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 busy, gaming and technology, happyness, journal, life, programming, projects, updates

Hi, It’s me…


Hey guys,
Steve here.
So… where to start? I’ve been absent from blogging for over 2 months, and though it’s not the first time I went away for an extended period of time, it’s certainly the longest. But now that your genius friend who writes long technical posts that few people understand fully, while still managing to make most of you laugh at least once, is officially done learning a new programming language and going to camps that work him out all day every day, it’s safe to say that the blogging games can resume.
Because the last time I blogged was so long ago, I’m not even going to try to detail those last couple months. That’s alright in a way, since it was basically just school, with the only interesting and new experience being city travel. And though that was really fun, even to the point that I would gladly go back, it’s not much to go on a several paragraph rant about because it was mainly about learning how to use the public transportation system and going a few places I wanted to visit.
To those wondering why I went so-o-o-o long without so much as a post, I’m glad to say that it wasn’t just pure laziness and/or distractions keeping me away from the old Word Press this time. I spent the last month of school learning a programming language called Python. That doesn’t seem special at first, since I’d been learning languages all semester in my web class, however, this one was a bit different for me. For the past several months, Danny has been using Python to create his audio games, and occasionally telling me various advantages it had over Pure Basic. Plus, as long and hard as I tried to continue using Pure Basic for my projects, eventually I decided I had to move on not only due to performance errors in my programs, but because I gradually grew dissatisfied with both the syntax and code organization structure to the point that when I finally switched to Python, it produced the same affect as stepping out into fresh Autumn air after being trapped in a jam packed conference room with faulty air conditioning for about 4 hours.
Because Python’s way of doing things is quite different from Pure Basic, I didn’t get to game making level with it until the week after my first camp, thus haven’t done much as far as rewriting S Quad Racing. However, though I’ll refrain from going into too much detail about this as I have no intentions relating to completely frying the brains of people who probably just wanted to see what has been going on with me, I’ll admit that my first real practice with Python involved me taking full advantage of it’s Tangent, Cosine, Sine, and Arc Tangent functions so that I could write functions for 2 and 3d movement, turning, and audio positioning.
All that said, I’ll take a break from technology talk to finally, describe the camps I keep mentioning. After being off of school for just a week, one which I spent part of visiting my grandparents, I traveled to the Texas School for the Blind to finish off my high school PE credit. For those who have kept up with me for the last year, this was the same one I went to last summer. But for those who don’t know, it was a 3 week program where we got introduced to various sports, as well as their blind adaptations if they had any. In addition, there was a bit of exercising, as well as a couple of field trips.
After a week of relaxation following that camp, I had yet another one. Again, this was another fitness camp, though I’d say it was more intense than the PE class at TSB. Throughout the week, my main conflict was trying to decide if I was being tortured, or having fun. We were going all day, doing things like running, biking, goal ball, beep base ball which is a blind adaptation of base ball, swimming, fitness classes, and rock climbing. There wasn’t a day of camp that I didn’t wake up in the morning with at least a moderate level of soreness, though I’d still say that was quite literally the most enjoyable summer camp I’ve attended.
So, here we are now. I’m done with camps for the rest of the summer. I’m not quite sure what my plans are, though my family could possibly be going to Maine at the end of this month for vacation. In the mean time, this week I decided to do something just for fun, something that I’ve never done before. I gave myself a 1 week game challenge, where I would try to compose a game within just a week. The idea of the game is something I would enjoy playing, however it’s not too complex for me to create in a short amount of time. Plus, this should familiarize me with creating games in Python, so I can begin rewriting my main projects in it.
Well, that wraps up today’s post. On Saturday, I’ll be back, and hopefully by then I’ll be done with my 1 week game challenge, and will have some demo audio. Because it’s just a 1 week project, the sounds and music for it will not be of the highest quality. Provided I can get this done, I’ll also post the steps I took to make it, as well as maybe the game itself. Not sure about the latter though.

Thanks for reading,
type you later,
Steve.
PS. I will, be back soon. The more I do this whole not blogging for 10s of days thing, I discover that it’s harder and harder to get back into it. Not necessarily because of lack of motivation, but because I have no idea where to start. I’ve been trying to formulate this blog post alone for 2 and a half weeks, so that alone should tell you something.

Posted in busy, happyness, journal, life, updates

I’ve Returned


Hey guys,
Steve here.

