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4/30/07 -Monday: UPDATE ON MY LIFE...


This has slowly become one of the more important things in my life. It encompasses my diet change, my exercise routine, as well as some mental health things (i.e. stress). I mentioned in a post last month about how I really let myself go while working on Rose of Eternity for those 30 months. I mean, I always had a fast matobolism, but as I continued to get older, it slowed down (as many people told me it would). I wasn't able to just eat McDonalds and twinkees everyday anymore:( Anyway, I went from about what I think was 180lbs to around 220lbs. I'm 6 feet tall, so in medical terms, that means that I was overweight. Now, over those 30 months, I kept saying to myself "Man, I gotta start working out again!". But, alas, I never had time. I did make a vow that after I was done with Cry, I would hit the gym. And hit the gym, I have!

Every tuesday and thursday my girlfriend and I meet another couple (one of whom is a personal trainer) at the gym, and work out for about 4 hours or so. Besides being great motivation in the beginning, I have also learned alot of stuff from him (the personal trainer). We usually focus on one muscle group each day, so perhaps on Tuesday, we would do shoulders/back, and on Thursday, we would do biceps and triceps. I also try to do cardio and abs every other day. And even on some of the heavy workout days, we do abs at the end.

Now, one interesting thing I learned is that the majroty of the people at these gyms are wasting their money. Why? Because they just don't work out the correct way. One thing they do wrong is workout the same muscle group day in and day out, without giving it a chance to rest (with the exception of abs, which you can do everyday). The main thing however, is that they don't eat right. It is a waste of time for someone to spend 2 hours working out, just to go to Burger King afterwards to get a Bacon Doublecheesrburger (mmm, bacon!), french fries (mm, fried stuff!), and a drink. Which brings me to my next point...

My entire diet has changed, and for the good, I might point out. No more McDonalds everyday (or ever, really), no sweets just the for the sake of having treats, etc. I also cut out a LOT of red meat from my diet, and added a ton of fish to it. I also eat vegetables regulary now (yeah, I know's it common, but not for me!). In fact, all sorts of junk food is off limits to me now, and you know what, I am fine with it. Instead of having Cool Ranch Doritios, I'll have a banana, or some pineapples with strawberries. What's crazy is, I can still have some of the stuff that neccesarily isn't good, but as lon as I don't live off of it, I am fine. Plus, the food I am eating is actually quite good, so I don't miss the other stuff too much.

All of this has led to me getting my body visibly toned in 2 months or so, as well as losting close to 20lbs. Yep, no diet tricks, no hypnosis, none of those hit slim quick scams. I am doing it the good old fashion way (i.e. hard work), and it is working out perfectly for me. I have always been a person to think long term, so exercising now for a better future is 100% doable for me.

Oh yeah, this is also supposedly supposed to make me having a better, longer life. I will avoid things like avoiding heart disease, cancer, diabetes (which runs in my family), etc. So yeah, if not for anything else, I would like to live to the day when Rose of Eternity is relased commercially and takes over the world! :) MUA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!

EDIT - I also want to outdo Alex "hugie" Hugon in a race, since he is the resident running long periods of time... for no reason... guy... yeah:)


HOLY SHIT!!! That is what I am constantly thinking while I playResident Evil 4. Sigh... I just don't know how to put it... My God, game designers, PLEASE follow their game design philosphy! I am literally thrown into a new situation at every turn. I never feel like "Sign, been there, done that" at all. It's more like, "HOLY SHIT, how am I going to defeat *THAT*!".

I also have this little problem with my heart when I play the game. Like, it is ALWAYS racing! I admit, I used to laugh at people when they said the Resident Evil series scared them, but man, playing on a nice big HD widescreen TV at 2:00 am, I am constantly scared shitless... Never have I appreciated the sounds in a game, until now. When I have the volume pumped up, any sound I hear scares the hell out of me, and makes me think twice before just running into a room guns blazing (metaphorically speaking, since you cannot shoot and move at the same tim...).

I'm not a reviewer, so sorry for the ramblings, but damn, I am having tons of fun. I really, really did miss out on a lot of stuff, but I am home now, and I will continue to play through the classics... Such as...

