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Update: Contemplations, Allegro Speedhack, Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Seattle, and the Pirate Party

October 3, 2011 Leave a comment

Apologies, in not updating this thing in forever.  I know I may be on a couple of people’s RSS feeds who probably forgot I was in there. 😉

Secondly, I’m not sure if I want to keep this blog going in its current form or not, because I really don’t spend that much time doing game programming anymore and that’s kind of what this blog is supposed to be about.  Maybe if things weren’t so fucked up, that’s what I’d be doing…

I love video games though, they’re why I learned to program so young – this year I took part in the Allegro Speedhack, but it will probably be my last (I know I say that every time, but seriously, I’m mortal, I have a limited number of years on this earth, and writing crappy broken code in dead programming languages utilizing horrible tools is not how I envision myself spending that time.)  I also had most of my weekend tied up with other obligations… needless to say I didn’t finish a complete game, but it was something I was still moderately proud to have been a part of.  Though, participating certainly showed a lack of judgment on my part.

Most recently, I’ve become a lot more politically aware and active.  I’ve joined a group of people and helped to found (and modestly grow) the Washington Pirate Party (apologies, we all work and have very little time, the site isn’t that mature yet.  Our Facebook page and group is where most of the action is, but we’re hoping to transition away from that.

For those unaware or who think the Pirate Party is about making Napster legal or something – it certainly has some roots in that regard with pissed of teens going “what the fuck is the artificial scarcity shit?” and “why is copyright so out of whack?” – but it’s evolved much past that, the Pirates realize that most of this stuff is a symptom of a much bigger problem that exists in our power structures today.

Fixing copyright is still a core issue, but more importantly are issues of civil rights – including digital civil rights; you deserve a phone that can’t be used to spy on you for no good reason, and lots of bad ones.

Keep in mind also, the importance of the internet (more on this in a moment) the Pirate Party wants a free and open internet for all.  Yet in the US congress many bills have been pushed in recent years, with at least 5 bills in the last year: COICA/Protect IP, Internet ID, ACTA, the Kill Switch,  and so-called “Child Pornography” bills to name a few – the media tries to portray this as we’re over reacting to the great firewall our government wants on the internet – COICA was literally “Hey, look what China can do!  Awesome! Let’s get rid of all this due process and just censor the fucking internet!” … but seriously, they’re still at it.  As far as not having a great-firewall-of-china (and several other wins), you have but one senator to thank for stepping up (Ron Mother-fucking Wyden, bitches.)  A couple others seem to have come on board now too, including Al Franken, and Maria Cantwell (yes, most bills are named for the exact opposite of what they stand for, or hope to accomplish, not this one, I’ve read it myself – even edge cases/loop holes I thought up were addressed.  Not like the official net neutrality bill “with loopholes big enough to drive a truck through.”)

But back to point, the Pirate Party is at its core, there to pirate the government back, into the hands of the people.  We are more technology aware than other parties—and that’s a good thing – because when we fight for government transparency and accountability, individual privacy, and your civil liberties – guess where the main fight really is?  The internet, that’s where.

We approve of a consensus based and enfranchising approach – we think everyone should have access to political discourse, and that with today’s technology, that everyone can have a voice and be heard.  That the person you elect is YOUR public servant and answerable to you, not whichever corporation has the highest paid lobbyists.

So where do we stand on the other issues?  Partisanship, etc?  Well, for the most part, we don’t.  Each candidate may have their own personal views in addition to the Pirate views, and each candidate must be weighed on their own.  To get the pirate thumbs up, you really just have to agree with and support our core values.  To give an example of how stuff tends to work, the head of the Oregon Pirate Party is also head of their Green Party (Jorden Leonard.)

So… we started a political party… with no money to speak of… so we started a PAC in Washington… still no money to speak of… oh well, good for us.  Let’s put our free time in and see if we can help with anything ongoing, maybe make a difference someday.  Even though that sounds less than hopeful, there is actually some light at the end of the tunnel – the one thing the pirate party offers that the other 3rd parties don’t (besides supporting the other 3rd parties) – we win elections with very little money.

It will take a lot of time and resources to really get this off the ground, and the corruption of the system in the US is much more fierce; to make a Starcraft analogy, we see ourselves as the Battle Ships that while you can’t just go rush in from the start with (for the most part) – you can defend your base just long enough to start pumping them out… – Because the corruption must be fought, evil flourishes when good people do nothing.

