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  The Month Begins! 08:16 PM -- Wed May 5, 2010  

I've got a lot of stuff going on for you, but it's not coming out today. There are 6 add-ons for Supreme With Cheese, a bunch of Fan Art and Action Photos (those are both already up, check em out!), a T-shirt that I haven't started yet, the enhanced version of Infinite Deadly Islands Of Terror (at least a week away), Robot Wants Puppy which will blow your mind when I'm finally allowed to release it (it's done, just squaring away the logos and whatnot with Maxgames), and less soon are the other games which are in development. The T-shirt is something I have a really cool idea for (related to Infinite Islands), but I need the new version to be done first.

What I don't have for you is a new Behind The Dumb. I don't know if I will do one again. There are two factors: the obvious one is that it's a lot of work that takes up time I should be making games (I'd have the enhanced pirate game almost done now if I hadn't spent the past three days puttering around avoiding doing a BTD). But the more important and damaging one is that I'm really shy and I don't feel comfortable at all being in front of the camera. I hate making those videos. The truth is that I have fun when I'm actually in the process of making it, but defeating the demons that hold me back from getting started is harder and harder every time (you'd think it would get easier, but it doesn't!). I don't want to put myself through that anymore, given that I could spend the time making games, or updating the site which is sorely in need of help and bugfixes. Without these shows hanging over my head, I feel a lot more ready to do stuff. Having something I deeply don't want to do on my plate basically makes me do nothing, because I just bumble around avoiding the bad thing rather than moving on to the other things.

On the flipside, I know BTD is very popular and one of the favorite things of a lot of Hamumians. And I do have fun actually making it, like I said. So who knows? I just don't want to commit to a monthly version anymore, but I would hope that sometime I'll sit down and feel like making one and so I will. I wouldn't count on it though. I'm also considering the advice of Penny Arcade creators on how great social anxiety drugs have been for them. Maybe I'll become a whole new person! But I hate drugs, so probably I won't try that. Another thing I've considered with less side effects than drugs is making an animated version. On Penny Arcade, they have Blamimations which are very poorly animated but funny cartoons, and I can easily see how I could do a similar style rather quickly. But one thing about animation: however cheaply you do it, it's still a lot more work than just filming a person.

On another note, the About page is going to get an update sometime this month, because I had a professional photographer (hire him for your wedding!) visiting to play Mortal Kombat with me a few weeks ago, and he shared a huge pile of really awesome pictures he took on his visit. It's about time we got some decent pictures on there. Example:

We also played WoW. While sitting in the same room as each other. Guys are like that, antisocial.
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  Puppies, Robots, and Pirates 08:59 PM -- Tue April 27, 2010  

Not the most exciting screen, but I can tell you: if you see an instruction screen for a game of mine, you know that game is just about done! I hate doing those. It is in fact totally done now, with a little bit more testing going on to catch the remaining bugs, and the other major thing is that I'm waiting on the sound and music (and have to make some sounds myself, but I want to see what I get first).

I guess I have 4 games in the works right now, it's crazy. Second on the list due to being so very done is Infinite Deadly Islands Of Terror. I'm gonna slap a nice set of achievements in there and either call it done or not. I have another idea to try with it that could make it a bit nicer.

Then there's Space Cruise, which remains around 75% or so, and I really need to get back to that after all the craziness that's happened. It's such a simple and small game, but somehow pretty challenging to actually get done.

Speaking of tough stuff to do, the 4th game is Daibaka Max, which is hard for entirely different reasons - it's a big, complicated game with fancy features like an editor! That's another one I really need to get back to work on.

And also in the "works" (meaning it's not, but it's planned) is the mystery game pertaining to the concept art. Actually, that's a much more complicated situation now, but complicated in the sense that there may be several games coming 'soon' (in the next year or two) roughly pertinent to that, and coming from a variety of directions and formats that will astound and amaze. You never know what's going on around here.

