Touch table Broom Servce

I’ve completed my touch table conversion of the game Broom Service. We were introduced to Broom Service at Essen. One of the many good games that we learned about on that trip.

In Broom Service, the players compete to gather resources, move around the map and deliver potions. The interesting mechanic is that in each round, players select four of ten cards to play. When you play a card you can play it bravely, betting that other players haven’t selected that same card, and get a bonus. Or you can play it cowardly.

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Violin progress

I started learning violin in May 2009 and took lessons from September 2009 through July 2015. My violin instructor had me work on the material in the Suzuki books (while not really using the full Suzuki method). In June 2012 I had my first recital. At this point I was in Suzuki book 7 and had practiced for 1900 hours. I made a blog post about the recital and my progress and you can watch a video:

After stopping lessons two years ago, I’ve been going back through the Suzuki books trying to play the pieces with more polish and at the correct speed. I’ve gotten back to the piece I played at my first recital. I’ve practiced violin for 4400 hours now and I’ve worked on this piece for three months and have not yet been able to play it at full speed. I’m planning to keep working on it and might update this post if I do get it up to full speed.

Here is a video of a practice run. This doesn’t have the piano accompaniment, is out of focus and has a few errors, but it shows the difference between now and five years ago.

It is a bit strange listening to the difference. From my perspective while playing, it doesn’t feel like I am playing any faster than I was five years ago. That sounds crazy, and of course there are some things that do feel very different, but the feeling of doing something just as fast as I can without losing control is the same now playing at 100 bpm as it was five years ago playing at 65 bpm.

For reference, here is a professional recording of the piece:

This is about 10% faster than I can play it, and I also need to clean up a few of the fast runs before I am satisfied.

Moving data from MySQL to Google Sheets with PHP

I recently needed to pull data from a database and add it to a google spreadsheet. Google provides an API for working with Sheets, but like many of their APIs, the documentation isn’t great. I’ve got my program working and figured I’d document my steps for future me and anyone else who needs it.
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Board game programming tutorial – Part 3

This is the third part in my tutorial for converting a board game for a touch table using Unity.

The first part covered all our reuse code and conventions, setup the project and created a main menu.

The second part built the UI for a very simple game called “No Thanks!”.

This part will write the events to control the game, add buttons to the UI for the players to use to play the game, and finally add animations to the game.

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Board game programming tutorial – Part 2

This is the second part in my tutorial for converting a board game for a touch table using unity.

The first part covered all our reuse code and conventions, setup the project and created a main menu.

This part will build the game and player UIs for a very simple game called “No Thanks!”.

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Board game programming tutorial

Now that I have created several board game conversions in Unity, I thought that it might be useful to create a tutorial that describes the process that I go through to make a game.

In this tutorial, I’ll start with a common set of code from prior games and some basic art. I’ll create a new Unity project, import all the reuse code and plugins that I use, and make a complete game.

There is a set of videos to go along with this post which show all the steps that I perform in the Unity game builder.

I’ve also saved my Unity project at a few points along the way so that you can skip ahead or make sure that your project matches mine.

In this post, I’m going to cover all the reuse code and the reasoning behind it. I’ll setup the project, import all the plugins, scripts and assets that I’ll need. Then I’ll build the main menu.

In the next post, I’ll build the UI for the game itself and create the scripts for modeling the game. In the third and final part, I’ll add game control events and animations. Continue reading “Board game programming tutorial”

Touch table Village

I’ve completed a touch-table version of the board game Village.

Village has an interesting mechanic where you manage the life and death of your workers. All your workers start as farmers and can be trained as specialists. Actions take “time” to perform, and when enough “time” has passed, a worker dies. A limited number of each type of worker is rewarded with fame and victory points upon death while the rest get an anonymous grave. The key is making the best use of your workers and their time while  trying to arrange a good death.

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Websocket server for remote connections to touch table games

I am considering creating a system for touch table games so that they can be played both by people sitting around the table and by individuals at their own computer.

This post will talk about what I’d like to do and show the steps that I’ve taken to setup a websocket server on my domain and to connect to it from Unity.

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Year in Review – 2016

Overall 2016 was a good year for us. We remain healthy and are enjoying making touch table games. We did less traveling than we did in 2015, but we made more games. We went to New York to visit my brother and his two kids. We also took a trip to San Carlos with our friend Doug. Between the two of us, we made 13 games for the touch table bringing our total to 62. I am still playing violin and got a new five string electric violin this year.

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50’s Era Hit Parader Magazine

I was going through some of my Grandmother’s old magazines and thought I’d scan a couple of issues of “Hit Parader” so that I could share them.

Hit Parader was a popular music magazine that was published from 1942 – 2008. In the 80’s they switched their focus to metal music.

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