“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 palm 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


June 1st, 2020 – Windows 10 Sux – But it almost works –

Monday,  June 1st, 2020 —> +14˚C / +57˚F —> Mostly cloudy with nice diffused light & a little bit breezy @ 5:00 pm in Atlantic Canada —> On our friends’ Drucine’s and Cyndi’s Birthday. 🙂

Redundant Upload ;)

– Annie & Nikki Fixin’ the border that came unglued on May 12th –

— { I think this is the third time the above screen-shot was uploaded, but It shows a bit of the distortion that comes with looking at other player’s characters/Avatars/’cartoons’ in the 3-D environment of the ‘software, hardware and firmware’ it sometimes feels like I’ve building my game world in since before Atlantis sunk into the sea. }

— { The side walls do look wonky here – after our catastrophic event around Mothers’ Day when several areas ‘came unglued’ while we were trying to fix some weird looking ‘graphix’ anomalies – While we were stitching areas back together – They didn’t match up right – And rather than fuss with ‘slope smoothing’ for hours, we decided to ‘glue’ our areas back together where they appeared to line up okay – and discovered we had something like a fifteen foot high Mesa with vertical sides blocking the road from ‘Keltic Valley’ to ‘Keltic Vale’ —> So we plowed through the Mesa with our levelling tool and knew there would be a whole lot of modifying  later, but it is a lot easier to mess around with landscape anomalies that are not on the border than it is to try to get a border between areas to allow random crossing on uneven slopes – or get a hilly border landscape to mesh properly and not look really strange or even awful. So two of our builder characters / place holders – were standing there, close to the border while we were making mole hills out of mountains and wondering if we should or could do something with a deep gulch that was almost at the border… We could have widened the flat area where the flat stone ‘paved’ road was and then used some of our ‘erosion’ tools to make those weird looking cliffs look a lot more ‘natural’ — so while the cartoon women were looking like they were chatting away – Their human world builders were wondering what to do a kilometer long – fifteen feet high – 20 feet wide { impassable } Mesa that – if it appeared in California – could be explained as a weird looking but almost normal aftermath of an earthquake … —> “Well, heck -” Doug said, “It keeps us off the streets -”

—> I guess this ‘Article’ or ‘Posting’ will feel like a “What I did on my summer vacation’ assignment for a grammar school kid –

- Annie & Nikki on their lunch break -

– Annie and Nikki posed for this screen shot before they took a break to eat something before resuming their efforts here. –

— So – having cute ‘builder characters’ / Avatars / …Whatever – is more fun that watching guys’ butts run around while while testing ‘play-ability’ and all that. And these two are ‘BFF’s in the latest novel I’m trying to finish writing between building game worlds and telling myself I should avoid watching, listening to, or reading any current ‘news of the real world’ lately – Actually it was my step son who explained that he liked watching a female avatar’s bum a lot more than he liked watching a male character’s back side as he had to guide his in-game avatars through quests and stuff in the computer game we were both playing when he was something like 9 years old (?) And I do believe he had a point there.

Rachel and Rocky fixed a wonky border crossing.

– Rachel and Rocky fixed a border crossing. –

— Rachel – { she might be a Human-Ottarian hybrid as we’ve all been messing around with theories on how to design the different races we want to populate our world with } And Rocky –  { An Ymmp – Ymmps are basically a race of decent, intelligent, fun loving creatures with a ‘slightly demented’ sense of humor {{ or ‘humour’ if you’re Canadian … }} } Anyway R&R look like they’re wondering what the bleep I’m doing while they’re fixing a perplexing problem that took us years to solve, when it turns out the solution was rather simple —>

— When ‘seamlessly ‘ stitching areas together – weird things happen if the ‘heightmaps’ of the two areas you are connecting are not both named ‘default’ — I’d named one ‘room’ in the area south of ‘Keltic Valley’ —> “ElvishLands” and tried to have a rain event happen in a room called ‘ElvishLands’ but not in ‘default’ – And the problem that came up was – ElvishLands was the name of the farthest North heightmap that connected with the ‘default’ room and heightmap in ‘Keltic Valley’ —> And it makes absolutely no sense to me,  why this would happen – but ‘Elvish Lands’ kept making itself invisible to the ‘default’ map in the Valley – which is unnerving… I never knew when a character I was using to check the connection between areas – might either not be a able to cross into a ‘land’ that was apparently invisible – and might just stand there, running in place, getting nowhere – or worse, fall through a crack in the world and go sailing downward through eternity –

— The problem went away when I renamed the heightmap from ‘Elvish Lands’ to —>”Default” —> And, almost miraculously – all sorts of invisible buildings and stuff popped into plain view.

