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Which flags?

At the time I am writing this post, In the splash page of both my websites, the visitor would encounter 3 flags, each which represent a language: English, Spanish, and Esperanto.

Esperanto was obvious because the language got its own flag.

English was intuitive; because the grand majority of my dealings with the English-language world is in the United States, the leading English-speaking country in technology. Also, I live in Puerto Rico, a US territory, making the choice of the US flag more logical.

Spanish was the hardest because my main markets are both Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Though the Dominican Republic’s exclusivity to the Spanish language might make its flag the better choice, I decided on Puerto Rico because I was born there and currently live there. I still wish I can find a way to appeal to the market in the Dominican Republic in a more specific matter, though.

The big issue, however, is Chinese, a language that I am currently practising. There are “simplified” and “traditional” versions of the written language.

The following countries used the simplified version: The People’s Republic of China, Singapore, Malaysia.

The following countries use the traditional version: The Republic of China (Taiwan), Hong Kong, Macau.

You can probably think that the best thing would be to have China’s flag represent the simplified writing and Taiwan represent the traditional writing because they are the countries that have the biggest worldwide influence. The problem is that they tend to not be friendly with each other. They have opposing political and economical ideas, both countries actively opposing each other. Someone from China might see the Taiwanese flag and get too upset, or again, the other way around would occur.

Am I just baselessly assuming things, though?

I’ll have plenty of time that I could put on deciding which flags to use. I just want to get this thought out into the public and hopefully get good answers.

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This American-Japanese font

Did anyone else notice these types of fonts that come up in Japanese games now and again? You know… that Latin script font that seems to be “cartoony” yet “animeish” at the same time?

Harmoknight, especially, seems to really like using this font in its sound effects:

How can I write in that font? I really like that font.

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FireRed, LeafGreen, Mewtwo

2 weeks ago, Pokémon FireRed and Pokémon LeafGreen were first release.

Today, in these games, Mew gave birth to Mewtwo.

 

I hold Pokémon in high regard. I mean, while I already had a GameBoy Pocket that had Super Mario Bros. 2: 6 Golden Coins (which I played a lot), The Lion King (which I played to an extent), and another game that I forgot (and barely played), Pokémon Silver was not only the reason I got a GameBoy Color but was also my first dive into a dedication of handheld gaming.

The same goes to console gaming: I already had a PSone that had Spyro 3: Year of the Dragon (which I played a lot), Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase (which I played to an extent), and Gran Turismo 2 (which I barely played), Pokémon Colosseum (and, more importantly, its Bonus Disc) was not only the reason I got a GameCube but was also my first dive into a dedication of console gaming.

The regard goes farther. This dedication led me to a more eager look into the workings and history of electronic games, the “scene”, hacks, actual game-making, and so on. Pokémon also led me to not only Internet forums but also website-making. Even my current interest in art and languages were, in part, from Pokémon! Even Wuu Shyng, my final project of my master’s degree and a game that I am developing, is based off Pokémon!

Mewtwo himself is significant here; I learned and got into Pokémon when the movie Mewtwo Strikes Back was on videocasette! On Pokémon FireRed and Pokémon LeafGreen, I find these games one of my favourites in the entire series. If I were to be more specific, the refinements from the later generations, ranging from the better controls to the new moves, made the original experience far more comfortable, the comfort even exceeding that of Pokémon Emerald! That way, the brilliance of the original games now shone more clearly. I also like the new things they added, ranging from the Wireless Club to the Sevii Island, though the latter, admittedly, needed some expansion.

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Uploaded my re-hoarded notes

I just uploaded my notes on the development of Re-Hoard. Hopefully, the help I would get would have the necessary information.

What’s weird is that, though I expected to go to writing the code after I wrote my notes, I found out that I also needed to organize my notes into actual algorithms instead of thinking that the notes are already algorithms in themselves. I realise that I would need actual flowcharts out of this, too.

A weirder thing is that, even though all I did was clean up and clarify my notes, I was no longer willing to work until tomorrow. I thought that this was a trait that only came up during my final project in college.

