Thursday, January 14, 2010

Gaming and Coding

So I've been killing lots of time lately playing Flash video games on the games portal. The one I'm currently whittling my way through is called "Cargo Bridge", where you have to build wood or steel bridges across gaps, and then laborers test the bridge by transporting boxes of unknown contents across it, as well as the occasional elephant.

The game that got me hooked on Flash games is called "Use Boxmen". I discovered that a couple months ago, and after beating the game I quickly sought out others. Naturally I've played puzzle games on the web before, but Boxmen was the one that really piqued my interest in the genre. I found it on Kongregate, but it is hosted also at the author's homepage.

The game is very cartoonized with stick figure avatars, and reminds me vaguely of "Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings". I found it when looking for the "Quake Done Quick" walkthroughs on youtube, and then just browsed around looking at walkthroughs of other games. I found the boxmen one here:


...and stopped after watching a couple levels and said "ok, I've got to play that." As it turned out, I solved the game in much the same way the walkthrough guy did, except for levels 10 and 12, which I solved thusly (not me playing, just someone else who took my approach to the levels):

Level 10:

Level 12:

For the most part, I like to figure out the games myself and not look for solutions elsewhere, but I won't go all crazy about it like the guy who took 26 years to solve a Rubik's cube; I'll seek help if I don't see the answer after scratching my head for a long while.

I've been delving into other games that have been pretty fun, too - In the Company of Myself, Upgrade Complete!, Pyro ii, Full Moon, Dynamic Systems, 3D Logic 2, Chronotron (awesome!), Wooden Path, This is the only level (thanks, Eric!), fun stuff all.

In other news, tomorrow evening we're setting sail for North Carolina for MLK weekend. Work is still smothering me and the rest of my team with stuff to do, difficult deadlines, little support or technical understanding in the other groups we work with... the usual. They also don't seem to be irked by the little text message fiasco from last month. Yet. Time will tell.

Lastly, Liberty got me this awesome book, "Coders at Work", which interviews big name coders about their crafts. I saw Craig Demel mention it in one of his blogs, and said offhandedly one night "Oh, that seems cool." Naturally, my loving wife remembered my one passing comment, surprised me with it for Christmas, and I've been pouring through it with glee ever since. I'm feeling geeky again, and am happily experimenting with code in my downtime again. The book has made me feel years younger. Thanks, angel. And Craig.

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