It's 7 am and I haven't gone to bed yet--yeah I need to not blog today, sorry!
I'm tired so that's all you get.
I finished the resource mapping for Rise of Rome (I might've missed some, and there's areas I just went scattershot through a combination of my broad strokes mapping and naturally dense terrain, but close enough), and as predicted, every civ has plenty of wheat already among others.
I'd rather each civ have like twenty of most resources and sparse on the rest than have any civ be screwed on resources altogether, though, so it's a healthy direction to take things in.
The other thing I did was the pediaicons and civilopedia for about half the buildings I need to make.
Not wonders, not great wonders.
Just buildings, there's about 70 left but I've gone through an extensive number already.
And mind you this isn't adding them into the game (that's a pain because it often has a glitch; you need to take them one at a time, gradually, and double-check your work ten times to ensure it's right), but it's a necessity to do before adding to the game.
I could've done more, but I was feeling burned out, so dabbled in Majesty again.
Conclusion: mods are insanely fun to play, and worked better than I could ever hope them to.
City-building becomes a cinch with the combination of brokenly fast peasants (it's nigh-impossible to lose a building and even impossible-to-build buildings can be built using it), brokenly fast tax collectors (getting the money), and the marketplaces which at high enough levels rake in 4,000 gold per deposit (and have multiple deposits per day)--plus even over the minimum distance, trade caravans depositing that same amount. Four marketplaces each at a ballpark figure of something like 20,000 per day = ~80,000 in no time flat, when the gold cap is 2,000,000.
Not instant-refill, but fairly close. If you try, you can drain your treasury even when maxed out, if setting reward flags to like 111,100 and spamming them--but that's pretty much what you need to do and even then you need to keep it up to so much as maybe drain the treasury.
...But since city-building is what I most enjoy in the game...this is no problem to me.
I am very happy with everything.
...But I am doing things that are time-consuming.
Well, I suppose work is both in the sense that it is literally draining me and leaving me half-dead, but that's nothing new.
In terms of my pet project on the civ game, what I am doing is taking a ridiculously long time.
I finished detailing the map in one night when I was worried I still had half a week's worth of work left on it.
I expected adding resources to take me a single night's worth of work to plow through everything.
...Two nights in.
...And I'm not even done with Rise of Rome; I still have Fall of Rome, The Middle Ages, Age of Discovery, Napoleonic Era, and two different maps of the world to add in on top of that.
I also am considering taking a small break on it to instead play some Majesty. A few mods have come out that were really good mods. There was a quest released with three key functions. Upgrading guard towers (later at my suggestion expanded to include ballista towers and wizard towers), later released as a game mod; upgrading monster lairs, later released as a game mod (not one I'm interested in tho); and upgrading marketplaces--the mod that just released.
On top of that, you have a mod to get rid of the freakin' plague.
Plague is literally the most annoying thing ever. If it were just a debuff of stats, and/or a minor continuous sap on health a la a weaker poison, I'd be fine with it--but it slows units to a crawl. I love the concept of it spreading...but it spreads faster than you can cure it when you have a mass of units, and it can literally cause the death of your fun playthrough of the scenario because even with a team of 30 healers, a treasury full of gold, and casts of heal, it's difficult to outright impossible to purge the plague altogether.
Another interesting mod was destroyable sewers; not sure if I'll use it, but it's certainly an interesting idea that holds promise.
And then there's the faster peasants mod to augment the faster tax collectors.
All in all, lots of good quality content being made for that game and I want to take it for a spin.
...I don't have anything to talk about this quickly before I go to bed because I am a moron who didn't blog when she had more time to, so I guess that means I default to something which requires no time to do.
Which is just about what civ 3 is today.
I finished adding the Mesopotamian resources to the map. Still need to add the other maps, and then do a little bit of a resource balance check--probably not removing any in spite of the resource overload (literally everyone will be getting things like stone and especially wheat), but adding some for balancing purposes if, sayyyyy, every single one of a resource is in a specific location. (The invented resource, Whiskey, is particularly prone to this. The others exist across multiple maps, so should be fine.)
I actually completed the map for my civ 3 mod.
Granted, I need to manually add in all the resources, but I have the shape of the map as good as it's going to get.
