This Year

Posted in Firefox, Maintenance, Music on May 31st, 2009 by Tom

Desperately trying to keep the blog alive.
It comes in fits and starts, you know?

Today’s song is a Mountain Goats song that I wish I had found a year ago. The past year has been hell of turbulent, and it’s a pretty solid anthem to getting through a rough spot. Kinda despondent without being mopey, if that makes any sense.

I’ve been doing a lot of pretty serious thinking about the ol’ blog, and I’ve been trying to figure out why I don’t post more often. Bygone are the novel-length entries of days of old. That hurdle is gone. But why now? Honestly, my favorite part is the biggest hangup. Uploading the song is a pain in the ass, and some days I just want to say something that doesn’t have to do with a song.

And you know what, it’s my blog. I’ll do what I want. We try things here, and they work for a while, and then they get dull or boring or whatever. I also honestly think it’s just because I’ve gotten a lot busier in the past couple of years. I used to be a self-prescribed “internet person,” sitting for hours at the computer just digesting Wikipedia, or reading conspiracy theories or watching bootleg anime or whatever.

I basically do that never, anymore. I realized this last semester when I would go entire days without touching the computer, an unspeakable and entirely unlikely occurrence when I was in high school. So that’s something kindof unavoidable. I’m committed to the blog, no question, but it’s just hard to stay current with it when there’s no reason to do it except “because.” It’s pretty easy for it to be the first thing on the chopping block when it’s something you do only for yourself.

As always, every entry promises to be THE ENTRY, the one that gets me back on track. So maybe we’re here? Certainly in the coming weeks, I’ll have plenty to write about. I’m headed off to Boston in just under a week to do physics research at Boston College. You’ll be able to follow that in all its gory detail at the Truman State REU Blog, under the category “Boston College” or just look for my name.

That’s where all the sciency stuff will be for sure; I haven’t decided whether to simulcast the social entries, or just have that be entirely separate. The completist in me hates to have any of my work strewn across multiple blogs, but that’s already something I’m going to have to forgo, with not only the REU Blog, but our Game Development Blog as well, which I suppose also merits a mention.

Around the end of Fall Semester, Joey brought to Ian’s and my attention the existence of a program called RPG Maker. It’s a piece of software that is an engine for a pretty simplistic (think: Super Nintendo) role playing game. You work within that construct and can make up the characters, their sprites (which is a pain in the ass for me, given my lack of prowess with art stuff), their weapons, the enemies they fight, the towns they visit, the things they say, and so on. I’ve been working with this since the end of… WELL I DON’T KNOW BECAUSE I NEVER DATE THE ENTRIES IN MY GAME-DEVELOPMENT NOTEBOOK. Arg.

So that’s coming along. I mention it today of all days becuase I’m coming up on having a demo ready for quasi-public consumption, which I’m getting pretty pumped about. I don’t know why I’m so invested in this silly game; given the means which I’m utilizing to make it, it’ll never be that good of a game; forever doomed to the heaps and heaps of these crappy little games that get produced with RPG Maker (no offense, RPGM people), I don’t think it’ll be that special. The better ones even have a totally custom graphics set, distinct from the default one provided, and I’ll never be at that level.

I’m not complaining, just musing. If even the full realization of my goal will garner little recognition, why bother? I suppose because this is something I’ve always wanted to do. If seven or eight people also happen to enjoy it, that’s fine. For me, the real emphasis, as is with anything I’ve written, is not about imagery, but plot. My focus is on the evolution of events, and how the characters react to those developments, and what emotions are the resultant. To tell that story, the default stuff works just fine for me. Thus, I’m trying to make a good game in terms of story and the depth of a world.

It’s exciting becuase I feel like I’m doing that.

This next thing is random, but awesome:
I have figured out that if you have two Firefox windows open, but not full-sized, and you put them roughly next to each other, you can drag a tab from one window to the other, which was something I did on a wing and prayer, and it worked, causing me to pen the following:


Dear Firefox,

Honey, I’m glad there’s still some mystery in the relationship.

Love you always,

-Tom

Joe Bidden

Posted in Life on May 31st, 2009 by Tom

so he’s our dude now?

[I found this sitting in my pile of unpublished drafts; I think it was supposed to be a lot more analytical, but in retrospect, I think that says it all. Drafted: August 23, 2008]