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Week of December 7, 2014

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Can't speak right now folks. Actually busy this time (attempt #2!)

Don't ask me why it took all day to get to this point. Let's just say karma didn't pay the debt I was expecting, and instead made fully-resolving the AI pathfinding logic with rails a...longer process than I would have liked :problem: But that's behind us. Magic-warp-drive frigates are behind us (no, not spatially :ghost:). Now is the time of glory.

I can't tell you how ready I am for this to be over :lol:

Send happy vibes my way. I'm hoping that, since karma now owes me a bit of a debt, random quantum fluctuations in my hard drive will cause my code files to spontaneously gain amazing new features that will appear and surprise me during my filming. Surely that's not too much to ask :monkey:

PS ~ Yes, I really do look forward to getting back to 'regular' (non-frantic) dev logs. Err, when exactly was the last time we had one of those? :shock:
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” ~ Henry Ford

Re: Week of December 7, 2014

Monday, December 8, 2014

Shhh. I'm narrating :geek:

I will speak no more of this day. All I will say is that the final recording process was every bit as tumultuous as the rest of this month has been. A fitting, explosive, painful end to what has been nothing short of the most agony-laden month yet (well, maybe the pain here at the end has clouded my perception a bit..). And yet, here we are, on the other side, still alive, with video footage in hand. Limit Theory Dev Update: Rebirth, if you will :ghost:

Anyway. Long night of narrating, editing, and uploading ahead. Strap in. Say goodbye to Novtember :clap:

PS ~ Seriously, don't worry about me, I'm just disillusioned from this whole update 21 ordeal. Things are actually pretty great :) (he says with clenched teeth, a deranged smile, and a bloody keyboard in hand :ghost:)
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” ~ Henry Ford

Re: Week of December 7, 2014

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tried as hard as I could, and yet, couldn't avoid the crash last night. Finished about half of the narration before the sleep train hit me like a dreadnaught :oops: Yet another case of one-too-many nights of cutting the corners with respect to sleep.

But...and this is the part where I tell you "it's going to get worse, but then it's going to get better" ( :ghost: )...I awoke with a fresh, optimistic mind, much unlike the one in which I wrote my log yesterday -- and the one in which I did my filming / narrating. After reviewing the previous night's narration, I realized something startling: I sounded totally uninspired. Not terribly surprising, considering how stressed I was last night and how ready I was to get the update out.

But with a clear head, I just found it unacceptable. I know, I know. This isn't a Hollywood movie. But by God, this bloody thing has been in the works for two months, and I'll be darned if I'm going to let myself show it in anything less than full glory. Especially not without inspiration. To do so would be to short-change every previous Josh who marched onward through walls of code with dreary eyes, knowing that it would all contribute in a small way to the update video.

You know where this is going :ghost:

Canned it. Footage and all (which I found to be equally-uninspired, despite the amount of goodies that I've got to show). It's a first for me, that's for sure. But, you know, it's been a month of many firsts, some bad and others good. Part of me is ashamed for admittedly dangling one-to-many (or..perhaps 40 days too many) carrots above the community's heads for so long. The other part of me, though, recognizes that this, right here, is the one time each month (heh :roll:) where I get to truly sit back and appreciate the fruits of my labor. I'm sure I've said it before: the videos are as much for me as they are for you guys :)

/end long, probably-unnecessary rationalization of why I chose to re-record and re-narrate #21

Looking back, I'm glad I did. Today was a good day, my mind was in the right place, and I really like my footage. I'm starting narration attempt #2 now, and I have to say, this is going to turn out much more satisfying. I'll be happy to put #21 to bed with peace and optimism rather than with the "thank God it's over" mindset of yesterday.

Also, I can't believe I didn't crank up the NPC numbers higher yesterday. What was I thinking?? We're talking about warp rails here son, not some common backyard zip-line :squirrel:

PS ~ For those of you who are worried about how this the update process went here with #21, I am already devising a plan for a more effective update format. Details will be revealed after 21. I believe it will be a better solution for everyone :D
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” ~ Henry Ford

Re: Week of December 7, 2014

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Not dead and not slacking -- I swear! Been at it since yesterday's devlog, no sleep (ok, so I did take a lunch and dinner break, sorry :roll:) and won't stop until it's here. Only one of us will survive: Josh or the lack of #21. Place your bets now folks!! Bookies have posted odds at √2π : 1 in favor of Josh! :ghost:

