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Messages - Spectere

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Random Chat / Re: How's this coronavirus affecting everyone?
« on: March 30, 2020, 08:08:33 PM »
Yeah, that's one of the points my mom brought up. We're at the tail end of cold/flu season, so she suspects that a big reason it spread so quickly in certain areas is due to people thinking they might have caught something far more benign.

Gaming / Re: Music Gaming Accomplishments
« on: March 29, 2020, 11:41:12 PM »

This chart has haunted me since DJMP2 because it's so unbelievably fucky (it's only rated an 8 or something like that. It's not hard to pass, but…ugh). Kind of surprised I figured it out enough to get an S rank. I'm not looking forward to doing the same for the MX chart (which is both hard and extremely fucky).

Random Chat / Re: How's this coronavirus affecting everyone?
« on: March 29, 2020, 12:26:17 AM »
Best wishes, NewF. Please keep us posted. <3

Random Chat / Re: How's this coronavirus affecting everyone?
« on: March 27, 2020, 09:43:19 AM »
As opposed to here, where you only see independents/third-parties in smaller city or town governments (and even that's a long shot). :x

Even if the other parties are considered minor players it's still good that they can at least make their voices heard (not to mention that they feasibly can gain power as they win over voters). The only influence that independents bring to, say, the presidential elections is swaying votes away from one candidate or the other.

We've had some instances of cooperation here, but then you look at issues like the recent impeachment trial and you see how ugly the bipartisan system can be. How is it that 50% firmly believe that someone is guilty of crimes while the other 50% believe that he's completely innocent, and why would such a thing be so conveniently split along party lines like that? Whether Trump is truly guilty or not (not even going to get into that particular quagmire), I find it appalling that our lawmakers are voting purely by color instead of their beliefs. It really puts their true allegiance into perspective.

Random Chat / Re: How's this coronavirus affecting everyone?
« on: March 26, 2020, 12:56:01 PM »
That split in responsibility pretty much mirrors what we have here, at least in this circumstance. I'm sure having a fifth of the number of governing bodies probably helps quite a bit with keeping things feeling relatively consistent, too.

As far as the politics behind it are concerned, I think the fact that Canada's model is working that well is pretty solid evidence against the bipartisan system. I remember visiting Canada during the run up to the federal elections one year and was amazed at the amount and variety of parties that run up there. Even with only four or five of them having a decent slice of power at any given time there's bound to be a lot more natural overlap than there is here, where the Democrats and Republicans almost seem to go out of their way to be polar opposites.

Sadly, I don't think we're ever going to know the true spread of this virus. Testing kits are still in limited supply, and some people end up getting symptoms so mild that it's hard to tell if they have COVID-19 or simply influenza.

When you look at it, it's conceptually the perfect virus. It takes a long time to spot symptoms, by which point you could have interacted with hundreds of people (especially in more crowded areas like New York and Toronto). The symptoms are generally rather benign for younger people ("oh, it's just a cold"), which would allow it to spread even further. While it's already a pretty nasty specimen, I'm just glad that it isn't worse. Imagine if something like ebola would have spread this quickly and quietly.

I suspect that when also played a pretty big factor in the speed of its spread, particularly in northern climates. We're far more likely to overlook cold and flu symptoms this time of year than we would during Summer.

It's going to be weird looking back at this mess.

Random Chat / Re: How's this coronavirus affecting everyone?
« on: March 25, 2020, 11:15:19 AM »
Yeah, normally I'm not too opposed to letting the states handle certain things as long as they don't go too far off the rails, but in cases like this you simply need to lay down a cohesive strategy and make damn sure that it gets executed everywhere. As it stands, we have some states that handles this well (Ohio, California, Indiana, etc) and some that drug their feet far too long (Texas, Florida).

Like, the Spring break gatherings (and it's documented that those selfish numbskulls did cause the virus to spread) should have never been allowed to happen in the first place.

I don't know too much about how Canada's government is run. Are incidents like this generally handled by the national government, by the province, or a mix of both?

Random Chat / Re: How's this coronavirus affecting everyone?
« on: March 24, 2020, 07:23:20 PM »
This is far from a normal situation, though. This is probably the worst pandemic we've had in just over 100 years. When you really look at the numbers, though, most people are handling this well. The people who are breaking the stay at home orders and hoarding supplies are very much on the fringes. You're always going to have Karens and Chads.

Beyond that, this is a new pathogen with a particularly long incubation period. It takes some time to develop the

On that note, I'm going to break my usual non-politics stance for a sec: my main complaint (and concern) about all of this is that the face of the US government during this crisis is a narcissistic, incompetent imbecile. He's done nothing to reassure the American people (which is likely what led to the shortages of critical supplies) and has handled it in such a nonchalant way ("oh, we'll be back up and running by Easter, yuk yuk yuk!") that it's obvious to me that he's completely ignoring the advice and guidance of medical professionals and, per usual, acting like a goddamned know-it-all like he always fucking does.

