Line by Line

Tenth Anniversary

Posted March 18, 2020 (Written March 17, 2020)

Tags: site

[This site went live on March 17, 2010, which makes yesterday the tenth anniversary. Obviously, celebrating the anniversary should be done on the anniversary if possible, and I did manage to get this post written in time, but I didn't have time to post it. I apologize for posting this a day late, but it is the anniversary post with no further edits beyond what was completed on the actual anniversary. Enjoy!]

Today marks ten years since the grand (re-)launch of this Web site!

I wish it were under happier circumstances. This virus business has us all a little nervous. Or a lot nervous. There is a lot of talk of what to do about religious obligations (Just receive in the hand, already, people), whether hoarding supplies is appropriate (don't take more than you need, because someone else does need it), and whether or not the response to the crisis reflects the bogosity of many of our supposed rules and requirements (I have mixed opinions on that one).

But that just means now is a perfect time to find something not horrible to focus on. So let's focus on how horrible my writing was 10 years ago. (What?)

My first blog post was possibly the only time I've ever really commented on current events (unless you count two paragraphs ago), and if not, then certainly one of very few. I still stand by pretty much everything I said in that post, though if I were writing it today I'd probably be a bit less ranty and more explicit about why these things bother me.

Read the rest of this post in the blog.

Year in Review 2019

Posted January 12, 2019

Tags: WIP report

I don't guess I need a reason: I'm just in the mood to look back on the past year, what I've accomplished, and where to go from here.

Let's start with my comic project. It was supposed to be a small project, just seven pages, that I could complete within a year's time. The beginning of 2019 marked the passing of that deadline. Now, nearly two weeks into the new year, I'm wrapping up the pencils and almost ready to start inking.

On the bright side, I've been making reasonably steady, albeit slow, progress over the last few months ever since I got past the costume design hurdles. Page 1 wasn't ready to ink by January 1, 2020, like I had hoped, but it's still pretty darn close.

Read the rest of this post in the blog.

New art: Viola

posted October 11, 2019

'Tis the season for ink drawings! I'm not doing Inktober this year, but I did happen to put together an ink drawing while procrastinating working on my comic just before October began!

It's also the official reveal of the name of the character, who first appeared in “Lioness Sorceress Line Art” and is (more or less) the main character of the comic.

So check out “Viola” in the Art Gallery!

WIP Report: Space Shooter Game

Posted August 26, 2019

Tags: programming, video games, WIP report

I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Two weights, actually, but I already wrote about the other one the other day so let's just focus on this one for now.

I haven't posted much about this, but I've been working on a computer game for a while now. In fact, I've been wanting to make video games since I was around ten years old. I remember having a bunch of different ideas written down in notebooks. Some were original, others were what would now be called fan games. One time, I even drew up a plan for a Sonic game that had the player switching on the fly between Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles, with Silver Sonic as the main antagonist.

At some point in my early teens, I picked up a copy of Windows Game Programming for Dummies, about writing games in C++ with DirectX. I intermittently puttered along trying to follow along, but I didn't really understand it (and truth be told, the book's “Here's how this is done, just use the code on the CD-Rom” approach doesn't match my learning style).

About ten years ago, after some modest successes, I decided to get serious and try to learn and understand how to write C++/DirectX games. A few reasonable tech demos later, I decided the best thing to do was to try making a full game. Since I had collision detection more or less figured out (thanks to Ron Levine's swept SAT algorithm for AABBs) but not collision resolution, I decided to make a scrolling shooter. This let me get away with just destroying one or both of any two objects that collide instead of figuring out how they push or bounce off each other.

Read the rest of this post in the blog.

WIP Report: Sorceress Comic: Panel 2 Pencils Complete

posted August 21, 2019

updated August 22, 2019

Tags: art, comics, WIP report, writing

I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Two weights, actually, but I think each deserves its own post so let's just focus on the one for now.

