Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Philly Skate Trip

Tuesday I received a text from Tyler B., asking if I wanted to Philly on Friday. He talked about going sometime in the summer before but this came up quick, we never even talked about the dates before. I quickly checked with my wife, and she was very supportive of me going on the trip. Luckily my job is pretty flexible, running a skatepark leaves lots of opportunities for things like this.

We left Friday around 5:30pm, not arriving to our Days Inn Hotel until about 11:30pm. As we drove into the hotel we knew this place was super sketchy. Signs in the parking lot read "We are not responsible for damages or things stolen from your car." As we walked inside, the front desk was shielded by glass separating the costumers from the employees. We stood there over hearing a conversation between the employee and the costumer next to us. The man complained and stated that the employee is lying to him as he complains about his room and how much they are charging him. When we arrive at our room, we open the door and see only one queen size bed, for all four of us to share. The brothers slept in the bed, as Dusty slept in the chair and I on the floor.

The first spot we hit the next day was the new street based skatepark, known as the Paine's Park. This is probably one of the best skateparks I've ever skated. It was mostly street based but had a really good flow with lots of tranny also. This park left many open options for lines and creativity.

Going to our next skate spot.

You can't go on a Philly skate trip without stopping in at Love park. Everyone has seen so many tricks go down here through skate videos. However, with the crowd and the wind blowing the fountain water everywhere we didn't stop to skate here, just to look at it.

The next spot we stopped at is one of the craziest things I've ever seen. It was the rail that Dane Burman fs 50-50 in the Zero "Cold War" video. This thing was enormous! Way bigger then it looked in the video. From the top of the rail it was a two story drop and coming off at the bottom of the rail is alone like jumping off a room of a building.

Dane Burman 50-50 on the Thrasher Cover

The plaza up at top of the rail, was flooded with skaters, I couldn't believe that these skaters weren't being kicked out be security by allowed to skate on all these objects. (Photo: Me - fs boardslide by Noah Blackert - edited by myself).
Tyler Blackert -bs board to fakie. Photo by Dale Nolan Jr. (Me)

There was plenty of homeless people asking us for money all day. However, after I refused to give this man cash, he asked me to take a picture of him, and to send it to him.

Being in Philly we had to stop at Kerry Getz's skateshop, Nocturnal. After we bought something to remember them buy, they directed us down the road to a pizza place to for lunch, known as Lorenzo & Son Pizza. For only $3.50, you get this giant slice of cheese pizza. I've never been so full I couldn't even finish the crust off a single slice.
Heading back to the car, we traveled through China town. It reminded me so much of Taiwan. I loved hearing the Chinese being spoken as we skated through the districts.
My phone had the gps location tagged to where we parked, however my phone died as we were getting close to Love Park. We skated for another five blocks trying to find were we parked but got a little lost and confused. Dusty was sure we parked near 20th st. No one was really sure though. Tyler B. insisted that it was on 9th and Arch. So we turned around and skated all the way back realizing that it was definitely not in this area. We skated all the way back to Love park again doing one big circle. Trying to retrace our steps, Tyler B. remembered that he had a ticket from the parking garage. He pulled it out revealing the street address of our car, on 21st St.

After we got back to our hotel, Tyler Blackert and I decided we wanted to ollie the rail across the street. It was getting pretty dark, which didn't make it easy nor did the rough cement that was our run up. However, we both managed to get an ollie over it.

The next morning, we hit up the Patrick Kerr Skatepark. It had some good objects, and some really bad ones. It was actually a really fun park for the horrible design, which kinda made it cool. 

While we skated, I got into contact with a friend from college, that lived 30min away. He and his wife managed to drive out to visit me, we got to chat for about 15min before we had to head back home. While we waited for them to arrive we explored the river.

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Last 10 Days I was in Taiwan

Its been a long time since I lived in Taiwan. Because of complications with my computer and hard drive space among other things, I haven't been able to upload any of these photos. I finally went through the last pictures I had of Taiwan and uploaded them. I haven't done this much stuff in this short of time in a long time. I miss it very much and the cultural experience among many other things that Taiwan has to offer.

