September 9, 2008

I Get By

I am periodically reminded that life should not be taken quite so seriously. In this case, a man driving an SUV was loudly and poorly singing along to Joe Cocker's rendition of With a Little Help from My Friends (of The Wonder Years fame). The stop and go of rush hour afforded me several opportunities to appreciate the driver's gravelly and tuneless accompaniment, but the whole situation made me laugh, which is something I do less of than I'd like. I was returning from work and, more recently, the Compleat Strategist, where I picked up a mini for the character I'll be playing in an upcoming D&D campaign.

I jumped back into the world of gaming clubs with my participation in an NYC Dungeons & Dragons Meetup event. I ran a game for seven people which went moderately well, though glancing around at the other tables I was certainly the least prepared DM. It very much reminded me of college, of regularly storytelling a LARP for fifty friends and strangers, and those first few games where words jumble with nervous energy. I met a handful of good people and was invited to join a regular campaign meeting on Wednesdays. The game I DM regularly, set in Wake, also meets on Wednesdays, but I'm hoping to move it for an opportunity to both run and play in a campaign.

Wake development has slumped these past two weeks. I've not been feeling creative and most of my attention was focused on work. I did pound out some short descriptions of the gods, but at best they're shallow representations of what I've imagined. I feel my current campaign is uninspired. Wake could offer much more than standard party-vs.-goblins fare, and lumping all monstrous races under the umbrella of Aer is a mistake. I want to polish Lumin next, adding in settlements among the reefs and an Aethergate to an underwater metropolis. I also need to redefine what the PCs in my current campaign should be striving against. One of Warcraft's (Azeroth's, I suppose) strengths is the redefinition of playable races. I don't want quite the variety of Planescape, but offering only PHB races is a failure to utilize Wake's flexibility.

Liz and I have been playing with sprites and isometric views. I've got a little man running around on the screen and we've discussed possibilities for a mini-adventure or Tactics-style game. I actually had a dream where I played the role of a character in Tactics, which wouldn't have been all that creepy or weird except the most memorable part of the dream was my height value being displayed over my head. Overall, I feel a lot more comfortable with a two-dimensional starter project, so hopefully it bears fruit.

At work, I've been messing with WDDX and AJAX. I discovered last week that JavaScript in an XML response is not interpreted or executed. Basically, it's ignored. I am using WDDX to push a result set into an object, which can then be navigated by using the up and down arrow keys. Unfortunately, the result set is generated by an XmlHttp request, so I have to strip out the WDDX with a ridiculous regular expression (which I don't even understand, thanks Google, but can you find me a cheaper price for Mastering Regular Expressions?) and then eval() it, which raises some security and speed concerns. Research turned up no other workarounds, so my choice is implementing the regex hack or redesigning the site. Ugh. Someone remind me why I felt the need to develop my own JavaScript library for this project?

1 comment:

Sean said...

"Creepy guys who want to set every NPC on fire" is my favorite post tag of all time.