As you can tell, it's been a while since I've posted an update on the comic. The reason, as I believe I've discussed before, is that I got hung up on character designs. I had figured out the faces of the nobleman and his escort, but the nobleman's costume was completely up in the air

Now, as I mentioned last time, I had planned on skipping the model sheets and doing the design work right on the page. That seemed like a good idea at the time, and it even worked out okay for the escort's scabbard. Overall, though, it didn't work, and in hindsight, it's obvious why not: If I don't know what the clothing looks like, it doesn't matter which piece of paper I'm trying to draw it on. The only real change was that the design-on-the-page method required me to erase every approach I didn't like rather than moving to a new sheet of paper, which made it harder to iterate and ruined the tooth of the paper.

So I just sort of took a break. I was tired of having this looming over me and feeling like a traitor for drawing anything other than the comic, so I figured I'd just shelve it and then come back to it later.

And it worked! Eventually I was struck with inspiration—


Read the rest of this post.

New art: Lakeside

posted August 04, 2019

I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get this drawing from before Memorial Day posted, but hey, better late than never, right? I don't really have anything else to say about it beyond what's in the description, so go ahead and check out Lakeside in the art gallery.

Fixed Tag Search omitting results

posted May 13, 2019

After uploading that last blog post, I realized that the search was omitting a page from most of the tags. That is, one of the pages tagged with each tag was not showing up.

Eventually I figured out that the code that pulls the tagged files out of the index file wasn't trimming filenames properly, so the search was trying to open pages with a line break at the end of the filename, not finding them, and skipping them.

Should be fixed now. Eventually I would like to do some further upgrades but this should do for the time being.

Why I Call Gay People “Gay People”

posted May 11, 2019

Tags: gender and sexuality, morals and ethics, religion

You're Catholic. Or maybe you're not, so let's pretend you are. Let's also pretend it's the Reformation and your country has officially gone Protestant. Your religion is absolutely not welcome. Those in power sincerely believe that your religion is diabolically evil and the population needs to be protected from it.

Now, this isn't one of those countries where you'll get burned at the stake or have your skin flayed off and made into the cover of a book. (I'm actually not sure that ever happened.) They think your religion is evil, and they aren't shy about letting you know it (some charitably, others decidedly not), but they don't want to hurt you. Physically, at least. Emotionally and economically? It varies. But let's say you've found a relatively tolerant neighborhood where people are more or less willing to live and let live.

There's one catch: Nobody says “Catholic.” Your Protestant neighbors certainly never use it. They will call you “Papist.” Your religion, they call “Popery.” The kinder ones may say you “suffer from” or “struggle with” Popery, or just call you a “person with Popery,&rdquo but they never call you Catholic. If you want to live with them, they say, you can't call yourself Catholic, either. You have to use their words.

Read the rest of this post in the blog.

Tag Search now sorts by date

posted February 13, 2019

I updated the tag search program so search results are now sorted correctly. In the blog, posts are sorted by date, newest first. In the art gallery, they're sorted alphabetically. This was the most important missing feature that I've been wanting to add for a long time, so I'm glad to finally have that done.

There are a few features I still want to add. First of all, there are some optimizations that would make displaying the search results a bit faster (especially as the number of posts increases). I'd also like to make the tags case-insensitive. Eventually, I want to add support for tags with special characters (say, “Pokémon”).

For the moment, though, it's where I want it to be.

WIP Report: Sorceress Comic: Panel 1 Pencils Complete

posted January 29, 2019

Tags: art, comics, WIP report, writing

Well, guys, I did it. I actually beat a deadline.

In fact, I was basically done on Sunday the 20th, and just put in a few tweaks and finishing touches over the following few days. Since then, I've been making decent progress on panel 2. All in all, I'm feeling pretty good.

Panel 2 is a mid-shot of the nobleman and his escort, so I can no longer put off their designs. I'm not going back to getting bogged down in model sheets and concept art, though. I'm just going straight to drawing the characters on the page based on the work I've already done, doing any additional research and designing as I go.

As things stand, I basically have the escort/squire guy figured out. There are some details I still need to tighten up, but it's pretty much just a matter of drawing him now. The nobleman, though, is a work in progress. I more or less have the face figured out, but the costume is still completely up in the air.

I'm also becoming re-acquainted with my inability to draw two eyes the same shape, the same size, and pointed in the same direction. Gotta work on that.

Goal for February 2019: Finish pencils for page 1, panel 2.