Saturday, September 15, 2007

Prep the Exit Music

Started a new job this week. The motivational speech from the .com's owner was "if you're not working 80 hours here, let me know. I'll write your a letter of recommendation and get you out of here."

So, alas, I'm going to fade away into work. I'll let the two most nerdcore l33t play the music as I sign off into the sunset.

You know I never post YouTube videos on this blog, right? Right? So trust me when I say this is deserving of breaking my streak.

Until later...

Monday, September 03, 2007

Crystal Chair

I remember, still quite distinctly, one particular moment in the December of 2002. My job wasn't what it once was, and I was starting to contribute more into some random open source projects. I wanted to see what game engines "looked like," so I downloaded the developer documentation for CrystalSpace on my (now destroyed) iPAQ. It was December however - and of course I had to do a blitz of Christmas shopping.

While walking all over the mall's green turf, I tried to read the CrystalSpace HTML docs. Finally I took a break and crashed in a lounge chair inside a Von Maur and poured through half the pages I had sync'd. It was in that chair that I was first turned on to CrystalSpace's automagic "smart pointers." When things finally clicked about factory design patterns. When I finally saw how platform-independent file mounting could work. Things largely fit into place for the first time in my head, and a rush of Computer Science courses that were starting to leak out of my brain finally kicked into place. It all weirdly made sense.

I still think of that December of 2002 whenever I pass by that chair. Last year, before I aged another decade, I provided myself with a crap-or-get-off-the-pot objective: to finally have a working game out by February of 2007 or otherwise just give up the ghost. While I did some extensive hacking, spent a lot of late nights and tried to do it, in the end I just wasn't able to produce the goods. I have a partially completed project out there, but in the end I wasn't able to make it happen. I finally gave up the daydream.

I passed by the chair yesterday and thought about how fall was coming soon. Christmas shopping season. And how I'm not going to be perched in that chair pouring over docs anymore.

Sitting Upright with Tux

I saw the weirdest thing in a local putt-putt establishment today. Sitting front-and-center was an upright arcade version of an old favorite, Tux Racer.

Everyone in my family, young and old alike, has played a more updated version of Tux Racer on my Linux box at home. PlanetPenguin Racer was the more "finished product," granting desperately needed functionality and map layouts to its elder version. I'm used to it being an open source game on every Linux distro that even two year olds love to play.

Evidentially Roxor Games turned this into an upright. It was so weird seeing the familiar Tux splash screen behind a quarter slot... I had to do a double and triple take. And then take a crappy cell phone photo. But it was fantastic to see it occupying floor space. It's like the smell of roast beef and mashed potatoes when you walk through the front door. Not the front door of an arcade... the front door of... crap, forget it.

It was just cool to see.