Video arcades may be a thing of the past, but they’re still alive, well and were ready to play at this year’s World Maker Faire. The offerings weren’t old favorites, all were brand new games many being shown for the first time like the long-awaited VEC9. The Hall of Science building was filled with cabinets and no quarters were necessary, all were free-play.
Death By Audio Arcade was there in force with games like Particle Mace and Powerboat Italia ’88. Our personal favorite was Nothing Good Can Come of This. [Michael P. Consoli] devised a simple game: Two players in an empty room. A bullet drops from a hole in the ceiling, followed by a gun shortly thereafter. What happens next is up to the players. The simple graphics and gameplay give this title its charm. [Michael] was showing off a new stand-up cabinet for the game this year. He built the entire thing himself, working until the wee hours before load-in at Maker Faire.
[Batsly Adams], [Todd Bailey], and [Mike Dooley] teamed up to create what may be the first new vector arcade in decades. VEC9 has been teased for over 2 years. They’ve finally wrapped this game up and showed it off at the faire. VEC9 started with an old
Asteroids vector monitor found by [Batsly].
Vector monitors are closer to oscilloscopes than raster scan TV’s. Digital to analog converters create drive voltages which steer an electron beam where it needs to go. The result is a high-resolution display that is very good at drawing straight lines – and lots of them. The video system was created using a Xilinx Spartan-3E FPGA coded in VHDL. The game logic itself is coded in good old-fashioned C. The vector monitor isn’t the only display on this game though – there is also a monochrome raster CRT, which displays status information to the game player. A display system this epic would need a control system to match. The team delivered with an authentic tank control yolk, complete with working wing switches.
If you can’t tell from the images, VEC9 is all about Mother Russia. The premise is that VEC9 is a dead hand system created in 1984. Since it can no longer contact controllers, the system has assumed the USSR was destroyed by a strike from the USA. It’s up to the player to take revenge. Check out the release trailer for a real taste of this game.
[NYC Resistor] didn’t sit this Maker Faire out either. Their arcade project was a full body-immersive game called Semaphore Hero. Much like Guitar Hero, this game requires the player to follow an on-screen pattern, this time with semaphore flags rather than guitar notes.
Players wear a life vest festooned with a blue LED. Semaphore flags complete with green and red LEDs are used to spell out the semaphore alphabet. A camera hidden behind a dark filter analyzed the position of the LEDs and determined if the player was in the correct position for each letter. The game was coded in C# using the Unity engine. The NYC Resistor team was running it on an older MAC mini using Mono. This game was tough! Our best score was only 11 out of 26.
Filed under: classic hacks, video hacks
We also re-started Black Sails, which we'd watched the first two episodes of but were not entranced by, after B's brother recommended it and said it got a lot better in the second season. (Which surprises me, knowing B's brother, considering Certain Spoilers I know from fandom osmosis.) One thing we like is that it's set in Nassau, which we're quite familiar with, and though the harbor is all wrong topographically (Nassau harbor is formed by a barrier island, which is now called Paradise Island and has fancy resorts and casinos on it, but which was probably originally called Rat Cay or Hog Cay or something similar) the water color is exactly right. It surprised us to learn it is filmed in South Africa!
Thanks to enthusiasm on my flist (especially schneefink and cahn) I've been listening to Hamilton, which is a little challenging logistically because I am listening via Amazon Prime. The thing is, I can't just have it on in the background while doing other things, because it's something I need to LISTEN to, plus I can't stream it on my Sonos, just on my phone or computer, and since it's only streaming I can't listen while running. So mostly I have been listening while doing my core exercises, a few songs at a time.
I think it's an amazing, impressive piece of work. But my reactions to it are kind of complicated to unpack. ( I don't like hip-hop, tl;dr )
This has all been churning around in my mind. And I think I've come to the conclusion that I still mostly don't like hip-hop. But I appreciate how it is the right medium to tell this particular story, as conceived by its creator, and I think the individual songs are well-done even if they don't appeal to me as music. The "Aaron Burr, sir" rhymes are great, the cabinet battles are just chock-full of wordplay and cleverness. But on a musical level I still prefer the songs that are more in my comfort zone, like the King George songs (I think the abusive husband metaphor is brilliant and hilarious!) and "The Room Where it Happens".
Not really feeling fannish about it, but I kind of wish I could see a production.
In other fannish news, yuletide approacheth, but I really shouldn't be thinking about it until I write something for trickortreatex!
Thank goodness I've never been one of those people who thinks that beans should be slightly firm! This way the soup will be thicker. ;-) Still wrestling with "nap" versus "continue in bean soup-making process. Think I'll chop the bacon and see how I'm doing. The nose seems to be going less haywire (thank goodness for hot grapefruit juice!) but I'm not sure of my overall energy level.
I tweeted a few thoughts about toxic masculinity and the idea that women are expected to "tame" (straight) men. For those who aren't on Twitter, and to open a place for further discussion, here are those tweets.
I can't put this any more plainly: Women were not put on the planet to "tame" men. But it's the people who believe that we are who most aggressively push back on attempts by women to challenge the toxic masculinity that harms us.
They don't really want women to "tame" men. They want women to submit to men, and they want to blame women for men's violence.
