RIP Gang of Five

Good thing I archived all the Darwin’s Soldiers RPs in Google Drive, because their home forum has bitten the dust as of 10pm tonight. The admins are working on resurrecting all the forum content on a new host, and best of luck to them, but when I have to trawl through the Darwin’s Soldiers Wiki and TV Tropes pages and fix all the hotlinks, I’m making these Google Docs the primary links. At least those (hopefully) aren’t going anywhere.

I took the opportunity to create one with the three posted chapters of f-22’s story “the Disease“. If he ever posts more chapters I’ll have to go paste them here, but it’s been months so I’m not holding my breath

Streaming and Streaking

Lot of cool things happened in various directions, so I thought I’d give a little compilation for the record.

First, I shoutcasted a Forzebreak tournament and it went really well!

The Forzebreak team was really appreciative, we got almost 50 people watching on Twitch because various students tweeted their friends, and I get to add another game to my shoutcasting portfolio. I didn’t do half bad considering they literally didn’t have an observer mode, forcing me to cast the game from the sole perspective of Player 4, but overall it was great practice for the upcoming tournament this Friday for Major League Magic.

Forzebreak is lucky they had their tournament when they did, because my YouTube channel recently experienced something of a boon. Two weeks ago, I released yet another video, this time a lightning-fast chronicle of The Only 5 Weapons Worth Using in Payday 2, and for some reason people really, really liked it. I gained 1800 views, 180 thumbs-up and 40 new subscribers overnight, and to capitalize on this new audience I accelerated my videography pace to twice a week. I also nailed down an exact schedule; I’m now releasing a new video every Tuesday and Friday, each one under two minutes and chronicling a top 5 list in Payday 2. I’ve also started promoting my videos on Twitter, Steam, and reddit, and so far its resulted in my videos gaining far more viewers than I’m used to. Overkill contacted me on Discord and added me to their private content-creators channel, where I’m currently talking to other Payday 2 videographers in the hopes of maybe convincing one of them to do a crossover with me. I’ll keep you posted.

In other news, I ran Bay to Breakers naked yesterday, and holy god am I exhausted. I’d only started running about a week prior, and I hadn’t run nearly as far as the 7.5 miles in Bay to Breakers, but I actually completed the marathon without stopping. Sure, there were many times I downgraded from a jog to a basic walk, but I never fully stopped, and completed the marathon in about 2 hours. Afterwards, I followed a bunch of people to the Uber/Lyft pickup point, where my phone cheerfully informed me it would be $200 to drive home. Not even remotely interested in paying that much (and woefully underinformed as to how the Bart works; most people I’ve spoken to said I should have used it to leave the city), I chose to queue up the route home via walking, then just start hiking. I didn’t expect to finish the trip (it was a 14.5 hour walk according to Google Maps), but I knew every step I took would decrease the cost of my Uber, especially as the hours ticked by and everybody else went home and the surge ended. In the end, I walked another 8 miles over the course of two hours, which adds up to a full marathon-length in total. But my Uber home was only $30, so I’m not complaining. I’m not leaving my room today for anything, though, my legs are sore beyond belief.

rusty metal texture.png

In order to keep this post at least somewhat programming-focused, I also finished another homework assignment for ProcGen class. This one used a new program called Substance Designer, which created textures with stuff like normals, materials, and roughs. The overall UI was like, connecting squares of data with little lines, which took some understanding but was overall really understandable. I feel motivate to get better with Substance Designer because textures are the sort of thing I don’t have much experience creating, and I don’t like using other people’s content, so it’s something I’ll need to learn if I ever hope to move into the 3D space.

Cubes.png

We had to create a rusty metal and a more creative texture. Mine was like golden liquid with a blue moss on top, I guess. Reminds me of UCSB’s colors.

Citizen Kane rap

Tried my hand at rapping again, my friend was making a YouTube parody and asked for a Citizen Kane rap because she liked what I’d done for Rap Who Was Mars. Dunno if she’s gonna end up using it, but it was fun to write.

I used someone else’s music for the background, mostly because my microphone picked up this really shrill trill in the background that was unpleasant to listen to without music covering it up. I’m not a huge fan of the song though, it doesn’t really fit my beat at all and I plan on making my own music going forward. I grabbed the free version of Fruity Loops so hopefully my future raps will have original background compositions

Making trees in Unity

Turns out trees are blessedly easy to make in Unity, so for once the assignment went swimmingly. Well, the second time: the first time materials were bugging out and we downloaded three different tree packs from the Asset store and they didn’t come with the properly-designed textures.

Unity literally comes with ‘tree’ as an available 3D object, and when you add it you can just start fiddling with its settings to make trees. Though I did keep getting this crash when trying to add textures to leaves, but I got around it by creating my own texture and applying an alpha channel.

Procedurally-Generated Terrain

Completed another homework assignment for ProcGen class.

This is a procedurally-generated terrain. You can adjust the sliders and it’ll make it look different.

And, uh…I guess this is the same thing??? I don’t know, I made these with Quinn walking me through every goddamn step. It feels like outright lying for me to turn these in as my own assignments, I was a glorified AutoKeyboardPresser as he just explained every little step and walked me through the most basic of actions. I’m not blaming Quinn, he did his job as a tutor getting paid by the university, but I’m not learning. This exercise felt completely pointless because I can’t even recall a single step about how these terrains came into existence.

But I mean, working in Unity in any capacity, no matter how small, can’t hurt can it???

Unity noise-filtered procedural mesh

Noise homework completed, with Quinn’s help. We created C# scripts, named MeshCreator and CubeMaker, and used them to spawn the 20×20 grid of cubes. We then downloaded a Perlin noise function from a professor-supplied website and tied that function to the height of the cubes. This caused the cube’s height to change depending on the noise function, creating this wavy-water effect.

Upcoming project: Noise in Unity

posting from my iPad because I’m exercycling and my desktop is streaming Overwatch League. The doctor informed me yesterday that my blood pressure and cholesterol are both slightly high, which I partly blame on there being nowhere to eat near college except a McDonalds and a Jack-in-the-box.

Another homework assignment for ProcGen class, this time we need to make a 20×20 field of cubs whose top side has a randomly-generated height. But we gotta add a noise function so each cube tapers into the next, so basically we’ll have a nice “calm waves on an oceantop” feel. I’ve completed part 1, spawning a single cube, since we just had to paste the code from class into MonoDevelop, but I’m struggling with the next step, duplicating said cube into 20 via MonoDevelop, not just duplicating the cube within the Unity visual editor. I meet up with Almir tomorrow, hoping he’ll be able to help me going forward, and I’ll report what I learn here.

In other news, a friend of mine is submitting their novella to a publishing contest, and they were acting really scared and self-deprecatingly fatalistic, so to show them they had a good story I wrote a quick rap summing the plot up. I originally synced it to some royalty-free beats but it made the song really repetitive; if I can learn to make my own music I’ll reexplore adding music but for now you can listen to the raps a cappella. If they win the contest, I’ll link you to their novella!