Monthly Archives: October 2010

TASOAE: 028

And here’s the start of a storyline! This comic occurred before people started criticizing our new president, Midgley, for being a terrible president. By the end of the year, he was labeled as a sociopath, there were rallies against him, and secret memos were being passed around accusing him of all manner of awful things.

“Koso” is evidently the Japanese onomatopoeia for sneaking.

TASOAE: 027

Apologies for the break in publication; I kept meaning to get around to fixing the scheduling, and only now have done so.

A decent observation in the first panel, here; even as a sophomore, freshmen seemed tiny and adorable. This is a case of explaining a visual joke, though, which automatically weakens it. The rest of the comic is “ha, ha, Cthulhu is a misanthrope,” which is a tired joke by this point. Slightly redeemed by the implications of “bring me my supper” (he eats people!), but I think that was an unintended reading. The tagline at the bottom suggests I realized this one was a bit weak.

Saving Professor Booster: Choice and Agency in Cave Story

Cave Story is a classic of the indie games movement. It single-handedly showed many people that a single developer could make a game with dated graphics that was as good as AAA commercial games. This was already clear to some, but Cave Story‘s prominence means that it has heavily inspired much of the work done by the modern indie games culture. There are a lot of things that Cave Story does well; its handling of mood and narrative structure are great, as well as its balancing of humor and pathos. One thing it does badly at, however, is providing the player with effective choice and agency.
Continue reading Saving Professor Booster: Choice and Agency in Cave Story

Bizarre Variable Naming Issue With iPhone Packager for Flash

I posted the other night about my difficulties with Adobe’s iPhone packager for Flash, the program that lets you convert a Flash app into an iPhone app. I’ve managed to track down at least one of the issues that’s been eluding me, but it’s a doozy.

If I name an embedded bitmap resource “sprBatteries,” the app hangs at startup on the iPhone.

I can name it “sprDryCells” or “sprBatteriesX,” and it works fine. I can replace the resource PNG with a PNG I know works elsewhere, but if I name it “sprBatteries,” the app hangs. The app runs fine on my desktop. I believe (although I haven’t done systematic testing to confirm) that it works on the iPhone if I compile it as a simple AS3 app using the Flex compiler instead of compiling it as an AIR app. The resource variable name doesn’t collide with any others in the project.

If you’re not a programmer, let me explain that this behavior is bizarre. Variable names are totally arbitrary. As long as you don’t use any prohibited characters, you can name a variable anything you want. A college friend of mine liked to call his loop iterators “taco.” Many languages/compilers won’t even bother remembering the variable names once the source code is turned into a program. Flash happens to record theirs in the compiled SWF for various reasons, but there’s no sensible reason why “sprBatteries” should be treated differently than “sprBatteriesX.”

I give up on AIR for iPhone unless someone can get me a solution. I’ll see if I can get this running in simple AS3 without any hardware APIs, but it’s unlikely that my final product will contain any accelerometer input (for example). This is frustrating, and I’ve spend a total of over 12 hours fighting with this thing. Adobe hasn’t represented this as a finished product, and rightfully so. In its current form (and assuming I haven’t overlooked something simple), the Packager for iPhone is not ready for use in serious AIR development.

Interviewed by Casual Girl Gamer

I got interviewed by Casual Girl Gamer. They asked me about various things, including art and success, and I gave them some information on my current projects that I’d never talked about publicly before.

Check out the interview on their site.

I enjoyed the interview, and I like doing interviews in general. They make me think about what I’m doing and how I’m doing it, and often my answers are a bit of a surprise even to myself. If you want to interview me for something, like your church newsletter or your Fortean literary periodical, you’re welcome to e-mail me at Gregory.Weir@gmail.com.