LogicalCraft!

Backstory / The Original Mod

Back in 2016 I made a mod for Minecraft called “Logical Drops” which tweaked some of the items that drop off animals in the game to make survival mode more realistic. For example, in vanilla Minecraft, you get 1 to 2 steaks of meat off a cow when you kill it … meaning two meals! My mod simply adjusted that to be 10-20 steaks so A) you didn’t have to kill so many cows, B) you appreciated it more when you had to and most importantly C) you won’t die so fast from starvation! Well the mod consisted of a handful of that kind of thing. So I shipped that off to mod land and it got a few downloads from other Minecraft players (40,000+). Maybe that was the same user downloading the file multiple times? Anyhow – here’s a “mod showcase” video someone did of the mod from back then:

Mod Update and New Name!

Well over the past few months I started playing Minecraft once in a while to kill time, etc and a few new ideas popped into my head on things I could add to the mod (some fan suggestions, others my own ideas). And even though I already had a couple weekend projects already going I couldn’t resist jumping back in to Minecraft mod work and tooling around w/updating my mod. Something about Minecraft mod work that is very hard to stop once you’ve started … at least for me.

Long story short this weekend I finally finished the updates – which included having to rename the mod to “LogicalCraft” since it doesn’t just adjust “drops” anymore – and I released the first build of it for other players to try – see links and few screens below. If/when anyone does a mod showcase video of it I’ll post it here.

Links

Screens

America First 2042

I really do have another project I’m supposed to be working on in my free time! But the other day yet another NJFscene popped into my head and I had to attempt it. It’s not 100% what I envisioned but pretty close.

Music Inspiration

By the way here’s the song I was listening to that triggered the idea: “Guidance” by Against the Waves. Make sure to listen past the 30 second point for full effect – and for bonus points listen up to the mini guitar solo at 03:21 🙂

Twitter Link

AF on Vacation

Nick’s gone for a week for a well-earned vacation. My free time was slated to go elsewhere but my brain/stylus disagreed so we now have another one for the collection …

Perfectionist Notes:

  • I left out the “rs” in Tenders!
  • Image may be too dark … or not dark enough? Contrast of night time was fun but to some might be overkill. Couple examples of dark/light variations:
      

Source file

5000×3200!

Twitter link:

Part 2

Around the middle of the week I figured I’d do an iteration of the first scene using the same scene …

Saint Nick

Clearly I’ve been on a kick w/this kind of thing lately … no doubt coming from some combination of inspiration, OCD and whatever red/white/black pills I’ve recently consumed. Anyhow, this past week Nick (who’s a Catholic) had a fair number of pagans or atheists send messages to the show and his responses, as usual, were as hilarious as they were spot on. At some point he joked about how he was “fending of the pagan hordes” and that’s the comment that I couldn’t get out of my head and led to this illustration.

Artwork

Original (for print)

Prints at 41″ x 58″!

Feel free to print for yourself but please don’t charge/sell for (unless you’re NJF).

Video

Here’s Nick talking about pagans:

Links

ResumeTube Returns!

So following-up on my previous post here (and on Facebook) about my app “ResumeTube” …

A few weeks ago, after quite a bit of back and forth, Apple finally reconsidered their position on my app and officially approved it to return to the App Store! I’m not sure if I just annoyed them to death or if they truly saw the error of their initial review but either way … the app is finally free to stay on the App Store and get updates in the future.

Anyhow with the red tape out of the way I spent my free time the past couple weeks making a few changes to the app – the most notable things being:

  • iPhone Support (Finally!)
  • New fancy icon
  • Vimeo Support removed (never used it)

I hope to add cross-device sync in future but will see how bad I want/need that before attempting it (TBD).

As always, I’m very aware I may be the only guy who wants/uses an app like this but if anyone else tries it out let me know what you think.

Links

President Trump Google Doodles

What is this?

