Fishies Making Kissy Faces

Ahhh another day saved from going out! My brother called me last second to inform me that an aunt is expecting to come in my place, and the tickets to the graduation is all sold out. Since my mom has the other ticket, I couldn’t go even if I wanted to (and I wasn’t that keen anyway), so I let the adults go and accompany my bro on his special day.

To celebrate not going out (partay like an introvert can!), I did my laundry and did some general cleaning around the house (Uhmm… celebration??). After that, my boyfriend and I went out to get some shopping done. I wanted to buy more veggies after I got that cold a couple of days ago. I think my body needs more nutrients and less snacking on that peanut butter jar lol! After shopping, we went and fed the koi fish in the pond in the afternoon.

I caught two of them bumping into each other in a frenzy to get the crackers and it looks like they’re kissing lol!

I spent the rest of the evening tinkering around my Tumblr blog (new blog skin yay!) and brainstorming possible game play ideas for Truth. I did have a breakthrough on it yesterday, but it needs a little bit of fine tuning before I can prototype it. It’s a simple drag and drop mechanic, but with the concept of runes and locks, I think I may have a  mechanic that follows the concept of the game (thank god), and pleasant/interesting enough for a couple of uses. For anyone trying their hand at designing game play, some of the things I had to keep in mind are:

  1. Does it fit with the UI and visual design of the game?
  2. Does it make sense in the story, and doesn’t distract from the flow of the narrative?
  3. Does it add substance to the game?

Whether or not I have succeeded in designing a good mechanic is yet to be judged as things like game play is subjective. We’ll see how it fares when it’s in the hands of the audience!

(Woohoo, I posted this just in the knick of time, 11:59AM!)

Advertisements

Wednesday Free form

If you read my blog entry yesterday, you’re aware that I’ve been sick with fever and colds. I’m happy to announce that I’m feeling much better today. My throat is still scratchy but my fever has gone down and I’m able to hear through both ears ahh.

Usually, I have an idea on what I’m going to write for a blog post. Today, I wanted to change stuff up. I just want to write free form, and let the ideas roam on its own.

I’m on my second chapter of Truth, and I’ve stumbled across a wall called “Gameplay”. I think I’ve got the story down pretty tight, but the game play mechanic is still a bit hazy, apart from the fact I’m not sure if I should even put it in at all. It’s stopping me from actually calling a chapter “finished”, and I still have to do the UI design by the end of this month. Ah… So much stuff to do. I’d have to brainstorm on it today and finally get it over and done with. There are ideas I’ve been tossing around for it and maybe I’ll write them down on the blog when I have a more concrete mechanic.

Tomorrow, I’m going to my brother’s graduation and he wants me to arrive in the venue around 5AM. Dude, they’d better be giving away a house for the first five attendees if you want me to wake up when the rooster’s barely crowed. At the risk of sounding like a complete and utter trash of a sister, I’m not that much of a fan of watching a long line of people walk slowly up and around a huge auditorium. That doesn’t mean I’m not proud of my brother’s achievements. But 5AM?! He seems to overestimate my fondness of him. (Ahh.. maybe I’ll liveblog the event tomorrow hehe!)

Anyway, That’s all I have today! See you tomorrow!

 

The eleventh post is sick

I’m sick today with some nasty colds. My throat feels throbby and headaches are throwing me sucker punches all around. Apart from the physical pain, the thought of all the work I have piled up is doing a number on my self-esteem. I’m tempted to get out of bed and still work. I know it’s bad for me. I would get more work done if I rest and get better. But the siren song of “don’t wanna feel useless” is strong. Maybe I can find a compromise between working and resting. I do have a nice book waiting for me to get finished, and perhaps I can sketch a bit in my bed.

Thanks everyone who have been reading my blog everyday. Here’s a picture of a summer sky I took this week 🙂

summersky

Romance the Metaphysical Thousand-Eyed Angel of Doom

 

2386627960_6e09f672d2_z

Have you ever had that experience when the more work you should be doing, the more you procrastinate? *Arms raised* I gained that lovin’ feeling recently. Every since yesterday, my focus have been smacked around like a rag doll, thrown at any shiny thing, and suddenly, I’m playing Plants vs. Zombies again. Holy hell, this is serious.

Between the little air pockets of time I am able to reflect on my activities, the Doom Gong roars, the angelic trumpets scream to announce the Apocalypse, and I feel my soul getting judged by the metaphysical thousand-eyed seraphim–

–Is when I’ll hit the Return button and start playing Plants vs Zombies again, and everything is fine. Fine. I-I’m just fine.

The fear is real folks, and when you’re scared, your instincts push you to run away from the scene of the crime. Scared of that existential dread of “wasting your life?”, escape to the beautiful, care-free world of Twitter arguments, where you could trick yourself into thinking you’re learning current events from a guy with a Jason Vorhees avatar. Terrified of that impending doom of deadlines? Come and lay down on the flower-carpeted gardens of mobile games. We love you here. Have some dopamine. Have another. Oh you’re so good at that! Have another.

