The Upside of Manic Depression

…or Bipolar Mood Disorder, or schizophrenia, or Mood Variance Syndrome or whatever alphabet soup gobbledegook you want to refer to it as that day. Sure, there’s those long periods where you don’t get anything done, but the neat thing is, you’re still thinking about them. You just don’t have the energy or will to actually do anything about it. But those thoughts and plans and ideas tend to stick in the back of your head.

So what happens when the mental weather changes and you go into overdrive mode? It all starts pouring out in a big ol’ flood, that’s what. At least, if you’re me. When you stop living entirely on nicotine and Twinkies, stop wanting to just sleep all day – or lie in bed pretending to sleep – and that dovetails with having healed enough that you can actually plant your butt in the chair and work, why, fun things start to happen.

Alas, getting anything done with Ioudas or Lune de Amant is not one of those things. Yet. But they’re on the list; I just don’t think I’ve crawled completely out of the shadow of blech, yet. Besides, given the season, there are slightly more pressing things at hand. The clock is ticking, folks. Only thirty-three days until the only holiday that matters lands on the calendar, eh wot? And I have something planned.

But I thought I’d take a moment to say “There are some things coming down the pipeline, and I think they are cool things, and if I could slow my silly mind down long enough to fixate on just one of them for more than two hours at a time, they’d probably all arrive sooner, but I’m getting there damnit and hey is that pie?” Ahem.

dean demands pie

First up, and the thing I can actually talk about, is a bit of multimedia. I recently picked up Clickteam Fusion 2.5, and have been poking at it, remembering the amount of amusement the RPG Maker series gave me – and before that, in the dim dark days when we all worked with ANSI graphics and BBSes that you actually had to place a phone call to use instead of these darned 3D graphics and interwebs, a dash of C and assembly. I initially picked it up just on whim, curious as to what the fuss was about and interested in seeing just how one makes a game with Five Nights at Freddy’s complexity with a tool one can fetch from Steam. Then when I determined that between my ancient programming knowledge, the tools that are available in the digital “box” and the support of the community, I might actually be able to make something amusing, I set out to work on what is currently called Writer’s Block: The Game.

The basic idea is sort of a resource management game; you need to balance activities like playing on the internet, reading, going for walks and socializing with working on your novel. Doing those activities generates Inspiration but also decreases your Energy; when properly rested and bursting with Inspiration, you can work on the book. Finish the book and finish the game. I have other ideas for things past that point, but I’m trying not to be too ambitious, since I’m still trying to figure out how the software wants me to think. So far I’ve got the basic mechanics in your bedroom/office working (clock, keeping track of your Inspiration and Energy, a very basic Save/Load mechanic with a Hard Reset option) with the framework for the actual writing and “dream” interfaces. The fun part will be the writing and dreams; those will be affected by your moods and by the “keywords” that you’ll pick up while doing other things. Keywords would be things like “horror,” “puppies,” “aliens,” “romance” and such, which when you go into the writing menu, you’ll select a handful that will influence your work and the eventual genre/mood of the piece.

I was hoping to post some screenshots or maybe a video, but my capture program decided it doesn’t like me anymore (Thanks, Windows 10!) but hopefully that’ll be rectified next week, and you can see what I have. It isn’t much, yet – and is technically lacking a “game” aspect at the moment – but it’s going somewhere, I’m amused by it, and there is a certain amount of pride in doing something, even if it doesn’t seem immediately beneficial or interesting to others.

The other thing I can’t really talk about. You may have seen an odd post or two on here (or over on my Twitter), and there’s probably more of that coming. Can’t really say; those posts just appear at 3:33 AM for some reason. Hmmm. I can’t talk much about them, other than to say that they are going somewhere, and you’ll all know more when the time is right. I can say that I am having quite a bit of fun with this; we’ll just have to see if it bears fruit.

What about you guys out there? What’s in your pipeline? What do you think of the “weird” posts? Annoying or intriguing? And Writer’s Block? Something you might be interested in playing? If so, I can probably arrange for copies to be sent out, once I’m done diddling the framework. Let us know in the box below! Or bring pie.

cas demands pie

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