Definitely the longest video editing process so far, but, thankfully (perhaps for better or worse), today I have no scapegoat on which to offload the cause of my temporal latency. No, in fact, all things considered, it has gone relatively smoothly! I've had to slice and dice the clips to death due to A/V desync (I am suspicious that the unprecedented number of sound-emitting objects in-system is to blame for this...come on FMOD, pull your weight :problem: ), had to re-record one (small-ish) segment due to total lack of audio (the cause of which remains a mystery), and suffered a non-trivial amount of video editing progress loss due to the first-ever bluescreen-while-making-update-video event (again, the cause of which remains a mystery). But you know, I've simply come to accept such things as further evidence of the increasing difficulty level of life. All things considered, I'd say they went easy on me :lol: Where was the total hard-disk failure?? Where was the all-engulfing house fire? Most importantly, where was the micro black hole spontaneously enveloping my cerebral cortex, permanently ripping my brain to shreds and blasting all remaining knowledge of LT's codebase back out into the universe in a soup of Hawking Radiation? These things would have been real challenges, you know, the kind of thing that puts hair on your chest :cool: But they were nowhere to be found. Color me unimpressed! :roll:

(It occurs to me that I probably shouldn't jinx myself. Do you think life can hear me in my dev logs? :? )

At any rate, the Octember train will continue to halt for no man!! After all, the Great Node in the Sky has already spoken: "Let the caffeine floweth and thine soul shall be more free than the spirit of a squirrel riding down the warp rail." It is in these moments of editing flurry that I feel the burn of being truly alive. Or is that the oxidative stress? Bah. A matter for the philosophers.

Like I said yesterday, I'll post any and all information concerning major state changes to the legendary Update Anticipation Thread!

My the rail guide us gently home!! :clap:

(Wait! What's that!? I smell smok---OH GOD!! The candles have lit fire to my map of Vvardenfell!!! The flames are spreading quickly!! Quick, grab the Red Bull *connection crackles* It's .... *$@* empty!! **bzzz* Oh pleas-- ..***$@@ not my Empire Strikes Back poste--$*#*** ... Han!!! Lei--***$_#*-- *connection closes*)
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” ~ Henry Ford

Re: Week of December 7, 2014

Thursday, December 11, 2014

SHE'S DONE. :clap: :clap: :clap:

As of a few minutes ago, I've slapped that darn 'render' button, and the video is being birthed as we speak. At long last, #21 is out of my hands, and the only remaining wait time will be determined by the encode and the upload (which, over the past few updates, have both been very reasonable in length). For this I rejoice to the highest degree, as I can finally feel the calm returning and a state of normalcy washing over my frantic neurons. HOORAH!!! :ghost:

Now then, that being said, there is clearly some explaining that needs to be done. Luckily, I've got some time now as I wait for the render. As you all have no doubt noticed, I withdrew from the forums for a rather unprecedented amount of time, and in doing so even accrued a record-breaking devlog deficit. Two factors contributed: first, as I see some have already guessed, I did indeed fail to remain awake :ghost: Somehow, that always seems to happen, no matter how badly I resist the sleep monster. In my defense, I was a rather good boy this time, as I didn't wake up in my bed but rather at my desk with my head resting on my mic's pop filter (how that managed to support my head remains quite a physical paradox to me :ghost:). Second, upon waking, I vowed to myself that I would not return until the matter of 21 was a done deal. I had grown exceptionally fatigued by this point of providing less-than-satisfying dev logs and either bolstering hope precariously or erasing it entirely. So yes, I hope you all will accept my sincerest apology when I say that I have indeed been awake for the last 16 hours or so. I certainly didn't intend to scare anyone, but at the same time, did not want to contribute what would no doubt have been another negative continuation of an already-negative situation. I am utterly relieved to be coming back to you now with a happy ending :) (And can only hope that you guys feel the same? :monkey:)

Next, I want to turn my attention to the making of the video and perform a bit of a postmortem. Now that I'm gradually returning to a state of sanity, I feel I'm finally in good shape to shed some light on what exactly happened. I see that there has been some rather wild speculation in the update thread, even going so far as to consider that I've not, in fact, been working on the video, but rather doing something else :shock: This is absolutely not the case, and I do hope that you all will be able to verify how much effort I put into #21 when it comes out!! For the past few days I've done nothing other than work on it. That being said, there was definitely something odd at play over the past week or so that I want to analyze and explain, now that I believe I've come to a solid understanding of what happened.

