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  Craziness 05:36 PM -- Tue May 31, 2005  

Craziness #1 - It turns out that CTRL-...something (maybe I?), or something like that, instantly closes Firefox without any warning at all. Maybe it just crashed. So there goes my original attempt at a journal entry!

Craziness #2 - What I had been writing about was that we have sold our house and are currently in escrow (which means we haven't really sold it yet, and things could still go horrifically wrong), and it's blowing my mind. I can't stand all this paperwork and complex garbage. Why on earth does it take all this to transfer items between people who clearly want to transfer these items? It's utterly insane! I know the banks need to get all the stuff they need to trust us with these large sums of money and all that, but should it really take a month of shuffling papers back and forth? Why can't we sit down at a desk with the people we're selling to and buying from and some kind of House Transfer Dude, and get this hashed out in an hour? It hurts my brain. For that matter, why not just one page right on the front of the huge wad of house-selling papers that says "I hereby certify that I read all those pages there, and agree to every one of them, all at once! Signature X______", instead of initialling and signing upwards of 200 different places (that's not an exaggeration, in case you have never dealt with house buying, it's real!).

So that, along with of course Guild Wars, is what's keeping progress slow these days. But hey, tomorrow we announce the winners of the last Monthly Merge, and begin the next one (oops, I haven't figured out what it will actually be yet!), and release some new add-ons, and begin the Summer Silliness. Since so many people have already posted names, I'm just going to skip that step entirely. If you have names you want to propose for Summer Silliness, get them in on the forum before tomorrow. I'm also gonna whip through the voting this time, one week at the most. You know, Summer Silliness really doesn't inspire me. I'm much more a Halloween Horror kinda guy. And Monthly Merge for that matter, which I think is really fun.

New news on Ninja game? There are now these poles that stick out of the wall, and if you hit them while jumping, you begin spinning around them like a gymnast. Tap the button to jump off in the direction you're going. I like them. There's also a nifty glowy time-travel effect. Time travel, you say? What?! Could that relate to anything else you've heard lately? Surely not.
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  Hail Seitan! 11:18 PM -- Mon May 30, 2005  

Hey, today I made my own meat! In a way. I made seitan, which is nothing but wheat flour. You knead it underwater a bunch to get everything but the gluten out, and it ends up stringy/chewy/rubbery (those all sound like bad things I suppose... it ends up meaty, okay?). It makes a great fake meat, we just had it for dinner! It's not the best fake meat I ever had, but it's definitely great, especially considering I made it myself, and considering that 'real' fake meats cost a lot of money. I really hope to do this again a bunch. It was actually quite a bit of work for a reasonably small amount of results, though. But it was really cool to turn nothing but flour and water into something that was like meat. And I loved it! I better go put it away now that it's had a chance to cool off. Adios, blog you manana.
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  Rockin And Rollin 05:30 PM -- Tue May 24, 2005  

What's up lately... I've been trying to put Ninja Academy on the Mac through a myriad of ridiculously weird problems (because the Mac is ridiculously weird). As of now, it is ported, it runs great... but I can't seem to figure out how to build it into a finished release with all the attached files. So I'm working on that. When I finally have this all figured out, I will officially be only 99% clueless on the Mac.

I'm also working on Super Happy Go Go Ninja Time. Just design things right now, and I contacted an artist but have not heard anything back. But it's serious design things and it's really shaping up, I think.

Of course, it's all slow going since I'm also working VERY hard on Guild Wars. Other notes: we now have the new CDs for Supreme, Kid Mystic, and Loonyland. I really need to clarify the order page to reflect that stuff, since it is not a flat $5 charge for those games, but it still is for all others. We will most likely actually be discontinuing all the other CDs (but adding new ones for new games that come out), just because we don't sell enough of them to justify it! So for the time being, you can get the classic Hamumu cases, but time is running out. I wonder if there's any demand for signed copies... Other other note, still waiting on a sound fix for Loonyland Mac, then it will be released. Other other other note, June 1st will begin the Summer Silliness as well as the next Monthly Merge, so whee!
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  Latest stuff 02:23 PM -- Thu May 19, 2005  

I started working on porting Ninja Academy to the Mac yesterday and hit a wall trying to figure out how to use the stupid thing. I'm getting help and working on it again today. I'm also working on moving up from Ninja Academy to Super Happy Go Go Ninja Time, but more slowly there. Some planning to be done.

And of course, all of that is taking a backseat to the more important stuff - I just got a copy of Guild Wars, so it's time to obsessively level up for hours and hours a day! Still working though, just... not quite so much.

Loonyland for the Mac is done, but the developer is stuck with one last bug in the sound code somewhere. So it's just a matter of time! Well, I guess it's always a matter of time, but now it's a matter of less time than before.

So, that's what's up. Our house still won't sell. Why does nobody want our lovely lovely house!?
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  Belated Friday Cat Blogging 12:19 PM -- Sat May 14, 2005  

I wanted to introduce you to our new pal. See, the most ridiculous thing happened the other day - Some people were coming to look at our house (did I mention we're selling it? Apparently we are, since people are looking at it), and they came to me and asked "What's with the noisy cat?" I thought they meant Bonsai, since he's obnoxious, but I went to look, and lo and behold, there was a kitten outside our window just yelling and yelling like he wanted to come in. But we didn't know him. I kinda chased him away a little, but all throughout the day he'd come and yell in our windows.

