The July Hiatus

Treetops

Has it really been an entire month since I’ve posted here?  it honestly doesn’t seem like it.  I’ve visited the blog frequently (every day), and though I’ve had a lot of ideas for things I’ve wanted to post, and have even written a fair amount of half-finished articles, I never got around to posting much of it all.

I guess I’ve been a bit busy.  Not enough to completely excuse me from my absence here, but pretty busy.  Since I feel like I owe an explanation to anyone who’s been visiting the site and wondering what happened to me, I’ll briefly run through everything I’ve been up to.

To kick things off, I got myself a new bike a little over a month ago.  My girlfriend and I have enjoyed going for walks on the roads and trails near our apartment since we moved here, and we both thought it would be fun to have bikes to better take advantage of the bike paths, as well as for a simple form of local transportation.  So far, it’s been a lot of fun to be able to hop on a bike and jet around the area for a bit, and it’s also been a good amount of exercise.  So long as the weather stays reasonable, I’m sure we’ll be doing this for many months to come this year (if not the entire year).

I also started putting a more serious effort into re-tooling the Reflect system / website, and though I’ve only been able to dig into a little bit of the core system so far, I’m happy with the way things are turning out on this front as well.  Reflect has grown to include a lot of talented members of the Game Maker community, and I want to provide these developers with as much function as possible, as well as make the system more attractive to other developers who might be considering putting in an application to use it.  I’ll elaborate on all that later though, as I make more progress with it.

In order to help me develop the new Reflect assets, I also decided to get myself a laptop.  Up until now, I’ve not had a laptop, and have used my desktop computer for everything.  I’m still partial to my desktop, because I enjoy the power and comfort of the desk / chair, but I am happy to be able to get away from the “computer room” at my apartment, too.  One of the biggest hurdles for getting started on new projects lately has been having to spend lots of time cooped up in the back room in my apartment, and now that I am free of this burden, I’ve been able to do a lot more.

I’ve also had the chance to see a few movies.  My girlfriend and I have watched Public Enemies, Harry Potter and the Half blood Prince, Proposal, and a bunch of random rented flicks.  My brother and I saw The Hangover as well.  I enjoyed all of them, and in my opinion, it’s been a pretty good summer for movies.

Last weekend, I went hiking with my girlfriend and a few members of her family down at the John Muir Woods national park.  It was beautiful, and the I had a great time marching up and down the hills with everyone.

As you might have guessed at with my new bike and the hiking, I’ve been trying to spend a little more time exercising.  I’ve also been trying to get in more time with my girlfriend.  And since all of these things take a significant amount of time by themselves, I’m sure you can imagine how its been with it all happening at once.

I will try to update the blog more often than monthly intervals, of course.  I’ve still got to post the editable version of my long-abandoned competition entry, as well as my animated water texture tutorial.  I’ll get around to those soon!

Thanks for reading, and staying faithful enough to come back and find this new post!  More to come soon, hopefully!

5 comments:

  1. Zakreon - Over a year ago

    Sounds like the time away from the blog hasn’t been wasted! I think its funny that you almost reluctantly went from desktop to laptop, when I went from laptop to even smaller laptop.

    http://i25.tinypic.com/1z1s7bn.jpg

    There next to my normal laptop is an ASUS N10J, basically a gaming netbook.

    Otherwise it’s nice to see a post, I’ve been checking in for the past few days almost expecting a new post, glad you didn’t disappoint!

    1. Martin - Over a year ago

      Hehe, no prob!

      To be honest, I almost got a netbook myself – they’re so cheap it’s hard for me not to want to get one, and I like the ultra-portability of them. It’s a cool idea to be able to tote a small computer where you go, and since programming / website work generally doesn’t require much CPU / GPU horsepower, it would have probably served me almost just as well.

      I ended up siding with something with a little more power, and with a larger screen for a few reasons. First, since I use the laptop for website programming, I wanted to get one with a more standard sized screen (17″ widescreen), so I could view websites in their horizontal entirety, and so things look at least similar in proportion to how they do on my desktop screen (22″ widescreen). Second, I figured that if I was going to do any GM programming on the laptop, I might as well make sure it has the power to run the games decently. The GPU (1Gb ATI Radeon HD Mobility 4650) is probably overkill for most GM games, but I’d rather have too much power than too little.

      The cost for all that, of course, is a not-so-long battery life, and a loss of (some) portability. But since I’m using the laptop mostly around my apartment (but away from the computer room), it’s not really an issue for me. I don’t really plan on bringing it out to Starbucks or Panera, so it works out fine. I’m still getting used to typing on a low profile keyboard though – I keep hitting caps lock on accident!

  2. Mattthew_H - Over a year ago

    Yeah, I was wondering where you went :P

    I can’t wait to see what the comp-entry looks like. From the previous screenshot, it looks pretty good.

    Anyway, I hope to read more soon.

    PS: Bike riding is heaps of run. Mountain bike riding is even better – well, depends where you live really. Since I live in the country, bike riding anywhere is run.

    1. Martin - Over a year ago

      Well to be fair, my comp entry is pretty basic as it is. That’s not to say that there aren’t some things in there that I am happy to have created – the camera system was very nice, and I liked the (unfinished) driving physics as well. It probably wasn’t worth the wait though, so I regret that it has taken me this so long to get it on the site.

      But yeah, bike riding is indeed fun! I grew up in the mountains, so I’m more akin to mountain biking as well, though there isn’t too much of that where I live now. The bike paths / trails nearby are nice though, so it’s a good experience, even if it’s not quite the same as when I was younger. I prefer it to walking / running too, because I just feel like you’re getting more out of it when I can travel farther and feel the wind going by. :)

  3. Mattthew_H - Over a year ago

    haha, as simple as an upload :P
    I’m sure it can’t be to bad though. There hasn’t been many good quality driving games made with GM for a long time (In fact, I can’t even think of a good quality one!).

    Anyway, keep up the exercise! ;)

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