Magic Flying Cow!

2011 starts early

Another year is upon us and for some odd reason, my subconscious decided to dream about my dad last night. It's like it's aware it's dreaming and yet, won't let me stop. In my dream, I even asked my dad "is this real?" and my dad said, "In here it is". I woke up crying.

As I get older, I'm getting more and more regrets I cannot reconcile. A few years ago, I had none, now I have at least 3.

I guess that's still not too many. I dunno, what is a good number of regrets to have in life? :)

I wish I had spent more time with my dad while he was around. I always assumed there'd be more time. I guess that's just the nature of life and it'll just keep happening as I get older.

I wish I never said anything about my concerns to Diego and Minda. Even though it's rooted in my personality to be very upfront about everything, sometimes I need to learn to not say whats on my mind. Though I intend good things, the outcome of such is not necessarily good. True, even though I could always try to reconnect that friendship, I know it wouldn't be the same as it was.

I wish I had stayed in contact with all my old friends. Similar to the second, but without the heart breaking fight. All my old friends in California and the IRC chat channels I used to frequent, I simply lost contact with them. It wouldn't be too hard to simply contact them again, but as in the second, it wouldn't be the same as it was. It's like jumping back into an MMORPG after you quit for a few years... so many patches and changes, the game just isn't fun anymore.

These regrets I'll have to live with. But they're not so bad, all things considered, I am very fortunate that these are my only regrets.
Magic Flying Cow!

2010 in a nutshell

So code has been making sizable progress. Soon, I'll be able to import a model into the engine and start doing stuff with it. Fun fun. Had to learn Blender so I could make a model but as luck would have it, Mikey gave me a legit copy of Lightwave for Christmas. It has a dongle and everything! Now I have to learn to use that. I may stick with Blender just to get the codebase done, and then start making prettier models in Lightwave. I haven't used Lightwave since college... maybe 98? Wow.

2010 was a good year. Things are getting better, life is settling down. I've finally "moved in" and unpacked all the boxes from the apartment. Even Christi got a new job at the end of the year so with luck, it'll stick and next year will be even better. She's working for some friends of mine and they're good people, so I'm sure they'll do what they can to keep her. She's doing copywriting for them, but is also training to be a production assistant so she can multi-task and be valuable to the company. \o/

Life is no longer on pause for me, just slow motion again. It feels like after college, there was this rush of fast paced motion towards a future, but it all grinded to a halt when my dad died. It was a big shock to my system, but time has been slowly fixing that and I'm starting motion forwards again. I'm making strides forwards and planning for things once again.

3 days left of vacation in this year, not sure what I'll do with it. I had planned to do more coding, but I spent a lot of it playing video games. I am told relaxing is what one does on a vacation. Who knew? :)
Magic Flying Cow!

Narrative story

I wonder if it's plausible to have a narrative story in a video game without having a main character - or more accurately, the main character is you. In most games, there is a defined main character and an antagonist that drives the main character's progression through the story.

MMORPGs like WoW drive story with a static world with a series of events that drive the character forward, though, as a resultant, there really is no main character. It seems anti-climactic when the you kill the bad-guy when someone else just killed him 15 minutes ago.

Single player RPGs like Dragon Age Origins drives narrative by forcing the character through a series of events that sculpt the player into the character that they can define. You want to create a character thats a painter that likes to paint happy trees? Too bad, your family was murdered and your village got burned down, now you're on a quest for revenge.

Can a multiplayer game exist where each player is the "main character"? Where each character created can have their own independent story arc that doesn't interfere or may even collaborates with other story lines? Are there other methods besides the common A->B->C with a regenerating series of requirements for others to complete, or forcing the player to conform to the existing series of events? Ponder ponder.
Magic Flying Cow!

I probably need a book for this...

So I've once again gone into the world of code and I'm trying attempt 5 to write a game. This time, I'm working on architecture before game design, so we'll see how it goes. Right now, I'm having trouble figuring out how to get a multiplayer client-server model working.

ClientA talks to Server
Server sends response
ClientA hears response
SocketA is closed

So far so good. But I run into trouble when I introduce multiple clients.

