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Monday, December 24, 2007

Internet Connection Hibernation ... I mean, Merry Christmas!

Poopy Blog Entry!!


No I haven't been De-Evolutionized. But there will be a blogging stall for some time.

It's that time I've been getting ready for; my abstinece from the Internet. Unlike most lucky (rich, obsessive, society-deprived) people, I'm on a tight budget, thus can't afford to have an internet connection.

In fact, I have yet to pay for the previous rent from *MySis, back when I had an internet connection. MySis is great. She's practically supporting my Celcom's service and still lets me use her router at her house when she and her husband is out at work.

Not that I call or SMS'd a lot of people on a regular basis, mind you. Most of my pals communicate in online forums and are across oceans anyway.

We're decorating a Christmas tree desktop by putting random pictures on a Christmas tree background with no particular graphic rule except the theme has to be Christmas. It's still not finished though but I've made my contribution.

This is the actual desktop image for GW's Christmas tree, at the current stage of decorating. I'll post a new image when we finally get it done on Christmas Day, if ever (bah, humbug!).


Mine's the kid in the rocking horse and his two aunts helping him learn how to use it.


As you can see, we're a bunch of cheap art-character spriters having no sense of proper art. Just having the stupid fun of it all.

So just as I had forewarned you guys, I'm going offline for a while; reducing my blogging to Mondays or Sundays. So I won't be around for any Christmas Specials.

But hey! In the spirit of gift-giving and gift-getting (and all that multi-cultural-thingy our goverment had been trumpetting about), if you guys want a present from me, I got something in my Santa's sack that might appeal to all.

You know when you download a game's full version from Yahoo! or Big Fish Games but you can't play the full game itself unless you pay money? There's a couple of software tricks around that with no aversions to your PC and I got the download in my Mediafire service provider.

I should know because I'm still using the damn, awesome (strictly illegal) thing. Just put your name here and I'll have a reason to steal cyber cafe money for Tuesday morning.

With that said, enjoy your Malaysian Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

There’s an Ant, a Maggot and a Bee in my Bonnet.

It’s 0710 hours, barely an hour after I returned from slumberland (no connection to the mattress company, just so you know) that a disgusting myriad of tasks is out to get me. Namely, 3 species of infestation has decided to make my morning miserable.

Not including my father and my younger brother, mind you. They decided to be helpful by escaping to the mamak restaurant for breakfast, Horlicks-panas and male bonding. Which is good and all and so this way, I can do an impression of Desperate Housewife in private.

Well there’s no point for my inner brat to stomp. The Head Housewife, aka Mak, had already left yesterday morning for that Pontian trip with other non-household family members. She had already planned the impromptu Journey-to-Johor during the Aidil Adha gathering.

Forgiven, but the damned woman could have warned me. So what else is there to do? I tied my guts and started to work.

Antz.
Let’s start with the easiest problem, the colony on the floor.


Oh gee, if only I had a broom...


Due to the sickly sinful stench from the kitchen rubbish bin (and we all know that kitchen rubbish holds the best stuff), a ... swarm? Group? Pack? Er, whatever. English grammar fixing later.

Anyway, a lot of ants had taken over a section of the kitchen, right under the kitchen rubbish bin. Apparently, the liquid fermentation of Chemistry 101 in the bin was irresistible to these tiny, black, itchy dots.

My plan of attack was a page right out of Ant Bully movie. I flooded their project with a bucket of water and mopped them all up with floor cleaner. Yucks, but it cleans the floor too.

The most pressing task is the kitchen rubbish bin itself. Now that stinks!

Maggots.
Maggot (mag’eot), noun. 1. a soft-bodied, legless larva of certain dipterous insects.

That’s what my Webster dictionary says. I can describe it better.

OH F**KING CRAAAAAAAAAAAAAP...!

You see, when you don’t take out the trash every other day of the week, regardless of trash volume, yuck-yuck-yucky maggots start to spawn in your rubbish. Apparently, the men in my family did not take into account that I was STUDYING for my exam at the same time that my mother bailed out of the house, thus leaving kitchen rubbish bin to turn into White-Worm Condominium.

I care not to photograph the actual state of my kitchen rubbish bin, one part is that I care not to remember how it looked like every time I return to this blog and another part is that, at the time, my hands are too dirty to contaminate my very clean Sony Ericsson.

But as God has given us maggots and imagination, use your noodles on what lies on and within this blue plastic wrap.


Itty, bitty white stuff are doing the belly-flop-walk on the surface of this bag.


And this brings us to my third morning friend...

Bees.
In a page from Harry Potter’s Chamber of Secrets, the phrase ‘bee in your bonnet’ probably meant something that’s bothering a person. I suppose it’s a reminiscent of the days out of the classic Pride and Prejudice movie, when women wear these straw hats while taking garden walks.

I don’t have a bonnet, but I do have bees. About a colony the size of your fist and growing. And they had chosen an ingenious place to make their new home.


This. Is. My. Trash Box!


I was taking my Big Blue Bag of Smelly Stuff (bare-handed, by the way, I didn’t care to waste time looking for gloves) and opened the trash box when the trash box started to talk back at me. More of a groan-groan-hum, the kind of sound that 2 year old brats make when they don’t want to eat their veggies.

At first, either an invisible stray cat was dying in my trash box or the trash box itself had mutated to attempt to dirty-talk at me, did I notice a corner of the box and I had to shut it quickly. It’s not that I hate bees; it’s just that I didn’t expect to get up close, face-to-face, at 7 in the morning.

So I just left it like that, duct-taped my trash box against innocent curious bystanders. Really, I can handle ants and maggots but BEES are out of my level of experience. I’ve yet to inform the missing males of my family of our new guests.

All and all, I didn’t plan on starting my 3 weeks holiday with a starring role in an episode of Dirty Jobs (Discovery Channel, good show actually). But I should have expected it, really; I mean, who else but a housewife’s daughter get to lead such exciting life?

Aaah, screw it. When my little brother gets home, I’m going to shove the kitchen sink and the washing machine at him, then take a hot shower and go back to slumberland (no connection to the mattress company, just to remind you).

PS: Malay culture says that it’s good luck when a bee comes to your house but no really, does anybody know how to get rid of a small bee hive? I don’t plan on disturbing, say, the fire brigade, until somebody gets stung.

December's Dream Image Story: Follow the Mouse

COPYRIGHT CGSOCIETY


It was a mouse.

A small one, not a house rat but more of a woodland variety. Ireulun was not surprised. She was, after all, lost in a forest. But there were a few strange things about her current situation.

The most pressing one was that she did not, could not, remember how she found herself in the forest. There was a blank, a dark space, in between her last memory and the moment when she spotted the mouse. What has happened?

The other strange thing she felt concerned about was the forest itself. It was common enough; tall trees full of green leaves at the height of late summer. Trees as far as her eyes could see. There was nothing distinctive about the trees; Ireulun was never much a student of botany.

But despite the forest’s obvious largeness and health, there were no animals. No birds chirping in the canopy, no squirrels amongst the branches, no lizards basking in patches of sunlight on the forest floor. No animals in the silent, suspended stillness.

Except that small brown mouse.

Somehow, the sight of the only other living creature in the woods prompted Ireulun to approach it. The way it sat on the ground, so still and watching her, gave Ireulun the impression that it was... waiting. For her? To do what?

But when she approached the mouse, it retreated quickly. Darting through the underbrush and disappearing into the shadows. Ireulun gave a sigh of disgruntlement. So much for that. She supposed that she should had been looking for a way out of the forest.

“Hello?” she called out.
There was no answer. Ireulun tried again.
“Hello-ooo?”

But only her echo returned her call. Ireulun suddenly had the distinct impression that she was the only person around. Alone. Angels and ashes, how did she get here?

As she raked through her memories, a chrip called to her. More a squeak than a chirp but it was loud and clear. The mouse? Where is it? Ireulun turned towards the sound.

A few moments later, she saw it, the mouse. It was sitting under a straight light shaft, its brown fur tinged with the sun’s glow. It was... doing nothing. But then it chirped again, loud and clear as before.

Then suddenly, it bolted again into the ferns and tall grasses, disappearing from Ireulun’s sight. She blinked and frowned. Then the mouse’s chirped cried out though the forest’s gloom.

