One-Second Galaxy Fight

I’ve actually never played this game before, but this tournament(?) of matches for an (I’m assuming relatively) obscure Neo-Geo title with the timer set to only one second is beautifully insane:

A port of the title to PS4 was released last week, and you can buy that here for $7.99.

It’s been confirmed the one-second round timer is possible in the port:

If anyone knows any of the other rules that were used in the Japanese tournament video, let me know; it looks like it’s at least set to Level 1. I’m not sure there are any other settings that matter. :)

Reference Images for FGC Broadcast Graphics

I was messing around with doing some (very early) work with NodeCG tonight.

(It’s not going well so far, but that’s because I’m generally clueless.)

While doing this, I considered the idea of fighting game overlays that could be used with a “toggle” for whatever game is being played (or even key off an external API like Challonge). I then realized that it is really useful to have static reference images for various games to make sure you are not putting overlay images in bad places.

This has a lot of utility even for setting up OBS or Xsplit, because you can add the image as a background and then maneuver your layout stuff as you need to make sure you are not obscuring any screen items, especially meters.

I’ll put this behind a more link just so casual visitors to my site don’t get hit with OMG WALL OF IMAGES. If there is a game that is not represented here that you would like to see, or I have made a mistake, please drop me a note and let me know which one. I’ll see if I have it and can whip up some images for you.

All HUD elements are in default locations.

Click on any image to view as full-size.

You can also download a ZIP archive of all current screens. If you stream large events with regularity, please contact me and I can give you access to a Dropbox share of these images. If you want to know when I update the screens, you should follow me on Twitter.

Use the images to do cool things with your streams. :) If you find them helpful or useful, please consider dropping me a tip or just following my Twitch channel where I play games poorly.

Continue reading

Extra Life 2016: Another Good Year

This year’s Extra Life marathon was another great time. I spent some time playing games with my kids, had a great co-op session with my best friend, and generally enjoyed the 25 hours of video games (with some breaks!) while fundraising for St. Louis-area children’s hospitals.

To date, you have helped me raise just over $700 for this cause.

For that, I thank you all. Your support every year when I do this crazy thing means a ton to me and it’s good to know you are interested in helping with this cause.

And know that it’s not too late! You can still donate to this year’s campaign by going to this page and giving what you are able or moved to do:

http://www.extra-life.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donordrive.participant&participantID=196644

I fell short of my goal, but that’s OK. It’s the effort and your assistance that counts. :)

I’ll be working on some additional stream stuff and a different kind of donation goal starting later this month. I’ll be posting about that soon. :)

WordCamp US Presentation: Code Review

Howdy! I just finished giving this presentation at WordCamp US 2016 about code review: about why and how you should do code review on your projects.

The Presentation

Here’s a SlideShare embed of the presentation deck:

And you can download the source Keynote presentation file here.

References

I referenced a bunch of things in my talk and mentioned that you could find those sources in this post, so here’s the list in the order you’ll run across it in the presentation:

Have any questions?

If you have any questions, comments, corrections, or whatever, please contact me. I’ll be happy to hear from you.

Get on My Wife’s Thanksgiving Day Level

img_8882

I married a woman who goes big on Thanksgiving with no reservations. She’s the best, and she made today super amazing. We owe her a week off after this one.

(Check my Twitter stream for bonus pie pic.)

Seiwa-en in Fall

We took a family walk around the Missouri Botanical Gardens yesterday, and it was exactly what I needed. The air was nice and cool, there wasn’t too much wind, and the sun was out just the right amount. You had to work pretty hard to take a bad picture of the gardens that day.

img_1794

The fall color in the Japanese garden, named Seiwa-en (清和園), was perfect. If you are in the area, you should make time to go and just walk for a while. Sit and enjoy the color and the sounds of the garden.

img_1788

Spring—during the cherry blossoms—in undeniably my favorite time in the garden, and winter holds its own beauty as well, but I think right now, many of us need these kinds of breaks. The world is becoming more chaotic, and sometimes you need to get away from it to retain perspective.

img_1781

It is good to be reminded sometimes that we are part of something that is larger than ourselves.

(Colleagues: St. Louis is a great spot for your next meetup.)

Extra Life 2016

It’s that time of year again. When I’m broadcasting, you’ll see it here:

tl;dr Version

My Extra Life marathon for this year runs from 8 a.m. Central time Saturday, November 5th until 8 a.m. Central time Sunday, November 6th.

You can watch at http://live.backlogathon.com/.

You can donate to the fundraiser at http://extralife.backlogathon.com/.

I’d love it if you would stop by during the marathon and watch. I’d love it more if you chose to donate to the fundraiser as it is for a very worthy charity. A schedule is located at the bottom of this page.

Thank you!

(end tl;dr)

What’s the Extra Life Marathon?

Every year, thousands of people pledge to slightly break themselves and have a lot of fun doing it to support Children’s Miracle Network hospitals through the Extra Life program. This will be my fourth year contributing to the program.

The marathon date this year is November 5th, and starting at 8 a.m. that morning, I’ll be playing video games, both solo and with friends, for 25 hours (yes, 25 hours, because that is Daylight Savings Time change weekend). I’ll play a variety of things and will have some donation incentives along the way to make things interesting (more on that later).

As part of the marathon, I’ll be streaming the entire thing live on Twitch and will have donation callouts during the broadcast. Donations will pop up a fun notification, and if you donate during certain blocks or games, I’ll let you either choose something fun or extend the amount of playtime, depending on what’s going on. But you’ll need to tune in to know what those things are!

What Is Extra Life? Where Does that Donation Go?

This is a great question, and I feel compelled to give you some information on this so you know that Extra Life is a good, solid, well-run program and not a charity where your dollar is just going to disappear and not benefit anyone.

