Saturday, June 30, 2007


Ever had those times when you can move from the depths of despair to the heights of optimism and back, seemingly randomly? When everything seems to be really, really good, or just plain awful. To the extent that it ends up being difficult to accurately describe how things are, perhaps out of fear that mentioning them will cause them to change again.

This is why I haven't posted for a while. I get into the right frame of mind, all ready to put thoughts to paper... when suddenly they change, dramatically enough to make the planned writings totally unsalvageable. Which leads to rethinking, and a restart, only to encounter the same process again. Of course, dramatically enough so that I couldn't bear to write what I was planning to write, anyway.

The game is, of course, a major source of these peaks and troughs. Areas get completed, changes made, momentum gathered - and slowed by complaints, frustration, general problems and hearing about them. Then things swing back upward again, and so on. It seems like there should be a happy medium someplace: either that, or simply less sensitivity to what goes on.

One good thing though, is that it is an indicator of change and progress. A long time ago I was fairly set against this kind of thing, but not anymore. I'm hoping that things pick up for the summer, and continue on their way up. Hopefully some of the good things will stick around while the bad continue to be transient. Here's to hoping.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Back to the Beginning

Despite many hardships and even swimming upriver, a salmon instinctively returns to its spawning ground.

At the risk of sounding like one of those droning documentaries about nothing particularly interesting to anyone, this seems to be a recurring theme. My online life, as I know it, began on a very strict roleplaying game, although I long since thought that those days were past. I have grown away from the rules and norms, come to accept and appreciate other styles of play, and generally have broadened my horizons in a way that I would never have thought possible at the time.

However, I have, for the first time in two years or more, gone and partaken in some serious, deliberate, and very high quality roleplaying, on a game that even though I work on, surprised me with it. Karinth was the game that taught me, if you will, to be openminded and non-judgmental, and I always felt in the back of my mind that I had left behind the world of serious and detailed roleplay, and had best forget about it. Apparently this is not so, and I have high hopes for the future, which seems bright with the possibilities of kindred spirits, and enjoying such future events.

And it struck me, this is not receding, returning to old ways and habits, but in itself continued learning. Learning to be patient, learning that in such a wide and diverse environment, anything is possible. Learning that the future, at least in such a flexible medium, is indeed open: and also open to finding previously held preferences. In a new light, though, one that mixes the previous enjoyment with the more modern eclectic appreciations.

The world is what we make it, and what we seek is there to be found, somewhere, in some time, whether by our doing or another's.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Rubik's Cube of Life

It feels like that sometimes, doesn't it? You want to fix something, you turn the cube, and something else has suddenly popped out of position. You twist that into place, and again, something totally unrelated is suddenly taunting, demanding your attention. With each extra attempt to fix things, you can barely tell whether they're getting better or worse. Unfortunately, this is also one of those deluxe cubes, not the cheap ones that you can cheat by peeling the stickers off and putting them where you want.

By all accounts, things should be great. I've had a few significant milestones in the recent past. However, it seems like each time the top of the hill is reached, all it does is reveal more hills that it was obscuring from view last time. Throughout all of this is the undercurrent of frustration, that the goal keeps moving, and sometimes it seems difficult to decide what actually matters and what doesn't.

Game design is like that, too. You finish a project, it's amazing, you step back and admire it... and before the dust can settle, someone somewhere is demanding that you notice their amazing idea and make it come to life. I often wish that I was less polite. Almost as if being tolerant is a curse, an invitation for others to take advantage of it.

Much like the cube, though, it is impossible to really tell which path will end up with the best result. Until then, clanking armour plates will be good enough to keep things at bay, with the finger-rending gnash of armadillo teeth for those who fail to get it the first time. Fairly instinctive and uncontrolled in some ways, but then again I've never been very good at solving those cubes. Fortunately, mimicking their secure shape by rolling into a ball is always an option.