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

Racing Game Updates and a Programming Venture


Hey guys,
Steve here.

Nearly a month it has been, without one single word from me on this blog. Good lord! I can’t believe it! So much has been going on in that time frame, and recently it feels as though my creativity is spiking again, which may or may not be a good thing. You decide. As a result, I completed S Quad Racing’s Race Mode, and did away with the few bugs that have been so stubbornly plaguing this game and hindering its further advancement. That burden being lifted has allowed me to expound more on the opponent AI, building auto gear shifting in for them as well. However, that’s not what matters so much, or in fact what puts me in such a jovial state of mind at having completed Race Mode. It turns out, that another goal was accomplished that day. I actually managed to do it on the last day of the first six weeks of school, which was the deadline my Digital Interactive Media teacher and I had set. So not only did my game achieve a great milestone on its path to the metaphorical finish line, I managed not to let my teacher down in the process.
After completing Race Mode, I took a small break from S Quad Racing, and decided to experiment with linked lists in Pure Basic. One of my main reasons for wanting to use BGT for the complex adventure platformer I’ve been realizing was Pure Basic’s rather flawed array system, which does not allow programmers to directly interface with elements, (I.E. removing, inserting, swapping), which is a necessity that, although can be worked around if not available, is not at all worth the pain since most languages have that ability. But I came across Linked lists, and have recently been experimenting with them. Here’s what I can gather so far. (Non-geeks, just bear with me a moment, this is about to get over your heads)
One cannot access an element directly. In order to get to a certain element of a list, a programmer must first tell the program to go to the first or last element, and sycle to the next or previous element respectively, until they reach the particular element. This has the potential to make apps that use linked-lists run slower, because they have to move element by element until they reach the desired one, whereas elements of an array can be accessed on the fly.
Nonetheless, I’ve begun incorporating these into S Quad Racing, and unsurprisingly they have made things a lot less painful. Remember the problems I’ve had with obstacles? How their affects would loop and loop and loop unrealistically? That ended because I am now directly able to… in non programmer turns, make that obstacle disappear from the track, or more realistically become ineffective because it was driven upon. This also means that turns will now be able to be taken out of tracks by builders, with no unnecessary headache for me as the developer.
Bottom line, I think these linked lists provide an advantage over arrays, even though they may make things a bit slower and accessing elements can be difficult at times.

That wraps up tonight’s post. I have more to talk about, but this is getting quite lengthy as it is, so I’ll save the rest of it for later posts. See you all in a week, not four.

Thanks for reading,
type you later,
Steve.

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Posted in average, busy, gaming and technology, journal, life, programming, projects, school, updates

A Lot of Coding and A Lost Friend


Hey guys,
Steve here.

Tonight, I bring to you all some very sad news. Unfortunately, me and Nevaeh are not, friends. I tried to talk to her again the other day, but instead of replying, all she did was look at Danny’s I Pad, which he was using to Skype with me. Oh well, so be it. For all she knows, my name is Meow, I’m from the great state of Meow, I’m meow years old, and my ultimate goal in life is to meow. You can’t really blame her for never wanting to talk to me again, because judging by that conversation I’m quite a big loser. (LOL)

On the contrary, I actually have quite a bit to talk about, all of that being productive, well not really if my ultimate goal in life is actually to meow. But as it turns out, school is going along well this year, especially my Digital Interactive Media class, which is surprising since I was really scared at the beginning of the school year when I found out what the class actually was. I’m not talking about Business Information Management, the class I’m referring to is a massively visual class, where it’s barely the fourth week of school and Adobe Photo Shop is being used already. Fortunately, the teacher is allowing me to use that time to work on S Quad Racing, and setting deadlines for things, a plus since I now have another person motivating me to get things done. Anyway, he asked that I finish the regular racing mode, and I’ll be pretty well darned if I don’t. Maybe opponents won’t be perfectly matched with players, but he asked me to complete the racing mode, and he’s the only person pushing me to go forward, and I’m not letting him down. I have a lot of people who are proud, but he’s the first that is pressing me to get things done in a certain amount of time, and that’s what I’ll have to deal with in the professional workforce. And when telling him about the game, he especially got pumped about the Aggressive mode, and I will provide that to him by the time I leave his class in 8 months if it means halting progress on all the other aspects of the game until it’s complete.

