Eve DevBlog 28: Half Lives

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This week I was more or less constantly harried by real life obligations and stresses which made work on the project difficult. I kept my head in the game, so to speak, but boy am I feeling the stress at this point. However, having just made the substantial financial commitment of moving into a place where I can stay for the next year or however long it takes to finish this project, this feels realer than ever. I am doing this thing.

I hope that this room will come to represent, to me, my dedication to this project, rather than filling itself up with the same aspects of apathy and distraction, over many months of subtle self-sabotage, of many of my previous residences. Of course, the only way to make that happen is to stay busy and dedicated, which was basically my plan anyway.

Unfortunately this place also comes with, as mentioned, a consistent financial obligation, which may at times oblige me to work less on the project so that I can manage the month’s finances. So it goes.

Anyway, with that background information, here’s what I got done this week. First, I got started on the crouch animation. This is only a few frames so far so the animation is really hurried and jumpy, but it gives an idea of the motion I want:

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I’ll probably have a more refined version of this next week, but since I need to work with graphics software so much to pull in cash right now I may actually end up working less on this for a bit. It depends on how much patience I have for Photoshop and Painter. This one’s going to be kind of interesting, though, because this should be the biggest change in silhouette so far between the right-facing animation and left-facing animation, since the left foot is moving basically directly away from the ‘camera’ here. Drawing the foreshortening on it for the other facing will be an interesting challenge.

I also got a lot more writing done this week. After finally getting through The Descent, I was surprised to find The Terminal surprisingly easy, and the requisite ideas all popped through in a couple of days. Even more surprising, the ideas for Pandemonium also came easily– in this case, so readily that this area is shaping up to be one of the biggest and most detailed areas of the game. I’ve got the basic flow of it planned out along with the sorts of creatures one will encounter there, but planning out all of the special rooms and details has yet to be done.

This area is big and complicated and will take a while to plan out, but once it is complete I will be very close indeed to having the final scope of the game all planned out. Just two more areas left to go!

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There was a man who lived forever. A wizard once told him the trick, long ago, to each and every day looking up to the sun and saying a prayer, or perhaps a promise: “I am happy to be alive.” And so he was, and so he did, every day, forever.

All things end, even forever.

Time passed, as it does. He married, had children, his children had children– but, standing outside time as he did, he outlasted them all.

He missed his prayer for the first time the day he buried his first wife. He could not bear to lie to the sun, to claim happiness when all he had come to love had begun to decay.

He did not mourn forever. He soon regained happiness, and started praying to the sun once more, but on that one day, for the first time in half a century, he became one day older.

Forever is a long time. He buried so many wives, so many children, so many friends, and though no one tragedy ever weighed as much as the first, there were bad days, unbearable days, days when the sorrow was simply too great and there was no way he could face the sun.

I do not want you to believe that his was a tragic life. He had so much happiness, so much love, so much friendship– but there were sad days, yes, and one-by-one, day-by-day, they aged him.

He became afraid. All men fear death, but for him, he who had eluded it for so long, death became an obsession, and it drove him to a fearsome and terrible decision.

He disappeared.

He left his friends and his family behind, he left his entire world behind, and travelled far away, went somewhere abandoned, somewhere hostile– some say an island, some say a desert, some a mountaintop, but we know this much: Somewhere where he could see the sun clearly.

He did not eat. He did not drink. But, every day, he would tell the sun how happy he was to be alive– and he truly was, for though this was not the life he would have chosen he was still a man who loved life.

However, a strange thing began to happen– his prayers became less and less potent, and slowly he began to age again.

He began praying twice a day– was it just him, or were these days getting longer? Then– three times a day, then…

Forever is a long time. Even an act that takes but one moment, done over and over, can consume one’s life.

Over one tiny eternity was he consumed, the prayers forced closer and closer together until he knew nothing else. He went blind from gazing up into the sun, lost his voice declaring his happiness over and over, and his limbs became useless and withered…

Was that the end?

Is there an end?

We approach our destinies in half measures, and this way convince ourselves that we’ll never see the end even as it reaches out to embrace us. A half step closer, a half step closer…

Is this the end?

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