Tuesday, May 28, 2019

I filed my first DMCA takedown notice today...was much easier than I expected it to be.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Fanime 2019 report, etc.

I guess I may as well try to be good about linking to previous posts...here is Fanime 2018.

Blogging just to say "blahblahblah happened" and reporting on it is actually strangely exciting.  Reminds me of good old times...let's get into it!

As I mentioned earlier, I didn't have much lined up for Fanime this year and I had to leave early on Sunday to go teach private lessons (and also left Friday night to go to dance) so I wasn't even there for all that long anyhow.

Arcade gaming -- seemed pretty cool this year, but I didn't really have the time nor desire to really play a lot.  Arcade machines were set up as free play this year which is cool but may have contributed to long lines and/or the machines always being occupied at any given time and I really did not feel like trying to wait for a machine to open up.  That said I did hop on TGM3 for a bit, though not as much as I normally would because A) the sticks and controls felt a bit weird which threw me off a bit and B) I'm really not used to playing on a cab so just the actual size and style of the CRT display kind of throws me for a loop visually.  It was a different setup than the old one (my user data wasn't there) so I created a new account...was initially thinking that maybe I'd play until I got a promotional exam or something, but it became pretty clear that I really wasn't able to perform well on that cab at all, so I stopped.  Unfortunate really, but maybe for the best as I didn't have that sort of time to throw around anyways.
I also saw somebody playing 3rd Strike and he wasn't button mashing so I hopped on and played a bunch of friendlies with him!  They were pretty fun matches!  Despite my rust, I took most of them =O  He was a Hugo player, so a relatively unfamiliar matchup for me and though I had some trouble recognizing certain mixups like dash -> SPD or his running command throw, I think the hardest part was knowing what buttons to press in neutral because Hugo has such good long ranged pokes that beat out a lot of moves from afar.  He switched up to Makoto for a couple games as well and then back to Hugo and finally took one, after which I switched to Ken and played a few more before somebody else asked to play and I hopped out.  Good times.

Didn't get to hop on either (there were 2!) of the Bishi Bashi games unfortunately -- again, just didn't have the time or willingness, since I already had other gaming plans, etc. and people were already playing.  I guess these sorts of things are great for those times when you go to con early Friday or whatever and it's super not crowded.  I'll have to remember that for next time, that going on Friday during the day is actually probably a great idea to get all the Artist Alley stuff/etc done with since you want to go through those when it's less crowded, then you can do photo posing and all that when more people are around...

Went to one panel this year, Queerness and Magical Girls, which was great!  It also reminded me of just how awesome Madoka was, haha, but also had a lot of good content and great things to think about.  Yay~

We went to IPOH for roti, yay~

For my own gaming, I brought my laptop complete with Melee setup and a small group of us sat down to play some friendlies.  There ended up being 4 of us so I decided we should try out the epic "Dual 1v1" mode of 20XX where you play two simultaneous 1v1 matches (that can't interact with each other!) on the same stage, then the winners of both face off in a 2-stock match.  It was pretty hilarious, especially since having both matches going on in the same space was super visually distracting, and after one match finishes the victor is free to just spam tech skill as much as they want in an attempt to distract the other match, and do things like charge f-smashes, do rolls to confuse techchases, and general other shenanigans.  We played a few doubles matches as well -- 2v2 is not something I play very often (well, not that singles is either), but I knew that more than anything it's important to just look out to fish for kills whenever one of them is at high %.  That's one of the great strengths of Fox in a 2v2, his upsmash is just such a great quick kill option that can be thrown out whenever opportune, and it doesn't require the precision of a tipper marth fsmash or something like that.

Watched one or two of my friends perform at Fanimaid Live, so cool and so good!  Woo~

Also played around with some Puyo Puyo Tetris as well as Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes with another friend, which was great!

