Trial and Epic Fail

Ventures of an indie game developer

The Energy Age comes flying

The different types of revolutionary energy sources pile high. The Chinese government's thorium molten salt reactors. Andrea Rossi's E-cat. Some Iranian guy's "Magrav." The last one looks like bogus, but a gazillion hobbyists are showing up on Youtube where they've constructed of some type of "magnetic" or "gravitational" (or both or neither) rector from copper wire and caustic soda. It goes something like this:

It seems too elaborate for a hoax, and too widespread. In minutes I'm able to find acclaimed hobbyist replications in US (above), Spain, Germany, China, Australia and Canada. An expensive scam? Or just people fooling themselves? On the plus side there's certainly even more people building in more countries, on the minus side many of them - including the inventor Mr. Keshe from Iran - seems clearly deranged. Keshe has for instance predicted a number of climate disasters which should have happened years ago. But madness might not always be a drawback. The mad genius Nikola Tesla was for instance extremely prolific. A tiny treat of his unique insanity is one of the most remarkable phobias I've ever heard of: the fear of pearl earrings.

My guess on the Magrav reactor is that it's nonsense, but regardless one invention or another is soon going to take us into the energy age. The idea of free energy removes the gravitational restraint on us humans. Why should I pilot a car to work when a drone is so much faster and funnier? The 60's future - where people work for leisure and fly instead of roll - will be upon us in a couple of decades.

Enlightened games

I always come up with interesting side-projects which distract me from what I ought to finish. So instead of working on my Trabant-made game, my psi book or My Upcoming Awesome Game, I started looking into enlightenment yesterday night. The reason was that I found that an American neuroscientist, Dr. Jeffrey A. Martin, has found a solid and proven way to take anybody to "non-symbolic consciousness." I've always thought this would be something I'd eventually want to do, but spending years on for instance meditation seemed like a somewhat unsound choice. Now it seems like I don't have to. His method seems straight-forward and fast. A few of his research subjects were actually able to get to a very high level of enlightenment ("location 4") in just a few days.

Btw: enlightenment is not what you think. The eastern explanation of "you are not your body nor your mind" or that you become "empty of thought" is not accurate and sounds scary to a westerner. A more accurate description is that you loose your self-referencing thoughts. Your ego. When those thoughts of how you appear, behave and say disappear, a peaceful void fills your mind. This void is at your disposal to fill with whatever thoughts you will, when you wish. At least that's how I understand it. I'm aware that this choice will affect the rest of my life, and also that my games and books may never be finished, but I'm willing to take that risk. If I come out on the other side still wanting to make games, I'm sure they'll be more interesting.

Right now as I was jogging in the woods I had a fantastic experience - I had a taste of bliss and it was absolutely sacred, rapturous, fantastic! The reason might have been psycological (self-induced), parapsycic (presentiment of a feeling that I'm going to feel in the future) or spiritual (guides) depending on what side of the wall you're on. I'm on all three sides right now, off the fences! :)

Here's Dr. Martin's explanation of his model:

Crossy Road and

I built Crossy Road and in Trabant.

Crossy Road took 92 lines of code. Those lines got me grass, trees, pavement, cars from left and right, controls and death when hit by a car. took 63 lines of code and includes regenerating "dots" for eating, 20 dumb bots, controls, growing when eating and respawn when eaten.

(Btw: the new builtin game video recording feature of Windows 10 on Windows+G works great!)

