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  Sneak Peek: Super Happy Go Go Ninja Time 09:48 PM -- Mon November 14, 2005  


It's a new feature I added today! The Time Ninja now has two supermoves he can call upon once he charges up a meter by scoring points. One is Zen, activated by simply holding the button down for an exorbitantly long time (demonstrating your inner calm) - it simply slows the game down by a factor of 4 for a while, making you much more able to perform your amazing stunts. The other, pictured above, is Ninja Loco, activated by pounding on the button as fast as you can in a very short time. It should be no surprise that this makes you move at double speed, making it much harder to perform your amazing stunts. On the other hand, it gives you quite a leg up on your adversaries. Especially since, though this isn't in yet, I'm planning to have it also make you invincible, inflict double damage, and make everything you do while it's active count as one big combo. Both of them run down the meter while they're active. Loco lasts about 8 seconds, Zen lasts much longer, but then again the game's running much slower.

Really about all you can do while Loco is to flail on the button, but it's really effective if there are many enemies. Currently both supermoves have that same visual effect of the trails, but I'm going to add some sort of particles flying around for Loco mode, make it look like you're on fire or something. The effect is perfect as it is for Zen.

The other big news is bad, I suppose. I also decided today to remove the multiplayer from the game. It's one of the big things making it much more complicated to develop, and I don't think many people play same-computer multiplayer games these days, so I'd be expending all this enormous effort to make something nobody would even play anyway. I think it's a good decision, because I feel like now I can really pull it together. I don't have that massive problem looming over my head anymore. And hey, the "P1" can finally go away (even though it's not gone yet, as you can see)! This game was always about the single-player, big combo, Tony Hawk kind of play, so it's good to focus on that. I think. It's a good justification for wimping out, anyway. I'm adding some cool stuff along those lines (actually inspired by a combination of Tony Hawk and Burnout! Playing games is good for your brain!) to make the single player more involved, as well. You'll be earning new Belts! No, they won't show on the character.
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  Strategery on the Internets 04:20 PM -- Thu November 10, 2005  

Well, yesterday I finally drew the mysterious "O" tile from my bag! That means Other, so I could do anything I wanted, as long as it wasn't one of my real projects. So I spent maybe 45 minutes looking through my game ideas to see what struck me, and I ended up working on something I had actually come up with last week (the freshest stuff is always the most interesting, of course - after all, I was in the mood to invent it recently, so it must be what appeals to me right now!). It's a turn-based strategy game (inspired, of course, by my recent playing of Land Of Legends, though my idea plays totally differently), and all I've done so far is create tiles for it. I liked the Pumpkin Pop 2 tiles so much that that was also part of the inspiration. So I made smaller versions of tiles like that, with the cute bubble gum trees. That's all I had time to do, but I made a lot, and it was fun, and I have good ideas of how the game will be. I'm trying to keep it very simple - the best board games are ones with a few simple rules that interact well, and a board game is pretty much what a turn-based game is.

Today I drew a "C" so I need to work on card games. The main thing I have been doing there lately is actually also programming. I'm making a program to generate cards from a template and data, so I can have nice looking prototype cards without having to hand-place all the text and images on each card. I want to make a much nicer version of Dueling Doodles (formerly Art Attack) with that. In truth, I really would like to offer that game for sale. Everybody who plays it just loves it. The problem is that unlike a computer game, a board/card game requires huge upfront investment/risk in making copies before you sell them. Some companies actually get around that with a weird system where they collect preorders (as I understand it, no money exchanges hands, people just "promise" they'll order one when it comes out), and once they get enough, they actually produce the games. That works for them, but something totally unknown like this, I'd really need to put it out there, I think. I should still try to look for publishers for it. Maybe I'll do some of that today, it is after all C day!
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  Crazy or No Crazy? 02:55 AM -- Tue November 8, 2005  

It seems like things are really crazy right now, but there's no reason for it to. Well, I guess there is, but no crazier than it's been for a good while. Working on so many projects can feel frantic, but it's kind of cool because I'm actually getting to relax plenty. I have my work time, during which I pound away knowing that quitting time is coming soon, then I quit as advertised.

