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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsTidepool, a codable storytelling world for kids
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teefal
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« Reply #40 on: June 09, 2015, 06:43:53 PM »

Sgt, I see you're using AWT and Swing.  Have you considered JavaFX.  It's very very, especially in Java 8.
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« Reply #41 on: June 09, 2015, 06:46:04 PM »

I have glanced over it, maybe done a few "Hello World" things, but never anything past that. Do you have any good tutorials/links for JavaFX game development?
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« Reply #42 on: June 11, 2015, 05:59:03 AM »

Not that I've read recently.  The JavaFX 8 tutorial has a section on manipulating images and using transforms, which is essential.  A lot changed in Java 8, so make sure whatever resource you use, they highlight their knowledge of 8. 
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teefal
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« Reply #43 on: June 11, 2015, 06:10:26 AM »

Yesterday and today I talked about some the nitty-gritty details of the eight new features I'm adding.  With only twelve days left before testing, I'm getting much less ambitious. Amazing how a looming deadline clarifies your expectations.

Before this though, I need to finish the trailer and printed materials, so I've got a mini-deadline now, the 17th, which is now set aside to make game movies for the trailer and the postcards.  Before I can do these, I need to finish the director, the primary programming interface in Tidepool.  Both the movies and cards will show it.

Meanwhile I've been battling some extreme exhaustion, mostly from my ill-fated attempts to adjust to this new time zone, which I'm sure will only get worse after my red-eye flight tomorrow and the whiplash jet lag soon to follow.  All I can do is keep moving forward.  

And oh!  I forgot!   Yesterday while coding, I typed "#seymour.1, forward 1000" and seymour moved!   A minor, but exciting, milestone.



EDIT: The mouse should be named Alan, not Seymour.

« Last Edit: June 15, 2015, 09:02:53 AM by teefal » Logged

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« Reply #44 on: June 14, 2015, 08:08:00 AM »

Friday in Phoenix, I gradually talked myself down off a ledge and lowered my expectations for this release.  Today back home, I reversed my views, convincing myself to finish Alpha 3 before the ISTE conference.

The thing about deadlines is that they only work if you really believe them.  The stress of an approaching date helps focus and limit efforts.  For most, it's the needed kick in the pants to actually do the work.  Or not.  Too often deadlines sap your motivation, causing burnout and lost productivity for no good reason.  

For me, deadlines have their own kind of magic.  You visualize the impending outcome and circumstances align in mysterious ways.  Great ideas arise that normally wouldn't.  Things click into place exactly when needed.  Wrapping up a release can be as exciting as a good movie ... surprises, setbacks, solutions, resolve.

I've imagined myself showing off Tidepool at ISTE for years. Here I am only weeks away and close enough to finish the part that's better than Scratch and Tynker.  Do I settle for the last version and say, "Imagine the rest", or do I finish the new version so I can show them why Tidepool is better. Obviously the latter, which means I've got a deadline.

Fourteen days.  

Here's a punch list I just put in our stairwell so my wife and daughter can follow along.

« Last Edit: July 10, 2015, 06:28:29 AM by teefal » Logged

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« Reply #45 on: June 15, 2015, 12:21:57 AM »

Smiley Hand Thumbs Up Right Good luck man! Hope ISTE is a nice nurturing conference where you'll get encouragement and constructive feedback, not the "sceptic, toxically tribal programmers" kind
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« Reply #46 on: June 16, 2015, 09:23:09 AM »

Thanks JobLeonard.  I've heard both about it, so I guess like all things it depends on who you meet.  Luckily I'll be able to choose who to show things to (unless of course someone asks me to throw it up on a screen, as has happened at other conferences I wasn't presenting at).

I'm genuinely nervous.
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teefal
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« Reply #47 on: June 16, 2015, 09:30:30 AM »

Last two days, I've been knee-deep in code, which is a wonderful feeling.  There's nothing quite like having time and freedom to craft things the way you want them, especially after a LONG code-freeze (six months of nothing new).  Not surprisingly, yesterday's and today's podcasts were mostly tech-heavy details of what I'm building.

I did grant myself a non-scheduled fun thing.  For a while I've wanted to have a page on the website that showed everyone's sketches and animations in-game.  Showing the images was easy ... the tougher part was converting my PNG frames into animated GIFs on the fly.  I got it almost working, which will have to be good enough for now.  Yes, it's not erasing previous frames as it proceeds through the GIF.

« Last Edit: June 16, 2015, 10:06:16 AM by teefal » Logged

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« Reply #48 on: June 18, 2015, 08:36:45 AM »

Tidepool is now officially a programming system.  Today's version lets you teach your agents new words and have them execute their steps.  For example, when I type this:

#seymour.3 when mosey, begin forward 1000, turn 90, sound ow, end

the agent "seymour.3" learns that the word "mosey" means it should move forward 100, turn at a right angle, and make a sound.  To do it, type:

#seymour.3 mosey

See it yourself in our latest screencast:



Hear me debate the particulars in yesterday's and today's podcasts.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2015, 09:24:33 AM by teefal » Logged

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Prinsessa
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« Reply #49 on: June 18, 2015, 11:09:18 AM »

Very cool project!

