All 15 entries tagged Sleep

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October 05, 2007

Extreme Busyness

I am far too busy to write this entry, since I really should be in bed sleeping, so that tomorrow I can be up at/before 8:00 in the morning for the third day in a row.

But the world needs to know of my horrific struggles (and apparently I need to further avoid being productive and/or refuse to get sensible amounts of sleep):

  • By the weekend of the 13th, I need to have a complete Java game framework and an absolute beginner’s guide to programming (with games) written. If I don’t, then I let Warwick Game Design down and our first event is a terrible flop and it will all be my fault. P.S. join Warwick Game Design! We’re going to have an introduction to game making event and other cool stuff very soon, and it definitely won’t be a flop.
  • Within a week, the project specification for my horribly ambitious third year project needs to have been started, finished, and shown to my supervisor who is quite nice but I think already has a bad (but probably fair) impression of my work ethic.
  • I have an Assassins’ Guild website to make but the old webmaster let the site stop working completely and has now disappeared off the face of the earth. P.S. join the Assassins’ Guild—it’s great fun and I have so many stories from it. The idea is that you get assigned a target and are given their name, their course and where they live. Then you track them down and kill them with a water pistol or some more creative weaponry if you so choose. Of course, you have someone targeting you at the same time, so watch out for anyone looking suspicious.
  • I have a house full of people which means that I’m incapable of being remotely productive while I’m there.
  • I’ve bought a bike, which my leg muscles are already attempting to kill me for.
  • There’s no nearby supermarket and I have yet to even have the time to go shopping anyway.
  • I have been among the many caught out by the incompetence of the student loans company, by which I mean that I realised yesterday that I never applied for mine. I’m also very close to my overdraft limit, which temporarily reduced itself for no good reason at all.
  • I haven’t even had time to do any juggling other than at the juggling society meeting. And I’ve already lost one of my new juggling balls. P.S. join the Juggling Society! We can teach you many very cool tricks.
  • My laptop arrived, which you’d expect to be a good thing, but when I first booted into Windows, I got this screen. Of course, that wasn’t really so surprising. Ubuntu got hit by a particularly nasty bug, but thankfully someone else had found and posted a solution for me, so it didn’t require hours of work to fix.

April 24, 2007

My schedule

1) Finish assignment
2) Sleep (optional; if time allows)
3) Hand in assignment
4) Sleep
5) Do laundry/washing up/food-buying/TV-watching/anything else that has been neglected for the past week
6) Begin procrastinating for the next assignment

Hmm, I don’t notice any time for “learning from my mistakes” there. Ah well, it can’t be that important then.

February 23, 2007


Writing about web page

The 48 Hour Game Making Competition could have gone better. I hadn’t gotten enough sleep before it, and definitely didn’t get enough during it. The result was horribly buggy (note that this is the version that I tweaked to appear less buggy than it actually is).

To fix this, I borrowed a big book on collision detection. It concentrates on 3D stuff, so it may not turn out to be very helpful, but it’s still quite interesting.

I’ve also got my teammate Sam’s game Beer compiling under Linux, but for some reason it doesn’t want to do static linking so you need to download Allegro.

February 15, 2007

Computer Science and irony

Apparently, Computer Science lectures have the worst attendance rate out of all degrees at Warwick. This shouldn’t exactly shock anyone – computer scientists are about as lazy as you can get without actually becoming a humanities subject.

When I heard this, I smugly mentioned that I’ve actually managed to not miss any of my lectures so far this term. All the modules are interesting enough to wake up for.

That was on Tuesday evening. Wednesday morning comes, and of course I find that I’ve overslept and can’t be bothered to get in.

(In my defence, I was at someone else’s house which is much further away than my nice house in Canley, and their clock was wrong. Plus, it doesn’t count if I end up dropping that module.)

February 14, 2007


Why do we have the expression “brain like a sieve”? Sieves are highly useful kitchen utensils and make an excellent analogy for the brain – you should sift through large amounts of information, breaking it into smaller piece of information that can be processed separately. The only reason you could possibly have a problem with a sieve is if you were to somehow mistake it for a strangely flimsy wok. So the next time you catch yourself using that phrase, qualify it by appending “but not like a good sieve, like a bad wok-sieve hybrid that leaves your food in a gooey mess on the floor”.

There’s another 48 hour game making competition this weekend. Should be good, especially since I have some experience of making games this time. I’m hoping to get Operation Meltdown to a vaguely-complete state before then, so I can spend the next 3 months finishing whatever we start at the weekend. It should just be a case of ending the game if you destroy all the regulators.

I got asked some questions by some people with a big camera. But I went with my usual plan of just saying the first thing that sounds vaguely philosophical. The witty thoughts didn’t appear until afterwards. And since the new, witty thoughts are much better answers, I have to wonder if my non-witty answers mean these people now look down on me like scum. Not to worry though, it’s not as though they knew me. Oh, wait…

Apparently, I have demonstrated outstanding achievement in my degree course. I think that before congratulating me on that, they should give me some kind of short questionnaire. “Did you do any work for your outstanding achievement? Yes/No (pick one)”. And then I could say no, and then they could go bother someone else.

February 01, 2007

The adventures of Data Structure the data structure

I have spent the last 12 hours writing a pitiful amount for our group software project documentation. Very slowly. But I also wrote a cheerful and uplifting story about a data structure which James won’t let me put in an appendix.

Once upon a time there was a lonely data structure who had no friends. So he talked to the great programmer in the sky, who told him that if he really wanted, the data structure could be used in the algorithm the programmer was making. And the data structure was happy, because he would get to meet new and interesting data structures. Maybe he’d meet a charming young lady data structure, fall in love and get married.

