All posts by Gerard L. Petersen

Humble Beginnings

I have been wanting to make a game for a very long time. It’s a very complex game, the game I have in mind. So instead of going for the gusto, I thought I would start small as as far as I was concerned, I’d not yet done any sort of game development. I have of course done the crappy Tetris clone and the 0.001% finished Bubble Bobble I did in Javascript. But I didn’t complete those so they do not count.

So I started doing some flash game development. ActionScript(3), Flash, Flex whatever you want to call it. I did some of that using a flash game library called flixel. I basically followed a tutorial with a few twists here and there.

This is the result: (No that is not an edge detection error. That is a “the flash movie does not fit into my column” error.

The control are Left Arrow, Right Arrow and Ctrl to shoot.

P.S Don’t try to get a rating higher than fancy mullet – there isn’t one as this is merely a test.

P.P.S Flash WordPress, the kimili plugin, swfobject and Chome are not playing nicely. It’s not embedding correctly in the chrome browser. I would fix it but I wanted to do something else today. I will fix it another time. For now though try a different browser.

Get Adobe Flash player

 

The funny thing is. The architecture I thought up when attempting Bubble Bobble is very similar to what is suggested implied by the flixel package.

Note: No spelling spelling or grammar checks were done. The message is what is important.

Crocodile Dreams

I had a dream about a restaurant that sold crocodile milkshakes made from fresh crocodiles. I remember asking myself why they needed a whole crocodile for such a small glass. It was either very wasteful or they somehow condensed the croc down into a single glass. I also wondered why the live crocs looked that way? Was THAT their skin? If it was skin, why is the skin that weird milky translucent glowing ruby colour? If it wasn’t skin, where were their skins? I also thought it was a bad idea that the guests and the crocs were in the in the same space. That was confirmed when a large male croc bit the head off one of the guests.

 

Do you ever think the reality around you might not be the real one?

I do.

Not all the time, sometimes. It’s happened once or twice in public but private places. For example when I go to pee in the office toilet and it’s empty. While I am peeing away, I sometimes get a few seconds for my mind to wander*. If I happen to close my eyes  my mind sometimes stops on: “Am I really in the office? Am I maybe peeing in public on the side of a lamp post?”.

This usually only happens when I am really tired, but it did get me thinking. How do we know we really are here? How do we know we are, who we say we are? You get crazy homeless guys that believe themselves Jesus. Yet in reality they are just dirty, smelly, crazy homeless guys. This makes me think you might not actually know you’re insane if you are insane. If that is true, how do I, or you for that matter, REALLY know that you are not a crazy guy who believes he is someone else. How do I know I’m not a crazy guy who believes he is someone called Gerard Lucienne Petersen. How do I know that this blog not is just in my head, and me typing right now is not just me hitting the ground with a stick? It’s true that I may also draw a comic called Space Panda, but how do I know that it’s not drawn in my own shit?

If I am the only one that thinks this, my only consolation is that I am insane enough to know that I may be insane or at least have the capacity to be even more insane.

NOTES:

*I have never written the word “wander” down prior to this. I really enjoyed the experience


back to basics

This is the flagship track “back to basics” that I created for my 1st album with the same name. It’s pretty good if I do say so myself.

back to basics – guided1

I might put up some of my pre-“back to basics” tracks if I can find them. To be honest I don’t even have my own full album any more. A lot was lost in the crash of 2001. We will see what we can do though.

Loopboxing

It’s not anything new. It’s the music that is capturing my heart and soul at the moment. Jazz used to do it, give me that warm fuzzy feeling. Jazz still does it as do many other genres but this…. THIS! This is what moves me right now. I just wanted to throw my weight in and say how awesome these guys are. I am listening to these guys and I really … I don’t know how to explain it, I am really feeling the groove. I don’t groove often so I feel something must be said. Something about loopboxing (if it’s called that) just sounds so grounded.

First we have Beardyman. He’s quite well known:

I am trying to save the best for last here. It’s really hard to chose between these two songs. Next up we have Reggie Watts with his calm groove and soulful voice.

Lastly up we have Dub FX featuring Mr Woodnote. His passion in his voice and the sax really make it for me.

If this looks anything at all like the little lady’s post over at when smoke gets in your eyes it’s because she told me she was going to post it, which then gave me the urge to comment on this amazing sound.

Learning Adobe Illustrator… or not

I have no idea what it is I am trying to do but I want to learn how to do it. It could be argued that my time would be used best if I was learning Java and Android. I am not sure where I got the idea that I have to be methodic and algorithmic OR creative and visual. I also have no idea when I got the idea that doing both would be counter productive and when I actually started believing these ridiculous ideas. I really do need to let go of such limiting notions.

