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Headlines for August 2005
1 Aug 21, 2005
Aug 21, 2005: I went to Rice Lake. The 2D game's game mechanics have been redone for improved accuracy. I also created one of the scenes from the "secret basement" dream (currently dream 11-30). Two more dreams have been added. #1 Rice Lake: On August 17, I went to Rice Lake almost exactly as planned. Before leaving, I had to help pack up the supplies for the barbecue (car club thing). After finishing packing up, I then worked on my 2D game to pass the time fixing two bugs along the way. After the weather, telling of severe weather (and even tornado warnings) far to the southeast (well outside where I am and where I was going, by like 60 miles), I then began preparing to leave. When I got there, after like 26 miles, I then helped unload the supplies to set up the barbeque that was to come a while later. After setting up, I then went in the water. At first, I played with a small kid who was about 5 years old (judging by his size) and I gave him a small physics lesson. It was first relating to a rock at the bottom of the lake that was quite heavy. We just kept dropping the rock into our hands in the water after sinking. Then, someone threw an empty bottle of bottled water into the lake. I then recalled a mind game event I had shortly before where I was using this big, very tall bucket to launch a few thousand feet in the air from it suddenly rising up so fast. Recalling this gave me the idea on telling that kid some tricks you can do. The tricks were of that such as how to make the water bottle jump, make bubbles or even make it seem heavier when filled and almost out of the water. The main barbeque started and everyone, except myself, went to eat. Although I got out briefly, it was mainly to get a picture of the scene. I then went back in the water. I was in it for 2 1/2 hours (more officially 2 hours). Boy, too bad I can't go swimming that often, it's one of the few things I enjoy a lot (about in the same compatibility range as my top favorite song (which at 988.3 at this moment)). #2 2D game mechanics redone: Knowing that the numbers involved with the 2D game had substantial inaccuracies, I had to redo the 2D game's game mechanics. Although the speed and positions are much more precise, the added benefit comes with the time control feature. Normally, when going slower than true time, the frame rate would drop to compensate this. With the change of game mechanics, you'd still have 60 fps at 1/4 the time. Before, if I were to do this, the accuracy of the positions would be very bad. Due to only being able to go out 3 decimal places, using the fall-glide would cause a lot of trouble to occur. At 1/4 time, the accuracy would need to be within .005 instead of .083! With the modified game mechanics, playing at 1/16 true time (not available in the free version) at 60 fps would still have over 3900 times more accuracy than the old version! That is incredibly accurate! I haven't modified the time control feature yet to allow for this. Along the way of changing the game mechanics, I've also fixed a few bugs that are highly "invisible". That is, when you begin falling, then decide to use the stomp, the acceleration from gravity is processed then the more intense acceleration from the stomp is processed causing a sudden jump in the acceleration (1.667 instead of 1.333 per frame) then returning to normal afterward. A similar case was with the fall-glide, but worse when it came to the fall-glide hop. It all came down to the order of the instructions (the if statements mainly). The speed blast also has a new feature to indicate the "blast off" power, the speed at which you'll blast off at. #3 Secret basement dream scenes: Gamestudio isn't just for games, it can be used as a 3D image creator as well. From the end of Aug 18, to the end of Aug 20, I've been creating the a scene that copies the vivid images of one of my favorite dreams, the secret basement. At this point, this is dream 11-30. From the recalled scenes section, the scenes are of the third listed scene. The details are quite accurate, even to how the land is laid out (in terms of the water, hills, and the secret stream (my favorite scene)). Perhaps I could just create the entire area and make a "tour" or movie out of it. There are three screenshots available to let you view the place. #4 Two new dreams added: I've added two more dreams to the collection. The latest additions are dream 5-32 (featuring an unlucky casino visit), and dream 10-17 (featuring an unusual school bus ride and a strange airport). I'm quite certain that I'll make 250 by the end of this year. Having 300 is doubtful by the end of this year.