Aside from that, the day after my last post, I finally broke down and employed a beta team for S Quad Racing, due to frustration at having to find and fix bugs on my own, bugs I thought were fixed already. I felt bad for them for having to test such a primitive product with so many bugs, but thanks to them I’ve been doing all the coding and fixing, and letting them test for the bugs for me to fix. This has definitely been a great help to me, because it lifts one of the most annoying jobs of being a developer off my shoulders, and results in me not having to sweep over sections of the game I thought I’d already tested through and through.
For one thing, today I solved all the crashing issues known to S Quad Racing, and also made it impossible for anyone working on a track to lose their work due to closing the application or it crashing. When I say I solved them all, I don’t literally mean I came up with a magic formula that made everything work 100% as I envisioned, however, rather than crashing, the program will simply log the error, notify the player, and save their progress. So, while I’m off coding a new feature, or doing something else entirely, the program will be logging vital errors, allowing me to pop over to that section of the code and fix what needs fixing, though my testers will still need to report bugs that don’t halt program execution to me.
Another plus side to this, is that now I’ll definitely be able to record the audio demo, without having to worry about the program hanging on me like it did in my last attempts. So, and I say this with the finality of a slamming solid stone door, there will be an audio demo by Saturday!

On a final note, I once again decided to revisit BGT, and am surprisingly grasping the subject matter fast, and more completely than ever. My main reason for doing so is a complex game idea I have, one that I’ll save for another post. For now, though, I am signing off, and will more than likely going to bed here shortly.

Thanks for reading,
type you later,
Steve.

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

Back To School


Hey Guys,
Steve here.

Well I found out something very interesting yesterday! Apparently, it’s actually possible to carry out a Skype conversation with a… cat!
I was in a Skype call with Danny, trying to record an episode of my Podcast. However, Danny had to take a break in the middle to eat dinner. While he was gone, his cat started meowing for no apparent reason, so I meowed back at her to see if she’d answer. Guess what? She did! And since I still had the recording configuration used for my podcast set up, I was able to record a little ten second clip of it.

Maybe, just maybe, she was meowing for a totally different reason, but I’m humorous. So I say she was chatting with me. And it’s not like she can deny that… or can she?

Anyways, besides chatting with cats, life has been pretty good over the last month, even though school started back up last week. Most of my classes this year aren’t bad, well not really, although some of them are a real pain to get to, which is why I got lost twice so far.
Besides getting lost, I’m already getting homework. In fact, that started the second freaking day I attended geometry! However, the teacher seems nice and helpful, so I don’t think there will be any trouble there.
In addition to the homework, I’ve been having some technological issues in a few of my classes, and am afraid I’ll have to leave one of them for that reason. I don’t know what it is with Microsoft Office products, but they just keep going down hill in terms of accessibility. Worse still, they are practically a necessity in college and the work force these days, so I’m not really sure what I’m going to do once I get to that stage of my life unless something can be done.
That said, Microsoft Office is practically the back bone of the class in which I’m struggling. So unless they manage to fix their accessibility issues, I’m not quite sure how I’m going to pass that class.

On a more positive note, development with S Quad Racing, sluggish as it is, is going quite well. I had to fix some annoying bugs this evening, bugs that of course didn’t pop up until I tried to record the audio demo (figures). But rather than make sure all current bugs are patched up, I’ll just go ahead and throw together a demo recording, because in the next couple days I want to code in surfaces, but before I make such a big change to game play I really think I should get a recording of the game in its current state. Besides, that demo is pretty much 2 months over due, so yeah.

That concludes the posting for tonight. Be sure to stop by and listen to podcast episode 38, which demonstrates RS Games, and is as usual packed with mine and Danny’s twisted sense of humor. Please, listen to it. It took us 3 attempts to record that thing!

Thanks for reading,
type you later,
Steve.

