Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

Help and Support

This morning I decided to try out some new software, which is always a bit iffy on a computer as old as the one I’m running. One of the requirements said that if I was fool enough to try installing the thing on Windows XP, I’d better have the 32-bit version. Unfortunately, I didn’t know that particular bit of information, so I decided to check.

Being the logical sort of person I am, I decided to go to the Windows Control Panel and look under “System Properties,” which didn’t say which version of Windows I was using, other than the fact it was Version 2002 (making it 10 years old… Now that’s a scary thought).

Before going online, I decided to click on the “Help and Support” button in the Start Menu, which led me directly to writing my first blog post in almost six months. Windows helpfully and supportively sent me the following message:

Windows Help and Support Error

New Retirement Plan

My wife and I talk about finances more often than she probably wishes that we did. I worry about retirement a lot, which may seem a trifle odd seeing as I’m in my twenties, but I just don’t see us ever getting there. I’m self-employed, which not only means no one will ever match my deposits in a retirement account, but also that I get slammed with self-employment taxes before I get to pay income taxes.

Anyway, I just calculated that at the rate we’re going, we’ll have to save up roughly 30% of the income we’re making to retire with a decent nest egg by 65. It seems at this point that the trick isn’t to save more of the money we make. The trick is we need to make more money.

Below are things that we have seriously considered to help boost our financial situation:

1) One of us needs to become a bestselling author. Books can keep making money long after the hours consumed in writing them are over.

2) I need to write a hit song and get someone famous to sing it, put it on their album, and then give me 100% of the royalties.

3) Make an online music store where people can buy the cool piano songs I keep arranging for my students. And then have PayPal NOT charge me fees for a million microtransactions.

4) Make a sequel to Arden’s Vale that is so cool that the notoriously cheap (I’m one of them) and small fanbase of retro computer games decides to purchase 100,000 copies of the game at $10 each.

5) Create an amazing video on YouTube that over 1,000,000 people watch. Multiple times. And have YouTube pay out for all the views.

So, I’m just asking here, is anyone else’s retirement plan dependent on creating a viral internet video, or is it just me?

Only as a last resort…

I’ve (after much deliberation) written a walkthrough for the game, but please don’t use it unless you’re about to rip your hair out. Half of the fun is all of the missed click responses in the game.

Anyway, just click on “Gaming” above for the walkthrough.

Thank you for playing!!!

Going in for the kill…

Almost there…

Arden’s Vale has survived one round of beta testing and help up pretty good, but with a lot of room for enhancements.  The next thing I’m up against is backgrounds, which stinks, because I’m not an artist.  I need at least three brand new backgrounds for an introduction and ending cartoon (that’s the economy-sized version), but would like five if I can swing it.  But even more importantly, I want to really spice up some of the existing backgrounds.  For example…

In-game Force Field







Here’s the force field screen.  It’s not terrible, but I twitch every time I look at the rocks or notice that there’s nothing behind the field but the castle.

Force Field Background

The unedited background of the same. Yikes!

Castle Exterior







Here’s through the force field…

Exterior Background







And the not-inside-the-game counterpart.

The Treasury Room

My least favorite: the treasury room. The stuff in the back is pretty cool, but the rest of the room is pretty lame.

Treasury Background







Same idea.

I’m going to try to get some help for the artwork, especially for the intro.  If I can, then I’m awfully close to finally finishing this thing!