WELCOME to the personal home page/blog of Matthew La France. Please enjoy your stay.


I keep thinking about the big stuff and I forget to blog about the small stuff. Heck, I don't even blog about the big stuff a lot of the time. I worked some extra at work this evening, about 1 1/2 hours. I feel like I had a busy day today since before I went in to work I also did some work for my other job, working on a newsletter. It's good to remember that I was able to get up when I felt like it today, make a nice breakfast and translate some WtPC this morning. I'm trying to do what I need to and what I want to do together in small quantities. The nice thing is that it's after Christmas and I have enough money, and I'm not totally exhausted...I don't think I am anyway.

I have a big announcement in that I was able to purchase the parts for the 1 TB of RAID 5 storage I have been wanting for so long. I decided to get a cheap $100 RAID card and some nice Seagate 250 GB drives. They are the new Barracuda 7200.10s which use perpendicular recording. "It increases capacity and dependability by storing data vertically, rather than horizontally. And vertically stored data bits mean increased data density and more gigabytes per platter.". Whether there is a performance boost is debatable, but when I realized that fewer platters means less heat and moving parts, I was sold. Like I said the controller is cheap, and I had to buy a new case and power supply to put them in, but I think I made the right choice rather than going for a NAS box. I'm still waiting for the parts to come in but I should be ready to go early next week.

I got a few nice things with some Christmas money and I got some nice gifts as well. I can add Fraggle Rock season 1, Photon, KO Century Beasts, Hyper Doll, and the first DVD of Popotan to my small but apparently once again growing DVD collection. I stopped collecting DVDs entirely a while back, but I'm starting again slowly with some stuff that I know is really good. I also got a nice Luis Royo art book and I picked out one of the amazing Moby Dick Resident Evil figures of Nemesis for myself. I also got Frontline Assembly's new album Artificial Soldier. Thier last one Epitaph was ok, but none of the songs really stood out for me. This new one however is really good. I have to listen to it some more, but there are quite a few of the tracks on the last half of the album that are really good. I'm really pleased with what I've heard.


MERRY CHRISTMAS! Hope everyone has a great day!


Just a quickie. I plan to wish everyone a merry Christmas tomorrow. Just wanted to update briefly. I've been devoting some time, intentionally or not, to translation projects. I translated a little WtPC recently, I should be at the 38% mark or so. I've updated my projects page with progress on that, BGC, and took out my most wanted projects for now. I'm trying to concentrate on the ones I have going currently.

Big news! Magic Engine FX has a full demo out with a Christmas release planned. If you have any interest in PC-FX you should check it out.


Well, here it is.

This is not all I've been doing with my time, but it may as well be. I'm totally obsessed with this game. I cannot think of anything else (I'm exaggerating, but only slightly). I haven't been remotely intersted in Ceil's story yet, and it was too creepy to think of proceeding on Akiha's story up until now, so it was only natural I played Hisui's and then went on to Kohaku's. After playing Kohaku's story, I'm finally really interested in Akiha's story. I'll save Ceil's for last.

I can't really write objective reveiws of this game anymore, I'm too invested in it, but here is what I said a few days ago on RHDN:

"I like how it is basically a "choose your own adventure" book, that general model applies. The branching paths are long though, and can go in at least a couple distinctly different directions. The most striking thing about the game play that I noticed was a lot happens as inner thoughts and feelings and dialog. You don't need to describe everything since the images can change to depict changes of scenery and such. It's very engaging in that way. Some pretty twisted stuff happens too which is fine, but it shocked me more than once, and it's particularly potent since the writing style is so immediate. I really like how Arcueid's story arc ends (both endings), and I think the story was well written. It succeeds as a love story, and as a vampire/action/supernatural sort of story. I've started playing another story arc where you learn even a little more about the background of the main character, and I think his back-story is good and stands up to the things that happen to his character. It makes the encounters he has meaningful, even the ones that don't seem it, the same with Arcueid's back-story, though to a lesser degree. I like how the main character can struggle with what would normally be unmanageable character flaws as a "hero" and still end up being a nice guy (though the arc I'm on now I'm not sure how it will end). The "H" stuff is so understated that it's really just an accessory to the love story and an extension of the characters main struggles to a certain extent. I'm glad it's in there, but it's far from the main point. If I had to sum it up, it's like a romance novel, only written by Stephen King, or Clive Barker. It's really great at any rate."

