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.).
Sep 1: September - neutral luck. HWW, E-mail, YouTube, 2D game hills, TV, Sonic spinball, glugging out the fox, Eat at Pizza Hut, then the 2D game's hills made up the day. As to YouTube, I've got a lot of comments involving the Spyro 2 video. I'm using the new tactic for the hills in my 2D game - 10x size to be scaled down. This has numerous advantages: super fast anti-aliasing (with greater precision than before), 50% faster to do, double the motivation, smoother lighting, etc.. It's harder, however, to keep the intended slope ratio though. I got a 67x multiplier for Sonic Spinball, a new confirmed record (63 was my previous). I maxed the score so I can't improve on that. Current song: Winter Land at start then Mountains So Far Away after going to bed. Woke up at 9:10 AM and went to bed at 9:01 PM (±8 minutes). Sep 2: A slightly weird, somewhat fun travel dream. Gluggling out the fox, 2D game hills, processing the "Sonic's fastest" video, and getting high in Super Monkey Ball 2 were the main things. I passed the halfway mark and used a new technique to get the intended heights and average slope ratios. I started with 9:4 and gradually went to 7:4 and the heights often overshot my intended height (peak at 28 instead of 45 or even 60 (the Y position). I tried a 3-way checkpoint system and found it worked like a charm. I studied the 4000 mph case in Super Monkey Ball 2 and found tricks to boost the likelihood. Now, once I record it and get it on YouTube, it'll be the fastest and highest anyone has ever seen (without using cheats). I also discovered that 4650 is around the fastest possible. Current song: Mountains So Far Away 75%. Woke up at 9:02 AM and went to bed at 12:47 AM. Sep 3: Boohoo! I want my high recall rate back! Only lighting and finalization remain for the first hills. I used the techniques found yesterday to do the 23 hills. I'd sort of like to redo the lighting gradient, if needed, for maximum possible accuracy (and, perhaps, a slightly larger width than 16384 (32768 or 25600 are the most likely, especially the latter)). I took an unexpected shower in an attempt to help a neighbor with their computer, but had visitors and got delayed. I attempted to record the 4000 mph case in Super Monkey Ball 2, but, for 173 tries at it, 7 were very close, one, though successful, was only 2700 mph instead, too slow. Between "The Universe", the 2D game's hills, and thoughts of a video tutorial on my animated GIFs tutorial, I didn't do much else. It was Labor Day, but I was still busy with my usual - holidays except July 4 and December 25, mean nothing to me (slight negative compatibility). Current song: Mountains So Far Away 70%. Woke up at 11:55 AM and went to bed at 1:07 AM. Sep 4: Goodie, a dream, but vaguely recalled. I tried working out a system for the lighting but got stumped. A bunch of good stuff on TV halted my progress and a previous temptation at DX from before got me involved after the 3 hours' TV. I reached 101 emblems in DX. Very little otherwise occurred. Current song: Mountains So Far Away 64% (moderate signs of boredom). Woke up at 11:39 AM and went to bed at 5:02 AM. Sep 5: Rats! Had a dream but forgot it before I could write the details. Recording fox drowns and "Knuckles on Ice Cap's Mountain" dominated the day followed by TV and figuring out the lighting "issue". I got about 10 fox drowns (or so, no debug). For the Ice Cap one, I processed it and, for 4 hours, recorded the vocal track. I finished up the processing then went to bed. TV mainly when eating and waiting for the processing and the lighting part. Current song: Mountains So Far Away 64% (?). Woke up at 3:46 PM and went to bed at 7:31 AM. Sep 7: The main one involved with assisting me in getting the lighting gradient was absent when I was doing a test case but was having a feeling I wasn't doing something right. Being bored, I played Sonic 3D Blast (disliked), drowned the fox a few times, then, dominating the last half of the day, Sonic DX and playing a full game (Sonic then Knuckles wiere the 2 - the others will come later). Current song: Song swapping again - Tiny Toon Theme and Desert Zone are the main ones. Woke up at 5:05 PM and went to bed at 10:52 AM. Sep 8: 111 emblems in DX on my main game. Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy are cleared outside missions, Big is mostly cleared, and E-102 is almost as well. I have very few missions complete. I'm mainly after emblems. I finished up with the game's story, of which dominated the last of the day. I looked for Action Replay codes and found 2 good ones - infinite flying and the jet booster flying with E-102. Otherwise, not much happened. Sister's at FF12 now.... Current song: unknown. Woke up at 7:28 PM and went to bed at 11:42 AM. Sep 9: Another dream involving OWTLI on TV, this time, a cartoon. I think I've got the lighting ready to go now. Since no one was awake and the pizza cooker tray wasn't washed, I ended up waiting for hours before I could eat. DX and my new game, Bugs Bunny Lost in Time dominated the day. I'm stumped on just how you can get 8000 points in Sky Chase 1 (3000 is my best and 2000 is the common high end). Sand Hill was mastered with 13,000-some points. I got 43 clocks and 100 golden carrots in the first 5 hours at it. After eating, around 9:30 AM, I helped wash the grill as I did before, rare case for a chore being in positive territory (1.3, not all that much, and clearly in the margin of error). It was the Bugs Bunny game from then on. Current song: OWTLI 64%, Tiny Toon Theme 80%. Woke up at 10:41 PM and went to bed at 3:20 PM. Sep 10: Mom's back! Eat, usual check, Bugs Bunny game, eat, gradient, then finishing the Bugs Bunny game. I've now got over 122 clocks and over 300 golden carrots with other 90% completion. I've done about 20% of the gradient but my temptation to comlete the Bugs Bunny game took over. I've had new visions of the challenge system, particularly completion. Current song: OWTLI 62%. Woke up at 12:59 AM and went to bed at 3:25 PM. Sep 11: Wonderful - 2 dreams in one night! Took 70 minutes to write the details due to many mind drifts. The gradient for the 9:4 slope is done. Prelake hills layer 1 is now done. I finished the first of about 12 or so hills for layer 2. I've also updated my plans for the new visions I've had lately, now a completely redesigned challenge system, far different than the previous version and in a way much more like modern games. I first need the fundamentals before I can do the challenges outside the plans. 12 challenges have been thought of already, 7 unique with others from 2.4 yet to be relisted. Current song: OWTLI 62%. Woke up at 2:07 AM and went to bed at 3:09 PM. Sep 12: Prelake hills layer 2 done, layer 1 fixed. Not 12 hills, just 9! I used the same method as before, only with a shortcut found. Since antialiasing is not used in the 10x size, I could use the lighting layers to determine what is in front or behind what, and, to save on memory, have a single "master" layer. The results are the same, but 8 minutes in 300 (5 hours) is almost 3%. I needed another lighting gradient and got it. I'm thinking of a layer even closer since the closest are still very large. I also looked into new computer mice and a mousepad. At day's end, I was glugging out the fox. The fox and spike and blue problems while Sonic had speed, puff, and height problems. Current song: OWTLI 62% (?). Woke up at 2:14 AM and went to bed at 8:06 PM (±1 minute). Sep 13: A grocery store dream.... I ordered the new mouse and mouse pad so I should have it by Wednesday, September 19. Instead of the images/scenery, working on the plans dominated the day. I've worked out the scenery size plans and my 40 MB memory usage was only short by 2 MB. That leaves out the city, optimizations, and other elements. 60 MB is my intended absolute maximum so 42.6 MB is decent. I also now have 16 challenges as 2 tournaments, my minimum goal. There's a chance I'll get another 8 (or even 16) before release for 3 (or 4 tournaments). Some of the high-level details need to be worked out yet. I did drown a few foxes and spent quite a bit of time on HWW going over the lighting algorithms. Old method? Where's that trash bin at? I updated the help file some to account for the very different challenge system. I struggled to keep warm all day.... Current song: OWTLI ?