green_knight: (Autumn)
[personal profile] green_knight
Rogues Ahoi )

Haven't discovered any new casual games if you discount the rogue-likes. Finding good casual games that are not mobile ports and crawling with monetisation and gamification is HARD.

Overall, I don't think rogue-likes work for me as a genre, even though I'm enjoying this one tremendously right now: I do not like losing everything I've worked for/fought for/found. I had a lot of fun right now with a weapon with knockback, - so very, very satisfying - and I would have loved to keep it.


Picoreviews )

Valley, with spoiler )

Cross of the Dutchman (with spoiler and youtube link; warning for advanced misogyny) )

Putting my cards on the table: the inherent sexism of Cross of the Dutchman means that while I may appreciate parts of it, I will never _like_ it. The game has burnt that bridge very thoroughly; but just because the game developers chose to build two sides - people for whom this game is meant to be (men) and people who are the butt of jokes (women) does not mean I cannot examine and learn from it. There are a lot of unusual choices in this game, which are worth studying, and worth considering how much they contribute to potential enjoyment (or not) of gameplay.

Gameplay Observations. With major story spoiler (or you could just read Wikipedia) )

Bonus reviewlet: Dinosaur Hunt

This is a first-person shooter I picked up for 57p on Steam. I don't like the genre as such - I WILL NOT shoot at people - but, well, dinosaurs... it was worth trying out.

You get dumped in the darkness. Something glows slightly, it's another weapon. You can pick it up. I then spent several minutes positioning myself and pressing keys and trying to pick it up until I eventually found the right angle.
'You had enough time, here comes the dinosaur'

Right. I look left, right centre, around me, up and down. I get killed. I repeated this several times - each time I was savaged by an invisible enemy - and deleted. Not worth my time.


Also not playing: VanHelsing. I have redownloaded the game in the very slim hope that it might have been fixed - I *LOVE* it, but I've given up complaining to the developers since their responses have been 'this error has been fixed, you cannot experience it' and 'so what' when I told them the game would no longer run. As a last resort, I can try to get it to run in emulation, and I might just get fed up enough to try that.


AM Playing: Civilisation 5. [personal profile] caper_est has been putting a fair few hours into this, and is currently playing a Middle-Earth mod which looks just *so* much fun.

I'll do another full post on this another time - this has gotten quite long, but I will say that I needed help to get into this, and have now logged 35 hours for my first proper game, and feel a lot more comfortable with it. In fact, I've made use of the MacGamestore $10 sale to grab all of the DLC (offer will also work on Windows, it's a Steam Code), so I can play some more, including - eventually - Middle Earth.

Err, expect fewer new games to be tried and rejected in November.

The power of grit

Oct. 22nd, 2017 03:50 pm
green_knight: (Determination)
[personal profile] green_knight
(Videogames are just the example here. This is not a gaming post as such. It's more about language, and how having mainly negative terms for a concept makes it hard to view it positively.)

Before I praise myself for the incredible staying power that led me to finish a video game (which I shall review, in detail, in another post), I have to admit that it was a short one: other players managed in two hours, it took me three; the moment of sticking it out came after around one hour. So the amount of willpower I would need was always fairly limited; we're not talking about the person who spent 93 hours learning to play Dota 2 (a brief venture into message boards brings up people who have played 800-1200 h and who still don't feel they're very good... that's one time-intensive hobby!)

I have, in the spirit of my previous post, invested half an hour into watching a beginner's introduction to Dota 2 and... no. Good luck to people who love this, but I will not even start.


This is a post where I try to get my thoughts in order in regard to sticking things out, giving up, and the things we invest time and willpower in.


What I learnt from sticking it out, and why I won't do it again )

In my mind, at least, going back to a game I do not care about again and again just so I could beat it wasn't worth it. And rather than going 'see? I can overcome these hurdles and develop the skills necessary to do this thing' and going 'ok, I'm going to reinstall [games a, b, and c that I gave up on recently]' I'm going 'I'm grateful I didn't slip into that _super-determined, sticking-my-lower-jaw-out, must-do-this-or-die_ mode for any of the others; I totally give myself permission to bail from future games even earlier if I'm not feeling the love.'

Maybe we need a more nuanced vocabulary. Which we have, it's just all jumbled up inside my head, so maybe I should start by defining them, because 'in the future, I'm going to give up sooner' does not sound like a very positive statement, so the next thing I'm going to do in this post is look at how we talk about the cluster of things you invest a lot of time in, sticking with something, and walking out.

An attempt at taxonomy )

I think most people - at least in theory/retrospect/from a distance - can tell the difference between these perfectly well: when something takes over your life (or all of your mental/physical energy), it becomes a negative force, even if it's a fun thing. Even if it's a selfless thing that helps others.


Which brings us to staying power and its opposite.

