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  The Magic of Loonyland 04:44 PM -- Wed August 12, 2009  

I mentioned earlier that there's a religious system in Loonyland. So let's hear about it! You have already met 2/5 of the pantheon if you finished Loonyland 2. You see, there are 5 Titans that rule Loonyland - and by that, I actually mean 5 kinds of Titans, there are in fact hundreds or thousands of each. Each Titan has dominion over one aspect of the land (or not-land in 2 cases). They are the machinery that makes the world run. The people of Loonyland often follow one of these 5 Titans, worshipping them and bringing them offerings at temples that are set up in various appropriate places. In exchange for their obeisance, they gain magical power of the appropriate type. It will be clearer after you meet the Titans:

Ice Titans - Remember them? They are petty and cruel. That shouldn't speak ill of their followers, though. If you lived in the frozen north, you'd be quite nice to the Ice Titans too, if you wanted to keep living.

Sky Titans - Think hard to see if you've seen one of these! They control the skies - whether it rains or is sunny, the actual rising and setting of the sun, the winds, anything that goes on up there.

Sea Titans - These oddly live in the ocean, and I have yet to decide how they appear. Whale-like? Squid-like? Cthulhu? They control the tides and all that stuff. Despite being Sea Titans, they're also in charge of lakes and rivers. Water in general.

Stone Titans - These slow-moving, long-deliberating guys rule the mountains and deserts (sand is just very very small stones, you know). They are the most non-magical of the Titans - a Stone Priest (there are Priests of all 5 types, and they're not very priestlike - more like mages with magic of the appropriate sort) is a big warrior that smashes things with a stone hammer. Logically, these priests value toughness above all. There's plenty of magic powering that smashing, but it's all much more physical and, yes, earthy than the other Titans.

Green Titans - They are the Titans of the woods and trees. All plant life is their domain, but they of course live deep in forests.

So everything that goes on in the world (except for things animals do, which is up to them) is a negotiation between these Titans. Sky and Stone Titans argue over how high mountains can be, Sea Titans want to encroach on the other Titans' land (and woods and ice). Green Titans want to spread their forests out into the deserts. And of course, the nasty Ice Titans just want to cover the world in ice, but they're held in check by the other four.

The Titans have various personalities (individually, and general stereotypical ones for their kind), but their followers, as I mentioned above, don't necessarily fit with that. Someone who's flinging ice magic around isn't an evil person (of course, Baron Von Frostburn is), and a follower of the endlessly benevolent Sky Titans isn't necessarily your friend. It really has more to do with where you grew up, who you've turned to for protection, and of course as usual, who your parents worshipped. Then there could be someone actively seeking magical power - they could cynically make offerings to any Titans they wished. In general though, Titans are not going to bestow much favor on someone who is spreading their offerings around. The Titans know if you are being true to them!

That's where the Priests come in. They usually live at a temple devoted to their particular Titan, and they spend most of their time in some sort of worship to it. As a result, they have great power with that 'element'.

In general, nobody ever sees the Titans. It's not like they're having chats with them (hence why their personalities don't affect worship - people don't even know what they're like in the first place). They work behind the scenes, just managing the world. When your wedding gets rained out, you decry it as the Sky Titans messing with you (and most likely, wedding planners are making offerings in the hopes of preventing it), but you'll never know if it really was something out to get you, or just where the rain had to be at that time. The arrival of the Ice Titans in LL2 was completely abnormal, as was what happened in the ending. There are always rumors of seeing different Titans, but it's like the Loch Ness Monster - that log out in the lake is not a Sea Titan even though Billy Bob swears it is.

And if you wonder where fire fits in, it doesn't. Fire just happens.
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  Daily Sketch #9: Doodley Doo 10:39 PM -- Thu August 6, 2009  

That's why it's called Morning Doodles, folks! All the O's are because I was having a really hard time drawing smooth lines and circles, so I just decided I'd practice making circles. It got rather addictive. And seriously, those are honest attempts at making perfect circles. Back pain is not conducive to precision drawing, that's for sure. But I'm always really sloppy with my lines and curves, I just don't have a steady hand.
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  Yea, Verily 09:36 PM -- Wed August 5, 2009  

I'm having fun, having blocked out a couple hours 3 days a week for "Hamumu art". So not knowing what else to do, I've been making these Snuggly Bunny units! I won't be needing them for a very long time, but it's fun to do, and productive.

This is of course the Priest. He'll have a marginally more interesting name than that eventually (Order Priest? He may be more specific than that... Loonyland has a religious system we haven't discussed!). His holy censer is a lot like a mace with a hula hoop, so I hope he finds a slot in his move list for "Bonk".

What you can't see that I think is kind of cool is that like all Snuggly soldiers, he has a bunny hat. His, however, is a hood with the ears on top, so since the hood is pulled back, the ears are hanging down his back (you can kinda see a bit of them behind his arms). But, this being a 'board-game' where guys don't ever face away from you, you'll never see them! Oh well.
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  Bunny Stats 11:01 PM -- Tue August 4, 2009  

This is tech stuff that many people won't care about, but I know I dig right into things like this when it's for a game I'm excited about (Diablo III...), so here you go:

I'm settling on the specific stats that units will have in LL Tactics. It's not actually final, and I'll probably find some I need to add later, but these are currently the stats:
  • Might: most physical skills base damage on this
  • Brains: most magical skills base damage/healing/etc on this
  • Guts: your max life
  • Feets: movement points per turn
  • Armor: reduces damage taken when hit
  • Eyes: tiles of vision
The only reason we have both Might and Brains (which are the exact same thing, but applicable to different types of skills) is simply so that I can have Commander talents that boost one or the other. You wouldn't want "Might Of The Hedgehog" to increase how much your healers heal for, would you? So other than that, Might and Brains are pretty straightforward. An Order Knight will have something like "Slash: hit the target for [Might] damage." (where [Might] is replaced by the actual stat value, dependent on your talents). Other skills might do "does [Might/4] damage to everyone in a radius", so it's based on Might, not necessarily the exact amount (maybe [Might x 2 + 7] sometimes!).

