Forgotten Tale Forgotten Tale

Web Host Transfer

That… was way too much work.

I currently use Squarespace for hosting this site. Squarespace is an awesome service and if you need web hosting you should always check them out.

At this time it was not worth the cost for me to stay with Squarespace. I’m not using any of the features, I designed the look and wrote the code for the site myself, and I want non-costly options for secondary sites if I need them.

So this week I made the decision and transferred the site to GitHub Pages.

Migrating from the developer account at Squarespace to GitHub Pages was a tad tedious.

I’ll save you the details, but some of the background technologies that each use required me to peck at the code and do a bit of trial-and-error. If you visited the site over the last couple of days and weird things happened, that would be way.

Suffice to say, the transfer is done and everything should be working fine. The only missing feature currently is the podcast element to Forgotten Tales. That requires me to hook up to another service which I will save for tomorrow.

The Transformation of Nintendo

Over the last decade, it has become painfully obvious that Nintendo is ill-equipped and mentally incapable of competing in the hardcore gaming market.

Like many of us, Iwata was resistive to leaving that market. He went up on stage and lambasted the mobile market and the effect on game prices and quality.

Either out of fear of being ousted, or from a personal revelation, Iwata has now decided to take Nintendo and transform it into something new, and wholly different.

Nintendo is now becoming the company of “fun” and “games”. No longer worried or shackling itself to the bounds of what was (a recurring motif at Nintendo), but instead heading off in a new unproven direction.

Last year’s E3, the surprise announcement of a new system and the development of mobile games, and this year’s E3 go a long way to show us just how far Nintendo has changed and opened up.

Like never before, Nintendo is allowing people outside of the company relatively free rein of some of their properties. Even as far as encouraging them to do something new. Take the case with Browser and Donkey Kong for Skylanders.

Looking at this year’s E3 Digital Event, most of the games were not about story, or grit and grime. They were games. Purely simply games designed to be fun and happy.

The most interesting thing is that the core of Nintendo has never changed, and remains intact. It’s just everything around that core is transforming. Iwata is betting that what makes Nintendo great will always keep Nintendo great regardless of platform or business model.

Nintendo is embracing this new world, and only time will tell if they have chosen wisely.

Nintendo is dead, long live Nintendo.

Rating System

Over the years I’ve grown disillusioned with most current rating systems for content. I’ve never been a fan of the star based system, yet wanted more diversity than the simple thumbs up / down method. Don’t even get me started on the number system used in video games.

So in response to this over the years I have developed my “Goblin” rating system. It attempts to mix how I feel about a work, while also giving an impression if a work is any good.

The beauty of the system lies in not given a definitive numerical value, but instead a subjective overall quality to the work. It relies not on where in the system a given work falls, but more what category it falls into. While you could force this system into a 5 star system or 2x it out into the traditional 10 numerical system typically found in games, you would be doing it a disservice.

I won’t pretend that it is a perfect system, but I like it. We will see how it holds up since I will be using it whenever I discuss things that I’ve recently consumed.

Lastly, if you wish to use this system by all means, have fun.

Goblin Yuck!

“Me just couldn’t hold it. Make stomach ache. No good.”

I just heaved this up and onto the floor. No really, you don’t want to consume that.

Goblin Scowl

“You can eat it, but me no likey.”

I’ve managed to keep this sucker down, but it’s not good.

Goblin Like

“Me likey.”

If you’re a fan of this particular kind of genre or style, you should like this.

Goblin Lifts Beer Mug

“YUM!”

Really, it’s good. You should consider it even if you normally don’t go for this type of thing.

Goblin Masterpiece

“If you no eat, let me have it!”

What are you still doing here? Go get it!

Release Schedule

I’ve been pondering what the release schedule for Forgotten Tales should look like.

What day of the week should I aim to release new stories? I was doing Fridays, but I’m not certain that should be the case going forward.

While I could really do any day of the week, three options currently strike my fancy: Monday, Thursday, or Friday.

Monday is generally the start of the week and would give people an opportunity to start their week with new content.

Thursday gives people an opportunity to end the work week with new content.

Friday would generally be targeting for people to read over the weekend or on their way home from work.

I could also just leave it hanging without a specific date and just release them once a week based on availability.

It’s a quandary.

If you have any thoughts on the matter feel free to send them my way at twitter or email.

