If you want to understand the blog and how it's laid out, go here.
Because the headlines span across 2 months from mid-August to late October of 2007, they are repeated for the months of September and October.
Oct 24, 2007
Oct 24, 2007: Mega progress and enhancements were made to my 2D game, the vacation failed to occur but with new hope, and I'm back at FF6 World (again). Two of the 40 new dreams recalled have an unusually high "nature" rating compared to the others with one being very well-recalled. August set a 2 dream-recalling records - most consecutive and the highest rate for the longest time. The pranksters from December 2006 came back, again. I got 3 new games and lots more videos on YouTube.
#1 Mega progress and enhancements for my 2D game: Think back to when version 2.4 was released, in August of 2006. The ground was perfectly flat and the scenery wasn't all that advanced. There were just 8 challenges and 4 difficulty settings but most of the abilities in my mind game (leviburst does not count since it wasn't thought of at the time). Even if you had the full edition for 2.4, that's still nothing to what all the new enhancements have to offer, even the free edition. There's just so many of them:
Slopes - run around on a varied landscape, from hills and mountains, to lakes and plains. This feature alone, which has done stamps all the way across it in terms of the actual maps, adds numerous enhancements to the special abilities.
Water - splish splash, but where's that fox when you need it!? I just had to mention that. While I have practically no special abilities in my mind game that are water-specific, many of the other abilities are enhanced even further with it. In the air, the flash attack will only give about 100 mph of speed. Used at the surface of the water, it gives about 280 mph!
Redesigned challenge system - while the new version keeps to the original concept of, say, reaching 200 mph within 10 seconds without using the flash attack or speed blast, there are so many enhancements, a sublist is needed.
Previously, there were just 8 challenges and 4 difficulty settings. Now there are 17 (16 used) with 9 main difficulty settings. There was just a single tournament and now there are 2. If I can come up with another 7 challenges, a third tournament could be added for even more variety.
Earlier, after successfully completing a challenge, you'd only see the score increase. The new version shows you where all the scoring comes from, in the way modern games do where you see a list of aspects (such as time bonus or clear bonus) and how many points you scored for that part.
An all-new rank system is based on the difficulty setting. Each rank, from 0 to 8, has a title. You start with only rank 0 available but as you successfully win each tournament, your rank increases by 1. Can you manage to beat rank 7 and see what the title is for the ultimate rank?
The way challenges start is also completely different. Earlier, you just needed to come to a complete stop on the ground. With the slopes feature, I saw a big problem with this because, then, a mountain-based challenge would start, say, 45 miles away. The fix was to have the character get to a marked position, using a start line of some sort, but the problem with this is, even if going 800 mph at normal time, you could still be waiting for over 3 1/2 minutes just to get there. Then, as I often have in my dreams, why not allow for the usage of the insta-teleport ability and get there in just seconds! After all, going 9000 mph will get you anywhere in the 90-mile landscape in just 18 seconds. Yet, most challenges won't get you that far out anyway, so it'll be much less. To use it, you only need to press one key to get there in an instant. You could still, however, do it manually if you wanted.
Scenery further enhanced - the scenery is made much more realistic than I previously planned. Again, too numerous, so another sublist is needed....
Mathematically accurate lighting - the lighting is now mathematically accurate, and learned new math skills along with it - dot products and 3D vectors. The lighting system in the 2.4 version is much closer than I realized it was.
Far better 3D effects - I previously had only a thin ground envisioned with no sense of perspective. Now, as my latest plans go, there's going to be a pathway much like that of my record animation, "The Mega Race" where it has obvious 3D effects. Not only that, but the ground was originally planned to have very large differences in the scaling causing a very course feel. The new version has it almost indistinguishable, like it was a 3D game.
Lakes AND forests - beyond the closest hills, the "prelake hills" as I tend to refer to them as, I only envisioned a single, nearly elliptical lake. Now as my plans go, there's not only going to be several lakes in this same area, spanning 4 miles outward, there's also forests! I had the idea of small towns, but I rejected that idea very quickly losing motive. I followed my vision very closely to mimic it as much as I can. I still need some fine adjustments though. I even made some very nice-looking textures as well for the lakes and forests, especially the forests, of which I like the most.
Optimizations used - with the new optimization techniques, not only do I save about 8 MB of memory from 43 MB at the time, but I also get much better-looking textures. Originally, the lakes were just a plain old solid sky blue color with nothing in the way of textures, even the forests. Now, they've got rich detail using 1 MB less memory than expected. With the adjustments with the ground, a further 5 MB was saved while still allowing greater quality. With the ground the character runs around on now optimized, yet another 2 MB got saved. There's still more potential with the clouds, especially the closest layers which have large areas of fully transparent areas and, by separating the individual clouds out, another possible 4 MB can be saved here, though, since details aren't yet known until I draw the clouds, this could be different.
New tutorial system - previously, the text included a bunch of details about the physics of the abilities on how they're used and a bit of other not-so-important information. The new version has a twist. There will be a quick run tutorial that strictly explains the fundamentals within 10 minutes max (15 is the absolute max time with 5 minutes as the main target). The current system will also be used going in depth, including the physics behind the abilities, but this is optional. Furthermore, even the tutorial has been expanded to cover other details and is spread out among 5 chapters. While highly undecided, the quick-run and landscape tutorials are likely to have narration included, though others may get it as well depending on both motive and file size. For a better result, I'll definitely need to learn how to create, remove, and change the size of arrays. Would you want a 5 MB chunk of memory in use for the quick-run tutorial, even though it's not being used at all? Why waste 5 MB of memory when I could have just 0 bytes used when it's not needed (then the 5 MB gets used only when needed)?
