So I have been pretty lazy when it comes to posting stuff here… will do my best to get back to posting more. Lot of stuff has been going on though!
I bought a house with Whorli (my girlfriend of almost 8 years now). This was about 3 weeks ago. It’s been pretty hectic trying to paint the new house, move everything out of the old house and into the new one, paint the old house and get it ready for the renters moving in (Whorli’s parents own our old house), etc etc. Still not done and we’ve been working on it for hours a day. Too many trips to Lowe’s and IKEA.
Bowling has been going fantastically. Tuesday night league is finally over… thank god. There is 1 more week left for Wednesday night, then the playoffs. Over the past 12 weeks of Wed bowling, I’ve averaged 231.00 and raised my book from 220.39 to 224.03. Yet, I somehow have a losing record in those 36 games (17.5 – 18.5). Of those 36 games, 6 have been under 200 and 5 have been over 265. I’m in 6th for average, but just 75 pins out of 3rd. I also shot back to back 700 series for the first time ever this past Tuesday and Wed (741 and 726). Will have a final bowling post for the season in 2 weeks.
Walkthrough business has been a bit slow recently, although it doesn’t seem to just be me. Most of the flash devs I talk to regularly feel that things are a bit down overall. I suspect it’ll pick up shortly, as the summer is just starting.
ThirdStyle is picking up, which is nice after 2-3 months of minimal development.
My lovely female half, Whorli, got me the best gift ever yesterday. She got me a Bobble Tass! We had seen Douglas Fargo (from the TV show Eureka) play with his own bobblehead figureine, and I mentioned that that would be super awesome. So she found a website that creates custom bobbleheads:
Isn’t he just the cutest?
6:00 – Wake Up
6:01 – Overwhelming desire to break iPhone and accompanying alarm
6:03 – Sit down at computer to do a quick run through morning routine
6:09 – Shower
6:32 – Dry off from quickie shower
6:35 – Set building queues in HoG and make sure DW guild is in order
6:49 – Lose track of time from trying to squeeze in just one more daily task
6:50 – Get dressed, brush teeth, etc
6:55 – Grab pop-tart and leave
7:03 – Get stuck in traffic on the 101 nearing the 405
7:04 – Start slinging obscenities at LA traffic
7:07 – Decide it’s more fun to mock Colin Cowherd than be annoyed at LA traffic
7:59 – Finally get to downtown LA and onto the 5
8:45 – Arrive outside Armor Office
8:48 – Arrive at Armor Office, having not gotten lost in the passageway to their back-of-the-building suite like last time
8:50 – Commence with the eating of the bagel
8:53 – Give the iron armor-clad sentinels guarding Dan’s corner office dirty looks
9:01 – Get shot in the chest by nerf projectile. Realization that Jared Riley is a cool dude solidified
9:02 – Relief at not being shot any lower. Or higher, I guess
9:05 – Watch John fail miserably at converting the tile engine from AS2 to AS3
9:10 – Start going over level design for TITOL2
9:12 – Relief at my design not being as crappy in John’s eyes as it is in my own
9:20 – Begin going over my stage ideas
9:22 – I am the most creative dude on the planet
9:37 – Damnit, why does nobody else appreciate my masturbation-themed stage ideas
9:38 – Contemplate explaining why we also need a “Droppin’ Loads” level
9:39 – Decide to keep that one to myself
10:02 – Watch Joey play with amorphous cats
10:08 – Transcribe stage ideas onto post-it notes
10:31 – Begin hashing out which stages we’re keeping, and a basic sphere of difficulty
10:39 – We have exactly 30 post-it notes. Cheers of joy
10:51 – Order post-it notes from 1 to 30
11:00 – Make sure that all stages are possible within the current level design
11:20 – One more check to stages and level
11:30 – Chik-Fil-A baby!