%. Woke up at 5:53 AM and went to bed at 9:25 PM. Sep 14: 3 layers done - one closer than the original closest. At first, I struggled to keep warm - 68°F in my room, 8°F lower than summer's low end comfort zone. I had a hard time concentrating or doing much, even under blankets. Doing the new closest layer and checking HWW dominated the day. Small bits of TV were tossed in. When done with layer 1 (the new layer 1, the furthest done is now layer 3), I updated the checklist, finished watching the show I was watching, then went to bed. Current song: Sonic 3 extra life then Sonic 3 invincibility (unknown speeds). Woke up at 7:23 AM and went to bed at 10:00 PM. Sep 15: What is with travels dreams lately! I've recalled another one. Layer 4 is now done. I'm really cruising. Even with TV, twice the pixel area, the forums, and letting the dogs in and out, I did the entire layer! Layer 5 is for tomorrow and they're almost twice as big, though they're still not yet the biggest. I processed Sonic 3 invincibility for my MP3 player at the end of the day while I glugged out foxes. The fox and the blue go together like salt and pepper. Current song: Sonic 3 invincibility 65%. Woke up at 8:24 AM and went to bed at 1:41 AM. Sep 16: What an unlucky day! I wanted to go grocery shopping but my highly impatient father couldn't wait another 60 minutes. I first tried to eat but the pizza thing wasn't washed and a 40-minute delay occurred before it was where I did my usual computer checks. When washed, I ate, and when 10 minutes before I was done, they left. I planned yesterday that I'd eat, take a shower right after, then leave, but no, impatient dad who "has lots of things to do" wants to go and can't wait 60 minutes. He can't do as I do - go off and do some other task while waiting - I do this a lot, why can't he!? More details are in the October 2007 headlines. I contacted Mrs. Lund, glugged out a few foxes, did half of layer 5, and, due to stubborn temptations, started on the "how to make 3D-like animated GIFs" video - titles and text pages only. Current song: Sonic 3 invincibility 60%, Carnival Night 80%. Woke up at 10:14 AM and went to bed at 1:35 AM. Sep 17: I first ate then went to the grocery store. When I returned, it was the usual check then working on the "how I make my animations" video, mainly the text fields such as for the main plan (stage 2), or an explanation on what scaling is and how it affects things. I work on stage 4 next, the text that is, not the actual process, which involves making the scenery. Having done this for 6 years now, you'd expect I memorize the process. I didn't make any progress with my 2D game due to this. Current song: Carnival Night 74%. Woke up at 12:45 PM and went to bed at 3:44 AM. Sep 18: All known text screens are done. Spreadsheet processed and recorded but hit a problem I didn't exect - 24 minutes in just that alone. 3 or 4 parts? Try around 10! With the intro and 2 plans stages, that's about 5 or so minutes. Bringing 24 down would be tricky.... The animation is only 150 or so main frames, nothing to my 3000 one, but for a tutorial, its not bad. It, at least, covers the basics and fundamentals. My mathematically-complex "Mountain Fun" and my most extreme "The Mega Race" would be far too advanced and time-consuming (the latter likely taking on the order of a month to do in the old method (of which the tutorial uses)). The most complex here is either calculating the fog or the slope part. I also discovered I had a huge spike in my traffic - 1.5 GB of bandwidth in just a day when I usually get that in 24 days.... Current song: Carnival Night 74% (version on computer sounds twice as good). Woke up at 1:26 PM and went to bed at 5:08 AM. Sep 19: A Spyro dream - what's with the Spyro dreams lately? I lost motive for the animated GIF tutorial but started a group multiplication tutorial, but lost motive there as well. I went to returning to layer 5 of the prelake hills for my 2D game where I did not lose my motive but tiredness settled in. 5 of 7 hills are done at this massive size. Lots of TV was watched from 10:00 PM to 2:00 AM. Current song: Carnival Night 74%. Woke up at 3:59 PM and went to bed at 5:37 AM. Sep 21: A Sonic dream was recalled. Layer 5 is almost done - processing the lighting for 3 more layers remains. It would've