Camen Design

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Kroc Camen Writes: #4

This is one of a series of personal letters written to / from Tanner Helland during 2003–2005. These letters cover—in immense detail—events in my life during that period, including many unfinished and aspiring designs and creations. As a person however, I have changed from the inexperienced, often immature person I was and my skills in programming and web-design have changed just as radically.

These letters have been republished to give deep insight into the way I tick, and to show a lot of background work that lead up to the concepts and skills needed to produce this website, which ultimately I failed to do so back then.

About the Letter

Initially, after some computer trouble, I wrote this letter on paper. I was in a terrible mental state after work and life-related stress had lost me the last couple of jobs. I went on holiday with the family which I really needed at the time. It turned out to be the hottest week ever recorded with temperatures up to 38ºC. When I got back I could not afford a new computer and instead bought the cheapest computer I could fix up for £100. With just 300 MHz, Windows 98 and a 3 GB HDD I set about continuing the letter in my preferred digital format.

Kroc Camen Writes

Why the long wait? Have I fallen out with you over some minor thing you said in your previous letter that you are not aware of, or am I insulted by you sending me literature though the post?

No.

Thank you for your letter and you literature†. The reason why this has taken so long is a story that took as long to write as the length of time you’ve spent waiting. Here’s goes.

Transcript: 15/07/03; manual handwriting on paper

Sorry, but no printed watermark, no images and emoticons, because as is with my yo-yo lifestyle things are down—way, way down. I have no money, quite literally, and ten times as worse is that my laptop’s screen has busted; meaning that to do any work I have to plug it into a monitor, which is very cumbersome and more so, which I don’t have instant and timely access to. So I’m afraid that all work has come to a full stop.

Regarding Badly Drawn Adventure, you say I just wish I had some part in it :P You have!!! Re-read my letter, BDA could not exist without your PhotoDemon code! I always like to make things as high-level as possible. I can’t help but go way over the top, if a program is missing one function I write my own entire version that’s better—just so I can be content :P “Typical Kroc”. Take computerbitsuk.com it’s only a three person company, but me—oh no, nothing is simple. Instead I spend an entire year making a site better than any major PC company (i.e PCWorld) :P Only a couple of days ago we got a phone call to the “webdesign department” (we have a switchboard :) asking for the “webdesign recruiting department”—somebody actually thought that we had sub-departments!!! When all there is, is three people in a tiny room with one computer :rollin. It goes to show how a professional website can say a lot more about you than a bog-standard one.

Regarding tannerhelland.tripod.com,
Dude, did anybody pay me to create thelostalliance.com, or computerbitsuk.com or write a 20-page e-mail regarding photo demon—or what I could to review the MSPs—oh and not forgetting the TGP Awards? I do these things because I want people to respect my design sense, and I learn from these challenges also. I would do anything for you free of charge, except that which I would have to pay for :P

I would, very happily, create a new tannerhelland website for you, free of charge, but you’d have to pay for the server and domain name (if you wanted one) because I’ve no money what-so-ever. You’ve paid me plenty, by letting me be a part of TGP/TLA—which has given me a million chances to prove myself and learn. However, fairly unsuccessfully as a large portion of the team STILL do not have any respect for my design sense. I would say that only yourself and Clint do :(

So if you want a price for my services then $0.00 (£0.00) it is then. However, I was thinking of something— TLA is inevitably close to death. I don’t want the team to think that just because the project is dead—so is the team. I want to re-invent TLA into a clubhouse for it’s members, where we can chat and work on our own separate projects, but collaborate together. We could turn ourselves into a code development team, who produce code examples per member—rather than one large team project.

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Maybe VacantBrains can be re-born though TLA. The team can stay together and we can all find the time to work on our own projects and host them at the TLA site. Each member could have a sub-site for their work. Ergo, the ‘tlame’ can become the tannerhelland music site, with some changes of course. I also thought of a nice poem we could out on the front page:

Here we were
But now we’re gone
Don’t despair
We still live on.

Everything I do for you, is because you have given me twicefold. The tlame was my gift to you, if it weren’t already your gift to me. The true gift is that you gave me some beautiful music and the chance to show it off to the world. The tlame is only my reply, it pales to what you gave me.