Annie - staring at pistacio green fog coloured mountains..

– “Tweaking the fog colours can be fun -” –

— RE-setting the fog colours can be fun – & whatever colours you choose – you can be quite surprised when you see the results. A plain blue might turn out to be an electric ‘Indigo’ or purplish ‘federal blue’. A’ light blue’ choice might end up being more like the colour of pistachio ice cream.

— — — I started trying to build games and game worlds when my nephews were young – Dave was six years old and I think his older brother , Charles, who we used to call ‘Harley’ so as not to confuse him with his father —> Another ‘Charles’ who might have been more ‘Charlie’ than Charles… And I think Dave just had his 35th birthday a coupe days ago – { Yikes? }

— I wanted to design and build a world that would be fun and interesting – where players who didn’t want to just kill everything and everybody in sight could enjoy themselves, have fun, – have their characters thrive in a game world where they might even painlessly learn things that might make their ‘Real Lives’ more fun or less painful – or hopefully both…

— And when I was experimenting with the ‘Atmosphere’ settings in an area I’d named ‘Easlynne’ – I thought the surprising results might be appealing to, especially, women and girls. Clouds, fog, and sky colours weren’t just unusual, they were eye-openers – amazing – My imagine came up with what I thought might be a plausible explanation – dust kicked up by ‘Del-Vahrians’ mining for gems and brilliant coloured minerals got blown into the upper atmosphere and produced some very interesting results – And that kind of made me take another look at the ‘Real World’ around me –  I once ‘made up’ a distant planet for a science fiction exercise and thought the mountains on that distant world might be – purple? – Sure, why not? – And then –  walking my sister’s hound dog on an evening after a storm – well ‘Holy Bleep!’-  the mountains across the river in New Hampshire were purple as the sun was going down.

- "Jassper" - at the ruins of an ancient temple -

– “Jassper” at the ruins of an ancient temple. –

— And –  no – I am not totally averse to ‘rolling’ male avatars – “Jassper” has gone through a bunch of changes since 2011, when he was first ‘created’ and given the name of our dog, who, sadly, I am missing dearly these days.

— Way back in 2011 – there were a lot of assets available that disappeared from our selection window – but since one of the first weird areas I tried to build used a lot of those assets that I thought were deleted when the trees we could use back then disappeared – and when I went and looked at the first areas I built – they were still there – the assets, I mean –

— And, although I don’t know if I want any of my weird old experiments to be available for odd hallucinatory events and/or dreams or nightmares – I discovered that if I temporarily connected one of my clunky old areas to one of the areas that are much more likely to be with us if and when I finish building something I think other people might enjoy wandering around in – I could ‘clone’ and move those assets across borders and ‘import’ them into the new area and then dis-connect the wonky old area and keep the cool old assets …

— And see – Jassper, who is currently pretty much a full blooded Ottarian – had fun exploring the ruins of an ancient temple that might have been honoring a fertility goddess or something like that –

— I also had fun describing – I think – nine religions – like, ‘The Church of Conspicuous Consumption’ – and I think every religion I started with had ‘colourful’ nicknames uttered by members of other religions – Like the ‘Church of Peace, Love, and Harmony’ would be called ‘The Orgy Church’ by jerks who wanted to convince their friends and neighbours to tithe into their coffers instead of ‘throwing their gold away’ by donating to any other sect. —> But that’s a subject for another post at another time.

"Maurina" - a couple hours before dawn.

