I'm going to give a quick recap, since my struggles have been across countless months and numerous blog posts, and I don't feel like trying to figure out which ones simply so I can refer to them all.
It began with my house burning down when I was just a child. I had to have been only 7-ish at the time, maybe 8, potentially 9, but I doubt it. Someone was kind enough to donate a bunkbed. It was crap and made of wood, and frequently collapsed. (Thankfully none of the times I was on it when it did, and my brother who had the bottom bunk was on only one of the times it collapsed.)
That was our bed for at least a few years, there was a divorce between our parents, a new marriage, and the birth of a sister and another brother. When they got old enough to stop using cribs, my brother and I had to hand down our mattress for them to use, and ours was replaced by a shiny metal one. The mattresses on this new bunk were amazing. They never needed to be flipped, or rotated. Slept on the same mattress the same way until I was at least 21.
Then the second divorce came, houses were swapped, (dad's grandfather owed his own house which we inherited when the 97 year old man finally kicked the bucket. That house was put in mom's name, and the one we lived in was in dad's name, and at the time he was in the worst part of a decade-long downward spiral. When his mom died, he took a total nosedive that eventually spiraled so out of control it cost him the ownership of his bosses company, which would have been his in just a few short months if he hadn't blown it and walked out. We didn't like the idea of living in a house he technically owned, so I convinced mom to move us to the house that was in her name) and suddenly I found myself with my own room for the first time since I was 2 years old.
As such, I no longer needed a bunk bed, and had mostly outgrown the tiny mattress that I had grown so used to. thankfully I'm so short. If I had been even 5 inches taller, I wouldn't have been able to go on using that mattress as long as I had. So an upgrade was needed. That was in 2009.
Since then, I've struggled to get good sleep. Swapping using mattresses every 2 or 3 years only to be no better off, and in fact, usually worse off than the previous. I got to watch as my energy waned, year after year. There were fluctuations, so the decline was hard to detect at first, but much like Twitter's Stock Market Value, it was a gradual and steady decline.
I even bought a brand new mattress. But it turned out to be one-sided, and wore out to become the worst mattress I've ever used.
My decline hit its worst when I got back from spending 8 days at my mom's place over Christmas in 2016.
It was terrible. I'd wake up some days just as tired as when I went to bed, and on some nights, I'd wake up feeling even more tired than when I'd gone to bed. I tried everything I could think of. An expensive mattress fixer (a pad you put under the mattress), an expensive mattress topper, both the fixer and the topper at the same time, sleeping on the floor on just the fixer pad and topper pad, nothing worked.
And then things got even worse. My mattress had worn out so completely that even rotating it wouldn't give me temporary relief anymore. I was so tired all day every day that I had actually managed to convince myself there was something wrong with me and not my bed. It took a thyroid blood test coming back fine to snap me out of my daze and get me back into trying to solve the real problem.
I was laying awake in bed one morning wondering why I came home after 8 days gone and just seemed to die. And that's when it hit me. I remembered the guest mattress at my mom's place reminding me of my old bunk bed mattress. So I asked her for the brand. She couldn't find one labelled on the mattress, and I couldn't figure out where the logo she found on it came from. That effort went cold.
Not long later, I came up with the brilliant idea of trading mattresses. I was desperate. I couldn't go on living that way. So I swapped mattresses for the one I'd used while there. It's smaller, so mine was an upgrade in size, and since it's just a guest mattress, I didn't have to worry about someone needing my junk mattress for months on end.
We did the swap, and the disappointment set in. It wasn't the fixer to my problems. It was a huge improvement, yes, but it was still sagging rapidly, no matter what I did, and though I did get some energy back, I was still sleeping terribly. I couldn't understand it. And just like before, I was laying awake in bed one morning, wondering why things went wrong. I slept so much better on it before, what could possibly be different? My pillow.
I realized that while I was there, I had been using a spare pillow, because I hadn't thought to bring mine. The issue with my pillow is that it was old. Very old. It had once been fantastic, but now it just struggled to keep its shape. It was memory foam, and would usually take a good 6 to 7 hours to regain its full thickness, and it would lose it in roughly 10 minutes, becoming very flat, and very hard on my neck.
I could see the writing on the wall when it came to my old pillow months ago. After over a decade of use, it was time to retire it. In fact, I had tried. But it had no labeling. No tag, no logo, no nothing. I tried other memory foam pillows. The first one was the My Pillow. Their jingle was pretty catchy "For the best night's sleep in the whole wide world, visit MyPillow dot com." And my mom had gotten one as a birthday present and said she loved it. So I gave it a try.
Junk. It didn't even last 3 months before being rendered useless.
I tried a different pillow made of solid memory foam, but unlike my old one, it just wasn't right and wore out fairly quick. Then I tried one that boasted the best sleep.
They emailed me asking how much I loved their pillow, and I told them that it wasn't even good for a day. They offered to take it back, on their expense, and put more foam into the case for free. I told them how much I wanted it filled, and they said they'd send out a free return label. The label never arrived.
I then tried murdering the MyPillow and using some polyester project stuffing in a combination to make a new pillow, but the project stuffing just lacked the compression I needed, and ended up being to firm. I'm not too good at making pillows.
For a while, I had been using double pillows. And that's when I realized that two memory foam pillows were just too thick, so I'd lay with my head and shoulders on my pillows to reduce neck strain. I somehow managed to work out that the simple act of doing that was putting strain on my back while I slept, and was causing my mattress to sag quicker due to the way my body was putting weight on it. I experimented, letting my shoulders rest on the mattress, and though it hurt my neck due to how thick my pillows were, I quickly realized that I was better supported laying that way.
It was then that I realized it wasn't only my mattress. It was my pillows that also needed replacing. I was done buying terrible pillows online. And I had just recently discovered the legendary Purple Mattress company is willing to sue people over slightly critical reviews showing that their product is unsafe, and I refuse to support a company that sues its costumers over reviews.
So I had to go all the way down to the store and buy a pillow. Fortunately I bought 2, because one was wafer thin on its own, despite how soft and plush they seemed at first.
How can I be so sure? How can I prove I'm not just making excuses? Blaming my bed and terrible sleep for my lack of work drive? How do I know it's not just that I'm a fake dev? That it's not that I'm lazy? Running a hoax? A scam? And that my mattress is just a convenient excuse to cover for something? (Gotta love haters...)
Because I ran an unintentional experiment. After replacing my pillows and mattress, my energy started to return. Hell, I was even staying up really late, and still I was getting my energy back. Only a few days ago or so, I decided I was going to get back to my platform game for a bit.
"I'm feeling up to it today. Actually, very up to it. I'll just do one sprite and go back to the RPG for now." I told myself, just so that I could feel less terrible about putting off what is tuning into a really promising project.
I did one. And then I did another. And another. It didn't wear on me like it used to. I didn't feel the burning boredom, the draining tedium. I managed to finish 4 sprites, and half-finish 4 more all in one day without even struggling to get myself to continue, or having to just force myself through it. I didn't even think about how boring it was. And the only reason I couldn't finish all 8 is because it was already 3 hours past my bed time, and I just didn't have the energy to stay awake long enough to do them all.
For those who are new, or who don't remember: I hate animating because I can't sit there and do the same thing over and over and over. It's normally too boring. I haven't been able to sit there and hash out a full set of animation frames, that way, in two years. It's been a long time.
So what happened? Well, I forgot to rotate my mattress before I got the new pillows. And I kept forgetting. So the sag I had started to cause with the bad resting posture I spoke about above kept advancing over time, and I went back to sleeping poorly, and my energy started to fade again. I meant to do it last night, but forgot again, and I had a terrible night's sleep these last few nights, and I'm back to were I was before. Lethargic, apathetic, lacking drive and motivation.
My unintentional experiment proves the problem has been my mattress (and pillow) and it proved I was right and the haters were wrong. I wasn't just blaming my mattress as a cover for ineptitude, or as some excuse for a lie or scam.
The Good News
So the good news is that as long as I remember to rotate my mattress before bed tonight, I should be able to start recovering my energy. If I can get it back to where it was when I hammered out all those animation frames, I can put more effort into my projects like I used to be able to.
My mind felt so much sharper, something that's been a rare commodity in the last 2 years. This year especially. In those brief few days, I was more lively, full of drive to do work, more creative... I remembered wishing I had the ability to work on all my projects simultaneously. I wasn't at the top of my game... I haven't been for over a decade... I haven't been since that brief period just after high school where I could get more sleep and didn't have to worry about home work, or exams, or finals, or anything. Those few days may not have been even 50%, but it was better than I've been.
I miss that feeling already.
There's no real way to wrap this one up, especially after getting that depressing at the end. But hopefully now you see that this wasn't all just pretend. I wasn't just using it as an excuse. And best of all, I was able to prove to myself that it's not hopeless after all. I can solve the problem, I can get better, and I can develop games with the dedication I once had.
It may not seem like that big a deal from your end, but from my end it makes a world of difference. I just need to remember to rotate the mattress....
In fact, I think I'll go do that right now.
"Your Twitter is so boring!"
"Why do you have a blog? And why do you never post about your games on Twitter?"
I've never really cared about Twitter. Not really. Never even planned to create an account until I was sitting there, one night, and thought to myself "How am I going to tell people about my game? I might have to just suck it up and make a Twitter account." And then I did. I stopped resisting and made a Twitter because I thought that was what I had to do in order to speak to more developers and start building myself a developer status.
I didn't post much. Maybe like 5 times in an entire month. 6 times in all. Then GamerGate started. I wasn't made away of it until the start of October, but when found out it was on Twitter, I looked into it. The more I saw, the more angry I became with what was going on. People losing their jobs over support for GamerGate, games journalists acting like they were the coolest kids on the block, people trying to tell gamers they were terrible people for the games they liked and people trying to tell developers what we can and can't have in our games.
So I jumped in. After reading thousands of tweets and finding out what was going on, I joined the ranks of outraged gamers and developers, and became extremely more active. Discussing things with gamers and devs, and arguing with people who had bad ideas.
Naturally, I accrued a lot of followers. And equally as naturally, as GamerGate eventually wound down, so too did my activity on Twitter. And that's when the Trust and Safety Council came in and Twitter became censorious, and cracked down on people with mean words and people with the wrong opinions. My activity waned further.
I didn't want to get into politics, but I kind of had to with all that's going on.
When we started seeing accounts up and get suspended for no given reason, I created this blog, because I knew it wasn't going to be much longer before either Twitter bit the dust, or my account got shipped off to the gulag. Either way, I wanted people to still be able to find me were anything to go wrong on Twitter.
I started to care less and less about the dying platform, and decided to shift all of my game development stuff over to here. Why bother growing a following when one wrong thought could get it all taken away in an instant? Twitter has a 140 character Tweet limit, images are limited to 4, and GIFs are limited to 1. Over here, I can say as much as I want, post as many pictures as I like, and as long as I don't bog down the page, I can post as many GIFs as I like. It's just far superior to that garbage website.
So why am I making this post?
Well, it happened. I finally got locked out for thinking the wrong way.
It was a massive discussion, and 'offensive' words came up. @JackLaMothe had just gotten done saying he was gay and that words like "fag" didn't bother him, to back me up when I said "faggot" didn't offend me. I don't really like pointing it out, but I'm bisexual. So this was a bisexual telling a gay guy that he was "the best Huskyfag". I know him reasonably well. We're on friendly terms. And considering he backed me up literally just before that, I know it wasn't him that was "harassed" and "offended" by it. Which tells me it was one of the snowflakes in the conversation being offended on his behalf that reported the tweet.
I have no idea what the second one is, because I can't see it until I've deleted the first one, which is another issue with Twitter. But I'm contesting the first one. Not sure how far I'll get. I'll probably just have to delete it.
I've lost all my steam, so I don't know where this one was going after the image. But now you know why I don't really use my Twitter, Tumblr, and YouTube accounts for anything game related. Twitter is too terrible, Tumblr has way too much ass cancer, and YouTube with its DMCA system and lust for making their advertisers happy in place of their actual users just isn't worth the hassle.
Of course I'll try to unlock my Twitter account. But I think this is a turning point for me. I might soon get a Vidme account. No way in hell I'm going to be putting videos on YouTube. I was saving YouTube for uploading trailers for my game, but now it's not happening. I also have a Twitch account I haven't done anything with.
Whatever I decide, you'll find out about it here.
Reviewing products isn't likely to become a thing I do on here. Unless I start getting agencies approaching me and paying me to do a brutally honest review on their product. But if I do start getting paid, which I highly doubt will ever happen, you can rest assured that just like my Arc Continuum review, which will be receiving a followup eventually, that I'm just too much of an asshole to get money and gifts and then say nice things about a product if i don't like it.
I think its the Aspergers, or partly the Aspergers. Just because someone does something nice for me doesn't mean I'm required to do something nice back. I've also always been extremely blunt. A lot of people don't like that, but a lot of people really respect that I'm like that. It's probably why I make such a great art mentor.
