I'm going to have to shelve Planetbreakers for a couple weeks. Two reasons:
  • Finals are coming up - I've been neglecting my studies for a few weeks now. However, even though my academic burnout has reached levels beyond mere moral comprehension, I don't really want to fail, per se.

    Thus, I'm going to spend the next week or two pretty much cramming as much as I can get myself to cram. I've still a fair shot at passing my class and earning my degree, and it would be silly to botch it.
  • My video card exploded - The "OC" in my MSI 8800 GTS OC stood for "overclock," and I harbored suspicions that this meant the poor thing was destined from birth to live fast and die young. Today, my suspicions bore fruit (granted, being clogged with dust likely helped things along).

    It will still boot to the desktop using the "vgasave" driver, but DirectX functionality is gone, along with my second monitor support. Streaks on the BIOS boot up screen combined with what the Device Manager says about it leads me to believe that the video ram is just slightly fried enough that the card reports itself to Windows as unable to start.

    Without DirectX, BYOND is forced to run in software mode, which isn't terrible... but I do prefer having a second monitor working for design data and whatnot.
That's the bad news, but each part of it carries a silver lining:
  • Once these remaining two weeks of classes are done, that will mean completion of my four-year degree, and with it my liberal arts education will have come to an end. With school finished for the foreseeable future, I'll have nothing to do but knock on doors in a fairly bleak job market. That's a lot of time to develop games.
  • Apparently, the video card market tanked, and you can get more bang for your buck as a result. I was rather surprised to see you can't even find a 8800 GTS for sale new on Newegg anymore. Instead, I've a replacement video card in the mail that's slightly faster, has twice the ram, has the whole next generation of NVIDIA features, and yet is going at 75% of the price of my old video card.

    Most attractively to a fellow whose luck with hardware (like the rest of life) is poor, it has a "double lifetime manufacturer's warranty." I guess that means if I perish while using the video card they'll resurrect me and give me a new one.
So, it's all good, except for Planetbreakers' development taking a hiatus for a couple weeks.

Not that the design contemplation ever rests. I've actually been playing a bit of Rune Factory Frontier lately. Technically Dwarf Fortress and Harvest Moon share a lot in common, but there's a certain elegance of the latter's presentation I should consider, and things get interesting when more than one "farmer" gets involved.