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  Summer Silliness? 06:25 PM -- Sun June 13, 2004  

Hey, there's talk in the Dr. Lunatic forum about a new world pack like Halloween Horror and Winter Wackiness. Hop over there and share your ideas. We're not looking for level names yet, because we haven't officially picked a theme. Looks like the theme ideas so far are simple general summer stuff (much like how Winter Wackiness works), or summer blockbuster movies (kinda like Halloween Horror works, but geared towards the movies that are coming out this summer. That one sounds fun to me... but what could the world be called!?
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  Cats need solar power 06:23 PM -- Thu June 10, 2004  

Bonsai got his first shots yesterday, so he's lethargic today. If only he could have shots everyday...

Things are busy around here. I wonder how often I say that. Here's the Hamumu schedule from very near future to further along:
  • Post the five new add-ons I've been sent by WTG.
  • Post up a new gamelet called Retrovirus. It's a really simple arcade game with a more complex control scheme than any of our existing games. I want to get feedback on what you all think, because that's the Sol Hunt control scheme.
  • Finish developing my new CD Autorun program (you know, the thing that pops up when you put the game CD in your drive?), for Eddie Galaxy. Then create the CD case and manual for it, then it's ready to sell!
  • Make the Eddie Galaxy demo (should be quick and easy - I made one before, but this time I think I want to pick a more interesting planet to include than Earth, so people realize it's not a boring game!) and post it.
  • Post a very surprising free thing that people will be excited about at first and then lose interest in as they discover how hard it is to deal with and how I am offering no support for it.
  • Update Kid Mystic with a little bit of new stuff. I don't want to go too far on this thing, maybe set myself a one-week deadline for all upgrades. Definitely of course, the smooth lighting effects! I doubt there will be much else - with the spell system it has, there's not really room to add new levels or anything.
  • Make a Kid Mystic demo and CD case, and put it up for sale!
  • FINALLY, begin working on Sol Hunt for the fiftieth time.
So that's a lot of stuff. I'm sad that the last thing on the whole list is the one that's making a new game. That's my favorite task. I have great Sol Hunt ideas. I just want to get started on it before I decide a different set of ideas is better... my Sol Hunt ideas folder has over 20 files in it. It's a pretty tough part of my life, you know.
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  Patching OVER 09:45 PM -- Mon June 7, 2004  

Finally! I just finished uploading the new Loonyland demo which has the features of the new patch and hopefully more compelling ability to point out the splendiferousness of the full game than the old demo. With that, I'm all out of patching things to do at last. Next stop: Eddie Galaxy.

I can't believe we got a new kitten. He's very cute, and he's the MOST obnoxious being in the entire world, and keeping his destructive force in check is impossible. He actually doesn't go around wrecking stuff like some kittens, he just harasses our other cats to a point that's simply ridiculous, and eats out of their dishes, which appears to be an incurable habit. Unfortunately, he also seems to not mind water at all, unlike a normal cat, so spraying him with water to train him against doing things has no effect, even though it's like battery acid to our other cats. I like to refer to him as Demonikos, The Devil Cat. Because HE IS.
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  Still kickin' 11:58 PM -- Fri May 28, 2004  

I actually got a concerned email this week. Apparently I have been slacking on journal updates! So what's new around here? Not a lot. The new version of the Stockboy demo to go with its new patch is basically done, just needs to be packed into an installer and uploaded! I think it has better selling features than the old demo, which was certainly very naggy. Eddie Galaxy is in a similar state, it may be available as early as next week. The new Loonyland demo is nearly ready (just incorporating the nice lighting). I've also added some behind the scenes stuff to the website to help track the effectiveness of things. Other things that are less behind the scenes which I hope to add to the site include comments for this very journal (hey, how about on Sneak Peek too!?), an anonymous suggestion box, improving the newsletter system so I don't have to run it by hand, and improving the download system for tighter security and better statistical information.

And yes, in among all that, I need to work on Sol Hunt! I don't know how I ended up with so many projects all of a sudden, but I'm working them off bit by bit.
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  Spooky Castle! 08:12 PM -- Thu May 6, 2004  

I am presently working on Spooky Castle! The original, the one and only! I fixed up some things regarding speed issues, and even fixed a crash I discovered. I also added a level to it, which is a really lame level, so maybe I'll remove it, or add a couple more. I'd like to have all my modifications to this game done today, since it IS a finished and apparently pretty successful product. But a couple bonus levels wouldn't hurt! Anyway, that's exciting stuff, it should be up within a few days! It's a surprisingly huge download for such a short game.

