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October 20th, 2016

05:43 am - Status Update
Well, things have been going along as they do, not so well. I've been having a lot of trouble doing much of anything.

I mean, I guess I do little things. I eat. I sleep a lot. I got a haircut. I'm at the McDonalds right now, but I'm not really getting anything done.

I can't seem to get the latest version of Unity to work on my system. Not sure why. It's keeping me from working on my programming projects. But, I've got so many other things to do that I'm not doing. Even when I pick one and sit down to do it, I can't bring myself to do it-do it.

I'm still waiting to hear back from the doctor about counselling.

I'm still waiting for my intake appt with the Good Will Career Center. Have tried a couple times to look at job ads on my own but I haven't been able to handle it. :/

I'm behind on my Pathfinder campaign. Had to postpone this week's game because I didn't have any content for the players.

I'm not sure but I think I might be doing too many things at once.

I've got my game development, I'm writing two stories, I'm looking for work, I'm GMing a weekly pathfinder game, I'm supposedly playing like six video games, including one MMO subscription... I'm stressed out over my debts, and I feel like I'm forgetting something else big and important I'm doing too. :/

Oh yeah and my wrist is acting up again. Probably carpal tunnel. But my computer is my life, and even if I took a day off of using it or something, what would I do that wouldn't also strain my wrist? *sigh*

I'm going to go get a coffee.

I got a coffee. No instant win tickets on this cup...

Oh well.

Oh yeah one more thing, I can't seem to connect to Steam at the McDonalds tonight. I hope that isn't a new thing they've got installed, some kind of steam blocker. :/

Hmm... Looks like Battle.net and Origin have trouble connecting too. Bad signs all around.

At least GOG Galaxy still works. :P

Mmm... I think I'mma go home now.

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September 29th, 2016

12:21 pm - University of Toronto Professor and Bill C-16
Probably half of my friends are trans, and most are some form of LGBT. I wonder what you all think about this?


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September 27th, 2016

01:18 pm - A Fun Dream
I had an interesting dream just now, in the time between starting to wake up and actually getting up, when I was half awake and half asleep. I dreamt of a video game, a 2D survival game that wasn't too dissimilar to one of the ideas I had for my ecology game. It was like a cross between Zelda and Stardew Valley, with each area being a 'screen' rectangle. There was exploration, combat, building... Even though it was 2D I built a roof on a building similar to the way you build a backwall in Terraria. There were even boss fights that reminded me of Secret of Mana.

I could totally make that game.

I don't know if I want to.

I mean, the real crux of it is that I'm wondering again if I should make my Ecology game top down 2D instead of 3D with Voxels. I can't say for sure if it would be easier or not, given the tools I'm using. I mean, even in the 3D one I plan to use sprites for the characters, and 3D models and animations are the hardest parts of 3D deveopment for me.

Well, I'll give it some thought. I only just woke up.

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September 19th, 2016

04:26 pm - Work Post
1:48pm - Livejournal's still being a pain I see. Maybe it's the internet at the McDonalds? I do have Steam downloading a game in the background. Not that I came here to do that, it just does. Including ARK. Always including ARK. I should probably just uninstall that game, I never play it...

Anyways I'm at the McDonalds again, hoping to get some work done. For starters I'm checking out some of my Microsoft IDEs to see if their licenses are still valid. I remember one of them loading a while back and flipping out.

Hokay so Visual Studio 2012 seems to be okay, though I'm not sure if it's in Student mode or Free Mode or what...

Visual Studio 2013 actually has some more detail on their About dialog, including a link to more info about the license.

Naw that info wasn't useful. It's just for signing into some online part I don't know anything about.

I think the other one was the one with the problem, so let's load up Visual Studio 2015 and see what's up...

Oh geez I just let rip with the jankiest flibberdyjibbit in a while. Smells like bad eggs. And I haven't eaten eggs in a week. Probably had something to do with all that butter chicken pizza I ate last night.