Anyway, I'm not getting paid for this review. Yet anyway. Doubt I'll ever. Only reason I'm making it because I know there are people out there like me. Also keep in mind I may swear. It's part of my review format. Makes it feel less sanitized and corporate.
I used to be like everyone else: under the impression that there's really no such thing as whitening toothpaste. I'd tried many different kinds and believed it just wasn't true. Maybe it could take a tiny bit of the edge off, but you weren't going to get white teeth. Or so I'd thought.
This isn't some "But then I went to my dentist and asked for help and he said 9/10 dentists prefer Giz Extreme Whitening Cream and now my teeth are perfect, I'm rich, famous, my life is on track, I manage a country, and run my own intergalactic exploration program" stories. My teeth are shit. I have Irish in me, and being so close to the UK, I believe I inherited the "bad teeth" stereotype gene. I don't take good care of them either, I had to get one drilled and filled, I can feel one on the other side now in need of a filling any time I bite down on a chip or something... hell, one dentist had said I had two deformed teeth. My teeth are extremely British. The only thing good about them is that my wisdom teeth grew in and they fit. Didn't have to get a one of them removed, despite countless people always telling me "If you hate the dentist now, just wait until you have to go in to get your wisdom teeth removed."
Anyway, I take crap care of my teeth. Don't even floss. My teeth are all way too crowded and close together to fit something like floss between them, and it just seemed stupid. Kinda regretting that, now, but whatever. Science will find an a way to fix it. My teeth just need to stay in my head long enough for that to happen.
They weren't ever smoker's teeth, but they were still yellowed, stained, and looked terrible. I'm not going to be like one of those ads and pretend like I avoided smiling my whole life because it. That's stupid. I wasn't self-conscious about it in the slightest, and my efforts to fix it were more along the lines of "I need a new toothpaste tube. Oh look, there's a new whitening product, let me try it."
It wasn't until I moved out of my mom's that something happened to make a substantial change. And it was more incidental than motivation. Mom stuck me with a few half-used tubes of mini-toothpaste. Those look like this:
Pretty cute, huh?
"But Bastendorf! Fluoride in the toothpaste! It turns the frogs gay!"
Hush little crazy conspiracy theorist, don't say a word. That's not the toothpaste I'm reviewing. It's just an example of the mini tube.
One was, coincidentally Crest, like the above image, the other was Arm & Hammer. I went through the crest tube in a short time, because my family likes the taste of Crest over most toothpastes, so I went with the one that I knew I'd be able to tolerate. But it also happened to be the emptier of the two.
When it ran out, I couldn't be assed to get more, so I switched to the other tube. And it changed my life instantly, right? Nuh. This is real life. I didn't really notice a thing. I was just using a toothpaste.
The Arm & Hammer tube was almost completely full. So I just went on using it, even though it was smallish. Eventually my mom moved from where she lived, and we didn't get to visit as often. But after like a month, she came over because she wanted to go grocery shopping together. The first thing my mom said to me when I smiled greeting her was "Oh, your teeth look so much whiter! What have you been doing? Did you go get a cleaning?"
I was shocked. I look at myself in the mirror every morning and night. How could I not have noticed something like that? Sure enough, I double checked, and my teeth were noticeable brighter. By then I had run out of the mini tube and had switched to Go Hang Yourself. (I heard this rumor that in some other language Colegate means Hang Yourself. Not sure if it's true, but I find it hilarious, so I sometimes call it that.)
It took me a while to figure out what had lightened what I assumed was a permanent yellow tint in my teeth. I hadn't made a conscious effort to whiten my teeth, so seeing my teeth were significantly whiter caught me off guard as it had been years since my one and only whitening in, I think 2005, and by that time, it was 2013. It couldn't have been the new tube, because I hadn't been using it long, and I would have noticed a more sudden change had it been the new one that did it. Thus, the logical conclusion had to be Arm & Hammer.
"And it changed my life forever and now my teeth are amazing and perfect and I run a galactic empire! Thanks, Arm & Hammer! *Smile, tooth sparkle!*" No.
I decided I'd go back to Arm & Hammer to test it out. If using it for a month could make my teeth much brighter, what would happen if I switched to a regular tube and used it for a year or more?
Well, fast forward two years later, and my teeth are much brighter than they once were. They aren't movie-star white... but they're an appealing, more human-looking off-white. It's better than being that unnatural Hollywood-white, and a hell of a lot better than what they were, that's for sure.
This is the part were I tell you it's fast, it's easy, it's my favorite toothpaste, your marriage will be better, you'll get a three consecutive promotions, your dead dog will rise from the grave good as ever, right? Wrong.
Truth is, I don't like this toothpaste. And I'm not going to do that cliche where I say "I don't like it, I love it". No, actually I hate it and I'm sick of it. The taste is unpleasant and it burns. It's pretty jarring your time using it, if you use more mild toothpastes, but you do get used to it a little after using it at long as I have.
You know when you bite your lip and you get that infected sore in your mouth? The canker sore? Yeah, prisoners of war in Vietnam were probable forced to brush with this stuff every time they had canker sores in their mouths. It's like when you stub your toe on the corner of furniture, where all you want to do is die. I'd liken it to stepping on a Lego, but in your mouth instead.
But I go on using it anyway because I can't argue with the results. Believe me, I've tried the whole "Nah, there's no way. Maybe I'm just misremembering how my teeth looked" thing. But as time went on and my teeth got whiter and whiter, it became harder and harder to convince myself that I was mistaken.
Now, the big thing is I believed what a lot of people believe: "It's fast, it's easy, IT GAVE ME GODLIKE POWER!" But that's a lie. You can't just use this stuff for a week and then quit and go "Aw, it doesn't work." You have to commit like a Xiaolin Monk.
And let me tell you, I take shit care of my teeth. We're talking only brushing once per day, if I even remembered. So 2 or even 3 times a day could potentially speed it up. It will also help if you make an even better effort and go in for a cleaning. (Which I haven't. My results are all just the toothpaste. I didn't even change my diet to something better for my teeth. So if you can't afford a cleaning, you don't have to get one.)
And if you're a smoker, well... I'm not sure it'll do anything at all until you quit, then MAYBE it will lighten them.
Would I recommend Arm & Hammer Advanced White? Not for kids. They're not going to like it much. Is it the best? Probably not. Is it the fastest? Probably not.
But it works. My teeth were discolored, plaque-stained messes for my whole life, until I started using Arm & Hammer. And now my teeth are white, my life has gotten back together, I stopped a Kaiju attack on Tokyo, and I single-handedly built a Death Star! Thanks Arm & Hammer, I couldn't have done it without you *Wink, smile, tooth sparkle, freeze frame, roll credits*
Actually, I may follow up on this one later. I'm about out of my current tube, and was going to think about trying out a different Arm & Hammer toothpaste type to see how far I can push the whiteness of my teeth without ever setting foot in a dentist's office, or switching brands. I want to see if the before and after shots in commercials are even possible to achieve with just toothpaste alone. My money's on it being a dirty lie, but I'm going to Rick-and-Morty that science (hopefully without killing everyone and ending a universe in the process.)
This is a followup post from the previous one where I procrastinated doing any real work by sharing my thoughts on my long-time desire to write... draw... make... develop... whatever, I wanted to do comics.
Another thing I didn't really think about while writing last night was the fact that I can't draw humans to save my life. Not realistically, anyway. So I'd either have to do the characters as furries, which a lot of people aren't going to like, or I could knuckle down and force myself to learn to draw humans once and for all.
But then there's another issue: Social Justice Whiners, Black Lies Matter, and other race obsessed nancies and betas. If I do a comic with humans, I'd get those morons crowing and squawking about every single non-white character's every misfortune and stereotype, bawling about racism and white supremacy and whatever. "Why isn't the main character a half-black, half-hispanic, disabled, gender non-conforming, lesbian midget woman!? Racism! Sexism! Homophobia! Transphobia! Islamophobia! Dromophobia! Muh Representation!"
Frankly I'm not too worried about calls of sexism. I love making female characters. Always have. Sarkeesian would definitely complain because I'd be taking the "sexy female hero" approach, but still not too worried. The whole "women in gaming" ordeal had slammed face first into the wall that is the industry, pitched a shrieking fit, and then died away to ineffectual nothingness.
I'm not exactly afraid of being called those things. I've heard it all before a thousand times over. The question is not whether I can handle those kinds of non-criticisms. I absolutely can. The question is whether or not I want to put up with the harassment again. The answer is not really. I'm certainly not going to be pandering to them, so the only other option is to avoid that bubbling bog of noxious fluid all together.
I said a ways back that I was either going to completely avoid creating humans for a while, or that they'd be all white and straight until the rainbow-haired pacman frogs of the world calm down and stop screeching.
I could totally do that, too. I could have the first comic ever to feature an all-white group of friends/allies/whatever-they-end-up-being. It's not like groups of white people don't exist. My high school inner circle, for example. We were all white simply because there were few black, Asian, Latina, or Hispanic students. And the ones that were there had their own cliques they hung out with, too. All the Asians hung out at the anime club with their white weeb friends at lunch, the black students had their own inner circle as well, headed by the most popular black kid in school, AKA: the class president, and probably hung out with him doing whatever the hell the overachiever club did. He was always getting called to the office, so I'm sure he had important class president things he was always doing.
The Hispanics all just vanished each lunch period. You could find one or two every now and again in the computer lab, but other than that, I'm sure they spent as little free time on the campus as possible, especially considering there was a discount coffee and pastry shop literally 10 minutes away, and was massively popular among students of the middle school and the high school. Still went out of business rather recently, though...
So my group of friends and I would hang out in the library like a bunch of white nerds.
It may come as a surprise to idiots and racists, and corporates: not every group of friends is racially diverse. Hell, we were a group of all white males until senior year when a girl took partial interest in the series. (Sonic's Funnies, covered in the last post) She would sometimes hang out with us, and she was also white. My brother had a hispanic friend, but he was an unlikable piece of shit and the only time he wasn't an absolute douche was when he was with other hispanic kids. He never hung out with our group and had no interest in... seemingly anything, let alone the comic series.
And I don't know why this has to come from me, but who the hell honestly believes people need someone of their own skin color to identify with? My favorite Mortal Kombat character the first three games for example: Liu Kang. Dude's as Asian as it gets without being called Chin Pao or something, and fighting with a pair of chopsticks. (Damn badass Xiaolin Monks....)
The only reason he stopped being my favorite is because he sucked in 4, and in Deadly Alliance he was dead, so Raiden became my new favorite character because my only other most favorite character, Scorpion, was hard to get the hang of.
My brother's favorite was always Jax because he has robot arms. My brother's as white as I am.
My favorite Double Dragon 5 character is Trigger Happy not because he's my own skin color, it's because he has a big-ass gun on his arm, and his name is freakin Trigger Happy. It doesn't get much more metal than that.
He could have been any color. It wouldn't have mattered. Hell, his alternate color scheme gives him purple skin and a golden gun, and I actually prefer that version to the original, because big gun + pimpin = bonus.
My favorite Planeteer is Wheeler because he's a white kid, right? Wrong. It's because he was the only one in the show that didn't have a lame power, and on top of that, his power happened to be fire, which, of the traditional 5 elements, is my favorite. No one wanted to be Ma-Ti. Why? Because his power was totally useless. Kid got the shaft on that one.... Let's see, you can have the destructive power of fire, or you can have the gay power of 'heart'. Fire, earth, wind, water, heart. 4 of them are at least useful in some way, and I promise you this, if Wheeler had been the one with heart, I would have been mocking him, instead.
Fire, water, wind, earth, ice (sometimes metal is an element in place of ice). Of the traditional elements, fire and ice are the most powerful, because fire and ice are pure destructive. You can sit in calm water, nothing will ever happen. You can't sit in calm fire. It doesn't take a genius to know why fire is the best of the elements. I mean, of the nations, the Fire Nation is the most powerful and feared for a reason.
And my favorite Power Rangers are the Red and Green Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, because racism, right? The color scheme might have been questionable with the black dude being the Black Ranger, the blonde girl being the Pink Ranger, and the Asian chick being the Yellow Ranger, but that didn't really occur to me because I tend not to think about race that much.
Red has always been my favorite color, so that one's a no-brainer. Second, tyrannosaurus? Of all the zords, Jason Lee Scott had the Tyrannozord, are you kidding? He could have been the Pink Ranger, back when I thought pink was lame, and so long as he still piloted the Tyrannozord, he would have been my favorite. As for the Green Ranger, Tommy Oliver was my first Tv Star man-crush. ...also Dragonzord. Nuff said.
I guess that tangent went on longer than I intended it to, but I think it's pretty evident to all but the most strident racists that skin color and gender mean little when it comes to who we end up liking or identifying with.
Ultimately, it doesn't matter what I do... all white, all black, or even if I pandered and represented every race and half race, completely excluding whites, they're still going to find a way to complain and virtue signal.
