In the interests of pushing my .NET knowledge, I began migrating the Geist character sheet project that I’d started in Django to .NET MVC 3. I hadn’t done MVC in .NET since MVC 1 was beta’d, but hey, MVC is MVC is MVC. Right?
So in the interests of making things more interesting and more testable, I decided to dive into the Entity Framework 4. My beginning read of POJOs in Action, along with my previous experience with .netTears–I mean, .netTiers–had me generally familiar with the concepts of entities, contexts, and repositories.
Kicker is, POJOs is just a book (and one I’ve barely dived into), and .netTears uses code generation, meaning I could get away with treating it as just a very hefty ORM in the applications it was in. Generate and go.
Getting my fingers in it was a whole ‘nother experience.
One immensely valuable thing I learned at Skookum was the value of automated deployments. I worked with a gent who took the time to work up Capistrano scripts for each staging and production environment of the whale of a project I worked with him on.
I appreciated it during development, but I didn’t appreciate it until we were deploying single tweaks out to production on Amazon EC2 in rapid cycles. I haven’t worked with EC2 since then (second half of 2009), but let me tell you, deployments were for the birds.
With his scripts though: run the script, enter your SSH or git password(s) a few times, and you have an automated deployment that runs for each person on the team, despite all our separate setups (Mac, Linux, cygwin, etc.).
It sounds trivial and obvious, but how many deployments did I do by hand, or try (poorly) to document for someone else, or forget how to do before that really sunk in?
I’ve written before about writing a character sheet manager for Geist characters, but there have been some upheavals within the Camarilla (now the Midnight Dance, a non-profit separate from White Wolf) that have the project on hold.
For one, their developers may be doing it themselves, and they’re competent.
For another, even if they don’t, they may be exposing a handy API that I can tie into.
Lastly, I’m busy finishing a novel at the moment.
That said, Greg offers Midnight Dance/Camarilla prestige (like, um, club brownie points; with enough of them, you can get more XP for your characters) if we submit ghost non-player characters to him. It’s not terribly onerous to do, but if you don’t have the book and don’t make them often, it can be annoying to remember the calculations for stats like Willpower.
Last weekend at the city-wide Geist live-action roleplaying game I play in, I let Greg twist my arm into running a plot. In a game the size of ours (10-20 people, depending on sleep schedules), there almost has to be more than one person running stories–there just isn’t enough of one game master’s attention to go around.
The trouble with me getting involved in running plots is that Greg is the main game master (or “story teller”, in the Geist system). Nepotism, anyone? Eep.
I was very, very worried about accusations of such, especially since I’ve been accused by others of using my “feminine wiles” to get judgments in my favor in tabletop games.
I guess I should just be flattered that he thought I had wiles to use. Can’t say I was, really.
So we’ve been working on Exploit: Zero Day for a couple of years now, but I haven’t talked nearly enough about it here. It’s a web-based cyberthriller puzzle game where you play as a hacktivist, uncovering and battling against oppression and exploitation.
*innocent whistle* Totally not the sort of game I’d want to make or play, no…
It’s been in closed alpha for a while, but we’re ready to offer a prelude season of paid story: “Headless Swarm”. For details on the plotline and how it relates to the continued free alpha access, check out the announcement blog post over at FPG.
I visited uptown Charlotte tonight, amidst the current protests and unrest after Keith Scott’s death. My friend and I had a few tidbits of info on where people were meeting, but nothing concrete, so we wandered along several streets.
In areas where people weren’t protesting, businesses were closed, and the streets were unusually silent for 20:30 on a Friday night. Troops stood in clumps of three on corners, waving or saying hello when you passed them. The occasional humvee or police SUV drove by.
Things were more lively at the Omni Hotel, where folks had covered the sidewalk in chalk. There were lots of media there: it was clearly an “allowed”, acceptable, media-consumable gathering. I’d maybe characterize it as a space for quieter expression of grief, although it was criticized by another gathering as essentially being for the white people. The writings were names of people killed and sayings that many of us are familiar with: “hands up don’t shoot”, “when will we have justice?”, etc. Religious figures were around, praying with people.
Further down Trade St., past the bus station, a group had gathered in front of some government building. My friend and I stayed there for a while. They were chanting “I am my brother’s’ keeper!” and folks were stepping up to share their perspectives. Four National Guards and a cop stood between the crowd and the building (with the aid of crowd control barriers), utterly stoic when the crowd shouted questions at them.
Folks probably know that I make video games as part of Future Proof Games, but maybe not what we’re doing at the moment. Many, many (many) years ago, Gregory made “(I Fell in Love With) The Majesty of Colors”, a very sweet Flash game about balloons and drowning.
As the site stats geek for FPG, I can tell you “Majesty” remains pretty damned popular. (Hell, it just got linked by Buzzfeed a few days ago.) It’s an evocative game that continues to appeal to folks wanting to explore the soft feelings of a big, weird, sessile alien. Problem is, Flash is finally actually dying — no phone/tablet can run it, and some browser configurations require user action before it’ll run Flash.
So we’re bringing “Majesty” to modern devices: Android, iOS, and Windows/OSX/Linux. And holy crap, this game feels great on a phone; moving the tentacle with your finger just feels real in a way that the tiny, mouse-controlled Flash version doesn’t. I’m excited to test it on tablets.
One of the first pictures taken of my newly-dyed locs.
I did it! I’ve had locs twice now, for a total of almost five years, and each time I’ve gone, “I should be bold and dye my hair!”
But it’s very permanent, especially since my natural hair color likely needs to be lightened for color to show much. Plus, lightening hair can be damaging. Last thing I want is to have my locs falling out. I’ve literally spent years growing these things; I’m not ashamed to say I’m a little attached to them, even if I don’t name them or count them.
But finally, with the aid of recommendations from friends and family on a beautician, I got my hair did.
Ossuary—Future Proof’s first commercial game release—is part of the Steam Summer Sale and will be 25% off until July 4. If you haven’t had a chance to play yet, it’s only $7.50 (USD). If you’re on the fence, the demo, “The Hodge-Podge Transformer,” is also on Steam.
It’s been on Steam for a year and a month now, and it’s been a fascinating experience. After watching a few Let’s Plays of Ossuary and “Hodge-Podge,” we released an update in December to improve the tutorial experience and solve some colorblindness issues.
Our current work in progress is Exploit: Zero Day, a cyberthriller where you roleplay a hacktivist by making and solving puzzles. It’s pretty cool, and our alpha players are making really friggin’ awesome puzzles and stories. If you want in, hop on the monthly mailing list and you’ll get a key in the next newsletter.
After coffee with a yogi friend, I was inspired to start climbing back on the yoga horse. Most yoga studios in my area only have Saturday morning classes, so I had very few options for something in the afternoon.
Whatever. I was feeling brave. I signed up for an all-levels Vinyasa hot class at a studio I’d never been to. Ninety minutes.