research and whiteboards

I’ve been yelling at myself to write something for a while now, but I’ve been putting it off because I haven’t really figured out what to write. So I guess I’ll just wing it and this will be whatever it is.

Over the past however-long-it’s-been-since-my-last-post I haven’t been doing nothing. I mean I’ve mostly been doing nothing, but I haven’t been doing completely nothing. When I reached the point in my Pokemon remake where I had to gather all of the data for the Pokemon I got lazy. I really don’t like tedious work, so I kind of ignored it for a while. In the mean time I did a few other things to kill time.

The very first thing I made since I’ve been gone is a glowey-whiteboard. Here’s the final result:

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The whole build needs a post of its own so I’ll try to do that within the next week.

After that I got back on track a bit. I downloaded a bunch of sprites from Veekun’s collection of downloads. I also wanted to get the animated sprites from Black/White, so I used HTTP GET requests to gather those from Pokemondb. It took a while and it ended up being something like 65MB total. Not terrible, but I can understand why Veekun wouldn’t want that on his server.

At around the same time I finally decided to get all of the Pokemon data up until gen 3. Basically I made a list of all the data needed for each Pokemon (Index #s, names, gender rates, color, egg types, etc.), and put it all into one convenient spreadsheet. I have some different pages for certain data like moves, evolutions, and forms - but I haven’t filled out forms and moves yet. I still have to decide how I’m going to program those in first. For forms/transformation I’ve been tossing around this data structure that seems to fit how GameFreak does it. There are three form interfaces: “In-battle Transforming” (Castform, Cherrim, Giratina), “Evolution Transforming” (Deoxys, Burmy, Rotom), “Non-Transforming” (Unown, Shellos). There’s probably some worksheet pages that I used just to paste some regex data, so you can ignore those.

I also added the particles for ledge-jumping and running through grass, and I’m in the process of adding battles right now, I just need to figure out how I’m going to implement it. Here’s a beautifully looped gif of the game in its current form.

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I also painted and reorganized my room, and added some neat lights, which I’ll show sometime in the future whenever I get a chance.

That’s about it for the past. Now onto the future. My current non-Pokemon projects are making a smart mirror from an old laptop screen and some minicomputer, and making a custom aux cable. The smart mirror is fairly straightforward, but the aux cable is where it gets interesting.

I’ve always been frustrated by headphones. Especially expensive ones with hardware you can’t replace. The most notably example being the cord, as simple as it is. They always seem to break, usually right at the base of the jack, completely ruining a nice pair of headphones. The solution is usually to cut it off and solder on a new jack, which shortens the cord and usually comes out pretty ugly. Another thing that bothers me is the length of the wire. They’re either too short for anything but tying an iPod to your arm, or so long that they dangle down to your knees. I might be exaggerating a bit, but it begs the question: why aren’t headphone wires made to be retractable? Obviously not buds though.

So I’ve decided I’m going to a.) mount a female TRS jack where the wire splits, and b.) make a custom TRS/aux cable. As a personal choice I’d like to have it with a right-angle jack on one end, a straight jack on the other, and a paracord sheath. I also want it to have a retractable coil. This can all be done by Pexon, but it’s cheaper to do on my own and should offer some valuable experience.

The idea is to get some magnet wire, twist those together, wrap that in aluminum coated Mylar to prevent interference, cover that in a polyvinyl sleeve, then cover that in a Nylon paracord sheath, wrap the cable around a metal rod and bake it hot enough for heat memory, then twist it in the opposite direction of the coil to make it snappy, and put on the jacks. Pretty easy. The cable should be 10′ long total, and should compress to about 3′. Obviously I haven’t included all the details, but I’ll give the nitty-gritty when I make a full post on this. Overall it will cost about $50, and I’ll be able to make two cables, with each new one after that costing <$20. All that’s needed is more PVC, Mylar, paracord, and jacks. Much cheaper than the $70+ for a similar cord from Pexon.

I guess that’s about it. I already know what I’ll be working on when I finish all of everything, but I’m going to keep that on the hush hush until I at least finish this Pokemon game. That’s it for now so until the next time I decide to stop being a lazy bastard, goodbye and goodnight.