It doesn’t change the fact that the fear is not resolved, nor does time stop whenever you engage in such proclivities. They simply file up, one after another, like a stack of plates you refuse to wash for days. And kids, this is really what being an adult is like. There are dishes in the sink and nobody else is going to wash them. Frame it. Live it. Internalize it. It helps sometimes.

So I have an idea. Why don’t we romance that fear instead? The seraphim probably bathes in the blood of the sinners, but like, maybe we go to the same coffeeshop? Maybe that Fear burdens me with the uselessness of my existence, but what if it is only trying to encourage me to move my butt? If I get to know the Holy Fiery Scourge of Adonai better, I’ll come to understand that they just want the best for me, and that they never meant to scare me. Instead of running, I’ll do what nobody else will do. I’ll turn around and smile at them when they chase me around an abandoned school. Their four cursed faces will blush in surprise. They’ll put down their sword of flame.

“You’re not scared?” they ask. Their six wings, made of the fingers of demons, flutter in the wind.

“N-No, I…” I say shyly. “I’m tired of running.”

They nod. They extend an arm of bronze, tilled by the former kings of Abram, and I take it tentatively.

“Don’t be scared.” Seraph-kun whispers. “It’s time to get back to work. Let me help.”

Showing and telling burdens

I’ve read more of this months’ book club feature this morning, Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz. The format is pretty neat. Each chapter is quite short, probably 5-10 minutes reading time focusing on one to two characters’s perspective. It lays the groundwork for the mystery lurking around the corner. At the same time, it paints the characters of the small-town folks involved.

There are some cool ideas I gathered upon reading, such as the author’s use of subtlety in conveying characters. We’ve heard the adage “Show, don’t tell” so many times that it has been pounded to the point of dust. Still, it’s never an easy thing to do, and I’d argue that a writer’s ability to wield subtlety defines their skill.

I’m not really sure how to use “Show don’t tell” effectively yet. Perhaps “actions speak louder than words” is an accompanying adage I might attach to this idea. There are a lot of information communicated through non-verbal language after all, and it’s almost always a better option every time.

That said, where is the point “showing” gets a bit vague, where the writer get too enamored with their metaphors and bits of inessential action? While writing Truth’s script, I can’t help but compare it to authors I admire. They rarely use “He sighed.” and “He folded his arms on his chest.” which are, embarrassingly, littered every where in my prose.

So if it’s not necessarily action, or lofty metaphors, what is left to describe the scene? What do you think? I’m still trying to find it out and would appreciate your thoughts!

 

Watering the Garden

I’d like to introduce you all to my cute zinnia plant.

Aren’t they such cootie patooties? (๑♡⌓♡๑)♥

It’s almost unbelievable I planted them a month ago and I was staring at an empty pot of soil for what seemed like the longest time, wondering if they’ll ever grow. Mind you, I’ve tried growing other seeds in my little pot, but the darn parsley didn’t grow, and all I got were cuckolded grass shoots pretending to be parsley. v.v

It was a disappointment, growing damn grass instead of parsley, but I watered the pot anyway and talked to it like a weirdo. (Hey, they said plants like being talked to kay~?! I’m not crazy! …right?)

I realized this is a great analogy for building supporters/fanbase. It can get a little disheartening to work really hard on a certain thing, but not have any attention. 0 likes, 4 views, and two of them are from my IP lol. Who doesn’t feel that little bite of disappointment?

The feeling got even more intense when I started a Patreon. There was quite a bit of interest when I announced it. When it did launch though, I only got one pledge and that one pledge was my friend *cries. It went on like this for a couple of days and I started to doubt my legitimacy. Maybe I’m not yet good enough to start this thing. Maybe I was being full myself…

But I reminded myself about my zinnia. When the pot was empty, I didn’t stop watering it just because there were no sprouts. I didn’t demand the plants to grow. The plants didn’t owe me anything, after all. I’m not an unlovable person if the plants don’t grow. I probably need to up my gardening skills, but it doesn’t mean I am stupid or cursed or hopeless if the seeds aren’t sprouting.

If you are a relatively unknown creator, please remember the zinnia. Water them everyday, give the empty pot TLC. Keep in mind that your viewer count is not proportionate to your worth. And when it does bloom as I know it will, it will be beautiful! *hugs

(By the way, at the time of writing, I now have six patrons! It’s not an army, but six people believe enough in what I do that they chose to impart their hard-earned cash. It really is a wonderful thing. It could only get better from here.)

 

Success is just getting back to work (7 day streak!)

Oh man I can’t believe we made the week! Seven posts in a row! I’d like to congratulate everyone who joined me in writing, whether you wrote in your own private space or if we bounced and giggled in the Discord server. Is it too early to call this success? Maybe? But reaching a milestone should be celebrated! We deserve all that sweet sweet endorphins!

It’s been a blast so far. The daily exercise frees my mind of pressure and reading other people’s work inspires me to keep going.

