New Years Revolution

First off I want to PROMISE that this is the last non-code/dev post I will make in a while. I’ve already got a couple of code-related posts written up, just waiting for the new year to edit and post them.

WALL OF TEXT WARNING!

TL;DR: Doing 1 New Years Resolution is WAY too easy to fail or forget. Please join me in making a bucket list for 2014. If you make a list of 20+ things you want to do and only get 10% done, you’ll better yourself by achieving 2x the amount that most humans do. Share this post and let’s make 2014 an amazing year for all of us.

Today I want to talk briefly about something that’s really important to me. A combination of the past and future. Let’s talk about the year 2013 about ya boy Ray Batts.

New Years Resolutions are far from a new idea to any of us. The base concept is to come up with an idea that will help improve ourselves for the next year. Ya know, using each year as a chance to better ourselves. So we come up with some kind of (usually) bullshit and materialistic idea of what will bring us happiness in the following year. “Lose 10 lbs”, “Buy a new car”, “Get a raise at my job”. The problem with this is that humans are a very complex subject, and the concept of choosing a single goal or way to better ourselves is absolutely ludicrous. Let’s imagine that you make the New Years Resolution of “Get a raise at work”. Let’s also say that you get this raise in February, because your employer is feeling generous. What does this mean? You’ve achieved your goal in the second out of twelve months. Does this mean that you get to spend the next 10 months of your life being a sack of shit? Or even worse, taking it easy and falling into complacency?

Here’s where my idea from 2013 came in. I was tired of making New Years Resolutions that I’d either lose interest in, or fail for one reason or another. My best friends at their place have whiteboards posted with lists of things they want to do before they die. So I took this idea and swagjacked the shit out of it. Seeing these lists made me realize the problem in both New Years Resolutions and bucket lists as a whole

  • New Years Resolutions are too easy to either forget, fail, or lose interest in if it’s not something you 20000000% care about.
  • Bucket lists only have to be finished before you die. There’s no time limit, or anything to stop you from believing that it WILL somehow magically get done before you die.

So I decided in 2012 to combine the two ideas together.

And why the hell can’t I? Why can’t I treat every year of my life like it’s the last one I’ll ever live? Why can’t I come up with a list of goals, dreams, and sometimes fantasies that I require myself to complete in order to make myself a better person. So I did it. At the end of 2012 I made a list of ~30 things I wanted to do, change, or have done by the time 2013 was over.

And. It. Was. Amazing.

I found myself waking up almost every day looking at my list, and finding a way to cross something off. Maybe I’ll find a concert to go to? Maybe today is the day I stop drinking for a month? Hey, it’s Tuesday, why not stop using my credit card for 3 months. As someone that’s pretty ADD, I found that having multiple goals over a long period of time allowed me to focus on the one I cared about the most at that period in time. I straight up had the best year of my entire life.

In my opinion, the beauty behind this theory of “30 Resolutions” is the math. Everybody in the world makes 1 New Years Resolution. I made 30. Even if I can only complete 10% of these goals, I’m still doing over three times what the average human can achieve. And that alone to me is fucking awesome.

2013 was an amazing year for me. And I’d like to say it’s because of the bucket list I made, and tried my hardest to stick to.

So here’s where YOU come in.

As someone who’s constantly trying to better himself and humanity with his actions, I’d like to invite you to join me. Join me in creating a bucket list for 2014.  Come up with a large list of goals, ideas, dreams, fantasies, etc. Come up with a list of things that will help you become the person you’d love to be. And the second the ball drops in Times Square, race to the finish with me. If we all live every year like it’s our last, I have no doubt that we’ll all enjoy our time.

Help me make a New Years Revolution.

To end this incredibly wordy post, I’d like to share my list from 2013 with you. I completed the things in bold.

Ray’s 2013 “Bucket List” (Spoiler alert, I completed  16 / 33. This means ~48%.)

