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Tagged: runed awakening

[dev] Weekly roundup: Ludum Dare

August is loosely about video games, but really it’s about three big things in particular.

  • book: Wrangled LaTeX some more. Came up with a new style for admonitions (little set-out boxes) that I really like. Drew some icons for a few of them. Started on another chapter, for reasons; see below.

  • veekun: Regexing machine code for addresses was getting really clumsy, so I went one step further and wrote a disassembling pattern matcher thing. You write some assembly with some variables in it, and it finds occurrences of that code and tells you what the variables are. I can pretty much paste in entire functions, massage them slightly, and find matches. It’s pretty slick.

    The upshot of this is that loading original Japanese Red and Green now works! But Yellow doesn’t. So I fixed that, and now Japanese Blue is broken. Or maybe I fixed it and that broke Yellow again? I’m not sure. There were some tiny changes to core code between some of these games, and the pattern-matcher has no way to express alternatives. I don’t know if I’m better off inventing one or just fudging it.

    Anyway, pretty close to having all of gen 1 dumping Pokémon reliably. Still need to actually dump other stuff — moves, items, encounters, and the like — but that’s much more straightforward.

  • hax: I was still in a mood to dink around with Game Boy stuff, so I added Python 3 support to some relevant tooling and wrote a proof of concept for storing Pokémon maps in Tiled format.

  • blog: I wrote a thing about writing tests.

  • twitter: I taught @perlin_noise a few new tricks.

  • art: I drew a friend’s lizard pal based on a reference photo, which isn’t something I’d seriously tried before. Value-only, only one layer, only one brush. It came out surprisingly well.

  • gamedev: I participated in Ludum Dare 36, a 48-hour game jam. I’d never done LD before, and naturally I picked the only one that has no ratings round (for administrative shuffling reasons). Oh, well.

    The result was Isaac’s Descent, a short puzzle-platformer for the PICO-8. You can play it via the web (source code included), and I also wrote a post about it.

So! There are a few days left, but it’s pretty much the end of August. Let’s see how I did.

  • Draft three chapters of this book, August: one chapter

    Well, I didn’t get a chapter done. I did make huge progress on the chapter I started, though — plus I began a second chapter, and generated enough notes for the entirety of a third. I spent a decent amount of time wrangling Sphinx and LaTeX, too, which I would’ve had to do sooner or later regardless.

    So I didn’t do quite what I wanted, but I did do far more than I’ve put into any previous harebrained book idea, and it was a pretty decent chunk of work. I’m okay with that.

    Just what is this damn book, you ask? Ah, perhaps you should read that Ludum Dare post.

  • Get veekun beta-worthy, August: basics of the new schema committed; basics of gen 1 and gen 6 games dumped; skeleton cli and site

    Haha, no. I got gen 1 almost working for Pokémon only. It turns out that while gen 1 has the simplest data, it probably has the most convoluted storage.

    On the other hand, the detours taught me a lot about Game Boy architecture, which was interesting and helpful for making the dumper fairly robust thusfar. I also made some breakthroughs on architecture that had been haunting me for a while. I’ll have to move my ass in the next week or two to catch up — hopefully finish gen 1 and get a few other generations dumped real soon — but I think this is still doable.

  • Finish Runed Awakening, August: working ending; at least one solution to each puzzle; private beta

    Whoops! I did basically squat on Runed Awakening. I figured out most of the ending, which had been my major roadblock, but I didn’t touch the code or run the game a single time. Dang. It’s not like I was goofing off all month, either; I just didn’t have a big block of time to devote to the weird mishmash of writing and planning and programming that IF requires.

    I really want to finish this game, but end of October is not looking too great. I don’t know why it’s proving so difficult; it’s not that complicated, and I started on it almost two years ago now. I’ve made multiple other games just so far this year! Argh.

    If it’s any consolation (to me): I picked November as a target because Mel wanted to embed Runed Awakening on Floraverse as an update around that time. But Isaac’s Descent takes place in the same universe, so it works just as well. Goal accomplished!

Onwards to September. The only thing on the list with a real solid deadline is veekun, since the new games will be coming out. It’s a bit behind, but I’m pretty sure I can catch up. Gen 2 shouldn’t be too different from gen 1, and I’ve done gen 4 and onwards before.

