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  Halloween Horror 12, Start Your Engines! 12:05 PM -- Fri September 30, 2011  

The details are here...

It's time to begin building worlds for Halloween Horror 12! Get to it! The winning names were invented by Manitobabe, Darkguyhades, Felixrain (twice!), Megadog, Calthax, Pewskeepski, Iamagame, and Reactor. Congratulations and 10YB each to them. Now go make some levels! The Halloween madness begins now, even if the real festivities aren't until tomorrow.
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  Bobble Headwise, Everybody 07:57 PM -- Mon September 26, 2011  

I've been working on something today, and I just wanted to get this little head's up out there... I'm sure most of you know, but for those who don't, and for those who aren't properly obsessed yet, B.H.E. is coming!

Best Halloween Ever is an event here at Hamumu every year, in which this year's Halloween is forced to be the best one of all time. It runs through all of October, because one day is not nearly enough to contain it. A standard staple of this event is of course the Halloween Horror world-building contest (currently in name-voting phase, which anybody can participate in, whether they intend to build something or not). Another staple is the B.H.E. contest itself, in which you and all other Hamumians create a surprise of any sort to be unveiled on Halloween. Details to come in October. There are other things which have happened before and may be happening again in some form or another, but the main thing is...

This year is NUTS. The reason I'm making this journal entry right now is to give that head's up so people don't forget about it and miss out. New things will be coming constantly, and you will be a sad panda if you miss out on a few days and come back to see that you missed [exciting event of some sort]. Circle your calendar - Circle the entire month of October. Really, what you should do is just make a big circle on the wall around your calendar, since it will be turned to the October page. But most of all, don't miss October 1st here at Hamumu. Not that what happens on that day will be too exciting, but it will be the beginning of everything. A lot of announcements to come, and announcements will be happening on almost every day of October. So get in on October 1st to start the festivities, and then keep checking back. I know companies tell you things like that, but this one really is a lot of excitement and tons of fun things, much more than you have come to expect from a Hamumu Halloween. I can absolutely guarantee this is the B.H.E. What I can't do is guarantee that next year can beat it.

Also of note is that there will be technical glitches. That's also part of the B.H.E. tradition, because I roll out a bunch of one-time technology that I slapped together overnight, and this year will not only be no exception, but it will be chock-full of that stuff. So expect things not to work right, because there's a lot of hacky junk being thrown together to make this all happen. But it will be fun. This is after all a homemade holiday, run by one guy, so while it won't be polished, it will be full of heart.

The endless thud of that still-beating heart. Beating Heart, Ew.
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  Perilous Pearls! 02:14 PM -- Wed September 21, 2011  

At long last, the game is released! This is totally one of the most fun and crazy games I've done, just pure mayhem and explosive violence. Obviously, that means I recommend it. Also, it has leveling up, so two thumbs up right there. Click up there to play!
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  Begin Hamumu Election! 06:11 PM -- Tue September 20, 2011  

Vote for your favorite Halloween Horror names here!

That's right, we are inches away from that most Brilliant Holiday Excitement... and to prepare for the festivities, we need a selection of level names. Vote on them today! What are you waiting for!?
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  All For One! 01:23 PM -- Sun September 18, 2011  

Warning: the following is a long thing, kind of about WoW, but about game design things in general.

So I was playing WoW the other day, taking my "main", Cheezypoof the level 85 Hunter, (I don't really have a main, but I do have one character I do achievements on) into old dungeons for rep and achievements. In the process, he collected an insane amount of magic items and cloth that were far too low to be of use to him.

So I mailed them to Gobbluth, my level 60ish Warlock who does both Tailoring and Enchanting. He was able to gain tons of tailoring skill with the cloth, and he disenchanted the items into oceans of enchanting dusts. But to upgrade his enchanting further, he needed a new enchanting rod.

So I logged onto Barokorcbama, my level 50ish Warrior, who is a Blacksmith (that's who makes the raw rods that enchanters then enchant). He wasn't high enough level in smithing to make that kind of rod yet, so I ended up playing him for several hours (not in a row! All this took place over about a week), mining everything he could find and making armor out of it. Which incidentally Gobbluth disenchanted as well. When his skill was finally high enough, there was still one problem: the metal the rod was made of (Fel Iron) isn't available until you go to Outland, which you can't do until you're level 58.

SO I logged onto Churchlady, my level 60ish Paladin who is just starting in Outland and does Jewelcrafting. She mined up some Fel Iron and sent it to Barok, who made the rod and sent it to Gobbluth, who enchanted it and became a better enchanter. And all that action, over four different characters, occurred because I felt like running some old dungeons with my Hunter.

Where does this story go? What is our moral? The moral is that I had a blast playing WoW! I spent a week playing several hours a day, just hammering away at these different things on different characters all because each one fed something into the other. It's really the most enthralled I've been with this 6-year-old game in years. And this is the crux of the matter. For me, it's extremely fun to have a team of different characters - not that I operate together, but that I get to use individually - which can share money and items and help each other out in some overarching goal. But I can't for the life of me think of a single game which focuses on that sort of gameplay or encourages it at all. In Diablo 3, they're finally adding a shared stash to the base game (for years, I played Diablo 2 with a shared stash mod), and that's definitely part of it, but the professions in WoW really add more. You can level up a blacksmith and have him make weapons and armor for your other characters, and so on. Each character has something to offer the others. Titan Quest also included the shared stash, but had no professions. The only real benefit was if you found a nice item for one of your other guys you could send it. No small advantage, but not enough.

