Off on a trip


Hi guys! Later today I will be heading off to London. I am not bringing my laptop, so if you try to contact me in any way and don’t get a response, you know why 🙂 I may get some chances to respond over there, but may choose not to respond until I get back.

When I get back I want to start being a little more active on my blog again, this place has been pretty quiet recently!

-Stopsecret

Addicted


Addiction (Warning : long entry)

 

This entry I am about to write will by no means make me popular probably. It touches at the deepest roots of pleasure, and speaks directly to my blogging demographic.

 

This post is for everyone who owns a computer. It’s almost disturbing, how much my computer has taken over me. The header to this post is a rather shocking picture, showing common computer logos on drugs and alcohol, but it sometimes takes harsh photos to convey messages. I would like to start this long post with something I wrote Dec 20 of last year. It is nearing a year mark, and I am going to talk about it. It is good to learn from your mistakes, but sometimes better to learn from the mistakes of others. I hope you will learn from mine:

 

The Steely Grey Background (slightly edited)

 

A large window occupies the screen, in the upper left stands a grey background, looking a lot like the rest of the grey colored screen. This, reader, is the interface for Unity, the start of a scene, and what can be called a drawing board.  The interface stares back at you, and the daunting beginning of a new project dawns. The same is true in Blender. after you click through a small splash screen you are presented with a grid and a grey background. This has been my setting for two years. How did this come about? Here is the story of a man whose time was taken and cheated for too low a price.

 

At the start, the computer was a tool, the first computers, such as ENIAC were large and took up whole rooms. To do what? mathematical calculations. From the start computers were tools and not friends. The computer turned into the personal computer, which in turn made many programmers, artists, 3d animators, and other people who’s professions had to do with computers. Among those to join the ranks was a boy named (name removed to protect the ambiguity of Stopsecret ;D). He started his computing career and long lasting relationship with these machines at a very young age. He learned to read with the help of the computer and grew up in an age where this invention was being revolutionized. He burned through many models, including the Sonnet Apple computer, the HP Pavilion Windows machine, the Imac clamshell, Imac G4, and the and the Imac i3. He experimented and grew. Mostly self-sufficient, this young man would spend a lot of time isolated with some Legos, a computer program, or some other solitary amusement. He became brilliant in the math and science realm, and came to know a lot about all different types of animals. He was full of facts and earned his title as ‘one of the smart ones’. Also athletic and with a great wrestling history, he became a beast when it came to fighting and sports. Then IT stepped in…

 

The computer was offered to him for free. Naturally, he seized the opportunity to own another computer. And after technical difficulties, the box was set up in his room. he bought a flight simulator called X-Plane, the first of many games he would buy, And he occupied his time a lot with that. He became quite good at 3D artistry and modified games he had on his computer. He also tried out a game-making program called Unity 3D and got his first taste of programming. So, besides this computer of his, what was going on elsewhere? Well, for starters, the ‘animal of the day’ was moved out when he stopped having favorite animals. He, of course, was not improving his social skills, which weren’t needed that much anyway as he had few friends. Then, he upgraded his computer ‘for school’ and it started to snowball from there. With new graphical capabilities and memory, he officially joined the ranks of geekdom and became a geek. He became great at 3D, and eventually would become fluent in programming. Oh, it’s worth mentioning here that through bad choices, he broke his arm twice as well. Thus impaired, he was now still strong, but a veteran, not participating in sports much. He seemed to become socially awkward, and even slid down the slope of becoming antisocial. He was nicknamed ‘specter child’, because he wasn’t even around that much anymore. He slid deeper and deeper into this void, becoming a hoarder with his time and losing out on a better relationship with friends, family, even God! This obviously had to be stopped, lest he end up with regrets upon regrets, wishing he had changed. Oh, sure, he had tried to change by himself, but that didn’t work. He had tried many times. At this point it would take something drastic to free this poor prisoner.

 

I then took a look at myself through two outcomes I wrote.

