Nov 20

Friday Post: IAAPA 2015

Hey All,

Happy Friday!

I was lucky enough to be able to attend a day of IAAPA again this year.  IAAPA is THE worldwide Arcade and Amusement expo.  I’m fortunate that it takes place in Orlando, FL, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to get this opportunity.

One of the highlights of the trade show was that Sega was there showing off the new to North America “Luigi’s Mansion Arcade”.  This has been in Japan for two years now, but this is the first time (other than one location test) that a Luigi’s Mansion Arcade unit has been in the States.  It’s a very neat game.  It’s an on rails shooter game, where your gun is an all in one flashlight and vacuum cleaner.  You stun the ghosts with the flashlight, then suck them into your vacuum.  It’s a lot of fun, and I hope it gets translated and a few places pick them up.

In Raspberry Pi related news, the Mag Pi has just released their Official Raspberry Pi Projects Book!

Pi-Projects_Cover-495x700

 https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/official-raspberry-pi-projects-book/

200 pages of things to do with your Raspberry Pi!

Enjoy all!  Have a great weekend!

-Shea

 

Jul 10

Friday Post: Make Magazine!

Hey All,

Happy Friday!

This week just flew by, but projects are going really well, and I am hoping to have a cool announcement in the next week or so.  In the meantime…

PiPlay was featured in Make Magazine!!!!!!!

I’m seriously fanboying over here.  To have my project featured in Make is like having a researcher’s paper featured in Science or Nature magazine.  I’m just blown away.

The article is about making a home arcade system and controlling the games with an Arduino Esplora.

M45_Cover_LowRez_Sq_1024x1024

 

Have a good weekend all!

-Shea

 

Jun 19

Friday Post: Raspberry Pi Case and No Starch Press Humble Bundle!

Happy Friday!

This was a long week.  I had three things to do at work.  2 of them took 20 minutes, the last one took 4 days to finish.  I’ve also apparently become addicted to Splatoon on the Wii U.

Official Raspberry Pi Case

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has come out with their official Raspberry Pi Case.  I haven’t gotten my hands on one yet but it looks really nice.

Humble Bundle

I’m a huge fan of No Starch Press, and I love Humble Bundle’s bundles.  I picked up the last No Starch Humble Bundle and it was great.  This time it’s no different.

https://www.humblebundle.com/books

This bundle’s list of books:

PiPlay

Mark and I have been working on our remote controller concept that I posted a while ago on the blog.  I’m really impressed with how it’s turning out.  I couldn’t ask for a better team member.  I’m excited to share that in the upcoming weeks.

Feb 27

Friday Post: DIY Joystick

Hey All!

Happy Friday!  This week I took video of myself building a small Arcade Joystick for the Raspberry Pi.  I hope you all enjoy.  Let me know if you have any questions!

MagPi

The latest issue of the MagPi is out, and in this issue, not only have they announced that they are officially part of the Foundation, but they have also reviewed PiPlay, RetroPie, and Raspicade!

PiPlay received the “Best Features” comment, while RetroPie and Raspicade received “Best of the Bunch” and “Best for Newbies” respectively.

mp1 mp2

It’s a real honor to be mentioned in the MagPi 🙂

Have a good weekend all!

-Shea

Feb 25

Raspberry Pi Gaming Second Edition Published!

Hey All,

I am VERY excited to post about this.  I have been working on this book for the better part of a year, it has truly been a blood sweat and tears kinda project.  I felt burnt out at times, frustrated, ecstatic, relieved, rewarded, and angry all during the writing of this book.  But it’s done and I couldn’t be happier.

I am pleased to announce that my book, Raspberry Pi Gaming Second Edition has been published and is now available to order from Amazon.

3673_Raspberry Pi Gaming Second Edition_cov_0 (1)

Whereas the last book was mostly a cookbook style in writing, this book teaches how to:

  • Program games utilizing the Scratch language
  • Install multiple operating systems
  • Set up your Raspberry Pi computer
  • Install and configure game system emulators
  • Control your Minecraft world with the Python programming language
  • Explore different kinds of joysticks, controllers, game pads, and other input devices
  • Install applications in Linux

Thanks again to everyone who has helped me, supported me, and given me the opportunity to make this a reality.  You all rock.  Thank you readers and PiPlay community members 🙂

-Shea

Feb 06

Friday Post: Pi2 should be arriving tomorrow…

Hey All!

So my Pi2 is scheduled to arrive tomorrow!  I am currently prepping a new PiPlay image, as well as a new update so that it should just be plug and play.

