Thursday, October 04, 2007


I've finally decided to try updating this thing again. I don't know if anyone even looks for updates here anymore, but what the heck.

Pet Projects

In an effort to do something with my idle time, I've been working on implementing a more complete version of one of Jamie's Crap-u-Hack mini-games from the 2006 Intern Game. Specifically, I'm trying to make a 'full' implementation of Fourtris (which feels a little silly since this just came out on XBLA).

Lately I've been noticing that I'm falling into the same trap I encountered in my last game development project; which is, I keep working on it at somewhat random intervals and never really keep track of a grand design in my head. As such, things seem to reach a critical mass where I can no longer stand to look at the code and feel too frustrated to work on it.

Thankfully, as of late I've come to enjoy this. I don't think that I've got things quite where I want them, but work as of late has been building up one or two little things I want, and then tearing down a lot of code that was just temporary crap to get things working. It's not perfect (since I'm terrified of deleting a lot of things and instead just comment it out; I really should get source control set up, but I'm very lazy), but I like to think I'm learning from the experience.

Anyhow, a screenshot of how things look right now can be found here. It still needs a lot of polish, but the core mechanics are there. I think at this point I just need to get a bunch of friends over so that I don't have to try and control two players with a controller in each hand. Maybe I should brew another batch of beer to help out with that...

Too Much to Do

Despite my best efforts, I seem to be very good at developing a huge pile of things to do and not actually getting around to any of them. On the one hand, I'm looking into buying a new camera (a DSLR), but I fear that it's far too big an investment when it'll probably collect dust like so many other things. The big motivating factor for wanting a camera upgrade is my plan to visit Lyle around New Years and wanting to get decent pictures of Japan.

Of course, I still have a handful of Germany pictures I haven't really sorted through. I've also really got to get off my rear and start working on my Japanese again; I haven't really looked at the language since Freshman year of college, though recently I've been listening to podcasts from, which seem decent, all things considered. To really make them worthwhile though, I need to be spending more time than I've been looking through their kanji lessons.

I've got a handful of other pet projects to deal with plus a messy apartment. On the bright side, the latter situation is still way better than it ever was in college.

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Game Development

I've finally started writing a game in XNA after all this time; a co-worker posed a challenge and I followed through. I've added some screenshots in the gallery and I've got a few fixes to make before I'd put the executable here for downloading (if anyone is interested).

My idea was to basically create a sort of hybrid between Metroid/Castlevania and E.V.O. How well I met that goal is up for debate; Kevin pointed out a lot of small tweaks I can make to the current demo-level design, and naturally in my haste to finish this by the deadline I wanted to finish by I forgot to tweak a lot of things (e.g. there's hardly any enemies, one enemy one-shots you, the boss doesn't respawn when you start a new game).

There's some annoying bugs and quirks I plan on fixing but given the silence this blog has had I felt it couldn't hurt to at least point out that I was working on this. I've already started cleaning up the code base.

I'm pretty thrilled to have a pet project to work on now; I've received some positive feedback from various folks and I hope to turn this into something a whole lot cooler. I've got a whole lot of ideas for things to do with it and I hope that I can keep making time for working on it.

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Monday, January 15, 2007


Winter in Seattle is very white this year. I recall snow when I lived here before, but I can feel the Seattle groupthink telling me to deny that the weather is ever like this. Alas, the snow means that roads are icy which means no driving for me. I finally got a dining room-like table, only to have it trapped in my car thanks to no one wanting to drive over here and help me move it.

Thankfully I'm set on food and can walk to work. I wish I lived closer to a market like I did when I was in Germany, but I think I'll manage. I just hope things melt for this weekend. After that it can snow again.

I've been dragging my feet on XNA development but I finally just tried deploying something on my 360. It's pretty cool to see my code running on the unit, and I think I really need to push myself this month to get more of the core engine I'm writing working. I'll post images once I get a bit more working. I'm re-writing an old project from school, but plan on making the engine work a bit smoother as well as do a better job of keeping the game cross-platform. Though I suppose that takes on a completely different meaning this time.

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