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What You Are, What You Do

You know when I was the most productive? The day before I started writing about how productive I was. You know when I was the least productive? About a week after that. You know where I am now? Still trying to get back to the pinnacle.

What went wrong? I started to believe not that I was producing, but that I was a productive person. I'm a man, and it takes no maintenance to stay that way. I'm American, and it takes no effort to remain american. Those are things I am. But producing is something I do. I'm productive when I'm producing, and I'm no longer productive when I stop. There's upkeep involved.

When I write a blog post about how productive I am, and it is received well, I see myself in a different light. I shouldn't, but before my conscious could grab ahold of it, my subconscious granted me the title of Productive Person.

So I started slacking. Not a lot, but enough to notice. Rather than pushing myself to not browse Reddit all day, I'd take a break here and there. Instead of pushing through from 11pm to midnight, I'd cut out early and waste time for the last hour of my day. I downloaded a chess game for my phone and would play a few games per day, rationalizing that it's an intelligent game, so learning how to play was a good idea. But that's not why I played-- I played to escape the pressure of hard work. Twelve hours of honest work shrunk down to six or eight hours of work stretched to a twelve to fourteen hour window.

Cryptophonetic Puzzler Idea

On Ludic Ubiquity

Currently, I am learning how to program games in C#. I have been reading books and articles concerning game development and theory. All those have been very helpful and with this new knowledge I have been forming ideas in my head of the first games I plan on making. During my interview with Žiga Hajduković, Žiga recommended that if I have an idea I should see what people think to see if I am wasting my time on a possible dull potato.

First some backstory: Before I wanted to develop ludic content, I've always enjoyed puzzle books. Logic puzzles, anagrams, word searches, sudoku, kenken, kakuro and the like were the recreation activities I tinkered with fervorously. As such, it was inevitable that a game idea develop in which the parent was these games.

Now, regarding the above title, you may be asking yourself, "what in the hell does 'cryptophonetic' mean and how does that apply to a puzzle?" Well, there are puzzles called 'cryptograms' in which the same letters of words are replaced by another letter. So the word 'antidisestablishmentarianism' may be replaced by 'zqisoswbwizapswynbqizeszqswn' in which z=a, q=n, i=t, s=i, etc.. Accordingly, a 'cryptophonetic' puzzle is one in which the sound is replaced rather than the letter.

This is the example that inspired me with the idea. Say the answer to a cryptophoneticism is 'Caution you!' Then, the initial puzzle would be: Caught I on U. Allow me to explain. 'C-A-U-T' (usually sounded as cawsh) can be sounded in the same manner as the word caught in that they both share the phonetic information: a "cau" followed by a "t". In other words, the sound of cawsh is replaced by kôt. Similarly, '-ion' can be split to form "I on." And, in the same fashion, 'you' can be changed to the letter U. Hence, the puzzle. (Notice by design that the puzzle turns the phrase "Caution you!" into a kind of pseudo-meaningful sentence.)

Yet, here is an important trick to the puzzle: the answer is not considered word-by-word but fully. In other words, I could have represented "Caution you!" as 'Caught I, O' nye. Uh!' (i.e. "Caution you!" is split into C-A-U-T, I, O, N-Y and O-U rather than C-A-U-T, I, O-N and Y-O-U). In other words, when thinking about the solution "Caution you!" should be considered as one, singular block as "cautionyou." But, and here is where I think the puzzle has potential, when forming the puzzle the metagroboligist (puzzle maker) can split the text block up in any discrete fashion in terms of sound and grammar (i.e. the structure of the sentence can be messed around as well).

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