Since the last update in mid-August, I've finished a bit more of the character leaving 3 abilities and the lighting left to do, I've done all 20 layers of the prelake hills, got about half that of the lakes done (lost motive), made many new plans and changed a few here and there, planned out optimizations for the scenery to minimize memory usage and maximize detail, planned out my 16 intended minimum number of challenges and worked out a few bugs and problems with the design, planned the tutorial's main plan, and worked out the fine details for a few other things as well, all about 15% completion there alone.
While working on the prelake hills (the largest layers), I set a new record, triple my previous, for the largest number of page faults. Just one program has 100 times more than all other combined - over 400 million. Yes, 400 million! In fact, by simply moving layers, it's possible to get as many as even 130,000 page faults per second - 8 seconds for a million of them. I've never seen any program sustain that number of page faults for such a long time period, but this only accounts for about 20% of all page faults. Most of them come from processing the lighting which, though only giving about 25,000 a second, takes hours to do rather than a few minutes. These 3 screenshots show you what I mean:
Screenshot #1: This shows GIMP having 273 million page faults, which, before I started working on the prelake hills, was double my previous record. The 650,000 delta value is because Task Manager slows down on its updating and with the greater change occurring. With 100,000 a second (as it was in this case), the delay is about 6.5 seconds.
Screenshot #2: If doubling wasn't enough, try triple! This is otherwise very similar to the first screenshot above. Here, the 700,000 delta value for the page faults is the same as the above, only, instead of 100,000, it's 120,000 which means this was obtained in under 6 seconds. It was a bit later that I found out how to get the maximum known rate of 145,000.
Screenshot #3: This is my current confirmed record - 436.3 million page faults. This screenshot shows it in comparison with the other programs. Note GIMP having 436.3 million while no other program even reached the one million mark. In fact, if you were to add up the number of page faults for all other programs here and compare this with just GIMP alone, you'll see that GIMP has more than 120 times as many page faults. For all other programs that have run before and were closed, this amounts to still about 100 times as much.
So, with the prelake hills done, what does the game look like? Currently, no programming is even done for it. While the checklist says I have, this is due entirely to my previous project, "The Interactive Animation" which has the same elements as my 2D game does. The closest would be a "simulation screenshot" but that I'm not going to do for a bit, at least until I redo the foreground landscape images (not the slope map, the images to be drawn on screen to represent it). #2 Vacation failed but with new hope: 65% of the blame goes on mom for it. First, she wanted me to get over the mirror thing and like that's going to happen in just 4 months' time. I find all sorts of detours and tricks around it that doesn't present much of a problem and taking the detours means exercise as well so it has a bonus (and for stores, the benefit of me seeing other products I normally wouldn't look at). This, however, is only a small part of it. While I was taking the trash out to the dumpster, while she was on the phone with the one I was going to see, she told the one that I wasn't coming. The bulk of the rest of the blame comes from my low motive of going to Minnesota. I'd have rather gone to freezing Alaska than Minnesota even though I hate the cold with 1.4 times more motive. The last bit of it comes from the fact that, since I haven't been on vacation is now more than 7 years, I sort of forgot what's even like to be on one which also has an effect on the motive, a small negative one. Mom left, all alone, on August 31, nearly two weeks earlier than expected, and was gone for about 10 or so days.
There is, however, new hope for next year with, at the moment, 15% odds (compare that to my 2.5% - that's 6 times higher). The whole family is to go out somewhere and I thought of a way to decide on where to go. The system I envisioned goes like this:
Each family member should write down all the places they would like to visit individually. I, as of Oct 15, 2007, have 6 places.
Around March or April of 2008, all the places that everyone thought of will go into a single master list, sorted alphabetically. We then vote on each place scoring 1 to 3 points, a very simple range. You'd score a 1 if you wanted to avoid the place and a 3 if you really wanted to go there. A 2 is for if you sort of do but not really. Most places I'd likely vote for would be 2's or 3's with an occasional 1.
The top 5 places (or something like that) with the highest scores will then be placed on another list and we score them 1 to 10 in a similar way as 1 to 3.
The place after this with the highest total score will be the place we go to. If a tie is present, then probability will take over, a flip of the coin for a tie of 2 places, the roll of a die for 3 to 6 places, and the die plus the coin for 7 to 12 places.
I have so far came up with 6 places:
Hawaii - quite expected given my mind game and my greatest wishes. I'd score it a 3 and a 9.
Bahamas - somewhat expected knowing that "evil teacher". I'd score it a 2 and 5.
Colorado - I want to climb a real mountain (a short one though, like 7000 feet) rather than the 200 mph way in my mind game. It's also a common theme in my dreams. I'd score it a 3 and an 8.
San Francisco, California - to experience the big cities and see what they're like (5-story buildings are huge to me, but 5 is nothing to the big cities which can have 50+). Forum members (from HWW) are also on my mind in this case. I'd score it a 3 and a 7.
London, UK - similar to the one above, but not as much interest. I'd score it a 2 and a 4.
Miami, Florida - based on a recent dream I liked and a cross between Colorado and Hawaii. I'd score it a 3 and a 7.
