Friday, March 17, 2006

Lots Of Different Things

Spring break is here! This either means I get time off from work and school, or it means I just get time off from school, made up instead by more work.

Oh, and I have gotten interested in letting my vision improve naturally. I always knew glasses only made your eyes worse, but I was always too lazy to do anything about it. But recently, I read a website full of information about this. I have decided to make it my goal to improve my vision by becoming less dependant on my glasses, practice getting into good habits such as blinking more often and getting more sun, and palming (basically a form of meditation that helps improve eyesight). I'm up-beat about this, and I know I can do it. The problem is I'm so blind that I can't hardly tell what's in front of me, so it'll take some getting used to.

I'm still looking for more information on how to get more money. I'm not thinking that after my 6 month CD is done, I'll invest that money into a Roth IRA. I would also get into stocks, but I don't have enough money for that sort of thing yet. I've been practicing at the stock market game, and I'm fairly good at it I think! So I'm also very anxious to do that. I don't know why, but I look at the money I've been saving, and I look down the road where I want to see myself. It really makes me aware that I need to save now and not later. I definitely don't want to make the kind of mistake my brother has made -- taking $18,000 out of his CD and spending it all but $5000, which is what he started the CD with many years ago. He's going to have a heck of a time retiring, and I don't want to be dumb with money like that.

Finally, there has been intense interest in Project Build over at SFGHQ. I am happy about the heavy interest and feedback. I want to clarify some things about the game engine:

- The engine will use the Allegro library. I originally didn't want to use something someone else already did, but I got smarter about it because I figured I would never finish the engine if I tried to do all the work myself. Plus, even professional companies use libraries that others have created, and since this library has been around for many years and has been programmed by people a lot smarter than me, I decided it was in my best interest to use Allegro. The other advantage is that Allegro is easy to work with, so people who want to modify the source code shouldn't have too many issues.

- It will use OGG files for sound, mainly because WAV files are too big, and MP3 files have copyrights which could possibly create legal issues.

- The engine will be fully compatible with Sonic 2 and 3 levels. Levels from Sonic 1 and CD are not guarenteed to be directly supported, though this may very well change as development continues. The Sonic 2/3 format is much easier to work with, and it is more flexible too, so it only makes sense for my engine to absolutely support that format.

- Objects will be scripted in a scripting language of my own. I call the scripting language 'SAXY' because it's a play on words (SAX-C). Right now the language is similar to BASIC and assembly combined, but I plan to change it to make it resemble actual C code. In addition, I will likely create an "event editor", which would basically allow people who don't understand the scripting language to still program objects using an easy-to-use interface.

- Objects will be able to talk to the player, and objects will be able to create other objects. However, one object may not talk directly to another object. Though there will be global variables that are accessible to all objects, so indirectly they could communicate.

- The engine runs in two modes -- 320x200 and 320x400. This is basically to make porting as friendly as possible, and to make it close to the Sega Genesis resolutions of 320x224 and 320x448. The engine will make use of 256 colors, and each level will be allowed it's own set of 224 colors. 32 of the 256 colors are reserved for things such as the player, rings, and other things that will be used throughout the entire game.

- Translucency may be added. If I add it, I will likely offer 3 levels of translucency -- 25%, 50%, and 75%. I figure for what this engine is for, that should be flexible enough. If not, maybe I'll increase it to use 7 levels of translucency.


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Stock tip: ESRX - it's done really well over the last year.

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