“President Trump Google Doodles” is a browser extension (plugin) I made for Google Chrome that does two simple things:

    1. Gets rid of the Google “image of the day” (a.k.a. “Google Doodle“) from my Google Chrome browser
    2. Shows a random photo of President Donald J. Trump on the Google Search screen

I won’t get into my reasons on #1 as that’s a whole separate post/topic. Article at the bottom is generally related – but topic too complex to get into here.

As for #2 … actually before I added this my original idea was to create an “American History” version of Google Doodles that would include all the well known (and not-so well known) American holidays, achievements, people and events … since in this day and age American history is under such constant division, derision, revisionism and general attack it’s easy to lose grasp of what made our country great.

Unfortunately as I compiled a list of topics and general logic for the project I realized it would take me a LONG time to finish (if done right) as it would mean creating 300+ images!  So I pivoted the project to instead simply showcase photos of the President Trump for now. I may/may not revisit the original “American History” idea in the future … if/when I have the time to do it right. But honestly I enjoy the photos of the President so much I may wait a while. 🙂

I realize the list of people out there who might also want the above stuff may not be very long (or maybe not?) but if anyone is curious give the extension a try – it’s free of course! Details below.

How to Use?

  • Install / Open Google Chrome.
  • Go here to the Chrome Web Store to install the extension.
  • Click the “Add to Chrome” button
  • Then load a new browser tab or go to google.com to test it out!

The Photos

  • Currently there are around 50 photos in the rotation
    The photos are dynamically loaded from Flickr.com – hopefully that works ok long-term (so far so good on my end).
    All photos are copyright to their original owners – none of these photos are my work (sources vary).
    If you have any photo suggestions feel free to chime in the comments or on the Facebook page.

Other Stuff

  • Glitches? I threw this together pretty fast so there may be a layout/visual quirk here or there – if you run into something show-stopping let me know in comments or on the Facebook page.
  • User Options: If my OCD holds eventually the extension might add a setting or two users can toggle – such as: categories of photos to show/hide, etc but for now the extension has no user settings.

Links

Ok that’s all – if anyone tries it let me know what you think!

PS: By the way if anyone just wants to get rid ot the Google Doodle image (w/out using this President Trump extension) here’s an extension by someone else that does that: http://bit.ly/DoodleBlocker

President Trump’s Legendary Run for the Presidency

Months ago after I had recovered from making Super POTUS Trump I was toying around with the idea of a new pro-President Trump project – something along the lines of a Candyland-mashup-with Super POTUS Trump characters. Unfortunately I couldn’t get the idea simple enough to make sense (or fit into my little free time schedule) so I just created some artwork around the idea anyway … just out of curiosity of what the related artwork and potential “game board” might look like. Shortly after this my iPad broke so I couldn’t access the artwork so this project just collected dust –
but after finally getting my iPad fixed a few weeks ago I figured I should get this released soon or else it might never see the light of day.

The Video

So … the video below is what this ended up becoming – an “audio-graphical” rendition of President Trump’s legendary run for the presidency! I’m guessing most people who happen to see this will be a bit confused on what the heck it is/etc – but hopefully the above explains the origins sufficiently. If you watch it make sure to go full screen and pick highest resolution you can to see the artwork at the highest quality. And my apologies for the black bars on the side – once again I made a 4:3 illustration in a widescreen world … when will I learn? Anyhow enjoy … and God bless President Trump!

Vimeo/backup link to come if YouTube kills the video for whatever reason.

The Artwork

If anyone wants to see the full illustration behind the video you can view it here.

Super POTUS Trump!™ The Game!

My grandfather fought in WWII and I make silly animations, artwork and games/apps. It’s embarrassing but that’s how it goes…
– Me

Super POTUS Trump is a “mini” indie video game I made as a tribute to President Trump. It’s currently available now for Windows on Steam and soon should be available for iPad as well (pending Apple review).

