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What have you been up to in May of 2005?
If you want to understand the blog and how it's laid out, go here.
1 May 27, 2005
May 27, 2005: I'm now starting the restaurant world in my game. I've also created a new animation, which set several speed records. 4 new dreams have been added as well. I also lost a friend I've known for nearly a decade.
#1 Now starting restaurant world: I'm now starting the restaurant world in my game. I've also got ten new screenshots available and I'm now using a wider field of view. Instead of 45°, I'm now using 70°. Screenshot #49 is so good, I'm using a high-res version as my desktop background (as a BMP file). So far, the walls, floor plan, and the doorways have been created (but not the doors).
#2 New animation created in record time: From previous news entries, I've mentioned that the GIMP would be better off for making those animations I do mainly because of the layering stuff. Though GIMP runs more slowly and I'm not as quick with it, an animation with 74 frames (technically, it's 75, but the text-only frame was quick and easy to make) and (surprise!) 6 layers took but about 2 hours to process the frames. It took close to 4 hours having to draw the images and stuff needed (not much of an improvement here, though). Using my old method, I could've easily spent 5 or 6 hours processing the frames of the animation! So now, I guess I should start making some more realistic-appearing animations. Even a 1000-frame animated GIF seems within reach now (though, with a 2.5 MB file size attached to it). Now, don't be expecting me to create a 1000-frame animated GIF, but it's now within reach, only needing about a full day's worth of work. If I had a batch convert tool that retains the original colors without changing them, this could save about 6 hour's worth of work. My animations almost never have much more than 30 unique colors, well within the limits of GIF, but I don't see why the color, for example, 804020 (a brownish color) has to become 663333 or d09880 (a peachish color I use frequently as a human skin color) to become cc9966. Saving them one by one retains the original colors (making the 804020 color be exactly as 804020 and D09880 exactly as D09880), but running a batch convert doesn't. I can't understand why.... GIMP, at this moment, doesn't have a batch convert tool (if you can find a batch converter that retains the original colors, let me know very soon as I've been after one for nearly a year now or so and haven't succeeded.). Until I can find one that retains the original colors as they should be, I won't be attempting to make animations much bigger than 200 frames (unless it was going to be an AVI video as these retain the original colors, though they have huge file sizes (but compress very well), and the unzipping process to the end user can be a bit confusing and frustrating.... Also, the image collection page has been paginated (broken up into multiple pages). Large images with large file sizes (greater than 250 KB (may be lowered)) have become links instead of an actual image.
#3 4 new dreams have been added: Pushing the count even higher (208), 4 new dreams have been added to the already long list. I noticed that I forgot to mark the dreams from the last update into the official count. On the May 21, 2005 update, I should've had 204 dreams, but 202 were shown. Sorry for the mistake. The newest additions are dreams 2-27 (featuring the classic Bubsy game, only remastered and in true color), 5-26 (Where I'm visiting an old teacher I had, one I don't think has been brought up on my website), 7-23 (a semi-sick dream with a very high weird index and low ratings otherwise), and 8-14 (featuring the float run going through a wild course; has a fun rating of 9.4). Likely, by the end of this year, I'll have 300 to even 400 dreams listed. A long time ago, I had all my dreams on one single page, with like 30 or 40 or so on it and highly unorganized. If my dreams were still like that, I'd easily end up with a file size of 400 KB! The organization helps me refer to dreams easier from on the forums I frequent. Yes, my dream journal is getting very big, but, the more, the better, to me anyway.
#4 He failed me twice in a row!: I've just lost a trustworthy friend. For the last, like 5 months (maybe more), he's been way too busy to do anything. On May 20, 2005, he wrote a time to meet (5:00 PM), but, he got too busy and couldn't make it. Then, he tried again for the following Wednesday (which wasn't anywhere near promising because of my sleep-wake cycle that constantly advances as time goes on). But, again, he was too busy. Worse yet, I was working on my game development going out of the way from helping my parents do the house repairs just so I can show my friend my project I'm doing (screenshots that is), but, he couldn't make it which really got me upset. Not only did it happen once, but twice. From it, his compatibility dropped by 40 units. From the mid-700's, he's now in the low 700's and slowly dropping (very slowly). To top this off, he's now getting a truck driving job so contact for the next three months is next to impossible. This means that I have no one to go out with (which means more time in the house in each month). His compatibility was as high as 957, which is the current record high and now he's in the low 700's. This is a difference of more than 40 times the impact (Why 40? Look at the Tertiary Status of my Status System report in category 3 for the formula and you'll see why.)! A loss of 40 isn't too much around the mid-700's, but it's quite significant around 957. The lowest on record is 7. A difference of 40 has a huge impact on this (about 45 times the difference).
