At night I had a fever, and in feverish dreams I was still trying to resolve what was wrong with the game. Interestingly enough, I came up with a theory in my dreams which I may attempt to verify: the inter-stage score screens are messing up the dopamine rewards for people to become engaged.

I’d never express design in these terms if I weren’t in a flu-fever, and when I woke up in the morning the idea of the game as a slot machine was mildly repulsive, but as the day went by, a new game flow unwillingly designed itself in my mind, and it may prove to be good for engagement.

For now, I have broken the tutorial apart, and the guided stages only appear before you need to apply the concepts. This is all I can do given my current circumstances, and I will publish these changes today after further testing.

I think I’m over the worst part of the flu, even though last night was rough, the day was better than yesterday. It’s too early to see if this is a pattern. Though yesterday I avoided the sensations of illness, there was a moment last night where I couldn’t sleep, and I sat down to meditate: bring it on, I want to feel everything. And so I quieted the mind, and the tinnitus grew louder and louder, and all sorts of auditory effects were produced. I brought awareness my body aches, and discovered they weren’t all that different from a good workout. But the most interesting thing I discovered was that when you bring awareness to a headache, not only it ceases hurting, but when you lose the awareness the pain reminds you to come back to it.

And then, finally, I came to the center and was surprised to discover that the inner refuge was still standing. I became still for a long time, and the tinnitus, the stuffiness and the aches completely faded away, and after a while in silence I sensed I would be able sleep. Many spiritual traditions say illness can be a great teacher, I just scratched the surface here, but it’s useful to see avoidance is not the only option available.