Saturday, 4 September 2010

Munchies food delivery #2

I was feeling hungry, lazy and tired. So I ordered food from Munchies again.

The New Orleans Cajun Po'boy:

2010-09-04 - Shanghai - Munchies - 02 - New Orleans Cajun Po'boy

The Kingston Jerk Chicken Sandwich:

2010-09-04 - Shanghai - Munchies - 01 - Kingston Jerk Chicken Sandwich

I ate, but did not really appreciate either of these. I don't think either are things suit my tastes. But they were fresh, hot and full of the ingredients they were supposed to be full of.

Xikang KFC

Was feeling hungry this morning, so I decided to try some McDonalds. However, there are very few McDonalds in Shanghai, so I settled for something that is far more common. KFC.

Like other fast food joints here, they have a menu with items in Chinese on one side, and in English on the other. I wasn't too fussy about what I ate, so I went for the Zinger burger combo.

2010-09-04 - Shanghai - KFC - 01 - Zinger combo

Unsurprisingly, the battered chicken fillet is dark meat. It cost around 22 RMB I think. It was nice enough, but I've had better KFC in New Zealand.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Roguelike MUD progress #2

Previous post: Roguelike MUD progress.

I wasn't feeling very motivated when the time I had set aside tonight to work on this came around, but once I got into it I made pretty good progress. The bugs I listed yesterday are now fixed, and additionally the field of view emphasis is working. It's annoying that the stupid mistakes are the ones that take the longest to track down. In this case, absently writing or instead of and.

if y in self.drawRangesNew:
minX, maxX = self.drawRangesNew[y]
if x >= minX or x <= maxX:
return True
Maybe I should reconsider minX <= x <= maxX, although it never quite seems right.

The FoV changes are not as optimal as they could be. Every tile in the post-move FoV tile set is individually marked up with escape codes, I should instead simply mark each row of qualifying tiles in one go.

Current TODO list:
  1. Clean up the FoV emphasis to be row-based, rather than tile-based.
  2. Add some objects and entities to the world, that can be interacted with. Entities should move to add life to the world.

Next post: Roguelike MUD progress #3

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Roguelike MUD progress

I finally found some more time to work on my roguelike MUD project. Tonight I managed to get proper multi-player support in, so that concurrently logged in players have their view of the game updated as other game objects change position. Up to this point the players mostly shared the world representation, and had separate state defining what was in it.

While the changes required are more or less fine, some didn't fit well into the existing game framework. I need to put some thought into cleaning those up.

Achievable next steps should hopefully be:

  1. Cleaning up the bugs.
    - Fix the incorrect menu related message that appears in the top telnet window shown in the screenshot.
    - When a player quits the game, the display of other observing players does not update to reflect it.
    - When an object moves, observing players are defined as those who have visited the tile the object moved to and currently have it on their display. Instead only observing players who have the object in their field of vision should see the movement.
  2. Polish the field of vision support.
    - The tiles that are in the field of vision should be distinct from those that are not (Smart Kobold uses this approach to good effect).
  3. Widen the corridors so players can pass each other.
  4. Add entities controlled by AI that move around of their own volition.
Really, in this day and age a game like this should be browser based (like 91). But getting side tracked into a non-game related endeavour to implement an equivalent canvas based display with a AJAX or COMET connection to the backend server, is something I have no time for just now.

Next post: Roguelike MUD progress #2

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Taco Loco delivery

Feeling ill in the weekend I ordered most meals delivered, and one of them was food from Taco Loco for Sunday's lunch. There is a reason I take photos of my food and add them to this blog with comments, and it is mainly that I have a horrible memory. I have ordered from this place before, and in case I make the mistake of doing so again, let me put here for my future reference.. that this place makes nasty food that is overpriced.

This was the whole of my order. A grilled chicken quesadilla and a pork carnitas soft taco. I don't know what the little pottle was for.. but it was the barest amount of salsa and guacamole.

2010-08-29 - Shanghai - Taco Loco Delivery - 01 - Everything

Now, I have disparaged Munchies' chicken quesadilla recently. But this quesadilla was remarkably bad, and makes me regain an appreciation for what Munchies has to offer. I couldn't tell what meat I was eating, but it may as well have been tuna. In fact, that's what it reminded me of. It certainly bore little resemblance in flavour to chicken. I think this quesadilla was 28 RMB.

2010-08-29 - Shanghai - Taco Loco Delivery - 02 - Grilled chicken quesadilla

This taco was barely a mouthful. It gave me all of the experience of a tasting menu at an expensive restaurant with none of the ambiance or satisfaction. And the man-juice like look of the liquid on top.. let's not go there. I believe this was 12 RMB.

2010-08-29 - Shanghai - Taco Loco Delivery - 03 - Pork carnitas soft taco

Taco Loco, never again.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Loaded scooters and carts

One of the things you see around Shanghai, are loaded up scooters and carts. You might see a cart absolutely loaded down with chairs, being dragged by hand by its "driver". Or a bicycle cart with scrap on, which the driver pedals around ringing a bell.

