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~yawn~ I think that really sums it up. I've been trying to get more… - Silicon Rose [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Silicon Rose

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[Oct. 7th, 2005|09:08 am]
Silicon Rose
[Current Mood |creativecreative]

~yawn~

I think that really sums it up.

I've been trying to get more sleep of late to avoid spontaneous mental zombification at work. There haven't been too many crises recently, which is good for the quality of the code. But, it means I'm bug fixing. The problem with bug fixing is that it requires a particular sort of attention to detail which is very tiring. While in development you can often seperate out the part you're working on, put up a little mental barrier of "the functions I'm writing expect this" and work from those expectations, in bug fixing often those barriers have been broken, and you need to make sure that any fix you implement isn't going to bring the whole house of cards down around you. That means a lot of poking around grepping through old code which might not be yours, trying to understand the assumptions around a particular function.

Anyways, in my copious free time I've been reading and playing video games. I gave up on the latest Japanese novel I was reading because it lost my interest - blah blah blah sports blah blah blah I love you blah blah blah angst. I'm reading Scrapped Princess 2 in the background instead. In addition - miracle of miracles - I actually read a book in English! Said book is Darkwitch Rising, the third book in The Troy Game series. Sadly, the Troy Game series is not a trilogy, which was the assumption I was operating under as I began reading it. This isn't to say that I'm unhappy with the series, it's good - though the things that make it good are also, strangely enough, the ones that make me want to see it wrapped up. I just don't want to wait another year for the last book.

I finished Shadow Hearts. Good game. Very good game. Anyone who is tired of traditional RPG stories, play Shadow Hearts. It's wacky while being surprisingly serious - I think if you ask most people they'll say it's a funny game, but the plotlines aren't. Some of the cliches hold true, but the execution is fresh and different. I would like to see more games with a cast and dialogue like that game.

In its place I'm playing through Star Ocean III, which is freaking hard. I'm finally beginning to get a grip on how to control the battle system; I'm only around five dungeons in and I've died once already. Save points are rarer than I'd like. The story line is good enough to keep me playing.

Though what horrible parent would name their child "Fate"?! Especially one with the last name Leingod? That just seems like a set up to me.

I'm thinking about writing again, partially due to the impending arrival of NaNoWriMo. I'm beginning to prod at the plotline I'm going to write for this year, and at the same time trying to split my consciousness a bit and try to focus on how I'm going to finish Familiar before NaNoWriMo. I've resolved most of the pending issues that were cursing my progress, and while a better understanding of my own damn magic system would help, I can probably fudge it well enough to last through the rest of the book. I understand most of the theory and limitations behind it now, and how it fits within the conflict, but some of the details about what precisely is possible at this point in time are fuzzy. I think it's a lost cause (to finish it in 24 days, I mean), but I also think I should try.

Little worried about burn out before NaNoWriMo even starts, though. The daily goal in NaNoWriMo is 1,667 words. Basically, you should write 2,000 a day if you want to be above the curve enough to still make it even if you slow down. Accumulating a deficit sucks. More than anything, you should avoid a deficit. You never want to go into a weekend with: "I only have 4,000 words to make up - not including the other 3,334 words I'll need to produce over those two days."

Ah well. At least work isn't trying to kill me (more or less) right now, so I should be fine?

Right?

Right?
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: froborr
2005-10-07 05:52 pm (UTC)
"In its place I'm playing through Star Ocean III"

Stop. NOW. Please, if you keep playing you'll wish you had. We're talking "candidate for most disappointing game of all time" here. Believe me, the plotline gets MASSIVELY less interesting the further it goes, and finally degenerates into pure stupid. Metastupid, even. Bad enough even to sully memories of Star Ocean II. And the gameplay is a big fat step BACKWARDS from SO2. It ends up "Enix repetiveness meets Square pomposity" with a big fat dose of bad-fanfic-level plot twists. The sort of thing you expect in a Mary Sue crossover holiday special slash fic, not a commercial product. Horrible, horrible game.

Anyway... what's NaNoWriMo? It sounds interesting.
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[User Picture]From: froborr
2005-10-07 05:55 pm (UTC)
Oh, um, and if you haven't, could you look at my second-to-most-recent livejournal post? It's expired off your friends page. I don't care how or if you respond, I just want to be sure you've seen it. I'm rather hoping you don't care. If you DO respond, though, keep it in that thread.
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[User Picture]From: siliconrose
2005-10-07 08:08 pm (UTC)
I saw it. Don't worry. The reason why I didn't post was that I didn't want to interrupt the conversation.

