Unlikely Bikes: The Unibicle
(30 Oct 2016 at 22:15)
This month's project is a new movie for my Engineering Comedy channel on YouTube. It's not about video games, and I'm not even sure I can say what it is, except to say that I sure spent a long time filming and editing it:
I got a new camera, the 5D Mark IV, which I'm excited shoots 4k and 1080p 60fps, the latter which I'm using here. I thought it'd be fun to make one of these engineering type videos like I frequently watch on YouTube (like there are hundreds of videos of guys carefully making clocks, measuring the flatness of steel bars, and so on), and I had this mechanical project in mind, so I shot hours upon hours of the various steps of putting it together. Almost all of that was even more boring than it sounds and ended up deleted, but I think the final video is entertaining, if strange.
Video editing is a real slog, and I had like six exciting ideas for different projects while finishing up. Time to get started!
Well, again, the end of the month and nothing to share. I spent a bunch of time on a race costume for the Greeat Race, but I had to abort at the last minute. I succeeded in attaching the thing to my foot, but I underestimated how little of the battle that is—it hurt so much to just stand in it that it gave me a bruise. So I just ran the race like a real person and hopefully will revisit this costume for a race soon. V2-style. I've also got a new video in progress for a weird project, about half-made, but I haven't been able to do any welding this week because it's been raining. Might finish that this weekend, but 30 days has September!
Happy 20th birthday Escape!!
(31 Aug 2016 at 23:39)
Wow, it's really been 20 years since I first uploaded my puzzle game Escape to AOL in August 1996. I was only 16 then! The original was written in QuickBASIC and assembly for DOS.
Being old is not that impressive; it happens by itself. When we celebrated its 10th birthday in post #874, I was actively working on the modern version of the game, which eventually got to a pretty good state. I didn't touch it much over the last ~7 years (full time job, adulting, etc.), but there is still a pretty good community of puzzlers putting together some brilliant stuff. Despite my attempts to make it timeless, the app recently stopped working on new versions of OS X, and the code was getting a bit intractable. But I found some time this month to get it back into shape, and uploaded new versions for 64-bit macOS and Windows to the escape home page. I can now compile it with all free tools, so it's easier for me to develop, and I've been doing some painful but basically relaxing modernization of the source code too. Anyone who has poked at it will be happy to know the famously atrocious move.h is now gone. I've got some more cleanup to do and then some bugs to fix, but after that I can make some more substantive user-facing features. I don't plan to change the core game really at all, but I at least want to make it easier to navigate the thousands of levels for both new players and experts alike. Suggestions are welcome!
As I was thinking of making an image to celebrate, I found myself trying to draw a cake in the Escape level editor, and it coming out so badly, and then vaguely remembering that I tried and failed at the exact same gag 10 years ago! Instead this mechanically reproduced meta-hugbot:
Hugbot just wants to love you into the lasers
Since the previous feedback thread is rather bursting at the seams, it's also time to designate this as the new feedback thread.
That image is kind of how my ears feel right now. This one was difficult for me, and I'm assessed a penalty of at least -1,000 POINTS for Album-a-Day rules violations, including a 6 hour bike ride in the middle of day 2, and probably exceeding 24 total hours of work. But I like don't think the rules apply to me man.
Some things that made this one hard: I'm definitely out of practice playing the guitar, writing guitar songs, and recording. Most of the guitar songs were a slog and sound derivative to me, and hurt my guitar fingers. I wrote a lot of techno songs, which came out more easily, but the default tempo has increased from 100 to 120 BPM, and I think I get more readily bored with repetition, and so I'd often find myself spending a solid hour at the piano roll and then find that the song is only 1 minute long. But I finished, and there are some parts I like!
Some songs of note: Business Logics is my attempt to write jazz (ha ha). Dude ascending a staircase was the only guitar one that came out Metamucil-style. Bromides was my absurd attempt to cram the zillions of suggestions for song ideas and titles on Facebook into one song. Song about owls for children is by request for my nieces and nephew, and I'm trying to channel TMBG here, but obviously failing. You can mix and match or listen to the whole thing; it's only 20 minutes.
Note that #28 makes this a whole month of solo AADs, if that month is February and it's not a leap year.
Oh, shoot, another month has run out of days, and I didn't finish anything to share yet. Probably nobody cares about my house projects, but how about this cryptic spoiler?
Too soon to tell whether it will turn into anything interesting, but at least it's not a dead end yet.
On a positive creativity note, tomorrow starts a 5-day weekend. It's traditional to do an Album-a-Day over Independence Day weekend, so I'm getting myself psyched up in hopes that I'll feel the prerequisite energy tomorrow. Song title suggestions go in the comments! (Or crickets.)