I'm gonna watch an episode of the anime now. :P


I'm officially retarded. I did a little bit of cleaning and dishes and then I couldn't help but finish up Tsukihime. It still went on way longer than I thought it would, but I finally finished and got Arcueid's "true" ending. It was really good. I'm not surprised they made an anime about it now. I really liked the story, it was a good love story (though admittedly a bit twisted) and a good reluctant hero/supernatural powers action story. There was a good act structure, good closure, good characters. It was really quite enjoyable and satisfying, I'm going to just try to enjoy that fact without holding myself in comparison with it. I'd like to say "It really makes me want to write something that good.", but I don't want to do that, I want to write my own stuff, and simply enjoy other's stuff without always making comparisons. So I enjoyed it. I'd like to try the "good" ending and see what that is like. I have a feeling it will be like the "good" and "true" endings of Dead Rising, which if that is the case, should leave me happier to see the "good" ending than the "true". :P

I'm going to chalk up the past two days to my weakness for video games, and I'll call it "research" for my own creative work. I guess that sounds better than "wasted time". I really did disappoint myself, but I'm not going to beat myself up over it. I guess something like this is pretty much worth it. I'm glad I played it anyway.

I made a mistake. I ended up allowing a pastime to occupy a large part of my free time the past two days which was highly foolish of me. There are things that make time go by quickly, without realizing it, and those things that make it go by slowly (without being tedious or boring). I'm trying to do those second kind of things, and found myself caught up in the first kind which I highly regret now. I'm going to try to change that for the rest of my day anyway, though I cannot change what has already happened.

The culprit that has wasted my time in this case it Tsukihime which I've wanted to check out since Mirror Moon finished their translation. It is rather good, though I can't help but be a little put off by the tragic "wounded hero". I've never played a game of the "visual novel" genre per-se, so I wanted to see what it was like.

It's sort of like a choose your own adventure, but not quite as short and sprawling as the ones I remember from my childhood. I kept thinking I was near the end, which is part of the reason I kept playing, and I was compelled to see how things turned out, but the game is fucking hours and hours long. To make my point, I had all day yesterday to do both what I needed, and wanted. I got some important work done the first few hours I was awake, then I started playing this game. I played it all day until I'd promised to go to a friends house for the evening. Not having been able to finish it, I started it right off this morning, and played until the afternoon. I'm still not done, and only now realizing how much of the productive portions of two whole days I just friggin wasted.

I realize this was a huge mistake for me to start playing right now, so I regret it, but I won't take that out on the game itself, I've rather been enjoying it. The only downer is the terrible things that you as the main character end up doing in the course of the game. Maybe that's why I'd really like to see the end and see how that is dealt with in wrapping up the main storyline and what your final impression is of the main character you've been following all along.

I'm not one to judge the game, the characters, or the people that made the game, on something like what has happened so far, but I'd like to know what happens on a good ending. That I will be willing to judge critically if need be. At any rate, I think that Arcueid is a good character and the derivative elements of the plot I can overlook because of this. Anyway, I'd love to go on about this, but really I'm more sorry that I wasted my time on this right now. I will keep playing it at a later date and update with my impressions.


Decided to compose my thoughts a little bit before I start my day. Today is a day I have to myself. Not that there is not a lot of things I have to get done, but I can do them at my pace when I want to, so I'm taking time to try to get myself into the frame of mind that I want to be in. I realized that while my more "traditional" part-time job is a steady paycheck, it does not help me be in the sort of mind set I want to be in when working on my own. Quite the opposite actually.

