Posts

Windows 10 on ARM has always been able to run 64-bit apps

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The transition from x86-based processors to ARM-based processors is one of the most interesting and exciting technology events for me right now, and it is happening so stealthily that most people don't even understand what is going on. I keep seeing reviews that say Windows 10 on ARM "can't run 64-bit apps" or articles titled "Will Windows 10 on ARM be affected by ARM dropping 32-bit support?" or other such misleading things. The confusion comes from a misunderstanding of what 32-bit and 64-bit even are - people don't realize that 64-bit ARM code exists at the same time as 64-bit x86 code. Here's a handy table to hopefully clear things up before I delve into details: Ability Windows 10 on x86 Windows 10 on ARM Windows RT MacOS on x86 MacOS on ARM Linux Run 32-bit x86 Yes Natively Yes Emulated No Never No Not Anymore No Never Yes Run 64-bit x86 Yes Natively Yes (insider builds) Emulated No Never Yes Yes Translated (Rosetta 2) Yes

Gray Patterns

You may have heard of dark patterns, where technology is designed in intentionally malicious (or, dark) ways. But what about when it's unintentional? There are a ton of habits I have developed over the years purely to account for bugs I have encountered in software I use. These bugs may be fixed someday, but for now the defensive habits remain, sapping precious energy and time from me. Here are some examples. I have multiple monitors, and in Windows 10 there's an option to have a taskbar on each monitor and to only show open windows on the taskbar of the same monitor as there the window is at. If you focus a program on one monitor, then focus a program on another monitor, both programs stay focused on both taskbars even though only one is truly in focus. Clicking in the blank area of any taskbar fixes the display issue. So, I now have a habit of clicking to focus a program, clicking in a blank area, then refocusing the program again, just to avoid this distracting visual bug. W

I want to be a reason other people are happy

I like to introspect. Lately I’ve been fascinated by figuring out my own drive and motivation in life. I’ve come to find that, primarily, I want to be a reason other people are happy. This ties so deeply and profoundly into my psyche that I used to feel guilty or sad when the opposite was true: when I am happy because of someone else. But when I make others happy, that in turn makes me happy too. I crave that vicarious enjoyment, that empathetic feeling of giving someone else a positive experience and knowing that they like it. It makes me happy to make others happy. When I was younger, I used to play video games by myself. Sometimes family would watch, usually my younger sister, but in general I was content to just play by myself. Something changed when I started doing YouTube. I stopped playing games entirely, unless I was recording them with the intention to upload and publish. I’ve heard other YouTubers talk about this experience happening to them too, and like me, they describe

How to livestream to Twitch and YouTube at the same time using ffmpeg and OBS Studio on a single Windows or Linux computer

I'm a big fan of OBS Studio, and I've recently started learning how to use ffmpeg for transcoding and remuxing my videos. One thing that has bugged me is that current versions of OBS Studio can only stream to one streaming service at a time (one RTMP server). There are services like restream.io that get around this, but you're basically paying them for a little bit of CPU/GPU time and some added latency to your stream, and maybe only getting combined chat in return. Well, it just so happens that with a single ffmpeg command line invocation, you can output to multiple files and streaming services at once with very little overhead. Another benefit of ffmpeg over OBS Studio is that it supports more encoders such as hevc_amf which is the hardware H.265 encoder for AMD video cards. OBS Studio currently only supports h264_amf via the Advanced output mode. Strangely, OBS Studio has an included version of ffmpeg but the list of encoders it has does not include any AMD encoders, o

Why I prefer minimalist art styles in games

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I'm a big fan of minimalist art styles in games - simple lines and shapes, dashes of color, the occasional complex geometry, etc. I like the way it looks, but there's more to an art style than just the way it looks. Mini Metro. Image from official press kit. Check out the GDC talk . Games have had a long history of trying to mimic reality, especially big-budget games made by large companies for mass audiences. It can be impressive to see how far technology has come, but basing games in realistic worlds runs counter to game design. Real life has a lot of limitations, and games based on real life have to devote a lot of effort to explaining why you can do things that can't be done in real life, or they blatantly ignore such conflicts and go for the "it's just game logic" option. Whether or not you care about immersion, this is a problem that wouldn't exist if the game wasn't based in reality. Rise of the Tomb Raider. Image from vg247.com. The pla

What makes puzzle platformers challenging? What makes them good?

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I'm a big fan of puzzle platformers - games like Portal 1 and 2, The Talos Principle, The Swapper, etc. - and I've logged many dozens of hours playing such games, mostly due to community-made puzzles. In fact, I've played over 500 community maps for Portal 2, and I've learned quite a bit along the way. Someone asked me an interesting question that really got me thinking: When do elements that are individually passable become insurmountable or too convoluted when stacked together? It's a great question, and I think the answer depends on a few factors: how many options plays have at each step, which options players are likely to actually notice, and what players typically think about each option. Every player is different, but that doesn't mean you can't estimate the qualities of a puzzle without players. How many options does a player standing in the center of the room have? An 'option' is an action the player can perform to change the state o

Fizzlers

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I haven't really studied game design much, but seeing as I want to make games, I figured I had better at least pay attention to the games I play and see what I can learn from their design. I've learned a lot of things about game design and a lot of things about myself - namely, I like puzzle games, and there's a trend in puzzle games that makes them more fun for me. I've recently been playing a lot of Portal. A lot. I've played Portal 1 , Portal 2 , Portal Stories: Mel , Aperture Tag , Rexaura , and many, many  community maps for Portal 2. (Though I have not played anywhere near as much as this guy ). One thing I have noticed consistently is that I enjoy fizzler puzzles - you know, those ones where one or more Aperture Science Material Emancipation Grills play a crucial role in the puzzle? A fizzler in Portal 2, with a nearby cube to show the effect. Fizzlers in Portal 2 allow you to pass through them, but they impose certain limitations. You cannot shoot