– Maurina – a cross between an Elvish warrior and a healer/botanist –

— Maurina might belong to the aquatic race, The Mer – Many Mer have exotic hair colours – maybe she was shunned for being too ‘ordinary’ – Mer can go crazy if kept from being able to swim and immerse themselves in large bodies of water – They also have re-breathing chambers in their lungs – and subsequently, large chests. Until a couple days ago, Maurina looked like a rather creepy elf. I spent over an hour trying to modify her face into something a lot less creepy – Then spent a little more time trying to make her not look like a baby-faced Barbie.

"Tosha" on a clear day -

– “Tosha” on a clear, sunny afternoon. –

— One complaint I have with the faces and clothing available here at the beginning of things, while we’re building pretty much from scratch – Well, two complaints – One – women pretty much have a choice of either being scantily dressed bimbos and walking around in clunky armor – with maybe one blouse for the more modest types and one skirt that looks like it was designed by fiends who wanted to make sure that women couldn’t get away if they were attacked. —> & Two – Faces seem much too difficult and time consuming to modify without looking ridiculous –

— In the Reference  Game – That I think can’t be played at all any more – Every time I tried to roll up a woman, she looked terminally depressed.

— But then again = Enter Tosha – Tosha used to be completely Ottarian – and the first time I saw what happened to her face when I slid the racial sliders all the way to their version of my Ottarians – I thought she looked like she was probably related to Betty Boop – with a really wide face – but with a little bit of modification – playing with the dozens of sliders for over an hour – each slider having strange results that do not appear to have anything to do with the qualities they’re ‘advertised’ to represent – I mean the ‘happy – sad’ slider doesn’t seem to make anybody look happier or sadder – more like makes them look weird or clueless –

— But when I finished messing with Tosha’s facial morphing sliders I thought she looked like a bit like a close family friend’s daughter – who was growing up to be beautiful, brilliant, creative and and full of ‘heart’.

— And then recently, The first time I brought her out after several years – I thought she looked a lot more like Betty Boop than Mary Ellen.

— So I thought it was time for her to grow up – or evolve into somebody or something else – maybe become a cat-person or a friendly or not so friendly elf.

— And, when I made her look more ‘human’ her face wasn’t so Boop-ish – and she almost reminds me of an actress I’m trying hard to place – and/or remember who she played in what series or mini series I liked enough to watch all the way through.

"Tosha" - looking thoughtful at sundown.

– Tosha – close up – looking thoughtful just after sundown. –

— Some of these characters take on shades of expressions in one screen-shot that I never noticed before – Here – Tosha might be checking out somebody she’s thinking of flirting with, or she might be a bit apprehensive about some scary character who might be sneaking up behind her.

- Tosha Hates Disco -

– I get to see those big red letters too often –

— I started writing and importing the screen shots here almost two and a half hours ago – I think I mentioned “Windows 10 Sux” when I named this post.

— I’m more used to Macs. My first computer was an Apple IIe. I managed not to upgrade to Windows 10 for quite a while. For one thing, every time I checked – the world building site did not say their stuff was compatible with Windows 10 –

— But then – they made sure I couldn’t do anything with Windows 7 – My gut feeling was – if felt like they tossed a routine into their mix that took your world ‘Down’ if they recognized that you were still using Windows 7. Not that Windows 7 couldn’t handle their latest upgrades – just that there was something ignoble in their character that made them sell their souls to Microsoft.

— And Windows 10 tosses out a lot of simple, useful apps like ‘Paint’ – and replaced them with asinine ‘Paint 3-D’.

— They take choices that used to be there away with no warning or explanation.

— They replaced halfway user friendly apps with simple commands – with insidious ‘You can’t get there from here, you have to wade through a bunch of new ‘bull-chips’ choices to save what you just worked on. — Instead of ‘one click and you’re done-‘ they throw in something like ‘Wouldn’t you really rather do it my way?’ detours. Which leave me with a bad taste in my mouth, and  – “Okay, I understood how your previous app worked, why the bleep have you decided to ‘fix’ what wasn’t broken?”

— I get the feeling that Microsoft has a lot of ice-holes pretending to be creative – who get weird ideas into their insanely cross-wired minds – about how they’d like things to be – and implement them — especially if they complicate their customers’ lives beyond the point where we all expect micro-shit to be much too frustrating for words – like the earliest computer salesmen who were convinced by con artists – that the words ‘powerful’ and ‘elegant’ would make them millionaires, all they had to do was repeat them incessantly like some hideous mantra to anyone they believed looked like a clueless moron – who’d probably wandered into their kill zone by mistake – and that would convince all kinds of idiots to overpay for overpriced-useless junk and believe they were getting a bargain.