You might be saying "just fuck em and do what you like", to which I agree. That usually is my policy... but the problem there is that... I can't remember who said it and on what live stream, but I'm going to paraphrase what the guy said: "Any character I write is automatically going to be white. This has nothing to do with racism, but unless I'm specifically writing a native in Zimbabwe or something like that where it has to be a specific race, the character is always white by default."
For me, I don't usually think about the race of a person unless it's a specific place. Example: I have a futuristic comic idea where the characters fly out to Japan in search of a powerful gang leader. Of course, being in Japan, the new characters they meet there are all Japanese Asians, because majority-race country.
So because I don't think about the race unless I'm required to, the typical character defaults to white. Probably because its vastly more common for me to run into other white people in my day to day life than it ever has been to run into a black person, Asian person, or Latino/Latina. That's not to say that I never do, it's just more common because despite having lived in 7 different cities in my life, I've usually ended up living in a majority white neighborhood, in a majority white city, in a majority white state, in a majority white country. Except that one time where I lived in a city with more Hispanic folks per capita than the surrounding areas.There was a little Mexican convenience store right at the end of our street. Would shop there every so often. But even still, the block was majority white.
So backing up a little, the trouble with just doing whatever I want means that most characters will end up being white anyway, because it requires me to notice that there aren't other character types being created, because it requires me to focus on race rather than character. And I'm sorry, I'm just not racist enough to notice when the universal "at least one black person and one Asian person" quota isn't being met every 15 minutes.
And it's not even like I don't like other races. If I thought it was an appropriate move, I'd dump the contents of my lewd folders to prove it. You may be surprised to find it's not all furry stuff, and that I don't discriminate on race, either. But that's not something I'm going to do on this blog, so I won't be doing that.
Anyway, off race stuff and back to the start... I am still tempted to use furries instead of humans, because furries can be extremely more varied than humans can.
Great example: "You know that human that flies planes?" Yeah, how many is that? Compare that to "You know that fox that flies planes?" Off the top of my head, I can only think of two characters that fit this description: Tails and Fox McCloud.
Another fantastic example: "You know that one guy with electric powers?" Garth Ranzz, Killowat, Sheev Palpatine, Cole MacGrath, Electro, Lightning, Black Lightning, Zatch Bell, the third Raikage, Enel, Laxus Dreyar, Raiden (MK), Raiden (MGS4, though only briefly), Zeus, Thor... the list goes on and on.
"You know that mouse with electric powers?" Pikachu, Pichu, and Raichu. (It's entirely possible Plusle and Minun are mice, but they could also be rabbits or something else entirely, I'm not sure.)
There are only so many varieties of human. But I might not go with anthropomorphic animals after all, just because it would be even more alienating to potential readers *cough* normies *cough* and narrow my demographic even further. Even though a furry western would be a lot of fun to write... Fox McCoy, outlaw. Think I'd run the risk of accidentally plagiarizing Red Dead with it, some how. The western as a genre has been done to death.... I think it might actually be literally impossible, in this day and age, to write a unique western. Although, now that I think about it, there are criminally few stories written about Calamity Jane, Madam Vestal, or Laura Bullion, some of the Wild West's most famous and infamous women.
But I'm not going to be the one to do it, just to spite Anita Sarkeesian and all the feminists who whined at me about "muh representation".
I think this is as far as I can go with this subject without rambling more or crossing old ground again. Wasn't even expecting to get this much out of it. I thought it would be at most 4 paragraphs or so... and wasn't exactly necessary, but it does serve the purpose of giving creators who read my blog things to think about when designing characters, so I deem it worth the time and effort.
This is going to be at least somewhat off the blog's primary topic, so feel free to skip it if you either don't give a crap about comics, or only come here to hear game dev tips or how my games are coming along.
I'm only doing this one because I'm struggling to nail down moss as part of my game assets. So far, it's either too simplistic and doesn't look good, or too detailed and clashes with the rest of the game's esthetic... and doesn't look good... so I need an excuse to procrastinate a little. Usually the best way to figure out what's wrong with a project is to do something else and come back to it later. I'm procrastinating with the hope of coming up with a game I can use as inspiration. I lack an off-the-top-of-my-head list of 16bit, 2D pixel games that use moss in the design somewhere. (Already, taking a break is doing the trick perfectly. I've already come up with Jurassic Park and Sonic Spinball as potential candidates in the time it took just to write this paragraph.)
On to the point.
I think I'd like to do a comic series. This isn't something new for me: the desire to draw comics. It started when I was really young. I can't remember my age at the time, but it was young enough to still own a bigwheel, because I remember very vaguely that around that time I had mine stolen. Whoever stole the bigwheel from kid-me, you are a prick and I hope you have cancer now.
Anyway, a short time after that had been stolen, I remember I encountered my very first comic book. I can't say whether I was aware of them before that point, because I was a kid and of course I didn't pay attention to a damn thing... but this comic had such an impact on my life, I can still recall that moment to this day. I can't remember who showed it to me... it was another kid, much older than myself, but I can remember the series it belonged to, right down to which issue it was.
It was the Archie Adventure Series, Super Sonic vs Hyper Knuckles special. I might even go as far as to say it was a defining moment in my life. If I can remember the title some two decades later, even though I haven't seen the person who had showed it to me, and I haven't read it since then, it had to have some significance.
But yeah, anyway, the point of that tangent was to back up the claim that this is something I've always wanted to do since I was a small child. Maybe never as much as wanting to be a game developer, so this isn't something I'd drop developing games for, but it's one of those things, you know? Like trying out skydiving, or trying sushi.
And it's not like I haven't tried it, either. As a small boy, I took a sketchpad and turned it into a comic. It was called Sonic's Adventure (This was before the Sega Saturn even existed, let alone the Dreamcast, so it had nothing to do with the game Sonic Adventure.) The comic was crap. I think I recall Eggman, or Robotnik as he was called back then, had been defeated in the first one by Knuckles turning into a really ugly woman and it scaring him off.
...I was a kid, what do you expect? It lasted about 4 comics, I think, or 5, with the last one involving a vampire that just straight up ate Tails whole. All of them were destroyed because younger siblings. But the series' more funny moments spawned something I called Sonic's Funnies. It was meant to be spinoff of my Sonic Adventure comic but all comedy, like a blooper reel. But I couldn't call it Sonic's Bloopers, because even as a kid I understood that bloopers were accidental mistakes. So instead of Sonic's Bloopers, it was funny stuff, or stuff I thought was hilarious, but since it was more of a compilation of skits based off the main series, rather than an actual story, so I called it "Funnies" instead.
Sonic's Funnies lasted 4 comics before all of them were destroyed.... because younger siblings.... (Nothing's sacred.) Years later, I revived the series. And I think it went up to 26 before I graduated high school and sorta stopped doing it. I actually still have every single one of them, because I did my absolute best to keep them out of my siblings' hands. My brother, not much younger than me, would take them to school (we had different classes, because I was older), and despite being drawn specifically to look like a toddler had made them (I kept my old style when drawing them, because of the flexibility it gave me) they were actually quite popular among our friends, enough that the series became nicknamed "The Funnies" within our inner circle, and so much so that it inspired a littler kid on the bus ride home (public transport... stopped by the middle school, then the high school), and another of our friends to do their own Sonic's Funnies.
The kid didn't know what he was doing, and didn't get humor. His comic was just stick figures, and his comedy was literally just "Don't shoot me! Oh no, you did shoot me!" Probably based on the only page he heard my brother read aloud on one ride: "No refunds on Tuesdays!" "But it's Wednesday." "<Stupified expression reaction shot>"
Actually, the original Sonic's Funnies eventually adopted one of the characters from our friend's spinoff, and from there, other friends attempted to get their own characters in the series, so it's not as if people didn't love it.
I want to give it a shot again. I've been wanting to give it a shot. The only issues are that I don't know if I'm talented enough (not that it would matter much, I mean OnePunch Man and all)....
"Quit being modest, you idiot! You're not fooling anyone but yourself!"
Yeah, alright, sheesh! Once I get past my insecurities, sometimes I remember that this drawing is something I once did. Though it's not fantastic, everything in it (aside from the background) was done from scratch by me. The problem, and another of the things holding me back... or, well, I guess I can't count not being talented enough among my problems if I'm being honest with myself, but the problem is that the image above took me a month and a half of working sun up to sun down, weekends included.
I've learned to speed it up a little since then... ok, ok, jeeze... a lot since then, and I've mastered Photoshop enough to be a professional... and I've improved so much since then...
Damn, you guys are so strict in the mental representation of you in my head. Won't even let me go down my typical self-destructive path of blind self-doubt and modesty...
(I sometimes give potential critics a voice in my head and use that as a way to refine my work by trying to imagine what criticism people will have. In this case it was trying to come up with the best drawing I've ever showed you guys, where I put real heart into it, and the above is what came to mind. I then realized no one would believe I'm not a talented artist, because I've gone on multiple occasions on this very blog, proving otherwise.)
So what are my real hangups, then? Well, once I manage to stop doubting myself, there's still the fact that I'm slow. Some poses I just cannot do without a visual aid, and some I can't do even with a visual aid. A 3D pose doll would help greatly, but there are none. (None that aren't stupidly expensive, anyway.)
I could make my own, but that takes a lot of time, too, and I'd have to make a new one for each body type. I do have software for creating 3D characters, but they're a pain to pose, and only cover humans. Anything that's not perfectly humanoid would still be a struggle for me.
Part 2: What Would I Do If I Did A Do?
I've decided I like multi-part post system. It's a great way to add a substantial checkpoint to my long posts that have separate but related topics without posting two blog posts in a day and expecting people to catch and read both. That way they're both in one post and if someone just doesn't have the time, they can reach a checkpoint like this, stop, do what they gotta do, and then come back if they want to finish it, or if they decide they don't care or aren't interested, they can stop at the checkpoint and call it good.
So, what would I do if I did do a comic?
I can already imagine people might be wondering about Sonic's Funnies, and I may eventually upload that, but for right now.... nah. The art style would be a point of major contention for some people. They'd think that's the best I'm able to do, and they may not like the style. Also, just because I find something funny doesn't mean others will. I've mentioned on here before, my style of humor tends to hinge on the random, like Action Bunnies, ASDFMovie, Bobobo-Bo-Bo-Bobo, etc. Very much slapstick, very much rule-bending, very much Looney Toons type comedy, except... more raw. Not a lot of people share my childish brand of humor.
On top of that, fans of Sonic the Hedgehog would be outraged, because though the characters have the same names and same basic appearance, their personalities are nothing like canon. Sonic is the avatar of logic, interacting with a world that makes no sense, but he's kind of dumb, Knuckles is an idiot, even more so than canon, and Tails.... well everyone's kind of dumb, frankly.
Don't get me wrong, it's something I've thought about putting up at points in the past, but I'm still dragging my feet.
Get to the point!
Right, had to address Sonic's Funnies first, because I felt like I'd get people wondering...
So what would I do if I decided I'd do a did? (Maybe I should stop talking like Markiplier, now...) Well, seeing as Marvel and DC are absolutely rolling in their own poison, I've felt a strong urge to do a superhero comic. But I think I'd do more of a gritty one instead of a overly kid-friendly one. "What, Superman died? Oh don't worry, he'll be back.... again.... duh." Really can't help but think of College Humor's Realistic Superhero Funeral video on Youtube.
I know, I know. The gritty superhero thing has been done before... a lot. There's nothing original under the sun. It's all been done. I get that. But I hate Slice of Life. I won't do it. I just couldn't enjoy Everybody Loves Raymond, Two and a Half Men, Hey Arnold, etc. Don't get me wrong! ELR had some brilliant comedy, and Hey Arnold was undeniably one of the best cartoons ever made, but I just don't like Slice of Life. I actually developed my own catch-all saying for the genre. "Life is boring enough as it is. Why would I want to watch someone else's boring life when I could just as easily live my own boring life?"
So I'd want to do something with a fictional twist, and superhero stuff is already something I've wanted to do for over a decade. Hell, there was a Create Your Own Superhero contest I almost entered ages ago. My mom discouraged me from entering because my super hero wasn't original enough. She was right, though... my hero was literally just Sabertooth from X-Men, minus the healing, and a hero instead of a villain. I was woefully unoriginal when I was younger...
But to quote one of the greatest mottos I've ever come across: "Don't try to be original, try to be good." Something I live by now. I'd never straight up plagiarize something, but I'm not going to try to do something never ever done before ever. It would be a colossal waste of my time.
I'm well aware that a gritty comic will alienate a huge portion of potential audience, but one thing I really hate is a hero whose moral compass lies somewhere between #FFFFFF and #F5F5F5. (For those of you who aren't familiar with color code, that's pure white and indistinguishably less white.) And I extra hate villains whose character boils down to the living essence of the element "Muahahaha", on the periodic table...
I totally didn't make that up. It's an element on the periodic table, so shut up...
Sadly, children, preteens, and the early post-pubescents can't comprehend more than #FFFFFF and #000000 morality. (Pure white, and total black). Hell, I couldn't either, until Dragon Ball Z came along and turned my understanding of story upside down. That shit blew my freakin mind. "What, the good guy can lose? The villain can win!?"
