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  The Topic is... 12:38 AM -- Sat April 17, 2004  

INFECTION! What to do, what to do? By the way, our server's been hacked, so if you're emailing me, I am very very sorry, I can't read it! Please send emails to jamulio@yahoo.com. We should have the thing working tonight, I hope, but maybe not until Sunday. I've already contacted everyone that I KNOW has placed an order from that address. I'll try to keep up with orders. It's a weird situation, since the website works, I just can't upload or check email! Very crappy.
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  48 Hours of PAIN! 12:15 AM -- Sat April 17, 2004  

So it begins in 12 minutes! I haven't looked at what the theme is yet, I'll mention it here when I do, then I shall blog up my progress on my project during the contest! We're supposed to do a timelog, so this will be mine. Anxiousness...
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  Easter = A Lot Of Food 06:13 PM -- Mon April 12, 2004  

I think I wore out my body eating yesterday. I had a hard time waking up today! But the good news is, we've gone to our workout place a few times, and I can do it! The whole half hour! In fact, I keep feeling like I need to push harder, because I never feel worn out and beaten afterward. Maybe that's a good thing though. At least it makes me sweaty like a pig. So I guess all my Dance Dance paid off after all, hooray.

I've got all these game patches going on... I guess I should ship the Loonyland patch now. I'm skittish about it, because the bugs that were found were such subtle interplays between the tons of badges and the various game modes that I just know there are more lurking underneath in even more obscure combos. But, it's been tested, I suppose. Guess I will release it today!

I've also finished the Stockboy patch, but it's VERY minor (I really want to put my efforts into new games!). The only changes are: fixing the auto-download so it works for everyone, fixing the high score on the October level where it was out of whack, and adding a new small level set for good fun. So that's really ready too... my only hesitation with shipping that is that there's so little to it! Seems like there should be more for this long-long-long-awaited patch.

And last on the patch list is the latest Supreme patch. That too is close to done. It's all a bunch of really minor tweaks, it's not a must-have patch, unless I find an easy way to implement the idea someone had to allow you to trade in Loonykeys for coins. Of course, eventually coins too become obsolete, once you've bought everything... so what could you trade THEM for? As if there isn't enough gameplay in Supreme.

Then this weekend, a 48-hour contest I am greatly looking forward to! Whoopee!! It's been so very long, and I'm ready to crank out an ultimate masterpiece. Then after that, Sol Hunt finally again. That game does seem to get shoved aside a lot. Bravely I struggle on with it though, because I really like the equip screen I made for it. Oh, but wait - there also need to be updates to the Loonyland and Stockboy demos! Geez.
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  Speaking of that... 12:45 AM -- Thu April 1, 2004  

On a combo of topics between my last discourse on exercise and my earlier discussion of how weird it is to see people being famous, I'd like to mention this: I took kickboxing for maybe 9 months or so in college, up in San Luis Obispo. The teacher was really cool and really pushed you, but not in a rough way - he was totally understanding and wanted to make sure nobody passed out or got hurt, but wanted you to work to what you could accomplish. It was really like the ideal coaching situation, which was great, because at the same time I was signing up for that, I was getting horror stories from my sister's kickboxing class, where it was more like something you'd see in a Van Damme movie - they threw medicine balls at your stomach, made you work yourself into oblivion, and tied your legs to pulleys to yank them apart into the splits (that one may actually only have been in the movies...). Anyway, this nice guy who did the coaching, we always knew he did kickboxing for real too, and sometimes he'd be gone for a few days and another guy would take over (possibly even a cooler coach in a general sense, but I think he wasn't as good at watching out for peoples' limits... on the other hand, he wasn't as hard about pushing you, so it evened out. But he taught us some cool extraneous stuff, like street self-defense things. Wish I remembered his name), and he'd come back with bruises and things, and maybe saying he'd won and stuff. Well, his name is Chuck Liddell, and I mention all this because in my directTV bill today, I found an ad for a big pay-per-view event of him versus Tito Ortiz in the UFC. I knew he did UFC stuff even when I was in his class, but it's been really weird since then to see him in video games (really!), and on TV ads all over.

I guess I never knew how good I had it! I should've stayed in SLO and gotten into my kickboxing studies more - I was being trained by a world champion (well, something like that, anyway, don't know what titles he holds), who was a damn good coach!

