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  LD20: Jim N' Oysters 06:08 PM -- Sat April 30, 2011  

Tons of upgrades this morning. Jim is now swimming through a randomly generated sea, with tiles that I actually finished, and they are auto-shaped instead of just all square, and oysters appear (currently in extreme profusion). Jim can't collect them, but he can be amazed by them.

Now I have to head off for lunch stuff, and will be back much later to resume the excitement.
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  LD20: Scuba Jim Swims! 04:43 AM -- Sat April 30, 2011  

No screenshot because it'd look like the last one (except perhaps with Jim at an angle). Jim now swims to wherever you click. It's SOOOOooo exciting! Well, it works anyway. I think having something functional and drawn on Friday night is a record for me, I normally just think about ideas and go to bed.

And now I shall do those things!
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  Scuba Jim Lives! 03:52 AM -- Sat April 30, 2011  

I don't know which idea I actually want to do, but drawing was better time spent than muttering and lamenting. He's fully animated with an 8 frame swim that looks totally stupid! Yay!
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  LD20: Theme Announce & Ideas 03:05 AM -- Sat April 30, 2011  

The theme is horrendous, worst in LD history: "It's Dangerous To Go Alone, Take This". My ideas currently look like this:

IDEA #1 - Scuba Jim

Dive for pearls. Trade them for diving supplies. Scuba tanks let you swim deeper and longer, harpoons kill sharks, lucky charms make oysters more likely to contain pearls. Keep going until you die or become too rich to continue diving and end up as a boring rich person.

IDEA #2 - Shopkeeper Jim

3 parts. Commodity store where you buy wood, metal, etc. Crafting interface ripped straight out of Minecraft, where you build that into RPG items. And finally, storefront where you sell the items to adventurers.
Tension: you want to charge lots to make lots of money, but if you charge less, adventurers will buy more and be better equipped, thus living to return to buy more.
Simulates the adventures.

IDEA #3 - Petstore Jim

It's dangerous to go through life alone, and the #1 killer in the USA is heart disease. Petting an animal reduces your blood pressure. Ergo, buy a pet.

IDEA #4 - Roguelike Jim

Roguelike because roguelikes are fun.
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  LD20: Ain't Started Yet 10:19 PM -- Fri April 29, 2011  

Hey, LD20 is starting in 4 hours, and I will do some blogging, but I will also be doing my first attempt at streaming! Drop by Livestream throughout the weekend, to hang out in the Livestream chat and see me in action. I'm not gonna be on as much as I'd like, with various commitments, but hey, see what happens! It's a dry run for the Dumbstorm. That link to visit me and entertain me is...

Drop by, repeatedly and lots! Even if it's offline, people could chat there.
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  Ludum Dare 20! 12:25 AM -- Thu April 28, 2011  

Let's get ready to Bryant GUMBEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeellll!!! Wait, let's not, let's participate in Ludum Dare #20! I'm in. I will give a shot to ustreaming my work, good practice for my planned Dumbstorm performance later this year. I will be of course using Flixel or maybe Flashpunk. There's a new version of Flixel released just today, maybe I should give that a go. But then I'd have to juggle two installed versions, that sounds less fun. I suspect this new version needs a good shaking before it'll be bug-free-ish.

So even if you aren't participating, drop on by to see if I have uStream up and working and you can pop in and yell at people in the chat there. Oh, but I will be out for a large chunk of Saturday (the middle chunk), so that will certainly put a damper on progress. Other than that, I hope to be streaming for the rest of Saturday and all day Sunday - during proper LDing hours, that is. I'm not the type to leave my PC up all night. If I can't get uStream up to standards, or somebody complains about it killing her Netflix viewing, I'll be sure to blog and hang out in the Hamchat.

Let's make some games, peoples!
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  Mama, I'm Coming Home 02:28 AM -- Wed April 27, 2011  

The prodigal CD has returned! About 6 or 7 months ago, I had two CD orders get stuck in British customs, demanding an exorbitant payment from the recipient to continue on. Neither recipient was pleased or willing to pay, and so the CDs were being returned to me. One was Supreme With Cheese, I think, and that came back a few months ago. The second one, Loonyland 2 CE, got here today! Such service! The package was mangled, but the CD is fine. So now, there is one existing LL2CE disc instead of none! Exciting. A little too exciting, because I don't know what to do with it. I'll come up with something sometime. I don't want to just re-open sales of it, and then close them after the first order. I should probably keep it for posterity. When I say there's only one, I mean it - I don't have a disc of my own!