I found that when writing this post almost all of the terms - direct or metaphorical - I could come up with for continuing to invest time and energy into a situation were positive. I say this as the owner of a 'determination' icon which I often use to signify 'I will push through this, I will not give up, I will not let this beat me'.

But let's bring the last one back to gaming, for a moment, because that's bringing out the issue so very, very clearly: there is a school of video game design that tries to set players puzzles they cannot solve easily. You're pitching your skills against the guys (usually guys) who _created the bloody playing field_. As I see it, failing - or deciding that you don't want to play - is not anything to be ashamed of: if someone wants to beat you with a deck of their own construction, in a game of their own making, of course they can.

Over on captainawkward.com there are regular discussions about how to recognise that a situation isn't working for you - whether friendship, partnership, workplace - and moving on. (I really wish more people would divorce _while they still kind of liked each other_.)

Pulling the plug on a bad situation is a positive action, yet we have mainly negative words for it. Staying in a bad situation is, by definition, a bad action, yet English has plenty of ways to praise staying and very few negative terms for it.

I have twice in my life stuck things out when I should have walked away. Both times mildly abusive situations. At the end of the first, I walked away with the knowledge that I'd stuck things out and a borderline nervous breakdown; at the end of the second I walked away with nothing after all and a severe crash and having to rebuild my life from scratch over a very, very long time. Both times, quitting would have done me immense good - I would have been able to seek a better situation much, much sooner. There are a number of other situations I've walked away from, and came out slightly bruised but in much better fighting spirit; because knowing when you cannot change a situation and extracting yourself from it IS a positive action.





And yet. The only negative persistence term I could come up with is 'banging your head against a brick wall'; I'm still looking for a positive way to say 'I quit'.

The fact remains that persistence is not always a good trait: if you're in a bad (or even just meh) relationship, a dysfunctional workplace, or something that should give you joy makes you feel more stressed and less competent, then you should get out, cast off your shackles (which is not always easy), and start again.

Sometimes relationships need work (but that's another rant for another day), sometimes you cannot simply walk out of your job (then again, I've left a dysfunctional job, which led to me having to move out of my home and it was STILL the best decision I could have made!), sometimes work is boring and learning is hard or frustrating, but if you're trying to learn a complex skill and not feeling moments of success, you are probably not using the best method for you. Taking control over my learning in both programming and art has been the best thing I could have done; I was getting nowhere with 'how one should learn' or 'how everyone learns' and it would have been far too easy to give up and feel that I just had no talent at all... but I had to stop what I was doing in order to reflect and find something better to pour my energy into.

Hmmm

Oct. 22nd, 2017 12:25 am
ysobel: (Default)
[personal profile] ysobel
I have a strange desire to do

A) a micro version of MaNoWriMo

(like, not even the 30k mini version, but, like. Average of 100 words/day as a primary goal -- yes, that's only 3000 in the month, and I used to be able to do that in a day, but that's more fiction than I've written all year -- with 10k as a secondary goal (333) and 30k as a tertiary (1k/day). Or maybe 10k as the primary goal? I don't know.)

B) that is a remix of Disney beauty and the beast

(not with lyrics and shit, and I could just do a regular batb retelling, but I kind of want to take the Disney specific stuff, gaston and the west wing and the specific castle staff, and play with it and make it better. A few elements of the live version but mostly based on the animated one.)

(which is for one thing ridiculous because Disney version, and for another thing cheating for nano because pre-existing story, and for a third feels lazy and cop-out-ish and why would anyone read a 10k-word retelling of a fucking Disney movie, and all the rest of the bullshit that my inner critic likes to dump in my head whenever I want to do something)

I definitely don't want to nano the disabled-beauty/autistic?-beast story-of-my-heart, because it's too important for Nani treat,net, and I need something that means less. But.

Stupid idea? Good idea? Shut up and go back to crocheting?

More booky thoughts

Oct. 21st, 2017 09:42 pm
badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
Moomin ranting tonight a bit (charmingly) about wishing his class was broader than just European fairy tales but he also appreciates that it is focused and grounded in particular history.

I was thinking how I came up against that wall around the same age, a bit earlier, and went looking for "world" stuff or just anything not English, US based, "western culture" wanting to see anything possible. Anthologies were good or looking by specific country or ethnicity. I would root through any library or bookstore. Encyclopedias too. The indexes of books were super instructive. It took just years for me to have any real handle on the depth of the problems of histories but it was clear from the beginning that A LOT WAS WRONG. I didn't go into that (right now it is better if I listen to him than talk about my own thoughts)

Anyway! I'm so, so proud of Moomin and his excitement about scholarly things. I feel like no matter what he does in life he will have that kind of love of books and knowledge and stories.

