Saw Runner Version 1.0 is Up

Saw Runner is an infinite runner where you are a soldier trying to stay alive by dodging or destroying the saws.  That’s the infinite runner that I had previously posted about a few days ago. Here’s the splash/title screen:

I think it turned out rather well considering the general ease involved in creating the game.  There’s a few more things I want to add like a global leader board, some sounds and a pause menu which will just take some time but even as it stands now I think it’s a rather fun game.  If you’d like to check out Saw Runner click here to play as it works in your web browser.

As I was working on it I ended up coming up with the idea to have a website that will house these HTML games and went with diff-dev.com (Do It For Fun Development).  While that place will house the game I still plan to post about stuff I make on here 🙂

Chicken Lomo Saltado

My mom ended up mentioning a Peruvian restaurant in conversation while I was visiting and it ended up getting stuck on Lomo Saltado.  Since I’ve changed my diet (mostly trying to cut back on red meats) I decided to change it up a bit and use Chicken.  Since I don’t usually make this I ended up going with a recipe from allrecipes.com.  I only changed the meat option and omitted the parsley as after tasted it to see if it was good I completely forgot about the parsley hehe.

chicken-lomo-saltado

I served it with a cup of rice which you can kind of see in the picture. I think it turned out rather nice, although I might end up experimenting with parts of the recipe to see why kinds of flavors I can add/change that might be even yummier!

How Do You Know You’re Trans?

The answer always varies since everyone is a unique person but I figure I’d share my story.  I figured it out if you will when I was 12 having a pillow fight with a friend.  At some point during the pillow fight I ended up hitting her in the chest and she cried out in pain.  I was confused as it looked like it hurt a lot but it never hurt me when I’d get hit in the chest, there were exceptions of course but in general it was never any more painful than say getting hit in the gut.

For some reason it was that moment that triggered something, an “ah-ha!” moment if you will.  It was also an overwhelming feeling of “I get it now” when I started comparing things, things that for some reason didn’t mean anything to me before that moment, like how the girl uniforms in school were skirts and shirts instead of pants/shorts and shirts.

I still don’t understand why and maybe I never will truly understand it but the next feeling that came over me was feeling that this is wrong.  I felt the need to hide it, or rather to try hide my feelings while I found a way to change the way I felt. From then on I tried to push myself to find interest and do things that were typically masculine. You know to become a “man’s man” so to speak…

That was awful because at best it came off as I sucked at whatever it was I was trying to do.  In general it never lasted, or rather to the length that would be considered masculine… While I’d rather side on the opinion that nothing has a masculine or feminine definition associated with it but I was playing by society’s opinions not mine.

I tried sports and really the only ones that stuck were skateboarding and later snowboarding but more so in the as long as I’m just having fun sense. While I push myself to get better, I don’t care for the aggressive gotta be the best mentality generally associated with athletes.  I tried getting into cars, even built a bunch of models,  and talked about building a “dream car”. All that really stuck in terms of cars is how to preform basic maintenance, even then I’d rather take it to a shop for those things if I can afford the cost of labor.  Otherwise it’s a pretty (usually) thing that gets me from A to B.

I even tried to be the “macho man” type, you know the type that sees women as objects and nothing more. That I think hurt the most because of how common it is and how there wasn’t a way to get away from it ever.  I couldn’t see women as equals, as people who could be appreciated for more than their looks, people who could be something more than a sexual conquest.

I kept going, nothing ever changed about how I felt no matter how much I tried.  I continued there had to be a point where I’d change the way I felt, where I’d be happy as the world labeled and saw me.  Went to school to get a career so I could be the “provider”, the “bread winner”, or “man of the house” the names go on and on. Got married… I just kept pushing, trying convince myself, this will go away… Had kids…

Nothing helped, nothing that was supposed to make a person a “man” as society defines helped, none of it. I spent 30 years of my life killing myself or rather my true self in hopes that the lie the world wanted would survive.

It’s a weird comforting feeling to finally start living 30 years into your life…

Game Development – Simple Infinite Runner

I’ve been dabbling in the notion of getting back into Game Development at least on an indie scale.  The tricky part is thinking indie scale instead of big dev house scale.  As such I figured an infinite runner was a good place to start.

Another tricky part is ways to save time, which had me looking into various game engine options as well as artists and art packs.  For now at least for the infinite runner I’ve opted to go with Construct 2 game engine though mainly because it offers HTML 5 exports even in the free version so testing and tuning can be done with the help of friends without additional costs as I already have web servers 🙂  Art well that is a trade off either I invest time or money, or as I’m finding what works is a mix of both.