On a brighter note, I am very pleased with Ohio's handling of all this. I think that if the measures that Ohio took were applied on a national level, far sooner, this wouldn't have spread as far or as quickly in the US.

Random Chat / Re: How's this coronavirus affecting everyone?
« on: March 24, 2020, 10:17:30 AM »
Man, sorry to hear that. I hope everything works out for you.

I'm fortunate enough to work in an essential business (eyeglass manufacturing) and in a position where I can work from home, so things have been relatively normal for me (aside from working from a recliner instead of a desk).

Not to say that things have felt normal, of course. The combination of suddenly working from home and staying indoors has more or less caused the days to blur together, not to mention that whenever I do go out to grab food/groceries, the area just feels like a ghost town. I went out yesterday and one of the busiest roads in the area had fairly sparse traffic during what would normally be rush hour. Everything about it just feels kind of surreal.

I also worry about what's going to come after all of this passes. I think we're headed toward a far worse recession than what we dealt with post-9/11.

Gaming / Re: wut specturr'z playing
« on: March 06, 2020, 08:47:48 AM »
Yeah, it's pretty much exactly like fixing a car. This is probably one of the few cases where car analogies work, in my experience. :P

I know what you mean as far as the lack of free time goes. Being an adult is overrated.

And yes, I work as a full-time developer for an optical laboratory. Unless I find myself seriously burned out I don't generally have a problem going home and doing some hobby coding. That's when I do my work with MegaZeux, as well as my other projects.

I think a large part of why I'm able to do that is because there's a pretty sharp difference between the sort of stuff I do at work (business applications and web sites) and what I do at home. As a hobby, I generally find myself either working on stuff like MegaZeux, or doing research projects (writing a raycaster, texture converters, reverse engineering, etc). The only time I've had any real overlap between the two is when I wrote a pygame-based widget system for some Raspberry Pi-based tablets for the lab floor at work. That was a fun project.

The Raspberry Pi is a great place to start. It's a reasonably powerful system that has everything you need for development already installed, including plenty of samples. The only real downside is that it's running a flavor of Linux, which may be a bit of a learning curve in and of itself.

Also, since the stupid Twitter plugin I have refuses to let me simply link to the site, here's a couple of things that I wanted to link to above:


Texture Compression:

Gaming / Re: Music Gaming Accomplishments
« on: March 06, 2020, 08:11:27 AM »
Ah yeah, you were at the tail end of the awkward period I think. Those older releases were tuned for very specific displays (I think there were four different ones by that period: the classic CRT and a few LCD panels). There were ways of adjusting the timing but I remember it being really finicky.

The latest Lincle patch and beyond all have an automatic timing routine built-in. Every time the game starts it spends about a minute working out your display's refresh rate and syncs the game around that, and in my experience it's been very accurate. The only thing you have to do is make sure that the audio is plugged directly into the PC and not using HDMI passthrough or anything like that, since that will introduce audio latency.

I've never had any luck using a converter, either, even when doing basic BMS stuff. I'd always get input lag with the occasional dropped input. I'm kind of leaning toward that being your problem more than anything else.

Gaming / Re: wut specturr'z playing
« on: March 05, 2020, 12:04:23 PM »
Speaking of MegaZeux stuff, I added optional save slot support to it recently (very handy for consoles, but desktop users can make use of it as well):

Looks like it's probably going to be in the next release. \o/

Gaming / Re: Music Gaming Accomplishments
« on: March 04, 2020, 03:10:53 PM »
When was the last time you tried it? The way that the game syncs changed drastically with one of the last patches for Lincle and basically perfected with Tricoro and newer. Input lag is another thing entirely, and I didn't really have a good time trying to use an actual IIDX controller until I just broke down and bought an FP7.

There aren't all that many hoops that you have to jump through anymore either, thankfully: extract the data, put bemanitools in that directory, configure (which pretty much just boils down to setting your keys), and run. It's a far cry from what you had to do to get, say, GOLD running acceptably.

Gaming / Re: Music Gaming Accomplishments
« on: March 03, 2020, 05:58:11 PM »
They do have a home release for PC (INFINITAS) but since it's JP-only you have to jump through some hoops to get started with it.

There's also other means of running modern versions of IIDX, um, PERFECTLY LEGITIMATELY.

Gaming / Re: wut specturr'z playing
« on: March 03, 2020, 05:55:38 PM »
A lot of that depends on your level of experience with the code in question, as well as the platform you're targeting. In the case of MegaZeux I have a reasonable understanding of the platform code due to refactoring (reorganizing, basically) and extending the clipboard handling code, so I had a pretty good idea of where to look when I started digging things apart.