The last three to four weeks have been packed full of camp. The camp I was at when I posted my most recent blog entry, which lasted three weeks, was an outdoor adventures/PE class that I attended at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, which got half of my required high school PE credit out of the way. The second camp, which I went to only three days after returning home from PE, was Texas Lions Camp. Despite getting home sick A Lot, I had a good time, and was a bit sad when I graduated on Friday.

All that being said, my busy schedule has prevented me from doing much in the way of technology, that being the reason I haven’t posted to this blog in nearly a month. However, though it was nearly a month after it was recorded, I finally uploaded the Audio Quake podcast yesterday. The next episode will be over the game Beatstar, and will be scheduled for next Sunday. Stay tuned!

Now that I’m back home, I can once again resume coding, and my focus will primarily be on S Quad Racing. Today, though, I released the set of audio game developer tools released in my last post to the audio games community, so depending on whether or not they have any further suggestions there could be updates to that as well.

Well, that about wraps up this short update. Though both camps I went to were fun, I’m certainly glad to be back to the blog, and all things geek related!

Thanks for reading,
type you later,
Steve.

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

The First Day of School, Unexpected Bad News, and a Few Quick Updates


Hey guys,
Steve here.

First of all, I must appolagise for the following reasons:
1. My huge, unexpected blogging break, that I had even after I said I’d post more frequently.
2. There have been no podcasts what soever, meaning I have 3 of those to catch up on

To those of you who were expecting another podcast episode, I’m sure it was a huge disappointment for you to realize that not only had one not been done, but there was no post explaining why. And even for those who just read the blog… I’m sure you guys were concerned as well. The reason I haven’t been able to do much to the site is that on Wednesday, August 6, my personal laptop decided it was the perfect time to stop working, that is, when you hit the power button, nothing happens, it’s as if the computer is without battery and AC adapter.
Believe me, I tried everything (different cord, a different battery, using the same cord and battery on a different, working computer, a hard reset, having my dad look at it), but to no avail.
As a result, the next time I was able to lay my hands on the keyboard of a working computer was eleven days later, because my sister was nice enough to let me borrow her personal computer for the time being. As a bonus, that computer has the Road to Rage installed, and I was able to get swamp on a flash drive and run it. So, though I am unable to download dropbox (the installer kept popping up ads and unnecessary offers so I finally just gave up with the installation), and I can’t get pure basic at this time, I’m still at least partially set for now.
But I promise, as soon as I have the means to do so, I will get back on a schedule with publishing podcasts. This was a very unfortunate occurrence for all of us, and I can’t wait to have my computer back!

That aside, the rest of my summer, which as you might know is over, went pretty much as expected. It involved school shopping, a rather nice vacation to Maine, and then just a week of relaxing before the start of school, which actually was today.
Well, believe it or not, I’m a freshmen now. It was a bit nerve racking this morning, walking into a school (and a big one at that), full of people I didn’t know, and not knowing my way around the place; but overall the day was okay, about as good as a normal school day can be. Since I’m in high school, I had 4 classes today, and will have 4 completely different ones tomorrow, so I’ll have to do this whole First Day of School thing again, ug.

Well, I guess that about wraps up this post. Since my days will be more busy and exciting, I’ll have more to write about, so expect more frequent updates from me. And, I have drop box on my school computer, which is the computer I’ll probably be using a lot this school year, so hopefully I will be able to do a podcast, though I can’t promise anything. In the unlikely event that I become able to do one on that computer, I’ll let you know.

Thanks for reading,
Type you later,
Steve.
P.S. I forgot to mention this, but last Monday I found out I didn’t have to do my summer project, because as it turns out I didn’t get into pre AP. I guess that’s a good thing, because the part of it I actually mustered up the motivation to do is currently on my home computer.

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 journal, Uncategorized

~rize adventure end of summer event for the blind


Hey you guys,
Steve here.

I attended an event for the blind with several activities. I did airsoft rifle shooting, (I hit the target), wood cutting, sailing, kayaking, and went through a petting zoo. Here are the pictures:

Me shooting an airsoft rifle at a target
me kayaking
me riding in a sailboat
Working on creating a spin top
finished spin top
me trying out a bicycle only opperated by hands
Holding pig
Me holding a chicken
petting rooster

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.