Carrie, Dan, & Yulia

A year ago today, three friends were lost at sea. It was the last day of PAX Seattle 2019. When I left the conference, I went to Pike Place Brewery to have a drink. Cyn texted saying they were on the Conception boat where a fire occurred early in the morning. I had seen some of the news pass by my Twitter feed through the day, but I didn’t realize they were on the boat. It would be the deadliest boat disaster in California maritime history since 1865. The bartender gave me a free drink. Then I went to the Sheraton lobby where I cried on the shoulders of friends. This would be the second time in four years I would cry on Andrew’s shoulder at PAX due to the death of someone I knew.

Today, the city of Santa Barbara recorded a memorial service unveiling a plaque in honor of all the people we lost. It’s weird to have it video only, but these times are weird. At some point I hope to visit this memorial when we’re OK to travel again.

Dan & Yulia

The funny thing about Dan & Yulia is we didn’t meet in Boston. There were a few years where we were all living in Boston and in similar circles, but we were never introduced. Years later in the Bay Area that we met.

Most of my memories come from their New Years parties held at their home, the House of Trouble. It was also the chance for me to see the latest small-scale works Dan was working on. If you’ve seen a large structure consisting of LEDs at Burning Man, it’s very likely involved Dan in some way. If not designing the artwork itself, then for co-developing FastLED.

Carrie

Artist, programer, activist, and the person who helped me break through my struggles with technical testing interviews.

My first job after Telltale was working at an ad agency. I needed to find a different job that wasn’t contract, but my biggest struggles were technical interviews. By then I worked over 10 years in tech, but I never entered the world of technical testing beforehand and struggled to be successful at them.

Carrie had formally worked at Avenue Code and told me they were hiring. I applied, but also talked about my struggles with technical tests. To Avenue Code’s credit, their process was project based (not whiteboard), which was a welcomed first for me. Still, I didn’t know how to prepare or what to expect. Carrie helped me though that process and did more training for me than anyone had ever done for me.

I did get an offer with the Avenue Code job. That confidence also helped me with getting a job at my current employer, Traction. Traction gave the better offer. But I wouldn’t be successful in either interviews if it wasn’t for Carrie.

Tell the people you care about that you love them.

Remember how important it is to let everyone you care about know how they mean to you. Especially as we can’t physically meet each other, communication is even more important.

This Photo

This photo.

Amanda Rose Smith is one of my good friends. Someone I trust and care about more than most, and do a lot for. Amanda is a part of wonderful memories from my time in New England and though the years continues to be a trusted friend. I joke sometimes that I’m her agent as I’ve got her a few gigs though the years. Which is to say, I make sure the right people know about her. What Amanda is doesn’t need interpretation.

In Jan 2015, Amanda posted photos from wedding dress shopping and did not have a happy face. Just as I was about to message her, Amanda messaged me saying she was considering a corset for her dress. I booked the appointment with Dark Garden Unique Corsetry for the day after GDC.

Autumn (owner of Dark Garden) came into the shop early for the appointment. I know it’s her job, but I thanked her anyway for doing a wonderful job. She make sure Amanda was going to get the outfit she wanted. As her agent, I requested that I lace her on her wedding day. As many of you know, I am trained in these sorts of things and I sure as hell wanted it done right.

On the day of the wedding, I came early to help prepare. I’m important enough to care and not important enough to be in the ‘official’ wedding photos. I helped prepare the space, but I had one job: Lacing Amanda. Beforehand, I got dressed with the rest of the groomsmen when I realized something. I walked over to her husband Patrick and said “This is a bit strange, but trust me”. I unbuttoned one shirt button, then buttoned it back on. “There, now say I dressed both the bride and groom” and walked out.

I waited next to the brides’ room for when Amanda was ready to get laced. Needless to say, Amanda was starting to get into panic mode as they were behind schedule. Switching to my customer service voice, I gathered the dress and asked for some help from the bridesmaids. With two bridesmaids at each side holding a ribbon, I went to work in getting my friend ready for her wedding day. Making sure there was enough give for the rest of the afternoon and evening, but will still stay on. When I was done tightening, I dismissed the bridesmaids and finished the knot.

When it’s done right, wearing a corset is having a hug travel with you. Sometimes I’ll signal I’m done lacing by giving a hug. This time that hug meant more. I was preparing my dear friend for a wonderful day, proud of everything that this woman is. Imprinting that hug with the friendship of all these years we’ve been in our lives.