Hope you don't mind me responding to you here to let you know why.
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[User Picture]From: froborr
2005-10-07 08:12 pm (UTC)
Thanks. Sorry about that.
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[User Picture]From: falsedrow
2005-10-07 07:27 pm (UTC)
Dude, cope for a bit. I liked it. The only two things that really ticked me off about it were (A) Hard is way, way, too hard for me, and (B) I made the mistake of looking at FAQs before finishing my first time through, which I find makes almost all games much less enjoyable.
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[User Picture]From: froborr
2005-10-07 08:10 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm trying to avoid spoilers. Let me just say that I found the identity of the villains very, very, VERY stupid. And the way they sort of shunted the entire first half of the plot aside even MORE so. And I still can't figure out how the AI for your allies got WORSE since the PS1.

I'm sorry. I really, really liked SO2, and I was *really* looking forward to SO3. It was a massive letdown. The only thing I can compare it to is Star Control III (incredibly crappy game, with the worst ending I've ever seen) coming after the long dry post-Star Control II (Best. Game. Ever.) years.
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[User Picture]From: harinezumi
2005-10-07 08:47 pm (UTC)
W00t, a fellow SC2 fan! I still use that game as an example of excellence in game design and writing. And the only disappointment bigger than SC3 was the cancellation of SC4 and the series with it. Ah well, at least it wasn't as horrible as Ultimas 8 and 9. Not that I'm bitter or anything.
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[User Picture]From: froborr
2005-10-07 09:10 pm (UTC)
Yes, the series was cancelled.
Or was it?

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[User Picture]From: siliconrose
2005-10-07 08:02 pm (UTC)
I actually didn't like SOII, so...

Anyways, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, that being November. Starting on midnight Nov. 1, you begin writing a novel. The definition of novel, for their purposes, is 50,000 words. The first draft should be finished and 'submitted' for counting by midnight October 1st. You win... a sense of accomplishment.

www.nanowrimo.org

It's a chance for all those people who are always saying that, someday, they want to write a novel, to do it. Since it's organized, there's a lot of support.
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[User Picture]From: cyfis
2005-10-10 08:56 pm (UTC)
Though what horrible parent would name their child "Fate"?!

The same sort of person who names their kid "Trinity". Not naming any names of popular authors or anything here.

Riffing aside - go write the novel. You were making good progress on Familiar for awhile, why did you suddenly stop?

And RE: Star Ocean 3, never played it but that was more due to disliking the character designs. Star Ocean 1 (SFamicom) was good though? :P
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[User Picture]From: froborr
2005-10-11 01:16 am (UTC)
I really, really liked Star Ocean 2. Then again, at this point my tastes in RPGs run to "anything that isn't Final Fantasy." Not that the FF games are bad, mind you, some of them were brilliant. It's just, enough is enough already.
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[User Picture]From: siliconrose
2005-10-11 02:04 am (UTC)
I think it's sort of like Microsoft - they're being held down by their legacy.
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[User Picture]From: froborr
2005-10-11 04:29 pm (UTC)
I haven't played any past 10, but I can't shake the feeling that large parts of the combat engine are essentially unchanged from FF1. That's part of the problem.

The other problem is that their storylines have gotten progressively more pompous and ponderous over time. FF1-4 (well, I don't know about 3, having never played it) were fairy tales, light and fun. FF5 and 6 were starting to lean over into serious fantasy, but still cartoony enough to be enjoyable. With 7, the shark was officially jumped, and Square started taking themselves far too seriously: pop psychology, melodrama, and angst started to proliferate. More and more angst. Drowning in angst. I am so bloody sick of main characters whining all the time. "Alas, for I am a Square hero. It is my fate to attain godlike power, accumulate millions of gil and enough legendary weapons that I can *sell* the ones I don't like, and be surrounded by beautiful women, at least half of whom will fall in love with me. Plus I get save points. Is my life not an endless torment of misery? I wrote a poem about it."

I also think it's sort of like Microsoft, but for a different reason: they have no motivation to change because people keep buying their stuff.
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[User Picture]From: siliconrose
2005-10-11 02:03 am (UTC)
It just kind of reminds me of a bad fanfic. "My name is Beauty Serenity Colorful Butterfly Princess of Faerie Land!"

Because I lost something like 8,000 words, then when I picked it up again work did its best to kill me. Now it's difficult to pick it back up for the third time and keep the characters the way they should be.
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[User Picture]From: cyfis
2005-10-11 07:32 pm (UTC)
But it does appear to be your most complete (or at least most-number-of-words-written) project to date. It seems a pity to not continue it, as it had some interesting ideas.
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[User Picture]From: siliconrose
2005-10-12 03:08 am (UTC)
I'm still trying. I haven't entirely given up yet.
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