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

A couple things to be excited about


Hey guys,
Steve here.

Since the last time I posted a blog update (not counting the Monday’s musings post), I’ve began to work on yet another sQuad product. As you know, sQuad word is about ready for release. I won’t say that again, because you’ve heard that, what, three times now?
Anyway, There’s still an annoying bug where when you have “show version number” checked, the version number will overlap the text you’re typing, so until I fix that and test it with my friend at school I won’t be able to release it.
Meanwhile, I’ve started on something else as was previously mentioned, a game for the blind. Now you sighted folks, I wouldn’t recommend playing this because I haven’t tested it, and probably won’t test it, with my sighted friends, because I want it to be an audio game. However, if you have a deck of cards and want to play it, or want to program it for sighted users, you can do so. The game is called Trash. But since I’m not too good at explaining stuff and don’t want to spend over half this blog post explaining the game, I’ll give you a link to learn more about it yourself:
http://www.wikihow.com/Play-Trash
I hope to get that game finished by this weekend or next week, but we’ll see. Also, as a last note on software I’m creating or helping create, I’ll hopefully release ultra pad if we can just get rid of that bug. I think it’ll be easy though.

In other news, I’ve been doing well the past few days. If I wasn’t programming, I was reading, eating, at school, in bed, or at church. And listen up fellow bloggers, you’re gonna like this. In the book I’m reading, though it’s about zombies, blogging is a pretty big part of society. You can get a blogging license, upgrade it depending on how good and experienced you are, and lots of people look to the blogging community, because we tell the uncensored truth.
Like even when the zombies started rising and attacking people, people looked to bloggers, because bloggers would tell them how it was. They didn’t have to lie or cover anything up.

As far as the future goes, it’s almost spring break. If I can just wait one day, it will finally be here. It doesn’t seem like it was a year ago that spring break last occurred, but I guess time just flies by sometimes. As for what I plan to do over the break, I have a few things planned. Chill, forget about school, program, Skype, church, and whatever else unexpected things my parents throw at me if any.
Speaking of which, that trip we took to the lake last weekend, I didn’t find out about that until Thursday night, when my mom brought it up in a conversation, as if she expected me to have already known about it. I was pretty shocked.
As for my birthday, I’ve decided I want a family dinner, because I’ve ran out of ideas for a party, and it doesn’t sound very appealing to me this year for some reason. I haven’t decided what I want for my birthday yet, but I’m working on that. As for your part, remember to mark Steve eve (March 25) and the day of the best (March 26) on your calendar. And for you readers who haven’t clicked the follow button yet (you’re still awesome anyway), Mark April 21 as well, because the blog will be turning 3 on that day, and I’ll be putting an annual report. And for you followers, though you’ll get the report in your inbox, you can mark that day as another milestone for one of your favorite blogs, and think back to the previous years and look forward to the next ones to come.
But we aren’t quite there yet, so we still have a few more posts to go until then.
I hope you enjoyed this post!

Thanks for reading,
Type you later,
Steve.

Posted in journal, Uncategorized

Future milestones, and a look into the passed


Hey guys,
Steve here.