And sadly, neither do I.
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  LD48 #17 Done! 05:12 PM -- Sun April 25, 2010  

My game is done! I have 4 hours to spare, during which I really should try to make music, but since I know how that will go, I'm not gonna bother trying. Plus I'm tired. I sure didn't blog any progress (or prog-blog, as the kids will be saying in 2017) today. Unlike yesterday, today was just a very focused beatdown of this game. I knew where it needed to go to at least be something playable, and here it is! I don't know if it's quite fun or balanced or something, but it works, and I don't know what should be changed other than to add music. I don't even know what I want to do with it post-compo. I even managed to get the online high scores into the compo version! It just sort of is what it is. Maybe ideas will come after I am recuperated.

Ooh, I just remembered one issue I forgot to deal with... the ship can very rarely be hidden behind the life meter. Oh well, good luck finding it!

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  LD48 #17 Enough with Saturday! 10:59 PM -- Sat April 24, 2010  

Still not really got a point to this game, so I threw in some more basic elements: We've got a life meter, Kiwis hurt you, and you can fling Sea Gypsy Magic at them to destroy them (which just makes them disappear at this point). That's sorta like a game, I guess!
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  LD48 #17 Saturday Evening Post 06:44 PM -- Sat April 24, 2010  

I am really at a loss for what to do, so I just started making more artwork and sticking it in the game. So now there is grass for no particular reason (only in rectangular patches! Anything more would be uncivilized), palm trees, and a killer kiwi that wanders around at random. So maybe tonight I'll have to think of what it is I'm trying to do, cuz I got nothin'.
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  LD48 #17 Saturday Almost Lunch 01:56 PM -- Sat April 24, 2010  

The pegbody thing was just an offhand remark, but it got me thinking. So now he has a pegbody. He was abandoned on these islands because without a body, his crew decided he really wasn't that useful anymore. He certainly can't tie knots or batten hatches (I assume... I don't actually know what that entails). But the ever-resourceful [Pirate Name] will rise again! So now he hops around, and the sand has edges.

This does present a logistical problem in that the only attack I can see him using is to jump on guys, and that's really not the game I wanted to make. He may use Sea Gypsy Magic to levitate a sword instead. You know, Sea Gypsy Magic. Duh.
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  LD48 #17 Saturday Morn 12:54 PM -- Sat April 24, 2010  

It's a pirate on some sand! I nearly gave up on this, just nothing I really want to do with it. I really wanted to properly utilize the theme - as in make gameplay pertinent to the concept of "Islands". That is, disconnected areas that must interact in some way. Things I thunk:

- Online 'play every day' type game where you get plunked at a random spot in the ocean and can build your island bigger and bigger and put cannons and whatever on it, and attack other islands and all that. Your money from mines or whatever would arrive once each day, then you can spend it all you want and assign orders to ships or something, and then wait until tomorrow for it to happen. Too complex.

- A puzzle game. I was never quite sure how it would work (which is why I didn't do it), but there would be islands and then you could click on coral reefs to 'grow' them, making them come out of the water. The reefs would be tetris shapes, and the point would be to use them to connect the islands, making their colors match or something. I don't know.

- Visuals and gameplay of Joust (except you're on a dragon so you spit fireballs instead of actually jousting). But meta-gameplay of Elite or other space sims. You fly from sky-island to sky-island hauling goods you buy at the islands, trying to find other islands where they are worth more. Spend the money you get on other things to trade or on dragon upgrades. I like this, no reason I didn't do it except I knew I couldn't get enough buyable stuff and interestingness done in time.

What I ended up with: Totally throwing out the theme except cosmetically. Infinite Deadly Islands Of Terror. Name highly subject to change. All I know about it is that you are a pirate, the islands are randomly generated, you move from one to the next and each one is harder and bigger, and the gameplay is a roguelike, but with action instead of turn-based. I don't know if that will actually happen, I'm basically just throwing down the parts I know and going with it.