In the meanwhile, while we were out managing our dicks, the rest of the public started waking up too… realizing that most of what the people in power are saying are lies, that the current media is a corporate owned, for-profit, newertainment industry who’s bias is sold to the highest bidder.  And an amazing, truly grass-roots political movement inspired by the Arab Spring, showed up… Occupy Wall Street.  First on the internet… and still… even though it has become massively public (seriously look up “Occupy [insert city here]” and you’ll probably find one – it’s on five continents and most US states.  There is probably one near you) very empowered by its social presence on the internet… — so you see, protecting the internet, and social media is of profound importance, and even a moral issue at this point.

I was at Occupy Seattle on Friday, September 30th—living in a fairly liberal area and getting off to a late start we haven’t been discriminated against that I know of.  I can’t say it’s working like that everywhere.  We did not stay the night then, but on Saturday the 1st I did (I didn’t get a very good rest, and had to stop home in the morning to “charge my phone” which later turned into fall asleep until noon.  Shame.  So I spent most of the day getting my friend geared up for staying overnight – as she has the ability to go live there and be a part of it.  I have to work, but I’ll be in and out when I can be and to help.  Because we need this.)  We held a general assembly of our own both days.   There was one on Sunday but I missed it, and the ones today I missed as well (at work), I’m going to see if I can make it tonight anyway to catch up and get the latest news; and tomorrow as well.

Please go and help out if you can, when you can.  It changes every day, go to catch up or drop off some blankets or food… — be a part of history.

p.s. I totally got on the news once, my parents called and said they saw me speak.  But I can’t find it.  I think it was Kiro 7 at 8pm on Oct 1st, if you have a link to it, fwd it to me.  I wanna see it!

p.p.s. The WA Pirate Party officially supports Occupy Seattle.  And will all do whatever we can to support it and make it work.  We will be there.  Let us know if there is something we can do for you.

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Categories: Game Development, Politics

Game Bundles!

December 23, 2010 2 comments

Check out these two game bundles:

Humble Indy Bundle 2:  Pay whatever you want (if you pay more than $7.60 you get Humble Indy Bundle 1 as well!) has several great quality games which are all CROSS PLATFORM and DRM FREE!  (Some of them from HIB1 went open source even!)

Games Include:

Braid, Cortex Command, Machinarium, Osmos, Revenge of the Titans, and for Humble Indy Bundle 1 (those who donate over $7.60 currently get these if you don’t already have them): World of Goo, Aquaria, Gish, Lugaru HD, Penumbra Overture, and Samorost 2.

Good deal for under $10, but I recommend giving more.

What’s even cooler is you can divide up how your donation should be spent between the groups and charities which I think is awesome.  I plan on donating and helping the EFF because they fight for REAL internet freedom and free speech among other things.

Bundle of Wrong:

This originally caught my eye on twitter as a post from CymonsGames linking to his blog article about the bundle.  The games are by an indy developer who has won some retro remake awards it sounds like.  They don’t seem as cool as the Humble Indy Bundle’s in quality, but it’s for a good cause (medical bills?)   The games are also DRM free but PC only.  Also, it’s a pay what you want kind of deal, so I recommend doing it!

Peace!

Categories: Game Development, Politics

Cannon Blaster – Beta 4 (Circa 2005)

August 23, 2010 Leave a comment

Okay, so I found a pile of games I had written back in the day, and pulled some out and started dusting them off.  A couple of guys at work showed some interest and started playing one in particular: Cannon Blaster.  I wrote it one day in college when I was bored in Database class ignoring some lecture about sargable queries or some such… Anyway, the game is a quick hack using VB.NET, Winforms, and GDI+ and doesn’t even change your screen resolution… well fast forward to 2010 where we all drive flying cars with bat computers in them and have screens on our cell phones that go up to 20 billion by 15 billion, and well, the game doesn’t play as well… one element in particular: The machine gun doesn’t go far enough to even be usable, you’re stuck with flak only.

Hence Beta 4 (Previous version was labeled as Beta 3).  I increased the range of the machine gun (varies by resolution), and *slightly* slowed it down (stops the weapon from giving the player god-like powers).  Also there was a bug that when a machine gun hit a plane it didn’t explode, it just dissapeared.  I tried to fix that, but the code is pretty much uncommented and super old, so sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, and surprisingly, sometimes it half works…

Anyway, I like the idea behind the game, I might do a more modern version of it that doesn’t blow chunks someday.  For now you’ll just have to put up with all the chunk blowing and what not if you want to play it.

Download Cannon Blaster – Beta 4 (Windows Executable requires .NET Framework 2.0 to play, and VB.NET 2008 Source Code included).

Original Allegro.cc Forum Post.

Screen Shot:

Cannon Blaster - Screen Shot

Cannon Blaster - Screen Shot