Note that I have no 10's. Hawaii, though highly wished for, is only a 9 for one reason - the volcanoes. The first three relate to my mind game. With Hawaii, it's gliding around the volcano and the forests below, also messing around with cliffs near the ocean - charging up the speed blast. With the Bahamas, my mind game plays little role, rather, it was that "evil teacher" (who has the lowest known compatibility of -5100) who went there. With Colorado, mountains are the only things that come to mind and is a common destination of my mind game - dashing around at high speeds making use of the speed blast and float run. Since I do this often and that I haven't seen a real mountain outside TV, photos, and other things like that (which can be faked), I've always wanted to climb a mountain. With California, it's two things - two forum members that come to mind with a small chance of a third, and seeing what big cities are really like (a 5-story building to me is huge, I have yet to experience anything beyond 19 stories). The quakes are the only things that bother me with California (considering I never experience quakes). With London, it's, again, a forum member, but not much of a place of interest. With Miami, it's based on a very recent well-liked dream. #3 Phone pranksters at it again: On Sep 22 and Oct 12, I got 4 more calls supposedly from those same pranksters in Dec 2006 and their luck is lowered thanks to my mom. You may recall that my motive for getting into that kind of stuff is -23,000 (which has decreased to -30,000 due to a -1.3 affector). They've actually helped me build up extra defenses making it harder for not just them, but anyone to get me involved. The first was on Sep 22, 2007 at 1:56 AM (±1 minute) and another just 3 or so minutes later (±2 minutes). The third one was on Oct 12, 2007 at 11:35 PM then again at 11:37 PM. #4 40 new dreams, 2 special ones, proposals, and a record August: Of the 40 new recalled dreams (now at 648 total - a check found I was off by 1), two especially caught my attention and were stuck in my mind for days, one for over a week. The one where I rise up toward an airplane on a bed mattress in a very foggy environment and cast slow on it has an unusually high nature rating - 550 (still only about 40% of the best known at 1300), which dwarves all other ratings and then some (this is dream 8-46). The other one involving a trip to Miami, which made me add "Miami" to my list of places to visit, was a favorite but no where near as much as the one where I cast slow on the airplane. One of the other dreams, not these with the unusually high nature ratings, is recalled well enough that it is posted as a story. In August 2007, I recalled an extremely large number of dreams in a very short time period, 26 for the entire month. Usually, August is my unluckiest month but that wasn't the case in terms of dreams. I also set a new record for the most consecutive recalled dreams. From August 7 until August 23, I recalled at least one dream each day, two cases of 2 dreams in one night. That's 16 consecutive days and 18 dreams in those 16 days. Normally, I'd have had 16 dreams in about 32 days, a whole month. Not only that, but the amazing streak lasted until August 27. For the month of August, I missed the day's dream on 6, 25, 28, 29, and 31. My sleep-wake cycle made 29 actual days to me instead of 31. In two cases, I recalled 2 dreams in one night. For the greatest peak in dreams recalled per day over the longest time period (sleep-wake days, not actual days), that would be from August 1 to August 27 where exactly a dream a day was recalled. It was only at the end of the month that this was lost due to missing the day's dream several times.
Two things about the dream journal stick out that are in need of attention. First, the document is just cluttered. Because of the change to the "times better than neutral" system from the half-step system, along with other new, the dream journal's main page has gotten very cluttered. To get rid of some of these notices, I'll very likely need to go through the old dreams and convert to the newest format for the ratings bar as doing this will eliminate the need for explaining the details about them. It's been something I've wanted to do for now over a year, but when motive goes negative, you know what happens. Another thing is my thought of creating new categories. I have 6 thought of at the moment. I've been thinking of splitting the "travel" dreams category into 2 or 3 separate categories - local, foreign, and fictional with "fictional" being the questioned one. Then, another thought is creating 1 or 2 more to clear up the "other" category some. The biggest one would be multicategory dreams for the lately-common dreams that fit multiple categories almost equally well. The other is for vaguely recalled dreams, though this is quite unlikely. Still, two further categories are thought of. One is for those dreams that involve being chased or chasing something, chase dreams. The other is similiar and involves escapes. This is at least another 5 more categories. #5 Huge website traffic spike: Usually, my bandwidth hovers around 2 to 3 GB per month, but lately, for September, I've had a spike reaching almost 14 GB. I wanted to make two graphs showing the bandwidth and files transferred since my domain was first available in October 2004, 3 years ago.
Since October of 2004, this is a graph showing the number of files transferred over the years. While my style has had very little change, there's a clear increase in the number of files transferred. What does that mean? Let's say you visit a page that has two images, an included fragment, a stylesheet, and the icon (favicon.ico). Just viewing this page would mean 6 file transfers which is about the typical. For the bandwidth, the ratio ranges from 35 kilobytes to 1 transfer to up to 50 kilobytes to 1 transfer. For simple terms, just multiply the value by 40 to get the bandwidth. That puts the spike for September at a monster 14 GB! The gray extensions of the bars for July and August of 2006 is because of the DNS change/server change and a huge number of robots came in. The colored bars represent approximate nonrobot traffic while the gray ones represent everything. July also has some uncertainties due to the loss of a few days' worth of data, but this isn't much of an offset and the graph reflects an approximation over this time period.