And I just checked the distributed resources--all the resources exist somewhere on the map, even if not in as high of a quality as I would prefer, and not with the distribution I would prefer.
But it's there.
I just need the final fine-tuning, and then the map will be done.
The map, one of the big three challenges.
This feels amazing.
And it's so persistent, I might as well link it to you!
To be a little more specific, it's the area just after the one-minute mark that I'm looping through, because there's a nice little not-actually-repeating-but-close-enough-to-trick-my-brain bit. (Not sure how to explain that better. Basically, different words are used and you can tell they're different words, but they're sung using the same notes--and especially when it's not English and especially without the lyrics showing on the opener, that's enough to trick the brain into looping that segment over and over again.)
So while we're here.
Might as well talk about it some more.
One--that song is drop-dead amazing. It is a stunning thing on its own.
But two--the animation accompanying it is perfect.
It is one of the, if not the, best openers for an anime I've ever seen. It is just. that. good.
So it figures if my praises are that high for the opener, they are equally sung for the show proper.
And that rings true.
As my girlfriend put it, I gave the show my highest possible form of praise:
"The premise is really, really similar to the book I was working on". (Specifically the book before Heroes of Gistou.)
That book featured characters who, as early as their childhood years, plotted to escape a complex ruled by non-human entities. The characters had to show incredible intelligence and wisdom beyond their years in order to orchestrate the escape. (Granted, this happened in the prologue...and all but one of them was killed because while the escape succeeded, afterwards, in the chase, they died. So the similarities pretty much end there, butstill.)
Given how much I pride myself in my writing.
That's about as high a praise as is possible, in fact.
And there's another thing I would like to point out, from a different story of mine--one not intended to be a book.
Emma (and for that matter Ray and whatshisname), The Promised Neverland's protagonist. Is 11 years old...
...The same age as Phyrra and Cyrus.
...Why is that significant?
...Because this show is more or less a validation of "I'm on target" for displaying smart, intelligent, wise, mature 11-year-olds in terms of content. Yes, they are occasionally still kids, but the show displays them actually being smart. Not fake-smart. Genuinely clever and intuitive, prodigies who are geniuses, with ingenuity and quite capable of coming up with amazing strategies.
Which is what Phyrra and Cyrus are supposed to be.
It gets better.
Emma and Phyrra are pretty similar personality-wise. Cheerful, fairly friendly and somewhat polite while being somewhat blunt. (Admittedly, bluntness is more Ray's trait and politeness more whatshisname's trait.) A bit of a doofus compared to the other kid(s) her age, but in spite of needing things explained to her sometimes, by no means actually an idiot, capable of extreme cleverness of her own...while having a charming smile, warm heart, charismatic attitude and surprising level of insight.
Which is more or less what I'm aiming for with Phyrra.
And Cyrus is similarly like whatshisname with a side of Ray, being level-headed, calm, cool, collected, a planner, pragmatic, efficient, cold, yet still understanding and not all-knowing. Someone who prefers thinking rather than athletic flairs, and is lethally calculating in maneuvers.
...But it gets even better.
When Phyrra's body-swapped into Cyrus, and vice-versa. (The state that they stay in most of the series, aside from the twice-a-month times they are in their own bodies past the prologue.)
Because Cyrus's real body looks a lot like Emma, and Phyrra's real body looks somewhat like a cross between Ray and whatshisname.
Phyrra actually looks a lot like Emma.
And Cyrus actually looks a lot like a cross between Ray and whatshisname.
(My girlfriend's probably gonna be ticked when reading this blog and realizing I already forgot his name. Or more specifically, I'm not positive of it. I kinda have 'Nolan' in my head as being it but I'm not sure that was it?)
If you took Ray's hairstyle/length and the expressions/eyes/hair color/etc. of whatshisname, then it'd look pretty darn close to what Phyrra's real body is like, the body Cyrus is trapped in most of the time.
And Cyrus's real body, which Phyrra is trapped in most of the time, being a body that I deliberately modeled to be a stereotypical shonen anime protagonist body.
...Is pretty darn similar to Emma's, because she is a bit of a stereotypical shonen anime protagonist even in her body.
Obviously, they're not basically-identical, but the resemblance is fairly self-evident.
