Saturday, June 23, 2007


A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to be able to go to a game jam run by some One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) folks. The idea of this event was to develop a game for the OLPC laptop in the span of a weekend. My entry for the jam ended up writing an implementation of Reversi, which was a lot of fun to write. Given that the OLPC laptops are designed for children, the judging of the games were done by children. At one point during the judging, one of the children came up to me and handed me a slip of paper, which his mother explained was his vote for the best game. Cool.

(I still want to write a good blood and guts game some day though, although I suspect the OLPC wouldn't be my target platform!)

The OLPC laptops, which are also called XOs, are neat. They have a built in camera, plus a screen that can be swivelled around, turning the machine into a tablet-mode of sorts. There are Playstation-esque controls on either side of the screen, which complemented the machine nicely, although I do not believe they are working in the game toolkit of choice for the XOs (Pygame). The screens also have a low-power, sunlight-friendly grayscale mode, which I think Reversi will work well in. I'll likely need to do some optimization on the game before it works well in low-poer mode.

The best part of attending this game jam was that it allowed me to develop a game that I normally wouldn't have. Almost all of my programming time these days goes into work, which I don't necessarily see as a bad thing, but it is occasionally nice to be able to work on something with a different set of goals and limitations.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


New Year's Resolution #3: Don't lose phone.

New Years Resolutions, 2007 Edition

I both hate and love New Year Resolutions. On one hand, they are often overinflated promises that tend to get broken. On the other hand, they serve as a point of self-improvement (or self-destruction, for the masochists.)

For 2007, I have one and only one resolution, which is to work out more. Biking reemerged as an interest of mine in the summer of 2006 and while it was reasonably fun, I don't enjoy it so much that I want it to be my only source of exercise. (No offense, I hope, to the local ski mafia. You all get far more exercise than I.) A gym club membership has been established (my wallet scream-eth), with my first order of business being to continue the anti-RSI exercises I was given by a local group of physical therapists.

Installing and maintaining a Linux-based workstation is under consideration as my second resolution. Work's been progressively turning me into a Windows weenie, to the point that Vista is starting to look somewhat appealing. In the grand scheme of things, this really isn't that important, however Ubuntu is starting to look nicer by the minute. If one of the various x86 virtualization products were to support GPU virtualization, at least so far as to allow me to run Direct3D apps in a virtualized environment, then these Linux-based workstation plans may be set, unless I go Mac.