Dragon Ball Z is another one of those influences I had as a young kid that totally changed the way I think. I discovered Dragon Ball Z through a friend of mine when I was still back in grade school. He would talk about it all the time. Then one day I finally caught it on tv by chance, and started watching it. To say it left a mark on me is an understatement.
Violence, real violence. They weren't just comedically hitting each other with cartoonish sound effects, they were actually beating the ever-loving hell out of each other for no other purpose than to kill each other. And characters weren't completely fine again from one scene to the next. Their damage actually mattered. And then, episodes would end, but the story wasn't over. Things stung together, outcomes had weight. Dragon Ball Z single-handedly killed my interest in shows like the Flintsones, the Jetsons, Dexter's Lab, etc, where nothing mattered from one episode to the next. One example I use all the time is Dexter's Lab. There's one episode where Dexter and Mandark spend so much time arguing and fighting that the Earth is destroyed by meteors. The episode ends with them stuck in space, blaming each other. The very next episode, everything is back to normal again.
I love anti-heroes who have a grey morality, I love villains who are deep and complex, and I hate the candy-coated endings where nothing really matters because Superman can never really die even if he really dies.
Among my favorite heroes are actually villains. Vegeta, totally self-serving, arrogant, uncaring. Goes from trying to destroy Earth and gain immortality to protecting it. Shadow the Hedgehog, though poorly written, he's a do-it-his-own-way character who lives by his own rules. Venom, hell bent on killing Spiderman, makes a great unlikely hero. (Ok, honestly I don't know that much about Venom. I just know he's bad and sometimes saves the world. Despite my love of comics, I've read tragically few.)
I enjoy exploring the darker elements of good characters, and intricacies of villains too much to write for-kids crap.
Also, I've noticed that my best characters usually end up being ones with the best defined sexuality and sex life. I don't know why...
My two greatest characters are the ones I've put most thought into their sexual aspects, and are the ones that are the least restrained of all my characters when it comes to having sex. One's bisexual, and the other is strictly straight. They've both developed into really good characters. How I know it's specifically sex is because one of the two tries to be very Christian about sex, but eventually is broken of his purity. I like to have my characters develop naturally, and this one went places I really liked once I allowed him, within the story, to open up to being deviant.
The kinds of characters I enjoy writing, most kids under 17 won't be able to understand. So I'd either have to learn to boil characters down to black and white, or stick to a limited audience.
The Real Concerns
My biggest, real concerns with this is ability: Comics have a specific range of styles, none of which I've ever tried before. My style is plastic to my needs so I don't really have a style, but I don't think anything in the range I've tried thus far would work for a comic like this, so I'd have to develop a new style. Or rather, I'd have to add a new style to the style-toolbelt that is my own artistic talent.
Speed: I'm slow as hell when drawing.
Planning: Ironic coming from someone who has "writer" in the upper right of this very blog, but I'm not a very good writer. I tend to not have a story in mind while I work. It's kind of a problem of mine, where I just start writing, not really knowing where I'm going, and allow the story to be flexible and improvise as I go. That kind of thing comes through in Sonic's Funnies as well, and was also how I wrote Sonic's Adventure. It has the benefit of the story coming out feeling a little more natural because I can throw something in and it will flow perfectly from point to point, and it allows characters to come in or events to happen that were never there before.
Example: I was writing this book where a character was supposed to be the only one of his kind. But as I wrote, I got inspired to add another character similar to the first, and then another, and soon I decided that the character could no longer be the odd one out in a world full of normal people. Since this was all in writing, it was easy enough to go back and change a few key points. Hell, his race didn't even have a name until chapter 4-ish.
However, that wouldn't work in a comic. At least, not without retroactively changing the continuity like Marvel and DC always do by constantly rebooting their same stories and re-imagining the characters over and over.
Another huge problem with the complete improv style is more complex stories. I can't have there-all-along elements or major plot twists or important mcguffins without some measure of planning. I've also had a very hard time writing stories that have a longer, more complex run.
For example: A murder mystery. I'd never be able to write one in full improv. Or, let's take an episode of House as a model. A patient comes in at the hospital, the patient has complications, they have no idea what it is and have to solve it before their patient dies. They believe it's <issue X> because <A and B> symptoms. Treatment isn't working. Suddenly a new symptom arises that shows them they were very wrong, and it's worse than they imagined. They eventually figure it out in the nick of time and it's explained that symptoms A and B make is seem like issue X, but symptoms A and B, as well as the new symptom C means it's really issue Y.
That can't really be done without some planning ahead. "No, it wasn't as we suspected. The patient really has arthritis!" "But doctor, earlier the patient was vomiting blood..." "Arthritis!" "But the patient's skin is yellow..." "Yes, it's a rare form of super arthritis!"
And the last major issue is... In a world where the concept of superheroes and supervillains has been so overly done that you get villains like Polkadot Man, Calendar Man, and Ant Man, I'd have a back-breaking time developing heroes and villains that aren't clear Marvel or DC rip-offs.
And believe me, it takes a lot of thought.... as Static Shock was unfortunate enough to find out the hard way.
My best friend put it best regarding Static Shock: "Lame heroes need lame villains."
Static Shock is a super hero cartoon with some of the worst writing I've ever seen. The series' arch-nemesis character is Ebon, a villain made of shadow, with powers of darkness. Naturally, as you can imagine he's weak to bright light. What's the protagonist's power? Electricity.... which generates bright light. Brilliant....
That's as stupid as making the Human Torch the arch-nemesis of Aquaman, or putting Sir Kibble from Kirby up against Woodman from Megaman. Or putting the Wonder Twin, Zan, up against.... Spongebob or something.
At least Superman's weakness is hard to get a hold of. With Ebon, literally all you need is a bright LED flashlight. You wouldn't even have to be a superhero to beat him. Actually, the Wonder Twins are another great example of needing to be careful how you design your heroes. Any environment that's hostile to liquids would render Zan powerless. Maybe even dead. I watched a lot of their show, not sure if Zan was ever shown to be able to survive being boiled into vapor, or what would happen if he evaporated. I'm sure he'd be screwed if evaporation got him. He'd be rained back down from the clouds in little drops all over the land. It would be over for him.
Anyway, I think I've rambled enough and burned enough time. Not sure I'll end up going with superheroes in the end. I might try a Cowboys and Americans era comic, like Green Blood (someone needs to start correcting Columbus' idiot mistake. Can't go on calling them Indians hundreds of years later), or maybe cyberpunk instead. Or maybe a Bronze Age Game of Thrones type thing. That could potentially fail, though, because I don't know a lot about the Bronze Age. I know it's not too terribly different from the Iron Age, but there's still a big difference. Still could be interesting to do a Roman-style Game of Thrones....
Before I go into it.... somehow I got almost 400 page views yesterday, but only 8 unique visitors.
Either I got 1 person visiting nearly 400 times, 8 people visiting roughly 50 times, a bot landed on my blog and spazzed out, or something else happened.
I thought it was because the critic I mentioned previously had done that LP. Nope. In fact, I swung by her Twitch to see. Turns out she lied through her teeth about being a game critic and wussed out of LPing my game. She has a grand total of.... <drum roll here> two whole videos, neither of which are games I've even played, let alone worked on. So it couldn't have been related to her.
Not a clue in hell what to make of the page view to unique visitor ratio on the 29th. Just found it interesting.
Anyway, enough suspense. Here it is.
The newer one (above) is a little too slow for the beat. Instead it has a certain unintended bravado that is best accompanied by the Title Screen/Stage 09 music from Cho Aniki Legend of the Holy Protein.
Yes, "Holy Protein" is a euphemism... The game is a softcore homoerotic, side-scrolling shooter. And when I say "homoerotic", I mean what the scouter says about its homoerotic level is that it's well over 9000. It's about two scantily dressed, heavily muscular men who gyrate their hips until they fire "holy protein" out of holes in their skulls at other muscular men with little clothing.
Japan is weird.
I'm sorry this one took so long. As I've mentioned multiple times on this blog: I hate animating. I'm just not able to work on the same thing over and over. So I'd do maybe a frame, or half a frame, and then do something else, and maybe come back later and do a negligible amount of work. In essence, I did about half a frame a day, except for the last two. Those I did in full on the same day.
Another large part of why it took so long was his tail... which I'm only just noticing is actually really cute the way he flip-flops it as he walks. At first, I just had it kind of bounce up and down while he walked. It didn't look good. Then I tried having it straighten and curl a little as he walked, and that looked even worse. Finally, I took a page from an old Guilmon sprite sheet I had. When Guilmon ran in Digimon Battle Spirit, his tail would swing from side to side following his contacting leg. (Basically, his tail would swing back and forth to avoid kicking his own tail as he walked.)
I really liked how it looked, and at first I emulated it as closely as my character's tail would allow me to. (His name is Bastendorf, which is why I don't refer to him by name. I may go into why this character and I have the same name at the bottom of this post, but for now....)
The animation just didn't look right, though. Guilmon's Digimon Battle Spirit sprite is old to say the least. The swing of his tail is stiff and didn't look good on my character. I had to fiddle with the sway of the tail until it looked more natural and graceful. I did this by adding easing to his tail sway motion. And it took so god damn long to manage a perfect loop with easing in only 8 frames. Pretty sure it took at least two hours. Long enough to get through 4 videos, each 30 minutes long. (I listen to podcasts while I work, sometimes)
For those who aren't familiar with the jargon of animation, essentially what I did was make it so that there's a brief frame on either end where the bulkier area of his tail changes direction, and the less heavy, less dense, last few inches of his tail gets momentarily left behind in the motion. It'd be like allowing your wrist to hang limp while waving your arm. Your arm will move normally, but your hand will struggle to keep up, as it's still subject to momentum, even though the direction has changed. In a nutshell: An object in motion stays in motion. He would swing his tail the other way, and the latter portion of his tail would briefly remain in motion.
Pixel art, an animation lesson, and physics lesson all in the same post. I'm actually kind of proud I managed that.
Doing the walking animation a piece at a time it actually how I did the older one. It seems to work really well for me. Because it allows me to animate without sitting there working for hours, doing much the same thing over and over.
I've decided I'm going to split this post in to two parts. Maybe even 3 if I remember to explain why I have a character with my same name. I've done this because this part is a little unrelated to the above. You can quit here if you only care about the sprite. The rest will be about the prospect of Kickstarting the game.
Onto the meat.
I've been thinking quite a bit about what I'd offer if I did a Kickstarter/GoFundMe/Patreon. Is it only Kickstarter that has the donation reward tier system? Now I have to check.
Ok, I knew Patreon is a constant donation thing already. So rather than a pool, it's more like a port you pump funds into. You're a patron, rather than a donor. GoFundMe doesn't seem to allow a reward system, so fuck that. I may end up using Kickstarter or Patreon, because I might be able to do a donation tier reward thing with Patreon. I'm sure as hell not going to use one where I ask for money without giving out thank you gifts.
Anyway, I've been thinking about that. This is what I've come up with so far, in terms of rewards. (Red text is my commentary.)
$1 – Take pride in knowing you contributed, however small, to something.
It's a dollar. What do you expect? Not sure if Kickstarter even allows 1 dollar donations, but in case it does, I do want to at least acknowledge the 1 dollar donations in some way.
$5 – Officially consider yourself pretty rad, plus get a generalized, impersonal credit in the game's credits.
Ok, I realize these first two aren't exactly rewards. But why should people expect something special for donating the bare minimum? A five spot is what you give to those bell-ringing Santas around Christmas time so you can feel like you at least made a difference. It's hardly worth more than a thanks.
$20 – One random desktop wallpaper related to the game, plus your name in the credits.
Honestly, I don't know if people really care about desktop wallpapers, but $20 is starting to approach a point where it's no longer fair to not give out actual rewards. I've seen Let's Play channels where they have a wallpaper of their favorite game. I figured that if people are willing to put Minecraft on their desktop, then maybe potential fans of my game will want to do the same.
$50 – All desktop wallpapers related to the game, and instead of a lame entry in the credits screen, a 32x32 pixel-art portrait of you will appear somewhere in the game.
When you're poor like me, $50 is a lot of money. Donators of this tier deserve more recognition than previous. 50 is one of those amounts of money you put on something big like a bet between friends, or a lottery ticket. It's not enough money to help much on its own, but it's worth more than a text-credit and the equivalent of a gift card. (Let's face it. A gift card is something you give someone when you feel obligated to get them a gift, but don't give enough of a shit about them to give them something meaningful. And that's kind of what the desktop wallpaper represents. I mean, at least I'm not pretending like it's a big deal, right?)
$100 – An exclusive desktop wallpaper reserved only for $100+ donors, with your name on it. Plus all previous rewards.
A hundred is something you put on a more serious bet, or a dare. It's also a universally recognized number milestone. So it deserves something a little more special. Since I don't run any special VIP Accessible forums or anything, all I can really offer is a more special desktop background at this tier. But don't worry, from here on out, the lame prizes die off pretty quick. It's not simply images you put on your desktop all the way down the list.