#5 My script: I guess I can almost say that my script got rejected again. I'm not receiving any responses or anything, I haven't got one whether they accept it or reject it in like, what, 3 months now? I can almost just say that they've rejected it again. However, using Gamestudio, I can almost just create the script on my own! Yes, it's true and it's not a joke. I'm very close to the possibility of making a movie with Gamestudio. I almost might as well just do the story for my script myself. It's been taking way too long and I'm out of options, short of publishing it as a book. Just like with my game I'm making, the visions of it are still strong.
#6 Now passing 14,500 plays: As you may have thought, I've got some songs with thousands of plays logged on them in Winamp, and plenty of them have 0 plays (some of which were mainly just experimental files, files of little importance).
#7 Function blue_water(): I've got this lingering piece of computer code in my mind and I'm using a related version as my signature in the forums. It relates to an obsession I have with the classic Sonic games: drowning Tails the fox:
while(1) // a loop that is always true
if (fox.position == in_blue_water) // if the fox is in the blue water
fox.health = 0; // the fox dies
if (fox.position != in_blue_water) // if the fox is not in the blue water
fox.wants_to_get_wet = true; // it's tempted to get wet
wait(1); // repeat once every frame
Of course, in the forum signatures, I don't have the proper spacing and stuff and I've left out comments (comments follow after //) as I have to keep the character count under a certain limit (usually 200). It's funny, to me, just reading over this little piece of computer-code like stuff.
#8 Shower log on May 25, 2005: Having to take my shower at 1:00 AM (which seems rather dumb), it lasted 32 minutes (again). Why 1:00 AM? Well, I woke up around like 6:30 PM on the 23rd. First, I had to mow the lawn (nagging parents, oy!). Second, I had to eat. Third, I was too involved with the forums. Fourth, I was going to be meeting with my old friend on Wednesday and would've gone to bed around 6:00 AM. If I went to about 8:00 AM, I'd have virtually no chance of being able to meet with him (as I'd wake up around 6:00 PM, past the 5:00 PM time supposedly set).
#9 Travel log on May 24, 2005: Went to Pizza Hut to get a pizza. I've got to try to avoid going to Pizza Hut as their pizzas are very greasy and I don't like it. About 150% more time was spent degreasing the pizza than eating it. That's about it, however.
2 May 21, 2005
May 21, 2005: The buildings are now done and ten new screenshots have been taken. Also, some major house repairs are being done. I also ran into computer problems. The first severe storm swept through my area. One new dream has been added.
#1 Game development: The city world is even closer to completion. New ideas have come along. One of which is typical beach decals (like towels, those red and white umbrella-like things). The second idea is figuring out how to get waves. Before, I had nice-looking waves, but now, because I'd easily end up with over 200,000 polygons, I had no choice but to replace the water. I do, however, have some ways of doing it.... The other thing left is of a problem I don't know how to solve yet. Other than that (and replacing the platforms (again) with the third version of them), I'm getting there. Though, from previous news entries, I stated that I had 200 buildings. Well, I counted them and there's actually nearly 700! More precisely, it's 692. Keep in mind though, when estimates are involved, I almost always underestimate. So, if I say I'll take 20 minutes to do something, the actual could be 35 minutes or even an hour! Don't rely on my estimates. Anyway, the next world I work on is the restaurant, which will also be in the demo version.
#2 Of all the wonders I can do, I can make movies!: Usually, the kinds of animations I do are those of 2D. However, through Gamestudio, I could literally make movies, even copy my own script I wrote. Though I don't know if I've posted this in any of the previous blog entries, I have intentions on making a movie based on one of my dreams.
#3 Major house repairs: Though this started before the last entry, I was in a race against the clock so I had to quickly update my website. Basically, the flooring is being redone. The old tiles were in very bad shape so they had to get replaced. At this point, the plywood has already been laid down and finishing touches are being made.
