Weekly Update

Burst! – The STEAM Expo in Great Falls was yesterday. Team KAIZEN edutained about 500 kids with the latest versions of Burst! and Shattered Soul and some VR demos. Before the Expo, I added a thumbs-up flag that uses Unity’s built-in cloth effect to Burst!’s adorable helicopter and worked together with my brother to add a new song to the game. I also added a system for loading and saving the player’s high scores and unlocked fireworks, colors, and songs, but none of it’s visible to the player yet, so it doesn’t really count. 😛 You can see the latest version of Burst! here, and if you want to help Team KAIZEN continue making games and teaching programming and game development, we’re currently entered into the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest. You can vote for us daily until April 4th here.

Other Programming Jobs – FirstGroup America asked me to update the PDF Splitter application I built for them this week. I may also be creating a simple website for them soon. Additionally, I had about eight job interviews, technical interviews, and phone screenings for three jobs since my last update. They covered the spectrum from the worst to the best job interview I’ve ever done. The last technical interview I did this week was so horrible that I pretty much immediately started a new web development project just to prove that I can do it. Also, if I’m going to build a website for FirstGroup America, I should probably practice first. 🙂 The website I’m building is a mix between Adventurous Reader and That’sNotAnArgument.com. It should be interesting and demonstrative, but we’ll see how far I get with it. It’s quite possible that Burst! or another job will take higher priority.

The Twelfth Hour – I’m back to being most of the way through Chapter 11. I can feel it getting closer to what I want it to be! So close! I think once I make it to the end of this speed write, I might go back to the beginning, rewrite the beginning per the critiques I received from Critters, and add in some details throughout that have become important to building up to the information revealed at the end before I start the heavy-duty editing of Chapter 8 and beyond.

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Weekly Update

It’s been almost a month since my last update. O.O But that’s not because I haven’t been doing anything!

Burst! – I replaced Burst!’s old fireworks with prettier third-party fireworks. I added a smoke effect when the player misses a beat. I added a helicopter that flies around the world and crashes! I added windows that flash! And I did a bunch of other random things. Now I’m working on the Song Editor again, adding the ability to multi-select, copy, and paste beats. The great reveal of this next version of Burst! will be March 24th at the STEAM Expo in Great Falls, MT.

The Twelfth Hour – I made it most of the way through speed-writing Chapter 10 and Chapter 11 when suddenly I had an epiphany and realized how all the pieces from Chapter 8 to the end fit together. So, I started speed-writing again back at Chapter 8. It’s going faster this time because now I actually know where I’m going, and it’s more about tightening up the pieces and removing those that aren’t needed or don’t fit. I’m now most of the way through Chapter 9 and hoping to get through that and most of Chapter 10 next week.

Other – What else did I do? I watched a crap ton of the Olympics coverage. I started editing another novel. The Winds of Eshra is the sequel to The Messenger of Eshra, another novel that I helped edit (though I don’t think many of my suggestions made it into the final novel O.o). I turned in five job applications, had one job interview with a random recruiter, and completed a coding challenge as part of a technical interview. I also helped my brother write two cover letters for job applications… Then, I made a video tribute to a friend of mine who passed away last weekend. Among other things, I’ll be traveling to Montana for his funeral next week. It’ll be fun to reunite with some of my friends, but I wish it were under better circumstances.

In Memory of Kyle

A high school friend of mine committed suicide sometime this past weekend. It’s been about eight years since I last saw him, but it’s still sad to hear. He was a talented artist who became very troubled after high school. Last I saw him, he was in a dark and dangerous place, and ever since, I’ve wondered if he made it out. I decided to put together a video of some of the footage I have of him. It’s at least ten years old, but it represents my best memories of him. I can’t say I knew him well, even before we fell out of contact, but we all had some fun times making silly movies together.