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

A Busy Couple of Weeks


Hey guys,
Steve here.

Unfortunately, I did not complete my 1 week challenge to make a game, though I still believe it is within my abilities to do so. It was more so the timing I chose, which turned out to be pretty bad, something that the post title clearly suggests.
There is a lot that has happened in the last 2 weeks. I’ll go ahead and rewind back to week 1, which was the week following my last post, and when I was originally supposed to have completed the game creation challenge. I actually managed to squeeze in 3 or 4 days of work on the game that week, though I was majorly hindered by the need to purchase sound affects from a source I’d never used, and thus didn’t trust yet. Furthermore, this mistrust was enhanced when my friend spent $85 on their sound affects, and didn’t receive his sounds for several days. As a result, I didn’t get the necessary sounds until Thursday of that week, so I decided to give myself an extra few days to work on it, and thus decided to delay the blog post a few days as well.
Well guess what? After getting a few more consecutive days of work done on the game challenge, I found out I had a summer reading assignment to complete for school, and that my family vacation to Maine would indeed be happening, — on Friday! of that week. And while I only considered the former to be a bad thing, both meant that coding a game would be quite hard, if not impossible for a little bit.
That said, vacation was great. There’s not too much to say about it, except for that it was relaxing, I didn’t have to put up with 110 degree Texas heat, and I did not work on my summer reading assignment or coding games or anything that required the use of my intelligence. But even though I got home on Wednesday of last week, I had a camping trip with my church youth group in Oklahoma on Friday and Saturday, then spent all of Sunday at church.
Today has been a day of rest for me. I didn’t really do anything productive, as I’ve basically been non stop the past several days. But for those wondering about the status of the game challenge, I’ve decided not to finish it, because honestly my timing was bad, it was meant to be only a week thing, and once I get back to coding I really need to start porting my main projects over to Python. That will have to wait a bit though, so that I can get this school reading assignment done before it’s too late. And believe me, I want to code games this week, but I’ve already had 2 dreams that involved me walking in on the first day of school and realizing that I didn’t complete the summer reading assignment because it totally slipped my mind, and that I’d be starting off the school year by failing English. I’d much rather leave that in my dreams.

Still, in the free time I did have during that time, I managed to create a little recording, that I would like to share with followers of this blog. I hardly ever post audio on the blog itself, so you know this is going to be good.
I had one of the text-to-speech voices from my computer commentate a recording I made of myself playing Red Spot, an audio first person shooter. This voice is named Microsoft Sam, and has been used to create funny skits and recordings all over YouTube. Anyway, though I didn’t think it would, this recording received quite a bit of approval from those I showed it to. It’s about 10 minutes long, and is bound to make you chuckle at some point.

In case the comments seemed untimely or out of place at certain points, this was basically my process for creating this recording, literally:
1. I recorded a segment of myself playing and owning on Red Spot.
2. I played it back, paying attention to key events in the game.
3. Once I came upon a turning point, major event, or just felt like Sam should say something, I paused the playback, recorded a piece of Sam’s speech, and inserted it into the recording. This was kind of hard because I had to focus on timing.
4. I listened to it, made sure there were no errors, and saved it.
I should note that none of Sam’s speech was scripted. These were all responses I thought appropriate to the occasion.

Thanks for reading,
type you later,
Steve.
P.S. that file received quite a bit of positive reaction, and I hope to create more. But like Sam’s speech in that recording, the decision will likely be made two seconds before its execution, so don’t count on counting on or not counting on it.

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Posted in average, busy, happyness, information, journal, life, school, updates

Great news and a busy week


Hey guys,
Steve here.

As the post title implies, I’ve got some good news to tell you guys about. It might not affect you as much as it does me… but I figured I’d share it with you, this being my blog.
Remember that Spanish exam I talked about in last Thursday’s update? Well I figured two good things about it:
1. Turns out, that won’t determine whether or not I fail or pass Spanish 1. It’s the semester averages combined, not the semester exam scores as I previously thought. And judging by the fact that my grade in that class has been passing all year long, that answers the question of whether or not I’m done with Spanish 1.
2. The test has been moved back a week. So even if there were a good reason for me to be panicking, I could give my nerves a rest for about another week.
Oh man, you wouldn’t believe how relieved I was to learn that. I’m not terrible in Spanish, though I’m not the best either.

Moving on, also mentioned in the title, I’m having a rather busy week this week. There’s been church, concerts, and will be more church, and even… I think a family get together on Sunday.
To start off, we went to church twice last Sunday, as we normally do. On Monday, my sister had an orchestra concert, followed by my choir concert on Tuesday. Tonight, we’re going to church, and Friday night fellowship will be this Friday at our church. And finally, on Sunday, I believe we’re having a family get together.
Monday will be memorial day, and there’s nothing planned that day. I think I might spend Monday programming, because I haven’t done much of that in a while. Come to think of it, besides playing games and doing a late podcast, I really haven’t done anything productive in the world of technology in quite some time.