[dev] Weekly roundup: slow but steady

August is loosely about video games, but really it’s about three big things in particular.

  • book: Lots of progress! I’m definitely getting a feel for the writing style I want to use, I’ve wrangled Sphinx into a basically usable state, I’ve written a lot of tentative preface stuff and much of the intro part of the chapter, and I’ve written a ton of scratchy prose (like notes, but full sentences that just need some editing and cleanup later). Also worked around some frequent crashes with, ah, a thing I’m writing about.

  • veekun: I did a serious cleanup of the gen 1 extraction code; added some zany heuristics for detecting data that should work even in fan hacks (if there even are any for gen 1); and hacked multi-language extraction into working well enough for starters.

    Finally, and I do mean finally, I built some groundwork for versioning support in the Python API. This has been hanging over my head for probably a year and was one of the biggest reasons I kept putting off working on this whole concept. I just didn’t quite know how I wanted to do it, and I was terrified of doing it “wrong”. At long last, yesterday I pushed through, and now I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    I also committed what I had so far, which is a complete mess but also a working mess, and that makes me feel better about the state of things. You can have a look if you want.

  • runed awakening: I didn’t get any tangible work done, but after some months of agonizing, I finally figured out how to make the ending sensible. Mostly. Like 80%. I’m much closer than I used to be. Once I nail down a couple minor details, I should be able to go actually build it.

  • blog: I finally fixed veekun’s front page — the entire contents of blog posts will no longer appear there. (The actual problem was that Pelican, the blog generator I use, puts the entirety of blog posts in Atom’s <summary> field and wow is that wrong. I’ve submitted a PR and patched my local install.)

    I wrote about half a post on testing, which I’d really like to finish today.

  • zdoom: My Lua branch can now list out an actor’s entire inventory — the first capability that’s actually impossible using the existing modding tools. (You can check how many of a particular item an actor is carrying, but there’s no way to iterate over a list of strings from a mod.)

  • doom: Almost finished my anachrony demo map, but stopped because I wasn’t sure how to show off the last couple things. Fixed a couple items that had apparently been broken the entire time, whoops.

  • slade: I added the most half-assed stub of a list of all the things in the current map and how many there are on each difficulty. I vaguely intend to make a whole map info panel, and I still need to finish 3D floors; I just haven’t felt too inclined to pour much time into SLADE lately. Both C++ and GUI apps are a bit of a slog to work with.

  • art: I scribbled Latias with a backpack and some other things.

    I did two daily Pokémon, which is, at least, better than one. I think they’re getting better, but I also think I’m just trying to draw more than I know how to do in an hour.

    I hit a skill wall this week, where my own expectations greatly outpaced my ability. It happens every so often and it’s always maddening. I spent a lot of time sketching and looking up refs (for once) and eventually managed to pierce through it — somehow I came out with a markedly improved understanding of general anatomy, hands, color, perspective, and lighting? I don’t know how this works. The best thing I drew is not something I’ll link here, but you can enjoy this which is pretty good too. Oh, I guess I did a semi-public art stream for the first time this week, too.

    Now my arm is tired and the callus where I grip the pen too hard is a bit sore.

  • irl: Oh boy I got my oil changed? Also I closed a whole bunch of tabs and went through some old email again, in a vain attempt to make my thinkin’ space a bit less chaotic.

Wow! A lot of things again. That’s awesome. I really don’t know where I even found the time to do quite so much drawing, but I’m not complaining.

I’m a little panicked, since we’re halfway through the month and I don’t think any of the things I’m working on are half done yet. I did try to give myself a lot of wiggle room in the October scheduling, and it’s still early, so we’ll see how it goes. I can’t remember the last time I was quite this productive for this long continuously, so I’m happy to call this a success so far either way.

[dev] Weekly roundup: three big things

August is about video games. Actually, the next three months are about video games. Primary goals and their rough stages:

  1. Draft three chapters of this book
    • August: one chapter (at which point I might start talking about what the book is)
    • September: another chapter
    • October: yet another chapter
  2. Get veekun beta-worthy
    • August: basics of the new schema committed; basics of gen 1 and gen 6 games dumped; skeleton cli and site
    • September: most games dumped; lookup; core pages working; new site in publicly-available beta
    • October: all games dumped; new site design work; extras like search and calculators
  3. Finish Runed Awakening
    • August: working ending; at least one solution to each puzzle; private beta
    • September: alternate solutions; huge wave of prose editing; patreon beta
    • October: fix the mountains of issues people find; finish any remaining illustrations

Yeah, we’ll see how all that goes. I also have some vague secondary goals like “do art” and “release tiny games” and “do Doom stuff” but those are extremely subject to change. Hopefully I can stick to the above three big things for three months.