And for the record, I'm not trying to name-drop with all this stuff. None of these people are ones I really 'know', I don't think a one of them would recognize me if they saw me. I'm just sharing my feelings on the weirdness of unexpected celebrity.

And duh, no, I was never remotely good at kickboxing, but it was nice to be getting exercise.
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  Outta Shape 11:19 PM -- Wed March 31, 2004  

I am so out of shape. We tried out a gym today, one of those ones where you do a half-hour cycle of different machines. It's a great system: you spend 30 seconds on each machine, then it tells you to switch, and you do the next. So it's not boring, and it's very difficult, because you're doing cardio junk alternately with weights. I made it about 10 or 15 of the minutes before we had to stop. And of course the lady there was like "oh, did you have breakfast today?" and other such concerns... no sorry, just sat at my computer for 15 years! I find it has a much more debilitating effect than skipping breakfast. I've been doing exercise all this year, Dance Dance Revolution specifically for most of it! I do a half hour of that and work up a total sweat, 5 days a week. But in 15 minutes, real exercise stomped me into the ground. Oh well, tomorrow we try to do the other half of our workout. The tricky part is just going to be to openly admit that I am a weak, pathetic loser, but I want to make it, I just can't do the whole thing from the get-go! Which will win? My absolute horror of vomiting, or my fear of public embarrassment? Maybe it will help if I remember that vomiting in public is embarrassing in addition to the unpleasantness. Boy, I like working out in private.
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  On certain sundays in november 04:18 AM -- Wed March 24, 2004  

...When the weather bothers me, empty drawers of other summers, where my shadows used to be

Anyway, things have been crazy around here lately. In fact, here's crazy for you: there are SIX (seven?) add-ons waiting for me to post them! I'm sorry I haven't, they all arrived at once, and I'm still swamped with 11 other things! I'll move them up in priority, maybe get one or two out a day (although doing them all at once is about as easy). I've been working on getting our house refinanced for one thing. Check this out: going from 7.125% to 3.25%! We're gonna be RICH! Dave Chappelle has a more clever way to say that which I can't use on my website. Like most things he has to say.

In addition to that, and some serious cranking on the Loonyland patch, which is just shy of being ready for testing, I've been working on a system to help with the next Ludum Dare 48-Hour Game Development Contest. I love those things! Unfortunately, I got myself in over my head as usual and volunteered to do some really extensive web programming for it. But it'll be fun as always, just taking time away from my work.

Speaking of the Loonyland patch, come on people, there are TEN new merit badges!! Not to mention a new gameplay mode, and two playables with very new gameplay! There may be a third, as I still haven't defined the very last merit badge, not sure what to do with it. This thing is practically Loonyland Supreme. And yes, it will absolutely be free, as long as you already own Loonyland, that is. True patch. Now that's Dumb.
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  Loony Fun 12:39 AM -- Fri March 12, 2004  

I've been going loony having fun creating the Remix Adventure for Loonyland! It's a whole new layout for the adventure mode. Well, not whole new - it's the old layout, with details changed, like the powerups have all been moved to new hiding places, there are a couple new semi-quests, some small new areas to explore, most of the puzzles have changed in one way or another, and tons of new enemies viciously attack you every 2 seconds. It's much harder than the regular game. In fact, two of the hardest puzzles, I'm actually MOVING to the Remix mode, so that the "original" mode will have easier variations of them, and the hard version will be a special challenge for people who get to the Remix (not much point to that for you old hands at Loonyland, but it's good for new players). There's so much that's cool about this, and I'm really having fun. Level design is not my favorite thing, but since I only have to do relatively minor things, I'm enjoying it. And most importantly, this is the kind of game I like working on. I had forgotten how fun and easy it is to work on these types of things.

So that's getting done fast, and it's going to have so much new stuff it'll be like a half-sequel, it's very cool. And I think it'll add several hours more entertainment to those who have finished Loonyland (as long as they don't just turn on every badge and rip through it - moderation, people!) Because the remix mode has great potential to be full of holes though, I'll be getting people to test it out before it goes too public, and while they check it out, I'll crank out a patch for Stockboy! I'm on a roll here.

