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Dec 11, 2011

New Project: Epic Chess

Ideas for engaging projects have been scarce of late, but as I was playing at a chess "tournament" last week I remembered an idea I came up with nearly two years ago: Epic Chess.
The idea was to make a bunch of cards that one could use with any regular chessboard that would add additional strategy and fun to the game. The rules are still vague, if not nonexistent as yet; however, I think the cards are a fun concept and worth working on. Some ideas for cards I have so far are:
  • Strike: Destroy any one enemy pawn on the board.
  • Haste: Allow a piece to take two turns in a row(only one attacking turn).
  • Stealth: Allow a piece to move through friendly units this round.
  • Control: Move an enemy piece this turn.
I have more, but I'll introduce them as the project unfolds. I probably won't worry about making them all like the one above. First I'll just make simple ones on 3x5 note cards and balance them with my friends.
This project will at least give me satisfaction similar to Corridor's, if not motivation to continue working on it again.

Nov 29, 2011

Gourmetting Your Ramen and other food tricks

If you're anything like my wife and me, both in college and little time to eat good outside of Sundays and maybe Saturday mornings, you probably find yourself arriving home at night too tired to make anything beyond a pot of Ramen noodles or some condensed soup. Any food really, if you eat it often enough, begins to taste like wood. I like to be creative and turn to our spice rack to jazz up our mundane meals into surprisingly scrumptious dishes! Try these simple tips to make your food taste just a bit better.

Garlic Tomato Soup
Add a tablespoon or more of garlic salt to your tomato soup to add a delicious, zesty bite to it. It goes down deliciously on a cold day. Other good additions are basil and hot sauce.

Gourmet Miojo
Miojo is Brazilian for "Ramen noodles." Though American miojo isn't quite as good as the miojo down there, I try to adapt some of the creative twists I took when I subsisted mainly on this cheap nighttime supper. For chicken-flavored Ramen noodles, my wife loves when I add freshly ground pepper and basil to it when it's finished boiling. It's surprising how much better a simple "backup" dish like Ramen can taste with just a few spices. Hot sauce is also a good addition to Ramen, and I prefer mine unbroken in the package, with just a little bit of water left.

For an interesting twist to your miojo, crack an egg into it while it's still boiling. It will turn your dish into a protein-enriched meal and thicken it too.

Better Tuna Fish
This might be a placebo effect, but I find that if you prepare tuna fish the night before you eat it, it tastes a lot better. Something about it sitting in the fridge overnight seems to allow the mayonnaise to absorb better or something. I like tuna better gray-colored than pinkish.

Also, don't put too much mayo! That can ruin a good tuna sandwich. And never use Miracle Whip. It's called "salad dressing" for a reason.

...although I've never used it for that either. It's only good on like, ham sandwiches.

Microondas Burrito Magnifico
Just because you don't have time to brown beef and cook refried beans to make your own burritos doesn't mean your microwaved "little donkeys" have to be boring! Throw on some cheese when you've got 30 seconds left on the clock. After it's cooked put a dollop of sour cream and salsa on it and for a crunch—seriously, try this—a handful of crumbled tortilla chips! Turn your appetizer into an entrée. There have been times when I've even had some spare jalapeños and leftover rice to add. Be creative and resourceful!

I got the idea from the restaurant Gator Jack's (Subway does this too, probably) to put salt and pepper on my ham sandwiches. It's a great addition and very simple. I had to be very creative last summer when sandwiches day in and day out got tedious to eat. I even unwittingly invented a delicacy when I accidentally bought sweet pickles instead of dill pickles and put them on my turkey sandwich. Try it yourself! When in doubt, put on a layer of sauce that normally wouldn't go on a sandwich, such as Thousand Island dressing or steak sauce. You never know!

I'm also beginning to discover that whiter cheeses go better with meat sandwiches than yellower cheeses like cheddar, but it's still a work in progress...
* * *
Maybe I'm just a food fanatic (my favorite show happens to be Man v. Food), but I don't believe food should just be for nourishment. Throw a random spice in your next mundane dish and see what happens! I've had my share of disgusting inventions (just ask my wife), but now and then I'll find something that becomes a new sensation in my kitchen. It's worth it all when, rather than a last resort, my wife actually gets a craving for Gourmet Miojo.

