Pickle It Updates

Since I published the Don’t Starve Together (multiplayer) version of Pickle It two weeks ago, we’ve already updated it several times to add new features. We also back ported our changes to the Don’t Starve (single player) version of Pickle It.

Pickle It additions since release

  • Pickle sword! A fairly powerful sword that eventually spoils. You can eat it if you get desperate, too.
  • Golden pickle! Pickles have a rare chance of turning into golden pickles when pickling, which provide better stats than regular pickles.
  • Potatoes! Potatoes have a totally unique mechanic. Wild potatoes must be dug up with a shovel and you have to use potatoes to grow more potato plants.

We’ve also made a lot of less interesting changes to improve balancing and fix minor bugs.

Pickle It additions
Some of the new additions to Pickle It

Subscriber feedback

Feedback has been really positive so far. Players have been happy to see the Pickle It mod get updated and ported to Don’t Starve Together. We’ve gotten some great suggestions, some of which have worked their way into the mod already. We’ve also had some totally invaluable comments like “derp” and “pickle it.” 😛

One comment I liked was: “oooooh XD i got this mod very early in dont starve and i just thought that beets and onions were already in the game! I was wondering why i didnt see any in dont starve together…” I’m so happy our mod integrates with the game so well that people think it’s part of the actual game!

We’re currently up to over 34,000 subscribers of the Don’t Starve version and over 5,000 subscribers of the Don’t Starve Together version, including both Steam and Klei. Not bad, especially since Don’t Starve Together is still in beta. We also have 100% positive ratings on both mods, which I think is really cool.

What’s next?

We have some more ideas for Pickle It, which will hopefully show up in updates soon. We’re waiting on art for now (*nudges Sean*). We also have ideas for several more mods, so we’ll be busy for a while. 🙂

The Reign of Giants DLC from Don’t Starve is going to be integrated into Don’t Starve Together soon. Klei announced a public test of the RoG content over the weekend. Pickle It shouldn’t have any compatibility problems with RoG in DST, but we still need to test everything. We even have pickling recipes for some of the RoG foods in the mod already.

Pickle It: Don’t Starve Together Mod

Pickle It IconLast night, we released Pickle It for Don’t Starve Together! Pickle It is a mod that adds a pickling component to the game, making it last longer.

Don’t Starve Together

Don’t Starve Together is an early access version of Don’t Starve that supports multiplayer. It is an open world survival crafting game. The goal is to survive in the strange world as long as you can while maintaining both physical and mental health.

Pickle It

Pickle It is a mod I made with my husband (Nick) and our friend (Sean). Nick and I designed the mod and did the coding, while Sean supplied the art assets. We initially made it for the original Don’t Starve game and knew we had to port it to Don’t Starve Together.

Pickle It adds a pickle barrel that lets players pickle their food to make it last longer (especially useful in winter!). It also adds new vegetables, some of which can be found growing wild in the world. Others have a random chance of growing from generic seeds.

It was important to us to balance the pickle barrel so that it wasn’t overpowered. While it makes food last longer, there is a trade-off with the pickled versions of most foods.

Pickle It: Version 1.3.1

The code for Don’t Starve Together changed significantly from Don’t Starve, so it took almost a complete overhaul of Pickle It to make it work in DST. Adding multiplayer support was tricky, but eventually we figured it out. There isn’t a lot of documentation out there for making mods for Don’t Starve (at least for our mod, which was unlike any other mod out there when we released it), so it wasn’t easy making it work.

We added Xbox controller support, fixed a few things that had gotten broken in game updates, and tweaked the food values.

Since I uploaded the new version of Pickle It to Steam last night, 155 players are already using it. 🙂 I hope it will be even more popular than our original Don’t Starve version, which currently has 24,301 people using it. It’s so cool to have so many people using something I made!

Pickle It mod for Don't Starve Together

Future Plans

We want to back port our changes so they work in the original Don’t Starve version of Pickle It. Unfortunately, it seems like Don’t Starve is still using an old version of the code, so we don’t foresee it being easy.

We also want to add some new things to the mod: more vegetables, new pickled foods, pickled food recipes, pickle equipment, and new craftable items.

Get the Mod

Please check out the mod at the links below and rate, favorite, comment, subscribe, etc. We’d love to hear your feedback!

Updated Don’t Starve Together version of Pickle It:

And here are some links to the original Don’t Starve version of Pickle It (which didn’t get updated):

Pickle It’s First Review on YouTube

Someone posted a review of Pickle It on YouTube earlier today; how cool is that? 😀

Here are the current stats of Pickle It on Steam:

  • 1584 current subscribers
  • 98.4% retention rate (people who have stayed subscribed)
  • 84 ratings (100% are positive ratings)

We also have 153 downloads from Klei’s site.