And what do I do when I quit? These days, I play Tony Hawk's Underground 2, and Burnout 3! I just got them (and Spiderman 2, which I tried out the beginning of and put away to concentrate on the others). I bring them up so I can tell you that while THUG2 is more of the same, better than THUG1, but not as good as the earlier Tonys (and most importantly, it's more goals for me to complete! Yay!), Burnout 3 is freakin' awesome (as Carl would say - and really, he would say that about this game, it's right up his alley). I never really like racing games, because blah, all you do is drive along the road and try to do it fast. But I wanted to try this anyway, because I knew there was a mode where all you do is try to cause the biggest crash possible. Well, it rules. The crash mode is really good, although we've gotten far enough it that it's now kind of tedious because it requires you to do it just right instead of flinging yourself out there. But the racing is really something special. No other game has the sense of speed that this does, with cool blurring effects, and you get rewarded for taking out the other cars. Very cleverly, this game actually takes the worst part of a racing game, crashing ("oh no, now I know I've lost. I'll just hit Restart"), and makes it seriously fun. When you crash, you can hold down a button to go into slow motion and semi-steer your wreck, to try and smash into the other cars and earn Aftertouch Takedowns. If you succeed, you actually end up losing almost nothing for crashing, and you gain "Boost", which is exactly what it sounds like (you also earn Boost for other things that make the game exciting, like driving on the wrong side of the road and swiping too close by other cars). Anyway, it's so fun that even Sol Hunt is hooked, and that's quite a feat.

So those are my fun games of late. Oh, another one that I got for reviewing purposes that is pretty great too is Land Of Legends by Tiny Hero Studios. It's a turn-based strategy game a lot like Advance Wars or Fire Emblem, but not as complicated.

There was some other stuff I was to tell you about, but I can't remember, other than to say that something else that is trés bien is Primal Strips soy jerky, Texas BBQ flavor. Yowza. If only it were cheap, I could make a sandwich out of it!

Oh, hey I remember 2 things: First, this month is Nanowrimo and I am winning!! Check out my progress at my profile and see how I am zooming ahead with incredible speed. I can't believe how well I'm doing. Of course, as my excerpts on that page indicate, it's not good writing. It's total crap, and that's just fine. My goal is to get done. To make an entire novel. Then I'm gonna throw it away, because it won't even be salvageable by editing. Then next November, I'll write it again! Faster and better! Then some year, it'll be good. It's a story idea I've had brewing and growing out of control in my mind like Mucho Moss for maybe 3 or 4 years. I think it's a great idea, but I am really ruining it with this horrible writing. But that's okay, because this doesn't have to be the final draft. I'm succeeding! It's so cool! It's a great feeling when I see that you need to write 1,667 words a day to finish on time (you need to have 50,000 words by the end of the month), and every day I write well over 2,000 (except I skipped writing yesterday).

So thing #2 is that since I'm doing Nanowrimo, I created a new schedule for this month. I've got 4 hours of work each day, 2 hours of writing, and then 2 other hours which have assorted things in them (play games for research, do chores at home, biz stuff). And what I have cleverly done with my 5 project schedule is put a bunch of tiles in a bag, and I draw one at random every day to see what I work on that day (and keep it out, so I do everything once before I start over). Tremendously exciting. You know, I always make everything a game. Don't worry, I put in 3 each of Pumpkin Pop 2 and Ninja, so I do them 3 times as often as the other projects. I added a project called "Other" to the pile, and I haven't drawn it yet. I don't even know what it is. It's just a day to work on something new. I have quite a few ideas of things I'd like to do.

Okay, that's about enough! I have to journal more often so I don't ramble on for pages.
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  Sneak Peek: Super Happy Go Go Ninja Time 10:03 PM -- Thu November 3, 2005  


A title screen! What's nice about those is that they're highly cosmetic with very little functionality, so it's so much easier than real work, and yet it looks like I accomplished something. I had a lot of help from Mike K in making this look nice, and he's the one who made the cute happy/drunk icons. The background, I am told by the other one who provided the kanji (Seth R), says "Go go!" I hope that's true.

No, Ninjanet is not internet play. It's just the usual internet goodies - high scores and replays of cool runs, and downloading add-ons. The replays are pretty cool: you can save a run you like and upload it and people can watch it in the game. I'd like to have voting on those so you can "score" in that way (by having a replay that people are really impressed with), but we shall see.
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  Sneak Peek: Pumpkin Pop 2: The Fat Lady Sings 05:30 PM -- Mon October 31, 2005  


Well, it's Halloween, and I don't have a game for you (you did get Dumb: The Game last week though! You expected a game a week?). That's not a big surprise to anybody. But to give you something, here's a sneak peek of one of the secret games I've been working on. This is not actually a gameplay shot, so don't go thinking this is some kind of strategy game. This screen is the map screen where you pick which level to play (obviously very unfinished - the background won't be so blah, but aren't those tiles cute?). What is the gameplay like? Well, there have to be some surprises! But you might pick up a hint or two from the game's title.
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  Horrorthon More 03:30 AM -- Mon October 31, 2005  

A couple more horrorthon events to share:

Undead - This is a wacky New Zealand (um... New Zealandian?) zombie movie. Only, everything is not as it appears... it's pretty clever, twistwise, and it's made in such an overly silly way that it's hard to say if it's good or bad. One character is a total hillbilly guy, except he also happens to be more of a ninja/sharpshooter/acrobat than Neo, for some hilarious slo-mo zombie slaying. It's great when he does a backflip to embed his spurs into the wall and hang upside down shooting. Although why characters in zombie movies always have to discover that shooting them in the head is the key, I can't imagine.

