Posted in average, busy, gaming and technology, happyness, journal, life, programming, projects, updates, winter weather

An Update


Hey guys,
Steve here.

I found this really cool, blind accessible Solitaire game for the IPhone. It’s $2.99 for the full version, but you will definitely get what you paid for. Here’s a very well done review of the game that I listened to, and if what I’ve already said about it won’t convince you to buy it, this surely will: http://applevis.com/podcast/episodes/blindfold-solitaire-audio-version-classic-card-game.

Speaking of games, I’m happy to say that I’m making a lot of progress on the racing game that I’ve been developing. It’s only been 10 days, and the player interface is complete. I performed several rounds of testing earlier to day and can’t seem to detect any bugs so far, so if any do exist they’ll likely be found once I create some opponents to race against.
Speaking of which, I’ve coded the structure for the opponents thus far, but as of yet haven’t done anything with it, and don’t think I will until tomorrow. The reason for this is that coding them will be far more complex than it was to program the player interface. The reasons for this are as follows:

  1. Unlike the player, the opponent can’t think about what decision it will make; if an obstacle appears in its path, it can’t decide it wants to move out of the way. While I could easily program it to automatically turn to avoid the obstacle, this would give it an unfair advantage over the player: one would be hard-pressed to win if the opponents that they raced against avoided every single obstacle while they hit at least one.
    Fortunately, I have an idea of how I could code the opponents’ intelligence in such a way that it’s not always perfect, though I’ll not say what it is until I’ve proven that it works.
  2. Player Interaction.
    In this game, I’d like it to be possible to slow ones opponents down temporarily by coming up behind them and bumping them. Of course, if an opponent were to intentionally bump into the player, I’d like it to have the same affect on him. In theory, coding this should be a piece of cake, but previous attempts to do similar things proved this to be falsehood. Nonetheless, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this can be accomplished.
  3. It will likely take a good chunk of time to program all necessary opponent actions. Despite the fact that I knew what I was doing and had very little trouble when coding the player interface, it still took a significant amount of experimentation and testing to get it fully operational. And now that I’m coding players that are out of my control during game play, it will be harder to notice smaller less significant bugs that occur.

Despite the challenges outlined above, I’m optimistic about this game. As I stated on the audiogames.net forum, I’m programming it because that is something I love to do, and I enjoy playing audio games very much.
For those of you who want to stay informed of how the development process is going, I recommend that you visit the S Quad Racing Game Page. It is where I post the daily change log, and weekly audio progress demos.

Off the topic of game creation, I had a great rest of my week. The snow storm that came in early Wednesday morning didn’t give us another day off of school, though I hardly expected it to. In fact, all of what actually fell as snow melted right after the event was finished; much of the precipitation was sleet and rain anyway.
Yesterday, though, was a completely different story. Temperatures, as they did on Monday, didn’t rise above freezing, and it snowed all day. I still had to go to school because the snow didn’t even start to fall until around 9 in the morning though. Today, while I’m sure the roads were quite treacherous, it didn’t affect me at all, that is to say, none of my plans were affected. I don’t think we’re done with winter weather yet; we could get some sleet on Wednesday. I wonder, will it actually happen?

Aside from what’s already been written here, there hasn’t been much else to talk about, though I got my 6-weeks report card and discovered that I made all A’s except for algebra, but I still made a B in that class.
Well, I’m signing off now. Have a good rest of your weekend, I’ll blog again some time next week.

Thanks for reading,
Type you later,
Steve.

Posted in average, busy, gaming and technology, journal, life, programming, projects, updates, weather for today, winter weather

Programming and Winter Storms


Hey guys,
Steve here.

Wow. A lot has happened in the last 4 days, as you can tell by reading the title of this post.
Yes, we got a direct hit from an ice storm. I’d known about this possible storm since about Thursday, but didn’t think it worth posting about as all other winter events that were possible this season missed us. This one, however, did the exact opposite.
As a result of the 1 and a half inch sleet accumulations we received this morning and a sustained temperature in the middle 20s, school was canceled today and will be tomorrow as well.
Though temperatures are expected to rise above freezing tomorrow afternoon, a second winter storm is possible tomorrow night, which could bring up to 3 inches of snow to the area. This one depends on some key factors, however, unlike the ice storm that just hit. for 1, the storm system that will be the catalyst for this second bout of precipitation must move directly over us in order for the precipitation to fall as wet snow. If it doesn’t, we could end up with just rain, or no precipitation at all. Secondly, the high temperatures on Wednesday will exceed 40, turning what accumulates in the morning into slush by the afternoon. Knowing Texas and it’s erratic weather patterns, though, this could very well change for better or worse.