...Super Mario Sunshine. Don't laugh! I haven't played a platformer in a while, and since it is a Nintendo/Miyamoto one, it will do:) If nothing else, I knew I would get a quality game, and the few times I have played it so far, quality, I have seen:) Yeah, it's not as original and innovative as Super Mario 64, but on its own, it's a good solid game that is great to play when I only have 30 min or so of time available.

After I beat these 2 games, I was going to get Shadows of Collosus, but I think I will stick with the gamecube, and get the Metroid Prime games. Then, move to the PS2 with Shadows of Collosus, as well as the God of War series.

*rubs hands together* I am living in great times, indeed:)


No comment:)


So, I have been continuing to listen to various pieces of music, trying to get a good idea of what the soundtrack will be (depending on the next game in the series I do). Obviously, I have been too busy to do any actual implementation, but as far as mental ideas, I am really excited. This time around, I won't make the same mistake I made with Cry The Beloved, with regards to how it ruled my life. I don't have the burden to get it out before NWN3, so I can just relax and do what I do best:)

Till tomorrow...



4/25/07 -Wednesday: THE SIMPSONS...

So, anyone who really knows me knows that The Simpsons is one of my favorite shows of all time. The last few seasons though, just haven't done it for me, so I gave them up. Well, one of my close friends told me that the current episodes that are playing were crazy funny.

I ended up taping a few of them, via my DVR, and I have to say, I was almost crying:) It was that funny! The one in particular, was about MMORPG's, and had Marge starting up a character in a fantasy game. She later found out that this character that just went around PK'ing everyone was in fact her son, Bart, blah blah blah. The funniest parts were just all of the little inside jokes that only people who played those games would get. Overall, top notch episode. I have it on my taping schedule, so here's to more good episodes!

Till tomorrow...


4/23/07 -Monday: ...


Oh shit, was I supposed to be updating this thing daily?! *Looks both ways* Ahem... Right...

Yeah, as you can expect, I have been busy as all hell lately, with the work I am doing with Ossian Studios taking up the majority of my time.

Besides that, I have been indulging in my newly realized love affair with console games, having one hell of a time with Resident Evil 4. As expected, I have been amazed time and time again throughout the game.

It's just how I like my quality games. Everytime you are walking around a corner, you feel like you are experiencing something new. And I have been telling people for the past couple of weeks, but this game scares the HELL out of me! I used to laugh at my friend when he said he only played the game at night, to get that chilling feeling. Now, that is me! Needless to say, I have been getting immersed in the game, and I hope it contines for quite some time. For the record, I am about 12 hours in, and I think the game is about 20 hours long. Though, I do tend to backtrack and save a lot, as well as explore everything, so I may go over that. Plus, I am still on disk 1 (there are 2 disks). We'll see...

On the Rose of Eternity front, I continue to mentally design the game. With the Ossian work, I obviously don't have the time to put any major effort into it, so I just have to be happy with imagining things:) On the bright side, it looks like community member Andarian, the maker of the Sanctum of the Archmage module will be trying to petition Obsidian to fix the method, SetCutsceneMode, so that the player GUI is properly removed, allowing me to make real cinematic cut-scenes. He asked me if I was up to doing it, or even helping, but besides not having the time and energy, I never was one to get into one of the community petitions. I'm just that lazy bastard who will benefit from the results:) Here's hoping...

Till tomorrow...


4/10/07 -Tuesday: BACKSTORY - AUDEN - PART 2...

So, in the last post on the subject, I talked about Auden's backstory, more specifically, what happened between the time the party left Aribine in The Coming, and meeting Auden in Cry The Beloved. If you had enough favor points with him by the time you reached Fort Brigance, you would have learned the following:


Auden has a flashback, where you see 3 kids standing in a grassy clearing. They are all playing with swords that they should not have, and are arguing over who is the best at using them. Those 3 kids are a young Raina Lannen, Arik Lannen, & Alerton...

In this distance, you can hear the soft sound of a harp. The camera fades out, and when it fades in, you see a young boy sitting up against a tree, playing his harp. This of course is a young Auden. Auden had been spending the day composing a new piece of music, and was eager to show it off to the rest of the group. However, Alerton makes fun of him, calling him a sissy, because he would rather compose music then play with the swords. Neither Raina nor Alerton stand up for him...

