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  Awesomeness! 02:02 AM -- Fri June 19, 2009  

This will be on your Dumb Page. I mean, come on. That could be the entire website and it would rule.

By the way, I am sending this over my fabulous new wireless internet! No more satellite for me! Actually, this has its flaws to be sure. I'm getting massive lag spikes (5-10 seconds each) at random, quite often, and every so often, a web page will fail to load (I even got kicked out of WoW once!). But between those problems, it's like a dream of a wispy cloud on a Summer's day. I've gone from 2500ms ping to 25ms. A hundredfold improvement is alright (okay, usually it's more like 100ms), when it's not spiking me in the face. I'm not yet positive this is actually better, but a lot of the time, it sure feels nice.
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  Hamchat 10:42 PM -- Wed June 17, 2009  

Like I said yesterday, I am sick of the chat kicking people out! I think one of the major causes of the demise of our chat is that people can't lurk in it for long without being unceremoniously dumped out. Incidentally, it's not supposed to do that, but their tech support could offer no help that fixed it. But that's okay, because Hamchat fixes that and a lot more!

Hamchat is the glue that holds the entire new site together. It's a small chat window, which lives at the bottom of every page of the site! You don't log into it, you're always in it if you're logged on. Guests can see it, but not chat themselves. So first off, there's chat - a permanently functioning chatroom that won't kick you out no matter how lazy you are. Second off, it's always there - wanna chat, no matter where you are? Scroll down! Thirdly, everybody's in it, so there's never a shortage of chatters (well, maybe late at night there is).

Fourthistically, and this is where it becomes glue, it's not just chat! The Hamchat is like the in-game chat in your favorite online game (okay, I'm thinking of WoW). When your guildie gets an achievement, the WoW chat says "[Zandero] has achieved [The Golden Amazingness]!". Guess what happens at Hamumu when someone earns a trophy? Trophies are just part of that, though. There will be many other events chronicled going on. New member signups, maybe posts you've chosen to subscribe to (just thought of that, how intriguing! Maybe tough to code), webgame-related things, and things you don't know about yet. Hamumu Clubhouse is an MMO.
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  I Surrender! 06:03 PM -- Tue June 16, 2009  

Okay, okay! The outcry is simply too much. Clearly, Hamumu Clubhouse was a terrible name idea. So I've listened to your suggestions, and there was one in particular that really stood out for me. I know exactly what I want to do with the site now (clearly, I was just nuts before, and I apologize). Behold, the actual new Hamumu logo:

Yes! That was the best idea ever, and thank you very much to Kerma for coming up with it! So now we have a new mascot, Penny the Pen! I know some people are going to really miss Yerfdog, but you can still see him in Supreme With Cheese, and maybe he'll even show up in some future games. I'm not just dropping the guy! But Penny is the new face of Hamumu. She's sassy, she's a pen, and she appeals to women! We've also got a new color scheme, because the all-blue was getting really old.

In addition to this new look (please remember: this is just about the name and look, we're not changing what we're doing here, people), I've also been really fed up with how the chat constantly kicks people out, so I've been developing my own new chat for the site. Here's a sneak preview of the part of it where you click on which words you want to use:

I know some people are absolutely going to moan and complain that they can no longer just type in what they want to say, but Hamumu is a safe place on the web. With the specific list of words, you won't be accidentally (or should I say "inadvertently"?) sharing personal information which could leave you in danger from internet predators.

And here's the thing, folks. I've been working on this a while, and testing it out, and I know it seems clunky to have to click on each word you want instead of just typing, but the truth is, after just a few weeks messing with it, I can talk faster in it than I can typing! Think about it: each click gets you a whole word, as opposed to typing 4-10 characters or so to get a word. Once you learn where each word is, you're cranking stuff out at light speed.

And I can see your other objection coming - "what if I want to say something and it doesn't have the words for it?" Don't worry about it! You can see the list of words right above, and if you can come up with something you want to say that can't be expressed with those words... well, I doubt it's Hamumu-appropriate. I may end up adding another 5 words or so before launch, but in all my testing, I sure haven't come up with any more that I need!

Until next time, french fry Kremlin the morose nucleotides!
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  Yerfbucks!? 03:40 AM -- Tue June 16, 2009  

Ahh, that sound you hear blasting out of the last entry's comments and the forum is in fact the exact choking I described. My only response to it is please re-read the large notice I attached to the previous post. Okay, my second reply is that about 2/3 of the complaints actually reinforce what a good idea this actually is, though you don't know it yet!

Here's today's extra-controversial tidbit (but can it beat Friday's?) - I'm not positive about this yet, but I believe that I will be making it no longer possible to buy games with Yerfbucks. You will get lots of advance warning if this decision is made, so you can spend 'em while you got 'em. However, you might not want to spend them all, because they will have a ton of uses. You're just losing the ability to buy games with them.