Then again, these days, I have been adjusting to a life where I essentially have control of all my time. I already developed a surprisingly high amount of self-discipline back at my final year in college, but this transition from following instructions to doing your own work just began. I mean, even when I had a lot of free reign on the things I could do in my final project, I still had to answer to the school staff. Here, I have to do everything and respond to myself. This level of responsibility, while lower-pressure in a way, is something to what I have to get used gradually. I am only getting the hang of these things around this week.

I hope that I would develop more regularly, now.

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Reassessing Priorities

You probably noticed that I have not posted anything in over a week. Part of that was due to the demotivating feeling that the blackout left me. Another part was general lack of self-discipline in posting. However, the last part was me spending a big part in a blog post that I wanted to write. The issue was that, every time I get to writing, I find out about something new that the blog post needs.

The problem was that spending all this time blogging took away from developing games, that is, my actual job. That was acceptable in the beginning when I was building up a blog that would be good work that I could show any possible employer, but spending too much time on a blog post to the expense of actual work… that has to stop.

I shall continue with blogging; after all, I have plenty of ideas that would make good posts. I am just better aligning my actions to my real priorities. Blog posts are going to be at a slower rate, now.

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Not Just Me

I found out that I was not the only one who would be affected by a nation-wide blackout. Sure, my goods and services depend on devices that run on electricity, but a blackout that lasts at least a few days would affect everybody. That made sense because just about everybody uses electrical devices, especially at work, these days. My dependence just happens to run deeper than most others’.

Still, this blackout and subsequent consideration on its effects on my life was healthy and revealing.

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Fragility

At times, I thought about how dependent my job was on electricity. I mean, you need electricity if you want to play my game; I need electricity if I want to develop my game. Also, while I plan on selling my games in real life, the way I set up my payment methods places a heavy premium on online services, all which require electricity. In fact, my current field, software engineering, depends on devices which depend on electricity. There may be secondary skills that do not have this dependence (those who deal in art or mathematics, if I were to write two examples), though…

The recent blackout that removed electricity from all of Puerto Rico just had me feel this possibility…

Should I diversify? If so, then how?

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How disgusting…

When I started writing here, I wanted to blog daily over a month. In fact, that was the reason why I started on September 1. I enjoyed seeing my chain of posts fill up the month in my posting activity.

I missed 2 days of posts.

Granted, this was because of a nation-wide blackout  because an important electrical plant catching fire and subsequently shutting down a line that ran through the entire country, but I still feel disgusted that my chain broke… very much irreparably so. I would see that broken chain in my activity in pretty much forever.

I feel demotivated…

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Response: What is Good Taste?

This is a response to an article that 2D Will Never Die wrote one time.

I might just be privileged and optimistic, but I shall not say these years have been horrible to us. I mean, we got Steam, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Kindle (and a lot of other goodies that Amazon gives), and even Mini in a Box. We also have an Internet that has a connection level that is so deeply integrated, thus making these things possible. More locally, even though the debt in Puerto Rico is in default, I got a Master’s Degree in Software Engineering, my own business that is not tied to a single physical location, and a couple of “escape routes” available if things get really bad, though Puerto Rico seems to be handling itself just fine so far.

Even so, I can see that things can be better. Right now, people are craving and perpetuating an NC-17 culture. Even here in Puerto Rico, “safety” is edging out responsibility. Of course, there is not only the debt default that Puerto Rico still has, but also the people in government lacking responsibility in finances, thus why I have considered “escape routes” in the first place!

Ironically, a picture from 2D Will Never Die just happens to illustrate what I want to say:

While 2D Will Never Die used this picture in illustrating an “almost all-consuming trend of going from ‘colorful and full of character’ to ‘dark and all looks the same’,” I point out that the “dark, monotonous” cell phones are capable of doing things (comfortable comic reading, streaming media, drawing, writing and running computer code) that is far out of reach of the cell phones that are “full of color and character”. Even the games that the dark phones can play are leagues bigger than the ones the colorful ones can play!

I guess that I am trying to say that every day has significant bad and good points. All I can do is take responsibility for my actions and change what I can.

Thankfully, culture is one thing that I can change.

2D Will Never Die attributes the sick culture of this day to expense and bad taste. The website claims that everything getting more expensive comes from us getting stupider. While I do not know what the website means by “we’re getting stupider” and how that ties to bigger expense, I agree that more expense leads to more aversion to possibly money-wasting risks into the unknown.

