Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Late Nights and plenty of cold feet

I can never find socks around here. Honestly, m'feet are freezing! Anywho, as I sit here listening to "Romeo" by "Basement Jaxx" I thought i'd share some stuff.

TRLE is on the good wavelength again. I decided to stop it a few days ago. Yup, well, this has not been the first time. I had this progression of feelings a few months back. I was absouloutly fed up (song changed to Oh My Gosh) with TRLE. It just seemed to go wrong for me. Ideas where just bleuuuuuuuuuuuugh at best, and I was used to getting so far, then losing focus or passion for what I was working on. Anywho, I took a break from trle. A self imposed excile. I did not switch on the PC. For me, that is sure extreme. After that, ideas started popping into my head and almost exactly 3 months later, Spectrum was released. I did the very same a few days ago nearly (I did turn the pc on this time) but I was away from TR, and anything to do with it. Suddenly, again, ideas kept flowing through (song changed to Bingo Bango). Situations I could put our dear heroine in. Things started to click. It was amazing!

I have began to look on a long scale today. Rather then think hours, I started thinking days. I realised that this huge 18 week break (oh yeah.,,its gonna be THAT long. It started in May and won't end untill September 4th).

My recent times have been a bit of a shock to the system....

I've studied hard, took my final exams however. I officially left school on the 27th June. Naturally, I really detest not working. I need to keep busy. Even when I was 6 or 7, I can remember wanting to go back to school. I have come to realise it is not school in the tradional sense that I miss, it is just the routine of it all. I am used to getting up 5 days out of 7 and around 7-ish, going to bed around 11. Thats just what I have been used to for the last couple of years. This huge long break will see me do something rebbelious, vented through boredom and frustration. Lets just hope no-one finds out what I do haha.

BUT! I cannot tell you how excited I am for college. I feel that my time at Amersham&W College could either be enjoyable or prove how much I loathe being told what I have to do. I went there a couple of months ago for my interview. From the reception to the "learning resource center- basically a library with a photocopier) I was jsut wide eyed in amazement. A dance studio, a green screen suite, TV suite too???!!! YOu have to be kidding me! I couldn't believe it. It was there, that single walk down the corridor and back was the fixer for it all. I can't really talk about what it will be like there, because I have no idea. I am the first one in my family to:

a) stay onto higher education
b) goto Amersham &W college
c) go this far from home to study.

so I will have to make my own mind up.

Anywho, enough worbbling from me, I'm tired and I am going to bed now.

Goodnight =D

Monday, 7 July 2008

Violin and stories

Cant believe after 3 months no playing I can actually still play it! I plucked it out of its case, grabbed the music to Pirates Of The Carribean and was playing for ages!

Anywho, I started writing again today. I decided to go about level building differently then last time. I felt it was time to resurrect an old project today: Tomb Raider Guiding Hand. I am a narrative person, I like a good story. I took this and started writing a short sotry of what is going to happen in in rather then making it up as I go along..something i have a nasty habit of doing.

Here is a snippet of it. Not a literal work of art but jsut enough to keep me going.

The two foes raced up the side of this celestial pyramid. Sweat pouring from their brows, heart’s pumping feverishly. With a leap of pure luck Lara grabbed the triangle. In a flash of light, she was gone.

She found herself in a stone room. Ornaments of unmatched intricacy lined the room. The setting sun outside casting a dancing overcast to the whole room. She was still holding the triangle. The power of time, in her hands. It burns history into lara’s skin.

“The planets have aligned then?”

Lara looked around. She would not imagine anyone there. A small built tribal man came from the blue-ish shadows. His face was covered in tribal designs. His eyes were white and deep.

“The Triangle of Light, we have not heard of this power in millennia. Ever so curious to see why you have it. Did you seek it out in cold blood?”

“No. I would never. My father told me about the triangle when i was a little girl. Clues of it, and its power. I never believed of it until now.” Lara said in her classic arrogant way.

“Oh, so, you steal the power of the light for your own means?”. He replied back.

“No, I...don’t, of course not.”

“Oh but you have. Seeking out this dangerous relic and warping here, to where time and space meet. That is not ordinary mistake.”