In other news, I’ve once again had an active programming week. For now, I’ve set aside the word pad application that I was working on, as it is very low priority and has most of the features I was planning to implement. However, I have an actual audio game in the works now, something I’ve only attempted once before and discontinued due to lack of new ideas.
The current game I’m working on is a racing game. There’s nothing too special about it: turns, obstacles to make the game more challenging… that’s basically it. I’ve been building it for about 4 days now, and was only able to compile a half-working version tonight. Even still, this has a significant number of bugs, and lacks several features that are to be included in the actual release.
Since I’ve never worked on such a project before, the hardest part has been fine-tuning it: the opponents have to have just the right amount of speed, because we don’t want them to fall too far behind, but then again we don’t want them to go as fast as the player, as that could cause some problems, especially if obstacles are present on the map. In addition, I’m still experimenting with other things such as sound (panning, volume), initial placement of opponents, and track size.
At any rate, I’m making considerable progress on this game. It will definitely be addicting once I finish coding it.

That concludes this post. I’ll blog some time this weekend.

Thanks for reading,
type you later,
Steve.

Posted in busy, journal, programming, updates

An Exciting and Busy Week


Hey Guys,
Steve here.

Last week went by so fast, despite the fact that I was counting down the days until I could go to D Now. This year, D Now was very exciting, mostly like it’s been the last 3 years I’ve gone. However, there were some differences: we stayed at a camp this time, and there was not a game in the afternoon, and there were two mission projects. Still, I had a lot of fun.
First of all, we got a hilarious, speaker! For those of you who ever get bored in church, I promise you that if you were at D Now last weekend, that wouldn’t have happened. He had the croud busting out laughing every minute it seemed. Despite that fact, I got a lot out of the messages he preached.
I also enjoyed the worship services. The combination of a loud band and the fact that everyone around me was singing eliminated all hesitation I had to sing.
Besides the messages, which there were 4 of, I spent the weekend making friends and enjoying myself. I definitely look forward to D Now next year.

I was pretty tired after D Now ended on Sunday, and spent a few hours relaxing, before I returned to my home church for a Valentines dinner. Since it was a 3 day weekend, my friend came home with us, and spent the night. So as you can imagine, I had quite a busy weekend.

Moving on, I’ve done a lot of programming over the last week, except for the weekend of course. I’ve downloaded inform7, a language speciffically meant for coding interactive fiction games. This language is unlike PB, because the sintax is very close to that of human english. Check out this example of inform sintax:

[this is a comment. the end of comment is marked by the right bracket. But here we’re going to create a hallway.]
A coridor is a kind of room.
[we want to create a hallway. and saying that a hallway is a room is just a bit weird…]
the Hallway is a coridor. “you stand at the end of a lengthy coridor. It is relatively dark here, only a small percentage of the numerous lightbulbs dotting the cieling actually in working condition. Several unmarked doors line the carpeted walls, a card reader on each one. Save the occasional mysterious sound coming from one of the rooms, the coridor is completely scilent. At the far end of the coridor is a heavy looking shiny metal door. On the wall beside the door looks to be a key pad, but it’s too far away for you to clearly tell what it is.”

The first sentence, as said in the comment, defined a kind of room. The second one created that room, and the text in quotation marks represented the description that the player would read upon entering it, that being why I had to be so descriptive.
So even for a non-technical person, learning inform wouldn’t be all that hard. It’s harder for me, however, because it resembles no language I’ve ever worked with.

In other news, I downloaded BGT (Blastbay Game toolkit) a couple days ago. I’m not exactly sure why I did that (I was just a bit bored), but going back and looking at the manual from a semi-experienced coder point of view, I discovered that it actually makes some sence now. So who knows, I might learn that just so I have something else to use for coding games.

Of course, I did some coding in good old purebasic. I started to rewrite sQuad word, as the previous version is so buggy that there’s literally no way to fix it without dissecting all the code and reworking countless procedures and such; it would take much less time just to redo the thing. After coding on it for about 45 minutes I was able to create a fully functional file and edit menu, with all of the most basic of the basic features of a notepad. I added an autosaving feature as well, and got it up and working, bug free, on the first try.

That’s all for this post. I’ll blog again later. Also, since I was unable to do it this weekend, I’ll record the podcast for this week soon.

Thanks for reading,
Type you later,
Steve.

Posted in average, busy, gaming and technology, happyness, information, journal, life, updates

Site Updates and Exciting News


Hey guys,
Steve here.

Well the last few days were good, in contrast to the period of time before last week’s post. Though it’s only been a few days and obviously not a whole lot of things has happened, I’m posting this because I do have a few things to tell you about—and some of those are very important.

Well to start things off, I’ll be going to D Now this weekend. It was a last minute deal—on Thursday, the friend I go with called me, and asked if I wanted to go this year. I think that things will be a bit different this year than they were in past years, but I’ll let you know. At any rate, I’m looking forward to D Now, and also to having next Monday off of school.