Anyway, this week:

  • blog: Finished and published posts on why to use Python 3 and how to port to it, plus made numerous suggested edits. Wrote a brief thing about my frustrations with Pokémon Go. And wrote about veekun’s schema woes, which helped me reason through a few lingering thorny problems.

    That might be a record for most things I’ve published within a calendar week.

  • art: I tried an hour of timed (real-life) figure drawings, which was kinda weird. I’ve really lapsed on the daily Pokémon, possibly because I changed up the rules to be an hour for a single painting, and that feels like a huge amount of time (…for something I don’t think will come out very well). I’ll either make a better effort to do them every day, or change the rules again so I stop putting them off.

    I drew Griffin’s Nuzlocke team kind of on a whim? A day-long whim?

  • book: I wrote some preface, which you’re probably supposed to do last, but it helped me figure out the tone of the writing. I’ve mentioned this before regarding previous failed attempts, but writing a book is surprisingly harder than writing a blog post — I can’t quite put my finger on why, but the medium feels completely different and alien, and I’m much more self-conscious about how I write.

    I did get a bit of a chapter written, though. I probably spent much more time wrangling authoring tools into producing something acceptable.

  • doom: I somehow drifted into doing stuff to anachrony again. Apparently I left it in near-shambles, with at least a dozen half-finished things all over the place and few comments about what on Earth I was thinking. I’ve cleaned a lot of them up, figured out how to fix some long-standing irritations, and excised some bad ideas. It’s almost presentable now, and I started building a little contrived demo map that tries to show how some of the things work. Someday I might even use all this for a real map, wow.

  • zdoom: Oops, I also picked up my Lua-in-ZDoom experiment again. After doing some things to C++ that made me feel like a witch, someone recommended Sol, a single-file (10k line…) C++ library for interacting with Lua. It is fucking incredible and makes everything so much easier and the author is on Twitter and fixes things faster than I can bring them up.

    I don’t know how much time I want to devote to this — it is just an experiment — but Sol will make it go preposterously faster. It’s single-handedly made a proof of concept look feasible.

  • ops: I spent half a day fixing microscopic IPv6 problems that have been getting on my nerves for ages.

  • veekun: After publishing the schema post, I went to have a look at where I’d left the new dumper code. I spent a few hours writing rock-solid(-ish) version and language detection, which doesn’t have much to do with the schema but is really important to have.

I just about filled a page in my notebook with all this, which I haven’t done in a while. Feels pretty good! I’m also a quarter through the month already, so I’d better get moving on those three big things.

[dev] Weekly roundup: clearing my plate

May’s theme is clearing my plate. I have a lot of small-to-medium-sized stuff I’ve been intending to do for a while, and the sheer number of things is getting a little overwhelming. A lengthy todo list starts to get stressful; it feels like constant looming noise in my head. I want to spend this month getting as much of it as possible out of the way.

  • gamedev: I have vastly improved EeveeQuestâ„¢, my dink-around non-game for the PICO-8. From where it started last Saturday, it’s grown momentum, friction, gravity, collision, sound effects, background music (basically my first try at music!), scrolling, a HUD, and some evolution stones. The PICO-8 is super adorable, by the way.

    Also, Mel decided we’re making a game, so I’ve been adapting it to fit a map they’ve been designing.

  • blog: I rewrote the list of work I’ve done to be less, uh, unreadable garbage. I also set up subdomains c.ee.vee for hosting hostable work, and t.ee.vee for maybe eventually hosting cat photos and the like. I think these are pretty clever.

    I also wrote about what it’s been like trying to learn to draw.

  • pokémon: I’m still working on a Pokémon Showdown client for Patreon reasons; I got a bit sidetracked trying to make urwid and asyncio play well together, but I’m well on my way to having a usable API.

  • art: Lotta doodling. Appropriately, I think I’ve gotten a lot better in the last month or so.