$250 – Be part of the beta testing phase, get an official poster related to the game, and an optional 250+ donor t-shirt, plus previous tier rewards, and the game is completely free to you, including all potential future expansion packs, etc.
I'm not perfectly sure if I can do official posters and t-shirts, I'm just an indie dev, but I thought it would be cool to try out. I'd definitely look into it before launching the Kickstarter, but if not, the rest of this donor tier should make up for it.
Some people like to beta test games. I don't know why, but that seems to be a fairly popular reward. But more than that, I think if you donate this much money, you've earned the game. Why make people who donate this much also buy the game? It hardly seems fair to me.
I don't like DLC, but I do like expansion packs. They usually add to the game and make it better. Those, if I do make them for this game, would also be free for this level of contribution.
$500 – All previous rewards, but instead of a 2D portrait of yourself, a large, 100px, stone statue of yourself will appear in the game, you'll receive an exclusive desktop wallpaper reserved only for $500+ donors, and physical copy of Bastendorf's (the character) jacket, hand sewn by me, along with a physical sketch of one of the characters of your choosing, drawn by me.
Unless you're middle class and above, this kind of money isn't a joke. You don't just casually say "Oh yeah, I lost $500. No big deal. You catch last night's game?" People who donate this much money deserve cool prizes. This is like the upper tier prizes on those school fundraisers when you were a kid.
I know I'm not someone important or special. I absolutely get that. I don't want you to think the "drawn by me" part is ego related. It's more that I think it would be more meaningful if I did it myself, rather than getting someone else to do it. I'm multi-talented, so I think at this level, I could put some of my other skills to use as a reward. So I'm offering a drawing as well as making use of my fiber arts skill.
$1000 – An exclusive, completely unique wallpaper that no one, not even other similar-tier donors can have, plus all previous rewards, except instead of a statue of stone, you get one of gold that will appear in the game. You can also receive in the mail a 6 inch main character figurine hand made by me, along with a flash drive full of assets that don't quite make it to the game that would otherwise go completely unseen, and exclusive video time-lapses of me working on in-game assets, and instead of just 1 sketch, you'll receive 3 greyscale drawings related to the game.
A thousand dollars is something I've only had a total of three times in my life. This is why the reward scales so much between this tier and the last. Each 1000+ donor gets their wallpaper, completely unique from not only lower tier backgrounds, but also from each other. No image will be alike, at this level.
One of my many talents is sculpting. I happen to have special model-maker's clay, and some experience die casting and mold making. For this tier, most of the rewards are optional, but at this point you deserve a fairly big show of my gratitude. That's why I would make an effort to hand craft a figure of the game's main character for you to have.
I also think at a thousand dollars, you deserve something most people never get to see regarding games: failed, removed, discarded, and beta assets. Some games come with commentary on the development, as well. Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance had that kind of thing in there. But rather than just blither pointlessly about the game, and the process behind it, my goal would be to show you some of the design phase in full.
$2000 – All previous rewards, except instead of a statue of gold, you get one of diamond that will appear in the game, that will be larger than the others. In addition to the 6 inch figure, you also get a life-sized Bastendorf decorative figure, also hand made by me, and the jacket will have your name (or other words) embroidered onto it. Plus, included in the flashdrive will be a video time-lapse of the creation process involved in making your totally unique diamond statue credit. All 3 greyscale drawings will be your choice of image (within limitations), and will be inked.
Yeah, 2000 isn't exactly a milestone level above the previous tier, but I'm a nobody so I didn't exactly aim for the kind of reward targets Mighty Number 9 had up. However, I still think that if you're insane enough to donate this much money to help me, a total nobody, out with this project, you deserve something truly cool. Something that would really show my gratitude. But I'm not special enough to do a "dinner with Keiji Inafune" type reward. "Oh boy, you get to spend $2000 dollars to have lunch with a total loser/nobody! #Excite!"
Yeah, I can't get away with doing that. But what I can do is do something no other indie dev would do. Bear in mind that the character of the game is only 7 years old, so life-sized would only be couple feet tall. Maybe 3 and a half feet to 4 feet. I've honestly never bothered to calculate his height.
$5000 – All previous rewards, except instead of a statue of diamond, you get an entire section of the game dedicated to you, your own Chris Houlihan room. Your 6 inch figure could be unique from the previous versions, and in addition to the life-sized figure and the embroidered jacket, you can also receive a life-sized, cosplay replica of whichever one of Bastendorf's main swords you wish to have, also handcrafted by me. Plus, included in the flashdrive will be a time-lapse of the creation process involved in making your in-game credit reward and step-by-step progressive photos of your sword as it's being made. You will also get a large, hand-drawn, colored image in addition to the 3 greyscale ones.
I can already hear my readers: "You actually think anyone will contribute this much to someone who has never really published a game before now?" No, I don't. I fully expect the top 4 reward tiers will go entirely untouched. Realistically, I think all but the first 3 will go totally unclaimed.
This isn't done expecting people will contribute five thousand dollars. This is done because I want to have the opportunity to do something genuinely cool for anyone with the testicular fortitude to spend this much money to help out. Is it likely to happen? Hell no. Could it still happen? Absolutely. And on the off chance that it does, I want to be able to show my love and appreciation to that person in a way no one else would for their supporters.
Years ago, Atari held a contest related to their games called SwordQuest. The prize was real life treasure. It was never confirmed if it was genuine stuff, but among the treasures were a sword and a crown made of real gems and real gold. This was the contest all other contests hoped to live up to. Sadly, it fell apart and the treasure is rumored to have been kept by someone from Atari.
That's the kind of developer I am. Er, not the kind that promises fantastic rewards only to renege on them later. "Hey, thanks for the million dollars! Here's a half finished game! Fuck you, I'm off to live like a god!" Rather, I'm the kind of dev who would absolutely love doing grandiose things for his fans and supporters.
Like for example, let's say I were the developer behind Twisted Metal. I would start a massive tournament and commission an auto company to build maybe Sweet Tooth's van or something like that, and offer that as the grand prize.
Or Halo. I'd rent out a large building and host a Halo-themed laser tag tournament. Or even a just-for-fun laser tag arena.
The larger reward tiers aren't blind arrogance, but more like the 200,000 ticket prizes at an arcade. There's every reasonable expectation no one will ever get them, but they're there.
I want to do cool things for people, but I'm not going to do it for peanuts. Especially considering how much time and effort that it would take to make something like a life-sized statue of my character. So I wouldn't be willing to push the reward down to a lower tier. If you want the show of gratitude, you'd have to earn that gratitude. Plus, knowing there's a chance, however slim, that I might get to do something cool like that for someone is exhilarating.
Anyway, the reason I chose to share the rewards I thought up when I'm not even sure if I can finish this game enough to go to a Kickstarter or not, is to leave it open for suggestions. I'm fully aware some of the lower tier rewards are kind of shit, and that's why I'm open to suggestion.
Still here? Damn you are dedicated if you read up til now.
Well, as promised, here it is: Why the character and I share the same. It gets a little more NSFW beyond this point, and kind of TMI. I'm going to explain it fully.
It's not something I make obvious, but also not something I make much of an effort to hide: I'm a furry degenerate. I've been a furry degenerate between 11 to 14 years.
Good fucking god I've been at this a long time...
Anyway, I was a horny, teenage furfag trying to define himself and his fursona. I heard there was porn on SecondLife, so I decided I'd sign up. While I was still a frequent player, I learned to build, and built my own avatar. SecondLife allows for players to build virtual skins to wear over the top of the default avatar. Naturally, furries figured out how to make themselves into anthropomorphic animals by making skins and accessories for their avatars. I picked up that skill.
Ever since I was a small boy, I've felt a love for dragons that went beyond that of any other animal. If there was one creature I adored most of all, it was dragons by orders of magnitude. Naturally, when I grew up, that adoration only grew stronger and stronger. When I became a furry, naturally the animal I loved more than any other animal, real or mythical, became the foundation for my fursona. For the normies, "fursona" is a portmanteau of "furry" and "persona".
After years of work, I finally defined my fursona. I was a blue dragon. The more I started to build the details of this creature that I played, the more invested in it I became. Eventually my fursona started getting a story. I was developing an interest in weapons at the time, and I played with giving my avatar weapons as a kind of accessory. Eventually I settled on a sword. I think that was the first trait about my fursona that was totally separate from the real life me.
There were now 3 Bastendorfs. The irl Bastendorf, the fursona played by the irl Bastendorf, and a character who was starting to develop. I started to try to explain and rationalize why my fursona was a swordsman even though I myself love blunt weapons more. Slowly, a story began to form. I would toy with this story in my head when I was slacking off in class. Eventually, as I worked out the story, Bastendorf the character started to develop a different personality to my own.
The more his personality developed, the more invested in him and his story I became, and the more I developed him. Over time, there became a very big difference in the furry who is Bastendorf and the character who is Bastendorf, though he still has my name, and I still use his appearance as my fursona. Or rather, he still has my name and takes the physical appearance of my fursona. It's a little complicated, and tough to explain.
You can kind of think of it like Tim Allen and Tim Taylor. Tim Allen clearly plays Tim Taylor, but Tim the actor is different from Tim the character. One runs a tool show, the other is a comedian. And that's how it is with me. Same name, but one's an evil-slaying swordsman, the other is a computer nerd. This is why I tend not to refer to him by name despite the fact that he has a name. It's to keep down the confusion. As can be easily seen, the blog is also named after me. New visitors would get really mixed up.
It would be like if Zelda Williams became the voice actor for Princess Zelda and someone walked in on a conversation about both the character of Zelda, and her hypothetical VA, Zelda Williams.
There's a reason the character is two decades younger than me, though. I wanted to begin at the beginning of his adventures, and his adventures begin when he's 7. There is significance to that age, but this post is long enough, and it will be revealed in the game, so I might as well not go into it here.
I think that about wraps up a post that's going to take way too long to proofread. If you want to see the evolution of my fursona's appearance and the story behind it, that's all here: The Evolution of a Fursona And Character.
So I made fun of some kids who are probably going to grow up to be worthless due to "progressive" environments being their teaching place. I called them useless on Twitter and the person I tweeted it at responded back calling me useless.
I corrected by saying I'm a talented game developer, so am therefore not useless. Turns out, she's a game critic... an oh-so useful position, but this isn't about sniping, so I'm not going to be mean. She demanded I show her how successful I am, but sadly, I only have 4 absolutely trash games out. She wants to Let's Play them.
This post is going to be mostly addressing her for the sake of her and anyone her LP sends my way, so bear with me.
Look, critic girl (to cover my ass and protect your identity), I've made little effort to hide the fact that I used to be terrible.
Here They Are. Go ahead and click the link. I'm not afraid to admit those are my creations, and I'm perfectly comfortable with people playing them. (My readers, please don't play my games. You're not going to have a good time... You don't deserve to suffer that way.)
Frankly, if it bothered me, I wouldn't have left them up for 6 years. Hell, one has over 900 plays... those poor, unfortunate souls... That's a lot of plays for something you think I'm afraid of people discovering.
The issue, here, is that I didn't say SUCCESSFUL like you seem to think I said... like you admitted you think I said. I told you I'm TALENTED. Talent and success are not synonyms, and playing my old games isn't going to prove I'm not talented.
The one I gave you directly, Savage, is an RPG I started in 2004. You do realize that's almost a decade and a half old, right? I didn't finish it until 2008, and I didn't upload it until 2011. Not a single one of those games are good, current, or even serious for that matter. One of them is a joke for a joke challenge I was part of (Drake's Nightmare), and judge for. (My game didn't get an opportunity to win. All three judges submitted a game for the challenge for fun.) And another is made mostly out of graphics I didn't even make. (Savage) And Slaughter House was done literally in weeks because I wanted to make a game about stickmen and senseless murder jsut to be a game about stickmen and sensless murder.
To try to use any of those games, from all that time ago, as proof I have no talent is extremely disingenuous, because I've made it patently clear, to you and to everyone who follows me, that absolutely am a talented developer. My inability to release a game in a while has little to do with a lack of talent, but let me put my skills where my mouth is.
"Is 2D all you're good for? Get with the times!" Actually, no. I can do 3D, too. And I'm pretty damn good, there, as well.
Here's a WIP canine character I sometimes show off.
Wow, is that it? I'm all out?
Huh, yep. If I go back any further than 2012, it all becomes pretty much shit not worth seeing.
So, critic girl, go right ahead. Play my games, berate them into the ground, insult me until you're blue in the face, then link me your LP/review. I'll watch it. I really will. I look forward to it.
You can say what you want, do your worst. My own fans can even tell me how they really feel about them. It's not going to bother me. The games are between a half decade to a decade and a half old. Yeah, big shock: I struggled back then. I'm pretty much self-taught. I sure as hell didn't go to college, so I didn't take any game development classes, or design classes.
