Jesse Pirnat Writes

And sometimes, blogs

That One Insignificant Moment

There was a morning, back when I was in middle school. The bus was turning up the school’s little hill of a driveway, and I was lying back, tired, trying to squeeze just another minute or two of rest out of the morning before I had to face an entire day at school. It was a typical morning, similar to hundreds of others before it, and probably after it. A completely unexceptional, worthless moment of transition between the parts of the day that actually mattered.

And somehow, for some reason, I realized all of that in that moment.

I realized I was living through the most mundane, unremarkable moment in time. A moment that would soon be forgotten by everyone on the bus, including myself, because what reason was there to remember it? A moment so defined by its insignificance that, in just a few more days, or hours, or maybe even minutes, it would be like that moment never happened at all.

So I decided to remember it.

I didn’t want that moment to not matter. I didn’t want that moment to be as insignificant as it was destined to be. I didn’t want it to be forgotten and therefore die, losing every effect it ever had on anyone who lived through it.

I couldn’t rescue every moment in eternity from its inevitable oblivion, but I could rescue that moment, on that one day, on that one morning, on that utterly insignificant bus ride before school.

And so I remember it. I remember all the silly things that were going through my head as I made that vow of remembrance, which I’ve now shared here (without too much extra dramatization—I was a dramatic child, inside my own head).

I remember the feeling of defiance that went into the act, the feeling of struggle against an impossible enemy—eternity itself. The feeling of borrowed/mutual insignificance, because I too was just screaming against the void of Forever. Someday I would be forgotten too, and the world would move on as if I never existed.

But for now at least, for just one lifetime, I could remember—and therefore keep alive—that one insignificant moment.

August 2023 Update

Another month, another monthly update. Let’s just jump right into it.

Jumping Right Into It

In last month’s post, I wrote about how I’m developing a platforming game with the Unity game engine. I also wrote a bunch of junk about how I’m basically learning Unity and game development as I go, because this is the first time I’ve dipped into game development since my high school and college days.

Which were really shallow dips back then, to be honest. In high school, I was a member of the niche online forum subculture of TI-83 Plus graphing calculator “game developers” who mostly just hyped up our cool game ideas to each other and rarely actually made them. (Probably because we were all just dumb kids with no idea what we were doing.) (Shoutout to the dumb kids who actually finished and shared their calculator games, and gave the rest of us something to strive for.)

And then in college, I was a member of the school’s game development club—and I actually finished some games! A few small Flash games… right before Flash was killed off as a platform. And a few other small games, the most exciting of which was a two player competitive Snake game… with player 1 using WASD, and player 2 using the arrow keys. On the same keyboard.

Like I said. Shallow dips. Rough around the edges, all of them. Rough enough and small enough that, ten years later, it feels like I’m starting from scratch.

So, jumping straight into developing a big platformer with multiplayer functionality and all the other bells and whistles I’ve never had to consider before… Maybe that was the wrong move.

Starting Smaller

Near the end of last month I stumbled upon the very good (and very should-have-been-obvious-all-along) advice that fledgling game developers should make a few extremely basic practice games to learn the ropes before they try their hands at making whatever passion project they actually want to make.

And so, for the entirety of this month, Untitled Multiplayer Platformer has been on pause—and instead of that, I’ve been working on a clone of Pong.

Well. Technically, the bare minimum working version of “a clone of Pong” was done a few weeks ago. In the time since then, I’ve just been fleshing it out and giving it a personal touch. Adding all the bells and whistles I usually don’t bother with. Some sound effects here, an overdramatic boss fight there… You know how it is.

I don’t know how long I’ll be on this silly “Pong clone but wait did you just say boss fight” side quest. Probably until I get bored of it, or until I get more enthused by something else. For now, it’s still a useful learning experience, so it hasn’t yet overstayed its welcome.

An Unexpected Revival

In other major project news, I’m working on Porydex again. My competitive Pokémon battling usage stats + Pokédex data website has been dormant for almost a year, and getting back into it now was the last thing I expected. Its game data section is three sets of games behind (BDSP, L:A, SV), and I still don’t do competitive battling anymore.

Then I saw a Reddit thread where someone was asking “what ever happened to Porydex?”, because they used to use it and they liked it.

It always catches me off guard when anyone actually uses a resource I made. Or when anyone reads a story I wrote. Even back when I made the MSPA Prophet, I was surprised that so many dozens of people liked it. And then hundreds. And then thousands.

(I may have some deep self-esteem issues where I can’t imagine people valuing anything I do. Maybe. In theory.)

But seeing that one mention was enough to get the ball rolling. I spent a couple days finishing importing the data from the Sword/Shield DLC, then I made a list of what I need to import from BDSP, and I started doing that and L:A and now a little bit of SV at the same time too and—

Okay, Porydex is a huge mess right now. But I’m enjoying it, and I know how to un-mess it, and I’m looking forward to it being “up to date” again, probably just in time for the Scarlet/Violet DLC.

All in all, I’d say it’s been a pretty good month.


Currently reading: Axiom’s End

Do you ever think of yourself a science fiction/fantasy fan, but then when you look over all the books you’ve read recently, you realize it’s mostly science fiction, with the fantasy few and far between?

I wonder if my tastes actually changed, or if I’m just doing a poor job balancing them lately.

Childhood Creative Projects: Master Men

Have you ever gone through your oldest papers, all the mediocre drawings and the dumb Pokémon fanfiction you made when you were 10-12 years old (which you still have, of course, because deep down you knew you’d never want to get rid of them)—all the assorted monster drawings you doodled in school, and been surprised to find a collection you barely even remembered? A literal collection—titled, themed, stacked and stapled together, featuring a wholly original cast of characters with names and artwork and biographies?

A world you almost completely forgot you had ever created… but clearly, it must have mattered to you a lot, once upon a time—after all, why else would you have written so much cringe-worthy backstory for this “epic” monster war saga?

That, roughly, is my modern day experience with rediscovering my file folder for Master Men.

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June 2023 Update

A short post, mainly for the sake of posting. Gotta keep up that “posting at least once every month” streak, even when I’m otherwise spending all my time playing The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

So. What have I been doing since my last life update?

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Childhood Creative Projects: Chinkin Warriors

(AKA, my unintentional first business venture.)

When I was in 5th grade, I liked to draw. Not with any seriousness of an aspiring artist, of course—my creative endeavors went in other well known directions over the years. But at the time, I enjoyed doodling fantasy creatures of my own design. Quetzalcoatl-esque dragons, weird monsters, and for one brief but important period of my life, a species I dubbed “Chinkin warriors.”

“Chinkin Warriors”

(Before I go on, I need to be clear: it’s pronounced CHIN-kin. The “k” is on the second syllable. The “n” is not the same “n” sound as in the word “ink.” Any resemblance to any terrible slurs is an unfortunate coincidence. I didn’t know about that word when I was a sheltered ten year old.)

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