In other news, alter Aeon was a big part of my life for the past week. So far, I’ve spent almost 12 hours total playing the game, but that’s still not close to the 72 hours I accumulated on swamp during an 11 day period back in 2013 and early 2014. I have a good feeling that I’ll be addicted to this game for quite a while, so expect to hear more about Alter Aeon in the future; there’s so much to do, that I don’t think I’ll ever run out of new places to explore, story to read, and monsters to fight.

As a result of this Alter Aeon, I haven’t read much, so I’m still on Xenocide: Ender Wiggin #3. Nonetheless, I still read some, and have come to find that said book is highly philosophical. It’s a great book, but the amount of philosophy, mainly regarding evolution, the beginning of civilization etc., makes my head spin.

Moving on, I did something I haven’t done in a long time— changed up the site a little bit. Since I don’t create much in the way of software, but mostly create game books and swamp campaigns, I renamed the software page to computer creations. Of course, if I actually decide to create and publish some software, I’ll put it there, but you can also find game books such as the Stranded series there, and swamp campaigns such as twisted egg hunt, sniping mania and some others.
As you know, I’ve done quite a few podcasts, and 31 episodes of a podcast on one page is quite a bit. So, I’ve decided to organize the podcasts by year of release—if you visit the podcasts page, you’ll see 3 options—podcasts from 2015, 2014, and 2013. I thought this organization would make it easier for you to find the episode of the cast that you want to listen to.

On a related note, I’m finally back on schedule with the Steven D podcast. I didn’t release ep 31 last Sunday because I was feeling bad, and when I actually tried to record the podcast a few times last week, all attempts failed due to technological difficulties, so I decided to wait until yesterday to record it. At any rate, we’re back on schedule now, and if you like RS Games, or want to hear about it then stay in tune for next week’s episode.

That concludes today’s post. If anything interesting pops up this week, I’ll blog on Friday, but otherwise expect another post sometime next week.

Thanks for reading,
Type you later,
Steve.

Posted in average, busy, journal, life, school, updates, weather for today

A slightly depressing week


Hey guys,
Steve here.

Well yes. It was a pretty miserable week, at least last week it was. Well remember last Monday’s post, how I said I was no longer sick? Turns out I still was. I didn’t actually start feeling better until this most recent Sunday… so yes. last week was quite miserable.
This week, although by far a better week than last, wasn’t the happiest I’ve seen either. Some personal matters made this week sort of a bit of a downer if you will.
The recent times haven’t been all that bad, however, in fact I’d say I profited some. Because of the lengthy stretch of days I was stressed out or bummed out, I’ve done a lot of praying, of course–because that’s what people do in hard times. Also, I’ve been looking forward to church a lot recently, because every time I went the message was always something I needed to hear. On Sunday, for instance, on the umpteenth day that I felt sick, the message was this: be faithful and patient; it’s only temporary. God didn’t forget about me. It was so weird, because my preacher had inadvertently told me exactly what I needed to hear! So as you can imagine, that put me in a great mood.
And just yesterday, I was feeling upset about something else that had happened, but after going to church I was filled with joy and piece, exactly what I’d been praying for.
Needless to say, mainly due to church, this week has definitely been on the up. It’s already almost Friday, and tomorrow will be a not-too-stressful B Day. And, with that sickness completely gone, I think life is returning to normal. What a blessing!

Moving on, you’ll notice I haven’t done the podcast. Here’s why: I tried to record it, heck I even saved the file and opened my feed to update, and that was when I realized that a good 35 minutes of the podcast were gone! Due to that recording trouble, I’ll wait until tomorrow to do the episode. But since it’s over Alter Aeon, a fantasy game that’s been around since before my time but is still being updated, you are going to enjoy it.

As for books, I’m not finished with the Ender Wiggin series yet, I’m only on book 3, in fact, which I just recently learned is over 500 pages long. I’m serious, this author doesn’t cease to amaze me. His level of creativity and amount of thought he puts into these books is astounding.
Looking at an introduction he wrote for this installment I’m reading, this book wasn’t even planned! Isn’t it weird that the only reason he went ahead and wrote this in the first place, was that the publisher he’d been working with had published the Ender Wiggin series as a 3 book series, rather than just 2 books, which it was originally supposed to be, but our clever author was still able to produce such a great 3rd book?

Aside from my rambling rants about my recent readings, the weather here has well and truly gone crazy on us. Last weekend was very cold, with temps in the lower 50s and upper 40s… and Monday it was in the lower 40s. Tuesday, however, it began to warm up–and kept that up for all of two days! By Wednesday, the high temperatures reached 60 degrees, but guess what the high was today? 37! To top it off, it is expected to be nearly 80 on Saturday!
As for rain, the last time we had that was Sunday, and I don’t know when we’ll get more. I’m thinking we could get some next Wednesday, but not too sure about that yet.

Well, I guess that wraps up tonight’s post. I’ll blog you all later.

Thanks for reading,
type you later,
Steve.

PS. Goal ball started up again, and I’m really enjoying it!