Posts Tagged beta

Halo 3 Asset-O-matic Beta 4

Download Halo 3 Asset-O-Matic Beta 4

What happened to Beta 3 you may ask. Well Bungie made a few changes in between me completing Beta 3 and actually finding time to upload it. By that time it no longer worked.

So, what you have in your metaphysical hands is Beta 4, it’s just like Beta 3 but it works!

The changes are:

*You can now search Matchmaking or Custom games

*You can now go directly to the files instead of the match details

*It is significantly faster (think 5 minutes to search over 2500+ matches..)

*Templates are working (sorta, no word wrapping enabled and no way to clear the output box). This allows you to enter some text in the top section, hit a button and have your text repeated with the following tokens replaced by data from the currently loaded database: %SCREENS%, %CLIPS%, %GAMEID% (used for linking directly to the game), %GAMETYPE%, %GAMEDATETIME% and %MAP%

Alas, Campaign searching did not make it in. I wrote half the code and then realised it needs a whole new DB format to support the relevent information found for a Campaign record. I will add support once my busy work life allows.

Databases from previous versions are not compatible with this new release. A fresh search is always preferred in this house 😀

Give it a try yourself, tell your friends! Download the Halo 3 Asset-O-Matic Beta 4 today!

(Feedback is always appreciated folks! 🙂 )

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Beta 3?

Halo 3 Asset-O-Matic Beta 3

Halo 3 Asset-O-Matic Beta 3

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Halo 3 Asset-O-Matic Beta 2

Halo 3 Asset-O-Matic Beta 2 is finished, tested and confirmed working with the redesign of 🙂

This is a hot fix build, all previously created databases are fully compatible with this version. I’m considering implementing support for Custom Games and Campaign game history but this will require the existing code being refactored, something I haven’t yet had time to do…

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Halo 3 Asset-O-Matic FAQ

As people have been playing with the newly released Asset-O-Matic BETA I posted last night some common questions and problems have popped up..

  • You must extract the files from the zip before running the program.. You cannot run the file from zip as it may not be able to access the SQLite DLL and the search results are saved in the application directory, if this is a temp directory then there’s a good chance you won’t be able to find it or it might get deleted!
  • Once a search is complete the results are not automatically loaded, you must use the Load DB button to open the saved results.
  • Search results are stored in the application directory and are named gamertag_date_time.h3
  • Searches do take some time, to scan my game history of 1774 games takes approximately 20 minutes. Leave it running in the background, you can always load up some other search result files to keep you interested 🙂
  • If the staus bar is stuck at Scanning game history… and hasn’t changed after 5 minutes try closing the program and restarting the search

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Halo 3 Asset-O-Matic BETA

I should have included a game history file with the beta to keep you occupied whilst you’re scanning your own, here’s Ferrex’s game history. Just load the file into Halo 3 Asset-O-Matic using the Load DB button, you can continue any scans you’ve already started as viewing a scanned game history and downloading one are totally seperate 🙂

It’s not quite as complete as I had planned to release but due to not having enough time to refactor the code at the moment and a strong desire to get his tool into the publics hands I’m proud, and slightly worried, to present the Halo 3 Asset-O-Matic beta!

The usual cavets apply, if your PC explodes it is totally not my fault!
I strongly advise that you read the included README.txt as it explains the basic usage and what’s missing.

Please leave bug reports here so I can get them fixed as well as improving the UI and getting those features I had to cut out for this release back in!

Please link to this post rather than directly to the file, thanks!

Here’s a screenshot so you know what to expect 😉

Halo 3 Asset-O-Matic

Halo 3 Asset-O-Matic

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Halo 3 Asset-O-Matic Beta – Soon

Halo 3 logoThe Asset-O-Matic is coming along nicely now. The database code has been completed and I’m now planning the best way to display the stored information, this is where a public beta will help no end with people feeding back as to what they want to see and how. Speed wise things are looking a lot better, I have just scanned my current game history (1150 games) and it took 19 minutes 50 seconds. A vast improvement from the original 50 minutes for 1000(ish) games.
I’ve got an occasional memory leak to track down, it’s currently escaping me as everything I create is destroyed correctly and the leak can occur on searches that previously had no problems. It’s a little random and hard to repeat on a regular basis so the first beta might come with a warning to restart the application for every new game history you scan as it’d be a shame to hold off on release for such a minor and occasional problem.

I’ve fixed the memory leak, when scanning a gamertag with only a couple of games played the downloader threads would occasionally finish before the scanning thread had processed the games. Another bug left over from when I upped the amount of downloader threads from 1 to 5.

