A note about my life and CSD

It’s been a stressful year so far, between work being very busy, working through some difficult family matters, and settling into a new house. For the free time I get, I’ve not been in the mood to put it towards my CSD projects. They tend to consume a lot of time for slow payoff and mean sitting in front of the computer a lot. Okay, so I still wind up spending a lot of time there anyways, but I tend to just surf the web and watch videos – mainly other people playing video games. I’ve done minor creative things here and there, but not really part of the CSD stuff I’d post here. It’s also summer, and I really should be spending more time outside.

Sometimes I wonder why I keep this site going. I’m committed to an information technology career, and video game development just seems like a somewhat wasteful hobby at this point. It is almost assured that my game designs will never reach a production level, just concepts and tests. These are my stories and creative outlets though, and I do cherish them and part of me wants to see them be realized and presented to the world. I’ve wanted to make video games since 2nd grade, and in some ways I’ve partially achieved it. I’ve made some rudimentary games and virtual worlds. Just wish I had time outside regular living and maybe some extra talent to really flesh them out. Being able to walk through a living Agwilcress may be my biggest dream.

Who knows if and when I’ll get something cooked up that I feel will be worth posting here.

Ayra Katrin Library – Underground

akl-under-1-patiosThe Ayra Katrin Library was constructed with four main floors and and a small basement area in its center. However, the landscaping on top of Tail Hill ‘buried’ the lower floors, creating an illusion that the library is smaller than it actually is.

The set of covered patios in the lower part of the picture are a new addition to the design. There was only an empty, sloping hill where these now stand.

akl-under-4-outlineHere’s a rough idea of the extent of the lower floors at this point, highlighted in white. Underneath the big hexagon patios are some common areas, including the library’s kitchen. The four triangles adjoining the hexagons are open down to the bottom floor and connect to sets of personal rooms (the two sets of four rooms you can see by each triangle) . Both the main building and south tower have two lower floors that connect to the rest of the underground area.

akl-under-2-mainA view inside the underground area under the hexagon. The pillar design was recently updated, making them thinner. This gave the area a more open feel. At the very right of the picture is where the Library’s kitchen is located.

akl-under-3-entryHere is the entrance to the underground area, looking back from the hexagon. The doors on the side go into the covered patios, and the front door leads under the archway serving as the ‘official’ entrance to the library.

Pi/Tri belated update

Alas, I have not put any major work into the Pi/Tri engine and games for some time. My last big changes to the engine were in the end of 2014, and I did a little work on a game idea in June 2015. Soon after that I got a job, and I haven’t been much in a programming mood since. Some things have changed since I last posted, so I decided to talk about those.

Pi/Tri now uses GTK (The GNU Image Manipulation Program Toolkit) as its GUI framework instead of the Windows ‘Forms’ system. This primarily affects the design of the editor:

Pi/Tri Entity PropertiesThe Pi/Tri Editor now sports a more structured interface, with a fixed-width toolbox window on the left side and the main editing screen on the right. A montage of many of these toolboxes below:

Pi/Tri ToolboxesThe packager as well as resource editing screens are now integrated into the main screen instead of opening in new windows. One reason why this was done was to help with the way the OpenGL rendering is accomplished in widows like image resource editing.

Pi/Tri PackagerThe editor also now supports undo/redo. Anything that changes the contents of a map (add, move, delete, change a property) has an ‘edit action’ associated with that has enough information to put things back if undo is invoked.

Looks like everything else was ‘under the hood’ kind of stuff, just cleaning up code and fixing bugs.

I might post soon explaining my Pi/Tri arch-nemesis: occlusion sorting.

Tatyakore, Dragon of Elehura

TatyakoreIn the Elehura mythology, Tatyakore is the legendary Dragon that resides in the hidden holy land within the mountain of Elehura. No other Dragons exist in the world and very few have actually met her in person, yet her image can be found in most cultures in various forms. Her purpose is not entirely clear, but there is a belief that she is responsible for protecting the hidden paradise from evil.

As said, very few have met the Dragon in all of history, but the most important were the trio of humans that were the first to make her acquaintance. Each was offered a holy artifact which also granted them immortality. With those gifts, the three created an empire which spanned the globe. The emperor was ultimately consumed by his power, and became so dangerous that the other two returned the artifacts in exchange for the emperor’s removal.