“The place where time and space meet? Where am I?” Lara questioned. For a brief moment she was completely without guess.

“This place is the lost city of the illuminati. A city destroyed by the misguided actions we took.”

“Illuminati?” A name Lara knew too well.

“Yes, illuminati. Our descendants live on. We do not know where, or how, but we do know for sure”.

“They do live on, I just had a run in with them. They are after the triangle”.

“Really? Well, regardless, you hold the power of the triangle, on your head be it. Use the power wisely, and always watch the shadows. Go places, and see things you would never of dreamt of. You hold the power to do so.”

“But, I have no idea or direction on where to go.”. Lara was puzzled. The expression was wrote across her face.

“Oh? How did you escape a collapsing pyramid on a distant millennia?”

“How do you know about that?”

“I can see across the stars. Please, show me.”

“But how do I jump”

“Hold the triangle out above your head, close your eyes.” Lara did as he instructed.

“Good, good. Now, picture that place in your mind. Think of its sounds, smell and feelings. Picture this time in your head.” In a flash, the triangle and lara was gone

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Ooo dear

Wells, I have not been a happy person recently. I seriously miss routine, structure and rules- something I should be rebelling against. The days are a blur, its driving me crazy. Wake up, do nothing, goto bed. If someone told me 5 months ago I was having a 3 month break, I would of been very happy. But, I know that again, I'd just of started blogspot 5 months ago and still be moaning.

Job Hunting

Many failed attempts of job hunting, putting my extortionately thin CV out there looking for work. Phones 4 U turnt me down (via letter the bastards) , so again I am still looking for work.
I don't get it though. With College starting in September, I cannot possibly have a full time job, but I can for now. I tell everyone (and wrote) I can work flexible hours and a lot of them throughout the summer. Silly idiots!

The Structured, unstructured day.

Anywho, I have not been completely without aim, structure and rules. I have made sure to take care of myself (something thats important) so beleive it or not I don't snack on junk all day. I seem to be having "down time" at around 2pm most days. I stick on a film and find something from the freezer I can have.

I have also been reading. Yes, reading. I have not in a long,long while (not since at least about August last year). Its uncool, so totally nerdish but I have 2 words for you:

try it!

Try reading for half an hour. It works wonders. You can escape into your own world, your OWN perceptions. Who can honestly taint your imagination hmmm?


Okay, you must know. I am a creative person. As much as I say it I mean it. If that borderlines arrogance or self confession then go read someone else's blog. However, I am finding these days I am not being creative. This has reflected again in my main love- TRLE (See below). I was on a huge high last month because of the release of my work, but now, its so tottaly gone I think it won't return. I have not built in trle for the past week and I just seem to have lost the passion for it. I am not happy. My former level "Suspension"- bore from the high- has now jsut not got anywhere. I think, perhaps, its time for a little break, or, a new focus. Perhaps the Guiding Hand will fix that. We'll see.

Final Word

Well, there must be more to do then this, but, at the moment, i'll keep at it. Tommorow I plan to just plan, and organise. Organise what I want to do, how I will do it, and research,reserch, research (i'm talking about trle here btw).

From Here Down

is not in order ookay :) From here above is.

Tomb Raider: Spectrum

Woo! Finally release my first level onto the internet. That feeling was just immense. I was proud of my result, and when the reviews started to roll in, it made me a very happy person indeed. I cannot believe it scored as highly as it did. its not massively high either, but I was over the moon! 8.91!!!!

Download: http://www.skribblerz.com/Reports3/Spectrum.htm
review: http://www.trle.net/reviewsearch/reviews.php?lid=1839

Here are the reviews from trle.net

"Really well done debut level. Lovely to see the Imps again. I was fortunate to not get any of the level bugs and just got to enjoy the graphics and fun gameplay. Creative and imaginative, it's short and at times dark(but always with enough flares)and gives the promise of great future adventures. This is one new builder who seems to be well on the way to the top of any custom level list. Nicely done, Daniel!" - Bene (20-Jun-2008)