  • doom: I made most of a horrible, horrible pain elemental variant that everyone will hate.

  • irl: I got Anise microchipped, so finally my cat is a cyborg. He is better, faster, stronger, and far more mischievous than any pure cat. His cybernetic enhancements have already enabled him to drive me up the fucking wall far more efficiently today than ever before.

  • Runed Awakening: In a stroke of inspiration, I figured out a way to connect a puzzle with no reward to a puzzle with no solution. I’m really happy with the shape the game is taking, even if there’s still infinity work left to do.

This week, I would like to finish the PICO-8 game with Mel, write another two posts, finish some of the art I’ve left hanging, finish this Showdown work, and make at least three significant improvements to Runed Awakening. Christ, I’d better get started.

[dev] Weekly roundup: mad dash

April’s theme was finish Runed Awakening, which I definitely did not do, but I am way further along than I was a month ago. Maybe by the end of May? I don’t want to set a hard deadline when I have no real way to estimate how much work is left, but I don’t want to lose this momentum, either. I’ll keep y’all posted. Hopefully by the end of this week I’ll have made a significant dent in some combination of Runed Awakening and May blogging.

  • Runed Awakening: Implemented padlocks, woohoo. Did some more high-level planning; getting pretty close to a cohesive whole here, at least in theory. Drew a couple more pixel items. Then, uh, kinda didn’t touch it again for most of the week because I had Patreon obligations to take care of, oops.

  • blog: I wrote about dozenal and using Lua for game development, which somehow turned into a dissection of how to embed Lua and Python.

  • art: I spent a couple days drawing after not really doing so much of it for the last few weeks, resulting in some cat complaints, some cat revenge, and my finishing this ancient art trade. At which point two more people asked to trade, sob.

    Also touched up my avatar for May.

  • doom: So there’s a texture pack (Community Chest 4) that was really popular among DUMP 2 mappers, but it’s some 13MB. A good chunk of it is just translations or color substitutions of vanilla textures, which is something ZDoom can already express with a human-readable text format, so I started writing a script to detect and convert as many of these as possible. It turned out to be harder than I was expecting and I kinda bailed halfway through. This is very fascinating, I’m sure.

    I did also poke at anachrony a bit; still trying to settle on a set of weapons/items/monsters so I can actually go build some maps when I have the urge.

  • tech: A friend lost some data from a web-based shop thing and I magicked it back into existence because I’m actually a witch IRL.

  • gamedev: Having admitted I’d never tried PICO-8 in the Lua post, I bought it on a whim and tinkered with it a bit last night, producing this fine non-game. (I worked on it some more today, so it’s better now, but it’s not last week any more so this doesn’t count.)

[dev] Weekly roundup: pixel perfect

April’s theme is finish Runed Awakening.

Mel is out of town, so I’m being constantly harassed by cats.

  • irl: I cleaned the hell out of my room.

  • Runed Awakening: I finally figured out the concept for a decent chunk of the world, and built about half of it. I finally, finally, feel like the world and plot are starting to come together. I doubt I’ll have it feature-complete in only another week, but I’m miles ahead of where I was at the beginning of the month. The game is maybe 40% built, but closer to 80% planned, and that’s been the really hard part.

    I’d previously done two illustrations of items as sort of a proof of concept for embedding images in interactive fiction. A major blocker was coming up with a palette that could work for any item and keep the overall style cohesive. I couldn’t find an appropriate palette and I’m not confident enough with color to design one myself, so the whole idea was put on hold there.

    Last week, a ludum dare game led me to the DB32 palette, one of the few palettes I’ve ever seen that has as many (!) as 32 colors and is intended for general use. I grabbed Aseprite at Twitter’s suggestion (which turns out to default to DB32), and I did some pixel art, kind of on a whim! Twitter pretty well destroyed them, so I posted them in a couple batches on Tumblr: batch 1, batch 2, and a little talking eevee portrait.

    I don’t know if the game will end up with an illustration for every object and room — that would be a lot of pixels and these take me a while — but it would be pretty neat to illustrate the major landmarks and most interesting items.

  • spline/flora: I wrote a quick and dirty chronological archive for Flora. I then did a bunch of witchcraft to replace 250-odd old comic pages with the touched-up versions that appear in the printed book.

