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2017 04 16 Building Visual C++ Without VS Project Files

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 14.0>cl.exe
Microsoft (R) C/C++ Optimizing Compiler Version 19.00.24215.1 for x86
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation.  All rights reserved.

usage: cl [ option... ] filename... [ /link linkoption... ]

Making a start on actual games engineering, I think it’s worth a quick tour of my current build process, both because some people won’t be familiar with doing this manually, and because it gives me a good lead in to some other areas I want to talk about. In case the teaser snippet above didn’t give it away, I compile using the Visual C++ compiler and linker directly (well, almost; using cl.exe from hand-written batch files) and since I’m fairly sure that will sound strange to some people, I’ll start by explaining myself.

As a non-professional “hobbyist” game developer, any time I spend on games is necessarily at the expense of anything else I want, or need, to do. Maintaining motivation is critical to the survival of this kind of project, and it is all too easy for a small obstacle to kill it entirely – as it takes longer to find the uninterrupted time needed to clear a roadblock, dependencies start to pile up, and the risk increases. With this in mind, my priority in how I approach projects (personal or otherwise) is to minimize the “friction” that needs to be overcome to re-start work after an interruption. When it comes to software projects, that begins with actually building and running the code; if I, for example, move to a new computer, I need to be able to check out the code and get to work with a minimum of fuss, else there’s a chance I’ll never pick it up again.

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2017 03 30 Semi-automatic HTTPS certs for GitLab Pages

Firefox indicating secure HTTPS connection

Let’s kick this off with a nice simple one; while I was choosing hosting for the current incarnation of this site, I found that GitLab Pages allow you to supply a certificate to serve the site using HTTPS. I ended up choosing GitLab for this, and a few other reasons, so here’s how I got a shiny green padlock to adorn my site URL.

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