So why stats at all? Why not just say "Slash: does 5 damage." in the skill? First off, as I mentioned, your Commander has talents which affect the Might of all units (or specific ones), so it's nice that they can boost the damage of everything without reading like an encyclopedia ("Slash does +1 damage, Whirlwind does +2, Axe Bonk does +1..."). Secondly, a unit might buff its allies with "+2 Might to all adjacent units" or something. If instead that were "Adjacent units do +2 damage" it would unfairly boost weaker attacks (like that [Might/4] one) and have a minimal effect on big ones. Also fun here is that it can boost Might or Brains - makes sense for magical stuff to get magically enhanced by one guy, and warrior stuff to get cranked up by a different one. Without stats, that would again be a laundry list. I am also considering (maybe not at release...) having various items your Commander can get which boost the stats of your units. So stats are nice.

That's about all the stats I'm sure that I need. Some others might sneak in there. Conflating healing spells and damaging ones into one stat is iffy, but you don't need 500 different stats!

And yeah, Armor probably needs a Dumber name, but I'm not sure what.
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  Boing Boing 11:05 PM -- Mon August 3, 2009  

It's a Bunny Rider! Well, work in progress, anyway. Note that when riding a bunny, the Order Knight can wear much heavier armor, since he doesn't have to walk. I know the bunny looks sickly, but green is the color used to specify "this changes color according to what team you are on", so it will actually only look sickly when on the green team. I'm not sure I actually want the bunny fur to change based on team, but it'll probably look nice, very pastel easter funtime. I'm also considering making units not change color at all, but sit on top of colored base pieces, to further emphasize the board game aspect. And that way the base pieces can be different shapes as well, so colorblind people aren't lost. Their life meters could be embedded in the base too.

I just got movement working! On my copy at home (not playable online yet), there is now an Order Knight you can click on to order around the map! It's so advanced that it's basically back at the point it was during Behind The Dumb #1. Pretty amazing.
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  Daily!? Sketch #8: The Headless Dinosaurman 10:02 PM -- Mon August 3, 2009  

I'm back! I have a spot in my actual schedule for "morning doodles" now. It's 15 minutes long, so that's how long I had to make:

The headless dinosaurman! I was really running out of time by the time I got to the rider, so I was just whipping along with him. He's some sort of hippy in cargo pants. Then I was even more completely out of time when I got to his head, so I decided not to bother trying to make one and just threw a pumpkin on there, thus headless dinosaurman. Which makes you consider how silly it is that "horseman" means a guy who rides a horse.

Also, I don't like the striped strap on the dinosaur's neck, but that was really in the absolute last seconds, not even time to erase the stripes.
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  New Hamumu All Over! 01:24 AM -- Thu July 16, 2009  

In more new Hamumu news, my office has become new!

I don't know if I've discussed this before - I think I did on Behind The Dumb - but a while ago, I moved my office out of the actual office and into the living room. When I lost my laptop, I no longer had a handy way to come out and spend the evening with the family and still play WoW work on stuff and help out customers. So I just moved the office out here to solve the issue.

What this picture shows is that today, I expanded my operation to make life more productive and better. I moved my old computer out here in an L with my new one (I practically AM in an office at this point), so I have no excuses! I can work on 3D Studio with great ease, as well as use my favorite and handiest audio-editing programs. So this whole place is becoming quite the command center. And the cats like it, too. They never had any room to be on my desk before I added the new section. I also added a table, which is what's in the corner of the L, occupied by Ollie.

In the grand tradition of keeping monitors very carefully supported in case of earthquake, the newly-arrived monitor is on a shoebox, labeled Anatomical Comfort, which is indeed what it provides, because putting the monitor down on table-level would be hard on the ol' neck. And the funky round alien next to that box is my amazing microphone, which doesn't work with Vista.

I gave Blender a shot at replacing 3DS, and I did learn how it works (basically), and can build a model in it reasonably, but getting remotely good at it would take a whole lot longer than moving this desk did, so I used the ol' noggin (directly above the ol' neck) and worked out this non-learning-based solution instead. Remember kids, never learn if you can avoid it.
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  Monster Collection 10:30 PM -- Mon July 6, 2009  

Hamumu has a large collection of monsters from the large collection of games. So why not let you, the Dumb Folks, collect the collection of monsters from the collection?
The collection is just a fun thing to have. Every account gets a random set of 5 monsters. Some are rarer than others. Then, via a very simple process you will discover, you can gradually gain more of them. It's just a little thing to encourage interacting with your fellow Hamumoids. Then I can also use these little monster cards in the future for some other stuff, like a web-RPG like Kingdom of Loathing! That's not in the works, but I always like the idea.

Big thanks to the guys who are right now helping me by making these pictures (it's a tiresome job, I can tell you after doing a whopping two of them)! Two thumbs up to AtkinsSJ, Bunnybot5000, and SpaceManiac who are the ones who've actually already sent me the first batch they did. Don't let that pressure you other guys who signed up to do it, though - I sure didn't expect same-day results! It's quite amazing. Now how can I get you guys to write my games for me...
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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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