 

A future look down the road

Date : Dec 20, 2012

 

Ahh yes, I remember this day… the day I thought I would change. Ha-ha, what a silly notion. As a looker into the future, let me tell you about a few things. First, about my programming. I have excelled a tremendous amount, but still haven’t finished a game. One of these days though! I have a copy of Unity Pro, and have become more entrenched in my virtual reality than ever! The games are so real, I hardly have to live in real life anymore. Sure, I’m disconnected to just about everyone, but hey, whatever. I’m going to graduate soon anyway and I don’t need to worry about that stuff. I play a space game I bought a lot these days. Another way to escape. I do, however, feel lonely,  even sometimes bordering on depression. Anyway, one of these days I’ll get back on track…

😦

 

A future look down the road

Date : Dec 20, 2012

 

Ahh, what a change! Just this time last year I was attached to that dreaded box! Now I’m free. You wanna talk about strong? I’m in my ‘prime’ now, with muscles upon muscles. I’m really social too, almost to the point of being annoying. I could keep a conversation going with a rock. I’m surrounded by friends and family, and I feel a twinge sorry for (name removed again). He let the [electronic device] rule his life and became a me of the past, withdrawing into his own world. I have to wonder about that kid. Anyway, I am a prayer warrior as well, and have a strong relationship with God. There has been a lot of changes since last year. I won’t go into them all now, just so you know it’s good…

🙂

 

After that I wrote a small note to myself:

 

Keep it up (name removed), when you feel like you’re spending too much time on the computer, just come back and read this! Think of the possibilities!! 🙂

Remember as well, there is no earthly possession that can ever fill you up fully!

 

-(name removed)

 

Yes, that was the letter I wrote nearly a year back. I can now look back on it, this small reminder I made to myself, and look forward as I write this post. I’m not totally happy with who I’ve become. Just like the sad first letter, I have just fallen deeper down the chasm. I’m really good at coding and what not, but I’m not a very fun person.

 

If this entry is making you uncomfortable, and seems too personal, I suggest you leave now. But if you’re interested, please stick around 🙂

 

I’m looking back right now with regrets, this is sort of a sad post for me to write. This post, however, is happy, in that it marks a change, a turning point for me, and a whole base of followers I will be accountable to.

 

You never do something without giving up something else. For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. By ordering a cheeseburger, you are giving up some of your health. By turning left, you are not turning right. For me, by playing the computer, I have given up what I could be physically. Computing is sedentary. You sit in a chair a lot. And to tell you the truth, I’ve gotten to be pretty scrawny. Flexing in the mirror isn’t too impressive. And I like muscles. 🙂 It’s not healthy to be on the computer this much, and I have come to realize that. I’m a senior in high-school, this is not what I’m supposed to be. By doing what I have been doing, I have forfeited the right to becoming another person. And it’s sad.

 

I don’t really like the Stopsecret I’ve become.

 

The computer for me has become an addiction. I summed it up perfectly in what I wrote ‘Here is the story of a man whose time was taken and cheated for too low a price.’

 

Not only has it inhibited who I want to become physically, but it has inhibited the man I want to be spiritually. Saying that the computer is an idol seems harsh, but it’s also true. Here is the SS dictionary definition of an idol

 

Idol:

 

Anything that is placed in a higher standing then Jesus.

 

And when I spend my time in front of my computer instead of praying, instead of seeking God, I place it higher than him. He didn’t die on the cross so I could have a comfy life. I need to be serving him, not my coding. I’m not saying that God does not want us to have pleasure, I will explain:

Drinking is not a sin.

Smoking is not a sin.

Would I do them? No, but they’re not a sin. It’s just a slippery slope. It’s not what goes into a man’s mouth that defiles him, but what comes out. The real issue is not the computer itself, just like how the drinker’s problem isn’t drinking. It’s addiction. My addiction to my screen is not directly related to the computer, it is a problem inside my heart. And I need to resolve that problem. Probably over a month ago, we packed up, headed to Pennsylvania, and attended a conference. I got ahold of God there. I had an absolutely amazing time, and an opportunity to ground myself. But it was an interesting weekend, because I was away from my Mac. The absence of a computer down there was not crippling, but it was empowering. You probably do not know the full extent of how long I have struggled with the computer now. It has probably been a four-year fiasco.

 

It’s funny how you can stand on the other side, and look at the drunk who keeps going back to his bottle. You can look at the druggie looking for his next high. You can laugh at them, think they’re stupid. But standing here on the other side, I can start to sympathize with them. Addictions are scary. And nothing other than Jesus ought to have the rule over me.