2D Will Never Die’s premise that aversion to fun risks leads to a child-unfriendliness, even if children are the target audience, is interesting. In light of a video from Saber Spark, I noticed that this unfriendly effect happened with SpongeBob SquarePants, a fun and exciting cartoon! The Nickelodeon channel neglected other shows, pushing SpongeBob SquarePants for around a decade. Even when the maker of SpongeBob SquarePants left the cartoon, Nickelodeon kept the cartoon going. The cartoon itself ended up “simplified” and otherwise blander in its later seasons. These days, I am not really comfortable in seeing what Nickelodeon offers; the general offering feels repellent.

2D Will Never Die mentioning higher costs in both animation and electronic games is also interesting. The program Synfig and the programming language Python were a response to these costs with their respective industries. Synfig does away with the need to draw in-between frames; Python has extensive library support and is simply simple to write. So far, Synfig remains obscure, but Python is one of the most in-demand programming languages. (I honestly wonder why these solutions that have similar goals got drastically different outcomes…) The key is that both Synfig and Python aim for smaller costs without a decrease in quality. After all, an army of skilled artists staying up all night to reach a deadline leads to a more romantic mental image than a few affordable artists tracing some 3D models a few days a week, but what would be the results of those skilled artists, and what are the consequences of such a time crunch? I myself know of the crunch because of college, especially my Master’s Degree! I would welcome anything that would alleviate the  crunch without sacrificing quality!

2D Will Never Die gives an interesting observation that the incident with the Twin Towers at the United States in September 11, 2001 changed the zeitgeist there. After all, Dada, a “nonsense” art movement, came out of World War I. However, I propose that the incident at September 11, 2001 was merely a catalyst to a cultural entropy that was happening in quite a long time now. I earlier mentioned that we have a sick culture today. The thing is that the sickness started decades ago. I mean, 2D Will Never Die looked fondly and even ideally at the 1990’s, but MTV’s and Comedy Central’s contributions to this decade were not only sick, but also borne out of an earlier sickness. In fact, in the United States, at least, I would put the beginning of cultural sickness at the 1960’s and the 1970’s when the countercultural movements took hold of the country and became mainstream. Because of a lack of vigilance, the zeitgeist became less conservative and therefore sicker. In light of this, I am not surprised that the owner of 2D Will Never Die, the owner apparently born in the 1980’s, would be so impressed, even if also somewhat disgusted, at eyeballs falling off bloody chunks, the owner even calling the eyeballs “good taste”, claiming that the eyeballs are not “goreporn”, but rather a friendly, lovely extra little gift from a company that liked and understood children.

There is no good taste in falling eyeballs!

Just because children like something does not mean that we have to give that something to them! Children would just love to fight with other children, eat lots of sugar, and stick their hands into places that would cause “death or serious injury”! I am not saying that children are stupid; I am saying that children, due to their immaturity, might want something that would end up very bad for them. Even if they know that those are not real eyeballs, we should not be encouraging this stuff to children whose tastes are, honestly, still in development.

Of course, by no means should you have to choose between good taste and exciting fun. In fact, I want to make games that have both. Thankfully, 2D Will Never Die offers points on what exactly gave stuff from the 1980’s and 1990’s good taste and exciting fun:

  • Fun that is bright, colorful, energetic, and even goofy feels good.
  • Maximize what feels good; minimize what feels bad.
  • Emphasize style, not ballooning cost.
  • Make places of escape, not venting.

One interesting yet important point 2D Will Never Die gives is that independent developers (That includes me!) have not only a huge freedom not afforded to big companies but also have an Internet that has a connection level that is so deeply integrated. In fact, 2D Will Never Die seems to say that we can mix the best of the 1980’s and 1990’s with the best of today.

Do you still remember these cell phones?

The older ones are more fun, but the newer ones are more capable.

Why do we have to choose?

Why can we not make a fun, colorful, yet strongly capable cell phone? Why can we not make something with the fun of yesterday but with the potential of today? Why can we not make something in both exciting fun and good taste?

Honestly, I found myself wanting to do just that. However, that is a subject for another post.