Category Archives: Think

Update

Still working on the game. Not much has changed recently though. Have been working on ways to tile dirt to make it look good and still be functional. I fret over these sorts of aspects endlessly.

 

I have based the main game play on interaction between four elements, fire, water, earth and air. I know this is horribly uninspired but I have found out why it is used so much. It is the perfect concept. I have gone through countless iterations of pretty much everything, and they all boil down to these sorts of ideas.

They story concept for the game has gone through countless iterations as well. The main aspects have stuck though, life and death.

 

I work in a very strangled ebb and flow manner. I will not leave something until it is right. So I will spend weeks on inconsequential details. Once I crack that egg, I ride the wave through a rapid development stage until I find the next issue for me to lose sleep over.

 

As a side note. I don’t know if I should post more personal ideas/observations/interests here beside video games in fear of scaring away those with different views from mine. However I also feel like I need an outlet, somewhere I can attempt to cough some of these things up. I will consider not canceling the next opinionated post.

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Skepticism

We really don’t know a whole lot about everything. The more I learn the more I find is missing.  That really is part of the fun in the grand scheme of things. But it can be frustrating.

However, something that is entirely frustrating, without fun, is trying to understand how so many people on this planet can be so drawn to pseudo-scientific nonsense. How desperately they will cling to it. Now, desperation is understandable for those people in situations where anything would be done to survive or to save a dearly loved friend/relative.

But those who have the ability, time and safety to open their eyes and really look at what is going on, and who do not, are doing a disservice to the human race.

I write this in the wake of devastating earthquakes in my home country of New Zealand.  Vaguely predicted after the fact by a lunatic. A lunatic who sells lunar based weather forecasts for 12nzd a week. This man is now in the media light,  Vaguely predicting the next tremor, probably enjoying a bump in e book sales.  And being believed.

Aftershocks since the September earthquake. Count how many there are. Make a prediction, plus or minus 3 days, what do you think your chances of being right are?

 

Power bands, charms, faith healers, dousing rods, magnets, vibrations, conspiracy theories, moon men. All fall apart if you open your eyes.

New ending

It has been quite a long time since my last update. Back then I had two weeks off work, and decided in the second week to get stuck in making levels. Which was a great idea, with a bad result.  I got eight to ten levels completed layout wise, and found out that my game was not much fun.  Well, it was ok, but there was a feeling that it needed something else.

So since my last post I have rebuilt everything. To a pretty similar state honestly, I am not sure what it is going to take to really make this a good game. However, the structure is far more flexible, and I can prototype and remove ideas easily and tidily.  So that is what I am doing, trying out gameplay ideas, adding to the graphics library slowly, and mocking up levels.

I use a visual game development program called Construct, made by the chaps at http://www.scirra.com. It is free and  powerful, and the community is small, knowledgeable and friendly.  And it is free. However simple the tools are made to use, you will still need to learn a significant amount of game logic to make anything decent.  Knowing the programs interesting quirks, obscure menus and options helps a lot too. But these are things that you pick up as you play.

Hopefully I make some good progress in the next few weeks to post about.

 

As an aside, as I feared, the store I work in is now selling Power Balance bands. People are stupid and I am a terrible salesman, I try to keep my mouth shut about what rubbish Power Balance is, but I am honest and forward about what I know, to the point of telling customers directly that Power Balance are a scam, and they still sell.

Power Balance

So power balance bracelets  have become quite popular in the town I live in. I work in a sporting goods store, and have customers asking me where they can get these things from, why we do not sell them. I wouldn’t be surprised if, eventually they do turn up in store, because this world is all about making money, and if people want to give it to you, then you take it. But I am really kind of uncomfortable with the idea that next to logical, scientifically engineered and constructed equipment and clothing, there will be magical bracelets. Magical bracelets that, with the power of gray skull, and holograms, will synchronise your energy field and make you stronger. It is actually kind of scary that modern people can be so taken in by talismans and snake oil. But then again there is a booming homeopathy industry. I will probably leave the decision with the customer when it comes to it. I don’t have to endorse anything we sell, but I do think it is against the rules to directly tell customers a product is rubbish.

So if anyone is remotely interested in these ridiculous products, I implore that you do some research before joining the fad, take note that the promotional videos on youtube that have commenting disabled. Don’t be fooled into thinking that David Beckham is making a personal choice to wear two power balance bracelets. Think.