Tatyakore, full sized image

Click for full-sized image


This latest change to the character was the first time I applied the dark coloring to the outer eye instead of the usual white. Similar races like the Gwil/Agwilikans are going to get this look too. The previous version of the character concept:TatyakoreSpeaking of updates, I also adjusted the information on the Elehura Main Page while I put the new picture of Tatyakore in there.

The purpose of the orb she has resting in their horns is… undetermined.

Crinos Kylal and the Kylal family

CrinosCrinos Kylal is the daughter of the current leader of the Seven-Star Nation, Tessalus. Though she spent most of her young life hidden from public view (often stuck in a book in the library), she has recently become engaged in public affairs, and has shown great potential for leadership during stressful political events that were beginning to overwhelm her mother. Being a Kylal, she is quite tall (over two meters if you include her upward facing horns) and has fire-like stripes, where most Agwilkans have spots.

The Kylal family are essentially the royalty of the Agwilikans. The name comes from Ky, the leader of the Naryyd, who produced the first Agwilikan and Akelikan (Dominesa and Palades). Ky did not produce any more children, while the other six Naryyd went on to create enough descendants to get the new races to viable numbers to form a civilization. Ky’s descendants have some unique genetic traits: each of the Kylal are only able to have one child, but no matter who the other parent is, that child will be a Kylal. This has resulted in a simple direct lineage throughout time, avoiding possible disputes over who will preside over the nation. There is a widely accepted belief that the family is protected by Ky’s power to ensure their survival. However, this faith was shaken when the entire line of the Akelikan Kylals were assassinated at the outbreak of the First War.

Side note: I am looking at giving the Agwilikans, Agwils, and Prerarts (plus similar races in other storylines) dark sclera (outer area of the eye) instead of human-like white, as you can see in this picture of Crinos. The Akelikans will continue to have white sclera, as their eyes resemble the Naryyd’s.

Tail Hill Complex

Tail Hill 5Dominating the terraced hill leading up to the Ayra Katrin Library is the Tail Hill Complex, which is called “pog get bekonah” in the Agwil-Narryd-Prerart language.

Up front are two office-type buildings and the entrance to underground storehouses and workshops. Above those are a patio and a park area. Behind the park’s semicircle fountain is big square opening above the underground plaza. On the next level up and new to this version are the lower Ayra Katrin dormitories. The arch roofed section in the middle is the commons area, flanked on both sides by the individual living quarters.

Below is the last version of the Tail Hill Complex posted (almost four years ago):

Tail Hill ComplexBesides the building upgrades, you can see another big change. The area in which Agwilcress lies is an arid area, so much of the grassy land is being replaced with dirt, rock, and sand.

Here is an orthographic view of the entire tail hill:

Tail Hill 5 OrthoStarting from the lower left and moving clockwise, the complex is surrounded by the National Square and a collection of circular gardens, Civic Square, Civic Hill, the Ayra Katin Library, Agwilcress Grain Factory, and Military Square.

Kylal Palace Ceremony Hall

KP 8-5 aA new design for the Ceremony Hall floor. At the center is an outline of Agwilcress.

KP 8-5 bThe back of the Ceremony Hall now has a dais which includes tiered seats behind the speaking stage. New chandeliers, made out of pairs of three-stars, now hang from the centerline of the roof.

KP 8-5 dAnother view of the dais. Here you can see the seven-star decoration similar to the one at the front entrance, and a better look at the seats.

KP 8-5 cAn overhead view of the palace in its current state. Recently some circular garden beds and fountains were added to the front yard.

The name for the Kylal Palace in the Agwilikan language is “Prikaneko se Kylal”. Kaneko means home (from kanika beko, “people building”), and pri is a common prefix meaning great or greatest.

Residential Block House

Residential Block house, frontThe standard Residential Block house was mass produced during later construction of the military base that would become Agwilcress. Each building contains four upstairs bedrooms, two restrooms, a kitchen, a water room (for bathing and laundry), general living space on the first floor, and a basement.

Residential Block house - roofThe roof can be accessed with a drop-down stepladder, and is a popular spot for gardening and leisure time.
Above the front double doors is the house address. This one has the address “2-12” making it the 10th house in section 2. (Agwilikans use a base 8 number system.)

Here’s how the sections are arranged in the Block:Residential Block Sections