Friday, December 30, 2011

Protest against SOPA

Redesigned my blog a bit to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act of 2011.  This act is horrible and I'm not even a liberal.

Quick outline of some problems:
  • SOPA will give copyright holders power over foreign companies.  If there's an organization based in a foreign country that's engaging in illegal online trafficking with citizens in the U.S., the government gets authority to barge in and try to shut it down.  That's like China walking in and arresting the CEO of Apple for threatening its electronics industry.
  • Third-party hosting sites are going to be absolutely screwed over.  Sites like YouTube, Vimeo, and Mediafire become liable for what their users uploads, so if someone uploads a copyrighted video, guess what?  They get sued.  Their userbase is large enough that there's no possible way they can control everything that's posted.
  • SOPA will actually hurt a great majority of businesses more than it will help.  Companies will have to invest in a bigger legal department to handle lawsuits, taking away from their capacity for other ventures.

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Before the structure of this blog gets shot to hell, I'm making a side blog.


Everything I find slightly interesting or cool or neat that's not quite big enough to warrant a full-length post on this blog, I'll post on that one.  Or even just random rants.  That'll be my twitter, so to speak.

I want to keep my main blog somewhat relevant to indie game design or other similar ventures because that's what it was supposed to be about originally.

Also because I'm sure you guys don't want to hear about My Little Pony again.  Be warned, there will probably be a lot of posts about ponies on the side blog, and I'm thinking of commemorating one last thing on this one, so um.  Eat cake.

Small personal blog checklist in no particular order:
  • "Atom Zombie Smasher" by Blendo Games
  • "VVVVVV" by Terry Cavanagh
  • "Portal 2" by Valve (not indie but they deserve a mention)
  • "Tower of Heaven" by Askiisoft
  • "BIT.TRIP RUNNER" Gaijin Games

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Programmer's View of the Universe

Had an interesting debate with some people on an IRC channel I frequent about universal processes and it was pretty neat so here's my own take on it.

Does true stochasticity exist?
Restated: Is there any element of the universe that is completely and utterly 100% random?

A common task in programming is generating random numbers for things like simulating a dice or generating noise. And really, true RNG (Random Number Generator - I'm going to use this acronym from now on) don't exist. People usually get away with it by making what's known as a PRNG (Pseudo-Random Number Generator) that uses an algorithm that's so ridiculously complicated and nonsensical that the result is pretty much random. Take this for example:

Plotted, it looks like this:
So, given a number from -100,000 to 100,000, the result of f(x) will be pretty much random.  But there's two problems to this approach.  Firstly, this is an algorithm, and therefore, there's a pattern, so it's not real stochasticity.  Secondly, the seed (in this case, the x) itself will have to be roughly random.  No matter how random this function looks, if you put in a 5, you will always get the same result.  f(5) will always be f(5).  Programmers get away with this by using seeds that change each time the script is run, like the system date and time, but even that's not fully random.  Good enough for a dice simulator, definitely, but it's still based on an algorithm that's always the same given the same parameters, and therefore not a true RNG.

Wait, what's this have to do with the universe?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Vince Emerson : Windigo

Just wanted to do a quick feature post for this guy here about this movie here.

I'm always really, really happy when I see small businesses like this go from start to end with a quality project, mainly because there's so few of them and because the odds are almost always against them.  This team of two (plus some supplemental actors) went above the line and created a full-length movie.  A good one.  And they're selling physical copies of it online, the whole commercial pack.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

makerofthegames : Gaming 101

The graphics are half-assed, the gameplay is literally impossible, the music is atrocious, and you will love every second of it.

A brief history: makerofthegames is known amongst the GMC as a bit of a troll (the good kind), consistently hilarious in his antics, from hacking into moderator-restricted boards to exploiting vote systems. His jokes are typically harmless unlike other trolls, and he's gained a lot of respect as a person from myself and many others in the community.