— Everything they market should come with the warning “Designed to fail and become obsolete before you can possibly figure out how to use it.”

— sigh — Yeah, but I will slog through this and learn new tricks and — dammit — They can’t keep raising the bar to make sure I never can finish building this danged thing – can they????

————— Argh!

~~~~~ Jim



Today’s Round of Catastrophes & Fixes —>

Tuesday, May 12th, 2020 – 9:50 pm outside of Ithaca, New York

- Notice the gap between the two areas-

– As she began to Re-Join the areas – This is what Annnie saw – Notice the gap between the Vale to the left and the Valley to the right –

— { The above is the first of three screen shots Annie missed after she worked all day Tuesday to re-join the Vale and the Valley – The green outlines tell us that the two areas are now touching where they need to be joined – And you will probably notice the gully or gulch or canyon between the two areas. — Depends on how large a screen you are viewing this on. }

= = = = = —djo — { Wednesday, May 13th, 2020 – 4:08 pm— Jim’s birthday reminders that his calendar sends all of us – tells us it’s Connie G’s Birthday }

—> Reports from Xhyrean & Rachel :

— First, from Xhyrean :

  • Annie discovered that Keltic Valley had sailed away from The Vale – and set about fixing that – Nikki helped – Nikki reached the point where none of her commands to alter the landscape or basically do anything helpful got results, so she ran south as far as she could go while Annie twiddled her thumbs and waited for ‘reality’ to catch up with her queued commands.
  • Nikki did fix a glitch between the border of the Valley and ‘001’ and ran up east of center through 001, through the cave and back out and managed to get to the border of Stone Lake, but couldn’t cross into Stone Lake. Then she turned around and thought she could race back to Annie’s side, but got stuck at the northern border of 001.
  • We will probably have to fix that when we’re through with all our other little fiascoes.

{ & he included Annie’s Screen-Shots }

—–> Shantivarta

= = = = =

—– Then Rachel :

– Yeah, Nikki got stuck, we probably have to re-do the borders to ‘001’ – plus, i think we did a decent job- the girls did good work. 🙂 – now let’s see if I have the presence of mind to actually attach my screen shots —-

—– Raitch —

{ & she included Nikki’s Screen Shots }

= = = = =

— Let me get the screen shots in order:

Julienne in the North-East Shield Mountains

– Julienne explored the North-Eastern Shield Mountains late last night / early this morning – She was impressed with the clouds as evening fell –

— The North-Estern Shield Mountains are beyond the North-Eastern Plains. Julienne had a break between her bard-like engagements and thought she’d get away from it all – Like the caption says, she was really impressed with the purple evening clouds in the mountains.

- Yup, The valley district came unglued from the Vale district.

– Annie’s first Screen-Shot of the day – Everybody was so busy yesterday getting the inland sea back in place, that we missed the fact that, indeed, The Valley had divorced itself from the Vale. –

— That is a mess –

- "Border Gaps"

– Apparently,The Vale and the Valley used to overlap considerably –

— After they brought the two areas into alignment, they saw that there was a gap of several yards or meters between the landmasses that used to be connected. They made an executive decision to link the areas together with that gap – and bring up that impassable gully, & do some heavy duty landscaping / earth moving to match the real estate on both sides of that ‘canyon’?

- What it looked like as Annie began Repairing the Eastern Edges

– This what Annie saw as she began to match the edges between the Vale { on the right } and the Valley { left } –

- After Annie matched the Eastern Edges -

– And this is what the Eastern Edges looked like after Annie used the leveling tool to bring the edge of the Valley Area down to match the Vale’s –

- A bit of a plateau formed when they brought the edges of the bordering districts togethe. -

– When they ‘glued’ the edges of the two areas together – They had to ‘fly’ up and see what they were doing from a distance – Then back on the ground, they had this bit of a wall blocking the road. –

— If you’re seeing this on a big enough screen – Annie is trying to look over the top of a wall that suddenly grew between her and the gateway into the Valley District. If they left that there almost no players that couldn’t fly would ever be able to ‘Get there from here-‘ – but – that is really easy to fix with the right bulldozer / Leveling tool – { Ya just gotta be careful with that tool or you may find a line of weird pillars across the land you probably spent a lot of time and effort to ‘landscape’ just right. Luckily, we taught them well and they were careful – } – And, they made another executive decision, to bring the very steep hill up from the Vale to the Valley — down a bit.

- :The View From The Valley Side Of The Border -

– After Smoothing out the road from the Vale to the Valley – they began to use the leveling tool to Bring the hills on one side of the border up to the same height as their counterparts on the other side. –

— I think they told me that Nikki bulldozed the road down to level from the Valley side, and then did a lot of slope smoothing on the Vale side to grade the road into something more passable, and less steep. But – from this screen-shot, you can probably see that first efforts to match the hills on both sides of the gully that wasn’t there before — together… gave them some weird, and not very pleasing – results.

