Saturday – July 18th, 2020 – the Border Fixin Squad is Out in Full Force –

Saturday, July 18th, 2020 —> +28˚C / +82˚F —> & Not so muggy in Atlantic Canada @ 5:30 pm – I think they Celebrated Cheryl W.’s birthday in South Africa & Called it a Nelson Mandela Appreciation Day. –

- Draelen notices Buildings are up off the ground in Birkenport -

– Draelen said, “Uhh – Things are kind of up in the air over here in Birkenport at the moment – Send in the troops -” –

— Another typical Saturday in the Game Building World?

— Excuse me if you already heard this, but we had to fix a few things in Aerendel City – We needed to disconnect the City from its surrounding spaces, or areas – mountains to the north- hills to the south – Highland Forest to the North-West – That was the easy part. Aerendel City had not yet been the focus of Urban Development – It was just sitting there, with lots of plans on several ‘drawing boards’.

— We worked on just the basic landscape, made no major changes in the shape or the border regions at all, smiled and moved it back into place, re-connected it seamlessly with all its surrounding areas and checked the borders and everything looked fine.

— But then a Newbie builder took a look around and a lot of things were not fine. A week before this started Nikki took a look around Landsdrop and found that Wolfe Ridge had gone wandering. Draelen checked it out, came toward Wolfe Ridge from the West, and everything was fine. But then Newbie – Skarhfe – on his way to Del-Vahria – found the same problem and ‘sketched’ the absence of Wolfe Ridge { took a screen shot  and ‘shared it’ with the rest of us. Lucky for us, Skarhfe might have been new to our team, but he knew what he was doing and he corrected the problem with, in Kaelyn’s words: “Ease and Grace” { The first time we heard that we thought ‘Ease’ might have refered to Aeslynne – and wondered who Grace was. }

— Draelen, Volffe, Niki, Evelynn, newcomers Yurgan, and Jim – set about correcting things in just about the same manner that Skarhfe had fixed the ‘Where the bleep did Wolfe Ridge wander off to?-‘ problem.

— And we discovered that if we fixed the border between Aerendel City and ‘AerWest02’ from the East – from Aerendel City – it looked fine, but when Evelynn ran around to check something from the AerWest / Highland Forest side – Things were definitely not ‘fine’.

— We thought we fixed the border between Highland Forest and ‘Mountain Range “A”-‘ where they both just come close to Aerendel City – but after things looked ‘fine’ again there – and after Evelynn ran back around to Aerendel City with nothing obviously out of place – she ran back down to Birkenport and, “Uht – oh!” – Birkenport hadn’t moved, but all the buildings and lamp-posts had jumped at least three feet in the air and hovered there. And the sea level in that important port city had dropped about five meters – and that fell under the ‘Not Good-‘ category.

— So we called out the troops, and a lot of us took turns fixing things – and when we reached the point of exhaustion we went to sleep and somebody else was always ready to take our place –

… Let me finish this later – They need me in the landscape emergency room…

- Yurgan paused to marvel at the red clouds just after sunset in the city -

– “Yurgan paused to marvel at the red clouds just after sunset at the edge of Aerendel City.” –

— The clouds look like they’re closer to a ‘hot pink’ than red to me, but I’ve been assured by others, the clouds around sunset were definitely red.  –

— Have I said too much about everybody’s efforts to repair borders etc.?

- Red Sunsets? This is the border between Birkenport and Daelen-

– “Red at night -” no – somebody might take that wrong – Red Haired Evelynn – in a reddish fog a bit after sunset – with the stars shining through –

— Somebody suggested we compile a ‘Rogue’s Gallery’ of the guys and gals on our team – Sounds okay to me –

— And I better sign off for now – It’s been a long day and a half —

————— T.R. —————

We’ve Been Busy & “Dat’s Good-“

Thursday, July 16th, 2020 —> +19˚C / +52˚F —> & Mostly cloudy @ 2:34 am in Atlantic Canada —> & Jim says it’s Nancy { maiden name “Aspinwall” }’s birthday today – Yesterday washis grandfather’s, Robert Carlson Wellington Senior’s Birthday. & Linda Rondstandt’s 🙂 –

— Where should I start?

- Skarhfe looking at the end of the world. -

– “Skarhfe Proves that Niki Was Right.” – Wolfe Ridge went into hiding….” –

— We never doubted Niki when she said she got to the vortex but it wasn’t there – Draelen ran down from Del-Vahria, all the way through the Shadowlands and Stone Lake and Wolf and Wolfe Ridges – and the crossing from Wolfe Ridge to “AerWest01 looked fine from where he came from – He ran through the spinning vortex and smiled at Niki and turned around and ran back, no problem. Niki closed her eyes and ran off the edge of the world – and didn’t die – and didn’t fall through eternity and all that –

