Everyone is out to get me
11/03/03 at 13:58 EST

Story time is over. It was a fun little diversion (for me) while it lasted, and was a bit of a learning exercise from a literary standpoint. I have a nasty habit, when writing, to let events in a story chart their own course, only to have the world I've created betray my expectations and evolve as it goes. The problem with that is, the beginning no longer coincides with the current state of the world, and I have to reshuffle, redesign, and rewrite. I've been doing this with a novel-in-progress of mine since 2006. And this time, I think I have all the pieces in place, but it won't be until I've re-written up to that critical juncture that I'll know for sure, in which all likelihood will dictate history repeats itself.

And now that I've managed to alienate my entire audience, I can start posting my spur of the moment whims in here again. I didn't want to break the flow, you see. And before anyone who hasn't been scared away thinks the universe I've depicted in the Hero's Diary deserves greater exploration, well, good news: it already has. It's not mine. It's not my idea, the events are not of my design, and the characters are not of my imagination. I suppose, despite how it ails me to admit, it's something of a "retelling" of the first bundle of events in Zettai Hero Project: Absolute Victory Unlosing Ranger vs. Darkdeath Evilman, written from my perspective of the main character's perspective. The universe of ZHP really is so bizarre that any observer, such as that of the main character, must have an intriguing viewpoint on the matter. And while attempting to stay faithful to the source material, one cannot help but infuse a portion of their own identity into anything they do, which was something I did at regular intervals in a fit of self-indulgence.

But that is neither here nor there. As I've stated before, with that uninterruptable diversion at its end, I can turn my indulgences to something with less structure. I received a call at work today (this is, believe it or not, a very uncommon occurrence; I'm not an aficionado of the telephone) from a business to which I am affiliated, with the aim of a promotional offer for this or that. That immediately raises a red flag in my psyche - I tend to be a rather tolerable person, and branching from that, I find ways of making myself content with the way things are. This is a pleasant way of saying I hate change. Even though I'm not keen on watching things as they become more and more routine, while I may fantasize about some marvelous invasion into my lifestyle that upsets the natural order, I still dislike change. And when I am approached about something by a company whose services I am affiliated with, I often regard the offer tentatively.

Incentives, designed to make the offer seem more appealing, have the exact opposite impact on me, making me even more wary about the insidious inner workings, ever-perceptive of this seemingly-innocent proposal's ulterior motives. If this package, this offer, this service - if it is really so wonderful, so beneficial to myself or humanity as a whole, why do you need to bribe me with a 50 dollar coupon just to sample a free trial?

Abate my fears, would you please - mention something offhandedly, inconspicuously, that makes me believe I've spotted the "gotcha" as it were. In this case, it was an opt-out program. We give you this voucher, and we let you sample our awesome service for 30 days absolutely free - but if you don't tell us you don't want it, we'll automatically start billing you for it.

This seems like something obvious to me - something terribly easy to take advantage of, that there must be some other "catch", something else preventing the offeree from taking advantage of the offerer. The fact of the matter is, however, that the majority of people out there actually are stupid, and in this case I could easily be grouped in with them, as I am dreadfully forgetful. If I were to gamble on this, to hazard a guess, I'd say that the target market for this promotion is forgetful people. It's an inconspicuous, fully-automated charge to the signee's account, and something that is quite easily overlooked. That's where they getcha.

I've been working away on a project for a while now, one I've deliberately refrained from mentioning by name or description, due to my terrible habit of abandoning every acted-upon idea halfway through, but this particular project (it is a video game, if that was necessary to whet your appetite) appears to have already overcome the worst of the hurdles. I'm at another peak in the mental fun vs work graph that has left me on the sidelines for now. In order to improve my rate of progress on this project, I must first break it entirely, but this hangup is an exercise in wasting an afternoon at best, as it is optional. Depends on whether I want some personal growth from the experience or not.

The other interference is - you guessed it - another project, though I'd rather call this one a budding hobby. It's no surprise that I'm a fan of the Scott Pilgrim books/film/game. I didn't expect to enjoy the game all that much - I enjoyed River City Ransom, but I was by no means crazy about it - but the entire package had such charm and style to it. The gameplay was solid and flexible, evolving just enough in complexity to have admirable depth and challenge to it, while remaining accessible. You can get through with "approach, punch, repeat", but it only gets you so far, and lacks the grace of one who makes good use of their potential. The graphical style is the current focus of my affection however, and that tip of the hat goes to Paul Robertson and his team. It's not just the fluidity of the animations, but the sprites themselves are so very lively and colourful, as expressive as O'Malley's source at times. I decided to experiment with it a bit using a mascot I designed for a certain PC rhythm game and the results of that provoked me into doing a few more sprites, both of fictional people and real people, and a couple in between. Since then, I've gotten a number of requests, and I'll be pounding out a few more in the next little while. I seem to be improving at it too, as sprites drawn from scratch seem to take me about 75% of the time they did half a month ago to get right. I'll post some of them here when I have the time. At the moment there are a few in stock poses, but they require animation. I hope you like apng (and Firefox).
Tagged under: life
0 comment(s) | Leave a comment

To the Post Board