Nov 12, 2011

Webcomic #1

I don't anticipate making many of these. They take forever to draw by hand, scan, color, and edit; and making it this way just doesn't look very good. I dunno. We'll see. I did name this "webcomic #1" just in case...
 I do love the way Dustin's face turned out in the last frame, though...

Nov 10, 2011

Quite Small Tales volume 2

A preschool teacher was trying to help a young boy play on a waterslide. The boy, despite his teacher’s explanations, continued to climb up the slippery part rather than walk around to the ladder. The boy smashed his face again and again, crying. Finally the teacher gave up, leaving the boy to figure it out on his own. Eventually, the boy did figure out how to go down the slide from the back, avoiding slipping and hurting himself. He went down for the first time, squealing with delight.
“Time to come inside!” called the principal.
A child sat in the kitchen as his mother prepared dinner. Soon, his father came home. Hanging his coat on the coat hanger, the father walked toward the fridge, and asked “Do we have any booze?”
“What’s a boo?” asked the boy.
Tingo and his brother Tongo were in the same math class at school. One day the teacher presented a difficult, time-consuming problem for them. Tingo spent a half hour on the problem and finished, and was able to play online role-playing games the entire evening with no worry. Tongo, on the other hand, procrastinated. He went with his friends to Pizza Hut, putting the math problem at the bottom of his priorities. He ended up finishing with his friends at 12:30 at night, was too tired to work on the math problem, and failed the assignment. This bumped his math grade from a “C-” to a “D+” and Tongo’s father took his iPod Touch away from him.

Nov 4, 2011

The Power of Imagery

A couple of writing exercises.

The tree sat with its branches tenderly reaching for the breeze. Rob saw its branches, illuminated in the sunlight, speckled with flowery-smelling blossoms. A bud would drop every once in awhile, and the white petals would circle slowly and gently till they lighted like butterflies on the grass. Rob could hear the hum of bees in the meadow, and twittering birds perching in the leafy branches shading his head. It was here that he had first kissed Hannah. He had pressed his lips against hers, for the first time finding out that kisses are wet. He had felt her black hair slide silkily through his fingers, heard her breathing, felt the tree’s smooth bark behind him and her heart beat through her denim jacket. That was years ago.
Rob looked the ring on his left hand gleaming in the afternoon sunlight. He rubbed its polished metal surface and sighed, his eyes closing slowly. She would be coming home when the sun went down.

*          *          *

The tree, like a gray stone pillar, sat holding its bony branches slack, creaking like a coffin lid as the bitter wind made it sway like a hangman. What little bark that was left on the stony trunk was brittle and encrusted with lichen. Rob leaned against it, clutching his coat tightly to his body as the cold swirled around him. He could smell the rotting wood, hear the crows in the tree’s hollow cawing mournfully. He grasped the trunk as dead leaves swarmed past the tree in a gust. It was as smooth as bone, and tiny parasites had burrowed through the wood in jagged patterns. It was here that Rob had received the fateful phone call. The call that had changed the honeymoon plans to funeral arrangements.
            Rob’s eyes watered, whether from the wind or his aching heart he did not know or care. He let them stream as he pulled out the photograph. There was Hannah, beautiful and gone; her black hair entwining her head like a veil. In a moment of madness the wind snatched the photo from his fingers, and an updraft carried the photo away into the swirling gray sky.

Oct 30, 2011


Hello, one and all! As November looms before me, I face it with a goal never before attempted, at least not since I was in Brazil. The longest record of doing this particular goal was 24 months. This one month should not only be easy, but I'm certain it will benefit me in many ways.

Life is full of distractions nowadays. I got online Saturday to watch a YouTube video while I was eating my nachos, and next thing I know, I've gone from six meaningless and stupid YouTube videos to TVTropes.org (which is fun, but also time-consuming), to look at Facebook pictures of people I don't even know anymore. And an hour and a half has passed by, which I could have used to get my work done and earn money, or get homework done to take a load off later. Heck, I could have read a book, for crap's sake!

