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txtr

Posted July 3, 2014 | 6:48 pm, by nadine

So what is txtr?

txtr is python engine that allows you to turn texting into a text adventure game.

Where did this start?

txtr started off as an experiment. I had been playing around with learning Python, and started making some small locally running apps for twilio. Small stuff like “tell me what activities to do based on the weather.” or “text me a pizza combo”.

But I started thinking about text adventure games, and that it would be fun to maybe play one on your smart phone. I mean sure, you could probably run a nuclear plant on a smart phone at this point, but in the early days, I remember how cool it was to get text only messages. It was like “holy shit! These came from space!!”

So I set about turning a small “cat game” I had made previously (where you are basically my cat hanging out in my apartment) into something more interactive.

Did you do this alone? OH HELLLLLLLLZ NO.

I mean, I started alone…and it got to a pretty good point, but after a while, I became stuck on dealing with Twilio’s message queqe while trying to figure out how to write a listener.

Enter Jon Doda. Who basically took what I had and contributed a listener setup, and who wrote me really long emails explaining things while I drank coffee and went cross-eyed reading documentation.

After a while there was a database setup (Jon) and some front facing flask (myself), and someone helping me with debugging (Angus). And someone with occasional helpful troubleshooting advice. (David).

And eventually there was a standalone system. A direction I did not really expect when I was mucking around with Cat Quest. But that’s kind of how projects go.

All that eventually became txtr, a work in progress python based engine that pushes out stories in SMS and MMS form by hooking into the Twilio API.

So THANK YOU to Jon Doda, Angus Fletcher, and David Wolever. Because it would not have happened without their help.

So what’s going to be done with it?

Right this moment? Heck nothing, I’m going to take a nap and ride the hell out of my bike.

But for reals…it needs to get abstracted and documented. After that, there’s some plans to hopefully build it into more of a tool for people to build their own text adventure texting games.

Oh really? Will it be free? Can I use it?

I’d like for it to eventually be some kind of PWYC set up.

I have general questions! Can I chat with you?

Of course! I’m on twitter: @_nadine, or you can send me an email.

Heyyyyy….didn’t you make that sexting robot?

You’re probably thinking of Sext Adventure. txtr was used as a delivery system for her conten. So yes, I had a hand in bringing that to life, but the story content lies with Kara. If you have questions, you can find Kara on twitter! She’s currently working on a bunch on interesting stuff.

Wait…Cat Quest? YOU MADE A GAME ABOUT BEING A CAT WHY ISN’T IT HOSTED ANYWHERE?

Jeez, give me a bit. Maybe later this summer? Ok? Cool.

Categories Blog, Technology, Thoughts, Work | Tags: , , , ,

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The ISS Love (print club edition)

Posted March 6, 2014 | 11:42 am, by nadine

The Interstellar Selfie Station is a mobile app coming out for iOS and Android in 2014 by the talented Toronto game dev Christine Love. You can get the offical press deets here.

booth

The ISS Print Club edition is a large scale interactive traveling photo booth to promote the application. The booth measures 4 feet x 5 feet x 6 feet high and has gone through a few renditions since its inception earlier this year. Christine did all the software, and I did all the hardware and rigging.

outside
It debuted at Bit Bazzar in December 2013, and will be at GDC, PAX East, and Bit Bazzar (spring addition) in the coming weeks.

At its base, the ISSlove is a skeleton of PVC pipes and connectors. PVC was chosen because it is lighter than most other tubes or dowels, and can be easily cut to lengths without special tools or equipment (you can use a 6 dollar hacksaw).

The booth was originally designed to be 6 x 4 x 6, but this proved to be un-wielding to transport and set up.

skeleton

Some custom banner items were also made for it.

banner

A custom analog controller was made to interact with the ISS software. Which emulates an old game boy camera. The user can control contrast, dither, and palette. Earlier renditions had a bit-state switcher as well to toggle between 1 and 2 bit. It runs off an Arduino Micro and is USB powered. It outputs a combo of key presses and analog positioning info, which are then parsed in Air.

controller

Pictures are wirelessly sent to a Zink sticker printer.

So far its been very well received. I hope it continues to have a good run in 2014.

Also big things are logistically challenging. But hey, I managed to get the whole rig in a ski bag. Eventually I’ll post some plans, so if you’d like to make your own DIY booth in a bag, you can!

trasnport

X-Mas Dance Lights

Posted February 25, 2014 | 6:29 pm, by nadine

Yeah you could program a lot and buy expensive RGB strips. Which is something to learn in its own right (also awesome).

Or you could pick up some 2 dollar battery powered x-mas lights from the dollar store and slap some TIP-31 transistors on it. Or do a set up with a few capacitors and such for filters on things to make your lights dance around to different frequency levels.

Good learning experience with this one. Plus I got to brighten up someone’s x-mas party.

lights

lights

And since they run off 2 double AA batteries you can run three strands off a 9-volt.

blinky lights

blinky lights

Spiffy!

make with the blinky (quick time)

Vine

Sorry tho, no sound.

Categories Blog, Technology | Tags: , ,

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