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January [Jan. 21st, 2019|08:04 am]
We took the kids to both sides of the family for the holidays—California and Ohio—and while traveling with small children is its own realm of Stressful, it's actually way better than having them stuck in the house for two weeks straight, slowly driving you and your spouse crazy.

Wildermyth has completely taken over our brains. I'm writing "hero recruit" events in the corner hours before the house gets going and when the kids are occupied. Did I ever show you the editor that we use to make our comic-ish events in the game?


You create these panels by throwing a bunch of art in, picking a background, having the game automatically "cast" characters for the different roles you specify, and then posing them & giving them dialogue for each panel.

(What it looks like when you go in to edit the layout of a panel.)

So anyway, we're getting reaaall close to having this thing out in beta. We're planning to go on an indie-focused platform first (itch.io) for a reduced price, do a bunch of what is essentially beta testing and polishing, and then do a bigger release once the feedback that we're getting is solidly positive.

Nate and I are having dark-night-of-the-soul oh-god-how-is-this-all-going-to-go what-are-we-doing-with-our-lives discussions almost daily at this point. And I know it'll get worse until we launch. And then probably worse after we launch. And on and on until we're hugging each other in a corner chewing off our own knuckles.
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FB Thoughts [Dec. 21st, 2018|10:12 am]
I never thought this would be the case, but one of my favorite parts of facebook has become the old people who clearly aren't used to social media getting REALLY EXCITED IN ALL CAPS about things that their friends and relatives have accomplished.

Also, I'm not a big picture-poster, but there's something about the idea of posting inane photos of your family on facebook that I kind of like now. It's a thing that means a lot to you and the people closest to you, but it has to be one of the least interesting things out there to marketers and their ilk. It feels almost like... I dunno, "taking back the platform" a little bit.

This is as close as I get to the holiday spirit, so enjoy it while it lasts.
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Surveys [Dec. 18th, 2018|07:55 am]
Questions on surveys that involve really subjective psyhological things are hard to answer.

"In the final analysis, I'm not so sure that my life adds up to much."

Like... how final are we talking here?

"I can handle feelings like anger, stress, and sadness."

What does "handle" mean? Handle like, I'm here, alive and taking the survey, so obviously I have handled them in some way? Handle like, I manage to not get myself arrested every time I get angry? Or handle like, on the Buddhist monk level of feelings not even bothering me anymore?

Maybe the fact that I try to get all specific about these things would tell them all they need to know.
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Envelopes [Dec. 9th, 2018|08:38 am]
When I'm doing holiday cards, I'm never sure what to put on the outside of the envelope to Ben's teachers. He's got the regular kindergarten teacher, the special ed teacher, and one or two aides who work those classrooms? Maybe? And a school speech therapist, but he only sees her for like half an hour a week right now, I dunno.

So I stick in a bunch of smaller gift cards instead of one big one, one big thank you/Happy Holidays note, and then I write "To: Ben's Educational Team" on the outside of it, since I don't want to exclude the people who aren't officially teachers but still do a lot for him.

But then since "Educational Team" sounds super stuffy and dorky, I draw a penguin wearing a goofy hat on the envelope too in a desperate attempt to signal that I'm not the type of person who goes around using terms like "Educational Team" unless I really have to.

I think they'll get it.
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Wildermyth Minotaur [Dec. 8th, 2018|10:10 am]


In our game, Minotaurs run an underground army of cultists who sorta worship them? Also it's less of an army and more of a... pyramid scheme. Where you get life extension from unsavory sacrifices instead of money for selling inane crap.

It's deliberately left unclear.
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Latest Wildermyth Monster [Dec. 5th, 2018|03:24 pm]

One of the top-tier monsters in our "clockwork undead" class.
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Discarded Holiday Card Messages [Nov. 14th, 2018|01:37 pm]
I often make holiday cards, and I've got the front nailed down for this year, but then Vistaprint asks me what message I want to put on the back. I kept trying to come up with ones, but they were not great.

