Later this year, this website will be 10 years old. You think I would have done more with it.
Anyway, do you like the new makeover? It’s not that big of an improvement, all I really did was change the theme and update some images. Either way, there’s a proper dark theme now and everything is less of an eyesore. Better fonts too.
Let’s start off with an update on that headphone story from the last proper post. Turns out the headphones I was using with my phone were APTX, meaning low latency. And the new ones that I was using with the Quest via that transmitter weren’t. So I’ve swapped them and I’ve noticed there’s even less latency when using VR now. And for an added bonus, the new headphones are much better at noise cancelling, making it superior for when I’m out walking the dog listening to stuff on my phone.
I mentioned last time that I got Oculus AirLink working with my quest. Although I’m fairly happy with the results, it’s not completely perfect. I certainly notice some jitter or stuttering from time to time and occasionally the picture resolution will drop in quality. But for being wireless, I’ll happily take the shortcomings. Unfortunately, I can’t use it wirelessly for long because it drains the battery very quickly.
Messing around with VR also led me down the road of thinking about using a virtual avatar to display while playing VR games, so that viewers can get an idea about some of my body movements. And so VRoid comes into play.
The software is quite easy to use and very detailed. Think of it as a more elaborate character creator that you might find in games like Saint’s Row. The default clothing options are very limited though, but you can edit the textures to create your own interesting designs. In the image above, you can see that I modified a texture to try and recreate my jacket. The bad news is that I didn’t have any decent tools for image manipulation or image creation. Although as I’m writing this, I’ve recently installed GIMP. Perhaps now I can do a bit more work to it.
Speaking of software, I’m starting to think about getting back into video editing and I’m considering downloading and trying out Da Vinci Resolve. I used to do video editing with Premiere and After Effects, but money is getting tight, so I’m looking at free options these days. We’ll see if I actually do anything though, I got a lot going on right now as I’ll get to later.
Another thing that’s been bothering me about my VR setup is the microphone. The built-in mic for the Quest sounds like muffled crap for me and no amount of audio adjustment seems to solve that problem. So I was looking at getting a new microphone with my Xmas money, but as it happens, my sister decided to gift me the microphone I wanted as a present. Saves me some money at least.
The new mic seems to be OK. It boosts the volume and helps the clarity a bit, but there does appear to be a small amount of interference or crackling on occasion. More tests are required I’m sure.
Just as a last thing; over New Years I watched They Shall Not Grow Old. Now I bought the physical Bluray of it, and my Bluray player of choice is my PS3. About 3/4 through the film though, I was getting horrible graphical artefacts and glitches. I had hoped it was just some weird HDCP bug caused by my capture set up, but when I adjusted my cables and reset the video settings on the PS3, it became apparent that the GPU was most likely dying.
My options were to go back to my other, older PS3 which a disc drive that didn’t function properly or buy another PS3. I originally picked the first option. But once I got it connected, I received the YLOD. That only left me with one option left and a day or so ago I received a used PS3 that was in fairly decent condition and decided to do a full system transfer.
I’m on my 4th PS3 now. I thought hardware failure of this kind was something only original Xbox 360 owners had to deal with. Either way, my plans for playing through PS3 games that are still on my backlog have shot up in my schedule because I should probably enjoy them before this machine conks it as well.
New Year Plans
It’s difficult to make plans for this year all things considered. I’m still hoping to hitch a ride to Japan with the help of a friend of mine and his mate. But God knows if that’ll happen.
But I will do the language proficiency test (JLPT) this year, if available. Starting with N5, although I have a feeling it might be too easy considering the Kanji levels I’m studying at the same time. I’ll look into it more soon.
At the tailend of last year I submitted my CV a couple of times to a few job openings, but I was unsuccessful on all accounts. I’ll probably keep trying, but I might start looking into going back into training. Perhaps online courses or something like that. I’m not sure if I’ll stick to games or maybe go back to traditional software development.
I would also like to get back into drawing again. It’s been well over a decade since I drew anything seriously and I’ve still got a desk full of art tools. I gotta start from scratch again and re-learn everything, and then education myself on new things like drawing humans and animals, and animation. But it’ll be a serious time commitment.
I can’t really commit to anything else for the time being.
Plans For Current Projects
I’m going to go back to the Game Template Project and start getting that into a somewhat releasable state. I need to add more multiplayer functions and game modes, as well as fixing and improving a lot of the game types. Specifically making them more flexible and expandable. I intend to sell this thing, so it has to be of a relatively high quality, or at least packed with features.
Space Cart is a bit up in the air. I know what needs doing, but it’s intimidating as Hell. There’s a ton of inter-locked systems that I now need to break up, remake, and put back together again. And then make all the new UI work with a controller. I need to figure out a way to motivate myself to just get it done.
The fighting game prototype is hold-on until further notice. I just don’t have the time or knowledge to be able to make anything competent right now. I do have some of the animations ready to use, but the actual system itself will likely require an overhaul as Unity’s default animation GUI can get messy with a lot of animations. Or perhaps I’m just doing it wrong. Either way, I can’t deal with it anytime soon.
Bunny Jammers Redux really only existed as a test for me to make a networked multiplayer game. And I haven’t achieved that goal yet, so I will probably work on that either alongside or after the template project.
I really hope this year is better than the last two. And I hope Windjammers 2 is good.