Category "Episodes"

Episode 37: //FIXME

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Build: Xcode Treasures: Editing (part 2)

Taking another trip into the source code editor, we look at how self-documentation helps you move around your code base and find things more quickly. It starts with the symbol menu, the right-most element of the jump bar, which automatically offers quick access to every property, function, method, extension, etc. in the current source file. You can organize this further with special comments to name sections, add dividers, and include to-dos and fix-mes. Next, doc comments on symbols provide a good way to declare your code’s interface, and in Xcode you can even write your comments in Markdown to include simple styling and links. Finally, check out the immensely useful open-quickly command, which navigates to the source of any symbol, including those in Apple’s frameworks, where you’ll sometimes find a very different story from what’s in the platform documentation.

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Play: DanMachi: Memoria Freese (again)

Last episode, I had a let’s play of “Danmachi: Memoria Freese” blow up in my face because after 10 minutes, it needed to do a 20-minute data download. So this time, I got everything loaded up to make a proper run through the early tutorial content of this game.

Moreover, I had a better grip on the material, because during the break, I went to Anime Central with my friend Mikey, who showed me the first episode of the source anime, “Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon”, much of whose dialogue is recreated word-for-word in the game’s tutorial. It also gave me a better grounding in the franchise and what the game is trying to do.

Speaking of anime, the episode starts with a brief photo show-and-tell of my trip to ACen 2018.

Read: Muv-Luv Alternative, Episode 7, Part 1

With the coup d’état foiled, Takeru returns to his main task: saving Alternative IV by helping Yuuko complete the “00 Unit” (whatever that is). He wakes up back in his original world, remembering that Yuuko has sent him there one last time with an 18-hour window to meet up with that timeline’s Yuuko to get the equations her BETA-verse equivalent needs. But a full waking day in his old world means interacting his old friends under the guise of rom-com silliness, and Takeru may now be too hardened by his experiences to play the fool anymore.

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Episode 36: Is It Wrong to Try to Download Files in a Tutorial?

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Build: Xcode Treasures: Editing (part 1)

You spend most of your time in Xcode writing code, so it’s natural to want that experience to be as pleasant and productive as possible. For this episode, we ease into editing by checking out the available color themes and where to get more. Then we look at the relevant preferences — including the ever contentious spaces-versus-tabs issue — and see how the jump bar at the top of the editor lets us quickly move between files, helpfullly teasing out useful relationships in our code like counterparts (header and implementation files) and even who calls whom.

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Play: Play – DanMachi: Memoria Freese (partial)

Oops. As an experiment, I wanted to come in and play a game completely cold, and chose Crunchyroll’s first game localization, “Is It Wrong to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon: Memoria Freese”. Unfortunately, after about 10 minutes of tutorial, I hit the wall where the game needed to download the rest of its data, and rather than sit on a loading screen for 20 minutes, I called a halt to the evening’s activities. So, don’t bother watching this one; we’ll try it again next episode.

Read: Muv-Luv Alternative, Episode 6, Part 9

The gambit is on. Tsukiyomi negotiates with Sagiri, leader of the coup d’état, for an audience with the Shogun, who is actually Meiya disguised as her twin sister. Sagiri accepts and the two meet, speaking from the cockpits of their TSFs. Now comes the crucial test: can Meiya convince him to stand down, or at least buy the real Shogun enough time to escape?

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Notes

I’ll be (co-)presenting two sessions at Anime Central in Chicago, May 18-20, one on the Muv-Luv franchise and the other on Wake Up, Girls!

Episode 34: Welcome to Wet Willie’s

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Build: Xcode Treasures: Debugging (part 3)

Digging into deeper debugging depths, we show how many crashing bugs are by their nature hard to find, but how Xcode’s improvements over the last few years make it much easier. First, we start with Obj-C exceptions like arrays out of bounds, which ordinary blow you out to main.m with little idea of where the true problem occurred. By using an exception breakpoint, you can stop execution at the very line that throws the exception, thereby revealing the bug. With the Main Thread Checker, crashes that result from modifying the UI from a non-main thread are also revealed right at the line that causes them. And with the Address Sanitizer, crashing bugs caused by memory management mistakes in C can be clearly identified and fixed.

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Play: Pinball Arcade – White Water

1993’s White Water is a fairly mellow game compared to other pins of its era. It has a wide open, two-level playfield to recreate the experience of whitewater rafting, and getting to its top prize requires working through a series of themed events and carefully managing accomplishments with an onscreen “vacation planner”. Also, you get to set Bigfoot’s feet on fire, and discover a stash of gold nuggets.

Read: Muv-Luv Alternative, Episode 6, Part 7

Capt. Sagiri and his coup d’état forces have surrounded Takeru and his allies, giving them one hour to turn over the Shogun. Takeru know she won’t be able to recover from her injuries in such a short time, so he goes to his comrades one-by-one to see how they’re all doing, and figure out what comes next.

