Patchou's Cabana

The personal blog of Patchou

Eorzea’s Guide for Adventurers

The first full featured app for a Final Fantasy game is now available on Blackberry!

Eorzea’s Guide is an app for Final Fantasy XIV players and adventurers. Like so many other apps available nowadays, this program does not intend to blow your brain out. Instead, Eorzea’s Guide intends to make itself useful while you’re playing, and while you’re away from your computer. The application has both online and offline features: for example, you can use it as a recipe book when playing the game and read the latest Final Fantasy news when you’re in the subway.

Eorzea’s Guide is entirely free to use and redistribute, made by a Final Fantasy fan, for Final Fantasy fans. After all, it’s not everyday you get the chance to contribute in one of the things you like the most. The idea to create this program came to me in September 2010, when I received my copy of FF14. I was already searching for a reason to start developing on mobiles and this game gave me the perfect excuse when I realized I had no way to access my recipes while in-game. It took more time than I had expected to complete the first public version of the app (I had another job to do after all…) but I’ve finally managed to put the finishing touches on it and send it to the BlackBerry store.

Eorzea’s Guide is compatible with any BlackBerry device running OS versions 5, 6 and 7  (Curve, Bold, Style, Pearl, Torch, Tour, Storm, …). Both touch-screen and non-touch-screen devices are supported and the application adapts its layout to landscape and portrait orientations (when you tilt your BlackBerry). No other phone is supported at the moment but I am planning to work on an Android version depending on the feedback I get. Current languages supported are English, French, and German with work in progress for Japanese (translator needed!).

This app consist in 3 main sections: News, Synthesis and World Status.

News Section

The News section requires a data connection and displays the latest information posted by Square Enix on The Lodestone web site. News from all 6 available categories are displayed: Topics, Important Notices, Server Maintenance, General, Updates, and Status Changes. If you’re not interested in seeing all of those, you can filter the list to include only your chosen categories and/or only news articles which title contains a specific word.

Every article is processed server side and a custom look, derived from the original style displayed on The Lodestone, is used for better viewing on a mobile phone.

Every picture is compressed and resized when needed for optimal speed, visibility, and bandwidth management.

The actual content of each news post is downloaded only once, when first accessed, and stored in a temporary directory on your phone for faster future access.

Synthesis Section

The Synthesis section does not require any external connection and only uses local resources available on your phone. This is why the initial download of the Eorzea’s Guide application is larger than many other apps: more than a thousand different pictures are stored in its resources for all the recipe materials displayed in this section. Final Fantasy XIV recipes can be displayed by craft, or all at once if preferred. One interesting feature of Eorzea’s Guide is the different ways you can search for specific recipes and materials matching your needs.

More than 2,100 official recipes are currently available, with more added regularly with each update.

Filter recipes by name or by specifying material you have in your possession to easily find synthesis you can do.

Each recipe comes packed with every possible detail, from classification to required skills, facilities and training.

Materials are all linked to each other. You can go from Canvas Chest Guard, to Iron Buckle to Iron Square to Iron Nugget in no time to complete the synthesis you’re really interested in.

Similar recipes are grouped together to improve navigation. Each variant can be displayed in the recipe’s details.

World Status Section

Information regarding Eorzea and its servers can also be found in the app.

The current time, date and year in the world are displayed in real time.

The proper moon calendar is shown along with the date.

The status of each individual game server is displayed, with speed of response (ping).

Get it now, it’s free!

Software development is a passion of mine. Eorzea’s Guide is my current pet project and it is available entirely free of charge on BlackBerry, in every country and on all carriers. Just search for “Eorzea” in your app store and give it a try :-). Feedback and comments are always welcomed.

Something new is coming

Hungry anybody?…

Coming soon :)

Final Fantasy XIII-2

FF13-2, FF13-2, FF13-2!

Eorzea, here I am!

This week, something great arrived in my mail: Final Fantasy XIV. I had promised myself I wouldn’t touch the game until Square spends a month or two fixing bugs and I guess today proved that I am a very weak human hyur. So far so good, I spent a night creating my character, finishing my first quest and visiting half of my own town. This game is huge and up to now, the experience has been nothing but excellent. A shame I had to spend a lot of time tweaking my graphic card configuration though; it reminded me why I now prefer playing games on consoles so much.

My character is in Bodhum so if you find me, come and say hi! I’ll be cooking and picking up flowers in the forest for the next couple of days. Exciting stuff, I tell you…

I just got a PS3

Final Fantasy XIII is almost out, it was time for me to get a PlayStation 3. Yes, I know it will be out on Xbox too but no, I won’t take the chance of getting a degraded experience. Everything is now plugged in, with my original PS2 cables (kudos to Sony for sticking to their own standards), and it’s ready to rock&roll.

I have to admit the system is very well made. The hardware is sleek and the user interface is very extensive. I think I still prefer the organisation of the new Xbox interface (looks more “entertaining”) but still, the PlayStation 3 has lots of options and can do a lot of stuff. I spent half an hour in their virtual world “Hom” and except for the never ending “downloading” and “loading” breaks, the idea is pretty cool. Now, all I need for some serious time wasting is the new FF. In the meantime, I’ll just have to finish KH Chain of Memories :-).

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