- "Getting There"

– This is a long shot of the road work Nikki completed – making the slope up the hill from the Vale to the Valley a lot more pleasant, and traversable. –

— Nikki labeled this screen shot “Getting There -” It shows her handiwork in smoothing out the road’s climb.

- Steep sides on both sides of the road -

– Nikki’s bulldozing handiwork. The road into the Valley, through the gateway – used to be that much higher than it is now. –

— Where else could you bring a whole neighbourhood down several meters in altitude in less than an hour and make it work? Our two young women then had a lot of hill-sculpting and other landscaping to do before they were satisfied with the way this area looked. –

- The view from way beyond the western edge of these two areas.

– The young women stopped their efforts to ‘pretty up’ or make the entire west side of both areas match and/or look the same from out here in the ozone. –

—  When they saw that bit of a lake on the edge of the valley – on our right there – Annie and Nikki couldn’t be sure there wasn’t another area linked to the valley up there, and so stopped trying to make the western edges here look like one heck of a thick chocolate bar. –

— Annie told me there were at least two screen shots of her work on the eastern edges of both areas – that she missed when she sent us her screen shots of the day – She’ll get them to us tomorrow – and one of us will have to edit them into this article { and/or ‘posting’ } –

- Annie & Nikki on their lunch break -

– Annie and Nikki posed for the screen shot person before they took a break to eat something before resuming their efforts here. –

— Yeah, ‘Real Life Adventures’ sometimes get in the way of game world building – But these two made sure they documented their presence before they had to go eat something before one or both of them dropped dead from acute low blood sugar -ness. – { I have a poetic license and I’m not afraid to use it – }

- Almost Midnight in the game world -

– Most of the rest of these Screen shots deal with ‘selfies’ of the two young women. –

— The more they did, the longer their computers hung up with serious lag. They moved mountains and carved hidden valleys but couldn’t take the time to capture that work in screen shots without taking the chance that  just a little more effort might crash their software and they could lose a lot of what they’d already done today. And that would be a tragedy and a half.

— But I think there may be one more shot out of the fourteen they sent us today that should go here:

- "Midnight Blue Clouds"

– Annie took this last screen shot as electric blue clouds swooped in low over Keltic Vale. –

— I think it’s a wonderful thing, that these two young women – up to their ears in dirty work, still noticed things that gave them a lift, like the strange atmosphere in this game world producing some odd and wonderful coloured clouds….

— And now it’s time for me to get ready for my night shift –

— Take care, Be safe – wear your CoVid-19 masks and try not to scare little kids to death —

————— Douglas Jay Otterson  { — djo — }  —>  Finished Editing-in the last 3 photos/Screen-Shots @ on Wednesday, May 13th, 2020 – 3:20 pm Ithaca Time –

Mother’s Day Massacre 2020 –

Monday, May 11th, 2020 – +15˚C / 59˚F —> Sunny with some high white and grey clouds to the East @ 7:27 pm Atlantic Time –

"You Have Been Disconnected"

– This came at almost exactly 4:00 am here – after we worked all day to correct some weird glitches. –

— We had one temporary area that was causing problems – This area has a bunch of assets some of our team can’t get through their not quite top of the line set-up.

— So Jim this time, warned us ahead of time and went in and removed a ‘seamless’ connection to the area that was experiencing the glitches. That seemed to have gone well.

— Then he ‘moved’ it, attached it to another area where somebody wanted to clone and move assets to the area she was working on.

— But then, really weird schnarr hit the fan.

Still Broken after we fixed this problem three times and it looked fine -

– “Still Broken after three of us fixed this problem at least once each and it looked fine – but then-.” —>

— From here that might not look like much of a problem – but “Down on the ground” we have a lot of “Can’t get there from here” problems. Everything in five areas came unglued. And there is an area to the left of those mountains you can probably see at far right middle? And the water? The “Inland Sea” water has very weird black diagonal stripes.

— This was at about 9:30 pm yesterday –

— Then Jim came back from a late-ish dinner with Cathi – who is working on Vancouver time from home near Fredericton –

— Jim said, “Okay, let me try one last thing -” —> Made sure all areas that were connected to the inland sea removed their “Seamless Links” —> Removed the inland sea, then re- added it. Then Re-added two more sections of the inland sea bed to “Del-Vahria” { Where the Delvahrian miners find most of their gems and rare ores – } And voila! 95% of the Sea Bed yawned and said, “What’s all the commotion about??” — & it pretty much popped into place where it shouldda been all along. We had a minor bit of slope smoothing to redo – and applied bandaids to all the edges where they connected to other areas – and we parked a couple builder characters in strategic spots, told them not to move, just kind of stand there and twiddle their thumbs – because weird stuff often happens if the builder characters log out or get booted by a system overload or if some of their last several commands haven’t been processed yet.