This photo means everything to me.

This photo.

Seg finshing Amanda Rose's lacing.

Photo by Lesley Arak Photography.

Auto-complete Insensitively

For years I’ve been meaning to look this up. Finally did this morning.

When working in CLI (Terminal.app on Mac), you can hit tab to auto-complete a path. However, it’s case sensitive unless you set this up:

echo "set completion-ignore-case On" >> ~/.inputrc
The More You Know!

Making an API: The Steam WebAPI Proposal

Steam WebAPI Proposal by Seg

Developing my updated portfolio, I realized I had a lot of API development experience that was internal and can’t be disclosed in the public. While I’m accomplished in interactive narratives, I needed to supplement my portfolio with my technical design aspect background.

I decided to make a proposal to extend the Steam WebAPI with information missing from the current offerings. I’ve worked with WebAPI and Steamworks with Telltale Games; Particularly the global statistical displays for Jurassic Park and Puzzle Agent 2. Recently I started contributing to Steam Condenser and discovered the Groups info was still in an XML format announced as deprecated by Valve. Yet there was no WebAPI method to fill the gap. I decided to dust off my API design skills and get to work!

I’ll go though some of the more detailed background of certain decisions, but do take a look at the docs!

Continue reading Making an API: The Steam WebAPI Proposal

Fünde Razor is On!

Last Tuesday, Chris Kohler and I signed the venue contract, so it’s really official now:

Fünde Razor Logo

Wed. December 9th, 2009
7pm – 2am

San Francisco: DNA Lounge
NYC, Denver, Austin, & Portland: TBA

The other cities haven’t reported in with an official date/venue yet, but they will happen. In the next few months we’ll have plenty of information about the event, but if you’re in the SF bay area, mark your calendars now!

The Life of Seg: April 2008 Edition

Checking in on the blog and going to use some lame excuses as to why I haven’t been contributing too much to ye old blog. So I’ll list my lame excuses in hopes the story behind them will produce meaningful content. Yea!

Sam & Max on the Wii

On April 3rd, Telltale Games announced that Sam & Max Season One will be a disc based Wii game, set for release sometime in the Fall. I was even featured on the blog post holding a Wii Remote:

Seg and Andrew Announcing Sam & Max Season One for Wii.

We spent quite of bit of time cleaning up that room, especially all of our retail consoles. We didn’t want people to think that just because we had a PS2 in our media room, that we would release for the PS2 (which we are not doing). As you can see from the photo though, we forgot the PS2 controller right next to the TV. :/

I mention this because it’s a interesting history between Sam & Max on the Wii and me. Back in Aug 2006, a few of the various staff at Telltale were mentioning how point & click games, including Sam & Max, would be great for the Wii. No plans to do so, just that the idea of going to the platform would be nifty. Obviously this lead people to think Telltale was actively developing for the Wii. This rumor propagated. Emily decided to make a post about it to curb the rumor and set facts straight and state while it’s a desire, they need Nintendo’s support to make it happen. A link to Nintendo’s contact page was made. When I saw this post, I wrote up a form letter for people to use. About 3 hours later, Emily updated the post saying Nintendo contacted Telltale and to stop sending e-mails.

Continue reading The Life of Seg: April 2008 Edition

Journalistic Perceptions of Gaming

This morning I finally got around to writing that letter to On The Media (OTM) I’ve been meaning to write about. This week’s show had the first mention of a video game device/game that I recall on the show. The “Death Ray” segment had a commentator mentioning PS3’s Blu-ray playing abilities. I don’t find an issue with that mention. I do find it interesting they didn’t mention Microsoft’s investment in HD-DVD via the Xbox 360 add-on yet quoted Bill Gates on his position that on-line distribution is going to trump physical media.

As for the show in general, there is a void of reporting when it comes to interactive media under the realm of games. Taking a look at OTM’s mission statement:

On the Media explores how the media “sausage” is made, casts an incisive eye on fluctuations in the marketplace of ideas, and examines threats to the freedom of information and expression in America and abroad.

In my view, not covering video/computer games is a huge piece of sausage they are missing. So, it’s concerned audience member time:

Continue reading Journalistic Perceptions of Gaming