A game development diary (and other stuff too)
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October-December 2003 (oldest-to-newest)
I apologize for the lack of progress lately. Real life
has taken hold the past couple weeks. (Plus
is so much more inviting that staring at code.)
Bear with me and I'll get back on track soon.
Finally finished Metroid Prime
last weekend. It took me four tries - definitely one of
the more difficult final bosses lately. I ended up with a
paltry 68%, and that's where I'm leaving it. I have no
desire to play through it again on Hard mode.
Our house is still in disarray due to replacing the
windows. Things will be mostly back to normal tonight so
hopefully I can get some programming done later this
My day job has become busier lately. I got set up so
that I can work from home, which of course means that I
feel like I *should* be working from home. Our project
is getting into the crazy crunch mode so it will command
more of my attention on evenings and weekends. Bleh.
I got bored and decided to finally
Two Towers. It didn't take me
that long either. Just 4 or 5 tries. I kinda got lucky
since I got the glowing-sword power up right as the trolls
appeared. That made dispatching them very easy. I don't
know what triggers that power up, but I'm sure happy it
happened when it did.
Meanwhile, I have Max Payne
(Xbox) and Pikmin (GC) on the way
from eBay. Got them for $13 each so I'm saving tons.
I almost bought SSX 3 at
retail (we're talking about to ask the schmoe behind the
counter to get it for me). Then I looked over and saw
that Splinter Cell - a game I
have barely started - is now $20. Why should I pay full
price for a new game when there are so many other games I
want that have been out forever? Once I work my way
through those, SSX 3 will be at
I'm really getting the urge to work on Decaying Orbit.
Work is so busy, though. Gotta keep pumping out those
awesome NVIDIA chips!
Crimmeny has it been over two weeks since the last
update? Sorry 'bout that. Things are getting pretty
crazy around chez nous what with the imminent baby
arrival. Two months may seem like a long time away, but
there's just so much stuff to get done.
We had a couple of fun weekends in Carmel and Napa,
taking advantage of our fleeting independence. We're
also getting a lot of home improvements complete so we
won't worry about them later.
Add on to *that* my hectic work schedule as my project
is in crunch mode. Stress has been my breakfast, lunch,
and dinner for a while now.
My escape has been Pikmin,
which I have almost completed. I just opened the final
area with the last ship piece. I should have it polished
off in a day or two. I'm totally looking forward to
Pikmin 2 as this one has been
so much fun.
Max Payne (the first one)
will be my next game. Yeah, I'm a bit behind the times.
The way Gabe
& Tycho talk about Prince of
Persia makes me want to play it now, but I'll
restrain myself. The number of AAA titles I have on my
eBay Favorites list is growing quickly.
It really does get to me that I haven't made progress
on Decaying Orbit in a while. Especially after seeing
stuff that Riff's been doing with the emulator.
The Penny Arcade guys have organized a gaming-related
gift giving thing called
Play. The items are being donated to the Seattle
Children's Hospital. It's a great way to give the gift of
gaming to some kids that could use some cheer. This is
partly to show that gamers aren't all
You know how hard it is to buy gifts for your friends
and family members that aren't into gaming? Well, in this
case you know exactly what to give. There's lots of other
toy items on the
list so there's plenty of inexpensive stuff too.
Anyway, just hit the
link to read up on it.
I figure I should update everyone on where things are
at the moment and what are my plans. There are two major
time sinks for me right now: work and baby preparation.
At work things have really kicked into high gear as we try
to get our project done. The schedule is sufficiently
tight that I have been set up to work from home. So now I
check in on things in the morning before I get to work, in
the evenings before bed, and on the weekends.
My wife and I are also getting ready for the baby to
arrive next month - Jan 17th is the due date. Not only are
we busy with classes and getting all the paraphernalia,
but we've been trying to get all our lingering house
The combination of these leaves us both exhausted at the
end of the day. I just can't string together two hours to
work on the game. Naturally this is frustrating since it
was coming together so well when I left it.
The light at the end of the tunnel is when either of
these ceases to be an issue. For work, this will be a
couple months from now. For baby, it may not happen for a
while. I'm hoping to get a brief period of a few weeks
when we've finished with classes and have all of our house
projects done. Fates willing I will get in some
programming time over the holidays (when I'm not working
of course). Once the baby arrives we'll have our hands
So once again, sorry for the lack of updates. I was
fully prepared to be busy when the baby was born. I was
not expecting it to hit three months earlier.
I was introduced to Globulos
by a Blue's News link-of-the-day a
couple days ago. I've been hooked ever since. The games are
simple, but incredibly fun. You play against someone else
so it's got that multiplayer aspect going.
Basically each player controls three globby guys. Each
turn you can choose an angle and power in which to send
them. All globs are then moved at the same time, bouncing
of each other. One of the games has you trying to bounce
your opponent's king glob into a hole. Another has you play
a game of soccer, trying to bounce the ball into the other
guy's goal. The last is like croquet where you try to get
all three globs through the wickets in succession.
I try to get in a game or two every morning and evening.
I've never been much into multiplayer games over the
internet, but I can see what the appeal is.
Happy holiday wishes everyone! We had a grand time
over the long weekend. Lots of leftovers to consume.
Played some golf. Got more baby stuff. You know, the
I've rediscovered SSX Tricky
while waiting for the third one to come down in price on
eBay. It's still fun, but I'll be darned if I'm wasting
time filling out any more trick books or getting gold at
Alaska in Show Off mode.
I just started Max Payne. It
seems fun, if a bit on the violent side. I know I know,
what did I expect? I'm turning into a wuss. It'll be
even more difficult when Gavin the gamer is born and I
have to relegate these games to after bed time only.
Work is quiet this week with most of the company gone
on forced vacation. Oh how I would have loved to be off
right now, but alas. My project is in critical stage and
I'm in town, so hence I work. Plus I'll need to save the
vacation for after the kid's born.
Speaking of which, we're expecting him to arrive any
day now really. January 17th is the due date. Due to my
wife's gestational diabetes if the baby isn't born by then
she will be induced.
We're as ready as we can be. It'd be nice if he waited
until after this weekend to show since it's another
four-dayer. But really, whenever is fine by us. We're
both pretty excited.
We held a little poll for our friends
to guess what we plan to name him. Only one got it right,
but I can't really blame people for guessing Q*Bert.
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