  • Move to Austin
  • Impress Corey Clark (The head of my university’s department who I made the absolute worst impression with two years ago.)
  • Graduate college
  • Bring Ed Magnin to a new level of pride (An old professor of mine who has a lot of pride for his students. He usually is proud, I want to blow him out of the water).
  • Lose ~20lbs (I only lost about 10-15)
  • Murder the living shit out of Miss Jay once and for all. (My alter ego)
  • Become a well-known name in the Austin chapter of the IGDA
  • Meet/hang with the Insomniac crew at GDC
  • Hire a financial advisor and compose a plan to retire by 33.
  • Release an indie game on my own
  • Buy a Microsoft Surface Pro (I got a better tablet… so I’ll count it)
  • Spend at least 3 months with a 0 balance on my credit card ( 0 / 3 )
  • Go a month without drinking
  • Go twelve months with drinking
  • Hit up a concert/show six times a year ( 7 / 6 ) [D.L Hughely, Aries Spears, Tracy Morgan, Jay Pharoah, Oddball Comedy Fest, Mavericks v Raptors, Mavericks v Golden State]
  • Impress Lee Harris without making an ass out of yourself
  • Reboot the game developers club at school and leave it in a self-suficcient place for when you leave.
  • Drop a motherfucking microphone
  • Stay in the gaming industry. No matter what.
  • Lead/plan an IGDA event all on your own
  • Buy that damn bear coat (http://grizcoat.com/)
  • Do something incredible for yourself at least once a month ( 7 / 12 ) [NYE in NOLA, Brandon's Bachelor Party, GDC San Fransisco, Cousin's Night in Temple, E3, Quakecon, Glynn's Bachelor Party in NOLA, Christmas in Temple]
  • Help someone else get a job in the industry
  • Spend more time with the people you care about, but have drifted from
  • Call Arleen and Natalie at LEAST once a month
  • Go the entire year without kissing another man on the mouth
  • Mount your fucking television. I’m fucking serious. It’s been three years now. Mount your fucking television.
  • Get a raise
  • Train the cat to not be a dick to the birds
  • Train the birds to not be a dick… in general.
  • Step up your nail and hair game
  • Get into a private party at Quakecon again (We THREW one, so I’ll count it ; ))

A change of pace: Hire me for your wedding!

So. Sorry for two things.

  1. I haven’t posted anything in over a year.
  2. I haven’t posted anything related to game dev in even longer
  3. Sorry that I incorrectly said that there were two things I was sorry about
  4. Sorry that #2 isn’t about to change in this post.

I just wanted to make a quick writeup. A lot of my friends have gotten married this year, but I’ve officiated NONE of them. For those that don’t know, I’m a registered minister in Texas, and have the power to officiate weddings. I tell people this on occasion, but I have the feeling that because I spend most of my time cursing and/or taking my pants off like an old man, that nobody thinks I’d be the person to seriously officiate their wedding. One couple actually said something to the lines of “We’ll use you as an absolute last resort if everything goes wrong”.

Since I want to actually put my license to use sometime, I’ve decided to do a quick write up of an officiant’s speech for a wedding; something similar to what I’d give if hired. I’ve got over four years of training in both persuasive speaking and speech/debate… so long story short, I’d kill this. I whipped this up, stream-of-consciousness style in about an hour, but still knocked it out of the park. Imagine what I could do with embarrassing stories or a week to write it ; )

Note: I use punctuation differently. Speechwriters usually come up with their own code for when to pause, emphasize, etc using existing punctuation. That’s what I did here.

We are gathered here today.
We are gathered here today

Every wedding I’ve attended or even seen on TV has started the same way, with that incredibly lame phrase. “We are gathered here today”. But why is this? It’s such a gross understatement of the force that’s brought us here together. Like we all just got fancy and decided to show up at this venue on a Saturday. Today is much much more than the simple gathering of people; and to say so is insulting. Today is the celebration of family, old and new. Each of us in this room are here because the love we have for Groomface and Brideface; a love that’s only trumped by that they they share with each other

Today we celebrate not just love, but a promise. A promise to appreciate, invigorate, and support each other for the rest of your lives. We are here to both remember and rejoice in the times we’ve all had in the past and prepare for the amazing times in the future that are in store for us. To watch you two bind your souls together and begin on the journey that holds pure greatness for the both of you.

I want to hit the open bar, so together let’s proclaim the vows that will start the two of you on your incredible journey through life.

Groomface, please repeat after me.

