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I open my skull, and this is what comes out. - Blather, Rinse, Repeat
April 22nd, 2004
04:03 pm

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I open my skull, and this is what comes out.
Yeah, nothing really substantive, just me blathering:

  • I'm going to leave work early today. Shhh. I've pretty much run blades over my whole lawn this year, but I've just been doing that lazy thing about dumping big piles of grass where ever they fall. I know that small bits of grass can be healthful for lawns, but we're talking gather two of each kind of animals until the grass subsides. I'm also amused that I'm terribly lazy about making sure the script that update that back yard cam web page is actually running, but I will take the effort to link to the page. But yeah, go home early, mow some of the yard, picking up the trimmings and put them into the ginormous yard waste can before the garbage pickup comes by tomorrow and neglects to pick it up.

  • Speaking of huge cans... No, remember whose log this is, I'm still talking about containers... a while ago, the garbage folks sent me a postcard saying they were going to stop servicing the little(?) recycling bins and provide me with a can big enough to 5 empty six packs of aluminum cans, 3 large empty bottles of wine, a dead body, and if necessary, Rhode Island. The postcard was very strongly worded to remind me NOT to use my recycling bins after some specific date. They took about 6 months after that date to actually deliver the new recycling cans, and it's huge. I'm ambivalent about the new huge can. Principally, and this came after a while, they only seem to pick up recycling every other week now. Maybe I missed the memo, but I liked weekly service. Also, I'm torn about the newfound ability to recycle the box that my pet elephant came in versus the encouragement to go ahead and buy three more elephants. I can get rid of more waste, which is good, but I'm clearly not consuming enough if the recycling can isn't full by the time the garbage man gets around to picking it up.

  • Even if God's own timezone is UTC-7 (or UTC-8, depending on what time of year), it's a little frustrating to be attempting to get work done with people a third of the planet away. Tuesday, I FTPed a version of the game to Sega of Europe. Wednesday, we got email saying that many of the bugs that were supposed to be fixed in that version weren't. Turns out, there were 2 procedural problems keeping the work we did from actually getting to Sega. It didn't help that making the build, packaging it, and uploading it took the entire business day. The timezones probably didn't make a big difference; the process would still end up taking 8 hours.

  • I mentioned that game contest? 48 hours to go from one word to a finished game? I had fun. People are judging the games, and some folk seem to be having fun with my game. That's gratifying. I actually FINISHED a game for the first time in an embarrassingly long time. (Oh, there was Jack, but that's last month's news.) I get to read the comments in the voting forum, and some people are using nice words like "addictive gameplay!", while someone else berates me for making a medocre clone of Liquid Wars. Have you ever played Liquid Wars? Me either.

  • But wait, I was going to opine further about my 48 hour game development contest experience. It really felt good to put a deadline out there and get something DONE in a weekend. Sure, I could have done this or that or a dozen other things, but I cleared my schedule and focused on one bit of creativity for a weekend. This was a remarkably rewarding experience, regardless of if the judging ends up turning in my favor. (I hope it does, but just the same.) I'm noodling about a couple things I could do to keep this idea rolling. One thing that I've been noodling with for a while is a "salon" at my home, where my creative friends get together once a month and show off what projects they've been working on. Maybe this is a game development only thing, maybe it's open to everybody. (When I was younger and more optimistic, I thought I could organize stuff like this in order to meet women, but since I only network with geeky guys, it doesn't seem to work out.) So that's one idea.

  • I'm going to just break out these other ideas as independant bullets. I'm a crazy man with bullets, which reminds me that I've started watching "Deadwood" on HBO, not for love of Westerns, but because TiVo knows I'm a sucker for Molly Parker. I explicitly told it so, which made the act of discerning that data that much easier. But I was talking about creativity events. So the salon was the previous bullet point. Another possibility would be a semi-regular get-together of geeky folks doing a game development jam. Take a weekend to just put together some game. Maybe it turns out to be fun, maybe not. But just the experience would probably be fun. Maybe if there are enough people, split into teams, and each team makes a game, and shows it off at the end of the weekend.

  • The third random creativity-celebrating-event that I noodled around with was to invite all my internet friends (You know who you are. Hint: they're wearing your clothes RIGHT NOW.) to set aside some weekend, maybe June 26th and 27th, and we all take 48 hours to make one thing on some theme. I might make a computer game, because clearly, that's one of my talents. Maybe I'd make a pair of pants. People also know me by my pants. You might write a story. Or a bronze sculpture. Something. The best would be something that's at least marginally digitally distributable, so that we could have a "showing" on a website.

  • I saw "Kill Bill Vol. 2" and it seemed like an interesting movie, but not at all the movie I was hoping to see. On the way out of the movie, I got inspired to write an episodic role playing computer game. I do believe I'm a geek.

  • I need to finish off Switch 2000. I've let it languish as I focused on the competition, and getting done with Samurai Jack for European markets. I had promised myself that I'd get it done by noon this Saturday, but I'm going to cut myself a little slack. That's game development, one missed deadline after another.

  • As I was mowing yesterday, I discovered - too late - that there were some downed limbs on my property. Tree limbs, thankfully. I hope that the mower didn't get too bent out of shape, so to speak, by hitting them.

  • Being the lazy guy that I am, I have neglected to get an oil change in mumble mumble miles. I took The Beast in to Jiffy Lube, and contrary to their name, they took their time. But having squeezed out the toothpaste from my engine and replaced it with something less adhesive and more lubricative, I feel like I have done A Good Thing. Something that everybody else does and doesn't make a big deal of, but that's how I am. Things are either catastrophic, or they can wait for next month.

  • That role-playing game that I was thinking about (above)? I'm thinking about calling it "The Twenty". After the advertising loop that's in some of the movie theatres these days. Except that in my game The Twenty are the evil mages that have taken over the world. But regardless of whether we're talking about my fantasy fiction world or this one, The Twenty is the locus of all that is evil.

  • Did I mention? The European version of the Samurai Jack game is now in the hands of Sony and Nintendo of Europe. This means I get to twiddle my thumbs and write rambly LJ posts.

  • Ok, I think that I may be able to sneak out of work now. Until we meet again.

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