2 Aug 11, 2005
Aug 11, 2005: It's been so long since I've updated my site, but I've had major progress in both the 2D and 3D game. In all that time, only one new dream has been added.... Here's the latest headlines on what's been going on. #1 3D game now has new buildings: Though I said it could be done within one day, my technique is still new and it has issues to fix yet, one of which wasted a whole day. In any case, however, the city now has 2388 buildings in all and I'll be adding more in. The buildings now have ten different textures available. The only thing missing are the rooves, but due to plans, the rooves must be a separate model. Unlike before, this entire thing has been planned. I'd still like to add another 7000 buildings or something (or extend the level out to 65,536 quants diameter), but, due to the vertex or polygon count limitation of video cards (for a single object), something like 32,768 or 65,536, I have to work around it by having the object split into different parts. Another advantage to this to having it split up is that users can configure the graphics details so they can choose to have either few buildings for low end cards or a ton of them for high end cards. This is the reason for doing the rooves as a separate model. With the buildings, the roads have also been redone as well but I can't quite think of a pattern for them. Due to the change in design, I need to redo the beach which shouldn't be problematic. I now have a way to make realistic-looking water (with waves) and run quickly in the game engine. The idea has been planned out (using Excel), but is currently untested. #2 2D game has big changes: What's different from the old version? Two things: Clouds have been added (but not complete yet due to problems with GIMP), and now there's an in-game tutorial to help explain how to make use of the controls. Before, I thought the maximum possible height was 46,287 feet. I've now increased this to 46,314 feet and there's a chance that it could get to 46,315. The 2D game now has a stronger 3D feel to it and I now have a way to get more control on setting the alpha (transparency) for finer-looking graphics without the pixelation. I also have an idea for making the fog on the ground more realistic as well, but looks tough to do (and optimize) and is untested. From doing the clouds, I now have a way to do this, leaving only optimization as the tough part. #3 Still holding strong to top favorite song: I'm still holding strong on listening to my top favorite song, Out Where the Lake Is and now going on 35,300 plays although I'm now starting to get bored of it. 1 million times of playing it, however, should be more like 1 million minutes of playing it. At 76% of the true speed, the song is 63.5 seconds long, longer than I thought, and average is around 73% of the true speed making it slightly longer than that. It's more likely one million minutes of playing that single song instead. #4 Odd sleep combo: Now, who's ever heard of sleeping for six hours, doing stuff regularly for 7 hours then sleeping again for 7 hours waking up after that? That just happened recently. #5 One new dream added: I'm surprised that, during all that time, only one dream has been encountered. It's a good dream, however, in terms of the story, but, it is sort of weird as well. The new dream is dream 10-16, featuring school during my elementary times, but not in a way that actually happened as it combines old stuff with new stuff and also involves an old student friend who I still know moderately well.
Daily events for August 2005
Aug 1: Spent the day making textures for the buildings. I was debating on the road pattern and it slew me down a lot. A storm swept through delaying the progress even more. Textures are now finalized, and unstacking the stacks of objects is all of what is needed. Positioning the buildings and roads is left after that. The rooves still present a challenge, but now have a way of doing it. I still forgot about the sky bridge object although I have the texture for it. Aug 3: (skip due to being awake more on Aug 3 than Aug 2) The roads have finally been laid out. Only the buildings remain. Arranging them may take a while as I don't have any usable shortcuts. Also, I encountered a weird case when watching TV. I was listening to an ad for Video Professor and there was this time in which someone used the Excel learning lesson and was telling about it. I was running my computer and I just happened to be using Excel running some complicated calculations for planning. I don't use Excel for business-related stuff, I only use it to run complicated calculations. I mowed the grass as well. Also, my 24-hour experiment has failed although I was going to bed and waking up close to a 24-hour cycle. It failed because I couldn't get to sleep due to my restless mind - always thinking of things (it varies so much, I can't list them all). After nearly two hours of laying in bed I still wasn't asleep and gave up. I returned to working on my game. The city buildings have now been arranged so I could position them. Aug 4: 60% of the buildings have been laid out. Their positions still need to be fine-tuned, but the city looks very good, even like that. It looked better than I thought it would. After 11 AM, I began editting the "how to make levels in MED" tutorial I wrote earlier to add a tips and tricks section and explaining where