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  People listen to me? 09:26 PM -- Mon July 26, 2004  

I don't know if it was my threat of going on vacation or not, but I got so many orders today, it'll make up for all the orders I won't be getting for the next four days! I need to threaten to go on vacation more often! Thanks everybody.

Anyway, I'm off to the vacation you may now be aware of due to the giant picture right above this text (ignore that sentence if you are reading this after I come back). Well, I'm not off until tomorrow morning, but this is officially my last journal entry. That's all I have to say. Away I go!!
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  Oh My Feet! 05:07 AM -- Sun July 25, 2004  

So there I was watching stupid saturday evening television... and my wife comes in with a trash can full of hot soapy water and sets it before me (a clean trash can mind you! The little bathroom kind). She proceeds to wash, scrub, lotion, and massage my feet right there! It was out of the blue, and it was a-ok! Of course, I'm lucky we have carpet instead of wood floors, or I'd fall down and break my back trying to walk on these slippery things. But still, it felt quite nice, and since we do have carpet, I'm assuming it wasn't a veiled assassination attempt. So now you see what I have to put up with.

Which reminds me, we will be leaving for vacation on Tuesday, coming back Friday night, so the site will be closed for those few days. No order taking, no question answering, no nothing! Better order all our games right now!
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  World Of Warcraft 08:38 PM -- Sat July 24, 2004  

I was lucky (?) enough to get accepted into the beta of World Of Warcraft, which if you don't know, is an MMORPG (which if you don't know is a massively multiplayer online role playing game, which if you don't know, is a game where you wander around hitting monsters repeatedly as you slowly gain experience points and suffer a horrible addiction) set in the ... um, world of warcraft. You know, I totally see how people get addicted to this stuff! I can't believe what an amazing job (as usual) Blizzard has done with this game. It's so incredibly huge and diverse. I haven't really played other MMORPGs, so I don't know how they compare, but this game is really amazing. It's a complete world, with thousands of miles of really diverse terrain, monsters, towns, cultures and quests. It's really amazing. And you can play as maybe 8 different races, which start in 6 totally different parts of the world, and a bunch of different classes with unique abilities. Then you get tons and tons and tons of quests, which are all kind of stupid, but compelling for some reason, and of course each different area offers different quests, and each class has a few unique quests, and each race has a few... so it's a whole unique experience for every character. On top of that, half the races are Alliance, and the other half are Horde, so when you get powerful enough, you can go over and attack the towns belonging to the other side. It's a really nifty environment in that you really feel like you're on the same side as the other guys around you, and that somewhere across the world are a couple thousand more people who all want to kill you. It makes it feel much more cooperative than competitive, which is nice. Then the best thing are trade skills - it's so fun to go around skinning the monsters you kill to get leather, then sewing the leather into armor... or mining for ore, refining it into metal, and then blacksmithing new weapons... or picking herbs and making them into potions or enchantments. It's great stuff. I hope you're prepared to see me rip all that stuff off in my games in the future! Anyway, if it didn't cost $5 (or whatever) a month once it is no longer in beta, I'd be stuck being addicted to it! But as it stands, I'm still more addicted to having my money in my pocket than any monthly fee for a game. Good thing... it'd keep me from getting stuff done! But I still get to enjoy it for a couple months in the beta.

Still working on Kid Mystic these days. Got a couple of new levels in, and the first 3 fairies are working. It's pretty cool! Bah, back to relaxing for the weekend.
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  Feelin' Secure 04:25 AM -- Mon July 19, 2004  

This just made me plain mad. Warning: politically charged whatsawhosit ahead! Humiliated, Angry, Ashamed, Brown. Of course, this is just one example of what's being done these days in the name of Homeland Security, but it's a well-written example!

It's always a bad idea to discuss politics on your company site, it's like doing it at thanksgiving dinner, except money's at stake! But you know, whatever. It's my journal, so enjoy my thoughts or don't!

