So Mikko Rautalahti on Twitter wrote a thread of how video game AI turned a mild player gaffe into a spectacularly dumb display of “logical” behavior [cw: language]. If I ever need to make AI-controlled characters that sophisticated, I think I might accidentally create a situation in which many characters decide the most logical course of action is to smooch each other.

Or maybe it won’t be an accident.

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2018 Web Wonders Goals

I’ve posted about specific improvements I want to make to my Web apps before, but I have some overall goals for all my Web Wonders that I’d like to write down now and get down throughout 2018.

  • Release a new game! This will be partially or entirely a paid game, as per my previous post on monetization.
  • Every app should be mobile-friendly, so that users can enjoy them no matter how they browse. (Depending on which idea for my new game I work on, it may require the controller fidelity of a keyboard or gamepad, so for now it is exempt.)
  • Every app should be a Progressive Web App, working even without an Internet connection. (This doesn’t make sense for Cookie Hunt, so it is exempt.)
  • My apps will have FAIRIES, and fairies will be a part of my signature style. Because fairies are cute and lovable and endearing❤️ (Non-game apps other than Logo Creator will be exempt.)

Here’s all the above in table form, because I’m nerdy like that. Items marked with ◐ are planned for completion by the end of June.

Released Mobile
friendly
Progressive
Web App
Fairies❤️
Signs of Life ✔️
Wackyland ✔️ ✔️
Zapster Solitaire ✔️ ✔️
Wacky Bingo ✔️
Cookie Hunt ✔️ N/A
Logo Creator ✔️
Magic Puddle ✔️ N/A
Reverse Metronome ✔️ N/A
[New game!] N/A

Big, beautiful buttons for everyone~

These days, user interfaces will often need to accommodate not just precise pointing devices like mice, but also touchscreens, which means larger, less compact target areas. It’s another constraint on design, but something interesting I learned recently is that interfaces designed to better for touchscreens can also be aesthetically better as well.

This is the UI I made for accessing a given DeviantArt user’s profile, gallery, or faves in Deviant Love 2.x:

It was designed to take the minimum amount of vertical space needed to look good, and it certainly fits that goal. But since a goal of Deviant Love 3.0 is to support touchscreen users, I wrote 3.0 Alpha 1 so that mouse users continued to get the same compact look, while touchscreen users got this (with additional UI for Deviant Love’s subaccounts feature):

And I found I liked the UI I had created for touchscreens quite a lot. It needs better vertical rhythm and possibly other tweaks, but overall it strikes me as prettier and friendlier, to the point where I want Deviant Love looking like this regardless of the input device. For Deviant Love 3.0 Alpha 2, I’m going to change it to work as such, and see how well it’s received.

Happy 10th birthday, Hatsune Miku!

Art by CamiIIe from DeviantArt

10 years ago today was the release of Hatsune Miku. I find it incredibly heartwarming seeing so many celebratory tweets getting retweeted on her English Twitter that are full of pure love and adoration for this girl. She’s lent her voice to so many songs and stories, and brought together a creative community like few characters have. I hope to one day create a character of my own who can inspire love & beauty like Miku can.

Obligatory list of favorite Miku songs.

New old blog posts

Waaaay back in the spring of 2013, I took a game studies class run by my college’s art department. Part of my coursework was to maintain a blog, which I kept separate from this one. I went through that one and found 3 blog posts worth keeping, so I imported them here with the tag “for game studies class”. As they’re years old, they may not be 100% reflective of my current self, but I like ’em so I’m keeping ’em.

Self-sweetness

It’s the end of the year, and none of the stuff on the most recent Roadmap post has been released. Yup. I’ve had a mentally rough time lately, so I’m trying to take good spiritual care of myself, which means no beating myself up for missing artificial deadlines. But at the same time, I want to motivate myself to get this stuff done and shown off to the world, so I need to work out a way to do that that’s both gentle and more effective.

Part of taking care of my spirit is finding what victories I can. For example, with this post I’ve extended my “months with a blog post” streak to 4, a new personal record~ Keeping that up is good writing practice and helps keep y’all in the loop, so let’s see how long I can stretch it.

Habits in Free Time

I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science last May! While that is cause for celebration, I’m not happy with the effect that the stress of coursework had on me. Humans are creatures of habit, and I got in the habit of using almost all my free time for vegetation and escapism, which is obviously suboptimal both for productivity and fun.

I’ve been reworking my habitual use of free time for more quality of life and creative output. I think I’m doing well on re-establishing Web programming, as evidenced by the release of Deviant Love 2.2. I’d like to work in doodling and keeping in touch with friends. If I also mix in making music, I’ll have all I need to become a great indie game developer! Not going to give up my habitual plushie-cuddling, though; in fact, I might make plushies the heroes of a video game! Hoping the best for myself, and that my future job will have a minimal impact on how I use free time.

The Ol’ Blog is New Again

In the time since I last chose my blogging platform, WordPress has not only fixed the bug that pushed me to LiveJournal, they’ve been working their butts off to make blog writing & customization a sleek and awesome experience. And they’re participating in Reset the Net*! And they let me have multiple drafts at once!!

So I’m now proudly hosting my blog on WordPress.com, and I’ve moved all my old posts here (except for that one “consider this retracted” post), along with their comments. And now that I have more enjoyable blogging software and can work on more posts simultaneously, you should see me blogging more. Come along to see what awesomeness the future holds!

* PikadudeNo1.com will be going HTTPS as well – it’s one of many goals for the site this year!

An RPG Character Am I

So apparently this is an unusual RPG, where at the very least I have complete freedom to define what a level-up is. Okay, then. I know one world where I can be a player character, and that, unsurprisingly, is the world of video game development.

There are many skills game developers can level up in. Besides the obvious ones of game design and programming, one can level up in music, a number of graphics styles in 2D and 3D, storytelling, and so forth. Pixel, the developer of Cave Story, seems to have built himself into a powerful and well-rounded character.

My own stats? Programming and user interface design and quite high, I would say. I’d say I’m pretty darn good at composing music, but I’ve yet to get much experience in a mechanism that would let other people hear it, making my effective stat very low. Game design… probably low at this point, as I’ve had very little feedback on what I’ve made. (I really need to complete something in a timely manner for Art 108.)

So that’s my character in the world of game design. My Art 108 instructor apparently needs me to have a character in the world of spies. Outside of video games (where there is a comfortable distance between myself and my avatar in the game world), I would hate to play anyone who isn’t a mellow pacifist, like myself. It’s hard to see what place such a character would have in a spy game; hopefully, something can be worked out.