Weekend tidying up

One more mile this morning…

…before the longer weekend plods. The weather is meant to be miserable this weekend so the Sunday long run may get shunted to Monday if I really can’t face it. We’ll see.

I’ll be polishing off my Adventuron jam game for a little longer than expected this weekend, as the jam deadline has been extended. Nice to have the breathing room! I spent most of today implementing the changes I identified as necessary during Geth’s playtest last night, as well as a few tweaks that I’d been listing over the last week or so. Tomorrow will mainly be focused on creating my Itch page/promotion stuff and making everything look nice, then on Sunday I’ll be able to run through the different versions of the game a few more times just to be sure!

I really enjoy this process, but I am looking forward to kicking back and playing the other games from Monday onwards. I’ll be posting the usual running vlog updates over the weekend, but there may also be some game-related posts if I have time.

Rainbow decoration
My surrounding game decoration has a bit of a rainbow theme this time round.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Carbon Leaf – ‘What About Everything?’
All Saints – ‘Pure Shores’
The Cure – ‘Boys Don’t Cry’
Mesh – ‘Automation Baby’


Back to my mile route this morning…

…and then straight back into my game for more polishing off. Today was all about experimenting with external sound effects!… which didn’t work, and so I recreated them with the beeps that come as part of Adventuron instead. The beeps probably sound better and more consistent than the effects I made with my wide-ranging elderly instrument collection and limited musical skill, but hopefully I’ll be able to work out how to incorporate my own sound one of these days!

I also had Geth playtest the game this evening. This process always throws up a few issues that I need to work on, so that will be the first job for tomorrow.

Hopefully – fingers crossed! – when I update again tomorrow, the game will be all but finished. Jam deadline is Saturday afternoon!

1990s keyboard
One of my ultimately-unsuccessful sound effects was recorded on my clunky old Concertmate keyboard from 1994. I still love all the terrible voice settings you can use for the keyboard!

Today’s earworm playlist:

FM-84 – ‘Bend And Break’
Zara Larsson – ‘Lush Life’

Pulling everything together

I went out for my four-mile midweek run this morning…

…and it was a bit of a struggle to force myself out of the door! I need to do nine miles on Sunday, and I’m already slightly dreading it… it’s just one of those weeks where I’m lacking a bit of running motivation. One day at a time, like everything else.

My game is really getting into the final stages now. I got the second set of graphics implemented today (they were a lot more straightforward than the first set!) and have started to sort out the final non-8-bit touches for the Adventuron version of the game, as well as the eventual presentation aspects such as the Itch page design. Hoping to run it past my first playtester (i.e. Geth) tomorrow evening!

The laptop stack did not pull its weight as planned today – laptop number one turned out to be about six Linux versions out of date and needs a complete reinstall, while laptop number two needs a day or so to recharge its battery. Laptop number three is tiny and struggles to do anything complicated, so I don’t think it could manage more than a small test game in an Adventuron editor (if that), and laptop number four is still on Windows 7, so I wouldn’t want to connect it to the web (it’s another one that needs overhauling with Linux). Hopefully number two will be ready to go tomorrow! I need to remember to plug them all in for a recharge every so often…

Just a short run again tomorrow, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a productive game creation day πŸ™‚

Pixel calendar
Something different today – this graphic is from a mini side project that I’ll hopefully be able to update you about tomorrow.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Nobuo Uematsu – ‘Chaos Shrine’
Spandau Ballet – ‘Gold’
Regard – ‘Ride It’

Testing, testing

Another short run today…

…and then I got back into my game. I finished the graphics this morning, and after a bit of tweaking I’ve managed to get the first set all implemented and working on the Spectrum +3 emulator. Tomorrow I’ll do the same for the Spectrum Next and Adventuron versions and start putting the finishing touches on everything, and hopefully there’ll still be a bit of time to run it past a couple of playtesters before the jam deadline!

I’ve had a couple of hours free every evening for the last few days to play videogames as well, which has been nice. I’m currently working my way through realMyst: Masterpiece Edition on the Switch (so cool to be able to explore the world properly as opposed to the static images from the 1993 version that I grew up with!) and Final Fantasy 1 on the PSP (I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m planning to play through the mainline Final Fantasy games in order… I’m only allowing myself an online map to help with the first game as apparently the original version came with a paper map!).

More making and playing games tomorrow, I hope!

Laptop stack
It’s time for the LAPTOP STACK. You can only run one Adventuron tab per browser, and I’ve got to a point where I need to work on multiple versions of a game at once. As such, the backup laptops will be pulling their weight tomorrow!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Harry Nilsson – β€˜One’
Catatonia – ‘Road Rage’
Michael Jackson – ‘They Don’t Care About Us’
Manami Kiyota – ‘Frontier Village’

A week of finishing off

The usual-for-marathon-training Monday mile today…

…and then I spent the rest of the day working on my game. Five days to go till the jam deadline! This week’s game creation tasks are mostly related to polishing and playtesting – I’m very nearly finished with my graphics now and looking forward to putting everything together in the next few days.

