As most techies I know, I have a set of websites I check up on each morning, and throughout the day. I get to the office in the morning, and first things first, I “make the rounds.” And thanks to my handy dandy RSS reader, I never miss a single thing. I’m hyper-informed about the narrow set of topics that the sites in my usual rotation cover.
One of those sites is The Verge. A splinter group formed from former Engadget editors, it’s quickly becoming one of the best tech and tech culture news sites on the web.
Recently, one of the editors that I follow closely, Paul Miller, came up with an experiment he wanted to run: go internet free for an entire year. And I mean completely internet free. Not just browsing websites, but email, streaming video, music, everything. He even ditched his smart phone and got an old Nokia, and won’t even text on it.
No I haven’t hit any sort of production or even commercial level polish. But the title sure had some nice alliteration huh? 😉
As the title hints at though, the past month has been a great example of the vast gap between a prototype (as seen in my lastYouTube video) and a production ready product.
At first I thought doing all of the alarm clock stuff (with Google Calendar integration) would be easier because I was now doing it on Android, with Java and all of Androids high level features. Boy was I wrong.
Had a pretty awesome over nighter up to Thirteen Falls in the Pemi wilderness last weekend.
Got to put some new gear to the test, most of it turned out awesome. A few under-performers though, like my new -20° sleeping bag, who’s draft collar was defective. First pull, the bungee-cord came right out of the draft collar :/ Also, just didn’t quite live up to the -20° rating.
It’s about 8 miles in, which we managed in roughly 5 hours.
I’ve been making good progress since receiving my IOIO. Got it up and running over USB, tested it all out, and then had to wait for my PICKit3 to upgrade it’s firmware. Once it arrived, it took some time for me to grok it (I’ve never used a PIC programmer or anything like it before) but finally got the Firmware upgraded and got the IOIO talking to my phone over Bluetooth.
I had an unexpected break through on my C3 project! A couple nights ago, I had some spare time, and had been thinking about the pressure sensor for a long time. The problem with it is, there is a circle with a radius of just 4mm, and in order to get good readings, the force must be applied to the center, not the edges. This gives me only about 2mm’s in radius to apply force in. Since this will be under my mattress where things can be jostled or move around, that’s a pretty narrow margin of error.
With this in mind, I came up with an idea for a “puck” and threw it together in Google SketchUp:
As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m beginning a new game project that I’m pretty excited about. Me and the artist I always work with have been mulling a new project for some months, and have been waiting for other things in our lives to clear a way for it to begin.
About a month ago we started to put things together. Setting up internal servers and services for tracking and coordinating the project. As well as putting together a slightly larger team. We’ve brought on a programmer that I’ve worked with before, and a new artist/game-designer who we’ve known for a few years. Effectively doubling our bandwidth in both assets and engineering.
After discovering that Unity 3D had changed their pricing model, offering a much cheaper non-pro version for Android and iOS, I began doing some research and have since selected it as the technology to base our project on.
This is exciting, because in all our previous projects, we had been starting from scratch, technology wise. Developing the engine tech and tool chain (if you could even call them that) as we developed the game. For even our simple games, this involved a huge time investment.
Now with our doubled bandwidth, and a proven technology base, we’re all pretty excited about the possibilities.
Lots of stuff is still up in the air, we’re still heavily in discussion about game ideas, and names for our team, and so on. Though some points are beginning to gel. We’re settling on a few “Guiding Principles” that we can use to evaluate each game idea as they come up, but I’ll talk more about those in a later post. Just as a little sneak peak, our game will likely focus on AI driven game-play. Having autonomous actors in the world that the player works with to accomplish game-play objectives.