Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Furthest Reaches

I've run into a pretty strange problem with Insomnia this week. Last night I was compiling it while Stress was blaring in the background. I was delighted when the song and compile finished at the same time. I wasn't delighted, however, when I looked around the map and found that nothing had changed. Nothing. This was especially embarrassing because my Grandmother was there to watch me try and play it off.

"Oh. It's exactly the same as if I hadn't built anything...Um, I meant to do that." I said as I desperately searched for any sign of the last two day's work.

I immediately checked the compile log and found a disturbing error...

See where it says VERY FULL! in that chart-looking section? Notice how entdata is at 116.5%?

I was stunned when I realized what went wrong, Insomnia has gotten too big. I actually made too much and Hammer gave up. I don't know how to explain myself, it feels like Hammer is trying to tell me, "Stop! Ok, we get it, you want to make the best map ever but if you think I'm gonna try and make sense of all these brush faces you can just forget it!".

Honestly, I think I should get an achievement for this. I broke my map by making too much stuff. I didn't even know that was possible.

Oh well, I guess this could be a blessing in disguise. I didn't really like any of the new section anyway. It was a large tunnel like area with a huge fan and some catwalks and it just didn't feel right to me. Which was a shame because later I was planning on making a museum section, a recreation of my house and a secret project that I've unofficially dubbed The Tunneling Entanglement Device.

Maybe Insomnia was trying to telepathically tell me that I just need to stop and wrap this thing up. Either way, the major brush work for the map is done whether I like it or not so that means we're actually all the more closer to finishing it!

See, if I've learned anything from watching My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic this week it's that I've learned how to make the best of a truly terrible situation like this...and that friendship is magic.

So yes, the good news is that Insomnia is actually closer to being done because it is physically impossible to make any more. The bad news is that I'm still going to watch a girly cartoon about ponies when no one is looking.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sprites of the Under-Earth

Ladies and gentlemen. The first post of the new month, an exciting time as always. I'm startled to realize that it isn't completely dark at 6 o'clock here anymore and there's still plenty of sun rays for me to collect, assimilate and store for use at a later time.

But I know what you're thinking: What about Insomnia!?


And this.

I promise you good readers, as I have in the past, I am doing everything in my power to finish this. I am pouring from the almost dry well of my soul every last drop that I can into this map. What will I do after? Will I be reborn with the benefit of what I have learned from my creation? Will I continue to live on in this tired, spent form?

My money is on dying. The moment Insomnia hits FPSBanana I will just die. Like bees. I'll die like a bee after it's stung someone. I will loose the will to live.

But in the meantime, when I'm not working on Insomnia I've been writing some (god-awful) prose for my Creative Writing class and oh look, here's some now!

Under Earth

By Tyler Ellis Stephen Baray

The air was stale and choked with a fungal tinge that had been fermenting for aeons. It was hot, almost unbearably hot and crampt in the steamy tunnel. It was pitch black in either direction, the only light came from the tiny flashlight Harold Spencer carried with him and even it's single bulb was fading.

"How long?" He thought. "How much farther does this go?"

He had been lost in that cave for over three weeks according to the calender on his watch and still there was no sign of it ending. Further and further down it went, branching off into different caves, each of them continuing even further into sheer nothingness. By the time his flashlight finally died, Harold had gone through five different forks in the path, not one of them leading up towards the surface.
Now, with no light to guide him, he felt his way downward. The smooth stone was cool despite the hot air. The tunnel was crampt and almost too narrow for him to squeeze through at spots. His only guides were the tunnel's surface and the faint warm breeze that would blow from the downward slope.
Harold followed the stream of air, feeling his way along the rock. Further and further down he went, the tunnel getting steeper and wider. The barely detectable flow of air turned into a warm breeze and soon he could hear the hot air blowing through the caverns below.
Every so often he would stop to drink from pools of water along the path, the water tasted bitter, full of minerals and smelled like sulphur. His single candy bar was long gone but even though he couldn't see it, Harold could feel the soft moss that grew on the walls of the cave. To his surprise, it was edible and had been living off it whenever he could find it. It was spongy and tasteless but it was the only thing that grew in the lightless cavern. Even so, he felt weak. He missed the sun, or any light for that matter. There were many times when he thought of just laying down on the rock and giving up. He did, but always got back up and continued to crawl through the lightless cave.
Further and further down. The cave grew wider and the stream of air got warmer, almost too hot to bear. Harold had to rest in holes in the sides of caves many times just to cool down. He was resting like this when he finally saw it: a small pinpoint of green light. He scrambled towards the light when he convinced himself it wasn't his eyes playing tricks on him.
To his surprise, it was a mushroom; a tiny glowing mushroom planted in the rock. Further down were more mushrooms, dozens of them all glowing a faint ghostly green. The steeper the tunnel got, the more pinpoints of emerald light there were. Soon, he could almost see where he was going.
Even deeper down, the cave had widened enough for Harold to stand upright for the first time in almost a month, it was bright enough for him to see all the bizarre primordial fungi that covered the rocks. Frequent testing proved many of the mushrooms and ferns to be edible and Harold gave up on the flavorless moss altogether. Just as soon as he found the variety of bizarre plants were there tiny animals the slithered along the cave. Minuscule, virtually transparent snails, delicate eyeless salamanders, trilobites and prehistoric looking mollusks that he couldn't identify.
Little colonies of glowing octopi lived in and around the pools of water further down. Some of them had corkscrew shaped shells. Harold picked one up, the frightened octopus hid inside as he examined it. The shell was broken at the tip and covered in dozens of minuscule holes along it's surface. He held it motionless in his hand and waited. A single tentacle poked out and felt around his palm. Slowly, another reached out followed by the animal's two tiny eyes that stared back at him. For a while he watched as the tiny Nautiloid crawled around his hand and gently put it back in his pocket as he continued downward.
There was a sound like bubbling water as the tunnel slowly filled with a dim blue light. Harold hid himself behind the rock and held his breath. Slowly, silently, a shape glided past him. It was a large shell, twisted into a spiral, carried along by ten luminous tentacles. Beneath the hood of it's shell were two enormous eyes that scanned stone surface of the tunnel.
Another followed, this one carrying a knitted bag on it's shell, full of inexplicable trinkets. The bubbling sound followed the pair. Bloop. Bloop. Bloop. As if they were talking.
The cave widened below, a steady stream of air and steam poured from the hole. Harold slowly looked over the side, keeping a firm grip on the rock face.
A dull orange light flooded the cave, past the rolling clouds of steam he could see what the opening led to. A huge cavern, bigger than any other he had seen, intricately carved into what looked like a megalithic city. Below him were sprawling, twisting streets and gargantuan towers, rising up from the green rock and climbing to the ceiling of the cavern, pock marked with small glowing windows the whole way up. The huge gaps between towers were crisscrossed with delicate looking bridges carved from the rock itself.
Harold reached into his pocket and slowly pulled the tiny cephalopod out. It wrapped a single tentacle around his thumb and stared at him. He ran his index finger across the smooth surface of it's shell and looked back at the city.
The same light bathed the city in an orange hue, as if it were early morning. Below him was a small path, just wide enough for him to make it down to the bottom if he was careful. If he followed it, it would take him to the gates of the prehistoric city, the very same where generations of cephalopods had been trading the fragrant fungi and Nautiloids that had grown in that cavern untouched by time. Harold knew that the surface was long gone. This was his world now, whether he liked it or not.