Rainbow Village and Taichung Overlook
2012/11/03 - 10 Days Left

台中 (Taichung City Skyline)

Taichung Docks
2012/11/04 - 9 Days Left

Burning Clothes
2012/11/06 - 7 Days Left

Night Skate Session and Overlook of Taichung at Night
2012/11/07 - 6 Days Left

Hitch Hiking
2012/11/09 - 4 Days Left

Burning Clothes Part 2
2012/11/11 - 2 Days Left

2012/11/12 - 1 Day Left

Cat Tea
2012/11/13 - The day I left Taiwan

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Outerra Anteworld vs Real World Part 2: Taiwan

I wanted to take a closer look from the first blog post I made about Outerra's Anteworld, comparing the real world versus their video game world. If you don't know anything about the game please read my first post here.

I am going to be looking at specific locations and comparing them to what the real world actually looks like, to show how well or how bad they did recreating the world. Which is a huge accomplishment in the video game world what they have done already.

Below is a picture from google maps and a screen shot from Anteworld looking down on earth. Please click on the images to better see them. I actually labeled the locations that you can see on both maps. It is amazing how well they did replicating the shore lines. That is definitely the most impressive thing they've done in this game. I even tried to spot if they are missing any islands but it doesn't seem to look that way. Another impressive thing is how the land vegetation is similar looking in color in both worlds.  A interesting fact, this game world is actually round like the earth unlike most video games that feature a flat playing field.

As amazing as the game looks from space lets see how it compares to the land features. (Note: don't pay to much attention to detail because my computer doesn't run at the highest settings, I am looking more for structural forms that are correct or incorrect.) The game clearing doesn't place the right ground surface lots of times in the game, as you can see in the game its more rocky while in real life its very green. There is a structure of some kind in the real world but just ignore that the game isn't really modeling the world after man-made structures for now. However you can see from a distance that the mountain shapes are comparatively the same as in the real world. You can see that they seem to be missing the stems of rock that branch off into the water.

Please click on the next image to see a more detailed side by side comparison.

The mountains all seem to have the correct elevation in the game as in the real world. However, they lack the correct form and lack cliffs when there should be some present. 

I assume they got lucky on the design below. Where the world generated this rock in a pretty close place to them as it is in the real world. However, in the game this location lacks all the cliffs and land shape as it does in real life, but they did an excellent job on have the shape of the shore line weave in and out like it does in real life. One of the things that makes this video game world look so much like real life is because you can see as far as the eye can see in the video game, there is no distance limitations which is pretty similar to how our eyes work in real life.

Overall this game has impressed me a ton. I can't wait to see how far it comes along. I think they can do a lot of amazing things with it.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Outerra's Anteworld vs Real World

I first heard of Outerra's demo while scrolling through youtube watching stuff in the recommended pages when I came a crossed Gamersdissent's video. I immediately downloaded it by from Outerra is an amazing game world that has replicated the terrain of the entire world. You don't load levels the whole world is your level.

Sadly my computer does not have the power of most peoples gaming computers.I was a little worried about how well the game would run or if it would even work. Luckily it did work, however ran with very poor graphics and lots of lag. Even with my awful graphics the game still looks beautiful. 

One of the first things I wanted to do once i got into the game was to fly into outer space and see earth from the sky. It was like being a simulated google earth street view on steroids. One of my favorite features is that it does allow you to open up google earth in the lower right hand corner so you know where you are at. Sadly the game doesn't have an official day and night cycle. The shadow from the sunless earth blocked out a great view of America while in outer space.

I knew they didn't build mass cities in the game, but I wanted to find out how well the worlds features matched that of the real world. I was trying to think of a place that I knew pretty well that didn't have a lot of buildings on the features. I remembered a cool place when I was living in Taiwan so I decided to fly there to check it out.

As I walked around the flat surface of what was once a city filled with thousands of people I decided to go to the country side. It amazed me, what I saw when I got there. The terrain wasn't perfect but the elevation was pretty close and the coast lines where even more amazingly replicated. Below is a photo from the game and I photo from the real world that I took while living in Taiwan.

Click on the photo for a larger viewing.
If only the game would let me drive scooters around on the roads to bring back those wonderful memories of exploration on that beautiful island.

For only $15 you can back these guys up and get access to special game features like building roads and stuff.

Click here to see Part 2

Monday, May 12, 2014

Taichung Panorama - 台中, 台灣

This is the longest panorama I've ever made and one of the hardest to process. You can view it in full detail by clicking on the photo, it will take you to my flickr.

This photo has so many forgotten memories spanning it. Just the process of finding this place is a story in itself. I love looking down at the buildings and trying to recognize different places (which is actually pretty hard because of the similarity in the buildings). This was taken in 2012-11-03 and I never touched it until today, 2014-05-12.