taken 3+ hours to do one layer but I found a detour around this and a problem the script otherwise has. Surprise small storks struck halting the 3-hour process early. This normally would've been disappointing, but it wasn't in this case. I was going to take out Sonic and glug out the fox while I waited which is what I usually do. There was quite a bit of good stuff on TV near the day's end. At 10:00 PM, I swapped power supplies for dad's computer since his previous one was acting up. Current song: Carnival Night 74%. Woke up at 5:53 PM and went to bed at 8:49 AM. Sep 22: At 1:56 AM, the on the 23rd, the prank calls came back again! Layer 5 is finally done! I now started layer 6 and got quite far - the last (before lighting). Making the lighting gradient for the 5:3 slope follows then the long wait for processing the lighting. Layer 6 is also the biggest of all layers, except the closest of clouds (this, however, doesn't have the anti-aliasing or scale-down effect involved). While doing layer 5, glug went the fox and messing around with Carnival Night Zone's background, my favorite of all. After finishing, those pranksters from several months ago called again. With my now-boosted defenses, I'm the cat and they're the mouse. They belong in the same stuff that fox glugs out in - the blue. Current song: Carnival Night 74% then 86% and 82%. Woke up at 7:23 PM and went to bed at 10:11 AM. Sep 23: Layer 6 done and 50 foxes drowned while about 500 got lost splashing in the blue. Carnival Night Zone act 2 is now my top favorite level for all Sonic games (Hydrocity was the previous). While waiting for the lighting to process, I threw the fox in the blue. A 17th challenge has been thought of - 7 more are needed for a third tournament. 2 was the minimum, extras are only "bonuses". I made 2 cards, the second was unexpected. GIMP produced 410 million page faults, a new record! Moving layers around is enough for around 100,000 per second, 6 million a minute or about 1 million for every 1000 pixels. Current song: Carnival Night 82% and still going strong. Woke up at 8:40 PM and went to bed at 1:29 PM (±2 minutes). Sep 24: Layer 7 done... with 417 million page faults. I took a shower while the lighting processed to get my parents to stop their annoying complaints. I've spent quite a bit of time on the forums as well, mainly near the middle part of the day. I've got another vision of this game, this time involving the "position" on-screen data. Rather than a bunch of numbers, it also shows place names just as my real mind game does. Plans for the tutorial have been started covering much more than before, but has different levels of detail - quick for 5 minutes and more settings to control the amount of detail. Layer 8 is tomorrow. Once done, a site update should occur. Current song: Carnival Night 82%. Woke up at 11:55 PM and went to bed at 5:36 PM. Sep 25: I tested out a new concept for enhanced lighting and the results were amazing and it looks a lot more natural. I made many mistakes (forgetting to set something or forgetting ambient light) and tested something to further improve the realism. Layer 1 alone had 5 redos and the later ones had fewer. I then left to go with mom to a second-hand store and some other place I don't recall. I got Domino's on the way back. Assignment Discovery covered second grade math, things like 12+2 = 14. Ha, try the formula for lighting - now that's complex and probably at the 9th or 10th grade level. They say adding always gives bigger numbers and subtracting always gives smaller ones. This is false when it comes to negative numbers. While second graders don't work with negative numbers (at least from what I've seen), negative numbers do exist. 4+-3 gives 1 and 1 is smaller than 4. 