Simply Pointless

But hey, why not?

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Still testing

Like a madman

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Funk From The Future

To ease the waiting time until Future Funk Squad’s “Darker Nights” remix album arrives (soon!) I give you another mashup I created while trying to throw together another DJ set. One day… *sigh*

I also created a playlist of stuff I am probably never gonna finish due to the lack of useable source material. I blame Lulu Rouge for not releasing those instrumentals.

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Fixing What’s Not Quite Broken

Sometimes a mashup can be more about fixing what’s already there: even though Fisso & Spark already did a remix for Hexadecimal’s “Open Your Eyes” it was a departure from their usual breakbeat style. No need to worry, though – the Dirty Beatmeister and his patented Vocal-B-Gone plugin are here to fill that gap.

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A Cyberstorm Is Coming

Ok, hands up everybody who is old enough to remember Missionforce Cyberstorm. Ah, I see. Well, for those of you who have never heard of it, MFCS was a turn-based mech strategy game which took a lot of inspiration from the Battletech board games but got released long before the latter’s Mech Commander, and up until today that remains a genre with painfully few entries.

However, as the indie scene and crowdfunding platforms taught us in the recent past it’s only a matter of time until even the most underserved niche receives its long overdue update. Enter developer toasticus aka Zack Fowler who took it upon himself to breathe life into the genre again with his yet nameless entry. Previous projects he has worked on include Firaxis’ XCOM reboot so he probably knows a thing or two about turn-based strategy games.

Today Zack shared a video showcasing the current state of his game. While that alone should be interesting for (semi) old farts like us, the main reason I mention this is that the video features background music by yours truly. :)

Bouncing ideas back and forth with Zack has been great fun so far, and I hope we will continue to do so in the future.

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Can You Hear The Sun Screem?

Alright, so summer finally has arrived in Germany, bringing with him high temperatures, spontaneous thunderstorms and a great excuse to consume as much ice cream as your body can handle. It’s the perfect opportunity to share another mashup, this time combining British 90′s house pioneers Sunscreem with Spanish breakbeat wizard Colombo.

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Pool Of Randomness

For my current Unity project I had to convert Kipp Ashford’s Weighted Array script into something I could use in my C# environment. I had a similar solution already working in ISIS but Ashford’s script was much more elegant since it includes a number of useful functions my bare-boned version was lacking.

A clever (or so I hope) use of a hashtable allowed me to trim some of the variables the orginial script had used to keep it as slim as possible.

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// WeightedRandomPool.cs
// 2013-10-09 by Thomas Touzimsky
// http://www.simplypointless.com/
//
// Adds, deletes and returns a random item from a pool of objects based on each item's associated weight
//
// A conversion of the original JS script by Kipp Ashford
// http://blog.teamthinklabs.com/index.php/2011/08/23/grabbing-items-from-an-array-based-on-probability/
 
using UnityEngine;
using System.Collections;
 
public class WeightedRandomPool
{
 
    // Our pool is stored in a hashtable where
    // key   = (Object)item
    // value = (int)weight
    public Hashtable htItems = new Hashtable();
 
 
    /// <summary>
    /// Adds a new item to the hashtable or changes its weight if has been added before
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="item">The object you want to add to the pool</param>
    /// <param name="weight">The object's weight within the pool</param>
    public void Add(Object item, int weight)
    {
        if (!htItems.ContainsKey(item))
        {
            htItems.Add(item, weight);
        }
        else
        {
            Debug.Log("WeightedRandomPool::Add() --- WARNING: Object is already added. Changing weight of object instead.");
 
            htItems[item] = weight;
        }
    }
 
 
    /// <summary>
    /// Changes the weight of an object within the pool
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="item">The object whose weight you want to change</param>
    /// <param name="nWeight">The object's new weight within the pool</param>
    public void ChangeWeight(Object item, int nWeight)
    {
        if (htItems.ContainsKey(item))
        {
            htItems[item] = nWeight;
        }
        else
        {
            Debug.Log("WeightedRandomPool::ChangeWeight() --- WARNING: Object '" + item + "' is not a member of this pool.");
        }
    }
 
 
    /// <summary>
    /// Removes an object from the pool
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="item">The object you want to remove</param>
    public void Remove(Object item)
    {
        if (htItems.ContainsKey(item))
        {
            htItems.Remove(item);
        }
        else
        {
            Debug.Log("WeightedRandomPool::ChangeWeight() --- WARNING: Object '" + item + "' is not a member of this pool.");
        }
    }
 