Anyways yeah it looks like Visual Studio 2015 Community Edition has a time limit on their license or something. Who knew? Anyways I haven't used it in a long while. I'll uninstall it now and maybe put it back on when I get home later on.

2:13pm - Well, Visual Studio 2015 is taking a while to Uninstall, in the mean time I guess I'll consider my next steps. I suppose my main task is still on the table, gotta go through those tutorials again and try to turn that Unity Voxel Engine into My Unity Voxel Engine. I guess part of the worry there is that I have to do some complex positional math again. The last time I had to do it was when I made the little 'ship' 3D model last year for college. I actually made a 3D model by typing in the coordinates in text. I'm pretty sure I'm the only one in class who did that, most folks used the stanford bunny. One guy imported the world map from GTA:SA and that embarassed the heck out of me. How could someone have time for that and I failed the class for not getting my projects done in time? Alas.

Anyways the engine generates the quads directly through mathematics so I'll have to recalculate the positions for the triangle verticies. That's going to be hard. Not only do I have to get the positions right, but I have to do them in the correct winding order so that the triangles face the outside and not the inside. I find that very hard to do in my head. And where my spaceship was four triangles back in college, these cubes are starting with 12 triangles and I'm doubling that to 24. Of course, I'm only adding six verticies, since the corners are already set. The trick will be winding the polygons around the verticies in their new order.

2:31pm - I just had a potty break and Visual Studio is still working on uninstalling itself. It must've embedded itself pretty deeply in the system.

I have two other things I could work on today. One is my story. I'm not really feeling that today though, so I probably won't. The other is mapmaking for my Pathfinder game. My players blazed through the multifloor dungeon I had prepared thanks to Extreme Diplomacy and a strong rescue ethic. The module, I think, was poorly designed. An early work by what would become a pillar of campaign building, so forgiveable. I'll need to be more cautious with my next module.

Anyways the long and the short of it is that I need to map out the space for the next big encounter as well as the next module's two primary areas. The next big encounter should take at least one session, and I can pad it out with random encounters and roleplay opportunities. But I need to get at least one big map done by Wednesday, and a bunch more by next week. So I'm considering working on those today too.

Well, first I'll try to do my game project, and if I end up noping out of it right away again I'll have something else to fall back on.

2:44pm - Of course there's a new version of Unity. Of course. I'll have to download that later, though. :/

I'm having trouble getting the tutorials I followed before to load, as well. Not sure what's up with that. Frustrating.

3:10pm - Visual Studio 2015 finished uninstalling just now, and I've got the first tutorial open. I'm kind of stressed out though.

4:23pm - Well, I didn't get anything done with my game project. I just got distracted and daydreamed a lot. I can't seem to focus on my task these days.

I'm not sure what I should do now; if I should stay at the McDonalds and try to work on my maps, or go back to my apartment and try to work there. I made my previous maps at the apartment so there's a precedent for being able to do that. I'm not sure though. I kinda feel like if I was in my bedroom right now, I'd lay down and fall asleep.

Well, I think I'm going to risk it. I don't feel like staying at the McDonalds anymore.

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September 16th, 2016

07:38 pm - Work Post
6:17pm - Man I've been here at least an hour an a half and I haven't done any work. The LiveJournal is only now starting to behave, a little. Hopefully it'll work for me.

I've been very busy the last week. Last friday was my 35th birthday. Go me! So old! I was already slow and now I'm slowing down more because of age! That sucks. I thought I'd improve with time and practice but too much time and practice and you slow down again, even though you know more...