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Halo 3 Asset-O-Matic now 50% faster

Halo 3 logoWorking down in Worcester last weekend left me little time to work on the Halo 3 Asset-O-Matic but I was able to steal an hour or so away from the current Double XP weekend playlist to do some further work. I’ve beefed up the amount of downloader threads from 1 to 5 which has halved the time needed to analyse my game history, 1167 games at the time of writing, down to 23 minutes from 50. It’s still more than I had hoped but the bottleneck is the speed at which is responding. The thread that strips the information from the pages never falls behind and is working on each page as it arrives. I could throw more downloader threads in there but I’m not sure what affect this will have on I guess the first release will have to be a slow but sure affair.

The database code hasn’t been started yet, the program is currently erroring on completion. Nothing show stopping but something that needs addressing before I move onto the DB code. With the recent announcement that Bungie are going to give the helm of Bungie Favourites to the community I can see an increased need to locate which games have assets in your history.
I’ll be working on stopping the completion error today, I’m not sure why it’s only just started happening so that’s an interesting challenge. I’ll also need to find a profile that hasn’t played many Halo 3 matches for testing, another challenge in itself 😀

I’ve fixed the error, I hadn’t accounted for going from 1 thread downloading to 5 which meant another thread was exiting early. I also picked up on a subtle bug where 1 of your games was never processed. Hardly a killer bug but I’m glad I spotted it before the public beta (as soon as the DB code is written) 🙂

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Xbox 360 saves backup rises out of the ashes

Over the weekend I picked up a couple of Xbox 360 Memory Units with some hardware to connect them to my PC via USB and I’m starting work on my Xbox 360 game save transfering software again.

I had intended re-writing all of the existing code (saves listing on MU and PC, file copying, full MU backup and deleting and more) but looking back over the source it’s apparent that what I had written was complex and my time would be better spent refactoring the existing code instead of starting from scratch again.
I’m currently playing with adding USB driver support (I’m trying to figure out why the code is returning an error about the device being stalled) but I’ll start up on the main code again soon.

One thing is puzzling me though, I spent a day on this alone and I’m still not sure why this is happening;
Calculating the free space on the device always results in about 2 megs more free space on the card than the Xbox 360 shows. I’ve gone over my code countless times, tried different methods but I always end up with the same amount more. I’m speculating that the Xbox 360 takes into account that when deleting a save/file only the file is removed, the directory structure still remains. This takes up sectors and can potentially make a lot of sectors unavailable for file storage. I’ll have to run some tests and experiment.

I’ll post a video of the old beta and any progress I’ve made soon so you can see it in action for yourselves.

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Xbox 360 saves backup and sharing, the way it should have been

By now anyone interested in Xbox 360 save backup and sharing will know about Xplorer360, it’s a functional tool but I hate the interface, it lacks grace and ease of use. Back when it was first released I wanted a superior and more familiar way of presenting save data to users rather than displaying the confusingly long folder names that had no relevance to the actual name of the save it contained.

Unfortunately the developers continued with their current look and feel for the app which was then later cloned by others. Not owning an Xbox 360 it mattered little to me but, as always, I had that nagging feeling that I could do a lot better….

What you are looking at are the first public images of an application I started well over a year ago, all without even seeing an Xbox 360 let alone having access to one.

The interface was inspired by the old Action Replay Xbox, in fact I flirted with calling the program XboxAR360 (as in Xboxer 360) in homage to the program that I helped shape and use at Datel.

As you can see on the left is the current memory unit contents, this can be an actual memory unit or a full card backup image file on your PC. On the right is the PC database which lists all the saves on your PC. Image 3 clearly shows the saves properties dialog, this is where you can add comments to your saves and list the region and so on. Saves are stored in a zip format and include an ascii based file detailing the saves properties, the plan was to open up the layout so that websites for sharing saves could extract all the data needed from this file on upload as well as the program itself using it.

So where is this amazing looking program now? Still on my hard drive in an incomplete state. You see when I said I didn’t have access to an Xbox 360 to aid in development that wasn’t a boast, it’s a sad fact that whilst the Xplorer 360 guys were able to buy Xbox 360’s with donations to make their program, I still do not have an Xbox 360 and cannot continue development without one.

Will I ever finish this program? Maybe, I need to get an Xbox 360 first and, until I can afford such a luxury, development has ceased. I’ve seen that Xplorer360 cannot access the new 512MB memory unit so who knows, sometime in the future you could be using my program to backup your saves and share with friends with full 512MB memory unit support 🙂

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Layout issues

It seems that Blogger are having some problems displaying my posts correctly and even including some extra fluff in the raw html which is also affecting layout.

The only work-around so far is to reduce the font size to view all the text 🙁

I’ve found that by copying the html from a page and doing a search & replace in a seperate text editor for the non-breaking spaces then editing the post and overwriting it with my edited html works.

But that’s one hell of a pain for something that shouldn’t be happening.

I’m leaving my last post up complete with non-breaking spaces for the moment so the Blogger team can look at it and see if there’s an issue with the editor.
I’ve not heard from the blogger team so I’ve fixed the last post