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  Daily Sketch #13: Crocatoan 07:32 PM -- Thu January 28, 2010  

This is called a Crocatoan. It's a tribe of crocodile people who live, of course, in a swamp. I don't know that they would particularly wear stretch pants as portrayed here, but I tend to just whip out drawings without a lot of thinking. The artist can give better details when the time comes, right?
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  Daily Sketch #12: Vines 07:11 PM -- Wed January 27, 2010  

More concept art for a game to come in the future. These are vine monsters, in case that wasn't obvious. A lot of different general ideas, just toying with the concept.
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  Daily Sketch #11: Grabbing At Straws 07:41 PM -- Tue January 26, 2010  

This is actually concept art for a future Hamumu game. I plan to do a whole series of concepts for this game, so feel free to make all the speculations you like! It's obviously a gauntlet, but whether you think it's futuristic or magical is pretty much up in the air (it's magical though - gems=magic). This is a lame drawing, but I was just toying with the idea.
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  I am getting a vision... 07:36 PM -- Tue January 26, 2010  

Have you ever wondered what the future has in store for you? Have you ever not wondered what the future has in store, but wanted to see some words appear on a computer screen? Well now you can have BOTH! Come visit the Daily Dumboscopes where for just one measly Yerfbuck, you can see your fortune for the day. You can only do it once a day because obviously more than that would be meaningless - it's 100% accurate, you don't need to hear the same absolutely true prediction twice! If you forget what is going to happen, you can look on your own Dumb Page to see.

And it's absolutely guaranteed not to temporarily turn you into an adult.
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  Daily!? Sketch #10: Lanky Lizard 10:40 PM -- Mon January 25, 2010  

This is some sort of creepy lizard creature clutching onto a rock with its spindly legs. It's very out of focus and looks horrible. I wonder if I'll ever have a scanner? The camera is not such a great tool for obtaining sketches.
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  This is a great day for you to focus on arguing with umbrellas. 07:38 PM -- Mon January 25, 2010  

The title is a clue to something coming soon. But not a clue you'll figure out, so don't bother trying.

Last week I was snowed in! First I was rained in, because we live on a dirt road and when it pours rain for multiple days, the road becomes so slippery that you can't safely traverse it in a car. More of concern is that if you do get away, you can't come back home because the road is pretty steep, and it can be too slippery to get the car up! But then the rain gave way to snow, and I was snowed in (in the sense that it was snowing, so I didn't want to go anywhere). I also had a cold.

On the more positive side, Robot Wants Kitty is officially done now, right down to including music at last, crafted by DrPetter, who is also indirectly the source of the sound effects, since he made SFXR, the indispensable sound effect tool that nobody should be without. The gameplay is also easier now and many other fixes and tweaks and improvements. I got feedback on it from Flash developers and that just gave me a big pile of very simple tweaks that could make it better.

I also know I have to do a Behind The Dumb, but I'm the procrastimaster. I don't wanna. But I will. At the last second.
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  That Is One Needy Robot 07:21 PM -- Mon January 18, 2010  

Robot Wants Kitty has been updated! Nothing mind-boggling, as the gameplay is almost unchanged (can you spot the difference? I changed it entirely because the original description was too long to fit in the instructions!). But there's a parallax background, a menu screen, instructions, and pop-up help when you get each power-up.

I'm embarking on a little adventure with the Robot Kitty - gonna take it out into the big flash world and see if I can get a 'sponsor' as they call them, and get a little money for it, which is why I thought it needed a menu (on here, having instructions on the web page was fine, but on some other site, that probably won't be an option). I'll let you know how it goes as I cross my fingers cautiously. I also have something related to that in the works that I'll tell you about another time when I have something to show for it!
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  By Request 05:41 PM -- Fri January 15, 2010  

This is the Lego vise I totally built to hold the special spot on my monitor that makes its frizzling stop. At random times (more and more often), the screen sizzles up and down, stretching out and becoming very annoying and flickery. I can smack it like the Fonz, but that's becoming less and less effective every time, and it's reached a point where I basically have to batter it for a minute straight from various directions before it will stop. But then one day, I discovered a pressure point on the side of it, where if I just apply light pressure, it's instantly perfect. However, it only stays perfect as long as I hold it. Thus, the vise was born. That saved me $200 worth of new monitor. The vise isn't perfect, but it's working pretty well most of the time. Much better than my apelike frenzied pummeling I had to do previously.

The tape doesn't hold the Legos together, it's just a pad to help it apply the needed pressure.
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  On Air 04:20 PM -- Wed January 13, 2010  

Just in case you thought this wasn't a professional operation:

(And just in case you thought this was a professional operation, the pop filter is too side-heavy for the mic stand, so that's why it's resting on that photo album)

This was the rest of that Christmas money spending I mentioned yesterday. It must be professional because it says "Technical|Pro" on it! Actually, it's a cheapo "get started in podcasting" kit, plus what must be a fairly professional pop filter (how fancy could one of those really get?). Hopefully it will result in nice sounding vocals in my games and Behind The Dumb. I'm gonna try in this next Behind The Dumb to do it purely like that - images, video, screenshots, all with narration through there. I'll be Ken Burns (again). I don't think I'm a big fan of being in front of a camera. If I can't cut that out entirely, at least I can do less of it. The audio on the camera's built in microphone is not so good, and it has no external mic port for some insane reason. It's fun to have a mixing board.

Also, cereal:

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  I Met An Alien Last Night 08:27 PM -- Tue January 12, 2010  

On Christmas, with Christmas money, I ordered Ratchet & Clank: Tools Of Destruction. Everybody knows, I gotta rock the Ratchet any chance I get. It's been so many years since the last one! I replaed all of the previous ones at least twice and it probably wouldn't have been long until I went for another round, but luckily I have been saved by this new one (of course, there's another newer one, but that's still new, I can't afford that).

It finally arrived this weekend, which is crazy slow, by the way. I played on Sunday for a while, and then the weirdest thing happened. On Monday morning (morning would've sounded lame in the title), an alien creature that looked like my wife said "Why don't you play Ratchet, so I can watch Law & Order?" Now, ignoring the logistics of how one enables the other (trust me, it does in this house), this whole experience was incredibly odd and unlike any other in my life. I was in the middle of writing a work email, and told her I would play when I finished. It was some pretty involved serious work I was doing, but how can I turn down a demand like that?

And so that is how I spent 12 hours yesterday finishing Ratchet & Clank 5. I've never binged that hard on a game before, I was just really trying to tear it apart and be done so it could stop haunting me. Unfortunately, having reached the end doesn't mean I'm done. With any Ratchet & Clank, there's Challenge Mode to play! So I'm partway through that now, but the great thing is that once it's done, I'm really done. Don't have to play anymore. It's not like WoW that will never end. Let me tell you, Ratchet games rule.

And they are chock full of design ideas to steal. I just hope all the little things I thought about as I went along don't fall out of my head because these guys know how to design addictive fun. One thing is for sure: an upcoming Hamumu game will feature (as Happyponygate was planned to) tons of destructible objects that spew out riches. That's always the kicker with Ratchet. It never gets old! If you have played Ratchet games (and Spyro games before they got bad), you can see large portions of them that were stolen to make every Hamumu game. I don't remember the specific inspiration for the Madcap Modes that are in a couple Hamumu games, but if it came from somewhere else, it was still heavily informed by the bliss of Ratchet's Challenge Mode. And it will return in future games because I loves it!
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