Real Brain Training

It’s been a slow week work-wise; the weather is going all over the place, with a lot of rain and thunderstorms.  So, focusing on programming hasn’t been my strong suit lately.  I’ve gotten a tiny bit of that done, just enough to find a bug (it’s my first, I’m all excited*G*)!  No, I don’t want the player getting into an infinite loop if they choose to go North, and suddenly end up with a million plus iterations of the word “North”.  Hey, it’s something different from the error messages I’d been getting.  But that’s about as far as I’ve gotten; not enough brain-power to actually fix that bug yet.

So, since I’ve spent the week waffling between sort-of-clear and fuzzed-out, I’ve been doing some dev work on Kritter via Minecraft, just building a model (for my own purposes; someday I’ll make a real one when I learn how to actually do that).  Practice, you know.  It’s interesting – I know backwards and forwards how Kritter looks in my head, I can draw it on paper – 3D Kritter is an eye-opener.  It’s neat for me to just be able to walk around in there, all that.

At the same time, building it in 3D is hard – harder than I’d thought it would be.  I had a stroke when I was a kid that made me blind in one eye, so I literally can’t see in three dimensions.  Sooo, trying to process what that would be like, and to create it, is very difficult.  Hell, figuring directions has been horrible for me since I was a kid.  I mean, if someone asks me to walk in a straight line it’ll be a couple inches off of where their line would be.  And so, trying to build Wenterly Hill, where the capital of my land is, is rough.  Lol I’ve restarted that one four times now before finally getting the directions right two days ago (with a ton of help from my dear husband).

I’ve written every so often how gaming’s actually helped me over the years.  I’m sure you know of the Lumosity stuff about brain-training (which as far as studies show doesn’t really work).  Well, that site’s games might or might not increase intelligence, but my own gaming experiences with MMO’s and so on has helped me.  Minecraft for me, on creative mode, is one of the tougher ones, actually.  Building Kritter – actually building it – is one of the hardest workouts my brain’s ever done!

Here’s what I have learned so far:

1)I need to figure out the height, width, and length of each area of the hill.  For every little hamlet within the hill, every level of it.

2)I need to orient myself correctly, so that if I’m going westward, I actually am going toward the sun.

3)In order to keep myself oriented in the correct way, I need to make a clear landmark (in this case, I started with the Gardens which are pretty directly in the west side of the hill).

4)In order for me to keep it clear in my mind what levels will be like, I need to build height marks (in this case I built towers of dirt to show the various levels).

5)In order to know what height the levels will be I translate it to blocks (i.e. one level = one block).

That’s a workout for me, believe me.  Seeing something I can’t is rough enough, but my mind is slowly adapting.  And, well, I can tell it’s getting worked out all right – two days ago I figured out the little list of things shown above.  I had a couple panic attacks doing it (my brain freaks out whenever someone tries to force it to do something it’s not sure it can do, and it gets REALLY worried when someone tries to make it do things that make it use the area near where stroke number one happened – my math and reasoning center).  But, in the end, I got that list down.

Yesterday was more working out:  I got a ton of that hill made (lol nowhere near done with it but I finished a lot).  Yesterday I was calmer about it because I had a plan, had it written down what to do, had my towers built to show what height I was going for, had landmarks.  But yeah, the end result was that I tired my brain out – so it did what it needed to do, and went on a small break, and I lost speech for a couple hours.  I actually wasn’t able to speak all last night (good thing I know some sign language).

I know by now that I can actually do more math than I’d thought I could do for years.  Oh, it’s rough, it’s hard as hell for me.  When I was a kid the doctors weren’t sure I’d ever be able to do math at all after that stroke – and it showed up in school.  Brain freaking out about it for years didn’t help, but I understand why – it’s a defense.  By now, though, yeah I can do very low-level math, as in some addition and multiplication, a bit of subtraction.

I’m kind of proud of myself though; I’m figuring out ways to adapt to something I never thought I’d be able to do.  Maybe I’ll never see like you folks out there with two eyes, and my brain won’t process three dimensions.  But since I’m damned if I’m going to let that stop me from game design, my brain’s figuring out ways around that issue, slowly but surely.

 

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