Moving on, but still kind of on my previous topic, there are only 11 days of school left, one of which will be Tiger Bash, a day of fun and absolutely no school work. And, the last days of school will be early release days. I guess after that, until June 23 when I go to church camp, I’ll have plenty of time to program, Skype, blog, and podcast; so if I’m not blogging a lot now, just remember that I will when school lets out, because I’ll have plenty of free time.

Well, I guess that about wraps up tonight’s post. I hope you enjoyed reading it, and I promis to blog more often.

Thanks for reading,
type you later,
Steve.

P.S. Episode 23 of the Steven D podcast hasn’t been forgotten. I’ll get with danny and we’ll record it together.

Posted in average, busy, happyness, intresting, journal, life, pics, projects, school, updates, weather for today, winter weather

Happy times and big stressers: a busy start to December


Hey guys,
Steve here.

As I write this post, I’m pretty tired. I want nothing more than another break right about now, as I have quite a bit to do in the next few days. Also, There is some weather stuff I’m excited about, and I’ll tell you about that in this post.

As far as my life, it has been exciting but stressful as I said in the post title. Not much happened after my blog post on Sunday, nothing big anyway. I did however get to spend time with the family–baking cookies, and even decorating the Christmas tree. By the way, my 1 and a half year old cat Bell is already loving the fact that she can (or thinks she can) take down the ornaments and play with them… silly cat!
Getting back to my life, I’ve been busy the last day or so (Yesterday not so much, but today and tomorrow… I am). As for today, I had school, and my orchestra concert afterward, yet there is still more for me to do. I have to do a review for a popular radio show for the blind called Main Menu, where people submit reviews of software and hardware that can be made accessible for blind people. On my review, I will be doing my digital recorder and the software used to convert recordings and change settings on the recorder.
As for tomorrow, I pretty much have the day planned out. It will be school, studying for a test which I will tell you about later on in the post, starting my history day project, church, and doing episode 15 of the podcast, which will be the last one I have to make up. After episode 15, Devin can hopefully join me once again. Sounds like a busy couple of days, right?
As for the test, it’s for Spanish. The amount of nervousness I feel about that is comparable to how my mom feels about the half marathon she is going to run on Sunday. The reason for me being so nervous, is that if I fail, I will fail the semester, and end up having to take Spanish 1 again. I really don’t want this, so please cross your fingers, or pray for me.
Back on the subject of life, I have a choir concert coming up next Thirsday. That is also a day before my history project is due… I think. My NJHS hours are due next Wednesday; I only have 1… but I guess if I get kicked out it will be one less stresser laid upon my life, and what did NJHS really do for me anyway?

At the beginning of this post, I briefly mentioned some exciting weather stuff going to happen. Coming up on Friday into Sunday, there is expected to be a possible winter weather event. I am not too optimistic about this; considering the wrip off I got last week. None the less, I will record and post weather updates starting tomorrow morning, and going through most likely Saturday or Sunday, so stay in tune to the weather radio forecasts page, as that will be the page where all the weather updates will go like last time.
I guess that about wraps up tonight’s post. I hope you enjoyed reading this, and please wish me good luck on that test. Well, you don’t actually have to :))), whether or not you choose to is up to you. Until my next post…

thanks for reading,
type you later,
Steve.

P.s. I recall promising you a picture of the decorated Christmas tree in Sunday’s post, so here you go. Also is a picture of me baking cookies on Sunday night, and of me standing by the tree before the concert tonight. Also there’s a pic of me playing violin at the concert. Enjoy!

the decorated Christmas tree as I promised
me standing by the Christmas tree before tonight's concert
making cookies... mm.
Johny Rosin up your bow and play that fiddle hard...

Posted in information, journal

Looking Ahead to a Busy Weekend


Hey guys,
Steve here.

