Matthew David Rodgers


Entry 7

On Wednesday I finally reach the fully vaccinated stage… and it’s coinciding with new guidance from the CDC that fully vaccinated people can resume a lot of normal activities - things we’ve been stayed away from for close to a year and a half. It’s truly fantastic.

One of the first things I’m going to do is go to see a game at Dodger Stadium. I’ve never really been a serious sports fan, but last year something about baseball just clicked for me, and I started having a lot of fun watching games on TV. It was also a great year to start: the Dodgers won an exciting world series (the first time in something like 20 years?), and it was a blast to witness that, if only from my apartment.

Many of my friends think baseball is the most boring sport, but I find the lulls in baseball to be one of the most attractive parts of it! In between really nail-biter exciting moments– there’s nothing quite like bases loaded with 2 outs– there’s plenty of time to just relax, hang with your friends, drink a beer.

There’s also just so much character to a game! It’s easy to find a narrative to latch onto or even drama– pitchers staring down batters, the boldness of a bunt or stealing a base, and the legitimate WOW of a home run. I only ever have a blast watching it.

This week I started reading The Story Of A New Name, by Elena Ferrante. It’s a sequel to My Brilliant Friend, the story of two girls in a poor part of Naples. Their friendship is jealous and powerful, and there’s such a fire to the prose. I enjoyed the first book immensely, and so far this one is just as good.

I’m also on Half-Life 2 now. A definite scale-up from the first game, in many ways. Not being blown away by this one either, but it is still too early to tell.

Came across some interesting reads about game development this week. First, Pico Checkmate, a chess game on the Pico 8 fantasy console. The game feels fantastically “juicy”, as described in one of the devlogs about the game. It’s a fantastic piece of UX (although the author implies a difference between UX and game design in the post).

And then there’s POOM, a Pico 8 version of the classic DOOM. It’s truly wild to see this toy console be able to deliver a version of DOOM. I haven’t played around with it much, but I may have to dive into it. All the scripting is done in a subset of Lua, which sounds like a fairly enjoyable experience.

But I also found a demo for raw wasm, which walks through writing a 3d maze race (like DOOM without the demons) in WebAssembly’s text format. I’m really fascinated by WebAssembly. A sandboxed VM provided by browsers could be game-changing for how we deliver apps to users. I hope people (myself included) take the opportunity to build things from this level– not everything needs the full expressive declarative power of the DOM. I think a WASM VM could also be huge for people who are interested in building things at an assembly level; how painful must it be to write x86, in any capacity?