It was calling to her was the thought that came to Ireulun’s mind. Why? Her next thought was the mouse was a spirit of the forest, not unusual perhaps, for a forest this strange. Ireulun may not be a student of botany, but she was an observant student of history.

She looked closely at a tree trunk, studying its bark and leaves. The trees looked like something from a place she was once been as a child, a Region very far away where people lived in vine covered homes built on giant trees.

Ireulun touched gingerly at the leaves. Her finger traced the lines of the tree’s bark and deducted that the species of tree was very much like those tree-houses of that far-away Region. But such spindly vine-trees do not grow straight from the earth; they grow on other trees.

The sound of the chirp repeated, this time with a somewhat irritated nuance. Ireulun no longer felt curious. She felt cautious. Nonetheless, she followed the sound, followed the mouse.

With every step she took and every sight she glimpsed of the mouse flitting through the patches of sunlight, she spotted other things. Broken things. Man-made things. There was no question about it.

A long thin object she at first took for a twig jutting awkwardly out of the ground turned out to be a dirty old wizard’s staff. The intricate designs carved on the handle were recognizable to Ireulun as from the northern tribe in the grasslands of her home Region.

A few meters away were another long object, this time a rusty sword. Ireulun crouch down low to examine it. The blade was dark with rust, pitted with holes in certain places. It did not look as if it had been used or discarded in a fight. It looked as if it had been abandoned there, ignored and forgotten.

Like the wizard’s staff, the sword had a unique deign which Ireulun recognized. The swirly patterns on the hilt suggested a knight of a high order, from a war-torn nation that was also in her home Region.

Ireulun discarded the sword and for a moment, she strained her eyes to look though the darkness of her surroundings. Between two trees, she spotted what looked to be a large, open trunk-box. Beside a rather large rock were several pieces of glittery that, at a second look, turned out to be expensive jewelry. And close to her feet, not far from the rusty sword, were broken pieces of glass vials.

And there was more, misshapen, often broken, but indefinitely man-made objects all scattered around her, intersecting between shadows and brushwood. All of then had a neglected, abandoned, forgotten feel. Suddenly, a chill grew in Ireulun spine.

The atmosphere felt like that of a graveyard.

A now familiar chirp-squeak cuts through her reverie. The mouse. It was still ahead of her, still calling out to her from the deeper parts of the woods. Ireulun debated whether she should continue following the creature. What if it was leading her into a trap?

Almost against her will, her feet dragged her forwards, and onwards. Her curiosity, coloured by a slight sense of fear, made her cautious. As much as she wanted to leave the forest, she wanted to discover its secrets. Her instincts were telling her that the mouse may be a key to the mystery.

Ireulun pressed on, careful not to disturb the objects in her path. Eventually, the air seemed lighter, less oppressive. The gloom of the woods faded as the forest canopy was higher and less thick. Through the shafts of sunlight Ireulun could see further ahead and noticed that there were more open spaces between the trees.

The underbrush was thinner as well and for the first time in a while, she could see the little brown mouse clearly. It ran quickly, darting over fallen trees and large boulders but it was never too far from her sight.

Then, just out of the way of the trees, Ireulun came to a wide clearing. It was a larger empty space, larger than any of the forest clearing she had been through. She could see high above the canopy, the tree branches. To her eyes, the tall trees and its branches intersect in an unusual way, giving the illusion of narrow windows flying buttresses. Just like in cathedrals.

No sooner had that thought entered her mind, she felt a familiar chill, only more welcoming than before. She felt as if she was in a sanctuary, a holy place. Looking on the ground around her, there was none of those pieces of neglected objects she had seen before.

And then there was the mouse. It sat in a shaft of light, a brighter sunbeam than any in the forest. It watched her, its small eyes stared at her with an almost expectant fixation. On impulse, Ireulun crept closer to it, so close, bending so low until she could touch it.

But then the mouse bolted into a tiny hole she did not notice before, a nest-like entrance made of dried grass. A mouse home, perhaps. Ireulun felt dejected. The mouse had done nothing more than just trying to get away from her.

So much for the mysteries of the strange forest.

But then, bending over the nest, she felt cool flat stone underneath her hand. Ireulun brushed away the fallen leaves and dried tufts of grass. What she uncovered was indeed a stone tablet, flat and large, like a tombstone that had fallen over. She traced the engraved words.

The alphabet was recognizable but the language was old. Ireulun looked through her mind, trying to remember her learning. She reads the words and translated them in her mind.

The Forest of Silence

If you can read this, it means that you are now a prisoner in the Forest of Silence. Here you shall stay in permanent solitary confinement for the rest of your living days, or until the Psychic Order reinstate a review of your criminal case, whichever comes first.

The trees will bear fruit, the roots can be eaten and the spring waters are clean and plentiful. But take the rest of your time and make your peace with the angels.


As she read, Ireulun’s hand shook with anxiety. At the bottom of the tablet was some additional writing, in the current language used that she recognized instantly. Unlike the rest of the message, the additional words were crudely craved, as if by a pointed stone rather than a chisel.

Angels knows I am innocent.

Ireulun felt a deep void grew within her. The forest she was in was actually a prison. An old prison for people to be forgotten. To be ignored. To be lost.

But how did she got here?

“Forest of Silence...” she whispered.

Suddenly she felt light-headed and dizzy. She struggled to remain conscious but the beam of light of which she was in began to grow brighter and hotter. Her hands shook, her body was paralyzed in the rising heat, though the stone tablet under her hands remained cool. Ireulun shook her head hard, her hands grabbing handfuls of soft dirt and grass.

But then the bright light waned. And slowly disappeared.

She opened her eyes slowly. Ireulun was in her familiar bedroom, in her familiar bed. Her hands were clutching the folds of her bedding. Light was growing through the windows as dawn approached and brought her to wakefulness.

As her breathing slowed to normal, Ireulun brushed the sweat off her feverish forehead. It was a dream. The forest, the mouse, the stone tablet had been a dream.

Hadn’t it?

She turned to the desk beside her bed. On the desk were all her history and geography books, some lay open on its spine. An unfinished graph, a map of Ireulun’s home Region, lay open, waiting for her to continue drawing its mountainous ranges and coastlines.

As a student of history, she had been working on mapping the south-east corner of her home Region, an distant and unknown territory known for centuries as ‘impassable, dense woodlands’.

Ireulun now knows what she has to do.

She has to go to the Forest of Silence.

Next: January's Journey (2008)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

A Friend’s Artwork for the Year’s End

Lately, I’ve been using this blog partially as a developer’s log for this project. Consider that as part of my motivational reward since it’ll be a freebie by next year’s end. Afterall, where else am I going to promote this project but in my own site?

Naah, I’m fooling with you folks. I just don’t want to think about my exam that’s coming up in a few hours. Yeah, let’s put the blame on that.

And so the artwork for this week is somewhat of (not to say lower quality, but...) a younger experienced artist by whom I had been ‘glomp’-ing out on a regular basis, Nessiah.

Nessiah aka Enexodia aka Archeia aka Jasmin aka Expialidocious is a Filipino girl who just moved to Findon, Australia and is probably getting ready for her first Christmas outside of South East Asia. She’s working on Unlocking Pandora’s artworks for free.

A freelance artist (who could be paid to do this thing) is actually making my game project for free (Let’s emphasize on the word, ‘for FREE!’). And I only gave her some illegal key-generators programs as Christmas presents to unlock those pesky 60-minutes-only downloaded games, so what does that say about me? Cheap? Oww...

It started on some help on battle animations but then I decided she’s really got great art sense so I asked her to do some artwork and character art. Hey, I didn’t expect Marvel comics or Hong-Kong-type mangas but this one’s actually very nice.



Nessiah did this one in GW.net forums. It’s a portrait of my female protagonists parents, Feladie and Iqeas. In the project storyline, the portrait will play a strong role in Act03 on plot discovery and character development.

What kind of plot development? Oh, puh-leze. That’s a major spoiler. Even Nessiah doesn’t know what the mini details of the portrait actually represents (haha!).

But I’m glad she liked the project. She even made an MS Paint tutorial about them. But as usual, clear-headed as she is (cue lightly implied sarcasm here), she wrote in Feladie and Keea, instead of Iqeas.

