Yes, you read it folks, right here. Erica Durance is now officially the best Lois Lane in the history of all women who’ve played Lois, and that’s saying something. I’m not ashamed to say I grew up watching Teri Hatcher attempt to woo Dean Cain, or that I had a crush on Margot Kidder when I was eight. (She’s the original Alive-Again Avenger, if you count her return after ol’ Supes spun time backwards.) Sorry ladies — Erica Durance could spank you like stepchildren. Doesn’t hurt that she’s a Calgarian.

All this week I’ve been burning the candle at both ends trying to get out the latest version of tradigiTOOLS. I hear that Maya 2009 support is going to make an appearance. (I can neither confirm nor deny those rumors.) I will say this: nothing makes me miss gcc like programming for Windows. I hate Visual Studio. I think I’d be okay with it if it stuck to just being an IDE / code editor for writing software — as an editor it excels. The code prediction is nice and it mostly stays out of my way; if I could find an ActionScript 3 language syntax highlighter, I might even consider doing more Flash development on my Vista 64 box. (Although, FlashDevelop is sexy enough on its own.) But man, if this whole “solution” versus “project” thing doesn’t cause issues. I had to rebuild all the project files the old programmer left for me, for a number of reasons, and for whatever reason VC thinks that opening a project file means it should open a solution that lives on a drive that doesn’t exist. Stranger still, there’s no mention of this .sln file inside the .vcproj file. Madness. Give me makefiles or give me death!

I actually tried a bunch of different methods for doing cross-platform compilation, but none of them satisfy me. CMake is woefully lacking in how it handles building Mac Universal Binaries. Regular makefiles don’t really have the syntactical sugar needed to easily process the files in the directory structure that was set up. I suppose I’m going to be looking at Scons next, but in the end on the Mac side of things I broke down and just wrote out a full makefile by hand, then used it as a template to make all five builds of tradigiTOOLS on Mac. (Which is actually more than five, since 8.5 and 2008 have PPC and Intel versions that require special handling.) I think once all this is finished and the new version of tradigiTOOLs is out of beta, I’m going to write a post on how to build Maya plugins from the command line on both Windows and Mac. You’d think it’s one of those things that would have extensive documentation online, and yet, all anyone ever says is “use the IDE.” It’s like Children of the Corn.

Now I have to ask you (yes, you) a very important question: have you played Braid? I’ve been following indie game development more and more lately, mostly because it seems that only solitary coders in their garages are able to produce anything genuinely surprising. I suppose that’s sprinkled with a bit of nostalgia as well. Braid is an excellent example of both game design and workflow. Every puzzle is different, even the ones that at first look the same. There are five worlds (marked Two through Six, with something at the top of some tower I haven’t yet reached — I’m only halfway through world six). There’s a really interesting, minimalist story going on the background. Every world has a different element of time manipulation, starting with just rewinding (a la that Prince of Persia game, or Blinx the Time Cat) and moving to other stuff that’s cool enough for me not to spoil. Bottom line: it’s $15, it starts up quick, and you can play it for only five minutes a day if you really want to. Oh, and it works with the 360 controller for Windows. Just don’t install it when your system locale is set to Japanese.

If I survive tomorrow, a new suit is my reward on Saturday. I should also finish off: Dimos rocks my world. You know, in a manly way.

Wait, that sounded bad.