Planning a similar day tomorrow – I’m hoping to be able to post about one of the side projects I’ve been working on during this jam period too!

Pixel garage take two
My pixel cars from last week are looking a bit better for some colour. I’ve created two sets of graphics for this game jam – a Spectrum-compatible set for the Spectrum +3 version (which are a bit, um, ‘zany’ as I’ve never tried making Spectrum-compatible graphics before!) and another set for the Adventuron/Spectrum Next releases, made with the hept32 palette. Never thought I’d enjoy making graphics this much when I started out last year!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Robyn Miller – ‘Myst Theme’
The Weeknd – ‘Blinding Lights’
Harry Nilsson – ‘One’
The Sisters Of Mercy – ‘Temple Of Love’
Manami Kiyota – ‘Forest Of The Nopon’

All about that Friday evening!

Another warm mile this morning…

…because the storm hasn’t arrived here in Newcastle yet, even though it was supposed to this evening. I’m feeling a bit disappointed now! Hope we still get some impressive thunder and lightning by the time I go to bed (and preferably not in the middle of the night, thank you).

I spent the bulk of today getting my day job work finished for the week. All done now, so I can get back to my game over the weekend! Hoping I might get some actual playing of games done as well if I have time…

A non-parkrun three-miler to do first thing tomorrow though. That would be a good time for a storm not to be happening as well!

Stuff in the post
Today’s postal haul. I heard about the text adventure t-shirt on one of the text adventure Facebook groups and somehow managed to yoink the last one! I also completed my ‘seven of each running item for seven days’ shorts collection with the Tikiboo Run London shorts in yet another colourway πŸ˜€

Today’s earworm playlist:

Melanie C – ‘I Turn To You’
Queen – ‘Somebody To Love’
Michael Land, Peter McConnell and Clint Bajakian – ‘Atlantis’ Last Moments’

The weekend approaches

A very warm mile today…

…and then I spent most of the day doing day job work again. I’ve broken the back of it now and am hoping to finish early tomorrow so I can get back to my game creation!

Geth and I are semi-celebrating tonight, because his academic project bid is very nearly ready to send off (he just needs one last letter from a collaborating party). As we also both did well with our weight loss this week, we are treating ourselves to takeaway pizza as a bit of an early weekend treat. Waiting on it now and getting a bit impatient πŸ˜€

Another hopefully early start tomorrow before the storms arrive, and then I can settle in for the weekend…

Blue summer sky
The weather has been beautiful the last couple of days, but sadly I’ve been too busy to spend much time outside!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Carter USM – ‘And God Created Brixton’
Andy Taylor – ‘I Might Lie’
Carter USM – ‘Glam Rock Cops’
Duran Duran – ‘Hungry Like The Wolf’
Manami Kiyota – ‘Satorl Marsh’
The Weeknd – ‘Blinding Lights’

Hours in the day

A four-miler in the heat today…

…and then straight into work, as it’s been one of those ‘clients are like buses’ weeks with everybody sending projects at once! I’ve been keeping an eye on my hour-by-hour time management today and making notes, as I’ve been feeling a bit frustrated recently by busywork taking up more time than it deserves. Hoping to be able to streamline things a bit over the next few weeks, as I’ve got a lot of projects to be getting on with and I want them all finished by mid-July so that I can start getting some day-long videogaming sessions in! Might as well make the most of not going anywhere for summer holidays this year πŸ™‚

Looking forward to an evening of graphics creation, and hoping for another earlyish start tomorrow so I can get another good chunk of work done.

Red diary
Geth’s new diary for academic year 2020-21 arrived today. He ordered it early so that we can start planning out CoronaYear 2: The Rescheduling. I LOVE the colour so much that I might be adding a red diary of my own to my Christmas list this year 😍

Today’s earworm playlist:

Melanie C and Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes – ‘Never Be The Same Again’
Yoko Shimomura – β€˜Colony 9’
Daniel Bedingfield – ‘Gotta Get Thru This’

Project addiction

The usual mile today…

…which was fine with me, because I had a lot of things to get on with today!

The day job work is continuing to trickle back in, which is great. I’ve also got lots to do on the text adventure front as mentioned yesterday, and because I’ve obviously not got enough projects on the go at the moment, I decided to start revamping my business website today! This was a planned thing for this summer, because from August I’ll be updating my terms and conditions and putting my prices up for the first time in a few years. However, the website revamp is going to take me a few weeks, I expect, because between the running, work and game creation, I don’t have an awful lot of spare time right now!

I’ve not been at all successful at dragging myself out of bed early in recent weeks, but I really am going to try tomorrow as it’s meant to be quite hot and my four-mile run could end up being a bit miserable if I leave it too late.

Pixel garage
An in-progress scene from my latest game. For games with non-goblin settings, I always end up writing in a ton of cars for some reason, and then massively regretting it when it comes to doing the graphics. Drawing cars is tough!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Yoko Shimomura – β€˜Colony 9’
Duran Duran – ‘Late Bar’