I've been there and done that, but disliking Nickelback is not an opinion; it's a verbal meme. How You Remind Me is a tune and you can shove your dulled-edge take somewhere else.
I'm making progress on my game and I might be able to show you something before the end of the year, provided that the upcoming American Civil War II: Electric Boogaloo doesn't cascade into WW III: It's Closing Time. 2020 is dark.
On a positive note: Haven't had a drink in over a year. Have I mentioned that I'm off the sauce again? I think not. That's something. I barely miss it, either, I'm just glad the non-alcoholic beer situation has improved over the years. There's a decent selection now and some of them are actually better than the boozier ones, but don't tell anyone.
Anyway, I've been wrong, I've been down, been to the bottom of every bottle, but now I'm in a happy place. Are we having fun yet?
A bunch of music related stuff:
Apple rebranded their Beats 1 radio station to Apple Radio 1 and added two more stations: Apple Hits and Apple Country. Naming aside, I think that's a good move. I like the radio station in theory, but more often than not find myself tuning it right when nothing I care about is on. More stations means more variety. I'm mostly interested in the Hits station. Listened to a couple of shows and it's good. Hits is a bit of a misnomer (what's up with the crack marketing department in regards to names?): It's really a "here's a bunch of music that isn't brand new" station. Which is right up my alley. Alanis Morissette has a show on there. Snoop has one. Huey Lewis has one. The Backstreet Boys have one. That sort of thing.
Poolside.fm has a Mac app now, which is delightful. It's themed just like the website; fantasy Mac OS from the 90s. I can't abide by background music coming from the browser, so this is perfect for when I want to listen to some smooth tunes. Little feature request: I'd love to get rid of the Dock icon and have it appear in the menu bar, kinda like Tot.
Finally, an iOS app called Longplay. Longplay has a very simple premise: Play entire albums from your music library, sorted by various criteria like recency or album cover color. It's that simple. It's a feature Apple Music should have, but doesn't. I gladly paid the 3,49 Euro to get easy access to all the albums I've added to my library but never listen to. (It's a lot.)
Ever since we've gotten Disney Plus we've been doing a Simpsons rewatch. We're up to Season 4 now, and haven't hit a bad episode yet. Some of the jokes aged poorly and are very cringey now, and some of the edge has worn off over the years, but the writing is still very, very sharp after all this time.
What strikes me the most, though, is how brilliant Phil Hartman was. Every scene with Troy McClure or Lionel Hutz is dynamite, every word he utters is funny somehow, even if it's not supposed to be. He truly was a comedic genius.
What Biden needs to do if he wins and Trump is dealt with, is to use his four years to lead a charge to completely dismantle the presidency in its current form. It's way too powerful with very little accountability. He keeps talking about being a transitional figure. Well that would be a transition. Away from having an elected, time-limited kingship back to an actual presidency. Get rid of the Patriot Act. Abolish the filibuster (Yes, that's a Senate thing, but he should be clear that he wants it gone.) Don't do anything with Executive Orders that could be accomplished through Congress. Dismantle the "National Security" apparatus. DHS has to go. Put some rules around corruption in place. Congress needs to pass laws that make the shit Trump pulled the last four years illegal, instead of just frowned upon. I would also like to see an easier way to remove an incompetent executive from office.
I know it's a lot, and that's not even an exhausitive list, just the biggest fires. Apart from shoring up democracy for the next generation, he also needs to deal with climate change, corona virus, police brutality, racial & economic inequality, voting rights (fuck the Electoral College!)… The list goes on. It's too much for one term, but without curtailing the presidency at all, the gains Biden and his team could make, might be gone again after the next cycle. Just look at Obama's legacy. Thinks have to be codified into law or they will go away again. (See Obamacare. Sure, it was gutted severly, but Republicans couldn't get rid of it for good, because it's the law.)
I also know that almost no one gives up power willingly, but I worry. If Trump can be removed from office peacefully (which is a big if, November is going to be hell for all of us), who's to say that the next white supremacist elected to office isn't marginally more competent and completes the road to authoritarianism? The American presidency as it stands is too dangerous to exist. Period.
Eighteen months passed between releasing dRKsdISSIdsKRd and Step Me Deadly. That's a looong time. Life got in the way, a global pandemic at a scale we haven't seen for a hundred years, sure, but there were also deeper issues at play.
I don't know. I feel like I should write something about this, but what can I say? The game was done in a weekend. I like parts of it, and I don't like other parts. It's fine for what it is.
I don't think I want to do another (short) jam, because, well, I've proved that I can make a game in a weekend. While that's nice, it's not something I want to do forever. But I can't disappear for two years to make a bigger game. That just hasn't worked for me. I always say I will do it, this time it'll be different, but then very little gets done. I let other things take over. I find it hard to say no (mostly because I like the stuff that's being offered.)
I need to find a middle ground. Maybe release something every other month or so? Every three months? Part of a bigger story, but self-contained? It's what everyone else is doing, isn't it? The whole Early Access thing? I've been reluctant about doing something like that, because I like the mystery of a big reveal. I like controlling the narrative. There's a lot of old-school, 20th Century creator in me. I'm wary of constantly updating people about my progress (which is hilarious, since I can't seem to shut up once I start talking.) It feels antithetical to the art life: David Lynch didn't tell us jack shit about Twin Peaks: The Return and it was magical a summer full of surprises.