Version 1.2

Pickle It: Beets, Onions, & Radishes

We just updated Pickle It to add some new veggies (beets, onions, and radishes), which can be found growing wild in the world.

We also added pigs feet, which can be cooked and pickled.

Pickle It: Initial Response

Wow! We’re blown away by the feedback we’ve been getting on Pickle It, the pickling mod Nick, Sean, and I published on Sunday for Don’t Starve.

We currently have 718 subscribers and a 100% positive rating on Steam. From Klei’s site, we have 117 downloads and a 5/5 star rating.

Feedback

We’re so geeked by how much people are loving this mod. One person went so far as to say:

I love this so much! This is the best mod in the steam workshop by far!

Someone else even recommended that Klei Entertainment incorporate our mod with the core game. ^^ Another person asked if they could use our pickled food in their mod (of course you can!). We’ve seen several references to the Portlandia sketch, too:

And we’ve had some great ideas!

Now we just need pickled pig’s feet ;D

We’re going to work on this in an upcoming update. There are humanoid pigs in the game, but they only drop meat and pigskin at the moment, so we’ll have to figure out how to add pigs feet to their loot.

Would it be possible to see crockpot recipes using the pickled food in the future?

This was an idea we’d tossed around, but seeing someone request crockpot recipes with pickled food made us want to do it. So far, we only have a few recipe ideas, but I’m sure people will suggest more once we put this in the mod.

Version 1.1

Pickle It Version 1.1

On Monday, we updated the mod with 5 new pickling recipes: carrot, corn, eggplant, mushroom, and pumpkin.

We’ll have a new update soon that will add some more veggies. Then, we’ll move onto some of the more fun things on our to do list. 😀

Pickle It: Don’t Starve Mod

Pickle It IconMy husband (Nick), our buddy (Sean), and I published a mod for Don’t Starve today! As its name would imply, “Pickle It” lets you pickle food, so that it lasts longer.

Don’t Starve

Don’t Starve is an open world wilderness survival game developed by Klei Entertainment. You are thrown into a strange world with the goal of surviving as long as you can while maintaining both physical and mental health. You can gather resources and craft items and structures to help you survive.

Pickle It

Don’t Starve has a big fan base and Klei made it fairly easy to mod the game; all but the very basic elements of the game are written in Lua. We got to work as soon as we had a mod idea, which was to add a pickling system to the game. Nick and I experimented with pickling cucumbers IRL this year, so that’s how we came up with the idea. 🙂 Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of documentation yet for anything other than characters, creatures, and equippable items, so our mod was a bit challenging.

Pickle It Mod Screenshot

The current version (version 1.0) of our mod introduces the pickle barrel, two new vegetables (cabbage and cucumber), four pickled food recipes (sauerkraut, pickle, pickled egg, and pickled herring), as well as pickled mush for invalid/failed pickling attempts.

Future Plans

We already have some more ideas for the mod in the works. We’ll be adding new vegetables and pickling recipes soon and I’m sure we’ll be fine tuning stats and whatnot as we get comments from other players. We have a few surprises planned, too. 😉

Get the Mod

Please check out the mod at the links below and rate, favorite, comment, subscribe, etc. We’d love to hear your feedback! 😀

Steam Workshop: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=196051302

Klei Forums: http://forums.kleientertainment.com/files/file/392-pickle-it/

GitHub Repo: https://github.com/mariewest/Pickle-It-Dont-Starve-Mod

Temperature via Arduino

It’s hot in Seattle this weekend with highs in the 90’s. Earlier today, Nick and I were wondering just how hot it was in our computer room, but we didn’t have a thermometer to measure the temperature. Nick tried a meat thermometer, but we didn’t think that would be a very reliable source. 😛 Then, Nick remembered that our Arduino kit (which we got a while back, but haven’t used yet) came with a temperature sensor.

Arduino Uno

Arduino is an open-source single-board microcontroller that lets you write programs to control the inputs and outputs on the Arduino. We have the SparkFun Inventor’s Kit, but they also have a less expensive Starter Kit. Alternatively, you can buy just the Arduino Uno for about $20 and buy the components separately.