This kind of time-wasting is not healthy, and it annoyed me that it had snagged me so easily. They say idle hands are the devil's tools, and I don't want to work for that butthead! One of the most valuable things to us is, I think, self-control. If we don't have control over ourselves, it's like someone putting a ring in our nose and leading us around. Well, I don't know about you, but I don't want no ring in my nose. So my solution/exercise for my self control is...

The November Techno-Quaresma!
The rules I must abide by are as follows: 
1. No Facebook during the month of November.
I found a nifty program that can block any website you want, so this is one of the three websites I'm going to block this month. I'm also going to disable my text notifications. (My email notifications have long been disabled.) However, I will be able to post witty status updates via text. I just won't be able to see any comments on them.
 2. No YouTube during the month of November.
This site will be completely blocked on my laptop. If someone wants to show me something funny, they can show me. I just won't be allowed to access the site on my own computer. This rule alone will save me hours of collective time in one week, I'm sure.
 3. No TVTropes during the month of November.
I don't have that much of a problem with this site, but I'm going to block it anyway. As with all Wikis, one cool page has a link to 30 other cool pages, and... yeah. Pretty soon the day's over.
4. No bringing my laptop when I'm not going to use it.
I'm not sure how well I'll be able to keep this rule, but it's an important one. I used to pull out a book and read while I was waiting for class to start. Now I just pull out my laptop and.... push buttons on my laptop.
5. No computer games of any kind to be played on my laptop.
This includes creative games and map editors, which are probably worse for me than regular games. I will be able to play video games with my friends if that's the activity of the week or whatever. I consider gaming a social pastime when it's with friends. My goal is to ultimately eliminate gaming alone. This can get carried away and waste literally hours of time.
6. Thanksgiving Day is the only exception to above rules.
My wife is addressing a weakness of her own this month, namely eating sweets. She will not be allowed to eat any sweets in November, excepting this same rule, on Thanksgiving Day. Cuz punkin pie only comes once or twice a year, you know. And you know, family together and whatnot may bring some video games in to the picture.
Okay, so it's not literally a fast from technology. I still have homework to do on the computer, and movies (and of course this blog) are completely free game. It's more a fast from wasting time. Those social programs are literally chains that have been weighing down on me. I don't mean that to sound preachy in any way, but I admire those people who don't even have a Facebook profile, or who don't even play video games... who go outside and invent fun every day, or who are involved in organizations and clubs. In the course of this month, I hope to be able to:
  • Read at least a book or two
  • Take more time to be religious
  • Write or work on non-computer related projects
  • Get involved in something on campus... perhaps Capoeira, or a writer's workshop
  • Stay completely on top of my homework and job
  • More worthwhile jazz!
My secret hope is to eliminate these things entirely. Sure, Facebook can be something I look at maybe once a month or something, but free time is something precious now, and I shouldn't be a-wastin' it on things that don't matter.

Wish me luck. My month begins Tuesday, November 1, 2011, at 12:00 AM Mountain Standard Time. It will end temporarily Thanksgiving day at the same time and resume 24 hours afterward. It will officially end on December 1, 2011 at midnight. But I hope by then I'll have the self-control to extend it.

Oct 9, 2011

The Magic of Disney

My wife and I had the chance to go to Walt Disney World a couple of weeks ago. I hadn't gone since 9th Grade, and my wife Karen hadn't gone at all. Going to Disney World as an adult is a different experience than it is as a kid, but its grandeur and overall fun wasn't diminished. I daresay, in fact, it was enhanced now that I'm old enough to look at it in a deeper and more appreciative light.

I loved the different parks; we got to go to the four main ones—Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios—and each had a magnificent and artfully designed layout, with rides fitting the various Disney titles. I've loved Space Mountain since I was a kid. I could go on it over and over again. Fortunately for us, it was the perfect time of year for lines. School had just started for all the kids, and we got to go on all our favorite rides twice. In Space Mountain's case we went three times.

