Berlin Half Marathon

Wow, it’s almost April and I haven’t write anything since January 2014 :-D

Quite busy with many things lately, from building our own startup with my wife, learning about cloud technology, to training for half marathon. Yes, half marathon and we’re going to race this Sunday.

To begin with, I’m not a good runner. I run regularly, like twice a month, but only for short distance in a slower pace. I love to see people running Berlin marathon but I always thought long distance running is too much for me.

Then, on November 2013, my wife registered us for the Berlin half marathon :-D She’s not a runner, just like me, but she said, “it’s time to say yes to ourselves”.

It’s true what she said. Since January, we run 2 or 3 times a week. On weekend, we tried to run long distance. We started with 5KM and gradually increase the distance. Two weeks ago, we managed to run around 18KM on the weekend (and then I caught cold on the next week :-D ).

Our aim is just to finish the race in 3 hours. It’s not so fast for some people (especially Germans :-) ) but for me, I want to enjoy the run and the scenery. That’s the only time where you can run around the city, on big streets without cars or bicycles, and have a lot of people cheering up for you.

Happy running!

Sketches & Recap from 2013

I thought I didn’t sketch that much last year. Then I realized that I managed to fill up my small Moleskine sketchbook which I’ve started to sketch on since 2010. It was 50% empty in the beginning of 2013 & filled up last November.

My idea of sketching is not to make (great) art but just because I love to do it. It’s kinda meditative & nice way to catch a moment or thing. So I decided to share few of them along with my 2013 recaps ;-)

Game Jams

I started to do game jam. I joined #1GAM which is to make 1 game for every month. It didn’t work for me, only managed to submit 2 games. I made some demos on my GitHub and tutorials for my CreateJS presentation but they’re not considered as a full playable game ;-) At least I managed to do a 8-hour game jam last July at Berlin Mini Game Jam.

Vacation in Indonesia

On March, we had 3-weeks vacation at my home country. We went to Bangka Island. The beaches were so beautiful and the seafood were so great. I didn’t sketch that much, too busy enjoying life :-)

Meetups. Lots of them

This year we attended lots of meetups/workshops, mostly about tech & startups. It’s really hot things in Berlin. Since mid of this year, we’re starting our startup (mostly my wife, I’m just helping her a little bit) so we need to do a lot of learning & networking. Continue reading

Technical Book Review

Last July & August, I was working part time as a technical reviewer for Packt Pub. The book was published on mid of October & PacktPub sent 1 hard copy to me.

Finally on last Friday, the book was here!


Oh, man! I haven’t read any (technical) book on real paper for a while. I didn’t miss at all the big & thick paper books :-D

Back then on June, a guy from Packt Pub e-mailed me. He found me through my Blog & asked me if I want to write a book about Starling Game Development. I was focusing on HTML5 development & busy with my work so I turned down the offer. A couple of weeks later, a different guy from PacktPub came back with another offer to do technical review on  ”Learning Three.JS: The JavaScript 3D Library for WebGL” book. I thought it won’t be that time-consuming (no need to do spellcheck, just focus on the codes and technical content) and I would get free e-books from them, so I said yes!

I was wrong.

It consumed more time than I thought. Originally, my plan was to spend max 2 hours on a chapter (not 2 hours straight but spread over 4-5 days) but in reality, I had to spend a little bit more than that, depending on the topic & number of pages. Fortunately, the guys from PacktPub are pretty cooperative & I could negotiate the deadlines.

They send me 1 chapter every week via e-mail. By the end of August, I managed to reviewed all 12 chapters. In the end, I got 1 free e-book (I picked a book about AngularJS), 1 hard-copy of the book that I reviewed, and learn a lot of things that I didn’t know before about Three.js.

Was it worth the effort? Yes. In fact, I got another offer from them to write a book about CreateJS (which I had to turn down since I’m starting my new startup). Will I do it again? Probably not at the moment :-)

Presentation at HTML5 Meetup

Last week, I did a presentation at HTML5 Meetup Berlin.

I love to come to tech, development, or start-up Meetups (there’s a lot of them in Berlin!) to see what other people’s doing, get inspired, and also to meet new people. But to give a talk is totally different experience and I found it quite fun to do :-)

Talk at HTML5 Meetup

A month before that, Rachel, friend of mine and also one of the HTML5 Meetup organizers, asked me if I wanted to give a talk at the next event. I haven’t done any presentation for a long time but I just said yes. I suggested 2 game development topics: Ash Framework, or starting game development using CreateJS. In the end, we agreed with the 2nd one with additional live coding to make it more interesting.

Fast forward to the event, I finally did it!

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Berlin Mini Jam July 2013

Last July, I did my first Berlin Mini Jam. It’s a monthly event, usually on the 1st or 2nd Saturday of the month, where people from many backgrounds meet up at co.up and make games in just 8 hours.

I’ve been following their Facebook page since September 2012 but I never had the chance to do the game jam. So last month, while taking my vacation before starting my new job, I decided to join the July Mini Game Jam.

The event started at 12PM and I came 30 minutes late. There were like 30 people there  and they has voted for the themes which were Pixel Art, Retro Style, and Light & Darkness. I teamed up with Lothar Narnis and Adam Streck, both whom I just met on the game jam.

We sat on the same table, introduce ourselves (which skills and programming languages) and quickly brainstorm the idea. About 1 hour later, we came up with a simple game idea:

  • There’s a game character in a totally dark room.
  • There are a few of light sources (some kind of spot lights) which can be turn on and off.
  • The game character can only move within the lighted area.
  • The game character can rotate the spotlight until you can see the next spotlight so the character can walk towards it.
  • Explore the room until you see the exit door. Walk to the exit door and you win the level

I did the level editor using JavaScript, Adam did the game coding using Java and Processing library, and Lothar did all the pixel art. We worked 8 hours intensively.

Berlin MIni Game Jam July 2013.  Me on the end of the table with Lothar on the left and Adam on the right side.

Me on the end of the table with Lothar on the left and Adam on the right side. Making game is a serious business :-D

The development ended at 9PM and we managed to finish the game :-)

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