Why the Ouya will break down the borders
July 11, 2012, 7:12 am

The Ouya was announced yesterday. Announced, mind you, not released. It is heralded as a cheap, open source gaming console for the television. It used kickstarter to gauge interest in the project and within 24 hours they had doubled their initial funding goal making it the fastest rising kickstarter project ever.

This system will change how games are made, and it will change how media is treated on a tv.

There were immediate naysayers a couple hours after announcement. The system specs were not exactly anything amazing. The CPU will be little better than your smartphone. The storage is dismal. The games all have to be free (isn't free bad?). People just couldn't understand it.

But all of those points are actually in this system's favor. You see what console makers forgot about, in their pursuit for the biggest tech, was how to make games fun. When given limitations you can't even bother to focus on migs and megs of memories and just have to go back to fun. There has been a big surge of FUN games on the computer, in the form of flash games. Flash is a small form factor, no nonsense platform that makes you forgo 3d explosions in favor of slick gameplay. This Ouya gaming system will mean a return to focusing on games as games.

It's also targetting independent developers. The tagline is "Anyone can pick up this console and develop for it." It's also built on the android operating system which means that it already has an established developer base. Made a game for android phones? Why not make one for an android console? Being open source and android based might not mean much to the average consumer (although that brand name is picking up steam steadily) but it is a big deal to developers. Switching languages is hard, but if you can keep the same code and just switch controllers, that's huge.

Some people are confused by a console that doesn't strive for as many triangles as possible when it comes to graphics. But graphics don't make a game. In fact they have distracted the big developers for years now. The arms race for graphics started slowing around crysis and has pretty much stagnated since then. We don't need better graphics we need better games, and independent developers have been quietly honing their craft, just waiting for this moment.

The final nail is free to play. This word has become dirty recently. Some developers have abused it. They've created games where you can essentially pay to cheat, or you just can't ever win without paying, or the game is tedious and unfun without paying. But there have been big wins as well. Plenty of games have succeeded with demo versions, paid expansions, and paid silly extensions. But above and beyond the developers, making Ouya a free system will give the Ouya creators immunity in the lawsuit sector. The reason everyone else has had to play nice with big media is because they want their fingers in all the pots. But if Ouya can manage to stick to hardware, they're completely immune as a company. Let other companies worry about how they handle legality, we only charged for the hardware.

I don't think I can fully articulate how important this will be to the industry. The movie industry has stagnated so long now because they have put a hold on anyone who tried to horn in on the "cable" movie industry. They have tried to say that tv and internet are separate areas, and so that's why hulu has movies and tv shows that are "only available online". The Ouya has the potential to blow that out of the water by being completely user funded, by being completely open source, and by not charging admission. Everything is free, and it will free your tv from the shackles of the movie industry.

This has the potential to be the ultimate device. Hardware without shackles. And the game industry will flock to it, but so will other developers. I've seen a lot of naysayers asking where all these independent developers are. "Where are they hiding?" They are shackled to the big media companies, and this system will free them from those shackles.

The Ouya should have branded itself as the Independence, because that's what it will mean to developers. Three guys in a basement can now make something for a console. It's going to be amazing.

You know how I know you're a Wordpress spammer?
July 7, 2012, 2:52 pm

Because You're commenting on a post made 4 years ago on Livejournal that I just added into my Wordpress feed. Maybe I won't notice it, Wordpress spammer. Maybe I'll think you totally read my blog and that's why you're commenting. Maybe I'll totally let your comment through, and you'll get all that sweet, sweet trackback love. But I won't, Wordpress spammer. Because you've given yourself away. You're naked, and I've seen everything. I've seen it all. Keep commenting on my old posts, Wordpress spammer. Maybe it will work this time.

Canvas is a bitch, but it's my bitch
June 30, 2012, 11:52 pm

I started trying to figure out how to convert my flash hackeysack game into an html5 game using the canvas. It's been a big learning curve figuring out the major differences in the two processes. Canvas is a big wide open frontier, whereas flash is a solid fixed playbox. I ended up using a jquery api called Jcanvas, because I knew that I needed to be able to click canvas items, and I knew from experience that this a concept far from being built into the canvas.

Jcanvas ended up being really amazing, and the creator even took some of my input to help improve the API.

Hackey Sack

Flash class
June 27, 2012, 5:48 pm

So we finished up day 3 of our flash class today, and over the last few classes, I have built up a nice little day 3 programming example of a hackeysack game. If you are interested in learning how to do something like this in flash, come take our 4 day flash class at Learn iT!

So I finally hooked up my blog again
June 15, 2012, 6:03 pm

I finally got around to hooking up my blog to my webpage again.

It's been a while since I've had a weblog fed into my website, and now I do. I've made a redesign to the site, it's got the sexiest html and css I can muster, while the design is still pretty simple. If you look into the code, you should find that I have an all CSS drop down navigation bar up there, and if you look further you should notice that my CSS is so sexy, I don't need no stinking classes or ids to select anything. Of course... this site looks like absolute balls on anything before IE9, but on a modern browser, it should be working just fine.

I made a couple of these videos of my art, and I'm thinking of making more soon. I already have a couple drawings recorded, just have to get around to dubbing them. Maybe this weekend, but no promises.

Also, I finally passed my CTT+ exams, and I am now an official ACI. What does this mean? CTT+ is the universal exam for technical trainers, and an ACI is an Adobe Certified Instructor, which means that I am ACE (Adobe Certified Expert) in all things Adobe, along with being a recognized Trainer. It's really exciting. And if you ever had a question about an Adobe product, I can probably answer it. So ask me anything, I dare you.

[edit] Worth mentioning about Wordpress. If you have a problem where strange characters are showing up from your xml rss feed, there are going to be a lot of silly plugins and other such things thrown at you to fix the problem. The problem was much simpler than that for me, I just needed a meta tag in my head to define the encoding for the site to UTF-8.

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html;charset=utf-8"/>

fonts and such
December 30, 2011, 3:47 am

I've always had a mild fascination with fonts. After my old boss came to me and had me create a font for him I've gotten into making fonts for myself. I've always had a mind for organization and I find font making to be a very monotonous task in a good way.

I've made myself about 6 fonts since then, and I love doing it. I will have more to say later.

coding is hard
August 16, 2011, 11:31 am

There is nothing more frustrating than coding a lot of things, and then realizing that in order to move forward with a project, you must now recode all those things. You must check for new redundancies. You must correct new errors, while improving old hacks. It's annoying as all get out, and I have to do it CONSTANTLY.

maybe I'm a bad programmer.

I'd be willing to concede that. I believe I am an excellent problem solver. But being a good programmer means being more than just a good problem solver. It involves perceiving problems long before they raise their head, and readying your hammer beforehand. I often write code days ahead of time in anticipation of a problem. I'm always amazed when I write a function only to be reviewing my code later and realizing that I had already written in a contingency function for the very problem I was now fixing. It's like beating a burglar to death with a bat, because you forgot you had placed a gun in your cabinet weeks earlier.

It's frustrating, and at the same time, every time it happens i think to myself "Damn, self. You scary smart." I probably do a lot more congratulating of mediocrity than I should. But when you live in the middle it can be difficult to see what's more appropriate.

I drew a friend today for his anniversary.

I would like to do more quick caricatures like this. It makes me happy, but more than 5 of them in a row starts feeling like a job.

Maybe just 2 or 3 every day. That would be nice.