ComputerCraft!

ComputerCraft is a Minecraft mod which adds programmable computers and robots to Minecraft. The computers use the Lua programming language and allow you to make your own programs to do a variety of tasks, from managing a large factory with redstone screwery, an automatic farm comprised of a network of turtles, or a cute little game of pong.

The mod is by no means easy to get into, but it’s a great way to get a good start on learning programming, even with such an odd language.

http://www.computercraft.info

 

Rise of the Machines

Kirby Air Ride

If you haven’t grown up with this game, you’ve had a very sad childhood.

Kirby Air Ride is a combination racing, battle, and puzzle game, where you and a bunch of other multicolored Kirbies ride around on different “air rides”, which are basically floating skateboards that come in many shapes, sizes, and behaviors. The game’s really fun and very easy to pick up, and the achievements system ups the replay value by a lot.

In the game, your ride has very few controls and rides on its own automatically without need for holding down the A button to go. In fact, the A button slows you down; if you hold the A button down, then release it, you will receive a boost. Of course recklessly boosting will only put you far behind your competitors, and is mainly only used for drifting.

The varieties between air rides is ridiculously broad, and each ride has its own strong points. The default ride, the Warp Star, is just an all-around good ride to start out with. It has balanced stats, much like mario’s car in Mario Kart. There’s a ride that allows you to fly, a ride that looks like a bike and goes super fast, a ride that will basically destroy anyone it touches, a ride really only good for going in a straight line (but has really good speed), a ride that can’t turn and relies on boosting to change direction, and many, many more.

The game comes with three modes, Air Ride, Top Ride, and City Trial. The Air Ride mode is your typical racing mode. You pick a course, pick a ride, and see who can complete two laps first. You can customize the game extensively: the number of laps, whether to use laps or a total time (1st place wins after time runs out), whether you want to turn the game into “last man standing”, whether you want people falling behind to speed up – the list goes on. Enemies are surrounded throughout the track, and swallowing them gives you a special ability you can use to take out your opponents.

Top ride is a cute little mini-game based off of Air Ride, and as the name suggests, it’s a top-down race on a small course where you usually have to complete 7 laps to win. 7 laps sounds like much but with a course of this scale it really isn’t. Like Air Ride, there are powerups on the track that have different effects on racers, from slowing you down, to speeding you up, to exploding. There are only two different rides in this mode, one that lets you turn wherever you point the control stick, and another that turns left and right. The latter is usually more familiar to the player, and the first is very finicky in my opinion.

City Trial is personally my favorite mode. Instead of racing through a track, you fly through a colorful, massively expansive city collecting upgrades for your ride, which can increase speed, charge time, charge power, offense, defense, weight, flight, and more. The city has many different hidden secrets and Easter eggs, and is all around fun to explore. You start out with a ride called the compact star, which is small, slow, and weak, but can become an intense powerhouse with a couple upgrades. Of course, if you don’t want to deal with having to make your current ride not suck, there are others scattered about the city. You can boost to hop off of your ride, and hop on another one, even ones you haven’t unlocked yet.

During City Trial, there is a random chance of an event happening while you’re just going around breaking boxes for power-ups and screwing up your friends. These events range from a meteor shower, to a giant tiki mask you can break to get ALL OF THE ITEMS, to King DeDeDe stealing all of the items. There’s even an event that basically has every ride on hyper hyper japanese speedy mode for about 60 seconds (and I mean seriously fast; you can go from one end of the massive city to the other in about…two seconds).

Of course, there’s a reason why you’re collecting all of these power-ups and upgrades. After a set amount of time (five minutes by default), you will have the “main event” as I like to call it, which can be a variety of challenges. A couple of these challenges include who can fly the highest or the furthest, who can destroy the most enemies, who can drive through a straight course the fastest, who can kill the other players first, and the list goes on. There’s often a ride or a set of upgrades placed specifically for these events, and a hint may be given to you during the city period of what kind of challenge you need to prepare for.

I’ve tried to explain Kirby Air Ride in as much detail as I possibly could, but the real experience is in playing the game.

Did you know?

