-About-

Hello and welcome to my website. I am a 20-something interested in computer programming, graphic design, languages, cartography, video games, nature, and music.

I am a huge fan of maps. Some of my earliest memories are of designing and drawing maps of cities. Later, I would pore over maps included in fantasy books, admiring the style of cartography. Those in Tolkien's books are among my favorites.

Also in my childhood memories are computer games, specifically games like SimCity and SimTown. I loved designing road layouts, and placing trees and parks between buildings. I found games like Majesty, which introduced me to fantasy-themed gaming, with a city designing element to it. While in high school, a friend of mine introduced me to my first fantasy MMORPG, Eternal Lands, which is free. I've enjoyed watching the game evolve over 10 years, and I have met some pretty incredible people in the built in chat system.

From my enthusiasm of video games came a curiosity about computer programming. I have programmed in Java for about a year, but I wanted to expand my knowledge of languages. I began Harvard's CS50 class through EdX.org, which begins using MIT's Scratch, followed by C, then moves into web topics like TCP/IP, HTML & CSS, PHP, MVC, SQL, JavaScript and Ajax. I have finished multiple courses on CodeCademy, Khan Academy, and Udemy and will be moving into The Odin Project or Treehouse soon. Additionally, I picked up a C++ book, per recommendation from a friend in the area.

In 2014, I decided to use my knowledge from Eternal Lands to learn certain topics. I began by making a set of (terrible) websites on free domains, but started my search of a paid hosting service when I realized how spammy free hosters are. What really drove me to buy my own domain was a desire to learn SQL, and databases are really not available for free.

So, in February 2015 I bought my own domain. Yay! I've gone through several layouts already, discarding old designs because they were horrible, or they were rigid/unaccepting of expansion. It's been fun tinkering around. I've learned lots, and I have SO much more to learn. I have barely found the tip of the iceberg.

I have several projects I want to do on this site that will be learning experiences for me. The first is my spawn map project, which is the project that made me think of building a website in the first place. I noticed a lack of or inconsistent data regarding where creatures spawn in Eternal Lands, so I decided to compile a list of my own and share it. It's easy to type out a list of names and coordinates, but I decided that I wanted to display each map and their spawns. My spawn maps project currently uses PHP, but I have plans to expand it into a database-driven project. I've also had some comments that the maps are unfriendly for people with color vision issues, which is something to overcome (somehow...). My markings currently show the exact area that I've noticed a creature spawn, over the course of 30-50 spawns. I've gotten to most of the Haidir quest mobs, and have started gathering points for other important spawns for training and drops.

I'm also working on a database project in MariaDB to make a project calculator. The user will input a quantity of the item they want to make, and it will spit out a big list of ingredients, sorted by order that the user will have to get them in. This project will use recursion, as some recipes have recipes, which need to be accounted for. So far, I have a calculator working that uses PHP to connect to the database, which doesn't check for other recipes recursively, but I'm working on it. I did this project using Java with my own data structures (it doesn't hook into a DB), and it works, but I haven't (and probably won't) release it.

Another project will be the best places guide. I'm not sure what I want to do yet, but probably will involve a form where the user can select which item they need (harvestable, droppable, or buyable), or which creature they want to kill, and it will tell them their options. It will probably be database-driven, or at least some sort of extensive array system in PHP.

I also have a project going to design my own maps. I draw them using a Wacom tablet and pull from ideas I see around the web and places like the Cartography Guild. I started with South Redmoon (of course, an orc map), then changed my style with the second, Valley of the Dwarves, then drew Isla Prima. Valley of the Dwarves took me probably a good 15-20 hours. Isla Prima took me less than 10. With each map I do, I add to a library of map elements I've drawn that I can copy and paste later, so the process should speed up. It's a huge project, and I doubt I will ever do them all. They aren't really a priority, but I (as well as others) like them, so there will be more. Eventually.

I also need to add a gallery for the maps I've done, as well as my artwork and photography. I would also like a blog, if only to track my progress of what I've done on this site. I think that's about it for my vision for this site... for now, at least.

I welcome critiques of the site, as they are important to improving. Send me a forum PM on the Eternal Lands forums with your comments, and I will do my best to respond.

I can't thank my friends enough for their patience, knowledge, encouragement and helpfulness... and the occasional ability to read through my angry rants in all caps.

The maps I am using are made by Olivine of CEL with permission, which are available for download without the spawns marked on the CEL website. Just a note, these maps are now outdated, but Burn's maps are current.

-Hat