Sunday, 31 August 2014

An August update

To achieve my monthly quota of blogging I'll write a summary of the summer. I had a longer text of developing on Windows coming, but as I currently try to avoid PTSD, I have no intention on continuing that text today. I spent the summer (which began in the April!) in the capital region of finland, and from the June to last friday I did mostly Windows (C#) development. Alongside I redid the MERPG-engine in Clojure, wrote a few tens of thousand words of prose and read like the devil. I read the Dark Towers, Gaiman's Smoke & Mirrors, Cornwell's 1356, Wizard of Oz, and bought so many books I can't really buy more in at least two years.

Reading is essential for healthy life, at least if you're a writer. From the last October to the June my prose-project was, as they say, stuck. I wrote some exploratory prose to see if I still had the touch, but the result was some five thousand words without a spirit. How did I proceed? Further exploring reduced the quality from 'not bad' to 'horribly bad'. Then I found new inspiration, or in other words, fell on the Dark Towers. I had completely new world to base my fictional world upon! Awesome, but did I actually build this world of mine? No, I just explored it, throwing text on the wall and seeing what stuck. And this process seems to be sort-of working finally, at least with the new examples I've learned from the aforementioned books. I can't yet say for sure; ask me again six weeks after I've finished with the current prose.

Musically this has been an interesting summer. I didn't participate in too many live festivals, but since my ears are starting to fail sixty years before their time, I don't hold a grief of this. The only festivals I attended to were the Kivenlahti Rock (where my interest lied in Indica, Sonata Arctica and Within Temptation) and Pioneeri Rock (Kotiteollisuus, Viikate, Sonata Arctica... and something, I'm sure). This summer I've also spent more money on albums than I think is healthy for a incomely-challenged student. Cut me some slack, though, for this has been a hell of a year for the metalheads like me, with Delain, WT, Epica, Sonata Arctica, Alestorm and Tuomas Holopainen (epic metal this guy's album is \o/) releasing their new albums.

What for did I redo the MERPG-engine? See for yourself why I had a breakdown with the old code. After spending half a year pondering on the costs of beginning to study driving of trains, I pulled my fat arse together and began to think like a developer again. After three weekends of hacking I had a thrice better base to code on, with all the features of the GCode's code (which took half a year to develop) redone. After finishing with the map-editor, I hacked a grayscale animation system and -creator, and now I'm doing a browser for managing the engine's assets. At least I think I am, for for the last few weekends I've had no time to spend on the game. I've heard it's healthy to spend time along good friends without being a workaholic, and can't disagree with that. The game is nowhere ready for anything useful, but if you'd like a peek, get it from the Github

So now I'm almost back to Kotka (currently in Pyhtää in fact), and what do I look forward to? Physics, mathematics, and stuff of course. There'll be also the OS-courses, where on the Windows course I'll probably curse the insane-seeming Powershell and on the Linux course I'll be cursing the definitely insane bash (or zsh, in case there's no compability problems between the course material and the zsh). I'll possibly try to hack a 3D-demo with Unity in the MERPG-universe too, and as we'll be asssigned our own laptops with the relevant software (3DS Max and Unity) HOPEFULLY preinstalled, I can apply the standard set of patches on the Windows (HOPEFULLY) 7 and try to work with it instead of working in spite of it, as one would have to do with the school's sudo-disabled desktop workstations.

I'll possibly hack something out of my Raspberry Pi too. I've got an old, broken Gameboy Color which I could possibly recycle the buttons from, and try to hook them up to the Pi's pins and read their state somehow. I have actually no idea what I'm doing in this context, but as always, a little bit of exploring spirit should get me a long way forward. When I'll tire of the HW-hacking, I'll set up SSH on it, run the Emacs server there and inside the Emacs, I'll finally try to get hooked to IRC. I'll also set up a network backup solution in it.

Future seems an interesting place. Let's have fun exploring it!