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Notes

I’ll be (co-)presenting two sessions at Anime Central in Chicago, May 18-20, one on the Muv-Luv franchise and the other on Wake Up, Girls! The current registration tier (the last one offering mailed-out badges) ends April 1.

Episode 33: Hello, Mr. Spiky-Head

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Build: Xcode Treasures: Debugging (part 2)

Continuing a dive into Xcode’s support for debugging, here’s a look at other powerful breakpoint features. We start by looking at the console, which you might think is just for logging output, but actually offers a command line interface to LLDB, the low-level debugger. And by using the ability to arbitrarily execute code on that command line, we gain the remarkable ability to change an app’s behavior *while* it’s running. Plus, for something more visual, we’ll see how the QuickLook button can show previews of graphic objects like images (provided you don’t crash Xcode like I do in the video).

  • Xcode on the Mac App Store
  • [I’ll post a link to the book once it’s officially announced by the publisher]

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Play: Final Fantasy Dissidia Opera Omnia

The “Dissidia” sub-series brings together characters from the massive “Final Fantasy” franchise in an ultimate dark-versus-light battle. On consoles, the titles are wild fighting games. But for mobile, the title has been rethought as a hybrid of traditional turn-based RPG along with daily quests, limited-time events, gacha / loot box mechanics and all the rest. Is it any good? I’ve only played a little bit so far, but it sure it pretty if nothing else.

Read: Muv-Luv Alternative, Episode 6, Part 6

Just when it seems the cadets might escape the coup d’état forces, events go bad quickly. The shogun, incapable of tolerating the violent ride inside the TSF without the protection of a fortified suit, passes out, and Takeru is faced with a terrible choice: sedate her to keep moving, at the risk of possibly killing her in the process. Making things harder, he’s pulled between the orders of the American major commanding the operation, and the objections of Marimo and Tsukiyomi, who are aghast at the idea of a foreigner ordering the sedation of Japan’s head of state. And while they argue, the sound of jet engines overhead signal that a bad situation has just gotten very much worse…

Encore

Notes

I’ll be (co-)presenting two sessions at Anime Central in Chicago, May 18-20, one on the Muv-Luv franchise and the other on Wake Up, Girls! The current registration tier (the last one offering mailed-out badges) ends April 1.

Episode 32: Transmit in English, The Official International Language

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Build: Xcode Treasures: Debugging (part 1)

So, the secret’s out — because I’m scheduled to do a talk at Ann Arbor CocoaHeads on Thursday — that the new book I’ve been working on is all about Xcode. Rather than being a API guide to an SDK, this book is all about the Xcode app itself, and all the things it can do for you that you might not have realized. To that end, the book happily intermingles examples from iOS, macOS, and even tvOS and watchOS, using Swift, Objective-C and even procedural C.

To kick off a series of videos with demos from the book, here’s an introduction to debugging with breakpoints. You’ll see how to use breakpoints to step through your code and analyze the program’s state, to help figure out what your code is doing and why. This episode also looks at some of the additional features of Xcode breakpoints, like stopping only if a certain condition is true, logging messages when the breakpoint is hit, and even playing short sounds to debug high-speed conditions like gesture tracking.

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Play: BanG Dream! Girls Band Party

BanG Dream! is a multimedia project that aims to take the next step beyond anime / real-world idol groups like Love Live’s μ’s and Aquours by focusing on idols who can not only sing, but can play their own instruments. To this end, they’ve recently released an English-language version of their mobile game, “Bang Dream! Girls Band Party!”, and it’s got EN anitwitter talking about BanG Dream! more than it ever has in the past, thanks in part to cute original songs and a deep selection of anisong covers, including OPs from popular anime like Attack On Titan, Little Busters, Steins;Gate and more.

Read: Muv-Luv Alternative, Episode 6, Part 5

With the escaped Shogun now in their care, the squadron makes plans to spirit her away to safety before the coup d’état forces can capture her. The plan is risky because it requires top speed and boost jumps, something the Shogun is ill-equipped to handle as a passenger without a fortified suit. But the monarch proves to be much more formidable than Takeru would ever have guessed, and she trusts him with the surprising secret of her relationship to Meiya.

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Notes

I’ll be (co-)presenting two sessions at Anime Central in Chicago, May 18-20, one on the Muv-Luv franchise and the other on Wake Up, Girls! The current registration tier (the last one offering mailed-out badges) ends April 1.

Episode 31: Where the Heck Is Story Card 3?

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Happy April Fool’s, everyone.

Build: AppleScript and Script Editor

One of the oldest technologies in macOS, AppleScript suffers from being absolutely required by a small number of users for its productivity workflows, and utterly unknown or baffling to everybody else. The basic idea is that applications expose their data models and functionality, and code written in Apple’s simple scripting language can use those features to tie apps together into complex workflows. Unfortunately, that means it only works as long as apps are willing to support AppleScript, and fewer and fewer are doing so (even Apple’s own apps). Plus, it’s completely insecure, which is mind-boggling in 2018.

Still, there are things I couldn’t do without it, such as updating the developer conference and anime convention page and interstitial videos, so this video takes a quick look, given the admittedly limited degree to which I understand AppleScript.

  • Script Editor is included with macOS, and can be found in the /Applications/Utilities folder.

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Play: Ride Zero

Korean developer Load Complete is trying something a little different with “Ride Zero”: a bullet-hell shooter that plays like a rhythm-action game. Instead of shooting, you deflect shots in time to the music, rebounding them at your attacker. When you’re in the groove, it’s not unlike the synesthesia of the all-time classic “Rez”, albeit this time with more of an anime aesthetic. But now it comes with a story mode and in-app purchases, because hey, it’s 2018.

Read: Muv-Luv Alternative, Episode 6, Part 4

Deployed to guard a royal palace in Hakone, the cadets assume they’re far from the action of the coup d’état, though it’s no relief once they hear about the violence that has flared up in the capital. Takeru takes a moment to try to smooth things over with Meiya, but it turns into another political debate. He tries to shake off his drowsiness by going for a walk in the snow, but ends up intercepting what he thinks are three civilians. In fact, who he has encountered is the Shogun, Yuuhi Koubuin, secretly spirited away from the palace in Tokyo. And now it’s his job to protect her, because word of her escape has been leaked to the rebels.

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Notes

I’ll be (co-)presenting two sessions at Anime Central in Chicago, May 18-20, one on the Muv-Luv franchise and the other on Wake Up, Girls! The current registration tier (the last one offering mailed-out badges) ends April 1.

Episode 30: The Iron Rose Organization

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Build: Building Apps on iPad with Dringend

It’s Xcode for iPad! Not really… but close? Maybe? Dringend is an iPad app for working with iOS or Mac Xcode projects, either locally created or imported with git or Dropbox. It can edit text files (source code, Info.plists) and view images, but lacks a storyboard/nib editor. The really surprising this is that it can actually build projects by sending them over the network to a helper app running on your Mac. With Dropbox, it can even install the resulting iOS app back to your iPad, giving you a complete solution to building iOS apps on iOS.

Does it work? Well, let’s just say they’re off to a good start, but there are a number of deal-killers in the current version. Still, it could get really good.

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Play: Love Nikki: Dress-Up Queen

In a couple of episodes, I’ve covered in-app purchase games and focused mostly on their “game” elements, and kind of disparaging the in-game economy elements of virtual currencies, inventory management and the like. So, for a change, I picked a game that’s only about those features. Love Nikki: Dress-Up queen is a fashion-based game where you combine elements from a virtual wardrobe to compete in competitions to see who’s the most stylishly dressed. The game is simple, but the inventory is deep, with not only a store, but almost alchemy-like techniques to create new fashions that you need to win the fashion-offs.

Note: I made a mistake on the livestream and forgot to mix in my mic for a couple minutes early in the video; that’s been edited out of this archive video.

Read: Muv-Luv Alternative, Episode 6, Part 3

As the coup d’état proceeds in Tokyo, its effects are felt in Yokohama as the cadets prepare for a possible deployment. Takeru checks in on Chizuru to see how she’s handling the assasination of her father, but she’ll have none of it. Complicating matters: Imperial Japanese troops surround the base, putting the UN-flagged cadets potentially on the wrong side of a conflict with their own countrymen. And speaking of betrayal, what is the deal with Ayamine and all those letters? Takeru asks her for some answers…

Encore

Notes

I’ll be (co-)presenting two sessions at Anime Central in Chicago, May 18-20, one on the Muv-Luv franchise and the other on Wake Up, Girls! The current registration tier (the last one offering mailed-out badges) ends April 1.

Episode 29: All Hands, Prepare for Multiball

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Build: Pixelmator and AnyFont for iPad

While I’m waiting to be able to announce my next book, I’m going to show off some different kinds of creative projects in the first part of weekly livestream. This week, I’m trying out the iPad version of Pixelmator, the popular graphics application. It’s one of two fairly well-known low-cost Photoshop alternatives on the Mac (the other being Acorn), and is the only one of the two that has an iOS version. It relies heavily on Core Image for powerful image processing abilities, and includes both effects like blurring, sharpening and color tools, as well as a layer system for compositing final pictures together out of many parts.

