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Discovery!, Back in Kenosha, Party!

Discovery!

So, I’m in Kenosha, WI working on another job up here, and I find a CD in an old Wonderware Factory Suite case labled “Backups”.  Hrm – I don’t rememeber this one…  I pop it in the drive, and my jaw drops.

See, the source code to Boulder Panic! 2 DX (the game I’ve sold the most copies of) has been gone for AGES now.  Which is the reason why there was never an expansion to it – unless I wrote a totally new version, there was now way to release a new level pack or similar for it.

But it gets better.  My jaw ends up falling all the way to the floor when I see a directory labled “Cultures101”  This is a “lost game” – while not quite ready for sales, it is feature complete on gameplay, only the final graphics and levels needed to be finished.  HOLY SHIT!

In the next day or so I’ll dig into it and check out how much more needs to be done, and figure out if I want to finish it up (I’m sure the answer is yes – I liked the game concept, and it played well.) 

Best part of all this is I could finally port Boulder Panic! over to Mac (and Linux) with a minimum of effort now.  Mac = More game sales, and more publicity.  Cool 🙂  Throw in a new game, and possibly a BP! expansion, and that would be a real kick in the ass towards re-invigorating the game sales!

OH – looked again, and discovered HOLY SHIT!!! There’s source to one more game in there that’s un-released (and unfinished):  Bouder Panic! 3 is in there.  BP!3’s original 3D version was an isometric game (basically used tiles turned 45 degrees, and stacked up, to represent the playfield.  So you could either play normal 2D boards, 2.5D Boards (which gets hard to explain), or full 3D boards that you rotate around to look at.  I may ignore porting BP!2 DX, and just finish BP!3 and port it instead.  Gonna be a bit before I can dive REAL deep though – I can do some hours here and there on ’em, but, I’ve got other priorities first.

I also discovered the original test version of Jumpman: 2049 on there.  

Damn, that was like a major archeological find!

Back in Kenosha

As I mentioned, I’m back in Kenosha again, writing this from the local IHOP.  I’m scheduled to come back Friday night / Sat morning, but I may stay an extra day – looks like I landed some more web dev work while I was here, and so I’ll stick around an pick up some extra money.

I’ve already re-designed how they are going to overhaul their systems, which means I make less money (BOOO!), but I make a much happier customer, and instead of making it all in one lump almost a year from now, I make money in smaller amounts throughout this year.  And whenever I save them money in one area, they end up spending it somewhere else with me anyway.  And my solution was pretty damned innovative, utilizing VirtualPC to turn thier existing software platform / OS combo into a perpetual system.  Right now, they have to upgrade thier OS and software platform (new machines ship with Vista, which doesn’t run their version of Wonderware, or XP, which BARELY runs thier version of Wonderware).  Now they don’t – whenever they buy a new machine, they just install VirtualPC, and copy over a file from the server.  No matter how many new versions of Windows come out, thier app still works, and replacing a machine is dead simple (the old solution was Ghost, but they they end up in driver install hell with new machines.)  The test version is up and running flawlessly, but I’m going to give it a day before I say that it’s ready for deployment.

Given that it’s now a string of small jobs, it wouldn’t be bad to end up making the Kenosha run about once every month or two.  The work is nice, and honestly I make as much on a one week trip as most people end up making in a month.  And that’s almost pure profit – most of the jobs I do up here don’t have parts involved, just labor.

And while I’m here, another web customer called with more work and to pay thier rent (hosting charges – I call it rent quite often just cause it’s funny.  To me anyway.)  Mo’ money.  

And the more money I make, the faster my bills are paid off.  Life is good 😉

This time I also did my trip right – I didn’t drive my car up here (a ’95 Geo doesn’t make a good trip car), I rented a Mazda 6.  Not a bad little car, and it’s got pleanty o’ balls under the hood.  Also rented a MUCH better room than my last trip – cost twice as much, but, the WiFi works well this time, and I’m not afraid to be kidnapped and held for ransom by large insects this time.  That poor car – it had less than 300 miles on it when I got it, so I’m adding about 1800 miles to it.  But with the way I drive a rental, it’s about the equivalent of 18,000 miles – I drive everywhere with the pedal all the way to the floor when I take off.  And with that Mazda 6, it’s got some zip to it 😉

Party!

Looks like it’s a party per month for the next couple of months.  This month was Cassie & Jason’s Birthday, plus thier anniversary, plus Gayle’s pinning for becoming a nurse.  That was a lot of drinking 😉

In June Bobby is having her BDay party, and she made sure to invite everyone to that.  And I THINK in July I’ll end up having a BDay party also (though, there’s the question of where at.  That could get interesting.)  

This last party was a blast – saw more people I haven’t seen in ages like Nikki, Cassie’s sister Jennifer, and Halie (not sure how it’s spelled), and of course thier significant others (I had met Nikki’s hubby once before – nice guy)  As I mentioned – lots of drinking, and some minor evil on my part.  I had Cassie steal Bobby’s cell phone at one point.  I took it in the bathroom, took a snapshot of my ass, and made it her wallpaper.  Damned funny if you ask me 😉  (Also explains the nice ass comment in my comments 🙂

Meredith and Lance didn’t make it though – too bad, wish they had. 

Not sure if once a month is possibly TOOO often for parties like this, but, it’s definitely nice to get out and party 🙂

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