Monday, January 16, 2012

Why we've been quiet

It's been a while.

There's a reason why it's been a while, and now I think it's time to explain myself.

Oh... this is Bryan, BTW. Not Carl. I rarely chime in, but in this case, it is my duty to explain to you exactly what the scoop is.

Before around October 2010 things in the land of Kilflame were flying hot and heavy. We had momentum building, and we got to tap the fruitful mind of our terrain engine guru who has provided us with a quite stunning graphics engine complete with particle effects, and shadowed terrain and all sorts of wonderful goodness. If you follow our other blog ( then you've no doubt seen the awesomeness already.

Unfortunately around October 2010, things inside my body were reaching critical mass, literally and figuratively.

As a professional programmer I spend at least 8 hours a day in front of a computer. Sometimes more, if there's an abundance of work that needs to be done. As a programming hobbyist, I spend a great deal of my free time in front of a computer. As a hobbyist and professional programmer, I gave very little consideration to things like diet and exercise. My weight ballooned to a point where I am embarrassed to write it down. Lets just say, I was well into the morbidly obese category, and when I look at pictures of myself from that time frame, I'm shocked and disgusted by what I see. I had no idea how bad it was. Even though my wife tried to tell me, it just didn't register in my mind.

So, as time went on I acquired diabetes, and eventually pancreatitis. The day I had my first pancreatitis attack, I also suffered a pretty bad heart attack (I believe the word "massive" was bandied about more than once). I got pain medicine for the pancreatitis and I was put on a clear liquid diet, but they were so focused getting me to recover from the heart attack, that the pancreatitis went onto the back-burner. Understandable - but unfortunate. Around Christmas of 2010 I went back to work, thinking that I was better than ever. By then I had dropped a good 50-60 pounds and I was feeling great.

Looking back, I can see how absent-minded and goofy I was during this time, but when it was happening, I was blind to it. So although I was back to work, and thinking I was doing great, I was not even close to functioning at 100%. I was closer to 50%... maybe even 40%. It was bad.

Around March 2011, I started to turn yellow. Around April 2011, my belly started feeling really really bad, and at all times, I was either starved with excruciating hunger pangs, or I was nauseated because any food that touched my stomach made me sick. I would only eat when the pain of the hunger overcame my fear of the forthcoming nausea. So, toss self-induced malnutrition on an already sinking ship.

So in July I had a procedure that took care of my jaundice and allowed me to eat without being sick. This helped a great deal, and I could eat without getting sick. Unfortunately, that was only part of the problem. The rest of the problem was revealed in August 2011 when I was curled in a fetal position on my bed from abdominal pain and unbelievable chills, although I was under every blanket in the house. So back to the hospital, where they discovered a massive abscess attached to my pancreas that was sucking the life out of me.

Anyway, I've probably told you way more than you ever wanted to hear about - although I've tried to leave out the gross parts. And believe me, there are some gross parts. But to wrap up this long boring anecdote, they attached something to my body which cleared out the abscess, and in the final throes of 2011, I finally got rid of that damned thing. I still have bouts of pain and nausea, but the doctors are telling me that should fade over the next few weeks and I'll be able to return to work and become a productive member of society again.

Yay me.

Oh, and I've lost over 200 pounds. Not the way I wanted to lose the weight, but now that the weight is gone, all I can say is Good Riddance. I will not be allowing much of that to come back. Some - I look like a z0mb13 at the moment - but not much.

The upshot of all of this is, I was physically unable to spend much time doing the things that I really wanted to spend my time doing, such as adding a save feature to Opac's Journey, and working on the gameplay and combat and AI that will be the meat and potatoes of The Legend of Kilflame. I got the bulk of it done in a separate sandbox application, so I have to stir it methodically into the game application which holds our graphics engine, and the character animations and all the stuff that doesn't matter in a sandbox app.

So here's where I'm at now... I'm down to counting the days before I can return to work. I'm trying to get my sleep schedule back to something that resembles an adult human's rhythm, and I'm working on getting to a point where I can sit erect in front of a computer for extended periods of time without causing undue pain in my back and neck. This is much easier with so much less of me filling up the chair, but it does take work. I'm also trying to find a balance between sitting for extended periods of time, and getting up to walk around to prevent clots from forming in various parts of my body threatening me with stroke, heart attack or pulmonary embolism. That would really suck to work so hard on my recovery only to die from something preventable.

OK. I suppose I've babbled on long enough. This is probably way too much information - way more than I'm sure any of you really wanted - but I wanted to lay out the full disclosure of why you aren't sitting at your XBox right now, destroying Spectral creatures and staring Macabre in his bone armored visage and wondering what is in store for Ophidian Wars: The Third Project.

I still plan to add a Save feature to Opac's Journey, and I really hope to have Ophidian Wars: The Legend of Kilflame on the XBox console by summertime. In fact, I think I'm going to go get some of that right now... I'm working on attack collision detection today. :)