As far as getting to that point, it's like taking something apart. Whenever you dive into someone else's code you're always going to be at a disadvantage. Like artists, every programmer has their own ideas on the best way to accomplish certain goals. One of the methods that I tend to use is to determine which section I want to change and search through the code for references to that particular thing. From there I have a few options—I can tweak certain values to see if I can change the result of something, place debug print statements throughout the code to see what happens in certain conditions, or run the thing through a debugger and have it stop at certain lines to observe the contents of variables. Unfortunately, the best way to do this depends on your knowledge of the code and the exact thing that you're trying to accomplish, so there's no real one size fits all solution.

To give you an idea of how I approached the Vita port, I first started off by installing the development tools and making sure that I could build and run Vita homebrew. You always want to use sample code with your tools, not run something that someone else built. You want to be able to generate the file on your PC, send it to the target, and run it from there. This allows you to make sure that your toolchain (the set of tools that convert readable source code to machine code) is sane (functional) and that the packaging tools (that is, the programs that take the toolchain's output and converts it into something you can install on the system) are functional.

After verifying that, I took a look at the capabilities of the system and the available libraries. MegaZeux's preferred graphics, audio, and input library is SDL 2.0, with SDL 1.3 being a good fallback. It has several options for playing back tracker music (libxmp, libmodplug, and mikmod), Vorbis files (libvorbis and tremor), and also supports RAD (Reality Adlib Tracker).

The Vita SDK supports SDL 2.0, which basically gave me audio, video, and input for free. The system is a reasonably powerful quad-core ARM processor. I know that the 3DS port of MegaZeux could handle RAD playback, and since the Vita is faster I was reasonably sure it could as well (and it does). The CPU supports floating point instructions, so I could use libvorbis instead of tremor. Additionally, it has plenty of memory (512MB) so it's nowhere near as limited as many of the other portables that it supports.

So, the next step is to just try building it. The original build I made was fairly minimal, as I wanted to be able to just run MegaZeux and have something display on the screen. I built it with no audio support, targeting SDL 2.0. That's when I ran into that little issue with the Vita's inability to traverse directories. The game won't even compile since those functions simply don't exist in the Vita's userspace APIs. I rewrote them, then used some C trickery to remap those functions to my custom ones, and was able to come up with a working build.

It worked. I was able to load a world. I didn't have audio, so I couldn't hear anything, and I didn't have working input so I couldn't actually play the game, but I could see the title sequence doing its thing. From there, it was just a matter of making an organized list and running through the required features point by point, and honestly it became a bit of a blur after a while. This is largely where the collaboration aspect came up, too. Lachesis is the lead developer of MegaZeux and knows the source like the back of her hand, so whenever I'd run into trouble she would advise me where to look and I'd generally work out a solution. Collaborating and working off of another dev's experience is pretty key with stuff like that.

A huge part of the "heavy development" phase is just staying organized. Figure out the problems, prioritize them, tackle them one by one, and test the shit out of everything. It's much easier to handle a large problem if you take care of it step by step.

Also, yeah, everything Vita-related went up in value ever since the systems were busted wide open. I was planning to get a PSTV to verify compatibility but it ended up being way too expensive for what it was, like rivaling the PS4 in price. :|

Gaming / Re: wut specturr'z playing
« on: March 01, 2020, 04:22:36 PM »
I decided to start playing through AI: The Somnium Files yesterday.

Just beat it. Took roughly 26 hours—28 with the occasional reload to get some collectibles. I still have some more to grab, though I'll probably use a guide to do it.

I absolutely loved it. Compared to Zero Escape there are fewer branches in the story but they're all unique. Some people complained about crashes, but I haven't experienced a single crash during the entirety of my playtime.

Again, I can't really go into specifics without spoiling the plot, but it was a satisfying run. Things start to naturally click as you progress through the story.

How would I compare it to the Zero Escape series? Hmm. Hard to say, honestly. In AI the roster of primary characters is smaller, so I'd say you get to know individuals a bit better. The puzzle segments (rather, Somnium sequences in AI) definitely aren't as engaging as the puzzle segments in ZE, though I feel that the character interactions generally feel a better written. The story also has a defined beginning and ending. No sequel bait here! It was gripping to the point where I spent around twelve hours playing it yesterday, then I flopped out of bed this morning, turned on my computer, and finished the rest of it in another five.

The graphics and animations are nothing to write home about, but that's fairly common in this genre. They generally compliment the story well, and aside from a few little things that push my buttons (like bad mipmapping on road surfaces) nothing was really too egregious.

As you can imagine, I highly recommend this if you're a fan of VNs.

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