— Draelen and Nikki got their own accounts this week – Drae’s third builder character is a diminutive – possibly a Faer Elf guy wearing a wizard’s shirt and carrying a healer’s kit – He re-created Nikii’s path to the end of the world – and sure enough – there was a wide open space, a bonafide “Nothing” where Wolfe Ridge should be. He had the presence of mind to take a selfie, obviously with a levitated wizard-ish selfie device – and then fixed the problem – made sure that “AerWest01” was linked to Wolf Ridge – which is directly West and “UP” from Wolfe Ridge { Two families, related, brothers, named ‘Wolfe’ – immigrated here a few months apart – When the second brother registered with the ‘Governor’s Agent’ in Birkenport the agent was upset that the bribe that was offered wasn’t as large as he hoped it should have been and spelled the name “Wolf” instead of ‘Wolfe’ out of spite and in spite of protest. —> The first brother had already taken the Princes’ advice and gone West – staked a claim that has been called “Wolfe’s Ridge” ever since. Details are a bit fuzzy – and seem to change a bit every time anybody tells the story – but the first brother thought the second brother should have either offered a bigger bribe or ‘Cold-Cocked’ the agent, forged the documents and beat it to ‘The Ridge’ – He might have actually said, “It wouldda been more honorable even if ya got caught and landed in the slammer- The agents, even the stinkin governor are afraid of me – and they should be afraid of you to- ya wimp. We couldda had ourselfs a legendary Donny-Brook that wouldda established our reputation as bad asses for ever -” – and gave his brother the upper -Western half of the ridge – The ‘Soggy’ section. Brother number two didn’t mind at all. He was the better farmer of the two and the sometimes legendary rain storms up there not only grow wonderful crops, but because the Western half of the ridge is so steep, 99% of the potential crop ruining flood waters run down into his brother’s half of the ridge and flood him out regularly. }

— Oh – back to Skarhfe – when he was pretty sure his gamble would work, he removed the link between AerWest01 and Wolfe Ridge – and then re-added it – and bingo – the errant property magically appeared where it shouldda been all along –

- Skarhfe stares into a blinding sunset -

– “Skarhfe stepped into a blinding sunset” –

— Skarhfe’s efforts, as soon as he triumphantly dashed through the spinning vortex and did not have his body parts scattered all over the continent – were ‘rewarded’ with a blinding sunset through a thick fog – it made going a bit slow, but he felt pretty good about getting that slippery border situation fixed so easily –

- Skarhfe hopes that's just fog -

– “Skarhfe hesitated at the top of the ridge between Stone Lake and the Shadowlands.” –

— After hearing stories of adventurers stepping across borders and never being seen or heard of again, and then seeing that disappearing land masses might actually be a thing – Skarhfe stood atop the ridge that marked the border between Stone Lake and the Shadowlands and waited until a small herd of deer happily galloped up the slope and emerged from the fog – before he took a breath and bolstered the courage to take one step at a time down what could very well have been a slippery slope to oblivion – Nope – it wasn’t oblivion he stepped into, it was the Shadowlands – and while nobody’s reported reputedly haunted buildings falling out of the sky and barely missing anyone lately – there’s always a chance –

- Drae in Islandia -

– “Drae made it to Islandia.” –

— Islandia is another slightly spooky place. It’s reputed to be a ghost town that’s been completely taken over by vegetation. There are those who say you have to be very brave and quite foolhardy to attempt to find the place. And most who make it through a cavern and some pretty tight spaces don’t stay long, and nobody wants to spend the night there – but Drae laughed. A large, muscular constable followed him all the way and then turned and ran at the fist sound of hooves. Drae laughed, “Our big, brave constable was scared half to death by a goat.”

- "Mending Borders" -

– “Mending Borders” – Before Skarhfe fixed our roaming land mass problem – Draelen and Volffe were out inspecting borders and mending them as needed. –

— The screen shot above, if you look closely – shows a slight tear between Wolfe Ridge on the right and Wolf Ridge on the left. None of our guys and women laughed at anyone who reported problems with border crossings and possible sentient land masses getting up and moving if they felt slighted or neglected … So yeah, everybody was out, checking, and applying band-aids when needed.

- "Niki's predawn view of Del-Vahria." -

– “Niki’s pre-dawn view of Del-Varia” This world has some ‘picture perfect’ sun rises and sunsets. –

— She’s got the soul of an artist and the voice of an angel -And it isn’t just me who thinks so – Niki saw this inspiring sight from the Customs House on the Isthmus.

- Morning Fog -

– After Niki stared at the view from the customs house for half an hour she stepped outside just before sunrise and saw this –

— One healer called the morning fog ‘a salve for the soul’. Sounds like a pretty good assessment to me.

- Drae in the Shadowlands Cavern -

– “Drae in the cavern in the Shadowlands.” –

— Depending on your point of view and the poetry of your heart and soul and mind – you may find the way crystals in some stone reflect and amplify and transform the colour and tone of the light from a torch, or in this case, a gas light – You may find the changes in the light either annoying or ‘magical’ –

— And it’s way past my bedtime, but I told the crew I’d get their pictures up and here – I’ve done it. And now – before my head hits the desk when I pass out … I better bid y’all a fond “Adieu” – don’t tell our tea-totallers I found somebody’s secret bottle of hootch – and it was flavored!