Game Development

While I describe the game as “mini” the effort it took to produce it was quite the opposite. At face value the game may not seem like a very big project since a person with average gaming/computer skills could play through the entire thing within 45 minutes (or less). But the making of this game was, by FAR, the biggest, most exhausting personal/hobby project I’ve ever undertaken. Not only was it my first time building a game with the (awesome) unity3d.org game engine – it also involved a ton of iPad artwork production, C# coding, audio hunting/editing, learning an entirely new game store workflow (SteamWorks, on top of Apple) and just about every social media/web skill I could muster as well. For the past ~6 months this project was pretty much a black hole that sucked up every free minute I could find.
While it was a lot of work it was, for the most part, a ton of fun. I do have to admit that towards the end I started wondering if I would ever finish it, questioning why in the world I was making it and wondered the odds that anyone else would even care or enjoy, etc. Fortunately I didn’t give up, called it “done” about a week ago and since then it’s been release for Windows and sent to Apple for review.
I have to say it was hard to call it “done” as there were so many ideas I had that I just had to leave out otherwise I’d never finish it! I told myself *IF* I lived through it and if more than 12 people enjoy this version I *MIGHT* consider making an Episode 2 (since a lot of the coding/etc would already be done). But I can’t even think about that right now!! …

Few Development-Related Images

Initial Feedback

Given how greuling things got near the end I have to say comments/reviews like this sure are great to read:

This is just art. Not a game but a piece of art. 10/10 would play again.
– Razor_One (Steam)

And this one just nails it too – we won’t hold it against him that he didn’t vote for Trump 🙂 :

No, I didn’t vote for Trump (and god no I didn’t vote for Hillary), but I love you none-the-less for making this! Your passion and inspiration shows. You should feel proud of your accomplishment! (Also love the Russian theme thrown in. The part Russian in me adores it!) …
– Shrodu (Steam)

Reviews as of 20170811There have been a few naysayers but thanks to how Steam works you can’t leave a negative review unless you’ve installed the game so hopefully that means not very many haters will bother spamming the reviews – which as of today are holding mostly in the Positive category.

Soap Box

In case it’s not obvious I did not make this game to get warm fuzzies reading positive reviews or to rake in the few dollars it hopefully makes to at least make small dent in the the few hundred I sank into making it. I made this game as my tribute to President Trump and to show the world (or maybe just 23 people) that Trump’s support is strong and made up of rationale, talented people whose bond with the man can not be shaken. With the non-stop onslaught of self-righteousness, condescension and vicious calls for violence coming from the news media, Hollywood, college cry-babies and all the other far-lefties in between I felt I simply had no choice but to make this game.

I am well aware this is just a small silly game and I don’t imagine it will get that much attention – outside a few fellow indie gamer fans and friends/family I’m sure the install base will be pretty small. But knowing that even just a few people will see it – whether they’re pro-Trump or not – it will have been worth it.

Thanks to everyone who tries it out! … and thank you, President Trump!

Additional Screens/Media


Video/Gameplay?

I realize some friends/family may not be able to play the game so at some point I may create a video showing a little bit of each level of the game so people can see it that way. In the meantime if you can stomach random people on YouTube I’ve started collecting videos about the game made by other, random people on YouTube – most of them include gameplay video of some level. Here’s that playlist if you want to see video gameplay sooner vs later.

Links

Store Links

To be updated when (if?) iPad version comes out
Windows (Steam) | iPad (App Store)

Social Links

Please like or share where you can!
@SuperPOTUSTrump (Twitter) | Facebook/SuperPOTUSTrump

R.I.P. ResumeTube?

So a week or two ago I dusted off ResumeTube for my own use and figured I’d push a fresh build through the iTunes App Store review process (no new features just some house cleaning/maintenance stuff). Anyhow … to my surprise I got back a quite unexpected “app rejected” message from Apple! Eesh!… Check it out:

Guideline 4.2.2 – Design – Minimum Functionality

We noticed that your app only includes links, images, or content aggregated from the Internet with limited or no native iOS functionality. We understand that this content may be curated from the web specifically for your users, but since it does not sufficiently differ from a mobile web browsing experience, it is not appropriate for the App Store.

