Designing the EXPress, an all-button arcade controller

I’ve always liked the concept fighting games. They are an intense 1v1 competition between two people that tests both mechanical skill and decision making. It’s like if there was a rule in Chess that you could take another turn before your opponent if you saw them making a sub-optimal move. The gap in skill between a beginner and an expert is extremely wide and extremely clear to see.

Yet fighting games also have a passionate community of learners. There is a real sense of honor and camaraderie among fighting game players. It is frowned upon to beat someone once and not offer to play them again. The expectation is to let people try to learn and compete on the most even playing field possible. The issue I’ve always had with fighting games is inputs.


April 22, 2024 Something I made

How I made a compact keyboard layout

It is probably unsurprising that I type a lot. I don’t keep track, but it’s easily thousands of words per day. I’d say 500,000 words a year is a pretty fair estimate if maybe even a little conservative. That’s more than the entirety of the Lord of the Rings books, every year! So when my fingers started to hurt while typing, that was a big problem.

Specifically, most of my pain was concentrated along the outside edges of my hands along my pinky fingers and up to my wrists. This is, as far as I know, somewhat unusual as far as typing strains go, but I immediately had a theory for why this was happening: modifiers.


April 1, 2022 Something I made

Hiding the PS5 without losing performance

I’m a bit of a gamer. Obviously, I spend my time doing a lots of things, but relaxing with a good game is one of my favorite hobbies. I don’t have any horse in the race as far as Xbox vs. Playstation goes, but I tend to prefer Playstation simply because it has more exclusive titles I’m interested in. Exclusive titles at all are arbitrary and frankly annoying, but it is what it is.

When the PS5 was first announced, I hated how it looked. To be fair, I do admire the idea of making a game console an interesting piece of design. Funnily, I think this was Microsoft’s intention with the Xbox 360 many years ago, but they have since moved on to big black boxes while Sony dove into the deep end of unique character with the PS5. I think the design of the PS5 could be very appealing to many people, but it’s not for me.

With the carefully tuned balance between performance and heat of modern consoles, this posed an interesting problem. How could I hide my PS5 while making sure it didn’t choke to death?


June 1, 2021 Something I made