#4 Computer problems: If it weren't for the forums I frequent, I would've been doomed. Because I was supposedly going to go with a friend I haven't been with since around February, I was in a rush to finish the buildings by Friday. However, on Monday, I got the new computer fan in the mail (ordered from tigerdirect). Because the old one was wrecked because of my father (and I warned him like 5 times each two seconds apart or so), I had to get a replacement. The first one I got, however, was too big (too tall). I had to order another one. The second fan arrived on Monday, the 16th. However, when my dad put the fan in, he took out one of my memory chips to see if it would fit in my sister's computer. He then placed it back in. However, when I turned my computer on, I ran into problems after 8 minutes of running. When I did turn the computer on, I went to the forums. However, while typing up a reply, my computer froze and totally stopped responding. Even using control+alt+delete didn't work. Since I got a new fan, I was worried that the processor was overheating so I turned off the computer by pressing and holding the power button for 5 seconds. I waited about 10 seconds or so (don't remember for sure) then turned my computer back on. Before it even ran the memory test upon startup, trying to access the BIOS to check the processor's temperature, the computer froze. I hit the reset button and accessed the BIOS to check the processor's temperature. It was at 32°C, which is no where near anything dangerous. I've run at 37°C without trouble. However, being about 5 seconds into watching the processor temperature and monitoring it, the computer froze again. I held the power button to turn it off. I waited about ten seconds then turned it back on again, but, without even showing anything on the monitor, the computer was beeping very erratically. Knowing the high frequency of defective products when ordered online (from earlier), I figured that the fan was defective and that the processor temperature was inaccurate. Then, I reported the problem to my father as I knew the beeping stuff indicated a hardware issue. I returned and turned the computer on again. However, nothing was showing up on the monitor. While the computer was on, I had a continuing pattern (repeating) of "beep for 1 second, pause for 5 seconds". Because I don't have the manual for the motherboard, I couldn't figure out what the post code meant. When I got that, I immediately turned off the computer. My dad then reseated some of the hardware, usually by pushing on it and checking it, but that didn't work. The fan was taken out again and the processor as well. Both were placed back in the computer, but even with that, I was still getting the same problem. I then thought about the forums and accessing them on my dad's computer (running insecure Internet Explorer on XP). I got some replies, but didn't get anywhere at first. Soon, one of the computer experts (I believe so) came by and helped. If I didn't know my motherboard version and model number (K7VTA3 version 6.0), I couldn't have gotten anywhere. I was about to go buy a new motherboard, but, just before leaving, my dad had an idea. I was just a few minutes away from buying a new motherboard.... Boy, that was so close! From the reply I got on the forums, the post code (the beeps) indicated that there was a memory problem. Funny as it seems, the memory was inserted backwards :}. Once this was fixed, my computer started up again, but began freezing again. The memory, for some reason, just wouldn't lock securely. But, anyhow, I was able to get the project done on even Thursday and my computer has been working fine otherwise (if it wasn't, I couldn't have uploaded the screenshots nor updated my website). The old fan was about 50 dB at the source, the new one is about 32 dB at the source. There were only two fans available that fit the budget, my needs, and would fit inside my computer. The dumb power supply is in the way, otherwise, I'd use the first fan I got....
#5 First severe storm of 2005: I've just experienced the first severe thunderstorm of 2005. I was going to go to bed around 1:30, just about when I was going to update my website, but then I heard thunder and saw lightning. I had no choice but to turn off my computer. Thinking that the storm was going to be severe, I turned on the TV to the local station to find out and indeed, the local meteorologist was on the air with the radar shown in the background. One storm, about 70 miles south of where I lived, had 5 levels of red. There was even a flash flood warning! I didn't report any noteworthy stuff (like large hail or high winds) as there wasn't anything to report, though I did mention a suggestion. I like watching this kind of stuff on TV.
#6 2 new dreams addded: Pushing ever further past that 200 mark, two more dreams have been added, one of which was from around 2003. This makes the dream count 17 dozen, or 204. The new dreams are dream 2-26 (featuring another episode of Metroid, only in 3D with a very realistic lava flow), and dream 11-37 (featuring a grand tour of a very large garden). Also, on the idea of the dreams, I've been thinking of some more fields. One of which is how sad the dream is. The other is an overall rating (based on the M, S, A, B, C, D, E, F, and W rating system). Unlike before, I have over 200 dreams to process instead of just 130 or so, nearly 50% more!
