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Team J.A.F.



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BTW, Voted

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts, News Oct 22 2012 · 163 views

Actually filled out my ballot last Friday, but got it put in the mail today.

And even tho I watched the full debate, my mind was already made up. (And having watch it, it just made me more determined to vote my way.)

That way being Obama. Also went generally Democrat for the state positions too. Especially hoping to replace my Republican Representative, whom I sent a letter to a year ago and got a response that boiled down to "thanks for contacting me, here is why I'm doing the exact opposite."

I would love to discuss political views because I can't believe how some people out there thing, but alas this is BZPower and it's against the rules because we don't want the equivalent of a food fight with boiling sauce being thrown around. (I think that's a lovely analogy for heated discussions on BZPower. :P )

And as such, entry locked! Make sure to go out and vote!

:music:


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Kanoka Game

Posted by xccj , in News Oct 18 2012 · 167 views
Kanoka, Hand Coded Games
I was looking through my collection today, since I have a lot of stuff to put away after the conventions. That aside, I took interest in my collection of glow in the dark Kanoka discs, and I started to remember a game for them that I created back in 04. I know I've hinted about it before, but I've never downright posted the rules. So I spent some time revising the game today, and now have stuff to share with you. :D

Kanoka, of course, were the collectible discs from the Metru Nui saga, There was a code on each disc that described its different attributes. The first digit was the Metru, which determined specific flight patterns. The second was special powers. And the third was overall power level. So you could have a ton of combinations, and you had to "collect them all!" (Granted, not all codes were released in set forms, sadly enough.) I got slightly obsessed with Kanoka after writing a couple of stories with them, and somewhere along the line I came up with this game that matched discs against each other.

So, for the actual game's rules. Basically, you have two opponents, and each has six discs they can select from. There is also a discard pile. Each opponent has twenty life points. One opponent goes on the offensive, and selects a disc to use. The defender can then select a disc to counter the offensive one. The disc powers are matched up (I'll get into more detail on this) and if the offensive player wins, the defensive player loses life points (determined by the difference in disc values.) If there's a tie or the defender wins, no life points are lost on either end. Both players discard their discs (unless a powerup allows them to keep the disc) and then they each pick a new disc from the pile. (This way, they always have six discs in hand, and can go through a wide variety of disc types.)

The determining factor for a disc to win is its power level. Initially, this is determined by the third digit, so higher numbers (7 or 8) are obviously more powerful discs. However, disc type and special powers can also provide bonuses, depending on the situation. This way, there's some strategy to choosing the discs to use in offense or defense. Here's a list of the various bonuses.

First Digit: Region
[1] Ta-Metru: 2+ Offense
[2] Ga-Metru: Do Not Discard Disc if Win on Offense
[3] Po-Metru: 2+ Defense
[4] Ko-Metru: 1+ Offense, or 2+ Offense against Po-Metru
[5] Le-Metru: 1+ Defense, or 2+ Defense against Ta-Metru
[6] Onu-Metru: Do Not Discard Disc if Win on Defense

Second Digit: Powers
[1] Reconstruct at Random: Random 1+ or 1- Offense and Defense
[2] Freeze: 1+ Offense
[3] Weaken: 2+ Offense
[4] Removes Poison: 2+ Defense
[5] Enlarge: 1+ Offense, or 1+ Defense against Shrink
[6] Shrink: 1+ Defense against Enlarge
[7] Regenerate: 1+ Defense, or 2+ Defense against Weaken
[8] Teleport: 1+ Offense and Defense

I could go into all the reasons why I chose specific bonuses, but that would increase my babbling even more, so if you have a question about one, go ahead and ask. But I did try to make some counter each other, like the Ko-Metru and Po-Metru discs. And I also liked the idea of Reconstruct at Random discs either giving you positive or negative points. :D

So yeah, that's my game. I guess it's comparable to other card games or whatever. And despite everything, it doesn't actually require any shooting of discs when played with on the floor, so accuracy or skill doesn't really factor into the outcomes. I'm not completely against tweaking some of the rules or powers, because I did play it against myself with mixed results.

But don't have anyone to play with / don't want to play by yourself / don't actually own a large collection of Kanoka discs?? Well, then you can also check out my WIP online game version. Yes, right now it's text only, but I think I've worked the code out right to make the game play logically and everything. It needs work, obviously, but if you have any suggestions on it, let me know. (And it's also a little more fun than my Slizer game, because it requires a bit more strategy rather than blind luck. The luck part comes in the fact that I kept getting all the lame discs and the computer opponent got all the good ones!)

Aaaaaaaaaand that's what I obsessed over today. Night, folks!

:music:


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New Slizer Game

Posted by xccj , in Stories, News Oct 04 2012 · 344 views

Wait wait wait. What the heck? I finished this?

So you can continue to read the blog entry for the background story. Of if you're gonna go all "TL/DR" then just check out the game here and test it out for me. Comments appreciated, granted that you understand this is an armature project and not exactly high quality stuff to begin with.