Anyways my family came to London for a nice Sushi Meal on my birthday, then the next day I went to stay with Len and Katie for the weekend. It was nice. My brother and I played a bit of Stellaris and I got to hang out with Dog and Kittens. On Sunday my Dad paid for a trip to the states to visit Alex, that was really sweet of him. Alex and I had Mexican and my Dad couldn't believe we could afford it on the $30 USD he gave me. The meal was actually a little under $35 and that's only because Alex had the biggest thing on the menu, and it came in a giant, crude stone pot, along with a plate of accessories and side dishes that was as big as my whole meal. The prices for food in the states are a lot lower than in Canada. ^.^;;

After that it was another night at Len and Katie's and then I went back to London over the course of the day, taking the Extra Scenic Route with my Mom and my Aunt Linda. Linda's nice, and she gave me a bunch of foods as gifts.

I spent Monday and Tuesday recovering and playing the video games I got for my Birthday, and then the rest of the week being depressed. So that sucked. Now I'm finally at the McDonalds and I've been here for almost two hours without actually working.

7:38pm - Man, I'm not getting anything done and the McDonalds is not getting any more condusive to work with noisy kids sitting next to me. I'mma head home.

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September 3rd, 2016

06:05 pm - Work Post
9:22am - I'm down at the McDonalds today and it's warmer than usual in here. I think they turned the AC down since it's cool outside, but I don't expect that to last. It's six days to my Birthday now. I need to get in contact with my Family and see if we can meet up for it. I miss them lately and it'd be really nice to have a visit.

It's pretty crowded at the McDonalds. There's an older gentleman in the seat I usually use to plug in at so I'm on battery for now. He seems to be here for the long haul as well, he got a refill on his drink and he's been using his phone. Well, my computer says the battery will last a couple hours. Hopefully that's more than I need.

I'm a bit conflicted on what to do while I'm here. I came out mostly due to a need to 'do something productive' but I don't know if I want to work on my game project or write more of my new story.

Well, last time I worked on my game project, I outlined the project and duplicated the project on my HDD so I could modify it from the tutorial I followed to get as far as I did.

9:41am - Surfing reddit on the side, saw this and it was kind of interesting: https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/50tyub/were_the_nerds_behind_lbry_a_decentralized/

Now let's see if I can remember how this game I'm making works...

9:52am - Oh boy, now I'm thinking about that other game idea I had. I should probably mention it. I was thinking about Multiplayer games and I realized some of the most fun I'd had in recent years in multiplayer online gaming was Monster Hunter 4 for the 3DS. It's kind of nuts that there isn't a PC game dominating that space, and I thought, "Why don't I make that game?" It would involve a far simpler ecological model than my ecology game and be a lot of fun to play.

I've heard of some games that supposedly try to emulate that sort of gameplay, there's even a Monster Hunter MMO apparently, in SE Asia. But I've never heard any of my friends or aquaintainces going on about the games.

I was also thinking about how I'd alter the formula and change the way things worked. I'd want to level the progression system as much as I could, so that players can hunt the same monsters as their friends without having huge power gaps or some kind of power-down/power-up system. I would want the game to be mostly skill based. I'd also like for the equipment to be either mostly or entirely vanity based. I was thinking the other night that it might be possible to have an amulet or something that you can equip that you would make from hunting and forrage items that wouldn't be visible, but would give some benefits, and you'd be better prepared for certain monsters with them.

I don't know if it would work out or not. I know one of the primary 'addiction' features of Monster Hunter is gathering materials to get better gear to gather materials to get better gear. Getting gear just for appearance sake might not appeal to people. What do you think?

10:41am - It looks like I'm not able to focus enough to really understand the way the engine works right now. I can almost see the pattern, but there's so much going on around me it's hard to focus. It won't be as easy as I thought to add those extra triangles to the voxels. I'll have to try going through the tutorials again and modifying them as I go.

But I'll do that next time. For now I think I'll try my other project, the story.

12:10pm - The story outline is coming along pretty well. Now I think I have my basic characters and what they're going to turn into, and in what order. So just writing it is the next step!

5:14pm - I'm still at the McDonalds but I haven't actually worked on anything in like five hours. I've mostly been messing around on Discord and F-list.

6:04pm - Man, I've spent a long time just goofing off at the McDonalds. It's time to go home now though. I've sat here too long, and I'm developing a bad habit of going out to work only to spend the day not working.