I suppose this is part of the thrill other people get from being in a guild, except there it's other humans that are providing you with this assistance. I like playing solo, yet I like running this team of guys (again, not simultaneously like an RTS - individuals, who can assist each other economically). Over the years, I've had this design written down in several ways, planned to one day make a game of it. One of my favorites is a roguelike, where the town above the random dungeon is built and staffed by your characters - you level up a warrior who also happens to run the potion shop, you find [Plank Of Wood] in the dungeon that you can use to upgrade your Windmill, etc. And the more you adventure with all your different characters, the more powerful your town becomes, providing services like crafting items, but also just plain buffs like "Because you have a Mana Tower, all your magical characters regain mana 5% faster". This kind of thing just juices up my brain!!

Questions for the reader:

1. Am I the only one who likes this? Do people just like playing a single character and focusing, or prefer to work with other puny humans?

2. Do you know of any games that really focus on this kind of thing? It's possible to do in pretty much any MMO, but they're not designed for it.

3. Would you get mad playing a game that forced you to play as many different classes, rather than picking one that you really liked and sticking with it to the end?

My name is Mike Hommel, and I'm an altoholic.

TL:DR - See all those words up above? If you don't want to read them, then don't! Nobody's forcing you.
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  For Robot Wants Kitty Fans... 11:41 AM -- Tue September 13, 2011  

(P.S. 'Bot Hungers Endlessly)

Wanna make and/or play Robot Wants Kitty levels, on your PC? It's available!

There is planned to one day be a legitimate PC version of this (that doesn't run in a tiny window), but for now, this is sort of the iPhone version, stuck on your PC. Think of it like a demo for the iPhone game, because it locks out some things. But what it doesn't lock out is your freedom to play, rate, and build all the levels you want! You will have to create a Kitty Connect account, but you can do that from inside the game.

For tips on how to edit, visit The Kitty Connect Tutorial. To know how to play, here's the secret:

Arrows - Move
Z - Jump (Up works too)
X - Shoot
C - Rocket Dash
V - Vertical Rocket

Of course, you'll need power ups if you want to press any of those keys. And hey, this is an extra special preview, because Kitty Connect isn't available on iPhone yet! It's coming very soon, but you get it first. Enjoy!

To ask questions or make comments or whatever you want to say about this game, visit the forum thread!
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  Nightmarish Assistance 07:40 PM -- Fri September 9, 2011  

Hey there! Pee Wee is still trapped in a never-ending nightmare, and now you can help. I'm looking for a few good testers, but this time, not just testers. The way this game works is that it will have dozens of very small levels, and so I'm hoping for testers who'd want to build some of those levels, as well as rate the existing levels and new ones on difficulty (the game randomly picks from all the levels each run-through, so I need to know which are easy and hard, to put the easy ones at the beginning). I can build enough levels myself if I have to (it takes about 10 minutes to make one!), but the judging of difficulty is pretty important and needs input from multiple people. Who wants to assist in such a fancy-pants endeavor? Email me! I'll pick testerbuilderhelperjudges on Mondayish.
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  Build Humorous Eponyms 03:00 PM -- Wed September 7, 2011  

Halloween Horror is on its way, and it's always a Brilliant Handcrafted Experience, so get to suggesting names! Even if you don't build levels or even play Dr. Lunatic, you can still come up with names. And win Yerfbucks accordingly.

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  Mega Merchandise Mart 07:16 PM -- Fri September 2, 2011  

Visit the Hamumu Merchandise Shop! Recently (like a year or two ago...), Cafepress finally fixed their system so you weren't limited to just one shirt of each type in a free shop. So today, I finally got around to taking advantage of this, and voila! Not only will T-Shirts Of The Month continue to be available for good after they first appear, but you aren't limited to t-shirts! You can get a mug, an iPhone case, a hat, pajamas, mousepad, clock, pillow, apron, stocking, gym bag... well, you get the idea. A lot of things.

The same goes for every previous t-shirt logo we've done, so now's your chance to get Yerfdog plastered on everything you own! Now, if you spot an item you want, but the image isn't positioned well or the wrong size, let me know and I'll change it for you! I auto-added all the thousands of products, and I couldn't manually go in and tweak every one. But if there's one you want, I'll do it.

P.S. That means the newest T-shirt of the month is here!
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  Gameplay! 07:32 PM -- Mon August 29, 2011  

It's a lot like a 48-hour contest, only a little slower... I've got the editor loading, saving, and painting on several layers and whatnot. And now at last, Pee Wee is jumping around in a real live level! I also tried something new which works like a charm: there's a duplicate of the solid tile layer, rendered as shadows. Looks nice that way, sort of 3D in a very unrealistic way. I'm full of ideas for this one, the trick is figuring out what I actually want to include.
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