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Fan Art Museum!10:19 PM -- Wed February 21, 2007

Come one, come all, to witness the grand opening gala at our Fan Art Page! Right now it's only got the entries from our Duhcember fan art contest on it.

If you are one of the featured artists, drop me a line in email or forum PM or chat PM if you'd like a more accurate/meaningful description (descriptions are under the pictures when you click on them) or title placed on your art (or want it put under a different name or anything like that). The current stuff I just made up off the top of my head.

Also, I know there have been a bunch of other fan art pieces in the past. I will try to dredge up what I can when I can, but if you have something, please send it in! I'd love to expand the museum. There's a bunch in the Supreme With Cheese gallery, I remember that, but I don't know that I need to duplicate those - they're special treasures included there. I also have some very cool pillows that are half fan art. TDM created the actual artwork on them - stitched Pumpkin Pop pumpkins - and then Sol stitched those up into mini-pillows! I'm gonna get pictures of them up on the fan art page soon. I'll have to dig through the email archives and see what older fan art pieces I can find. We've gotten a lot over the years.

And thank you very much to all the artists who provided it!!
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Choose Your Own Adventure09:23 PM -- Fri February 16, 2007

(Writing that title it just occurred to me that I could make a CYOA out of journal posts... I could put links to entries instead of "turn to page 42"!)

I have been hard at work on Loonyland 2: Collector's Edition. It was called the Director's Cut for quite a while (or Developer's Cut at times), but as someone pointed out in a chat, who exactly was preventing the director from realizing his true vision that he had to release a separate cut? So just Collector's Edition. What do you get when it is finally available?
  • 5 Bonus Battles in the Arena - These only become available once you enter Madcap Mode, and you won't want to try them until you are very beefed up! They are however available at rank 0 if you really want. They feature several brand new enemies, and there is also a new type of battle. It's a money match - you have a set time limit, and earn a smallish amount of money for every enemy beaten during the time. So you can control how much money you make by how well you play (of course, if you don't get enough, you'll lose money!). The final bonus battle is by far the hardest fight in the game.

  • 3 new Artifacts - You find these just like any other, which means you pretty much don't unless you are very very lucky! And lucky you would be, because these 3 are extremely overpowered. Unlike the regular artifacts, these ones are completely ridiculous.

  • Development Gallery - You need to find Gallery Passes (well, green scrolls - I don't know what they're called yet) when playing the game to access these pictures. I'm not sure how you'll get them yet. I am thinking about setting up some sort of Gallery Goals again, but there are far less than 100 pictures this time. In fact, I think there will be 12. That's all the development artwork I could dredge up. Anyway, the pictures are various concept artwork and maps, comparisons with the finished work, that sort of thing. A fun one is closeups of all 20 Potions, so you can see what their labels actually look like.

  • Developer's Commentary - This is definitely the most work. I've barely got any done and I've worked for hours and hours on it. Once you have won the game once, you'll be able to toggle between regular music and commentary. Each room has its own commentary, so as you go through the game you can hear about the development. This covers any topic you can imagine, it's like the commentary on a DVD. My favorite so far is the room that contains outtakes. I only had 2 from the making of LL2, so I threw in something I had from the past which is embarrassing amusement. Since I've only done about 8 rooms so far (of 64), I can't be sure, but at the rate it's going, there will be about 3 hours of commentary to "enjoy". I have a huge list of stuff still to discuss, but I have to wonder if I really have 3 hours of things to say, or if I will be too tired of myself by then. Aside from me, Sol Hunt and Ollie the cat have so far also appeared in the commentary.

  • An Editor?! - Yes. This is something I thought about a bunch, and decided that it was already in there, so why not? The editor is actually built into the game, it's just disabled in the versions I release. So for the Collector's Edition, I have enabled it, so you can enjoy the wonders. I also implemented a system by which it can have add-ons in a specific folder, and you can choose which one to play when starting a new character. However, stop jumping up and down in your chair! It won't be as amazing as you think. Why?

    • Clunky! - This editor is a slightly upgraded version of the original Dr. Lunatic editor, which most of you have never even seen. It's an ugly, clunky thing to mess with.

    • No documentation! - I am not going to help you figure it out! Well, I will help a bit on the forums, but mostly it's up to you guys. I don't have the time to support something so complicated and so badly made. It was never meant to be used by other people, and has lots of odd quirks it adds onto the Dr. L system to complicate matters.