Each ride at Disney World is a masterpiece. From the queue line to the pre-ride storyline to the ride itself and even the cast members operating it, the moment you step on you feel like you've gone into a different world. On the Tower of Terror at Hollywood Studios,  for example, the ride appears to be an immense, old-fashioned hotel. From outside you can see the hotel's neon sign, partially obscured by a charred lightning strike, and flickering ominously. The queue line on the outside is decorated around by overgrown hedges, and on the inside appears to be a snapshot into the lobby of a 1930's hotel lobby, wreathed in cobwebs. Before the ride is a brief synopsis of an accident that supposedly happened in the hotel years earlier that left the elevators damaged and dangerous, delivered by The Twilight Zone's Rod Serling through a television set seemingly powered by its own accord. The line continues into the dank boiler room of the hotel, where you board an old-fashioned elevator. The cast members are dressed in perfect 1930's bellhop costumes, and as you board the elevator they say something like "This elevator will take you up to your room... your bags will be up shortly. If you need anything, just scream."
The ride afterwards uses a masterful presentation of Pepper's Ghost images, sound effects and animatronics, and then of course is the intense dropping and bouncing of the elevator itself. After the ride, you exit through the gift shop, still keeping the "cobwebbed, ancient hotel" motif.

I was impressed with every ride I went on. Disney doesn't just make sure their rides are a top-notch experience. I was impressed at how clean the parks were; I found that the park staff (called "cast members") were for the most part agreeable and friendly, clean-cut, and professional in dress and appearance. I didn't see any with a beard or a tattoo. They made sure to appear approachable and helpful.

At the end of each day at a park, the park had a special presentation with fireworks and lights. They were all not only spectacular, but inspiring. They talked about the things that the Disney movies taught us as kids—that big things start with a tiny wish, that we're all human beings, and the power of our imagination. In the Magic Kingdom presentation, my wife started to get emotional and cry. She was embarassed about it, but I told her "Karen, look around you. There are grown men here with Mickey Mouse ears on." Everyone goes to Disney World because it makes you feel like a kid. Stepping into the park seems to erase any problems you had with hugging giant Disney characters you know are just costumes with strangers inside of them, or riding a ride based on a kids' movie.

I am certain that Walt Disney must be going to a good place in the Hereafter. His morals were posted around the park. "If you can dream it, you can do it," and "The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. The Disney parks around the world are an example of what can be done with teamwork, imagination, and perseverance. All of these things combined beautifully to literally make a new world, and an experience that was, for my wife and me, a blissful escape from reality.

Sep 27, 2011

Recipe #2: Synergy Flameburgers

I'm a big burger fan. Besides steak and a baked potato, there's almost nothing I crave more often. I've eaten burgers with a vast variety of toppings; fried eggs, shredded chicken, onion rings, and even corn. This is the most delicious burger I've been able to invent at home; I took ideas from Five Guys, A&W, and perhaps others.

Synergy Flameburgers
"The whole is tastier than the sum of the parts!"

  • Toasted sesame seed buns
  • Beef hamburger patties
  • Sliced, jarred Jalapeño peppers
  • 2 strips bacon
  • Lettuce
  • Pickles (hamburger chips are best)
  • Ranch dressing
  • A-1 steak sauce
  • Medium cheddar cheese
  • Mayonnaise
  • Onions
  1. Fry the bacon, drain most of the grease, then sautté the onions in the remaining drippings.
  2. Season the patty(ies) with seasoning salt and lemon pepper. Grill until desired doneness(Yes, that's a word). Place slice of cheddar cheese on each burger to melt.
  3. Spread mayonnaise on the buns. Put a small amount of A-1 steak sauce on the underside of the hamburger patty.
  4. Arrange the burger and toppings in the following order:
    1. Jalapeños
    2. Onions
    3. Patty (and cheese)
    4. Bacon
    5. Pickles
    6. Ranch
    7. Lettuce
  5. Serve with seasoned potato wedges. Comment on this blog with your opinion.
YIELD: 1 burger per bun/patty combo. For a heartier, meatier meal, add TWO patties!

Washes down well with...  Pop, soda, or soft drink. All are great.

