Picking up CombineIt

I’ve picked up my own designed game – CombineIt – again. A few colleague’s motivated me to finish it for android. Since Microsoft discontinued XNA, my project was in shambles.

First I converted it to WPF, which was quite easy. Most rendering could be done using a Canvas control and for the other hard to convert code I’ve used code from the MonoGame library.

The next step is figuring out how to get OpenGL ES running on Android and converting the basics to C++. Most of the algorithms used are quite simple; although I’ve used alot of LINQ queries which I will have to rewrite completly.

combineit

Race for the Galaxy

Acquired a new board-game; Race for the Galaxy. A card game with some bizarre complex rules. After explaining you’ll need a game or two to get used to the concepts introduced. But after that you will notice the themes and interactions between cards, which enables the game fully and gives it plenty of replay value with new combinations each game…

rftg

Registered for NK Boardgames

Together with college’s I registered for the Dutch Championship Boardgames as team “Soltegro Saboteurs”. As a team of four we’ll be playing four games individually against other players, the finishing places will be awarded points. Points from all matches will be tallied to determine the winning team! The top 3 teams will get an invitation to the European championship.

The games that we’ll be playing:

  • De Glasstraat (White Goblin Games)
  • Relic Runners (Tactic Selecta)
  • Amerigo (Queen Games)
  • Coal Baron (Bergsala Enigma)

nk

Update on 2012 resolutions…

Ok, I must confess it has been a while since I last posted. In my last post I talked about resolutions for 2012 and now I would like to give that an update. In some way I’ve worked on all of them.

In September I switched jobs, to a much smaller company; Soltegro. It gives me much more ways to grow and improve myself and bond with my colleagues. It is also a tad bit closer to home, and I can safely work from home so the commute is a lot better, giving me more time off. Instead of using that time for working on personal projects as I promised I’ve taken a second job working on mobile-, media- and games-applications. During that job I have however developed my first android app that went online in the Google Play store; MMH Calculator.

I’ve spent the spare time between my two jobs working on my prototype. It isn’t as far as I had hoped, but I’ve got 3 more weeks with some days off until the end of the year, so who knows?

New smartphone?

My 2 year-contract with T-Mobile ended in July, I then decided to wait until news came from Apple about their new flagship iPhone model. Today we received the confirmation, there is no iPhone 5 just an iPhone 4S. Don’t get me wrong it is a awesome upgrade and a sweet phone. It’s just that for a new Apple product it is not very spectacular!

Now there are several options available to me;

2012

Happy new year!

I guess 2011 wasn’t the year I would pick-up blogging! And 2012 won’t be it either…

So what will I do then with this site you might ask?

Well below are some new-years resolutions and I hope that by the end of 2012 I’ve completed all of them! Whenever I complete any of my resolution or the plans change I’ll post an update back here.

In 2011 I developed for several personal projects, found support for one project and tested out several idea’s. I had a great year with my friends playing board games and hanging out, I made quite some new friends and even went to Mexico to visit one! At the end of the year I visited my sister in Berlin and finished the year at my place with some close friends. Not bad at all!

In 2012 I will…

  1. No matter what, this year is going to be the year I will introduce my first game for a mobile platform. It looks like it is going to be Windows Phone, as development is easier and my product close to being finished! (Could start investigating PhoneGap afterwards to go multi-platform!)
  2. In late January there’s a SuperStijl event in the 013! After that event I will decide how to continue, but my voting-system for pubs and events has made a huge leap last year! If my version has enough changes with the original I will finish it for a prototype in early summer!
  3. After gaining more interest in board-games this last year I’ve come up with an idea for a Facebook/Social-media game that can be easily done with Windows Azure and Node.js. It would be good to get some prototyping off the ground and introduce it to some people to find support and help.
  4. Since November 2010 I’ve been travelling almost 2 hours a day from home to work and back and this has cost me a lot of spare-time, which could have been used to develop some of my projects! Thus another resolution will be to find either a project that can be done with less travel time or find a new job outside detachment agencies.
  5. If finding another project or job doesn’t prove fruitful there’s always another option available: do a 3 or 6 month term at a Swedish University!
  6. Something a lot more personal is losing weight, it’s not that I’m super fat but I could look a little more healthier!

I’m off, going to Breda: Limewax vs Bong-Ra vs Thrasher @ Mezz!

Summer Festivals

Due to a very costly speeding ticket I decided to skip my regular Rock Werchter for this year and instead went to some of the smaller festivals. I wanted to check out some of the different festivals and get to know some new artists.

Mundial 2011

Every year the Mundial festival is hosted in the Leijpark in Tilburg, this year on Sunday the 19th of June was my 3rd visit. The festival was struck by a huge storm on Saturday and the outlook for Sunday wasn’t pretty either. So I’ve spent most of the afternoon at a friends home before actually entering the festival.