But I supposed that there’s no harm done because Keea, my main character, is named after her mother, Iqeas. Sort of. The Wolf and the Wildflower story tells another tale though, but I ain’t telling you fellas that either. Not yet anyway.

All part of the ‘hyping’ rule (Hype! Hype! Hype!).

If you will excuse me, I declare this week’s image blog entry done. Now I got to run for the watch-shoppe because though I remembered to bring my calculator, I forgot to buy batteries.

Crap.

Friday, December 21, 2007

An Empty, Open Future Lies Before Me...



Pretty much, I feel like the whipped guy in this GIF pic. Made this one ages and ages ago for a map contest in GW.net forums, mainly because I had just completed a pixel art character marathon of making all nine characters a ‘whipped’ look.

Though, only this blue female character will have a Pink Feather Duster of Whipping. Consider it as Special Combative Weaponry for Girls against Guys-With-Stupid-Questions. Works with game animated guys too.

Back to Me, like I said; I’m feeling for the whipped guy. It’s not because my exams are on tomorrow (note to self, bring calculator) or that I’m suffering a stomach-ache from yesterday meat-feast (I think... potato salad. Mm-mmm...). And no I’m not taking my medicine anymore (ran out of antibiotics anyway).

It’s the lazy girl syndrome.

Haha, nothing serious to report. Because after this exams, I’m going to face a 3-and-a-half weeks of completely empty days. No more driving to school, no more traffic jams and no more over-heating radiator, no more Touch n’ Go card mishaps (I have the propensity to loose my card in even the safest situations, like the card falling out of my hand while I’m drinking Milo from a styrofoam cup).

It’s not that I have completely empty-empty-empty hours for the days ahead. I’m planning on spending most of it in front of my PC, working the kinks out of my game storyline and code programming, next to a process of pixel art-making.



Then maybe run out to the Curve and stay at the Borders bookstores for long, my parents started calling for police and public assistance for my rescue (they almost did once, since I’ve ran way from home before). I don’t have any more money to buy books, which is a bummer, but at least I can take time to spend more hours with my old friend, Astro’s Animax.

So I like anime. Sue me.

And let’s not forget the cyber cafes. I’m cutting it back though, since I won’t be using the school’s workstation. So when I do blog, I’ll probably post up to 3 or so entries between a period of 4 or 5 days of Shadow Pimpernel’s quietness. Just to warn you guys ahead of schedule.

Repetitions of those activities aside, I really do have empty days. I don’t know the state of my school grades so there’s no point worrying about whether if I could or I could not get that thesis paper v2.0 for next semester.



And there’s no point in whipping myself if I don’t score for that. But the faculty can’t say I didn’t apply for the course. The twist-in-this-tale is that they won’t allow students to send in their own proposals starting next year.

Which means, I can only choose projects as written by the lecturer. Damn. I’ve been working on my game project specifically for thesis paper v2.0 (I’m Multimedia Majored, by the way). On the off-side, I know the faculty’s MultimediaHead pretty okay so the best I can wait during this long holiday is try to convince her to use my development tool as ‘reliable’.

Yeah, right, since when did things ever get to go my way? If I do figure something out that could convince MultimediaHead, I just might whip myself with glee with the Pink Feather Duster of Whipping.

Happy Aidil Adha 2006! ... sorry, 2007!

It’s the same as last year and the year before that and the year before that as well. Family coming from everywhere, crashing into the Batu Arang House and bringing pot-luck food which you can only pray that it’s digestible.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Okay, I know I’ve been pretty cynical about my family (because I wanted to) and that’s because it’s the truth. And that I wanted to.

Ayah is a busybody, Mak doubly so, (between the two of them, nothing gets done in time). My eldest brother *Arsenal is still being plagued with “Why aren’t you married yet?” inquisitions, my sister... MySis... had to bail quickly so she can suffer her husband’s family as well and my younger brother *Genius is so blur, he’s deploying his ‘whatever’ attitude.

For a genius, my little brother had to ask my parents, “Where are we going for Hari Raya Haji?”

Oh geez, Genius. Let’s see, we have a map of Batu Arang. We’re all leaving at 1030, 1100 and 1130 hours, depending on who is not ready and whose car is running for the last 10 minutes.



Mak borrowed PakSu’s Nissan van so she can transport the barbecue, turning the seven-men vehicle into a 2-and-a-half-men-plus-oversized-barbecue-set vehicle. Oh, and we do this every year so my brother really HAD to ask.

Me? I’m sick dammit. If I didn’t prepare myself for a stomach of steel, I would have literally made myself v-o-m-i-t. And it’s rude to barf up your aunt’s rendang so soon after you’ve swallowed it.

The thing is... I liked my family gathering holidays.

No really. I do. A lot. There are times when I think I shouldn’t be feeling so darn happy to see my close relations.



I mean, I’m surrounded by my mom’s 9 brothers and sisters and each one of them had multiplied to an average of 5 children each so that’s 45 cousins on all fronts. Several of my cousins had multiplied as well so that’s a total of 5 or so ‘little people’ running everywhere, getting into trouble so their elders can scream at me, “Why didn’t you watch them?!”

Do the math. I have a big family. Big Freaking Malay Family. If you’re not tripping over the little people, you’re being cornered by 2 aunts (my mom’s sisters travel in packs) so they can ask you everything about yourself since they already know how many diapers you use a day, back in the days when you had diapers.


Don’t they look like brothers? Cousins? No... they are uncle and nephew.


Of course, some of my cousins are celebrating with their in-laws or that they couldn’t come home from overseas so the total number had been helpfully reduced this year. Oh, one of my cousins brought a tourist with him, a Muslim convert from USA.

The guy was born in Malaysia actually (or so I’ve been force-fed the info) to a pair of globetrotting professor parents. *TanFace, my cousin, brought him over from Massachusetts to experience Hari Raya Haji in Malaysia.



“Clan Jailani, meet *Abdul-Something.”
“Abdul-Something, meet Clan Jailani. Now you’re the flavour of this year’s Haji. Brace yourself.”

My father, Ayah, was at awe. Ayah was self-learning bits and pieces of Arabic so he’s trying to impress Abdul-Something with his lame Arabic vocabulary (it turns out that Abdul-Something is an Arabic teacher). In return of listening to Ayah, Abdul-Something gets a bit of Ayah birthday cake.


It’s raining in Batu Arang... but that’s not going to stop the cow slaughtering!


That went on and on until after the lunch hour passed and the men left to send our family’s 2 cows for slaughter at the local ‘surau’. Then the meat-feast begins with Barbecue Party (just like last year).

Sorry Abdul-Something. Hary Raya AidilFitri is all the traditional food eating. Hari Raya Haji is when Clan Jailani eats Western. And Westerners are delicious. Especially the pale, skinny, Half-Dutch-half-Irish origin.

All and all, like I said, I reluctantly enjoyed my Hari Raya Aidil Adha 2007. Because unlike most families, Clan Jailani actually made the effort to keep in touch with each other throughout the years, even after my grandparent’s deaths.

I got an uncle’s family living within walking distance from my school and another uncle’s family within my house area. And the latter uncle’s wife, my aunt, has HER family within walking distance as well.


Cheap and lazy photograph copy of my mom’s family.


And every year, every body converges into Batu Arang (eldest uncle’s house) for whatever holiday they can drag their children too. Heck, even NOT-HOLIDAY, like cousin’s new house, aunt’s job promotion, whatever, is an excuse to get as much as mom’s 9 brothers and sisters under one roof.

With food. Golden rule; must bring food.


However, stray birds that flew into peoples’ homes by mistake, need not stay.


The family will be having another biggie gathering again in 2 months or so. It’ll be a family discussion on one of my aunt’s medical bills, the bungalow rents and late grandfather’s pineapple farm in Pontian. Maybe this time it’ll be in the uncle’s house in Kelana Jaya or maybe the aunt’s house in Seremban.

How the hell should I know? We do this every year. Oh hell, we do this on average every three months for freaking sakes! It’s just the same like every other gathering. Bring food, bring family members and bring gossip.

