Tomorrow is the prestigious academic conference SIGBOVIK, which I will be emceeing this year. It's at 5pm in Rashid auditorium on CMU's campus. There will be cake, "papers", "presentations", and awards. And mirth! I have 3 papers this year and will likely prepare a presentation as well, though as usual I have saved that to the very last minute.
Recently I have been doing some 3D printing, mostly for fun, but also for fixing things and optimizing my life a little. It's really pretty awesome to be able to go from an idea to a physical object in an hour or two, and to make stuff that's completely customized to its use. Here's my page on Thingiverse, the social networking site for 3D printing models. I have a few other things I've made that aren't uploaded there. I started with CAD software, which is super good for precise parts (and really fun; if you have never used modern CAD software and think you might like it, you should try it. It's almost as fun as learning to program was, for me), but recently I've been learning Blender, which is an excellent open source 3D modeling tool. It's much better than I expected (usually open source software for media, like drawing or music or video, is pretty disappointing). Last weekend I made this toy:
It's the Golden Idol from Spelunky, printed here at miniature size. While I'm gushing about software I like, Spelunky is so good. If you like hard platformers, you should play it. Even though it's a roguelike, the adage that "Spelunky has a robust leveling system -- it's just inside your heart" is really true, and I've been playing for months and still haven't beaten it the hardest way. Anyway, I can just make my own treasure so no big deal. Here's a timelapse video of it 3D-printing.
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!
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.
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.
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.)