Monday, October 21, 2019

Inktober progress: 20/31 Xmas letters done so far...We're almost 2/3rds of the way there!

Should be able to do it...there are a couple of things I need to be aware of along the way though:

- Have another birthday letter to write (one that I sorta missed, too...)
- I've only got a week and a half left in the month and still need to do my monthly pixel art album cover...
- Some of the letters that I haven't done yet are the hard ones...one that needs to be written in Japanese, and three that I imagine will be quite on the longer side.

But hey, progress is progress.  Even more than that, I started up my writeups on Unlock Everything, my Ludum Dare 45 entry.  You can read the first one at https://ddrkirby.com/articles/shader-based-transitions/shader-based-transitions.html.  I also reorganized my website a bit - you'll notice there's an entire tab for articles (https://ddrkirby.com/articles/articles.html) where I've moved all of my post-mortems to.

I haven't forgotten about all of the other things I need to do either...haha.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

It's always a really fascinating feeling, seeing people from other countries interacting with your work.  The communication barrier is there, yet somehow you still created something that someone else interacted with and shared.  Whenever it happens, a part of me feels the need to reach out to these people, to tell them a thanks, and to make my presence known as a person.  But at the same time, I know that it's not necessary.  For the work itself is already a form of communication alone.  You perhaps can't judge a creator solely by their works, but that doesn't make them any less valid a form of expressing things.  I think that's why I always feel a very interesting respect and connection with other creators whose works connect with me in the same way that I'd like my works to connect with people.  Even though we may be on different wavelengths, it still gives me the feeling that I share a commonality with these other creators.  It's a vague feeling of understanding, to have started from maybe-wildly-different places yet still end up speaking a similar creative language.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

I'd need to write 64 more letters by the end of the year if I want to hit a 100 letters/year statistic, hahaha...don't think that's going to happen unfortunately.  Right now I'm sitting at 96.521 letters per year, which doesn't seem TOO far off, but it's a lot to make up for when you consider that it's across 12.29 years...

These nights remind me of what it feels like to be alive.

It makes me unreasonably sad that I'm looking at my log and for many people the last time I wrote to them was an entire year ago, last October.

I mean that's totally understandable for these people whom I don't really consider to be close, or those people who I never even expect to hear back from or whatever

But it makes me sad seeing that even for the people whom are in my inner circle.  It makes me feel a twinge of failure, that I haven't been living up to myself.

I know it's not that bad though.  I don't feel terrible about it or anything because I don't feel that I've been doing a horrible job of keeping up with these people (mostly).  But the initial gut reaction upon realizing it, it does sting a bit.

As always though, the power is in myself to do something about it.  Winter is coming, after all, and if nothing else winter is the season for me to retrace my steps to the past.

...ok, who are we kidding, =every= season is the season for me to retrace my steps to the past.  But winter especially...the season most removed from change...

I hope this winter, that I'll be able to make the time to look back and remember my true self.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Literally every time I hear good music I think to myself "damn.  I want to make an entire album in this style"

LD45, other updates

So yeah, Ludum Dare 45 happened last weekend!  I made this:


Which you can play/download at https://ddrkirby.com/games/unlock-everything/unlock-everything.html

Rating goes on for another 2 weeks, after which we'll know the (largely inconsequential and somewhat random) results are, but aside from that, I'm super happy with how it came out and moreover, I had a BLAST making it, as I got to put a whole bunch of stuff that I love into the game.  It's been 3 full years since I last made an LD game by myself and it's quite impressive seeing how far I've managed to come in that time, in pretty much all aspects -- particularly in the art.  Using a 4-color palette and limited resolution (200x120) definitely helped, as well as referencing Mega Man a bunch, but even past that I generally felt a lot more confident in my ability to pixel and even animate to the best of my ability.  Those conveyor belts came out really nicely especially.  In terms of Godot as an engine, it worked fantastically.  It wasn't perfect, but I'm more than sold on using it from now on, without looking back.

As always, things have been a flurry in the week after LD, since I've had to track down a number of bugfixes and small changes, as well as put out the soundtrack and upload everything on itch.io, among other things.  I'd like to add some small extra post-game content and write some dev notes at some point if I have time in the next 2 weeks, but we'll see whether that actually ends up happening.

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I got a bit behind on Inktober letters because of LD, so I've been playing catchup with those, but I'm about back on track now, so that has been going smoothly.

Randomly, I started developing some interest in whether I could make sense of Socionics (MBTI's much-less-mainstream but more usefully accepted cousin).  I haven't really wrapped my head around it yet, not even what type I might correspond to, but we'll see what comes out of that.

Puyo training continues every once in a while on the backburner.  I no longer feel 100% lost when I'm trying to do GTR, but it's still definitely more difficult for me to work out, both extending off of the transition itself as well as figuring out the tail.  I'm just going to have to experiment more and watch for ideas to take from other players...