I Groomface \ love you more than anything.
You are my partner in crime \ and my best friend
Today I pledge \ all of me to all of you
With everything in me \ I promise
To communicate with \ cherish
And hold you above all and everything
I pledge to remain truthful \ And spend the rest of my life
Making yours half as happy \ as you’ve made mine
Today \ I join my life with yours.

Brideface, please repeat after me:

I, Brideface \ love you more than anything.
You are my better half \ and my best friend
Today I pledge \ all of me to all of you
With everything in me \ I promise
To invigorate \ appreciate
and life you up above all and everything
I pledge to remain truthful \ and spend the rest of my life
making yours twice as happy \ as you’ve made mine
Yeah, Twice is more than half \ What are you going to do about that?!
Today \ I join my life with yours  

Bring up the rings, I got more to say.

Rings as we all know are a symbol of eternity. At no point does the band begin or end, blah blah blah. I, for one, like to view them differently. People tie string around their fingers as a reminder to complete a task or chore. The visual and physical reminder allows the task to stay on their mind when it has a possibly if being forgotten when we’re not at our best. To me, that’s what these rings do. They are a reminder of the joy we all feel today. A reminder that the person you’re in love with is never further than an arms length away. A reminder that airport security just got that much more difficult to pass through. But above all it’s a constant reminder of the beautiful life you two have shared and the anticipation of amazing times that are to come.

Groomface, please take your ring, Place it on Brideface’s finger, and repeat after me.

This ring is a reminder \ of all that we’ve shared
The laughs \ The feelings \ The smile that I refuse to live without.
Let it always remind you \ Of the bond I share with you
And the pledge that I’ve made today.
I promise to spend the rest of my life \ Doing all I can \
to make you feel \ how I felt the day I met you
With this ring \ I take you as my partner.
For life.

Brideface, Please take your ring, Place it on Groomface’s finger, and repeat after me

This ring is a reminder \ of all that we’ve shared
The liveliness \ The vigor \ The person that I refuse to live without
Let it always remind you \ That the times we felt on top of the world?
Will always be wrapped around my finger
Let it remind you \ of the love I have for you
and the pledge that I’ve made today
With this ring \ I take you as my partner
For life.

Though I am the officiant of this wedding, I am not here to legitimize, sanctify, or bless your relationship in any way. Because honestly? There’s no way in hell that I could pull it off the way you two have. But laws are laws, so by the power vested in me by both the interwebz and the State of Texas, I now pronounce you Man and Wife. Now kiss your bride before I do, and don’t make it too nasty, ya’ll.

Now everybody in the room throw your hands up in the air as I announce, for the first time, Mr. and Mrs. ________! Now hit me with some music and let’s get to the food. I’ll be at the bar.

My price?  Two things. Open bar and I get to do whatever in the hell I want.

Go West, Game Devs!

GDC 2012. Wow.

There’s a thousand other blog posts out there about how awesome it was. I’ll leave you to browse through them.

I will say that I did have a blast though. A blast is an understatement… I had an implosion. My only regret is that I booked my schedule too solid. I only spent about 15 minutes on the expo floor itself. This is because I booked myself into different talks and lectures from 10AM to 6PM solid every day of the convention. I got to make a quick runthrough to see some of the booths, but didn’t even cover half of the expo hall : ( Maybe next year…

Highlights:

  • Finally playing Super Comboman! I first heard about this game at GDC Austin during a talk from the CEO of Interabang, Justin Woodward. I instantly fell in love with this 2D beatemup game! it has a very interesting sticker-based art style, and kept me laughing and entertained. Sadly, I spent most of the time playing with it’s physics system, as the nerd in me was interested. It really is a fun little title, and I’m hoping that they find a publisher soon.
  • Gino Van Den Bergen: This guy blew my mind. He had some really good lectures in the Math and Physics game programming tutorials. He really cracked my awe and had me looking at the data we normally mindlessly process in a different way. I won’t get into the details, but he had some talks on GJK collision detection, and the properties of dual numbers. His website has both his GDC slides as well as some example code. I’m really a fan of this guy now.
  • Squirrel Eiserloh: Squirrel is actually a fellow Dallas game dev. I’ve seen him at a couple of our IGDA events. You can imagine my surprise when I saw him take the stage at the first lecture of GDC. He had a very good and direct lecture on Beizer curves and splines in the Math for Game Programming summit. It was easily one of the best talks of GDC in my opinion, as it was direct, informative, and to the point.
  • Sushirrito: A friend sent me a link to Sushirrito as a joke about a year ago, and I in turn linked it to our company. My boss realized that it was a couple blocks away from GDC. With that we stuffed our faces full of Sushirrito as soon as possible. It was really a fantastic meal, although it has ruined sushi for me. Why does this only exist in San Fransisco! Franchising, PLEASE!
  • #AltDevBlog Cigar Bar – I actually wasn’t going to go to this. I was a bit intimidated because Mike Acton (Engine developer for Insomniac Games) was going to be there, and Insomniac is one of my most respected studios. I was nervous of making an ass out of myself there. About a block away from my hotel I manned up and hopped in a taxi there. I’m glad I went! I met a lot of awesome and talented developers, and had a pretty good time once I stopped being so awkward. (Read: Had a couple of brews ; ))
  • B.I.G. Party – I didn’t get to stay as long as i wanted to here, because my school was having a dinner across the street about an hour after the party started. It was at The W (Wow!) and was hella nice. Everybody was real cool and I met a handful of awesome people. I also learned that my professor, Derrek Manns, is going to be setting up the Dallas B.I.G. chapter! Why I had to find this out in San Francisco…I don’t know! But I’m excited!

There’s a ton of other awesome stuff that happened here, but there’s no way I can list it all. GDC 2012 was one of the most inspiring moments of my life. Seeing all of the talented developers and their passion for the industry resparked mine. I cannot wait until next year’s.

Hello (Again), World!

Man, just have not been into blogging lately.

This weekend I head West for San Francisco’s Game Developer’s Conference. I might blog a bit, but I’ll likely keep the majority of my thoughts on my Twitter.

Follow me @Ray_Batts, or look over there —–>

The other day I wrote a lasso select tool for a project. I oddly had a lot of fun doing so! When I get back from GDC, I’ll look into posting some of the details from it.

To my fellow game devs: See you in Cali!

11/11/2010 1:11:12 (A Second After.)

So I must say, best wishes to all of those at InstantAction, especially those that I have had the pleasure of working with (directly, or indirectly) on the various Torque products I’ve gotten started with.

Nobody’s opinion of any of the Torque products matters at this point, just send good thought to those at IA. We are all concerned with products, EULA’s, and other awesome legal junk. Though let us not forget that hundreds of people have lost their jobs, alongside a great product finally seeing it’s end.

I guess I should talk a bit about how the news personally affects me. I was working on the Torque WP7 product that everybody had been whispering about in the forums. This product was actually turning out to be pretty neat, I really hope it sees the light of day sometime. The weirdest part about this is I was starting to feel really attached to some parts of the project. It was neat to both write, and understand something that would possibly be used by thousands of people.
The good news in all of this, is this allows me to focus more on Game Development, rather than that of an Engine. I’ve spent almost all of my time working on my game for class, which is doing great. I’ll be ready with an announcement soon, but that’s the reason I haven’t blogged lately.

Speaking of, time to work moar…

PS- I promise posts aren’t gonna go into the “Wat do u think ab00t ___?!” format. Next post I’ll get back into code like I promised ;)

Hello world!

Hmm, I guess we’ll try this one time. Ya know, with feeling.

This is my new site. Most of the kiddos reading it are pretty confused right now. “But Ray, don’t you have Facebook?! Don’t you have TwitterFacebook^2?!” Yes, I have both, no I don’t really like either. Call me Glass Half-Empty. (Glass-Half Empty? no.)

I’m a student at UNT studying for computer science/game programming. I spend a lot of my time researching different engines/technologies/forums, and find a lot interesting…I have a habit of posting things to a blog in order to save them later…but was shortly made fun of by all my friends for having Google lectures and MSDN articles for my entire news feed.

So here you are. RayBattsBaseAreBelongToYou.com I’m going to guess that you didn’t get to this page by a typo, so kick your feet up.

I’ll be posting a lot of programming problems/interesting things in the programming/game development community. I don’t have friends that are even remotely interested in these topics, so I will have to rely on the internet. This site also will soon serve as my online portfolio, resume, and distribution platform for the software I’ve been working on. There will also be a free iPad service, just drop me your SSN in a comment and I’ll make sure you’re all taken care of.