Monday, July 28, 2008

The Syndicate of Evil

David and I started working on a collaborative effort on the weekend. We had an idea for a web comic, which I mutated into a strategy game. I have a strategy game mutation ray. No, you can't borrow it.

Without giving to much away, I will say it involves super villains. We are of course very inspired by Dr. Horrible. If you missed that by the way, you missed out and should really figure out iTunes and get some of that. This would also put you one step up on me, as I can't figure out iTunes. Of course I don't have an iPod either.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Vilnius Schoolmaster

I like to flip the map view in Google Analytics to show cities over countries. I feel more in tune with the city names as places, though I haven't been to hardly any of them.

One of the cities that showed up this month was Vilnius, in Lithuania. This is the mythical place of origin for Marco Ramius, the captain of the Red October in "The Hunt for Red October". I used to love Tom Clancy, lately, not so much.

To all my international guests: "Welcome! I'm here through next Thursday, please try the ribs and tip your waitress."

"Добро пожаловать! Я здесь через следующее четверг, пожалуйста пробую нервюры и наклоняю вашу официантку."

"Willkommen! Ich bin hier durch folgenden Donnerstag, versuche bitte die Rippen und spitze Ihre Kellnerin."

"Bienvenue ! Je suis ici à travers essaye jeudi prochain, svp les nervures et incline votre serveuse."

"歓迎! 私は次の木曜日、試み、肋骨をひっくり返すあなたのウェートレスをここにいる。"

(I can only hope that the translation is unoffensive.)(And even I can see that the French did not translate well!)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Maths are hard, let's shop!

I'm not actually blond. Technically, it's called ash blond. Regardless of why, I completely fail at writing intercept code.

Let's see things that have worked in the sim so far:
  • thrust
  • gravity
  • satellites
  • planets
  • targeting
  • UI scaling
That's not bad. And so far the whole thing runs about 10 to 20 times faster than real time. I may just skip it for now. Except that at some point it's going to become important to make rendezvous with other entities - space stations for example to reload and rearm.

I need to add weapons and targets so I can spend time blasting things to smithereens. Work out some of my frustrations as it were.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Monkey Hands

All right, I've monkeyed with the page a bit. If I've messed it up and looks as intelligible as an Egyptian tablet that's been used as a sledge hammer, let me know. I remembered to save the old template first.

I'm on the hunt for speakers. I've come to the sad realization that my viewing quality has vastly outstripped the audio. I need at least a center and a sub woofer. My primaries are Mission M70. I know I won't spend a tonne of money on them, because my receiver is 1.2 million years old. No, seriously, I think it was originally assembled by a neanderthal.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Dr Horrible's Sing Along Blog (v2.0)

Are you joking? No, I'm not.

Go here. Why? Joss Whedon you mechanical mind midget. I'm also spending some time with old classics. Have you ever watched "Lost in Space" from the beginning? How about "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea"? I'm doing both.

At some point I should investigate Irwin Allen's other vehicles as well, but these two I remember fondly from the early days of cable TV. Of course I mean the early days of cable TV at my house, not the dawn of cable TV which occurred about 35 years before that.

(edit 2.0: The first banner was too wide for my format. Nice if the preview actually reflected the blog.)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hellgate: Not dead yet!

...but I can't imagine it's crying out "I feel hapeee..." either. I direct you to an official forum post, over there. And while it is good news that Flagship has not quite closed it's doors, we must now wait for further developments.

The only thing I could hope for would be a LAN client patch/update. It was the only major disappointment I had with the game. I understand the financial decision behind not making a LAN server available. I don't agree with it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hellgate Spiral

This looks grim.

OK, I don't have a subscription, so at least I didn't pay to play, but I have to admit, David and I have spent some serious "LAN" time on Hellgate. Serious.

Good news is, the single player game should still run. Bad news is, I have no reason to believe I'll ever be running a multi-player game of it again.

And David just discovered one of the coolest easter eggs ever.

Monday, July 07, 2008

DIII Timeline update

I see that the "official" release date for StarCraft II is now being listed here and there as December of this year. That probably means it's possible DIII might be ready for next Christmas. But I doubt it.

Friday, July 04, 2008

"Jar Jar, you're a genius"

Hey, double post day!

Did you know that until very recently the phrase "Jar Jar, you're a genius" had never been recorded on the intarwebs? Neither did I. But I read this web comic, which is pretty funny, and they said I should say that, and I always do what web comics say.


Game Maker

When I started using Game Maker, I was somewhat skeptical. This would not be the first time I had tried to adapt one of my visions to fit inside somebody else's box. Last time I tried to use a free ware engine I found to build a strategy game, it turned out to have more box and less fit.

On the other hand, Earth vs. Mars is shaping up gloriously.

You may remember I had this idea about a Solar civil war between Earth and the colonies.* It was going to be on a giant hex grid so I could use vectored motion a-la Triplanetary. After two weeks-ish of off-hand development, I have this so far:

A full on Newtonian movement system. With gravity implemented. A playing area that covers everything inside the jovian orbit. The ability to scale the display from 1:1 all the way to 1,000,000:1 - this is important when you're trying to navigate from Earth to Mars and you don't have radar.

It's a cool toy, but it's not a game yet. I still have some User Interface tweaks to make before I start adding bad guys.

MMmmmm. Saucers.

*Actually, after looking through the back blog, you may not. I may never have mentioned it here. But it's cool, trust me.