— { Hic – }

————— T.R.—

Friday, July 10th, 2020

-Friday, July 10th, 2020 — +30˚C { With a ‘Humidex’ of +37˚C } / 86˚F —> Felt like 98.6˚F — hot and humid @ 7:30 pm up here where we don’t all live in igloos 😉 – On Emilie’s Birthday 🙂 –

— Today’s Progress report? T.R. couldn’t sign in here – he said whatever idiotic thing was going wrong – the log-in page wanted Draelen and wouldn’t accept anything else? — Well that’s weird…

— But –

- Raitch -

– “Raitch” is here and looking around on her own account! –

— Doug says he knew it would be a bad idea to give his daughter her own account. “She has better fashion sense than the rest of us put together – she’ll put us to shame.”

— Looks like he’s right.

— We also gave her husband his own account – but we didn’t click on all the right boxes and he spent an hour trying to contact us to ask why he couldn’t come all the way in to our world here. ( Ooops – sorry guy – ) But I believe that situation has been ameliorated.

- Raitch at Landsdrop Falls - early evening. -

– “Raitch at Landsdrop Falls in the early evening.” –

— It doesn’t look like she moved all day – just stood there and gawked? { No, I better not say that, she’ll kill my avatar next time she sees him. } — Yes, we have learned how to ‘park’ our avatars and fly around doing a lot of stuff – then pretty much landing in the spot you took off from three or four hours earlier. and take a ‘selfie’.

— Hey Doug, should we trust her to start blogging with us?

— And Doug’s answer is, “Hit the deck!” as something breakable comes flying at my head from what? 500 miles away? – “Who gave her Psionics?”

— Raitch just smirks.

— Her dad blushes, “I think she was born with them. I don’t know, ya think maybe I was a victim of MK-Ultra mind control a7 Manchurian Candidate training? Then had my memory wiped?”

— { shudder … } “Yeah, maybe they discovered that we were uncontrollable – even under their stupid torture and drug addiction programs…”

— Doug looks at me with a dubious expression { as seen on our video chat channel } as Raitch’s human player comes up behind him spying on us with her iPad in hand.

————— All for now –

~~~~~ Jim


Thursday, July 9th, 2020 –

– Thursday, July 9th, 2020 —> +24˚C / + 83˚F – Mostly sunny & hazy with maybe 30-50% of the sky supporting smallish clouds – with Severe Thunderstorm Warnings for later – Where I’m at in Atlantic Canada @ 4:57 pm –

- Nikki + Draelen in Landsdrop just past Sundown -

– “Nikki & Draelen in Landsdrop just past Sundown.” – The area they’ve been working on lately –

— Things have gone a lot more smoothly lately since we got everybody to “Lock” all their heightmaps when they were finished ‘Messing with them’ —> Jim managed to build an impressive cavern in less than an hour. and he didn’t have to drag all the parts out beyond the area and work on them, then drag them back and fuss for several minutes to get them lined up right. — Charging straight ahead with your head down and your eyes closed might not be the most effective strategy in world-building.

- Nikki & Drae in the Landsdrop Cavern -

– “Nikki & Drae in the Landsdrop Cavern” –

— The idea is – crystals in the stone reflect firelight in different colours and intensity – & Jim is correct – on a decent gaming monitor this looks fantastic. –

- The 'Drop' at Landsdrop -

– “The drop at Landsdrop” – the irregular line of rocky cliffs that give the area its name. –

— The cliffs that give the “Landsdrop” area its name – An “escarpment” in geological terms? The term is often used to describe the Niagara region of ‘southern’ Canada. – At first we were not overly thrilled with the look of the texture we’re using here – At a distance it can look funky – but I guess the fog in the ‘atmosphere’ goes a long way to help that when you’re at avatar level on the ground. But some of our avatars will have functional wings. And we’ve been wondering if characters with ‘Night Vision’ would see what we developers see when we turn on the lightbulb — everything? Another quirk with this texture: When you lower the ‘scale’ to something like 0.25 large areas with this texture look great – but when your character gets close – not only is the magic gone, but it looks like the texture failed and left you with reddish purple lines and foggy fields of grey and tan. So – we guessed that we can use that for cliffs seen at a distance – where nothing exciting will ever happen – and maybe gradually bring the scale back up to ‘normal’ closer to the ground – & closer to where anything might happen.

— Let me digress for a moment – Jim’s theory is to let every player believe their character has an unfair advantage and counsel them not to do anything stupid while they’re at lower levels – “Don’t jump off a cliff if you don’t have the right magical armor -” … stuff like that. I rolled my eyes at that idea at first, but then, the more I think about it – yeah – that works. A thief should believe he or she has an unfair advantage when it comes to picking pockets of npc’s. – Then learn caution when they go up against the higher leveled & more perceptive npcs and player’s characters. Yeah – that works.

….. — T.R. —

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2020 – Landsdrop

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2020 —> +19°C / +68°F —> grey & clouded over @ 7:30 am –

— Didn’t get a lot done in Aerendel yesterday – I did build a shelf support in the North-West corner of the office here and plopped the beginnings of a shelf there – from the support to the heavy grey desk top that still needs a bit of work and its own support – we’re planning on getting that at least partially accomplished today.

— This morning, so far – I watched Volffe work all around the borders of Landsdrop { West of Highland Forest, East of Absentia – North of ‘North-West Aerendel_02’ } – which got its designation way back when the refugees who ‘Discovered’ Aerendel began to explore – look for game animals, look for edible native plants – & look for decent places to build settlements beyond the limits of Aerendel City and away from the corruption that was already becoming a ‘thing’ in Birkenport.

- Landsdrop as of 9:23 am July 2nd, 2020 -

– ” Landsdrop as of 9:23 am – July 2nd, 2020.” – borders all worked on – creeks in place as far as the next ‘drop’ –

— Landsdrop got its name from the cliffs that drop to a nearly flat – open stretch of ‘prairie’ land – ‘Scientific’ types, even way back 5,000 years ago – wondered if the ‘drops’ were caused by earthquakes – or if they marked the farthest reaches of a huge glacier during the last ice age. { And we have a lot to do to ‘sculpt’ the land beyond the most major drop and redirect the ‘creeks’ that made the prairies the obvious choice of farmers way back ‘when’. }

- Volffe standing Night Watch on Lovers' Lookout Hill in Keltic Vale -

– “Volffe standing Night Watch on Lovers’ Lookout Hill In Keltic Vale.” – looking North and East toward Del-Vahria. –

— I think I hinted at the beginning of this article / post – That we didn’t get a heck of a lot done Yesterday – I think all that Volffe actually did – besides checking around for obvious catastrophes – was plant a lot of leafy ‘weeds’ among the summer grass on Lovers’ Lookout Hill. { He didn’t call them weeds – he called them local vegetation – which has been used for salad greens over the last 5,000 years. }

— And I have some real world ‘Schnarr’ to do, so I’ll post this now and maybe do some more later —>