It’s just that Hari Raya Haji gives the excuse to indulge even more and maybe bring a tourist friend or so. Just like last year. Or like the last super gathering at Aidil Fitri, barely 2 months ago (aunt’s house in Seremban, I passed some books to my cousin, TanFace).

Funny enough, I wouldn’t have it any other way...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Thesis Project Strikes Back!

Just when I thought I have heard the last of my thesis project, out pops a ‘ding-dong’ SMS music from my Sony Ericsson. Normally, it would have been some random AhLong wanting to give me a Christmas special offer (borrow money now and get a FREE microwave!), but surprise, surprise, it was Supervisor.

Oh for jeezes’ sake, what did I do now? The message was a shortie, just asking me to come up for presentation today in the faculty office. I had wished that she mistaken me for another random student who didn’t show up for their presentation D-Day so I just messaged back, asking exact time.

Apparently, Supervisor knew she got the right stupid kid when she SMS’d me back, asking for an 11am interview.

Damn...

Normally, I loved presentation. I do. I got A+ in public speaking co-curriculum and was the co-head of my group. My software engineering class didn’t have a bad presentation either. I can speak well, dress well and as long as I can focus on the subject matter, technical difficulties be damn’d.

But I DON’T feel focused today. I haven’t eaten breakfast. My head is still woozy-oozy-dizzy and it feels like my stomach wants to be woozy too (I think I have self-fermenting crack in my system that my body doesn’t want to share with me).

And so here I am at school, making a few last-minute touches on my system. At least the service provider is working (BOTH backup and backup’s backup). I don’t know who else is playing the music to my project grade but frankly, I don’t care to focus too much on it right now.

I’m getting ready for what I call ‘Internet Connection Hibernation’. It’s the time when I don’t have enough cash to access to the cyber cafes anymore AND I’m going to work on my pixel characters.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Image Hosted by ImageShack.us


These are my old stuff but just to give you an idea. I have nine of these guys to art out, and all nine have about 4 or 5 semi-custom poses to design. It’s going to take a while to do them and I work better if I don’t get tempted to drive back and forth between PC and source of Internet.

Furthermost after my presentation today (just to remind myself incase I forgot), I’m going to do an outline of all my characters and then submit them to my artist. She’s doing character art for free but she hadn’t worked on mine at all.

So I’m going to pass her as much story spoilers as I could just to get her an idea of the game structure, and then let her decide if she still wants to do them.

Of course, considering if I may or may not still be alive after this surprise presentation today. It’s 9:30am on the Monday before Aidil Ad’ha and I’m the one feeling like a cow to her execution.

Whoops, there goes my ‘ding-dong’ SMS again. With any luck, it’s an AhLong giving me a Christmas special offer.

Monday, December 17, 2007

My Things-To-Do List

Due to the fact that my concentration, motivation and common sense are all having a drunken party in my brain (and not inviting me), I’ve made a list of all the things I need to get done for this week before my memory gets dragged into the cough-syrup fray.

Things to do:

01-Get assignments done.
02-Study for SE exams.
03-Take medicine.
04-Submit second thesis application form.
05-Finish the rest of December’s Dream story.
06-Outline the endings for game project.
07-Take medicine.
08-Zip and upload Christmas presents for IRC pals.
09-Post more messages in GW and Guiltforge forums.
10-Take medicine.
11-Update Sony Ericsson phone.
12-Clean room (also include vacuuming the mattress).
13-Arrange own lunch.
14-Take medicine.
15-Make time to finish Aveyond game.
16-Harass Nessiah for her novella.
17-Harass self to take medicine.
18-Keep up to date with news.
19-Browse FSM site for new material.
20-Eat that salami.
21-Stay away from homicidal baby nephew.
22-Take medicine.
23-Finish up Mom’s tandoori chicken.
24-Get to GW IRC chatroom ASAP!
25-Download new mp3 songs.
26-Take medicine.
27-Buy shampoo.
28-Get back the Dresden Files series from cousin.
29-Check the car for tyres, radiator, etc.
30-Take the damn medicine.

Most of the things in the list I don’t think I’ll go ahead to do it urgently (when I could think at all), but at least I know that I got my priorities laid out.

I don’t like it that my head still feels woozy, maybe doubly than most normal people because I have had low-blood pressure all my life and is prone to faints.

Oh crap.
Now where the hell did I put my freaking medicine?

Better late than... okay, no excuse.

It’s the mental grinding time. I got 3 days including today to submit my assignments and my second thesis application and work up a schedule for next semester AND try not to fail any subjects this time. I’m running out of money as it is. Not that I’ve haven’t been running out of money anyway. Money, money, money. The root of all stomach-aches.

So it’s to my surprise that a week had already passed since I gifted you fellows the eye-candy for your desktop. I could say that I had to rush around the various Image Galleries, Personal Galleries, Hosting Galleries and the Galleries R’ Us sites to look for something you guys might drool over.

But actually, I had a back-up of supplies.



Oleg Karrasev, copyright 2001, from his/her private gallery. I found this in the distant past when I was a member of a writing group that tags other members to continue their stories. It’s still there but since I’m no longer a member, I won’t advertise (I’m a b**ch that way).

But the nature of the writing group had intrigued, thus the idea of surfing for images that would visually inspire to aid in story development. This flower by artist Karrasev (by the way, Google thinks ‘Oleg Karrasev’ is a virus. Heh) was for a story of which a ‘jewel of the forest was the secret to a saviour’s powers’. I’ll let you fill in the blanks.

For my own story of what this image represents... nothing. Nah, I didn’t really have anything to pin it to my Imaginary-World-Ideas. Maybe a piece or two to one of the more magical realms of the World but really, I just post this picture here just to share.

After all, sharing doesn’t cost money and I had time to spare. Well, yeeeeeeah I was suppose to post this image up yesterday but better late than... okay, no excuse.

Now go decorate your desktop or something (hahaha!).

Game Project Update: The Storyline.

Since I had a little time to sit back and think non-stressful thoughts that might aggravate my fever (heh, more aggravating actually), I had time to play some of the 1001-or-so downloaded games I’ve haven’t had the chance to play. On the top of my list was Aveyond. I had always wanted to try it out but only recently I’ve cracked a full-version file out of it.

Aveyond isn’t a new game nor was it made with any high-tech type of game engine. It was made in ye’olde RMXP, released last year by Amaranth Games, a sequel to a previous free-to-download project, Ahriman’s Prophecy.

I’ve played the older, free-to-download game ages and ages ago and though the gameplay was good, the storyline was nothing super, just the average linear concept. But Aveyond was something different. Not patient enough to take the game on the scenic play, I opened the spoiler guide to read the rest of the storyline.

Heh.

Oh, come on. It’s not cheating when I just want to know what things play out. Look, I’m just skimming through the plot puzzles, the NPC facts, the... er, okay, I’m cheating. So might as well get it all out and say that I cheat at a lot of PC games. If the game I’m playing has no cheat codes, I’ll look for a trainer. If I ever had the chance to get a PS3, I’ll buy Gameshark port as well.

All and all, I don’t play games for the gameplay (which is a sin not to enjoy gameplay, a blasphemy should my buddies in GW heard me). Instead, I like games for the storyline.

Cheat codes help me breeze through the game so I won’t have to spend so much time on it, thus enabling me to proceed with other games and more new games in the least amount of time. There’s no shame in being a game whore.

Which brings us back to Aveyond. It’s not the game itself that make me decide to adjust the storyline of my own game project, Unlocking Pandora, but it was the deciding factor. A lot of the better games had been chosen by the public as best-to-play have multiple endings segments. Like the visual novels Tsukihime and Fate Stay Night. Heh, even free Flash Games comes in multiple endings (see my previous entry, Other Age).

My game is divided into 4 chapters; Act I, Act II, Act III and Act IV. Storywise, the entire project is done, right down to the words uttered by aimlessly working NPC (non-playable-characters) in the villages/outpost/seaport/mouldy cave.

But since I wanted to convert it into a more choice-based oriented plot, this is going to take a lot of thinking. Especially since I’ve already cemented halfway through Act I. Fortunately, I don’t think it’ll be anything too dramatic.

Though the game focuses on my female protagonist, there are other characters that will play equally important roles in the plot; thus, deserving of their individual endings. So depending on player choices in certain situation, frequent use of that character in battle and/or tasks and so on and so on, the final Epilogue will be of the most chosen supported character’s ending.