Artists' Alley and Dealer's Hall: Went through, bought some Journey pins and a necklace from Stephanie Kao (already have some of her prints!) -- only thing I bought all con, but it's nice to have a Journey necklace!  You know, to go along with my Journey messenger bags and Journey lanyard and Journey phone charms as I'm wearing my Journey cosplay lol.  Didn't make it all the way around Dealer's Hall (again, didn't really have the time to spare) but didn't quite care either.

I did make sure to spend at least some time going around with my hood/mask on, which surprisingly was more comfortable than I remembered for some reason.  I also discovered that the trick for photos is to just find a good spot somewhere in the main hallway (not blocking traffic) to just sprawl out and do a meditating pose -- then a ton of people just start taking photos as they pass by.  So I'm glad I got a chance to do that before leaving con for good.  I unfortunately (this always seems to happen) didn't actually get any photos of myself personally, but also didn't feel too bad about that considering I didn't have a ton of free time.

Overall a chill con as expected, though Saturday was quite a long day still.  No B&W ball this year since I had to go teach private lessons and dance with the Stanford kids, so a bit of a shame, but honestly I wouldn't have been able to handle that much dancing (let alone social energy) this weekend anyways.  But yeah, overall pretty satisfied with how things went.

Speaking of dance, that went well too.  Private lessons are always a challenge trying to really drill down and distill useful practical knowledge in a short timeframe, but they're fun and they also really push my own understanding of dance as well, so great all around.

For now in the aftermath of the weekend I'm just taking it easy I guess.  I didn't do that much today besides spend some time cleaning up and trying to work on All in a Day's Work 4.  Oh right, and I also was notified of some website blatantly stealing one of our games, sigh.  DRM sucks and all until you are an indie game dev where it's actually quite easy for people to steal your games.  It sucks because I've already implemented a crude site-lock for these games but unfortunately this site simply embeds the itch.io-hosted html5 index.html file in an iframe, so there's not that much of a good way to prevent it.  I can at least make their lives harder if the itch.io folks will maybe let me change the urls around by deleting old builds, but we'll see.  In the end, this kind of stuff is always an arms race and if people REALLY want to steal your stuff, there isn't that much you can do to stop them as an individual unless you want things to get hairy.  Beh.  Well, if I find myself with some extra time, maybe I'll look into more creative solutions, involving working around Same-Origin Policy blahblahblah.  But it might not be super doable if I also want to support itch.io.  Bleh.

But anyhoo, All in a Day's Work 4 wil be my main project moving forward for the week I'm sure.  Don't think there will be a postmortem for Inflate Me to the Moon (the only thing I'd really talk about is the SPC-style music).  There is still a fair bit of work left for All in a Day's Work 4 though.  I've gotten the album design all done at least, which is great, and I =thought= I had the tracklist done, but then I remembered that there are actually a bunch of OHC entries I did after I stopped making my "Monthlies" series where they were WIPs or other projects, so they've never been formally released.  Things like the WIP version of "Convergence", or "Song of the Sea", or even some Mysterious Space songs.  And some of those are actually pretty great!  So I had to try and make some room in the tracklist for those.  In the end I decided to cut out a few of the more recent songs and just save them for All in a Day's Work 5, because there are just too many songs that I want to put into these albums!  (figures, since it's been soooo long since All in a Day's Work 4)  Anyways, I still have to do the liner notes for all that and make =sure= that I've included all the tracks I want in the order that I want, so that'll be my main thing for the coming week....though I am also very overdue for some letter writing time.

Let's hope we can have a good week this coming week.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

I guess, let that be a lesson to myself what the consequences are when I am not doing what I know is best.  I feel sort of weird now, and I can't help but think it's because of some "mistakes" I made.  But all is well, I imagine.

Well, I'm a bit overdue for some textual decompression it seems, so let's see here...

