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Creation Date: 2004-02-29
Today I rest. I've worked the last 4 days not on HM or JF, but back-breaking labor (well, it's really not that bad). I have delayed writing a MoJF (aka MoHM) until today just because I've been totally rocked by work. I have tomorrow off so I am going to work hard on Hack Mars. I'll also be able to do a very good MoHM.

I can tell you one thing interesting. The last MoHM picture was the last of my 40 character sketches. Hooray! The above picture shows you quite clearly what I am working on now. Well, kinda. The other day I was checking out getting Python to control position and action via simple cause/effect AI. It turned into a bit of a mess, but it seems like it works. This is a major part of Hack Mars and I have assumed that it will be pretty easy, but I haven't put all the implementations into an actual working system. That is what Demo 1 (Mission 1) was supposed to do. Demo 1 is still a ways away 3 weeks after it was due.

Considering the above and few recent pictures I have shown you, Demo 2 is not much further than Demo 1. Demo 3 is just Demo 2 with lots of content. That means that the three demos could be done in 2 weeks if I work hard on them.

This job is a major slowdown, but it does help achieve the goal of getting Hack Mars done quickly: keep me alive until HM is done. If I work a job, I have much more time in the present and future than if I run out of money now. So the end result is good.

I just noticed that my recent hard drive upgrade destroyed all my date information when I copied it over. That is unforgivable. I still have the original data so I can copy it again. But it took hours to copy all N GB of it. *sigh*

So what is the lesson of the above picture? Well, perhaps I will go into the development system instead of other. Content is hard. Programmers have problems creating content, but they need content. In order to hire an artist, a programmer needs money. To get money, a programmer needs to work. If a programmer is working, they cannot work on the game. Or a programmer can hope to send a demo program to get a job. But how does a programmer pay for an artist when s/he is looking for a job? The answer is programmer content. It involves low-quality content (graphics and audio) using the programmer's limited talent in the tools of art. This will end up showcasing the program, but totally lacking in style.

Webpages are similar. The graphics on this site are programmer graphics. They look mildly nice just because I have worked hard on them. They lack style compared to other sites because they lack a professional artist.

The three characters in the picture are programmer graphics. 3d animated textured characters that look ok. I am hoping that it will be good enough for the non-critical gamer. Most of the audio I will create myself. I will hire a voice actress for the female parts in the game and I'm hiring a musician for a few of the songs. Is it good enough? I say that putting programmer graphics into a game and hoping for it to be good enough is not good enough. The solution is to work on it. Even a programmer can put effort into art and create something sweet. I plan to work hard on the characters and create something that will be really sweet. It doesn't hurt that I've been teaching myself art for the past 4 years and practicing daily for 2.5 years. I'm 31 days from completing my 365th MoJF. That means average of every 2.5 days I have posted an image and rant on my website. Is that not incredible? Most of them have been either vector graphics or 3d graphics. A small number have been hand drawn and very few have been copied from interesting things I have found.

Practice is the method of turning a useless kid into a useful old person. While it may be cheaper and useful to gather many skills, it might be more efficient (better) to specialize and pay for others to gather those skills you lack.

Today is leap year in case your watch says March 1 instead of Feb 29. Mine did.

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