Regarding the states,
Hmmm, chances of me moving to the states—how do you say ‘oh-nine’ 0.0000000001% Firstly I have no money, at all, what-so-ever :( Secondly, the climate I can’t handle. I can’t stand the heat, I just can’t live in temperatures greater than 25°C, I become very ill, constantly tired, very weak and my brain shuts down! I could never live in the states because it’d be impossible for me to get any work done, and my confidence would drop like a stone. Financial Security’s what I need though, I wish I could win a million, just so I could get on with my work undisturbed—I don’t care about fast cars and big mansions and what not—I just want a decent laptop, a fast connection and to get on with learning.

Finish 19/07/03:

A section was removed here that doesn’t belong on the Internet (e.g. personally identifiable information).
The page above and below are short for that reason.

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10 days go past before a thing happens; it is now so long ago I don’t remember what. Being stuck at home with no computer drove me to the edge. I felt real close to killing myself, I couldn’t do anything at home, I would pace around in anguish all day—constant mental torture trying to bottle up a-hundred-and-one ideas for stuff to do, that requires a computer. I couldn’t draw—I needed a computer for any artwork to become meaningful.

Luckily the Holiday I’d been waiting for a year arrives. A trip to the countryside, to relax, the only reason I’m still alive. The first night is hell, the pub we had chosen to stay at was open late, constant noise from below, constant noise of traffic going past. Again I fall into a psychotic state, unable to sleep, unbearable heat I felt worse than I ever had at any time in my life. Somehow I got sleep. The next day, early, we packed up and went in hunt for somewhere else to stay. Perhaps I finally got some good luck, I don’t know—we found a very, very remote Bed & Breakfast in a 4-farm village called Stowell. A fifteenth century cottage with large stone walls—as thick as Intrest86† and a castle-esque front door.

Photo of a stone built fifteenth century cottage

We chose the right week to go on holiday it turned out to be the hottest week on recorded history, maxing out at 38°C, 100°F. Luckily for me, most of my time was spent in a car driving around the countryside to various attractions across Britain. 700 miles covered in all at the end of the week.

Regarding the Laptop:

My freedom has been recently returned to me, although my laptop has finally busted completely and I was without computer for a while. On the 5th (September) I bought a dirt-cheap computer just so I could get on with some work. It’s a Pentium II 300 MHz Compaq, 3GB hard disk and 272MB RAM (256MB of my own, and 16 that came with the machine). Despite the low spec it’s running very fast. It can open Word XP or Paint Shop Pro instantly, simply because I did a clean install of Windows 98 and have tweaked the machine to remove anything unnecessary.†

Screenshot of Camen Design home page
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Camen Design:

I cannot believe quite how long ago it was since you last saw Camen Design, in fact the design I had shown you hadn’t properly been translated in HTML yet! It was still totally conceptual! Wow, how Camen Design has progressed. One day it just all fell into place and now it’s really becoming a website, I’ve got the eCV and Art sections complete and I’m constantly expanding it, all the time. The shots I’ve provided don’t really do the actual site justice at all, so if you can spare the time, and if it’s possible please visit http://www.computerbitsuk.com/kroc/camendesign/—It’s designed to impress so it’s slow to load on 56K but OK on broadband. Please wait for the pages to load completely or you might miss something!

NoNonsense3:

I’m proud to say that I did get around to making NoNonsense3, it’s not quite finished yet and I need to make a few new skins but there have been some very major changes.

Firstly I’ve re-written the entire program from scratch, the code was over a year old so it had to go out of the window and in comes ultra neat, high level coding. It’s now error free and I got the double click on the tray icon working. One click skips the song, double click exits tray mode, without skipping song—genius!

Screenshot of the tray icon context menu in NoNonsense3

Oh and not forgetting new XP style menus, new playlist wizard (still under construction) and eventually several new skins. Also I’m adding shortcuts for play/skip/pause that are system-wide hooked, meaning you can press a key-combo to skip song or pause, anywhere in windows even when NoNonsense isn’t selected. (Even whilst playing a fullscreen DirectX game)

Badly Drawn Adventure:

Progress on Badly Drawn hasn’t been as fast, but I’m not concerned. It’s mostly down to the fact I’ve had no computer for ages, and I want to get Camen Design finished along with the Badly Drawn website so that people know of it’s existence whilst I develop it.

I’d be proud to have any of my lowly music of mine dwelling on such a page : ) – About Page, “Kroc’s Theme”, Background music, link to ‘tannerhelland.tripod.com’ included.

