Category Archives: Personal Stuff

Proof that Nolan’s Just Another Human

Too wired to sleep, too tired to work (it’s 4AM). So I ended up going through my old Facebook messages – a little trip down memory lane.

I’m amazed by three things, really:
1) How many Facebook accounts have closed.
2) How little my “old best friends” keep in contact with me. [I’m not saying that they should, nor am I saying that I feel entitled to human contact. I’m simply amazed/surprised.]
3) Who I used to be. [Which somehow, isn’t all that different from who I am now.]

4 years’ worth of messages… I “archived” about 70% of them, and there’s a lot I’d give to permanently forget about some of them. My old (current?) “crushes”, group projects that could have gone much better (admittedly, or much worse), people with whom I didn’t get along well with, and so on.

Of course, there’s an old saying that goes “everything happens for a reason”. Which I find to be a bit silly, mostly because the implication is along the lines of “bad things happen for good reasons”.

If I were to say “there was an earthquake in Emerald City and 20 people died – that happened for a good reason” I’d sound like a masochist or something. Unless the reason I had in mind was “the tectonic plates shifted”. In that case, I’d just sound stupid. Obviously it’s a bit pompous to compare my past to natural disasters, but in the context of the old saying, the analogy stands.
“computer broke” “happened for a reason”

Okay I lied, there’s a fourth thing:
4a) The subject matter of the messages.
4b) That’s still all I really message people for – or get messaged for.

It was always homework, or school-related, or me “checking in” on someone I’d like to know better.
It’s never really been “hey, I’m feeling lonely right now, up for a chat” or “would you like to get lunch, like, right now”.
It’s always been (and still is) “what were we supposed to read” or “hey, I need help with the homework” – regardless of whether I’m sending or receiving the message.

Does all of this make me a strange sort of shut-in, or just another college student that doesn’t quite have his psyche together? Or one of the oddball high school kids that couldn’t keep his friends? Ah, well. I am who I am, I guess.

… I’m a bit more awake now. I guess I’ll work on Project Exist a little, then.

~Nolan

We got our logo!

Well, not really. More like “We’ve had our logo!” And it’s temporary. So more like “We will have a new logo!” Except maybe I won’t be rich/bored enough to buy/make a new one. I guess the real title should be “We have our logo for now!” You may have noticed it on the wiki, or on the TeamSpeak 3 server, or in-game, or… Anyway I made it in Photoshop. It took less than two minutes.

Moving the logo on the other hand… well…

Oops.

Oops.

That took a lot longer. Anyone at this page circa 8:32 PM PDT probably got a few giggles out of watching the logo grow and shrink and bounce around. I should really hire someone to do the CSS nonsense, or at least take a crash course.

.site-header h1 a:before {
	content: "";
	display: block;
	position: absolute;/* bad idea, oh well */
 	bottom: 0;
  	left: 0;
	height: 120px;
	margin-top: -30px;
	background-image: url("http://projectexist.net/full_logo.png");
	background-size: cover;
}
.site-header h1 { margin-top: 30px; }

@media screen and (min-width: 600px) {
	.site-header h1 a:before {
		width: 120px; height: 120px;
		position: absolute; top: 0; left: -126px;
	}
	.site-title, .site-description { position: relative; margin-left: 126px; }
}

I owe myself a cola. Oh also, I wrote up a start for a new Dream Guide and Rin’s page is basically done. I think after one more route character, one more sub-route character and two more minor characters I’ll finally be done with character design. Also, to those of you who were wondering why I didn’t have a blog post every day, do me a favor. Buy yourself one-way ticket to Alaska, and stay there. jkloveyou.

~Nolan

P.S. You can find new additional CSS happiness at our index page/portal!

a:link {
    color: #00FF00;
}

a:visited {
    color: #00FF00;
}

a:hover {
    color: #FFFFFF;
}

a:active {
    color: #0000FF;
}
span{

  font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
  width: 60%;
  height: 60%;
  overflow: auto;
  margin: auto;
  position: absolute;
  top: 0; left: 0; bottom: 0; right: 0;
  text-align:center
}
body{
   background-repeat:no-repeat;
   background-position: center center;
   background-attachment:fixed;
   background-image:url('opaque.png');
   font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
   min-width:512px;
   width: 50%;
   min-height:512px;
   height: 50%;
   overflow: auto;
   margin: auto;
   position: absolute;
   top: 0; left: 0; bottom: 0; right: 0;
}

… I owe myself two colas, and I think I am going to be sick.

Happy Super-Belated Fourth of July

I expect that the majority of you either saw friends/family, stayed at home/school, shoved grilled meats down your own/neighbor’s throats, live outside of the United States of America, or some mixture thereof.

In other news, you may have noticed that http://projectexist.net directs to http://wiki.projectexist.net/ instead of http://projectexist/pe_wiki. This is because we moved. Additionally, old direct links to builds (and wiki pages) no longer work! The game’s updater however will still work. Explaining the exact how and why of all that would give everyone a headache, including me.

And to you nutjobs thinking about setting up a HOSTS entry to access the old site will find that said site will be torn down within the month. Well, if you know what that even means then you’re a nutjob anyway, but that is far besides the point.

TL;DR happy holidays, new server, new build, don’t be dumb.

~Nolan

Writing about writing?

I figured I’d start a blog regarding my game’s day-to-day progress. Mostly because writing keeps me sane… I guess that’s a bit backwards, since writing the game itself drives me insane, but as the cliché goes, “it floats my boat”. Logging progress is also a good self-motivator to keep up said progress, as a few psychologists have proved and disproved.

By the way, I had a 3 ounce serving of lemonade. In a tea cup. At 4:20 in the morning. Because I could.

Anyway, much of this morning and last night was spent re-structuring the debug menu and changing the rollback mechanic. (For those of you aspiring to work on your own independent project, that is how you say “I fixed something”.) As the game is a psychological horror, keeping the gameplay realistic is very important, even if the story itself is not. Visual Novels however, lend themselves to a feature called “rollback” – by scrolling up on your mouse wheel/trackpad (or through some other equivalent gesture), you may view previous text or even change previous choices.

… In what universe is that realistic? There are of course, some Visual Novels where you can rollback but not to previous choices. But as part of this game is a Ren’Py experiment, we might as well give the player the choice.

Change Rollback Mode (alpha)

Alpha screenshot of the Preferences box

Clicking that choice brings you to this menu:

Hard choice (alpha)

A bad selection screen (alpha)

The code that changes the way rollback works is very simple because Ren’Py builds in a function. In other words, I just have to tell Ren’Py (at every say and choice screen) to be ready to stop the player from being able to rollback. It should be noted that calling this function also makes it impossible to rollback to before the call.

Screen code (alpha)

Screen code (alpha)

Yadda yadda yadda. I should also point out that enabling rollback during the combat scenes breaks things (more on that later), so that was hard-disabled. The major changes to the debug menu really involves most of the menus so you can’t open a menu while in a menu while opening a menu while in a menu while… you get the idea.

I also gave Rin Faust a little more text in the wiki. Yay!

~Nolan

P.S. New build goes out tomorrow.