Category: Tutorials

How to Make Dance Dance Revolution Mats Slip-Proof

This post contains affiliate links so that, if you buy these things through these links, I get a little dosh for showing you how to alter your DDR mats so you don’t slip, fall, and die like an old lady.

So me and Simon recently got back into Guitar Hero and we decided to get back into DDR while we were at it. I still had my favorite DDR game, Dance Dance Revolution Extreme 2, but we needed new mats to play it.

I did a lot of research on them and basically found that unless you were willing to shell out a few hundred for a metal mat, your home options are pretty shit. You either get the fold up mats which bunch up when you get too furious in the feets or you get the kind with foam inside, but the buttons are less responsive because the backing is less solid. On top of this, we have hardwood floors in my apartment so slippage was going to be an issue with either mat, but I was leaning toward the foam-insert ones since I knew we’d also need some impact cushioning. We get achy feet after only a few Guitar Hero songs worth of just standing on these floors, so I knew actually dancing was going to hurt too.

However, the foam ones are a bit more expensive and I didn’t want to pay a lot in case we ended up not being as into it as adults (see: the time we went to a roller skating rink and I fell multiple times, hurting my old lady knees and elbows). So I bought two of the fold-up kind that I had as a kid and came up with a plan to improve them.

I am so fuckin’ excited to tell you about this because honestly, I thought this was gonna end up being some hackneyed plan that only kinda worked, but holy shit. When I was done with them, these mats did. not. move. When Simon saw how well this plan worked, he hugged and kissed me because what a glorious gift it is to be engaged to a woman as brilliant as me.

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Cheap, Easy, and Cute Lighting for Twitch and YouTube Stream Webcams in Small Spaces

This post contains affiliate links so that if you buy these things – at no additional cost to you – I can make a little extra cash for showing you how to inexpensively light your facecams.

So about a year back, I made a brief attempt at being a camgirl. (Don’t get excited, it’s was non-nude and I wasn’t cut out for it.) In preparing for that venture, I did a lot of research and learned that you’re expected to light your feed so that your viewers can actually see you. So I bought this lighting kit and assembled it in front of my desk. (I still use this kit for filming clips, and would recommend it if you need something for that.) It worked out pretty great until I wanted to rearrange my office and put the back of my desk up against a wall.

Before, I had plenty of space for these two giant umbrellas to stand in front of me. In my desk’s new location, though, there was no way to position them correctly. The only place to put one – and only one – was far off to one side so that dark shadows would be cast on the right side of my face in my feed. By this point, I had given up on camming, and instead of had decided to try Twitch. On Twitch, lighting is also pretty crucial because the facecam is an important part of connecting with viewers there too.

A thought then occurred to me: what if I just stick a selfie light on my webcam? Selfie lights are small, but give off enough light to take good cellphone pictures. They should be bright enough to light my face if I’m sitting a foot and a half away right? Most people take selfies from farther than that. Then I followed the next logical conclusion to that thought: I wonder if someone has made a webcam with a selfie light built in.

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Brookstone Axent Cat Headphone Review and Gaming Compatibility Fixes

The following post includes affiliate links to products on amazon.com. If you buy these things via these links, I get a commission at no additional cost to you. They haven’t sent me any of these things for free, nor have they asked me to write about these products. I just figured if I send them business, I may as well get compensated for it.

For my birthday a few months ago, my boyfriend Simon bought me a pair of these Cat Ear Headphones (Update (12/7/17): now there’s an improved and upgraded wireless version that changes colors and supposedly has fewer wiring issues). Not only do they feature the pointy cat ears, but they also light up and can be used as speakers in order to share one’s music; or in my case inflict it on others. They are incredibly novel and also incredibly expensive. So it was incredibly harrumphing that they do not work as expected straight out of the box.

I mean, they work just fine as headphones so I’m not exactly crying false advertisement. And I suppose technically they could be used for gaming, if that game were on a cellphone or possibly the Nintendo DS. Because the headset uses a 4-pin jack, which combines the headphones and the mic into a single cable, you can’t use it with most PC’s which have separate jacks for audio and mic. I am to understand that the current generation of gaming consoles are compatible with the 4-pin jack, but it leaves us last-gen plebians with our dicks hangin’ out.

