Vacation in Japan

Since January Victoria and I have had a friend watch our two cats, and we’ve been living in Japan in Adachi ku. It’s been quite a lovely experience so far.

Victoria is taking classes during the mornings. She’s doing a second level introductory course in Japanese.

I find myself learning to read hiragana and katakana much better while I’ve been living here. Seeing it everywhere forces me to wonder what it says, check and reinforce my knowledge.

I even recognize a few kanji! But not many, maybe a handful.

Daily life is pretty interesting. Our apartment is a typical Japanese style with no insulation. Staying over winter offers us a glimpse into the past almost. In Ontario my home was pretty drafty in Winter but we had central heating most of the time I lived there growing up.

This apartment has a little wall air conditioner that doubles as a heater, and two little floor heaters are available in the unit. They can keep the unit… barely warm on a cold day. We wear sweaters indoors to compensate.

It has been lovely lately however. It was warm this past week when we saw our first snow, strangely enough. It has only snowed two days in the entire time we’ve been here. That’s pretty typical for Tokyo.

Even where I live in downtown Toronto we don’t get much snow, but this year they had a good blanket of it. It seems to happen each time we come to Japan. The last time we heard reports of “ice quakes” happening in Toronto in 2013.

We will be here until the end of March and I hope to do some more tourist-oriented activities in that time. It’ll get warmer. The plum blossoms are already out!

I hope we get to see the cherry blossoms too. That would be so lovely.

I made a post asking friends if they wanted post cards and I have already written four of them. Not many of my friends followed the instructions and sent me an address via PM so I didn’t have many to write. I did get the chance to go out and buy some cute stationery and get some selfies at some landmarks printed at the convenience store.

I think we have that in Toronto at Wal-mart although I’ve never used it, but the convenience stores here all have high quality colour printers with photo paper loaded and a friendly interface for printing photos. Great for making your own postcards!

We also have bought a few tiny toys from those vending machines, known as gashapon. I have a Genma Saotome dangling from my bag. I also picked up a little raccoon and a rabbit.

Victoria picked up a tiny Hermione and Harry Potter figure.

The food here is so cheap. If you buy from the grocery store and prepare your own meals, it’s a few dollars per meal.

If you go out to a place like Hotto Motto to eat, well yesterday they had a deal on. We both ate dinner for $8, total. Incredible! And the food is tasty. Hers was a chicken karaage rice bent?? and mine was a similar sort of thing with a tiny bit of spaghetti. All that for $8 is not bad when you’d easily pay double that to eat out in Toronto.

Even restaurants don’t seem that bad if you eat Japanese food. I assume people who say it’s expensive to eat here are going to McDonalds every day or going to other western style restaurants.

Even that is not very expensive.

I know I haven’t updated this blog for a while. I’ve been playing some more with Blender and Unity3D. has an example of a tutorial I did to create a little RPG. It’s still ongoing as the author of the tutorial is still publishing steps.

I think I’m going to make a new version of the old timesheet app I made in PHP years ago but in rails this time. My workplace uses rails so I think I’d like to know it better.

That’s it for this update. Have a lovely day, everyone!

Coding & Logic & Fantastic Flights

My list of work this week has been less visual or exciting so I haven’t posted much of it here.

First I created the bits of code that control the character. This is very much a work in progress, but the character can be controlled with the WASD keys, space, and the mouse.

Next I created code that allowed the player to pick up various items and store them in a C# list. I didn’t decide on an inventory for this game, but it’s still very much in the cards.

The third item, which I’m still working on, is the enemy movement.

As you can see in the tweet above, it hasn’t been going smoothly. My current struggle is figuring out how to code it so that the keyper can knock the player back when they collide.

The idea is that the keyper rushes into you, knocks you down, and takes the keys away from you.

Then it will rush around returning the keys to their starting positions.

Another day, Another Model

Did some more work tonight on the first map base model of Castle Sirymot (the working title). Sirymot is a character in the novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo last November.

In her castle is a maze, not really as complex as the ones that will be in this game but I thought it fit for now.

I used more primitive cubes and blocked out the base maze and the boundaries, which will later consist of cleverly positioned objects and probably just higher hedges and walls.

I downloaded a rabbit and a boot so I could have something to quickly plunk into the map, to be removed and replaced later.

Copying Grid Paper Map to Unity using Primitives

Toria convinced me to work with primitives at first in order to move progress along and get something functioning before spending too much time on details.

As such, I’ve already created a grid-paper level for my maze game, which I’ve tentatively called Castle Sirymot.

In order to economize on time, I’ve created the hedges out of cube primitives in Unity3D for now. I can make better hedges if time allows.

Well, it looks simple for now and I’m not done yet, but after struggling again with Dell over a terrible laptop they sent me (the Dell Vostro 3459) I have very little mental energy to work today.

Thanks for screwing me over again Dell. Now they won’t even refund me either.