Front (with image):
Happy Holidays!

-Hope you got more sleep than I did last night!
-If you're reading this, you're still alive and you can read, congratulations!
-I used to draw cute holiday cards where everything was under control, remember those?
-May your house be warm, your baked goods fresh, and your wifi always at full strength.
-May you emerge from the season relatively unscathed!

I think I'll just leave the back blank.
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(no subject) [Nov. 2nd, 2018|01:00 pm]
Illustrator did its annual big update, and now when I open it, it shows me this at the top of the screen:


And what the heck, Illustrator.

I don't need my arm telling me how we're going to lift great things today. I don't need my coffee maker telling me we're going to make great coffee today. I don't need my browser telling me we're going to waste time on some great websites today.

You are a tool and an extension of my very brain at this point and I don't need you patronizing me with a little pep talk. I need you to sit down, shut up, and do what I tell you because that is how this relationship works.

It is a very healthy relationship too. As I'm sure all the folks at home are aware by now.
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Thought of the Day [Nov. 1st, 2018|07:08 pm]
Caramelizing onions always takes longer than I think it will.

The trees will return to the ground and the Final Night will fall upon the earth before these goddamn onions caramelize.

(FYI, the recipe was like "25 minutes," and it took over 2 hours to caramelize those things)
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Bread of the Month [Oct. 31st, 2018|12:12 pm]
I was looking at one of those catalogues where you can mail people food made by other people who are better at baking than you, and they had a "Bread of the Month" thingy. Which sounded fun until you did the math and realized that each loaf of bread was something like twenty-six dollars.

That made me so indignant that I briefly thought of starting my own thingy where I would send bread to my friends as gifts every month for a while, because I can.

It would be "Annie and Nate's Just-As-Good-As-Fancy-Bakers' Bread of the Month" club. It might have a brochure:


One day Annie was looking at a Bread of the Month club that charged like $26 per loaf and it pissed her off a little bit, and now she is sending bread to you.

Q. Is your bread vegan?
A. Yes, unless you count yeast as people.
Q. Is your bread gluten-free?
A. No, it is bread, it is very gluten-full.
Q. What flavors are you thinking?
A. I've got a kick-ass sourdough, and a big rosemary plant out back so probably something with rosemary at some point.

Join our thriving social media presence! aka Send me a facebook message if the bread turned out bad or anything.


I was super pumped about this, until I figured out how much it cost to send a loaf of bread through the mail fast enough that it wouldn't come out stale on the other side. Then I figured out where that $26/loaf number was actually coming from, and maybe shipping bread loaves individually through the mail just isn't the best use of people's time and money.
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Language Arts [Oct. 25th, 2018|03:59 pm]
Nine-year-old neighbor kid: Do you know what Language Arts is?

Me: Reading and writing and stuff, isn't it?

Neighbor Kid: (shrug)

Me: Anything to do with language.

Neighbor Kid: Oh. Is that why it's called Language Arts?

Me: Right.

Neighbor Kid: ...Well, whatever it is, I got a C in it.
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Fwwoooo [Oct. 11th, 2018|08:05 pm]
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Wildermyth: Biome-Specific Ruins [Oct. 4th, 2018|10:50 am]

(PS (pre-script?) - I don't know if anyone else is having this problem, but a lot of the images here sometimes show up as broken links even though they're not. Reload the page and see if that helps.)

We want some of our mission maps to include ruins, because ruins are like the chocolate sprinkles of fantasy worlds, you just sprinkle them everywhere and they make everything more fun.

So I drew up a bunch of ruin-y pieces of scenery in a big Photoshop file, and they can appear on the maps that are tagged with "ruins." And we wanted to try something new, where we make different versions of a piece of architecture for the different biomes that your missions can take place in (forest, field, swamp, foothills, & cave). So above the base group of super-boring-general stone ruins, there are a bunch of layers that mess with colors and add vegetation/fungi for each biome.






The result is a lot more separate files to save out, but I think the extra flavor will be worth it.