I am reluctant to include BGM on the site though, because people don’t particularly like their speakers all of a sudden blasting their ears, to which they can’t silence without turning the speakers off or waiting 10 minutes for sndvol32 to load. :(

I included “The Journey” on the about page because:

  1. Nobody ever reads about pages, so I’m free to go off the beaten track on design.
  2. It’s a personal page and the song says a lot about me. I is dead proud of it :)
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Screenshot of the about page on the Badly Drawn website, with background music note circled in red

The Badly Drawn Level Editor has progressed a small amount, probably more than when you last saw it :P I’ve got the Level Editor Object format sorted so the program can open and save Level Objects. The three objects shown on the side pane are actual game objects that I have created with the Object editor! I haven’t drawn the graphics for more objects yet, so I’ve just used two animations from the player as two separate objects just to test the program. When finished the side pane will contain the grass, trees, traps and enemy objects which when clicked on are inserted into the editor window where they can be manipulated.

I have run into some problems that I am concerned about, mainly that I have no way to flip objects at run-time so that I will have to save the animation files for facing each direction in the object, effectively doubling the download size, and more so—doubling the RAM requirement which I already think could be too high as each object is a meg or so and there could be the need for 50 or so objects to be loaded. Ideally I need a rotating and scaling engine to do all this rendering, which only DirectX can be fast enough to do. The problem is, I don’t know DirectX and even worse is I’ve no clue how I can effectively fit the animations into square textures—impossible!

The coolest part of the editor so far is the fact that the side pane, is completely rendered—it consists of only a picture box! You can float your mouse over objects and they highlight, with tooltip text and with link cursor—yet they’re not intrinsic objects it’s all just an image! Oh and they’re all fully animated.

And it’s not just DS who can ultra-optimise! What I’ve done is pre-calculated every single variable required to render the image so that absolutely zero calculations are made during rendering—it’s almost ‘hard-coded’. It’s literally calling a bunch of Blt commands with variables for the x, y, w, h values and no calculations at all. It only re-caches the variables when something changes, such as when the window scrolls or the mouse enters/leaves an object. Other than that the rendering is running so fast that down to 9 decimal places it’s still reading as 0.000000000s rendering time. Obviously the rendering doesn’t do massive amounts yet, but it’s a good place to start.

I’m constantly working out new ways of caching variables and speeding things up—I’ve even cached the hDCs for each DIB object so that my DIB class doesn’t have to run several commands to return the hDC, but rather just read a variable. I’m also working out a queuing system so that when the game has to render the scene, it doesn’t have to run through every single object in the level asking if it’s on screen or not—but rather a table is built up that returns an object to start with, given the players location in the level!

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Screenshot of a very early version of the Badly Drawn Level Editor

You thought your transparent code was quick? What if I were to tell you that windows had a high-speed 32-bit DIB function built in—even in Windows 98? Well there is! I’ve got some code that loads a 32-Bit bitmap or targa file and can Blt it to any surface using only the API! You can even grab the screen DC and do 32-Bit Blts straight onto the screen’s surface!

Check out this mad 32-Bit Blt—straight to the screen!

Screenshot of an image that has been programatically drawn directly onto the desktop
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Regarding the Lost Alliance:

I’ve not been on the site since my last letter, I’ve spoken to Clint only briefly but I know that the project is well and truly dead. Somehow I just know, but that’s hardly surprising. My new computer’s in my room and not near a phone line so getting on the net is not as easy as it was with my laptop, otherwise I would’ve mailed the team ages ago.

It struck me why the project had died, I did try doing something about it, but the team wanted to go their own way, so I let them. Consider a block buster film. The writer has an idea, he writes the script and then the script is used to plan the visuals and then the film is actually made. You don’t hire the light riggers, special effects guys, stunt men and make-up artists to help you write the script do you!?

So likewise the TLA project (not TLA itself) was inherently flawed by the fact that we had to write the game as we went along. I proposed an idea to Clint that could make the completion of a project possible—I spend from now until you return designing a game, down to every last, tiny, minute detail so that when you return from Canada I could hand you and Clint an entire game-on-paper and Clint can produce the art for it and me and you program it.

It’s a fantastic idea, but relies on the fact that you and Clint must let me design the game how I see fit and not get involved other than when I ask your help or advice. That’s a lot of trust to put in me, but it’s the only way we’d ever get any project ever done—if an entire game was thrown on your lap and you’d only have to make it, not design it.