Extra Life is a program run by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a well-respected and efficient foundation that raises over $250 million each year for the purpose of funding children’s hospitals, medical research, and community awareness.

CMN has a four-star out of four-star rating with Charity Navigator, and based on their research, contributes over 88% of raised funds to services and programs.

Extra Life is even more special, as 100% of the funds raised by my fundraiser will be forwarded directly to the two St. Louis children’s hospitals supported by my fundraiser as unrestricted funds, meaning the hospital is given discretion on where and how to spend that money to deliver and improve care to sick children who need our help.

How Can I Help?

Last year, I raised over $1,000 for St. Louis area children’s hospitals. This year, I’d like to double that and reach for over $2,000. I’ll need your help to do this.

The first thing you can do is watch the marathon. If you have some spare time over the weekend, turn it on and help boost my viewer numbers. I’ll try at the least to be not-boring and maybe at the most be entertaining. The more people I have watching, the more chance there is that random other people will pop by. You can watch on any computer, or if you have the Twitch apps for your phone, Xbox, or Playstation, you can look up my channel, which is “backlogathon”. There’s also a chat during the stream—feel free to type some things there and let me know how it’s going or if there’s something I can do better!

The second thing you can do is share with others that the marathon is happening. Here’s a tweet and a Facebook post you can share around:

The third thing you can do is to donate to the fundraiser. I don’t expect everyone to be able to do this, so it’s the thing I’m putting last in this post. If you have the available funds, any donation will help. Check the stream first or the schedule below—there may be an incentive going on! You might be able to direct part of the stream or get me to do something interesting!

OK; So What’s Going On During the Marathon?

Here’s the current schedule for the marathon, which is subject to change:

Some hours will have special guests (hint: my family). Other hours will have special donation incentives, for small and large amounts. You’ll need to tune in to the stream or follow me on Twitter to know what those incentives are!

The first basic donation incentive is that for every $5 donated during the Rock Band block, you can choose one track from my library for me to play on Expert Guitar or Bass. (Please note that a very few tracks in my list are not yet in Rock Band 4 and I may have to force you to choose an alternate.) You’ll need to be in stream chat to redeem your donation incentive!

There is ONE donation incentive that has been set in stone ahead of time: if I break the $2,000 donation goal for the whole drive, I will commit to one hour of playing Rock Band 4 on Expert Vocals. I have never sung on stream before in my life. I’ll do a playlist of my choosing, and maybe some bonus donation incentives for choosing specific tracks to force me to sing.

You are guaranteed that the playlist will contain AT LEAST ONE JUSTIN BIEBER TRACK.

If you want to see this happen, you know what to do!

Our Community Chased wundergeek Out, And Perhaps That Bears Reflection

(title borrowed contextually from this tweet)

I’m really sad about this. wundergeek is closing up her blog Go Make Me a Sandwich, from which I have learned quite a lot over the years about how the gaming (both video and traditional) industry treats women both in depictions and in (lack of) inclusiveness.

She writes:

Before Origins, I ended up crying in a bathroom as I chatted with friends online about the vitriolic response to a thing that I’d written. It made me doubt myself so much that I actually wondered if it would be worthwhile going to Origins. Would I even be welcome there? (Spoiler alert: I was.) Fast forward two months to a different crisis before a different convention, which saw me crying for more than a week in the runup to that convention. Truth is, I’ve done a lot of crying about my blog in the past year. But I didn’t let myself think about that, because I had to keep moving forward. I had to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I had to keep my head above water and just. Keep. Fighting.

Or at least that’s how I was approaching things until several weeks ago, when the final straw happened. As is the way with such things, it was so small. Such a quiet thing those most community insiders, even, probably missed. Really, it doesn’t even matter what the event was. What matters is that it represented a tipping point – the moment in which I finally had to confront the fact that I haven’t felt passionate about what I do here for a long, long time. And for most of this year, I’ve felt only resentment. That this stupid blog has cost me so much, and I feel trapped by it. A victim of my own success – forever tarnished by my connection to it, and yet dependent on the income it provides, that I require because of the damage it’s done to my reputation. (See what a vicious cycle that is?) The final straw made me realize that I don’t want to do this anymore, and indeed, that I was rapidly approaching a point where I couldn’t do it anymore.

Of course, this is made harder by the fact that I hate losing. And there will be people who will celebrate, people who call this a victory, which only intensifies my feelings of defeat. My feelings of weakness. I feel like I’m giving up, and it kills me because I’m competitive! I’m contrary! Telling me not to do a thing is enough to make me want to do the thing. I don’t give up on things and I hate losing. But in this situation, I have to accept that there is no winning play. No win condition. I’m one person at war with an entire culture, and there just aren’t enough people who give a damn, and I’m not willing to continue sacrificing my health and well-being on the altar of moral obligation. If this fight is so important, then let someone else fight it for a while.

There’s a lot more on the original post, which you should read, because it underlines in very stark detail what the problem is and how pervasive it is within gaming culture.

I could share a bunch here about how I’ve read it over the years, how it helped bring these things to my attention, or how proud I always was that it was on WordPress.com (NB: I work for the company that runs WordPress.com). But I won’t.

Nor will I say that she needs to keep going, keep fighting, because at the least she has realized that doing so is not a healthy option and is choosing to cut it out of her life to move forward in other things. We should support that.

What I will say is that as a community, we need to take a look at this, realize that people within our community have chased off yet another person who stepped up and said hey, something is wrong with what we are doing and how we treat people, and realize that when we see that kind of crap behavior, we need to call it out and condemn it for what it is.

Because the more this happens, the greater the chilling effect that stops other people from raising their voices and bringing unique viewpoints to the table.

And that harms us all.