We may end up doing the same thing with missions that take place in towns, because:
1.) a house in a swamp may look totally different from a house in the mountains, and
2.) I like to make more work for myself.
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Another Wildermyth Biome-Guardian-Friend [Oct. 1st, 2018|09:17 am]


Someday I will learn what the heck the deal is with Photoshop color profiles.

(This one kept becoming super desaturated when I saved him out as a png, and I know it had something to do with color profiles, and I can fix the problem, but I have no idea if I'm ultimately making things worse by mucking around with powers far greater than myself.)
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Thought of the Day [Sep. 25th, 2018|06:44 pm]
I have no room to look down on anyone else's TV/Netflix/whatever habits when I'm scrolling through being like, "Oh snap, there's a cheetah hunting an antelope! I'll watch the heck outta that!"

It doesn't matter that people have been filming cheetahs hunting antelopes for decades, and it's always gonna end in the same one of two outcomes every time.

It doesn't matter that you could point out, "Annie, you've watched probably over a hundred cheetahs hunt a hundred antelopes on a hundred different-but-actually-really-similar nature documentaries over the course of your life. You've got to have the gist of it by now. And you want to watch yet another one?"

Damn right I do. This one has slightly newer camera-panning technology!
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Football(?) [Sep. 22nd, 2018|06:54 pm]
It's September and I have facebook and this is going to sound weird, but... I'm always a little surprised when people are still super excited about Michigan football.

Like, I went to the games while I attended the school. I dressed in the colors. I knew if the team was doing well that year or not. It was fun. But I figured it was a thing we all did just because... I dunno, because it's fun to do coordinated activities when you're all in one place together.

But I get this bewildered feeling when people are still getting pumped about it over ten years later and I'm like, "Wait, you were actually... you actually cared about the football this whole time?"

I'm aware that I'm probably the weird one here. That's okay.
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In Which Our Heroine is a Little Overly Defensive [Sep. 14th, 2018|01:40 pm]
Every so often I have TextEdit up in the background to make quick notes. And when I start to misspell a word, the program pops up a fix suggestion. And I click it like, "Oh right, thanks." And then it fixes the word. But keeps it underlined in blue for a while.

I know that this is so that you can find it again if you "corrected" it by mistake or something, but I always read it as, "Remember that word you misspelled? Good thing I caught that. You're welcome." And it makes me furious. So I click around in the window until that little blue line goes away and that smug TextEdit isn't pointing at my recent spelling mistake anymore.
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Wednesdays [Sep. 7th, 2018|09:03 pm]
Reading a book on different types of minds: "He was born on a Wednesday, and Wednesdays were always blue."

I scoffed out loud, because that is utter nonsense.

Wednesdays are yellow.

Tuesdays are light blue, Mondays are dark blue, Sundays kinda bounce between purple and teal, so they pass through blue, but Wednesdays? Wednesdays are unequivocally yellow.

(That said, the book went on to talk about how this guy could perform amazing feats of memory and math. I certainly can't tell you what days of the week distant dates will fall on, and he can. So I dunno, maybe he gets to decide what color Wednesdays are, not me.)
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Coffee Thoughts [Sep. 7th, 2018|09:00 am]
I read a passage in a book by a physicist a few years ago that was explaining a theory of how a universe with entropy could still end up with all this cool, complex stuff. He posited that the beginning of the universe was a state of "low entropy," and then, like when you mix cream into coffee, a bunch of cool "stuff" can happen on the way from the low-entropy state to the high-entropy state:


“Those swirls in the cream mixing into the coffee? That’s us. Ephemeral patterns of complexity, riding a wave of increasing entropy from simple beginnings to a simple end. We should enjoy the ride.”

