Benjamin Thompson
Research Student
Jermiah Horrocks Institute
University of Central Lancashire (UK)
Personal Projects
Sector Alpha

I am the founder and chairman of a technological group called Sector Alpha. Sector Alpha is involved in hosting websites for clients and creating collection of open source software. Additionally, progress has been made in producing gaming community software (website and application under construction) under the name of Sector Alpha Gaming.

We have access to dedicated servers at a data centre in France, of which I am one of the system administrators of. These are the following:

SASHA: 32 GB RAM, Intel Xeon CPU E3-1245 V2 @ 3.40GHz (8 cores, 8 threads), 2TB HDD Raid 1. 200 MBps upload and download. Primarilly used for hosting general user accounts and hosting game servers via our game server manager tool AlphaGSM

ALESSA: 16 GB RAM, Intel Xeon CPU E3-1225 V2 @ 3.20GHZ (4 cores, 8 threads) 2 TB HDD Raid 1, 100 MBps upload and download. Primarially used for hosting user websites, emails ftp storage, ftp backups.

I run the webhosting business side of Sector Alpha through ALESSA. Sector Alpha provides access to ALESSA, which includes 15 GB of storage, FTP access, http, mysql, email access and general support for £2 a month. This is easily enough to host a wordpress blog (and this website you are browsing right now)).

Additionally, we also have been working on various bits of software including:.

AlphaCMS: AlphaCMS is a web content management system written in Python's Django Webframework; it has been written mostly from scratch and is currently in version 0.2.2. Eventually it will power my websites sector-alpha.net, cosmosquark.com and darkfieldgames.com.

The main contributers towards the code are myself (Project Lead) and Anthony Stewart. With the aid of (the rest of the credits/support would rather be refered to by their online alias names) Staircase27 for providing the captcha software, Kickman2l for some work on the the home page html/css/js, Death Incarnate for his contribution to the BBcode Parser and comments from Chakyl1127, IoSoulzzoI, Useablelobster, Hotfrost all of which have been helpful in the development of this software.

The core of this content management system will be made open source sometime in the future. That will include all of the features which you see on this website. Essentially, enough for you to set up your own blog and provide a platform which can be expanded with plugins and additional applications in a similar manner to WordPress.

AlphaGSM: AlphaGSM is a game server manager code, written by staircase27 (head developer) and myself. . In short, this code aims to make downloading and installing any game server as simple as downloading a game on Steam. The command line version of this will be made open source in the near future. At the moment, it can only handle minecraft servers, but we are working on getting it to interface with Steam, of which will open up a wealth of games to use. A public version of this is available on our github page..

AlphaVEN: Alpha Video ENcoder (AlphaVEN) is a freely availble video editing tool used by the team at Sector Alpha. It is essentially a wrapper for FFMPEG to reduce the number (and complexity of) ffmpeg API calls to create one (or many) videos.

Cosmosquark.com

This is my own personal blog website created from AlphaCMS. When I get the chance, I am intending on blogging about science, technology and personal opinions on various topics.

Dark Field Games

Dark Field Games is a game development group started by myself, PTSnoop and Staircase27 back in 2011. Our work together is hosted on the website http://darkfieldgames.com

We typically partake in Ludum dare game jams as a group (or individually) in which we aim to make a video game in less than 72 hours. From this, I have experience developing with the Unity Game Engine, PixiJS Love2D.

Notable finished games that I have been involved in developing include:

Drifting Huskarl: The Synopsis: You awaken from your cryogenic sleep on a spaceship. Food and Oxygen are Scarce. Your crew are no-where to be seen and your badly damaged ship is drifting through space without power. Your mission: Find the helm and aquire enough energy to regain control of your ship. Before starvation or oxygen depletion kicks in. Each adventure will be a different one. Thanks to the Procedurally generated spaceships. My main contribution to this project was the procedual generation algorithms that generated random (but possible to finish) spaceships. Find out more here.

Zuran: Zuran is a stealth based puzzle game by Dark Field Games for the 35th Ludum Dare game jam. You mission is to escape a dark complex deep underground. This involves getting past guards which patrol the exit. Fortunately for you, these guards are from rival factions which have a dislike for one another. These guards are out to capture you, but also to defeat guards from each rival faction. Guards from each faction are represented as different shapes. My involvement was mainly on the enemy AI as well as team co-ordination. Find out more here.