PlanMixPlay season one coming soon
Sunday April 22, 2018 | Lasse Laursen

As the first online show (in nearly a years time) starts closing in, I've spent a bit more time pondering what sort of format I'd like things to be in. I'm fairly content with having the show itself starting much like it used to, except with a few significantly new bells and whistles. However, it's important to me that it also evolves. The whole purpose of building PlanMixPlay is allow for some significant evolution of the show to occur.

As some point in the past I noticed that YouTube started supporting its content creators splitting videos into seasons and episodes, not unlike classic television. I like that this allows a show to more explicitly portion its content. In my case, I would aim to have each new season to feature new functionality insuring that I continue developing PlanMixPlay once the show resumes.

One of the benefits of this site having a fairly small, possibly even non-existent readership, is that I don't mind being a bit open about future ideas and plans. As previously stated, I expect season one of the new PMP-based show to be quite faithful to my previous show. Season two on the other hand, I think I'll try to introduce some more video-based content. Nothing as casual and common as "Let's plays" (god knows YouTube has no shortage of that bilge), but more like a short expose on a single or couple of games per show. I.e. I'd dig up a couple of c-64 games I've played back when I was but a wee young lad, create some pre-recorded footage and then use that as partial content during the show. Furthermore, it makes sense to have the music selection also focus a bit on the featured game(s) in question.

I've not quite hammered down the exact format for season two as you can probably guess, but the rough idea will definitely be utilizing some amount of video media to flesh out that aspect of PlanMixPlay.

Another question that's left to answer is how long approximately each season will be. Given that I initially still intend to do a single show per week, I think an 8 to 10 episodes per season should give me sufficient time (8-10 weeks) to develop at least one or two new features per season. This may well get adjusted after I've completed a season or two and get a feel for how much I can take on in terms of development.

Last but not least, as a reward for reading this far and... Well... Bothering to even read any of this at all, here's a brief look at an approximate prototype of the live show visuals for season one!


New LasseLaursen.com, new PlanMixPlay.com and new shows
Saturday March 17, 2018 | Lasse Laursen

As the title aptly suggests, both my sites have been re-launched, and a series of new shows are planned to commence in the coming months. Let's talk about it.

I was not expecting to go this long without an update. Fortunately, significant development delays of any of my personal projects cause approximately zero problems. Apart from impeding the progress of my passions of course. Anyway, this lack of consequences is one of the many advantages of still being near the very bottom of the Internet totem pole. There are no freak-outs on forums, there's no DDoS'ing of web servers, and no idiotic death threats via Twitter. While nobodies like me occasionally yearn for - at most - one out of those, I also know that if you ever go big, it'll be a slow trip back to obscurity, so it can definitely be a case of be careful what you wish for. I definitely prefer the slow, steady, and periodic lurch forward, rather than sudden high acceleration growth.

Another massive benefit of attempting to cobble together a small community is that updating and changing things can be done in a somewhat sloppy manner without incident. I'm not advocating doing things in a sloppy manner, but when the consequences are minor, it's far more acceptable to cut corners now for the sake of making progress. If things proceed the way I hope they will, it (unfortunately) won't always be like that. The more established a system, the less appropriate this corner cutting becomes, as it quickly turns into a bigger headache to fix a system running and serving hundreds, rather than one serving just a few individuals a day. Anyway - that's enough philosophizing for one post, let's get on with the changes and updates.

First and foremost, for both LasseLaursen.com and PlanMixPlay.com, changes include:

  • Laravel 5.5 - While largly unnoticable on the front-end side, it streamlines a significant number of elements on the back end. Given that this is their long-terms support release it only makes sense to focus work on it.
  • Foundation 6 - It makes sense to switch to a more modern version of Foundation when updating the entire site. Foundation 6 is quite discerning in terms of supported browsers. For example, I believe IE 10+ is required. Given most of my visitors will likely be using Chrome and/or Firefox, it shouldn't matter in the grand scheme of things.
  • Font Awesome 5 Pro - Knowing that I'd eventually rebuild this site again, I ponied up some cash for the pro license during the kickstarter. If you've ever wanted to see how to properly do a Kickstarter video, check theirs out. It really is in a league of its own.
  • Video stream integration - Starting now, PlanMixPlay.com will serve up the show video stream directly on-site. As if that wasn't enough, there's even...
  • Chat - Yes - the early beta versions have now matured into something, hopefully, stable enough to run concurrently with the show. I bet a few of your are wrinkling your noses wondering what good a second or perhaps even third chat is on top of the existing options? Trust me, there is a reason, and I'll demonstrate its usage during the first (of hopefully many) live shows!

That more or less covers the general website improvements.

Let's talk PlanMixPlay itself:

  • Visualisation - Likely the biggest new performance element. PlanMixPlay now supports both live rendered visuals (via OpenGL) as well as video visuals (in H.264 codec).
  • Beat detection - Preliminary beat detection is now supported and ties into visuals where appropriate.
  • Lyrics support - Preliminary lyrics are supported in the .lrc format. The lyrics also tie into visuals where appropriate.
  • Visual Studio 2017 - The code base has been updated to now compile with the latest version of visual studio. I was a little reluctant to make this leap, given the occasional teething problems the latest version of any software tends to exhibit these days. At the same time, I prefer to make significant leaps whenever I do update my tools. I'm happy to report that there were no major issues this time.
  • Encapsulation - Significant work has been done to isolate planmixplay's various components from another, as well as isolate most of the design from external libraries. It's important to do this early, so nothing becomes too entangled in the design, making it a nightmare to replace in the future.
  • Redundancy - Significant cleanups have occurred where code has become generic enough to be simplified.
  • A lot of further improvements have happened which are too tedious to list here.

The only real unknown that's left up in the air at this stage is when the shows will commence again, and for a one or two interested individuals, when PlanMixPlay will see another release. Now that the sites have launched, I'll be planning to conduct a few test shows once I'm satisfied everything isn't completely on fire. Then some proper official shows will run, and once I've been convinced of the stability of the latest PlanMixPlay version, I'll look to creating a new release.

I look forward to broadcast to you soon! Stay tuned!





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