A new project
Posted on August 29, 2013 at 01:47
So in my spare time over the last few weeks, I decided to learn a bit about electronics. I've been toying with Arduinos for quite a while but I hadn't really devoted myself to a project, so I decided to make an LED wall... or at least try. An LED wall is essentially a small display made with a 2D matrix of LEDs. There are electronics kits you can buy which have them pre-built, and control them with arduinos like this: http://spod.cx/blog/driving_8x8_led_displays_arduino.shtml
Since I didn't know anything about how something like this would be created, I was basically learning from the ground up... so I learned about Charlie-plexing, which is a method to control a large number of devices with very few digital pins, and I learned about how digital pins have three modes instead of just two, which allow for special uses. I also revised the common mathematical theorem for controling LEDs with Charlieplexing to work with RGB LEDs, since the usual number is determined assuming that an LED only needs one ground wire.
I ended up finishing it after a while... messed up once on the control scheme and altered the power lines to use 35 pins instead of the ideal 27 to control 100 RGB LEDs. Here is a test video of it running a marquee: http://files.64digits.com/SleepinJohnnyFish/VID_20130828_224021_528.mp4
For reference, here is a clip showing the back (That's 400 solder points on the LEDs plus 36 on a small outer board for the resistors, all plugged into an Arduino 2560: http://files.64digits.com/SleepinJohnnyFish/VID_20130810_192331_552.mp4
The next build I'm planning will be 32x32, built onto non-conductive wire spanning across a PVC pipe frame so that it can be hung up on a wall. For comparison, that's 1024 LEDs instead of 100, so it is significantly larger and more complex... and it will require an ideal connection layout to the Arduino to even fit the amount of digital ports needed...
Wish me luck.
Posted on October 09, 2012 at 15:59
I just took part in a Code-a-thon at the Mashery in San Francisco this last weekend. The theme was "Changing health habits for the better" (aka eliminating bad habits or encouraging good habits). There were main prizes and sponsor prizes (for using new APIs in interesting ways). Out of 23 teams, my team took second place overall ($3,000 and a "deep dive" monetization strategy meeting if we want to go forward with the app) and first place in the FoodEssentials sponsor LabelAPI usage (Kindle Fire HD for each team member).
I had a great time, and I wanted to invite anyone in the San Francisco Bay Area to the next Code-a-thon / Hack-a-thon I'll be at. This one is based around a new UIKit in iOS 6, and will be held at VonChurch HQ (VonChurch is a recruiting company) during a networking event (which anyone looking for work should be going to anyway).
The details are here:
There's also going to be a GameJam in the city this weekend which I'll be at:
One week to GDC 2012
Posted on February 27, 2012 at 12:44
GDC 2012 begins in 7 days. I was wondering if any of you go or have gone to GDC, and whether you'll be going this year? I try to go every year, and this year I'll be there all week. Since I live in the Bay Area now, it's just a trip on the train in the morning to get there every day, so it's much less hassle than usual.
I'll be trying to get a few people to give me directions on which way my newest project should go. I've got a basic engine built and some gameplay in, but it's all very generic and I need to decide on a hook for the game.
I'll be a Conference Associate this year, meaning I'll be a volunteer working for the conference. If you've never been to GDC, it's a great way to get a free full access pass and meet the speakers and the people behind the conference. You basically trade 20 hours of work for more networking in the industry than you can shake a stick at. This will be my second year of it and it's indescribable. It's too late to sign up for it this year for anyone interested, but you should all look into it. Registration will probably open in September for next year's CA program.
If anyone wants to meet up and talk about game development stuff during GDC, just drop me a line. I've been in the industry three years now and I'm doing pretty well so I should be able to help steer any aspiring kids in the right direction. If you bring me something to show like your art or game prototypes, I'll give you an honest review and tell you what you need to do to them to get hired for your first job.
Up and Onward
Posted on January 11, 2012 at 04:03
As some of you may know, I left 64Digits for the most part about three years ago during college. I had a lot to do in a short amount of time and it just fell to the wayside in the midst of the life story blog trend. Since then I graduated directly into the height of the recession (September '08) and ended up taking a job with Petroglyph Games in Las Vegas. I went from there to Bally Technologies to work on embedded systems in the digital casino games industry. From there I went on to G2 Game Design, doing design and math work alongside programming prototypes and tools.
I've been in Las Vegas too long (not just for social reasons but also because I don't want to be trapped in digital casino games), and just this Friday I accepted a great job in San Francisco. I'll be moving within the next week and a half and starting before the end of the month, so it's all a big rush to get everything ready for my move and find a proper place to move or a place to stay until I find a proper place to move. I have it all under control, so I'm not looking for help here, it's just worth mentioning that I'm a bit scared of the move, since the last move was for my first job and this is for my first big industry jump (big pay bump, very different / strange city).
I just wanted to let you all know that I'll be in San Francisco working for BigPoint Games and although I don't really come here often, I am still interested in meeting anyone who would like to hang out once I'm situated in the city, and possible anyone looking to learn C/C++ or needing advice on entering the industry. So if anyone is interested, shoot me a message or leave a comment.
IGTM Official Trailer
Posted on June 21, 2011 at 12:45
Hey guys. I'm sure a few of you have heard of this but just in case you haven't:
Indie Game: The Movie is in the final stages of production and they just released an official trailer. I'm one of the official backers of the movie and I just wanted to share it with you guys. It follows the creators of Braid, Fez, and Super Meat Boy throughout production and their psychological states during production as well as what independent gaming means to them and why they do what they do. It's really looking great so far and I think you all should check out the trailer on their site if you have some time today.
Trailer on Vimeo: