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Tue Apr 7 2020

Last updated on April 16, 2022

Great progress on the encore-more project this morning. I don’t think I had named the project yesterday when I came up with the idea, so I suppose I should explain it.

I purchased Tabletop Simulator on Sunday, so I can take part in Nerds United virtual board game meetup this Saturday. There’s a Weiss Schwarz mod which comes with a Deck Editor that seems very redundant to me. There’s already an excellent deck building website, Encoredecks.com which I’ve used to save the Hatsune Miku deck I play with.

My idea was to create an app which allows me to export the deck I created in Encoredecks, straight into Tabletop Simulator. I want a fast and easy method for this. Something that’s automated and easy.

4:47PM. Just woke up. It feels like I had a mini hackathon yesterday, which continued late into the morning. I was driven to create a proof-of-concept implemented before I slept, and here’s what I came up with.

I’m going to use Heroku for this website. So far, I haven’t deployed the website, but I’m planning on using xtoast.com.

The main page is going to be a simple introduction to the service and explain to Weiss Schwarz players how to use the service.

First I have to explain the problem. The deck builder that comes packaged with the Weiss Schwarz mod leaves a lot to be desired. First, the player must find and download images of every card in their deck. Second, the player must rotate the images correctly, then import those cards to the deck builder software, one after the other for each of their 50 cards.

Once the 50 cards are imported, a deck mosaic image must be exported from the deck editor, then uploaded to the internet before it is imported into Tabletop Simulator.

What if they have multiple decks? This process could take hours. To make matters worse, the deck builder app fails to display properly on anything but Windows operating systems.

My project, codenamed encore-more makes this process streamlined and easy, and removes the requirement for the jenky java Deck Builder. Power players might already have decks created on Encoredecks, which makes this project even sweeter.

All the player has to do is copy the deck ID found on encoredecks, then paste it into encore-more. For example, here’s a random deck I found by browsing Encoredecks.

https://www.encoredecks.com/deck/ydbZjH67k

Say the player likes this deck and they want to use it in Tabletop simulator. All they gotta do is go to the following URL

https://xtoast.com/deck/ydbZjH67k

encore-more magically rotates, lines up, and stitches together all the card images in a format which can be imported straight into Tabletop Simulator! Better yet, encore-more retains a copy of that deck image, and can later serve it to you and your friends at the same URL for flawless importing!

There is white text on the image above. That was something I added for debugging purposes, but won’t be present on the final product.

Pretty cool, eh? I used GraphicsMagick to do the image compositing. It’s a really powerful library and I enjoyed learning more about it.

There are some features missing in the app which are very desirable. Most pressing are high-quality images. To accomplish that, I think I need to clone my precious-data project and modify it for Weiss Schwarz. I’ll need to make a separate site which would act as a public API for Weiss Schwarz card images.

A big problem with this shit is that it’s hard to monetize. Worst case scenario, I could get sued by Bushiroad or a license holder.

I definitely want to break even on my server expenses. The large images that I plan on working with are going to take a lot of bandwidth, and I don’t think I can run everything on a free Heroku plan.

I’m getting ahead of myself. Firstly I have to launch the app. If it gets traction, then I can think about monetization. Users have to come first!

I woke up this afternoon thinking I had forgotten something. I had the thought that I was in the middle of something important. I think it might have been a dream I had. I can’t remember anything from it, though.

I was thinking that I don’t have anything planned for Tuesday. Not since the COVID-19 thing anyway. I got a text with a reminder about CoDA Tuesday. I guess I have something planned after all! Now the real question is, will I attend the virtual meetup? My attendance as of late has not been very good.

5:20PM. I pretty much have no time to go exercise before CoDA. Last week, I went inside at 5:50 and ended up talking to my dad. I missed CoDA because I didn’t plan ahead.

So how about it? CoDA tonight, or no? If I don’t go, I’ll have to explain to my therapist. If I don’t go, I won’t be working towards my goal of emotional independence. If I don’t go, I’ll feel bad about it come 6:30.

I’ve been sitting here for a few minutes and haven’t written anything. I guess I got nothing else to talk about right now. My is on CoDA! I’m going to go prepare for the meeting.

I ate and walked and showered and shaved. My hair is lookin’ kind of scruffy! I want to shave it again sometime soon.

While I walked, I figured out a good future for my encore-more app. First I’m going to launch it and get some feedback from my friends D. and P. who play Weiss Schwarz and recently acquired Tabletop Simulator. I want to get a nice main page on my app which has an easy-to-understand description on how to use the service. Once D. and P. give me their thoughts and I iterate on them, I’ll share the service in the Encoredecks Discord server. I especially want to hear what the Encoredecks author has to say about it.

Ideally, my app would just be gobbled up by Encoredecks. I would love to see an export to Tabletop Simulator option added to the Encoredecks export menu!

I don’t even need credit, I just want to know that I made that feature, and add this project to my portfolio!

Top of the world for me would be seeing BoatsDontSink or Three Six Cancel make a youtube video teaching people how to use the feature I made. That would be the best!

I got a text from my best buddy M. We’re gonna play Squad tonight! I’m excited for that, so I want to finish writing so I can move onto that next thing.

That next thing. I am not living in the moment right now! I’ve been a bad boy this week in terms of being mindful. I feel medicated and distracted actually. I have felt that way all week. I’m isolating and I’m avoiding feeling anything by focusing so intently on my work. I need a day off!

I’m definitely taking a day off from coding. I have coded so much in the past few years that I seem to have forgotten how stressful coding actually is. I’ve just become used to the stress. I suppose eBay has changed that quite a bit. listing things on eBay is almost as stressful as coding, but it requires a lot less concentration and there’s pretty much zero researching so it’s a different experience for sure.

I need moderation. That’s what I’m trying to get at. I’m really bad at moderation. Isolation is the worst thing I do to myself at the moment, and SARS2 is only giving me more excuses and valid reasons to not reach out to friends and family.

SARS2 is crimping my groove! I’m really lonely and I feel that I’ve lost progress on many of the good social routines I had started.

I felt pretty lonely as I cooked dinner tonight. I found comfort in the fact that I’m not alone though. This idea was foreign to me until recently. Well firstly, it’s in the title of one of the books I’m reading. “I Thought It Was Just Me by Brene Brown

Such a good book. I hope to finish reading it by the end of April. Anyway, when I first heard my therapist tell me that it’s not just me, I was confused. I thought something like, “So what? That doesn’t do anything for me.”

But the more I thought about it, the more I understood that there are other reality tunnels out there who suffer in similar ways to me. It gave me comfort to know that there are other people a lot like me, that I can relate to and spend time with. It’s not a selfish act to spend time with people, it’s a mutual one! If I didn’t spend time with people, I would be suffering. If I didn’t spend time with someone who otherwise would be alone, their suffering could be suspended while I’m with them!

That’s just one way to look at it, but to know that I am not the only one suffering for being lonely gives me a sense of solice. I can reach out and we can get through this together!

The last time. I wonder when my last time to play Squad with my friends will be. Hopefully I have many more years of these fun times. I like playing Squad with Matt a whole lot!

I’m feeling pretty tired right now. I’m probably going to suck on some caffeine infused coffee bags. They’re like a tobacco dip alternative. I bought them because I like coffee and caffeine, and I like the edgy look of the container which I think is the same type of container used for Tobbaco chew.

I got this from URM last time I was there. The coffee and peppermint smell is really really strong! Anyway, I think these are wonderful. Last week when I played Squad, I started to feel tired and angry so I popped one of these in my mouth. In a few minutes I was feeling awake energized. My teammates started to get progressively more tired but I felt the opposite. I took up Squad leading at one point, and I had a really good time!

Just caffeine in general is probably enough to feel this way. I wonder if there is any sort of benefit from these pouches though. Like, is caffeine more readily absorbed by the body via saliva glands? Is that even what is happening, or does the caffeine just make it’s way to the stomach where it is absorbed? IDK, I don’t know that much about the human body.

I’m always hesitant to photograph my desk because the surface is all worn out and spotty as you can see in the above images. It has the appearance of being dirty even though I wipe down the surface every other day. It’s just that the wood surface atop the crappy particleboard is worn. It really doesn’t bother me until I photograph it, LOL!

That’s a strange thing about taking photos or being on webcam. I’m so concerned about my image that I will go to great lengths to hide something in the background, or hold a certain expression on my face.

I remember one time in recent history when I was utterly baffled as to what my face should be doing. On one hand, I was trying to force it to appear happy. On the other hand, I was stressed out.

Oh yeah, it was at Nerds United before the SARS2 pandemic. I was listening to E. talk, and I was trying to seem interested. The conversation was one sided, as most of my conversations with new people are. I was doing all the listening, E. was doing all the talking. At first, I was genuinely interested. As the conversation progressed, I became bored. I quit smiling naturally, but I forced myself to appear like I was still interested. I wanted to go home.

My face started twitching because I was unsure of what I wanted my face to be doing. Did I want to be genuine and appear disinterested, or did I want to be codependent and please the person talking to me?

The uncontrollable twitch persisted for a few moments. I think I ended up deciding to be genuine, and I let my face relax, but doing so took much longer than was comfortable.

I missed CoDA by the way. I used my internet and Zoom issues as an excuse, but honestly I didn’t want to be there. I have been so absent minded lately that I couldn’t bring myself to experience the discomfort that I know was ahead. I panicked. I went outside and walked instead. I’ll consider attending next week.

On to video games with my best bud, M! Excelsior!

42. I will focus on my talents; I have things to share with the world.
43. I choose to have the strength to move on to healthier relationships.
44. I deserve to have good things in life.

I’m grateful for my best bud M., because he’s genuine and caring and I can talk to him about all sorts of things. I think he’s open to talking about everything under the sun, as long as I choose a more relaxed video game to talk over! Squad isn’t so good at talking about emotions when getting rained on by bullets!

I’m grateful for caffeine. I’m about to ingest some because I’m feeling tired and I didn’t sleep that much today. I’m grateful for caffeine and especially coffee because coffee (black) is really yummy, and caffeine gives me an edge!

I’m grateful for amateur radio. I listened to part of the Tuesday morning net. The net operator was really entertaining to listen to. He was kind and maybe a little socially awkward, but he did his best and he was very good at communicating. I can appreciate his efforts and his personality and I think there’s a lot I can learn from in the way of amateur radio as far as etiquette and good manners and community service.

I’m grateful for internet. I can do all sorts of things on the internet. My life revolves around the internet. I was raised on the internet and I seek to make money on the internet and I’m entertained and can find far-spread communities of passionate enthusiasts about every topic I could ever want to be a part of. It’s great stuff!

Excelsior!

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