11:35 – Arrive at chik-fil-a and continue non-stop talking
11:37 – I’m supposed to order food now, but haven’t stopped talking to look at menu
11:38 – Quickly decide on the spicy chicken sandwich
11:41 – Sit down with John and Joey and notice that all 3 of us have spicy chicken. We are badasses
11:46 – Discussions include old flash rhythm games and creative level design within iPhone crush the castle. We are nerds
12:05 – Back to the office
12:07 – My ghetto laptop turns on. Great success
12:10 – Laptop won’t connect to wifi network and John mocks my AIM 5.9
12:14 – Laptop still won’t connect to wifi, even after super genius trouble shooting methods… such as punching it and calling it a little girl
12:16 – Saved by an ethernet cable
12:21 – Begin work on naming the 30 stages
12:24 – Lament again at the lack of support for my masturbation stage
12:40 – Consult wikipedia for the 6th time as part of my stage name research
12:52 – Names sent back to John
12:57 – More mocking of John, as the tile engine still rejects AS3
1:32 – Still watching John fight valiantly against the evil of AS3
1:41 – Send sarcastic IM to Greg
1:45 – Boast about my amazing game designing skills in IiN
1:57 – Talk to Dan about secret things
2:24 – Continue to mock John’s failure at fixing the engine in AS3
3:01 – John is the man. Engine fixed and is a sexy, sexy beast
3:15 – John approves of my stage name ideas. Where are my 70 virgins
3:21 – Testing in the engine begins
3:24 – Elephants waddling to polka music is the most awesome thing ever
3:55 – More tweaks to level design to make it roomier
4:07 – Verify that all stages will work in the new level design
4:37 – Joey begins tossing out possible stage designs
4:39 – Tune out Joey’s ideas, as they are overly complex and complicated
4:40 – Request once again for my masturbation stage to be considered
5:00 – More testing with elephants and spikes
5:12 – John and I team up to send Greg IMs that amuse us
5:20 – BS out a few extra content concepts so people will play the game more than once
5:35 – Leave office for brewery / restaurant with John
5:48 – Order adult beverage
5:52 – It’s happy hour! Cheap appetizers are demanded
5:57 – Dan arrives
6:12 – Burger ordered. It has bacon, cheese, and an egg on it
6:14 – Sweet potato fries are delivered. Mouth stuffing begins. People really put ranch on fries? Gross
6:23 – John informs us of being pre-approved for his house buying
6:24 – Bad joke made about pre-approval vs approval and the ridiculous terminology used today
6:45 – Burger arrives
6:47 – Burger now also has ketchup and hot sauce on it
7:01 – Alcohol is taking its effect on Dan; he informs us about the Mickey Mouse tattoo on his behind
7:02 – I ask to see said tattoo and am sadly informed that it does not actually exist
7:18 – 1/3 of burger left. It kicked my ass
7:25 – Leave restaurant. Thank Dan many times for dinner and the opportunity to help on the game
7:31 – Arrive back at the office with John to get my car
7:44 – Still talking John’s ear off in parking lot. See annoyed look in his eyes and call it a night
7:47 – Begin drive back home
7:50 – Curse LA for caring so much about the Lakers. Do they play EVERY night?
7:55 – Back on the 5, enjoying some classic rock on KLOS
8:45 – Arrive back home. Exhausted
8:46 – Affirm hatred of LA traffic for the umteenth time
8:47 – Affirm hatred of Whorli. She has all the doors locked and gave me a set of keys with no house key on it
8:48 – Bang on window to get her attention
8:50 – Kisses
8:52 – See that not one, not two… but THREE different companies sent me emails to work on games for them while I was gone. It is a blessing and a curse
There’s more from there, ending in bed around 11:30. But not important to my day with Armor. All in all, it was a really fun day. A great experience. And it’s going to be a kickass game when it’s released next week.
The house that Whorli and I live in is owned by her parents. We’ve lived in it for basically 1 year now. And in that year, our toilet and/or tub has backed-up (aka, filled with poo) roughly 6 times. It has been a recurring pain in the ass because there’s apparently something majorly wrong with our pipes, yet they are very difficult to get to. We’ve been told that there are tree roots inside our pipes, and that is causing the plumbing issues. Multiple plumbers (and Whorli’s dad and grandfather) have done their best to fix the issue, but each and every time it’s been a band-aid, only to re-occur a month or two later. Hopefully it’s been fixed for good though, as today’s plumber was here for about 5 hours, dug a giant hole in the backyard, and cut open the pipes.
