Regular Spelling
Thoughts and observations about language

Renewed Resolve

So it's the end of the year again, once again time to reflect on the past year and make resolutions for the next.

Overall the biggest shift for the last year of course is my decision to return to my original plans from high school, and go back to working on releasing a 2D version of Spiral Island, now fitting in step with the paradigm shift of the market. It's been over five years now since I made the shift and changed AnacondaSoftware to the Re-Form Campaign. In that time I had done a lot, refining the storyline of the Spiral Island universe, and expanding horizons to two new realms: the Rebirth campaign for Phoenix Flame, and the Refract campaign for Phobia: The Only Thing to Fear. But those were new projects, in addition to the Spiral Island Trilogy, and never expected to lead to the path we are at now.

Not to say that that has been the only shift this year, no. I moved out in the middle of this year, and am living in an apartment now. I've also been working on losing the weight I have built up over the years of working desk jobs, with fair results so far but I've lost my routine recently so I've lost the pace in which I wanted to continue. I've also come to start using several new internet mediums, most notably Facebook for communication, as well as starting to be more open and public with information, releasing videos on Youtube as well as releasing my utility programs as open source. And I've continued improve my programming skills, and continued to write: here on this blog, for Skewed on the Pokegym, the new work for Spiral Island, and growing storylines for my other projects.

The goals for the next year are clear: release Spiral Island. As part of this I will be working on learning how to draw, and working on learning how to play the piano and compose. I also plan on continuing to lose weight and finally be back to what I used to be, and if I can fit it in the time, the grand finish of Skewed. We shall see, only time can tell, but there is much of it to go for the year. I also want to try to get back into school, but a lot of different things weigh on that so it may not be any more than a few online classes.

The face of the internet, and the real world around us, changes again, and things move ever forward. Time, progress cannot be stopped, nor shall we wish it to. We can only look back, see if any mistakes were made, and do what we can to rebuild what was lost. Onwards to 2009!



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Date: 31 Dec 2008 - 21:55
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Intensive Intent

I've noticed recently a trend of improper expression use. Particularly, the expression "for all intents and purposes." For some reason I guess a number of people are hearing it as "for all intensive purposes" and writing it accordingly. Sure, they sound close, but "for all intensive purposes" really doesn't make much sense.



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Date: 29 Dec 2008 - 23:55
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Failed Plans

I had mentioned at the beginning of the month I was going to try and focus on Skewed this month. Unfortunately I couldn't get into the groove of working on that, and instead worked on programming of Spiral Island, some story work for the Phobia storyline, and some other projects. At this point I'm going to try and finish out the month by finishing the rough Shogi game I'm throwing together in XNA, and try using next month for that blitz.



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Date: 25 Dec 2008 - 01:33
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Progressive Conciousness

Generally, when you dream, you tend to only remember the last dream you had, because your mind recycles any of the earlier ones. However, if you are awakened, and awakened multiple times, then you can get a set of multiple dreams through a night that you can remember.

This is how my morning went. The first dream I had, I could remember much more earlier in the morning, but by now most of it has faded. From what I do remember, I was at some location that some local beauty contest was going on, and I was just sitting there in the waiting room working on something on my XPS and chatting with the girls. Eventually they all had gone in to the event and so I wandered elsewhere in the building, to a room that ended up being a remote location for my work. So I was called in to help in an emergency and was trying to figure out how to pull up the tools on my own computer, when my manager had to put me as the order processing for the drive through of a restaurant that was the actual place that we were working in. I fumbled through the register and menus of this for 2 orders, before getting too frustrated and just walking out.

At this point I was awakened by noise in my apartment, and after it had settled down I was able to get back to sleep. The second dream I had I don't really remember much about. It had something to do with some of the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation clashing with Star Wars on the Death Star, and in particular Data fighting some automatic defense systems with rotary sawblades on moving arms. I was awakened again shortly after that, and so that was the end of that one.

At the third one I was back in my parents home again, and was awakened from my bed there by my dog. We were preparing for some trip up to Idaho, and while everyone was getting ready I decided I should start a dream journal. I found an appropriate book, which apparently had dreams in it from previous that I had written down and forgotten about. I then proceeded to write down what had happened in my first two dreams of the night, and had gotten a lot more of the details of that first dream, which as I mentioned are more faded for me now, maybe for that reason. I then in the process of getting ready set my XPS bag in the door of our folding camping trailer while searching for some stuff in it, and proceeded to forget about it, only remembering that it was still there after we had been on the road for a while and considering taking the car and going back down once we had arrived to retrieve it, hoping it wouldn't get stolen (although a closed folding trailer would be a highly unlikely place to look for stuff).

After waking up again from other noise in my apartment, I tried getting back to sleep again, again reviewing the events of the first dream so I could remember them all (a futile effort in the end). While doing this a technical support call started up in my mind with someone from a foreign country, and I tried rolling over in bed and clearing my mind because I didn't want to think about work on my day off and wanted to go back to sleep. As it turned out I was actually back asleep again already, because a phone call to my manager had revealed that I had apparently telepathically logged into my phone at work, and started a call and was communicating with the phone telepathically from my apartment. Furthermore, some strange contract thing indicated that I had to come in to finish the call, because the guy wouldn't hang up or talk to someone else, so I ended up having to go into work so I could bring up the tools and log the call, and figure out whatever the guy was talking about.

And there you go, a look into multiple dreams from a night. I wish I could actually remember all the details of the first dream which I had remembered earlier in the morning, because I do remember there was a lot more details there and some things that could be useful for other works.



