Rapid Prototyping

I recently came across a great GDC video, "Game a Week: Teaching Students to Prototype" from Douglas Wilson and Bennett Foddy. While I'm familiar with the concept of weekly prototyping, this video in particular resonated with me.

Mind you there's nothing new here. From 48 hour game jams to one game a month, a ton of developers have been at this for a while. Again this isn't a new concept to me, but the structure presented in the video gave me a framework to tackle my procrastination.

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Making games is something I've wanted to do since I was 15 years old. When I realized making games for a living was a thing. Besides an interesting and short stint at a local studio, I don't have much professional game dev experience. It's all based on personal projects and experiments. Just so happens within the last two months I've been leveling up my Unreal Engine knowledge to get back into the game (pun intended!). Rapid prototyping and experiments with Blueprints will definitely give me a better understanding of the tools at my disposal.

Concepts like a "game a week/month" is exactly what I need to get me going. Setting deadlines, themes, and goals (again nothing revolutionary) while not really thinking long term in the sense of a final product. Being able to experiment and test new ideas within the confinements setup beforehand. Typing this really gets me excited for something I already knew. Not sure why it's different this time.

I'm going to experiment at first and see what time scale works for me. I'll be shooting for one a week and iterate on that. I strongly suggest checking out Rami Ismail post, where he dives into the details.

I really wish I had something more concrete here but I guess it's more of line in the sand moment for me. That way I can use it as a point of reference and see how far I've come at some future point. Here's hoping I stick to it this time!

Birth of Geektanium

Feels a little odd writing about this but I do want to put it out there. I'd like to formally announce a thing I've been working on: Geektanium. It's basically a bunch of geeks finally finding the time and courage to upload and share our conversations with the world. We've been doing this for years albeit offline. After we beat a game or watched a movie, we never missed an opportunity to discuss it along with everything else going on in pop culture at that time.

The theory is there are some people out there that would find this discussion interesting so what the heck, to YouTube it goes! We're definitely not the first nor the last to have this idea. But we believe we can provide a unique take on our favorite activities. Movies, video games, comics, music, TV, etc. We all love to absorb it in and particularly letting it back out in the form of conversations and idea sharing. It allows us for a short period of time where we feel connected to these worlds.

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The title is a small fib. We've actually been doing this since February 2018. Right around the time Black Panther came out in theaters. Uploading our conversations was in the back of our minds for a month or two prior and Black Panther seemed like a great time to start. I actually can't believe it's been six months since we started. We're up to ten videos with one of those being our first live stream! In this small period of time, I'm proud of our work and the small improvements here and there. The hope is to keep getting better!

There are few ideas in the work such as adding some variety to the videos other than us just chatting with each other. That also includes smaller bite size videos to convey some ideas. But of course audience participation is a big part of this entire gig, so hopefully that will keep growing organically. That same audience would play an even bigger role in our streaming endeavors.

Are we putting the cart before the horse? I don't think so but I can see it being a slippery slope. It's more about trying new ideas quickly and iterating to see what works best. So we might have big plans but that doesn't mean we have to stretch ourselves too thin. We're in this for the long haul. After all, we're a bunch of nobodies in an already extremely crowded field of geek personalities. Not everything will stick but the goal is to have fun doing it. That's what matters at the end of the day. Not the numbers but an overall fun and safe community where all are welcome to enjoy themselves in this geek life. Fun first!

So I hope you join us on this quest. It's dangerous to go alone, so please grab that sword and help us along the way!

Signing VirtualBox Kernel Drivers

I recently came across an issue with VirtualBox and Fedora 23 that took me a good while to address. With Secure Boot enabled, the built kernel modules failed to load. Instead of disabling secure boot, I decided to tackle the problem head on. Hopefully this will be use for some, most likely my future self.

I tried installing VirtualBox via both the repos and website with no luck. And after various logs referring to dmesgwith nothing of value, off to the interwebs I went. As this the first time I didn’t disable secure boot (honestly I forgot) I didn’t know as of Fedora 22 drivers need to be signed. Good to know.

Credit where credit is due: http://gorka.eguileor.com/vbox-vmware-in-secureboot-linux/

That useful blogpost really saved me. I could copy/paste the entire thing here, but sharing the link works better. It includes some extra tidbits for VMware.