Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Whyfor the Armadillo?

Valid question, and one that I've been asked quite a few times. So, here we go, with three hypotheses that have factored into the decision:

1. Popular opinion. Apparently people like it. In fact, people demanded more armadillo.

2. Nostalgia. There was a Disney cartoon entitled Pluto and the Armadillo which I saw when I was little and all. As I recall, it involved Pluto chasing a ball and mistaking it for a rolled up armadillo, which teased him by rolling around and generally being irritating. So, after chasing it into the bushes, he pounces on it (well, the ball actually, which he's found again) and tears it up, and you get the shock/horror that he thinks he's killed it. But in the end, the armadillo smuggles itself in Mickey's bag and everyone's friends.

3. It actually seems to make some logical sense. Well, I think it does, anyway. Armadillos are the sort of animal that seem kind of neat the first time, being all armoured and able to roll up and just generally interesting. But there are tons more popular animals out there: tigers, elephants, polar bears - you name it. Similarly, MUDs aren't mainstream anymore, these days. People are more likely to be found playing things like World of Warcraft, or shooters on their Xbox. It takes a special kind to appreciate the text-based environment, as well as the armadillo. As well, despite years now of not getting a whole lot of love from the gaming community, we still keep plugging along, and will keep doing so. Armadillos are a loyal breed.

So, now that I'm in this rather philosophical mood, my tune of the day is by The Fox in the Snow by Belle and Sebastian: thanks Dr. Mel for this one. Someday I promise I'll stop scrounging off you and get some new music of my own. It's a great one, though.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Blame Canada?

Seriously. It's ridiculously freezing out there today, and I don't seem to have any hot water. Cold showers tend not to get me started well.

Anyway, now that things have settled a little, how's about an inside peek at what's on my plate:
  • finding more builders to help us get things finished faster, or failing that;
  • getting more areas built with our current builders, or failing that;
  • changing the levels of our current areas to make it look like we have more areas.
Currently it looks like option 3 is the most probable, seeing as we have a whole bunch of areas clustered together at low levels, and very, very few at high levels. As we've now limited the max level to 1000 partly so that we can better cater to all of those levels, well: looks like we gotta cater to them, eh? Not many people enjoy spending 500+ levels in the Wilderness.

In addition, there's the whole can of worms relating to:
  • get off your backside and build some damn areas yourself!
Yeah, I know. I'm currently looking at a few different ideas to see what develops. As of right now, the plan is to re-work some of the older areas that need a re-work, and raise their level if the area would fit well with a higher level.

And talking about level, grats to our newest Admin, Aelius and all his new code. Unfortunately, this further highlights the need for #1 above. Aerosmith is telling me to take a Permanent Vacation but I just want some builders, and maybe some hot water too, if it isn't too much trouble?

Designing Woman

Yeah, that's me. Mostly what I do is think of stuff, and focus on keeping things moving toward the game in its final form. Most of what I do involves envisioning things and writing stuff down, and 94.7% of what I do is completely dependent on the skill and grace of our coders like Falknor and Aelius.

This week I'm focusing on getting the dragon lairs back into the game, with some major twists. Soon as we get a few stones out of our shoes, those will be available for the a-levels (achievement level titles), starting with black for Venturer.

In my spare time, I'm sketching out public ship routes. A public ship will either sail a circle route or a ferry route between two or three points on a predetermined schedule. Anyone can board one, though nobody can take control of one.

I'm also working to come up with a better way to shop. This is still in the dream stage, but is taking shape rapidly, so more details as it becomes more coherent.

I'm also evaluating object loading patterns so the mob-available and shop-available gear gets into balance (it isn't now).

Also working on website preliminaries for the new styles project (see Aelius' post). Also still rethinking the menu system on the website, since it seems to behave for some and not for others.

It's also getting to the time of brushing off the favor system and seeing if it is going to work or if it is going to take major redesign.

Ditto herbals system.

Hrm. Strange. Reading that, it doesn't seem like I'm all that busy.. wonder why I'm so tired at the end of the day! A well - my motto has always been the same: If you can't get your job done in 24 hours a day... work nights.

The Insider's View

Well, I guess I'll add my bit to the opening of this thing.

As the resident active coder at Karinth I might let out a tidbit every now and then about what's being done behind the scenes. For example (ooh, juicy stuff already!), Falknor and I are working on some new stuff related to combat styles (think: complete overhaul). Keep your eyes open.

You'll probably have to put up with some (semi-)personal stuff on here from me too, which people seem to like in an oddly cryptic sort of way. It'll be lots of hockey, beer, and maple syrup stuff I'm sure, mixed with crying about my thesis which magically isn't getting any longer as the deadline gets nearer. Funny how that works out, eh?

I can't speak for the others on this blog, but I know that I'll probably need a place to vent fairly regularly, so you'll have to put up with that. But for now, stay tuned, and don't forget to, well, forget about the real world and enjoy a little Karinthian goodness.

Roll the Bones

For a few minutes, there was some debate: Just what sorts of topics could we possibly address in a Karinthadillo-oriented blog (read: Staff of Karinth). Well, in a word, LOTS. I'm sure at least a few people wonder what we do up here all day, what we're working on, why we do the crazy things we do. Hopefully this accumulation of thoughts will help clear that up a bit.

At the very least, it may generate some new rumors to spread around the muddy ground.

Opening of the Cave

So, it seems as if I have finally succumbed to this whole blogging thing: so you'll have to excuse the first few tries. For those not accustomed to the lore of the Karinthadillo, this semi-mythical creature resides deep undersea in an air-pocket cave, eats the occasional annoyance and does very little else. Until now, that is.

Henceforth, the Karinthadillo will be broadcasting (or webcasting) his personal news, views, comment and analysis right here: on the goings on at Karinth, behind-the-scenes and most likely about other somewhat related topics as well.

So sit back, relax, and always, always, feed the armadillos. And vote.