Austin vs. Monotony: Summer Review

This past summer I mowed lawns for my job. It was perhaps the fifth year (nonconsecutive) that I had this seasonal occupation, and as usual I made an effort to make each monotonous day unique somehow. There's only so much difference you can do at a job where you merely sit on a mower all day and eat between properties. I threw random ingredients on my sandwiches (I discovered that ground peppercorns are good on meat sandwiches. Sweet pickles are good on turkey), but that's about the only customizable lunch component there is. The only thing that's really customizable in mowing is the part that takes up 80% of the day: what you direct your thoughts to.

In years past, (I'm not sure how) I mowed with no headphones, or even earplugs in; I preferred to be alone all day with my adolescent thoughts of video games and girls. It is indeed a great job for thinking; Perhaps in fact, the ideal. Mowing without music, in little time the drone of the mower beneath fades away to thoughts and plans for... correct. Projects! A few days this summer I preferred this way of doing things. But more than once a month or so is torture. I'm not sure how I mowed with no ear protection at all, though. Some of those machines are loud.

My system changed when last year I got an iPod, and was able to make good use of it throughout the day.
The problem is, my interest in music is extremely limited. I only had about 40 or 50 songs, which made for a boring, repetitive week. Some long days I could listen to the entire playlist; other days I would come home and delete ear-worms that I realized weren't meant to be listened to more than once a week.

My brother (whom I worked with) and I loved to listen to the radio morning show as we traveled to the different properties. In time our favorite station, Z-103, made a podcast of their morning show. This was a great way to spend time mowing, listening to jokes and trivia all day. I remember several moments of my own busted-up laughter in the middle of a baseball field, drowned by the roar of the mowing engine.

This year, however, the station downsized their podcasts to update only once a week instead of daily. What was I to do now? I can't remember what gave me the idea, but I decided to look around the Web for old radio shows to listen to. In little time I discovered Relic Radio, an archived old radio podcast with old shows from the 40's to the 60's. They had categories such as Science Fiction (my favorite broadcasters were X-1 and Dimension X), Comedy (The Mel Blanc Show), Crime Cases (Your Truly Johnny Dollar and The Saint), and Horror (I didn't like any I listened to). It was amazing to listen to ancient air-waves on my iPod (complete with commercials!); stuff that my grandparents probably listened to. I gained a genuine respect for the entertainment of older times. It was fun for me to experience the stories they displayed in a unique way. There were no visuals, no special effects. Only excellent voice actors and sound effects to illustrate the stories. They were a great way to spend my time.

When the sameness of the science-fiction plots got old, and I got tired of hearing "Golly gee!" and "Hey, put that gun down, Marty", I looked for other things to listen to. There was still a fair amount of summer left. I got the idea from browsing on iTunes to look for audiobooks. Unfortunately, to access the biggest scope of audiobooks, simply buying one, meant I'd need to fork out at least $40 a book. Thank goodness for public libraries! I found and listened to The Hobbit first, and enjoyed the experience. It brought me back to fond memories of 4th Grade, when Miss Baird would sit down with us after lunch and simply read to us. After that I listened to the Hunger Games trilogy, and then the entire Harry Potter series. I finished up the summer by listening to six books of my favorite book series, Discworld. I was amazed at the talent of the audiobook readers. They always managed to find as many different voices as there were characters in the books. In little time, I forgot that one person was telling the story, and felt myself completely immersed in the stories.

In short, I discovered this summer that there are many things to listen to that are products of nothing but pure talent. The instrumental and vocal stylings of singers, the comedic humor of radio DJ's, the classic and sometimes obsolete media of the past, and voice actors reading brilliant literature.
And the best part was, I got paid by the hour to enjoy good entertainment!

Sep 25, 2011

In Loving Memory

I retired my work shoes today, that I've used for two or three full summers of work. That's a lot of mowing!

Farewell, work shoes. I'm certain the grass is greener on the Other Side.