And our house refinance is FINALLY completely settled! I called up the old mortgage company and pushed "check balance", and it was so cool to hear "Your loan has been... paid in full... as of... May 4th", plus blah blah, escrow balance will be given to you in a check this month. AND we don't pay any mortgage at all until July!

These days I'm also playing a mod for Diablo II called Escape From The Afterlife, which absolutely rocks. I had NO idea you could modify so incredibly much in Diablo. It has entirely new skills that do things that weren't in Diablo before! Well, pretty much. Now if only it wouldn't occasionally crash...
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  Something I never understand 03:48 PM -- Mon May 3, 2004  

Nobody (but "nutcases") will ever do anything better than lip service about the environment until it's setting them on fire and tossing them out a window. We all know that, and it's the depressing reality of human beings. The future is too hard for us to fear (probably doesn't help that we have so much to fear, hate, and lament in the present!).

But here's what is so unfathomable to me: People LIVE in LOS ANGELES. Can you imagine!? It's probably tough for people who don't live near a city like LA to understand, but I live a hundred miles or so south of it, and I can drive up towards LA, and see the death cloud completely engulfing it. It's not like there's a general smog over all of Southern California. Not at all, though I'm sure the air isn't perfectly pure (and today, our air here is filled with smoke from local brush fires, including one that was very uncomfortably close! My only comfort was the fact that surely the fire department wouldn't let the hundreds of houses between me and the brush all get burned). There really is a specific and focused cloud of smog clinging to LA itself. The air there is completely cancer-packed, filled to the gills with brown death. The EPA or whoever puts out those smog numbers says the air is actually dangerous to breathe there. But people just do it. I'm well aware that you can get used to it, but you know a large portion of the LA population leaves their city sometimes, and then comes back and sees what they're returning to. But they still return! They just live their lives in LA, and they don't even notice that they're breathing in poison! And more people move there all the time! Nevermind the insane traffic, which I have vowed never to drive in again, and the violence and everything else. The place is just disgusting. If it were my house, I'd run outside and burn it to the ground. It's done.

The real point is, even when the destruction of the environment is clearly being played out right in their face, and having direct health consequences on them, people ignore it. They have 'bigger' things to worry about, like what will happen on 24 next, and how best to handle the tough client at work. It's not like the cancer is going to get you today. It scares me.

And on a partly related note, I was thinking yesterday about this: in time, the car culture here in America will collapse and we will finally join the civilized (civilised, I suppose) world in using public transportation constantly. The reason is simple: traffic in urban areas is getting so bad that it's just not worth it! I'm totally sure that there are a large number of people in LA that drive to work who would literally get there faster by walking (unfortunately, that would increase their dosage of LA air, so maybe that's the problem). New York is really where this collapse started, but they got way ahead of everyone else, by growing in a much more packed way, leaving no room for actual movement of cars. New York is the one place in America where it's common for adults to not even have a car. Everybody there takes the subway and cabs, and there's even a whole lot of walking. I think in time, that's how all cities will be in America. That'll be good, it'll cut down on the carbon monoxide some. Of course, if people stop using the streets, the streets will empty out, and ... well, people will start driving on them again! Boy, we need electric cars.

Enviro-mumbling for the day complete.
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  People Suck 05:13 PM -- Sat April 24, 2004  

You know those kids who come around saying they're trying to get a scholarship, selling newspapers and whatnot? I just spent a solid 3 minutes slowly closing my door on one who just wouldn't stop telling me how it's cheap, etc, etc. Fine, it's beyond obnoxious, and I clearly had no interest, but that was just being pushy, I can understand it. But here's the last thing he said: "Well, I'm going to sign you up anyway, alright?"

I'M GOING TO SIGN YOU UP ANYWAY.

The world is doomed.

(I said no, it's not alright, through the tiny crack of door that was still open, and he began walking away. Didn't look like he was writing anything as he went...)
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  It's so weird... 05:18 PM -- Thu April 22, 2004  

Life has been really hectic lately, but all of a sudden, it's come together. It's like all these major things were going on, and they all came to a head at the same exact time. Yesterday, in fact, was like the ultimate of them all: we signed our refi papers, our landscaping job was finished, and I switched the DNS over to the new server! In close relation was the conclusion of the 48 hour contest work (specifically, yesterday I put what I think are actually the very finishing touches on the judging portion, so of course same day as the others!).

