Day: January 19, 2011

Inaria! (Sung to the tune of SEGA!)

The good news: Inaria got a mention in Jay Barnson’s roundup of upcoming indie RPGs! Welcome to everyone who is visiting this site because of his mention!

The bad news: It’s the worst-looking game there.

I don’t know what to do about how Inaria looks. The free sprites I found are nice and colorful, looking like 256-color VGA art. On the other hand…that amount of detail makes my own stuff look like ass. As if to emphasize the point, I followed a link from a commenter (DIntent) back to his blog (The Lame Brain) and found out about another blog called Tilting at Windmills.

(Before I go on, I just want to say thanks to DIntent for the kind things he said about me on his blog. He’s writing an old-school RPG too, called SPARK. Check it out.)

But Tilting at Windmills is a blog written by a guy who writes games for…the TI-99/4A. And his biggest project so far is an RPG. (If you don’t want to follow that link to find out what a TI-99/4A is, it’s a vintage computer about as powerful as the Apple II, made by Texas Instruments.)

Check the screenshots out on this page. If they don’t give you the warm fuzzies, then you either hate classic RPGs or you HAVE NO SOUL, and I’m betting the latter. He did all the graphics himself, and just like Daniel Remar, the self-imposed limitations made it possible for him to do them himself effectively.

Perhaps I should do the same? This would also allow me to add some limited animation on the characters (right now there is none because that’s not how the sprites were designed).

Sticking with graphics, I also recently resized the main screen up from 512×384 to 640×480. I did this because I wanted to expand the visible tiles in the world window from 9×9 to 11×11. I originally did this to support 11×11 “arena” maps where combats take place (just like in Ultimas III, IV and V).

But now that I’ve added that feature, I’m at the crossroads. Single or multi-character? My dungeons are now just underground maps filled with NPCs and items; there’s only one “puzzle” and that’s in how the dungeon is laid out.

I think what I need is more special tiles. Hidden doors, triggers, traps, teleporters…I need all these and more especially if I stick with a single-player game.

So I think that’s what I’ll work on next, along with the graphics. Don’t be surprised if the next version of Inaria looks radically different.

PTFSD Update, 1-19-11

Previous weight: 356.8
Current weight: 354.4
Delta: -1 pound, 4 ounces

My personal assessment of the past week: Good. Trending downward again. And soon I’ll be okay to start exercising which should make things go even faster.

I’ve been reading a book…well, it’s sensationalist propaganda, honestly. It’s by this guy named Tim Ferriss, who came to fame with his book The 4 Hour Workweek, which can be summed up as “don’t have a family, invest your money, and use technology as a force multiplier and you too can live like a rich person even if you’re not”. Since I already screwed up step one, it’s not that useful to me.

But now he’s got a book called The 4-Hour Body which is getting lots of press, so…I figured I’d check it out.

Here are his five dieting rules:

1. Don’t eat anything white and/or starchy. This means that my beloved, beloved rice must go by the wayside. Also no potatoes, pasta or bread, because as we all know…

Instead, eat proteins like egg whites (Tim’s favorite, and frankly there’s almost no downside to them), chicken and lean pork. Get your carbohydrates from vegetables. This is where Ferriss differs from the abominable Atkins Diet, which would have you cut out carbohydrates altogether. His favorite vegetables are lentils, which have both protein and carbs, and spinach, which which has so many necessary vitamins and minerals that it’s no wonder it tastes awful.

2. Make a mealplan for a week and then follow it as closely as you can. Ferriss points out that eating the same thing every week can seem restrictive, but if you actually tracked what you ate for a week you’d probably discover that you eat the same things over and over anyway.

3. Don’t drink calories. This is pretty much a given. Even if you drink diet soda, try not to drink more than two a day because the aspartame can cause you to retain water.

4. Don’t eat fruit. Fructose, the sugar found in fruit, is easily digested and almost instantly turned into fat unless you’re doing something to burn it off.

5. On one day a week, ignore all of the above and eat whatever you want – but just for that one day. Also, this is not optional. You must eat at least one “binge” meal a week. Why? People who go on very restrictive diets tend to lose weight…until their body panics, goes into “starvation mode” and refuses to give anything up.

I have personal experience with this. I’m not sure if I ever told this story before or not, but back in 2002 or so I lost about fifty pounds and got under 300 for the first time in years. But it didn’t take because I was literally killing myself doing it – I was eating so few calories that I was falling asleep on the drive home from work. Eventually my restrictive diet stopped working, I got pissed and dumped it, and went right back to where I am now. If I had followed rule five back then, we wouldn’t be talking about this now…and a lot of bad stuff might not have happened to me.

Overall, I like these rules. They’re a pretty good encapsulation of modern dieting. Since carbs are so damn caloric, getting them from your veggies instead of straight pretty much ensures that you will eat under the necessary amount for weight loss even without counting calories.

I haven’t gotten to the workout part of the book yet. We’ll see how much that agrees with me, since I hate exercising.