I got some numbers from. The special LOD feature was also explained as well and I've found the cause to a weird bug in MED. Aug 5: The buildings are now officially finished. Only the rooves remain. I also began experimenting with water and waves. I now have a way for high-quality waves at high speed, as fine as steps of 8 for real precision. I also got more details on the bug with MED. Going to Rice Lake was 5 days away. Aug 6: Slept for only 7 hours and I woke up too early. I also showered in attempt to get "access" to the grocery store, but both parents were too sleepy to do anything and mom complained that it was too hot. I was waiting so I could get Domino's as well, but failed due to this meaning that I didn't eat at all, except a few pretzel sticks. I started to design more clouds for the 2D game, but GIMP seemingly stopped responding since installing the help file to figure out what hidden features, if any, there were, especially with opening and saving files. Firefox also seems nonresponsive as it won't connect to any website and can't find them, even my own. Six websites couldn't be found so I thought it was related to the GIMP's faulty loading. Even unused Internet Explorer was having trouble finding websites as well. Aug 7: 4 more cloud layers have been done, and I've still got quite a few left. I began writing the in-game tutorial for the 2D game. 7 lessons have been completed. I finally went to the grocery store to get more lemonades and got Domino's as I was hoping to do. The internet issue was also solved but I was too involved with the tutorial to go online, even though it was fixed. The cause was that the modem (and maybe the router) had to be reset. Both parents were lazy all day, one not feeling good. A certain circuit keeps tripping in one part of the house. Aug 8: I finished the tutorial, but it still needs to be tested. Since GIMP seemingly won't start up, I can't work on the clouds any more. GIMP won't even startup or it takes 15 to 30 minutes just to get it to even startup every time I want it to. Going to Rice Lake was postponed to a week later. Aug 10: The tutorial is nearly finished for the 2D game. GIMP still not working, but problem not exactly known yet. It's needed so I can continue on finalizing textures and making the clouds. I also watched a lot of space stuff on TV. Aug 11: Having slept for only six hours, I couldn't last until my targetted time 12 hours later for reversing my sleep-wake cycle so I can get to Rice Lake. Also, I may be going to Canada on Aug 16, the day before going to Rice Lake, but this is unconfirmed. The issue with the GIMP is likely soled, but not fully tested, however, but it looks promising. It seems to be a compatibility issue with GTK 2.6.8 on Windows 98 SE. Aug 11: GIMP now works! Added 4 more cloud layers to the 2D game. I also tested a fifth concept that didn't look good. Everything but fine-tuning is done now. I'm currently debating on whether or not I should have water. I also have concepts for some new worlds for the 2D game. A scene from the arctic is one likely example. The scene from the "endless mud lake" dream is likely another - that one is easy to do. I also updated my website after two weeks without one. Right now, only the finishing touches remain. I also washed my ferrets, one of them bit me on the nose just after finishing it's bath. Aug 12: I discovered a way to get enhanced accuracy for the 2D game, nearly a million times the precision. I also created three arrows for the tutorial. I also ran into an unexpected problem that prevented me from going any further. I also showered so I can go to the grocery store (for my lemonades and to get more cheese and a snack). Went to bed at 2:00 AM. Aug 13: The power was out from 4:10 AM to 6:40 AM. I went to the other grocery store and got yet more lemonades. I now have enough to last about three weeks. I got more pizzas as well. On the way back, a cop pulled us over - I wasn't to blame as I was just looking to the side watching the background whiz by thinking of 2D games. I also stopped at Dairy Queen then left. The rest of the day was spent on the forums. I dumped another shipload of questions. I also watched some TV. Went to bed at 7:00 AM. Aug 15: Going to Canada was tomorrow but was extremely unlikely to go. Going to Rice Lake was after that and was moderately certain to go. The rest of the day was spent on the forums and watching TV. Went to bed at 9:12 AM. Aug 16: I had no chance of going to Canada but a decent chance of going to Rice Lake, but weather forecasts look questionable. The big time frame since I last swam adds to the motivation quite strongly. I also fixed a bug with the 2D game. Not much else happened besides the usual: the forums. Went to bed at 5:17 AM. Aug 17: I went on the forums at the start, fixed a big bug with the 2D game from changing the game mechanics. I storm swept through preventing progress. I showered for Rice Lake tomorrow while the nonsevere storm came. I was going to run the dish washer, but I forgot to turn the water on thus it ran entirely through the cycle without any water. Then, when I did laundry (to wash my swimsuit for one), I almost forgot to check the water and temperature settings. I realized that I forgot about it when it was done filling, but luckily, it was set to what it needed to be at. Went to bed at 4:30 AM. Aug 18: I went to Rice Lake exactly as planned