Sep 12, 2011

Theater #2: Mold

Charlie. Rachel, do you realize what you ate just now?
Rachel. [Slowly] Yes… It was the casserole I made on Thursday.
Charlie. Sorry to break it to you, but I saw some blue mold on it yesterday. Fuzzy like a sock.
Rachel. Whatever. I would have seen it before I’d have eaten it, thank you very much.
Charlie. Well… the sight was so hideous I turned the square of casserole over with a spatula.
Rachel. Urk…
Charlie. Yes, I see you remember. It was upside-down, was it not?
Rachel. [Gags]
Charlie. Now don’t you go bulimic on me!

Sep 2, 2011


Hey all, you should look at the Pretzel Lectern on your favorites list! (I hope it's there) I had no idea what a "favicon" was, but it turned out to be something I had been looking for. Now it added its own little personality to my blog and makes it easier to find than a little "B" on an orange square. Just like all the other blogs.

Some stuff is coming soon! Just been busy between transitions. Work/School, Work/Disney World vacation... you know how it is.

Aug 24, 2011

The Latest

So, after writing all of my projects down onto a list, it really became clear to me that I'm a person who likes to be absorbed in something. It rotates, really, between projects I'm working on, video games I'm playing, and books I'm reading. Obviously in between are the essentials; Religious responsibilities, scholastic obligations, and work; but it seems a mind like mine is bound to have at least three or four things in store in case I need my mind to wander in a bored pinch.

Obviously, when a book is read, it's read; And if I finish a project, that's great; But most of the time I rotate between the other two whenever the urge hits. I remember being completely obsessed with Heroes of Might and Magic III one month and then equally occupied with Spore the next. Times change, and so do my cravings.

Hence, I have put a gadget on Pretzel Lectern for you all to see what I'm up to in the the areas of books, video games, and projects. To the right you can now see a constantly updated mini-list of them, in case you ever want to comment on my choices. Obviously, the name of the project will most of the time be vague, in which case the project list is always available right above The Latest.

If you enjoy writing, reading, or just blogging, please tell your friends about this blog! I recognize it's hard to go big, and in fact I'd prefer not to, but I would enjoy a comment here and there. Go on! I want to know what you think.

Aug 14, 2011

Starring Don Knotts

Actually, most of the credit of this video goes to Dan Ballard and Shandee Ballard.

Aug 11, 2011

Argaenothruzil resurfacing!

Hey everyone! I'm working pretty hard on my Forum RPG, Argaenothruzil. You can find out more about it on the Project List, but basically it's a world I created years ago and am currently expanding upon. I'd love for you to check out the new lore, stories, languages, and Photoshopped maps and game features I'm working on there. And as always, feel free to join in the storymaking fun!

Jul 18, 2011


Since the dawn of time as I know it, I can always remember being obsessed with inventing projects for myself to work on. Having a project waiting for me at home, or in my backpack at school, for me to work on in my free time, was an aspect of my life that made me always look forward to feelings of achievement and accomplishment.

Having a project meant having something to plan, brainstorm, and daydream about whenever I had a boring stretch of waiting in line, or in a waiting room, or doing chores. As I began my seasonal job of mowing lawns several years ago, much of my day was spent in contemplation, the processing of my mental schematics drowning out the noise of the motor beneath me.

Granted, not all of my countless projects were ever completed. I can think of very few, in fact, that I actually could stand back and hand the keys to Perfect Satisfaction himself and say "She's yours." I find myself today even starting a WarCraft III map or writing a story, spending weeks in ecstatic anticipation, only to eventually grow bored of it and move on to something new.

Even so, this doesn't subtract from their value and my respect for previous, perhaps never-to-be-finished projects gathering dust on shelves, in computer folders, or in cardboard boxes. It only increases my admiration for past inspirations and gives me hope to one day make something better.

I have taken the time these past couple weeks (and I'm still adding things here and there) to make a page on my blog listing my biggest projects. It has been both nostalgic, encouraging, and exciting for me to recall all of my greatest works that I've worked on for so many years. Some have rekindled the fire of enthusiasm I had for them when they were in development. I invite you to walk through the dusty museum of my Project List and glance, at least for a moment, the symbols of my moments of dedication. You may not understand them at all, or perhaps the extent of what the project is will not be clear to you; But as for me, they are flames ignited from my personal spark of creation.