Important Information

As a result of violating this guideline, your app’s review has been delayed. Future submissions of this app, and other apps associated with your Apple Developer account, will also experience a delayed review. Deliberate disregard of the App Store Review Guidelines and attempts to deceive users or undermine the review process are unacceptable and is a direct violation Section 3.2(f) of the Apple Developer Program License Agreement. Continuing to violate the Terms & Conditions of the Apple Developer Program will result in the termination of your account, as well as any related or linked accounts, and the removal of all your associated apps from the App Store.

We want to provide a safe experience for users to get apps and a fair environment for for all developers to be successful. If you believe we have misunderstood or misinterpreted the intent of your app, you may submit an appeal for consideration or provide additional clarification by responding directly to this message in Resolution Center in iTunes Connect.

Weird aye? I realize that some (maybe most) fancy-pants – for whom being an Apple Developer is a full-time job and not a hobby like me – may know the above rule/logic already and wouldn’t be surprised by Apple’s bringing it up … but personally I find it a bit surprising since A) I took quite a bit of time making the app UI/experience very clean and responsive and B) … I give the jerks $100 bucks every year just to keep my Apple Developer license active!!

I of course wrote them back trying to explain that while I realize it’s not some world-saving feature-packed app, the core usefulness of the app is based on a feature/need that 99% people who are “mobile web browsing” (or desktop/laptop web browsing!) don’t have a solution for (i.e. “resuming video!”) … but no idea if they’ll reconsider.

So at this point I have no idea what will happen. The app may or may not make it through review /or (worst case) may be pulled from the App Store! Sad too because while Apple may think the app isn’t “native iOS” fancy enough for them I personally still use this app a lot! Here’s hoping they reconsider. 🙁

Update 1

Well … things look pretty grim. Just got this back from Apple after my initial replies to them:

Hello,

Thank you for your prompt response. Due to recent policy changes apps which primarily interact with content aggregated from the internet are no longer appropriate for the App Store. As the main features of your app revolve around watching, saving, and resuming aggregated videos we have found the app to not be in compliance with guideline 4.2.2.

Once the app has been modified in order to address this rejection we would be happy to resume our review.

Best regards,
App Store Review

Seems like there’s no chance of survival here but I guess I’ll write them one more please. Still seems very odd to me that a “utility” app like this that is (at least IMHO) very helpful/time-saving would be considered unwelcome to the app store. If we can’t have apps and utilities that we want and actually use on our expensive tablets why in the world do we buy them!?? Ugh … to be continued .. or not. =/

Related

Update 2 (2017072x)

The End?

Well I submitted a formal written “appeal” to the App Review Board. I actually was starting to think my case was pretty solid … but sadly, they still don’t see things as I do. My appeal and their response below for the record. I have to say it seems beyond INSANELY SILLY to have to write all these words about an app that’s all about keeping you efficient and saving time! Lordy the irony is killing me.

I’m not sure if Apple will take down the existing version of the app from the App Store or not (still there as of today). I’m too scared to ask them directly fearing they may take it down after I ask … so for now I’ll be quiet and hope they leave it there for now (?).

As for what’s next I don’t know. Maybe I’ll think of a way to make it do more stuff so the App Review board approves it – though the notion of forcing functionality like that seems like a dumb idea (even though they basically are suggesting that). Or maybe I’ll just port it to a web app. Who knows … too busy with my Super POTUS Trump game right now to deal w/it.

My Appeal

Hello,

Thank you for the opportunity to submit an appeal for my app ResumeTube to remain on the App Store.

Firstly, I agree with the general notion posed by the App Review team that my app ResumeTube is a web content aggregator of sorts in that it’s primary content is a user-curated list of videos from YouTube and Vimeo. I disagree, however, that this means the app fails to pass Design Guideline 4.2.2 and/or doesn’t deserves to remain on the App Store (as it has for 1-2 years now).

This app’s value is akin to other, fairly famous and popular, apps like Instapaper or Pocket that center around user convenience when it comes to saved articles on the web. Just as it is far more efficient for users to read articles in those apps vs. where the articles originated, it is more efficient for users to watch (certain kinds of) videos in ResumeTube than it is to watch them on YouTube or Vimeo. Here is why:

* Neither YouTube nor Vimeo currently allow users to “resume” where they left off in a video.