    • Hardcoding - This is the biggie. There is a lot that you can't edit. You can't change what any characters say, what the quests require and reward or anything like that, and many many weird little things are hardcoded so that you have to be very careful what you do when editing to make sure that your adventure still even works. As a very simple example - when you start a new game, you begin in Woody's Cabin, with Woody talking to you. That's map #5, I believe, for no particular reason! But that's a simple one. The real stuff is specifics like when that guy comes and rescues you from that place (no spoilers here!), the exact coordinates of where the wall breaks are locked, and things like that. So you will need to work around all that stuff, and test for centuries to make sure it all happens as it should.

    • The Arena - You can change the layouts of the arenas, but you can't change the battles (I know that would be fun, but you can't). And by 'change the layout', I mean change what the 5 specific arenas are like. You can't, say, make To The Pain! use one layout, and Don't Get Shot use another, because they both use the same "small room" arena.

    • What you can do - You can decide how the maps are laid out for 90% of the game (just make sure you leave that 10% alone!), and make all kinds of crazy places to adventure and so on. You can specify what types of monsters and herbs are in each place, where towns are, where you meet characters, where you find items and skills, etc. I think it would be possible to make a really cool, really huge, remix of the game if you wanted. You could also trim the whole thing down and just make a little mini challenge where the player picks up a set of skills at the beginning (maybe force them to choose one of a few different sets, like picking a class), and then enters a labyrinth that's only a level long. It is possible to force completion of a quest, so you could have them finish off Klonk when they're level 5, and give them credit for the final quest, winning the game right there. I think it would even restart the same adventure in Madcap! Boy, you'd be doomed playing Madcap at level 5.

    So the possibilities are enormous and sort of endless, but don't get carried away - you don't get to make up your own actual adventures, and it's very hard to get it working right in the first place.

There you have it. Some great deals. I look forward to seeing if anybody can ever make a working adventure! I hope I'll need to create an Add-On page for LL2!
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Shocking12:54 AM -- Thu February 1, 2007

I live in a very dry place. I wear socks all day in the winter, since it's cold. The house is carpeted. These elements all conspire to create vast electrical forces that could burn down entire buildings, but instead tend to choose odder expressions. Recent electrical events:

  • I get up from the couch while holding a PS2 controller. Electricity shoots through me, through the controller, through the PS2, through the RCA cables, and BAM. The TV shuts off. It can't be turned back on without unplugging it for a few seconds first. Everything else in the chain is just fine. This has happened many times - our new couch is a hotbed of static.
  • Walk over to the computer and touch the mouse. The mouse dies, stops moving, and the computer says a USB device has disconnected. A second later it reconnects. Don't think that's good for it.
  • Every time I go over to change the radio station, I touch the case on the radio to discharge and get a nice hearty shock. I do this because I don't want to hurt my XM receiver which I have to touch next.
  • I have a very funny picture, which I will not post for my own personal safety, of my wife sitting in a chair with a giant halo of her hair all around her. Each strand (well, a few hundred that chose to do this) is individually sticking out in a different direction, just floating there.
  • The cats are very hesitant to sniff at us anymore, because every time they do they get electrocuted. It's good shock therapy, but I really don't need them to have an aversion to me.
  • If I pet a cat in the dark, it looks really cool.
  • The DVD player has gone dead more than once due to human contact.
  • I am developing an immunity to being shocked, as well as an innate awareness of whether I need to touch something metal before I touch something high-tech. I'm just plain getting used to it.
So if mass quantities of cat hair going into fan ports and CD drives wasn't enough, as well as rural-quality electricity (micro-brownouts of a 1/2 second or so on a regular basis), our electronic devices now also get to contend with intense jolts. That can't be good for them. It really amazes me that I can conduct into the TV going through a plastic PS2 controller, not to mention all the intervening cables and devices. Same with the mouse - I touch plastic, and it shorts out!

Speaking of devices, bribe #2 has arrived! A developer of a game I am doing a Round Up of this month has sent me a new video card so that I could actually run his game! I'm in the 21st century now. It's wonderful. It's unfortunate that the game appears to be a very good one, so I can't prove my incorruptibility by giving it a low score. Oh well, guess it just means I'll be getting more bribes! Hopefully they will continue to come from people who make good games, so nobody will ever realize that it doesn't affect the score.
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