A game by Heather Logas and her friends

WIP Wednesday

A new day…a new scene!

Dearest Dreamers,

Its 6:53 am in Santa Cruz and the sky is starting to lighten.  

 

I am very excited to announce that I have a new scene complete and ready for debugging.  I’m excited for all of you to check it out.  It has my favorite character of the game in it, Sully the Innkeeper.  She’s a no-nonsense kind of lady.  Inspired subconsciously a bit by Grandma Ben in Bone.  She has some great stories to tell to a traveller.  I can’t wait to let you all meet her!

 

A new day has been dawning on my life as well.  A few weeks ago I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, after struggling my entire adult life (and teen life as well) with chronic exhaustion.  I have been on a cpap machine at night.  It has changed everything.  I still feel sleepy much of the time (this may continue to improve) but its only a teensy bit sleepy, like in the background of my brain.  Speaking of my brain, I feel like it is working better.  Less fog settles on it at different points of the day.  I stay full longer after meals (I know…weird…).  I come home from work and have energy for my family.  I have been experimenting with setting the alarm a little earlier.  Today I woke up at 6 and was out of bed by 6:15.  I didn’t get any work done I think because I was sort of startled at being up that early.  My usual routine on days when I can drag myself out of bed before 7am is to single-mindedly focus on the shortest path between me and my laptop.  This morning my brain was actually somewhat alert, and was bouncing off in a bunch of different directions.  So I have to adjust a bit before.  But I’m confident productive mornings await!

 

I also just FEEL more, in a very good way.  I have been feeling love more strongly, and I see it everywhere.  I have more patience.  Little unplanned annoyances (getting a parking ticket, cleaning up the milk my toddler deliberately dumped on the floor) don’t wipe me out and make me want to crawl back into bed.  I also feel less edgy, more even keeled.  I think I only had about 3 energy levels before I started therapy — tired, totally wiped out, and hyper from caffeine.  Now I’m feeling more subtle shifts in my energy level.  There’s more gradation, more texture.  

 

And I’m also feeling much more productive — more like DOING.  Unfortunately, I feel like DOING everything at once.  So that is going to take a bit of adjustment.  But I think if I PLAN on getting up at 6am instead of taking it like a fluke, I’ll be able to focus on the things I want to do at that time.  Like work on my fabulous game.

 

I can’t wait till tomorrow morning.

Dream well,

Heather

 

ps. I did not know this before getting treated, but sleep apnea untreated is very detrimental to one’s health over the long term.  As in, makes you more susceptible to strokes and all kinds of nasty things.  Also: consistent loud snoring isn’t just a nuisance: its a symptom of sleep disorders.  If you think you might have sleep apnea you really should go get it checked out!


Work in Progress Wednesday

Undertaking a new experiment this week. I’m calling it a “Sunrise Service”. I’m getting up at Sunrise every day to work on BYCYE. I squeeze in about 30 minutes – an hour depending on when my little boy wakes up. The first day didn’t work out — I overslept. But yesterday and today I got up and am working.

So I’ll go do that.

Dream well,
Heather


Work in Progress Wednesday

Dear Dreamers,

I want to get back to my thoughts on that GDC joke talk on creativity.  But first, some news and updates:

If you haven’t yet explored Aaron Reed’s 18 Cadence, I highly highly recommend it.  You can play it online for free or purchase an app for iOS.  It is a thought provoking, intriguing and moving experience.  It is also something you can dabble with just a little or really get into and have a meaningful experience either way.  

It is also visually beautiful, and I think a great example of how visual aesthetics can greatly enhance an interactive narrative experience.  The visual elements are thoughtfully chosen.  They draw you in, creating immediate interest. The tactileness of the the elements encourages exploration.  I’m excited for Aaron that he put something so amazing into the world, but playing 18 Cadence also makes me very, very sad and not a little jealous.  Not only because his project is done and mine is not, but because I have in mind what I want BYCYE to look like,  I have a vision for what the player encounters and experiences and how the graphics can make the experience richer and more engaging — and I do not feel empowered to make that happen.   There are certain technical reasons why this is so, and I have not yet been able to overcome them.  In the meantime, however, playing with 18 Cadence has at least inspired me to take another mocked – up pass of the visual skin of BYCYE and start exploring what I CAN change easily with CSS.  So I guess that’s something.