Clint wasn’t interested, partly because he didn’t totally grasp the concept but also because he is also a game designer and thought he would not like to make a game he had little say in—which is true but I don’t think expressed enough that I would ask of his help a fair bit, but would have final say and do most of it. Well either way he doesn’t want to—so despite what a great idea you may think it is, reading it here, it’s just not possible unless we have Clint. So forget I said it :P

I don’t think that just because the project is dead, the team should be also. Like I said earlier, or was it in my previous letter, I don’t remember—We could re-design TLA into a clubhouse for it’s members, where we can meet up and talk about our own individual projects instead of working on one single project. I can’t afford to pay the server for another year, so the website’s definitely going down next February, and I doubt any of the team members will want to pay for a server that’s not being used. Shame too and all.

So what I thought is that if I move TLA into a sub-site of Camen Design (i.e ‘camendesign/tla’) it would save having to run two servers and thus I’d only need pay for my Camen Design server which I have no intention to ever pull down and will always be in use, because of the endless amount of stuff on the other sub-sites and such. Also I thought I could create your new ‘tannerhelland’ website as a sub-site on Camen Design (i.e. ‘camendesign/thp’ or ‘camendesign/tannerhelland’) and then you’d only need pay for a domain name “www.tannerhelland.com” and get it redirected with cloaking to Camen Design. Then you won’t need to pay for a server.

I’m also going to create a VB sub-site at Camen Design where I can host my VB Code and let others upload theirs—only the highest quality stuff of-course. NoNonsense3 and HoTMeaL with have their own dedicated sub-sites using their own graphic styles rather than using the same as Camen Design. Actually to make it clearer quite how large Camen Design is, have a look at the run-down:

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camendesign/eCV—eCV 2.0
My online Curriculum Vitae and sales pitch to potential employers.
camendesign/Web—Web Design
The web-design section hasn’t been started yet, but it’s gotta look better than ComputerBitsUK.com and CamenDesign put together! This section will purely be about looks as it will only demo the sites I’ve made and explain what I offer.
camendesign/Art—Artwork
The artwork section has been completed—hooray. It works very similar to the art section of TLA, where people can leave their comments on each picture.
camendesign/Retro/Sonic—Sonic The Hedgehog sub-site
This large section chronicles the history of the greatest platform games in existence. Detailed info, screenshots, fantastic visuals, downloads and more.
camendesign/BadlyDrawn—Badly Drawn Adventure
The Badly Drawn Adventure sub-site, fairly large as it contains the forums and a heck load of pages, about 35–40% done at the moment.
camendesign/Kroc—Kroc Camen Writes…

A place where I can write about what’s happening, what I feel like, and my views and concepts of the world. I don’t expect people to view this section of the site, it’s the most boring sounding of them all—however it’s there so I can release a lot of tension by getting things out of me and not bottling them up.

camendesign/VB—Visual Basic
The VB section will work a lot like a soup-ed up VacantBrains, heck I might even use the VacantBrains skin I like it so much—in fact why not use VacantBrains itself? Wha’s your opinion on that?
camendesign/VB/NN3—NoNonsense3
A sub-site for NoNonsense3, it’ll be music themed and really nice looking to get people to download NN3—which’ll be perfect in every way I promise :)
camendesign/VB/HoTMeaL—HoTMeaL
A proper sub-site for HoTMeaL as it should have, news, features, downloads, forums and about sections similar to NN3 and BDA.
camendesign/Retro/C64 – Commodore64
“Homage to the 1 Mhz wonder”—a sub-site similar to ‘/sonic’ to commemorate the great Commodore64 computer.
Links.htm—Links
Places to go, things to do on the Internet

That’s all I’ve thought of so far, I also want to somehow include a section for my ultra-futuristic graphic design and influence “Wip3out”† in the “Kroc vs. The Designers Republic‡” demo sub-site I built to test the concept. Oh and not forgetting ‘/TLA’ The Lost Alliance and ‘/TannerHelland’ or whatnot. The Retro section will also be expanded to include ‘/samnmax’ for “Sam’n’Max Hit the Road” and ‘/DOTT’ for “Day of The Tentacle”. Plus ‘/SNES’ for my favourite computer the “Super Famicon” as the Americans know it.

Fairly big eh? Could put Google to shame. So far I’ve made 8MB of the site—but bear in mind that that consists of 100% hand typed code and all self-produced graphics. There’s not 1 file in that 8MB that I haven’t created myself. (exluding your MIDI file on BDA that is :))

Screenshot of the “eCV” section mentioned above.

Screenshot of the online curriculum vitae (résumé) page

The art section.