The camera fades out, and when it fades in, you see Auden, Raina, Arik, and Alerton (in teenage form) standing at attention in the Boundary Warden gear, while Claudian walks back and forth, asking them various questions. Everything is going fine until he gets to Auden. He asks Auden, "Why are the Defenders of Legacy our enemies?" Auden being the person that he is, says: "Um, because they have different beliefs than us?". Claudian proceeds to smack him across the face, sending him to the ground. All Raina, Arik, and Alerton can do is watch...

Auden begins to sob softly, and Claudian yells at him to be a man, and standup. Then, Auden says something shocking: "Father, how can you be so cruel to me?". Claudian answers, "Oh, because you are my son, you think you should get special treatment. Well, you will get NONE!". Auden finally gets up, and Claudian continues questioning them.

Auden vows that day to never become like his father, as well as to never speak of him again... To anyone...

P.S. Drop by here, if you haven't voted for the Module of the Year.



Home is where you put your hat (or something like that...), and apparantly, my hat was lost in the world of console games, and since finding it, I feel at peace again:) Okay, perhaps a bit dramatic, but it's true. Ever since I have rediscovered the world of console games, I have been pulled in, barely able to come out.

It sort of started when I got Final Fantasy XII a few weeks after finishing Cry The Beloved. It again manifested itself when I picked up Twilight Princess, which I still think is the best game that I have ever played... period...

Since then, I have been reading up on a lot of games that I want to play, or should have played when they were first released years ago, and so I made a pact to get back into the swing of things.

The first game I decided to play is Resident Evil 4 for the Gamecube, which was heralded as game of the year of 2005 in many magaiznes, and online site (i.e. Gamespot). I had played the original back on the Playstation back in 96', and loved it. I skipped the subsequent sequels, because I heard they were basically more of the same, and didn't show much innovation. And, as you all know how I feel, games must innovate, even if just a sequel. I want to continue to be amazed, not just stuck with the same repetitive gameplay, no matter how good it is. Well, maybe that isn't 100% true. The only game that can get away with the standard gameplay year after year is The Legend of Zelda, and that is because it is THAT DAMN GOOD.

Anyway, when I picked up a Sega Dreamcast, Resident Evil: Code Veronica was one of the finest games I got. If I remember correctly, it was the first in the series that wasn't using pre-rendered screens, essentially making the game true 3d. Of course, I really, really could be wrong:)

With Resident Evil 4, they have totally re-imagined the game, focusing mostly on the gameplay. First and foremost, the game is in full 3d. This shouldn't be such a significant achievement, in the day and age, but it works nonetheless. The main thing howver, is the perspective of how you play. the game is essentially in a 1st person perspective, where you can see over the shoulder of the main protagonist. This is important, because the action in the game has really been ramped up.

Long gone is the standard Resident Evil zombie that slowly walks toward you. These monsters are fast, numerous, and most important, smart. Just last night, I was playing in this area, feeling that I was going to have to restart the game, because I was really low on ammo, with tons of monsters all over the place. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a ladder, which I prompty climbed up. I thought, "Whew, now I have sometime to think". A few minutes later, I was suprised to see some of them climbing up the ladder after me. I began to stab at them with my knife, sending them flying back towards the ground. Unfortunately, they kept getting back up, and climbing up again. Then, my girlfriend (who is having a blast watching me play) noticed that the context sensitive command was changing ever so slightly when I was close to the ladder. I got closer, and saw that I could kick the ladder down. Genious! I did so, and went about my business on the second level of the area. As I was walking around, I heard a bang, and shocked to see that the monsters actually picked up the ladder, and put it back up, and were coming after me again! Perfect, elegant dynamic gameplay if I saw it. And, this was the simplest example of things that happened like this.

Capcom really went for the jugular with this game, and the 2005 Game of the year award is so far, very well deserved. This is something I really should have enjoyed 2 years ago, but we obviously know what I was doing back then...

So, here is the list of games I want to play through in the coming months:

Super Mario Sunshine - I shouldn't have to explain this, really. It's a 3d platform game, with the polish of the Nintendo first party game.