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August 28th, 2016

11:24 am - Work Post
2:52am - I was too tired after I got home yesterday and so I didn't do all the things I wanted to do after I got home. That said, yesterday was a pretty good day. I think I made some good progress on my story.

I'm posting from the McDonalds again today, and I'm not here to work on my story. I'm going to take another crack at my game project. Playing Tropico 5 and watching Introversion's Final Prison Architect Update video got me in the mood to work on my game again. But rather than diving into coding, I think I want to start by refreshing myself with what I'm trying to accomplish.

Let's see, where to start... The grand goals, or the first major milestone?

I guess I'll start with the grand goals, since they're what gives the inspiration. I often call this game an Ecology game, but it's also a God game. In my mind the project is gradually shifting from being inspired by Dungeon Keeper and Dwarf Fortress to something more like Black and White. However, the core of the gameplay is still 'interacting with an ecological simulation'. I had originally considered making a dungeon management game where you're a wizard and you lure monsters into your dungeon to populate it, and you manage the dungeon ecology. That vision changed from a dungeon to a whole valley with both overworld and underworld, and several biomes. So, I think I'm going to officially change the protagonist from a Wizard to a God. As a god it's your task to rebuild the ecology of a magic-scarred valley, and attract different creatures, starting with simple animals like mice and sparrows and simple plants, and gradually attracting magical creatures like Unicorns and Dragons. In the late game you'll also attract tribes of humanoids that will develop into living communities.

It's a big project! But the basic gameplay is always going to be interacting with an ecological simulation. You'll use your godly powers to make the valley liveable again, one bit at a time, growing the simulation bigger and bigger! But for my own sake I'll start small. I want to make a simple simulation of plants, prey and predators, in a little sandbox world. The AI is the important thing. The critters will have to navigate to find food, and eachother. When I can make a stable ecology like that, then I can worry about expanding it, and adding the God to interact with the simulation.

To begin with though I need to make a world for the whole simulation to sit in. I had originally thought about putting it in a 2D world, but I really wanted to have underground areas and digging and a 2D plane wouldn't work for that, and neither would a standard 3D terrain mesh. So I started looking at voxel stuff and eventually found out you can make a voxel game with Unity, if you know what you're doing and follow a tutorial like I did. So I've started making a voxel world for the simulation to sit in, but that's a lot of work.

The part in particular I'm having trouble with is getting over the emotional hump of abandonning the tutorial to make the engine my own. I need to make the quads into four triangles instead of two, to support pyramids and slopes. But even after all of that psyching up I just did, reminding myself of my project and my goals, I still feel like running away and hiding from the project. :/

Once I get the quads changed I also need to work on the save system so that the world is bounded with a particular size, and clamp things within that space. I was thinking of making a seperate tool to sculpt the world, but I think now it would be a better idea to build it into the game itself, using developer commands to build the world in engine.

It's scary to think about, yet it should be so easy. It makes me feel a little sick with myself that something so straightforward, that I understand, should be so difficult to actually begin and to do. I've spent so many years learning how to do this sort of thing, I know what I'm doing, so why can't I just do it? Very frustrating.

Well I'm not making any progress like this. I'll try again in a little while.

6:21am - Well I spent a long time hiding in Tropico but I've taken a break from taking a break.

Let's see if I can duplicate my Tutorial project and do a little coding on it...

6:31am - Project duplicated.

7:23am - Please tell me "Project duplicated." isn't all the progress I make today. ;.;

8:11am - The sun's up now. The sunrise happened and was over before I noticed. The sky is overcast. I spent another hour playing Tropico I guess. I'm thinking of going home early, but I don't know what I'd do at home. :/

8:20am - I thought of things to do if I went home, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't do them. I kind of want to just lay down and zone out for a while, actually. That can be relaxing but it's not very productive.