Screenshot of the art page
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Screenshot of a web-design “Kroc vs. The Designer’s Republic”

(This is ‘Kroc vs The Designers Republic—an ultra futuristic sub-site based on Wip3out, this screen is what shows when you click the Exit button. It was created as the original concept for CamenDesign until the idea expanded so big that this would be only one of many sub-sites.)

Hmm, I think I’ve run short of stuff say, gah! Ah—hang on, one other small thing to note is I’ve created a revolutionary new ActiveX control—the HyperText Label. It works similar to a normal label, but the big difference is you can use markup in the label to make it display different colours, fonts, sizes—all within one label.

Screenshot of a demonstration of a hypertext label control

Even though it’s been this long I still don’t have the money to send this! I get paid at the end of this month for the weekend work I do at our local PC World—which only just covers bills, and I owe my older brother £55 I borrowed to buy my computer :( So, though I may have run out of stuff to say for now, I’ve still got 16 odd days to wait.

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12/09/03

Out of nowhere comes this cool NN3 sub-site!

Screenshot of NoNonsense3 website

Plus you’d be surprised at the compression—the big pixely thingy on the left is, get this: 946b. Yup 946 bytes for a 160×506 image (And that image is not stretched from a tiny image, there’s actually 160×506 pixels there). The flash at the top is the coolest part, check out the NN3 section if you visit Camen Design.

Many times I’ve thought that I’m just not good enough at web-design (there are websites out there that would blow your mind), but I feel such a rush when all of a sudden it just looks so damn cool that I impress myself. Your kind words You, my friend, have an incredible talent for design. Don’t even let anyone tell you otherwise have kept me going, not that anybody thinks my sites are rubbish—other than myself. :P

Things like HoTMeaL kicks $#@! have kept a smile on my face all this time, although I do wish I had feedback from more people—hopefully that’s what Camen Design is for—to get some attention :)

The web-design section of Camen Design will be a very rigid, locked-down template—the reason being that it’s contents will not be changed often and so that I can make a nothing-less-than-incredible™ site. When you build very detailed templates (best example is the side pane on TLA), it’s very difficult and slow to change them. The Camen Design home page isn’t as good as, say, The Lost Alliance home page—it’s a much more relaxed page design, meaning that the home page content is very easily and quickly changed since as things get completed and released I want to change the Kroc logo temporarily into something else.

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17/09/03:

I managed to get a spare 3.5 GB hard disk of off somebody, so I’ve put all my documents on one hard disk, leaving just enough room on the other to install Windows XP—that took one whole day to get all my apps installed and everything just how I want it :P

Evanescence:

Ah-ha finally, I managed to hear their new (by English release date standards) song, ‘Going Under’. It’s a very good song, great video also and I do like listening to it, but it’s not something I would have in my personal collection—might make people think I’m an all-black, paint-drinking, Satan-worshipping, Goth. ^_^† (I do have Prodigy’s Firestarter though, but that’s only because it was featured in one of my favourite games ‘Wipeout XL’)

18/09/03:

That’s about all I can say, I found out it’s pay day today so finally I can send this letter, God knows how many months overdue. I suppose a lot has happened (or not happened) for you during all this time, so I’m just interested in what you’ve been doing (other than the day-to-day grind ^_^). Please don’t send me anymore books or things, I really don’t have the money to return anything or return the gesture—which reminds me of something I wanted to ask you.

No e-mail I would send, would be downloadable, but I wanted to know if you have a printer that you can use. What I could do is write my letter in HTML and then post it on Kroc Camen Writes at Camen Design, where you could print it out and read it later—since you have such short time on the net (however printing time might be ages as well o_O).

Oh and off of the top of my head, things I’ve seen, places I’ve been have been throwing small ideas into my head for stories or what not. Here’s a few.

  1. What if the bad guy did win? Imagine the bad guy won, he’s know the ruler of the world and evil reigns—now think beyond the point where normally the story wraps up with the hero winning. If everybody was evil, and you’d spent several years killing the innocent and doing evil things, uninhibited—what would there be left to do once there’s no longer any system of order, there’s no food, nobody to build things, just a world populated by warriors, blighted by the fact that the thing they sought to destroy and successfully did, was what gave them meaning and existence. The story could start many, many years after the original bad guy wins, and takes over the world—now the world is destroyed, plagued with disease and famine—almost apocalyptic. The “hero” in the story would be a bad guy who was there when evil prevailed, he’s killed many innocent, he’s helped destroy the world, and now saddened by the state of the world he lives in, he seeks to overthrow the original bad guy who had caused all this to happen—a complete role reversal. However if the history was kept hidden so that when the reader started, they would not think that the “hero” himself was a bad guy, and that the big bad boss character had already defeated the original hero and claimed the world, years ago.

