What kind of drugs does it take to enjoy this?

Yes, it's another song lyric (ERB is life) but it could just as easily apply to these projects. I suppose the answer is 'whatever bizarre cocktail constitutes my natural neurochemistry'. I'm no stranger to drugs, I think I've said that here before, but none are particularly involved in my life at the moment beyond weed (I'm a native-born Californian; for most of us, weed is not just medicine or a drug, it's a proud local and often family tradition - in my case, both) and legally prescribed (and taken-as-prescribed) pain pills, so I can't blame my weird fixations and obsessions on anything but my own psychodynamics. Such is life I suppose. I guess that's part of why I like Creatures so much. I feel something of a kinship with creatures so heavily influenced by drives and chemistry they were born with and can't help.

Ahem. Enough of that. I don't think much of anyone reads this anyway, but just in case, I won't bore you further with that sort of thing. Today we'll be talking about something that makes the title of this blog a bit less of a misnomer, something that actually pertains to CAOS and scripting (though nothing too detailed yet since I'm still learning). OMG, right? Yeah only nine posts in, I know. Moving on, recently I've been wanting a metaroom that fits a certain description, and while there are plenty out there that come close enough to tide me over for the moment, none are really quite there. So I decided to take a shot at making my own metaroom.

Turns out the first thing you do before you make a metaroom is to paint the image for it, which was a bit ironic as I'd gotten myself all geared up to tackle the coding side first to get it out of the way. I figured, if I had a skeleton image, it'd be good enough to code from. A little more research disabused me of this charmingly naive notion. So for now I'm painting. But while I paint - or, more accurately, while I take breaks - I've been reading up on how the coding part of it all works. Still struggling with reading script - my brain keeps half-tripping out the same way it does when I look at math, dyscalculia sucks - but the more I look at it the less I get that twisting "oh god why can't I read it anymore it looks like a mess of gibberish" sensation in my skull (it's a weirdly physical sensation, just as much as it is the actual disarrangement of what I see.)

So I'm hopeful that the more I'm exposed to it, the more familiar it gets, the less my brain will twitch, until I can deal with it as familiarly as I do Creatures genetics. Genetics, by comparison, are easy - but then again I exposed myself to those in childhood so they were pretty familiar when I looked at them as an adult, whereas I never realized I was capable of learning CAOS when I was a kid - I wasn't sure how people made COBs, and I also didn't know how to learn, so I just contented myself with doing what I thought was available to me. That is, gengineering.

So I have to say it's pretty exhilarating to be working on all this now. Even though it's hard, so hard, to force my glitchy neurons through the sort of thing they hate most, it's worth it, and every time I realize a bit of CAOS has stopped being gibberish and become familiar, meaningful, it feels really good.

I'm getting comfortable with TARG for instance via using it in-game to do stuff like age specific Norns. Those kind of tiny baby steps are really helpful because although I learn very little of the actual code that way, the format and syntax become more familiar, so that next time I look at a block of CAOS code, less of it turns into gibberish and more of it stays coherent. It's the difference between looking at a page written in a language you don't know and looking at a page covered in random scribbles that look kind of like letters but don't add up to anything. The first you can do something with, the second is just a mess.

I've been relying a lot on these two documents as my basic primer:

http://creatures.treesprite.com/CDNX.html
http://creatures.treesprite.com/CDNY.html

I'm almost tempted to back them up in case they disappear someday - I can only imagine some frustrated person ten years from now finding a copy of this page with those links broken - but I'll hold off for now. Hopefully I'll be able to replace the information with my own knowledge if they ever go down. For the nonce, that's the stuff I'm working on memorizing and taking into account as I paint.

It doesn't look like anything meaningful right now but as soon as it does I'll post a preview.

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