8:30am - Tropico 5 is actually a pretty challenging game when it comes down to it, I don't know why I can play that and not work on my project.

8:58am - I've devolved to just staring into space and feeling awful about myself. My past failures are coming to mind unbidden. I don't know why I'm suddenly having all this depression/anxiety problem but I am. Damnit. :/

I just can't bring myself to try. I hate that. :/

*Sigh* I'm going to play some more Tropico 5.

11:00am - Time for lunch. I'm still pretty upset. Now I'm thinking about making different games, easier games, and it's like, those aren't the games I want to make. I'm pretty sure I'd have the same problem if I tried to make them anyways. Though, the only game I've completed was a game I didn't really 'want' to make.

11:22am - I'm going to get going home, I don't think I have anything left in me to give today. I'm thinking maybe next time I'll try to write out what I've got so far so I can wrap my head around the voxel engine stuff...

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02:51 am - Something Post
6:28am - Well I'm out at the McDonalds again and the dawn is just breaking over the horizon. It's very pretty. I'm yawning and tired but it's kind of a trick my body is playing on me, 'cause I slept almost all day yesterday, and then slept some more, so there's no way I need to sleep again already. It's just, you naturally get tired seeing the transition between night and day. I read about that somewhere...

Anyways I'm once again not sure exactly what I'm out here for. I'm definately feeling better than yesterday, but I'm still kind of scared to try working on my game project. But it's like, if I'm not going to work, then what's the point of coming out to the McDonalds?

Well I shouldn't say that today. I had two reasons I came to the McDonalds. I wanted to get some food and I made a bit of a mess of my bedsheet, and I need to wash it or at least wait for it to dry before I lay down again. I really should wash it anyways, and the rest of my laundry...

The laundry room in my Apartment Building isn't open 24/7 though, so if you make a mess in the night you're out of luck. ^.^;;

I'm not sure if I'm just going to play Tropico for a while and then go home again like yesterday, or if I'll do something else. I suppose I could work on my story, but I'm not feeling particularly inspired.

7:11am - I went on F-list and saw a friend was on who likes Toons and now we're talking about my story, and so I'm going to try to work on it now.

10:12am - Things are going okay. I'm working on my story. Doing a lot of brainstorming. Realized I was missing any idea for a major character, but now I've got some good ideas. I'm mostly waiting for lunch time to happen then I'll eat and probably go home. It's getting really busy here at the McDonalds now.

The Next Day...

I'm back at the McDonalds again. I'll talk about that in a second post. But, I closed the window last time without posting my journal, so that's what this is. Yesterday's Journal.

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August 26th, 2016

06:33 am - Something Post
5:21am - I'm down at the McDonalds again for no particular reason. Maybe to work? Maybe to write? I'm thinking about just playing video games for a while, away from home. I don't know.

Yesterday was a rough day for me. I had to get up early with little sleep for an appointment six months in the making. It took maybe five minutes, after waiting about an hour and a half. I don't know why they tell me to be there at 10:30 and make me wait untill noon but that's how the hospital do. Now I have an appointment for a year from now, roughly. It seems kind of superflouous to me, like, if I have an eye problem then that I don't now, it's probably a new eye problem rather than a relapse, isn't it? I don't know. I'm worried it's a cash grab by the hospital, making unneccesary appointments since they get paid by the visit from the government without regard for how long or how important the visit is, as far as I know. But then, it would make more sense to book me in three or six months rather than a year. So who knows?

After the hospital appointment I went home and eventually went back to sleep. My Roomie got his new Kamen Rider Drive Belt also. But the important part was I had a nightmare and woke up later on. Rob comforted me for a bit and then I just kind of spaced out the rest of the evening. I listened to Super Cartography Bros. twice. Sometimes I would just lay in bed not even listening to music, not wanting to do anything at all. I might be having a depression day. But, this morning, I didn't want to go to bed and I didn't want to stay home so I came out to the McDonalds with my lappy and here I am.

