Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Why boring tech is good tech: Video and notes

So, some miscellaneous notes:
  • Yes, I do conflate "cell phone" and "smartphone" a bit with the Pew research study (http://www.pewglobal.org/2015/04/15/cell-phones-in-africa-communication-lifeline/) - it's simplifying things a bit, but given that a lot of the functions people were asked about are thought about as smartphone functions in the US (such as payments) and that this is about the general trend, I stand by glossing over some details there. 
  • This video actually started as an attempt to review the Dell P2715Q monitor, which is not mentioned at all in the video, or even the idea of a 4k monitor. 
  • Other things that used to be prominent in the video that are no longer there: Cisco, Adobe Creative Suite, and my history of owning smartphones. It's amazing how much the story you're trying to tell changes as you work on it. 
  • I'm more than aware that the table of phones image is a little out of date - there's only so much you can do with Creative Commons images sometimes
  • No, I wasn't going out of my way to use the Baby Steve Jobs picture again, but I can't possibly turn down that opportunity. 
  • On a related note, I may find more reason to use the hobby horse - I'm happier with that than I should be, and I'm pretty sure no one else will care. 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Why programming isn't for everyone (especially me): Video and notes

  • You can tell that I have the script and audio done by the time I start the animation itself - I never would have called animation "Difficult if enjoyable" if I actually was in the middle of the process when I wrote it. 
  • I may have made this because I have spent so much of my life trying to explain to people why I'm not a developer - it seems like a natural fit for me, but just does not work at all, but I couldn't really explain why until I started writing this video.
  • This took far longer than it needed to. I had basically all the animation done first week of June, but then medical issues put me out of commission for a week, and I spent another several weeks recovering/getting back up to speed. It's just so easy to be lazy, and getting back on the horse is ridiculously difficult for me. 

Let's Play Donkey Kong Country Part 17: Monarchical Demotion

  • I'm not sure there's anything to add. Said a lot at the end of the video. Not sure what the next game's going to be, or if I know by the time this goes up, then... well, just wait and see. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Let's Play Donkey Kong Country Part 16: Yet another "Not Again"


  • Yet again with the armadillos - it was in the second level, first video. Really bad sign. 
  • I cut out more deaths and faffing about than I knew what to do with. This video was short because it was just a couple of levels, and there was just a lot of nothing that happened in the course of trying to finish the last level. 

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Let's Play Donkey Kong Country Part 15: No Way Out But Through


  • The issue with the armadillos was in the second level of the game. It's not the most incompetent I was on this playthrough, but it's really bad for so early in the game

Monday, June 26, 2017

Let's Play Donkey Kong Country Part 14: The Unhelpful Tire


  • To really pull back the curtain, I'm not entirely happy about the way the audio came out here on my commentary. I was experimenting with dynamic processing to create a noise gate to try and see if I could make the audio editing process not take so long, and... while it would do that, it needs some fine tuning to avoid some small issues with the audio here and there (I was a little too aggressive with it, leaving some words awkwardly cut off, and going back and spending yet another 45 minutes fixing it isn't at all appealing). 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Let's Play Donkey Kong Country Part 13: The end is easier than the beginning


  • Yes, I have referenced the power going out in a video before. Not sure why I said I thought that I did - I know that I did, and I'm pretty sure that I did at the time, so why did I say it like that? I really have no idea. 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Let's Play Donkey Kong Country Part 12: Not Banjo-Kazooie


  • I probably wouldn't have made the Banjo-Kazooie reference if I hadn't played through it recently. Not promising a time table, but I really want to do a Let's Play for that game in the future. 

Monday, June 5, 2017

Let's Play Donkey Kong Country Part 11: You have to admire evil

Misc notes:

  • In Oil Drum Alley, I had Donkey Kong in the lead early because it's much easier to get the hidden bonus level with Diddy - it might only be possible with Diddy, since I can't recall ever getting it as Donkey Kong. 
  • I mixed up Trick Track Trek and Platform Perils. We'll get to that one later...

Monday, May 29, 2017

Let's Play Donkey Kong Country Part 10: Misleading barrel


  • Bright, flashy lights are where having really good eyesight starts to become a curse. I don't mean that as "poor me, my eyesight is too good", but it gets in the way of some games (or anything else abusing artificial lens flares).
  • I don't really have anything else to say - sometimes, the videos speak for themselves. 

Friday, May 26, 2017

Let's Play Donkey Kong Country Part 9: NOstalgia

Misc. Notes:

  • Admittedly, the investigation on my part in Croctopus Chase was just checking the Wiki - I can and will sink hours into fruitless investigation while missing the obvious, so after one unsuccessful attempt... It's the best for my sanity. 
  • I didn't really get into it with the commentary, but as hinted by my reaction to Cranky (and the video title), I hate nostalgia. I realize the irony of that on videos made about a 23 year old game, but it's a pet peeve of mine that I don't have time to go through in detail here, so suffice it to say... I hate when people get caught up in, pushy, and insistent about nostalgia. Thinking that things used to be so much better than they are now is annoying at best, but usually horribly wrong. 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Don't switch to Dvorak: Video and notes

Some notes:

  • I'm not going to say that I made this video just for the sake of doing that keyboard scrambling animation, but that was something that I really wanted to do.
  • This was the first video that I made with After Effects in mind from the time I started the animation process (I did Video games are hacking my brain! in After Effects, but that was a late decision), which strikes me as being a much better workflow once I actually start to understand After Effects. 
  • I realize as I write this that it's been not quite a year since I switched to Dvorak (early June, 2016), and I've completely forgotten how QWERTY works now, which makes using anyone else's computer excessively awkward.
  • As noted in the description, I got a lot of inspiration for this from Episode 29 of the Cortex podcast - that was the thing that convinced me to try making the change, and I have had so many fewer RSI issues since. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Let's Play Donkey Kong Country Part 8: The power didn't go out this time...