— So then most of us waved goodnight with our characters still connected – and Jim, who’d been trying to fix things since 12:30 pm { 9 hours ago – } deleted the weird water and went in and ‘created’ some new sea water –

— Unexpected problems with the sea water —> His builder character was standing on the dry sea bed way the heck out there when he ‘created’ the water by clicking on the ‘create’ & ‘mirror / water’ links inside the world creation & modification software window.

— Then there were problems with the water not wanting to stretch to the size it had been before the Mother’s Day Catastrophe — He worked that out and left his builder underwater for a while while he and Cathi watched a post season-ender program put on the “Curse of Oak Island” guys – and when he came back, things looked stable enough –

— He had his builder character swim to the nearest shore, climb out and run around back down to the ‘Del-Vahria’ shoreline, thought he might get a nice happy glimpse of moonlight on the water – but – the water was invisible.

— Jim did not drop dead from a heart attack, he winced, sat back, sighed a few times, thinking he might have to spend a couple more hours trouble shooting – but then thought of something, ran back around to a spot near where he was when he ‘created’ the water and yup – there it was – happily lapping on the shore.

— So – working in stages, he ran halfway back to Del-Vahria, looked again, and – yup, the sea was still there, still looking virtually wet – So he went into the ‘properties’ tab – clicked on the sea, and sure enough – The sea thought it belonged to the North Eastern Plains area. So inside the ‘Area’ tab there’s an option, “Bring assets here -” which he clicked and then selected the sea again, and now it thought it belonged to the Isthmus area.

— Then – because the Isthmus area is not directly connected to the Keltic Vale area, he ran all the way down to Del-Vahria and went through the ‘properties’ click – ‘Areas’ click – Bring assets here – click – and now, almost twenty two hours later – the sea is still there, and it’s still visible to everybody who wants to see it. —> We hope 😉 –

— It took Jim 2 hours to get the sea back where it was supposed to be.

Screen Shot - Annie Plantig Flowers on the Isthmus.

– Annie planted flowers around the building on the Isthmus – The thing is – the building got ‘wonky’ on us. –

— The building above got a little bit weird after the Mother’s Day Massacre – That was the first thing we noticed. Annie tried to go into the building and ended up levitated – my best guess? ten feet above the ground…

Screen Shot - "Flying Annie"

– Annie couldn’t move, couldn’t turn around, couldn’t do anything but hang there. In the past when anything like this happened, we learned we could just wait a couple minutes and our builder characters would come crashing to the ground, no bones broken – no problems – but this time, half an hour later, she swas still floating. –

— So Annie – knowing that if she ‘exited’ her building software, things might become even stranger – tried teleporting to another area and back again, and this time she could walk right in at ground level – but she turned around to leave and there were gaps between the inside walls and the outside walls. She tried to fix that for about an hour or so and nothing she could do could get the walls to line up right.

— She called Jim. Jim came over and tried to fix the problem – but after ten minutes, realized the building was just too far out of sync and deleted it. – He also discovered that part of the weirdness he was working on had raised the Isthmus what looked like several meters.

— Annie had noticed that, and rather than bother Jim earlier, fixed that by angling a hill from north eastern corner of Del-Vahria up to where she fixed the slopes and bandaided the edges together and —

— Jim thanked her, and they didn’t think that had anything to do with the levitation problem, but Jim shrugged and thought it might be Aesthetically more pleasing to have the building, which now sat on a higher bluff with the Northern Sea with all its blustering storms battering against the walls – He raised the bluffs a bit and carved a protected  area into a fairly level space with the higher bluffs to the north and a bit of a smallish rocky hill to the south. Then he importated another version of the building that had gone wonky and they checked it out and everything looked fine.

- Nikki & Annie during a sunset Heat Inversion - Screen Shot

– Meanwhile, ‘before the fit hit the Shan’ – Saturday Eveing, Nikki – had suffered a weird teleportation glitch the day before, and ended up naked with short blond hair and somebody else’s face – which never happened before —> to any of us.

— Nikki went and had a summer make-over – got a new outfit and new boots, – new everything – and here she is clowning with her ‘BFF’ Annie during a sunset temperature inversion while Annie was showing off her horticultural skills.

— Yeah, so luckily those of us with wives and/or Mothers who – thankfully, didn’t mind being left mostly unbothered all day while we went nuts fixing things – still have stuff to do and time to do it. Thanks to the CoVid-19 Fiasco all around us….

— { “Have a good life …. }

