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Adrian Cheater

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January 26th, 2009

01:26 pm - Introducing...
Erik Sufjan (Soof-yan) Cheater, born Jan 25th, 7:42pm. 7lbs 14oz, 53 cm. I'll get photos up on facebook once I get the camera home.

Mom and son are doing fine, the labour was actually pretty quick once it got going. We were brought in for induction Saturday afternoon, and after 12 hours of induction via one technique, we were able to get Sara on some induction drugs to kick start things. She went from 3cm to 9 in about 3 hours or so, and the family all mobilized around 6pm.

I'm just at home collecting some things and waiting for the Eco-energy grant guy to show up. I've been really busy getting the basement insulated and stuff. Probably should have been writing about it, as it was actually interesting stuff. So, if anyone ever wants to talk about house wiring or wall construction, I've got some idea of what I'm doing now.

Hope everyone is doing well. Much love from Sara and Erik.

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June 24th, 2008

10:04 am
Watched the pilot of Firefly with Sara last night. Watching the show makes me mad at Fox all over again.

Work has been busy, irritating cross-platform issues.

Back to the grind.

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June 20th, 2008

10:58 am - Who wants to go to the ex?
Sara and I wanted to go tomorrow. Anyone want to come with?

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June 17th, 2008

09:35 am - Deserving of its own post.
We've successfully forked a child process. We're due the latter half of January. Now that it's official, we don't mind folks spreading the news on our behalf. For those of you who already knew, the publication ban is over. I told my folks on Father's day, by giving my dad a "Grandpa" card. I think he thought it was an 'old' joke at first, 'till he read the "Arriving Winter 2009", then he cried.

Mom got the math all messed up and figured it was a joke because "Winter 2009" isn't this coming winter, but the winter afterwards right? I guess that's a valid interpretation, but it was one of those "Next Monday" on a Sunday deals. Did you mean tomorrow, or a week from tomorrow?

My last surviving grandparent was also in town that weekend, so she was excited too.

I can't seem to update my Facebook status at the moment, but FB will import this entry soon enough, then we'll see if anyone actually reads my news posts on FB.

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June 12th, 2008

01:28 pm - Tiles and Tribulations
This last week has been one of those times when I really love and hate my job. The end of my particular problem is in sight, and it's a good feeling to be almost done, but part of me looks back on what I've accomplished and thinks "Wow, this is possibly only cool to academics or other developers who are trying to solve my exact problem."

What was the problem? It was a painters algorithm for an isometric tile engine. Or in other words, I spent a week trying to figure out how to layer 2d blocks that are supposed to look 3D.

The trivial case was, well, trivial. If you've got a 3d space of blocks that measure 1x1x1, it's pretty easy to figure out which block goes in front of which other blocks.

I decided to push the envelope and create a system that supports blocks of varying dimensions. So how do you determine sorting order when you've got a mixture of 1x2x1, 3x3x3, 2x1x3, etc... blocks? It proved to be a very interesting graph traversal problem (recursive solution, of course!), and if anyone really wants to know more about it, ask me when you've got a white board and about an hour to kill.

I could have put a limitation on the engine "Ok, 1x1x1 blocks only", but that will make tile design and map construction a pain in the ass. Such is the nature of software development. Often the things that make our lives easier are a bitch to envision in the first place, much less build. Smart often means complex, but that's, I suppose, why we're Complex Games.

So now we're in possession of what may be one of the most advanced flash based isometric tile engines on the planet. So uh, yeah... woo. :)

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June 4th, 2008

09:42 am - Oui? Mais, non.

Went to "Oui" bistro with Sara to make use of some "WOW" gift cards. The consensus was that while it's not a bad French restaurant, it charges Fude-like prices without delivering on the value. I wasn't too surprised by this, but and if we were steak people we'd probably would have tried 529 for dinner instead. But in the end it's not a restaurant *YOU* should pay for. Company function? Gift Certs? Then go nuts. However, if you're in the mood to spend $50/person for dinner, go somewhere else.

Afterwards we hooked up with Nat and Kat to go see Indy 4. Overall it wasn't a bad movie, but it ranks just about "Temple of Doom" in my esteem. I don't agree with the people who wanted 2 hours of their life back, but all of the 'indy-ish' stuff was over by the 3rd act. From the jungle truck chase on I just lost interest.

I was happy to see that they at least commented on the fact that gold isn't magnetic.


Off to Aran's for a garden raiding party. I didn't spend too much time actually helping to get the plants, as I was besieged by Aran's kids (who are either always desperate for attention, or really missed me, I prefer to think it's the latter). So I spent most of my Saturday playing catch, then hockey, then football, then biking, then... in 4-5 minute intervals (Quinn was trying to pack as much activity in as he could I guess). Things settled down enough for me to chat with folks though, so it was a good time. We left 'early' since the great outdoors were starting to disagree with Sara, and stopped in at Brandon to get gas and check out the city. I haven't been there for awhile, I don't think we found 'downtown', but it was a nice drive.


