11 votes

Timasomo Post #5: Reflection for Week Four of Four

Timasomo FAQ

What is Timasomo?

Timasomo is "Tildes' Make Something Month," a creative community challenge that takes place in the month of November. It was inspired by NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing Month.

What are the rules?

Timasomo is self-driven and its goals are self-selected. On November 1st, participants will commit to a creative project (or projects) that they plan to complete within the month of November. There is no restriction on the methods/products of creativity: writing, painting, code, food, photos, crafts, songs -- if it's creative expression for you, it works for Timasomo!

Though most will be participating individually, collaborations are welcome too!

What is the schedule?

Timasomo begins November 1st and ends November 30th. All creative output towards your goal(s) should be confined to this time. This week prior to the start of November is for planning, and there will be a few days at the beginning of December given to "finishing touches" before we have our final thread, which will be a showcase of all the completed works. The showcase date is TBD and will be decided by the participants toward the end of the month, once we have a better idea of what we'll need to do wrap up our projects.

Can I participate?

Yes! Timasomo is open to anyone on Tildes! If you would like to join, post your goal here. The greater Tildes community is also encouraged to participate in discussion threads even if you are not actively working towards a creative goal. This is meant to be an inclusive community event -- all are welcome! If you are interested in participating but do not have a Tildes login, please e-mail the invite request address here for an invite to the community.


Thread #5: Reflection for Week Four of Four

Timeline for the Close of Timasomo:

  • Timasomo officially ends at the beginning of Monday Sunday (lol), December 1st, wherever you are.
  • I will post a closing thread at that time with next steps for all participants.
  • You have until Thursday, December 5th to put the finishing touches on your creative works to ready them for the showcase.
  • The showcase will begin Friday, December 6th.

Give a Progress Update

This is the final stretch! What do things look like for you as we close in on the finish?

Remaining Work

What still needs to be done? Are you going to be able to easily finish in time, or will you have to cram things in at the last minute?

Wrap-Up and Polishing

How do you plan to spend the few days of wrap-up time? What edits do you need to make or polish do you need to add, if any?

Discussion Topic of the Week: Ideas for Other Events

Timasomo was my first experiment in doing a Tildes-based "event." I plan to post a thread at the end of it specifically diving into whether we want to do another Timasomo down the road, and, if so, what changes could be made to the processes and setup, but for now I'm curious as to what other ideas are out there: what other Tildes-based events would be people be interested in?

They don't have to follow the same format as this, and they don't have to be entire months. The format and function are totally open. Would you want to do a Tildes game jam? A poetry contest? A donation drive? Pen pals?

Share your ideas here for what community-based "events" you would like to see here on Tildes.


Let's go FINISH SOMETHING.

14 comments

  1. [5]
    hungariantoast
    Link
    First, let me say that I love the idea of doing a game jam. I think that would be absolutely amazing. As for other community-based events, an idea I had some time ago was a "Tildes learns X...

    First, let me say that I love the idea of doing a game jam. I think that would be absolutely amazing.

    As for other community-based events, an idea I had some time ago was a "Tildes learns X programming language" event for ~comp, where users pick an online book or some other free resource and then, every week or two weeks, we all get back together and share our progress going through material, our answers and solutions to questions and challenges from the material, and generally discuss what we're learning.

    For instance, the second edition of Automate the Boring Stuff with Python is going to soon be available online, for free. In my opinion, the first edition is a great, if not the best free resource for getting started with the Python programming language.

    So, if we did a "Tildes learns Python" event that recurred every week, the I'd imagine, except for the first introductory week, every week after that we would post a new topic for the event and that topic for that week would pertain to the chapter of the book that we're currently reading. It would sort of be like a book club I guess, except for programming.

    And in every topic, users would post comments about the stuff they learned, had trouble with, any tips and tricks they discovered. They'd also post their solutions to the questions or challenges at the end of each chapter and discuss those.

