As 2022 is coming to an end, I wanted to reflect on things I did this year.


The Ump Show

“The Ump Show” is a phrase used derisively to mock baseball umpires when they take actions that bring them too much attention like arguing with managers or ejecting players. The phrase gave me the idea of making a game in which you play as a baseball umpire. So really the game would be the ump show.

I have been working on-and-off on this game since April. Here are some pictures of the progress:

Using the command line to prototype a ball-strike game
A prototype in Unity with placeholder art but accurate ball movement.
Adding animated 3D models (from Mixamo) and scoring graphics.
Adding a catcher and experimenting with using realistic umpire positioning angle

I am hoping that I can keep this game fun without adding too many mechanics so that I can actually finish it. Hopefully, I can release a playable version in 2023!


After playing the game Old Man’s Journey (which is a beautiful game), I started thinking about 2D animation again. So I decided to experiment with 2D animation tools and make some animation. I started with the idea of making a rotating wheel. A simple rotation would be boring though, so I wanted the wheel to be squished at the bottom and angled forward as it was rotating.

This turned out to be surprisingly difficult. I experimented with many tools: Spriter, DragonBones, SynFig, and OpenToonz but I couldn’t get them to work for me. So I went back to the tools I was already familiar with: Blender and Unity.

Animation of a stylized wheel made in Unity and Blender.


A friend of mine, Danny Guo, and I had the idea of a tool to help you track your personal predictions. The goal was to force you to write down your predictions so that over time you can learn your biases and improve. Over a couple of weeks, we hacked together a prototype using NextJS and

Screenshot of the web app that lets you set up personal wagers

The webapp is available at and the code is available at GitHub. While building this we did consider adding “public” events that everyone can participate in but we found a few applications in this space already (Manifold is even open source), so we kept it minimal and left it there.


I wanted to write more, partly to practice my writing and partly to produce artifacts that I can enjoy. I like explaining things so I enjoyed writing the post on degenerate matter. Making the visualizations particularly brought me a lot of satisfaction.

I usually experiment with a lot of different things in tech. So I was glad that in the past year I was able to write a few posts as a result of that experimentation: homomorphic encryption, opensource AI tooling, and C++ templating


General Nonfiction

Book cover of Word By Word
  • Word by Word: This was my favorite book of the year. The author’s excitement about words and language made me excited to read more. The book explains how dictionaries are made but through the journey, the author shares many amusing anecdotes and informative bits. My favorite was learning that sideburns are named for a dude named Burnside.
  • The Art of Game Design: This is a great book that talks about the numerous aspects of game design. All the different chapters of the book connect and kinda build out the author’s view of game design.
  • Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics: Most of the book covers the development of Behavioral Economics as a field: the difficulty of showing that human behavior is not fully rational and its impact on large-scale economics.
  • The Triumph of Seeds: The book doesn’t go too deep but shares how all seeds solve the same problems (storage, protection, travel) in so many different ways.
  • Liquid Rules

Baseball Umpire Research

As I started working on The Ump Show game, I wanted to learn more about baseball umpires. It turns out there are A LOT of books about baseball umpires (mostly autobiographies/memoirs).

Book covers of As They See ‘Em and The Negro Baseball Leagues

I read three books end-to-end:

  • As They See ‘Em: This was by far the most illuminating book. A big reason for that is that the author is a journalist. The author is very thorough: citing other books, numerous interviews with MLB umpires, and his own experience with umpire training.
  • The Negro Baseball Leagues: Tales of Umpiring Legendary Players: This book is by one of the last umpires from the Negro Baseball League. The book provided a good view into the logistics of “old baseball”. For example, the home team was responsible for hiring baseball umpires instead of a central league. The book doesn’t intentionally highlight it but it gives a sense of the popularity of the Negro Baseball Leagues and its slow downfall as star players start being recruited into the MLB.
  • The Umpire Is Out: Dale Scott talks about his journey into baseball umpiring from the minors to the majors. He also covers the drama of the umpire union collapsing and its aftermath. Being gay in a conservative culture of umpires is tough and the author shares that perspective as well.

I also referenced a whole bunch of other books that the NYPL had.

Fiction: Discworld

Continuing with the Discworld series, I read Interesting Times, Maskerade, and Feet of Clay. The series continues to entertain!


I read articles pretty regularly. Most of the random assortment of articles I find are from Hacker News and Reddit. Over time, I have come to appreciate specific authors and I try to read everything they publish.


Specific Articles

More Technical