  2. This isn’t really a story as such, but it struck me as interesting if a story was based around a tribe of Dragons. Visually it would be interesting to design clothes, weapons and architecture—after all, if you can fly you wouldn’t invent stairs. In many stories, cartoons, films and what not, dragons are seen as wild creatures. But what I want to do is create modern-day dragons—who have a society, technology and art &c. The biggest mistake is that when people do create dragon architecture, it’s just human architecture but larger. I would enjoy the challenge of thinking like a dragon, to re-invent basic things that humans take for granted because they are designed with us in mind. Things like straw roofed houses. If you’re a dragon, you don’t make straw and wood houses, duh! They’d be stone, castle-like houses with slate roofs, and then in order to not make a stupid mistake later on, I’d need to invent how the dragons would build a house, how they would mine the slate, and thus would need to invent the tools and machinery they would use to do that—something overlooked by many. Oh and also, the fact that all dragons are seen as powerful, war-like creatures. In my tribe, you’d have your lords, your ladies, your computer geeks, artists, mechanics—dragons from all walks of life, as you’d expect in human society, ironically enough.

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Don’t be worried about trying to reply to all this! I don’t expect you to; what I want is that if you can, please visit camen design at http://www.computerbitsuk.com/kroc/camendesign/ since the screenshots I’ve provided don’t do the animation justice. Make sure you can view it in 1024×768 if possible and especially 32-Bit above all other things. Not everything is complete but the sections you can view are BadlyDawn / eCV / Art and NoNonsense3. To help you should go through this letter and circle any direct questions that need answering, so that when you come to write your letter, you can scan through and be sure not to miss an important question I’ve asked or what not. It’s what I do with your letters (although I don’t physically draw on the letter as they’re short enough for me to read through as I reply).

I can start work on your new Tanner Helland site if you want; I was thinking of using the tlame as the template, since the in-page-player already there is perfect. But I suppose you’d want an entirely new site design :P So I’ll leave it for now, and when you reply please give me some ideas of how you want it to look and what functions and features (no matter how minor) you want included and I’ll start work on it then. Obviously I want to include an in-page-player like TLA as that would suit the site perfectly, as well as voting and message facilities. For the VB section of your site, it’d be easier to integrate it with the VB section of Camen Design, so that 1) there’s more code on show and 2) I don’t have to program two complex VB sites, only one :) Is there any particular style you would like for your site? Do you prefer square design where the site is divided clearly and neatly into rectangles (like most of my sites) or circular where there’s more graphics to download, but the website doesn’t seem to made up of table cells but rather looks almost impossible as the curves go in and out of possible table boundaries—like in the template below—try and guess the table grid that makes up this!

“Food Template” design
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Of course, the problem with circular design is that, although it looks more impressive, it takes much longer to download. With Square design, it can be optimised stupidly—the template below is in total 3.48 KB. That includes all graphics and the HTML file!

“Cog Template” design

That means that, that entire page can be downloaded in 2 seconds! Is there any specific colour you prefer, I mainly deal in blue’s but as the template above shows, sometimes—just sometimes, I use other colours :)

Is there any particular theme or symbolism you want, other than “music”? Or any words or phrases that you would use to describe how it should be and to inspire moi? For example, Camen Design, I would describe using the words “personal”, “fun but professional”, “Well organised”, “dynamic and animated”, “interactive”, “spacious” and “relaxed”.

Do you want the navigation in your site to be in a separate, fixed frame at the top or the side? (Like TLA) Or un-fixed and in-page on the top or the side? (like Badly Drawn, which doesn’t have any frames)

How are you doing with your novel? I don’t expect you to have written anything yet, but what ideas have you come up with for story etc?

If I were to record your MIDI music into WAVs and then burn them to CD and then send it to you—would you be allowed to listen to it? It is ‘orchestral’ after all. :D Cyaron’s gate is just so damn cool.

Well, I guess it’s time to wrap this letter up now, I have been writing it for more months then I can count and I suppose I’ve got a fair bit to show for it. I hope things are still going well for you out there, I hope this damn letter gets to you but take your time replying, I certainly did :P

Kroc