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Entries from January 2014
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The adventures of learnfun and playfun, episode 3 (20 Jan 2014 at 12:11)
It took an awful long time to finish, but I finally posted the third in my series of videos about my software that learns to play Nintendo games:

The adventures of learnfun & playfun episode 3
The adventures of learnfun & playfun episode 3


This one doesn't have too much technical materials, as it's the exact same program playing a bunch more games: Color A Dinosaur, Cliffhanger, Pro Wrestling, Pinball, Mega Man 2, Gradius, Double Dare, Arkanoid. There are also some new results for Super Mario Bros. It's a bit lengthy, but I tried hard to keep it dense and filled with entertainment.

I'm currently working on different projects for SIGBOVIK this year, but I also have some more ideas for the NES AI stuff. All we need is more time!
Categories:  sigbovik  video games (31 comments — almost 6 months ago)   [ comment ]
Long Slow SF21.8mi. in 04:43:30  (3,028ft. gain)  almost 4 years ago · View
Entries from December 2013
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Ludum Dare 28: Single Dragon: You Owe N. Lee $1 (17 Dec 2013 at 09:10)
For this weekend's Ludum Dare, I made another video game in 48 hours. The theme was "You Only Get One", and my lexicographic pun convention has reached the level of self parody, as my game is called You Owe N. Lee $1. It's a beat(?)-em-up game in the style of Double Dragon or River City Ransom.

Single Dragon: You Owe N. Lee $1
Single Dragon: You Owe N. Lee $1


I am trying to give up Flash, which is what most of my other web games are made in. Flash is great, but I got stuck on ActionScript 2.0 (old, slow), it's hard to customize the editor, it's expensive for-pay software, and most importantly, it's dying. This game is made with whizzo HTML5 technology, which appears to be the future. (At least, unless you are using Internet Explorer, in which case it may never work.) Chrome seems the best, and the newest FireFox also works OK.

I wrote my own AudioContext music player for this, so I don't have any MP3s of the soundtrack yet, but I will try to put it to tape.

This version has a secret; can you find it? Play the game!
Category:  video games (4 comments — almost 3 years ago)   [ comment ]
Entries from November 2013
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Pac Tom article (30 Nov 2013 at 09:16)
Local fame is mine! Here's a writeup of the Pac Tom project in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: The man who will run all of Pittsburgh.

logoPac Tom project:
site · all · map
Pac Tom is coming along pretty well. I've long since finished the whole of Continental Pittsburgh (area between the two rivers) and the South is all done except for a single run that I will probably use to finish up on Mt. Washington. I've taken a big chunk out of the North Side, with several of the most distant neighborhoods completely done. I've slowed down a bit, partly because I got out of shape after a tough year, but mostly because I'm a little afraid of finishing now! I probably only have about 10 trips left, and after that I'm not sure what I'll do with myself. (I mean my feet. I have loads of projects as usual.)
Category:  pac tom (3 comments — almost 4 years ago)   [ comment ]
Gal-VES-ton19.7mi. in 03:28:29  (1,145ft. gain)  almost 4 years ago · View
Entries from October 2013
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Worst post ever (31 Oct 2013 at 23:47)
I literally went to bed and was thinking about various anniversaries and it led me to thinking about how I've posted every month for over 10 years on this thing and then that it's the last day of the month of October! So here is the boring pro forma post. My apologies. There is some better stuff saved up.
(9 comments — almost 4 years ago)   [ comment ]
IL'IN IN INDIANA21.3mi. in 04:40:00  (367ft. gain)  almost 4 years ago · View
Entries from September 2013
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Great Race 2013: Hockey Is Life (29 Sep 2013 at 13:26)
Hi! As is my way, I did another stupid thing today in the Great Race, Pittsburgh's premiere 10km (6.2 mile) footrace. The hockey season is about to kick off, which I care about a tiny bit, but I do like ice skating and my birthday was Friday so I did the race in full hockey equipment including ice skates. It looked like this:

Tom 7 Hockey costume in Great Race


It was pretty hard, and it took me 1h28m46s to finish (plus the walk to the start line which I did in slippers but wearing the rest of the gear, etc.). I'm carefully not using the word "run" to describe what I did, since I could only "run" for about a mile and a half (and a little at the end) before my ankles were done for. So I race-walked most of it, which was still pretty brutal. The most obvious difficulty is the ice skates, which don't work that well on pavement, and it takes a lot of effort to keep them from twisting painfully. Nothing ever fits my feet well, and nobody finds ice skates comfortable, and that double-whammy tore up my feet pretty good. (I'll spare you pictures of the gore this time but it was at least as bad as the keystone capers in only a quarter of the distance!) I taped my ankles and knees for stability and I think that helped a lot and they weren't in much danger of an acute injury (no falls or even close calls). The gear itself was heavy and hot, but the unexpectedly difficult part was the helmet, which squeezed my temples and was just a headache machine. I think I picked the right distance for this one, though, as it was only 90 minutes of torture. I probably couldn't have finished a marathon like that.

Pittsburgh's a big sports city and people have a good sense of fun, so I got a lot of good feedback from people cheering and high-fiving and fist bumping and not wanting to lose to the guy with the ice skates. Kids seemed less confused/scared than usual. I was a little worried that race officials would eject me (I was properly registered and everything but I thought they might be worried about the stick or skate safety, and technically the rules outlaw "skates", though I think they were talking about a different kind of skates) but the cops and volunteers were totally into it. At the end I took a puck out of my pocket and shot it across the finish line.

I only have some before/after shots, so if anyone has a picture of me on the course, would you share it? Thanks!
Category:  races (11 comments — almost 4 years ago)   [ comment ]
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