God of War Series - These games are really supposed to be good, and the ratings have all been quite good, so I will check them out.

Shadow of Collosus - This is the game that swept the Game Developer's Choice awards when I was at the GDC last year. Plus, it is one of the most unique games ever created. Enough said...

Ninja Gaiden (XBOX) - I briefly played this a few years ago, but from what I played of it, I know it is the type of game for me.

Metroid Prime Series - I have only heard great things about this series (from my close friends), and that is good enough for me.

At some point, I will also crack, and get an XBOX 360. I was at my friend's house last night, and was experiencing Gears of War on a 37"" Hi-def, widescreen tv. I also sampled a bunch of other games, and coupled with XBOX-live, it's enough of a reason to get one.

At this point in my life/career, the only PC games I can see myself playing are some sort of MMORPG, or any game I am developing. I just don't have an interest in any other PC commercial titles... Especially RPGS...

Disclaimer - Rose of Eternity will still live on!

Till tomorrow (where I will continue the previews of the party member's backstories...)

P.S. Drop by here, if you haven't voted for the Module of the Year.


4/3/07 -Tuesday: BACKSTORY - AUDEN - PART 1...


Ah, everyone's favorite weakling:) Though, at first glance in The Coming, he seemed to be the confident leader of the boundary wardens. By the end of Cry The Beloved, you will have learned that it was all an act, and that he was fighting his own inner demons, trying to get a grasp on who he really was... So, what happened between you meeting him in The Coming, and then again in Cry The Beloved, you ask? Well, if you took him to Bannerman Hill and talked to him nicely, you would have found out the following:

After Aramus & Clopon escaped Aribine (with the help of who they would later learn was Arik Lannen, Raina Lannen's brother) when the town was invaded, the Ministry of Justice left the town and pursued them. But when Aramus & Clopon evaded them, they did not simply give up and go home. When they realized they had lost their trail, they came back to their strongest lead, which was the population of Aribine, those who had sheltered them.

Having thought the entire ordeal was over, the majority of the boundary wardens left town to help put down a monster along a boundary northeast of town. Auden, however, was not in the loop, as he was busy training his cadets. Two other boundary wardens had just come back from a local patrol after the others had already left, leaving just the two and Auden. As they were waiting for the main detachment to come back, the Ministry of Justice returned, leaving the three to protect the town themselves.

In reality, three people would have been enough, because of the choke points at the entrances to Aribine. They could have run interference long enough for the townsfolk to get to safety. However, Auden did not organize a defense at all...

When the cadets and the boundary wardens started asking Auden what to do, all he could do was stammer and stutter incoherently as he watched the Ministry of Justice pour into Aribine once again. Once in the town, they started breaking into every home they came to. They heard shouts and screams, yet all they could do was stare at each other in horror. When the troops started approaching them, the cadets fled, as did Auden.

Running blindly through the forest, he felt such an overwhelming shame that he was still alive, while the people he was sworn to protect were dying. Even still, he had to get away... He had to get away to Dematol. Once there, he was going to try to board the next ship out of the town, and never return. However, when he got to the town, there was a freeze on all outgoing ships, and he was forced to wait it out.

That was, until he met Aramus, Clopon, and Challseus in the Dematolian Inn...

Till tomorrow...

P.S. Drop by here, if you haven't voted for the Module of the Year.


4/2/07 -Monday: BACKSTORY - RAINA - PART 2...



So yesterday, I talked about the first half of Raina's backstory, which included the fact that she not only lost someone she loved very much (Alerton) to the Boundary, but that she is in fact using his sword, which was a gift from her to him, and her sword, which was a gift from him to her. Today, I will finish up the rest of her backstory, and hint at things to come in future games.

Now, at some point in the game, you get a quest from a Knight of Dundalas, named Chanden.

Essentially, to fight him in the arena, you need to show your worth, by bringing him the head of a Cornugon, which can be found in the Heart of the Boundary. After vanquishing this foe, you are shocked to find out that it was Alerton all along! Although this doesn't make sense, since if you die in the Boundary, you should be transformed into a Shinkara Souless, or at the very least, a Shinkara Shadow. Not caring either way, Raina is filled with joy at seeing her beloved Alerton, albeit barely alive.