    I think it'd be a lot of fun. I think Python would be an especially suitable language to start the event with, because it's pretty simple (and Tildes may or may not be implemented in Python). There are a ton of programming languages we could go through though and there's no reason we couldn't do multiple books on the same language over an extended period of time, especially if the books build off each other and dive into increasingly advanced concepts.


    Right, now that I have got that out of the way, let me talk about Inhabitant, the novel I am writing for NaNoWriMo, which ends in two days. (Keeping in mind of course, that all names here are temporary.)

    Inhabitant is a story about the degradation and breakdown of a galactic society, examined at the planetary scale. The story takes place on Erebus, a large terrestrial planet where, decades ago, a multi-species colony fleet was ambushed and crash-landed on the surface. Mysterious forces are keeping the surviving ships of the colony fleet stranded on the planet, unable to escape into orbit. To make matters worse, the alien administrative artificial intelligence (aptly named Administrator) that controlled the colony fleet has disappeared, taking with it the various automated systems that kept the colony ships in good, operational condition during its voyage. With the absence of these automated systems, the surviving ships on Erebus' surface are slowly breaking down and the survivors struggling to maintain them.

    To round out the challenges facing the survivors, the enemy fleet that ambushed the colonists decades ago remains in orbit, periodically harassing those on the surface, as does Erebus' large population of native aliens.

    The breakdown of the few surviving ships, the scarcity caused by this, and the constant harassment by the enemy above and the natives below has pushed the few, scattered survivor settlements on Erebus to their breaking point.

    It is there that the story begins. A coalition of militias from nearby survivor settlements have launched an operation to strip and salvage a derelict vessel whose systems have begun to malfunction. Inside, scouts find thousands of cryogenic chambers filled with survivors, their lives now at risk as the ship they've silently occupied breaks down.

    Anaxandridas, the protagonist of this story, is one of the frozen survivors of the derelict vessel. He is rescued, though prematurely, before his pod's thawing process could be completed, keeping him unconscious.

    When Anaxandridas wakes, he is in a transport vehicle as part of a caravan heading to the settlement of Ulm. From here, his journey begins and he is thrust into a position of significance. His actions will decide the fates of the various entities of this story. The survivors on Erebus, the enemy above, the natives below, the Administrator and its schemes, as well as something else lurking on this planet, the Inhabitant.


    Okay, neat. I've sold me soul to the devil and given what I guess is a pitch for my novel.

    Couple notes:

    • There is way too much stuff going on in this story for me to handle, but I enjoy its premise
    • I've never created something this big or complex before, managing a story like this is hard
    • Despite this, I have made significant progress in creating something
    • This story is nowhere near complete
    • I haven't hit fifty thousand words yet and won't before the end of November

    Yeah, I'm not going to win NaNoWriMo this year. I might hit forty thousand words, but I will probably start editing and revising before that. I'm okay with not winning this year. I'm okay with what I have created, despite some very poor quality writing in a lot of places. Really, I'm just happy that I got this far.

    So, this story is nowhere near complete. There are a lot of pieces at play here:

    • The survivors (and each community visited)
    • The natives
    • The enemy
    • The galaxy that all these people inhabit
    • The war between the galactic society and the enemy, which pushed the survivors to colonize Erebus in the first place
    • Why did the Administrator disappear, what has it been doing
    • What is the Inhabitant and why is lurking

    Lots of stuff.

    What still needs to be done? So. Much. The main thing I need to do though is take a step back and spend a lot of time outlining the changes I want to make, both to what has already been written and what I want to write in the future. Probably the biggest change I am entertaining is scratching out the colony fleet, making Erebus an old colony world that has been inhabited for centuries, and then just roll in the enemy in orbit as a besieging force with some mysterious planetary defense being activated on Erebus. The Administrator, Inhabitant, natives, and survivor settlements would all remain relatively unchanged, but our protagonist's story would have to begin differently. Though I do already have some ideas for that.

    I think, with enough planning and editing, I can pull something not terrible out of my ass.

