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  Jamul's Lament 09:06 PM -- Mon January 31, 2011  

Yeah, I've been sick for the past week (or 9 months, however you want to count it), and so far the cure is significantly less pleasant than the illness (a sinus infection). I'm hoping it will get easier to handle as it goes, but man, I'm exhausted and yet completely incapable of sleeping. I am also not getting much done, as you might have guessed. I have gotten a bunch of Pedro done, but sharing screens is too much work. And it's not nearly enough, so I need to keep on trucking when I have the energy. I seem to be solar powered now. And it's night time, so adios.
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  Another Release!? 01:55 PM -- Tue January 25, 2011  

Yes! Hamumu now releases a new project every couple of days, apparently! Well, much like the last game, this isn't something I'm actually releasing, and this time it's not a game, either. It's Writing Prompts 3 for The Journal.

The Journal is software I use, I have it startup with Windows (fun fact: I know my Windows is loaded up and ready to use when The Journal pops up. Prior to that, it'll sit there showing the desktop for minutes on end, but not actually be usable. Really, super lame, Windows!). It's what the name implies - a journal in which to write things down. But it's also tons more than that. Basically, it's a complete writing desk, I guess. You create folders and categories, you can have things where it gives you a new 'page' each day (for a daily journal type of thing) or just manually create named pages. You can have it automatically apply templates, or create your own, etc. It's really powerful. I use it as an address book, daily journal, scratchpad, writing practice, and record keeping.

The writing practice is where my add-on Writing Prompts 3 comes in. As does my previous creation, Writing Prompts 2! Writing Prompts 3 is really simple, it just randomly generates a first sentence of a story for you, then you're supposed to spend the next 20 minutes finishing that story! It's just a nice tool for practicing fiction writing. Or I suppose you could do non-fiction, but it'll only work if the starting sentence happens to be true. Here's an example, the first sentence it just showed me now:

Write for 20 minutes (without editing). Your story begins with this sentence:

The manager showed me into his office, and hissed, "We found something."

(Wow, that was fun, I never did a dashed-border before!) So there you go! What did the manager find? Why is he being secretive about it? Why am I someone he is confiding this in? Or is it that he found something in my desk, and I'm in trouble? It's all a very exciting beginning that could go a million directions.

Also, if you're curious about Writing Prompts 2, it does something quite different, but also a set-up for writing practice (it has a variety of different kinds of prompts you can choose from, I just clicked Surprise Me to get this one at random):

For 20 minutes, write following these ridiculous rules:

#1 - A huge cast of characters (relative to your writing time available). They are teenagers. They all serve (or used to serve) in the military. Focus as much as possible on the characters' mental state and feelings instead of actions.
#2 - Perspective - First Person. Find a way to incorporate your own life experience.
#3 - No sentences under 8 words.
#4 - Very terse dialogue, preferably one word at a time.
#5 - Use a number in every sentence (written out or numerical).

"Crazy" (seen above) is just one of the prompt types, others are a lot simpler like "Basic Challenge" or "Setting And Mood". As you can imagine, that many rules at once is tricky. If it's not enough though, it always has an "Add A Rule" button you can repeat as much as you like. It's all about getting you to think and broaden your skills.

Anyway, if you're interested in writing, I would recommend The Journal to you (give it a 45-day trial!), and of course, my fun and wacky prompts. I actually recommend The Journal regardless - it's a perfect tool for me, just jotting down notes and bug reports, looking up addresses, recording things I need to get done, marking down appointments (it does reminders!). I really want to work on writing myself... if I ever find any more time.
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  Eddie's Lament! 01:51 PM -- Sun January 23, 2011  

Hamumu has just released a game! But you won't find it on this site, because it's not really something that belongs here. It's not that it's inappropriate, it's more like one of those things that if someone posted it on the forum, I wouldn't delete it, but I'd consider it on the edge. There's a tiny bit of blood, and it has slightly graphic descriptions of violence. Overall, it's just more "adult" than what we have here, being a dark comedy about grief and loss (or something like that).

And so, without further ado, I link you to it, and remember the warning: it's a little bit adult, and fairly dark! Play Eddie's Lament!

And hey, I get a bonus if it gets to be featured on Kongregate or on another site I definitely can't mention here but that 2/3 of you frequent daily (separate bonus for each site!), so please rate it highly on both of those sites! Don't you want to help me rock?
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  Learning To Blend: Week 3 10:03 AM -- Sun January 23, 2011  

A Drab Penguin

This week's project was to make a humanoid figure. But when I sat down to do it, I really wasn't sure what humanoid meant. My 'human' characters are not particularly humanoid. So I stopped and thought about it, and decided to make the kind of character I might use in a game, whatever that might be. The first thing that came to mind was a penguin.