"An excellent level, the Next Generation texturing reminded me of George Maciver in his last levels. This works right from the start, with the little imps hacking and coughing. Picking up the ancient tablet, which reveals "Your fate is death, you have been warned," sets up a certain apprehensiveness and tension for the game, and then the raptors attack. I had some minor quibbles. When using binoculars the view is from behind, as though "Looking" through a transparent Lara. You don't see flames through a transparent Lara, and you can't spot a nearby transparent ledge, so I could see two farther transparent ledges but thought they were out of reach. Instead of using binoculars have Lara throw flares to spot the close by invisible ledge and thus get to a secret. The game file can be uncompressed to its own folder and conveniently played at once. Using setup as I normally do for my monitor resolution caused the game to crash. Simply clicking on the tomb4.exe file works, but that means that the resolution is predetermined by the author. (Maybe this is just a problem with my system.) Anyway, I'd love to see more adventures from this author. Don't be put off by the fact that this is a debut level. Play it, you'll like it." - dmdibl (14-Jun-2008)

"A good 50 minutes level for a first try, the 3rd category (atmosphere camera sounds) is very good in my opinion. I like much the background atmosphere which is not too heavy as we have been accustomed lately in other levels and the sfx sounds are great. The looks are also technically very good, although a bit too dark. As for the gameplay nothing too difficult there, it is really basic at the beginning and happily evolves to something more entertaining with -in particular- an excellent puzzle with colours, and a course on breakable tiles. A user friendly level with plenty of cameras to show you what is rather obvious in general. Straightforward and not too demanding, this level is rather pleasant to play." - eRIC (14-Jun-2008)

"Great game , beautiful textures , interesting story and action. New ideas and really great TR climate but very original in the same time , I enjoy it In my opinion 40/40 Well done but could be a little longer , I am waiting for more levels stranger1992 !" - ersatz (16-Jun-2008)

"An excellent debut release from a young builder who has been prepared to do his homework and learn the art of good level building. The strength of the level lies in good texture choice and strong effective lighting. The surroundings are often very convincing but there are several areas that border on the plain side. There seems to be a lot of cross culture objects though, ranging from Incan, Tinnos Islander and African all under the one roof, which undermines the otherwise effective settings. Gameplay is fairly simple, which makes it fun for an adrenalin raid, but more experienced raiders may find it a bit too easy. Enemies looked good but several were largely ineffective or in the case of the mushroom men caused the ugly poison screen distortion to occur because the enemies weren't properly modified or tested. There's some good audio incorporated and steady camera work. Despite the criticisms this is a level you can engross yourself in the atmosphere, and the builder will only improve from the experience of this first release." - EssGee (29-Jun-2008)

"Hmm, I think I've rarely seen a level that gets reviewed so quickly - a bit under 20 reviews in as much as a bit under 20 days! Makes it even more so impressive considering this is only the author's debut, so one just had to see what it's all about, and pretty early on you can see that all the commotion is justified. It's an incredibly pretty looking game all the way through with plenty of colourful lighting applied, some very scenic fly-bys and cool effects like the tiles lighting up when you step on the right one to name a few. It's also a fairly straightforward and simple affair, so there are practically no skill limitations and this is suitable for every player out there, though there are a few more complex actions involved, but they're left for the secrets (of which I found 2) so it's all balanced out well. There are a few facets of the overall experience I did not enjoy as much - and to mystify you a bit, I'll use the background audio to illustrate my point, because when trying to pay attention to it - I think I heard no less than 3 of the original background traps overlapped (or mixed) over each other. While the result as such wasn't bad - I believe this illustrates a tendency of the author to cram too much stuff into one level, and it showed everywhere you lay your eyes on. At times everything is so bright and overstuffed, I half wished the author had diluted it with a more mundane task or two or a more neutral looking area to rest your eyes in. While it's not bad from the aspect of author using his resources to the fullest, and I could somehow buy that the exaggerated intensity of everything could be part of the dream-like atmosphere, but for most part it just felt to me like a new builder pulling every trick from his sleeve whether needed or not to fill out the level. But I gather considering to the worst things one could've expected from a debut level, that's a fairly minor complaint in the grand scheme of things, and the level is definitely worth a go! A first effort well done!" - eTux (29-Jun-2008)