    And that's about it actually. If anyone has questions, criticism, advice, a mix of any of that, please ask/tell.

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      Keegan
      Link Parent
      Wow I really like the "Tildes learns ___" idea. I'd definitely participate in something like that.

      Wow I really like the "Tildes learns ___" idea. I'd definitely participate in something like that.

      5 votes
      1. hungariantoast
        Link Parent
        Thanks. I don't know if anyone would be interested in hosting a series of topics like that, but if no one else wanted to, then I could probably do it. I completed Automate the Boring Stuff a long...

        Thanks. I don't know if anyone would be interested in hosting a series of topics like that, but if no one else wanted to, then I could probably do it. I completed Automate the Boring Stuff a long time ago so, assuming the second edition isn't too different from the first, it wouldn't take much effort on my part to post and participate in the series' weekly topics.

        Unfortunately, the second edition changes don't seem to have landed onto the free, online version of the book yet, so this whole idea is kind of stalled until that happens. The updated online version was supposed to be released in early November.

        Of course, this idea could also be applied to other books or programming languages, so if anyone wants to like, help us learn Haskell or whatever, that'd be neat.

        3 votes
    2. [2]
      kfwyre
      Link Parent
      What a wonderful post! I love your ideas, both for Tildes and creatively. With regards to the showcase, are you planning on releasing the full text of what you've written? While you certainly can,...

      What a wonderful post! I love your ideas, both for Tildes and creatively.

      With regards to the showcase, are you planning on releasing the full text of what you've written? While you certainly can, I don't want you to feel pressured to, especially if you consider it to still be incomplete.

      4 votes
      1. hungariantoast
        Link Parent
        Thank you! For the showcase, I might put together an excerpt that I feel is good enough to share and not be embarrassed about, but I'm heading into finals this week and don't know if I'll have...

        Thank you! For the showcase, I might put together an excerpt that I feel is good enough to share and not be embarrassed about, but I'm heading into finals this week and don't know if I'll have enough time to do that before December 6th.

        As far as sharing the whole story, I honestly don't know. I'd like to continue developing it and implement some of the changes I mentioned, so I don't know when it would be at a stable enough point to actually show it off. I also need to actually write some sort of ending, which I am nowhere near yet. I guess my answer is "eventually".

        2 votes
  2. moocow1452
    Link
    I did not get nearly as much done as I wanted, probably through some combination of lack of discipline and tendonitis flare-ups. (Writing is a pain when you're already on a computer all day.) But...

    I did not get nearly as much done as I wanted, probably through some combination of lack of discipline and tendonitis flare-ups. (Writing is a pain when you're already on a computer all day.) But I did write, and I will continue to do so past this month.

    5 votes
  3. Gyrfalcon
    Link
    Progress The first article is pretty much done! On the downside I have realized that my homepage looks pretty ugly on mobile so fixing that is an important order of business. Remaining Work I am...

    Progress

    The first article is pretty much done! On the downside I have realized that my homepage looks pretty ugly on mobile so fixing that is an important order of business.

    Remaining Work

    I am hoping to get my SO to read over what I have written and provide some feedback but I'm not sure if that will happen before the end of the day. If not, oh well. And I want to fix the homepage as mentioned.

    Wrap-up

    I guess technically I could make my edits in this time but I am not sure if I will. Other than that I don't think there is much else I need to do on my project.

    Other Events

    I can't think of anything off the top of my head right now but I would like to say that I really like the other ideas that have been posted.

    5 votes
  4. [3]
    Akir
    Link
    I have completed the main body of all six planned Christmas bags. This is a completely freehand project, so I have actually made small improvements on each one, and the last one actually seems...

    I have completed the main body of all six planned Christmas bags. This is a completely freehand project, so I have actually made small improvements on each one, and the last one actually seems somewhat professional looking almost. Though none of them have anything close to even stitching, and I would only call a handful of the lines I have drawn to be straight.

    The only part that needs to be done is three more cords for cinching the bags closed. It should be a relatively quick job. After that I just have to hand-sew some snowflake shaped buttons for decoration, then get two of them shipped out with some gifts I have purchased.

