Dogs, Death, and Delays

Let me start by saying I’m disappointed at myself for not carving out more time to work on this, but today I’m feeling particularly inspired to write as today I lost my good friend of 16 years, Maxx. Maxx is a Pembroke welsh corgi and was one of the best companions a boy could ever have. The first half of his life he saw me off to university and then provided my nieces a stable companion. The last few years he has been giving my mother company. He was well traveled as most corgis seem to get. From sledding in Colorado to sailing around Vancouver Island, Maxx had many adventures. About 10 years ago he started developing a tumor on his flank. Though this was completely benign it did continue growing and became more of a feature of his appearance in the last third of his life. It’s final size was around that of a good size orange. If it caused him any discomfort he never let anyone know. But in the last few years he had started having true trouble getting around. Finally culminating with him being unable to move more than a few inches and having to be carried outside and have his food brought to him. He has made quite the impression on many members of our family. He will be missed.

This has delayed my doing much of anything but driving to work. Also I’m in the middle of trying to move. Just from my current apartment to in with neighbor/girlfriend in the same complex. Which has turned out to be a much harder thing to do than anyone predicted. The process is reasonably straight forward, but there has been a lack of good record keeping on the complex’s side. Which has resulted in new leases being drawn up as it turned out my girlfriend didn’t actually have one anymore, just somehow no one noticed and just kept charging her the same amount each month.

Needless to say I’ve also been gaming a bunch for the first time in years now that I have a functional computer. The same thing happened when I got a TV and finally started using my PS3 again about 10 months ago. I bought about 8 games and just plowed through them. Finally experiencing things like Red Dead Redemption, GTA5, The Last Of Us, and the Mass Effect trilogy. I’ve had a lot of catching up to do. On my Linux box I’ve finally had the ability to enjoy Psychonauts, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Prison Architect, Limbo, even the new expansions of Postal 2 for my inner psychotic. I’ve also been able to play through some of the really indie titles I’ve been wanting to try like Papers Please, Pony Island, Thomas Was Alone.

I’ve also been spending more time with Godot trying to get used to working with vectors and a proper physics library. Right now I’ve got a couple simple, but functional prototypes of basic game types. I’m looking forward to really venturing into 3D instead of just using the 2D stuff. I’ve even constructed myself a basic syllabus of things I want to teach myself. Starting with basic 2D platform and overhead (both done), 3D isometric, and a simple first person engine. Then iterating over each to add more features. Like scrolling cameras (where applicable), a shooting mechanic, an AI opponent, victory and failure states, a menu and routing between the prototypes, and some simple animation. Hopefully ending with the introduction of bones and rigging as that’s something that will be completely new to me.

As I said before the engine is very accessible. My first project took me some time to get working as I tried to understand what each node did, but the second one took only 30 minutes or so. I just haven’t been as disciplined as I would like about getting more done and more of my time has already been pre-spent as I will be starting to pack my things for my short move. Luckily I don’t own much, I have 3 bookcases, a table, a cot, and 5 chairs. 2 of those are canvas camping chairs. For the most part my life has remained in the same trunk and boxes for 6 years and I don’t really foresee that changing much.

Anyway, I have some grief to resolve. But there are reviews coming. As well as tools and advice for gaming on Linux. As just the other day I spent 7 hours and $15 getting a controller to work correctly with Bastion and if I can save anyone from that kind of time waste and frustration I will.

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