We arrived just in time for the Jeugd van Tegenwoordig, where we found another friend who is a real festival junky! The three of us then did a quick tour around the festival, as this is no ordinary festival. It features many forms of art and expresses cultures of many different places around the world. We then checked out some Balkan Disko and Partizani music by Shantel & Bucovino Club Orkestar in a tent. Some parts of the Fun Lovin’ Criminals and a dance act from Chavi Bansal called “Infanticide”. The night ended with Moby, who caused the whole crowd to go nuts and end the festival in a bang!

Check the line up for sunday here.

Dour 2011

On Friday 15 July, together with friends I visited Dour in southern Belgium. It’s a sweet location, because of it being so south it has quite decent weather and it is located directly next to the highway. There are however some minor drawbacks; everyone speaks French, it is quite a long drive (at least 2,5hrs) and it is the dirtiest festival I’ve ever seen (thus the stories are true).

However the music makes up greatly for those drawbacks; a line up with heavy metal, rock, drum & bass, techno, dubstep and dance. Some of the artists I’ve seen include: The Japanese Popstars, Sascha Flunke, Papa Roach, Skindred, Riva Starr, Eskmo, Mogwai and Rusko. The festival consisted of many different podium’s and way more choices than any festival I’ve seen so far!

I actually picked friday to be able to see The Qemists and Vitalic and as I suspected those turned out to be the best acts! During Vitalic I ditched my companions and went to the front of the field, which was awesome and totally made up for the lonely (my friends we’re sleeping) travel home by night!

The full Friday Line-up can be found here.

Summer Darkness

The next festival was Summer Darkness on Sunday 31 July, which is a dark underground interdisciplinary festival, located in the  city centre of Utrecht. For years I’ve been asked to go to this festival to experience Cyber/Goth at first hand and finally I was able to! Unfortunately due to work-schedules we could not go on a Saturday, however Sunday also offered some great acts.

We set off by train and arrived slightly later than planned due to a wrong turn at the central train station and me bickering about it all the way to the entrance. This festival is located at different pop-stages throughout the city, which requires some moving time in between acts. We we’re able to see a mix of different bands and genres; The Wars (alternative rock), Destroid (industrial/ebm), a little bit of Julien-K (electro-rock/industrial-rock), The Neon Judgement (industrial/new wave),  Faderhead (ebm/futurepop) and Killing Joke (post-punk/industrial rock).

The best act, and the one we all wanted to see, was Faderhead. That act together with my “Broodje Ploff” from the local snack bar proved to be a great way of spending a free Sunday!

The Sunday Line-up can be found here.

Imperial 2030

Every month or so I attend a boardgames meeting with some of my colleges. Last month I discovered a really fun and challenging game; Imperial 2030 It’s kind of based on the idea of Risk; controlling the world. However this game is not based as much on luck as Risk is, it actually is based on strategy. And there are lots of options available to support different strategies.

In the game you do not directly own anything, no, this time you’re an investor. You have a big pile of money and can invest that into one of the great nations of 2030; Russia, China, India, Brazil, USA and Europe. Once you have the biggest investment in one or more of these nations you get to choose it’s fate! You can develop factories, build up armies and fleets and pay out taxes. You will have to fight the other nations to obtain the tax rights from other developing countries, to be able to obtain more points.

The game is finished once one nation has reached 25 points on the power meter. However the controlling player is not directly the winner. Points are accumulated by cross checking the amount of investment the player has done in a nation against that nations points on the power meter. It is thus very wise to invest into several of the nations to gain more points at the end of the game!

Last Wednesday (29 June) I played the game with some of my friends. At first I was scared that they would not like it, because of the quite extensive rules I had to explain. But in the end we played for nearly 4 hours to finally finish the game just before 2 am, and they liked it! And it turned out that the players who had the advantage of the Swiss Bank ended up highest in the scoring. They both invested deeply in Europe, which was the first nation to reach 25 points. Hopefully we can have another match this week ;)

Mexico Tickets

I’ve ordered my flight tickets to Oaxaca, Mexico for 780 euro’s! To get the price that low I have to stop twice during the flight; in Newark (EWR) and in Houston (IAH). And I’ll be leaving from Brussel (BRU) instead of Amsterdam.

Anyhow I’m really looking forward to it, and so is my travel companion ;) In Oaxaca there are many sights to be visited and ofcourse the ancient Zapotec temples in Monte Albán and Mitla. Besides that we’re also going to visit Puerto Escondido to see the beautiful beaches and Mexico City for a glimpse of the Mexican culture.