In other, very time-sensitive, news, Robot Wants Kitty for iPhone is free for today only! Grab it!
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  Me! Me! Me! 12:16 AM -- Mon April 25, 2011  

Today, I did the most massive and extensive website overhaul since Gawker drove everybody away from their site. Behold the totally new (except the text is totally unchanged, even though it's really lame and should be changed in some way) About Page! Astounding! Yeah, it's not much. But it's always nice to knock out something that was supposed to happen for decades.

In other news, I successfully shared a Mia's Happy Day level onto the internet! I can't actually download it back down yet, but I can get a list of levels available, which contains it. Hopefully tomorrow I'll find out if the actual data therein is remotely correct. It has one up on Costume Party in that you can also save your work to disk, so you can set things aside and work on them later, or tweak something you've done before, that kind of thing. You can even email them to your friends if you for some reason want to share that way instead. The Playtomic system that handles the online storage seems very simple and limited, but solid. Well, solid except for the fact that many times now it's just sat there doing nothing. I hope that's not as bad as it seems, maybe I'm doing something wrong there.
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  Mia's Happy Day 03:17 AM -- Thu April 21, 2011  

is the game I am working on. It's like Tony Hawk, except you're a dog, and there's no skateboard, and you only score when you grab a biscuit, instead of anytime you fail to fall down.

And now you know! (The tutorial messages were put in before fences existed and apparently they are drawn behind fences, which won't be true eventually. Also there won't be a mouse cursor)
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  Bits And Bobs 02:17 AM -- Wed April 20, 2011  

Item The Onemost: I've revived an ancient productivity method of mine! As you know if you read this space often, I am always switching to new methods because each one fails after a week or two when I have a day I spend not able to do it, and the streak is broken. This one is a classic: Action Tiles! I have a set of Scrabble-like tiles (but big and plastic) for game prototyping, and I assigned meaning to various letters (e.g. "M" is work on MHD, "B" is learn Blender), stick them all in a bag (with multiples of ones I should spend more time doing), then draw a set of 8 of them. Those are my 8 hours of work for the day. Or less, should I happen to draw "P" which is to play games for research (no WoW allowed though!), or "S" for Stand Up At The Computer - that saves me an hour of worktime, but wears me down physically instead. Humans were not meant to sit, get up and move around, people. It's a fun system. I drew a "J" today, so here I am.

Item Most Secondward: I don't believe I've stated this here, and if I have, here it is again: I have a lifelong goal of becoming a published author of fiction. I'm a published game developer, but that doesn't quite do it. And self-publishing doesn't either. Neither does non-fiction. I want the Powers That Be to say "That fiction is far enough from complete tripe that we'll place it up on these shelves, right next to complete tripe like James Patterson!" Maybe it's a need for acceptance, maybe it's a desperate cry for fame, maybe it's the desire to connect with humanity, maybe it's some visceral ancient human desire to contribute to the canon of literature (like cavemen did). I'm not aiming for a bestseller here, just a published book. Well, I'll start hopefully with a published story in some other book or magazine, but I suspect that won't be sufficient to count. I can't say exactly what it is, I can only say that it's really the only actual Life Dream I've ever had, so I gotta do it. That's why there are "T" tiles in my bag. T is for Typing, because M and W are the same tile in this particular tileset. I'm practicing, starting many stories, seeing what sticks in my craw. My writing craw. I have many many starts, not so many finishes. But I'm probably getting better at it as I go. My wife is an amazing writer and maybe I can put the pressure on her to finish her own Great American Novel by getting something of my own done. And she brings up my game when we write "competitively", using the ever-popular Writing Prompts 3.

3: The Action Tiles are working well so far (everything does in its first couple weeks! It's like dieting in that respect). M.H.D. is getting polished up nicely! The editor is really easy to use and nice, and as of today, you can finally test your creations from it. I'm not sure it's the kind of game greatly suited to an editor - no big adventures to be had. But this is definitely the groundwork for some future good stuff. And I am investigating Playtomic for both high scores and level sharing. That way it'll be huge - the millions of players worldwide will all be sharing stuff together. Which is a recipe for extremely inappropriate levels, but hey, there'll be a lot of them at least!

Item The Conclusive: Riddle me these things in the comments section: Is Portal 2 great and as good or better than Portal? The hype has killed my interest but now people sound like they're having fun with it. I won't be buying for many months anyway, but I like to know. Also, what are your Life Dreams? You gotta have something or it's all just gummi bears and netflix! Wait, that might be my second Life Dream. And finally, since I'm trying to blog close to daily, what question do you have for me? I'd be happy to answer or dodge it as appropriate, in a future Hamumu Journal.
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