Which just goes to show you that programmers are great and you should suck up to them more.

I have a 9:00 seminar tomorrow in which I’m meant to be enthusiastically Solving Problems. Nuts.

January 03, 2007

New Year

New Year’s Resolutions:

1) Update at least once a week
2) Don’t leave things to the last minute

Rather fittingly, it’s only just less than a week since my last entry.

New Year’s Eve/Day was fun. We made up a dance for some European country I can’t remember and played Ligretto until the new year. Then we had sparklers in Pete’s garden, which Mairead seemed to be afraid of. After that, we had a 6 hour game of Risk in which just about everyone almost won. I found that chatting up the dice works, until you get too cheesy. We played Poker, which bizarrely ended up with Mairead and Hennell having all the money.

Chris got everyone a “A man walks into his flat” T-shirt. He also got me Winnie the Pooh, which I suspect excites him far more than it does me. Throughout the evening, I scared myself and everyone else with my knowledge of songs. Rather boringly, we all left in the morning to our respective houses, rather than doing something random.

December 27, 2006


I have too many projects.

I started making a Tetris clone an Ancient Hobbit Puzzle game. (Sidenote: some people have too much time on their hands.)

I have plenty of work to do on Operation Meltdown.

The Beautifully Choreographed Battle Game isn’t complete.

I have various other LotH-themed games I want to make.

Perhaps more importantly than those games, I have two pieces of coursework due in at the start of next term.

Mark gave me some more Javascript stuff to do for St Pixels.

My Dad wants me to do some PHP stuff for him.

I have Babylon 5, Veronica Mars, Arrested Development and now Wonderfalls to watch.

I need to complete Twilight Princess before I go back to Warwick.


Grandparents were here for the past three days. We saw Treasure Island at the theatre earlier today, and yesterday we went to the ice rink, where some of us went ice-skating.

Ian has an iPod. He wanders around the house with it on all the time, ignoring people even more than before. We either need to get a remote control for it, or I’m going to get into the habit of hitting him over the head before saying anything to him.

Wandered around town last Friday for many hours with Pete and Mairead. Nowhere has any copies of Wii Play. We were unknowingly in the same Starbucks as one of Hennell’s sister’s friends for some time. We went bowling after finding a Hennell – I found that Wii Sports seems to help, but not enough to let me win. Then we went to Pizza Hut and then back into town where we met people from school. Pete and Hennell went to get a lift home and I went with them intending to get a bus, not thinking that it would make sense to tell Mairead. Hopefully she got back home alright, though.

Ian is fairly often getting up to watch the Cricket before I’ve gone to bed. It’s just wrong.

November 21, 2006

My impressive game that's no fun to play

Follow-up to 48 hour game making competition from Draknek's Deprecated Devlog

Summary: I made this game.

So I teamed up with Sam, who does Computer Science and knows lots about making games. Expecially compared to me – I have made one game of extremely low complexity, and I can’t even get it to play properly from a webpage.

You can find a large number of games made by him on his website, but some may not work without installing VB libraries. The Tank Attack one should work, though, and is impressive.

The theme of the competition was chosen to be “nuclear”. We decided to make a 2D shooter where you control a terrorist trying to blow up a power station with a variety of exciting weaponry. The aim of the game would be to blow up all the cooling tanks, and then get out of there before the whole building exploded. After a certain point, large amounts of police would turn up, and they’d be better armed than regular guards, making your job much more difficult if you spent too long.

We had decided to work in Java because I run Linux and anything else would be difficult for me. Sam has never done any graphical stuff with Java at all, so I started with the programming while he made images. The LotH game, while graphically unimpressive, provided a good starting point, and it didn’t take long to start drawing images to the screen.

The game required that the images be able to rotate, however, which was substantially more work. It took large amounts of experimentation with the rotate() method before I worked out that this is what you want to do:

1) Get the canvas image you’ll be drawing onto
2) Find the position you want to draw the image at.
3) Rotate the whole canvas around that point.
4) Draw image.
5) Rotate canvas back.

After that, things got simpler again. I basically spent all my time coding, and Sam spent all his time doing pixel art and working on level design.

There was a power cut during Saturday evening which sent the entire room into complete darkness except for the light generated by laptop screens. I should really have gone home and gotten a few hours sleep, but instead I slowly built up a headache from laptop screen glare and generally wasn’t able to do anything for an hour (when the power was restored). A couple of hours later, the headache got to the point where I wasn’t capable of doing anything anyway, so I went home and slept for about 6 hours.

Then there was nothing but the last 12 hours of frantic coding. I desperately tried to add all the features necessary to make it vaguely game-like, most of which took longer than they should have. In the last hour, I tried to support multiple levels, but when we got to the 15 minute mark and it was still giving weird errors, Sam suggested I give up and add a start screen and some kind of death code instead. It was a massively ugly hack, but I got it working.

I spent some of today working out why applets don’t like me when I put them on the web, and found a couple of reasons. I resisted the urge to rewrite the code to make it work there, and instead found workarounds so that the code could be the actual 48 hour version.

I have lots of ideas of improvements I can make, so it will be updated. Probably at the expense of the two courseworks I have due in not long from now.

I also made the LotH game work, but it’s very flickery, so I need to make at least a small change to that.

Summary: I made this game.

Please tell me if it doesn’t work.

November 17, 2006

48 hour game making competition

I’m going to seriously regret this come Monday morning…

New blog location

After a hiatus of several years, I’ve started blogging again at

My website

Looking for more information about Alan Hazelden? Follow me on Twitter or go to my website.

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