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Date: 14 Dec 2008 - 17:43
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High Latency

So so far I haven't done any work on Skewed except for one half of a fairly large part, so I'm going to have to get more squared away. This can be directly attributed to the fact I've been sleeping so much, though. I've got to finish that by end of December, and then get a new remake of the main AnacondaSoftware website out.

I haven't really played anymore Shogi since the last time I talked about learning it. My plan was after I won my first match, which I had saved in the PSP game I was using so I could write down the move list to analyze later, I just hadn't gotten to it yet. And apparently it took even longer for my subconcious to get around to it, because I only just barely had a dream with some relation to Shogi a few days ago. Very long delay.



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Date: 11 Dec 2008 - 22:34
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Redevelopment Cycle

If you had used the Castle Tilemap Editor checked in before today, you would have had to deal with a performance issue with large maps, because it was drawing the whole map, including off-screen parts, to the map window every draw call. So today I sat down to write a function to make it draw to an offscreen back buffer, only drawing what was currently on the screen, to improve the performance.

However, as I got started, it turns out I had already done that. I had properly coded it that way from the very beginning of CastleEngine. However, somewhere along the way, in dealing with bugs and crashes, it had worked its way out of the loop. So at this point it is recreated each resize and used to determine whether the scrollbars should be shown or not (a flickering issue i have to deal with, on that note), but otherwise nothing is ever drawn to it. It was all drawing directly to the window itsel.

Not wanting to reintroduce whatever bugs had worked out to end up like that, I quickly just altered the draw code to only draw the portion of the map currently displayed. However I find it rather intesting that it had devolved in such a way, then I noticed it and went to reimplement it again without even knowing it was there.



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Date: 08 Dec 2008 - 21:05
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Drug Induced

When I was little, I was diagnosed with ADHD. I had taken several different prescriptions for it, up until about 8th grade where I more or less just quit and managed it without. As I mentioned I was taking several different drugs, the last one I was taking before I quit was Dexedrine.

One of the previous ones, though, had an odd side effect. I don't know what it was for sure, I think it might have been Adderall, whatever it was it was one that had to be taken at night, and I was taking it in my early grade school years. When I hadn't gotten it, it would cause me to have nightmares. The same nightmare each time, but as I reflect back on it, it was rather interesting how it worked. The nightmare went like this:



And that was really it, though it wasn't such a simple view. A recreation of one of the early screens of the Commodore 64 game Nonterraqueous. I happened to be addicted to the game at the time, and I still to day haven't gotten even close to beating it.

To go into things a little further, on that particular screen you have to drop a bomb on the force field, and get out of the way so it doesn't blow you up too. It wasn't in 2D in the nightmare, instead it was a more realistic environment, but instead of the force field it was a brick wall closing off the corridor. All the aliens would be on the other side of the wall, trying to break through, all the while chanting three words in repeated order. "ROCKS, STONES, POWER!!" They would never actually break through, as far as I'm aware, but that in and of itself must have been enough to scare awake. Always the same nightmare, and only when I didn't get the prescription. Rather interesting.

(On a side note, the Wikipedia article for the game doesn't go into the Commodore version, and from the only Youtube videos for the game the ZX Spectrum version was quite a bit different. I'll have to record a gameplay video of the Commodore version sometime.)



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Date: 08 Dec 2008 - 01:04
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Daywalker

I had been fairly well adjusted to my graveyard schedule. I would sleep in the morning, get up about 12-1 PM, be awake for the afternoon, then work at night. However, when I went to Idaho for my family's Thanksgiving get-together, I wanted to be awake during the full days while I was up there, so I took a couple days to readjust my sleep schedule beforehand.

That worked for then, but ever since then I've had trouble getting back to my previous intervals. From sleeping a grand 14 hours one day, to not being able to sleep in the morning, to falling asleep for a few hours in the middle of the afternoon. I've had a hard time getting back to the flow, which has made it hard to get much work done.



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Date: 04 Dec 2008 - 21:14
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410

I rarely ever delete files. I have collections of files that I've migrated from older machines, some for a very long time. The reason being is I never now if I will need something again, if I will have to dig up something archived. And I have had to go dig up some old things on multiple occasions. So it is very frustrating when I cannot find what I am looking for. Everything I've ever written on my own machines, I have old high school reports, talks I've given in church, and basically anything I've ever typed up.

However if I cannot find something I am looking for, then it becomes very frustrating, which is exactly the point I am in right now. At some point in the past, though I cannot recall when, I wrote out a piece of storyline for Spiral Island. But I cannot find it. I have searched all possible places for it to be on my machines, but it is nowhere to be found. I am going to have to start searching my backups now, because I need the information I had written in it.

Interestingly enough, in the process of going through my last searches on my main machine, I have dug up a really old document with my experimental storyline for Skewed, from back before part one of the story was finished. I thought I still remembered everything I never got around to or wrote out of the story, but I just found one part here for an experimental ending which I don't even remember. It's an interesting segment, there are a few things which I worked into the actual storyline I have planned out. I'll have to remember this file and touch back on it sometime in the future.



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Date: 04 Dec 2008 - 04:37
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Media Blitz

So I'm setting a goal for myself for Skewed: I plan on finishing the chapter I'm working on now, and the whole next chapter, by the end of the year. That will end out the current storyline arc, and move into the final phase of the story. I'll end up having some short parts, such as one of the two parts in my update from yesterday, but overall there shouldn't be too much of a problem with it. I'm doing this mainly because I need to do some more area design work before I make more maps for Spiral Island, because currently I'm not really doing a lot in the Castle Tilemap Editor because I open it up, but don't really have an idea of what I want things to look like. I'll talk some more about the Skewed story as I post updates on the 'Gym, because there are several things coming together here that I want to comment on.



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Date: 02 Dec 2008 - 05:16
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