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October-December 2007 (oldest-to-newest)

1 Oct 2007 - So much for that

It has become painfully obvious that I can no longer commit to a monthly video entry. So I'm sorry to say that they will no longer be released on a regular basis. I do have the next one in the editing room so to speak and could be finished in a day or so provided I have time to do so.

After that I can't say when the next one will happen. Sorry folks, I knew this would happen and frankly am surprised it didn't happen sooner.

3 Oct 2007 - A milestone

Download (39 MB)

Lookie what we have here. The tools required for authenticating a NUON application to work on any NUON player. Even non-homebrew-capable systems like the Extiva and Toshiba.

I was hoping to use the tools on the next version of Yaroze Classics and release both at the same time. Given my current track record I figure I should just get this out there now so everyone can start figuring out how it works.

26 Oct 2007 - LocoRoco Jack o' Lantern

When Kotaku made a call for gaming pumpkins I thought about what I could do that would be unique and interesting. My kids really love watching me play LocoRoco on the PS3 so I wanted to use that game. Then I thought about creating a scene from the game that stretched around the entire pumpkin. And so the 360 degree LocoRoco Jack o' Lantern was born.

I took pictures all around the final pumpkin and stitched them into a movie. Link here for feed watchers. The movie does three quick rotations and one slow.

Here's the original pumpkin before carving. It was slim pickings at the grocery store due to my procrastination. Still, the one I found didn't fall over and was reasonably smooth. This was the best side.

And of course I had to cut the top in the shape of a LocoRoco :)

Here's some shots after doing the initial carving pass before actually removing any of the shell.

Removing the shell required cutting it into small bits so as to not risk breaking off important pieces.

Then I started detailing it by removing the skin on parts I wanted to allow the light to shine through. I eventually had to go through another pass to remove more of the pumpkin flesh on the inside to make the light show through better.

The most difficult part was lighting the darn thing. With normal Jjack o' Lanterns the candle light reflects off the back wall of the pumpkin to shine through the carving. In my case, since the carving was all around the perimeter, I didn't have a back wall and so couldn't just take photos normally. I had to add some tissue paper around the inside of the pumpkin so you couldn't see through it. And naturally tissue paper and candles don't mix so I had to use a battery operated tea light, which wasn't too bright.

Here's the final pumpkin.

Here's a couple final lit shots. Click for larger versions.

So many things went wrong during the process.

I ended up accidentally breaking off most of the Roco's sprout/antenna things. That's why I had to make it so most of them are upside down or on their side. One of the big Roco has toothpicks in place of the sprout.

It took me about four days to complete this working an hour or two each day. Naturally by the end the pumpkin was looking rather ratty. You can see that the vine spiral things started to droop due to the pumpkin "wilting".

It was also very difficult to get the light to shine through even the parts that I had skinned down pretty far. The big Roco in the pile doesn't show his eyes and mouth very well. Nor does the Moja (tentacle bad guy at the top).

Due to the nature of the carving the pumpkin was naturally very weak around the middle. I got careless and picked it up from the top and the thing broke in half. You can see the break in one of the flowers and along the slope that the two Rocos are rolling down. The break turned out to be a blessing in disguise, though, as it allowed me easier access to the interior so that I could carve away some of the inside wall. If I were to do it again I would intentionally build in a breaking point.

Still, I'm proud of it. I met most of my goals for interesting things to include. There's a sleeping Roco, two hanging Rocos, a Moja, and a Roco squeezing through a crack. I wanted to include a stack of Rocos, but must have forgotten to include them while carving. I also wanted to have an entry at the top where the Rocos would have come in, and an exit at the bottom where they escape. I covered both entry and exit with flowers to keep them from ending abruptly. I especially like the Roco that's falling out of the entry hole.

20 Nov 2007 - A severe case of the blahs

I've been feeling pretty out of it for the last couple months. Work has been super busy (stressful) for a while and it's really taking its toll on me. As an example, it used to be that on the drive home I would turn off all music and just mull game ideas in my head. In fact I basically had the entirety of a Decaying Orbit sequel fleshed out in my mind. Now I just pop on some tunes and try to forget about work (yeah, not so great to drive in that state I know).

This is also why I gave up on the video entries. It's all I can do to enjoy what little downtime I get at the end of the day before starting the process over again in the morning. I have the next, final entry recorded and edited. I need to finish adding subtitles and get it uploaded. It also doesn't help that I've been having issues with Edit Studio and that its publisher seems to have gone belly-up.

