional and education obligations interfere. Unfortunately, this will probably have to be closed source - but I’ll most likely (see: maybe/hopefully/probably not) be writing a post about my adventures once a weekish.

So that’s all the bigger things that I’ve been working on and thinking about working on.

Anything in particular you’re interested in seeing more of?