#6 FF6 World - what is with that song!?: Before I played Final Fantasy 6, Final Fantasy 1 World was the dominate song (not Battle Zone even though it had more consecutive days) and I wasn't so strongly attracted to either of them. Then, along comes FF6 World when I began playing Final Fantasy 6 and for a long while, I've been attracted to it, especially the first 4 measures of part 2 (measures 17 through 20). When I got FF6, I was listening to the world map music for a record 52 1/4 days (1/7 of a year) and was at it for a long time after this as well. Then again, I returned to FF6 World on Oct 13, 2007 and as of this update, I'm still at it. I wonder if I really am going to get 100 total days' worth in an entire year - it seems within reach. What does it sound like? What about my top-favorite part that has a spike at 2800 compatibility? Well, I do have a video on YouTube where this song (and FF6 Battle which isn't anywhere near as good) plays, but it has sound effects mixed in as well and the song is fragmented due to all the battles. This video has the best part occurring just 5.2 seconds in lasting until 17.3 seconds in, roughly 12 seconds. This is only true speed and there are no slowed down versions. For a slowed down version of a different song, that of Metropolis in Sonic 2, this video has it. It starts during the slow motion part. I only added the slow motion part to give viewers a sense of the sheer speed the endless fall glitch provides, which is faster than any 2D game I've ever seen (outside my own). The screen scrolling rate is very slow, but it's the speed that Sonic and Knuckles both move, up to 128 pixels per frame (after which variable overflow occurs causing going down to become going up). #7 YouTube video tutorials - lost motive: When motive goes negative (below neutral), one never gets involved with the activity until motive gets out of negative territory. This happened with two video tutorials I was working on. The first one was how I make my complex 3D-like animated GIFs. I spent a few days getting the "lesson screens" done and worked out, but two things caused me to lose motive. The sheer length is one as the video spans over an hour even for a short, simple animation of barely 100 frames. The other is the fact that, since I haven't made an animation the old-fashioned way in over a year, I'm prone to mistakes that I normally wouldn't make. Another video tutorial was one on my group multiplication trick where I multiply more than 2 numbers at the same time without doing them in pairs. I quickly lost motive here. #8 Mom's work place - 2.8 years since I last went there: Ever since I turned 21, I've been "kicked off" the nearby air base which is where mom's work place is. That was 2.8 years ago. Then, on October 20, I went there for the first time in 2.8 years. I was originally going to troubleshoot her computer as it was "slow" to her, but I didn't encounter any troubles. The memory was a bit low, but for basic internet and office usage, it was good enough, considering more than 100 MB was still free (eliminating the use of swapfile as the cause (which is very slow)). The CPU usage was near idle (about 2% which, for the processor in the computer, isn't an issue). There weren't any recognizable spyware programs that I could see but I didn't have a spyware scanner. After this basic troubleshooting, I typed something up on that computer related to her work place stuff. Once done, I got involved with the decorations where I first put up lighted bats, then put together a "grim reaper" that was made of tubes and "direction-changers" (like tees). After this, it was putting aluminum foil on walls then putting air in small blow-up aliens. Lastly, it was getting paper up on a wall for a fall theme. Along the way, I amazed two that were here with my amazing math abilities. #9 YouTube Sonic videos: While Sonic 3 & Knuckles is my top favorite game of all, I'm almost always playing as Sonic and Tails together. I recorded a full game as Knuckles in Sonic 3 & Knuckles as well as Knuckles in Sonic 2 and processed them. Although narration/commentary were planned, they were rejected since it would cause motive to go negative. Other Sonic videos involve Metropolis Zone's endless fall glitch, the 255-lives glitch in Sonic 2, a strange thing with Mushroom Hill Zone (and a fox remover), fox drowns, and Sonic 2's special stages. Normally, I pause the game a lot which has the major advantage of working around human limitations, mostly reaction time and reflexes, but in these videos, I don't use any pausing at all (except the Metropolis one to use frame advance just so you can see how far Sonic moves in just one frame but that's only temporary).
This is for the "Knuckles in Sonic 2 full game" series. The one for the Sonic 3 & Knuckles one has been rejected since I'm spending too much time fiddling around.
#10 3 new games: I got two new games for the Genesis and one more for the Playstation 1. Bart's Nightmare for the Genesis is one I once only rented. While it has no good music, I have yet to actually collect all 8 pages. I've only managed to get 3 pages but I've still gotten an A+ score without getting any pages at all. The other Genesis game is Virtual Pinball. You can make your own pinball games with it, something I plan on making a C program for but with a lot more functionality to it. The Playstation 1 game is "Bugs Bunny: Lost in Time". It, too, like all the others were games I only rented. The thing I liked most about the Bugs Bunny game is the part where you drive a motorcycle in an area filled with holes. I once, long ago, recorded over 2 hours' worth of this because I found it so funny. While I haven't quite completed the game 100%, I'm very close to doing so. I have two others I'd like to get as well. Tiny Toons Buster's Hidden Treasure for the Genesis (a game I only rented with one known good song (that of the first level)), and Jumping Flash 2. While I have JF2, the disk is full of scratches and is covered with paint. Yes, paint. The game is very jerky when played and the sounds are highly distorted. Unlike with selling on Ebay where Paypal has become "Payfoe", buying is not a problem as far as I've seen. #11 Hey dad, where's your patience at!?: This is the one thing that I don't like about my father - he's highly impatient. On September 16, this was definitely the case. I was supposedly going to go to the grocery store but needed to take a shower. The day before, I planned to eat first, take my shower, then go, but no, impatient dad went well before I took my shower. He's impatient with many other things as well. For me, I have backup plans and other side plans. When the cooker tray for my pizza cooker is not washed and no one is available, I either wait until someome is available, I have pizza rolls instead, or, in the least likely case, I pig out on snack foods and a pound of Lucky Charms (yes, cereals to me are snacks, not really breakfast) wouldn't be anything unusual. If I encounter a problem with my programming or game design stuff, I put it off and go do something else until I have a solution. Why can't my dad do this if he has "lots of things to do"? I run into cases with dad like this 5 to 10 times a year. #12 The worst time of year is now: To me, the worst time of year is from mid-October to mid-November. During this time, I struggle a lot to keep warm reducing my motive for showers, falling leaves means lot of semi-unnecessary yard work (Why bother raking the leaves when there are still a lot left (like 50%)?). Winter and Summer are the best times of year to me. Winter means cold outside so you might be wondering on that. The house is heated better during the winter than the spring and fall which is mainly the only reason why. Plus, my second-favorite holiday occurs during the Winter - Christmas (Independence Day is only 20% better). #13 New mouse and mouse pad: My previous mouse was faulty as the light would often fail to turn off