* For example, if a user was watching a 1 hour video tutorial class on learning Swift or Objective C (or maybe a 2-3 hour Apple Keynote video) and they had to stop watching and finish it later, when they came back another day they would they have to scrub around the video trying to remember and find where they left off.

* This act of scrubbing around a video trying to find your place is inefficient, frustrating and often leads to people giving up and not bothering to finish watching the video in the first place.

* Additionally, this video scrubbing can sometimes even strain a WiFi/router to the point of having to be restarted due to the bandwidth choking/throttling caused by excessive scrubbing. Multiply this times X number of people in an office or household (like me) with often kids and parents both competing for bandwidth, this situation/scenario is even worse.

ResumeTube was created to solve the above problem(s). Yes it’s content consists 100% of YouTube or Vimeo videos ** just as Instapaper’s content consists 100% of web articles ** … however it serves as a small but powerful solution to giving the user a more efficient, and less-frustrating experience. Simply stated – ResumeTube saves users’ time and frustration and encourages the consumption of more video content vs. less.

If YouTube or Vimeo one day (finally) introduce the ability for users to “resume” where they left off in a video then I would admit ResumeTube’s wouldn’t/shouldn’t need to exist – or at the least the need for its existence would be fair to reassessed. However as of today if ResumeTube is taken off the App Store I, my colleagues and however many other people have purchased the app, will have to return to the world of scrubbing around videos trying to remember where we left off – and sadly giving up a lot of the time.

There are other aspects of ResumeTube that I believe make it worthy of remaining in the App Store but the above points sum up the most important things – which again really boil down to: if ResumeTube is taken off the App Store, myself and other users will A) become less efficient, B) lose value we previously had in our iPads and C) watch fewer web videos.

Here is a video of the app in action in case you are allowed to include material like this in your consideration:

Please do consider my points above and do approve ResumeTube to remain on the App Store! Let me know if you have any follow-up questions.

Thank you.
Chris Emerson
* Apple Developer and Customer since 2011 *

Their Reply

From: appreview | Sent: Thursday, July 27, 2017 2:30 PM
Subject: App Review Board Submission Results

Hello Chris,

We are writing to let you know the results of your appeal for your app, ResumeTube.

The App Review Board evaluated your app and determined that the original rejection feedback is valid. Your app does not comply with App Store Review Guideline 4.2.2.To resolve this issue, please ensure your app includes features, content, and UI that elevate it beyond being primarily a repackaged website or marketing materials.We hope you will consider making the necessary changes to be in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines and will resubmit your revised binary.For questions regarding your app’s review, please respond in Resolution Center in iTunes Connect, where a reviewer who is familiar with your app can assist you.

Best regards,#SomeGuy#
App Review Board

Trump Oval Office Photoshop

I saw a few photos of Trump in the Oval Office with his team recently (example) and got an itch to spend 2 hours this evening cleaning it up and messing around with it (just for fun). I took the liberty of adding Gavin and Milo in one iteration … just because. Note – I didn’t have the time/patience to get all the merged “faces” perfect so some of them look a bit off … but I like the final product so that’s all that matters :).

Merged/Cleaned up

Combination of few photos for best face/positioning but keeping original scene as is

.

B&W Version

Fun with Faces

I swapped out most faces to face the camera for fun.


Fun with Faces V2

Same as above but with Milo and Gavin added 🙂


In other news … farewell, General Mike Flynn :(. Don’t worry we all know you were and still are a true American patriot and were taken down by insiders.

The Patriots Keep Winning!

Consciously or not a lot of us were viewing the Super Bowl 51 game last night like this:

So after the Patriots won in that amazing, last-minute touchdown I couldn’t resist throwing together some kind of graphic. It just seems like the “patriots” around the world keep winning!

Now the only question is: who will be next? Best of luck to Marine, Geert, Frauke, their countries and all the other patriots out there.