with some photos taken along the way. See news entry #1 for further details on this. Before leaving, in only one hour, I fixed two bugs in my 2D game relating to the "double-processing" of acceleration. The bug with the puffs is still uncertain on the cause but haven't really thought about it in detail yet. I also watched some TV mainly while eating. I went on the forums then updated the game mechanics for the regular gliding ability which is almost done. Went to bed at 8:28 AM. Aug 19: All game mechanics of the 2D game are fully redone with some bugs fixed. The challenges have to be redone as well as the tutorial mainly to adjust for the change in game mechanics. A position feature is strongly thought of that just tells you your position (from start). I then watched some TV, but not much was on except cartoons. Next was the forums and once "cleaned out", I began working on recreating a scene from one of my dreams. I was mainly working on the ground which was 80% complete by the end of the day when I got too tired. The walls, ceiling, and water were quick and easy to do. Went to bed at 12:30 PM. Aug 20: The dream scene is now complete as far as the entrance area goes. I also began updating my website, but was too tired to continue on another 2 to 3 hours to finish it. It was TV and forums that filled up the rest of the day. Went to bed at 11:17 AM. Aug 21: I reran the experiment I did a long while ago, the one that tests the frame rate and high entity counts. But, this time, it was run in more depth than previously. It is now very expansive and 40 times as detailed, if not more. I updated my website, went to the forums (which were quite inactive) and watched some TV. Not much else happened. Went to bed at 11:12 AM. Aug 22: I posted the results of my experiment. I also made another avatar featuring the fox and the blue water (as with my obsession with drowning Tails the fox in the classic Sonic games (and Sonic DX), and that poem I repeatedly cited around January of 2005. In fact, it tells the poem all the way through. This animation is completed in full, but just needs to be uploaded. Nothing else happened besides this. Normally, this day is my unluckiest during the year, the luck wasn't all that bad anyway. I've finally started to get bored of Out Where the Lake Is after nearly 40,000 plays (from in the 20,000's)! Just a hundred times longer, and you have a million plays. That was in, what, 20 days? Went to bed at 11:59 AM. Aug 23: The first part of the day was spent watching TV. Thest was on the forums and two questions that I had. I finally got contact with that "friend" that had to cancel going out together twice consecutively. The odd thing is is that I contacted him just when he finally got into the office, his first day! The chances of that happening are moderately low. Went to bed at 2:16 PM. Aug 24: TV, then the forums, then editting the game manual for my 3D game was what today was. The game manual is basically just that, it explains how the game works and how to play it. It's just been updated to include the latest ideas. I may have an exam on Friday, transportation availability is unknown. I checked the state of the job application I submitted, but the position was already taken. The set-up I had was promising too. It may seem that, since I don't have any job history, they find that discouraging. Also, I found out that the extra line for dial-up was not disconnected which was an extra $18.67 a month. Went to bed at 4:09 PM.
Aug 25: No TV, except to watch a small part of the local news. I then went on the forums again. I also got Winzip as I needed an update. At the end, I began working on my 3D game. I've redone the water. Now the water has waves, in far richer detail, and renders a lot faster. I began processing the beach, but was too tired to do anything further and finish. About 18% completed. My exam is tomorrow. Went to bed at 4:01 PM. Aug 26: Just when I was about to go to the exam, my sister, who was supposedly going to take me, got into an accident at about 9:25 AM. I was at home, however. The damage was even smaller than the original one almost a year ago (which occurred on Sep 4, 2004). I think my Aug 22 bad luck was "moved" to this day. I had my exam today as well. More details in news item #2. In my 3D game, I redone the clouds with an extreme visibility range, a whole 3 miles. I also fixed the water color so it matched the sky exactly. The beach has been finished, but the texture needs to be redone and made a lot smaller. Just when about to go to bed, I caught a fly in mid-flight. Also, ever since I saw a TV ad (for an M-rated show on CourTV), there was a small T with a huge, weird t-tail. Lately, I've been having a very strong obsession with it. I also seem to have a small obsession with an uncommon lower-case G that I call a "typewriter G". It has two circles spaced vertically with a curved line 1/3 of the way from left edge connecting them and another line at the top of the top circle going to the right rather steeply (hardly any up). The "Book Antiqua" font has such a G. On the word "light" on Minute Maid Light Lemonades, it has it as well. Went to bed at 6:40 PM ± 5 minutes. Aug 27: Went to vet - for "fat warm fuzzy" (aka Jenna; one of my dogs). It's now unfortunate that the dog is going to be blind for the rest of it's life (it's 9 1/5 years old). The vet said that the eyes were clouded. Also, she