 

And so, all this brings me to a conclusion, although it may be a hard one.

 

The excessive time I’ve spent on the computer is not the right thing for me in this stage of my life.

 

I’m not saying I’m going to put an axe to it and toss it out the window, but I want to tame it.

 

Anytime something has power over you, stop and question it. If you can walk away from something without feeling that strong pull towards it, you are probably ok, but if not, stop and question. And I will ask the question.

 

Is the computer worth it?

 

No way.

 

Can you imagine how chiseled I would be if I worked out as often as I did the computer? Can you imagine how smart I’d be if I read as often as I did the computer? Can you imagine what a prayer warrior I would be if I had time to pray and seek God as often as I did the computer?

 

There are so many options out there. And I don’t want to wait around while the computer eats more of my teenage years.

 

This is the beginning of the end of my bondage.

 

Please, remember the last words of my letter:

“Remember as well, there is no earthly possession that can ever fill you up fully!”

It’s true. This world is so empty and void. The only thing that will ever fill you up is being in a right standing and having a relationship with Jesus.

 

I’m not going to sell my soul for a few moments of happiness here on earth.

 

-SS

 

(Do you think I did the right thing? Feel free to post in the comments ;))

Subliminal Thievery?


Has this happened to you?

You read something cool, watched a cool movie, or played a cool game. The way things were designed, perhaps the look of a spaceship in a game, the way the story flowed in a book, or how the characters acted in the movie, somehow, you really like how they did it. You smile as you take in their brilliant idea, and it is logged away in the back of your brain somewhere. Perhaps under the ‘creative’ section. As time progresses, you fill up this section with the ideas you have accumulated. It becomes enriched with other’s ideas.

Now the time comes when you sit down to create, let’s take the example of a drawing. You decide you want to sketch, say, a really cool spaceship. Under the creative part of your brain, your mind finds all manner of lovely ideas. It takes various collections from spaceships you saw in a video game, or on the TV, and pictures you saw in a book, and translates that onto your paper. As you put the finishing touches on your spaceship sketch, you pause. You look down and say, “Hey, that looks like the spaceship from…”. Yes, your brain has recycled knowledge from other people’s creativity, and, due to it’s lazy nature, spewed those same ideas onto the page. Perhaps it is slightly different, as you engaged your mind a little. Are you annoyed? Yes, you want something all of your own. So you crumple up your drawing, and toss it in the trash, staring at the next sheet of blank paper. Your mind goes back to the creativity part and comes back across the same items. You try to think outside the box, but every time you do, your mind is hooked back up to the same connections, and the next spaceship you draw looks like one you plagiarized as well!

There goes the next piece of paper, into the waste bin.

So, how did I do, did I give a good example?

I think Andrew Price touched on this in one of his blog posts, taking ideas from what you have seen in the past.

Where do we draw the line? There are so many ideas out there. At what point does our creativity become plagiarism? Is it when the cool spaceship we drew look so like the one we saw in a game that releasing the drawing may infringe copyright laws? Or is it simply at the point where it doesn’t look like something of our own?

What are your opinions?

I think that we should give credit when we use other people’s work, at certain times. Let’s use the spaceship example again. Let’s say that a ship from a movie had a special piece of equipment that looked cool, but had a very specific look. If I put it on my spaceship, it would probably be good  to reference where I got it. I guess there’s a lot you can copy from something else without getting in trouble. Let’s take a game that some of you may have heard of (maybe even played) called LEGO Universe. From what I’ve seen, I guess there was a ‘beam of imagination’ and you saw it as a beam that went from the ground into outer space, sort of like a laser. Does that sound familiar? I think they used this same type of thing in Tron. A beam that goes from the ground out to somewhere. Now, what happened here? Were the designers of the game subliminally inspired by Tron to put it in their game? I think it was Disney who made Tron, so for a moment, think about it, LEGO, and Disney, two big companies, and LEGO got away with putting it in their game it seems. Now I could be wrong, maybe the designers of the game put it in without thinking of the movie at all… Do you think it’s ok to copy stuff as long as we won’t get a lawsuit for it? When it comes to other things, using someone else’s plot for your story, copying someone’s style in the way you blog, replicating a certain type of shot for your movie, where is the line between plagiarism and inspiration?