The real kicker in all of this is that I know I could make a very cute looking island adventure... if I could 3D render the pirate and evil kiwi birds. But I don't have easy enough access to my old 3D computer, so it's more of this pixelly junk. I need to get Daibaka Max done and earn myself 3D Studio on a working computer! It's very demoralizing at this point. I did draw the pirate head at 4 facings though. And his body is a plastic peg. Terrible pirate accident, ended up with a pegbody.
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  It's The End of April!! 08:59 AM -- Thu April 22, 2010  

Do we really need this? Two days ago I was wearing shorts. Now the heater is on. By the way, a Ludum Dare contest starts tomorrow. Exciting! I hope I have internets then. Can't even go get my new internet box, being snowed in and all (also, we only have one car, and it's leaving at 7am to be gone all day). Hope my existing internets hold out until tomorrow. That's when they said they were shutting down, so I don't know if that means they will be shut down tomorrow or after tomorrow. Let's hope for after, and let's get that internet box tomorrow!
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  Robot Will Get Puppy 09:19 PM -- Tue April 20, 2010  

He will! Just give him some time! Today marked a bunch of RWP milestones: First, the map is now "done", which is to say that I haven't played it all the way through even once, but it contains everything it's intended to. The title screen is also done, without quotation marks:

The Awards button on there does in fact take you to the exciting new feature in the series, a set of 10 awards you can earn. The Continue button is also a new feature, and it does pretty much what you'd expect... or at least it will, that's the biggest thing unimplemented at this point. I have high hopes for it. So that, and a whole lot of touchups and fixes and little elements that don't work yet is what's left!

This is really a one-week game, but I've had so many major distractions that took entire days off of the week that I am far beyond that amount of time. The distractions aren't over yet, as Mia is currently in her last week of radiation treatments. But this is supposed to be the wrap-up week! We shouldn't have to haul the dog around much after this week, we should be getting our car back (working or not - at least he says the current state of it isn't "doing any damage" for what that's worth), and I quit playing WoW.

That last one is entirely untrue. Boy, I hope this new internet thing (which is something also happening this week!) works well. If not, life is bad. Cross all your appendages!

P.S. RWP has 100% more bosses than RWK!
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  Craziness Never Ends 01:02 PM -- Sat April 17, 2010  

First off, congratulations to Redbone on winning the amazing secret yerfbuck of all time. Secondly, man. Life is challenging. Not bad, exactly, but really trying. Here's something very bad and trying: our wireless internet service is shutting down next friday. We live way out in the wilderness, where technology is just something we hear about on our stone tablets. Prior to this out here, we have had dial up access, and then satellite (dial up was better most of the time...). The wireless was great, it was like having real internet only mildly less impressive than real people real internet. With them shutting down (via a hilarious letter that included yelling at the customers who didn't pay on time - not me!), I have spent the last day frantically scrambling to find an alternative. There ain't much out here but goats and tumbleweeds, and I have discovered that aside from DSL, it's extremely hard to find out what kind of internet options are available. There are sites that will check your address and tell you, only all of them said "We don't recognize your address. Try someplace else."

So, after an exhaustive search, I think I found what I need. I'm apparently working through every possible form of data transmission, because I just put in my order for cellular internet. If it has decent speed and reliability (which it kinda sounds like it will, based on reports by customers), it will actually be really cool. It's a USB thing you plug into your computer which receives the signal, and since the signal is cellular, you can just go anywhere you like and still be connected at full speed! I can play WoW while I drive! I can't see anything wrong with doing that. So maybe this will be a good thing. It's only slightly more expensive than the wireless was, from reports it appears to be slightly faster and better ping (fingers crossed for reliability - wireless would give me very common 1-2 second pauses which were annoying), has unlimited bandwidth, and this magic travelability which I'm excited about. So maybe it's all an upgrade. I won't know for another week until the device arrives (hopefully in time before I lose this internet... it'll be cutting it close). I think it will be. That's been the process for the past couple months - things seem really bad, but then it works out quickly and easily and turns out really nice. But oh man, it's exhausting.

Robot Wants Puppy still underway... lost several days of work this week due to another of our ongoing issues - one of our cars is unavailable due to a chronicly unfixable transmission. That turned a 40 minute dentist appointment into 12 hours in town. It never ends! I'm off to go pay the nearly-over-the-limit credit card bill our dog ran up.
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