#7 Missed it twice in a row: On the Science Channel, there's a show called "Discoveries this Week" that I have a high interest in. However, I've been so involved with my game development, I'm forgetting to watch the clock. At one point, I see that there are 40 minutes left. I then get involved with doing what I was doing and I soon discover than nearly two hours have passed thus missing it. There are several times the show comes on. On each week, it's on Friday at 7:00 and 10:00 PM, Saturday at 3:00, 6:00, 11:00 (?), and 2:00 PM. Then, for Sunday into Monday, the same times are used. That's 12 chances per week and for 2 weeks in a row, I plain forgot about it! Boy, now I'm wishing that I had a reminder system installed on my computer, but, that, too, I've been forgetting about. Though, on the third attempt at it (third week that is), I managed to see it, but, unfortunately, the last 35 minutes or so was of repeats from previous episodes.
#8 Shower log for May 16, 2005: Due to the events in item number 4, I was about to go somewhere. My parents wanted me to take a shower before I went, so I did, and it lasted for 32 minutes. The times are actually based on how long the water has been running.
3 May 13, 2005
May 13, 2005: Only the buildings remain! I've also passed the 200 dreams milestone. Besides that, nothing else major worth telling about has occurred that I can recall.
#1 Game design progress: Basically, the city world is completed, except for the buildings. I've completed the roads practically 100%. The buildings, however, are the toughest to make and I'm still debating on just how to accomplish building them. Unlike real construction where it can take months just to construct one building, it takes but 10 minutes or so to construct a building. Now, think about constructing 200 buildings. Yes, it'll take a very long time to do. The big question comes down to how to design the buildings for the lowest polygon count, the highest quality texture and especially how to work with an odd skin size of 640x640. In computer graphics, textures have to be a power of 2. The nearest "acceptable" skin size is 512x512, but this will stretch the texture and it won't look as good. It's the floor height of 96 that's really tough to figure out. If I go with a skin size of 512x512, 80% true, then the height should be 76.8 pixels. Even if I were to split the building in half and use the 512x512 skin size (allowing for double the resolution), I'll still get the same thing, but it'll take longer to build and it would require more polygons. Also, I'm redoing the platforms. Now, instead of that course-looking texture, imagine having 8.5 pixels inside them in a line. Indeed, the texture on the platforms now are so fine and it doesn't take up much more video memory either. Each of the 64 colors takes up 128 KB of video memory. This totals 8 MB total for the platforms. With the world background scenery (rich in detail as it is), one of the minimum system requirements is likely to have a 32 MB video card. By the time my game in complete, such cards would be extremely old so this is more advantageous. The roads take up only one meg of video memory (as big as they are), the water takes up just 1 MB of video memory (though it can be reduced to 256 KB), however, the biggest blow to it is the beach, taking 8 MB. I still don't know how to enhance it while keeping the fade from grass to sand in tact. The clouds above also only take 256 KB of memory. Normally, if you were to add up all the texture pixels, it could very well be over 400 MB (and that's without the buildings), but my 128 MB card has no trouble with it. Yet, even with the whole level in the view, I'm still getting 30 fps! I can increase this more with the better platform choices because I'd be using fewer entities.
#2 202 dreams: As a reward for reaching the 200 dreams milestone, I had a fun dream that I'd kind of like to want it to repeat again. Though it has an unfortunate ending, it's the sheer fun of the dream that makes the difference. So, yes, 5 new dreams have been added. So, yes, at the end of this year, I should be getting close to that 300 mark, the next milestone. Besides, I still really want that mud/water carnival dream to recur, it's the best of the best. Anyway, the new dreams are: 3-20 (featuring a skid that splashes into a very clear stream), 5-25 (an old one featuring small but very deep holes), 8-13 (featuring joining a group called the "bear club"), 11-35 (an old one featuring the car club I'm partially with and a carnival), and 11-36 (featuring my home town in ruins). I'd like it for dream 8-13 to recur again. Boy, I'm almost forgetting to add the dreams since I'm so involved with my game development, thankfully I have paper and pencil next to my bed on the floor so I can just roll over and start writing down details. Then, when I can get myself to, I just basically copy my writing down adding extra details as they pop up in my head that aren't caused by my mind game running.
#3 Shower log for May 12, 2005: After around a week of not taking a shower (and going anywhere), I took a shower on May 12, 2005 and it lasted for 29 minutes, around my typical times.