On the plus side is the gaming boon we're experiencing this holiday season. I'm enjoying Eye of Judgment and just picked up Rock Band this morning.

Interesting story. When I got to Target at 7:45am to stand in line there were maybe seven people ahead of me. By the time the store opened there were a dozen or so in line. Once we got in the door we all made way to the electronics department (along with the requisite douchebag that tried to nonchalantly cut in line). We formed a single line at the checkout. However, they had only brought out the 360 version of the game. While someone went to get the PS3 copies they split off all the 360 owners so they could ring them up. It was very interesting that the first four people in line stayed for the PS3 version. They were all guys about my age. I was the fifth, and last, PS3 purchaser.

The rest that wanted the 360 version were either 20-somethings or kids with their parents. There's some good demographic information there.

Thankfully there were enough copies for everyone. They had six copies for PS3 and about a dozen for 360. I'm looking forward to rocking out over the long weekend.

Oh, and the Target guy said that Wiis are still hard to come by. Funny since I haven't turned mine on in months.

30 Nov 2007 - Eye of Judgment tale

I played a couple matches of Eye of Judgment online last night. The first was won pretty easily due to it being my competitor's first duel online. For example, he summoned a Juno Tree Haunt to a Water field and watched helplessly as it perished immediately upon casting. Two mana down the drain.

My second match was more interesting. My foe had a good record - 171 wins and 90 losses if I remember right. I was ready for a good fight.

I felt like I had the upper hand throughout the match, even if it was only slightly. It came down to what felt like the final turns. I had him in check for like the last four turns. My cards in play were getting stronger and his weaker. He had to eliminate one of my creatures every turn, which led to him playing cards in suboptimal positions.

Then the tables turned slightly. As he destroyed one of my creatures to get out of check he played his fourth, putting me in check. I scanned my hand for possible moves. I could play a creature that would simultaneously destroy one of his creatures and damage a second.

As my turn started the system told me what card to draw. It was my Juno Tree Haunt. As mentioned before, the card should only be played on a wood field or else it is destroyed. There was an open wood field. In fact I could play it, damage his most recently played creature, and not take any damage in return due to the JTH's Perfect Dodge ability. Seemed like a perfect use so I played it.

Now remember when I said that my opponent had me in check? And remember how I said the JTH would damage (not destroy) his creature? Imagine how my heart sank as I realized I was leaving him with four creatures on the board. All he had to do was cast a fifth creature - any creature - and he would win.

I was livid with myself for making such a mistake. I was so enamored with the JTH that I forgot my original plan to take out one of his guys and stay in the game. It was with much dismay that I watched as my opponent summoned his fifth creature to the last remaining open field on the board. I started picking up my cards, anticipating the inevitable.

Then I realized his mistake. The creature he just cast attacks in two directions. Even if only one direction has an enemy it will still attack both. In this case there was one of my creatures on one side...and one of his on the other. More over, his only had one hit point remaining and would be killed by the attack. Mine had enough to survive.

I watched dumbfounded as he went from having five creatures, and the win, down to four. We had each other in check. And it was my turn. So I cast my cheapo creature (facing away from everyone so as to not accidentally kill him) and won the match.

And to think all he had to do was cast that last creature rotated 90 degrees. He must have been kicking himself last night.

2 Dec 2007 - A worthy cause

If you are a diehard fan of Eye of Judgment then please consider bidding on my eBay auction. It is for a full box of 36 booster packs. The full sell price will be donated to Child's Play Charity. Shipping is free worldwide so your full bid amount will be the amount that is donated.

Edit: Fixed Child's Play link

10 Dec 2007 - Donation

Auction done! Many thanks for all the bidders. Congrats to the winner - I'll have the box out to you first thing in the morning. Here's a screen grab showing the donation for the full bid amount.

10 Dec 2007 - Aquaria

Everyone should at least try out the demo to Aquaria. It won the IGF grand prize a couple years back. Not only is it a great indie game, but it shares many attributes to what I had/have in mind for Decaying Orbit. Namely a story-based action game where your character (ship) swims (flies) around an underwater world (outer space). I'm extremely envious of the Bit Blot guys. They are living my dream...

Oh, and sorry for lifting your image, guys. Hope you don't mind.

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