The thing that I am finding odd and difficult is that I can't seem to make anything look vibrant at all in Blender. It's all blah and washed out. The yellow on this penguin is maxed out 255,255,0 pure yellow, but it looks like that. Maybe I just need to figure out how to boost the ambient light. I hope so. It's obviously very low considering the pitch black shadows on this. Anyway, building-wise (which is all I'm supposed to be doing at this point), this was a lot harder than it should've been. Mirroring is very funky and hard to figure out. I guess I'm learning something... we'll see! At some point I might actually consider touching a tutorial instead of fumbling blindly in the lack of ambient light.
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  Pedro's Ignominious Entrance 12:28 PM -- Thu January 20, 2011  

There's 1000 words on how Pedro's day starts. Much more fun in action. Also, witness the normal-sized dustbunny!
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  Pedro's Archive Gears Up 01:39 PM -- Tue January 18, 2011  

I haven't progressed in terms of the map and tiles and things in this game, but what I have done is implement a variety of Pedro's tools! Not pictured here is the key, but I think you know how that works (if not, try Time Pygmy - it will explain it very clearly... provided you can figure out how to get the key). So, so far Pedro has a stepladder to reach higher places (no double jump for you!), a broom with which to beat Dustbunnies into dust, and a vacuum. The vacuum's official purpose is to catch ghosts (not implemented), but its secondary purpose is that it sucks in enemies and other objects from a distance, which is bound to be full of puzzly goodness! I'm really happy with how it works.

Also pictured is a giant Dustbunny. They are normally smaller, that's sort of a 'miniboss' one. This is in place of the idea of actually sweeping the floor. Maybe it will be more exciting to pummel living dirt than sweep up the dead kind?
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  Learning To Blend: Week 2 09:26 AM -- Sun January 16, 2011  

This week may actually seem a step back, and I actually did spend less time on it. But last week was theoretically just to make a box, so I'm still following what I'm supposed to do! This week's goal was a pine tree, and not some real-life pine tree, but the classic Hamumu type. So there it is:

Loonyland 2 in The Matrix

It was really easy, I doubt I spent more than half an hour total messing around with Blender at all this week, but I am staying on schedule and maybe learning things. I did switch it to left-select and turntable rotation as was suggested last week. I'm still not entirely sure what turntable did, but left-select is nice.

You should learn along with me! Download the latest Blender beta from www.blender.org, and make a pine tree! You can skip the church-making, since that week was supposed to be a box, and you have to have some background in 3D modeling to very quickly get into all the vertex-scooting that it took. But this week's project was very basic: All I had to do was add primitives to the screen and scale and translate them. Then I got them textured in a sense, but that's not actually scheduled for many weeks, which is good because it's utterly confusing how that works so far. Don't forget there's always an undo button!
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  Pedro's Archive More 08:14 PM -- Thu January 13, 2011  

Now I've started the process of making tiles! Pedro spends this game in a basement of sorts, so yeah, pretty much bricks and more bricks. At least so far. Also, you can see that gettable items have a white outline around them to make them obvious. It looks like it's in a bubble. Pedro will not have a monkey on his head at release... that's Mad Planet leftovers.
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  Pedro's Archive 08:45 PM -- Tue January 11, 2011  

The third Pedro game for Boys' Life is underway! This one promises to be dramatically different from the previous ones. Here's about the sum total of what I've accomplished so far:

That's in the corner of the screen (yeah, the background is still Mad Planet). You might recognize that gear! What happens in this game is that Pedro runs around collecting handy tools he needs to do the jobs his boss is giving him, but he can only hold two at a time. One is used by pressing Z, the other by pressing X. You can push Down+Z or Down+X to drop an item so you can pick up a different one. This is 'inspired' by a... ZX Spectrum perhaps? game with the same concept. Something about a mansion? I don't remember. Maybe somebody out there knows what I'm talking about.

It makes for a unique sort of puzzle. How do I get the key up to that ledge? I need to swap to this tool here, use it, run back and get the other, and so on. What I'm thinking right now is actually having a hard time limit on the game (you are supposed to be preparing for a party, so you have until it starts!), and your score is what percentage of all the tasks you got done in that time, so a perfect score is possible, but you'll have to practice and learn the routes to get it. And then I suppose for high-score challenges, you could show how much time you had left when you got 100%, so people could perfect further. Getting hit will of course cost you time.

Anyway, since that bit of hud (and the ability to pick up and drop a gear) is all I have done, I'm still in a very experimental stage. I don't have a lot of time to experiment, because this game has to be done by the middle of next month. So I reserve the right to toss the craziness aside and just make it a plain old blast-everything hop-around-in-the-basement kind of game. I'm hoping I won't have to, though. I think this idea has real potential to be new (well, new to the modern era) and interesting.
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  WoWeeWoW! 04:10 PM -- Mon January 10, 2011  

A monumental achievement! Don't you want to join The Hamumu Clan now? You'll get 5% more XP because we are level 2. Come on down to the Caelestrasz server (US, Oceanic) and contact Cheezypoof! We would be leveling up much faster if we had more than 4 people...

Yeah, I did some work or something too, but this is my main accomplishment (this and getting Cheezypoof to level 85). Really, it's been so much fun. I mean, I like the game a lot, but the main thrill is hanging out with the few people who are actually in the guild, and chatting as we do stuff, and running dungeons together. It's a great way to Hamumu-hang-out! If I could, I would replace the HamChat with a little WoW window, then you'd all have to join. A guildie suggested that I give a trophy and yerfbucks for joining the guild, but since that would get me tarred and feathered rather than celebrated, I'll pass. For now.
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