#4 Travel log for May 13, 2005: Went to bank to figure something out then I went to two grocery stores (one had specials for one thing like my pizzas for 79¢, but not another, but the other store had a special for the other thing (cheese) that the first one didn't have. Also, I regained an interest in pretzels. Pretzels aren't too bad to munch on, considering that I got the fat free ones. The final stop was another bank (not for me though) then home. The total time was about 1 hour and about 45 minutes ± 10 minutes.
4 May 8, 2005
May 8, 2005: Nearly one whole world completed in my game! The trip to Canada never happened due to many unfortunate events. 3 new dreams have been added as well. Two old, malfunctioning appliances out, two new come in.
#1 If it weren't for that experiment: On the last news entry, item 2 in particular, I ran an experiment to find out how much of an impact something had based on many criteria. Because models render faster than level geometry, my worlds are almost entirely model-only levels. Because the entity count is critical to the frame rate, I'm combining what normally would be hundreds of entities into just one. Plus, the skin editor allows for something that could call for very large, rich-detailed models with minimal skin space. For example, the water is based on true scale (1 texture pixel is one quant (one quant is 1.5 inches)), but I can have the entire texture on just a 512x512 skin (which uses a half of a meg of video memory), but the surprise is is just how big the water is! The texture is of a circle 16384 quants in radius. That could easily bust the video memory limit of even 256 MB cards, however, using this new technique I was informed of, it only uses a half a meg! Unfortunately, I don't have the waves any more, although I do have some ways to design the waves as being high res. It does involve some scripting, but, for the most part, I already know how to accomplish it. At this point, I've almost completed an entire world in my game: the city. I've finished the central lake part, I've laid out the roads and I'm currently texturing the roads. All I have left for that world is just designing the buildings. Currently, I'm trying to figure out some ways of accomplishing this in a reasonable amount of time as well as having the smallest possible skin size. There are nearly 200 buildings! I'm debating on whether or not I should have a bridge crossing over the central lake. The bridge could pose an obstacle to designing the various levels in the world, but it would be a nice addition. From this, I now have 27 screenshots in the collection (the new ones are numbers 21 through 27). The new screenshots show various concepts for the beach and water.
#2 Canada trip never happened: In all the most unfortunate events, three of them right on top of each other prevented the Canada trip from happening. The first is that my mom lost the paper containing the information needed. Without the info, there was no way we could know what place to go, what time to be there by, etc.. The second was even more fortunate. The answering machine had a message left on it, and a phone number to call, but, according to her, when she tried to replay the message, she hit "delete" instead and all but two digits of the phone number were written down. Third, I made an error in my math when trying to calculate my sleep-wake cycle. The error was that I based the start time of calculating on the time in which I went to bed instead of when I woke up. From this, I knew that I had to speed up my sleep-wake cycle (which is extremely difficult as it is for that short of a time frame). I managed to gain three hours, but, two days before the actual time of leaving, I noticed that I had nearly 20 hours to advance it instead of 6. Fourth, because of the sleep-wake cycle thing and the miscalculation, I would've only got like 7 hours of sleep and I can't stand that short of a sleep time and I'm extremely difficult to wake up at that time as it is. Fifth, and lastly, I've recognized the date as May 6 when it was actually May 5, however, this came as a small advantage. If it was on May 6, I would've normally woke up an hour and forty minutes later making it even harder.
#3 3 new dreams have been added: Just three more to go to reach the 200 milestone. I've just added another 3 dreams to the collection, two school dreams and a video game dream. Dreams 2-25 (featuring a game that is a cross between Bubsy and Sonic (the classic versions); has two images), 10-10 (featuring a strange school and the weirdest of my school dreams), and 10-11 (featuring an over-decorated science classroom; a fairly recent dream) are the new additions.
#4 Two more appliances bite the dust: First it was the washing machine that went haywire (it was 20 years old or so), and just recently, it was the drier that went (it, too, was of the same age as the washer). Another thing being replaced, though it hasn't gone haywire yet, is the fridge. Getting the fridge in was very difficult and my parents were stumped. However, there's an awesome story involved in which I saved a lot of trouble (and thanks to my math skills). The story goes when trying to get the fridge in from outside. Because the doorway was awefully narrow, the fridge/freezer combo wouldn't fit otherwise. Getting it up the stairs was actually the easy part (let alone that thing weighing like 130 pounds (imagine the shipping costs for that!)), it was getting it into the house that was difficult mainly because of the very narrow doorway. As many ideas were thought of by my parents, I was thinking of my own ideas. I ran some quick calculations and realized how it was possible. Although the idea was first rejected, since nothing else worked, they tried my idea and it worked. Nothing had to be taken apart, just wise math skills and math knowledge saved the day!