I swear, it's just been so nice out all week... and I'm having fun... it's like the birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and all that garbage. It's a wonderful time to be alive and making monsters!
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  Famous Faces 12:59 AM -- Tue March 9, 2004  

Last night, I saw this stupid show on E, about how wonderful the 90's were (why they would waste time on a decade other than the 80's, I can't even guess). You know these shows - they're on VH1 too. They enumerate things, and then they have brief clips of interviews with trillions of semi-famous people commenting on it, like "Wham? Yeah, I totally remember them, I'd like rock out in my car yelling 'Wake me up before you go-go!!'". Well, one of the semi-famous people they showed on this show was Kristin Veitch. And I looked at her, and at her name, and I thought, that's odd. Where do I know her from? Then it hit me! From HIGH SCHOOL! She's yet another of the semi-famous (or outrageously famous) Poway High graduates. It's so weird to see something like that. It just trips me out. Not just that they went to my school - Stephanie Seymour went to my school (and Weird Al went to my college!)... it's the fact that they were in my classes, and I knew them, and spoke to them, and know they're nobody special (no offense to them - we're all special creations, blah blah, infinite universe of wonder and light, blah blah). The weirdness doesn't apply as much to the Kristin case, because she's not some kind of super icon now, she's just somebody who happens to have a job that involves showbiz, which automatically affords her a certain level of celebrity (she writes a column for E!Online). The real issue, and the one that consistently and thoroughly blows me mind every time I try to think about it is...

Blink 182. Tom Delonge also was in my graduating class, and he was just nobody special. A stoner (note that I have no evidence or even inkling that he engaged in any illicit drug activity, this is simply a stylistic reference... we all know what stoners are like!) who just clowned around. He was in fact voted some sort of variation on class clown in the yearbook which I am too lazy to look up. And the funniest thing that gets me the most is that I can distinctly remember joking at some point about his little punk band. And that is indeed how we thought of it. He sure showed us (note: I don't actually know who "us" is, just that I was one of the people joking about this on one particular night). I even own an album... they're good!

Anyway, it's so weird to see the people you know of as high school kids going off and doing things in the world. It's just plain wacky, I tell you. Hmm, maybe I shouldn't have skipped the reunion! On that note, I dove into my yearbook and googled people madly last night... here's the closest things to interesting I found: Court Dimon and Michelle Hoerner got married, Greg Woodhill is an actor in a couple TV movies and at least one play, Christa Savery acts on stage in New York, Kevin Holt is not a Marine that stabbed someone to death as I first thought (since that stabbing occured while we were still in high school, I feel safe vouching for him on this - I don't know if he stabbed anybody, but I know for sure he wasn't a Marine!), Sara Hilbig met her husband in a library (kinda creepy that I found that out on the internet, huh?), Lorri Sulpizio became a basketball coach (of course!), and most of the rest of my classmates simply have much too ordinary of a name and should really spice it up so they're easier to google.

All of that means pretty much nothing to anyone reading this, but if you do happen to be a Powegian, there's your update! If you're not a Powegian, try that experiment with your own high school gang, it was fun and weird for me.
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  Sneak Peek: Sol Hunt 06:56 PM -- Tue February 24, 2004  

Here's the work-in-progress of the Equip Screen. The two gears on the left side rotate through pieces of equipment that go on your fighter and your cargo ship (top=fighter), and you can click on the ones already on to remove them if you need to make room for the new items. It's about as simple as that! Lightning runs around between the glowing bars, sparks fly off of that and also drift through the glowing bars, and the pistons on the left move, all pointless, but all to add visual interest. The arrows on the gears are glowing as part of the test process, they actually are only supposed to glow when the cursor is on them, they are the buttons to cycle through the equipment choices.
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  Unproductive 06:51 PM -- Tue February 24, 2004  

Today I am unproductive. Actually I feel really tired, and there's no good reason - I slept a long time last night (9 hours by my calculation!) and had an hour nap yesterday too. But here I am, all tired. But tired or untired, I'm unproductive. I seem to be mired in a difficult portion of my game development. I can't really specify what's so difficult about it, I'm actually just trying to implement the screen where you equip your ship with different items, but there's just some indefinable tweakiness going on. No bugs or anything, I just can't get what I want. For one thing, I can't seem to come up with what the second most expensive trade good should be! Seems like a trivial decision (and one I don't need to complete this equip screen!), but it's sticking on me... I wonder if this is the dreaded unstoppable Sol Hunt block. I sure hope not. This game should be simple and really fun. I think I'll make a sneak peek of the current state of the equip screen, it's pretty cool looking! It won't inspire me any, but it'll kill some time.
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