I'm not sure if I blogged about it before or not, but I've had this general idea for a Slizer game in my head for a while. The basis is around my defunct Slizer on Mata Nui epic, where the six Slizers fight against evil worm things (named Zarxec because that's an awesome name) and their leaders who want to take over Metru -Nui / the world. As I wrote the epic, I gave each Slizer character strengths and weaknesses. Eventually, I assigned values to them too.

And then came the idea of the game. I had skill values for the Slizers and the Zarxec. I originally made cards, so that you could do a simple game where you determined skill ahead of time and then played your character cards to see who'd win. But then I was intrigued by the idea of an online game.

So this is coded using mostly Javascript. The computer randomly selects one of the Zarxec, and then you decide which Slizer will fight against it, by comparing their respective skills. Then you roll for which skill you use, and that determines the winner. A simple game idea, but gosh it's complex to code from scratch. I started coding this thing up probably over a year ago, but it kinda got shoved to the side for more important work. But I was looking through my past projects to use for my portfolio, saw this, and then got a few cool ideas for how to code it... and boom, in a night the game when from demo to actually playable.

Granted, there are a few issues with it. The characters may be a little too evenly spread out with skills; if they're big on speed and agility, they're low on strength, and as such any pairing has about an even chance of pulling off a win or not. Thus, kinda hard to use strategy, when really any Slizer can beat almost all the Zarxec if the right skill is chose (at random.)

Plus, there are things I wanted to add. Right now it's more of an arena game, but I was thinking of more of a campaign, where the enemies got tougher as time went on, the Slizers got power-ups part way through, and somehow Matoran could be added as a bonus.

Oh, and the design is still a WIP. Backgrounds are just random light colors, where I could make them more detailed and change based on the enemy character. And the character artwork is basic too. The Slizers are just set images copy/pasted in, and the Zarxec are doodles from like 5 years ago. (Or more... gosh, I wrote that story a LONG time ago.) I've already animated Torch, so I could do that for the rest of them too, but that takes more time and effort than I might have to spare. (Plus, then there's the whole idea of designing this game using Flash ActionScript, which is also brings to mind some different styles of game play and animation... but would force me to learn more of that coding language.)

So yeah, I'd be interested to know what people think about this, and if I should expand it or not in my spare time. As is, I'm going to use this in my Portfolio as evidence that I can code with beans using Javascript. What, you want me to add Javascript security to your site? Dunno about that, but I can make an interactive game instead! :D

(FYI, DON'T use Javascript for security, bad practice.)

:music:


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Arg What You Talkin' About?

Posted by xccj , in News Sep 19 2012 · 133 views

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ARR! This ain't me crew!

:pirate: :music:

Edit: Oh come on, that picture's hilarious. Why no comments? Did I not make it clear enough this was for Talk like a Pirate Day??


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Where Do You Buy Collectible Minifigures?

Posted by xccj , in News Sep 18 2012 · 152 views

Just a quick question. I know that most people have to rely on TRU, but what about other places. I rely exclusively on Fred Meyers, but they're more of a local chain store, so you won't find them outside the Pacific Northwest. What are other places where you've been able to pick up the mystery bags?

Thanks in advance for answering!

:music:


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Passport

Posted by xccj , in News Sep 10 2012 · 112 views

I finally got my official US Passport in the mail today. I had some issues with the registration 'cause I was technically born in Canada to two US citizens, but the lady at the registration desk was all like "OMG foreign Canadian we can't give you passport arg!" (I'm pretty sure that's exactly what she said.) So we sent in a ton of paperwork documenting the official existence of me and my parents. But then my official birth certificate that I sent in wasn't official enough, so I had to call up north and have the Canadians send me the officialest birth certificate that they could. And when I got that, I sent it to the passport people again. About two and a half months of shifting paperwork around.

But hey it worked, and now I can officially visit Canada and then come back. Also maybe other foreign places like Australia or New Zealand or England or... other cool places that understand English speakers. (Maybe Japan? Iceland? Scandinavia. Mexico... er, never mind, wanna keep my head on my shoulders. Costa Rice instead. Heck, maybe even Texas... they're like a foreign place that requires passports right?) This, of course, pending on me having funds for said trips. I'm struggling just to get up to Seattle in one piece, so an actual location out of the state might just be too costly. But hey, now the options are legally opened for me. :D

Anyway, obligatory emote for finally getting my passport: :br:

Carry on folks.

Also, Andrew & Micah: *points and laughs*

:music:


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Time Disruption Reevaluated

Posted by xccj , in Stories, News Sep 09 2012 · 200 views

So I was bored this weekend, so I browsed through my files and pulled up my old Time Disruption story. Basically it's something I started back in 2003 (or early 2004, sometime around there) and worked on for 3+ years. It was probably one of my more successful stories on BZPower, and it certainly drew the largest number of reviews I've ever gotten for a story. :P I haven't reread it in years, so I thought it would be fun to do.