#5 I can work wonders with the GIMP - layering made easy: If you don't already know, the GIMP is a free image editting program. Lately, I've been working wonders with the GIMP. If you saw the latest screenshots for my game, the beach in particular, especially the fades, you'd probably be wondering how I accomplished that. The answer is rather simple: I used the GIMP to create it. Right now, I see an easier way to design multi-layer animations. Because I can create much better looking textures on various objects, that could mean making much better-looking animations. However, doing this could mean having a normally 40 KB video become 1.5 MB or more because better textures means weaker compression and weaker compression means bigger file size. The GIMP is great for when it comes to making spell animations. Unlike MSPaint, the GIMP has alpha available and multiple layers, however, when you save a file, you need to keep along with it with the XCF file (GIMP's native format), then save a BMP afterward, close the file and reopen the XCF file for each frame. Still, for having, say, 30 layers of objects, I could accomplish the task in 20% of the time it normally would take! It's still having to save all those BMPs as GIFs that's a major slow down. I still have to open the BMP file, save it as GIF under the same file name, open the next file and so on. I have to do it manually as I don't have any decent batch converter. The ones I've seen don't retain the original colors. That is, the sky may be, for example, 6080FF, but, using batch converters causes that color to change to 6666FF instead, which is a big difference. Doing it manually using 20/20 keeps the 6080FF color as exactly 6080FF. My animations usually don't get much more than even 40 unique colors in total, so the 256-color palette is of no worry at all. My latest animation could've been finished entirely in about 6 hours instead of 20 as most of that time was wasted from having to copy and paste files like crazy and having to fight my system having low resources and stuff wasting 5 minutes for restarts.
#6 Five digits again: You probably know, in Winamp, I listen to the same song over and over again. Well, one song, being about 70 seconds per loop (at true speed; exactly it's 70.15946 seconds) has played over 10,000 times! No, I'm not after the 65,535 test thing as I've already done it and I'm not going to 4 billion something either. Desert Zone and Out Where the Lake Is are also close to the 10,000 mark. If it wasn't for system restorations since I've firsted used Winamp (which is probably like 9 to 12 months ago), OWTLI could easily have had close to even 40,000 plays and Desert Zone close to around 15,000 plays! Yes, I can stand listening to a song that often and frequent!
#7 My script: Though I didn't go online at all yesterday due to extreme involvement on my game design, up to this point, I still haven't received a response from them yet. It's starting to bother me a lot.
#8 Shower log for May 4, 2005: On the day before I was going to go to Canada, my mom made me take a shower. I seriously forgot to look at the clocks so I had no idea how long I spent. Guessing, for me, is no where near reliable (if, for example, the actual time was 35, my guess could be anywhere from 20 to even 45 and I tend to underestimate!)
#9 Travel log for May 7, 2005: Unlike the previous travel logs, this one is very short. All I did was just go to KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) and to Pizza Hut (again). The time it took was relatively short, probably 20 minutes. When I came home, I looked at my poster on my wall to figure out where I went (my poster is of high-res satellite imagery of my home town). I can't tell even a general idea on where I went. The pizza hut restaurant is tiny, probably like 4 by 6 pixels and on an image printed at 185 dpi, this makes it extremely hard to find. I frequently glance at the poster.
#10 Not working on puzzles any more: Since like Apr 26, I haven't been watching TV as much as I was mainly because I regained my interest in game development. Because of that, I haven't been working on my puzzle either. since the last update, not a single new piece has been added and only 5 points from 5 pieces scored from the update before.
5 May 3, 2005
May 3, 2005: I've been going crazy with my game development again. Also, I've ran some experiments and found the cause to my low frame rate. I might also be going to Canada on May 6, 2005. 9 new dreams have been added as well. One new screenshot has been added to my windows collection featuring a very unusual error that I've never seen before. I also got a new poster as well.
#1 Major game development progress: I've done major progress with my game development. I'm now up to 20 screenshots of my game's development progress. At this point, I'm debating on designs for the goal platform. The tutorial level has been completely redone as well. It looks much better than it was before. See category 9 and compare the screenshots on the first page to the ones on the second.