You're not going to prove to me, or your fans, or my readers that I'm useless by showing off my old games. All you're going to show is that the road I traveled was steep and rocky. You're going to reveal the uphill battle I fought to get to where I am now. Go back over my sprites in this post. I think I've thoroughly proved I'm a talented developer. (Or, at the very least a talented graphic designer... I've done jack shit to show I can develop games.)
My inability to maintain enough interest to finish a game in years has nothing to do with my skill as an artist or game developer, and everything to do with there being a lot wrong with my brain.
When I stop being interested in finishing a project, I have to dump it. It doesn't mean it's gone, but it means I've stopped working on it for the time being. I have to stop when I lose interest, because if I kept trying to force myself to finish the game, I don't think it would have the heart and soul put into it that I want to put into it. If I don't have the passion I once held, the game could be lackluster and rushed.
I've lost interest in every single project I've ever worked on since 2011, with exception to my last one. That one was actually going very well, I just hit the mother of all energy slumps, and it's left me very forgetful and extremely easily mixed up, and very dumb. The kind of engine that game needs requires my mind to be sharp and quick, otherwise I'll be screwing up, frustrating myself, and exhausting myself trying to simulate code in my head.
Any programmers reading will know all too well what I'm talking about.
As a result of my current state, I've willingly put the project off, as much as it pains me, simply because I know I'm not fit for the game's demands right now.
However, I was struck by sudden inspiration and have returned to a previous project shown early on in this blog. It's where the animated sprite at the top of this post comes from. That game, I'm hoping, will be the project that I finish, simply because of how long I've been trying to develop it (9 years) and because it's sprites are looking really nice.
Then we'll see who is mocking who.
Oh yeah, I'm also a talented writer, too. I wrote and published a pretty good novel. And no, I'm not telling you what it is because you'd never read it, because I'm not giving it to you, you'd have to buy it like everyone else, and I know it would kill you to know your money ends up in my pocket, so you'd never do it. And to answer your question, no, it's not successful, because I don't shill it, ever, and I haven't bought much advertising space, so it has few sales right now.
One character from the list above actually comes from that book, though.
(I really hope this post comes out ok. I've had to rewrite so much of this damn thing because it kept glitching up and erasing blocks of what I wrote. Weebly is never usually this bad... I'm tired now and just want to go to bed.)
Edit: Yeah, I knew it would fuck up... Good thing I copied everything over to a word document, otherwise I would have lost this final block of text. Now I have to check to make sure I haven't lost any of my fucking proofreading...
Update: Yep, all of my proofreading had been undone. I've (hopefully) fixed it all now.
This week has been kind of a bitch. It'll just get right into it.
Last week, I found out I needed a special type of needle to sew lycra. I'm glad I was lazy on starting, because if I had started sewing before learning this, I would have been tearing my suit up with my sharp needles.
From what I found out, I need a ballpoint needle for lycra. Sharp needles just ruin it. I was thunderstruck. I'd never heard of this type of needle before in my life. I thought they only made them sharp.
I immediately scoured the internet. They were either too expensive with shipping, or only sold as an add-on item. (Means you can't buy them alone, you have to buy them along with something else, or 4 other add-on items.) I'd have to go find them, because I wasn't going to spend $7 extra on shipping for a set of needles, and I sure as hell couldn't afford to buy something else to add them on.
I hopped on Google Earth and tried every keyword I could think of. Fabric store, quilting store, sewing store, knitting store...
There was no way around it, I'd have to go a long-ass way to get them.
I chose a destination. It was the same distance as Joann's from my long-ass fabric run when I was trying to get down to Ross Disappointment Store. (How the hell does a clothing store not sell black sweatshirts and sweatpants in the fall?) But it was easier to get to since I didn't have to cross a highway along the way, and it was way the hell out in the middle of nowhere. That kind of obscure, out-of-the-way fabric store has to have all kinds of things I've never heard of. And with the store so out of the way , they'd have to be in stock because there's no way they get many customers after the same things I need. Perfect!
I left my house at 12:12PM. The trip was grueling. It was 83-ish degrees out and there was nowhere near the amount of shade I thought there'd be along the way. It was all barren out there. All of it's mostly croperty. (A word I made up to pass the time, describing a crop-property.)
It took a long time to get there, and I was sweating my ass off. So I stood in the shade outside the store for a few minutes. My deodorant I'd applied before leaving was still kicking, so I couldn't have smelled too bad.
You know that sinking feeling when something you struggled for turns out to be a massive disappointment? That's the first thing that came to me as I walked in. Half the store was reserved for a sewing class room that aimed to teach sewing, and 1/4th the remaining store was closed off by displays. The actual store was smaller than my living room. And my livingroom is small.
And to make matters worse, the only person there didn't even run the store. She was just a friend while the owner was on vacation, and didn't know a damn thing about anything in the store.
I found a set of ballpoint needles, but they only had one in stock. I grabbed them, paid for em, and walked out the store.
You know that feeling when you're walking along and realize you made a huge mistake, and almost swear out loud? As I was looking over these needles, I realized they're the third largest size available, and I needed something 4 sizes smaller.
Fortunately, they only cost me tree-fiddy. No, I'm serious, they literally were $3.50.
I had a lot of time to plan where I'd go next as I made the disappointing trip back, scowling at all the lower-middle-class country-side homes, and judging each one of them for how rundown their fences were, and how shabby and uninteresting their giant yards were.
I made it back to civilization and immediately headed for the next nearest store. It was a ways off, but I could still get there, even though I was exhausted and aching all over.
They were closed. I arrived at 5:05PM, they had closed up at 5PM sharp. A guy, looked like the manager, noticed me walk up and check the schedule and then my phone for the time, and he came out to ask what I needed. I thought he was going be a total bro and let me just grab what I came for and go. Nope, he came to say he wasn't open and mocked me by assuring the item I wanted was in stock, and refused to let me just allow him to just take my cash and keep the change.
He invited me back tomorrow saying they'd be open, and then went back inside. Hell no. I'm not coming back to that store ever again. I'd sooner peacefully drive the truck of peace through their store front, screaming "Who the fuck closes at 5PM on a weekday!? You're not a goddamn bank!" than ever go there, now.
Yeah, I was pissed. Fortunately they were right across the way from a Fred Meyer, which is pretty much just like Walmart, K-mart, Target, etc. So I hurried over there, knowing they wouldn't let me down.
50% of the interior of the store was blocked off by plastic curtains. They were still permitting customers to enter, but they had literal construction workers, hard hats and all, building shelves in the middle of the store.
I wandered for a few minutes, discovering I was in a hell of a bad way. I was nowhere near home, and I was already losing the ability to remain on my feet, I felt very near blacking out, I was thirsty as shit because their drinking fountain had filled my stomach, but not quenched my thirst, and I was hungry. I'd eaten before I'd left, but wasn't expecting to be out so long. So I didn't have food or water.
I rested at the store, meandered a bit, but couldn't find their fabric department. (A lot of their stuff had been moved around to keep their store running during the renovation. A clever idea, but made it a bitch to find anything). Eventually I gave in and asked an employee. She laughed about it and said it was fine. The renovation actually made it hard on the employees as well. Nothing was where it usually was, and even they were having trouble helping customers.
She found me the isle. It had been reduced to an abysmal 2x2 hanging shelf space to make room for their other craft sections, and they were hurting on shipments because they had no room in their store. They didn't have what I needed.
The lady was cool though. She used Siri on her phone to help me find other fabric stores in the area.
Each and every last one of them were closed. Save for Joann's... 20 miles away. I looked down at my sunburnt arms, and compared how much it hurt to stand with how far away it was. No way in hell I could make that. I was even doubting I could make it the 6 miles home.
I couldn't believe how shit my luck had been. I bought a pre-made lunch at the deli and a refrigerated drink and headed to the last store I could think of, while blocking out how much pain I was in. It was only two parking lots and a street away.
Imagine my surprise, after all these years of complete and total disappointment, Walmart, out of all stores, pulls through. Swallowing my hatred of the store and momentarily setting aside my vow to never shop there again, I went in, fully expecting to be disappointed yet again. But not only did they have the needles I needed and in the size I needed, they also had the brand they were talking about in the video I was watching for tips on how to sew with stretch fabric without a serger.
I grabbed them, checked out, and ate on the way back home.
I know some of you might be wondering how I made it back. Well, I took a souple 10 minute breaks in places I found where I could sit along the way. Like between the cunt store that closed and Fred Meyer. There was a little pavilion with benches. And on the way back to my place, there was a car wash, where I was able to sit by a vacuum pump and rest.
Soon as I got back, I sat down and calculated the distance I'd traveled. 63-ish miles, not including wandering around the stores. almost twice the length of my first super long trip.
What was more amazing than the distance I'd traveled was that my deodorant had managed to survive 7 hours of me walking in direct sunlight, in a shirt that is 100% polyester, and still worked at completely masking my sweating-pit stink.
I took a shower, medicated my sunburn, and started to rest. The shower wasn't easy, by the way. It still ached to stand, and my forearms had sunburns so the water stung like fuck against my skin. (I wore a hat which protected my face, my hair shielded my ears, I had a shirt shielding most of my torso, I popped the collar on it to protect my neck, and sweatpants protected my thighs and lower legs. I only got burns from 4 inches below my elbow, down to my knuckles. Still peeling, too.)
Divided into parts, because this one is long.
As I rested from my nightmarish walk, the second big issue hit me. It had been well over a week since I placed my order for the supplies to turn my unitard into a mocap suit.
I went to the website and contacted support wondering if it was shipped to the wrong place, or still in transit, or maybe lost among some papers on someone's desk.
Took a while, and I had to answer some questions about my order, but finally, just today, they got back to me. Turns out that's pretty much exactly what happened. They discovered my shipment had never been processed. They took my money and my order just sat on someone's desk for just a day short of 2 weeks. They were very apologetic and offered to overnight my package to me.
I'm not really mad. Just glad for this enormous delay, because if I had been finished with sewing my suit, despite ordering those materials in advance, I would have been waiting all this time with no idea that my stuff wasn't even on the way.
Anyway, after the support ticket was filed, I dug my new needles out of the fridge (they were in same bag as my leftovers, which I lazily tossed in the fridge when I got back) and immediately exchanged the needle. I was setting up to get started when I realized "You know, I have a sunburn all over my arms. First of all, I've got this gross gel medicine goop all over me, and second, it's not going to feel too good if these pins jab me while I'm working, or if I accidentally bump part of my sewing machine with my sunburnt hand while I work." So I decided I'd put it off until my burns stopped hurting so much.
That was 2 to 3 days ago. But after struggling to rotate my mattress without scraping my arms on it and hurting myself, I came to the hard realization that my mattress had finally had it. Within two days of rotating it, I was already starting to sink into a deep, hard pit. Damn near felt 3 inches deep and stiff as a wooden board. And to make matters worse, my $150 pillow sucks, and it's summer time, meaning it's started to get warm here. If you thought I was sleeping like hell before...
I sleep like crap in the summer even on good mattresses. I cannot sleep when it's warm. I need it to be cool or freezing in my room. The last few days it's been getting warmer here. Summer is starting to arrive.
My sleep was truly abysmal. I'd sleep for a while, wake up, try to find a spot that wasn't hard and uncomfortable, go back to sleep, and wake up again a little later and repeat. For the last few days I've had to increase my caffeine intake just to survive the day. Typically, half a cup of 30mg caffeinated energy drink in the morning to wake me up and half a cup of 30mg caffeinated energy drink in the afternoon to shave off the midday slump was doing me just fine.
But lately, as mentioned in a previous post, I've had to double my caffeine dosage to 60mg, but my system seems to handle caffeine really well, so it did nothing. I had to start drinking a full cup (about 8 ounces) in the morning, and another full cup in the afternoon.
During the portion of time my mattress was reaching the end of its usefulness, I had to start downing 3 full 8oz glasses of 60mg caffeinated energy drink just to make it the whole day.
And before you start worrying about me, according to my weight, the caffeine website I visited calculated that my safe limit is 6 servings at 60mg, or 6 full 8oz glasses in a day.
I was sore all over every single morning, and struggled to stay awake pretty much the entire day. It was horrible.
You may have noticed that I've been talking about my mattress in the past tense. So what did I do?
Well, a while back I asked my mom if she'd be willing to trade mattresses with me. I'd give her my horrid mattress, and she'd give me the old guest mattress I used while visiting her for the week of Christmas last year.
She agreed, the only issue was transport. Her vehicle had no roof-racks, and she had no friends with trucks willing to let her borrow one, and she couldn't afford to rent a moving van. So we sat on it for a month until I could afford to give her the money for the van to transport the mattresses.
Just yesterday (at the time of posting this) we made the exchange and we moved the old mattress in and the crap one out. I'm not sleeping so well just yet, because it's warm as I mentioned above, and I need to do something about my pillow, but last night was fairly good sleep compared to how I've been sleeping. And on top of that, it's an older mattress. Those last a lot longer than newer ones, plus, it's two-sided, so not only can I rotate it, I can also flip it. But it gets better. It's much lighter than my crap one, so it will be much easier for me to move around any time it comes time to flip or rotate.