  • blog: I wrote about elegance. I also started on another post, which is not yet finished. It’s also terrible, sorry.

[dev] Weekly roundup: zoning out

April’s theme is finish Runed Awakening.

It took a few days to clear my plate and get up to speed, and I’m a little worried at how much time blog obligations seem to be eating this month, but I made some good progress.

  • twitter: I installed Windows 95 in a VM and documented the experience. I also wrote a good Twitter bot that tweets every word, distorted by some Unicode shenanigans.

  • blog: I wrote about emoji, at considerable length.

  • Runed Awakening: Ehh. I ran dry on major ideas and spent several days mostly struggling to drum up some more (or avoiding the question altogether, which is how the Twitter bot came to be). I did end up making a little progress, but not what I would call a week’s worth.

I’m halfway through the month and don’t have a whole lot to show for it, unfortunately. Learning how to have ideas is… difficult. With Doom architecture, I at least found a trick for getting my foot in the door: find an empty space and just draw something in it. I don’t know how to translate that to a text-based puzzle game where everything has to make a bit more narrative sense, which is a little frustrating.

I’ve had some more inspiration today, so that’s good, but I’m going to run dry again pretty quickly if I can’t find a reproducible way to generate new ideas. I have a hard time just sitting and thinking in the first place, which is a huge handicap. I’ve had the best luck when doing something tedious and purely physical, so my mind can wander, but I’ve never been able to duplicate the effect deliberately.

[dev] Weekly roundup: an awakening

April’s theme is finish Runed Awakening.

It took a few days to clear my plate and get up to speed, and I’m a little worried at how much time blog obligations seem to be eating this month, but I made some good progress.

  • blog: I scrapped a bunch of manual thumbnails from git and finally switched to Pelican’s thumbnailer plugin. I also wrote about my first computer(s).

  • art: I painted an Eevee, and it came out okay. I also did a quick painting inspired by Runed Awakening work.

  • Runed Awakening: Aha! Much like making a Doom level, the hardest part is just having ideas, and then having more ideas to fill in the details of the bigger ideas. I’ve got enough big ideas; it’s the little ones that are proving tricky. I did manage to fix a ton of bugs, finally add several alternative solutions for getting past the ███████, implement the ████████ ██ ████, add a new ████████ and an item that can ████████, and jot down some notes on future direction. It’s not quite a week’s worth of work, but it’s a solid few days’ worth, and I feel like it’s a big step forward. I hope I can keep it going!

[dev] Weekly roundup: ambivalence

February’s theme is writing, and the major project is a book.

  • Runed Awakening: Wow! Fixed a central area! Laid groundwork for scoring! Lots of work on, er, a core mechanic! Lots of work on a major NPC and their related geography!

  • Don’t Eat the Cactus: I went on a brief diversion and created a tiny interactive fiction game called Don’t Eat the Cactus, which is based on true events.

  • SLADE: Some more papercuts. A microscopic amount of work on 3D floor rendering. (Also, 3.1.1 is out now, so that’s pretty cool. I may update my Doom guides at some point to mention this.)

  • blog: I made cheesecake.

  • art: I drew some miscellaneous stuff. Haven’t really been in the mood for daily comics, and my inspiration has run a bit dry; all I do every day is work on stuff or not work on stuff. I’m working on an art trade and a Pokémon 20th anniversary thing, though.

  • book: Wow, yes, I did actually write some book, with only a few days left in the month. I wrote a solid chunk of a chapter, even. I don’t actually like how it came out; it’s very dry, with none of the usual casual tone in my blog posts. I’ll have to… work on that.

[dev] Weekly roundup: building steam

February’s theme is writing, and the major project is, er, a book.

I haven’t actually written a single word of a book? But oh dang I had one solid-ass week. I’ve been nocturnal for a few days and it’s been working pretty well.

  • art: Did a ton of doodlin’ practice. I think I’ve finally hit a point where I can sketch something and have a decent chance of getting it sort of right, which is amazing, and a confidence boost as well. I ended up crafting a brand new Twitter banner, which is absolutely gorgeous.

  • Runed Awakening: I built out several areas, fixed up a central critical puzzle, and had a lot of ideas for plugging together things I already had. I’m being vague, so that doesn’t sound like a lot, but it was a pretty big step forwards.

