api Posts

Introducing Printomi

I’m extremely proud to announce the launch of a project I have been working on for quite a while now.

Printomi is a service for social games that allows players to take snapshots of their worlds and upload them to their own personal gallery. Players can like, comment share and order poster prints of their virtual creations.

The way it works is we provide the game owner with a tiny API that is used to interface with Printomi. The bulk of the Printomi client is downloaded at runtime from the Printomi servers. This is good for two reasons. Firstly by keeping down the size of the code that must be embedded into the game we can keep down the initial load time the player must sit through before they can play the game. Secondly we can upload changes and fixes to Printomi without requiring the game owner to recompile their code.

Once downloaded the printomi client is ready to be be used. In the case of Gourmet Ranch a themed button is shown to the player inviting them to click:

Once clicked (or activated by the JavaScript API) the main Printomi window opens:

The window has controls to zoom in and move the print about allowing the player to get the perfect angle of their world:

Once happy the player can then saves the print to the printomi servers. While the image is uploading the user can continue to play the game. Once the upload is complete the window is opened once more offering to show the player their print.

Printomi is tightly integrated with Facebook so that it’s as easy as possible for new users to get started:

Once connected the new print is then available for viewing, sharing, liking, commenting, etc:

In addition the prints are organised into galleries so that users can browse the uploads of others:

If a user particularly likes one print then they can order it as a poster:

Currently we only offer posters to people living in the US however we plan on opening it up to other countries when we can.

To print to such a large poster (24×18″ @ 150DPI) and maintain the quality of the final product we must capture a large number of pixels. For example here is a comparison between what a user would see on printomi.com and what we store behind the scenes:

The technology that lets us capture these large images and store them in a compressed way (to conserve disk space and therefore cost) is quite complex and will have to wait for a later post.

Printomi is currently only available to a small subset of the Gourmet Ranch user base but we are performing a steady-rollout to everyone, so if you don’t have access to the button in Gourmet Ranch just yet then don’t worry it should be available for you soon!

Printomi is a culmination of many many hours of hard work, late nights and stress. But its been worth it! I’ve had a blast throughout the whole process and am proud of the result. I have also learnt a whole bunch in the process. I have had to work with so many technologies to pull this off, to name a few: AS3, C++, C#, ASP.Net, MySQL, IIS, AWS. I have particularly enjoyed the C# work having largely abandoned the language since my early work with it.

If you would like to support me or if you would like to keep up to date with the goings on with Printomi then you can like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter :)

PostToTumblr 0.8 – 8000 Users and Counting

I cant believe how well my humble little extension for the chrome browser is doing. 8000 users when just a few months ago I was celebrating 1.5k.

There were so many requests for new features and things that I thought I would push an update out this evening to add a little more functionality.

From the change log:

- v.0.8 -- 19/06/11 --
+ Text, Page, and Links are now supported in addition to Images
+ Added an app icon to the bar for easy access to the options

To highlight these new changes I decided to update the promo video too:

I have also added a donation button into the options. I have no idea if anyone will click it, an interesting experiment tho.

If you have it installed it should auto-update, if not go grab it over on the chrome app store: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/dbpicbbcpanckagpdjflgojlknomoiah

Chrome Crawler v0.4 – Background Crawling & More!

I have been asked by several peeps now to add the ability to persist crawls when the pop-up window closes so I rolled out this update.

Now when you close the Chrome Crawler popup your crawl is saved so that when you open it up again you can resume.

Not only that but thanks to the awesomeness of the background page API in chrome I have now added the ability to crawl even when the popup isnt open.

To enable this head over to the option and untick the “Pause crawling when popup closes” option.

While I was at it I made a few other changes and improvements. The main one being that the “src” attribute on tags is also searched for when you crawl. What this means is that “interesting” images should show up in the files tab if you have images as interesting file types.

You should automatically get the update next time you restart chrome, or if you dont have the extension yet head over to the gallery to get it!