I’m excited!!!

Humble Bundle Books Edition

So I love Humble Bundle.  I have bought a ton of things from them in the past…but this week, they have an awesome bundle!

They are offering a boatload of No Starch Press books at a name your own price!

hbnsp

https://www.humblebundle.com/books

Go buy some and support a charity at the same time!

More updates to come as I eagerly await my new board.

-Shea

Jan 23

Friday Post: Javascript for Kids Review & iOS dev needed

Hey All!

So my 31st birthday was great.  Got a Gamecube controller adapter for the Wii U, had some 8 player smash battles, and my wife made me an awesome Pokemon cake!

IMG_4703

PiPlay iOS App

So one of the items I have been working on on the side for PiPlay is a remote controller option.  I have the backend working.  A daemon sits on the Pi as a virtual keyboard (using udev) waiting for a specific HTTP request which is then interpreted and issued a keypress.  It’s really cool to see in action, but ugly as all get out.

This is why I am asking if anyone has any iOS design / dev experience, I would love to chat with you and hopefully work together on this as an open source project.

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My not so impressive mockup skills 🙂

Book Review: Javascript for Kids

Javascript For Kids is the next book in the “For Kids” series from No Starch Press.  When they originally sent me the Python For Kids book, I was really excited.  It was my first time reviewing a book, and it was an amazing text in its own right.  So when they told me Javascript For Kids was available, I jumped at the chance to review a copy.

I’m going to say this outright: I like Python For Kids better.

Javascript For Kids takes you from zero programming experience, all the way to programming graphics and mini games using the canvas tag.  Whereas Python For Kids was very easy to read and hard to put down, I find this book to be information dense, and a little overwhelming at parts.  The author knows his stuff, and the information is clear and well written, but I wish the book was paced a little slower.

That said the examples used are lots of fun, and the audience will probably enjoy writing and expanding on the included code.

No Starch landed a 10 / 10 on Python For Kids, which set the bar extremely high.  I’m giving Javascript For Kids a 7.5 out of 10.  It’s deserving of the For Kids title, and I eagerly await the next book in the series.

Have a good weekend all!

-Shea

Jan 17

Friday Post: 31

Hey All,

So I’m 31.  I feel like this year is going to be amazing.  I’ve felt burnt out on a few things, been struggling to find time to do everything I wanted.  But this year I’m going to work on better time management.

I’ve finished the tough part of my book, the writing portion.  The revisions are also done.  All thats left is to proof read the final copy when it’s ready.  This book took a lot out of me.  If I say I’m writing another book after this, punch me.

My goals this year are:

  • PiPlay
  • Finish some of my game backlog
  • Release a Swift app

I’m currently working on a swift based controller that interfaces with PiPlay.  I’m excited about it.  The code is done, but the design is ugly.  If you are good with Xcode / app design, shoot me an email!

This weekend is Otronicon at the Orlando Science Center.  It’s a convention filled with Digital Media, Gaming, and Simulation.  If you are in Orlando you should check it out.

Have a great weekend!

-Shea

Jan 02

Friday Post: 2015!!!!

Hey All,

Happy New Year!!! 2014 was an amazing year for me:

  • Got contracted to write a second book (almost done)
  • Ran a successful Kickstarter
  • Had YTD 64,000 downloads of PiPlay
  • Spoke at PyCon, Computers in Libraries, and EDUCAUSE conferences
  • Participated in Orlando Maker Faire
  • Was able to hire the very talented Elizabeth Williams to be part of my team at work
  • Developed software that is helping 60,000 students
  • Added a very cute and very annoying kitten to our family
  • Learned a few new technologies that I had been putting off
  • Watched my wife get a great new job
  • Watching my friends start families
  • Made some new friends

Not to say everything has been great, but the good has totally outweighed the bad.  I have to thank all of my readers as well.  I couldn’t have done without you all.  Thank you!

Amiibos

So I’ve been hit by the Amiibo bug.  I started cutting out these stands for my collection.

IMG_4653 IMG_4654 IMG_4655 IMG_4656 IMG_4657 IMG_4658 IMG_4659 IMG_4660 IMG_4661 IMG_4662 IMG_4652I may have gone a little overboard.

PiPlay

The next version of PiPlay is really coming along.

snapshot

You can see our game listing screen now shows a lot more info.  We are also moving a lot of our configs into SQLite DB files for faster retrieval.  This is going to be an awesome release!

Happy 2015 everyone!