The Meaningless Numbers

16 07 2007

Life is as it has been: played a lot of COH, worked on a lot of SL stuff, played some games, etc.

I’m thinking I need to get more specific about my SL projects in my LJ. Back when this journal was a boomtastic expansive amazing sight to behold, I was pumping out WIP shots and updates on my NWN modules. Now that I’ve moved on from NWN I haven’t quite done a lot of updating in here about SL, and I was wondering why… the answer is that I worry I’d either bore people or annoy them. SL gets overhyped in the press and I know a lot of gamers just start snarling and foaming when anybody talks about it, much less sings its praises, but I should stop being uber-considerate and start, y’know, posting about my life even if it’s not gonna be everybody’s cup of tea. Ergo.

Zombie Meltdown is going great. I’d been assembling various subsystems like the sprite controls and reloading functionality bit by bit, but never really tackled the main game out of standard “Project too large, want to avoid” fears. So, last week / this weekend I finally pushed myself to do it and the whole thing took like two lousy days. Honestly, if I could get over that hump faster I could crank out more games.

All it’s waiting for now is final artwork. I’ll post some screenshots here when finished. It’s really a beauty, and is shaping up to be my favorite game of the bunch… all the strategic snap-decision making of Hogan’s Alley, with a number of additional and important features like the reloading and nukes. It rocks in single player more than I thought it would and it rocks multiplayer as always. It’s gonna be a big seller.

Which brings me to point 2 — sales. We are selling big. Games, wings, and even the rentals have picked up. The island is safe for 2-3 months even if somehow all our stuff dropped back down to zero. On the RL front, my job is also making me tons of money… to the point where money has become a meaningless concept.

One thing I always swore through college was that I would never go broke and never be poor. I had too many friends barely scraping by, unable to get work, unable to get health benefits, and really struggling. I had a lot of sympathy for them, but I knew then I didn’t want to be in that situation, not ever. So, I got a (supposedly) solid job with (definitely) good pay and benefits. It’s boring but it’s not extremely difficult or with ridiculous hours and it fronts me the cash I want to stay stable.

Problem is, I’m not really DOING anything with the income except stuffing it in savings. Which actually is probably the smartest possible thing to do, rather than buying gold plated yachts, but it does mean I have no sense of scale when it comes to money. It’s just there, and there’s enough of it, and if this keeps rolling there’ll always be enough. It’s not like I’m holding off on buying things I want… I honestly don’t have a lot that I want. Most of my impulse buys are just yuppie toys and even those aren’t particularly bank breaking. I guess the upshot is that one day I’ll be able to retire and enjoy a carefree existence. That’d be swell, indeed.

Okay, back to reality. Otakon. Aside from packing a toothbrush and my usual con t-shirts, I ran through the schedule and picked out what events and animu to hit this time around. I used suggestions from the previous thread to guide my decision making process. The notables are GunXSword, Black Lagoon, and Code Geass. Eventwise, they have some good panels/workshops for gamers, so I’m going to a lot of those.

One thing I’m skipping is the fanfic panel. (ALERT: Time to piss off the readers! Yay!) It’s just not my world anymore. It is occupied by squeeing fangirls who slash Naruto and Inuyasha. It is immersed in codes and inward looking fanon tropes and all the nightmarish horrors that fanfic has become known for. It’s not like My Golden Fanfic Era was amazingly better, but there was a lot of room for experimentation and originality and less adherence to dogma and sub-sub-subgenre and categorization. I’m not interested in that anymore. I am a WRITER, not a FANFICER, and my interests are more broad than the narrow niche fanfic seems content to writhe within. Now, to my flameproof bunker.

Edit: To clarify, my “savings” are as undescribed but solid investments of various types. I’m comfortable with where the money’s going, and don’t really need new ways to grow the pile. It’s more that I’m philosophically pondering how vague money as a concept seems to feel now that I have enough.

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20 responses

16 07 2007
kublaikhan

Speaking of SL, I’ve rounded up a couple other people interested in cosplaying Fist of Discomfort–but wanted to know who the other characters were based on. Could you grant enlightenment?

16 07 2007
ladybrick

Re: Fanfic
Amen

16 07 2007
shadrad

Putting money into savings is good, but also consider investing some of it. You may get some enjoyment out of playing the stock market, too.
Sure, it may be overall meaningless to have MORE money than you need, but then you might consider donating some of it to research or charity, or X other number of worthwhile causes.

16 07 2007
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

I don’t get how you can cosplay an 8×16 sprite. @_@ But okay…
Jake is an american loudmouth in samurai armor; silver/gray armor top, red leggings. Probably long hair and unshaven. Sort of a Merkin Haohmaru. has a white cloth belt or sash of some sort.
Pao-Pao is a generic semi-busty/bouncy anime babe type. Outfit looks like Lei Fang’s P2 from DOA2. I think. Anyway, it’s one of those midriff+cleavage+long sleeves type things. Green hair, of course.
Hikari is wearing a fairly standard women’s kyudo outfit. Google it. Long black hair.
Ojisan is basically just Pai-Mei, although with an Akuma-esque topknot and a gold-sleeved robe instead of a white/black motif.
Don’t forget that you need ninjas to kill.