Later, when more people were looking at the house, I went out in the backyard with them, and the kitten came over and started snuggling up on my legs and wouldn't leave me alone for a second. Eventually, you know how it went. He got to come in (which he was desperate to do), and he absolutely scarfed food faster than I've ever seen a cat do it - he was practically unhinging his jaw to shovel it in. I'm so glad he didn't throw up. We put him out later, but during the night, he yelled some more, and we let him in, and he curled up on our bed. So that was that.

We put up some signs, called the local vet to see if anybody knew anything, but we were okay with his owners not being found (with how starved he was, I have no idea when the last time he saw them was). So now he's our Oliver (get it?). And we have FOUR cats. That's ridiculous. But he needed us. It's funny how much he adopted us - he was never the least bit nervous about us, he just hopped right in. For the first few days, he spent all day in my lap as I worked. Those days he was sleeping almost all the time and eating the rest of the time, so he was obviously doing some heavy recovering. Now he's a lot more like a normal cat, but he still always sleeps on our bed and likes to be around us. You'd think he'd been with us for years. Several times we let him outside to see if he'd run off to wherever he belongs, and he did disappear the first time. Then 10 minutes later, he was yelling at a window on the other side of the house. So he wasn't ready to go anywhere.

The really nice thing is that the other cats don't mind him like they did Bonsai when he arrived. And best of all, he's a playmate/victim for Bonsai to wrestle with, which has really saved the other two. Hard to imagine, but adding another cat has made things more peaceful and made all our cats happier (despite some initial hissing... but not much!).
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  Dead Forum 12:46 PM -- Thu May 12, 2005  

Yep, I know the forum is down... something apparently went horribly wrong when I tried to upgrade it. I'm trying to get help now, who knows when it will be fixed! I just hope we don't lose anything. So anyway, hang out and play some Ninja Academy while you wait.
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  Sneak Peek: Ninja Academy 04:47 PM -- Wed May 11, 2005  

Well, it's done! With only 2 hours to spare before the deadline, I've hacked together something reasonably playable. It's definitely not what I wanted to accomplish, but it's a game, and with the deadline for the contest past, I can get to work turning it into a real game. It's gonna be really good when it's fully editable and has more interesting enemies and things. Here's a handy download link to try it out for yourself:
Ninja Academy (2 MB)
Be sure to drop by the Other Games forum to post your records. Can you even pass the Final Exam? I sure haven't yet.
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  Artificial Butter Flavoring 05:25 PM -- Wed May 4, 2005  

Well, it's been a while, I think. I'm working on the ninja game. I think what I will do is submit the small version of it to the contest and call that Ninja Academy. It will be themed accordingly, with your enemies being training dummies and whatnot. Then the big version to come out later will be Super Happy Go Go Ninja Time with a more diverse world. I put up a sneak peek so you can see how it looks right now (well, it looks like that only with a lot less JPG artifacts).

In addition to that, another big bit of news is that we are now on the new Supreme CDs! Only Supreme right now, that was my initial test. And boy did it go badly at first - the day they got set up (yesterday) I got an email from a Canadian customer concerned about the SIXTY DOLLAR shipping charge. So I had to iron some things out a bit. I'm not sure it's all good yet, but it's sure getting there. Hopefully fast, since I already ordered the Kid Mystic and Loonyland CDs. It's kind of a mess though, since the Buy page is still set up for the flat $5 charge. It's a tad confusing if you order a Supreme CD. We're working it out though.

And last big news is that the Monthly Merge has begun! Create a level and win a fabulous prize. Click the link to learn more. I need to get the Monthly Newsletter out so I can announce that to the world.
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  Sneak Peek: Ninja Academy 05:19 PM -- Wed May 4, 2005  

Here's a shot of the current state. It is now playable, by the way! The background is all temporary artwork of course, but check out those snazzy 3D blocks. Oh, and the throwing stars are a temp scribble too - they kinda look nifty though. This screenshot is reduced, the game actually runs at 800x600 resolution.

It's pretty cool to see how much you can do with one button (although a bunch of the attacks aren't actually in yet, so there will be even more!). In this shot I am jumping over the training dummy and tossing throwing stars all over. It's kinda tricky to control since obviously you don't have a lot of options, and everything relies on timing. The hardest thing is to throw a star where you want it. I may end up with auto-aimed stars, or at least some level of aim assistance. But I'm getting better at it, and I can see it being that sort of game, like (what else?) Tony Hawk, where you can build up your skills and develop into a combo-making machine. Now I've just got to get the actual conflict ability in there so you can pound on the wooden training dummy I made instead of just walking into it and making it slide across the floor. I really think this will be cool! The editor is powerful, but not easy to use - you can create your own characters and moves via text files. I have to work much much faster than I have been - I need something contest-winner-worthy by May 11th!!
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