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Play: Pinball Arcade: Star Trek The Next Generation

Currently ranked as the #3 table of all time, Williams’ 1993 pinball Star Trek The Next Generation is a perfect combination of reverence for its source material and deeply satisfying gameplay. Built about five seasons into TNG, the table includes savvy use of lore (but not Lore, of course), catchphrases and dialogue recorded by the entire cast, and a deep rule book that offers seven missions that all play differently and tie in smartly to the TNG universe. Other modes include run-ins with the Ferengi, Romulans, and Cardassians, and a multiball battle with the modified Borg supership from season 5. Fortunately, I had a good run in the middle of this video and made it to the game’s ultimate mode: the six-multiball “Final Frontier”

Read: Muv-Luv Alternative, Episode 6, Part 2

Roused from sleep at 0400 hours, the cadets learn that a coup d’etat is underway in the capital. Rebel forces – the same ones that Mikoto’s dad referred to in his weird chat with Yuuko a week ago – have seized most government facilities and assassinated many officials, including the prime minister, Chizuru’s father. As Takeru overhears details of the international political wrangling behind the incident, he realizes him himself may have set it off by allowing the Mt. Tengen relocation to occur (changing the events he experienced in Muv-Luv Unlimited), and that it could be further related to Ayamine’s secret intrigues.

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Notes

I’ll be (co-)presenting two sessions at Anime Central in Chicago, May 18-20, one on the Muv-Luv franchise and the other on Wake Up, Girls! The current registration tier ends April 1.

Episode 28: 64 Bytes of RAM

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Build: Keynote for iPad

While I’m waiting to be able to announce my next book, I’m going to show off some different kinds of creative projects in the first part of weekly livestream. This week, I show off my favorite productivity app for iPad, Keynote, which lets you create slideshow presentations with nearly as much power as the desktop app offers. Combined with the convenience of iCloud syncing and a file format that works on both macOS and iOS, it’s what I use for presenting at developer conferences and anime conventions. This demo focuses on file sharing, simple slide set up, and “builds”, which perform the animations that Keynote is known for.

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Play: Odyssey²

The Odyssey² console, introduced in 1978, was Magnavox’s answer to the challenge presented by the Atari VCS (later renamed the 2600). It was a modest success, less popular than the VCS or the Mattel Intellivision, but did a few interesting things. It came with a built-in keyboard, but with only 64 *bytes* of RAM, couldn’t hold on to any meaningful amount of user-entered content. Its graphics are far more committed to sprites than other systems of the time, meaning that while Odyssey² games rarely flicker, they can’t do scrolling at all, and interacting with the background is difficult. This shows up in game designs like the Pac-Man knockoff “K. C. Munchkin”, where instead of eating dozens of dots off the maze floor, there are only 12 dots… but they move. And while many games released for the system have clear arcade inspirations, there’s no accounting for the deeply weird “Killer Bees”, arguably the best game made for the platform.

  • The O2EM emulator for macOS is part of OpenEmu: openemu.org

Read: Muv-Luv Alternative, Episode 6, Part 1

Takeru is delighted with his progress changing the BETA-verse timeline, having briefly returned to his own timeline to get help with Yuuko’s equations, and skipping the entire misadventure at Mt. Tengen. However, his giddiness at saving 10 days leads to an argument with Meiya in the PX, and when he runs after Ayamine to soothe things over, she drops a letter that suggests she might be involved with secret intrigues that would be worthy of a court-martial if anyone found out. What the hell is she up to?

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Episode 27: Overloading the Mac Pro

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Build: Encoding Video (and Animated GIFs!) in Compressor

While I’m waiting to be able to announce my next book, I’m going to show off some different kinds of creative projects in the first part of weekly livestream. This time, I show the least-known of Apple’s pro video apps, Compressor, and look at its tight integration with Final Cut Pro for doing end-of-project encoding. This lets you target different kinds of destinations like video hosting sites or iOS devices, and lets you apply video and audio filters to counteract the effects of lossy compression. And — who knew? — Compressor makes animated GIFs too.

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Play: Overload (0.9)

A year after the last time I streamed Overload, this Kickstarter-backed spiritual descendant of “Descent” is one version away from its golden master release. So, it seemed like a good time to check back in. Since the last time I looked, the game has gotten faster and more generous with support items, so instead of lengthy firefights with single robots like in the early access builds, you tend to have short, fast fights, and often have to deal with packs of robots.

Also, playing Overload while encoding two streams in Wirecast (the live one and an archive) may be the hardest I’ve ever pushed my 2013 Mac Pro. The fan was really blowing at the end, and Wirecast tells me I dropped over 16,000 frames, which is why this video has a fairly low framerate. (The Mythical Modern Modular Mac Pro cannot come soon enough!)

Read: Muv-Luv Alternative, Episode 5, Part 4

Having spent three hours back in his own timeline (the world of Muv-Luv Extra), Takeru spends time with the one who made it possible: Kasumi, the withdrawn psychic who keeps him mentally tethered to this world. He takes her outside and up to the tree behind the school, and learns more about her fearsome powers, and continues to wonder about her seeming connection to Sumika.

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