"what a nice debut level .... i was very surprised i must admit .... very well designed areas very pleasant gameplay one off the best debut levels so far......albeit i have a closed door close to the end .... needed to light the wall torch to open that door ... well i dont see any way to get up from water with the torch in front off that door with wall switch...so i get past the ballancing blades and burners get the Kamen Svetla thing and after i went through the door wich open and a long corridor the game ended at my dissapointion cos was a bit too short adventure but very nice one DONT WASTE UR TIME DOWNLOAD IT ANT PLAY IT !!! I WAIT FOR ANOTHER LEVEL FROM THIS VERY TALENTED BUILDER CHEERS...." - Jack& (14-Jun-2008)

"And here we have that sadly rather rare phenomenon of late, a quality debut level. This is well crafted in every respect – it looks wonderful, the storyline is imaginative and the gameplay well balanced and entertaining. It says it all when you regret finishing a level because you just want to carry on playing it. I really loved it and hope for a lot more levels from this builder." - Jay (12-Jun-2008)

"Whilst I was playing the level I discovered that atmosphere was one of the things that made this level fantastic as I truly enjoyed playing this level. So far I found only 1 secret but I have spotted the other one with the binoculars.(which I know is a secret because of the readme file) The instructions are clear and so is the idea. I did think that when you reached the area with the metallic bars that it looked kind of odd that you could look through the wall and also when you get the missing tablet a ladder appears in the room above where you got above the lava. This ladder however was not climbable which is at first not bad (decoratings right?) until I figured out that the same sort of ladder was climbable in other areas. Other than this I enjoyed playing it and the sound was Superb!" - Jeffrey (19-Jun-2008)

"Excellent debut level! I loved the texturing, it had textures from so many different areas, but when they were put together, it made the game look beautiful! The objects were excellent, I really liked them. The gameplay was very simple, but it really felt like classic tomb raider. Excellent Job Stranger1992!" - Jesse (26-Jun-2008)

"Oh my God, I thought it was three levels and now after only one it's over! :bigcry: This level is just great in so many aspects, namely the music/lighting/atmosphere/objects and so ingenious in several ways, just think of the inventive way you get the golden idol, unfortunately the only secret I got. I loved the dinos, that part with the sitar music, I don't know I loved it all, what a fantastic debut level whose main fault is just that it ends so soon! Simple enough yet great to play, you don't have to get stuck for ages for a game to be good (quite on the contrary, says I). Way to go, stranger, I doubt you'll remain a stranger for much longer!" - Jorge22 (13-Jun-2008)

"What a terrific debut ! You have done yourself proud. The only real fault I could find with this game was that the adventure was too short. The sounds in this game are one of it's best features. The gameplay is pretty straight forward even though the raising blocks threw me for a loop for a bit - chalk that up to senility - and the enemies can be swiftly dispatched. I recommend this game to everyone - you will enjoy it ! I can't wait for stranger1992's next endeavor....I'll bet it's going to be outstanding." - Mugs (11-Jun-2008)

"For a first level this really looks quite sensational. It's the sort of environment where you can stand around for ages and just look...and that's rather a good thing because due to a couple of horrendous bugs you may quite realistically be stuck in here for ever,unable to complete the level.Under those circumstances a score of 0 for Gameplay would be perfectly feasible,but in this case (and with the help of a Savegame and perhaps a fresh download) I was able to continue from an otherwise total impasse (a pick-up had not been dropped) and thereby complete the adventure.Other players may not be so fortunate. In all other respects this was a greatly enjoyable and well-made effort,with a fine eye for lighting and attention to detail.If Gameplay can be improved for his next level then this builder has a potentially starry future awaiting him." - Orbit Dream (19-Jun-2008)

"This is a very good debut level. First of all it has a stunning atmosphere and fantastic lighting+textures! The only thing that I did not like was the constant squashed textures. Without them it would have been 10 in that category. The sound and cameras are flawless though. When it comes to enemies and objects..what can you say? The objects are new and fresh and are really nice to look at! Especially the shining crab (or lobster?) doors, the UW switch and the lever switch! What about the most important part, the gameplay and puzzles? I loved it! It took me 1 hours to finish this level with all secrets and it was a fantastic level with easy to normal difficulty. It sort of reminded me of Gmacs levels actually. Anything bad about this level? Nahh not really. The squashed textures and a paperthin wall could be fixed IMO. Other than that you have done a fantastic debut level!! Way to go and keep up the good work! I demand a sequel ;)" - QRS (12-Jun-2008)

