Pickle It Updates

Since I published the Don’t Starve Together (multiplayer) version of Pickle It two weeks ago, we’ve already updated it several times to add new features. We also back ported our changes to the Don’t Starve (single player) version of Pickle It.

Pickle It additions since release

  • Pickle sword! A fairly powerful sword that eventually spoils. You can eat it if you get desperate, too.
  • Golden pickle! Pickles have a rare chance of turning into golden pickles when pickling, which provide better stats than regular pickles.
  • Potatoes! Potatoes have a totally unique mechanic. Wild potatoes must be dug up with a shovel and you have to use potatoes to grow more potato plants.

We’ve also made a lot of less interesting changes to improve balancing and fix minor bugs.

Pickle It additions
Some of the new additions to Pickle It

Subscriber feedback

Feedback has been really positive so far. Players have been happy to see the Pickle It mod get updated and ported to Don’t Starve Together. We’ve gotten some great suggestions, some of which have worked their way into the mod already. We’ve also had some totally invaluable comments like “derp” and “pickle it.” 😛

One comment I liked was: “oooooh XD i got this mod very early in dont starve and i just thought that beets and onions were already in the game! I was wondering why i didnt see any in dont starve together…” I’m so happy our mod integrates with the game so well that people think it’s part of the actual game!

We’re currently up to over 34,000 subscribers of the Don’t Starve version and over 5,000 subscribers of the Don’t Starve Together version, including both Steam and Klei. Not bad, especially since Don’t Starve Together is still in beta. We also have 100% positive ratings on both mods, which I think is really cool.

What’s next?

We have some more ideas for Pickle It, which will hopefully show up in updates soon. We’re waiting on art for now (*nudges Sean*). We also have ideas for several more mods, so we’ll be busy for a while. 🙂

The Reign of Giants DLC from Don’t Starve is going to be integrated into Don’t Starve Together soon. Klei announced a public test of the RoG content over the weekend. Pickle It shouldn’t have any compatibility problems with RoG in DST, but we still need to test everything. We even have pickling recipes for some of the RoG foods in the mod already.

Pickle It: Don’t Starve Together Mod

Pickle It IconLast night, we released Pickle It for Don’t Starve Together! Pickle It is a mod that adds a pickling component to the game, making it last longer.

Don’t Starve Together

Don’t Starve Together is an early access version of Don’t Starve that supports multiplayer. It is an open world survival crafting game. The goal is to survive in the strange world as long as you can while maintaining both physical and mental health.

Pickle It

Pickle It is a mod I made with my husband (Nick) and our friend (Sean). Nick and I designed the mod and did the coding, while Sean supplied the art assets. We initially made it for the original Don’t Starve game and knew we had to port it to Don’t Starve Together.

Pickle It adds a pickle barrel that lets players pickle their food to make it last longer (especially useful in winter!). It also adds new vegetables, some of which can be found growing wild in the world. Others have a random chance of growing from generic seeds.

It was important to us to balance the pickle barrel so that it wasn’t overpowered. While it makes food last longer, there is a trade-off with the pickled versions of most foods.

Pickle It: Version 1.3.1

The code for Don’t Starve Together changed significantly from Don’t Starve, so it took almost a complete overhaul of Pickle It to make it work in DST. Adding multiplayer support was tricky, but eventually we figured it out. There isn’t a lot of documentation out there for making mods for Don’t Starve (at least for our mod, which was unlike any other mod out there when we released it), so it wasn’t easy making it work.

We added Xbox controller support, fixed a few things that had gotten broken in game updates, and tweaked the food values.

Since I uploaded the new version of Pickle It to Steam last night, 155 players are already using it. 🙂 I hope it will be even more popular than our original Don’t Starve version, which currently has 24,301 people using it. It’s so cool to have so many people using something I made!

Pickle It mod for Don't Starve Together

Future Plans

We want to back port our changes so they work in the original Don’t Starve version of Pickle It. Unfortunately, it seems like Don’t Starve is still using an old version of the code, so we don’t foresee it being easy.

We also want to add some new things to the mod: more vegetables, new pickled foods, pickled food recipes, pickle equipment, and new craftable items.

Get the Mod

Please check out the mod at the links below and rate, favorite, comment, subscribe, etc. We’d love to hear your feedback!