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      kfwyre
      Link Parent
      This is a delightful project, and I love that you're doing something primarily for someone else rather than yourself! I hope the recipients of your gifts love your handcrafted bags!

      This is a delightful project, and I love that you're doing something primarily for someone else rather than yourself! I hope the recipients of your gifts love your handcrafted bags!

      2 votes
      1. Akir
        Link Parent
        Well, they are supposed to be reusable gift bags, so the real motivation is to be able to never wrap Christmas presents ever again. ๐Ÿ˜ธ But honestly, it's also a destraction project so I don't have...

        Well, they are supposed to be reusable gift bags, so the real motivation is to be able to never wrap Christmas presents ever again. ๐Ÿ˜ธ

        But honestly, it's also a destraction project so I don't have to work on my failure of a shirt project. ๐Ÿ˜

        3 votes
  5. xstresedg
    Link
    REFLECTIONS I did a lot of work and I've enjoyed it all but I feel like I could have worked harder. PROGRESS I have a functional player character that needs some tweaks. I have two enemy units:...

    REFLECTIONS

    I did a lot of work and I've enjoyed it all but I feel like I could have worked harder.

    PROGRESS

    • I have a functional player character that needs some tweaks.
    • I have two enemy units: the Blop and the Grudge.
    • I have a semi-functional menu: open menu with Enter, two selectable options in Item and Quit with the other options grayed and slashed out
    • Item menu displays how many of each item you have of which there are only two: Wheat (recovers 5 HP) and Herb (recovers 5 MP).
    • A working HUD that displays HP, MP, gold, and a small spinning black globe with pieces missing (which is a game mechanic that won't get explored in this demo)
    • Level transitions configured and basic demo has been exported for bug testing.

    BREAK DOWN OR THROUGH

    Unfortunately I won't be able to add much more functionality before the December 1st deadline and I don't want to cheat the system by adding new things during the post-event touch up week.

    REMAINING WORK

    • Fix bugs from alpha test
    • Add King NPC
    • Final testing and bug fixing

    WRAP-UP and POLISHING

    I honestly have no idea what I'm going to do, as there really isn't much for cleanup required. Maybe just reducing the amount of unused files in the final export but that won't take long. I donโ€™t want to cheat the system by adding things after the buzzer sounds.

    IDEAS FOR OTHER EVENTS

    Tilde's Squiggly Game Jam

    As I've found a fun hobby in game dev, I'd love to do a full game jam with people, and my suggestion to differentiate it from others is calling it the Squiggly Game Jam, since the ~ is squiggly.

    REMINDER: Find your balance.

    LINKS

    Website
    Twitter
    Instagram
    Discord

    4 votes
  6. [2]
    kfwyre
    Link
    My not-visual novel has four different scenes, of which three and a half have been written out. I'll finish the last one today and come in under deadline! Not what I was expecting, and not half...

    My not-visual novel has four different scenes, of which three and a half have been written out. I'll finish the last one today and come in under deadline! Not what I was expecting, and not half bad for someone who's been incapacitated by illness for much of this month.

    Now, my "story" isn't so much a story and feels more like the extended commentary I often post here on Tildes. At present it's heavy-handed -- less of a narrative and more of characters collectively grinding an axe. I think over the course of the next week I need to "soften" it up -- add some humanness and nuance back into it. It'll still be fundamentally didactic, but hopefully I can at least prevent some readers from rolling their eyes as they make their way through it.

    I also, from the technical side, am going to play around with the engine, as I'm using it pretty inefficiently at the moment. After my original plans got derailed by feature creep, I prioritized writing over all else, but that means I have some "bad habits" for how the story is written in Ren'Py that I hope I can address. For example, I'm using something "NVL-mode" where the character dialogue takes up the whole screen and has multiple responses shown all at once, instead of the more standard layout of only having one character's words shown at a time, down at the bottom of the screen. I chose this because I scrapped any visuals for the project, so it didn't make sense to keep it in the standard format and have 80% of the screen be blank.

