Week 08 Blog — Swamped with Work!

I’m trying something new: A blog in the original sense of the word (web log) — a gathering of thoughts about stuff that happened last week, but for one reason or another did not end up being enough for its own post.

Work Stuff

The big thing last week was me hosting the Alife-Japan Workshop. It was nice, but I took on much more work than I should have, and ended up stressed and exhausted — it basically cost me all of Wednesday and Thursday. Recovering. I need to re-think how I approach these events.

On a better note, on Friday I talked to a new student who is very interested and motivated in learning about GP. After the student who was working on GP graduated, I was looking for someone to carry on the torch on that part of my research portfolio.

This Saturday I participated in the second phase of the University Entrance examination. Almost 6 hours doing nothing but look at kids taking the exam, to be honest it gave me plenty of time to think about what I want to do in the short term future (program a cool pico-8 rogue-like).

What is coming next: This week I’ll have to sort out the three Alife papers which different students are working on, wrap up the lab budget for this Fiscal Year (You have to use every last single cent !!), and start preparing for the lectures in the spring semester.

Gaming Stuff

Spent a lot of time thinking about The Tower, a pretty cool pico-8 game with a bitsy feeling. I think this was the first time I felt really motivated to hack a game to learn more about it. Pico-8 is cool for that.

I have also spent a lot of time playing The Turgenev Study, a neat tiny game by the Punkcake gang. Although I think I’m almost weaning out of this one.

Talking about tiny cool games, I’m keeping an eye on Island Trains, a new “game/toy” that is about creating an island and then building a train diorama on it. Similar in spirit to Townscaper, I guess.

Last week there was a sale of Brazilian games on Steam — I was really looking forward to buying some games, specially because there were quite a lot of sub-500 JPY games made by people from my hometown that I was curious about… But I ended up missing it because of the workshop exaustion… Bleaugh!

Hacking Stuff

Earlier this week I added a plugin to make this blog visible from the Fediverse. It was really cool, although it gave me some trouble to set up. Next time I want to try to make a Fedi bot.

What I’m putting my effort now is on writing a rogue-like game in Pico-8, taking inspiration from LazyDev’s video tutorial. I hope I have something to show for it next week!

New interesting links

This week I learned about Melanie Mitchell’s blog, with some quite interesting discussion on what LLMs are and are not capable of, and why. I’m looking forward to buying her book (An AI guide for thinking people), once I can find it in print.

I hope you found some interesting stuff in there!

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