Of course, there were parts I still loved about this. The general plot was awesome, and some of the character developments were great. (Heck, Duka's death scene is one of the more emotional ones I've ever written). However, this isn't a "I can't believe how good my writing was back then" entry.

This is a "Oh my gosh was I really this terrible at writing" and "how could anybody ever read this??" entry.

Seriously. Between the spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, incomplete descriptions (I even remember how I viewed some of them in my head, but the writing totally did not convey that), repetitive use of words (I'd use the same descriptive word like 5 times in 1 paragraph... talk about overuse)... I mean really, the story seems almost too disjointed to follow correctly. How did I have so many reviewers back then? I remember always getting nagged about my spelling, but the writing is just so off, I'm surprised anybody managed to get through the first chapters.

Now I'm tempted to rewrite the story. As I mentioned earlier, the overall plot of the story is still one of my best, so now I just need to update the writing to match in quality. But here are a couple of issues with that. First off, there's a long queue of old stories I want to rewrite, as well as a lengthy list of potential new story ideas. Secondly, the whole story was written based off assumptions from 2003-2005, which means that we didn't know the true purpose of the Bohrok, the overall goals of Makuta's plan (or that there were even multiple Makuta), and that the Mata Nui island was actually just some robot's face. (Yes, that last one still irks me.) If I wanted to try and tweak the story to fit into the current canon... well, I might lose some of the essentials to the plot. And finally, would I even have an audience? I could update the writing, but the basic plot twists wouldn't change, so it would hardly be a new story. Granted, I'm fairly certain that all my older reviewers (save Kumata and Snoopy) have left the site for good, so anybody else around would probably have never read the original... but they could always look it up in the forum archive. (This is also a reason that I'm hesitant to rewrite Slizers on Mata Nui, even though I think that could use a reboot too.)

But I guess the older story proves that I have improved overall as a writer. I would love to go back to the days where I could crank out fun Time Disruption chapters, because that story was one of the most enjoyable to write. But I don't have as much time or inspiration to write anymore, and I'm a little sad to see that my old story was not as glorious as my nostalgic remembrance of it seemed to be.

Aaaaaaaand, let's see. In other news, I've been in school. Last semester. Got a bunch of hard classes tho. Including a senor seminar, where we get to do projects for local non profits. Most of that class is working on a cool interactive display for OMSI (the Oregon Museum for Science and Industry in downtown Portland) but I'm instead working on some promotional videos for a Russian Speaking Student conference. While the other project sounds like more fun, it's also something that they won't be able to complete in one semester, whereas I'm looking forward to putting my video editing experience to work and coming up with a quality promotional video.

Also spend the weekend watching anime, playing with the dog, and staying indoors while it's in the upper 90s. Seriously, we're having a delayed summer in the Pacific Northwest. (Today isn't too hot tho.)

:music:


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926th Day of College (Estimated)

Posted by xccj , in News Sep 05 2012 · 139 views

Attended a couple of lectures. Did some readings. Took a quiz. Essay due tomorrow. Blogged about it.

:music:


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My Name's in Yellow

Posted by xccj , in News Aug 31 2012 · 177 views

Or gold. Or lightish orange. However you want to describe it.

:music:


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A Hike

Posted by xccj , in News Aug 16 2012 · 120 views

I could probably go on and on about the hike in the North Cascades I went on last weekend. About all the trouble packing it, the drive there and back, the crazy-hot weather, the various animals that were in no way very exciting, or the injuries I sustained and pain I endured. Instead, I'll just post some statistics.

40 pound backpack
3 days hiking, two nights backpack camping
Overall roughly 17 miles transversed
We climbed at least 2,000 feet in elevation each day, sometimes more
Highest we got was 7,000 feet on this one mountain
Saw 5-10 shooting stars each night, in addition to other star gazing

Not the longest or even the most rigorous backpacking trip I've ever been on, but man did we do a ton of climbing. And besides, this is the first time I've backpacked in like 6 years, and I am really out of shape, so this one was exhausting for me. Still, got to see pretty amazing mountains and such.

:music:






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Blog Subtitles

Is that the light at the far end of the tunnel, or just the train.
~ Owl City

Lisztomania, think less but see it grow. Like a riot, like a riot, Oh.
~ Phoenix

I took a sip of something poison but I'll hold on tight.
~ Foster the People

Birds sing for you, you can make this blue sky blush
~ Oh Land

On the other side of the street I knew, stood a girl that looked like you.
I guess that's Déjà vu, but I thought this can't be true
~ Train

But even the sun sets in paradise
~ Maroon 5

Crazy how that shipwreck meant my ship was coming in
~ Train (Again?)

So make now your ally, and leap before you look
~ Nothing's Carved In Stone

I'm just too much a coward to admit when I'm in need.
~ Passion Pit

Just believe in far away, ikiru tame ni sore wa
~ Song Rider

Everything that drowns me makes me want to fly.
~ One Republic

I live my life in shackles, but I'm borderline-free.
~ Tove Styrke

:music:

Ha Ha

You scrolled to the bottom.

I now control your mind.

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