Virtual Soldier Part 1

This short story was inspired by a short scifi film I saw. I can’t remember the name of the film but it had a very similar theme. If the idea behind this story seems a bit familiar and you know the name of the film please post a comment so I can give credit where it is due. I will post part two of this story if enough people ask me to in the comments. Also I’m posting this as a rough draft. I will probably come back to this post and make corrections.

EDIT 1: Found it

Derrin removed his headset and stripped out of his haptic suit. It clung to his body, sweat had collected inside making the snug uniform uncomfortable and giving it an unpleasant odor. None of his previous virtual training missions had ever been this challenging.
“Damn! That was intense!” said Michael, one of Derrin’s teammates who had participated in the simulation. Derrin didn’t reply as he was still breathing hard.
“Fuck yeah!” said Tom. “I didn’t think we were going to make it. You really came through, Derrin.”
Derrin smile proudly. His superiors may not be pleased his actions cost the lives of civilians, but his team would not have won this game had he not done as he did. This simulation had been a long one. Derrin and his team were both excited and exhausted.
“Want to grab a beer before heading home?” said Tom to the other members of his team.
“Nah. Amy will have dinner ready for me by now. I gotta head home.” replied Derrin.
“Suit yourself, man. Mike, you in?”
“Sure, where were you thinking?”

Derrin left the VR room and made his way out through the observation room. There were more observers than usual for this simulation. Derrin wasn’t surprised, this sim had been so much more challenging than any his team had had before, people would want to see it. Derrin was surprised, however, to see General Philman approach him directly and hold out a hand to shake his.
“You made the right call.” the general complimented without releasing Derrin’s hand.
“Thank you, sir.”
“Don’t let anyone make you second guess yourself.”
“Of course, sir. Thank you, sir.”
General Philman dismissed Derrin and returned to his seat.

Derrin and his girlfriend, Amy, ate Indian takeout. She said she was too tired from work to cook anything. Derrin told her he understood and that he was exhausted from work, as well. Amy poked fun at Derrin telling him, “Tired from playing video games all day?” Derrin and Amy both laughed at this joke they had shared before.
A knock at the door quieted the two of them. Derrin got up and opened the door to find a somber looking Mike and Tom standing on the other side.
“What’s up, guys?”
“Derrin…man…it wasn’t a simulation. It was real.” choked Tom.

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Making Games

I have not advertised my blog, but there are a few people who have looked at my game hosted at this domain and found their way here. I think my last post was some time in 2013. However you found your way here, I feel like you deserve something so here it is, my first blog post in a very, very long time.

I’m making games now. As of this writing I only have the one and it really isn’t that great. I’m incredibly proud and excited about it though. I put a lot of time and energy into it and learned a lot. I think I benefited from making it on so many levels. Not only do I have a new skill, a hobby that I really enjoy and allows me to create something that I can share with others; some of the things I learned, I believe will also help me at my job. I don’t think I could ask for more.

I don’t have any ambitions to be a full time professional game maker but I definitely want to continue making them. I’ve been going through some lessons that I paid for at Zenva Academy, I’m about 20% of the way through and I feel that I’ve already really leveled up my game making ability. I plan to keep making small games mostly, but I think I might like to also collaborate with other people and try for something larger. I’m always thinking of new ideas, so I don’t really know what my next game would be. I want to rewrite Knight Fight using all the things I’ve learned during and after completion of that game. I also have a really rough idea for a detective noir style horror. I might also do an educational game for young children, I have a few ideas surrounding that genre. That said, my time is extremely limited and I’ll have to be choosy. I might think of something else and just do that.

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Robot Locomotion, PiBot

Last night I uploaded the best demonstration of my robot under construction. The raspberry pi, battery pack and wiring components are literally scotch taped together at this point. So there is a lot of work left. As I mention in the video I only get about 10 to 30 minutes at a time to do any actual physical work to the robot. It is coming along though. I manage by doing a lot of planning ahead of time so that when I actually sit down to work I have a pretty good idea of what I’m going to do so I can do it quickly. I don’t have any sensors attached yet and I thought that would be the next step but I think after reviewing this demonstration I need to really consider where the all the larger parts are going to be mounted before proceeding with anything else.

I believe that over the holiday I should be able to find the time to get some really interesting things done with this project. Of course I will update here and have some new video to show when that happens.

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I finally got around to getting my motors working

I finally got around to getting my motors working. The new GPIO breakout board that I purchased helped a lot. I had some of my wiring reversed and the breakout board made it a lot easier to see where everything needed to go. As for what was wrong during my first test, I’ll just say I was up really late when I took that last video and my brain wasn’t really functioning on all cylinders.

I think my next step is either going to be to attach the sonar sensor or hook up some audio. I installed a program called espeak onto my raspberry pi and a python library so now I can easily make my robot talk as it interacts with it’s environment. Espeak allows me to code text to speech. The voice sounds like Stephen Hawking with an English accent. I hope to have a video of that soon.

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Initial motor test most of the way there, now time for bed

I’ve been working on my robot for most of the evening.  I have my raspberry pi configured and connected to the internet.  The wiring is close but I can tell something is wrong from the initial testing.  The motors are supposed to drive forward for 2 seconds and then backward for two seconds.  They don’t quite do that.  I tried to upload a video but it failed to upload due to file size constraints.  I’m too tired for editing.  Time for bed, I should be able to get this working pretty quickly tomorrow.

sudo shutdown now


Edit: Here is that video.  You can tell from my voice that I’m getting pretty tired.

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