had plenty of bladder stones, so badly that the vet could feel them without any X-rays needed! Next up was picking up a back cover for my dad's truck. Made 4 trips to the dumpster to clean then a lot of rotations. This part lasted 8 minutes (estimated through simulating it in my mind game at a high time factor (like 16x time)). I then returned home to retexture the beach for the city world. I then went to Menard's (father needed screws), Wal-mart (didn't go in as 99% of the store is blocked by mirrors - can't get past the entrance!), Market Place (for my pizzas as they were on sale - one of the many grocery stores available), then I got Domino's. Although $12 for a 16-inch pizza with three extra toppings of cheese may seem expensive, it takes 2 1/2 days to eat the whole thing. I then went on the forums, watched CNN while eating. Went to bed at 8:01 PM. Aug 28: Yet another ordinary day. I worked on designing an umbrella, those you find on beaches. I made three versions of it: a high res version, medium resolution, and a low resolution version. I encountered one while float running along a beach in my mind game and it gave me the idea. I made puffs and went back to it to get a second look at it. I would like to redo the medium resolution one. Positioning several hundred of these is going to be the hard part, but would now like to redo the beach shape, especially after discovering a major shortcut when I was plotting the points and building the faces for the beach umbrella. The shore area, particularly, needs to be redone. It seems like some are interested in demos or videos of my 3D game! Yet, it isn't playable at all so I can't do either, plus videos are huge in size and would pose serious bandwidth problems. Went to bed at 8:05 PM ± 5 minutes. Aug 29: Woke up and began watching CNN Headline News and Hurricane Katrina. I began modifying the beach, again, to get a better shoreline. I made use of the shortcut I found when doing the beach umbrella. I made 1800 polygons in under a minute when it normally could have taken 60 to 100 minutes to do the old way. I still had to rebuild the faces connecting the outer edge and in some area in the interior. I also had to reposition the vertices. I went on the forums and soon modified the code for the moving platforms. Now the platforms can move in one or more axes and pause in a more accurate way as well. Next, I made an octagon-sphere to demonstrate lighting for a needed script to really enhance my game's realism. Right now, it lacks any lighting as with it, the colors are messed up very badly. I watched some TV then ran another experiment. The experiment was to see what kind of impact a low-poly, high-vertex model had over a low-vertex, high-poly model and the results were so surprising, I had to get a screenshot and continue on making more faces. I now have a way to further optimize the results. Went to bed at 10:47 PM. Aug 30: Not much happened during the early part of the day. It's the usual: forums and some TV. Then, near the end of the day, I was starting to search for new CPU's (processors) and a related motherboard. Then, the true "transfer" of the Aug 22 bad luck hit me. The thread I had going in the forums, though it started strong died with unanswered questions. Then, to add to that, newegg said that they were down for maintenence and it said "for up to 10 minutes". 90 minutes passed by and that was still going on. I gave up on it as I was too tired (boy do I wish I didn't have to sleep). Adding to it even further, Firefox was doing that copy effect stuff again I'm all so used of. I can't get a screenshot of it as the screenshot never comes out like it should. This makes it not only difficult to work with, but it gets to a point where it's almost impossible to see anything*. The CPU on newegg was a special so I had to act quickly. I copied the URL and saved it in notepad. The best I could do is wait until I wake up again. I tried to hook up my new replacement satellite receiver (the previous one was glitched), but bad luck hit me there too. When about to activate, an "overdue bill" thing comes up on the machine. Receiver can't be activated without it. It was during the last hours of being awake that my luck bottomed out. August, in general, is bad luck for me. September, next month, is neutral. I finished the beach for my 3D game, in full and it only needs to be imported. Went to bed at 1:54 AM. Aug 31: The day started out like any other: forums, some TV and more forums. I ordered my new processor and motherboard. For details on the specs, see news item #1 above. Then, at the end of the day, waiting for replies on some questions, I began reworking the tutorial for my 2D game. I finished the tutorial in full. I also added a new feature - position. The number is so precise and it can show values into the billions. Now the challenges are next. All that's left in the 2D game are to fix the puffs bug and enhance the scenery. Went to bed at 4:37 AM.
The news entry headlines in bold are color-coded for a reason. They tell how big the event was for the headlines and how good my day was for the daily entries. From May 2006 onward, a slightly different system is used, of which has triple the precision. For dates prior to this that use color coding, from the white color, skipping two to red and so on is used. Here's what each color represents (for updates to before May of 2006):