~~~~~ Jim

– I Think We’re Taking It Up A Notch – or Seven? –

-Thursday, June 25th, 2020 —> +27˚C / +81˚F @ 6:15 pm —> Sigh — I been Bad and so caught up in trying to undo some Catastrophic messes – I missed telling too many wonderful people that they shouldn’t just have one happy day a year because it’s their birthday – { Hanging my head in shame – feeling like a marionette with cut strings? And an aching neck —> So many wonderful, lovable people out there who deserve to be reminded how wonderful they are … and so little time ? }  Ack!

- After we thought we'd fixed all the irritating little problems ---

– After we thought we’d fixed all the irritating little problems that exploded into our world after one nano-second of clicking on the wrong thing and then pounding control-z hard enough to knock Bill Gates out of his bed wherever he’s hiding out –

— This is what a disaster looks like – W fixed this once already and then when we fixed something else the ‘link’ between two areas unfixed itself. All that black area between the mountain on the left and the hills and green grass on the right? —> That’s not supposed to be there. The tower and other buildings levitated above the blackness? – They’re part of the territory to the right. That bright cube beneath the tower closest to us? That’s a light that should be shining either on  the docks to the left or near the guarded gate that would be part of the land to the right. Several buildings almost dead center? They Belong in line with darkened buildings that stayed with half of the harbor’s docks to the right – when the other half floated, what?-  thirty yards to the left? Something like that.

— I think the above mess happened because we missed one ‘Seamless Link’ That we should have removed before we began moving all our ‘Used-to-be-linked-together-areas’ back together and gluing them in place. Duct tape and wire hangars might have been prettier… and might have lasted better. But anyway —>

-Elise and Vollfe Appreciating a crimson sunset sky -"

– The closest I got to “Read Skies At Night” { which delighted sailors because that meant the storms were chronologically behind them – } Was purple clouds and fog near sunset – But this wasn’t purple – Was it? –

— Elise – The barefoot Hippie builder planted and nurtured some flowers after working all night helping Volffe set up several lamp posts and watching the lamplighter do his thing – I might get around to working on the screen shot of Elise’s garden next time.

— One reason I never tried for a red sunset was the messages in U2’s “Red Skies at Night” and “Sunday, Bloody Sunday” – One big reason I’m building this game world is to give people who don’t want to kill everything in sight a place to hang out and hopefully see some amazingly beautiful landscapes. The hackers and slashers will have their own areas to set each other on fire and spill blood all over the place, but a lot of areas will have either ‘Divine Protection’ or Big ugly protectors scaring the living cement out of the bad guys. — But the red skies last night on my wonderful gaming monitor came close to having me wonder, – Gee, maybe red isn’t such a bloody awful colour after all –

— One “Quirk” with this 3D stuff is – you get to see some characters from a slightly different angle and it looks like you took a photograph with a weird wide angle lens that makes people look like they do in fun house mirrors. Not so much in this screen shot as in one that might be next.