and a bug with Windows XP in high-precision mode would cause the mouse arrow to drift to the top and left sides of the screen. The bug is 100% reproducible - move the mouse very slowly to the right so it moves 1 pixel. Then, move it to the left to repeat and no matter what you do, you can't get it to move exactly 1 pixel immediately afterwards, always at least 2. The same applies for down then up as well. The mousepad I had was 12 years old and had a few sticky spots on it and it's not really designed for optical mice. It was also very small, barely 8 inches in diameter (it's a circle). I thought of getting a replacement and did. The new mouse is so good that I don't even need the high-precision feature and and I can really cut back on the speed as well. The new mouse pad I got is quite a bit bigger and it has a slightly better-liked image, though Newegg didn't have anything of greater interest in terms of the image. #14 New songs - Sonic 2: I realized that I didn't have any of the songs from Sonic 2 and while processing the Metropolis Endless Fall video, where a slow-motion version of Metropolis is used, I had a sudden urge to get the well-liked songs from Sonic 2 - Metropolis, of course, being the best of all (especially part 2 (of 3)). I also got two others but forgot one. The one I forgot is the regular boss music. #15 Site glossary added: Ever wonder what I mean by a certain term? There's a few terms I commonly use not just on my website, but on forums, on the phone, practically anywhere. While some, such as "hex editor" and "logarithmic", are terms others know, some, such as "float run" (a special ability common in my dreams and mind game) or "affector" are used in other cases. I made this page specifically for this. #16 New thoughts toward my animations: Remember "The Mega Race", my current record animation? Well, I've got new thoughts of making more animations, mainly redos. Remember "Mountain Fun"? The scenery in that one, to me, doesn't look all that decent and I would like to redo it. The positions are already calculated, though I would like to add a speed and elevation indicator, along with a big enhancement to the scenery. I've spotted 2 mistakes with "The Mega Race" and I'd like to simply just redo it and even make a longer one with 5000 frames. Not only longer, but with 3D-behaving lakes in the background as well, instead of the flat one I've got. I've only just been getting these thoughts lately. The main thing holding my motive back is the need to create a program (in C - forget Gamestudio). This isn't actually all the difficult - it just uses many of the principals and concepts in "The Interactive Animation", only with a few extra details. #17 Math block puzzle-genre game: While being involved with the "Mean Bean Machine" game on Sonic Mega Collection, I had the idea of making a puzzle game involving numbers. The details are poorly worked out (little detail) and some details are classified. It's just a side project I could do and unlike my 2D game, it's mostly just programming rather than scenery. #18 What a stubborn DVD Recorder!: In late August of 2007, my parents got a DVD recorder to record old home movies off of a VCR. The manual is very confusing and poorly written as it tells you to go to page XX to learn about A, and a little later on, page YY to learn about B. In A, it says of going to page ZZ to learn about C which was what I was just looking at. I spent nearly 3 hours on the phone with tech support (hold time not included), 2 hours fiddling with it myself, and the whole thing is just otherwise confusing to use. At least there was one good side - the support staff was very friendly and helpful. #19 Sonic Labyrinth in Sonic DX - I'm completely stumpedwith 3-3: In Sonic DX, there's a minigame called Sonic Labyrinth which seems somewhat like Sonic 3D blast. The first two zones I've managed to complete, but I'm completely stumped when it comes to zone 3-3. I have never found a solution on how to get the third key and I've never seen the exit door either. Near the top were I see an extra piece of land, there's a platform that goes in one direction only. The warps near the bottom don't take me there and I don't see any other routes to get there either. It is the only minigame I have never completed. #20 FF5 - a new discovery for this very boring game: Of all the Final Fantasy games I've played (1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 12), FF5 is the second-worst, and close to dropping below that of FF8. There are many things adding negative affectors to it. At first, the game started off good and I had no troubles with it, but, as soon as I started getting more of those crystals, it gradually got worse because the enemies got extremely powerful and it takes an extremely long time to level up, over an hour. Second, there didn't seem to be any way to cast any spell on multiple targets since the usual L1 and R1 method didn't work. Then, only by chance and an accidental discovery did I find the secret - keep moving the cursor toward the furthest edges of the screen. If on the side with the characters, all characters are targeted, useful for cure spells and on the side with the enemies, all enemies are targeted. Third, the story is quite boring from what little I've seen. While I would like to at least attempt to complete the game, this might be 2 years down the road at the rate I'm going and by then, I'd be well into my 2D RPG game.... #21 Cereal box puzzles - done in 3 to 5 minutes without any tools: On cereal boxes at least where I'm at, there are an assortment of puzzles - word searches, mazes, and various other things. I can do these cereal box puzzles without the need of any tools (like pencils or paper), and usually within 3 to 5 minutes. Word searches take the longest which, for the one on the Lucky Charms box where a secret message is revealed, can take 5 to 10 minutes to do. #22 Mind game event: random status effect spells at a gathering: Around August 20 or so, I had a mind game event where I'm in a hidden, out-of-the-way area overlooking a gathering of celebrities, police, guards, and the rare crook. In this mind game event, I'm casting various status effect spells on everyone except the general public. On the celebrities, police, guards, and other good ones, it beneficial status effect spells like "defense up", "magic shield", rarely "hasten" or "cure", and probably some others I don't recall. On the baddies though, it's negative status effects such as "slow", "defenseless", and some others I don't recall. This went on for about 2 1/2 to 3 weeks. #23 Forum members, relatives, and my music habits in my mind game: Quite often, I've been getting a recurring event in my mind game, two actually though quite similar. The first involves my relatives coming over and one of them sees me working on my game where I have FF6 World playing. The one recognizes that it doesn't quite sound right - I tell them it's slower than normal. After a while of further progress, the one who saw me comes back and realizes I'm still at the same song and same speed and wonders if I ever do change songs. I mention of my record of 52 1/4 consecutive days which causes the one to become shocked (even this record of mine shocked me when I did the calculations). Another relative, one of my grandmothers, has a similar case - sees that I'm working on my game (but doesn't recognize the song) and comes back about an hour later realizing I'm still listening to the same song.
I got a similar case with an event where I'm in California visiting 2 (3?) forum members. The details here aren't as well-recalled since I only had two such cases rather than almost 10. In my known case, one of the forum members (all?) become amazed with it. It's very similar with the relatives case, but there are some obvious differences (Carnival Night is used instead of FF6 World being the best recalled since, at the time, that's the song I was actively involved with.).