I haven't really drawn Phyrra and Cyrus yet (I should, I know, but I haven't), but I've made reference images of them using various programs, some of which are on this blog. As a refresher, here's a dump of them all.
Keep in mind, none of these are their official look. Keep in mind, all of these were made in various programs. The first faces were made in an iteration of a program called FaceMaker (specifically this one, which the maker themselves note is not too original as there are others like it, but that's the one I used for the images shown), the most-of-body, in-profile ones are from this anime character maker, the next set which are probably some of the closest-to-vision versions are from the continuously-expanding-with-new-content rinmaru games anime character creator, the next set of generic faces is from anime face maker 2, and the full-body picture is from a can-optionally-become-NSFW, tread-carefully, you-have-been-warned, K-ON dressup 2.
I can't stress enough how none of these are official.
None of these fully capture the aesthetic.
These are mostly done as brainstorming. Proof-of-concept work. Throwing ideas around for exact iterations of what their outfits look like. I have, in previous blog entries, described their exact look, and these give you a fairly good idea of what sort of look that is, but none of them are exact. You can't even average them all out to get it, either, because some are truer to the vision than others.
These are all just loose references, unofficial things that I use as a shorthand, lazy reference, things I use because I lack any other way currently to give a visualization of the two--until I actually draw Phyrra and Cyrus myself, I don't have any non-text picture of them. I can describe them, but without using these program screencaps, I can't actually show them to you yet because they haven't been drawn yet.
From this, you can probably get where I am coming from with what I am saying. Take a look at this in comparison since while not the best picture of the characters it's enough.
Cyrus's hair is more red than orange and his eyes are matched to the hair pretty much (not exactly, his eyes are more like the color of Emma's hair whereas his hair is redder than Emma's hair), and when Phyrra inhabits his body as she does for most of the show, she has the general aesthetic shown here by Emma. This shot shows a lot about Emma's personality and it is one perfect for Phyrra as well, showing expressions, showing thoughts, and so on and so forth.
Phyrra's hair is styled almost like Ray's, except removing the emo-covers-one-eye part of it. Pull that hair back so both eyes are visible, and suddenly you have her hair there, albeit hanging back down to the shoulders in the back. Blue instead of black, but you can get the idea.
Her eyes are almost exactly the color of whats-his-name's eyes over there.
And Cyrus, when inhabiting her body as he does for most of the show. Has an expression which is dead-inbetween Ray's and whats-his-name's. Not quite as cynical/serious as Ray, but also not quite as "open" as whats-his-name's. Deadpan, somewhat-serious, but not looking aggressive/dark as much as Ray does here.
So in a sense.
This is me paying the highest of high compliments to the show.
Comparing it to a novel I love and hold dear is high enough praise in of itself.
Egotistical to the extreme, sure, albeit not entirely unjustifiably so. (The novel I can trace its exact origins down to the short story which is still posted online. If I recall correctly, to about 2009ish, give or take a year. Turning it into a novel, I can also track down the exact year of, which I believe but am not sure was 2011. I am pretty sure that whenever the manga this anime is adapting was made, didn't start until after that, so my work comes first, even if it ends up published later. Which I realize doesn't change much, but is why I say not entirely unjustified...just mostly unjustified.)
But hey, I am egotistical so when an extreme narcissist like me says, "this work is like one of my own!", it is as high a praise as is possible because given how high I hold my work to be, the esteem in it, saying it's as good as that is saying it is really good.
...Yet I'm not just comparing it to the novel I love and hold dear.
I am comparing it to my pet project that I hold the highest of high ambitions for.
To the point where I even mentioned it in passing to my mom today, which is a way of kinda sorta solidifying it as "real".
When I mention something online, it can stay online forever and never have a form of "legitimacy" to it.
That doesn't mean that things online for me are illegitimate. But what it does mean is that things online are harder to have be legitimate.
And to say words in real life holds power.
Hearing Bree online is nice; hearing it in person is something which is life-changing.
That's the effect I am talking about, and I think this is something anyone online can understand what I'm getting at here. How what's done and said in real life means magnitudes more, and why it is a goal so much to strive for--because it is so worth it when it is actually done. It feels like the difference between saying and doing (real life), the difference between living it (real life) and not-really-not-living-it-but-not-really-fully-living-it.
I think you get what I mean.
Saying, even as a hint.