[Related Reading: You Don't Own Women; You're Not Entitled to Women's Affection.]
While my brother visited (he's gone now, but I hope to have some pictures to post soon), and in the day or two before he arrived, I was too scattered, nervous, or busy to sit down and make posts. And my birthday wishes have suffered. I hope to correct that here.
First, to a fellow Chicagoan and new livejournal acquaintance, with whom I have been rudely distant - strannik01 - had a birthday on Sept. 28, more than a week ago. They're someone I have a gut feeling that I need to know better - they're certainly in my city, and in my chosen career, and ... hey, I just celebrated a milestone birthday, too - I hope your day went well (I know you had some truly interesting thoughts about it) - and I hope the coming year is free of worries and full of accomplishments. And perhaps someday, we can meet!
Next, promethia_tenk celebrated on Oct. 1. What can I say about the singular, the amazing, the witty and perceptive, promethia_tenk ? Nothing that does her justice. She makes me think harder (about Who, of course, but about other things, too), and she makes me laugh, and I certainly hope that her natal anniversary went swimmingly. I am so very lucky to have met you on the Intarwebz, and I hope that I can continue to benefit from knowing you!
A former Chicago denizen who has made a fantastic life for himself out on the left coast, rmjwell , celebrated his personal turn of the year on Oct. 1. He is a very wise man, and a good father and spouse, and his burlesque photography is flashy and fun to see. We miss seeing you in the Midwest, but we all hope you had an excellent birthday!
Yesterday supergee celebrated a birthday. He's one of the fans I first me in the Usenet Days of Yore, on RASFF, then through his fanzines, sent the classic way, through the U.S. Post Office (it's a great idea, you young'uns should try it) and finally in real life. He's wise and kind, and I only occasionally disagree with him. I hope that he gets to celebrate many more birthdays with the people he loves, in the world he loves to observe.
And finally, one of the lovely people I've known the longest online - a guardian of history, a Who fan, and a delight to have met long ago, on Television Without Pity, heatherbelles, is celebrating today (or, given the time difference, is just finishing the celebration.) May the day have been all you hoped it would be, and may the coming year be even more wonderful than you can imagine!
It's good that I don't actually have super-high BP though because work is being incredibly frustrating. We're having some technical issues with booking appointments on the new system, which is exacerbated by the inability of most of my colleagues to follow simple instructions like "tell us the name and ID number of the student you want to see in this slot" or "don't put the same appointment in three times on different days when you only want to see the student once" or "make sure that there is a gap in your calendar at the time you want the appointment instead of blocking it out so that the system can't book against you" or "put the booking into the spreadsheet at the time you want to see the student" or indeed "don't complain to your manager about us if we book the appointment at the time you told us to only actually you meant something different".
Technical failures I can deal with, because it's not the computer's fault. People being lazy, inefficient, and sloppy: I am Annoyed.
Hopefully the technical fix should be in place tomorrow. After that they have to book their own appointments in, and their dreadful, dreadful record-keeping will be their problem. Mostly. Or at least I won't be dealing with it seven hours a day like I am this week.
Pumpkin lives in Nassau, Bahamas with her adopted mom Rosie Kemp, her husband and two dogs. According to The Dodo she fell from a tree into Rosie's backyard and her mother never came to claim her. In Nassau there are no raccoon rescues and raccoons are legal to own so Rosie took her in and raised her as part of the family.
But today? Today is NOT a curse!
That's just the theme of ysabetwordsmith's Poetry Fishbowl for this month!
( Read more... )
(A friend and I go boating one weekend with our wives and decide to stop at a diner for breakfast. My friend’s wife is looking over the menu and is having a hard time deciding what to get.)
Friend’s Wife: *to the waitress* “Can I make my own omelet? I mean, can I get one with whatever I want?”
Waitress: “Oh absolutely! Tell me what you want and we’ll make it up for you.”
Friend’s Wife: “Okay, great. I’ll have the Super, Premium, Deluxe omelet but take out the bacon, take out the sausage, take out the peppers, take out the onions, take out the mushrooms and take out the cheddar cheese. Put in some steak and American cheese.”
Waitress: *with an exasperated look* “So you want an omelet with steak and American cheese?”
Friend’s Wife: “Yes! Oh, and throw some ham in there, too.”
(A little bit later we get our food and my friend’s wife, immediately starts picking all the ham out and puts it to the side. She then just picks at the omelet but never eats any of it. The waitress stops by to check up on us.)
Waitress: “Is everything all right? Is there something wrong with the omelet?”
Friend’s Wife: “Oh, no. I just don’t like eggs.”
I have asked them to send the prescription to the correct pharmacy, instead, but I don't know if htey will. The person I talked to was a receptionist, so she couldn't do anything but give the nurse a message. The Cancer Clinic closes at 4:00, so I don't know if this will get fixed today.
I thought everything was going too easily.
PSA: do not finish reading Bunny Drop
sell your current owned volumes of Bunny Drop
warn your friends from Bunny Drop
PSA #2: if Yotsuba&! ends like this I will dedicate my life toward returning from the dead to HAUNT JAPAN AS A VENGEFUL SPIRIT