Tuesday, March 25, 2014
I was inspired to create the character animation after playing Advanced Dungeons & Dragons for the Intellivison. I wanted a character moving up/down/left/right in a flat world, without the problems created by an overhead display. I had written something about Web 2.0 websites being as creative as the Men's room at Applebees, so the Men's room character seemed like a perfect fit.
I get sick of visiting Web 2.0 websites. Everything is designed super slick but they are boring when it comes down to the design. I think this is due to the proliferation of apps like WordPress, Blogger, Wix, 1and1 and other instant website convenience/production tools (and of course I'm guilty as anyone, this built in Blogger, my comic built in WP). Convenience rules unfortunately, and that is all that anyone wants so most people choose slick over originality and creativity. The end product is a set of expected interactions: no Twitter feed? No tool to "Like" me on Facebook? Pare down these frivolous extras and you get down to the meat of a website. What if you took away all of that extra noise? Would your website still hold up?
I miss Web 1.0; the proliferation of websites before popularized convenience tools were used. I recently found A Guide to the Orders of Trilobites, a fantastic site, absolutely filled with graphics, animations background images and page after page crammed with fascinating information on these cool creatures. This website is a work of love, and I would hate to see it destroyed by Facebook Twitter and Google.
Anyway, enough ranting about web design; stay tuned to The Input Garden. It's designed to work for mouse, key and touch inputs but it is not without it's bugs; I can't seem to get it to work on an iPad in Safari at this very moment but I'm working on it.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
- Programming is definitely not for everyone. Most people that I know when exposed to programming languages for the first time find it very frustrating and dry. Learning "Hello World" is great, but really learning how a computer works takes a lot of time.
- Learning programming does not give children social skills; time focused on a computer or an electronic device does the opposite. Using computers and the internet and social networking tools does not make us more social; it does the exact opposite and it promotes antisocial behavior in children at an age when developing social skills is critical.
- Children have enough problems under abusive presidential policies like Race To The Top and No Child Left Behind. These policies drain all of the creativity out of learning, and successful programmers are creative people. Politicians don't talk with teachers; they talk with corporations like Pearson that can make it through their doors with huge donations to their election campaigns. Pearson wants to turn our classrooms into computer programs that they can profit from (see #2 above). Ask any teacher what they think of Race To The Top and the Common Core; these policies force children to learn with blinders on and remove critical and creative thinking from learning entirely.
- The best programmers that I know are creative people and Art, Music, Phys-Ed, Language; any of the non-STEM classes are all being minimized in schools today. These classes provide a diversity of learning for students and can work hand-in-hand with STEM classes, but unfortunately school administrators do not understand this (see #3 above). Becoming a good programmer does not necessitate learning programming directly, but communication and creative thinking skills are extremely important; certainly more important that code itself.
Want your child to have applicable skills in the tech industry? Pick up a musical instrument. This teaches math, language skills and creative thinking. Hands down, the best programmers that I know are also musicians.
Saturday, January 18, 2014
My next objective was creating a game that recognized space, time and basic collisions, so I started Beer Defender. Beer Defender is more complex than the other two, and because of this I've been having some memory issues due to it's complexity. What you're seeing here is a working version, missing an animation with the boot dropping instead of just disappearing. So Beer Defender is still in the works; I'm going to add multiple levels and increase game speed and difficulty as the game progresses. As it is right now, it's just a sort of study, but I will update it soon.
As they are, these games work for desktops (traditional mouse or trackpad input). The next stage is to get them working properly for tablet (touch input) as well.
Initially I was fascinated with those wonky Windows 8 icons. I started using them because it seemed like there was practically an icon for everything. There is something very mundane about boiling down anything into an image that is supposed to universally represent it, so I've started calling these experiments Mundane Games, due to the fact that all of them are easy time-wasting entities and they all use this same visual language. I've been creating all of them at a standard 600x400 size, and they are peppered with Comic Sans, (if for no other reason than to piss off my designer friends...). There will be more Mundane Games to come so stay tuned.
Thursday, January 9, 2014
I think that most of the tarot web apps and Android apps I have seen were just a means to collect contact information. Two of the Android apps were infested with adware and one of them had managed to take over my OS and send out spam on behalf of my phone!
I've got plans for expanding Fate Browser, first being the inclusion of the Celtic Cross-style reading and possibly including the artwork from other card decks, like the Marseilles deck, so stay tuned, and when you wake in the morning, let your day be a Fate Browser day!
Monday, January 6, 2014
I've recently been working on a web app for this; first for web, then later I'll make one for Android. I've encountered a few bumps, but most of them haven't been programming issues; they've been around attempting to work my way around A.E. Waite's weird-ass descriptions of the Major Arcana from his booklet, A Pictorial Key to the Tarot, published 1911. Waite uses some very arcane, very flowery, and also very obscure references within his descriptions. The descriptions of the Minor Arcana are fine, which leads me to believe that someone else may have written it.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Saturday, November 9, 2013
I read today: Facebook Tests Software to Track Your Cursor on Screen. So Facebook has terrifying new software to let them know where your mouse moves...
<tr><td>Cursor X:</td><td id="crsx"></td></tr>
<tr><td>Cursor Y:</td><td id="crsy"></td></tr>
document.getElementById("crsx").innerHTML = n.pageX;
document.getElementById("crsy").innerHTML = n.pageY;
From there it's simply a matter of keeping track of the X and the Y of all of your page elements; easily be done through smart CSS, and then pushing the location-mapped identities to the database every (n) number of times a second. Here's another method tracking by using the onMouseOver event on an ad:
You like Doritos. <div id="crsz"></div>
doritos.onMouseOver = mouseOver;
var count = 0;
document.getElementById("crsz").innerHTML = count+" Times";
Companies like Facebook and Google started out with such positive energies; remember Google's Don't be Evil corporate motto? Today these companies are finding themselves no longer happy to just exist and make the world a better place, but they need revenue to stay as huge as they are, and that means finding ways to use all of that data that users create.