To put it lightly, I've not been myself -- mentally and emotionally, that is -- for quite some time now, but especially since the video process began. While it was all going on, I would have blamed the constant 'one more hour!' slippery slope as a result of perfectionism. To be fair, I'm no doubt cursed with some degree of that trait, for better or worse. But, I'm now certain that this was not the root of what happened. Yes, it's true, I tweaked, added, and even re-did things (both in terms of code as well as in terms of recording) to an extreme degree. But why?? Looking back on the situation, it's evident to me that this was not the result of my usual 'perfectionism,' but rather, the result of a crippling level of self-doubt and anxiety, as well as the resulting impairment, the likes of which I've honestly never experienced before in my life. Going into the update process, I've always got some amount of this anxiety, and some amount of "is it good enough?" "what if it's awful!! Ah!!" floating around in my head. But this was the first time that I have been completely and totally overpowered by these feelings. Before filming, I literally could not stop thinking about how bad everything was, how totally inadequate my work had been, and how nothing I would show would be of any real merit. Ouch :cry: During filming, I couldn't stop questioning whether the video was exciting / inspired enough, and couldn't stop accusing my own narration of being dull and lifeless. Ouch again!! :cry:

The insidious rub with these kinds of feelings is that they have a very real tendency to become reality. No, my work didn't suddenly become lackluster, but looking back on the narration process in particular, I find roughly a 0% chance that I wasn't actually impaired by my own doubt. Typically, for example, my rate of re-narrating before getting it right is somewhere in the vicinity of three tries. This time, on the other hand, I would place the average rate at around ten tries, with several clips actually taking significantly more than that, and one clip, in particular, taking somewhere around 40 or 50 tries :shock: :shock: :shock: Absolutely absurd!! Perfectionism? No, that's not perfectionism, that's sharp anxiety coupled with the impairment that such anxiety causes. It wasn't just that I thought those narrations were bad, it's that most of them were bad because I was so upset and anxious that it was nearly impossible to remain coherent for long enough to say what I wanted to say. Interestingly, the whole meaning of the term "Limit Theory" boils down to the belief that mindsets are self-fulfilling prophecies. It's a bit sad to say, but, as of now, I have officially experienced the truth of this statement to quite an extreme magnitude with respect to the negative direction.

On the bright side, I can't help but look at this as a powerful learning experience. I feel that I've come to a better understanding of the Limit Theory than ever before. You see, previously, I thought it to be solely about mental state -- that one must simply gerrymander one's cognitive landscape into a magical land of unicorns and ponies in order for greatness to flow. But now, I must finally recognize that cognitive landscapes do not exist in a vacuum. It is circumstance and context that provide the breeding grounds for one's mentality, and the mentality, in turn, that provides the soil in which reality will grow. Just as tech and content must live in an entangled dance in order to achieve harmony, so too must a constructive consciousness and a constructive reality live in such a dance. The one creates the other, hence, neither can be ignored if fertility is to be achieved. In concrete terms, it means that Limit Theory requires not just a positive mental state, but also an accompanying state of reality capable of housing and nurturing the mentality. My approach to the update process quite clearly failed to provide the right home for that mentality. For this reason, I am more convinced and enthused than ever that the proper changes to the development methodology will allow us to enter the final harmony that we need to give life to the game. Change is in the air, my friends :)

Out of the ashes of #21 will rise something beautiful -- the phoenix Limit Theory, given new life, new wisdom, and ready to embark on the final flight to release. A new day is upon us, and for this, I am utterly grateful. I think it was just the kind of cathartic push that we needed to mark the beginning of the end :) I will not forget the journey of 21, nor will I file it away in a collection of memories better left ignored.

Now, time to come back to reality! I'll be posting the next devlog as soon as 21 drops. As of now, having burnt quite a bit of time on this little reflection, the rendering process is 5 minutes away from completion. Fantastic timing :D

Let us henceforth usher in a new era of good vibes!! :clap: :wave:

(Thanks for indulging me in that reflection. Apologies if I made any ears or brains bleed :ghost:)

PS ~ 37:00. Yowza. Beat #20 by 19 seconds!! :ghost: Be sure to bring a snack :shock:
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” ~ Henry Ford

Re: Week of December 7, 2014

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Here lies the peaceful body of a devlog that died in honor of the Devlog Savings Day. He was a good devlog, a noble devlog, but he simply could not keep pace with the unforgiving currents of time. On his tombstone is inscribed a message -- a succinct summary of the nature of a devlog's precarious reality: "Time stops for no devlog. R.I.P."

(But a new one for the 14th was also posted, so don't feel too sad ;) )
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” ~ Henry Ford

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