A wonderful blog I follow on tumblr, “did you know?”, features a long series of images with very interesting facts that you may or may not have known.

http://didyouknowblog.com/

Koding

If you’re a mega ultra geek like me, Koding will actually be a very interesting experience for you! If not, you can still use it to help you learn about many of the major programming and scripting languages of today. The website is sort of like it’s own social site, and a web host all in one. It lets you post your status, edit your profile and avatar, and share snippets of code with other users. It also gives you your own domain ([username].koding.com) and your own base of scripts, where you have a variety of choices to use for making your websites. These choices include

  • HTML/CSS/JavaScript
  • PHP
  • Python
  • Perl
  • Ruby

The website also features a nice bash command shell for you to perform various file operations with ease and efficiency, and it’s own very nice code editor called Ace, which looks a lot like Sublime Text.

If you’re interested in learning code, or just making it, go ahead and request a beta invite! You won’t regret it.

www.koding.com

Markdown

Markdown is a nice alternative to writing simple HTML documents. Instead of using tags, it uses certain symbols to denote different types of formatting.

As an example, if I were using markdown right now, *this text would be italicized*, **this text would be underlined**,

#This would be a level 1 heading,

##Level 2,

###Level 3,

####and so on,

And this would also be a heading,
———————————

and_indented = text
like(this)
would (be)
in
code!

- Perhaps you prefer
– Unordered lists?

Or maybe

2. you like
3. ordered lists!

And then I decided to [link to google!](http://google.com)

It’s actually rather nice, moreso than bothering with HTML. I went ahead and rendered the above text in a markdown interpreter:

As an example, if I were using markdown right now, this text would be italicized, this text would be underlined,

This would be a level 1 heading,

Level 2,

Level 3,

and so on,

And this would also be a heading,

and_indented = text
like(this)
would (be)
    in
code!
  • Perhaps you prefer
  • Unordered lists?

Or maybe

  1. you like
  2. ordered lists!

And then I decided to link to google!

So yeah, if you’re interested in a nice alternative to writing HTML, you can learn more about it, and try it out for yourself.

Why Sonic Colors Sucks

A lot of people say it’s a funtertaining game, but I just don’t see the fun in it at all.

Over the break, I’ve decided to spend a little bit more time with the game. Initially, when I got it, it was nice, and I enjoyed it. The gameplay was nice fast-paced, and the visuals were absolutely amazing. Though at that point, I’m convinced that I actually forced myself to like it.

Picking it up again, it’s just…unfun. The levels are either too fast and too hard, or too slow and too easy. Specifically, when I’m supposed to be zooming through the level at high speeds, I can’t see ahead far enough to tell what’s even coming up. And sometimes, some parts of some platforming parts of the levels feel more like a puzzle than they do an actual level. Where am I supposed to jump from here? How do I get up there? Why is that there? How did I just die?

And that sums up my thoughts about Sonic Colors. More than likely, you’ll enjoy it more than I have.

SCIENCE CAN YOU NOT

SCIENCE CAN YOU NOT

LOLCODE!

LOLCODE IZ DA FUNYEST LANGUAGE EVR!

In other words, a while ago, I found this hilarious joke language called “LOLCODE”, and in essence, it’s basically this:

HAI

VISIBLE “PRINTIN UR MESSAGES TO DA CONSOEL”

KTHXBYE

The code above starts out saying hello, prints to the console, then exits. You can learn about lolcode here: http://lolcode.codeschool.com

JSFiddle – An HTML, CSS and JavaScript playground!

JSFiddle is a cute little site that I’ve been using over the years to test some HTML stuff more quicker than using an external editor. It’s easy for both testing and showing others some of your “proof of concepts.”

Here’s an example fiddle of mine. Just writes the numbers 1 to 10 to the page. Took about 30 seconds to make and share this, compared to the minutes you would spend uploading the file to another site from your computer.

Rush – An even older project!

Rush is basically a game where you have to run into meteors to gain points. You do this by holding the Z key to enter boost mode, then just flying into them using the arrow keys. Open completely obliterating a meteor, you have a random chance of getting a powerup. They’re tiny, yellow, and they jiggle around. Run over one and you can pick up one of a variety of possible effects.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/8005323/love/old/rush%20r3.zip

As you can see, the graphics style is incredibly similar to That Falling Box Game. Nice, simple, vector-based.

Side note: most of the graphics in this are based around a 1×1 white pixel image.

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