- Volffe & Nikki in a Birkenport Morning -

– “Nikki and Volffe in a Birkenport Morning -“

— Okay – This might have been the game day before Volffe and Elise knocked themselves out putting lamp posts in place.

— Remember I said something about weird effects – Nikki’s face is almost twice its normal width in this shot – and her ears are probably – um, 4 inches farther apart than they really are?  And Volffe’s face is thinner here that it really is. — Can’t chalk it up to lens aberrations…

- "Builder's Hallucinations?" -

– As a result of several ‘Earthquakes’ – we brought the sea bed for the ‘Enchanted Sea’ and ‘Enchanted Inlet’ down a bit. Zealandir was part of the working party – ‘Casting Magick Spells’ to mend the broken land? { no- actually using ‘slope smoothing’ tools to bring the Dark Dirt slopes down to meet the sandy slope rising to meet it – }

— Looks like a weird dream of buildings floating or falling in a pink and purple sky while Poor Zealandir looks like he’s trying hard to believe that if he doesn’t turn around and look at it, it might not be real.

- Builders Gawking at the light high up on the 'mont' At Isle San Michel -

– Daerrikk and Volffe staring at the beacon near the top of Mont San Michel on Isle San Michel in the inland sea –

— Some of these darker scenes might not show up all that great – but this one doesn’t look bad – and this is not on the Gaming Monitor… There’s a fairly bright bluish light way up near the top of ‘Mont San Michel’ on Isle San Michel { Locals who want bragging rights to the highest mountain in the inland sea argue which Mountains are mountains and which are mere hills. I don’t take sides. }

- DelVahrian - 'Working on the dry sea bed after the earthquakes.' -

– Ya don’t want to see this guy comin at ya with a bad attitude in a dark alley – “Don’t argue Religion with a DelVahrian – it ain’t healthy -“

— DelVahrians are Hard Workers, Hard Drinkers, and have been known to have some monumental fist fights over finer points of religious dogma…. Here, this guy is looking for leaks in the dry sea bed of the Enchanted Sea – Which is actually a ‘dog legged’ inlet of the Inland Sea. —> And it has a reputation for being haunted as buildings and huge boulders and sometimes screaming people fall from the sky –

- One more view of the Crimson Sunset -

– Here – one more shot of the Crimson sunset in Birkenport – maybe not as impressive as the first shot, but it held Volffe entranced –

— Ack! I’ve been at this all day, fixing worlds and gritting my teeth – And this ‘posting’ or ‘article’ is the wrap up –

— Have a good Life….

~~~~~ Jim

If It’s Wednesday – This Must Be Isle San Michel -“

Wednesday —> June 24th, 2020 – 1:24 am —> +19˚C / +68˚F – Dark & ‘Clear’ in Atlantic Canada –

- Daerrikk & Volffe + Isle San Michel -

— Daerrikk & Volffe on the Docks at Keltic Vale – Gazing at the Beacon High on the ‘mont’ on Isle San Michel –

— After a frantic week of repairing links between areas inside the Game World – We finally got a chance to work on a couple improvements – Brought down the Space Needle like rock on Isle San Michel – and shaped the mountain or hill more like Mont Saint Michel in France – It isn’t prefect –  but it’s pretty good. Then we put a lamp post and a bright blue light up near the summitt – And here – Daerrikk { Right } and Volffe { With his name showing over his head } were watching clouds roll in and glow blue from the light. There were times, from that vantage – that you could see the whole top of the hill lit up.

- "Isle San Michel -" -

– Isle San Michel and the NorthWest Corner of the Inland Sea. –

— Too many different shades of colour in our mountains? Earlier – { Yesterday? } – We finished shaping the grey stone hill or mountain. Before we conked out in the not-quite-so- ‘wee small hours’ of Sunday Morning we put a lamppost and a bright blue light up near the final chimney-like bit at the top.

— The ‘Mythology’ is, that when a rag-tag fleet of sailing ships carrying refugees from the “Last Wars Of Magick” found “Aerendel” — All they found was an Island in the ‘middle of nowhere’ with a fairly high mountain and fairly lush vegetation. They put ashore and found all kinds of fresh berries and other fruits – good water – and then – as a nasty storm hit – sought refuge in a pretty big cavern halfway up the mountain. The storm lasted three days and the ground shook several times. A lot of the refugees thought the bad guys were winning the Wars – But when the storm was over they discovered that their mountain was much higher above Sea Level than it had been before – and a lot of land had risen from the sea around them – Including a lot of jagged mountains.

— I’m thinkin’ the rocky hills or mountains in the lower left corner of the above Screen Shot are a little too jagged. No matter how sharp and pointed they might have been when the world changed – which might have been 5,000 – 10,000 or more years back – In an area where fresh water freezes and snow is a common sight in winter – I thought it would be more realistic – or at least interesting – to have more rolling ribbons of hills and fewer sharp points. { Shrug }

— So it looks like the world needs a lot more cosmetic surgery – We’re still finding loads of major ‘earthquake damage’ – Areas that used to be connected look like they’re at least a football field apart – And then there’s a lot of areas that are just kind of landscaped with monochrome hills and mountains & without grass or trees or cobblestone roads  or other necessary details – To say nothing about the buildings and caverns and caves and tunnels that are still in the planning stages and – can { or should } we give each race their own style of housing?

— And I better go – I’ve been staring into space and beginning to blink in and out of dreams while I’m trying to type here. And I have a Dentist’s Appointment in the morning —->

— Aaaaaaaa ….