  • blog: I intended to write about abuse and harassment, and it sort of morphed into offense in general, but it seemed to resonate. Also I wrote about Twitter’s weird collection of subtle features, and I’m still getting suggestions for edits. Also also I switched the site to pretty solid https, which turns out to be pretty easy with Let’s Encrypt.

[dev] Weekly roundup: well, no wonder

February’s theme is writing, and the major project is a book.

I had a strange week.

I’ve had frequent headaches since around the end of January, especially when staring at text on a screen for long periods of time, which has made the theme of writing a little difficult. This week, I finally went to an optometrist. Lo and behold, my eyesight has worsened from 20/15 post-LASIK to 20/25. One pair of glasses later, and the headaches are gone. I barely notice the difference, but I guess teeny-tiny monitor text was just fuzzy enough that I tired my eyes out trying to focus on it all day every day.

I’ve also been a little disillusioned with drawing lately — it seemed like I couldn’t even move the tablet pen how I wanted any more. This week I discovered I’d somehow turned on the stabilizer (which smooths out your strokes), and it was high enough to mess with me but not high enough to be the obvious cause. Whoops.

Not a great start to the month, but at least that’s all taken care of.

  • art: One or two dailies, though I’ve taken a bit of a break, due to eye pain and lack of ideas.

  • spline: Trimmed blog posts to the first couple paragraphs on the front page of Mel’s personal site, so you can actually see the buttons at the bottom.

  • Runed Awakening: Dealt with some technical nonsense regarding touchability, which was satisfying but made no visible improvement. Did a lot of planning. Still feel like there’s too big a gap in the middle of the game, but I’m very gradually closing it.

  • doom: Playing with weapons again. Looking for sound effects. Experimented with improving function documentation on the ZDoom wiki.

  • blog: Wrote about UI changes.

  • slade: Worked on previewing 3D floors — mostly fixing tricky bugs with what I’d already done.

[dev] Weekly roundup: stuff

January’s theme is web dev, and the major project is spline, the thing that runs Floraverse.

I’m rapidly discovering that I’m just tired of web dev.

  • art: The usual. Also drew a new avatar, which I will probably be redrawing after some feedback.

  • Mario Maker: Finished and published The Works.

  • spline: Made some tiny inroads on getting CKEditor to work with reStructuredText instead of HTML, then realized what a mountain of work it was going to be to make anything non-trivial work, and totally gave up. Settled on storing HTML for now, and got the basic stub of a blog working for Mel.

  • meatspace: Spent a whole day rearranging furniture — Mel’s desk is now in the spare room, and my desk has a lot more breathing room.

  • blog: Wrote a birthday post.

  • tech support: Helped a friend with some tech stuff and inadvertently discovered the most infamously ornery project owner I have ever seen.

  • Runed Awakening: Updated to work with the latest Inform 7 release, including hacking around a segfault with some bundled extensions (!). Drew another experimental item illustration, but this time with pixels. Not sure what I prefer yet.

[dev] Weekly roundup: reaccelerating

January’s theme is web dev, and the major project is spline, the thing that runs Floraverse.

Getting momentum back after completely blowing it all on AGDQ was surprisingly difficult. I felt like I’d forgotten that I’d ever done anything and would never be able to do anything again. After just a week! Brains are weird.

  • art: The daily comics continue.

  • Runed Awakening: Web dev seemed particularly imposing with no momentum, so I turned back to my game to get going again. I actually made some really solid progress! Implemented three or four new puzzles, added a way to see which alternative solutions you’ve found even across playthroughs, and fixed a bunch of obscure bugs. Still a long way to go, but it’ll get there if I can keep it moving along.

  • flora: Yet another cutscene.

  • blog: I dug up and finished an old heteroglot post about Pascal, and threw in an Inform 7 problem I’d done in the meantime. It was also 🎂 my birthday 🎂 this week, which called for the age-old tradition of putting confetti all over veekun. I’d always used some ancient snowflake “DHTML” script because I’m lazy, but this year I rewrote it from scratch to use CSS animations and only the slightest iavascript to generate the markup. Now it animates much more smoothly and is much less of a resource hog. For a joke that appears one day a year. Oh well.

  • spline: Less than I would have hoped for halfway through the month, but I did clean up the (minimal) docs a little bit and replace a bunch of code with a third-party module.

