Asix Days #10 – Image Woes

I switched from Windows to Linux because I was tired of Windows 10’s constant updating and bloat. It has probably been the best decision I’ve made in years regarding how I use my computers. For the most part, the software I use is available on Linux or can run under WINE and even if neither of those are the case then Linux usually has some solid alternatives. However, there is one specific instance where I am left in the dark with terrible alternatives and that would be image editing.

My favorite editor is Paint.NET and I came across the wonderful gem after looking for alternatives to Photoshop. I’ve been using Paint.NET faithfully since Adobe went all subscription on us and I haven’t looked back since. Unfortunately, Paint.NET is only available on Windows and it also does not run well under WINE. This has caused me major issues in my workflow. I’ve barely got any work done trying to solve this little problem. It’s been a nightmare.

Now the image editors available on Linux aren’t the greatest in the bunch either. Most users recommend Pinta, but I am not sure why because it’s just an unmaintained piece of crap and if you do recommend Pinta stop it. Then there’s GIMP which is probably nice but wants to be so technical that there’s a whole learning curve to using it. Fortunately, someone pointed me to an application called Krita that I hope will save the day here. I’m running out of options.

If Krita doesn’t work out for me then my last resort will be to go back to Windows until Paint.NET runs under WINE or something better comes along. I’ve been using Krita for about a day and I think it’ll suffice for the time being. I really enjoy Linux and would hate to have to move back just because of an image editor. Anyway I just wanted to rant about my image woes (roll credits). See you on the next Asix Days!

Asix Days #9 – A Bird & a Bear

So I’ve been playing a lot of retro games lately on my Switch via Retroatch. It’s been fun to play some of the good ol’ classic, but what’s been really neat for me is discovering old gems that I never knew existed. I found one such game on the Gameboy Advance called Banjo-Kazooie Grunty’s Revenge. I thought the only Banjo-Kazooie game on the GBA was the kart racer, but it seems there was a more faithful Banjo-Kazooie game right under my nose.

If you aren’t familiar with Banjo-Kazooie it’s a game that came out on the N64 and is definitely top five. You play as a bear named Banjo who carries a bird named Kazooie in his backpack as they fight the evil witch Gruntilda who seems to be related to Bullhorn from Black Dynamite. The dynamic duo goes around collecting musical notes and puzzle pieces named jiggies to save the day. There’s even a mole named Bottles who teaches you moves and a skull person thing named Mumbo who transforms Banjo into things. It is simply a great and quirky N64 title that I would never imagine seeing in some form on the GBA.

Despite my skepticism, Grunty’s Revenge isn’t bad at all. It plays just like you would expect a Banjo-Kazooie game to work. There’s not much to say except what was already said about the N64 game. The only thing wrong with it is the false difficulty, the repetitive mini-games, and lame bosses, but other than that I’d say it’s a game worth picking up. Now I am about to go finish the game and beat Gruntilda. See you on the next Asix Days.

Asix Days #8 – Pokemon Tale

I was watching the Pokemon Gold Race during Awesome Games Done Quick 2019 and I was extremely amused to here a donation come in by someone with mama in their name. They mentioned that they had a one year old, but they remembered playing Pokemon when they were a kid meaning she was probably close to my age. I was just so amused by the fact that we are at a time were those who grow up with Pokemon are now having their own children. For reference I am 27 now and I was 6 when Pokemon Red and Blue came out. It is crazy how time files.

I always love telling the story of how I got my first Pokemon game. I was hanging out with some kids in my neighborhood and we were trading Pokemon cards. I had a holographic Clefable card that he really wanted, but I wasn’t budging. That’s when he offered me his copy of Pokemon Red. I thought he was joking, but sure enough, he went to his house and came back with Pokemon Red. Needless to say, that would probably be one of the best trades I would ever make.

Now I days I don’t have much time for Pokemon. I haven’t really played much since X and Y (even thought I hate I missed the Gen 3 remake hype), but I still keep up with the series. Like most born in the 90s, I have a childhood filled with fond Pokemon memories and like the mama from the donation I hope to have Pokemon loving kids one day too. Well that’s all. See you on the next Asix Days.

Asix Days #7 – Productivity Plan

I came into 2019 knowing that I wanted to spend less time procrastinating and more times getting my work done. I knew I’d have to change the way I did things if I wanted to see the change I wished to become. I figure the best way to do this would be to tackle how I handled my workload. I usually just keep a mental list in my head of all the things I had to do, but I knew going forward this couldn’t work.

In the morning before I go to sleep (being the night owl I am) I write down at least three tasks I want to get done that day. These are written on my dry erase board I have hanging next to my desk. It is very rewarding to able to review my task at any time and mark them off when I am done. These tasks are usually small and digestible, but get me closer towards a bigger goal.

When it is time for bed I erase all the task that has been completing and leave the ones that aren’t. I move the unfinished task to the top of my list so they have priority and write down some new ones. The task are small enough that it’s no problem if I miss one as long as I got some other tasks completed. I’ve only been doing this for a week, but I feel like this system has helped me get a lot more done which means more content for you! Well that’s it for now. See you on the next Asix Days.

Asix Days #6 – iOS Learning

On the last edition of Asix Days I talked about me going for my Android certification as a personal goal. I also mentioned how I am already an established Android developer and I plan on using my new knowledge to update my apps already in production. That is all fine and dandy, but where does that leave my iOS fans? How do you benefit from all this? You don’t, but I got some plans for you all.