This is going to be a major challenge since I’ve created nine characters (including the protagonist) which mean I’ll have to outline ten endings, an extra as the chief ending. I think I can pull this off from theory to coding. I don’t think it’s going to dramatically prolong the work either.

Ooo, some of the GW-ers is going to squeeze milk-money out of this one. I once proclaimed to the forum boards at large that I’ll never do a multiple-ending type game (due to it’s being an overused concept).

But as this is a case of Classic-Not-Generic, I must bow to the tried-and-true reason. I just wish I didn’t like it so much.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Flu bug bit me hard, but...

If there’s anything I hated than overpriced medicine, it’s staying the sickly lane. So I finally got my gumption and took that trip to the doctor. He prescribed all the usual stuff; antibiotics, fever medicine, lozenges, the whole nine yards.



Charged me RM40+ for them all. It may not be much for some of you rich folks but I’m an undergrad with a stingy male parental unit who never hesitate to remind me that every stitch of clothing I’m wearing belongs to his money.

And so this morning I left home before my mother could show my father the receipt, on the pretense that I have class. It helped that I usually do have class on Saturday mornings but this Saturday I don’t because it’s already the start of examination week at school, thus all classes ended and the mental grinding begins.

I had taken only two subjects this 3-month semester; my project thesis and software engineering. I haven’t submitted the assignments for the latter course, mostly because I just don’t feel like it.

It’s a lazy girl’s attitude but since the lecturer hadn’t stressed so much on it and she allowed the assignments to be submitted as long as it’s before the exams so if she’s cool with it, I’m cool with it.

I’m cutting short this blog entry for now. Must be the cough syrup ol’Doc Dollersigns gave me; side-effect includes sleepy-ness. I took some Nescafe-O before I drank the stuff but apparently cough syrup trumps over caffeine.

Just give me forty winks and maybe I’ll get a more interesting idea when I get up. I hope I don’t snore too much as I’m still at the school’s workstation. But since it’s examination week, a student’s desktop-nap might be forgiven.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Flash Game: Other Age by Zeiva.

Firstly, thanks to Nessiah for her kick-starting my addiction to flash games. I hope your first Christmas in Australia has the summer weather burn your ass and your family pizza dinner.

If, like me, you liked multiple choice then you must have dreaded all the subjective questions in your secondary school exams. Every question has a 25% of being right and 75% of being wrong. And every question plays a role in determining your score as either an A, B, C and etc, etc.



Pretty much, that’s how you start Other Age, a flash game by Zeiva (who made 5 other flash games, alongside with a gazillion and one superb artwork). A round of multiple choice questions. Hey, not that I’m complaining because this is a really great game. Addictive too.

You play a princess who woke up to her 16th birthday. Tradition in the Zeiva kingdom is that you get to go on a blind date with a gentleman based on the choices you’ve input into this crazy machine that’s a 1/2 a teleporter and 1/2 anR2D2 with fork arms.



Yes, the machine is called that way. Don’t ask me why, I just play the damn thing.

By the way, every gentleman that is transported to you was done so unwillingly so your first challenge was to explain that you’re not going to rape them or anything. Once you figure out what kind of guy you’ve bombed yourself with, pick a date-setting they might like and get starting (cafeteria, library, etc, etc...).



For example, this is my first guy, Neody, bodyguard to Prince Lenz (he’s also my favourite guy). He enjoys long walks in the woodlands so I’ve chosen the, er, woodlands. But like every other dating game, trouble starts and thus I’m plunged into a search-and-rescue survival mission.

Also known as a mini game.



Different guys get you different mini games. Like if your multiple choice got you Zoui (a hungry guy from Zeiva’s other flash game, Genetic Glow), your mini game is to serve him as much good food with the time limit (emphasis on GOOD food). Win and you get Zoui’s Date True Ending. Fail and Zoui gets send back with many apologies from the King and he gets blasted by his friends as in ‘where the heck have you been?’ interrogation.



The same principles go for all your chosen guys. Each possessed a ‘true ending’ when you score and several ‘failed endings’, all depending on how badly you did. There are about 8 guys you can easily find and 2 ‘secret’ guys that are going to take some considerable skill in the multiple choices Luv-Luv robot’s questions to look for.



Warning! Beware of this guy! This is the man you DO NOT want to end up with. Trust me; it’s bad enough just looking at him (worse than some real-life guys I know) but it took me several tries to finally find a method to really get rid of him. You just have to punch his lights out.

The creators of the game kept to the secrecy in their sellable art book, so you’ll have to do some real money purchasing in order to find all the full Other Age secrets (hey, the girls got to make a living).

I have scored on all 8 guys and with the help of a great blog reader I also found the last 2 secret guys! Haha, not what I expected for either of them.

Overall, I duly recommend this game.
Link: http://zeiva.deviantart.com/art/Other-Age-39931316

Again, thanks to Nessiah. You Filipino wuss.
PS: Your Christmas present had been sitting in my file service provider for days. Can’t I just e-mail you the link and let you temp yourself to download it?

PPS: Interesting... My stats show that this blog entry is widely viewed. If you want to know how to get the all 10 guys and win their (mini games) hearts, do leave a note and I'll give the answer.


Flash Game: Grow Island.

Now if you’re a regular visitor here, you would probably guess I liked games a lot. Just between you, me and the rest of bloggers around the world, if I were a cheap junkie living in Money-land suburbia, I’ll whore myself to the industry indefinitely. Give me your number and I’ll give you my virginity in exchange for your Xbox 360.

No, not really, not for games.
I’m still saving my soul for the perfect sex partner.

Passing over the subject before you start touching yourself, I made a point of playing around the internet looking for hosted Flash Games. You know those nice small programs with more graphic than game features but also get you these instant amateur gamers’ high (which I call quick-gasm). For today’s model I present Grow Island.



It’s not much to look at, the style is simplistic and the interface comes in only two languages (japanese and japanglish). But I liked it mostly because it’s very cute.

What? I’m a girl, dammit. Let me be cute-conscious.

The objective of the game is to click the little square boxes at the bottom of the screen in the correct order. Each box represents a department of development, like architecture or engineering or computer science. Damn nerdy japfags.



You get a different ending depending on your order of choice but there’s only 2 true ending. One is the maximum levels for all the departments and you get the happy ending. The other true ending is when you ignore certain things like the natural environment and engineering progression.



When that happens, aliens take over your island and proceed to screw up your island better than you did. Little green men kidnapped your alpha-male and multiply with your woman before they do a jig-jig-jiggity around their crop-circle.

Cute factor aside, it was a great fun if you’re looking for something that doesn’t take too much of your time. I particularly liked the robots of mechanical engineering (it evolves as your upgrade your other departments). Took me a week to finally get both 'true' endings.

If you’re looking for the game, link is here: http://www.gamegecko.com/growisland.php

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go take a cold shower. Because my next Flash Game segment is about a girl and all her potential boyfriends as her sweet 16th birthday present.

We’re a very sick team.

The folks who said that laughter is the best medicine probably didn’t mean it was for the PC. My computer just had an attack of pop-up ad-ware, all proclaiming sites to either ‘Have a Joke a Day’, ‘Click for a Smiley’ or ‘Malays Can Laugh’ or ‘How to Enlarge Your Penis for Your Girlfriend’.

Between you and me, I think the latter over-sickens all the formers. Which is probably why my PC is having a bough of coughing up pop-up those kinds of advertising every 10 seconds of so.

Come type in my computer and I assure you that you’ll going to have sore throats and be feverish in just two days. Hey, not kidding; my PC had been sick for a very long time and only now I’ve decided to update my anti-virus. Check it out.



Once you can distract yourself from the freaking bright, red words, notice I had to turn off my connection to keep the pop-ups at bay (but not away though). It’s more annoying than malicious and I can still run non-porn programs and stuff.

But hey, 85 sick files. And an ungodly number of them are in my backup hard drive too. I hadn’t updated my anti-virus since November so it shouldn’t be a surprise. And so why the renewed interest in care and concern?

It’s because I’m sick too.