Okay, Mike, now you're just toying with us. But no! There's a very powerful logic behind this. I want Yerfbucks to be all over the place. Imagine, if you will, a hypothetical RPG. In this RPG, you can go around and fight monsters. Now, there are two ways this could work with Yerfbucks being the currency in this game, and also usable to buy games:

1. Monsters killed drop a few Yerfbucks, say 2-5. So in a day, you can rake in 200 or 300 Yerfbucks. You can take one of my games for free every week, as a prize for... playing one of my games? I go broke and die in the gutter.

2. Monsters have about a 1% chance to drop a single Yerfbuck when killed. It's not interesting or worthwhile as a reward, but at least I'm still selling a game occasionally (until someone figures out the ultimate exploit). You die of boredom, possibly in the gutter.

Now, on the flipside, what if Yerfbucks can't be used to buy games? Well now, I (sorta) don't care how many you get! I can make monsters drop a couple Yerfbucks at low levels, and hundreds at high levels. And here's where it gets clever - Yerfbucks are the standard Hamumu currency, not just something unique to that game. So you take those Yerfbucks you got killing monsters, and you go spend them to upgrade your racing car in Super Hammy Kart 5000! The Unified Gaming Theory! It's beautiful! Imagine if in Supreme, you got Yerfbucks instead of coins (that won't happen, it's too tough to update that way, but think of it like that with regard to new games). You can take advantage of your awesomeness at one game to offset your incompetence at another!

Of course, you can also use them to buy Avatar Bits, Custom Titles, and a variety of new things in the new site that don't exist at the moment.

That's only a theory right now. Another way to do it could be to really crank the exchange rate down (much like the US$), so it's more like 100YB to the cent, but that just moves the goalposts, it doesn't set me free to pick amounts for pure gaming purposes.

I think this idea works better, with these games so tied into the site as they will be, to have a universal currency, rather than to make each game unique and disconnected. Certainly some things and some games will be, for balance reasons or other reasons (kinda lame if you just start a brand new game and buy everything right off, so there are many design considerations to that), but the more that can be tied into one Hamumuey whole, the better. And really, if you like a game, you pay for it. Seems like a good deal for both of us! Is anybody really crushed at the thought of paying me for my work?

Please commence wailing and gnashing teeth.
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  Hamumu.... Clubhouse?!?! 10:56 PM -- Fri June 12, 2009  

I'm going to get blog-happy by giving you tidbits every weekday until I run out of tidbits, showing you what's going to be going on with this site.

FIRST, A NOTICE: A lot is changing here! But what is not changing at all is what Hamumu is about. I'm not going to be making different games, I'm not making it all kiddie and stupid. I'm just streamlining what is here, making it more fun and usable, and (here's the part some of you will choke on) focusing the 'message'. Just making what I want and saying "Here it is!" doesn't pull people in. You guys who read this like it, but getting you here was a challenge! So I had to pick my target and focus the site to aim at that target, like a magnifying glass on an ant. What that doesn't mean is that this is no longer a site for you. It's all about you. It just presents itself to the rest of the world in a more specific way. I'm focusing the outward appearance to draw in new people of a certain type, I'm not changing the guts. Until next time, dear reader - Courage.

This is the new logo! Yes, the very name of the site is changing! After all, people buy games here, sure, but the real core of the site is the clubhouse. The forum. You guys hang out here, and it's your clubhouse! We're going to do things to improve that club experience and give you more to do! Stay tuned. Oh, and of course, the wagging tail is coming back. Could that be the most requested thing in Hamumu history?
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  Hello Kitty Island Adventure 11:14 PM -- Thu June 11, 2009  

Sometimes I encounter something I want to know about, and it takes some googling, and then I find it. Sometimes it is not easy to google (this actually was, though). So in an effort to make it easier to google things that interest me, let me post about it here, so when you google for it, you will find it!

In this case, that thing is changing the fonts in WoW. I saw a youtube video with different fonts, and I got intrigued. It turns out that it is trivially easy to put in any font you have! And oh so fun. Behold:

Now it really is Hello Kitty Island Adventure!

If you too want to make WoW adorable, it's super easy, no risk, and doesn't involve overwriting or deleting anything. Do this:
  • Create a folder inside your WoW folder, called "Fonts"
  • Copy the fonts you want into it (the .TTF files which you can find in your C:\Windows\Fonts folder normally, or can download from many free font sites on the web). You need four fonts. You can choose fonts for the main UI, normal numbers (I think this means life meters and such), 'huge' numbers (the ones that pop up when you hurt things), and quest log/mail text. I just used four copies of the same font.
  • Rename the four fonts you copied in as follows:
    • Main UI: FRIZQT__.ttf (that's two underscores at the end)
    • Numbers: ARIALN.ttf
    • Big Numbers: skurri.ttf
    • Mail/Quest: MORPHEUS.ttf
  • You're done! When you start WoW, it will be as adorable as you like.

For those of you who don't care about WoW, or about making it adorable, I will talk about Hamumu. The new website is coming along well, but there's a lot to do. I am quite slow about the newsletter, I know, and Behind The Dumb hasn't been around in weeks. I'll try to get on those, but the real priority is the website (and I am also putting a lot of time into the game, I'm not letting that drop for the website). I want to really talk about what's going on here and why it's happening, but that is going to have to wait a bit. Catch you later with more on that!
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