Reflecting on the process and learning from mistakes of shipping my computer hardware to London.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by jesse ramirez on Unsplash

Hi! I’m Ben Greenier — I’m an engineer at Microsoft working to create awesome open source projects with our partners. We get to create software to help solve really tricky problems, and share our stories as we go. This means that as part of my job I get to play with lots of new technologies, learn how to use them, and help other folks do the same.

Over the last few months I’ve moved to London from Boston. In doing so, I’ve encountered a few tricky situations — One big one was shipping my computer hardware internationally. Let’s dive in to what the process was like for me, in the hopes that we can learn from my mistakes together, and help make this process easier for other folks to follow in the future. …


How we used Azure, Electron, and WebRTC to bring full-fledged browser app experiences to low-powered devices

Image for post
Image for post
Stream in Nature, Photo by Hendrik Cornelissen on Unsplash

Hi! I’m Ben Greenier — I’m an engineer at Microsoft working to create awesome open source projects with our partners. We get to create software to help solve really tricky problems, and share our stories as we go. This means that as part of my job, I get to develop with lots of new technologies, learn how to use them, and help other folks do the same.

In this post, I‘ll share a recent sample my team and I built that enables folks to stream Electron apps from the cloud to any internet connected device. I’ll provide some context around the problem we’re solving, outline our overall approach, and share our open sourced components with y’all. In future posts, I’ll dive deeper into the specifics of our technology stack, how this might be hosted, and some of the challenges we ran into along the way. …


A new way to help folks create awesome things.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Hi! I’m Ben Greenier — I’m an engineer at Microsoft working to create awesome open source projects with our partners. We get to create software to help solve really tricky problems, and share our stories as we go. This means that as part of my job I get to play with lots of new technologies, learn how to use them, and help other folks do the same.

Over the last month I’ve been working to build a community around live-coding. For me, live-coding has always been really inspiring — being able to share ideas and processes with others in real time is magical. I think that learning and doing things together helps to build really great ideas into really great projects. Since my work both professionally and personally is often open source and therefore very collaborative in it’s nature, I wanted to take the time to give live-coding a try. It’s been a really interesting journey so far, and I’m excited to keep learning and sharing! …


What my team and I made on a cross-country Game Jam aboard a train.

Image for post
Image for post
Train tracks, Photo by Paul Jarvis on Unsplash

Train Jam is exactly what it sounds like: A Game Jam that takes place on a train. In particular, the Amtrak California Zephyr — which travels all the way from Chicago to San Francisco. Roughly 380 game developers descend on Chicago ready to board this train with laptops, cameras, snacks, game engines, and some serious passion — perhaps even a bit of crazy. On the 52 hour train ride, these developers are tasked with a single goal: create a game that can be shown off at GDC — the final destination of the trip. …


Skorecery is a local multiplayer sports-like game. Here’s an insider look at a new spell we’re prototyping —Callback.

Image for post
Image for post
Skorecery logo

Hi! Over the last few months I’ve been working on Skorecery, a local multiplayer sports-like video game built around an exciting magic and mysticism theme. It’s been a really great project to be involved in, and the team and I are super excited to share with the world! ✨

In Skorecery one of our main mechanics is spells — powerful abilities that can turn the tide on the enemy in a moment. We think spells allow players to make impactful gameplay decisions that can drastically help to defend or attack their runes. I recently wrote about our process for deciding what spells make it into the game, to get playtested and to hopefully land in a release. …


The tools I used and the thought process behind using them

Image for post
Image for post
A still captured from my main visual

Hi! I’m Ben Greenier — I’m an engineer at Microsoft working to create awesome open source projects with our partners. We get to create software to help solve really tricky problems, and share our stories as we go. This means that as part of my job I get to play with lots of new technologies, learn how to use them, and help other folks do the same.

Over the last month I’ve been working to build a community around live-coding. For me, live-coding has always been really inspiring — being able to share ideas and processes with others in real time is magical. I think that learning and doing things together helps get everyone on the same page. Since my work both professionally and personally is often open source and therefore very collaborative in it’s nature, I wanted to take the time to give live-coding a try. It’s been a really interesting journey so far, and I’m excited to keep learning and sharing! …


Skorecery is a local multiplayer sports-like game. Here’s an insider look at a new spell we’re prototyping — Mutefield.

Image for post
Image for post
Skorecery logo

Hi! Over the last few months I’ve been working on Skorecery, a local multiplayer sports-like video game built around an exciting magic and mysticism theme. It’s been a really great project to be involved in, and the team and I are super excited to share with the world! ✨

In Skorecery one of our main mechanics is spells — powerful abilities that can turn the tide on the enemy in a moment. We think spells allow players to make impactful gameplay decisions that can drastically help to defend or attack their runes. I recently wrote about our process for deciding what spells make it into the game, to get playtested and to hopefully land in a release. …


Skorecery is a local multiplayer sports-like game. Learn how we use data to measure, discuss, and build our mechanics.

Image for post
Image for post
Skorecery logo

Hi! Over the last few months I’ve been working on Skorecery, a local multiplayer sports-like video game built around an exciting magic and mysticism theme. It’s been a really great project to be involved in, and the team and I are super excited to share with the world! ✨

In Skorecery one of our main mechanics is spells — powerful abilities that can turn the tide on the enemy in a moment. We think spells allow players to make impactful gameplay decisions that can drastically help to defend or attack their runes. One of the challenges when we design these spells is always balancing them to ensure no spell feels more powerful than the others, or too powerful in general. …


Skorecery is a local multiplayer sports-like game that I’ve been working on. Recently we’ve been experimenting with gameplay. Here’s how!

Image for post
Image for post

Hi! Over the last few months I’ve been working on Skorecery, a local multiplayer sports-like video game built around an exciting magic and mysticism theme. It’s been a super great project to be involved in, and the team and I are super excited to share with the world! ✨

Over the last few weeks I’ve been thinking through our spell systems, and how we can experiment with gameplay mechanics to make our magical powerups a bit more unique. As an experiment, I prototyped collectable spells! …


Hello internet friends! I’m currently working on a toolkit for building powerful stereoscopic 3D experiences that run on the cloud and stream to devices. 💪 👀 ☁️

One of the components that makes this possible is a native Unity plugin modeled after the sample code in Unity’s documentation. We use this plugin to receive video data from the cloud and render it to a predefined texture in Unity.

Today I spent some time debugging an issue I was seeing with this plugin, where Unity PC Standalone x86 builds were not working — I wasn’t seeing any behavior at all even though the DLL was getting loaded into the application successfully. At first, I assumed that this issue was present in Unity PC Standalone x64 builds as well, but upon further investigation I realized this wasn’t the case! …

About

Ben

I make awesome things | currently @microsoft (@azure) and @coplayfm | sometimes I hang with @msftgarage

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store