Monthly archives "March 2018"

Episode 31: Where the Heck Is Story Card 3?

Preshow

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.

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.

Preview, Episode 31

“Now / Next / Later” bump for the next episode:

Watch the livestream at invalidstream.com/livestream, starting Friday March 30, 2018 at 10 PM ET / 7 PM PT (Sunday 2 AM UTC), with pre-show videos 15 minutes prior.

This week’s pre-show will be particularly foolish…

Also remember that we have a Slack at invalidstream.slack.com. For an invite, email invalidstream [at] gmail.

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.

Preview, Episode 30

“Now / Next / Later” bump for the next episode:

Watch the livestream at invalidstream.com/livestream, starting Friday March 23, 2018 at 10 PM ET / 7 PM PT (Sunday 2 AM UTC), with pre-show videos 15 minutes prior.

Also remember that we have a Slack at invalidstream.slack.com. For an invite, email invalidstream [at] gmail.

Episode 29: All Hands, Prepare for Multiball

Preshow

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.

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 ends April 1.

Preview, Episode 29

“Now / Next / Later” bump for the next episode:

Watch the livestream at invalidstream.com/livestream, starting Friday March 16, 2018 at 10 PM ET / 7 PM PT (Sunday 3 AM UTC), with pre-show videos 15 minutes prior.

Also remember that we have a Slack at invalidstream.slack.com. For an invite, email invalidstream [at] gmail.

Episode 28: 64 Bytes of RAM

Preshow

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?

Encore

Preview, Episode 28

“Now / Next / Later” bump for the next episode:

Watch the livestream at invalidstream.com/livestream, starting Friday March 9, 2018 at 10 PM ET / 7 PM PT (Sunday 3 AM UTC), with pre-show videos 15 minutes prior.

Also remember that we have a Slack at invalidstream.slack.com. For an invite, email invalidstream [at] gmail.

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.

Encore

Preview, Episode 27

“Now / Next / Later” bump for the next episode:

Watch the livestream at invalidstream.com/livestream, starting Friday March 2, 2018 at 10 PM ET / 7 PM PT (Sunday 3 AM UTC), with pre-show videos 15 minutes prior.

Also remember that we have a Slack at invalidstream.slack.com. For an invite, email invalidstream [at] gmail.