After chatting briefly, she is again shocked to find out that he will not die, but instead, will become a Cornugon again. Overwhelmed with emotion, she gets down on her knees, and vows to restore him to his human form. At this very moment, he becomes a Cornugon again, in statue form. She can do nothing but walk away...

Now, if you have a high enough favor with her, after the battle at Fort Brigance, she will tell you the tale of how she lost him. A flashback plays out, where her and Alerton are standing next to a monument of a fallen Boundary Warden, in the Heart of the Boundary. She is standing on the right side of the statue, with the sword that Alerton gave her in her hand. He is standing on the left side of the statue, with the sword that she gave him, in his hand. Raina pleads with Alerton to stop venturing off into the Boundary, because she doesn't want to lose him like so many others that were lost. Alerton, not being scared of anything tells her he cannot promise her that he will stop.

The scene then changes to her and Auden walking through the Heart of the Boundary, yelling for Alerton. It seems he is missing. Then, Raina's sees something, and runs off. As the camera fades in, all you see is Alerton's sword (the one that Raina gave him) lying on the ground. She knews how much he cherished the sword, so if it wasn't in his hands, he must have been dead. After a few moments, she picks up his sword, dual wielding it with her other sword. She vows to never put down those swords ever again...

So, at the end of the game, there is no resolution in terms of Raina removing the spell that makes Alerton a Cornugon. In the upcming chapters, a major side quest for her will be to uncover the cure for him. As expected, it won't be as simple as getting some cure from some alchemist:) But, there are other questions that will need to be answered, such as how he was actually turned in a Cornugon, instead of a Shinkara Shadow or Souless. Finally, what will happen if she does cure him? Will she leave everyone, and go back to a quiet life with him? I guess you'll just have to find out!

Till tomorrow...

P.S. Drop by here, if you haven't voted for the Module of the Year.


4/1/07 -Sunday: BACKSTORY - RAINA - PART 1...

So, for the past couple of weeks, or even months, I had been playing through both The Coming and Cry The Beloved. Though I had played The Coming a few times for fun post release, I don't believe I had done the same thing with Cry. I mean, by the time I had released it, the last thing I was thinking about was playing through it!

Anyway, since I have had a little more time to myself while on the train, I thought, "What the hell!". Plus, since I have been mentally designing my next game, it would be good to know for myself what I did that worked, and what didn't. Plus, I just wanted to actually enjoy it, without worrying about writing up bugs and such.

Well, while playing through Cry, I started to realize something. Not everyone who only played the game once would get the full backstories of the 4 party members. I mean, don't get me wrong, we definitely designed it that way, so that the player would have a reason to play again. Still, I felt that some players were missing out on some cool backstories, so I have decided to dedicate some days to breaking it down for whoever doesn't mind spoilers.

Now, there are 2 main ways to get the 2 parts of a party member's backstory. One is to take them with you on the assault on Bannerman Hill. The other is to simply have enough favor with them by the end of the battle at Fort Brigance. There are also small side-quests, with a few key members, but not all... With that said, here is Raina's:


Raina Lannen... Without a doubt, the cynic of the group, which can be summed up with this statement, she makes late in the game: "...To live is to suffer... To survive, well that's to find meaning in the suffering..." But, as everything goes in life, she was not born this way, but rather, something happened in her life, which changed her forever.

Now, after you first meet her, when arriving in the Heart of the Boundary, you see a Shinkara Souless. These sort of resemble the Shinkara Shadows from North Shinkara Forest, yet they are more human like. After it passes from your sight, Raina explains to you that when people die in the Boundary, they are taken by the Boundary, and their spirits turn into a Shinkara Souless, or Shinkara Shadow. So, every Shinkara Shadow you fought earlier was really the spirit of a dead Boundary Warden, that died in the Boundary. She then alludes to the fact that she lost someone she loved to the Boundary.

Now, if you take her with you to Bannerman Hill, she will talk a bit more about this person. You find out his name is Alerton, but that is it. However, those who have been paying attention, and like to examine their party member's gear will notice that one of Raina's swords is named, Raina's Sword, and the other, Alerton's Sword... But, there is more!

Till tomorrow...

P.S. Drop by here, if you haven't voted for the Module of the Year.


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