#2 Low frame rate problem solved: The point in me getting the Radeon 9600XT video card was to get a faster video card, however, from previous news entries, you may recall (or read) that the new video card was just as slow as the old one. Well, I now found the culprit. If you have a lot of entities on the screen, the frame rate drops heavily. Having just 500 objects visible on the screen with just four polygons, a 16x16 skin image (the texture), and a small size, I was getting a poor frame rate. With a huge skin size nearly filling up the video memory, the frame rate was over 60 fps so the skin size has practically nothing to do with the frame rate. High-poly versus low-poly had results that I expected. Tons of entities with a ton of polygons has a horrible frame rate. I did expect this to happen. Here are my detailed experimentation results:
skin size (16x16 versus 2048x1024), object size (4x4 by 8 high versus 1024x1024 by 512 high), polygon quantity (4 versus 4096)
skin size (S for 16x16, L for 2048x1024), object physical size (S for 4x4 by 8 high versus 1024x1024 by 512 high), poly count (S for 4 polys, L for 4096 polys)
S S S = 48 fps @ 208 objects, 35 fps @ 312 objects, 26 fps @ 416 objects, 18 fps @ 624 objects;
L S S = maxed fps @ 27 objects;
S L S = maxed fps @ 64 objects, 38 fps @ 256 objects, 22 fps @ 512 objects;
L L S = maxed fps @ 27 objects;
S S L = 50 fps @ 9 objects, 28 fps @ 18 objects, 15 fps @ 36 objects; 8 fps @ 72 objects;
L S L = 50 fps @ 9 objects, 28 fps @ 18 objects;
maxed fps - greater than 60 fps. From this experiment, this means that my new video card can support about 34,000 polygons per frame at the full 60 fps (or about 2 million per second). This isn't quite what I expected or was hoping for. My old card had like 20% of that so it's a big improvement (I can't recall well enough to say for sure though). I might need to get a faster processor according to what I'm getting from the forums.
#3 I might be going to Canada: Though I'm not sure if I'll make it as far as my sleep-wake cycle goes as currently, my situation looks pretty bad, though possible. Currently, I'm half on the day shift, half on the night. Mom wants to leave at 7:00 AM and, under normal means, I wouldn't be awake at that time. However, knowing that I can only speed up my sleep-wake cycle, and that fighting to prevent myself from going to sleep, this is going to be very difficult, although possible. If only I would've known about it earlier.... Unfortunately, I don't know where I'll be going for sure.
#4 9 new dreams have been added: A monster update for my dreams list! I now have 194 dreams documented in all. Among the new dreams are a bunch featuring trains in some way. Also included is a dream featuring a nice rock museum that has been repeated once before only more in tact. The newest dreams are dreams 2-24 (which sparked the idea for my latest game development project), 5-22 through 5-24, 6-11, 9-5 (a big time disliked dream), and 11-32 through 11-34. Just 6 more to go to reach another milestone: 200.
#5 New Windows screenshot: If I catch something unusual, I take a screenshot of it. Indeed, I did catch something unusual and I did take a screenshot of the weird error. See category 10 for a shortcut link to it.
#6 New poster: Although I was going to be getting it around Apr 18, 2005 or so, there were some delays. Because I had no form of transportation during the weekdays, the only time the place was open, they had to deliver it. Because the place is nearly 8 1/4 miles away (by the roads), using a taxi could mean using another $20 or so (assuming 10 cents per block without an initial fee)! The poster is rather large. It's nearly 3 feet high by about 3 1/3 feet wide. It's a full-color view of my home town. The quality is so high that it's next to impossible to see pixelation. For $44.95, it's worth it. Hopefully this doesn't have too big of an effect on my goal for saving up for fireworks.
