PDX Games.js

Dave Justice suggested that we have a three.js hack day. I decided to one up him and go for a generic games written in JS hack day, thus PDX Games.js was born!

Currently all the details are tentative. I need to clear it with our office manager as well as work out food/drink sponsorship.

The reason this is exciting to me, is that I have been intending to get back into game development for years. If PDX NodeBots Day is any indicator, a hack day inspires me greatly to get into something.

My project idea: I have attempted a few times (back when I was a very young developer) to build a clone of Final Fantasy Tactics. I’ll be setting out to do this, on the day of I’ll be spending most of my time building the graphics engine for the combat board. If I have spare time, perhaps I’ll spend time on menuing and other things like that. My end goal is less a full clone of FFT but a FFT-like game that I’ve built myself and have running with modern graphics and such.

The hack day, regardless of the specific details, should be a ton of fun.

New House!

Lots of things in my life have been changing lately. I’ve been exercising quite a bit more with a trainer, my company opened an office, and finally I am moving in with my girlfriend (who is the prettiest and nice person (Hi Eva!))

I have lived in SE Portland for nearly 3 years. I’ve explored this area a lot, especially as I’ve changed jobs and trained for events. I love SE and I’ll miss it a ton. I’ve had the pleasure of living with the best roommate ever the whole time I’ve been in SE. I will no longer be coming home to a wiggly, snorty, happy pug. No longer right next to the Springwater trail.

But, the things I am giving up are being balanced with what I am gaining. I’m taking my relationship with my girlfriend to a new level. I’ll have my own office as well as a garage for working on my bikes. I’m coming back to NE, it has been several years since I’ve lived there, and last time I did both the neighborhood and I were very different.

NE has grown a bunch of new places to hang out, bike paths, and lots of my friends have moved there. I was at a far earlier point in my career, leaving me with very little money to explore anything except for the parks. Finally, my mindset these days is far healthier. I am no longer using video games and hacking as a way to escape life, I am instead embracing life in so many ways.

In short, I am excited for the change, but it is bittersweet.

The Minimap

I’ve spent my last couple games working on actually looking at my minimap. I don’t have any rules I am following to do this, just whenever I find myself with spare time, I am look at the minimap.

The first thing this made me realize was that I wasn’t scouting or getting any data about my enemy. As Protoss I get observers, I am now making a few and tossing them at various points on the map so I can catch when the enemy is moving toward me, and which base they are aiming for, as well as catching drops as they leave/approach.

A result of this has allowed me to catch drops WAY faster. See it coming and warp in a few stalkers to deal with it. As well as repositioning my army to get an more advantageous approach to kill their army. I even caught a build that would normally destroy my build, so I could tech switch and do so major damage and prevent them from doing serious damage.

Long story short, it turns out the minimap and scouting are very important. This has had me destroying every silver I play against and hope this will be the wave I ride into Gold.

Have I Blogged Yet?

This afternoon I decided to write a site that would let me track whether I’ve blogged in the various categories I have yet. http://haveiblogged.herokuapp.com/ is the site. The background for a category is red if I haven’t blogged yet, and is green if I have!

This is part of my new commitment to blog at least once a week in each category. I complain that my writing isn’t great, and I pretty consistently think of topics I could write about. This should drive me to actually put those thoughts and ideas out there in the blagosphere.

I’ll be putting up a post discussing the how I wrote the site soon in order to fulfill my programming category.

You’ve Been Promoted: Silver!

I came back to the game about a week ago and got placed in Bronze. Which is totally fine since I’ve been out of the game for a while. I’ve been winning most of my games and knew it was only a matter of time before it bumped me up to Silver.

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I am playing with some of the builds from http://protossbuilds.wordpress.com/ while focusing on my mechanics. Making sure I am making probes and pylons, getting my expansions as I can, and scouting. Once I start to feel a bit more comfortable with that, I’ll be trying to pick a definite build for each race. I’ll be leaning toward safe macro builds because that has generally been my style.

I hope with my practicing a couple games most days of the week I’ll be able to get further up and into Gold. That will be my definite cue to pick my builds and get solid at them. Once I make it into Plat my builds will actually start to matter, I don’t expect to make it into the Plat for a couple months, but I hope to before AHGL Season starts, if anything for intimidation factor.

AHGL Season is Nearing!

The AHGL is a corporate vs corporate Starcraft 2 and League of Legends league. Last year was my first year participating and I took over as the captain of the Mozilla Starcraft 2 team. The skill level in the league is really varied (Bronze to Master) and there are two sub leagues, A and B. A league teams have Masters players or are mostly Diamond and higher. B league teams are Diamond and lower, Mozilla’s team falls into that one.

Intro out of the way, I just realize that the preseason is coming up soon! The organization and such starts in October and the first games are November/December! What that means is I should probably start playing Starcraft 2 regularly again. Despite saying at the end of last season that I was looking to change races, I think I am going to stick with Protoss.

I’m going to start going through VODs of recent tournaments and chatting with my friends to see what the safer builds in each match are. I find myself most comfortable when I can get to 3 bases, though from what I hear that is less easy these days so I may need to learn some 2 base strategies. I’ll check back in later with what builds I’m going to focus on learning, as well as how I plan on training.

Blog Migration to WordPress

Pelican is a fine blogging platform, but I found I was more tempted to work on the blogging platform itself than to blog on it after a while. Then I’d feel guilty because I was using custom builds of Pelican that I had a hard time upgrading to anything new on… etc… etc.

I’ve moved to wordpress.

Is it the most secure?
Nah.
Does it have every feature I want?
I’m using the hosted version, so no it doesn’t.
Is it in a language I like hacking in?
Not even close.

So it begs the question why I’d use it. The biggest reason is that it is purely a blogging platform. I can just sit back and write posts. If the day comes that I want to get away from wordpress it is a common enough action that there is plenty of tooling around exporting your data.

Hoping that the end result is start blogging again, especially after the initial honeymoon period.