For me to get a design for my fledgeling company, I got the idea that I didn’t want to spend money but I wanted it to look good and professional. So I figured I would do it myself. It would cost nothing and I would be directly responsible for the quality of the design. However I know that I am not a designer and even though my eye for detail has improved much I know people with a much better eye. So, if I did get a designer to do it, it would look more professional than I could ever get. See… this then gave me the fear to start the design process because I believed my design will never be as good as it should/could be. (It’s a shit reason not to do something, I know. Surely something is better than nothing)

Now that I listen to my thoughts, I think I don’t want to spend money because I fear that my business won’t work out and I am scared to start it so any I money I spend would then be a waste. I also think I don’t want to get a designer because I feel that I will be relinquishing some form of control. The other thing is that I fear I might get ripped off? Charged and exorbitant amount for my design.

Ok, I can’t think that way about failing. Failure in this case would be not even trying. So if you are going to start a business you need to jump in feet first. Jumping in feet first means that you are going to give it your all. If that’s the case you should have no fear of spending money on the design.

Losing control because you outsourced your design? You’re joking right? I think your real fear there is that it means that you will have to tell someone what you want to do and that means opening yourself up for criticism.

Getting ripped off? Maybe it’s valid, but I think that is just an excuse… another thing just to say no. To stop you. Sure it’s possible that you should have more confidence in your design ability. I think though that the mere fact that you don’t know the software means it’s gonna take you longer to do anything. As for the cost, you still need to spend time on the code, correct? Surely your time is better spent on that until your skills with the software are better?

Awesome, I didn’t even know I was blocked until I started writing this. Finding a block and resolving it. Success!

Hmmm this has removed almost all my reasons to learn illustrator. The last one I have left is space panda. I was meant to talk about how all tutorials I found for illustrator are all really complex. I struggled to find the really basic basic tutorials. Ones that assume Zero knowledge.

This one looked like a good start. I have not actually done it yet because I have been doing this post but it’s got pause-able video,  voice over and on the surface looks really easy. It’s drawing a heart, how hard could that be? I will let you know how it goes when I get around to it… which should be in London.

Fuck take2.co.za

Update: For those posting comments, it’s my blog. That means only I get to be a dick. If you are not going to be civil and try to attack me or the others in the comments, your comment won’t get approved. If you do that, I will probably change your comment to make you look like an asshole and then approve it. If you really want to be a dick, get your own blog, be a dick over there. :)

Back in 2007 I was really angry with Take2.co.za. The reason being that they advertised a product would be sold on their site for a certain price. I pre-ordered the product. I am 100% sure I was one of the first to order it, as I’d been watching the site pre-empting it’s release. The product was quite cheap so they probably made a mistake with their pricing.

Over a month after the order had been placed, Take2 got hold of me. (As an aside I did not think anything wrong because month long waits were not uncommon for getting video games in South Africa at the time). What I received that day was a not a videogame. What I had received that day, was bullshit.  Without any warning or providing any alternative solutions, they cancelled my order. They told me the videogame was not available.  By that time it had been in shops for about a week already. But for a more expensive price. Instead of admitting their mistake, they lied to me. Then to add insult to injury they forced me to take store credit. I was not allowed to spend MY money elsewhere.  I wanted the fucking game, not your bullshit.

So, I vowed NEVER to use their site again. It took a few weeks for the anger to pass. Eventually I settled down and went on with my life.

The next month and the month after that, and after that, and after that, they kept reminding me that I had store credit and that I should use it. Them reminding of me of why I would never use their site. This continued for at least a year, reminding me of my anger. In the midst of my rage I realised that the taunts would never stop and something would need to be done.

At least a year or so after the original order was placed, I got black out angry and ordered the CEO some items from his own store.

Below is a copy of the invoice. (Notice the titles on the products.) Click the image to view a larger version

Take2? More Like TakeCustomersAndFuckThemInTheAss.

In case you were wondering, I did know I had to spend more of my own money to do this. Fuck Take.co.za… fuck ’em hard.

Fortune favours the brain

I didn’t really want to write a blog post. Technically I should be designing a site for my new project. But hey…. what can you do?

The intended outcome of the post I didn’t want to write was that you would think me smart and awesome. So I was going to pretend to write a post about how times have changed. About how society prizes those who had physical strength and brawn but now intelligence and the mind is what is more highly sought after. The punchline of the article was going to be that it used to be “Fortune favours the brave” but now in today’s climate it’s  “Fortune favours the brain”. (That’s not to say that the old saying is no longer relevant).

Awesome huh? I think it’s awesome. I think it’s awesome because I took an age old saying, modified it slightly by changing two letters and created profound meaning.

This is one for my quotation site.

Chocolate is good for colds and flu

According a body of research, scientists have proven that chocolate is good for colds and flu. Tests indicate that due to a combination of chemical reactions that occur in the body when a flu or cold virus is active, specific enzymes in the chocolate previously thought to be dormant have now been found to be activated. The enzyme group in question known as Cocoaleases helps speed up the production of white blood cells thereby boosting the body’s immune system.

A child recovering from flu

When asked, a representative from the research group said, “Chocolate is good, but it’s not a substitute for Vitamin C, and good old fashioned rest”.