Duh. Did you you think I got sore throats and turn feverish from my PC? Puh-lez. I must have got it from my little brother, *Genius (we shared a cup of juice before he told me that he was bio-hazardous). He’s home for his long holidays and like the nerd he is, spends time watching the History Channel and the Numbers series on AXN and not a lots of sun and fresh air.

All that indoor activity must have been strenuous to his immune system. At least he could have told me so I could have armed MY system with Vitamin C. But hey, if I hadn’t been sick, I probably would have left my anti-virus the way it was.

I don’t have an internet connection (I update this blog from cyber-cafĂ©) because I don’t have a fixed line (poor housing renovations some years back by my father, the other ‘Genius’) and my cellphone’s Celcom charges an arm and a leg per hour. Updates had to be done folder-ly and the reminder just passed me by like a Post-It-Note in the wind.

Now I did get around updating my anti-virus, it took me a full night to get AVG run through all the junk in my trunk, looking for every piece of file you stick a red-coloured tag on. At pretty much the same time, I’m popping in Panadols and gurgling salty water, standing in front of the bathroom mirror.

It’s not that I have an aversion to clinic doctors, it’s just them quacks wants to rake in the most money by sticking high-performance anti-biotics and 3 different kinds of cough syrup and I can’t afford all that.

But at least my PC is clean now. Slow as ever, no internet connection, but the ‘Happy-Happy Super-size My Manhood’ pop-up (oh God, the last 8 words, taken out of context, just sounded... so wrong) don’t pop-up anymore. I don’t know why people think it’s funny. It’s not even medicinal. Funny is a cheap Malay joke I’ve heard on the radio recently.

“What do you call... a very happy burger?”
Ber-gembira...”

Haha, okay, that joke wasn’t medicinal either. I’m still sick, but for myself, I do feel a bit better. It’s healthy to be easily amused...

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Eccentricity Galore.

The thing about having that empty period between the last class of the semester and the day of the exams (note to self; 22 December at 2pm) is that you suddenly found the freedom to do something you’ve been planning forever to want to do.

Like driving to Borders and read the books for free for hours. Play computer games until your eyes bleed. Or, I don’t know. Get naked. Hide under the bed covers in the middle of the day. Turn the air-conditioning at full blast. Use your-, er, wait, don’t use your imagination.

Instead, feast eyes on this pretty image this week.



Heh, I cheated. I’ve presented two images. Step up two character images of which I’ve found and fell in love with. The first one is from the artist Michelle Chuang for the book, Legend of the Vampire. I found this beautiful work of hers in, yes, CGSociety.

The second is a work titled Winter Wolf by Heise, which you can tell since the artist stamped his name right in the middle of the picture (oh gee, I can only guess why...). His was discovered during a random browsing of DeviantArt.

The What’s-The-Deal-And-Why I liked them is because they both match very perfectly in the Imaginary-World-Ideas I had floating in me for some years. In fact, these two I’ve unofficially chosen as character art for this novella I was working on for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) two years back (failed to complete by the way) called The Wolf and The Wildflower.

The female is character Roberta Warrens, Countess of Knightley. She had humble beginnings as an armourer’s daughter but now lives in a bustling capital city of a magical nation and holds a high position in the echelons of society.

She had worked hard for her position but she holds many secrets; most of them concern her late husband, Earl of Knightley himself. She has much skill in dual-armed combat with her tri-metal swords.

The male character would be the real main character of the story. His name is Cedric, one part mercenary, one part secret servant to the controversial foreigner, Duke of Sagecrest and all other parts soon to be revealed in the story.

He’s trying to secret a package across the border and he needed Lady Knightley’s illegal smuggling operation to do it since he himself as a foreigner was unused to the nation’s environment. He’s really a ice-mage and a political agent to boot.

And I’ll let you fill in the blanks yourself. I will tell you this though; The Wolf and The Wildflower story is the prologue to this project. Maybe once I build enough skill points in ‘Time Management’, I’ll complete the story and post it up here. Oh and this doesn’t mean I’m backing out on next week’s image, no worries.

Just to let you guys know, if I ever do have problems updating this blog for any reason (such as busy, on leave, death in the family, eating pizza...), I'll post this image:



On another note, I have not yet started on composing a story for the December’s Dream image. The week has been either incredibly hectic or absolutely boring. You know... the feeling you get when every mental capability is just too blocked to function properly. Kind of like writer’s block, on the life-sized scale which encompasses your, er, life.

And attitude. I think. Whatever.

I plan to start on it as soon as I’m done working on my assignments, which can take between two days to never. I just have the full complete idea in my head but trying to put it down into a structured composition needs some oiling on the old creativity door in my brain.

I had to have it locked shut for duration of project-making, for a good reason. There a monster in that part of me I need to keep it down; most difficult was during NaNoWriMo last month, which I sadly have to decline participation.

But, hey! Since I could hardly keep things in my own head anyway, what do I know? I’m hiding naked under the bed covers in the middle of the day with the air-con at full blast. Make up your own stories about me then we’ll talk about the eccentricity to exchange in ribbon-wrapped idea boxes.

Trying to understand the HINDRAF

Now I’m not one for politics. Never had. Nope. No sir-ee. I’m practically mindset on the stuff that I just went Country-Leader?-Whatever during any kind of elections.

In fact, the only thing about politics I’ve ever come close to is this really cute and sophisticated guy I had a major crush on in secondary school; at 17 and already had aims for a high position in Barisan Nasional (that’s a political party for you non-my-countrymen).

And no, I’ve never heard from him since I left school so there’s no sudden re-acquaintanceship that might had invoked this new interest in the current political events. I suppose I’m just like every other sheep in the flock that just grouped together in the currents of a moving force.

It’s the HINDRAF movement.

So far I’ve only got a mildly half-hearted sense of curiosity on the What’s-The-Big-Deal, but I feel like it’s really something I should know about. Really, really know about. I’m neither politically-minded nor Hindu (nor being anti-Hindu for that matter). But I do support, steadfastly support, the right to freedom of speech.

Because I believe that suppression to freedom of speech leads to suppression of the individual mind. If you don’t say something (say an opinion), you loose your right to voice your ideas, your support. Thus, loosing your chance to make your life as part of your nation.

But the HINDRAF confuses me. Sure, I got the idea behind it. A race of people which the nation’s former colonial paleskins had brought over from India to turn into part-slaves as the paleskins suck the money-milk out of the rubber trees, laboured studiously by the part-slaves.

Now the descendents wants their money back from... the English? At least around 8 figures too. And they did a street protest last November 25th, even though their permit to protest peacefully had been rejected. It ended bloodily but not in a bloodbath. From what I’ve heard, it seemed that riot the police got the most injuries.

But then again, it’s probably hard for the newspaper reporters to interview members of the HINDRAF when they’re still running all over Kuala Lumpur, throwing sticks and stones. I was working on my thesis report during that riot event (it was due the following Monday, all 120+ pages of it) so I didn’t read the news fresh-of-the-press.

What interest me were the ones the newspaper did not report. There were no physical damages to the surrounding shops other than business having a slight down-time. The only vehicles damages were the police cars themselves. Nobody set anything on fire.

And Newton’s Law said that for every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction; thus the police had reported injuries but the newspaper didn’t report the injuries of HINDRAF members though. Maybe soaking wet and tear-bombed but that was just it.

More evidence that our newspapers are biased. Of course, if I were a really prejudiced girl, I’ll say that the government is completely controlling the hardcopy media, just as they did for years and years in Tun Dr. M’s reign of supremacy. In some ways that are subtle, I believe it so.

So now that the HINDRAF are claiming ethic cleansing of many, many of their people and they’re taking that matter to international level. The government then counters by saying the HINDRAF has links with the terrorist groups in India and Sri Lanka. And maybe that’s why New Delhi refuses to meet the HINDRAF leader. It’s turning into an ugly spitting, scratching contest.

Beyond the Fight Club agenda, I’m trying to get more information, for myself, about the group, its objectives and the motivation behind it. I want to know why they’re doing this, how peaceful or violent can they be. I want to hear more about it beyond the newspapers and the blogs that were full of strong words that’s actually more euphemistic than informative.

Most of all, I wanted to be in the Know, right Now. I don’t want to keep to the old stupid Malay attitude - since it doesn’t affect you, there’s no need to think about it. I want to know how the current interactions between HINDARF and the government might affect me as a Malay and a student.