I know it hasn’t been but two days since I last updated my blog, but I figured that since my only chance to write a real good thorough update wouldn’t be until Sunday, for I haven’t but a few hours today, and the latter portion of Saturday at which there is a highly promising chance I will be unmotivated to write a long and well-written post since that will be quite a busy day.
I am in a relatively great mood today. Though I am at school right now, the first 3 hours of the day I get to spend typing furiously on my keyboard and surfing the internet, two of my favorite hobbies. Today is an early release day at my school; and since the sighted folks of my school are taking a test that has not been accommodated for a blind individual, I get three hours to relax in a comfortable chair and have a good time on the computer. I haven’t the whole day to relax; all things must come to an end and unfortunately that test is one of them. At 11:15, which is no more than 50 minutes away, I must return to the real world, which is to say English class. I am not, of course, dreading this; because although we’re reading Shakespeare and doing work, I will be able to talk to friends. Not only that, but in an hours’ time after I go to English class, it will be time to go home, and I can eat lunch and get on my computer once again… and this time it will be my personal computer that has all my games on it.
Now on to what this post is mainly about, looking ahead, there are some quite busy days that lie ahead of me. Tomorrow, although I will be returning to the normal school routine, my dad will be picking me up at around 1:15. Speaking of which, I should probably email both my orchestra and science teachers to let them know I will not be attending their classes tomorrow. 6th and 7th periods will be the only ones I miss since they both happen to be scheduled after 1:15. Not that I’m mad that I’m getting picked up; for it gives me the excuse to miss out on two classes. What teenager, whether smart or not, would miss the chance to do that?
Now on to the reason I’m getting picked up. I have a goal ball tournament scheduled for Friday night, and we have to be ready and at the high school we’ll be playing at. It is nor mine or my sister Libby’s school, or the school of anyone we know. It is just a school that lets the goal ball coaches host the tournament, and also sports extravaganza which I will be attending on Saturday. I will talk more about that later on in this post though. Anyways, I have done this tournament many a time before, and can link to the posts that tell about my experiences from 2011 and 2012, and also a page with images and video about the tournament. Here they are:
post 1 although this is in audio post format, it will describe both the goal ball tournament and sports extravaganza in 2011.
post 2
This is for 2012
goal ball 2012, the page with images and video
So reading this post, you should get a general idea of what kind of posts and media this tournament will cause me to write. I will write that post on Sunday, so stay in tuned.
Now as I said a while ago, I will tell you about sports extravaganza, which I also said that I would be going to on Saturday. In sports extravaganza, blind individuals from all over Texas, and I think even people from out of state come to the high school we had our tournament the night before, and some organizations sponser an all-day track and field event for the blind. And though the event is mainly centered around outdoor events, there is also a goal ball demonstration after lunch, which they provide to you. I can honestly say that every time I’ve gone it’s been an awesome experience for not only me to enjoy, but the rest of my family as well.
The event usually ends around 3 or 4 in the afternoon, and leaves me pretty tired do to all the fun activities I did. That is the reason I said I’d probably not be motivated to write a post as I am doing now Saturday afternoon.
Well, now that I have that out of the way, I should probably tell you podcast updates. As you know if you’ve been viewing the site for the past 3 days, the podcast has yet to be posted. I have come upon a decision on the game. It is called q9, and is an action packed game where you guide a small alien back to his space ship. It’s a relatively long game, and is filled with hazardous pits, annoying squeaky bats that make you really want to kill them, vicious creatures that want nothing more than to tare poor old Q9 to shreds and eat him all up. So, as q9, your goal is to run through the worlds and levels killing enemies and jumping pits. More will be described in the podcast episode.
I also have another podcast episode to do on Sunday, and the game for this will either be Death match, or adventure at C: another action game but that is slightly more difficult than q9.
More about these games will be on their respective podcasts.

Well, I must finally end this blog post… so see you Sunday.

Thanks for reading,
Type you later,
Steve.

Posted in journal

Updates, part 2


Hey you guys,
Steve again.

As I promised, I am finishing the blog update.

Like I said, I am here to talk about the program I am creating. It’s a utility called Swamp campaign creator, (listen to podcast episode 4 and 5 to hear some recordings of swamp being played). Basicly, swamp is a game where you walk around a town killing zombies. To learn more, go to Jemery Kaldobsky’s games website where the game is stored along with some useful info and other software. Well, there is more to swamp than just killing zombies. There is a thing called “campaigns,” which are custom adventures players can script that will run in swamp. For example, one who wanted to script a campaign could make something from an egg hunt campaign, to a more complicated mission or even an episode series of missions.
Unfortunately, there is a catch. That is that you have to learn the scripting language in order to create campaigns, which unmotivated me to even create a campaign, despite how cool it sounded. So, I created, or recreated the swamp campaign creator. Let me tell you some history of this project.

About a year ago, a guy from the audio games .net forum decided to create the swamp campaign creator. I was one of the first to try this out, and found that there were some major faults:
1. The thing didn’t allow you to create zombies in your campaign.
2. The campaign didn’t write to any file, so it didn’t type any script.
3. The way he coded it, all the script would’ve been put on one line, and that is prohibited in the swamp campaign scripting language.
4. I accidently removed the program from my computer, and when I tried to get it again, the thing was gone and replaced with a message that he was going to update it and that the link had been removed.

Let me just say, this happened 6 months ago, the audio games thread it was posted on has been dead for 2 months now, and I got tired of waiting honestly because I asked a question or 2 about it and never got a response. That’s why I recreated it. I will not put it on the audio games forum at this time, well just in case he ends up updating it in the future.
For now, I will just post a link to the software so people who play swamp and visit my site can try it out:
Download the latest swamp campaign creator
Information about what this program does to
aid the process of campaign creation can be found in the help file.

Now on to some other life things that happened that I left out in last night’s post:

I got these cool head phones. They are not only noise canseling, but they have a lot of base and good quality. I’m really enjoying them, especially when playing my games because they can penpoint enemies and items better.
Also, me, my dad, my sister, and Grandpa went to the rangers game today. They lost 1 to nothing, and the game ended real fast because noone was hitting runs or anything. It just seemed like it was back to back outs from the time we got there to when we left, but it was still exciting to watch anyway.

Well, I guess that about wraps up my blog update. I will hopefully do the podcast tomorrow, seen as how I went practicly streight from goalball to the Rangers game.

Thanks for reading,
type you later,
Steve.