I'm all for bringing programming to kids early on.
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« Reply #50 on: June 18, 2015, 03:16:04 PM »

Thanks Prinsessa.  Me too.  My non-profit Waveplace has been doing this for many years.

Check out

.  The look on the little girl's face when she figures out a programming challenge is priceless.

(watch from 5 minutes in if you're in a hurry.  It's worth the watch.)
« Last Edit: June 18, 2015, 03:22:54 PM by teefal » Logged

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« Reply #51 on: June 18, 2015, 04:34:15 PM »

Just posted a Tidepool announcement to /r/gamedev on Reddit.  If you have a reddit account, please upvote it so I get more visibility.

http://www.reddit.com/r/gamedev/comments/3ack5t/tidepool_a_programmable_game_world/

Little things mean a lot Smiley
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Prinsessa
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« Reply #52 on: June 19, 2015, 02:24:15 AM »

Check out

.  The look on the little girl's face when she figures out a programming challenge is priceless.
That's really great. Watched the whole thing. Nice to see that I could understand everything that was said too, to really follow along.

How long is the battery time of those computers, seeing as they were especially made for places without electricity? Do you have to program Tidepool for some special operating system? What are they running?

Anyway, great to see you out in places like this. Were you personally along for the ride too?

Do represent the place with a song in an indigenous language rather than that of the conquistadores in the next video, tho. Wink
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« Reply #53 on: June 19, 2015, 05:09:31 AM »

The XO lasted quite a while for their size (lowest power use computer at the time) ... something like 5 hours at least.  We charged them at the hotel and brought them to the school everyday (our solar panels got shipped to Argentina by mistake). 

Tidepool now runs on Windows/Mac/Linux and will later run on iOS, Android, and Raspberry PI. 

I wasn't on that trip, though you can see me in (too many) videos in Haiti, the Virgin Islands, etc.  I'm on the NPR report too.

As for the song, we recorded that a few weeks later.  Don't think there were many indigenous Nicaraguan singers on St John Smiley
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teefal
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« Reply #54 on: June 20, 2015, 06:17:11 PM »

As they say in the backpacking world, yesterday and today were "nero" days, or near-zero days.  I began Friday anxious and overwhelmed, then gradually sunk lower into a prolonged funk, a sure sign of burnout.  Developing Tidepool during back-to-back business trips took its toll, to say nothing of the stress of my other neglected project.

While curled in a fetal position, feeling my long ignored emotions as they caught up to me, I dwelt on just why it is I'm doing all this, and whether it's worth it.  Existential doubt is a familiar theme in any bounds-stretching project.  It's a recurring rite of passage to question pretty much everything you once held dear.

I'm a week away from a conference where I need to brag shamelessly, and tonight I feel like I just don't have the power.  Between the hotel, bus, and printing costs, the conference will cost $2000 we really can't afford right now.   Yes, the conference could lead to great & mysterious things.  Yes, I'll make contacts that'll build our community.  

But it'll all be a waste if I'm a lump on a log.  It'll hurt that much more if I don't have it in me to represent my dream.  Tonight I want to cancel the trip and switch back to money-mode. Okay, I'll sleep on it.  

If I don't post for a while, assume I put Tidepool on a shelf again so I can bill a bunch of hours.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2015, 03:54:50 AM by teefal » Logged

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« Reply #55 on: June 21, 2015, 03:55:48 AM »

Take care man, don't push yourself too much
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teefal
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« Reply #56 on: June 21, 2015, 09:46:52 AM »

Thanks JobLeonard.  Taking today off too.  Haven't decided what to do yet.
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« Reply #57 on: June 25, 2015, 05:29:33 AM »

After a long weekend of soul searching, I rediscovered my gumption while watching my daughter try Goat Simulator.  Ascending an impossibly tall tower, climbing a ladder as a goat with her hind-legs and head, she reached the top and my wife and I wondered, "What next?"  Surely some horrible death was to come, but no!   Way, way down we spied a trampoline, and sure enough, she was able to jump from the tower and hit it.  Watching her goat self bounce crazily again and again, I remembered the bit I'd forgotten:

This is supposed to be fun!

My realization led to a flurry of work. Tuesday, Wednesday, and today were about conference preparations, most notable the 250 square flyers I'll be handing out.  Each of them has their own unique codename, which took forever.   I finished my moo.com order ten minutes before the mightnight deadline last night.  As Paula said, "Just In Time Tim".

« Last Edit: June 25, 2015, 05:34:42 AM by teefal » Logged

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« Reply #58 on: June 25, 2015, 06:01:24 AM »

 Hand Thumbs Up Left Grin

Glad you have a supportive family
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teefal
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« Reply #59 on: June 27, 2015, 04:25:43 AM »

Announcement: make 4th grade courseware this summer

For years, I've endeavored to create a courseware library that showcases the deep-learning possibilities of tools such as Squeak Etoys and Scratch. We made progress using Etoys as the platform, but never quite finished. Now I’d like to try again with Tidepool.

I’m hoping to find educators who can help us create 8 to 24 units this summer. We have a fund for stipends, which will be shared by the authors. All courseware will be Creative Commons.  Tidepool itself is free.

Contact me here if interested. More details here.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2015, 04:37:42 AM by teefal » Logged

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