Cooler weather, rain, goalball, computer registry errors…

I suppose I could end the post here… right? Well not really. A blog post that is less than a sentence, in my book, is classified as a twitter or facebook update; both of which I refuse to mess with.
My last week was stressful yet kind of fun at the same time. It was boring and exciting as well. Unlike the last couple posts, I refuse to use the one plane word “good” to describe my week, for it is not true about all 7 days of it.
So, basicly here is how those days went.
Monday was, as you know, a day off of school. Tuesday through Friday were school days. In English class, we began to read Shakespeare. Though I have been at this blogging/writing business, my writing skills remain well below those of Shakespeare. So beyond that, we’re also doing a booklet project in social studies which I am all but finished with. In this we had 5 action pages, where we would describe stuff (we’re covering the American revolution and Brittan’s 13 colonies… just historical stuff like that) so the events would be like the Proclamation of 1763, the tea act, the stamp act, the townshend acts etc etc. You would also have to copy a cause and effect chart, look up 8 key people and what they did in the revolution, and define vocabulary words. I’m on the vocab part and will have that finished tomorrow.
By the way, while on the subject of school, I made all A’s on my report card. the lowest grade was a 90 (I don’t remember what class), and the highest was a 100 in choir class.
Now if you’re wondering about the weekend, here’s how that was.
Saturday was a whole day devoted to goalball. I feel as though I am a broken record when talking of my Saturdays; for they mostly seem to be all about goal ball. There is of course, no problem with that; goal ball is a really good sport, and I do have a tournament coming up on Friday. If I manage to get my mom to video tape or snap pictures of the games, I will create a goalball 2013 page for it.
Now back to the passed, also known as Sunday, that was a day of computer registry cleaning and relaxation and church. In the morning was when me, my sister and Dad went to church, after which I came home to get on my computer as I usually do on days like this. Unfortunately, my machine refused to cooperate–freezes, slow coming on, and even some instances where it wouldn’t come on at all and I was forced to run it in safe mode.
Well yesterday, deciding I’d had enough, I downloaded 3 registry cleaners so I could have a variety. Come to find out I had 2,800 registry errors, as stated by one program that was not quite as friendly with my screen reader (the program that uses speech output to describe what events are occurring or the text being transmitted to my computer screen). The program that wasn’t screen reader friendly was reg cure pro. So, I used c cleaner and AML registry cleaner which both proclaimed that I had 291 errors. I’m not sure what was right.
Well, skipping the rest since I know that non computer orianted people are probably hitting the exit button on there web browser or trying any means of escape from reading my blog, I’ll just tell you the end result. My computer hasn’t froze up since 24 hours ago when I finished the registry cleaning, and it seems to be going a lot faster.

Well that wraps up my last week of life. However, my podcast isn’t posted, but me and my cohost Devin ran into trouble.
I am not exactly sure what type of internet router I have, and you need to forward ports or something on the router in order to connect to multi player games or otherwise connect to someone else’s computer via remote access. Unfortunately, you must know the kind of router and how to forward ports or you’re basicly just out of luck. So, there’s this program called hamachi which overwrites that rule and lets you connect to other computers anyway via secure vpns (vertual private networks). Well this program has been malfunctioning, thus disabling Devin and I to test or play Death Match, the game of the podcast. I’m thinking about doing a different game until we get Death match figured out, so this podcast can be done.
By the way sorry for that confusing rant about computers I did there.

Well, I guess that about wraps up today’s post, so…

Thanks for reading,
Type you later,
Steve.
P.S. We’re coming onto both the 700th post and the 1000th day! This blog is truely reaching some stunning milestones! Keep reading, and I will definately keep updating.

Posted in information, journal

updates and a trip to Maine


Hey you guys,
Steve again.

I went on vacation again. Though I got home Wednesday, I just didn’t want to blog until right now, because of reasons you will find out later on in the post.

