Click on the button to generate a new word or type in textfield manually what you want.

Click on the button to generate a new word or type in textfield manually what you want.

Click on the button to generate a new word or type in textfield manually what you want.

One of my goals is to make a video game. During the design phase of what the game is going to be I noticed that the story was bad. What I felt was lacking was having great characters. There was no emotional attachment to anything I had written. So I went on a journey to create some characters but found myself easily distracted doing this with pen and paper. I would go do other things like play video games. Then I found myself in some games like Oblivion/Dragon Age/Mass Effect/Fallout 3 spending a huge amount of time creating a character. Why was it more fun to me to create a character in the game than it was on pen and paper. So I decided to create this website to aid me in the character creation process.

These are considered gifts and will be used to help cover the cost for running the website.

A list of things I've been thinking about buying but did not have the funds to purchase on my own.

Amazon Wish List

I made a rough sketch of what I wanted the page to look like and the features it would need to implement. Then it became plan as day that I did not have the skills to do it. I started off with learning PHP since the webpage was going to be dynamic. Little did I know how deep this rabbit hole was going to be.

These are video series and books that I found helpful in learning how to create this website.


Dynamic Web Design with PHP and MySQL Steve Perry So this is my first step in learning how to create a dynamic website. The videos show incrementally how to create a dynamic website. He demonstrates early on in the course what features you will be learning. Not only does he teach you the language but debugging practices for when you run into your own errors. After finishing the series it wasn't enough to design all the features I wanted for my website but was a huge step in the right direction. He points you to topics you should pursue after watching this.

JavaScript Fundamentals Matthew Pizzi It‘s just as the title suggests the fundamentals. It helps in grasping the basics of the language. The series stops short before advanced topics are covered. The irony is that the last video makes mention on the second video series but it‘s not on safari at this time.

Learning CSS3 Geoff Blake I decided to watch this after checking out other web programming. I felt I already knew the early chapters so I went ahead and skipped to chapters six and continued to through chapter eight. This helped me understand how to position the elements.

Learning HTML 5 John Ulliman This is a great introduction to html. It was clear that a lot had changed in the newer standards of HTML5 and I was in need of a refresher course of these updates. Provides a lot of examples and progressively enhances the course website with you through each chapter.

AJAX Development Mark Lassoff He does a good job with a quick introduction of the different options available. This helped me picking out which coding standard I want to use in my own site. I'm leaning towards the JQuery and PHP with JSON data. In Chapter 6: “Using PHP with XML Data” the video goes blank 13:35 - 14:15.

Learning jQuery Programming Craig Buckler It starts off slow giving you basic understanding. You'll need some persistence to build your way up to the really powerful features shown off in later chapters.

Learning PHP and MySQL Doug Bierer This PHP video series goes further in advanced topics than any others I've seen. I'm not a fan of the XAMPP server that he uses and still prefer WAMP. The Geany IDE that he uses is a lot better than Notepad++ and Textpad that I tried using before this series. Originally I only wanted to watch later chapters. I decided to rewatch the entire PHP video series because he sprinkles extra advanced technical knowledge throughout the course. He does cover the material at a rapid rate. Many times I have to pause the video and look at the code in the files to see what he is talking about. It is assumed you already know HTML and CSS because they are not explained and he focuses only on the PHP code. I had to watch the videos multiple times and the lab solutions does not always work. Oddly enough you can get a true final version of the sweetscomplete website from his second tutorial series Security. I ran into his second video when I was looking for another instructor to cover the sessions in more detail. All the other videos I watched does it half baked but he covers it at least but at an exteremely rapid rate. This is best I've come across so far.

Learning PHP Security Doug Bierer He gives a great overview of the different vulneriabilities. Its a real eye opener to what needs to implemented.

RealWorld Programming with PHP 5 John Fontana He gives a great overview of the different options on how to build your PHP code. Now I have to resist the urge to wear a black hat while visiting mom and pop websites.

Building Custom Social Networking Websites James Gonzalez This is more of a overview of all the big name options to choose from for social networking. If you have no clue where to start and would like help weighing the options this is the video series for you. He helped with the installation process of different social networking options. It was an interesting look at to build a simple website and tinker around with each of them. My website aims were far more complex so I continued down my path of building it from scratch.


Picture CSS3 Matthew David A very quick read with lots of visual examples.

Run Time Errors

These type of errors made development of this page a pain.

Internet explorer likes to cache instead of doing the AJAX command everytime the button is clicked. So it took me forever to figure out why my code worked in all browsers but Internet Explorer.
json_encode returns a null if a single character does not fit the UTF-8 standard. So I had some the program working like 98% of the time the way I wanted and rarely it would return a blank response instead of a word. So I'm all over the place trying to figure out what was causing the problem. In my html file it was getting a null return so I was trying to figure out why the info wasn't being sent through the PHP code. Eventually I just decided to manually select some results the sql statement and the words with accents caught my eye. Once I was able to generate the error on purpose I figured out how to fix it.