I never actually finished the book because I lost it or something, but that stuck with me, and now every morning when I make my coffee, I bear witness to the beverage equivalent of the heat death of the universe, and my non-caffeinated brain is in no state to handle that kind of heavy shit.
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Bottle Seller [Sep. 5th, 2018|12:20 pm]

What will be in your bottle? Nobody knows! Maybe it's whiskey, maybe it's facewash, maybe it's something else!
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Not Fooling Anyone [Aug. 24th, 2018|02:57 pm]
"You're purring a lot for a cat who wants me to think he's soooo sad."
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Dog Dream [Aug. 20th, 2018|07:35 am]
I had a brief dream last night that I was a dog. Like, my point of view was dog-height off the floor, my vision was bad, and my sense of smell was awesome. And anyway, I was snuffing around an airport at a baggage carousel, and suddenly, instead of carrying bags, the carousel started carrying pieces of pizza and open jars of peanut butter. And I ate them all with joy in my little doggy heart.

That was it.

I like the idea that I got some random dog's dream. Which would mean that some random dog ended up with a dream meant for me, and its little doggy mind is completely blown this morning.
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Second Summer [Aug. 19th, 2018|06:06 pm]
I was so proud of myself for handling the Austin summers so far. Getting the kids outside often, staying active, keeping a good attitude about it all, etc.

But I forgot that the hardest part of the summer here isn't June and July. It's not even August. It's September and October. Maybe the first few days of November? Second Summer.


Everybody else is getting excited about FALL and CHILL and JACKETS and I'm like, "I could crank the A/C enough to wear a jacket inside, but that sounds really expensive and wasteful."
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The Inside of My Head [Aug. 16th, 2018|11:49 am]
Nate and I were talking a while ago about what the insides of our heads would look like if they were physical spaces. I don't remember what he said, because I am a spouse who is apparently awesome at listening. But I wanted to write my own thoughts down somewhere.

So like, my actual house is relatively organized. Things go in boxes, boxes go in closets, etc. Standard stuff to keep us from panicking when we have people over for dinner.

The inside of my head, however, basically looks like this. You may notice that you can still pick your way through it, but all that shit is just right out there. And it's not even useful shit most of the time. It's just random shit. It's conversations from middle school and song lyrics and the memory of where my keys were that one time 2 weeks ago.

When I have something important to remember, I'll do the mental equivalent of painting it neon red and setting it on top of a stack somewhere. Then I'll probably see it when I need to.

Unless it gets accidentally buried under something else, then we're screwed.

(This is why I live and die by whiteboard to-do lists in real life. Without them, I am often floating around with a vague feeling that something needs to get done, but I won't remember what it was until I wake up at 3am that night and then can't stop thinking about it.)

To get the full effect, you also have to imagine fantastical little creatures crawling in and out of the piles, or clinging to the ceiling. These are Art Ideas, and I can either take the first one I see or go digging through piles to see if I can find any better ones.

Once a month during PMS, Mean Annie comes to crash on the couch, and she yells at me occasionally about what a dump this place is. She doesn't actually do anything to help though, she just whines that I don't even have the right kind of soda in the fridge.

There is a balcony too, for when I want some visual quiet. "The balcony" can be a vacation, or a couple glasses of wine. Or both. It's a nice break, but you can't stay out there too long, because you can't see any of the neon red things that need attention, or you'll miss one of the creatures swiping its tail across the stove and setting the whole place on fire.

(Edit: This required a photoshop. I added a ticker that tells me things related to the kids.


I have no idea if this is what other people's heads are like. It sounds kinda crappy as I describe it, but it's actually not so bad. You make it work.
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Sitting and Watching [Aug. 11th, 2018|08:44 am]
As I get older, I find I can enter this kind of partial-zen state, where I can be perfectly happy to sit on the porch and just look at things. This is generally not when the kids are running around, or when I've got some To-Do gnawing at the back of my brain, or if I've got some other Wildermyth-related idea that I'm working on.

But sometimes, when I'm caught up with tasks and I don't have my phone or laptop going, I can just sit and watch the world and exist. And for that moment, it's enough. It's a really, really satisfying feeling.

And then I realize holy crap, this must be what cats feel like all the time.
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