Fanime is this weekend!  As with last year things are probably going to be looking pretty chill for me.  A few friends of mine will either be busy or MIA but I'll still have company to look out for I'm sure.  Last time I had both the Joe Hisaishi concert as well as aivisura's performance that I attended, but I don't really have any sort of thing that I'm planning for this year quite honestly.  Here's the rundown and bucket list:

- Friday I might not even stop by, if I do it'll be to quickly search through Swap Meet for some cute stationery or whatever.  I might even head to stanford to dance with the kids over there.
- Saturday I'll be there for the whole day!
- Sunday I need to leave early to go teach at the GCC dance yay

- Rumor has it that TGM3 will be at con again this year!  I plan to get in quite a good number of runs in if possible, but I probably don't want to just sit there and grind either, best to take breaks.
- 3rd strike will be there as well!  Could mess around but only if there are not already people playing b/c i don't wanna deal with that.
- Bishi Bashi will be there too, woohoo!  apparently it's Hyper Bishi Bashi??  Which is an older version than "The*BishiBashi" which was there in the past??
- I'll have my laptop and gamecube controllers for some Faster Melee action!  Will be meeting up with a friend to play, but I'm sure I could also just bring my portable setup to the existing melee setups and ask if anybody wants to play friendlies.
- I'll be bringing Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes manuals too, in case we have time to defuse some bombs.
- We shall eat Roti at IPOH!  Because roti is awesome
- Apparently Aya Hirano is a guest of honor this year, that's actually pretty fantastic!  Doesn't really affect me, but that's still cool.
- No speed dating, b&w ball, gatherings, etc for me.  Did I mention I'm taking it easy?  I'm down to just hang out, but I guess I should maybe tuck my mask+hood into my bag and maybe make a round or two around the main halls if anybody wants to take photos
- I'll be wearing my red journey outfit again, if you're there you'll be able to spot me for sure!
- Artists Alley and dealer's hall whenever, as always.  I guess these are the things that are nice to do early in the morning or even on Friday before they get too crowded, but eh whatever!

I finished my work on the All in a Day's Work 4 album design:

So I've been trying to get that album ready for release!  I've picked out the track listing (unless I make something else awesome tonight for OHC), but I still have to decide the final song order, write up all the liner notes, and everything like that.

Dance stuff...as mentioned earlier, I'll be teaching this sunday, and I'm also starting to put together the preliminary plans for our annual Summer JaSmix, so be sure to stay tuned for that!

Gumbo has been my latest pet cooking project, though I utterly failed the first time I tried, lol.  Kind of interesting, I'm still not 100% keen on where exactly all the flavor comes from, but I guess maybe it really is just from the roux?  My next attempt is actually going to be with a dry roux since I don't wanna deal with stirring over low heat for an hour...

I think that's about it?  Nice to have a long weekend, it'll be welcome for sure.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

I've always wondered why iTunes' "Sound Check" feature (basically their implementation of replaygain) was spotty at times...turns out it completely fails to perform any sort of volume analysis on VBR (variable bitrate)-encoded files.

I used to prefer 320kbps CBR for my mp3 files but I've switched to downloading VBR from Bandcamp (I think this is -V 0 or -V 1, something like 240kbps) in an attempt to save on some disk space.

What really confuses me is that I haven't found anyone reporting this issue at all even though it's plain as day if you know what to look for.  It's not a huge deal for me as I rarely enable this feature, but I use it when playing music for dances......nice to know that it actually will only work half of the time, sigh.  Yet another argument for pre-editing every single audio file that I use for dances.  I may as well just create an FL Studio project with my entire setlist in advance at this point lol

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The past has been tugging at my sleeve a bit more these past few days.  Perhaps it's the uncertainty of the future that reminds me that the past, also, is "uncertain".  It is not something to be taken for granted, lest it fade away.

Of course, in the end, everything fades away, doesn't it?  But it is necessary for me to strive for "forever".  A pursuit of something unattainable...yet, worthwhile in its own.  As they say, it's about the journey, not the destination...especially when the destination does not exist.  But maybe even when that destination does not exist, maybe I will still find myself closer to it in the end.