8--3 is 11 and 11 is bigger than 8. This is the first time I saw something that simple on Assignment Discovery. What I've seen didn't go much below the grade 8 level. Current song: . Woke up at 2:51 AM and went to bed at 5:16 PM (±1 minute). Sep 26: An interesting travel dream. I first ate watching Assignment Discovery, then went on to my usual forums, E-mail, and YouTube checks. I helped mom a lot (spanning 3 hours) with working on layer 8 mixed in. I then had the urge to post a notice on my site to tell users an update will be delayed due to my heavy involvement with working on my 2D game. Next was a bit more of layer 8 then an urge to run backup since it hasn't been done in an unually long time. Winzip errored so I needed 2 more hours to redo it. I put the fox in its home, the blue, while I waited. Forums and the fox hogged up much of the day. I got 4 of about 8 hills done for layer 8. Lighting and finalization still remain meaning little progress. Current song: Carnival Night 82%. Woke up at 3:46 AM and went to bed at 7:39 PM. Sep 27: Yay, add one more dream, a strange variant of soccer for gym class. Layer 8 is done. I enhanced the checklist a bit and found I was about 10% done overall. I'm now thinking out plans for the lakes, after layer 20. It's the scaling steps I'm highly questioning. A 0.1 spacing would mean a 2000x400 space for images which is rather large. 1 would be way too low for resolution. When in bed, I worked it out and found that something slightly less than 0.4 is sufficient for 2560x1600 max resolution so 0.2 or 0.25 are likely values. I've only done a few fox drowns while the lighting processed - TV dominated this time. Layer 9 should, hopefully, be faster since it's smaller. The last ones beyond 10 should be 3 hours faster since I don't need a gradient for the lighting and they're smaller still. Current song: Carnival Night 82%. Woke up at 5:58 AM and went to bed at 11:47 PM. Sep 28: A good video game dream was recalled. Started my daily check, ate, resumed it, did 4 of 7 hills for layer 9, went grocery shopping, rechecked forums, then went to bed made up the day. At the grocery store, we had car troubles where the radiator hose came lose, spilling antifreeze. I showered before the main working of the hills. Just before going to bed, I updated the progress checklist adding a progress meter and fixing a mistake - 12% done, not 10%. It's the planning that I forgot about in the most part that skewed this. The progress meter goes from red to yellow at 50% then to green. Current song: Carnival Night 82%. Woke up at 9:04 AM and went to bed at 11:23 PM. Sep 29: Rats! I forgot the dream I had! Layer 9 is done. I got involved with washing the grill and stuff for 3 1/2 hours around 1:30 PM giving me little time for progress early on. When done at around 5:00 PM, I finally got going but soon got involved with TV only making progress during the ads and "spam". The pizza thing wasn't washed so I resorted to pizza rolls. I had the lighting being processed on the second time I ate, watching TV (talk about serious multitasking). I got a very brief start with layer 10 which is now 1% done. I won't need another lighting gradient here so an hour or so is freed for progress on other layers. 13% completion so far! The checklist and game's FAQ got updated, the former was uploaded. The layers are now smaller so they should be processed faster. Current song: Carnival Night 82% for 3/4 of the day, 78% for the rest. Woke up at 10:36 AM and went to bed at 2:44 AM. Sep 30: A strange water dream, how nice! After eating first thing, I recorded videos of what I do in Carnival Night Zone Act 2 while I'm processing the lighting then the Metropolis endless fall glitch. I processed the metropolis one in full but rejected all those involving Carnival Night Zone. This all took about 5 hours. Then it was swapping between the hills and forums. I finished layer 10 and just as I was going to bed, updated the checklist. I'm now thinking of a "points" system to more accurately judge completion. Long tasks have more points while short ones have few. 10 points means a full 10-hour day. There's roughly 1500 points with around 200 obtained (as a quick estimate). Current song: Carnival Night 78%. Woke up at 11:53 AM and went to bed at 5:27 AM.
The news entry headlines in bold are color-coded for a reason. They tell how big the event was for the headlines and how good my day was for the daily entries. From May 2006 onward, a slightly different system is used, of which has triple the precision. For dates prior to this that use color coding, from the white color, skipping two to red and so on is used. Here's what each color represents (for updates to before May of 2006):