In retrospect, I suppose my old crush had something to do about it. He was in the popular student’s category, way, waaaaaay out of my league. But he was passionate and likes to express strong but concrete views. He cited facts not coloured by opinions. He was open-minded and loved being so.

It was the kind of attitude I liked in a guy, and he made me think more about myself and the advantage of freely expressing the individual voice, having the power of the individual mind. Where ever he is right now, he’s probably collecting every kind of resource about the HINDRAF he could get his hands on (between getting his law degree). Thanks Ibrahim (yes, that’s his real name, by the way).

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Friends just made it all better...

You can tell from the not-so quick update that my presentation of my project was a dud. I’m still recovering from the devastating assault from the *Super-supervisor. I was at a disadvantage, as I had not briefed my own supervisor on plan of attack. All worked up to protect my system but he got sneaky and struck at my documentation. Foiled by a graph technicality. Already on my downside and the worse thing happened.

My support died.

The backbone of my system, my support, experienced some difficulties on their own and so I cannot give Super-supervisor what’s getting to him with full power. Which is a veritable b**ching problem. So I had to make do with my backup system and my secondary support but the effect just wasn’t the same.

In the end, I think, was a draw. He liked the system, asked for a copy and I gave him the location of my backup. He’s cool, rated my report as ‘Acceptable’ but the system’s true fate has yet to be determined. As for my dead main support, well, that’s screwed. I’m never going to use that server-hosting provider ever again.

Between writing this blog and bolstering my (fortress) second system, I’m going to put all my feelings in a nutshell.




Okay so it’s not a nutshell. Google images didn’t have a visually appropriate graphical content so I had to make my own. By hand and cellphone camera. Geez, don’t get confused. Internally, I’m very grateful. Beyond Happy-Days-jig-jiggity kind of grateful. I got my system to work, be presented and set for approval.

But what made it even better is the company support. In fact, 3 of them. *LingTwitch, *ZuBest and *ShellGal. Yes, again, names had been changed. It’s not protecting their privacy. It’s just that I’m weird that way. We all met on a group project way back and had stuck together for a year now.

LingTwitch is taking up the same thesis project as I am and she completely forgot about the presentation and thus, wasn’t ready at all. She got approved for extension for next semester so she’s cool.

ZuBest had already taken the thesis paper and knows the whole load of crap that took to make hers work. She and I will be taking the second thesis project. ShellGal had just done all her projects and will be taking her job-training next semester, a whole new (and bigger) load of crap.

So what did we do to cheer up? Well, we could hand out at that new coffee shop, Old Town, which just opened right across the street. Instead, we did what a lot of single, unattached female computer nerds do. We hung out at the workstation and downloaded every pretty games we can stick an illegal keygen program and cracked full versions out of them.

Considering that my future is now something I can’t change (unless, maybe I’ll lace sleeping pills in Super-supervisor’s milo-drink and hypnotize him to give me an ‘A’), I’ll take my quick-euphoria dose anyway I could. And some things are just more fun when doing it in a group. Like downloading cracked games software.

Since LingTwitch is extending her thesis to next semester, it’ll just be ZuBest and me to take the next thesis project (along with about 3+ majoring courses). I need to graduate as soon as possible since I’m running out of money.

And hell no I’m going to take up PTPTN’s money (it’s a student loan program, for you non-my-countrymen out there). ShellGal is still looking for a job that could pay her loans back in the quickest method.

That’s even if I do get a passing grade at my current thesis paper. But I’m trying not to think about that now since I don’t have control over it anymore. What I do have control is downloading that new game, Depths of Peril, and cracking it to full version (us nerdy girls are looking for the crack software as we speak). It’s an rpg-based game, which I as the character get to save the world.

Generic maybe, but there’s a whole load of baddies to kick-a** at and to me, they all as ugly as the Super-supervisor.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

AWIL: Absent With Leave

Hello, here’s how to tell if you would be late for work, Malaysian style:

One: If you left early and there’s traffic jam on the roads, you’re going to be late.
Two: If you’ve overslept and there’s a traffic jam on the road, you’re going to be so late that you’ll better call in sick.
Three: If you’ve overslept and there’s no traffic jam on the road, you’re still going to be late because you’ve overslept and while you were speeding, the speed camera caught you.
Four: If you left early and there’s no traffic jam on the road, that’s because you’ve completely forgot that today was a public holiday. Congratulations, you petrol-wasting genius.

Well, maybe not Malaysian style but it is kind of my (sad-to-say) style. I never kept track of dates. Days yes, just not dates. Monday is this-this-this, Tuesday is this-and-that, Wednesday-Thursday-Friday-Happy-Days! The weekend comes, my cycle hums; ready to race to you!

Urg, why did I ever thought that show was funny...

Anyway, in this case, it wasn’t traffic jam or bandwidth jam or any kind of overly congested networking system that stalled me to my blog. It’s work jam. Here are the headlines:-

Just to let you know, I don’t work during the day. That’s when I sleep. Starting at 2pm. Even with that in mind, I still managed to get stuck in Kelana Jaya traffic (my next project paper is titled: Why the World is Always Against Undergraduates).

But my first (actual) thesis paper went through! I had been approved for presentation. It was good news turn slightly sour as since I had prepared for a rejection and worked my indignity the round of 1001-Reason-Why-I’m-Bad-Student. I had to prepare a two nights’ work to prepare my wording to my supervisor’s supervisor. The Super-supervisor.

Da-da-da-dum...

His theme song is ‘utter silence’. His favourite weapon is the red ballpoint pen. His special attack is the D- mark. Devastation effects include remedial classes, exam cramps and striking fear in everything that speaks in a monotonous British accent (and a baritone voice that always sounds as if his nose is snot-blocked).

But hey, I’ve been approved. A tiny, teeny, itsy, bitsy part of me is now sacrificing the metaphorical soul to the Fates and power that be (along with a jiggy Happy-Days themed victory dance). If you're so interested in my boring life, check this blog later today for an update. In fact, all I need to do is just re-write the diagrams and the appendixes. And pass them up in basic form in... oh crap. Two hours. What the hell am I writing this blog for?!

See what I mean about being late for work? One soldier-girl going through Boot-Your-Project Camp is busting out of this workstation, ASAP and AWIL. See news at Berita Terkini.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Dreaming Forest and a Church in the Background

As I said before, I’m a connoisseur of pretty images. I’ve fixed the December’s Dream image, this time with a link to be bigger image so you can see the better quality and be really immersed in the detail. Check out the right side of the blog if you want to see the link.

Also with this entry, I found this one in (where else?) CGSociety. It was ages and ages ago but the image is still pretty fascinating to look at. I perticularly liked the way the light played in the picture, illuminating the white walls to a subtle glow. However, I kind of thought that the misty stuff at the bottom makes it more messy than magical. Overall outlook is very, very good though.



I have an idea on where I would envision this in my game project, just to give you guys a visual idea of which part of the story I might relate this image with. This one would be the Church of Holy Mercy, one of the major sacred sites in my game world. The atmosphere I'll be trying to create is something between awe and sanctuary because outside the church is a conflict-torn city with a history of bloody riots on its streets.

I've been trying to render this image into something suitable for a background cutscene but image quality kept distorting every time I use Paint. I may have to purchase some big guns called Photoshop (crappy pocket money). I’m hoping to submit the game project as my Thesis-Project-Part-02 (assuming that I’ll live that long after the Monday presentation) so this image, along with several others, better come out right.

If I get frustrated enough, I’ll either sleep it off or past it aside for a while to work on December’s Dream short story (again, see right side). I have an idea on the outlook of the setting might be, but if you would like to contribute about what you like to think the hell is the character is doing in that setting, be my guest. I'll take your idea and use it in the short story. Expect the short story to come out between Christmas and New Year.

She's home...

My mother got home from England yesterday. Since that she left the country and left me home with her husband and youngest son to clean up after them for over a week (barely managed not to get the house to fall apart, starting with the kitchen sink) my inner b**ch was ready to dump everything into her travel-weary hand and leave me to play Tradewinds 2.