16 07 2007
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

I’m very risk adverse. I’m investing it in a few stock option type things but I’m not gonna be a day trader or do anything that involves the word “playing.” I prefer solid, long term, and reliable without needing a lot of micro or even macro management.
I routinely donate to red cross, LPRF, Child’s Play, and some other stuff. Not huge lump sums, bit I make an effort each year to drain some of the pile in worthwhile ways.

16 07 2007
kublaikhan

Insanity. That’s how we’re planning on doing it.
I’m hoping we can get it together in time for AniMagic…if not then, then next year’s AX.
Thankye kindly!

16 07 2007
riskygamble

401k? Someone once told me that if I put $100 a month in that (or was it an IRA? I’m hopeless with banky stuff) that I’d be a millionaire at 60. Of course, dude was an economics student so I dunno just HOW true that is.
There’s something to be said for a comfortable retirement… you could ostensibly build the house of your dreams. LOL TURRETS EVERYWHERE
And that’s pretty much exactly the reason I don’t /read/ fic anymore. Too many 13 year old girls (and boys) have access to anime full of hawt bishies!1 (or sexy babes with guns!!) and are spilling their adolescent fantasies into the web.
…For a second there, I felt really old and curmudgeonly! :o

16 07 2007
jengagne

Man, and I thought I was bad cosplaying as Lorelei from Unreal Estate. :)
(Great way to weird out one’s brother! Woo!)
You, sir, are my nominee for the #1 Crazy Fan award.

16 07 2007
kublaikhan

Heheheheh….well, it’s not all me. I’d mentioned it half-jokingly, but when my fiancee’ and her friend saw the screenshots, apparently they touched a nerve or something.

16 07 2007
jengagne

This is a journal of how you spend your time… your creative time in particular. So, go ahead and document it as much as you like. Use it to think out loud, etc… don’t worry about protecting your audience from your activities, and as a result, post nothing. Audiences are self-sorting. :D
I’m in a similar boat myself. Hmm. I think I’ll post about it over here rather than talk about myself overmuch in your LJ.
Yeah, stuffing income into savings is good. You might need it later, more than the average person might. Dad could help you invest it if you wanted it to do something productive.
Sooner or later your rent will go up to half-mortgage or full-mortgage levels, and then that buffer will come in handy.
Otakon, wai! I can understand skipping the fanfic panel… skipping fanfic in general for that matter. Whatever floats your boat, which has sailed, insert another mixed metaphor here.
I always find it interesting that you continue to define yourself as a writer. While writing is definitely a strong point for you and I’m sure you’ll always write periodically, it’s by no means your sole (or currently even your primary!) creative expression. But I guess the more generalist term “artist” sounds pretentious when applied to something other than visual art? Dunno.

16 07 2007
lirazel

Going to fund that medical notes transcription project? I can’t think of a better way to spend some dough… after all, if it weren’t for your doctor (and I feel guilty because his name has escaped me, but there it is–senior moment or something) you wouldn’t have made any of it.
If you approach Johns Hopkins, they might even help you write a grant for yet bigger bux, and manage it themselves.

16 07 2007
Anonymous

possibly unrelevant update: Coyote Ragtime Show is a lot of fun.

16 07 2007
jengagne

From what I hear, funding is not the issue. They have a grant covering the process. They have put out a few papers… progress is happening now, thankfully. It just had a slow start.
A bunch of papers are getting ready for publication and reportedly the rest will be done within the year! Yay!

16 07 2007
kublaikhan

What is this project you speak of?

16 07 2007
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

Basically, after Doctor Kopits died (my personal doctor, and the medical expert on dwarfism) all his medical notes and surgical data had yet to be properly written up, published, organized, etc. The project is, as I understand it, an effort at getting this mission critical information out there.
I’m lucky — I had all the corrective surgery I needed already. But a lot of kids growing up now have nowhere to turn to. Even if they could find doctors willing to take on these challenges, the knowledge base Dr. Kopits was working from was inaccessible. The project aims to change that, and good, because otherwise we’d have a lost generation of LPs out there.

16 07 2007
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

Yeah, and it’s on the schedule, but the problem is there’s a game design workshop on at the same time. I’m starting to get more interested in casual / minigame / arcade gaming and creating original experiences on that front, so I’d like to talk shop, etc.
I think Jen and/or Andy are gonna go, though, so I expect typewritten reports on a Clark Nova. Welcome to Annexia!

16 07 2007
kublaikhan

Sounds like a very worthy cause.

16 07 2007
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

Yeah, I’m still not fully living in the real world. Things will probably level off and my “plenty!” pile will simply be “enough”. And then I can start conserving. Like, more than I’m conserving now. Or something. I dunno. Point is, I’m OK.
It’s hard to pick the right noun for what I am. I’m reminded of one of the few witty lines from the recent Fantastic Four animated run:
“I’m trying to come up with a word that describes how bad things are right now. I’m thinking of… ‘terribawful’.”
I suppose I’d be, hmm… a.. writcodartimusitianshipfolk.

16 07 2007
lirazel

RESOUNDING CHEERS!

18 07 2007
delfina

It’s your journal, post whatever you want. Even if it’s kitties being tormented by adorable puppies. (I’d totally read that!) You really don’t need Jen and I to tell you that. :D

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