  • Mario Maker: Made Purgatory.

[dev] Weekly roundup: speedwatching

January’s theme is web dev, and the major project is spline, the thing that runs Floraverse.

I spent an embarrassingly large chunk of the week watching AGDQ instead of actually doing anything. Oh well.

  • flora: I slopped together another three “cutscene” updates, all pretty short but a little time-consuming nonetheless. I also put some work into refactoring the guts of the player, with modest success. The eventual goal is to build an editor, so people who aren’t me can make little web VNs without having to cobble together a bunch of undocumented JSON and pray it works.

  • art: Keeping up the daily comics. They’re definitely larger in scope than what I was scrawling in pencil a year ago. Sort of like speedpaints, but the time limit is loosely defined as “I don’t want to spend all day on this”. Trying to vary how I do them, too, though it ultimately comes down to whim.

  • blog: With some reservations, I wrote a thing scoffing at how condescending Paul Graham’s latest masterpiece was.

  • SLADE: Bit of very minor work, fixing a few papercuts and trying to diagnose a couple others.

  • Runed Awakening: Didn’t get very far, but I did manage to spend a couple distracted hours stubbing out a puzzle I really like.

And that’s it! Mostly drawing and dabbling. I (accidentally) woke up early today, so I’m going to try to get a good chunk of something done to get my momentum going again.

[dev] Weekly roundup: magnum opus

This month’s theme is game dev, and the major project is my text adventure, Runed Awakening.

I may have ended up drawing for like half the week, by accident.

  • SLADE: After having used it intensely for a while to write my Doom post, I spent most of a day fixing a bunch of little papercuts, plus (I hope) a crash someone experienced on OS X. I also cobbled together some preliminary support for 3D floors, which will be awesome.

  • Flora: Threw together a quick cutscene. I should really make an editor for these things so I don’t have to keep doing it. Maybe next month.

  • art: Oh wow. I spent the last three days of the week, pretty solidly, working on a single picture. I have a collage of the best thing I drew every two weeks for the whole year, and it only has one final slot left, and I wanted it to be the best I could possibly muster, and I may have been a little ambitious. It’s still not done. Almost.

  • Runed Awakening: Made a couple breakthroughs, implemented some more Main Plot stuff, hurrah. I don’t think I’ll have time this week to do any serious work on it, so it seems I didn’t get mostly-done this month as I’d hoped. I’ve cleared a lot of hurdles and laid a lot of groundwork, though, so I hope I can keep up the progress and have something worth showing by the end of January?

  • blog: Workin’ on parts 2 and 3 simultaneously. Fixing SLADE stuff kind of got in the way. I’m also having some kind of irritating driver problem that crashes SLADE at inopportune times, argh.

[dev] Weekly roundup: Doom

This month’s theme is game dev, and the major project is my text adventure, Runed Awakening.

Much better this week, though most of the effort went into blogging and fixing SLADE, and not so much went into my own game. I’ll try to remedy that this week.

  • art: I drew stuff nearly every day all week, which is a great turnaround from my rut. This is pretty cute. So is this! I had a flip through some of my drawings from earlier in the year and I can’t believe how terrible they are and how not-terrible they sometimes are now.

  • irl: I went through a huge pile of mail and whatnot that had accumulated under my keyboard. Started dealing with taxes, oh boy. I also did another round of going through an old hard drive I accidentally broke a couple years ago — the filesystem shattered a bit, so figuring out what’s there and what’s worth recovering has required some archaeology. Found IRC logs from 2003, though.

  • SLADE: I fixed some behavior related to working with a directory (vs working with a single-file archive), most notably teaching it not to delete files it doesn’t know about. I also implemented about 60% of LOCKDEFS support, i.e., having the UI actually tell you what numbers correspond to what keycards.

  • flora: More planning for the card game. Also a lot of work fixing the goddamn Rails nightmare that runs the Flora store.

  • anachrony: That’s, uh, the Doom map set I’m working on. I have no idea what I’m doing and it’s really tough to figure out how to design spaces I really like, but that’s the whole point of the exercise, so I go back to it every now and then. I basically just tried out some ideas for connecting areas together and kinda like how it came out, so, that’s good.