I guess BGC is beta-ing which is good, though I think it probably could have been beta-ed solely by myself and the main hacker, I do not shy away from additional input. Esp. since neither of us have made it through the final dungeon yet. :P

I've been watching a lot more anime recently. I'm on a retro kick, not so into downloading the latest and greatest, but going beck to those beloved classics, and digging into some old stuff I didn't get to watch/finish. I finished Marmalade Boy finally! It's only been like 10 years since I started it. It was really good, though not as satisfying as Maison Ikkoku, possibly because I can simply identify more with Godai as a guy. Still MB was really great, I think everyone should watch it when they are in their teens so they can see how you can get through all that stupid teenage love crap and still have a happy ending.

I'm watching the original Dirty Pair TV series right now. I finally was able to get ahold of this and watch it so I'm pretty psyched. It's silly, but sort of nostalgic the way that watching 80s sci-fi movies can be. We just don't make sci-fi movies about outer space anymore. I guess we finally moved beyond the "space-age", now it's all computers and genetics. It's not a bad thing, but it's fun to look back on our old space fantasies.


I did some brainstorming today on a comic idea. I decided on a comedy, and a parody for now. I think I've come up with enough basic brainstorming to get started on the drawing part within a few days. I have to work this weekend so that will kind of get in the way but I'm going to get going on it ASAP. I've decided to take Dave Sim's words to heart and not spend forever trying to make my stories or artwork perfect. All kinds of successful artists have started with things that are silly or not that well drawn. If they are entertaining, people will still like them and read them and recognize them, and the person who makes them. If it's something I can go with, that's good enough for now. If I decide I don't like it later, I'll just do something else.

I'm meeting with my second employer tomorrow about taking on a little more there. I don't think it's going to be enough more that I can cut ties with my first employer, but I may bring that up tomorrow and try to measure how possible it would be for me to cut out that one part of the picture. The problem is I'm going to need some real time to draw and I am also going to need some real money to pay the rent and bills, so I need to balance things carefully and not go overboard. I just want to make sure that I have more days like today where I can really identify what I want to do, and take the time to do it without a lot of distractions. I really need this for myself, and I don't want to do one thing in order to do another, I just want to do the one thing and that's it. :( Must-have-patience...

Oh, translation projects is something that I'm going to be working on less. Ironically, they have been taking off more recently so the word and the deed are somewhat at odds with each other. The very same individual that offered assistance with Lady Sword is also helping out on Bubble Gum Crash for the pce. It has a working font routine. I'll say that again, it has a working font routine. Not only that, but it has an inserted script. Yes, you heard right. It's basically in a play testing phase. Pretty dramatic progress, completely out of the blue I might add. I'll keep my fingers crossed but at this point it's looking good. I'm checking my script right now and making edits towards the final version.



Been doing some more thinking. I've come to the realization that the time that I really am trying to capture again is the time I spent at school working on my comic book. I'd started writing a story and working on pages with a friend I met when I first when to Japan to study. When I got back I kept working on that, I'd sit in one of the little media rooms in the library because it was private, I could toss some anime on the VCR, and there was a desk I could work at with a nice view. I'd just work on that comic for hours and I felt good about myself.

I'd work on it sometimes when I was monitoring the computer lab, and folks would come up and be like "Hey, that's really good." I look back on it now, and it basically looks like crap, but I was re-reading some essays Dave Sim wrote about drawing comics, and he said the privilege of being a comics artist was basically getting to look back at your work from 5 years ago and be like "Wow, that looks like shit." That's just how it is, you don't make work that is perfect. You are always improving or at least changing. If you are going to make anything at any sort of reasonable pace, you have to be more concerned about finishing something than making it look "perfect".

I realized that this time when I was working on this book was right around the same time I quit school. There were a number of reasons that I quit school, some of them beyond my control, but in generally it was not something I was proud of. I think that my self esteem which was already unstable, suffered a lot. I think that got sort of tied up with my working on comics. I've tried to do stuff since then, but I haven't been able to focus. I haven't been able to bring myself to believe in myself, and I think it's mostly because of that bad association. All I've ever wanted to do since I was a little kid was draw comics. I know that if I don't keep trying I will hate myself until the end of time. I have to just put all those feelings aside, and try again. I will never forgive myself until I do.

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