Water cooler delivery man? It is quite an impressive load. No wonder he is taking a break on the street corner.

2010-08-29 - Shanghai - 10 - Overloaded scooter

This guy is doing pretty well. Maybe delivering goods, or even taking the groceries home.

2010-08-29 - Shanghai - 17 - Overloaded scooter

Here's a bicycle cart. Looks like it carries oil.

2010-08-29 - Shanghai - 01 - Bicycle cart

Food vendors and shops

I had KFC probably three or four times in the United States while I was there. Every single time, it was greasy and unappealing. In Iceland, it was pretty good and you could get big tubs of gravy and sachets of hot sauce. What wasn't to like. In New Zealand, it was better still although it lacked gravy tubs. I've yet to try KFC here in China, but I should really get around to it. If it's any good, I can add it to my delivery repertoire.

2010-08-29 - Shanghai - 06 - KFC

This street vendor seems to be a husband and wife couple. They always have a laugh at the laowai when I come and buy stuff from them, but are very helpful and pleasant. I'm getting pretty good with the numbers for the currency here when people tell me prices, but I had no idea what numbers the lady was saying when I bought some pancake. They let me take a photo of their food.

2010-08-29 - Shanghai - 09 - Street food vendor food

There are lots of little fruit and vegetable shops all over the place. I'm kind of reticent to buy fruit so far, as I don't know what the prices should be, and I remember reading stories about vendors injecting puddle water into watermelons to up the weight (and therefore the prices).

2010-08-29 - Shanghai - 02 - Fruit shop

Another street vendor down the road from my hotel. Haven't been there yet, but it seems to be reasonably popular.

2010-08-29 - Shanghai - 03 - Street food vendor

Look ma! No helmet!

Back home in NZ, it is against the law to ride a motorcycle without a helmet. And for that matter, you have to wear a helmet when you ride a bicycle. However, this does not seem to apply in Shanghai, or China in general.

Passenger and driver, no helmet.

2010-08-29 - Shanghai - 14 - Scooter with passenger

Passenger and driver, no helmet.

2010-08-29 - Shanghai - 08 - Scooter with passenger

Passenger and driver, no helmet.

2010-08-29 - Shanghai - 05 - Scooter with passenger

This is more like the photos I wanted to take. I saw one family on a scooter, but I am too slow on the draw with my camera to have caught it. There were four people on the scooter, two kids on the foot area, the father driving and the mother sitting behind him. In this case however, it looks like three friends riding a scooter. Unfortunately, it is a little blurry.

Passengers and driver, no helmet.

2010-08-29 - Shanghai - 04 - Blurry overloaded scooter

I remember the day where some lady came and talked to the students at my college about her brain damaged son who was wearing a helmet, but was still brain damaged by his accident. This was part of the scheme to get students wearing bicycle helmets. But there has to be some middle ground. I've yet to see someone's head smeared along the road like strawberry jam, or for that matter the crazily driven cars colliding. China is a good example of how other countries go all kneejerk in making things look safe to the detriment of a free and natural lifestyle.

Grapefruit Minute Maid

These are pretty good. Despite probably having as much sugar as the next drink, they also taste like real fruit. The flesh bits that come as part of them helps. You get the little orange translucent bits that make up the flesh of the grapefruit in this one.

2010-08-29 - Shanghai - Beverages - 01 - Minute Maid Grapefruit

The Ayi at work stock the lemon and orange flavours in the fridge for people to help themselves to. The orange is pretty good, with the same flesh component. But the lemon however tastes mostly like a sugar drink and lacks the fleshy texture.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Peppermint Oreos

I felt like something chocolate, so I chose to buy a reputable brand.

Oreos, and peppermint flavour! :-)

2010-08-28 - Shanghai - Ice-cream Oreos - 01 - Box

No wait. Ice cream flavour! Blech :-(

2010-08-28 - Shanghai - Ice-cream Oreos - 02 - Innards

They smelt like a chemical product. And they tasted much the same.

Brasa Chicken delivery

Seeing as Brasa Chicken seems to be back online tonight, I decided to order some. I called up the phone line and ordered at around 5:15 PM, and was told my order would arrive in 45 minutes. Exactly at 6:45 PM, an hour and a half later, my apartment door bell rung. Cold. Soggy. Late. Well, it wasn't like I shouldn't expect that, as people often describe it that way on the forums. It was still very edible.

Observe the ill-chosen choice of plastic bags to pack the food. Like it is not going to be soggy after the delivery man has dropped off food for half a dozen other people before me.

2010-08-28 - Shanghai - Brasa Chicken delivery - 01 - Bags

The contents.

2010-08-28 - Shanghai - Brasa Chicken delivery - 02 - Food

It was still pretty good. The chicken wasn't dry. Given how close to the restaurant I live, I would probably be tempted to ask if I could drop by and pick it up next time. It would still be warmer than it was delivered, even if I walked it back.