Really?! 2011??

I did a quick review of my posts in this blog and came away shocked. Yeah, I know: the number of posts just hit two digits. But that’s not it. I started this idea for writing a novel in 2011. That was 2 years ago and here I am working on a wargame. Before getting back to that novel. I’m glad I started this blog. It’s like an anvil hanging over my head by a string. Since 2011. I got to get going.

Omigod, Rules, Rules, Rules

Progress on the wargame continues, though I’m falling behind a little bit at the moment. This is not surprising. We’re talking about someone with a lot of inertia. Right now, it’s all about the rules, or rulesbook, as it’s known officially. And, to be honest, the mind is becoming mushy from all the changes I need to implement. The realization has hit that I only have so many quality hours in the day before the brain goes into intellectual drool mode. I seem to be limited to 3 revival periods upon the onset of heavy eyelid action. After that revival only results in a sort of ‘lights are on but nobody’s home’ thang. Ah well, whatcha gonna do, heh? 

So, I whittle away at it one day at a time, confident that one day I’ll notice there’s nothing left to rewrite. Then, I can begin to work on the game module for the playtest group. 

Yeah, omigod.

The Wargame Moves Along

Ideas continue to roil for my novel project. That personal interest remains strong is very reassuring. It must mean it’s not a half bad idea for a story.

Having said that, what is currently on my plate is the wargame, and that is moving as well. I’ve been hard at work converting my old VASSAL version (via Cyberboard graphics) into a new Inkscape inspired version. Inkscape is teh Bomb. I think this game will start to see serious playtesting in 2-3 months now. Got a great developer in Rick Galli and Compass Games have been very supportive the entire time.

I first started musing about this wargame design in winter of 2003/2004. It’s been a haul, but I’m almost there. And it will actually offer something new for a genre that has probably seen the greatest amount of attention and design in the wargaming community: the Soviet-German War.

It’s on hold, so a little of the story

Okay, I have this wargame design I’ve been working on getting published for the last couple of years. The publishing company is Compass Games, and they make good games. Right now we’re headed down the pipe as playtesting is starting in earnest. I’m thinking some time in mid to late 2013 is when this baby sees publication. It’s a wargame and on the Soviet-German War of 1941-1945. It highlights the Soviet development of operational art, and I really want to see this succeed. This means I’m putting my novel on hold until I get this game done. Bummer, but I can’t do both with any sort of quality.

Okay

So, yeah, I’m still here and still on that story. It’s still just a story in my head and on a private wiki though. Hashing out plotlines to make sure they’re all believable. Including the one that kicks it all off. Lots of cool ideas since the last time I posted, and I hope to get at it again soon. A game design takes some of my time, but not that much, so soon. Soon.

Another Thought on Intelligence

Still here with my book idea (and a good one), but actually want to toss something rolling in my head. It has to do with intelligence, and just how unique it really is. I don’t mean within the universe, but within our own planet, Earth.

After all, we’re mammals, and descendents from a long line of fauna from this planet like so many others. Why should our thought processes suddenly be so different from, say, a dog’s or monkey’s? Certainly, our brains have evolved much further in this regard than other animals, at least that we can perceive, but it began somewhere along the evolutionary line. The same one all mammals, and in fact, all life on Earth has taken.

Something to ponder. Maybe toss into my book idea.

Consciousness and All That

Like I said in my last post, I’ve been mulling over the concept of consciousness. It’s been an interest for many years, and one that never seems to dissipate in that regard.

One of the things I’ve pondered over has been memory and how that defines a personality. Is that part of consciousness? Until recently I thought ‘yes’. Now I’m not so sure.

To be honest, there is a bias here. I am Buddhist after all. One of the journeys one takes in Buddhism is in determining and managing ones thoughts, separating them from our present reality. A very difficult process, but–at least for me–one with great benefit. When I’m persistent in my practice I’m left with something much more in synch with the here and now. It feels like a vast reservoir of patience and temperance.

Space and time. Those are the things that shape our reality in the universe. It paves the way for a past, present and future. Our mind and body have evolved to the point where they qualify that reality with respect to our person. After all, the primal code is survival when everything else is swept off the table.

Our minds have become adept at preserving memory, allowing us to reflect and learn. It colors who we are as a personality. Our bodies respond to the mind’s directives and it’s gotten to the point where the side effects influence us in surprising ways. Hormones and other chemicals flow through us as the need arises, but sometimes the dosage isn’t optimum, resulting in a shift or lean in how we review our memories and therefore perceive our present. That, in turn, alters our prediction of the future, which all sets a cycle in motion.

The difference between a pessimist and an optimist is really based on ones memories and what ‘lense’ our bodies provide us to review it. That ‘lense’ does the same for seeing our present, reinforced by the recollections of the past. This is neither good or bad, merely the biological mechanism we possess to interface with this reality, our universe.

So, what is consciousness? Here’s what I think it is. It’s like water that’s been placed in a mold. Memory and the influences of our bodily systems comprise the mold, shaping our consciousness into a personality. But, consciousness is that water.

When I meditate, I can perceive the mold, see how it influences my thoughts and reality. Sometimes it’s just a glimpse and sometimes it’s more than that. That also means I can sense the consciousness that, for lack of a better term, supports my personality. It’s a serene, compassionate thing and very very deep. There’s no inertia within it. But that’s me, right?

Interesting nonetheless.