Here’s a few screenshots of what I’ve come up with so far:

runner-hope-ss01-quiet-lizrunner-hope-ss02-quiet-lizrunner-hope-ss03-quiet-lizBesides the background everything else is artwork I’m able to use (need to check on the font now that I think about it), although I might switch out the army character, still debating if I want to go with something like a shield option or gun option (which the current character is great for).  So far I’ve learned how to spawn additional items (saw in the pic), work in sudo-dialog boxes (probably my only peeve so far with Construct 2 thought might be a free version issue), a Game Over screen and allowing the player to reset the game.

I’m thinking about flushing it out a bit more by adding a start screen, some music, sfx, hopefully figure out social sharing, and a few other things to make the game play more entertaining and hopefully keep it fun.

Awesome Sunday was Awesome

So this past Sunday was filled with a lot of awesome things such as paintballing I wrote about already and well some shopping and my oldest impressing me.  After I finished a few games of paintball the family and I moved on to shopping for some reason my wife was in the mood to stop by Kmart, possibly because we drove past one to get to the paintball place.

crazy-kmart-clearance-scoreI was happy she picked that, well we both were as we scored a lot of stuff hehe.  I’m set when it comes to tops for next fall/winter which would be after I plan on coming out and presenting full time.  Everything I got was $4 or less I mean how could I not take advantage!?

I also picked up a scarf and a cute hat which were $2 and $3 respectively. So yeah all in all quite the great haul, I can’t wait to play dress up and come up with outfits and ideas hehe.  Granted the bottoms will always be jeans for now at least I might expand into the dress pants for women eventually as being in IT having to crawl around or climb up is in the job description and I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing that in a skirt or dress.

After shopping we went to have lunch and while we were eating my oldest said spontaneously “you girls, us boys” when talking to my wife and I.

I questioned “Oh really!?” as I was caught off guard by the comment.

Very matter of fact he responds “Yeah, me and baby boys, you and moma girls”.  I couldn’t help but smile my wife make some comment about how I must be loving that and I truly was.  I mean once and merely in passing when he said I was a boy and I had corrected him saying I was a girl.  That was it, that was all it took… There’s just something about how easy it is for kids to adapt and learn and grow that well I wish we didn’t lose (or maybe it’s more of have destroyed?) as we grow up.

Paintballing in Vegas

I should probably back up a little bit heh, so after I had gone paintballing with my friends I was sold on the hobby the next thing to do was decide what marker I was going to get.  I was glad I didn’t end up picking up a marker beforehand as I had gotten to try a semi-auto rifle marker, speed ball marker, and a TiPX which definitely helped get a good perspective on what I wanted or rather how I preferred to play.  I opted for a TiPX as there’s just something about the freedom of movement it allows.

tipx-and-5-7-round-trufeed-magazines
TiPX with 5 7 round trufeed magazines.

 

Also something about the more realistic aspect of having a limited supply of app appeals to me, it doesn’t really permit holding players down with a stream of paintballs.  It requires more of a stealthy and/or quick movement approach Aand making your shots count which is fun to try and pull off.

The first thing I did was add the remote line adapter as swapping the CO2 cartridges was the only thing I didn’t particularly care for.

TiPX remote line mod
TiPX remote line mod

It was honestly a bit scary as it went smoothly… It might just be the QA side of me that doesn’t accept that as an option but it was successful no leaks and I didn’t ruin the housing.

Here’s the setup I ended up getting for my TiPX:

paintball-battle-belt-magazine-clips-tipx-holster

Well it’s missing the harness and I was lazy about putting the holster strap through the opening for the picture, there’s another mag pouch over where the holster sits in the picture.

Okay as to the actual paintballing, it was interesting and it might have to do with a lot of factors (day of the week, time of day, venue, etc.) but I found it interesting that every paintballer that was at Vegas Xtreme Paintball was using a speed ball marker besides the few there that rented.

I only played on the scenario field as one field looked to be closed for team practice and the other speed ball field was being taken down.  I had seen pictures such as this one from yelp:

oNow when I saw the pic above I figured that was the whole field but it’s not, that’s more like  a bit over half or maybe two thirds of the field to give you an idea of how big the field is.  While I was there we had small teams (talking 2-3 per side) so the map felt even larger.  Also instead of capture the flag they play storm the castle (wooden structure in the back of the pic)  for the scenario granted with our teams being small we pretty much just played team vs. team.

Probably the biggest thing that stood out to me about this place was how nice people were.  While it wasn’t clear how matches were started the staff was friendly and explained that they didn’t call out games the players would just walk out to the field and a ref would be there.  On top of the staff being helpful the players there were very nice, gave me tips on the map layout and there was no issue working together.  It was rather nice and an added bonus was having female pronouns used when we did talk, I honestly didn’t think that would happen since I was kinda stealth (padded sports bra just in case I got shot in the chest again but I had a baggy shirt on) or so I thought I was but in any case it was quite nice.