Distant encounter

Today the whole family and my mother in law was out in the forest picking chanterelles. Suddenly overhead we heard a whizzing sound moving from NW towards SE. It sounded a bit like a kite, but without flapping plastic. We couldn't see anything but the sound traveled slowly at approximately 50 km/h, possibly 50 meters above ground, I can only guess of course. 10-15 seconds later we heard another object oncoming object in the distance, say three seconds before it was straight above us. It followed the same path, making the same sound, but we could see nothing. There was some tree canopy, but not a whole lot. Both sounds were audible about 6 seconds, and all five of us heard it. What could it have been?
  • Two drones? Possible, but not very probable. The whizzing overhead noise sounded like constant air turbulence to me, there was no sound of motors and no rotor turbulence. Also who would make two drones follow the same path? If the purpose is photography that redundancy sounds expensive. (There was no time to for a single drone to go around for a second sweep.)
  • Two fighter jets? Out of the question; no motor sound, too slow, invisible.
  • Two gliders? Too much wind turbulence, too low altitude (no landing strip near the woods), not visible.
  • Rockets? Out of the question, only wind turbulence and no rocket motor audible, too slow.
  • Two birds of pray? I doubt that birds of pray could ever make so much turbulence that they'd be audible from 200 meters away.
  • Meteorites? Fast meteorites hit the ground instantly with a bang. Slow meteorites don't travel sideways.
  • Projectiles? Perhaps some kid shooting into the woods? Too much wind turbulence for a pellet, too slow speed, too fast reloading time.
UFO it izz.

Game-wise I made a Crossy Road prototype in Trabant day before yesterday. Today I might make an Agario prototype. Trabant is fun!

Android vacation

Been through a lot this vacation. Constructed a stone wall outside the garden. Almost bought a motorcycle. Had a couple of job interviews. Almost got divorced. Bought an nVidia Shield. The "almost divorced" consumes a lot of energy, but we seem to be on a better track now.

The nVidia Shield was everything I ever wanted, plus bugs. It's an x86 computer running Android TV with sufficient graphics hardware. I can play videos with fairly recent encoding H.265. It of course has Netflix, I can run Kodi ("new XBMC") without any hassle, there are Android apps for the national TV stations and the kids can play games on it using the game controller. As always with Android there are a bunch of bugs, but most of the time I really enjoy this machine. Compared to the PlayStation it doesn't feel locked in, everything just works. Compared to the traditional TV, I can watch what I want, not what's on at the moment. Compared to Apple TV, I don't have to jailbreak to run what I want. Compared to a computer there is no maint.
I like the nVidia Shield so much that I've decided to port my engine to Android. Looks pretty straight-forward. That way I'll be able to release my casual retro 2D space game for my very own TV. Finally releasing for a gaming platform without that stupid touch interface! I've hated the iPhone/iPad touch interface, it's just not suited for gaming.

Just as iOS is Apple's interface perfectly fitted for a touch device, Android TV is perfectly fitted for TV with game remote. Aaahhh...ndroid. Never thought I'd say it.

Corruption of American politicians

I'm on vacation. Six looong weeks, aaaahhh! Since it's raining all the time, I'm going through a lot of Quake Live, Game of Thrones and of course movies with the kiddies. And the best way to look at movies these days is streaming them. But as all new technology it's held back by old rights holders and American law firms, so the easiest way is still to pirate.

This judical conundrum don't just apply to movies, music and communication, it also affects life-giving and life-changing technologies like electric cars, environmental-friendly heating (think LENR) and of course patents.

I used to work for a company, Mentice, that got sued for software patent infringement. The patentability of the idea was so low that any fourteen-year-old with computer might accidentally infringe. The “unique” idea was simulating a stiff wire on screen. If you did so, the lawsuit said, you infringe on the patent: pay up!

The first six months of the lawsuit was spent moving it from Texas to Cleveland, since Texas is so corrupt you have no chance of winning. The Texas corruption is perfectly exposed by the coder who wrote the X-plane flight simulator:

The offices of those patent trolls looks like something I'd expect to find in the North Korean Chamber of Commerce: totally empty.

Srsly!? Is there even a single American politician who actually thinks that this is for the best of the country, the people or the world? I have a hard time believing anybody could be that dumb, so my inclination tells me it's just rotten through and through.

Mentice (the company I used to work for) had to spend so much money on proving that they abided by the law that they couldn't afford to keep half of their employees (me included).

Right now the biggest and best innovation since the combustion engine, the E-Cat, is held back by litigation. Here we have a product which once and for all can stop global warming and we let American law get in the way? If it would have been Russia, China or North Korea this madness would make sense, but please corrupt American politicians go fuck yourselves and then make amens. (And then finally it would be easy to watch movies with the kiddies when we're on vacation.)

Private vs. public

The article deserves to be read still, four years to the day after it was posted. Stallman thinks so too.

About the author

Mitt foto
Gothenburg, Sweden