~~~~~ Xhyrean Shantivarta – { – inter-dimensional time traveler stuck on Earth for a while longer – finding you ‘Earthlings’ almost as amusing as you are irritating…. }

New Page Added – “Stuff From Yahoo Group”

Sunday, October 27th, 2019 – Dark and chilly @ 6:39 pm  in Atlantic Canada

DreamCat as a Dryad

– DreamCat as a Dryad – Screen Shot from eons ago when we were playing Simms online in its first incarnation. –

{ DreamCat is the character with the butterfly wings. }

Yahoo Groups will be nuking its group’ content soon. they will not allow any new content after tomorrow, the 28th. I copied everything worth copying and pasted that into 60 pages of word processing { Open Office } @ a font size of 12 pixels ( I think it’s measured in pixels ).

So- at any rate – there’s a new page and some of its content is personal memorablia and some might be worth reading.

— Grumble grumble

——— TaleRocker


It’s ‘The Ides Of March’ – Do you know where your sanity is?

{ Thursday, March 15th, 2018  —> -3˚C / +26˚F @ 5:21 am —> In the dark in Atlantic Canada – & It may be snowing – the day after we had two feet of hard-packed wind-blown heavy wet snow in our driveway and had a heck of a time digging out —> It was actually easier to shovel than push and pull the snow-blower through it. — }

Kameron, the Ottarian.

– Kameron, He really is quite a character, but he gets things done –

This guy showed up just in time for St Patrick’s Day – & for whoever and/or whatever he was in his ‘Real Life’ before he woke up in this parallel dimension, he really seems to be enjoying himself. – Here he is exploring the inland sea – east of DelVahria – and may be trying to look like a stereotypical Leprechaun. He’s even wearing hints of green.

We have been super busy lately. Jim got a new desk and moving stuff around from the old credenza to the new desk – discovered lots of things he thought were lost.

But then, out there in the Aerendel country side, we have a lot to talk about… A LOT!

Laerry in the main cavern South of the Forest Elf lands.

