Unearth, my first attempt at a larger scale short story

Hey guys,

Steve here.

This semester, I joined a creative writing class. My first assignment was to write a story about anything of my choosing, as long as it was at least 1000 words and had 3 or more characters. The following is my result. It’s just over 3600 words. I apologize for coming back after all this time with such a long post. Anyway, enjoy; and feel free to leave feedback.


Early on the morning of reentry, the service droid assigned to maintenance of the habitation decks on board the Curious Beast stood in the sleeping quarters of the meager scouting party assigned to the ship. The droid stood no more than 4 feet tall, but despite his short stature, his features were made with intricate design – from the slight dimple on the right side of his face, to the slightly pointed nose, currently scrunched in exasperation.

The ball-shaped lenses that served for his eyes rested in their unnaturally rounded sockets above his high cheek bones, currently illuminated with a red glow, to perpetuate his glare. His immaculately groomed eyebrows were raised above them to complete the look. His ears were abnormally large, jutting out from the sides of his head like mini radar dishes; a testament to the fact that even robot design artists were still just human.

Read the full story

Death Match and Programming updates

Hey guys,
Steve here.
I’m very sorry to say this, but I was unable to record podcast episode 34 this Sunday. This is because Lightstar had a rough encounter with Viper, a mean old battle ship that was piloted by a fellow player of Death Match, Kenny to be exact. Well old Kenny challenged me to a space battle, and I’d have been a fool not to agree, well, maybe I was a fool to agree. Because though I was able to vanquish him in 10 minutes, he significantly damaged my hull, and it took nearly 12 hours to repair.
On Monday, when I found my ship repaired, I thought I’d go ahead and record that podcast. However, Danny was away from his computer, and I found myself getting bored. The result, was me going on my first actual true bounty mission, one that I profitted from. This time, I had a crew of three to four people with me, and two of them manning the warhead launchers. Even still, my ship took significant damage, though not nearly enough to call it a critical fight. This, along with the fact that I never managed to get Danny online to record the podcast, completely put pod casting out of the question. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll try again tonight.
In other news, I’ve made quite a bit of progress on S Quad Racing. First of all, I’m glad to say that the track parser that took a good deal of time and frustration to get working has been successfully implemented. And, because I was in such a good mood after finally getting it working yesterday, I even added error checking that will prevent the track from loading and tell you where corrections are needed. This shouldn’t really be needed, since I’m about 93% sure that most people are going to use the in-game track builder anyway, but I figured I’d add it just in case since I myself made some mistakes in the beginner track. Meanwhile, in my free time I will be looking for rain sounds, particularly sounds of rain falling upon a car, and I’d prefer to have such sounds in varying degrees of intensity, though I’m sure I could produce this affect with a bit of audio editing. In addition, if at all possible, I want to implement random hailstorms that could damage your car, as this is indeed something that could happen in the real world. At the time of this writing, hail storms are more of a possibility than anything, as I’ve not even yet programmed a propper vehicle structuring system, and it’s more than obvious that you can’t damage something that’s not really there.
To that end, implementing rain storms should take less than 20 minutes, if all goes well. Unlike most other track and weather features, I don’t need these to affect either the player or AI much, although I might make it necessary to slow down below a certain speed lest a player would like to experience the affects of a sticky mud obstacle, and that goes for the opponent as well.
Another thing that might enspire game entities to want to slow down, is that I plan to make these storms move across the track as well, at roughly the same speed as a car, give or take some. And if you continue to move at a fast speed, you’ll be moving at nearly the same speed as a storm, so you’ll be under it longer.
Overall, I plan for the main affect of these storms to be to impair a player’s ability to hear obstacles and opponents, to give the affect that heavy rain causes to sighted people. And since some storms could be farely large, you can rest assured that none will be included on the small beginner track. And if I decide that I want to put a few on the second track, they will occur rarely, and will not likely contain very heavy rain.
Moving on, today is April 21, which marks yet another year I’ve been blogging. As most of you know, I started this blog in 2011, and some times go back and laugh at my posts from back then. In case you don’t know, I used to do the following things which I no longer do now:
1. post like three or four times a day some times. lol
2. Post nearly every day.
3. not write very good at all.
4. write blog posts that were sometimes frivolous, unnecessary, and boring. 😀
More importantly, though, having a blog has improved my writing skills, and given me a place to talk tech when the people around me were too confused to listen.
Well, I’ve certainly enjoyed these past few years I’ve been able to do this, and look forward to producing more posts as I get closer to becoming a programmer, and perhaps even a writer! Have a good week, everyone.
Thanks for reading,
type you later,

Life and technology updates

Hey guys,
Steve here.
Disregarding the poem I wrote on Monday, it’s been roughly 10 days since my last blog update. And during those 10 days, there have been multiple blog worthy events.
To start off, Danny has decided to take a break from administrating Death Match: a New Beginning, (the game demonstrated in podcast episode 32). As a result, He placed me in charge as main admin, a position I’ve held for four days now.
Secondly, I was also promoted to administrator position on Survive the Wild, a realistic wilderness survival game developed by Sam Tupy, and featured on this week’s pod cast episode.
Funny thing is, I’d gone from having zero experience running an online game, to being co administrator on one, and main administrator on another, in the span of 30 minutes.
In other news, I once again opened up the S Quad Racing code, something I haven’t done in three weeks as a result of an extended break I took to prevent from pushing and burning myself out on coding it. Rather than doing the wise thing and check where I left off in the change logs, I instead decided to begin implementing track creation.
Track creation is quite simple. For the time being, it is possible to edit tracks within text files, and they use an extremely simplified language; one so simple, in fact, that some one who knows little about computers can create their own tracks. To make matters even less complicated, I plan to include a track builder that will make it so that one need not type out tracks by hand. This is not due to the complexity of the track language itself. Rather, I’ve learned the hard way that the procedure of track creation can get very repetitive when typing it out.
The following is just a little example of how a track should be built. track size is the length of each lap, spawn is how fast obstacles, and max obstacles is the maximum number of obstacles that are allowed.

Excerpt from beginner track

This will create a 400 square long track segment, with two left turns, two right turns, and one right turn. Notice how each track part has two lines–a start, and end. These are to insure that the parts of the track keep within their boundaries.

track size 2000
maximum obstacles 50
spawn 10000
straight start 0
straight end 150
left start 151
left end 170
straight start 171
straight end 280
left start 281
left end 300
straight start 301
straight end 370
right start 371
right end 400

At the time of this writing, this system has not been propperly tested, in fact I have not compiled a version of the code with this system implemented at all. So as you can gather, this is just about as stable right now as a rotting wooden fense in a hurricane. However, I’ll update on the progress, and resume production of audio demos should any changes be made to game play.
On a final note, Choir UIL was last Wednesday. We made mostly all ones, except for one little two, but even that still averages to one. So while I didn’t like having to get up early and go to school and sing at such an early hour, I dare say it paid off in the end.
That is the end of this post. I’ll blog again later this week. Enjoy this week’s Survive the Wild pod cast, (episode 33), and be looking for Episode 34 next week when I’ll be demonstrating bounty missions on death match if my ship, Lightstar, manages to survive that long.
Thanks for reading,
type you later,

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,