We went shopping for a shower gift, and then did some gardening. I was really feeling the hurt from a body flex class we'd taken the day before, so the whole gardening thing was a bit of a pain. But we totally ripped out the front flower weed garden, and it's been seeded with grass. Now we just have to relocate our square foot garden to the patio slab and re-soil it and we'll be on our way to growing veggies for the summer.

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May 29th, 2008

11:27 am
So we're hashing out the designs for an editor for our isometric tile engine, which will be written in flash. Slight oversight, flash doesn't do local file IO. After some digging around I've come across Adobe AIR, which is a runtime environment which lets flash applications function as desktop apps. I think this will work out nicely, as we can make the tools AIR applications, and re-use the code in the flash app to create the game engine.

Otherwise, my only recourse would have been to build a php backend and use my Mac's built in apache server to handle file system access, doesn't that sound like good times?

Also, it looks like the update to flash fixed the stuff I was ranting about earlier, I can use Keyboard.A now, joy!

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May 27th, 2008

01:00 pm - Flash for dummies?
Any of you web-folk work with flash on a regular basis? Are any of you also (in your mind) fairly experienced developers. Am I new to this whole idea that flash documentation is geared towards people who have no idea how to program?

I'm trying to trap keyboard input in AS3, and it's not a challenging prospect, keep a dictionary of key codes, and set the value to true/false if they key changes. Then just test for the key when you want to do something. What's the keycode for the left arrow, Keyboard.LEFT silly... how about backspace? Well, Keyboard.BACKSPACE of course. How about 'a'? Oh that's 65.

Wait, what? Surely you mean Keyboard.A right? Nope, but if you want to you can define a constant
"const A = 65;" Whatever helps you sleep at night.

This shouldn't be as big a deal as I'm taking it, but this is a serious WTF in my books. Every programming environment I've ever worked in that does keyboard input provides some kind of static class or enumeration that lets you associate keycodes to literals, so that you don't have to guess what some random magic number means. And yes, flash has it too, but for about 49 of the 101+ keys you have on your keyboard.

This one has me puzzled.

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May 26th, 2008

08:55 am - Weekend report.
Pretty solidly busy weekend, much more so than may long was (which was nice really, doing very little). Rachelle had her opening night for the remount of S.M.I.L.E. as you D.I.E. Which was a pretty good number overall, and from conversations I had afterwards, it sounds like she's got a much better handle on what to work on than I. So I look forward to seeing any future iterations of the play, and I'm glad I got to see the original fringe version first.

Most of my friends took that night as an opportunity to see Indiana Jones 4, and the feedback hasn't been too kind, so I'm now kind of on the fence about seeing it. Sadly, aside from Iron Man, it looks as though my hopes for a good summer popcorn flick still rest on "Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D". Mr. Frasier hasn't let me down yet.

Saturday Jonas got married. The service was lovely, the food was pretty darn tasty, and the dancing went well into the late evening. I had a great time, and it looked like everyone involved did. Hopefully Jonas is enjoying himself in Cuba now, while I figure out how to write a fast isometric tile engine in flash.

Sunday was the Teddy Bear's Picnic, and this year we got out of the B.A.S.H. tent and made our way over to "Asthma Adventures", where I spent 2 hours stooped over applying temporary tattoos to children. The weather was nice, the morning thunderstorm gave way to a pleasantly cool cloudy day, and the rain didn't start up again until around 5-ish. I'm not sure when the picnic officially ends, but we were long gone by the time the rain started, so it didn't much matter to me. We spent the evening with Jason and Natasha, eating homemade Greek food, and playing Rockband (and some Singstar to boot). Ton's o' fun.

Hope you all had a good weekend too.

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May 21st, 2008

03:23 pm - God damn Jonas...
I don't know what his problem is, but he keeps using his "contacts" to find us "work".

We're in the process of prototyping a few sites, games, and other such concepts for other companies. It's both weird and cool to be actually generating revenue for the company. Now we just need to leverage these successes to nail production funding for pirates.

But the important thing is that we're still here after a year, and of the initial 9 months of funding we had, we've still got 2 months of it left. So it doesn't look like I'll be out on the street anytime soon.

Biked to the forks after work yesterday, taking a meandering route that ended up being 20 km, basically just hugged the Red all the way downtown, passing a few flocks of geese on the way. I think we all know that Canadian Geese are mean spirited, but more than that all of these flocks never took their eyes off me, turning in unison in a way that said "Don't look back, or we'll fuck you up, bro."

Sara bought me a moisture wicking shirt from MEC, it's awesome, and so is she.

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