~~~~~ Jim

“Hey – Look What I Found – & This Past Week In Game Building Land -“

Sunday – June 21st, 2020, Fathers’ Day? & it’s +26˚C / +76˚F – off and on cloudy – and muggy? @ 3:34 pm in Atlantic Canada –

I thought I lost this -

– How about a rejection slip from Star Wars – for an unsolicited idea and sample bit of movie script in 1977? –

— I found the above hiding in plain sight here in my office when the ‘clearing away some clutter’ bug hit me. I thought I’d lost it a long time ago –

- Julienne - in slightly foggy reflections in Glaicer Valey -

– “Julienne taking a moment to appreciate the beauty through the coming fog – with reflections in Glacier Valley -“

— Glacier Valley has been around since 2011 – But – while I thought I did a good job of getting the slopes from high mountains right, and learned that white gravel doesn’t just just look like authentic hillside ‘crud’ { – that’s a technical term used by climbers – “Crud” – } —> It also looks like real snow in some places / under the right conditions. … And I was able to pick up a really good ‘Gaming’ monitor during Boxing Day/Week after my 3 month appointment taking photos and working them into a complicated database for the local museum here in the fall of 2018 – and wow – I was actually stunned at how good this looks on a decent gaming monitor.

- A Gremlin - Doug figured out how to morph this guy from a full sized human -

– “Gremlin -” I thought I’d have to try to get my cousin Emelie involved to come up with some decent creature designs – but while this character { one of Doug’s } has some glitches and weird appearance problems – it looks pretty darned good { or Evil – or both } – to me –

— Without the hat – this character has dark eye sockets on the top of his head, and his neck looks like it has a bones sticking out if you look at it too closely – but dang – { I wish the ears were creepier – but heck – } Having a couple of these guys running around burning down whole neighbourhoods could make for some interesting game play…

- Anie - in the shallows of the Enchanted Sea -

– Annie – up to her waist in pretty green water in the Enchanted Sea – Even stout hearted Pirates avoid this area whenever they can –

– Annie looks like she’s really worried that there might be hungry sharks in the shallows of the Enchanted Sea here —> An area that’s just mostly very basic right now – And getting a little bit more finished every day – Even if I work on this game until I pass out and wake up with my neck aching and my head pounding much too often…

- Moe lit some lamps -

– Moe – the slightly Pirate-like Cat-Person – learned that a little bit of some dust from Crystal Mines – when added to whatever they burn in those lamps – both increases the brilliance of the lighting and gives it some colourful tints –

— Moe was my first successful attempt at ‘creating’ a charismatic Cat-Person – With just a little bit of modification we have Fox People who might need bushier tails – But yup, they are different enough –

- Brilliant lighting from a distance -

– This was another view that ‘knocked me out’ – When you see this on s decent sized screen – it looks pretty darned good – & on the Gaming Monitor it looks Magical. –

— As I was ready to wind down – I knew I would pass out soon if I didn’t – Draelen – { My Character } And Nikki – His love interest – met in the dark on “Lovers’ Lookout Hill” and Me, out here in the ‘real world’ was stunned at how good this looked –

- A little more than two hours in real world time passed between the photo above and this one - taken from the same angle -

– Draelen might have been just as stunned as I was – And the morning fog and scenery isn’t bad here either –

— After the magical looking night in the two ‘photos’ – above – A one nano second miss-click messed up several game areas right around this ‘Inland Sea’ harbor – and after three long days of fixing things – we still more to do – But – yeah – seeing that we’re able to have results that look this good – doesn’t keep me from waking up with my forehead on the keyboard – but it does give me hope that we’re actually getting somewhere.