Oct 1: A weird exploration dream was recalled. Yay! Layer 11 and the last lighting gradient for a while is done. I did a more extensive look at the completion realizing I'm 17.2% done. I just passed the 1/6 mark today. Lots of TV around midnight slew me down, but made progress during the ads and "spam". The last 2 hours were spent at adding the points system. Current song: Carnival Night 78% for 2/3 of day, 80% for the rest. Woke up at 3:18 PM and went to bed at 7:45 AM. Oct 2: Layer 12 done with layer 13 about 15% done. I did a simulation image to get a sense as to how the scenery would look so far. I redone the last 2 of 5 stages for the previously done hills to make a small enhancement, taking only 1 1/2 hours. What progress! 9 points in one day for progress! I'm thinking the prelake hills aren't 160 points, rather, more like 120 to 140. The first layers took the longest, especially 5 through 8. I'd think I have 100 of 140 points or so. Layers 11 through 20 are 5 a piece. 5 through 8 are about 10 a piece and the rest at 8. The postlake hills are somewhat similar, but layers 5 through 8 (and a few others) need a new lighting gradient. A shortcut saving 30 seconds per object was found - not much but it helps. Layer 13 has 14 expected meaning almost 7 minutes are saved. Current song: Carnival Night 80% (64% on MP3 player when in bed). Woke up at 3:13 PM and went to bed at 3:48 AM. Oct 4: Lots off insta-teleporting was in the new recalled dream. Layer 13 is done but an urge to play and record a whole game of Sonic 2 without cheats or pausing took over. That went okay. I processed the one with Knuckles - 2 hours! Glug went the fox while waiting for the video to process. When the checklist was updated, even though layer 13 was done, I found I had less completion than I thought. The system is more accurate as its based on my recent experience. The clouds, lakes, and city are more uncertain. Practically nothing is known for the city since none of the detailed plans have been worked on. The lakes are a bit more, but from 50 to 200 points is likely. The clouds are next most certain, based on my past experience with version 2.4 where 5 a piece is the basis. Layer 13 was 1280x63. It takes 6 minutes per hill in stage 1 (78 total), 5 minutes for the lighting to process (65 minutes total), 10 to prepare for the lighting, and 20 to finalize. This is about 3 hours. Current song: Carnival Night 64%. Woke up at 4:48 PM and went to bed at 10:44 AM. Oct 5: Layer 14 done. A slow down from 2 things occurred. First, it was mom getting me at scanning something for her workplace stuff, but copying a copy isn't a good thing to do - it results in a drastically lower quality. The second is nothing new - the forums. Next it was TV (Assignment Discovery) and recording something related to the fox that I did while waiting for the lighting to process. It's a perfect fox drowner. I recorded at least 50 fox drowns then went to bed. While watching Assignment Discovery, I processed a video for YouTube - Sonic 2's special stages, from the game recorded yesterday. Current song: Carnival Night 64%. Woke up at 8:35 PM and went to bed at 10:29 AM. Oct 6: It took an hour (due mainly to mind drifts) to write details on the page-long fun travel dream. 43 MB memory needed? Try 35 MB! Lots of progress was made - layer 15 is done, layer 16 is 3/4 done with phase 1 (30%), new memory consumption reduction plans added (lakes use just under 25 KB for textures, the ground is similar), and with quality enhancements better than I had planned just 3 days ago! Still, some fine details, especially for the city, need to be processed. How to position the lakes is yet another challenge to be worked out. Tomorrow, if I have the same pace as today, layers 16 and 17 should be done, possibly with a start on 18. If so, the plans and this would add up to nearly 10 points, 9 likely. Current song: Carnival Night 64%. Woke up at 8:51 PM and went to bed at 11:20 AM. Oct 7: Layers 16 and 17 are done. Instead of starting layer 18, of which I'm debating on whether its really needed due to visibility (the closer layers blocking them at all heights), I extracted various songs from the classic Sonic games, Metropolis being the first followed by Sky Chase in Sonic 2. Carnival Night Act 1 and both Winter Zone versions (Ice Cap Zone). Ever since that last dream involving Miami, I've been thinking about it. The same occurred with the one where I cast slow on a plane. Current song: Carnival Night 64%. Woke up at 10:47 PM and went to bed at 12:59 PM. Oct 8: A rather boring dream was recalled. Layers 18 and 19 are done! I otherwise streamlined the process for the hills which saves a lot of time. I processed Metropolis for my MP3 player while working on layer 19's stage 2 (preparing for the lighting). Tomorrow should see the full completion of the prelake hills and a start on the lakes. One item on the checklist got the rejected stamp due solely to the very small size and otherwise tricky to spot. I switched to Metropolis 3/4 of the way through the day. Theory predicts 12 days straight (500% logarithmic margin of error (from 2 to 72). Current song: Carnival Night 64% for 3/4, Metropolis 75% (86% on MP3 player). Woke up at 12:28 AM and went to bed at 3:31 PM. Oct 9: A somewhat strange school-computer dream was recalled. Layer 20 is done making the prelake hills done. The detailed plans for the lakes are nearly done (debating on one detail - whether or not to include beaches, forests, and/or small towns). 2 weeks to do the lakes? Try just 5 days instead and even that seems a bit up there. 10-foot resolution is used rather than the originally-thought-of 20 or 25-foot resolution. I worked out the method on how to position these things and the first part, making a scale map, is in progress. The second involves writing a program to log positions much in a way like RLE compression. This data is used by the game to draw the objects at the positions (based on scaling) for the length needed (also based on scaling). This program is much simpler than the terrain map generator one. I started with 12.5 feet as the map scale due to the huge memory usage requirements, but went back to the 10-foot version which needs about 56% more memory. 