  • Runed Awakening: I got a good bit of planning done! No actual code written, oops; my time got eaten up by other stuff. I also drew a test illustration for an innocuous object, which was well-received, so I might end up illustrating every object. Maybe.

  • blog: It took several days but I finally finished part 1 about how you should make a Doom level. Still awaiting the avalanche of incredible three-room maps.

[dev] Weekly roundup: not much

This month’s theme is game dev, and the major project is my text adventure, Runed Awakening.

I got knocked a bit off course by accidentally watching some Discworld specials and sleeping through all of Saturday because my cat is a jerk. I’m hoping that writing this now will help nudge me back into a more productive mindset.

  • Runed Awakening: Made some huge improvements to AI, which is surprisingly tricky, so I’m always happy when it works out. Fleshed out more stuff in the start area, started adding some tester amenities, and fixed bunches of bugs. There’s some more to do with what I have, but I’m currently a bit blocked on planning out the middle of the game, which I want to have some intertwining side stories. So I did a lot of thinking without necessarily making much progress, which is annoying. Hoping to get closer in the next few days.

    The game is pretty story-driven, being a text-based game, but it’s also a pretty shallow story — neither the player nor the universe are in imminent danger or anything nearly so dramatic. I considered trying to make it a little heavier at the end, but I think that would feel pretty tacked-on. I’d rather try to get this out sooner and do something bigger for a second game. I just hope people enjoy this one? I realize I’ve never actually published a creative work, so I’ve been anxious on and off.

  • art: I drew a Delibird and it’s okay though I’m still not happy with the way I do outlines. Also this Friskeon. And a lot of doodling. I think I’ve managed to draw for at least an hour every day this week, which I’d like to keep up. Still frustrated, though; I’m painfully aware that I only know how to draw a few body shapes in a few general poses, and I’m trying to branch out from that, and it’s all stuff I’ve never tried before so it comes out awful. So it goes.

  • music: Something I want to learn how to do. I toyed around with LMMS a bit and made a few notes that aren’t entirely terrible. A huge problem here is that even if I think of something I like, I can’t transcribe it correctly, and after hearing the wrong thing a few times I’ve forgotten what the original thought was. Next time I give this a shot I might just practice transcribing tunes I already know very well, like Zelda melodies.

  • spline: Fixed some fallout from CSRF protection, whoops.

  • flora: Mel wants to design a card game, and I’ve been helping plan that.

  • blog: Worked on this month’s posts some, but I hate everything I wrote and will probably delete most of it. We’re halfway through the month already so I really need to get these done, ugh.

[dev] Weekly roundup: makin’ games

Here we go — the first weekly status post, Sunday to Saturday.

This month’s theme is game dev, and the major project is my text adventure, Runed Awakening.

Also I’m going to try picking a major project to focus on each month, along with a general theme that will direct minor projects I work on when I get bored or stuck on the major project.

  • blog: Wrote a new post about, I guess, boobs. Added this ‘dev log’ category, and seeded it with posts about all my Mario Maker levels — big high-quality screenshots and a few paragraphs of what I was thinking. Started taking notes for blog posts for this month, which I think might end up being a three-part series on getting into Doom mapping.

  • Mario Maker: Made and released Pipe Dream. Went through and played through all the levels several of my friends have made, leaving doodle comments on all of them. (The Miiverse drawing interface is super primitive — only one level of undo — so this was surprisingly difficult!) Made a level called The Works, but I’m not super happy with it and think it has a lot of filler, so I’m sitting on it and will revisit it next time I play.

  • spline: Did that stuff for Sketch. Later I went back and improved the YouTube embed support a little, finally fixed thumbnails being shown using full-size images rather than actual thumbnails (oops…), and updated forbiddenflora to take some recent CSS changes into account.

  • art: Drew a Psyduck petting a cat for @sarahjeong. Did a lot of doodling, but none of it came out very well; been having this problem a lot lately, ugh. Also I realize I haven’t actually been posting any art on here since it’s much more of a pain in the ass than just dragging something to the Twitter web interface, but I’ll make an effort to do art roundups every so often.

  • Runed Awakening: I recently rearranged the entire world and have been dealing with a lot of fallout from that. The intro sequence saw a lot of improvement, as did some AI. (I’m being intentionally vague since it’s a story/puzzle game and I don’t want to spoil it. This is driving me up the wall.)

Back to doodling!