The Tale Engine

After some debate I’ve finally choosen a name for my game engine. The Tale Engine.

The main driver for me to develop my own game engine is to create something catered to me and has a few specific graphical and tool qualities that don’t exist in other engines.

It’s going to take a lot of work to get it up and running. For right now I don’t have the time to devote to it so I’m going to shelve most of it for the next couple of months.

In its place I’m going to give a stab at Unity to create a small adventure game.

This is going to allow me to hammer out out some of the core elements that I will need for my engine without being mired in getting code working and other considerations.

Forgotten Tales - 8 - Mine

The 8th installment of Forgotten Tales is up.

I was a tad behind on getting it written. Got a bit wrapped up in finishing season 4 of Fallen Skies.

This one is more of a fragment than a full short story. Had the idea in my head, but not really enough time to explore it. I might decide to come back to it.

There is plenty to cover this week so stay tuned.

Let's Try That Again

I apologize for being behind schedule. Last week I discovered that my SSN had been used to file a fraudulent tax return.

I spent most of last week going over that, checking things, filing paperwork, and generally stressing out over the stupidity of identity theft.

It looks like a hack to an employment agency earlier in the year is the culprit for my SSN getting out.

Ugh.

Everything has calmed down a bit, so, let’s try to get started this week instead.

The State of Things to Come

Starting this week I’m back to doing the weekly Forgotten Tales (short stories). I really did enjoy doing them, and think they can be a worthwhile effort. While I won’t guarantee I will have a new one out each and every week, I should have one out most weeks.

As for the audio readings, it will be a few weeks, but I will get them done and caught up.

On the game engine front I’ve had to scrap the proto code a few times in deciding how I want it to work. Should have made that left at Albuquerque. I have a really good idea of where I want to get to now but not sure exactly how to get there.

I’ll probably just whip together a few small adventure games with SDL and start reworking sections of the codebase and adding tools as I need them.

You can expect upcoming posts going into more detail on the game engine, future plans, copyright license, business model, and the like.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go work on my taxes.

Dev Environment Revisited

So after a few weeks of using the dev environment that I talked about in my last post I’ve modified it and revised it thusly (anything to say the terrible word thusly in a post).

Code Repository

Since I started this, I’ve always had a concern over security and privacy with what could be very sensitive data on Dropbox, so I’ve stopped using it to host the code.

Don’t get the wrong idea, Dropbox is a great service, and I use it for a lot of stuff. It’s just not as completely secure as you might think it to be (which has it’s pros and cons). So things like taxes, financial information, and other sensitive non-encrypted data probably should not be stored there (well encrypted data, like 1Password, should be fine for most intents and purposes).

This brings me back to how can I get the code on multiple machines when I need to.

I generally work on the Mac, but on occasion I work on a Windows machine as well. I still don’t want to use GitHub since I want to have my own simple versioning system, and something down and dirty to use and learn. Due to the nature of the two OSes, I also don’t want to open my Mac to network file sharing since it would require me to reduce the security of the machine (cough, cough, windows, cough, cough).

So I decided on a little trick to be able to version my code, backup my code, and also have it available on multiple machines all in one go.

The process is relatively simple. Using a shell script (Mac) or a batch file (Windows) I can create a zip file of the current source code, put the current date in the filename, and place it on a networked drive. I can achieve all of that from within my text editor or at worst a terminal/prompt window with one command (which I usually have open anyway).

This gives me a backup copy of any given days work in a central location.

It’s not perfect yet since I still have to go and retrieve the code and replace the code on the local machine after I work on another machine. Which I should create a new shell script/batch file now that I think about it.

These scripts have taken more time then I thought they would. I spent one whole evening last week getting the batch file to even work just to find out all I had to do was close and reopen the command prompt (cough, cough, windows, cough, cough).

While limiting, these scripts are amazingly robust. Once I finish them I will be releasing a version of them for people to look at and use if they want to.

One may ask why not just create a program to do that. I should, and maybe someday I will, but right now I just want something that works and can easily be modified if I need to make minor adjustments.

Development Blog

I’ve done some development blogging on this site already, but starting today I’m going to start separating it from the rest of the content. At first this is going to be internally, but sometime soon I will have a different link for the development entries.

For the time being all development, regardless of project, will be in one set of posts. In other words I’m not going to do different development blogs for my different games/projects.