Thursday, June 30, 2011

Conductive Ink

You can sort of already do this with graphite, aka pencil lead, though the conductivity is lower. You can mix powdered graphite and glue to get conductive glue.

Also, I have had a "conductive paint pen" in my lab for 2 years,(and for much less than $50) so this seems more evolutionary than revolutionary. Neat all the same.


PS. My Wife and family are out of town, so I have a little extra free time over the next week or so. My game will go to beta/alpha testers this weekend, and I'll put it on the market within a week or two. I know I keep saying it, but I will post about it then. It has consumed a whole lot of my time, and distracted me from other things that I love. I feel like I am 9 months pregnant and ready to deliver this thing.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

North Carolina Maker Faire.

I dragged my family to the North Carolina Maker Faire today, though in the end, my wife probably had more fun than all of us.

I was absolutely giddy when I came across these:

This picture doesn't convey how tiny this thing is. For reference, check it out on the left
in the next picture. You can buy these here: Synthetos Word Clock

The booth was run by this group: 

They had some really high end looking clocks. 

Ok, this has motivated me to get working on continuing my word-clock series.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Pre-shaved Yaks.

I wanted a way to keep track of bugs in my Android Game (I know, I promised a big reveal, it's really soon). I'm getting to the point that I have tons of loose ends and TODO's that I wanted collected in a central location. I am a one man dev team, so I thought I'd keep it simple and just use a spreadsheet. That fell apart before I really got started. I once worked on a project, right out of college, a long time ago, that used a spreadsheet in source control to track bugs. It was as bad as it sounds.

Anyways, there are a number of open source bug tracking systems out there. Almost all are web based. I'm not a web-developer. Every time I try to do something that involves setting up a web server, it's a frustrating exercise in shaving yaks.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Music in Android. (Nothing to see hear Googlers)

(Yes I'm cheating from my bye-week on Blog posting for a mini rant)

I have to put music in my game. Why? Because games have music. I almost always disable the music, and often the sound on a mobile device if I am playing a game. Most mobile games do not do music well, and frankly I have low hopes for my game, since I have no musical talent. But it's just one of those things, that make a game complete, and lest ye forget, my main goal of making my game is self education and improvement. (Making a few bucks would be nice, but I'm not exactly reserving chartered jets at this point). So I have just a slight hope that maybe I can pull something off musically that ends up being pretty neat. The hard part with music in a game is that it has to be complementary and subtle, not obnoxious, but at the same time catchy. Nintendo does this masterfully. (obnoxious is in the ear of the beholder)

The Jet Creator tool/API in the Android SDK, is really a neat concept. You import music files(midi) and slice and dice them into "segments" that you can queue and play. You can also trigger clips(segments?) to play, and get callbacks in your code when certain events happen with the music.

The big letdown with all of this (besides my realization that making good game music is really really hard), is that the implementation and documentation for the system in the android SDK is seriously lacking. Most web searches result in 1) duplications of the SDK doc, or 2) other forums/blog lamenting the lack of documentation. My sincere apologies if Google brought you here seeking the same knowledge. Add this post to the list of the latter type of search hits.


P.S. yes the misspelling in the post title is a lame pun.