12 days at Metropolis? Seems a bit low.... It's kept me active and cheerful. Part 3 used to be my best favorite, but now its part 2 by nearly double! Current song: Metropolis 86% for 1/2 day, speed swapping for 1/6 day, then 87% for 1/3 day, MP3 player at 86%. Woke up at 2:48 AM and went to bed at 4:51 PM. Oct 10: 2 dreams in one night! Yay! 5 lakes are done with 2 having an unusually long time spent on them. The first was what I thought my visions from a 9 or so months ago were from. My calculations tell me they are about 840 pixels wide, more than double what I expected. This one took long as I was copying one I made before that had an excellent shape. I then took very careful note of these visions and spent nearly an hour just calculating the positions and nailed it with great precision. The horizontal position is still questioned though. It's only when I see it in-game that I'll know for sure. I finished 2 others. By area, I'm 25% done with the lakes. Forests are 80% likely to be added and the small towns only 40%. The beaches only take 2 to 10 minutes to process, depending on the number of "special areas". I'm also really thinking of doing a site update. Current song: Metropolis 87%. Woke up at 3:35 AM and went to bed at 7:20 PM. Oct 11: 2 pages of details! What a dream! It took 90 minutes to write the details! 45% of the lakes are done by area. I attempted a small town but rejected the idea. They were the most likely to be rejected. The forests mimic the lakes with a crucial difference - they're green in color rather than a bluish gray. Forums and an unusually long daily checkup as well as the loss of motive is also playing a role in slowing me down. 1/6 completion doesn't seem like much considering I've still got forests yet, considering the lakes are less frequent on the eastern side (where all the lakes are in the foreground). The forests are yet to be decided on. Current song: Metropolis 87% for 1/3 day, 78% for rest (MP3 player at 75%). Woke up at 6:28 AM and went to bed at 9:44 PM. Oct 12: I had slow progress as 3 major things occurred - grocery shopping, mom's work stuff, and an urge to make a video on how I process my music. Still, a lake, a forest, and the start of another one (a large one) is all I did. Those pranksters called again at 11:35 PM then at 11:37 PM. Near the end of the day, I returned to FF6 World yet again. 9 attempts were made at processing the video for how I make my music with 2 being close. One was too long and the other was highly sound-distorted (sound is off by 10+ seconds) with lots of distortions in places of high CPU usage. A fix I thought of when in bed was to increase the thread priority some as I've done with GameBridge recently to prevent the jerks that updates to Norton and Zonealarm cause when they automatically run updates. Current song: Metropolis 87% for 9/10 day, FF6 World 90% for rest of day. Woke up at 7:58 AM and went to bed at 2:03 AM. Oct 13: Oh sure, travel-related dreams being recalled - I have enough to sink a container ship! Very little progress was made with my game - I'm losing motive for the lakes! Just 4 days ago, it was +35. Now its just +20. The site update is now the same at +20 when it was +15 just 4 days ago. The last 7 hours were spent recording 2 big videos - Sonic 2 with Knuckles and Sonic 3 & Knuckles as Knuckles, both full games without pausing, debug, or other cheats. The Sonic 2 one is near perfect! Current song: FF6 World 90%. Woke up at 11:40 AM and went to bed at 4:28 AM. Oct 15: Mom's work stuff, creating the 2 new stamps (for "no motive" and "bugs"), TV, working on site update, reprocessing FF6 World, resuming site update, and processing those 2 Sonic videos recorded yesterday made up the day, mainly the Sonic 2 one. The headlines were started. Current song: FF6 World 90% (MP3 player at 84%). Woke up at 2:38 PM and went to bed at 9:34 AM. Oct 16: I forgot to write the time I woke up! TV, forums, site update, and adding narration to the Sonic 3 & Knuckles video were the main things. Just my blog's headlines, the glossary (thought of nearly 40 days ago), and a document dedicated to explaining my compatibility/motive system I use very frequently. I finished the first 3 parts of the video for the narration - 21 are expected. Current song: FF6 World 84% 1/3 day, 90% 2/3 day (MP3 player at 90%). Woke up at 3:40 PM (±40 minutes) and went to bed at 8:35 AM. Oct 17: Main headlines done that I can think of. I recorded 2 videos - an oddity involving mushroom hill zone act 2 (and a "fox remover", and a class 3 bug in Sonic 2. I processed the mushroom hill one partially and that of Knuckles in Sonic 2. I uploaded the first two zones (4 parts) to YouTube. The Sonic 3 one is next though with a chance of being rejected. TV was mixed in at times. Current song: FF6 World 86%. Woke up at 7:00 PM and went to bed at 10:17 AM. Oct 18: Very little progress with the site update was made. I was mostly involved with processing videos, mainly the mushroom hill one that I spent the most time at. I've since uploaded half of the Knuckles in Sonic 2 full game series and I still got the one for Sonic 3. I've got 34 dreams, more than I thought I did, but 60 days means roughly 30 as the average and it's been very slow lately. Current song: FF6 World 86% (MP3 player at 60%). Woke up at 8:32 PM and went to bed at 10:43 AM. Oct 19: I've done about 10 or so of now 35 dreams (the new one takes 1/2 page of details). I've finished uploading the Knuckles in Sonic 2 full game videos and began reprocessing the Sonic 3 ones (due to mistakes I made in previously processing them (good thing for backups...). 4 more Sonic videos are planned - a bug with Wing Fortress, debug tutorials for Sonic 2 and Sonic 3 & Knuckles, and the Carnival Night fox drowner I fairly recently recorded. When adding the dream where I cast slow on the plane, the general rating was less than I thought. Current song: . Woke up at 11:50 PM and went to bed at 2:16 PM. Oct 20: Correction: 36 dreams to process - I mainly recall the funny part of the 1/2-page-of-details dream. I first ate then went onto my usual daily routine and added another 5 dreams. While processing the full game of Sonic 3 as Knuckles, I took a shower. After a bit more, I did stuff for mom's work place when I went there (2.8 years since I last went there). I originally was to troubleshoot her computer there, but I got nowhere since I never got told what the problem was and a quick check showed that things were otherwise fine. I otherwise then got involved with decorations for Halloween. After I left, I semi-unexpectedly went to two