Risk of Rain update came out with some interesting new skills to unlock, but I've unfortunately been unable to unlock any of them LOL.  sadtimes...

Dance has been pretty fun lately, surprisingly (?) enough.  As I'm writing about it in some of these Xmas letters it really started to strike me how much my social attitude toward dance has changed and how I feel about that (mixed, but generally good feelings).

Work is going just fine.  WFH has been working out great as always.

I'm starting to rewatch Chihayafuru, haha.  Just started now, so haven't gotten up to any of the super exciting parts yet.  I also started watching Symphogear...

Some things lately reminding me of my past (hah, since when is that ever not true?).  It's always a reminder to me, to make sure that I stay true to my past self.  For my past self is always a version of my ideal self.

Next cooking recipe to try out -- salmon chowder?

Meowmies are wonderful.

As always, there are infinity more things to still get done -- Patreon remix requests, album art, birthday letters, and the like -- but as always, I'll continue to try and work at them one by one, slowly but steadily bringing them each to completion.  What else would I be doing with my life if not that?

Thursday, October 10, 2019

"Big Five" Personality Test 2019

Here are the last results, from 2018, for reference.

Didn't spend a ton of time on it this time, went through pretty quickly.  A lot of the questions on this specific test are essentially repeats of each other.  I should probably try a different questionnaire for this one at some point, but here's the same one that I took last year and in 2011:

Openness           24 -> 32
Conscientiousness 100 -> 100
Extraversion        1 -> 1
Agreeableness      82 -> 65
Neuroticism        95 -> 71

That's more or less in line with before.  I worry less, which makes a lot of sense as I'm a little more laid back now (as in, I still constantly think about what needs to be done, but it doesn't =stress= me as much), and I guess I'm a little more judgmental of people, or at least have realized that I am such.  I think that's a function of having less of a syndrome of trying to really please people and hope for the best in them, I guess I am just more jaded with regards to people.  Certain things will do that to ya.

Really the only constants are the introversion, and even more than that the conscientiousness.  I swear if I could score over 100 on conscientiousness I would...every single question about that is always a snap answer for me no matter what type of test it is.  Getting things done in an extremely consistent and reliable manner is basically my driving force in life...

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Ludum Dare 45 cram time

Ludum Dare 45 is less than 3 days away now and I'm still trying to get everything done!  So far experimenting with Godot Engine has been great -- it's not perfect (no game engine ever is), but I've been pleasantly surprised with how easy it is to put things together despite being bogged down by having to repeatedly check documentation and look up how to do things.  Probably the absolute #1 thing that it's got going for it so far though is that it's lightweight, which means it's FAST.  Even an export to WebGL in release mode happens in the blink of an eye compared to Unity where I would literally use an entirely separate machine to do my builds so I wouldn't be blocked forever.  The html export is clean and just =makes sense= too -- no having to worry about random padding or silly borders or anything like that.  It's clean, slim, and honestly pretty great.  I've even been experimenting with some screenspace palette-based shaders that I could use for some dynamic lighting effects, so that's pretty cool too.  In general, the documentation is a little lacking, and some of the UI isn't 100% intuitive yet, and other things could use more shortcuts, but I'm pretty happy at all of the things that are working out of the box.

So here's the list of things that I managed to get all done since last time:

- Birthday letter done
- 4 xmas letters done
- September Monthlies pixel art done (and album published)
- Pixel art commision done (100 tiny sprites all drawn)
- Caught a cold now so I don't have to worry about getting sick later (lol...)
- Started work on a nifty side personal project as well
- Made good progress on the Godot warmup project

As far as the Godot side goes, I managed to figure out:

- The basics of scripting, nodes, scenes, signals, and all that
- How to use pixel art integer scaling and pixel snap
- How to animate sprites
- How to play sounds (basic)
- Tilemaps and autotiling
- Moving objects along paths
- Dynamic 2d lighting and pixel shaders
- Exporting to webgl, adjusting my site CSS/JS to accomodate
- Basic audio bus FX (limiter)

I still need to =build=:

- A project template and bitbucket repo for the jam
- Screen transitions!
- A splash screen intro placeholder
- A main menu placeholder
- A singleton for managing music/sound across scenes?

Other stuff I need to do:

- Take care of meowmies and quails
- One Hour Compo on Thursday, I'll probably try to warm up in chiptune style since I hope to make something with a very limited palette.
- Declare my starter code, make an "I'm In" post
- 1 more xmas letter
- Photograph the Inktober letters...
- Actual work for my job...
- Grocery run on Friday

Unfortunately the 4-wide trainer stuff, Patreon remix, etc will have to wait until later.  I don't know if I'll be able to slap a label on the godot warmup project and publish it, but I might try very quickly just to get it out of the way...

Phew........