On the unpolitical side, Summer Silliness appears to be over! I got mine done this morning and then went through playing it to test, which involved stopping about every 5 seconds to fix something wrong with it. But after an hour or so I was able to reach 100%. So I think it's in the clear. It's a really unique world. I'll be interested to see if it's easy enough to understand or if it'll be too weird. Actually, this is set to be the biggest double-letter-acronym world set yet. I count seven worlds for it submitted so far including mine! Hopefully one or two more will trickle in overnight too. And on top of that, WTG also sent me four more unrelated worlds today. And on top of that, I have a bigger surprise for you tomorrow or the next day! Never you mind what that may be.
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  The Conspiracy 01:52 AM -- Wed July 14, 2004  

There's a conspiracy to keep me from finishing my Silliness world. They started small, with subtle tricks - making me have ideas for it that are awfully big, making me slow and lazy and unproductive. You know, things that wouldn't stand out in my mind... things I might just take as my usual behavior. But then they started pushing it. First, they made me have a crash from incessant alt-tabbing going to various chats and things while editing my level. That cost me about 1/2 of the work on Camp Doom. Then, and this one was clever indeed, they caused a brownout while I was working a few hours later! I kinda had them fooled there, though - I was just working on some text files for it, so I didn't lose anything at all (I really should get a UPS though, huh?). It did stop me though, sending me off to watch a movie so as to avoid the risk of hurting the computer by letting it get browned out more times.

This world is a lot of work! I now have 2 of the levels done, and a third underway. It's craziness. And the scary thing is, I can't really tell how it will turn out much at all until I'm a lot closer to totally done, because it's not like a normal world where each level is just a separate thing to be tested all on its own. You'll just have to see! It's a little like Jungle Quest, except it has no quests whatsoever.

Oh no, the conspiracy is striking again!!!! They're dragging me off to play video games in this insane heat, out of the doubly insane heat of the office with the non-functional window! Aiyeee!
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  Summer Silly! 06:07 PM -- Sat July 10, 2004  

I am a health food junkie! Why, here I am drinking a healthy protein shake made with berries, soy milk, some honey, ice cubes, and protein powder (and okay, we added in some ice cream when we decided it was missing something)... and eating a Krispy Kreme donut!

I'm also working on my Summer Silliness world. It's kind of frustrating because I feel like it's wasting time I should be doing Kid Mystic, but it's something I want to do. This world is crazy! I've barely gotten started on the actual construction, but I've made charts and diagrams up the wazoo, and I have a lot more charts to go. It's SO complicated and interwoven that I just hope it all works out! And is actually fun to play. You should see the ridiculous spreadsheet I've made of all the items you earn and how you earn them and how you get through each part of each level. But I can't show it to you, or you'd figure out some of my levels!

Work on Kid Mystic has been slow, but I think I'm getting to a point where it can be faster (once the whole SS thing is over with). There's a new system I've added: Fairies. You have to find Fairy Bells to wake up the fairies, and once they're awake, they're on the overworld. There, they run away from you if you get close, so you have to catch them. If you do catch one, it goes into your Fairy Box. You can select any of the fairies you've caught to provide a bonus power to you, but you can only change them on the overworld, so you have to pick the best one for the level you're going to play (each one has both bonuses and drawbacks... you can probably pass almost any level with almost any fairy, but some will make some levels much easier or harder). In order to have places to put these bells, I need to add several more levels to each chapter, which will be cool. I've added the first level already, and the first fairy, Grabby. Grabby helps you collect coins by sucking them towards you, but he makes you earn less experience than normal, so it's a trade-off: do you want to level up, or earn money? I already know what the other 15 fairies will do, it's just a matter of making them and surprising you with them!

News update: I have finished my shake, although Bonsai tried to get his share of it. I also finished my two Krispy Kremes. Man, that's wrong.
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  Sneak Peek: Kid Mystic 09:22 PM -- Thu July 1, 2004  

Well, working on Kid Mystic. If you pay close attention, you'll note that this shot has a significant difference from the Kid Mystic you've seen in the past. There are 9 more items to buy in the shop! They do some funky new things you'll definitely want. This will make the game easier, since they all help you, but also make you need to collect more money, since you'll want to buy them all. There will be lots more changes as well, though, so how the balance will change has yet to be seen. There will almost certainly be more levels than before, so more opportunity to earn money. Should be interesting!

I really need to modify the Chicken Feathers image... you can hardly see them at all.
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