We have all within ourselves the urge to create, for we are the offspring of the most creative Being in the universe. I look forward to countless other projects, finished or started, in the course of my sojourn in this world. My imagination couldn't be happier!

Jul 10, 2011

Project List up!

Hey! Check out my Project List here for a list of past and present projects I've worked on. More on this later.

Jun 26, 2011

Corridor Bit: Skills and Classes

Shown in this picture are Corridor's Skill Cards, a system never before used on The Hero games due to lack of stats, turns, organized battle systems, etc. The way they work on Corridor is based on the hero's class, another new feature. Classes, in turn, are based on stats. At the beginning of a game, players place 3 stat points in any combination in their four stat areas, Attack, Defense, Magic, and Magic Defense. Depending on their combination, a class is determined that they keep throughout the game. A player who chooses pure Magic damage with no defense is a Warlock berzerker class, while a mixture of Magic and Attack damage alone is a rogue class, either a Spellsword or Assassin. A complete balance with no real specialization, such as one point in each of Attack, Magic, and Magic Defense is an Apprentice, which is a wanderer-grouped class.

Hero classes such as Barbarians and Knights draw two "warrior" skill cards, while mage-themed classes such as Sorcerors and Wizards draw two "mage" skill cards. Hybrids, such as Rune Knights and Witchhunters, draw a "rogue" skill card and a mage or warrior one, depending on which they more closely lean towards stat-wise. A wanderer class such as a Mercenary draws two cards at random, not heeding its type.

Gameplay presents opportunities to "purchase" new skills at random from the deck, through items or through collecting enough gold. It is also currently a function of the game to trade skills from player to player, but it's one of those functions that isn't set in stone quite yet.

So far the Skill Cards have added a lot of fun aspects to the game; However, there are a lot of balances that need doing, which are important to making the game balanced, fun, not too hard or too easy. So far the issue has been the game is too easy, especially when playing three player.


Because of so many balances that need doing, as well as having to do so much work on the game by myself, I've decided to take a hiatus for an undetermined amount of time on the game. Corridor has been fun to make and play, but there is an instinct in me seen in many a WarCraft III and Heroes of Might and Magic scenario that discourages me when I work too hard in a small amount of time and it ends up having bugs that are not readily fixable.
In other words, encouragement will be needed for me to continue on the game. My main goal was to have the game finished and balanced in a year, which should be easy to do; especially after about 90% of the game was made in a little over a month and a half. I also plan to continue putting Corridor Bits on this blog as a part of self-encouragement to excite me about finishing the game someday.

Thank you Beta gametesters:
  • Jon Ward
  • Dustin Clements
  • Keaton Ballard
  • Shandee Ballard
  • Tanner Ballard

May 29, 2011

Corridor Bit: The Dungeon

This week I completely finished all of the Dungeon Tiles needed to play Corridor. There are 25 tiles, each a variation of a pathway, intersection, room, or turn. To navigate throughout the dungeon, the player will choose a door to enter, draw a card, and connect the new tile accordingly. I've tested this many times and there are countless ways the dungeon will be set up. This "randomized" dungeon system, along with other card-drawing aspects and several functions of the games that require die rolls will hopefully make the game replayable again and again with fun, new results every time.

The dungeon contains many monster icons and item icons, each random every time because they require drawing a card out of a deck of many cards. Some games may be inherently harder than others simply out of pure bad luck, and visa-versa.

There are also locked doors on several tiles, making an element of strategy when it comes to rationing use of key items.

The dungeon can be any size as far as the tiles permit, but any given level only requires a Boss Tile and a Staircase Tile. (More on that later) If the dungeon tiles are all spent and there are still open doorways, there are little "cave-in" boulder tabs available to block them up with. Furthermore, if there is no Boss Tile or Staircase Tile and the rooms all lead to dead ends, there are "passageway" tabs that can be discovered in the game that can lead to the rest of the dungeon, not connected with the main crawl.

I'll let you know more this week! I'm making progress!