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How big is two tweets?

If one tweet is 140 characters long, well you guessed it right, two tweets is 280 characters! Here is a sample of what two tweets could look like :

This is a sample tweet written to show how many characters can fit in the first tweet. This is a sample tweet written to show how many ch…This is a sample tweet written to show how many characters can fit in the first tweet. This is a sample tweet written to show how many ch…

So, how much content can you squeeze in 280 characters of code? This was the question asked by Shadertoy user Nimitz when he started the “Two Tweet Challenge”. The challenge received more than 100 submissions, incredible! And the results are crazy, as in crazy awesome, but before looking at some of my favorites, here are the links to the official competition and the official winners:

So now, let’s take a look at how much code you can put in 280 chars. Below you can find the code to generate the shader called Metasin, which I made for the competition, this one is only 252 chars:

void main(){vec4 q=gl_FragCoord/iResolution.xyzx; float t=iGlobalTime*0.15;for(float i=1.;i<30.;i+=1.) q.w+=1.-smoothstep(.0,.15,length(q.xy-vec2(i/30.+sin(i+t),.5+.3*sin(q.x*10.*sin(t)+t)))); gl_FragColor=vec4(1.-q.w)*4.*sqrt(q.x*q.y*(1.-q.x)*(1.-q.y));}

Last Sunday, I was watching this video (“Super Nintendo Effects Dev Special – Did You Know Gaming? Feat. Mario Castañeda”) that talks about the different effects that could be achieved with the SNES and I realized I could write a very simple Shadertoy inspired by the Mode 7!

Let’s start with the basics though: Do you remember the SNES and its Mode 7?

If you don’t, you have probably seen it, it was used in many games, such as : F-Zero, Pilotwings, Yoshi’s Safari, Secret of Mana,  Final Fantasy (many), Super Mario RPG, Super Mario Kart, Super Mario World, Chrono Trigger, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past…

Mode 7 in Mario Kart

Mode 7 is a graphics mode on the Super NES video game console that allows a background layer to be rotated and scaled on a scanline-by-scanline basis to create many different effects.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mode_7

Disclaimer: I have never actually work with the original Mode 7, this post and its shadertoy are just guess work based on the Wikipedia article. If you did work with it, please share your thoughts, I would like to learn more about it.

From a technical perspective, looks like the Mode 7 is just a texture projection, a very special one, that results on an image that looks like it is 3D. If you look at the picture again, the actual circuit looks like it is using the special projection, however, the karts look like regular sprites that are scaled based on the distance.

Found in Tokyo…

If you know me, you probably know two things about me: I like coffee and I like coding.

So, I guess it is not strange that when I am out of San Francisco I try to find good coffee shops where I can spend some time and code. This year, I have traveled a bit, and while I was out I collected a list of the coffee shops that I enjoyed the most.

This first post is about coding from great coffee places in Tokyo, Japan. Here we go!

Café Kitsuné Tokyo

Beautiful coffee shop near Omotesando Station, the coffee is great. But not just that, the place is carefully designed and the tables are nice. Go there with your laptop or tablet and enjoy and afternoon of coding with good coffee. Thanks @Llorens and @Joan for the recommendation.

Address: 3-17-1 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku. Tokyo, 107-0062
Phone: +81 (0)120 667 588
Opening Hours: 9 am – 8 pm (Mon – Sun)

### Streamer Coffee

This place is a 10 minutes walk from Shibuya station. Inside this shop it felt like I was back in San Francisco. The place is designed to host people that want to work with their laptops, great tables, good internet connection, even power supply! And, the most important part, the coffee and the pastry are excellent.

Phone: (+81).3.6427.3705
Opening Hours: 8 am – 7pm( Monday – Friday and Holiday) 11 pm – 7pm (Saturday) 11 pm – 6pm (Sunday)

## Bonus

These is also some smaller coffee places, not so coding friendly, but with great coffee!

### Cream of the Crop

A 5 minutes walk from Shibuya Station you will find this small, very small, coffee place with great coffee.

Phone: +81 3-6434-1567
Opening Hours: 8am – 9pm (Mon-Sun)

### Omotesando Koffee

And finally, probably not the best place to work since there are no tables at all. However, the shop is beautiful and carefully designed. If you go to Tokyo and you like coffee, do me (and yourself) a favor and go get a cup of coffee there. Thanks for the recommendation @Gerard.

Phone: 03 5413 9422
Opening Hours: 10am-7pm (Mon-Sun)

If you go to any of these places and have feedback please let me know below!

Here is a couple Shadertoys that I wrote while traveling recently!

The first one, while coming back from Vancouver to San Francisco, is an exploration of what could be achieved deforming a texture. It is still a pure 2D shader, no raymarching or anything, just a UV deformation. The texture is calculated per pixel and it generates LEDs.

During last year I recorded 3 seconds of my day, every day. And, just recently I have made a video putting it all together.

I took the idea from Cesar Kuriyama‘s TED talk and change it around a little bit, so instead of one second every day I have played with the idea of giving a bit more context and storytelling by adding a couple more seconds.

In the video, you will see many of the changes that occurred to my life from April 2013 to April 2014, including the shutdown of LucasArts and the beginnings of SoMa Play (including the development of our first two games Tetris Ultimate and Boulder Dash). During this period of time, I also met my girlfriend and I turned 30! Finally, you can also see a sneak peak of Beautypi‘s next project and lots of Shadertoy.

And many, many, good times with all my good friends.

If you feel your life is passing really quickly, take a moment to record your special moments because many (many) great things happen every day!