second-hand stores and went to bed right when I came home. Current song: FF6 World 90% (?). Woke up at 12:47 AM and went to bed at 2:51 PM. Oct 21: All but 13 dreams are done leaving only those for October. At 2:00 PM, trouble hit - yard work and leaves. I hate this time of year mostly because of this and I'm cold more). Fortunately, tiredness settled in which caused me to abruptly stop. Cold puts me to sleep as well. Current song: FF6 World 90% 4/5 day, 115% 1/10 day, then 85% 1/10 day (MP3 player at 52%). Woke up at 3:16 AM and went to bed at 4:10 PM. Oct 22: The last 14 dreams have been added. I got a start on the daily entries after adding another headline but watched TV and got too tired. I also have a slight format change in mind for the daily entries, but nothing really new. At least 2 more days are expected, 3 more likely. I just got bored of FF6 World right at the end of the day then went song-swapping. Current song: FF6 World 85% 3/4 day, song swapping rest of day. Woke up at 4:52 AM and went to bed at 6:02 PM. Oct 23: All of August is done and most of September is done. Along the way, more headlines were added, which was expected. I should hopefully be done by tomorrow. When done, it's the postlake hills I start. I processed FF1 World at the end of the day for my MP3 player. Current song: Target Zone 370% 1/5 day, FF1 World 90% rest of day. Woke up at 6:28 AM and went to bed at 9:16 PM. Oct 24: A bowling-theme dream gone bad - oy I hate those! Website update complete. That dominated the day. Forums (practically dead) had almost no effect on my rate, but TV did. After the update and fixing the various bugs I found, I resumed my 2D game doing the lakes completing another one and adding another point. Current song: FF1 World 70% (108% MP3). Woke up at 8:08 AM and went to bed at 11:17 PM. Oct 25: A good dream was recalled. Forums, 2D game's lakes, 2D game's hills, Sonic 3 & Knuckles full game with Sonic and Tails together, forums, then my 2D game's hills made up the day. I got the video of the Wing Fortress bug. I got others on debug tutorials but I didn't like them much. I tried to get one on how to get debug mode in Sonic & Knuckles (yes, I know how), but couldn't get it at will. Late in the day, I got a full game of Sonic 3 & Knuckles with Sonic and Tails together (with you-know-what happening to that fox). Unlike before, I had a whole game where I had all the emeralds. After this, I worked on my 2D game's hills, completing 20 of about 80 for layer 2 (layer 1 rejected due to size reasons - read the footnote on the checklist for the exact details). Current song: FF1 World 108%. Woke up at 8:47 AM and went to bed at 11:14 PM. Oct 26: A wonderful dream was recalled... except one thing that ruined it. I may have a chance at a beta-testing job though certainty is low as I don't know if it is legitimate or not. Eat, HWW, E-mail, process Sonic 3 & Knuckles video while I take shower, E-mail, forums, grocery shopping, forums, TV, working on 2D game with TV mixed in, and finishing the archived version of the Sonic 3 & Knuckles video made up the day in order. Layer 2 of the postlake hills have the first two phases done. I needed a lighting gradient but needed to go to bed soon. I was watching TV as well, but went on to working on the lakes. I didn't update the checklist through. The motive for the lakes is low, but not negative. Hopefully, I could complete layer 2 after I wake up. Current song: FF1 World 108%. Woke up at 11:34 AM and went to bed at 2:00 AM. Oct 27: A somewhat weird dream was recalled. I made no progress with my 2D game, but plenty with my videos. I got 3 from Super Monkey Ball 2 very quickly, processed one, figured out how to get Virtual Dub to record videos of my screen like with CamStudio (Virtual Dub does more than 3 times better - see the November 2007 headlines for further details). As a result, I've been heavily involved with getting these related videos. I got the one for how I process my videos using my latest techniques, another on how I process my music, and now renewed interest in the "how I make my animated GIFs" video tutorial that I started almost a month ago. That's a long tutorial! Current song: FF1 World 108%, FF6 World 84% MP3 when in bed. Woke up at 1:55 PM and went to bed at 4:52 AM. Oct 28: Processing and uploading new videos then working on the "How I make my animated GIFs" tutorial dominated the day. I got the text screens done and, though I got stages 3 and 4 done, I would rather redo them entirely. I made lots of mistakes, forgetting, etc.. I expected that since it's been 18 or so months since I last did it this old way, 12 since I last did an animation. I'm now thinking of a better method - do it in smaller chunks. If a chunk is bad or takes too long, I rever back to the previous state. If good, I save and continue on. I also enhanced the "history" part of the video some. Current song: FF6 World 84%. Woke up at 3:34 PM and went to bed at 6:15 AM. Oct 30: What a weird dream! Postlake hills layer 2 done, finally. I made an enhancement to the prelake hills, a small one due to finding a formula. With that done, I redone my lake and forest textures then did the beach texture. I made the forest texture look better. I was drowsy at first making little progress (with the lighting gradient at the time). I didn't do anything with the tutorial on animated GIFs though. TV, my 2D game, and GIMP forums were the main things. At day's end, I processed Felix World 1, my new current song. Current song: FF6 World 84% 1/2 day, swapping 1/10 day, Felix World 1 85% 2/5 day. Woke up at 4:56 PM and went to bed at 8:35 AM. Oct 31: Layer 3 done, layer 4 started on (30% done with phase 1). I had thoughts on playing (and recording) a full game of Felix without losing a life and that went well until world 8 where I didn't quite make it (ran out of hearts before I could replenish them). I also played the original Mario (I wished I could play Mario 3 again, if only I knew where it was....). The points count reduced by 5 for the postlake hills. Starting with layer 6, I need to work out a way to get the realistic-looking grass-to-rock blend and the same goes for the snow. TV dominated much of the day but I worked on my game during the ads and spam. Current song: Felix World 1 85% (75% MP3). Woke up at 6:58 PM (±2 minutes) and went to bed at 10:15 AM (±1 minute).
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):