"This level is surely great work for a debut level. Gameplay contains many unique ideas spiced up with new features of NGLE and TRNG. I liked especially the floating colored tile puzzle, lava river, pushblock puzzle near the beginning and the way you have to carry a torch over the water. I found the environment at times a bit too common looking but all in all well created and textured. Of course there’s always a lot of space for improvements considering gameplay, atmosphere and surroundings but this is however, a good start for level building and hopefully we’ll have a chance to play more levels from this author soon." - Samu (03-Jul-2008)

"This was a really interesting level with some intriguing puzzles. I really enjoyed this short but sweet level. Hope to see more from this promising builder!" - Shandroid (23-Jun-2008)

"A nice and short level with increasing difficulty. Although it is too straightforward in my opinion, it isn't too demanding and is playable by everyone. I completely agree with the review of eRIC. I have found two (easy) secrets and I liked the idea used to bring the torch on the other side of a pool. There were a lot of original ideas and I think that the next levels by this author will be really great. :-)" - TimJ (17-Jun-2008)

"A great single level adventure. At just under one hour for me I had a great time playing this debut level from Daniel. The main task is to find three coloured orbs through a variety of traps, puzzles and jumps. The level is set in Lara's dreams and that comes across very well. It's a mix of different architectures, enemies (mainly raptors and harpies) and most of all - colours. As the name would suggest, colour plays a large part and it was very warming and simply increadibly pretty to look at. This makes the setting a little unrealistic and it's hard to imagine where Lara might be, but I doubt the level was designed to be anything other than a sort of 'dream world' so there's no problem there. It's not particularly difficult, which for me is perfect but for those seeking a more challenging raid it may be a little on the easy side. One or two slightly tougher puzzles or jumps, and more of a variety would have made the gameplay perfect for me. In any case, my favourite parts were the coloured jumping section, pushing the second cage around and the huge cavern with flowing lava across which you have to navigate. On the downside, I thought some of the cameras where a little confusing. Sometimes you would run down a corridor and the camera would switch to a closed door which you later opened somehow. Maybe the camera could have been used when you pushed the switch and not before? Also none of the cameras seemed to have timers, meaning you had to press the look button or run off the square you were on to get rid of the camera. I loved the ambient background tracks and Lara's new sounds, it gave the whole level a polished feel. Perfect for those looking for a one level game of high quality." - TrueRaider (11-Jun-2008)

"I love this game! It was very well thought out, and almost every puzzle had some kind of trap. The gameplay was lacking in some areas, while the puzzles mad the score even. The enemies scored really high for me. I loved the raptors and everything. The objects were really cool, and well placed. The atmosphere was very creepy, and the sound was adding to the effect. The cameras didn't really catch my eye though. The lighting could have been better, but the textures and water effects were superb. Overall, I can, and will, recomend this level to my peers." - Vaughnage (11-Jun-2008)

"Spectrum has to be one of the best level designs around here. The graphics are no doubt the greatest from the customs I've played so far that's for sure. Stranger1992 seems to have almost mastered the NGLE on his first try. :) Has a nice mix of nostalgic touches from the past while still innovating with some of the new kinds of puzzles possible with the new editor. As others have mentioned the experience could have been longer, but for one single level the length is just about perfect. Hopefully he'll considering making a level-set in the future." - yesrushdt (19-Jun-2008)

No way in hell i thought! No way. I was always aware i was "okay" because I just was (no arrogance intended lol) but then to put it to a number was simply out of this world. The score at its highest peaked at 9.04. Wowza!


Okays, so, decided to finaly add my thoughts into a more constructive and meaningful ledium then a Myspace bulletin (something I have been known to do but not for a long, long while).

Not sure of the hows, or the whys with blogging, so i'll just talk, and talk somemore.