#7 Travel log for Apr 30, 2005: Continuing the logs, this is for Apr 30, 2005. I left at 12:40 PM ± 5 minutes. I went to the bank to make a deposit then went to one of the second-hand stores that I have little interest in. While waiting for my mother to do her stuff, I stood near the cash register out of the way and waited. When a customer paid, I calculated the change before the cashier could ring it up on the cash register. I was surprisingly fast to some and I amazed them from my high speed mental math capabilities. From there, I went to Pizza Hut and ordered pizza. I dined in the restaurant. I got my usual: A large pizza with hand-tossed crust (medium thickness), with three extra toppings of cheese. I had a coupon for this, however. When I got my pizza, I started degreasing it. While my mom ate what she ordered, I degreased my pizza. By the time we had to go, I was at the finishing stages of degreasing my pizza. When the waitress came, my favorite part of the day, she had a dumb look on her face stating why I didn't eat. To the side of my pizza was a pile of napkins nearly two inches high! Yet, the bad thing was that I forgot to take extra napkins with me to further degrease it while I ate. I had to end up wiping the grease stuff on my clothes. Also, I forgot about my drink I got (a Hi-C orange that I shouldn't have got (which wasn't a soda)), so I had to drink it up. I'm a fast drinker so that helped. I drank the entire 30 ounces or so that were left in about 2 minutes. The slow down is having to breathe. From Pizza Hut, it was the shoe store. I ate one slice out of my pizza here. Next was the Salvation Army. I didn't go inside as I waited in the car eating. I ate nearly half the pizza and my pants were getting really clobbered with the grease. I had to stop eating from there although I was quite full too. Next up was the bread store. I was done eating so I went inside the bread store with my mom. I didn't have anything important here to get. It was one of two grocery store visits that was next on the list. The first stop had everything I needed and wanted except my lemonades (they had the regular lemonades, I wanted the light instead which tastes better and helps reduce my calorie consumption). The second grocery store visit was where I got my lemonades. I got six boxes of them and so far, at the time of posting this, I've gone through 1 1/2 boxes worth (18 cans). The lemonades are cheaper than the Powerades by the ounce. I usually get my Powerades for 89¢ (32-ounces). My lemonades are usually $3.99 for a case of 12 12-ounce cans (144 total ounces), which contains 4 1/2 times as much liquid. This equates to 88 2/3¢ per ounce. The store had them on sale for $3.33 so I took the chance and got several of them. Usually, I get four at a time. The final stop was the second of two second-hand stores. In here, I discovered a trick to calculate where a mirror is pointed, a flat mirror in particular. I call it the "angle bisection technique". Basically, I find an object clearly visible and distinguishable in the mirror and center it in the mirror by adjusting my position. Then, from my position, I look for that object. The point halfway between is where the mirror is located. The place changed a lot as well. Instead of circular things that clothes hang on, they've been replaced by a rod in a straight line. This saves space as circles are bad for tessellation. I also found a broken hanger and gave it to the store manager as well as a hanger in good condition that was lying on the floor. In addition, I found a nickle (5¢) in here. I found a penny (1¢) earlier, but I don't remember where I found it. I finally returned home at 5:10 ± 5 minutes.
#8 Song stuck in my head again: I've got another song stuck in my head. While I was out on Apr 30, 2005 (see news entry above), I've had a song stuck in my head again. This time, it's not Out Where the Lake Is. It's one not listed on the songs index. For a hint on what it is, see my latest Windows screenshot and look at the song being played.
#9 Saving up for fireworks progress: At this point, I'm behind by $20 from my goal of saving at least $80 a month for fireworks. Because of the DSL stuff, having to buy the router, NIC cards, and computer fan, it hurt my progress. Bad as it is, the fan I got was way too big and it wouldn't fit inside the processor area well because of the power supply. I'm going to have to get a fan about 2 inches high at the maximum. I'd hate to have to waste another $10 to $15 for another fan.... The poster I just got (item number 6) was also a rather big blow toward this. Hopefully I can make up for what I lost from my goal.
#10 There goes another 2 appliances: It was 20 years old or so, but the clothes drier was starting to go haywire. It has been replaced as well. Next, the refridgerator is going to be replaced. The new one is bigger and ice is easier to make. Though I hate the cold, the ice thing isn't for me. The fridge, however, hasn't been replaced yet. The area needs to be cleaned up first and 95% of it is merely junk in my opinion.
Go to another time:
Earlier than 2005: Earlier than Nov 2004 | Nov 2004 (and late Oct 2004) | Dec 2004
Year 2005: January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December
Year 2006: January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December
Year 2007: January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December
Year 2008: January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December
Year 2009: January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December
Year 2010: January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December
Year 2011: January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December
Year 2012: Yet to arrive....
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):
|Extremely major event / Very good day|
|Major event / Good day|
|Somewhat major event / Somewhat good day|
|Normal event / Average day|
|Somewhat minor event / Somewhat bad day|
|Minor event / Bad day|
|Extremely minor event / Very bad day|
There are no footnotes for this page.