July 13, 2007

We’re in the money!

I call this: summer stock,theatre — Posted by KP @ 9:55 pm

As I was talking to someone in the back shop during intermission tonight, I saw this over their shoulder and suddenly exclaimed, “Dimes!” I guess they got a chance to dig into the 42nd Street truck during the day. Aside from $1.80 in dimes and some luggage, I haven’t seen what else might have been unloaded, but it was enough to get me excited. I rarely if ever look forward to going back into production, but I love 42nd Street, and I think it will be a very fun way to end the season.

We had our official opening night tonight and a little party in the lobby after the show. Things are still going well. We have our only two-show day tomorrow. So far I don’t have any grand plans between shows. I hope to get an opportunity to battle my Pokemon against Nick, who is the deck electrician on this show, and all to blame for the fact that I am playing Pokemon at all. We keep meaning to have a battle, but this putting-on-a-show thing keeps getting in the way.

July 2, 2007

My Pokemans – Let Me Show You Them

I call this: gaming — Posted by KP @ 10:56 pm

Somebody help me, I just bought a Pokemon game today.

It started a few weeks ago during a performance of Singin’ in the Rain. One of our followspot operators, Nick, is a fellow lover of the Nintendo DS, and he had told me he had just purchased a Pokemon game. While I have a general knowledge of what Pokemon are, I had never actually played one of the games.

Over the course of the next few performances, I would sometimes hear exclamations from Nick on headset like, “Yes!! My Pokemon evolved!” We have several gamers on the crew, and our off-topic conversations on headset sometimes revolve around games we’re playing. So occasionally I would ask a question about exactly how the game worked. One day he had his DS with him down on the ground, and I watched a little bit of the gameplay and asked more questions. Having gotten bored of Animal Crossing for a while, I decided this might be something I should check out. He warned me that it would consume my life, but that would be nothing new. It couldn’t possibly be more demanding than Animal Crossing, which punishes you for not playing often enough. I asked exactly which version he had, which was Diamond. I had heard of it, and had a general idea that it was one of the newer titles.

So today I stopped into the local GameStop while waiting for my laundry, and they happened to have a used copy. It started out slow with all the setup of the story and training-type exercises, but yeah, it’s kind of addictive so far.

June 13, 2007

The Highest Purpose for Theatrical Projections

I call this: gaming,mac,summer stock,theatre — Posted by KP @ 9:10 pm

I had a few minutes tonight as we were doing the pre-show, and we had our first round of NES gaming on our lovely projection screen. We didn’t have a chance to do much, as most people were actually engaged in important work, or were about to be, but it was nice to try it out. I played a little bit of Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out, showed how much I suck at Spy Hunter, and just a tiny bit of Bionic Commando to show the young’uns a cool game that they may not have heard of, before moving on to the greatest game ever made, Super Mario Bros. 3.

Here’s a short video clip of Angela trying out SMB3. And yes, the sound is being run over the house system.

Here’s the (messy) setup in the booth:

The controller is something I picked up last year. It’s an actual NES controller that has been rewired for USB by RetroZone. The Emulator I use on the Mac is Nestopia, which is freeware, but does not support joysticks without a shareware add-on, which is $30. For only $20 you can get USB Overdrive, which is an all-purpose driver for tons of USB devices. You can assign buttons to do just about anything, and have different profiles for individual apps, so I could have my NES controller assigned as a really cool iTunes remote in that app without screwing ups its functions in Nestopia. Not that I would ever need it to do that, but now that I’ve come up with that example, I think it just may have to be.

Getting the game on the projector is simple. Just drag the window off your main screen to the side that leads to the projector’s screen (see here for details on setting up the projector). It was necessary for me to resize the window a bit to get it all on the screen.