– Laerry – The Half-Elf Ranger-Troubleshooter thinks this cavern might be a hot bed of wild portals. –

There is a Cavern on the old road from Stone Lake to DelVahria that is either haunted, or may be very active with wild portals. Our more easily rattled operatives ask to be posted somewhere else almost as soon as they arrive there. Laerry is one of the toughest Half-Elf Rangers on our team – tough in body, mind and spirit – after witnessing the disappearing trees and the ‘Ghost Castle’ south of the cavern, he spent a lot of time looking around and yesterday he walked through the same exit he’d been in and out of dozens of times and discovered –

Shadow Lands

– The ‘Shadow-lands’ –

Jeff called this landscape the ‘Shadow-Lands’ – The first time Jeff ( a Highe Elf ) stumbled through the entrance/exit at the wrong time and saw this – he wondered what kind of ‘Weapon of Mass Destruction’ could have killed everything in the land, dried up the rivers and creeks and left not a trace of what happened. When he crossed back through the invisible portal to the dimension he is familiar with, and turned around to stare at the lifeless landscape one more time, & saw, instead, the Forest Elf Valley known as the Keltic Vale – full of life and sunlight – He was both very relieved and very upset – Relieved to know he was not stuck in a land with no food or water – Upset because he was the first one of us to witness the phantom trees and appearing-disappearing village around the ghostly castle that doesn’t stick around long enough for anybody to properly investigate it. And with walking into the ‘Shadow Lands’ – he wondered what the heck else could go wrong, or go crazy on him in the near future.

Sand and gravel on the cavern's floor.

– This is evidence that this cavern may have been at the seashore, and probably subject to tidal ups and downs – Not only is much of the sand and gravel on the cavern’s floor nearly perfectly level – There are sea shells mixed in –

We can probably count on a lot of Rangers and others showing up for an official investigation around this cavern in the near future. And possibly multiple teams investigating multiple angles to the many mysteries that might be centred around this cavern, or this area. To be fair – there have been quite a few claims over the years that many of the crystals carefully extracted from the walls here have ‘supernatural’ qualities.

Me { TaleRocker ) in the middle of a field of blue flowers.

– On the purely positive side – many species of flowers are doing quite well this season. –

Kaeren spent a lot of time checking the soil and looking for organic fertilizer less than two months ago, looks like her efforts have paid off.

Julienne at the boardwalk on the border between Keltic Vale and Delvahria.

– Julienne { seen here sfter cleaning up a lot of weeds around the docks and boardwalk } – has, according to her cousin – “Gone native in a big way.” Here she looks a lot more like an Ottarian Bard than she did when she first arrived. –

Julienne, ( above ) is a Bard – with Métis ancestors – { she was a violin/fiddle prodigy back in the parallel world she came here from } with a flair for the dramatic. When she heard that this reporter had a contraband iPhone – { “No Service – Ever!” but it takes great photos – } she disappeared for five minutes and came back to finish her shift ‘dressed for her close-up’. – Rumours have it that she has her eye on an Ottarian who is at the right age to be looking for a mate.

— I should quit now and send this off. And no, I will not tell you how I keep my iPhone charged in this pre-industrial land, Just don’t look too closely at the solar panel and charger at the top of the guard tower. Oops, you didn’t hear that from me – 😉

– – – – –  TaleRocker

Almost Halloween?

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016 — +6˚C / +43˚F — Grey & Damp in Atlantic Canada @ 1:48 pm —

"Stone Lake" with young woman in foreground.

This is a book-cover screenshot for a novel that probably won’t be finished enough to submit to a contest that I needed the novel and book-cover to enter before November 6th. But it’s almost true to the vision I had of the ‘Stone Lake’ that plays a central part in the story.

— I worked this up to submit it as a book cover for a contest, but I probably won’t have finished writing the novel in time to enter that contest after all. The young woman in the shot looks enough like the young woman in the novel, and I really liked the expression I was lucky enough to capture – What you see above is possible only while editing both the character and facial morphing along with turning the fog off inside the editing ‘blade’.

Normal screen shot - cropped.

This is a screenshot with the fog back on and the character morphing and facial morphing turned off.

— This is the ‘normal view’ a player would get, the trigger box below the character would have spells and skills that character would have ready to be clicked on- I’m happy with the way the fog feature colours the forests in the background.

— Other than this, we are waiting for promised upgrades in the world building stuff.

~~~~~ TaleRocker.