    Unfortunately, I don't think I've implemented NVL-mode well, and am at this point having to hardcode in screen-clears approximately every five lines. If I go back and add dialogue to scenes, I have to adjust the clears I currently have to make sure everything displays well. Choices also seem to have issues in NVL-mode, sometimes prompting a fade in/out which I didn't request, and sometimes overlapping dialogue instead of appearing below it. I've gotten around these by always clearing the screen before giving them, but it would be nice to have the choices more organically embedded in the text. Whether all of these issues are my lack of understanding of how NVL-mode works or whether some of what I've run into are simply limitations of Ren'Py remain to be seen. What I have currently is absolutely readable at present; it's just not ideal, so I might spend some of next week trying to simply refit what I've written into a better display system.

    As for other event ideas, I have a couple that I think could be really neat, but here's one I've been kind of throwing around for a while in my head. I came up with it simply because I'm someone who gets significant decision paralysis when faced with too many choices, so I very much like it when someone else can narrow my decisions for me.

    Media Circles

    A lot of people like the idea of "book club" type setups, but they can be hard to keep up with, particularly when the choice of media is something you have to go out of your way for. I feel like everyone now has their own backlogs of books, movies, music, etc. that they want to enjoy, so trying to get everyone under one roof for one particular piece of media doesn't work well.

    So, my idea for a "media circle" is this: let's say 10 people all like reading and want to challenge themselves to read five books in a month. Each person posts 10-15 books they want to read, and participants are randomly arranged in a circle. So, Person A would choose the five books from Person B's list for Person B to read. Person B would choose the five books from Person C's list for Person C to read. And so on, until Person J chooses the five books from Person A's list for Person A to read.

    This is the most generic form of the "media circle," but it can be jazzed up in a lot of different ways. For example, we could focus on specific genres, we could give certain criteria for book choices (similar to the "reading challenges" that are already out there), and we can even fold in outside choice (e.g. based on the books posted, Person B has to choose a book they think Person C would like that isn't on person C's list).

    The idea also scales from little to big, and could be run over the course of a weekend, a week, a month, etc. It also works for any type of media, so ~anime could do their own media circle while ~movies does a separate one. These could even be recurring. Imagine a movie circle each weekend, with people signing on to participate by Thursday each week and the circle randomly chosen each Friday.

    This setup allows people to continue to consume the media they like, but with a little gamey, community twist. I also think it can help with follow-through, as I'm bad about leaving a book behind when it's just me pushing myself to read it, but if there's a deadline and social pressure ("Person D hand-picked this book for me!") I'm more likely to get through it.

    3 votes
    1. kfwyre
      Link Parent
      Well, egg on my face, I just looked up at my calendar and realized it's already December 1st, not November 30th! You'd think as the person running this thing I would have had my dates right, but...

      Well, egg on my face, I just looked up at my calendar and realized it's already December 1st, not November 30th! You'd think as the person running this thing I would have had my dates right, but no! For some reason my mental map had the 1st as tomorrow, giving me today to finish up my work. Turns out that was wrong.

      I did finish my last scene, so the creative part of my project is officially done, but I definitely utilized time today, outside of November, so everyone else has permission to go past the deadline if they need to. :D

      2 votes
  7. Greg
    Link
    I was really excited about this, and I jumped in on the first thread as a way to commit myself to making time for something interesting! I didn't even manage to get started, and I'm very...

    I was really excited about this, and I jumped in on the first thread as a way to commit myself to making time for something interesting!

    I didn't even manage to get started, and I'm very frustrated about that. Life did its thing, all the time I'd wanted to spend on this went out the window, and there's very little that I or anyone else could have done about it. C'est la vie, I guess - I'm looking forward to seeing everyone else's work in the showcase, and with any luck I'll be able to pick up the idea and run with it another month, even if I won't be able to do it alongside all of you.

    3 votes