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.

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Posted in busy, happyness, journal, life, projects, school, updates

A Successful Tournament


Hey guys,
Steve here.

I went through with it this time. I told you guys I’d be back to this blogging thing and… here I am 5 days later. Five long days, might I add, which were filled with stressful travel, painful but fun Goal Ball, and now school, I guess.

My first ever out of state Goal Ball tournament was a thrilling experience to say the least. As you may recall, last week I was both excited and nervous about it; the excitement was justified, the nervousness not so much. Out of all four games my team and I played, we won four.

Of course, there were nerves involved, two of the games we won by only three points, and most nerve racking of them all, the last game in which we played for Gold, we won by only one point. The game that I neglected to mention, we won twelve to four.

Despite Goal Ball being a bit of a pain in the butt… and the chest and the arms and the legs and the stomach… you get the picture, I really enjoy playing it and hope to go to another one of those tournaments again soon. But please, for the sake of my sanity, can we just get there without the airports? I think those were more stressful than the tournament itself.

That aside, life has resumed as normal. We returned to Texas yesterday afternoon, welcomed by dreary skies and the pattering of a dismal rainfall, a perfect match for the feelings provoked by the prospect of another daunting set of consecutive school days. Lucky for me, my week will only last three days. On Thursday, I’m traveling to the Texas School for the Blind for a weekend long program that familiarizes the blind with city travel. That’s right, city travel, no airports this time. Anyways, I’ll be there from Thursday until Sunday. I’m pretty excited about this one, because with it being based on city travel, I’ll basically be exploring the city of Austin for a few days, and from what I can gather it’s quite large, and there are numerous things to do there.

In the mean time, while I’m living the good old normal life for a few short days, I’ll get some work done on my projects. Also, if Danny and I can get some technical issues sorted out, we might be able to record a podcast. I know it’s been a long time since I’ve done one of those, but just as I have this blog I plan to go back to that at some point; if not this week, then perhaps when I’m not so busy.

That concludes tonight’s post. Depending on how much I get done code wise, I’ll give a progress update on my games when I blog next week. I probably won’t be posting until Sunday or Monday, because not much is likely to happen in the next three days.

Thanks for reading,
Type you later,
Steve.

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 information

news about the files


Hey you guys,
Steve again.

I have some bad news, and some good news as well.

I think so as not to ruin your mood, I will end the post with the good news… so you know what that means. Here’s the bad news:

My files have been deleted off of file den because of a critical failure with their host. Can you believe that? Hey… at least there will be no more monthly charges for the premium plan and I will get a refund for the month of july.

Good news:

I am in the process of getting all my files back. I won’t be able to do it all this week because I’m on vacation… however it’ll be done by the end of August. Stranded part 1 and 2 will be put back on the gamebooks page for sure, and I will definately round up as many audio game reviews and demos as I can. Unfortunately, the cat recording I had on the animals page is gone, but I have a better one of nothing but him purring on my phone that I will upload to drop box and replace the old one. As far as software goes, I have lost that as well, but since I am learning programming at this time, expect more. The jenga.mp3 file I have is on my other computer, and the bouncy ball recording is still there becuse wordpress hosted it for me. So, what I’m saying here is that all (or most) of my files will be saved, and back up by late August.

In other news, I am on vacation right now in Maine, as I said I would be. I come back on Tuesday, and look forward to blogging about it.

Thanks for reading,
Type you later,
Steve

Posted in information, journal

Updates and a little vacation


Hey guys,
Steve here.

Well I’m back home from brokenbow, for now at least.
As a first, I would like you to visit my friend Mason’s website. He programs games for the blind, so here is the website:
http://mtgstudios.nsstudiosweb.com
so I hope you enjoy that. Now, on to the updates.
As you know, I went to brokenbow on Friday and came back last night. At broken bow, we did things similar to last year. We spent Friday, and the majority of Saturday playing on the lake and hanging out. As I’m sure you guys know, I’m not a fan of heights or going under water.
Well, the whole family went to the cliffs to do some jumping yesterday afternoon. After taking my sister up there a couple times(mom was a little nervous at first, but it happened anyway), my dad let me drive his boat. That was especially fun for me because I’m blind and won’t be able to drive a boat when I get older. I did donuts out in the lake, pushing that throttle wide open and turning sharp, rappid and dizzying turns. Not only that, but he also let me drive 10 or 11 people back to the lake shore. You must know that he was right next to me the whole time telling me when to turn or to give it some more gas, but he let me control the boat all by myself. Now even though I will never jump thos high cliffs(well… never say never), I still look forward to that, because that means I will get to drive the boat.

As I’m sure you know, the fun doesn’t last long. Later that evening, we drove home. I’m still glad that we were able to come back to broken bow this year, and I look forward to hopefully coming back next year.

Now, I should probably fill you guys in on the podcast. As you are well aware of, I haven’t posted a release notice, and if you visited the podcast page there was just 7 episodes. My co host Devin has been away from his computer for a while (he told me that he couldn’t because “AFK,” which I assumed meant away from keyboard), and when I called him on Wednesday night he was doing something… I don’t remember what, but I think he got some kind of Casio Keyboard is what he told me… and don’t ask me what that is because I don’t know. I think it is like one of those electric piano keyboards though, because I heard him playing music on it and he’s pretty good). Well, sorry for that very long footnote. I do however hope to do the podcast, and will do it. I have been exploring a game my friend Danny is making called deathmatch, which he wants to be similar to the video game dead space, if you have heard of it. Well once I figure it out I will definately feature it on the late podcast episode.

Before this post gets too long, I’d better wrap it up. I will blog some more in the coming days… remember, I have another vacation, this time to main coming this Tuesday.

Thanks for reading,
Type you later,
Steve.

P.S. File den is still down right now, but they have posted an exciting post on their news facebook page that they are making a new support system and the problem of the maintenence issue will be resolved soon. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

Posted in journal

How my day went, the final day


Today, I got up and the morning went similar to yesterday. The afternoon however we headed over to a restaurant for my grandma Potter’s 80th birthday party. That lasted about 3 hours and after it ended, we headed back and I took a shower before relaxing in a recliner chair and finally posting this entry. That is all I did today.

Posted in journal

how my day went


Today, I got up and just hung out and socialised with the people who were letting us stay with them, all the way until lunch. After lunch, we got dressed into some nice clothes, showered, and made our way over to Grandma Potter’s house for what they call treetrimming. Treetrimming is actually decorating the tree.
After decorating, I listened to my book and sat in a rocking chair before having chips and milk, and leaving with my parents to go to our temperary home. Once we got there, I was tired and thus posted this entry. That is all I did today.