But she had a sore throat from the cold of England and possibly carrying some air-borne traveler’s flu. And she also got me souvenirs. Three tubes of salami, chicken, beef and spicy, better than any you’ll ever find in a Malaysian supermarket. And so for this blog entry, I ate my crap before I could have it.

Amongst family members, *Mak is the least person I’ll spout and rant about. It would have been quite different say, year and years ago when she hadn’t joined any charity group or Good-Bye Aunties’ groupies. I suppose there some sense into the madness of tart-tongued old ladies and their high-teas that made Mak less a working mother and somewhat a mellower mother.

Advantageous for me at least, because with her, I could share some crap-about-my-day stories which I couldn’t share with anyone else. Like my thesis report and that I got a presentation next Monday (December 3rd 2007) but of course I didn’t go into detail about me possibly failing the paper.

Mak is more sympathetic than my father when it comes to my failures, partially because she had been living with *Ayah for over 30 years and prior to that, she was the eldest girl in a family of nine brothers and sisters (yes, both Aidilfitri and Aidil’Adha holidays are a riot but that’s another story).

Other than that she got home with chocolate and three A+ Grade English salami which I loved (2 of them were over a foot long!). Which is not to say that she didn’t have her moments of b**chery at times. Like when it was her fault that we’re both becoming late on our way trip to Pontian (her hometown) and she took it out on me, seeing that I was the only other passenger.

At the moment for now, she’s probably cooking or cleaning up the mess Ayah and my younger brother made. She’s always cooking or cleaning, one part because no one else would, one part because she’s the woman of the house and one part because it’s her second nature. Eldest sister of nine brothers and sisters always have a habit in cooking and cleaning since coming from the backwaters of Pontian, JB.

My mess? It’s all in my own room thank you very much, which all mothers know that it’s highly territorial to volatile-tempered undergraduate students. I suppose that’s why she brought me home juicy salami.

Mine-ss... miiiiiiiiiiiinee... my preciousss...

Friday, November 30, 2007

Game Project: Unlocking Pandora

I’m in one of the most non-productive stages in my life right now, aka Empty Days. Non-productive, yeah but it sure beats the bad days and I’ll be having more of those in the coming weeks. Still, I am thankful for how things had turned out.

For starters, I nearly struck a silver Wira while driving around Kelana Jaya this morning but managed to stop in time. Never saw a partially bald man gone so white before. I left the T-junction quickly, with 5+ witness drivers meters away behind me even though we're all driving at 5km an hour.

It wasn't my fault but I'm not going to waste this blog entry describing in ridiculously detailed scene on how he should have noticed my blinky turn signal, especially since he was on the road the public used to turn left instead of going straight forward. I'm saving it to bored to death the traffic cops.

So instead of committing 3rd-degree murder, I decided to fill a little more of the day's void by building up a bit more of the game project I’m working on, ignoring the fact that I might have better things to do, like kill a cockroach or something.

To get a clearer definition just so you guys can see my pride on how cheap my project it, I’ve rounded up the usual background system and resource checks:

-RPG Maker 2003 (game engine)
-First Seed Material and etc (sprite graphics)
-Monta’s Monsters (monster graphics)
-Moutamsi Music and etc (music midi)
-A1 Free Sound Effects and etc (sound effects... duh...)
-And more etc, etc, etc since I haven’t bother to properly catalogue where I got these from.

Take note I'm writing a copy-and-paste from my old topic in GW gaming community but I'm going to make it as simple as a tourist brochure written in badly-printed Jawi. So if you don't understand, do ask me or, as the Travel and Adventure channel taught us, improvise your brain.

So without further ado... Quickening presents...




Game Systems:
-Menu System and Character Battle System (Action Time Battle).

-Map-based characters' actions such as field shooting and etc...


-Member switching in Character Battle System.


-Class Choosing (There are 3 variations; Offensive, Defensive and Support. As the story procresses, your members will have to choose one out of 2).

Story:
The main heroine is Keea Winston, a student of The Academy who's about to graduate as soon as she gets her thesis done. The magic class she had chosen, Soul Energy, is rare, difficult and mostly useless so she had to travel to a place called Stony Village and study its history and runes with permission from the local experts.

But Keea's presence disturbed a locked secret and her unique aura trapped the guardian spirit into her body. Without the guardian spirit, the imprisoned evil entities started to leak into the forests of the island, awaking all manner of savage and vicious beasts, threatening the population from unknown and long-forgotten nightmares.

Now possessing what is called Fighter Spirit, Keea infused the magical energy with her own and sought to rectify her mistake (and save her own life) by searching for two other guardian spirits in two other sealed chambers before the evil entities reached them.

Her actions though, went not without notice by numerous high profile personalities, such as the Society of Aqera, the Nobility of the neighbouring country Sun Valley, the Circle of Casters in The Academy and also the reclusive agents of the Dark Enchanters.

And even if Keea managed to survive through all that, there's the secret of the spirits themselves...

Characters:

Name: Keea Winston
Role: Female protagonist
Background: She's a final year student of a magic university and she only needs to do one last task to graduate so she could later return to the Academy as a junior lecturer. Yet often of late, she dreams of an unknown golden-haired woman playing a sad tune on a harp. She thinks that one backwater island, home to the ruins of Pearl Temple, holds the answer to this mystery.
Skills: Soul Energy


Name: Jake Langley
Role: Wise old nag
Background: Langley was Keea's first tutor in the craft arts and he remained one of her oldest and dearest friends. His true background, however, is shrouded in mystery, other than he has been travelling around the region for centuries as a freelance consultant and tough bargainer. So far, it is believed that Keea was his only apprentice, a favour to her long-dead father.
Skills: Elemental-infused Soul Energy


Name: Niq Hillshire
Role: Obligatory anti-hero
Background: Niq is the headsman of Stony Village, a growing community that was once filled with outcasts and refugees. He takes his role very seriously and was most protective of anything of value that came out of the Pearl Temple ruins. He is quiet, rebellious and unconventional but without him, Stony Village would have turned into a lawless thieves den instead of the peaceful yet sorely overlooked society it was.
Skills: Ice Flows and Ice Blade


Name: Anita of the Aqiaka Clan
Role: Annoying curious faerie
Background:

Enough said.
Skills: Planthood and Floral Wrath


Name: Montgomery Suayunu
Role: Wiseass
Background: Before he became a mercenary for hire, Monty was a soldier of the Aqeran Sniper Unit and before that, he was a boy raised in a military community on the notorious Aqeran-Sun Valley borders. Constant fighting and battle conflicts gave him a devil-may-care approach to all things that wants to kill him, including his friends. He and Niq are old buddies, despite the wide difference in their personalities.
Skills: Long Range and Metallic Bombs

And also 4 other members yet to be discovered. Oh my!

Some of the main NPCs (Non-Playable Characters):
Mr. Usana: "Knowledge is the most dangerous kind of weapon to give to your foes."
Baba Yaga the Witch: "History never ends. It always comes back either to haunt us or repeat itself."
Princess Regent: "Bribery is the lowest form of begging."
Lord Protector of Aqera: "My duty before my life unless my heart tells me otherwise."
Lord Sagecrest: "My kid is too pretty to date your hero."
Lady Emerson: "Let's face it. The best kinds of trouble are always inherited."
Rilselq: "Dreaming is natural. Not everybody does it but everybody should."
Bernadette: "Sometimes, you gotta come back full circle to start all over again."

Screenshots:







Larger 640*480 pixel Pictures:
http://img126.imageshack.us/img126/9200/unlockingpandora011kd0.png
http://img49.imageshack.us/img49/9476/icedragons01ea3.png
http://img340.imageshack.us/img340/8431/temple01road20fixdf4.png

Progress at the Moment: 5% Done
Mood to Work:

So yes, this is a summarised version of the game project I'm working on. I intend for it to be a free-to-download because it's obviously made from an overused game engine (I just need to weak some custom coding) and from a free graphics site. It'll be vulgar of me to sell this since I got so much of it for free. And I'm only vulgar to people I want to cheat money from.

If there's anything I like to waste time other than playing expensive games, it's building cheap ones. Expect this to come sometime exactly one year from now (hey, quality control-lah!).

In the meantime, I got to see to a car that had a surprise attack from a silver Wira and check if the breaks and tyres are still passably safe to, I don't know, maybe to run into another near-crash again.

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