Guess we’ll find out in a month or two.
PS – Who thinks it’s a good idea to go #2 in a toilet when the tub is back-filled with sewage? Whorli did! Result: Fecal goodness fermenting in the bowl for 24 hours.
Whorli (my sexier half) loves to read. Our house is full of just her “favorites”. But in addition to her love of commercial sci-fi and fantasy, she devours fan-made derivatives as well. Now, I’ve been mocking her fondness of fan fiction for years now, but I don’t think I ever truly understood how completely insane that niche world is. Over the past few days, we’ve been doing a Chuck marathon, getting ready for Season 3 and Chuck 2.0. This has been excellent, and we’ve about 1/3 through season 2 in 3 days. Unfortunately, I saw some of her FireFox tabs between episodes, and it led to a bit of a mini-rant.
What did I see? A wall of text, complete with General Beckman giving orders to Ms. Summers to go with Major Casey on the upcoming mission. Whorli was reading Buffy and Chuck crossover fan-fic. Now, just the fact that there IS Buffy/Chuck crossover fan-fic blows my mind. The fact that there are apparently 20+ stories of Buffy/Chuck crossover fan-fic is insane. Who is writing all of these? Why don’t these people have jobs? I was aware of the Buffy/Torchwood, Buffy/Stargate, Buffy/Supernatural, Buffy/some-other-show-that-I-don’t-watch stories… but when it involves a show that I like?!? This is unacceptable.
This led to my introduction to Twisting the Hellmouth, which is apparently a site dedicated solely to Buffy Crossover Fanfic (and has 13,000+ stories). My horrid increased 10-fold, but so did my curiosity. Is there ANY show that isn’t crossed with Buffy? And, thankfully, there are. There are no Happy Days or Seinfeld stories. Yet. A tangent: When searching for Happy Days stories, Whorli typed in “Happy Daze”. Who thinks Happy Days is spelled D-A-Z-E?!? I think she needs her citizenship revoked or something.
Altogether, I am saddened that there are so many people who spend their time writing Buffy crossover fanfic. But I’m also comforted to know that there are plenty of people way nerdier than I am.
I am all alone for New Years. Nobody loves me.
Nah… I don’t really care one way or the other. A bit annoying, but stuff happens. Back when I planned this 2+ week trip to Philly, Whorli was working at 1 place, and was going to have to work Christmas and New Years. So I figured I’d stay in Philly a bit longer, as we wouldn’t be together for ball droppings (lulz). Alas, she quit that job and went to work for a rival place… and now gets off work at 10pm, leaving her free for New Year parties and sharing ball-induced kissy-face with me. Except I’m still in Philly. Top that off with none of my friends live in this area any more (only one even lives in the state) and I’m alone. Oh yeah… did I mention I’ve had a head cold for the past 2 days as well? Yay!
So I’m sitting here watching bowl games on ESPN, reading, doing a bit of work, and trying to breathe without making my headache worse.
One more pro for moving back to Philly; no more holiday worries about being on the same coast as Whorli, my family, or whoever.
I know I say how awesome the guys at Armor are… but it’s hard to stop when they keep doing awesome things for me. About 5 months ago, I wanted to say thanks for everything they’ve done to help me in this industry… so I sent them a candy gift basket. It was extremely well received… but if you ever run into Joey and see his eye patch… it was a candy basket related incident; so my bad on that.
A few days ago, Dan asked me for my address. I was quite curious to know what I was being sent; W-2 came to mind, or a t-shirt. The address that I use is actually Whorli’s parent’s house (which is 3 houses down from where I actually live). This morning, Whorli’s dad came by to drop off 3 packages that had arrived… a hanukkah gift from my mother, some weeaboo stuff from a Japanese girl for Whorli, and a giant f-ing box from one Daniel McNeely. This is what he sent me:
I had a feeling that I would eventually get a gift basket from Dan & Crew… they’re the type of guys that will not forget a present, and will want to return in kind. But I’m blown away by the quality of this basket. I already put down the jerky, which was honestly dried and salted heaven in a pouch. I will be nursing one of the brews later tonight while eating some of the pepperoni and crackers. Some of the items don’t agree with my Brown Diet pallet… but they’ll find a nice home with Whorli’s family.