- Gaeren - The Ursan on the right - and his Delvahrian captain of the guard -

– Somebody had to make armor in the DelVahrian style for Gaeren – an Ursan { Bear Person – } –

— These two are in the same unit – guarding the city of ‘Emeliea’ with spooky clouds coming down from mountains in the west –

- "Tall Spruce with roots -" -

– We’ve also been seriously learning how to ‘make trees’ with Speed Tree software – from the same company that designed software that made some really impressive virtual plants for movies. –

— I have to ask Cousin Debi if this is what a real spruce tree looks like, and not a Colorado Blue Spruce –

— Sigh – And I better sign off and get some rest before I blink and wake up a couple weeks from now with a splitting headache…

— 🙂

~~~~~ Jim

– It Used To Be Friday –

– Saturday – June 13th, 2020 – +15˚C / +59˚F – dark & partly cloudy @ 1:42 am on my friend, Bob Balough’s Birthday –

Draelen & Nikki in the guard house in the "Norff Land" area

– Draelen & Nikki on guard duty together in the guard house in “Norff Land” – The chosen and highly defensible ‘New Homeland” of quite a few Ymmps –

— Not long after I took this screen shot the world we’ve been working in went ‘Down’ – { Schnarr! } It went down at about 6:31 Friday morning and it’s still down as of the last time I checked, maybe half an hour ago –
— I spent hours last evening thinking I could copy and paste the page of “The sentient Races of Aerendel” that I laboured over and put together painfully in HTML sometime between 1995 and 1997? – Before I could get my hands on a working copy of Dream Weaver. Long story – You don’t want to hear it. It’s all about me joining the vast hordes of unpaid US home health care providers trying to keep my father alive and then being so burned out I couldn’t work for a couple years.

"Norff-Land" The Ymmps adopted homeland.

We were building this new area and adding the sea to its south – This is about as far aw we got –

— The rocky coast of “Norff Land” { Ymmps, wiff dere demented senses of humor love making fun of language and talk funny for the plus perfect hell of it. } – They’re also hunted by the goblin-like race in this world who, if they can capture an Ymmp, and cut off its tail, and locate the correct glands and process the oily juice they can squeeze out of those glands just right – and survive the hallucinations and near-death experience they go through when the drink the stuff – become almost demonically powerful after having been born sickly, weak, stupid and generally useless – Ymmps are fun characters, ‘old souls’ who just want to laugh their way through this life and have as good a time as they can – And they all develop a ‘spell’ they call fire breath – which can kill bad guys, maybe ten at a time, but then they’re exhausted and need to rest and hope there are enough other Ymmps around to protect them and kill off the crazed attackers who want their tails – literally. I was raising steep hills along the jagged coastline while Nikki’s player was sleeping and had left her there as a place holder in case I tried to do too much at once and crashed out, if it took me a while to get back on I wouldn’t have to twiddle my thumbs for a minute or so while the world ‘spun back up’ and allowed me back in to get back to the business of building the landscape of this world – which is coming together and looking a lot better than I thought it could when I started this.

Julienne in Glacier Valley

– Julienne in Glacier Valley – with the early spring melted snow reflecting the absolutely gorgeous terrain behind her. –

— Looks like a ‘Visit Aerendel and Stay as long as you like’ Post card above, doesn’t it?

Juvenile Palm Trees.

– “Juvenile Palm Trees” – Besides checking a lot of minor problems with ‘Seamless Links’ and making some cosmetic changes, putting finishing touches on several areas – I’ve been working my way through ‘Speed Tree” tutorials and here’s some of the results –

— Palm Tree Saplings? 19 + feet tall? – The pink sphere is a collision thing – no characters can run between the young trees – I was thinking I could ‘sink them into the ground’ and have myself a jungle like look –

Tall twisted Palm Tree.

– Here’s a slightly twisted palm tree guaranteed to react to breezes – I wasn’t a big fan of pine trees, but I know where I can put this –

— A “66.21” foot tall palm tree that’s been buffeted by Trade winds? I randomized this from another palm tree that was 50 feet tall and couldn’t resit. I’ve got some more reading to do before I make sure it has all its intended features and close my eyes and push the button to send it through the pipe line with a couple whole forests waiting to join it. I liked the trees that disappeared with a server upgrade – I forget how many years ago – but these are a lot more interesting.

Tosha - without her axe

– Now this was an interesting occurrence – Tosha did a lot of work landscaping the other day and somewhere along the line might have actually lost her ‘Gear-Axe’ .

— I want to know if her axe magically reappears next time she pops in to help me here, but I guess I’ll have to wait –

— Have I done enough damage for one day? If I don’t get some quality rest I’ll be in trouble, deep.

— “Have a good life -“

————— Jim

Thursday, June 4th, 2020 —> “Planting Trees”

Thursday, June 4th, 2020 —> +23°C  / +72°F —> Mostly cloudy & Muggy here in Atlantic Canada @ 7:30-ish pm. –

"Broadleaf Speed Tree" 001

– “My first Speed Tree” With this Version. –