At a certain point, is making something you were ‘inspired’ to make considered taking credit for someone else’s work?

Please, post your thoughts on this subject below. 🙂

-Stopsecret

Blogs.


Ah, blogs.

They are interesting things, no? You get these views from random people, and if you’re good enough, you may get a lot of views. You can perhaps eventually make money off your blog if you advertise. You can have friendships with random people… But if you really think about it, is it worth time or effort? You may be a newcomer, or you may have been following this blog for awhile, but you may have noticed the decrease in posting on here.

You may follow another blog, and you may look at it, and say it’s a dead blog. That is, people don’t really post on it, and it seems at some point they just stopped posting on it altogether. This type of thing may disappoint you. I think decreases in blogging can be lead by a three things, not enough time, not enough interest, or restraint. Now, there are probably others out there, so if I you think of a good one, please comment 🙂

In the first case, one may not post on their blog simply because they don’t have the time for it. Life may get too busy, things may get in the way, or maybe they have made so many commitments that blogging takes the back seat.

In the second case, you may find that people lost interest in their blog. Perhaps they just don’t like the subject they were blogging about anymore, or they found something that is more interesting.

The third case is when something constrains you from blogging. Let’s say you have plenty of time to blog and interest in what you;re blogging, but you can’t blog. Perhaps someone is almost always on the computer you want to use, or maybe your computer was recently thrown out of a 50-story office building. 😛 There is case 3.

Now, you may be wondering why this blog here seems so quiet.

I would say it has to do with interest.

3d is a cool topic. However, there is more to life than 3d. One of the things is that I have been involved with my work on LEGO games. Also, I haven’t been doing a lot of Blender work lately. It may have disappointed you that you weren’t getting much updates on this blog. Are you glad to at least know some reasons? 🙂 I’m also thinking of creating a blog soon where I could stick stuff other than 3d. But then, there’s the other thing. I have this blog, unity scribe, and I’m on the legend team… That’s a lot of blogs, folks, and do you expect me to post frequently on all of those? You may even be checking Unity Scribe and are disappointed there aren’t much updates there.

I’m not closing down https://stopsecretdesign.wordpress.com/, or http://unityscribe.wordpress.com/, but please don’t be too surprised if you don’t see many updates… even if it’s for a long time. Ok? 🙂

Please, comment and give your thoughts. Have you stopped posting on one of your blogs? Is it for any of the reasons above? If you have answers to those questions, feel free to leave them below.

-Stopsecret Design

The Unity Scribe!


Hello all! Meet my new blog:

http://unityscribe.wordpress.com/

Here I will endeavor to teach anyone who wants to learn about scripting in Unity3D! 🙂 If you have wanted to learn scripting, this may be a good place to start! The course ought to take several months, so if I miss a week blogging here, please do not be surprised! 🙂 Do you all think this is a good idea? Is it a bad one? 😛 Feel free to voice your opinions, comments, and feedback in the comment box below! Enjoy the new website! 😀

-Stopsecret Design

Note: It isn’t too exciting as of yet, but if you want updates on the site, please follow it using the ‘follow’ button up top if you are a WordPress member, or by using the widget on my new site’s sidebar if you’re not!

Wow, it’s been awhile…


Haha, yes, it has been awhile since I posted last. But actually, here’s the moral of this story:

Check out those sick views! And all after not posting for an extended period of time…  So, here’s the thing. When you don’t post for awhile, people stop and start to wonder why you don’t post. This causes them to frequently check the blog, waiting for the new post, BAM! Super views! It even stinks that I’m writing this, as my views will probably go down. Moral: Procrastinate, disappoint your blog followers, and you will be rewarded with great views!

hahaha, just kidding 😛

Sorry it’s been this long… Should’ve posted something sooner. So, what have I been up to lately? Quite a bit of Legend Team stuff. I think it’s good to balance the pressures and demands of your regular life with the amount of time you spend coding, modeling, or game developing 😛 I think you would agree. So, yes, even if it’s short, I think this post will help me stick to my post-a-week thing. And perhaps add some humor to your weekend. I think I should have some more time to blog with summer break coming up and all. Until next time I post, hopefully not too long from now, goodnight! -rubs eyes and looks at 11:15 PM on computer menu bar-

-Stopsecret Design