A Trick of Perspective

Today is a big day. Big-ish anyway. But first, news.
Yesterday I got the AI upgraded. Added some failsafe mechanisms to the attack drawing code so it’ll stop crashing, added AI for the enemies being hurt and added a way for the system to remember what it did last, so it doesn’t do it again. The last thing was added because I needed a way to implement the status changes listed over there => and give me a way to not have the enemies just start attacking, and then attack again and again. Statistically, if 6 out of the 9 AI responses are to attack, it was quite likely to have the enemy launch 2, 3, 5 attack strings in a row. That’s a lot of beatdown. Now it doesn’t do that.
What I then discovered, when I turned off the debug features and the collision boxes and just played, is that the new combat system is really quite fun. Still buggy? Yes. Totally stable? Not quite. But certainly fun in this early incarnation, which is a good indicator. I’m going to tell what happened, in story format.

The Thief climbed up the platform, and immediately saw the Guard standing there, sword drawn. The Thief barely had enough time to unsheathe his sword and move it to guard before the Guard was on him, swinging furiously. With a heave, the Guard lifted his sword overhead for a great slash and The Thief quickly dashed behind and landed a flurry of attacks, knocking the Guard from the platform who then fell to the floor below.
With an acrobatic flip, The Thief leaped down to continue the fight, sword at the ready and, in a flash, lunged at the Guard, who had no defense ready. The Guard regained his composure and again attacked, but he was no match for the quick reflexes of The Thief. Before he knew what was happening, The Thief was on him, blade flashing and the fight was over.

Yeah, it was pretty much just like that, except with pictures sprinkled with awesome. The thing is that right now, it works on a fundamental level. It’s fun without all the animations, without all the little tricks, without the glass and candy. I heard once that if a game works, it should work with nothing else, the mechanics should be enough to support the experience, and from that perspective the fighting is good.

-See what I did there? “From that perspective..” Like in the title? Oh never mind…

-Right then, the part that makes this day larger than normal days. Today, I officially graduate with my AA and Certificate. I’ve been putting that on resumes for a while now, but today I actually wear the dress and the hat and get to shake the hand of somebody that I’ve probably never met before or will after. People will say things like ,”We’re proud of you.” and I’ll have no idea how to take that or what to say, so I’ll stand idly and smile.
I’m struck with the idea that this, is an empty gesture. It’s the halfway mark (or the 3/4 mark) and it’s meant to be a state of finality. It seems, incomplete. The degree that I’m after is the BA, which I will have in another year or so. But today, is today and I’m told not to sell myself or my accomplishments short, but I feel that this whole thing is me selling my accomplishments long. What am I celebrating exactly? That it’s take me 6 years to get here? That I still don’t get to do what I want for a living? I’m standing at the top of a mountain that let’s me see exactly the peak I want to be on and I’m being celebrated for the climbing of a mountain. When I get to the next one, will I feel better? Different even?
I don’t know where this venom even came from. I didn’t think this yesterday. I wonder if I will tomorrow. I wonder if, in some small way, I fear the Gate. I fear the next part. When I woke up the day after graduation from High School, the thought that I had nothing to do was terrifying. The change of the life was tangible, if not the change in me. The last few years, they’ve, in some way, been good. That school was Safe, this project was Safe. I am comfortable. Tomorrow, I may not be, the new mountain being different and strange.
Or maybe I dread that beyond the Gate, is the same. That there is no difference and the mountain is meaningless. I hope that I’m wrong. I’ve never wanted to be more wrong in my entire life.
I think though, that I give too much credit to hypotheticals. It’s not what’s on the other side, it’s how you get there and how you travel once you do. I control how that works. I control what it means in the end. I am the Master of my own Destiny. Today, I get uncomfortable. I leave behind the stuff that made me complacent. Comfort is not Happiness. Today, I take the steps to find Joy. Today I retake control of my Life.

So today, today is a big day.

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