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.
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:
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!
We have very minimal standards for EP-ness both in terms of number of songs and number of seconds—but—the highest regard for quality. This here is four new musictunes of the thick and stereo variety, namely,
The first and last tracks are my favorites. When recording this one I've become pickier and pickier about sound quality and finally tended to an annoying noise problem I've been having with my sound card for years. I was thinking RF interference from the computer's bus, because it happened in tandem with on-screen computer-activity, but it turned out to be a ground loop. Now the recordings should be super clean for connoisseurs. (Something tells me no "connoisseurs" listen to my music, but if so, they should get the music zip file.)
Ludum Dare #27: Point One Hurts
(31 Aug 2013 at 12:26)
Last weekend I made another Ludum Dare game in 48 hours, because it's one of my favorite things to do. The theme was "10 Seconds" so my game is "Point One Hurts". As usual this one can be played in the browser:
The game is more challenging than usual, due to my own bad planning. There's something to figure out there and it definitely can be won (and some people have enjoyed figuring that out!) but I didn't save enough time to work on the way the game presents its ideas to you. That's actually my favorite thing about game design: Interactively leading the player to figure out what's going on. Here, I just need to give the hints that you need to use the arrow keys and Z and X, to pay attention, and that your gaming instincts may betray you.
The adventures of learnfun and playfun, part 2
(23 Aug 2013 at 18:15)
A few days ago I posted a follow-up video to the one I made for my SIGBOVIK paper this April. It covers 6 new games, and I already have the recordings for another 7, coming soon. This new video is a bit more polished in production values but along the same lines, new surprises notwithstanding. :) If you haven't seen the first video you should watch that one first (now over 500,000 views!) since it explains the basics.
I also put up downloadable binaries on the learnfun & playfun site so if you are patient enough to use the command line and follow instructions (and have 64-bit windows and lots of RAM), but not patient enough to figure out how to compile the damn thing yourself, now's your chance.
Three hours from now starts Ludum Dare #27, which I'm participating in as usual! I'm psyched to create something, but I have no idea what, yet...