So once again… I give my sincere and public thanks to Dan, John, Joey, Larry, and everyone else. I owe hugs for this one, which will be given out at FGS (if I don’t see you guys before then).
For the past 2-3 months, Whorli has been bugging me as to why I don’t own the older Batman movies (I have both of the recent ones). So a few weeks ago, I picked up one of the budget packs that has all 4 movies on 2 DVDs in 1 case (I have the same thing for The Matrix). Cost like 10 bucks. We’ve been watching them… and it’s hilarious how bad the scripts are on the 1st 2 and how terrible Michael Keaton is. Tommy Lee Jones is just plain annoying throughout the 3rd, although I can never get enough Jim Carrey from that era. Overall, it’s like most things I remember from my youth… not nearly as good as I remember.
It really makes me not want to re-watch Fraggle Rock… because the actual show can’t possibly live up to my memory of how kick ass the show was (Whorli got me a DVD of the show last year). I was sorely disappointed rewatching The Neverending Story and the early 90s animated X-Men.
PS – I’m Batman.
So Whorli and I want a TON of TV… yet neither of us watch shows when they air. Instead, we download them and watch them either late at night or the next day. We watch some of the same shows, but we also each watch many shows that the other does not.
What’s bothering me is how crappy most of the episodes have been this season for shows that are established. My take on why it’s happening is that these shows have all been around for 4+ seasons, and they’re starting to run out of new and creative material. So they start adding tons of extra filler to drag plot lines out or have mediocre concepts or the directions just aren’t making much sense.
I understand this. If I had to come up with 50 or 100 ideas for 1 TV show that were all above average at a minimum (and amazing at best)… I wouldn’t be able to do it. But that’s why I’m not a writer for a TV show. It’s why I’m not being paid millions of dollars to come up with brilliant material to fill season after season. Of course, you could retort that that isn’t what the networks care about… they just want the episodes to be good enough to keep people watching, keeping ratings high enough to not cancel, and keep ad dollars coming in. Thankfully, it seems that the general TV audience (excluding those who watch reality TV… there’s no hope for those people) is smart enough to recognize the sub-par content they’re being given… ratings on most of the shows in question have dropped this season from last, and from episode to episode. You can view data from Nielsen.
Some of the shows I’m talking about are Heroes, House, all 3 CSIs, 24 (last season), and Weeds… just to name some. On the flip side, shows like HIMYM and South Park continue to be above average at least.
I’m not sure what a solution to this problem is, but maybe some of these shows should take a look at what LOST did, and set a date in the future to end the series. That will give the writers a specific time table to work with and they’ll know exactly how long they need to stretch plots out (or not, ala the ending to Alias) without boring the audience to tears and leave them wondering what the point of that episode was except character A moving from point B to C.
So I said that I’d give my pros and cons for moving back to Philly in an earlier post. Here you go:
Pros for Philly:
-Parents, Grandmother, other close relatives
-Getting away from Whorli’s family
-All Philly sports are on TV locally
-Familiar and comforting surroundings
-Does not take 2 hours to drive 20 miles
-Comcast has 50Mbps package
Cons for Philly:
-Can’t wear t-shirts in January
-Crappy fast food options
-I hate moving… Lived in 10 different places in the past 7 years already
-Few flash game portals have headquarters nearby (Tom Fulp doesn’t return my e-mails)
-I’m content with living in LA and how my life is right now
In the end, I really have no say in the matter… Whorli has my balls in a death vice. She wanted to move to LA 2.5 years ago, I came. Now she wants to move back to Philly, so that is where I go. In the end, I’m ok wherever I live; My life is simple enough and I know both areas very well.