Jaybill McCarthy
Two Cents

Sega Genesis Hello World

I miss the 90s. I won’t even pretend I don’t. I was young and just getting out on my own. Anything seemed possible. The web became a thing, computers got way cooler and suddenly “nerd” went from insult to honorific. I was poor but carefree. Oh, and the video games. The video games. Sigh. Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis were the king and queen of consoles, and by far the most popular even as they aged. Continued...

Xoth Devlog Pt. 12

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part of a series, start here. So 2020 was a weird year. For everyone on earth, I suppose. The last update I wrote on this project was something like eight months ago. While I haven’t updated, I made a ton of progress and I took a new direction. The first thing I changed was the language. I love C, but it was becoming really cumbersome to manage memory between SDL, pdcurses and my own code once things started to grow in complexity. Continued...

Create a Workflow System Pt. 1

“Workflow” is a term that gets bandied about a lot these days. So much so that I think the term has kind of lost its meaning in certain circles. Continued...

React Native and Expo Actually Great

So this isn’t really news, so much as it is news to me, but I thought I’d write a little bit about my experience. React Native is a clever toolkit for writing (mostly) mobile applications for both iOS and Android. Your code is written using JavaScript and a markup/styling system that isn’t HTML and CSS, but isn’t not HTML and CSS. Their tagline is “Learn once, write anywhere”, which is a parody of “write once, run anywhere”. Continued...

AWS Amplify Is Almost Great

There are a lot of different efforts out there to simplify the creation of backend and middleware for mobile and web applications. The serverless movement, as the name suggests, is that this code is so minimal that you can do it in a series of stateless cloud functions using something like AWS Lambda (there are others, I can’t think of them off the top of my head). You’re just using those functions to pass data back and forth between your application and your data store, and whatever minimal business logic you need can be implemented there. Continued...

Xoth Devlog Pt. 11

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part of a series, start here. If you’re following along it’s been like six months since the last update. While I… See the ellipsis up there at the end of that last sentence? The one that I stopped caring about before I finished the second sentence? I wrote that last August. A year ago. Yeah. Okay. So back to it. It’s 2020, a lot happened since the last time I started looking at this. Continued...

Xoth Devlog Pt. 10

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part of a series, start here. I’ve nearly completed the code that deterministically generates random a spiral galaxy from a hash. What I ended up with was something that takes an arbitrary rectangle and a zoom level and gives you everything inside the rectangle. At the lowest zoom level, which I’ve cleverly named “1”, each dot represents something like 65,000 stars. At each zoom level, you are generally grabbing a smaller and smaller rectangle and a dot represents a smaller and smaller number of stars, until you get to (at the time of this writing) level 8, at which 1 dot = 1 star. Continued...

Xoth Devlog Pt. 9

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part of a series, start here. Seems like everything about this project is one step forward, two steps back. I was starting to make some progress with my GDNative version, but it just wasn’t making me happy. Godot is a nice engine for doing…something other than what I’m doing. So I’ve decided to ditch not only Godot, but C++ as well in favor of just straight C. Continued...

Xoth Devlog Pt. 8

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part of a series, start here. I’ve been back at it for a week or so already but as you can tell, I haven’t really worked on this thing for six months. I got burned out on it and had to go off and do something else completely different for a while. I switched to working on a mobile game with pixel art owls that involved flying. Continued...

Xoth Devlog Pt. 7

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part of a series, start here. When I initially thought about doing this, I figured I’d persist the galaxy in some form of binary (or even plaintext) JSON file. This has a lot of advantages: JSON is easy to edit, simple to work with programmatically and requires very little overhead. It also has a lot of disadvantages, at least for my purposes: Things like loading and saving game states requires doing a bunch of object serialization/deserialization. Continued...