If you just started your daily writing habit, or maybe cannot commit to a daily writing exercise, that’s totally okay! Remember that it doesn’t matter how fast you’re going, as long as you’re moving forward. Keep your own pace. Grind in your dungeon.

Looking back on my first week, I finally understand how hard it is to start something from scratch. The pressure is enormous. If I have create something, it has to be stupendous! It has to be a big deal. I owe that to myself… right? Hm, well. Let me stop you there, brain.  The image in your mind will ALWAYS, and I mean always, be better than whatever life can provide. It isn’t anchored in reality, hence no rules, no restrictions. It is made in my brain so I am the artist/director/author. Nobody in the world will be able to match it. It will always be better in my head. And if I always waited for the right moment, I wont get shit done.

So with this thought in mind, you better believe whatever you do will be chicken shit compared to your expectations. No, really. It’s gonna suck. But that thought of sucking is a comfort on its own. No, it’s not a big deal. It doesn’t have to be. Nobody’s gonna read it? Great! Now I can write it without judgement! Nobody’s gonna care? Marvelous! It’s stressful to please people anyway.

Lower the bar, and you can start.

And you should just start. If you fail, it’s not a big deal. But if you succeed… Well… you won’t even see it coming. It’ll be like opening an old wallet and seeing money you stashed away in the past. You’ve forgotten about that, but shit, that’s a good day.

So one day you’ll just look back, pleasantly amused, at what you did. You’ll say, “Oh, I did that? Cool!”

And then you get back to work.

Grind in your own dungeon

I think we can all agree that one of the hardest parts of creating something is getting started. Dreaming up a project is so much better than actually making it. And I can understand that. There’s a magical feeling lost in the translation of apparition to physical thing, the fairy dust swept aside, the treasure chest unlocked to reveal the enchantment for what it is. And it is… *drumroll*

… dirty, sweaty hard work.

On all my readings and scourings on artists, musicians, creators, business people, authors, etc. It’s always the same thing. They worked their butt off. That is the secret sauce. Sweat. Yum. Well, I personally don’t mind that at all. It’s a relief to know it’s not an elusive unicorn like PR and Marketing (h-ha…haha… *nervous chuckle).

So we got the beginning part down. What about this long stretch in the middle, a.k.a. the “journey” itself? The “hard work” part? How do you get over the overwhelming feeling facing insurmountable tasks? That stone wall golem’s looking pretty darn indestructible.

During the little hiccups of time between work, my brain (thee I dub the mistress of pain), starts introducing little needles of torture in my system. Thoughts of stuff I still need to do, things I should be doing, things I should be doing better. Apart of the game itself, I gotta start sketching character concepts, preparing the programming, contacting musicians, making promotion materials, thinking of a kickstarter, putting money together to pay for assets, merchandise?, email youtubers??, make a website???

It just goes on and on and I… I’m only one person… It gets overwhelming at times, and I just can’t help but retreat to that usual dark corner of despair.

…But a wise person came along and slapped me with the best advice I could ever hope to receive.

“Grind in your own dungeon,” he said. “There’s no point grinding in Level 20+ if you’re Level 5. You’re gonna be taken out in one hit. You think you’re being cool, but you’re really just wasting time. Strive to be a little better than what you are now. Go for Level 7 instead.”

It’s a very good metaphor for the common knowledge “cross the bridge when you get there”, but with a little more sophistication. The advantage of working hard over a long period of time is you improve everyday, and with it, your tolerance for difficult things increases as well. I realized I was getting overwhelmed with things way out of my level and stressing out on things that I obviously don’t have the capability to solve. Of course I’m gonna get depressed. But I must see it for what it is. It’s simply another form of distraction away from work. No better than a twitter feed or a cat or a funny gif (Cats are pretty good tho gotta admit). It’s highly indulgent and requires ego stroking to appease. If I were really busy, I wouldn’t feel the need to gratify this craving.

So, every time I feel like I’m way over my head, I’m going to remember to keep grinding in my dungeon level! Gain better items, make friends with my people along the way. Little by little, chugging down that sweet level up juice. Gotta work towards that next level y’all (and maybe bang a couple elf dudes along the way)!

The regency of “That”

Here I am again with your daily scoop of Ame. I hope you’re not tired of me yet, even though my nutritional value fluctuates like the socially acceptable amount of mayo to put in your salad.

Last night I finished the chapter from my current project, Truth, and when I say finished, I mean that it is closer to the shippable finished product I can produce until now. I had a couple of friends read through it and the results are mixed. A friend called it vague. Another said it was pretty good. I’m not sure what to improve on, but I get the feeling it’s a skill issue than creative.

Continue reading

Legacies, one little chip at a time

Today is another day and another blog post. As usual, this is unfiltered and unplanned. I am just typing one word after the other; putting a step in front of a step, a brick after a brick. It begins to dawn on me that this is it. I’m doing it. This is what creating is all about. Putting in the work, day in and day out, towards that bigger goal in the horizon.

Continue reading