It was never my intention to leave my iOS fans in the dust, but you have to admit it takes some deep pockets to keep up with Apple. I don’t want this to stop me from providing my wares so I hope to be ready for some iOS development by June of this year (2019). Fortunately for me, I have a crew of great friends on my team coming in with the assist.

While I save up for my own iOS device a good friend of mine is loaning me his iPhone 6 and has even offered to test my apps using his XS. This alone eliminated probably the most costly point of entry so I am really grateful for that. Now I can use my efforts to get my a Mac and I am shooting for a decent Mac Mini which I think I can have soon. Once I have all of these in my possession I can begin converting every mobile game and app I’ve released for iPhone.

I can’t tell you how excited I am to be getting setup for iOS development. I have a great deal of friends who are iOS users who will be playing some of my games for the first time. Are you an iOS user who is excited to play some of my Android releases? I’d like to hear from you so leave me a comment. Whelp, see on next time on the next Asix Days!

Asix Days #5 – Android Learning

So over the last week, I have been working on the Google Android codelabs in order to prepare for my certification test. Hopefully, by the time this post has been published, I will have finished the entire thing, waiting until I can pay for and take the test. I don’t really need the certification, but it does look nice when people seek me out to build apps.

Since I have spent the last three years as an Android developer these codelabs have been more of a refresher for me. It has been a long week going through all these lessons within the codelabs because some of them can be a long and borning. It takes a great deal of discipline to go through these on your own, but I feel it will be worth it in the end. I have even taught myself some new tricks going through the codelabs.

While waiting for the money to take my certification test I will probably go update some of my Android apps on the Play Store. As I go through the codelabs I can only think of ways to improve the apps I’ve already worked on. This is good news if you like Super Pico Player and Pixel Dailies Widget. Anyway wish me luck on the test and hopefully one of these Asix Days will be a celebration post.

Asix Days #4 – The Problem, Solution, & Goal

Without going too much into it, growing up black was extremely hard for me, but video games got me through it. That’s why they are so important to me. It didn’t matter how crappy my day was, I knew I could come home or pull out a handheld and get lost in another world. In fact, I can pair nearly every traumatic memory to a video game. It’s my prefect getaway.

Dealing with the aforementioned “growing up black” issues, I’ve I come to understand and enjoy my identity as a black man. That in of itself has been a journey and has been like food to my soul, but it has also made me realize the lack of that same identity within my beloved industry. I don’t have to talk about the lack of black representation in video games, but it is I problem I feel like I need to fix.

My goal in life is to use video games to tell great and epic stories like Trails in the Sky, but I hope that my passion brings the black identity to the industry. Personally, I’d like to see that in form of fantasy games like Chrono Trigger or Golden Sun with a primarily black cast and/or more black people in the industry doing development and pixel art. It’ll be a tough problem to fix, but I hope I have the solution.

Reintroducing Break Of the Dungeon

What’s up, everyone! It’s Asix here with an update about Break Dungeon. Most of the update is in the video below, but the most important thing is that I’ve changed the name of Break Dungeon to Break of the Dungeon. I thought the old name was super generic and I wanted the Zelda inspiration to stick out more. Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way you can enjoy the video of me showing how levels in Break of the Dungeon are made. As a bonus, you even get to see how goofy I am and how much I like hip-hop. Hope you enjoy and have a good day.

Asix Days #3 – Customer Disservice

If you are reading this I am sure you have had to deal with crappy customer service. You may have had to deal with some automated services that seem built to keep you from reaching a real person or maybe you actually get a living breathing representative but he knows less about the issue than you do. I am not sure how or why, but customer service is anything but and it would be a disservice not to acknowledge that.

My last tango with a customer service department was just the other day. Imagine getting paid and not being about to access you money because for some reason your account has been flagged. Now in order to verify your identity you need a phone number registered in your name. Normally this wouldn’t be an issue, but your phone is off and you need the money to pay it. Now do you see the issue here? I spent so much time dealing with this that I literally fell asleep on the phone.

Luckily my father and I share the same name (kinda) and I just used his number. Good thing too because I was told there was no other way to access my money and hope the security check goes away. It is bad enough to have bad customer service, but it is another thing to basically have a pointless security measures that can be circumvented by someone who shares my name (kinda). Needless to say it was a very frustrating pay day.

Asix Days #2 – In the Past

It has been a while since I checked in. Unless you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you may have been lost in the loop. My last post was in October when I was working on Force Defender Operation. Well let’s catch up, shall we?

I dropped Force Defender Operations shortly after that last blog post. I wanted to do something that was a bit smaller in scope. Something that I could crank out in a short amount of time and release. This would lead me to conceive Break Dungeon, an action-adventure breakout game. I finished a prototype in about a week and even managed to release it for Github GameOff. It’s been well receivedĀ and is still in development.

That’s about it when it comes to the projects I’ve been working on. I’ve had a few more notable things happen in my personal life. I finally got married to my favorite lady. We went to the courthouse and had a very intimate ceremony and then we partied the night away with our closest friends. It was a pretty epic night, to say the least, and I wanted to share the news.

That’s all for this edition of Asix Days. Hope you are having a great day and I’ll see you next time.