Nick and I went through the first tutorial or two that taught us how to light up LED’s and make them blink. By then, we were excited to improvise and start writing our own code (since we’re both programmers). Nick set up the electronics while I went to work coding a decimal to binary LED display function. It worked on our first try, so then I added a loop that made the LED’s count from 0 to 255 in binary. Then, we were ready to add the temperature sensor! We glanced at Tutorial 10 and used it as a reference for our Arduino-driven binary LED display thermometer project. With just a little extra code, we were able to take the input from the temperature sensor and display it using my previous decimal to binary LED display function.

Arduino Binary Thermometer
Our Arduino binary thermometer (87 degrees!)

We had a ton of fun with the Arduino and can’t wait to think of another project! For anyone with basic knowledge of either programming or electronics, the Arduino could be a really fun hobby and learning experience. I didn’t know anything about electronics, but I learned a lot in the short time I spent playing with it.

 

GoldPerHour WoW Addon

Today, I started to teach myself how to make addons for World of Warcraft. WoW addons are made using Lua and XML, so it was a good opportunity for me to brush up on my skills. I began by going through WoWWiki‘s Hello World tutorial.

Then, I decided to make my own addon called “GoldPerHour.” The purpose of GoldPerHour would be to keep track of how much gold the player makes in a given period of time. It began as nothing more than a set of slash commands that would print various messages depending on the command. Then, as I learned more about the WoW API, I made it so that the addon kept track of time and income. Gradually, I added additional functionality (such as pause, resume, and reset). Before long, I had a fully functional addon that accurately kept track of my gold income per hour.

GoldPerHour Screenshot
GoldPerHour in-game screenshot with added slash commands

After a brief search online, I was unable to find another addon that did what my addon does. Well, I did find references to a similar addon, but it was abandoned 2 years ago and is no longer available.

My next step is to give my addon a GUI, so you can use it with more than just slash commands. I think once that is done, I will put my addon up on Curse. Woot!

Useful resources:

Xaben.com Mini-Makeover

Xaben.com has recently undergone a bit of a makeover. It used to be my only personal website, so I used it as a blog + portfolio. After I acquired mariewest.com, though, I moved all the portfolio-related stuff over to that site… leaving xaben.com feeling a little awkward and empty. The aim of the makeover was to transform the site into just a blog.

Xaben.com "Before"
Xaben.com "Before"
Xaben.com "After"
Xaben.com "After"
Style-wise, I didn’t change much (though I was tempted to try a new look). The biggest change was increasing the width from 900px (not sure why it wasn’t 960px) to 1000px. 1000px might be a little overkill for my simple blog, but I wanted to try it out. There has been a bit of a push to start using 1000px widths for responsive web design. Xaben.com doesn’t take advantage of responsive web design yet, but I want its next design to be flexible and adjust to the user’s resolution.

The archive links didn’t seem useful in the old design, so I replaced them with tag links instead. I don’t know why the search bar was in the categories section, so I moved it out on its own where it made more sense. I also added a link to the RSS feed, which didn’t exist in the old design.

I also tried to improve on readability. A couple people told me that the font on the old site was too small, so I increased the font size on the new design. Ideally, websites should have 55 to 75 characters per line, which the old design was well over. The new design also exceeds the optimal number of characters per line, but it is close to the 75 to 85 range that is common practice. I personally prefer smaller font and longer lines, but I’ll go with the design experts. 😉

Desktop Help Request Client

My Windows desktop application (formerly known as Info Gatherer) is now on GitHub!

Direct link to the GitHub project: Desktop Help Request Client repository

Prior to today, I had only used the version control system Subversion, so Git was completely new to me. The GitHub tutorial made it easy to get started. Learning about git status was helpful, too. 😛 I still have a lot to learn about Git, but it’s fun to learn something new. 🙂

A slightly customized version of Desktop Help Request Client (DHRC) was installed on the University of Washington Information School lab computers this week. I’m pretty geeked that people are going to be using it. :geek:

Info Gatherer

Project Scope

My husband, Nick West, works at the Information School at the University of Washington. Yesterday, Nick told me that the team he works with could use my help. They needed a desktop application that would run on Windows (specifically, Windows 7). The application would gather some basic system information about the computer, along with information from the user, and then post the data (in JSON format) to a given URL.

Info Gatherer
My Info Gatherer application

The information they wanted was:

  • Machine name
  • Username of logged-in user
  • Local IP address
  • List of running processes
  • Timestamp
  • Name (submitted by user)
  • Email (submitted by user)
  • Comments (submitted by user)

The application itself would be a form with name, email, and comment fields and a submit button for submitting the data (the system information would be hidden from the user).

Continue reading Info Gatherer