But I'm not David Lynch, am I?
I'll never get to the big reveal, if I don't make any progress. I don't even get to do the small reveal. I get to spend years in the weeds, thinking about ever smaller details that no one actually cares about. Including me, frankly.
I haven't decided what to do yet. But my current strategy has clearly failed. I haven't produced the output I was hoping for and need to get back to the drawing board and regroup. Again. It's only (counts) my 7 billionth attempt. We'll see how it goes. See you in less than 18 months.
I'm done. Submitted. Tired. You can go and download the game on itch. Have fun.
Nothing terrible happened, but progress was a bit more sluggish yesterday.
I had to take more breaks (and one big one for other work), but I'm happy
with where I ended up. Today is all about that polish. I have a block now (it's 8am,
I can go until 2pm) and then another one in the evening.
Deadline is 6 am around here. I don't think
I'll pull an all-nighter, but it's nice to have a buffer.
The jam has officially started and the limitiation is what I hoped it would be:
Pausing must be a core mechanic
Perfect. I'll start working on it once I get off work today. Games! Crimes! Let's do this!
The core loop is up and running, but I don't have anything animated to show you yet as it's all boxy boxes without HUD or menus.
What I can say is that it's a 3D game called "Step Me Deadly" and it looks something like this in Unity:
Next I'll add the HUD and menus, at which point I can post a gif. Progress has been smooth so far,
which worries me, because it can only mean that something big will go wrong very soon. Let's hope it doesn't.
This is a public reminder to myself that I signed up to do the Mini Jam 60: Crime. Fictional crime is right up my alley and I think I can do something with that. They'll announce a limitation to the gameplay once the jam starts and you can check out the choices here.
I haven't made a full game in ages, even though I've been tinkering when I had time to spare. Which is rare now, what with the job and all. Anyway. I've talked to my family and we managed to set aside some time over the weekend so that I can do this. Wish me luck. (Am I telling myself to wish me luck because it's a public reminder to myself, or am I expecting someone else to read it and wish me luck? I don't know. These are the hard questions I might explore in a game about crime!)
My new work is mostly a Windows shop, so I have to deal with Windows as a daily driver for the first time in over a decade. A few observations, starting with the positives:
- It's much better than it used to be.
- The Windows Linux Subsystem (WSL) is very well thought-out. Having access to a *nix shell makes Windows much more bearable.
- Powershell is very interesting. It's too verbose, but I think they got something here. Dealing with objects instead of text is a cool idea.
- VSCode is pretty decent, for an Electron app.
Okay, onto the negatives:
- The OS is called Windows. Why is Windows so bad at managing, you know, windows?
- Overlapping windows are hard to distinguish, because everything is waaay too flat.
- An application closes when you close the windows. What is that all about? A window is supposed to be a WINDOW into the application, it's right there in the name.
- Resizing is a mess
- The built-in tiling stuff is...well, I don't tiling.
- 40 years of development show through in all corners of the OS; you never know when you might hit a dialog box (literally) written in 1992.
- Notifications are too verbose and they also happen all the time.
- Why is it sooo hard to remap a key in Windows?
- The registry.
- Where are they hiding Clippy? In a basement? The attic? #FreeClippy2020
People are desperate to get back to some kind of normal behaviour — hugging friends and family, meeting, drinking, dancing, going to clubs, all the things they used to do. What everybody finds hard to realise, still less to accept, is that that ‘normal’ to which we long to return is no longer available. That train has left the station. The pre-pandemic past is indeed a different country.
via Sunday 2 August, 2020 - Memex 1.1
The faster we realize that the old world is gone, the more time we have to build a better one.
The disgusting orange moron will not be reelected. He might stay in power, but there is no
way he's going to get enough votes to do it legally. His failure in this pandemic
is too large to ignore, too profoundly of his own making and too close to an election.
He was always going to cheat, because that's what he did the first time.
This time, desperation is added to his already
potent mixture of endless ego, willfull ignorance, and complete ineptitude.
We've entered the final stage of whatever hell we're in. Either democracy in
America, already limping, shouting about aliens with its dick hanging out,
barely survives for another term, or we're all fucked for good.
Big news everyone: I’m starting a new job tomorrow. Well, technically my first day is today, but it’s a holiday around here, so there’s that. Anyway. I’m going to be a Junior DevOps Engineer for DB Dialog. I should probably read this, eh?
Yep, you inferred that right. DB Dialog is of course part of Deutsche Bahn. I’m working for Deutsche Bahn now. That Deutsche Bahn. (Now’s the chance to get your dumb jokes in before it’s old news!) I’m excited and terrified at the same time. It’s a big place to work at, and I’ve never worked with others developers. Remember, I was the only IT person at my last job, which was my first full-time IT thing. This is going to be a big change and it’ll probably be a while before I feel completely comfortable with the situation.
I will of course continue blogging here, but remember: The views on this blog are my own and don’t necessarily reflect those of my employer. I’ll add a disclaimer to the About Page as well.