He also really loved Gilgamesh so I am going to show him those awesome debates online between Hoe and Plough, Fish and Bird, etc.

Mermaid points

Oct. 21st, 2017 04:22 pm
badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
Moomin convinced me that the HCA Little Mermaid story is actually amazing because she just feels her feelings but isn't an asshole, doesn't get married, and becomes foam on the sea and an air spirit who helps people so basically her story NEVER ENDS and she is a SUPERHERO who flies around with air powers, doing good in the world! I started out with the complete opposite point of view on this story.

Also when he said he thought of me in relation to her feeling like she is walking on knives..... i actually think of that sometimes so that kind of touched me.

He is also reading Gilgamesh and some Bible stuff for philosophy class and seems to be keeping up in his other math class! So nice to have him here even for a day. <3

The Frightening Friday Five

Oct. 20th, 2017 02:13 pm
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (Default)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
https://thefridayfive.dreamwidth.org/73063.html

What book frightened you as a young person?
None I can remember.

If you had to become a ‘living book’ (i.e. able to recite the contents of a book cover to cover upon request – reference Fahrenheit 451), what book would it be?
To Be of Use by Marge Piercy, poetry

What movie or TV show scared you as a kid?
The Outer Limits. I’d watch with my older sister and she told me when it was safe to lower my hands from my eyes.

What movie (scary or otherwise) will you never ever watch?
Silence of the lambs et seq

Do you have any phobias?
Centipedes, millipedes, and other Myriapodae make me recoil and squeal a little.

vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Reread.

Approximately the Nth book in McGuire's Toby Daye series. Still a pleasant read. Probably start earlier in the series.
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (Default)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
My iPad is always within reach, but it doesn't have cellular service. Could I get a mobile hotspot and use it as a phone?
more details )

Fic translation!

Oct. 19th, 2017 03:04 pm
sineala: (Avengers: Welcome back Cap)
[personal profile] sineala
My Avengers/Trek fusion Straight on till Morning is now being translated into Chinese, as 冲破黎明 Straight on till Morning, by AkiJune.

I am impressed, not just because they are translating a 100,000-word story (though, I mean, that is impressive), but that they are doing so with footnotes! Footnotes for all the minor characters and the technobabble (including the stuff I made up) and the random obscure comics references!

No excuses every day

Oct. 19th, 2017 09:37 am
badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
Cannot quite work up the oomph to fix my various Wordpress problems.
Yesterday was a nice office day, tho my face still hurt I had a good afternoon there.
The smoke blew away from here over night and now it's foggy and rainy. I can't find my face mask.

I'm on 100mg neurontin at night for the face nerve pain from shingles. Taking it at 7pm isn't quite early enough (i am still groggy and weird feeling now) I'd like to go off it by the end of next week or decrease the dosage. My face really hurts..... and is cold sensitive. I need one of those microwaveable pillows.... my old one got moldy I think. the actual heating pad is huge (the size of my entire back) and rough textured. My eye is twitching.... it feels tired. I guess all the muscles around my painful face are tensing up. The skin is not too bad now but the pain has moved to a deep ache in my jaw like a toothache.

Working in little fits & starts on my new writing project (a novel)

Actual work still looming though right now I have a little bit of a break. (mid cycle, no dot release so far for 56, the lull before a big push to release 57)

Nazi rally in Gainesville is pissing me off. Hundreds of cops mobilized for this bullshit. It just helps militarize the situation even more.

Reading - Squirrel Girl novel, which was beautiful! Last night read The Lucky Stiff by Craig Rice and this morning The Fourth Postman. Hardboiled detective. But also funny! Craig Rice is Georgiana Craig.

Such a good dog!

Oct. 19th, 2017 11:27 am
jesse_the_k: those words in red on white sign (be aware of invisibility)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
Thanks to [personal profile] rushthatspeaks for the link to a marvelous story about the Santa Rosa fire:

https://modernfarmer.com/2017/10/guard-dog-wouldnt-leave-goat-flock-california-fires-lived-tell-story/

A goat-herding dog refused to leave his goat flock -- and they made it it through the fire, and even enlarged the flock by a couple of deer fawns.

(no subject)

Oct. 18th, 2017 03:31 pm
slashmarks: (Leo)
[personal profile] slashmarks
So, having made a resolution to try to use dreamwidth more and had the daily come up on Habitica without having read enough for a review post lately, I am going to try to write about something else.

The first subject that came to mind was writing process, so here goes.

There is a lot of advice on the internet that tells you to write every day on one project/novel at a time until it is finished. This is not bad advice per se; I would even say it is probably the first thing a new writer who wants to write more should try, in part because it will give you the most practice, and at the beginning that is the important part; and in part because it apparently works very well for a lot of people going around with the specific problem "I am not getting anything written."