Nonetheless, it is possible to make these headphones interface with both the PC and the PlayStation 3. It requires more equipment, sure, but for some it is a worthwhile endeavor.

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Don’t Make Overkill’s Mistake: The Art of the Tease

So let’s talk about teasing. Overkill has had a inconsistent record in using the tease to garner (sigh) hype, sometimes to great effect, sometimes to the annoyance of their playerbase.

Specifically, though, I want to talk about the Clover teasers from Crimefest, the Halloween 2014 event, and the Historical Pack.

The Clover teasing started out well but then devolved into inelegance near the end.

Don’t make Overkill’s mistake…

Don’t Make Overkill’s Mistake: Release Scheduling

So most of you are probably already aware of the term “Valve Time”, but for the uninitiated, Valve Time works like this. Valve Software will say that they’re going to release a thing by a certain date. That date comes and goes with no word. Maybe three months or so later they release the thing, but the thing is beautiful, complete, and for the most part, glitch free.

By contrast, there’s Overkill Time. Which is not really a thing, just something I’ve made up.

Overkill doesn’t really do release dates. There have been some vague ones. May for the Alesso Heist. Next Fall for sound updates. For the most part, they seem to prefer the surprise element of springing updates on players. I assume the surprise of it is what they like about not having a public production schedule because Overkill actually doesn’t take advantage of the opening they give themselves. Even without needing to meet a deadline, they publish glitchy, broken, ugly shit.

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Don’t Make Overkill’s Mistake: Lack of Authenticity (or ;) )

So ;). You knew I was gonna have to talk about it.

During her dinner with Almir Listo, my friend confirmed what I had always suspected about his over-reliance on this emoticon. It’s a canned response he developed to questions he’s not at liberty to answer. It’s meant to be cheeky and coy, to offset the fact that you’re not getting a straight answer, but it just reads as evasive and smarmy since he uses it so often.

Look, anyone worth a damn knows that sometimes you just can’t answer certain questions when it comes to game development. It’s usually because you don’t want to give away surprises before release date. Sometimes, it’s because you’re testing the feasibility of a feature out and you don’t want to get people’s hopes up only to disappoint them later. I will hand it to Almir that he does know when to keep things under his hat, as opposed to Goldfarb who made promises early on that Overkill is still being asked about three years later (but that’s another post).

But 😉 isn’t just about questions Almir can’t answer. It’s become emblematic of a larger problem with his public presentation.

Don’t make Almir’s mistake.

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Don’t Make Overkill’s Mistake: Introduction

So I noted yesterday that when I began my journal with its singular post, it received a few hits from a user in Sweden who then proceeded to run a search on the rest of my site for “almir listo”. I have a feeling that Google Alerts has something to do with this curious set of coincidences, and so I’ve chosen to write this introduction. It is my guess that this series is what that person was looking for and it didn’t come up because I just haven’t mentioned Almir specifically yet.

I did say in that chat that I was going to write a piece on the Infamy 2.0 reddit AMA and how it could have been handled better. I do still plan to address certain things I saw happening in that thread. As I kept trying to get out everything I wanted to say, however, I realized that even trying to contain myself to just that one PR event was a gargantuan task. There was just no way that I could even begin to talk about how things could be so much better without being painfully tl;dr.

But moreover, as I dug deeper into Almir’s answers, the more I came to feel that trying to speak to him personally, as per an open letter format like I originally tried, was a futile task.

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Setting Up a Sideblog on WordPress

So the other day, I got it into my head that I’d like to start keeping a development log and perhaps journal. I have a LiveJournal and a dreamwidth account, but both of those sites are dead. Additionally, LJ’s interface is total shit and while I like dreamwidth’s ye olde interface, their theming options are way more complex than they need to be. I don’t have the time or patience to work on that. Getting this site’s shit together was hard enough.

I also have a Tumblr. I could use my main or set up a sideblog, but frankly, I think Tumblr is shit for actually posting things that aren’t stolen pictures or inspirational quotes.

Honestly, I like WordPress’ posting interface best, but I also didn’t want frivolous journal posting on my main site. That’s where the completed work goes. So what I needed ideally was another WordPress, except I didn’t want to install an entire other installation on my webserver.

Here is how I accomplished that.

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