Beat Boxing

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the boss baby winning the weekend box office beating ghost in the shell and beauty and the beast is so fucking funny but also this can be read as audiences desperate craving for original content rather than the endless slew of remakes, adaptations, and sequels that we’ve been receiving

PJO Headcannon

Fuck it one more tonight. Singing.

Will can’t. He sounds like a dying whale when he tries he can play the lyre as every child of Apollo can but that is the extent of his musical talent.

Annabeth isn’t great. She can carry a tune, but she normally doesn’t care to.

Piper beat boxes. And she does it well. She can sing but after discovering the hard way that charm speaking as powerful as hers carries over she chooses not to.

Leo wails. There’s really no other way to describe it. And he does it whenever he’s working on something. The Hephaestus cabin has invested in earplugs.

Frank is shy about it but has a decent voice. He’s a baritone which surprised pretty much everyone but Hazel loves listening to him sing though most of the time he doesn’t know she’s there or he’d get too embarrassed to do it.

Hazel is a beautiful singer but much like Frank is very shy about it.

Jason caterwauls, and he doesn’t do it well.

Percy sounds like a freaking siren, most likely because he’s related to them. Unlike Pipers charm singing he can’t make people do things but he can make everyone within hearing distance stop whatever they are doing and listen and crowd around him while they are at it. He’s pretty much been banned from singing at the campfire because an Ares boy nearly walked through it to be closer to him when he sang. He’s ok with this because Annabeth doesn’t sing either.

Nico literally has the voice of an angel though it took months to discover this. The only people who know are Will and Lou Ellen who were doing cabin inspections and didn’t knock on the door of the Hades cabin. Nico was wearing Wills iPod singing along to the song Almost Lover by A Fine Frenzy. Neither of them interrupted him until the song was over at which point Lou Ellen started applauding and Will burst into tears. Nico thought Will was upset because he could sing better than his boyfriend and started frantically apologizing but Will explained through sobs that that song always made him cry and he’d never heard a more beautiful version of it. Lou Ellen never stopped teasing them about it. Nico never told Will that that song made him think of what could have been with Percy.

Ok I’ll stop torturing y'all now.

Surprise - you get a bonus Hiveswap developer interview today!

Hello there Hiveswap and Homestuck fans, Ash here! Now, I know what you’re thinking: “What madness is this? Ash said there’d only be *one* Hiveswap development team interview per week going forward! And he said they would be on WEDNESDAYS! This isn’t a Wednesday!”

Right you are, and that’s exactly why surprises are so much fun! Now, last week I mentioned that the next interviewee would be our superstar UI designer and all-around graphics guy Tauhid. Our interview with him will still be going live this week on Thursday, so definitely look forward to that, but today we’ve got another talented team member in the hot seat: Tom Hunt, our lead programmer and the prime coding whiz in charge of things on the technical side of things! Take it away, Tom!

Introduce yourself to the fans! What is your specific role on the Hiveswap team?

Hi, I’m Tom. I make stuff in Unity, which is a cross-platform 3D game engine and editor that can make all kinds of things - including the very 2D game you’re here to read about! My company neocade and I are working freelance on Hiveswap, with me as the lead programmer. Mostly, I direct and coordinate the team of programmers and quality assurance (QA) testers that are putting this game together. Sometimes I also write code.

When and how did you get your start on the Hiveswap project?

Sometime late last year, I was looking for a gig. At the time, What Pumpkin Games was looking for an additional Unity programmer. A mutual business contact introduced us via email, and we went from there.

Tell us a little bit about your career background! How did you get your start in programming? Do you have any advice for others looking to enter this field?

I’ve been programming computers since I was a little kid. I got my first actual programming job about a month after graduating high school, and did that for a bit during breaks while I was in college. It wasn’t very exciting, had nothing to do with video games, and didn’t pay a whole lot, but it sure beat taping up boxes of hot dogs in a factory all day.

The only advice I can really give to someone looking to enter the video games field is to just start making video games. Game development tools are more readily available now than they’ve ever been.

Also make lots of friends, especially with people who can draw or write or anything. If you live near a city, there is probably at least one game dev meetup somewhere - go to those and meet people. Get over whatever shyness you have, because almost every game that ever gets made is the result of a lot of teamwork.

We’re making a video game, so of course the question must be asked: what’s your favorite game of all time?

I played the heck out of Super Metroid back in the day. There’s something about that game. I would do speedruns of it - so now, every time I go back and play it, it all just feels so fluid. There’s a fairly robust set of inputs mapped out in a way that makes sense to my fingers. The entire game itself is fairly tightly bounded - a complete playthrough can take less than 90 minutes - so in a way, this beautifully detailed, explorable world is also actually kind of respectful of my time (more so than, say, a game like Skyrim, which is almost always a multi-hour/day/week commitment).

What games are you playing currently (if any)?

To be perfectly honest, I have not been playing NEARLY enough video games lately. That being said, aside from Hiveswap, I am currently into little mobile action puzzlers that I can play on the bus. Super Hexagon and Desert Golf are great. Just tried Polyforge this morning, too; that was pretty fun.

A lot of my friends are playing Breath of the Wild. I really want to just go get a Switch and play that, but I’m afraid of that eating up my time like Skyrim did.

Are there any games that you currently use or have used as inspiration for your own programming work here on Hiveswap, or just in general?

Not really - I tend to look at each technical problem on its own merits. The creative side of things is all handled by the What Pumpkin folks. I don’t really get involved with that too much. I just work to make sure their vision is implemented, however that needs to be done.

Imagine you’ve been given an unlimited budget and time frame to make your dream game. Tell us (briefly!) about that game in terms of genre, style, platforms, etc. Is it an original game or a long-desired sequel to an existing game? Go crazy!

Given an unlimited budget and time to work on a “dream game,” I’d have to go with some kind of deeply-simulated, massively multiplayer VR thing.

What’s your workstation like?

As a programmer, I like my workstations to be fast, reliable, and quiet. I always max out the RAM on a new machine if I can, because disk thrashing is just annoying as all hell. I’ve been really digging M.2 drives lately. Also, having extra monitors is always nice.

Do you like to listen to any particular kinds of music while you work? If so, tell us about it!

Mostly instrumental electronic music. Sometimes I’ll throw on some classical. Video game soundtracks are usually a pretty good bet. I can’t listen to anything with spoken words in it, though - too distracting.

Do you have a personal message you’d like to relay to all the Homestuck and Hiveswap fans out there?

Thank you all for being so patient with this project!

Thank you, Tom! Well folks, I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s surprise bonus interview, and remember to check back on Thursday for yet another behind-the-scenes peek into Hiveswap’s development! As I teased last week, our very own Tauhid Bondia will be on hand to talk about his indispensable (my word, not his!) graphics and user interface design work on Hiveswap. See you then, everyone!

Tonight only, reigning champ Lexa ‘The Commander’ Woods faces newcomer Clarke ‘Supernova’ Griffin in the Bantamweight throw down of the century! 

– x –

Fic insp: Ground and Pound by dancetyd

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My friends at Backtrack Vocals just released this amazing Melanie Martinez a capella mashup. I did their Melanie inspired makeup and am still in awe at how well this video came out. Take a listen!