My battle with shit sleep isn't quite over yet, but it's just improved massively.
In fact, I'm feeling well enough to start sewing today. Hopefully I'll have this thing done soon. As for the cameras, I've decided I'm not wasting money on the studio part of this until I have a suit with which to test the setup. Would be a massive waste of time and money if I bought the cameras and built the studio just to find out the cameras I bought aren't able to pick up my movements. And considering the software has to be cheap and also work with cameras, that will have to be something I research, too. So better to have the suit first.
I've got nothing to post about lately. Nothing that takes little effort anyway. But since I do need an excuse to procrastinate, I've decided to finally post a rant I've had for a long-ass time.
Oh this one is going to piss off a lot of weebs, so let's get into it!
Opening themes to shows are everything. It's very important to have a good theme. And it's on that premise that I have to ask: “Why do so many animes fail at it?” I was listening to anime theme music to get all nostalgic when I came across Death Note's opening theme. The show is awesome, but the opening music is ass. Why? And then that's when it struck me... It's not just Death Note, it's countless animes with themes that don't make sense or just suck. (All the following links will link to videos as neutral as I can find, since some openings aren't very epilepsy-friendly. Videos that contain the actual intro footage will come a potential epilepsy risk warning like so: |Link|)
Here's how you do opening music for your show:
Pokemon – Digimon – Dragon Ball Z – |Dragon Ball Z (Alt)| – One Piece – Sonic The Hedgehog SATAM – Pepper Ann – |MAR| – Ben 10 – Megas XLR – Mighty Morphin Power Rangers – Big Bad Beetleborgs – ThunderCats – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – X-Men – Inspector Gadget – |Beetlejuice| – Teen Titans – Invader Zim – Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo
I'm aware not all of those are anime opening themes. As you can see, I said “Here's how you do opening music for your show” not “for your anime”. The last one was just to show that I'm not biased towards English lyrics, and because I find it really funny to see the way people react when they find out that's really what the show, and consequently the main character, is named. I'm not making that up. I swear to god that's what it's called. Look it up.
And before you yell at me, I chose the remade version of the Inspector Gadget theme because they're essentially the same, I just didn't like how dated the original sounded.
And here's how not to do music:
|Dragon Ball Z (Alt 2)| – |Sword Art Online| – |Blazblue|
There's more, but I can't really stand the music enough to sit through anymore. I saw a poll once that placed the Pokemon theme as the best opening theme ever, and I find it extremely hard to argue. Now this is just my opinion, my totally objective, correct opinion, and if you like any of the ones I listed, that's fine, that's your opinion, and your opinion is valid, you'll just have to live with having the wrong one.
Compare the do's and don'ts. You'll notice that the Do's are all either lyric-less or refer directly to the show you're about to watch. I've been saying this a long time, now... but Sonic SATAM is the best example of opening theme music done right.
“Blue streak speeds by, Sonic the Hedgehog. Too fast for the naked eye, Sonic the Hedgehog. Sonic, he can really move, Sonic, he's got an attitude, Sonic, he's the fastest thing alive. Look out when he storms through, Sonic the Hedgehog. Don't doubt what he can do, Sonic the Hedgehog. Sonic, he can really move, Sonic, he's got an attitude, Sonic, he's the fastest thing alive.”
It's literally all about Sonic and how fucking cool he is. No metaphors, no similies, no “sorta, kinda, if you think about it” it's as direct as you can get: Sonic is awesome, don't mess with him, he's really fast. ATTITUDE 90's YEAH!
The Megas XLR one is also pretty good on the "telling it like it is" factor. "Living here in Jersey, fighting villains from afar. You gotta find first gear in your giant robot-car. You/I/We/Chicks dig giant robots." It doesn't get more straightforward than that. If you've never watched Megas XLR, you should. It doesn't ever take itself too seriously, and that makes it even more awesome. It's a tragedy that the show was so short lived.
Quick note on the Pepper Ann theme... wouldn't being your own biggest fan make you a loser? Not sure that's something to boast about...
Here's the eye-opening one I always like to point out to friends. Dragon Ball Z – Rock The Dragon vs Dragon Ball Z – Chala Head Chala.
Rock the Dragon:
“Dragon, dragon. Rock the dragon. Dragon Ball Z. Dragon, dragon. Rock the dragon. Come get me.”
Chala Head Chala:
“….I fall into a paradise of panic. The scenery turns upside-down and I cheer up (cheer up), ’cause the mountains look like butts.”
This is the greatest action cartoon on the planet we're talking about. Dragon Ball Z, for those who have never watched it, is a show where characters are constantly beating the ever loving fuck out of each other, and Chala Head Chala, according to Julian Grybowski's translation, goes “Lol, mountain butts....” Why!?
Even with not-so-good shows, a good opening can make it seem awesome. As is the case with Ben 10. The show is meh, the writing is meh, Ben is a crap character, but the intro music is still really good.
While compiling this post, I noticed a trend. A lot of the “openings done right” ones are from the 90's. Over half. The ones I don't like usually end up being J-Pop crap or just plain unrelated to the show. For some reason, the 90's really had a knack for making you want to watch the show just based on the opening music alone. I'll refer you back to Power Rangers, X-Men, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to prove my point. Can you listen to them and not want to watch the show? The 90s may have been misguided, but they knew how to make the most camp theme songs. The Power Rangers theme is the very definition of "90s camp".
Now let's break down the top two on the list of Do's. Also conveniently the first two on the list...
Wanting to be the greatest. Catching them all. Doing what it takes to achieve your goal. Many references to Pokemon themselves. Challenges, being a badass, saving the world.
Right away, references to the Digimon. Even breaks down their name: Digimon are digital monsters. But not only are they digital monsters, they're also the champions, they change to become stronger to save their world.
Both the Pokemon and Digimon themes are catchy as all hell, and both accomplish telling you exactly what you're to expect from the show. How many of you reading this will forever have the theme songs to Pokemon and Digimon burned in your heads? Think about that for a second. Let's say you isolated yourself in a bunker for 40 years with no access to the outside world. Some of those iconic “do” themes are such that you'd still remember them by heart even after all that time, huh? Some of those themes are part of you now, and that's the impact a good theme can have.
I'm not saying it's impossible for the “don'ts” to be so memorable, but... here, let's use Blazblue to contrast it with Pokemon and Digimon.
“The bell that rang in youth's time opens Truth's door. Is this distant shadow a prophetic dream? Is it a nightmare? Whispers of grief are woven in the sky. After tracing the believed road, silver rain pours. (Being perplexed, I turn around, and the answer is?) The sand of the memory rushes at high speed, paying with bare hands. A sounding premonition which does not stop changes into courage which advances. It is able to precede the wheel of pain and sorrow, which repeats passionately the future which spills from the cut off eye emptiness comes and spreads in the desired heaven. The trembling voice is too quiet. The forest of glass fell to wailing.”
I'm not sure how accurate this translation is, I just found it on a fan wikia. While reading these lyrics, my only reaction was “Cryptic metaphor, cryptic metaphor, cryptic metaphor, I'm not high enough for this, I'm definitely not high enough for this, what even is this describing right now? Why are these the words that are being used? This makes no sense. How am I supposed to get excited for this show?”
Well, triggerwarning, I think Blazblue is boring-ass, cryptic crap, so it fits! But it's still forgettable...
And last, I want to point at something cool One-Piece did. I've never been able to prove they did this, but I swear when I first saw it air on TV, they modified the intro. Originally, the intro talks about all the main characters: "Usopp's doing that marksman thing, Sanji's cooking, Chopper's doctoring." But I didn't know that, and when it aired for the first time in my region, they diced up the intro to leave out characters that came in later on. So, first it was all about the treasure, and Luffy, then when Luffy meets Zolo, they extended the intro to include him, then Nami, and so on. Basically, as the show progressed, they changed the intro just a little bit to re-include each character along the way. With each new character on Luffy's crew, the intro got a little longer. It was really cool, and I've never seen that done before, or since for that matter. I only wish I had a way to prove my claim.
I don't really have a neat and tidy way of wrapping this up... it's just a rant... All I can really end on is: J-Pop is pretty much all trash, intro music really should refer to the show you're watching, English opening music is vastly superior to the Japanese intro music, and the 90's knew what they were doing...
So the pads didn't work out. They're too hard to lay on. Instead, I put them back under my mattress in just such a way that it would cause my bed to have a slope right where my lower back is, and on top of that, I bought a brand new pillow.
I slept great. It was still pretty terrible, but it was comparatively better than usual and I had more energy.... for one night only.
Unfortunately, there really is no improving this mattress, as I've found out. After the first night, it got so flat and warn out that it now it feels like I'm sleeping directly on the springs. Its gotten so hard in the middle, I'm honestly surprised I'm not in more pain each morning.
The pillow is fantastic, though. $50 for it, and I'm not regretting it. Hell, when the company asked me for a review and I said: "Meh, it's not that good. Little too light for my liking." They emailed me back saying "Hey, we'll pay for you to return it, and we'll fully customize your pillow for free: thickness, firmness, size, you name it. We offer unlimited free modifications."
Now that's what I call a policy!
I think this will end up being my last post about my bed. Someone on Twitter was like "You whine all the time on your blog." (Hi, racist! I know you're reading this!)
My complaining is 1) Cathartic. It's how I relieve stress about things. 2) Frequently done for a) Humor, b) Advice/Tips (as in with my Don't Trust Anyone post), c) Relatability. And 3) My decision.
Normally I wouldn't give a fuck what this person thinks and I'd go on doing this as normal, but it made me realize that probably no one gives a shit about how I'm trying to improve my sleep. So I'm stopping.
Hell, I wasn't even going to do this one, but I figured that since that racist piece of shit thinks my poor sleep is a made up excuse, I might as well post one more.
I guess I've mostly just been blogging about my attempts to improve my quality of sleep to show people that this really is a thing I'm struggling with, and that I really am trying to solve it.
So I'm not even going to bother with going over a next step in trying to overcome this thing.
But maybe I won't. She was a total dumbass anyway.
"You failed to come up with a camera mount solution in your last mocap post. Lol, you're useless."
Even though that post was 4 fucking days ago and I do have a solution to it now. What am I supposed to do? "Oh hey guis! I just wanted to let you know I figured it out! Kthxbai!"
I don't know. It'll come down to how I feel about it in the end. If I feel like I'm wasting my time and annoying people, I'll stop mentioning my poor sleep. And you'll just have to guess when my energy is returning.
Back in 2012, I had been working on a game that had to be put off because a competitor indie dev announced a game that was far too similar to mine, and I didn't want to look like a copycat.
In this game, the main villain was supposed to be a mentally ill, gender-confused character with some kind of personality disorder. He would switch between referring to himself as male or female at random, and scream at his cohorts if they use the wrong pronouns at the wrong time. Little did I know that only two years later, mentally ill people matching my villain character exactly would come oozing out of the woodwork like some kind of semi-viscous, liquid cancer.
Think that's crazy? Get this: the character was also supposed to be fairly wealthy, with his big motivational drive being he was mad at his parents for not giving him enough attention.
At the time, I wasn't aware of Tumblr or feminism (beyond Elevatorgate). I had come up with the idea based on the popular Justin Bieber joke at the time: people calling him a girl, and kind of ran with it.
Unfortunately, the fact that people matching this character type are a dime a dozen now, means I have to completely redesign the character. He won't be anything new or interesting if I leave him how he is... he'd just be your average Tumblrite.
What a waste of a good character.
The floor didn't pan out. After the initial first good night, it went down hill, and there was no stopping it. There just wasn't enough lower back support. My mattress, after getting a week's break from being used, actually went back to being decent for a short time, but now it's back to as bad as it was. And as a result, my energy has taken another dive. Also, my cats decided they would protest my new on-the-floor arrangement by sleeping on my bare mattress and peeing on my floor setup....
In a desperate bid to get some use out of this mattress, I've decided to destroy my bed fixer. It's several bars of foam sewn into a cover. The cover has sections between each of the bars allowing them to be pulled away from each other, or pushed together, making it longer or shorter. I'm taking them out of the cover so I can glue them one on top of the other, doubling them up to stick them under my mattress to hopefully fix the sag in it.
...Now that I look at these things, maybe the smarter thing to do would be to design something to give me the back support I need. The only issue is, I can only do one or the other. The glue I'm going to use does not unglue, and these things are expensive, so I don't know if I want to buy another one if one way doesn't work out.
I'm aware that there are posturepedic mattresses, but the only posturepedic company within a 1000 mile radius of where I live has 6000 reviews, and it took me until page 12 of their reviews to find a rating above 1 star.
"My mattress came with a huge stain on it. Company refused to use my warranty to replace it."
"It was extremely late, and when I got it, it had mildew. No replacement."
"I had to buy a mattress from them 3 times, and not a one of them showed up."
"Mine was made improperly, had to use my warranty straight away."
"It was falling apart at the seams. When I replaced it, the new one had stains all over it."