I had a cheap McDonalds Breakfast; damn their apple juice is good compared to when I was a kid. I'm tempted to go ask for another, bigger one.

I did do one thing before I came here. I played through the Tropico 5 tutorial to refresh myself on that game, since I've been wanting to give the story mode another try. I'm thinking of doing that, which is kind of a silly reason to come out to the McDonalds, but I'm here...

Other things I could do are work on my new story, work on my video game, and play a different video game. In particular I've got No Man's Sky, Final Fantasy XIV, and Artifact Adventure on the plate, and I was also thinking of trying to get back into The Witcher again.

My Birthday is coming up on the ninth, and my friends are already talking about gifts. I feel a bit awkward since I'm the poorest one in my circle of friends, but I'm also grateful. I've mostly just asked for graphic T-shirts since I know they want to get me things, but at least one is planning to get me something from my Steam wishlist.

I'm thinking about my game project now and it's rather intimidating. I know in the large scale what I need to do, and in the small scale it's kind of like a bunch of ants moving around. I know all the parts I just have to put them together, but it's hard to focus my mind on them enough to visualize it. I'm pretty sure that's not a problem overall with my method, it's me that's messed up. I shouldn't be trying to work today. Being creative might not be a bad idea, but I'm not sure it would be a very good idea either.

I think I'm going to go with my first idea and play Tropico 5 for a little while, see if I can stand it this time.

6:31am - Dawn is breaking. I played Tropico 5 for a while. It's okay. The random events are a little too random for my liking, but it's scratching that itch. Now I'm tired. So, I think I'll go home again. Hopefully after some sleep I'll feel better.

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August 24th, 2016

05:16 am - Work Post
3:52am - I'm at the McDonalds tonight, which is open 24 hours. It's very convenient. I'm planning to do another of those Tutorials I had been working on, but I've already been out here for almost an hour, between watching fights from One Piece and watching a 20 minute vid on the decline and ultimate death of Bleach.

So let's see... First I'll open up Unity I guess, and open the tutorial...

4:07am - Okay I got them both open. I'm a little strung up right now. Breath in, breath out.

4:17am - This isn't as easy as I was hoping it'd be. I'm spending most of my time nattering on about Anime with Kanada. But that's just an escape, it's not like turning off the chat would help, I'd just escape into something else. What I need is to not try to escape in the first place.

4:31am - See now Kanada stopped responding so I escaped into Reddit instead. I'm not having a good time here. ^.^;;

I suppose part of the problem I've got is that I'm not sure I need any more of these tutorials for my game, I'm just completing them for completion's sake, and maybe to push back doing the hard stuff on my game. Like, this tutorial is about randomly generating terrain. I don't plan on using randomly generated terrain, I'm planning to use a hand sculpted landscape in a tool I need to create first.

Tutorial 7 might be important though, it's about loading and deleting chunks as they enter and leave the player's range.

Hmm... I don't know if I should do that from this tutorial or figure it out on my own.

5:04am - Back to talking with Kanada. I'm also getting tired for real so I'll probably end up going home without doing any actual coding...

I should wrap up my thoughts before I go home though.

Basically I'm at the point where I should start working on my own adaptation of the tech from the tutorials. I need to make it so that the cubes can be pyramids or complex slopes, and I need to make a tool to sculpt the world. I might actually use some randomization despite what I said, but at this point I intend to put the player in a sculpted, same as every other player world, with some clear progression.

Hmm... That said, I should try to keep things simple to start with, and make my tool and the game expandable, rather than trying to do everything from the start. Gotta remember the lessons I've learned. I should make a working 'game' as quick as possible, and expand it until it's what I want. That way if something goes wrong I can spot it early and fix it. Fail faster and all that.

Anyways I'm glad to the guy who wrote the tutorials I've been using. If you missed them before and want to check them out yourself they're here: http://alexstv.com/

For now I'm going home. I may not have coded but I thought a lot, and that's progress.

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