In the games I got to play I learned quite a lot about how my choice in marker makes a huge deal in working on my accuracy to help with ammo conservation as well as picking and choosing my shots.  I loved the freedom of the TiPX in ability to run around and peek out much tighter so it’s just down to practice makes perfect as they say. I’m also not sure I like the coiled remote line, granted I only had issues before the games started as I’d notice the line would tangle up and get caught on the coils.  Also I’m not sure about the mag holders on either side though I think that’s more to do with learning to shoot/reload with my right hand instead of depending on my left although it’s not a big reach to grab them with my right hand.  All in all I think I’ll leave everything as is and just focus on more practice before I make adjustments.

Oh and I figured I’d leave you with a pic of my bruises:

paintball-injuries
Right forearm, left wrist, left inner calf, left thigh, right butt cheek

 

Voice Training and Recording My Progress

So I started recording my voice training.  I wanted to be able to track my progress in some way and also I was curious to see how I sounded as until doing so I was just working with a spectrogram and not recording anything.

Probably the hardest thing about practicing my voice has been coming up with things to talk about.  I’m lucky in a sense that I never did have much of a deep voice so I had a good starting point 🙂

In any case here’s the second video I made which is of me essentially talking about how watching my first video felt.

I’m not sure if I’ll ever have a set topic but I might aim to do that for at least some of the videos as it would likely make it easier to talk in a more continuous manner.  Hopefully as I make more videos I’ll get more comfortable about the camera as it gives me a bit of anxiety which doesn’t help with actually trying to keep a steady flow of words coming out like I would in a natural conversation.

Follow up on website/blog changes

I began to realize that I was spending a lot of time trying to come up with the redesign and it was starting to eat up time I would rather spend elsewhere.  As such I’ve decided to shelve the notion and use one of the “stock” themes the WordPress team has already made.  While I built a few cool things to make the site unique it was also making this into something much bigger than it needed to be as far as I’m concerned, at least for now.

The other things that you’d eventually noticed is for now I’ve pulled the shop aspect of the site, in part because of how it worked but also it goes back to time being taken up.

What will I do with that time?  Well there’s a few things I’ve been wanting to dedicate more time to, such as working on a story/game idea, brushing up on my 3D modeling skills, or among other things and not to say the least just have more time with my kids.

Paintball and pressures to be extra “feminine”

quiet liz first time paintballing gearOver the past weekend while most were focused on watching the game I went with some friends to try out paintball.  Stereotypically not a “womanly” or “feminine” sport, I couldn’t even find gear for women so it’s definitely not a stereotype that was outdated when I researched the hobby.  That said I was pleasantly surprised there were quite a few women and girls there playing, a few that looked like they were like me trying it out because of friends or significant others and some who seemed to be veterans, it was definitely a pleasant surprise.

Up until now I’ve had a few people questioning things I like/do that aren’t stereo typically feminine and I was even in that same boat.  It’s like asking myself “Am I girly enough?”, “Is this really a choice I should be making to show I really am a woman?”, and so on… In some cases I think I was even trying to over compensate, don’t get me wrong I do like quite a lot of stereo typical feminine things but there were a few times where it was just not something I was into but others said I “should”.  I don’t think anything is masculine or feminine but I’m playing or rather trying to play by society’s standards.

In any case for some reason playing paintball was a sort of wake up call if you will, it was what caused me to realize no matter what I do I’ll never be good enough for someone, somewhere.  I’m not surprised I was stuck in that funk I tend to care what others think about me a lot and thus I don’t make decisions for myself more often than not. Paintball was different despite all of my research about the hobby that was painting the picture of a man’s hobby I was wrong, I was dead wrong.  I was with women, not only with women but with men who didn’t care if you were a man or a woman they cared more about shooting the other team and not getting shot by the other team.  It was weird but a pleasant weird to see society got checked at the door and all that really mattered was working together to accomplish a common goal and avoid a common fear/enemy.

I learned quite a lot beyond my personal epiphany, paintball sizing for clothing/padding is worse than trying to order something from China.  A padded shirt and a bulky loose fitting sweatshirt wasn’t enough to prevent the pain of a paintball when getting shot in the chest. Paintballs hurt, in many cases a lot… Yeah it should be kinda obvious but it’s one of those things you know is supposed to hurt but don’t have a clue until it actually happens.  While I drew similarities to all the years I spent working on First Person Shooter video games they definitely fail to bring the intensity.  I also learned I like two different types of play style, first I’ll mention support which is overall fun as it was more of a providing suppressing fire to keep the other team pinned down while someone else on my team was moving up to try and take the other team out.  While that is fun I also learned I really enjoy the risk and rewards of being the player who’s pushing forward and getting up close to the enemy and it simply comes down to who’s quicker and/or more accurate under the pressure.

So in the end my first paintball experience went well despite getting shot in the neck and chest (right nipple area to be specific).  I learned a lot, had fun, and definitely found a new hobby. Oh and it’s not a bad way to ruin my old clothes which had a bizarre bit of feeling grateful whenever I did end up getting shot…