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Site Version: 1.0.0
Last Updated: 2020/12/29
Posts relating to games, enhancements, mods, etc.
Showing keyboard inputs with a video
Sunday, April 28, 2024

I had something in mind for my library of gameplay footage, at least in the past few years. Why not give users the option to visually see inputs? Not only am I curious about my own inputs sometimes (especially in a rhythm game or FPS), but it could also be quite satisfying to see keys light up alongside the video. It's something extra. But it's cool.

It does have some practical use though. When I was teaching online due to COVID, I did something like this to help students see what I was doing in VIM and TMUX. Here's what I mean:

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Directly Booting MWIII without MWII (Steam)
Tuesday, November 7, 2023

I'll be brief on this post. MWIII requires a prior launch of MWII to run. Since these games are coded specifically to not run via clicking their EXE files, a few extra steps are taken to force execution. I'll provide two ways: an automated batch file, and a manual way if you don't trust me. 😉

This is for the Steam version of the game. And it relies on a steam.exe to boot up the game in the end. Given this blog post was written before the final release of the game came out, I may have to edit it to account for multiplayer layer on.

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Grind Series: Quantity without compromising Quality
Monday, August 30, 2021

I like to grind in games. Part of how I play games is that I like to record all gameplay to preserve it in its entirety. That mentality has posed some technical challenges over time that tested hard drive capacity, video codec tuning, and more. That Dark Aether camo in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War looks pretty good. But it will take days of gameplay. That's a huge quantity of footage which would normally take a huge amount of time to run through x265. Time for another media project?

Sure. I'm up for the challenge.

Like always, I'm setting up a checklist of things I want for the final video to meet. Here's the specifications I want:

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SpyHunter Playthrough (Production Procedure)
Saturday, June 19, 2021

SpyHunter is a great example of a reboot done correctly. The 1983 arcade classic got a reboot on the PS2 and other platforms in 2001 and it looked well ahead of its time. One thing that caught my eye earlier this year was that the reboot also featured a Japanese release, which hasn't been dumped. On top of that, I wanted to play this again in stunning 4K. So, time for another media project?

First, I had to get a dump of the Japanese Release. I found a used copy on eBay for $15. So I had that delivered and I dumped the disc myself via dd (Unix utility). After testing on PCSX2, it works just as well as the USA release. After that, I cranked the internal resolution up to 3840x2160 and went to work.

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Puyo Puyo Tetris's 50 replay limit... Shattered
Saturday, February 8, 2020

So recently I bought a game on Steam called Puyo Puyo Tetris. It's a crossover between... well... Puyo Puyo and Tetris! I've had a few good matches here and there with some friends and the game lets you save good matches as replays. With replays, you can go and rewatch gameplay at a later time. You can also slow down or speed up the gameplay as you wish when playing them back.

Okay that's a pretty useful feature right? Well it is useful until you hit the absurd 50 replay limit. For a PC port, I would've expected something like in Quake or Half-Life where the replays are stored in a separate file (and in an unlimited quantity), but unfortunately that isn't the case here. Nope, we're stuck with 50.

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Christmas Deathmatch Production Procedure (Behind the Scenes)
Monday, January 8, 2018

Almost yearly in the winter, me, my brother, and my Dad play a series of Half-Life games, which ends up being recorded and uploaded to YouTube. We call the series the "Christmas Deathmatch".

To me, I'm always up for a good game, but I'm also always up for a good media project. Christmas Deathmatch isn't popular by any means, but it is a good way to practice video editing and producing to me. So I'm going to show some behind-the-scenes stuff that went on with editing 2017's Christmas Deathmatch.

In the past years, I was very reliant on Adobe After Effects to do my work for me. As I went through 2016 and 2017, I realised there was a much more efficient and automated way to do the editing I needed without professional video editing software. I only used Adobe After Effects for parts of the video that I actually had to edit. The rest, I managed to actually automate. All rendering to x264 was automated into a few shell scripts and ffmpeg. It's going to sound complicated when you read this, but in the end, it's just simply setting up files so that the scripts can encode everything automatically.

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Steam’s “Big Picture” Update Review (English and Japanese Screenshots)
Sunday, November 29, 2015

I feel like I am late to the party! With a busy semester ongoing and barely any time to try to enjoy off, Steam decided to update their "Big Picture" feature. Let's take a tour of this. Press the "English" and "日本語" buttons to switch language of the screenshots to English and Japanese respectively. Furthermore, you can click the images to see their full resolution (1920x1080).

I was welcomed to the "Big Picture" with this screen. It has changed since the last time I used it. Sadly, I don't have screenshots (that I took myself) of the older Steam Big Picture mode.

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Clara Nguyễn
Hi! I am a Vietnamese/Italian mix with a Master's Degree in Computer Science from UTK. I have been programming since I was 6 and love to write apps and tools to make people's lives easier. I also love to do photography and media production. Nice to meet you!
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