Night Of The Lepus - I got this one because it was said to be truly horrible. And it was. But not as fun horrible as it should've been. Maybe I just miss the little silhouettes making the jokes for me. Still, it was giant rabbits (sometimes more giant than others, thanks to the effects budget) eating people. It's a tragedy that this was never on MST3K, I feel I have missed out on a great experience. I must admit: I slept through the ending.

Anyway, 8 new puzzles up on Dumb: The Game, get to solving! Got a pile of HH worlds sitting around here, shall be released tomorrow, I daresay. And, that's the news for tonight. It's been a great weekend of really relaxing, and each morning we sat around really working out these new puzzles. It was just really fun. The rest of the day... just a whole lot of relaxation. And I baked cookies.
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  Dumb: The Game!! 03:58 PM -- Wed October 26, 2005  



Dumb: The Game is here (click the banner above)! It's a website where you try to solve puzzles. Really hard puzzles, mostly. Some are easy though. All are rated from 1-5 stars, so you can see how hard they are. Go give them a try, it's free! You've got nothing to lose but your sanity.

So that's one of my 5 projects (another is working on my board games, and a third is Super Happy Go Go Ninja Time, so that leaves only two surprises! Although now I need a new project to replace Dumb, don't I?). I will still be adding puzzles to Dumb as fast as I can. I won't really feel comfortable with it until the puzzle count is 3 digits.

Next horrorthon movie done: Scary Movie 3 - It was really funny! Much better than Scary Movie 2. Don't really remember Scary Movie 1, though. There was a lot of lameness, of course, but overall, I found myself amused.
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  Morevies 03:18 PM -- Tue October 25, 2005  

Phantoms - Dude, Affleck was the bomb in Phantoms, yo! Just kidding. That's what Jay says. Phantoms was dumb. For some reason I've always wanted to see it, and now my dreams have come true. It was very blah. Sol says it was MST quality, but I didn't see that myself. For me, it was just real blah. Only one scene I can think of that could really have been MST'd up.

Fangoria Blood Drive - This one is a collection of amateur horror shorts. Fangoria Magazine held a contest, and these were the winning submissions. They're all very bad. They range from hilariously bad, to "trying to be pretentious and deep" bad. Oh, and the last one is "trying to be a hilarious musical" bad (not hilarious, but thankfully short). I also had Fangoria Blood Drive II in my list, which I shall be removing forthwith.

Those were both very low-rated movies no Netflix, and I knew what to expect. I can't really claim disappointment. To an extent, I like bad horror. But let's hope some better things are lurking in the queue in the future.

I don't know what else is going on. I'm hammering away on secret project #whatever to try to be able to maybe beta it or something by Halloween (no, it's not the one that some of you have seen, it's something vaguely Halloweeny). I even skipped Ninja work last week to do so. I am still working on that in general though. There's still a big secret about Ninja that I'm very excited about, that will also qualify as "hilariously bad", but should be beyond fun. I just hope it pans out.

Last thing: one of my secret projects (which some of you have seen) is about to the point where I'll call it no longer in beta! Then I shall announce it to the wide world who will say "oh, that's it? That's too hard." But I think it's fun. It's my Wednesday project, so let's hope I can unveil it by the end of Wednesday.
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  Clearly, I must be more blunt 07:34 PM -- Sun October 23, 2005  

My Simpsons essay below is a PUZZLE! Solve it! You'll (possibly) be glad you did! One person managed to solve it, but I really need more people to. It's an easy puzzle compared to what's in store for those who can solve it, so get on it!

And hey, we saw Serenity again last night with some friends. The horrible thing was, it's already gone from every theater around here but one! I can't believe how this is going! It was incredibly well-reviewed, everybody who saw it loved it... just nobody saw it. Blah! Plus two more movies here at last for the horrorthon. I'll let you know how Phantoms and Fangoria Blood Drive (a collection of amateur horror shorts!) go.
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  Halloween Moviethon 08:54 PM -- Fri October 21, 2005  

I forgot to mention our latest movie in the Halloween series. That is the ONE we've seen since last time, thanks to how unbelievably slow the mail has gotten all of a sudden. They just shipped my latest today, and I sent the last to them on Monday! Shaun Of The Dead is the name. Two big big thumbs up!! It's great! It's like really great. Someday I may own it, because it'd be worth owning. The extra features are really good too. We even watched one of the commentaries the next day (there's still another commentary to go... I better buy it!). It's like I was talking about before with Buffy - this movie is really, really funny, but also emotional and action-packed and all that. Not scary though... Totally not scary. In fact, it makes out zombies to be extremely unthreatening.

Shaun of the Dead gets the Hamumu Halloween seal of approval.
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