(All the) Small Things

Finally settled on a schedule, I want to try for this blog. Twice a month, not exactly a lot, but meaning I don’t have too much pressure writing something when there’s nothing noteworthy to write about. It also gives me a bit of structure.

While two whole weeks for a single blog post might be enough, some posts can be quite extensive and take much more time compared to others [like this one], so on top of the two-per-month rule I had another Idea: to alternate between smaller and extensive/bigger posts. That way I can write about lesser interesting stuff and smaller updates while reserving more time to be dedicated to the more juicier posts.

But all of this is rather iterative, so depending on how well I manage my time, which is not exactly my best skill, I can make adjustments to this structure and either change the time window between posts or the ratio of small to bigger posts.


So yeah, I bought a Disney+ subscription and it’s been quite decent so far. Of course the catalogue of movies and shows is quite vast and diverse (enough) at least for the price, I payed 60€ for the first year for my pre-order (pre-subscription?) – which is low enough that I don’t think a lot of people will really cancel a lot of subscriptions as long as Disney doesn’t flop hard in the next coming years, which seems unlikely.

As for features, Disney+ isn’t exactly loaded with a ton, but I would say the most important are in there, you can easily switch between like 6 or 7 languages and even more for subtitles, as far as I can see that is the case for every movie, which is nice because I do like to watch some movies in english from time to time, but Amazon, for some weird reason I can only assume has to do with licensing, only offers the german version for some movies, at least those that are included in the Prime subscription.

Speaking of Prime, one thing I am really missing from Prime is x-ray, I never thought I would ever use it that much, but it has really grown on me, the ability to quickly confirm “Yupp it’s THAT actor.” – is something I do more and more over on Prime.

But back to Disney+, the streaming quality was actually surprisingly good so far, given the current world wide situation I would’ve thought that I would see some decrease in quality or buffering, but I have not noticed any loading/buffering times or crappy quality yet.

Then there is the ability to have multiple profiles on one account, which is great in theory but I think the actual features are a bit lackluster. You can set the language for each profile, which I personally don’t find too useful, but it’s not hurting either. You can also mark profiles as child profiles which will hide all mature content; This would be great if it would allow to set the age and not just default to “under 6” and only show really “family friendly” content with no way to make some adjustments like hiding 16+ only or something like this. There is also no verification between profiles so any child that knows how to use the device they are using, so basically almost every child, can simply switch to their parents profiles with no pin code or anything, so 10/10 for effort but poor execution for what is otherwise a pretty amazing video streaming platform for families.

So, TL;DR: I think Disney+ is good for how much it costs with some room (and need) for improvements, but I hope they don’t get lazy in the future and stop improving just because they are moving ever so closely toward a sort of entertainment monopoly. One thing I absolutely did not expect but are eager to take a look at is National Geographic’s: The World According to Jeff Goldblum.

Actual post when?

So, as I mentioned in my other post I am already writing on a kind of extensive documentation post of our adventure with Surface Nets. It’s been quite the ride and actually still sort-of happening (just not anything substantial anymore).

I have already compiled a list of all the sources we used and it’s now just a matter of putting everything together and somewhat coherently wording the description of that process.

After that, I am not quite sure, I could write on the client-server stuff I am currently working on for Coloneers, which would be a bit dry since it’s a lot of package handling and other “boring” netcode stuff, or perhaps I can share a bit of my delves into the depth that is node-based shader editting, I have always despised the way shader had to be written and mostly avoided it, except for maybe slight alterations.

But with the new Shader Graph Unity3D has introduced I was able to get some very decent results pretty quickly without having to get too deep into the matter:

A Snow shader that alters the visual appearance of the object by increasing vertex height on a pixel by pixel base.

This is really just the tip of the iceberg, there is so much more possible and it would still need some polish before it would really be of any actual use, but the results are already a good prototype for some of the ideas we have for Coloneers.

Yes that was a blink-182 reference in the title.