Entertainment, Technology

Theme for 2020 – Land of Shame and Despair

One of the reasons I started retuning pieces to different modes was the hope that something good might come out of it by chance. One example has appeared. I don’t think “good” is the right word, but it at least sounds intentional (most pieces just sound accidentally out of tune).

Land of Hope and Glory retuned into Ultra Locrian.

It is dark and disharmonious. Hitting a note on nearly every beat combined with a lack of any real resolution gives it an unrelenting monotony. And somehow, halfway through when the higher octave repeat starts you still end up with the feeling of: “It’s still going? And somehow it’s worse?”.

I would like to end on a cheerful note. Nothing with “Locrian” in the name really does that. So instead, have some Sonic the Hedgehog music:

Entertainment, Technology

Visualization of the Duke Nukem 3D theme

One big advantage of doing this to the Duke Nukem 3D theme is that the original was already a MIDI file. That means people familiar with it are already used to hearing slightly different versions, and the version I generate is no more or less authentic than any of the others.

Although I have to admit I do not remember hearing good quality tubular bells on the computer I first played it on (but they have since grown on me while making this).

Android, Entertainment, Games, Programming, Xamarin

Tic-tac-toe Collection open beta

For various reasons I decided to write a Tic Tac Toe game in Xamarin Forms.

At the moment it supports variable board sizes, variable win line size (so it implicitly supports Gomoku) and a few custom rules like misère, a pie rule and disallowed overlines. It currently functions on Android, iOS and Windows, but is only released on Android for now.

Apart from experimenting with various features of Xamarin Forms (as well as managing Nuget packages), my goal is to try and add all the options. Features I’m planning:

  • Ultimate Tic-tac-toe
  • Quantum Tic-tac-toe
  • 3D (and 4D) Tic-tac-toe
  • Online multiplayer
  • Order and chaos
  • Wild Tic-tac-toe

Download Tic-tac-toe Collection from the Google Play Store.

Computers, Entertainment, Games, Technology, Video Games

Overcooked – Fun Coop Multiplayer Action

I recently a recorded a bunch of videos of the game Overcooked on Xbox One.

Your goal is to assemble meals out of various ingredients, cook them, and serve them. Over time the meals get a bit more complicated and the levels get a lot more complicated. It is strongly designed to be played cooperatively with up to four people, and even supports two players on a single controller.

My only complaint would be the difficulty is based too much on complicated level design (and jumps up a bit too quickly). Some times the controls are not exactly tight and you can end up selecting the wrong thing – having levels with moving targets or slippery floors for instance just accentuates an otherwise minor problem. I would have preferred more meal variations (that are also more complicated) on simpler levels.

But despite all that it’s a fun party game that almost anyone can play. And of course it is made in Unity.

One final note. The first video in the playlist above was generated by Google Photos. It turned out well, except for its automatic cropping.

Entertainment, Games, Programming, Unity, Video Games

Visualizing Gravity

Unity has a pretty cool feature called “gizmos”, that are things rendered only in the scene view of the Unity editor. Many built in game object types render a gizmo of some sort, but you can freely add your own. This can be very useful for debugging.

This is a visualization of the gravity (more precisely it’s the low resolution grid of gravity mentioned in the previous post). The direction of the line is the direction of the gravity, and the length is the strength.