Then, today, it goes a little further: I took the papers to the fedex place to send in this morning, so that is truly finalized today, and the server wasn't working with the new DNS, so I contacted the tech people, and they fixed it up, so it is propagated today, and finally working too.

But wait, there's more! Something else all of these things have in common is that, though they finished up yesterday, they all have more trickles to continue for a couple weeks. The LD48 contest, judging will last for 2 weeks, then I'll have to implement a vote tally and announce the winners (and have Pelly prizes, of course). The loan, we still have to hear back that we signed everything right and get the okay that it's really all done. The landscaping, we need to now use the new garden we got and plant it full of stuff, and do a few lesser landscaping things to finish it up (flowers to plant, an arbor to replace, tree trimming). The website, well, that's always ongoing I suppose, but I have had some pretty important bits I wanted in the near future.

Phew. So it's like there's multiple big loads off of my shoulders now, but they still left some dust and debris I'll have to wipe off for a while. Still, it's such a feeling to realize that things are in a calmer place again.

Now all I have to do is: improve the download system, improve the newsletter system, finish the stockboy patch, redo the loonyland demo, redo the stockboy demo, ready Kid Mystic for sale with demo, packaging, and all, ready Spooky Castle for download, ready Eddie Galaxy for sale with all the elements, revamp the bookkeeping system to be somewhat useful, and of course, after all of that... work on Sol Hunt. That game has an epic history of life on the back burner, doesn't it?

I guess things never really calm down.
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  Almost moved! 04:18 PM -- Wed April 21, 2004  

Well, the contest is over, and I didn't submit an entry. Mine got maybe halfway done, but it wasn't likely to be much fun anyway. I was way too messed up with all the website troubles I was dealing with to really accomplish anything. It didn't help that I didn't have a good game idea. That's really the lesson I'm taking from this: I came up with several ideas to make, spent hours thinking of the most creative ones I could. I really really wanted to make something totally original and very strongly befitting the theme (if you're gonna waste 48 hours, waste it doing something you wouldn't do otherwise!). In my haste to do so, I kinda missed out. I should've just gone with the very derivative idea I had, which would've loosely fit the theme (like most of the entries...), and would've been incredibly fun. It was a sort of Smash TV clone, which is always fun. I would've had a blast making it, it would've turned out cool, and it'd be a fun game. So that's what I'm remembering for next time: make it fun. Don't worry about being original or sticking too much to the theme (sure worked for Hitsuji!).

The other news is that we have our new server, and it's almost completely set up. Hopefully it'll be ready later today, and when it is, I'll tell them to switch the domain over to it. It'll take a couple days to be completely propagated everywhere, but once it is, we'll all be on the happy new server, and everything will be way better! Everywhere! In the whole world! The new server should be a little faster, and a vast amount more stable. I'm really looking forward to having this switch over with.

That's one of a lot of major things that are really big issues right now - guys are in my backyard tearing everything up for our major landscaping operation, our home refinance is about to close (we sign papers today!), I have all those new eGames games to deal with (if you didn't hear: eGames has finally agreed that I can sell the games they publish of mine myself, that means Spooky Castle, Kid Mystic, and Eddie Galaxy are coming... semi-soon, when I get time to prepare them for it), and I've been talking to a marketing guy about getting some marketing services. Things are so crazy around here, I only got to play Diablo for a little while yesterday, and only because I was waiting for a gigantic file transfer for the new site! And NO Diablo the day before! Yipes!
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  We're back! 04:21 PM -- Sun April 18, 2004  

I took almost all of yesterday off. It was so worth it. We watched movies and lounged around and ordered pizza. It was a rainy day.

You may notice some updates and forum posts have gone missing. That's because our site has been restored from a backup from Friday. So that's good! E-mail isn't back up yet, but everything else is, and we are on a new server which has plugged the security hole that was exploited to break in. We're still not at a new host, which we will switch to in the coming week, because these guys take the term "horrible service" to dizzying heights that telecommunications companies can only dream of. But, we are on a working server now, with the latest security updates, so I'm much happier with it.

Since the updates are gone, here's the deal: I now have a game you can play, but it has no goals or anything. You can move the Retrovirus around a network, and a virus starts at one computer and slowly spreads across. So today, I'm adding all the things you can do about that, and putting in goals and rules and whatever, and that's it! I have until 6pm tonight to finish, so 9.5 hours. Shouldn't be hard. It won't be anything close to a contender in the voting, but at least I'll know I finished it.

The chosen theme, "Infection", was an extremely good one. But I just couldn't come up with anything! I hope this game turns out interesting. Back to work!
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