Misc. notes:

  • The podcast I was referring to was episode 28 of Cortex. Are you interested by in depth conversations about to-do apps? If so, you've found nirvana. 
  • I had a prior recording attempt of this level during which the power went out, the console stayed on, my laptop stayed on, but the capture card shut off, and it took me 30 minutes to get everything working again. That's what I mentioned at the end, and after that... best option I saw was to start over. 
  • I didn't intend for the video to have so many Raocow-esque chipmunk segments, but that's just the way it went. At least I did the pitch adjustment so they didn't sound completely ridiculous (I was basically impossible to understand beforehand)
  • I talk about the recording time because, due to being an idiot, I started recording, then spent 5 minutes doing things that I should have done before, so the times looked really different than I would have expected - much longer. I also had no idea I would speed up so many segments of the video while I was recording

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Let's Play Donkey Kong Country Part 7

Miscellaneous notes:
  • Made this one stupidly short because I didn't want to make the one right before really long, and I don't think that short videos are a bad thing. I also like starting a new world at the start of a video, so I wasn't going to go further in this video. 
  • In case you can't guess, I'm referring to Rambi Rumble as the level that gave me nightmares. As a kid, I stopped there and was playing old levels for a while, I really didn't want to see that part of that one level again. It's the music change that really did it. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The change in focus

Yes, this blog has changed a significant amount, and I've not been as upfront with that as I could have been. That's entirely my fault, and I'm really sorry for that.

All of my comic stuff has moved elsewhere. It's now Indie Comic News, which is where my reviews, occasional news posts, and longer pieces about comics.

Most of what I've been posting here are videos that I've been working on, and that's an important thing that I want to do. I'm doing videos at Ravenous Badger Video and Ravenous Badger Gaming, but I'm going to make an effort to use the blog as almost the footnotes section for those - there's always something that got cut (for a reason), and if you want more little bits of information, it's here.

This is also for the various random things that I want to do, unconnected to those specific projects. Something that I want to write about that doesn't fit anywhere else, other one-off things, or just new experiments - this is where those things are going to be.

Again, I should have been more upfront about this, but now you know.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Let's Play Donkey Kong Country Part 6

Miscellaneous notes:

  • I really tried on the positivity. I think I did a decent job, but it's hard when it feels like the level is actively antagonizing you. 
  • This video was specifically an experiment in tighter and more rapid editing - I didn't do the recording differently, but I was trying to make the video go faster once I sat down to edit it. I'm not entirely happy with how it went, but I think it's an improvement. 
  • For some weird reason, this is one of a couple places where the Game Boy Advance version of the game differs rather remarkably from the Super Nintendo version. Temple Tempest is moved to the last level of the world before the boss, with the other levels here shifted up. Similar things are done in the next two worlds. If there's a reason why the development team made that decision, I'm not sure what it is. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Let's Play Donkey Kong Country Part 5

  • It was about 8 weeks between the prior recording and recording this video, including a completely different physical setup (I have a desk dedicated to recording now!). Despite my efforts, I think you can still hear me moving the chair and things on my desk around. Audio is difficult sometimes. 
  • What I meant to say about save points: The placement of save points was always weird for me. I remember taking forever to get through K. Rool's Keep in Donkey Kong Country 2 because the save point doesn't come until after the first level, which I found really hard, and then I was stuck there by lack of Funky's Flights after unlocking the second level. Games of that era had a tendency to get you caught in awkward places like that - being able to save anywhere is a great feature of more modern games. 

Monday, April 3, 2017

I'm doing Let's Play videos: Donkey Kong Country

I've loved Let's Play videos for a while now. I've watched them for years now, and I've also made them from time to time…and I'm continuing that now, just here now.

I'm starting off with Donkey Kong Country, a game that I grew up around, but didn't really play that much when I was growing up - other kids I knew had it; I had the sequel. It's still a game that I like, so I thought I'd play my way through it. It's not like I'm trying to show people a game they didn't know, or play through something really well in a way you haven't seen before - I'm just doing something I like seeing other people do in their Let's Play videos: play through something and have fun with it.

I have a few videos up, and as there's something to say about the videos, you'll see more posts here to go along with the ones that have something to say with them.

So far, there are these:

Part 1:

First videos are always a little rough, but I did what I could here.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

A foray into (terribly) animated little videos

The short explanation here is that I've been doing some video work recently. It's over at Ravenous Badger Video. It's something that I've been wanting to do for a while, and now that time is here.

Call Centers F$^%ing suck - in which I complain about exactly the job you expect from the title.

This Video Will Help You Work - in which I tell you something that can actually help you get things done

And just for fun, Vlog 0.1 - What and Why Bother, which is really just a proof of concept that I can do this at all. 

There will be more to come, as I have the time to actually finish them (they take longer than you'd think).