"My mattress looks like it was melted. Could not reach company for warranty replacement."
Stuff like that. Real "company from hell" type comments. Probably cheap, Chinese labor. Oh, and remember when I said it took 12 pages to find a review over 1 star? It was a 2 star. I gave up searching dozens of pages in, unable to find a single good review. The highest I think I I saw was 3 stars, after pouring over something like 500 reviews.
I think what I'll do is try to design a bed of sorts with these foam bars, and find one that works. They might be a little too thick for that, though.
Oh, and remember how in the beginning of this I said my cats kept peeing on my bed because they didn't like it? Well, turns out that was a great test for the moisture barrier. Their pee managed to get through my thick blanket, through the sheet, and soak the moisture barrier, and that's were it stopped. The second time they peed on my mattress, a tiny bit of it managed to get through to the pad below it, but very, very little.
It might be worth buying if you have a child, or elderly person with mild bedwetting, or if you have pets like I do. Pets who think the only way to let me know they don't like something is by freakin' peeing on it minutes before I'm exhausted and ready for bed, so that I have to stay up an hour and a half later than I intended to, washing all of my damn bedding in weak, coin op washers and driers.... And one of them was the night of my grueling 39 mile walk that left me unable to stand! So I had to go all the way out to where the machines are to clean my bedding while it hurt to walk.
They lost their last can of tuna for that one. I bought them a bunch of tuna because I love my cats and I like giving them treats once in a while. There was one tuna can left, and now it's going straight to me.
Ok, I'm done ranting... For those who are on baited breath, waiting for my mocap project, I'll be updating tomorrow. Because I'm not really all that rested for writing. Didn't even want to waste what little energy I have writing this one, but here I am anyway...
For those of you who have never played modern Sonic games, this creature is called a Chao. They were introduced in Sonic Adventure 2 as a digital pet you could raise in an environment called a Chao Garden. You got to hatch them, train them, and do little mini games with them.
In 1998, the entire world fell in love with these things... everyone in the world except me. And every time I tell people I don't absolutely adore the Chao, I get the same baffled response: "What!? How!? I love them! They're so cute and wonderful! They're the best part of the series!"
Well, I've decided to finally publicly reveal why.
If everyone in the world is Goku, I'm Broly. And for those who don't get that reference, I'll put it in other terms: while everyone in the world fell madly in love with the Chao, I fell into deep loathing.
Everyone got to play in their Chao Gardens and experience the Chao for how cute and lovable they are. My experience was exactly the opposite.
I was poor. My family was poor. We were lucky enough to get a Nintendo 64, when the latest and greatest consoles were Gamecube and PS2. The Saturn and Dreamcast vanished from stores here within a year of their release. You couldn't get them anymore. And my family didn't have the money for a console that soon. The Dreamcast past me by. The one and only time I got to play Sonic Adventure (not sure which one it was) was for 30 seconds while at a Toys R Us. That was literally it.
My first exposure to the Chao was in middle school, right after learning what the internet was. (I told you, my family was poor. I didn't know what the internet was until 2002.) As soon as I had unsupervised access to the internet, I immediately starting looking up pictures of naked women. (Obviously, lol) But once I started to get down how the internet worked, I started looking into some of my favorite games.
Naturally, the first game that came to mind was the game with the biggest impact on my life: the Sonic series. And at the time, I'd only ever played Sonics 1-3, Sonic 3D Blast, Sonic Spinball, and the 30 seconds of Sonic Adventure. I hadn't even gotten to play Sonic and Knuckles or Sonic CD. (Still haven't played Sonic CD for that matter.) Oh, and I did watch some of the cartoons and got to read the Super Sonic vs Hyper Knuckles comic.
I found the Chao on wiki sites describing the canon characters. It annoyed me that people thought those things were Sonic characters, but I ignored it. All I knew is that they were stupid-looking, and one character I'd never seen before was basically conjoined twins with one. (Cream the Rabbit and Cheese Chao. Cringe...)
Sometime between the start of 2004 and the end of 2005, I rented Sonic Heroes.... and was introduced to Chao in the form of this thing...
So I got Omochao without Chao Garden as a flipside. If it stopped there, I'd just hate Omochao... but he was just the tip of an iceberg.
While playing Sonic Heroes, I completed Team Sonic and Team Dark first before taking on Team Rose and Team Chaotix. And let me tell you... Team Rose is one of the hardest to get through. Not because it's hard. No, it's actually the easiest. It's hard to get through because it's annoying. It was probably that play through alone that made me hate the Chao so deeply. Guess who's on Team Rose.
Cream is looking for her Chao-slave's friend, Chocola, and big is looking for his pet frog, Froggy.
After hours of listening to "Froggy!" "Chocola Chao!" "Froggy!" "Chocola Chao!" "Froggy!" "Chocola Chao!" all I wanted was for the whole team to die in some hilariously tragic accident, along with Froggy and Chocola Chao. I completed the game with Team Rose our of sheer principle, but principle was the only thing driving me at about Casino Park in the game...
After enduring that, next came Shadow the Hedgehog, shortly after. And in Shadow the Hedgehog, guess what annoying little cunt you have to help search for which annoying little kid and her floating little tumor for a whole level?
If you guessed Amy, looking for Cream, you're unfortunately very correct. It's not a particularly easy level, either. In fact, I had to switch to the emerald path just to shut her up, because I couldn't take it any more.
First you have to find Cream, then her annoying, flying bug. You eventually come across a room full of Chao crawling around, reminiscent of the Chao Garden. Keep in mind, I wasn't even aware the Chao Garden was a thing by the time I got here, and this is after Omochao and Team Rose. So it's just a room full of annoying, to me.
So we come up on this room full of Chao, and they all look alike, so I figured that one of them must be Cheese. I wander around, waiting for Amy to tell me which one was Cheese. Spoiler: none of them are, so I wasted a good 10 minutes trying to find him among them.
Out of desperation, I start running, and as Shadow runs fairly fast, he's pretty destructive. I end up hitting and hurting a Chao by accident, only to get lectured by Amy about not hurting them. As I'm trying to figure out where Cheese "Cancer Spawn" Chao is, after already resetting the stage in case I missed him, I end up back in the Chao room and accidentally hurting another Chao. It's rather hard to avoid. They're all over, they wander around, and unless you walk, you're going to end up hurting one. It's also grating to be in that room, because every damn Chao feels the need to remind you that it's a Chao, Pokemon style. So unless you know exactly where to look for Cheese, you're subject to a room full of creatures squeeling "Chao Chao!"...
I'm guessing I didn't take too kindly to the Sonic series' Obsessed Girlfriend character lecturing me about accidentally hurting another cancer blob... because my Dark Shadow urges came out like an angry nest of hornets. I'm assuming you're supposed to feel bad about hurting the Chao, but as I mentioned already, I didn't get the Chao Garden.
Let's just say I had a little too much fun playing wack-a-mole instead of looking for Cheese.
After finding out you can only attack each of the Chao one time, and inflicting trauma on the bunch, I did eventually find Cheese.
And finally... Sonic Battle came along to seal it. All of the main characters are in Sonic Battle, and you have to fight them all. Including Cream the Rabbit. She typically starts the battle by shyly saying "Go easy on me!". Considering she's just a child, and begged me to go easy on her, I assumed this would be an easy battle. Wrong...
She's actually the toughest character for a very large chunk of the game, and that's including Sonic, Knuckles, Tails, Shadow, Rouge, Amy, and E-102 Gamma. Only Chaos, final Sonic, Eggman, and final Emerl are harder. Short battle short, she kicked my ass, over and over and over. Whether you fight her up close, or keep your distance, her stupid cancer blob will hit you, even if you try to flee to the other side of the field to heal up, Cheese can still attack you, and you can't really attack him.
The only way I beat her was by spamming Shadow's chaos powers, keeping her from healing, while trying to keep my health up.
Emerl... the Gizoid, is actually canon. He has the power to clone moves and powers just by watching them. And in the actual canon chapter that Emerl is in, he beats everyone before finally losing to... you guessed it... Cream. How does a small child beat an unstoppable super-machine? Cheese gets in the way and blocks his view so he can't analyze Cream's moves or see her attacking him.
That bitch beats a character no one else could, simply by using her tumorous blob-thing to cheat for her...
Fate sealed. One missing factor most likely sent me in entirely the opposite direction from everyone else.
And now you know why I hate the Chao. I do tend to wonder what I've been missing out on, by missing Sonic Adventure. I have no excuse not to buy it, really. Now that I have my own money and can buy things off the internet, I could easily get a Dreamcast and stop missing out on Dreamcast gems.
And, sorry... for those of you hoping that it will change my mind once I finally get Chao Garden... it's too late. I'll never see them as anything more than annoying, tumorous blobs. You're going to need a time machine to change my hate. It's like they say: first impressions are everything.
Ok, sleeping with my bed fixer mat under the pad was a terrible idea. It's actually worse than my bed by quite a bit. It's firm, but not exactly intended to be slept on. It's intended to go under the mattress to stop it from sagging.
It's dense and doesn't have much give, or contour effect to it, but it has just enough give that it's worse than sleeping on my bed or on the floor. Every so often, I'd wake up with weird pressure points that ached, I'd have to change laying position, then go back to sleep. This happened all night long, and I got terrible sleep and a lot of lower back pain from it after just two nights.
So, now I've removed that, and will no longer be using it.
Extra note: There's a moisture barrier between my sheet and the pad I'm using. I was told that mattresses and foam wear out faster due to body sweat, which gets especially bad in the summer and on extra hot days. So I bought a moisture barrier to try and help the pad last longer. Didn't help my mattress last longer... but I've had the pad for a while now, and it's still good so far. Don't exactly have a control system to test whether or not the moisture barrier does anything, but eh. I'm not exactly made of money.
For the first time in I'm-not-sure-how-long, but definitely since December at the least, I've woken up almost completely fatigue-free.
What did I do?
I slept on the floor.
I was getting sick and damn tired of wasting my energy rotating around my heavy mattress only to get the same results over and over: waking up just as fatigued, if not more so, than when I went to bed. I kept muttering to myself "I swear I'd sleep better if I just slept on the floor." So last night, I did it.
I didn't sleep directly on the carpet, of course... I took the 2 inch pad I'd bought off my bed, as well as my bed sheets and set up on the floor that way. Naturally, sleeping on a 2 inch foam pad on the hard floor is far from very comfortable, so I still woke up with back pain, and all of my pillows suck so bad that even stacking two of them up will still leave them flat within minutes, so that's another issue with my sleep. But for the first time in so long, I have more energy. Not exactly get-up-and-go energy, but I don't feel like stopping the world and getting off for the rest of the day, and any improvement is still an improvement.
How do two pillows flatten out to less than the thickness of one pillow? No idea. They aren't even that old.
"For the best night's sleep in the whole wide world, visit MyPillow.com" Yeah, eat my ass... My MyPillow wore out to pancake-flatness in as little as 3 months. It was really nice for the first two weeks, but now my 12+ year old memory foam pillow is better than it, and it's just as flat. I bought a new memory foam pillow, but it didn't last much longer than MyPillow. Not entirely sure how my first foam pillow lasted so long... must have been a top quality one. Sadly, it has no tags. That or I cut them off and don't remember, so I have no way of buying another one.
I'm going to be buying one of these, though. https://onpurple.com/pillow And I'll let you know how it turns out. Let me check that price tag.
Jesus fucking Christ on a stick... a hundred bucks for a pillow? I really like their video, though. That thing looks amazing to sleep on. And that's considering the fact that I've tried every pillow kind there is. Polyester, feather (an itchy, pokey, uncomfortable nightmare), memory foam, foam chunks (that's what MyPillow supposedly is, from reviews I've read) cooling gel foam (it's bullshit. If they promise it stays cool using cooling gel, it's a lie. My "cooling" gel pillow ended up warmer than any of my other pillows, all using the exact same pillowcase. And it wore out in about a month) I've tried it all, and so far my first memory foam pillow was the best pillow I ever had. It lasted around 12 years before becoming unusable. And despite what you might imagine, it wasn't ultra hot. It might actually be foam latex. I don't know. I was a teenager when I got it, and I didn't really care about that kind of thing back then, because I never would have imagined I'd have to deal with poor sleep on a crap mattress/pillow combo.
So what I'm going to do is shove my mattress fixer under my pad and sleep on the floor. I'm also going to wait until I can afford a friggin hundred dollar pillow, and replace mine. My mattress fixer is an extendable mat made of regular foam blocks. They can be pushed together, or pulled away from each other to make the mat longer or shorter. My pad is 2 inches thick and is made of foam latex with holes that run through it so that it doesn't get super hot. (This information is for those who are suffering similarly, and want to try to follow along.)
Purple also makes a mattress, but like hell I can afford one of those... I'm also aware of the Dormeo, but they won't give me prices on their website, they don't seem to ship, and their closest store to me is around 400 miles away, so fuck them. I'll let you know how my plans and condition change as I start making moves to combat this.