However. )

Wednesday Reading Meme

Oct. 18th, 2017 11:37 am
sineala: Detail of Harry Wilson Watrous, "Just a Couple of Girls" (reading)
[personal profile] sineala
What I Just Finished Reading

Nothing, because I'm still not getting any sleep for more than two to four hours at a time, which gives me about an hour of usable consciousness each time I wake up, after which I cannot focus on anything more strenuous than, like, YouTube videos about how crayons are made, until I get another couple hours. Rinse. Repeat. I have a giant list of fannish things to do starting with "answer these emails from two weeks ago" and I haven't done any of it. I haven't worked on my Big Bang in two weeks. Argh.

What I'm Reading Now

Comics Wednesday!

Champions #13, Doctor Strange #26, Invincible Iron Man #593, Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man #5, X-Men Gold #14 )

What I'm Reading Next

See above, re: argh.

(no subject)

Oct. 18th, 2017 12:19 am
ruthi: a photograph of a dormouse eating a berry (Default)
[personal profile] ruthi
I finished An Unsuitable Heir, which is the last of a trilogy by KJ Charles. m/m, historic romance, also murder mystery with a missing heir. I liked it a lot.

spoilers for An Unsuitable Heir )

*

Tuesday: I managed to get out to the post office and send out three things.
A small pen-knife a friend found in her pocket before a flight, which I took and promised to mail to her.
A bread-maker baking tin, which I ordered and sent onwards, as the people selling it were not shipping to Israel. My parents' bread-maker that they bought in Israel but somehow getting a replacement part for it to Israel was impossible.
A drawing of a bunny I made as part of Inktober. A friend saw it on twitter and asked if I was selling prints. I said I could do a deal on the original. By which I meant: I have too low energy to organise a print. So I have sent that out.

*

On Saturday I went with the beloved and with Derek to an evening of comedy and song : Midnight Apothecary Goes Down the Shaft hosted by Tricity Vogue on ukulele (with guest, Matthew Floyd Jones, at the grand piano). It was at the Brunel Museum.
It was described very glamorous on the website: - so much so , it was almost intimidating - but as it was, only the beloved and Derek were even wearing waistcoats. (🎵I was all dressed in black , we were all dressed up in black.🎵)

There was tasty food- greek-style wraps with beef or with feta. There were many and various cocktails, and even a couple of mocktails, (and also glasses and water freely available to drink, which I like)

At a roof-top garden there was a bonfire and pointy sticks and a steady supply of marshmallows to roast, And lit torches all around. I was glad it was a clear night and not raining. At one point someone came up and asked for a light for a cigarette, then used a torch to light it.

There were bars providing drinks both at the rooftop garden, and at the bottom of the shaft, where the performance was, (the stage and the grand piano and the speakers and the projector, which was useful for lyrics for the singalong.

Tricity Vogue was charming and funny and full of innuendo, I enjoyed it very much.
I like this photo because the silhouette on the wall matches levels of double-entendre that were bandied about.

Also I got to be introduced and say hello, because Derek knows Ms. Vogue. Then I got shy and ran away.

Memo to self: the Brunel Museum is quite easy to get to. (Jubilee line to Canada Water, Overground to Rotherhite)

*

When the beloved and I got home, Shadow, next-door's cat, was waiting on our doormat. We opened the door and he came in for a visit. He's a beautiful cat, but mostly he's inquisitive and friendly and charming and he climbed on me and tried to get up my nose, and he climbed on the beloved, and he was so affectionate and we have fallen in love with this cat.

At one point he fell asleep snuggled on the sofa between me and the beloved, and I tried to get a photo of it, but between us both wearing black and Shadow being a black cat, the charm of the moment did not come through.

When the next-door neighbours came home from their night out, Shadow ran to the door, and I let him out and knocked on their door, and he went back home.

Star Trek: Discovery: Episode 5

Oct. 17th, 2017 08:09 pm
sineala: The Enterprise (Star Trek: TOS) flying into the clouds (enterprise)
[personal profile] sineala
Well, this was Relevant To My Interests.

Spoilers )
jesse_the_k: amazed Alanna (hero of Staples/Vaughn SAGA comic) (alanna is amazed)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
I first saw Fies' work with Mom's Cancer, a sweet and terrifying tour of hope and loss (now available free online):
http://www.gocomics.com/moms-cancer/2015/04/20

He and his wife just lost almost everything in the Santa Rosa fires blazing in central California, and he's made an almost instantaneous comic about it:

A Fire Story.
https://brianfies.blogspot.ca/2017/10/a-fire-story-complete.html
(thanks to [personal profile] umadoshi for the link)

I've started to make a transcript/image description:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1aUa58clWMZzNEqZkdGhzttH6wTiTEO_m1P9aZ_oqA3Q/edit?usp=sharing

Ping me here if you'd like to help create this.

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