That Phyrra and Cyrus as a project exists.
Just had a way of solidifying it.
Not just "this is something I want to do, but...".
"Yeah I'm doing this".
Phyrra and Cyrus, that project of mine that I hold the highest of high ambitions for, the thing where I solidified it as being real.
I am comparing to the show.
That show does basically everything I'd want to do in Phyrra and Cyrus.
So when I say "The Promised Neverland is the quality to which I strive to make Phyrra and Cyrus be".
There really can't be any higher praise than that.
It's higher than the highest of the high praises.
The good news is, I finished that game idea and can now blog about it.
The bad news is, I'm not in the mood for it, so you get trash tier blog entry about my civ 3 mod which there's more good/bad on.
The good news is, for the first time ever, I have successfully managed to make a functional new wonder, and I have added in most Mesopotamian buildings, too.
...The bad news is, the art for the Mesopotamian buildings isn't working.
The good news is, though, that I have it narrowed down to one of two culprits. Either in the Art folder for city screen, it's the buildings large/small...
...Or it's the civilopedia icons folder with some variables therein.
The bad news is, I can't edit those--not without finding some program specializing in them or something.
The only reason I have resources done (which are the same file type, pcx) is because on the civ 3 forums, I was able to track down a download of all the Civ 3 conquest resources.
So now I need a similar download.
For the luxuries, as previously mentioned.
And for city buildings, as I'm now discovering.
So they work--they are installed in the system and don't break. They just don't display properly.
So my dog disconnected something important in my computer, killing the power.
The thing is.
I have absolutely no clue what he disconnected.
One minute, it was fine.
Power to everything else, fine.
But the computer?
And I can't fiddle in that abomination of a rat's nest (seriously that tangle of wires is more twisted than any horror from beyond mortal comprehension possibly could be) without risking making things worse.
Making me trapped to using my laptop.
Meaning I can't do desktop-specific things, including working on my mod as was my PLAN for tonight.
And I won't be able to communicate it, either.
Meaning my dad--the only one who could fix it--won't know he needs to.
My laptop was unplugged and only through sheer miracle of chance do I have power in it now.
Combination of sleep mode conserving power plus it maybe occasionally getting some power because it was just a loose connection.
So my time will potentially be limited, depending on whether the charge exceeds the discharge. I think it does, but it's not something I'm altogether happy about.
Again in my defense, I worked some on the idea, too--I'm close to completing it, just need a final push in brainstorming to complete it altogether. But for now, yes, new civ stuff.
The bad news is: I can't figure out how to get the scenario intro working.
The worse news is: the scenario is slow as molasses to load, and it's not even finished yet; I'm terrified that once complete, it'll literally crash the game from being too unwieldy.
I'm not quite sure if it's just the sheer size of the map plus all that's on it (fully possible), and/or (they're not mutually exclusive) just coding incompetence on my part, where there's clutter that doesn't need to be there. Basically, to do what I need to do, I'm not sure what needs to be there and what doesn't. I'm positive I have a lot in there that doesn't need to be...but I'm not sure what I can safely remove, and what is absolutely critical to keep where it is, as-is.
It's not all bad news, though.
One, I am 90% sure I know how to fix the city resource display problem; I found a promising variable. Art->city screen->luxuryicons seems to be the culprit. Of course, knowing where it is doesn't fix the problem; no scenario actually would contain the solution I'd be after, because I invented half of the luxuries I used. (Well, not really--I turned existing resources into luxuries. Olive Oil, Wheat, "Whiskey"/Sake, and Wool; Sake wasn't originally on the map and Wool is the only on-map one which was always a luxury.)
Two, I am 90% sure I know how to add the music into the game!
Turns out that, as I had hoped, there's a notepad file called Music, which lists the music used in the scenario, in the order it is used.
I'm not quite sure how much tinkering it'll take to get it to work the way I want it to, and want to table it for a while, but I at least know what to do when I get around to doing it.
I decided to take a break from map-building and start getting into unit-making. Made five...
...And have by my estimate around 300 or so (give or take) left to add in, not to mention edit the existing ones. (I'll do the editing of the existing ones as I'm going along, though, when it's appropriate to do so.)
This will take a long time, though, so I'm doing it in moderation.
Progress is happening tho!
Just your average blogger.