Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Back in Town & Back to Work

I just returned home last night after being out of town for the last five days (for xmas). I should be able to start page 11 tonight. My self imposed date for publishing the new chapter is January 8th and I think that’s a reasonable timetable. I don’t think there will be more than a few more pages left to complete and I have more than a week to get it done.

For those interested in the print version of the comic, once chapter 9 is done, I will work on Part Two. Part One was a book that included the Prologue and the first four chapters. Part Two will include chapters 5-9. Now that I have an improved publishing program, I hope to make this part look better. I learned a few lessons from my first attempt, so we’ll see how well this goes. ;-)

I’d also like to do some more work on the RPG. I’ve made progress, but it’s still the “red-headed stepchild” of this enterprise so I’m not working too much on it. However, it would be nice to get it out there and see if anyone is willing to buy it, or even think it’s a good game. As I’ve said before, I’m procrastinating a bit, partly due to fear of rejection. Nevertheless, I can’t spend my time worrying about that!

Monday, December 19, 2005

$ Down the Drain

I completed the renders for page 9, which begins the final stretch of the chapter. At this point, I’m not sure how many more pages there’ll be, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it goes to 15 pages.

I also spent the weekend getting some of the props/ships ready for the rest of the chapter. This will be a fairly complex space battle involving a few surprises. As part of that, I downloaded a couple of assets from DAZ, one of which is actually for Bryce, not Poser. Although I’ve used Bryce somewhat, I’ve always found it a bit confusing. However, after reading some online tutorials, I felt more comfortable with the program. As for the regular Poser asset I downloaded, I decided not to use it after all. In fact, I was a bit disappointed in how it looked once I starting working with it. Hopefully I can incorporate it later, but for now its $10 down the drain. ;-)

Friday, December 16, 2005

Kate and Alexander

I completed pages seven and eight. These last few pages have been a conversation between Alexander and his sister, but I decided to cut it a little shorter than I originally planned. I just didn’t feel it was going anywhere, and I’m now able to focus on the action at the end of the chapter. I have a few things I need to create and/or buy for the last few pages, but I can do that tonight maybe.

The work from my day job is mostly over until the beginning of next year, so I can focus on the comic more. However, we’re leaving town later next week, so I won’t have too much time. Nevertheless, I think the chapter will be done on time without any problems.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Choose Your Own Adventure

I’ve completed pages one through five, and the renders for page six. I think the progress on the current chapter is largely on schedule, although again my work (day job) has meant some very long (and late) hours. I’m in the middle of three weeks were we’re deploying a lot of late night code, so it means my sleep cycle is a little screwed up. Also, I’ll be out of town for at least four days over Xmas, so I won’t be getting anything done during that time either.

Last week I took a few hours to work on a quick mockup for an idea of mine. Using the Imperium universe, I thought about creating a so-called “choose your own adventure” story online. Basically, each webpage would have a render of the scene, a description, and then some choices for the reader to progress through the story. If I really chose to do this, however, I’d want it database driven so I wouldn’t have to do 100+ web pages. Instead, it would be a single page that repopulates based on what the reader chooses. Although I don’t think it would be too hard, I’m not knowledgeable enough right now to do that technically, plus I don’t have the time to work on the story itself (although I have a few ideas).

I’ve also worked on the role-playing game, especially the formatting of the actual rules document. I bought an older version of Microsoft Publisher and I’m using that now instead of just MS Word. Although this version of Publisher isn’t as good as the one we have at work, it does give me a lot better freedom to position text and images. Back when I had a poetry magazine, I used Publisher then too, so I’m pretty familiar with the program. It’s not PageMaker or FrameMaker (other publishing programs), but it lets me do what I need to and it was cheap(!)

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Humans Suck: Long Live Robots!

Page 4 is almost complete: just the post work remains. I haven’t been able to do much over the last couple of days due to my work schedule, which has been pretty intense lately.

As some of you may know (such as by reading the bio section), I worked at turning Imperium Online into a MMORPG for two years before abandoning that idea and starting the web comic. Since quitting the game, however, I have suffered sporadic dreams of again turning my vision into an online game. This would be a terrible idea for several reasons, which is why I always chide myself for having these thoughts. Today, I came across a post mortem by Radu Privantu who wrote about a MMORPG he created. Although programming has its own headaches, I found that most of his issues were created by the people playing the game, including cheating and other hacks. Considering my love-hate relationship with Humanity, reading things like this post mortem will hopefully keep my game development dreams in check for a while longer.