I should probably tell you how vacation went… huh?
So here it is.
We flew up on Tuesday afternoon, thankfully. It used to be that we flew up early (I’m talking get up at 3 in the morning and on the flight buy 7:30 early), but this year and even last year we didn’t. The trip was your average plain ride, not much to it. We got to Ocean park Maine around midnight eastern time, so there was no unpacking, or trips to the beach (read the archive for june 2012 to familiarize yourself with where we stay and all that stuff). So anyway, we just basicly went to bed. Wednesday was a beach day, so we hung out there all day pretty much. The water was too cold for me to swim in… they were saying it was in the lower 60’s but it felt like 40’s to me.
That night we had dinner with the family, and then we had pie night. That is a night where my grandma Potter cooks up all sorts of good pies, and everyone in the cottage enjoys them. After pie night, there wasn’t much to talk about. I just played on my computer and stuff while my sister, mom, dad, and a few other members of the family played a game called catch phrase.
Thursday and Friday were just lazy days because it rained. The biggest part of those days were at dinner time. Thursday we ate out and Friday we got to enjoy not 1 Maine lobster, but 2 each. Those things are so good… I’m sure you can’t get lobsters that good in texas no matter how hard you try.
Saturday was another good beach day. The water was so cold that day however, that putting your foot in there would feel as though you’d just put it in snow without any socks and shoes on.
Sunday was yet another beach day, but we spent half of it hanging out with 2 of our family members who were going to leave later that morning. They have 2 of the happiest most energetic kids I ever met, along with a little 7 month old who is relatively quiet and calm. For the rest of the day, we just kind of hung out, played cards, and tried to go to the beach at one point, but it was too cold.
Monday, we did go to the beach. This time, it was easy to believe that the water was in the 70’s because I was able to get in up to my stomach, and ride the currents of the creek that feeds in to the ocean. I made the most out of that day, because I knew we’d have to leave the next day.
That night for dinner we once again got to enjoy some lobster.
The next day, Tuesday, was the day we had to pack up and go home. Every thing was normal through the middle of the day, saying goodbye to family and packing, and even most of the travel was normal. However, our flight got delayed 30 minutes because of some rough weather, and we had a 45 minute layover before our next flight. Well since our first flight didn’t leave on time, we missed the second flight, and didn’t end up catching a flight back home until the next morning. Thankfully however, we got home by 10:45 yesterday morning.

Now on to some more life news.

Just because vacation is over with, doesn’t mean I am done with the post. Me and my dad were able to do another bike ride. There is one downfall to these rides; because of Dad’s work schedule and school starting up soon, this was one of the last ones. We only have 2 or 3 more opportunities to ride, before the starting of school. So, I will have to work real hard on our next rides.
Now, if you remember at the beginning of the post, I told you that I was doing other things and that’s why I didn’t blog when I got home. Well, there’s this addicting game I found while I was in main. It’s called alter aeon. Here’s the link to there website so you can learn more:
http://www.alteraeon.com
Now if you are wondering, the time counter on that game says I’ve already been playing for 16 hours total, and I got the game last Thursday. Not to mencion the 2 days of travel and time with family causing me to set aside the computer and focus on other things. Also, another game, bokurano daiboukin, the game reviewed in episode 6 of my podcast (visit the my podcast page for the episode), has become rather addicting. I have spent 23 hours on that one. You could say I spend quite a bit of time on the computer. Also on the computer, I’ve been skyping friends, and playing a few games over the internet like pong, top speed (a racing game), and pallis punch up (see see this page for a little demo).

Other than that, I really can’t think of more to put on this post, so I’ll wrap it up as usual…
thanks for reading,
type you later,
Steve.
p.s.
regarding the thing I said earlier about the water in the ocean feeling real cold, here’s an intresting fact:
did you know that you can get hypothermia 250 times faster in the water than from cold air)?

Posted in journal

Podcast fixed, first official audio game tutorial released, and life update


Hey you guys,
Steve again.

As you probably know, I released my first podcast Sunday night. Unfortunately, only users of windows can open ZIP folders, plus the one with the podcast was corrupt or invalid. Thus, I have uploaded the mp3 file on the podcasts page, and included the show notes at the bottom of the podcast description. Now, you can either download the mp3 file, or listen to it in the imbedded player on the site. Now how cool is that?
Also, I have released my first audio game tutorial. It’s about 15 minutes long, and is completely detailed and gets to all the main points. You can obtain your copy by downloading the tutorial, or listen to it in its little web player at the audio game reviews and demoes page

Now, let me tell you about my life the passed few days.
On Saturday, my mom had a gladiator run, and she had to run and army craw through a whole bunch of mud. I still think she did great, though she was a muddy drenched bundle of joy after the race. After that run, we had the rize adventure thingy which wasn’t as fun as I thought it would be, because we only were there for about an hour.
Though sunday was just a relaxed chill mothers’ day (my mom enjoyed it), Monday was back to school. It was normal (school, spin class, and homework), and so was today. I’m still glad about the podcast thing, and that I released the first river raders tutorial (based on my research).

So, hope you enjoy the audio I posted, and have a great day!

Thanks for reading,
type you later,
steve.