 
    /// <summary>
    /// Returns a randomly chosen object from the pool depending on all members' weight
    /// </summary>
    /// <returns></returns>
    public Object Get()
    {
        int nSumOfWeights = 0;
 
        foreach (DictionaryEntry item in htItems)
        {
            nSumOfWeights += (int)item.Value;
        }
 
        int k = Random.Range(0, nSumOfWeights + 1);
        // +1 to make sure we can actually find the last item if it has a weight of 1
        // since Random.Range never hits the maximum value
 
        foreach (DictionaryEntry item in htItems)
        {
            // walk the pool one item at a time and see whether its weight is lower than k
            // if yes, return the current item ; if no, subtract the item's weight from k
 
            // if, for example, the pool includes three items with a weight of 40/40/60 and
            // k = 70, the first loop's result will be negative and k gets reduced by 40;
            // the next loop's result is positive since k (now 30) is lower than the second
            // item's weight
 
            if (k > (int)item.Value)
            {
                k -= (int)item.Value;
            }
            else
            {
                return (Object)item.Key;
            }
        }
 
        return null;
    }
 
 
    /// <summary>
    /// Clears the pool
    /// </summary>
    public void Clear()
    {
        htItems.Clear();
    }
 
}

The class itself is used just like Ashford’s original.

WeightedRandomPool myPool = new WeightedRandomPool();
 
myPool.Add(myFirstItem, 15);
myPool.Add(mySecondItem, 5);
myPool.Add(myThirdItem, 2);
 
UnityEngine.Object myRandomItem = myPool.Get();

Feel free to suggest any ideas on how to improve the script – after all, I am still a novice coder. :)

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Take A Walk On The Tiled Side

Came across a great write-up by Rodrigo Monteiro on the many ways of how to deal with moving characters in a 2D environment and the many obstacles one has to tackle when faced with slopes, moving platforms or ladders.

The Guide To Implementing 2D Platformers

Unfortunately his website hasn’t been updated in a year, but I hope he’s just busy coding at the moment.

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In The Meantime, Here’s Some Music

First, my most recent mashup. Nu-skool breaks vs. not-so-nu-skool anymore breaks. What comes after nu-skool? Middleschool breaks?

And the DJ set it was featured in.

Kid Panel – ‘R ‘U Ready? [The Pooty Club Records]
Colombo – California [iBreaks]
Deenk & Geon – Subtronic [Hard & Hits]
Vize – Killin’ Speakers (Blacklist Remix) [Breakz R Boss Records]
Mutantbreakz – Creation (Kid Panel Remix) [Rat Records UK]
Outer Kid – Panic In Funktron [Elektroshok Records]
Lo IQ? – Around The World [Breakz R Boss Records]
Fisso & Spark – Killer On The Dancefloor [DUBTRXX]
Chelydra – Vulpecula (Colombo Remix) [Acida Records]
Meat Katie & Elite Force vs. kuplay – Divine F*** (c-Row’s infusion vs. kid panel reboot) [CD-R]
Dustin Hulton – F*** U (Kid Panel Remix) [Sound Break Records]
Chevy One – Now I’m Letting It Go [iBreaks]

I had a hard time not turning this into a Kid Panel only set.

Also, sorry for the lack of anything game-related.

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If It Does Not Break…

… break it. Preferably by adding some beats to it, I say.

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Dirty Beats Done Dirt Cheap .09

Here’s episode 9 of my rather irregular series, as aired on Friday 12th on Kick Radio to some great feedback. Thanks, folks! :)

Pag “I Believe In Cosmic Love” (Loquai Remix) [Mistique Music]
Maxim Hix “Look Forward” [Zebra 40]
Suffused “Year 2008″ (Alfoa Remix) [Mistique Music]
Airwave “Chiricahua” [L*C*D Recordings]
Adrian Heathcote “The Assassin” [VIM Records]
Tee-Ex “Indestructable” [Morphosis Limited]
DJ Shinobi & Losing Rays “Only You” (Retroid Remix) [Morphosis Records]
Vadim Koks “Painter” [Dextrous Records]
Dave LeBon “Biface” (Digital Department Remix) [Undefined Records]
Ire “Take Over” (Line Of Sight Remix) [VIM Records]
Logistics “Running Late” [Hospital Records]