— Windows 10 still hates me. I downloaded the latest version of ‘Speed Trees” that I need for ‘creating’ trees to replace the place-holding leafless monstrosities I snitched from an example area. I downloaded this new version three times and it kept telling me that I was an idiot and it didn’t want to work for me. I almost gave up. But I stumbled into the start/stop menu and noticed that the ‘alias’ for speed trees said it was for (32) bit machines – so I waded through the “All Programs” files and opened up the “Speed Trees” folder and clicked on the (64) bit folder and clicked on the “modeler” app and it blinked at me and said, “Oh, that’s what you want- Okay!” and opened right up.

— And in the ‘manual’ it says ‘click here’ to see what I’m talking about – and when I did that I got more confused than usual – until I realized the link shot me to YouTube video tutorials for the wrong Version. A woman who knew how to set the volume levels while she recorded the wrong version’s tutorials didn’t quite blow me out of the room. But when I found the right version’s tutorials the guy was speaking so softly I thought the woman had blown my speakers. In his second tutorial video, that guy got it right and by the time I got through a couple tutorials – I felt confident and stupid enough to jump in and try to generate myself a tree. The tree above is the first tree I ‘created’ from scratch.

— Let me step back a bit —>

"Randomized Conifer"

– “Randomized Conifer” There are several example trees already made that came with the software. I clicked ‘randomize’ and it said, “You’re stupid, but if you really want to do this-…” and removed a lot of lower branches. –

— Before I went wading through instructions and tutorials I clicked on “Example trees” and blinked and it gave me a really tall conifer, and I clicked on “Randomize” { Just in case the graphic screen shot didn’t load for you } and it warned me that I would lose a bunch of detail – but what the heck – I told it to go ahead, and the above is what it gave me. 🙂  I thought, okay, that’s weird. – But what the heck? – And I saved it. It might look okay sunk into the ground to maybe halfway up the trunk … and then the software got nervous and told me, ‘You can’t save that here, how about we save it somewhere on your computer?’ – I said, “Sure – why the bleep not?” – and had to convince it that I wanted to plop it on my desktop for now – where it would be a lot easier to pull it back up later and mess with it, or whatever… Almost every program/app these days thinks everybody should love to have to search through half a million ‘documents’ anytime they want to open a file or look at something they worked on and saved yesterday before some random weather event shut down the local electrical grid or maybe a snowplow took out a utility pole or something – and achieved the same end, “Boom, crackle crackle – Fzzzzt!” – And our UPS guardian thingamajig beeped like crazy for an hour or so when nobody was in the building to hear it and then … “OMG – where’s all the work I hope I saved????”

"Not quite the Colorado Blue Spruce I expected, but hey, that's cool -"

– An Experimental second tree, I told it to be a “Spruce” and this is what I got. –

— Nature doesn’t subscribe to human sensibilities and I was really glad this tree isn’t perfectly symmetrical.  I’ll have to ask my cuter than heck cousin, the botanist – if this looks like an actual ‘other than Colorado Blue-” spruce tree – or do the ‘normal’ needles belong to some other species. But wait a minute- If I’m building a world for a computer game that doesn’t necessarily look exactly like this one – That might be a ‘Plejarin’ Spruce or something…

"A slightly inebriated palm tree."

– This was one of their example – pre-finished trees. I altered it a bit –

— In their tutorial, they use this palm tree as an example of how you can bend and twist your trunk around – I ‘played with it’ and lengthened the trunk a bit and tried to get it to stand up a bit straighter after its bend. And this looks okay to me.

- My Original Pine Tree -

– This Palm Tree – I ‘built’ from scratch – I actually lengthened the fronds a bit and I wasn’t happy that most of them stood pretty much straight up and none of the ‘magnet’ tools I clicked on bent the fronds down… But I don’t think I ever saw a real Palm Tree in real life – so maybe they look like this? –

— Interesting? Next time I’ll give a palm tree longer fronds.

"Ash Saplings"

– “Ash Saplings” – I wasn’t sure what I’d get when I clicked on the template that generated several Saplings. here – but yeah – I like the results. –

— & Hey! I don’t have to ‘plant’ a forest with only huge mature trees. – Maybe next time I can ‘create’ a bunch of baby Christmas trees?

- One of their examples. A broadleaf with roots around a bunch of rocks. -

– I thought this was cool, but maybe I’m a sucker? – This is one of their example broad leaf trees with roots hanging on to some rocks. I like the rocks…. –

— Yum? A broad-leaf tree with roots wrapped around some unusually rounded rocks. And it looks like somebody cut off a couple lower branches.
“Speed Trees” – in their tutorials, want to make sure you put ‘caps’ on broken or sawed off stumps of branches. It took me a little bit of trial and error to realize that when you put the ‘cap’ on the broken top of a tree – that puts caps on all broken/sawed off branches.

- Another broad-leaf tree- I defined this one. -

– “Another broad-leaf tree.” I defined this one.-

— The first time I tried to add roots to a tree trunk – before I added branches – all the branches wanted to hang out down at the roots – Which I found quite ‘irksome’. – And until I deleted the roots and the branches, I couldn’t find the editing stuff to pick the branches up and tell them to bond with the tree trunk – not the roots. –

— I wasn’t going to show you all my experiments and goofs here – but I did.

— I’m pretty happy with what I did here today – most results were surprising and most of them were positive surprises.

— Yeah, I can live with this…

————— Have a good life….

~~~~~ Jim