Updated Don’t Starve Together version of Pickle It:

And here are some links to the original Don’t Starve version of Pickle It (which didn’t get updated):

Penguins: Spy in the Huddle

Penguins - Spy in the Huddle

PBS premiered a 3-part mini-series called Penguins: Spy in the Huddle on Wednesday night and OH MY GOODNESS IT WAS SO AMUSING! Researchers made animatronic penguin cameras and sent them out to mingle with real penguins to get a better sense of what penguin life is like. Here’s the description of the show from PBS’s website:

For nearly a year, 50 animatronic cameras disguised as realistic life-size penguins, eggs and rocks infiltrate penguin colonies to record the tough challenges penguins face from the moment they emerge from the sea to raising their chicks and finally returning to the water. The intimate, emotional, and sometimes amusing behavior of nature’s most devoted parents bringing up their young against the most extraordinary odds is revealed as never before.

If you missed the first episode, you can stream it online on PBS’s website. The next two parts will be available on PBS over the next two Wednesdays at 8pm.

Spritz: Reading Reimagined

Spritz: Reading Reimagined

As an avid reader and technology enthusiast, it obviously piqued my interest when I heard about a new method of reading, called Spritz, that is faster and easier than traditional reading. It works by showing the words, one at a time, in rapid succession. Since this dramatically reduces eye movement, you should be able to read at a much faster rate (quite a promising prospect when you’re a slow reader like me!).

Obviously, reading comprehension is a concern, but Spritz claims that “retention levels when spritzing are at least as good as with traditional reading and that, with just a little bit of experience, you will retain even more than you did before.”

There are similar speed reading services out there (like Spreeder), but there are some key differences that set Spritz apart. For example, Spritz pauses for punctuation and seems to take word length into consideration when determining how long to display the word. Spritz also keeps the “Optimal Recognition Point” of each word (highlighted in red) in the same spot, rather than merely center aligning every word. These minor differences make Spritz feel much more natural.

While I’m not sure if I would use Spritz for pleasure reading (though I would give it a try), I could definitely see myself using it for news articles, blog posts, websites, and email… and I know I would have loved to have been able to use Spritz when reading textbooks in college! 😉

Pickle It’s First Review on YouTube

Someone posted a review of Pickle It on YouTube earlier today; how cool is that? 😀

Here are the current stats of Pickle It on Steam:

  • 1584 current subscribers
  • 98.4% retention rate (people who have stayed subscribed)
  • 84 ratings (100% are positive ratings)

We also have 153 downloads from Klei’s site.

Version 1.2

Pickle It: Beets, Onions, & Radishes

We just updated Pickle It to add some new veggies (beets, onions, and radishes), which can be found growing wild in the world.

We also added pigs feet, which can be cooked and pickled.

Pickle It: Initial Response

Wow! We’re blown away by the feedback we’ve been getting on Pickle It, the pickling mod Nick, Sean, and I published on Sunday for Don’t Starve.

We currently have 718 subscribers and a 100% positive rating on Steam. From Klei’s site, we have 117 downloads and a 5/5 star rating.

Feedback

We’re so geeked by how much people are loving this mod. One person went so far as to say:

I love this so much! This is the best mod in the steam workshop by far!

Someone else even recommended that Klei Entertainment incorporate our mod with the core game. ^^ Another person asked if they could use our pickled food in their mod (of course you can!). We’ve seen several references to the Portlandia sketch, too:

And we’ve had some great ideas!

Now we just need pickled pig’s feet ;D

We’re going to work on this in an upcoming update. There are humanoid pigs in the game, but they only drop meat and pigskin at the moment, so we’ll have to figure out how to add pigs feet to their loot.

Would it be possible to see crockpot recipes using the pickled food in the future?

This was an idea we’d tossed around, but seeing someone request crockpot recipes with pickled food made us want to do it. So far, we only have a few recipe ideas, but I’m sure people will suggest more once we put this in the mod.

Version 1.1

Pickle It Version 1.1

On Monday, we updated the mod with 5 new pickling recipes: carrot, corn, eggplant, mushroom, and pumpkin.

We’ll have a new update soon that will add some more veggies. Then, we’ll move onto some of the more fun things on our to do list. 😀

Pickle It: Don’t Starve Mod

Pickle It IconMy husband (Nick), our buddy (Sean), and I published a mod for Don’t Starve today! As its name would imply, “Pickle It” lets you pickle food, so that it lasts longer.

Don’t Starve

Don’t Starve is an open world wilderness survival game developed by Klei Entertainment. You are thrown into a strange world with the goal of surviving as long as you can while maintaining both physical and mental health. You can gather resources and craft items and structures to help you survive.

