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

An Update On Game Development and Other Things


Hey guys,
Steve here.

Over the last few days, I’ve done quite a bit of coding on the Racing project I’ve been working on. Now that I completed the basics such as driving and such, I was able to begin on some things that should make the game much more interesting. One such implementation is the opponents’ rather comical ability to “rage” at you while in the midst of a race. As it currently stands, opponents driving by you can: glare at you, yell at you, or honk. I plan to add more amusing possibilities, but the aforementioned were just tests to insure that the system was working.
Similarly, opponents can now crash into obstacles, but at the time of this writing there are still some major bugs to fix: instead of Enemies always dodging obstacles, they now crash into nearly every single one. The most probable cause for this issue is that I coded it so there was a 1 out of 6 chance that the opponent would hit an obstacle, which averages just over 8 obstacles per lap. Considering that an average player only hits 1 to 3 obstacles per lap, I’ve come to the conclusion that this must be reworked.
More importantly, I’m currently in the process of coding in a stat management system. It is now possible to earn money at the end of the race, and level up as well. A detailed summary of this can be found here.
At some point this week, I’ll begin to work on some more built in tracks. In these next tracks, I’ll be adding more items: walled navigation sections, and perhaps power ups. I already have a good idea of how I want to build track two, and very much look forward to playing it.

Aside from the racing game, my weekend was awesome! Yesterday, I took a break from my coding and relaxing to attend the 2015 Winter Jam concert with my church. It was a total blast, and I wish I’d gotten pictures or something. It was a whole bunch of worship, rock and roll, Gospel singers, and… Skillet! :))

Well, I guess that wraps up tonight’s post. Expect another one later this week, along with an audio progress demo of my Racing game. Also, though I might need some assistance, I need to come up with a name for the game, because “My Racing Game” just isn’t gonna cut it!

Thanks for reading,
type you later,
Steve.

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

2015, A New and Better Year


Hey guys,
Steve here.

It’s 2015 already, something I find hard to believe. Though another year has come and gone, I don’t feel the necessity to write up a stats report, mainly due to the fact that writing such a report is quite tedious, and not really worth my time. However, one thing I will say, is that I only published 50 posts on this blog in 2014. That’s not only 65 less than the amount of posts published in 2013, but it also meant that 315 days of last year came and went without one single word from me.
With the new year, I plan to change that though. If I can help it, there will be no 46 day long gaps between posts, no more of those 3 and a half week late pod casts. Though I’ve always been a bit unreliable as far as podcast scheduling goes, it got way out of hand recently. Also, when reading through my posts from 2013 and early last year, I realized how much of a total slacker I’ve been recently. Posting once a month has had a profound affect on my connection with you guys, my readers, and it’s ended up resulting in my posts being vague summaries of a vast time period that, by the time I’d finally sit down to write, I’d forgotten nearly 75% of.
So starting now, I’ll once again focus on a 4 to 10 day blogging routine, such as the one I had in place around this time last year. I’m looking forward to this upcoming year, and the interesting things I’ll be able to blog about.

Anyways, that aside, I’ve had a great last week of Christmas vacation. I attended a couple of family functions, played games, stuffed my face full of candy, and shoved all thoughts of school out of my mind. In fact, the only learning I’ve done this week has been strictly piano related, and the only book I’ve read this week is the Blood of Olympus, the fifth book in the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan. As for my new year celebration, it wasn’t too exciting, but it wasn’t at all bad. I went to church for a while, but ended up watching the new years countdown on TV.

These two short weeks sure went by way too fast, and next week will come to me as a slap in the face, as there is no staying up until 1 in the morning and getting up around 10 during the school week. I’m Kind of ready to get back into the normal routine, but at the same time not looking forward to the work.

That about wraps up this post. I hope you all had a great new year.

thanks for reading,
type you later,
Steve.

PS. I enjoyed doing the 26th episode of the pod cast on Sunday. In fact, I’m still addicted to the game I demonstrated therein. More details on that in a later post.

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

A Productive Week


Hey guys,
Steve here.

The last week or so has gone quite well for me. It’s not that I did anything special; my family isn’t going on vacation for another week and a half. However, I actually managed to get some stuff done, in sharp contrast to the last two months, where I didn’t even bother to write frequently, or produce pod casts. Well, instead of just saying I’d write soon and not doing it, I actually did this time, plus some.

First of all, I did the 23rd episode of the Steven D Podcast, featuring death match, the game Danny created. I know I’ve done it before, however Danny remade the game completely, so I figured I would demonstrate the new version. Despite the fact that I only did 2 levels, the podcast still lasted almost 50 minutes.
For those of you who were checking the page or are subscribed to the feed, you noticed that I did the episode two days late. I tried to do it on Sunday, I really did, but here are three things that prevented it:
1. too much background noise.
2. The internet was acting up, so while I was in the call with Danny, it dropped.
3. The game was so long, that by the time I got to level 4, the recording was already over an hour long.
So instead of going through with it and producing a crappy, messed up, drawn out podcast, I deleted the recording, and waited until Tuesday to redo it. But hey, at least I did it, unlike the previous times I said I would but didn’t.
While still on the subject of pod casts, Episode twenty four, which is scheduled for this Sunday, will feature levels 3 and 4 of death match. I really can’t wait to play those, especially since I’ve never played fully through level four, so it’ll be an adventure for me as well.

