Gentlemen's Lunchtime Association

Like a book club, but with video games.

Plan of action

First things first: the server should be fixed for realsies. Long story short, Debian drools, CentOS rules. I should never have dabbled in the dark arts. If you’re still having problems viewing pages on the GLA, please message me. I will be very upset, but I need to know.

Second things second: sorry the podcast is late. If the web server was behaving itself (and if I hadn’t fallen prey to an unfortunate accident and had to go to hospital) we would have an edited, mastered, tagged, encoded, uploaded podcast right now, but instead we’ve got a rambling blog post from me. I throw up my hands and claim to be Merlin in apology.

Third things third: I want to add a videos section to the GLA website. We have a decent few video makers and video features, and I don’t think the current version of the site can support them. Simply put, people can’t find the GLA through videos made by our videomakers, and GLA users can’t easily find videos by GLA videomakers. That’s a failure on all counts. Initially I wanted to just put all videos through the official GLA channel (that’s the easy solution), but people wanted to retain their own channels. Why they would decline access to a channel that has over 100 times the subscriber base that they have is beyond me, but that’s the way it is.

As it turns out, a proper implementation of a videos subsection is a fucking hell of a lot of work, primarily because the original site was never designed for it. You can’t just shit a load of iframes onto a page and call it a day, you’ll end up crashing computers. The alternative is either to implement thumbnails that take you to a video page, or to load in the iframes with a bit of javascript on the user request (which will probably need thumbnails anyway…). There also needs to be a way to keep track of video series, and add new video series, which the current site doesn’t do either.

I’ll be honest, I’ve looked at the GLA5 codebase (originally written more than 2 years ago and hitherto unaltered) and found that tons of weird shit has been hardcoded into the site in impossibly stupid ways. For example, the theme does not support menus, nor does it have the menu items hardcoded. The menu items are dynamically generated from a complete list of every page on the site, based on a blacklist of known IDs of pages that are not supposed to be on the menu. Then, there are a series of CSS rules that determine which icon each menu item is assigned, based on (iirc) the order in which the icons appear from left to right on the screen. In other words, the simple task of adding another item to the menu would probably require me to rewrite all that shit, and actually write it well this time instead of just pissing into the wind.

As you’re probably aware, I’m always looking for ways to get more people interested in the GLA and expand and experiment with the kind of content we offer. I think every type of content has its own shelf-life and I don’t want to put all my eggs into one basket. For example, what if I were to wake up tomorrow and found that the whole internet had gotten over livestreams? To be honest, I am surprised that has not happened already.

Fourth things whenever: Max Overdrive Extreme Sunset Showdown Supreme (by the way, I’m changing the title: it will probably be Max Everdrive or something similar as there is already a movie about trucks called Max Overdrive) is making good progress. I’ll give you a breakdown:

Art: 90% done – all I need is some more roleplay space graphics and some alternate camera angles for existing scenes. Although the ‘animation’ is still crude\nonexistent, there are actually a shitload of graphics (i would say a little under 100 unique graphics+interfaces+cameras).

Music: 50% done – I will be composing a main theme and a final showdown theme, the main theme I have composed already. If I can’t think of anything for the final showdown I will use some stock chiptune music or reuse an old composition.

Sound Effects: 70% – I love sound effects. Yeah, I’m doing my own.

Gameshow implementation: 90% done – all that is required is the roleplay space and adding triggers for the sound effects. My original plan for the roleplay space was to use the existing sprites for characters and just put them in new scenes, but I decided to draw new characters instead. The principal reason is to do with the design of the new engine – in the old engine, a lot of bugs were caused by ‘crossed wires’, essentially. One part of the program would be triggered by the input for another part of the program, or two different parts of the program would try to draw graphics onto the screen at the same time. To fix this, I decided that every part of the game should essentially be a self-contained application with its own controls. As it turns out, every single part of the game (the questions, the studio visuals, the board, the final showdown and the space occurrences) are completely self-contained and don’t need to share large amounts of data with one another, except the roleplay space. Not only that, but you had to tell it which characters were going in, and you’d also have to define things like the position and scale of every possible character in every possible scene in every possible position (that shit is a huge pain). So I dropped the shit out of that one.

Final Showdown: 90% – I have some camera bugs that I know how to fix, and I want to add a few more enemies. I will likely add extra enemies and obstacles as the show goes on, so I’m not really concerned that what I have right now is a bit bare-bones.

There is another indeterminate category which is not really related to the game itself: each episode will have a very short, pre-recoreded self-contained ‘story’ which exists to give each episode a slightly unique theme. I haven’t done any animation for these yet, and I have not cast anybody except Zoltran. I have written a fair amount, but not for the first episode. Just for the first episode, I want something that won’t make people close their browser tab in disgust after 10 seconds. So, yeah, no ideas yet.

That is all. Have a good day, everyone.

Much love,

Catsman

fish.heads

Can I be in Max Over/Everdrive again since I’m probably one of the only people who didn’t submit questions?

(also Everdrive is the name of a company that makes flashcarts so people searching for reviews of flashcarts on youtube or whatever will probably be very confused by the weird quiz-show thing they find)

(also, were you to rewrite portions of the site, you wouldn’t change the layout/appearance at all would you? I really like the way it looks now)

On November 24, 2014 at 4:31 am

Catsman

Probably but not for the first episode. Right now I’m still writing all the questions myslf.

Yeah I know, but I’m anticipating that the title will become abbreviated to ‘max everdrive’, which is not anything in particular. Perhaps I would be incorrect in chosing a title pertaining to video games over a movie about trucks.

I actually think the site looks fine now, I wouldn’t be changing the visuals, only adding a new page and doing some refactoring, My main point is that refactoring would actually take some considerable time.

On November 24, 2014 at 9:31 am

Freakydemon

People wanna keep uploading to their own channels because they think the content they create is shite they’d rather not associate with anyone but themselves, look at the shite I produce for a good example of that feeling.

On November 24, 2014 at 2:18 pm

Freakydemon

Well except mitch, but he’s a whore.

On November 24, 2014 at 2:19 pm

AniMitch

Freaky i just don’t think its fair to abandon the loyal animitch fans just to go to another channel that has marginally more subscribers.

i wouldn’t trade one animitch fan for 100,000 main stream fans one animitch fan is priceless.

On November 24, 2014 at 4:41 pm

IronCladLou

Quantum Megadrive
Max Filesize
Fat Jazzercise
Pesto Overspice
Jam Hammerite
Sans Serifize
Pack Overnight
Stack Overflow
Giga Scaryspice
Turbo Quantify
Black Dynamite

On November 24, 2014 at 5:47 pm

Catsman

I am super tempted by most of these. Although 5 syllables sounds weird in the intro song.

On November 24, 2014 at 9:19 pm

Everdark

I wouldn’t mind uploading my videos on the GLA channel but they are absolute shite and they are only funny to GLA members. Also I’m lazy as fuck when it comes to creating stuff. And last and most importantly how will I make mad youtube bucks when I don’t get all these views on my own channel.

Though if we ever get GLA “video creators” together to make some joint projects, the GLA channel would be great for releasing em. Top Funny Geek Anime Review when?

On November 24, 2014 at 9:35 pm

Jambalaya Bob

tfw Zoltran (will be getting my shit together for that over Turkey Break and Christmas Break)

On November 25, 2014 at 4:46 am