ClientA talks to Server
Server sends response
SocketA is closed
ClientB talks to server
Server sends response
SocketB is closed

How does Server know if it's ClientA or ClientB? Do I have to send a unique identifier to the server before relaying a message? Further, how do I tell ClientA what ClientB did? Does ClientA continually communicate with the server listening for messages even when no messages are being pushed? It seems reasonable, just a waste of resources to be busy polling.

Then again, an application should technically always be looping refreshing the display, so do I start a second thread that communicates with the server at a certain interval to insure the data on the screen is up to date? How frequent is enough? 30 times a second would be as fast as traditional TV... 14 times a second would be as fast as a cartoon. Is requesting a refresh 7 times a second enough to extrapolate data? Is it too often?

Is there a better way to do all this?

So complex...
Magic Flying Cow!

Ups and downs

So I got into the FF14 open beta today. Anyone else in it? What servers are you on? I have AnimeFest this weekend, but I'm only going Saturday with my Chocobo, so I'll probably be poking around a bit this weekend.

Otherwise, I am sad because they finally found a medicine that works well to lower my cholesterol that doesn't stress my liver... except it's not covered by my health insurance. Boo!
Magic Flying Cow!

I still live!

I'm still here, lurking quietly. Haven't had much to talk about yet I've had so much going on. Went to ComicCon and had a blast. Christi and I were on vacation, no work for us! Just lots of wandering around and seeing cool things. I took a million photos... got my Hoihoi-san toy signed by Alessandra Torresani, the girl from Caprica. She flipped out and thought it was so cute.

It's weird, a few years ago, I was happy. I still am, but I have more regrets than I did before. I wonder where they came from. It feels like a lot of the control over the world I thought I had has disappeared and it's gotten a lot more chaotic. I hate chaotic.

I think this is what makes good villains. Is it time for me to begin my career in super villainy? Destroy free will to bring peace to the world? Enslave the minds of the sheep in order to steer the herd in the right direction?

Eh, I'm too busy to be a super villain. I barely have time to exercise twice a week for my cholesterol.
Magic Flying Cow!


I haven't posted in here in forever! Been up to no good, as always.

In no particular order!
Chocobo cosplay was finished. I'm partially unhappy with the body, but it was a rush job and it still turned out well and got lots of love. I didn't stay longer than 2 hours at Akon since after 2 hours, I was pretty much dying. One side effect of the costume I did not predict, the eyes started fogging up after an hour so I was virtually blind! I'll have to fix that. I'm definately using Chocobo again sometime, it was an awesome costume.
Chocobo pictures

Got a slab leak in the wall behind my bathroom a few weeks ago. That was a pain for a few reasons, first being I was in the middle of rushing to finish Chocobo! That and it cost me $2500... ick! But at least insurance covered it. Normally insurance doesn't cover a leak until damage happens, but my insurance guy talked to claims and he was able to convince them to pay for it now instead of after damage happened and they would have to pay more. Still, had to pay $1000 for a deductible. Now it looks like one of my garage door openers might be busted. Why must things in my house keep breaking?

Christi graduated! Hopefully now she can get a good job again.

I'm headed to San Diego Comic Con in a month or so, other than that, life resumes normality soon. I got a new program that was free called Sculptris and been playing around with 3d modeling again. Hopefully I'll have something thrown together soon, this was just a test done in 2 hours :) I was building Prier from La Pucelle.
Sculptris screengrabs

Magic Flying Cow!


Something that made me curious in recent days... why do humans complain? Is it something that human beings do? There seem to be two types of complaints that I'm aware of. The complaining because you want something done and the complaining because it makes you feel better. I'm pretty certain every living thing does the former, I'm more curious about the latter. When Big Kitty is sleeping on the bed and I shove him out of the way so I can sleep, he complains because he doesn't want to be moved. I can understand that. Does Big Kitty ever go "Raworaoraoraorao" at me because it makes him feel better that his kibble is too dry?

I think complaining to feel better is a human trait. I can't imagine how it works though. When a person complains because something is unfair, but then doesn't do anything about it, how does complaining help? When a person complains because something hurts, it doesn't stop hurting does it? I suppose it's a sympathy thing. I need to get in touch with my inner Binky.

There there. *pat*pat* There there there.

It bugs me to hear people complain when they make no efforts to fix things or to understand the nature of the situation. Ironic that it in itself is a complaint. Meta complaining?