Aside from pod casts, I also completed a lot of my school project. As it turns out, the dialectical journal part of it is going quite well. Since the book I chose, “The 5th wave by Rick Yancey,” has been such a page turner for me, I was able to obtain the 10 important quotes in no time, and am pretty much done with that part of the project. I guess that’s proof that, as I said in the last post, I didn’t wait until August 20 to start the project, especially since that is still 20 days away. As for the Homer’s Odyssey part of it, I haven’t started that yet. However, I’m quite confident that I can get that done in a day or less, which is why I’m doing that part last.

changing topics, I watched the finale of we’re alive last Tuesday, as I said I would in my last post. In case some of you actually watch that, and haven’t watched the finale just yet, I won’t spoil it. But in case you’re wondering, It was very good, and I was a bit bummed out that it was over.
But yes, I made sure all my chores were done, and there would be no interruptions, and I watched it as it streamed.

Well, I guess that about wraps up today’s post. I will definitely post more than two posts this month, since that seems to be all I posted last month. And don’t forget, (and this also goes for myself), that I have pod casts coming up on August 3 and 10.

Thanks for reading,
type you later,
Steve.

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

good and bad news, along with current life events


Hey guys,
Steve here.

Yes, you read that right. Today is one of the rare occurrences of bad news on this blog… so I guess I’ll tell you the bad news right now just to get it out of the way.
You know Swamp? The game I’ve been addicted to for about a year now? Well due to the fact that there are so many hackers, attacks, and other unwanted things happening within the game, Aprone (swamp’s creator) is making it a paid game. I won’t have to pay for single player, but if I want multiplayer, that’ll be $24 per year.
I have a visa gift card, so hopefully that will work. If so, I might consider paying for swamp. But if not… well I’d better step up my game (quite literally) and program some audio games worth selling.

Speaking of audio games, the good news I mentioned earlier is about Trash, the card game that I am programming for the blind. let me tell you how much progress I’ve done on that.
-I completed the player system, testing it out to be sure it works. Now, you can draw, place cards at the desired position, junk, and draw from the junk pile.
-mostly completed the computer player system. The only thing I need to do for the computer player system is to add the draw from junk pile procedure, but I figure that’ll be easy.
-began the process of adding sounds. I’ve already added a deck shuffling sound for when you start the game and the deck is shuffled, but I don’t think I’ll add any more sounds until I’m completely done with all the other stuff.

Speaking of sounds, I found my flash drive of sounds, which I believe contains over 1000 sound affects. That’s good news for future games.

Moving on to my life, we’re well into spring break now. To start off the break, my friend Oscar from church came over to spend the night. It was another surprise my parents threw at me–one minute I was on the computer, chatting with Danny over skype, the next I was scrambling to clean my room and the bathroom so they didn’t look like a complete mess when Oscar came.
And three hours later, my mom and I picked up Oscar, and him and I spent the rest of the night playing wii, and hanging out.
On Saturday, I had goal ball practice, however Libby didn’t go because she went to the mall with the church youth group to ice skate (yet another event that I was going to, but didn’t figure that out until after my last update, I think). Anyway, Oscar came to goal ball as well, so he got to see my awesome skill!
Right after goal ball, Oscar, my dad, and I met up with Libby and the rest of the youth group at the mall, where I attempted, but failed, at ice skating. But hey, It’s not really about how good I was, it was about hanging with friends, (at least that’s what I hope). But seriously, even though I was ice skating along the wall, I still managed to slip 3 or 4 times, but luckily I didn’t fall.
Skipping ahead, after ice skating, we all went to in and out burger for lunch, before heading our separate ways and going home. Oscar got to hang out with me for a few more hours–and for dinner, 2 hours after we ate lunch, we had more burgers and fries. But hey, there’s no such thing as too many burgers or fries in my book :).

After Oscar left, my Saturday night went a little something like this. Lay on the couch, watching from the side lines as the rest of my family played Yahtzee on the wii, as my head pounded and throbbed, feeling as though someone knocked it with a baseball bat or something. I’m not sure why my head hurt so bad, but luckily it was gone in about 2 hours.

Besides church, Sunday was uneventful. And as for Monday, the only thing I did outside the house was go out for lunch with my sister, mom, and dad. And today, besides a lot of programming, I didn’t do much of anything.
But aside from getting out of the house, my last 3 days have been filled with Skyping my friends, and playing my games, all day, and until 2 or 3 in the morning.
Ah. Isn’t it fun to be a teenager?

Anyway, that’s about it for today’s post. I know you’re sad because you don’t get to read any more of my words at the moment, but you could always:
-read previous posts, like posts before you started following this blog.
-eagerly await my next post.
–but all joking aside, I hope you enjoyed tonight’s post. And remember last night’s Monday’s musings post–I wasn’t lying. I really do enjoy writing these posts.

Thanks for reading,
type you later,
Steve.