Japan Videos

Videos are linked, below.

Near Asakusa, we stumbled into a very cool street performance of Taiko drumming.  It mixes elements of percussion music, martial arts, dance, and a hefty dollop of old fashioned stage presence.

Oh yeah, a few days ago we got to sit in on a kindergarten kid’s taiko lesson.  The cuteness level was over 9000.


In Narita, we got to check out a gion street festival.  The Japanese are very hard workers, but they also have more holidays than we enjoy in the States.  So, they do stuff like haul these shrine-on-a-cart things (“mikoshi”) around and stop for a drink every hour or so.  It all starts out very disciplined and by the end of the day they’re pretty smashed.


Aaaaand one more, from the Tokyo National Museum of Natural History (equivalent to our Smithsonian Institutions in DC).  Wait for it…

Japan Trip Photos

The translations here are pretty wild. Here at Minakami train station, I found “Bourbon Fettucine Gummi” snacks. Delicious…?
In a train station bakery, we found these DELICIOUS red bean paste-filled biscuits. They’re branded with cute pandas. Approved.
It is really odd to see Western things present in Japan, or at least it seems odd to me. Hollywood ad dollars cross the Pacific just fine, though.
In Tokyo, it is apparently pretty difficult to find a landlord that allows pets, and land for your own house would be prohibitively expensive. So, cat lovers can go to “Cat Cafes” where 20 cats are running around. You pay about $12 (1000 yen) for a coffee and one hour to pet the cats.
They’re very particular that you wash your hands, remove your shoes, etc. Can’t have those cats getting sick in close quarters with each other!
There was a young couple on a date together there. Very cute.
Robots (“mecha”) are one of many popular themes in Japanese entertainment for the younger crowd. Logan approves.
Apparently Hayashi is a fairly common name in Japan. We’ve met several so far… Everyone here is extremely polite. It comes off as a cross between southern hospitality and English formality.
The rooms are tiny here! Ceilings tend to be lower, doors narrower, portion sizes are more sane. The toilets are completely wild. Think robotic controls.
Another Hayashi! This one a politician.
In many of the soup/noodle (“soba”) shops, you order by buying tickets from a vending machine that specifies the selection and prices. You take the ticket to the short order cook who hollers things–very politely– then you have a seat and wait.
Silly, always silly.
Flying business class for 13 hour trips is a very, very good idea. Half the price of first class with 90% of the amenity. Free noise-canceling headphones (ours were Bose, amazing).

Better cloud physics

Work continues on making beautiful but processor lite clouds. Each one is a single mobile object with a trigger collided so it blocks the sun behind it.  It spawns cloud texture particles that respond to sun color at sunrise/sunset. Very pretty as they gently ride the wind.

Oct 24th Build, for Joe!

Today’s build!


  • better surface to interplanetary transition
  • groundwork laid for interplanetary starfield vs. 3D skybox
  • defeated enemies now drop HP and power boosts
  • New terrain
  • Tiled terrain engine basics now in place

Click through to play!

[WP_UnityObject src=”http://blog.shadowmecha.org/20111024.unity3d” width=”800 height=”700″/]

p + [ –> coupe
p + ] –> plane
p + = –> hoverpod

i –> create selected item (walls, turrets, etc.)

r –> fires rocket
b –> drops gravity bomb: on impact gravity shuts down for several seconds
k –> fires enemy-seeking missile
minus character –> toggles time dilation (slow motion)

l –> toggle headlight

/ –> teleport to guardian objective

o –> dump screenshot

f –> toggle fullscreen

WASD keys, <> keys, and arrow keys steer



Wednesday Daily Build

Today’s build!


  • Very Basic Multiplayer prototype added
  • Missiles acquire targets much more intelligently
  • Monowheel mode (buggy)
  • Configurable mob spawners
  • Mobs target your protection goal
  • Auto-cannons
  • Guard walls are now mouse-draggable
  • Sky now reddens at sunset and sunrise
  • Item pickups now disappear on collision
  • Turrets now lead their targets quite accurately

Click through to play!

Continue reading Wednesday Daily Build

Saturday Build

Today’s build!


  • added a wingtip contrail renderer for plane mode (still working on switching it off for other modes).
  • Added power up items, run into the right cube and you get an instant 20% boost to your power pool
  • Rescaled the terrain to fix headlight flicker (terrain tile size bugfix)
  • Refactored camera switching code to array-based
  • Added streaming progress feedback to splash screen

Click through to play!

Continue reading Saturday Build