I'll remember.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Friday, May 10, 2019

Rock the House

Made a banger of a tune last night, hot dang -- worked for 5 extra hours on my OHC entry, will be played at tonight's Big Dance.  Last time that I did a last-minute composition for Big Dance was when I wrote Zodiac Procession two years ago.  It hasn't been quite a yearly thing, but it's definitely a pretty good excuse to try making dance music.

Big Dance 2019 will be my 7th all-nighter and 9th big dance (last year's post).  Should be fun, aiming to chill and take it easy for the most part and try to actually interact with everyone instead of having the ubiquitous "oh yeah we were in the same room for 9 hours but actually never danced together oops".  Will bring all the requisite supplies, including insoles (which I actually brought last year but couldn't find -_-), glowsticks, melee, and such.  Hit me up if you want to talk about dance or work on things since, ya know, we gotta do =something= to fill up those hours.

Had a dream last night that I was supposed to perform with Decadance at VBall and was running late......orz  I don't think I've ever had stress dreams about Deca before, but you know, if this is the replacement for Marching Band stress dreams, I'LL TAKE IT!

Monday, May 6, 2019

Work work work

I get (hopefully) better and better at the process each time, but doing all of the legwork to really finish off each of these Ludum Dare games and get them into a state where I say "I'm finished!" is really a long and arduous journey no matter how you slice it.  There are just so many individual things to keep track of and get done, it's a miracle that I can manage it all, but I guess that has always been a strength of mine.

Here is roughly what the task list looks like:

- Make improvements, bugfixes, and feature additions to the game itself (this could take weeks, depending on the amount of content to add)
- Port the game to mobile, including adding touch controls, alternative UI, etc.
- Make builds for WebGL, iOS, Android, test on device and fix inevitable bugs

- Create set of gameplay screenshots
- Create an animated gif of gameplay
- Record 30-second gameplay trailer, upload to youtube
- Use Avisynth and Me-GUI to resize and letterbox gameplay trailer to correct sizings for iOS app previews
- Record full game playthrough, upload to youtube, with appropriate description and tags
- Create app icon
- Batch resize screenshots for different iOS resolutions

- Write shared game description
- Create page on ddrkirby.com, link from games and index pages
- Create page for the compo version on ddrkirby.com too
- Create page on cocoamoss.com, link from index page
- Create iOS app store page, upload screenshots (multiple resolutions), app previews (multiple resolutions), etc.
- Create Google Play store listing, upload screenshots, link to youtube video, etc.
- Create itch.io page, with game description, screenshots, link to trailer, etc.
- Post on Facebook, Twitter, Facebook Page, Discord, Slack...
- Write up post-mortem report...

- Fix up any mixing/mastering/etc in the music, re-render as necessary
- Render album versions of each song (loop twice and then fadeout)
- Create album artwork
- Convert all songs to FLAC, upload all to Bandcamp including both album versions and seamless loop versions
- Fill out bandcamp description, with links to game, Patreon credits, genre tags, etc.  This also includes looking at my project files to see the estimated work time per track.
- Link to bandcamp album from website
- Use After Effects to render visualized soundtrack video for streaming on Youtube -- upload to youtube with appropriate description
- Upload soundtrack to Soundcloud, NetEase cloud music as well...post timestamped comments to soundcloud for the beginning of each track...
- Create paid Patreon post linking to soundtrack download, promote soundtrack on social media too...

This is why when I do Ludum Dare you usually don't actually hear about the game itself until at least a few weeks afterwards...it's because I'm shoulder-deep in the middle of all these tasks...  some of these can be automated to =some= extent and it helps that I've got templates for a lot of this stuff as well as 3 different machines so I can literally just sit down and fire off builds for all 3 platforms at once, but in the end there is just a plain lot of STUFF no matter how you tackle it.