Category "Episodes"

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 4

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…

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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 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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Episode 26: It’s All Coming Back to Me

Hiatus over, back to Friday-night livestreaming…

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Build: Creating a Blend-S Meme Video in Motion

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, we’ll check out 2017’s infamous “Blend-S” anime meme — “Smile! Sweet! Sister! Sadistic! Surprise!” — and how to easily reproduce it in Apple Motion by grabbing a short dialogue clip of an “S” word, placing text elements on the timeline, and then using simple effects like motion path and fade in to reproduce the effect.

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Play: Muv-Luv Alternative Strike Frontier

Everything else has a mobage, why not Muv-Luv? Strike Frontier brings the Muv-Luv Alternative franchise to the usual mobage mechanics of collecting cards, equipping a team to max out their abilities, earning in-game currency, and of course spending real money for the SSR card of your favorite character or mech. Also, sometimes you get to play a game.

Read: Muv-Luv Alternative, Episode 5, Part 3

After three promising but brief false starts, Yuuko succeeds in sending Takeru back to his original timeline, the world of Muv-Luv Extra, where he needs to contact that world’s Yuuko and get the equations needed by the BETA-verse Yuuko to complete the 00 Unit. Takeru’s also under orders to avoid interacting with anyone who might change the timeline, but when Sumika corners him on the street, what can he do? Upon his return, Yuuko has another surprise for him: she finally reveals the nature of Kasumi’s powers, and her creation as a Soviet lab-grown psychic as part of the failed Alternative III project.

  • Muv-Luv Alternative Steam trailer

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Episode 25: Submit to App Store

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Build: iOS 10 SDK Development, Chapter 12

The app is ready to make its debut… now what? In the final video of this series, we look at how to polish your app for submission to the App Store by giving it a proper app icon and launch screen, clean up the build and version numbers. Then we show how to do archive builds, manage them in the organizer, and set up the metadata on Apple’s developer and iTunes Connect websites to upload your build, send it to testers with TestFlight, and finally submit it for approval to go on the store.

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Play: jukebeat

Konami’s Dance Dance Revolution games for iOS are lost to the 32-bit-pocalypse, but they still have several installments of their other music game series on the platform. One is jukebeat, a tap-with-the-music game where your fingers need to keep up with a 4×4 grid of buttons to press. It’s a simple concept and doesn’t require special hardware, but fares merely OK in its mobile version. One sticking point: you only get a miserly three songs to start, and song packs are $4 each.

Read: Muv-Luv Alternative, Episode 5, Part 2

Yuuko’s experiments sending Takeru back to his world start to show signs of progress, as Takeru can briefly return to his old body and re-experience scenes from “Muv-Luv Extra”, but as merely a captive observer to these events, the project still has a long way to go. Takeru also gets an opportunity to speed up history by skipping the volcano evacuation misadventure at Mt. Tengen seen in “Muv-Luv Unlimited”… surely this major change to the timeline can only lead to good things, right?

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Notes

  • With the iOS 10 SDK Development material now completed, I’m going to take a couple weeks’ hiatus to plan, organize, and figure out what’s next. Watch the invalidstream.com website or @invalidstream on Twitter for an announcement about when livestreams will resume.

Episode 24: Where’s the Boom?

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Build: iOS 10 SDK Development, Chapter 11

Our podcast app works, but how do we keep it working? What happens when we screw something up? In this episode, we look at Xcode’s debugging tools, which let us investigate problems while the app is running, either in the simulator or on the device. We can investigate the values of variables, issue commands, preview images, and step through the code one line at a time to figure out what’s going on.

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Play: Madden NFL

For decades, the “Madden” franchise has been the dominant name in videogame football, even more so after obtaining a long-term exclusive license with the NFL. On consoles, the game is a deep simulation of real football that lets you play games for fun or run an entire season. On mobile, however, it’s a different story. Here, the game is loaded up with user-engagement gimmicks: daily tasks, multiple currency systems, stamina that runs out and makes you pay to play more… the usual abuses of in-app purchase games. Also, it sometimes lets you play a little football.

Read: Muv-Luv Alternative, Episode 5, Part 1

Takeru wakes on Yuuko’s sofa to find out why he’s there: she can now confirm that in his dreams, his consciousness has been returning to his original world, the timeline of Muv-Luv Extra. With this development, she’s now ready to take the next step: sending Takeru back to his world mentally and physically, albeit temporarily, so he can get the equations from that world’s Yuuko that this one needs in order to complete the 00 Unit and save Alternative IV.

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Episode 23: One Ugly Mug

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Build: iOS 10 SDK Development, Chapter 10 (part 2)

Last episode, we got our podcast player actually working by using a navigation controller to transition from the episode list scene to the player scene. That uses the default forward-and-back navigation. This episode, we look at other kinds of segues: a modal segue to take us to a scene where we can add a new podcast feed to the list, and an exit segue to back out of it when done.

NOTE: I had a demo fail when recording this live, so the last five minutes are a reshoot. The code is the same, I just needed to scroll to the bottom of the list to find the new episodes. The reshoot also adds a bit about cleaning up images in reusable table view cells.

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Play: Fake Cuphead

For a few hours on December 18, 2017, the much-praised game CUPHEAD was available on the iOS App Store. Only, it wasn’t actually CUPHEAD. The app was a fake, using assets stolen from the original PC / XBox One game and ported to a somewhat-convincing mobile version of the original. It’s actually playable, so it’s not a surprise that it got past App Review. The real question is how it was created, and how the creators thought they’d ever get away with it.

  • Fake Cuphead is no longer available on the iOS App Store

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

With the new OS installed on Chizuru and Ayamine’s TSFs, their team breezes to victory in the first mock battle, saving Takeru precious time by avoiding infighting between those two. But now he has a new problem: Mikoto’s dad, a man of many secrets, appears unannounced in Yuuko’s office. And he is clearly up to something.

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