Pickle It

Don’t Starve has a big fan base and Klei made it fairly easy to mod the game; all but the very basic elements of the game are written in Lua. We got to work as soon as we had a mod idea, which was to add a pickling system to the game. Nick and I experimented with pickling cucumbers IRL this year, so that’s how we came up with the idea. 🙂 Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of documentation yet for anything other than characters, creatures, and equippable items, so our mod was a bit challenging.

Pickle It Mod Screenshot

The current version (version 1.0) of our mod introduces the pickle barrel, two new vegetables (cabbage and cucumber), four pickled food recipes (sauerkraut, pickle, pickled egg, and pickled herring), as well as pickled mush for invalid/failed pickling attempts.

Future Plans

We already have some more ideas for the mod in the works. We’ll be adding new vegetables and pickling recipes soon and I’m sure we’ll be fine tuning stats and whatnot as we get comments from other players. We have a few surprises planned, too. 😉

Get the Mod

Please check out the mod at the links below and rate, favorite, comment, subscribe, etc. We’d love to hear your feedback! 😀

Steam Workshop: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=196051302

Klei Forums: http://forums.kleientertainment.com/files/file/392-pickle-it/

GitHub Repo: https://github.com/mariewest/Pickle-It-Dont-Starve-Mod

New Nexus 7 Tablet (2013 Version)

Nexus 7 (2013 Version)I watched Google’s announcement of the new Nexus 7 live last Wednesday, eager to see what changes they were making to my favorite device. Most of them were leaked online beforehand (like the rear camera, notification light, and the 1920 x 1200 resolution that makes it the highest resolution tablet on the market). I wasn’t expecting the Chromecast, though, which I’ll save for a later post after mine arrives. 😉

So how does the new 2013 Nexus 7 compare to the old 2012 Nexus 7?

Size and appearance: The new version is noticeably thinner (8.65 mm instead of 10.45 mm). It’s also slightly less wide and slightly taller, which makes it not work with my old case while I wait for a new one. It’s also a bit lighter (290 g instead of 340 g), which makes it easier to hold with one hand. The side bezels are much smaller and the front camera has been moved from the center to off on the right side.

Screen: I was really interested to see what the 1920 x 1200 (323 ppi) screen would look like compared to the old 1280 x 800 (216 ppi) screen. To be honest, it wasn’t as big of a difference as I was expecting. The screen looked beautiful before and continues to look great now.

Hardware: The new Nexus 7 comes with a much nicer processor (according to reviews; I don’t know much about mobile processors) and twice as much RAM (2 GB instead 1 GB). For me, I also gain some storage space because I had the 8 GB 2012 model and the new 2013 model is either 16 GB or 32 GB (I got the 16 GB). The new tablet feels certainly faster than my old one, which is a very nice improvement.

Audio: There are some new stereo speakers in the 2013 Nexus 7, which sound much better than the old speakers. They’re also a lot louder, so even on the lowest setting, sound might be louder than you want it to be.

Camera: I haven’t played around with the new rear-facing camera much yet, because it’s not something I really care that much about. I took a photo last night in low light conditions and it turned out pretty grainy and awful. I took another photo today in good light conditions and it turned out okay. *Shrug* It’s obviously going to be better than nothing if you don’t have another camera with you.

I loved my old Nexus 7 tablet and the new 2013 version offers some nice improvements. Highly recommended for anyone in the market for a tablet!

Gigabit Internet, AOE, and Bike Parking

A collection of interesting tech-related news from yesterday:

Gigabit Internet coming to Seattle for $80/month

Gigabit Seattle announced its speed/price plans on Monday (source):

  • 5 Mbps download/1 Mbps upload free for 5 years (thereafter, 10 Mbps download/10 Mbps upload for $10/month)
  • 100 Mbps download/100 Mbps upload for $45/month
  • 1000 Mbps download/1000 Mbps upload for $80/month

Unfortunately, I’m not in one of the neighborhoods that will be getting initial coverage, but I’m hopeful that I’ll have access to gigabit Internet soon. 🙂

Age of Empires is coming to Android and iOS

Microsoft announced on Monday that it is working on a mobile version of “Age of Emprires” which will be released by March of next year (source). AOE is one of my favorite games of all time, so I’m excited to see how this turns out. Wololo!

Japan has an amazing underground bicycle parking system

Okay, maybe this isn’t news, but I found out about Japan’s incredible space-saving underground bicycle parking system yesterday. Just take your bike to a parking machine, which will read a chip on the bike and store it underground automatically. When you want your bike back, tap a card to the machine and it will retrieve your bike in seconds.