Work in Progress:

It took me a while to overcome a mysterious mental block to bug testing the current scene I have been working on.  I still am not sure what that block was about, but I moved on from it and then ran into a technical block which is not allowing me to use ChoiceScript’s auto bug testing things on my scene.  This probably has something to do with something I messed up while upgrading to a new version of Choicescript.  In any event, I am supposed to be getting help with this tonight and my goal is to release this scene to the web before next Monday.  That’s the plan!

 

Dream Well,

Heather

 

 

 


WIP Wednesday

Actually completed two blocks of work on BYCYE so far this week. As you’ve seen, I’ve done away with Motivation Monday posts. There are two reasons for this: First is that, Monday Morning, I am usually aching to get to work so it seems counter-productive to talk about motivation when I’m already motivated. Secondly, instead of writing a blog post I could be getting work done! Which is what I did this last Monday.

Its still slow going. At times, painfully slow. Organizing all the work in my life is, in itself, a job. It doesn’t take as much time as my other jobs but it does take its own emotional space. Recently, I have been using a web-program called toggl to track how I spend my time. Toggl is great because it actually is quite easy and straight forward to use. As a result, I am actually using it. My goal for each day is 30 minutes email, 30 minutes BYCYE, 2 – 3 hours on teaching prep (or teaching) and 2-3 hours on my research project game (my job, basically). That’s a work day of about 6 – 7 hours. Which is a lot. A work day in an office is 8-9 hours, but — at least when I was working in an office — that wasn’t a seriously focused 8-9 hours. My workday is all work — I don’t count time to commute or have lunch or run a quick errand or clean off my desk at the end of the day (which almost never happens). I don’t have many co-workers to idly chat with. So its all working.

I reserve the early part of the evening for my family, and the post-kid-bedtime time for my husband. And then its time to get to bed, if I don’t want to be a mess the next day.

My BYCYE time is my “me” time and it doesn’t always manifest. So even my “me” time is work. Work that’s important to me, but still work. And the revising and programming bits really feel like work. It gets to be a grind, which is not what I want my creative pursuits to be.

After this scene is revised and posted, I need to do something less grindy and more creative for a bit. Maybe I’ll work on one of the few scenes that is less written out. Or maybe I should make some more art. I need to keep moving forward, but I also need occasional rewards. This is a game, after all.

Dream Well,
Heather


WIP Wednesday — Work log 8/20 – 8/22

Sleep deprivation is rough, but things are slowly getting done. I think of it as building momentum.
Work log:

8/20
Posted blog. Couldn’t find anything in the damn file so made a user-defined syntax highlighting thing. I should share it. Totally exhausted.

8/21
OK HERE WE TOTALLY GO!!!!
Well, I put in labels and comments so I could fold and unfold the sections to make it easier to read and navigate. I know, I know, but given how little sleep I get all the help I can get focusing is good. This also gave me a chance to go over the file and identify areas where I wanted to go back and fix some things, mostly making NPC accents less pronounced. I did actually get to the putting in the DSA feature part though. Slowly remembering how to do this. Also emailed a compatriot for advice on what to do with my inventory item problem. The problem: there are only a handful of inventory items in the game, and mostly they serve a specific purpose. But one of them is just awkward and weird and doesn’t really matter. I should just cut it, but the scene containing it is some great stuff. I know I should be fearless and merciless and just cut things when they are problems, but I’m still trying to save it. I’m sure I’ve introduced all kinds of indentation problems that I will have to fix.

8/22
Ok, gotten one section of DSA done. Now players can choose goals that the game thinks are outside of their personality parameters, and the personalities will update. Whew. It was only a tiny section, but feels good to have some actual game work getting done. Blog post.

Dream well,
Heather