Projects, projects...

Well, it's been a very productive week, I finally got back into serious coding mode. Hopefully I can keep it up when I head back to MIT in a couple days, but semester's about to start so I'll have a lot less time. In the meantime, here's some about what I've been up to, mostly just this past week.

I learned a lot about how Chromium OS, the open source version of the operating system which Chromebooks run, and I got emacs (compiled without X) to run on it. I'm trying to figure out how to ditch Chromium's default window manager in favor of one more friendly for a coding environment (in other words, floating or at least tiling windows). Right now I'm thinking openbox, but I haven't been able cross compile it yet. I wish I had a working package manager on the chromebook, it'd make everything so much easier.

I contacted a lot of companies about internships, mostly gaming-related ones. I'm planning on doing another round of applications/contacting soon, since I'm also interested in the open source friendly companies out there. The gaming companies are starting to get back to me, I'm guessing in a couple weeks I'm going to have a lot of practice writing cover letters.

I made decent progress on my newest game idea, one inspired by Hammerfight, and amazing game and Kung Fu Panda 2. It's not as interesting a story as it sounds, so I'm going to leave it at that. The game is based on throwing projectiles which are flying at you at targets by creating a spring between you and the projectile and using it to swing it around. Picture the standard "gravity slingshot" maneuver used in Science Fiction (and actual satellites/rockets). I coded a basic engine in Python and pygame before deciding I wanted to use a real physics engine. I'm in the process of learning PyODE, which is a set of Python bindings for ODE, what looks like a very nice physics engine. I'll try to get a demo video up as soon as I figure out a good way to record it. I haven't found a good video screen capture program yet. In the meantime, if you have Python, pygame and pyode installed you can download the source at GitHub and try it out yourself. engine.py at the version linked was the engine I was working on until I decided to switch to PyODE. pyode2.py is where I'm learning PyODE and testing using it in only two dimensions with pygame as a display engine.

It's not a project, but I just got into the Diablo 3 closed beta! I'm guessing a big wave of invites just went out, a couple searches popped up a bunch of people saying they just got in. Unfortunately I'm away from my gaming computer right now so I won't get a chance to try it out for a little while, but I'm going to get some playtime in before semester starts (and hopefully some during, to blow off steam.) I'll check around to see if there's an NDA I have to deal with or if I can post stuff about it. Hopefully it's open enough that I can just talk about what's in it and post screenshots. If it is, odds are I'll do a post or two about it.