Leon's Microblog – March 2018

#ScreenshotSaturday These are debug colours, and moreover this is going to be a paint program, but…
Braid (2008)
https://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?mode=medium&illust_id=654912 – Plain, pure-geometric fantasy towers are a familiar subject. The addition of small protagonist-like figures to vaguely complement them is a common sub-trope. However, this figure actually engages with the size of the tower in a playful manner, for once.
Ever wonder at how decimal doesn't have lowercase numbers but hexadecimal does? That'd probably make for a pretty good riddle, if you were some kind of riddle-telling mythological figure who also knew a thing about computer maths for some reason. Well, back to the ol' grindstone.
Getting Over It but the bottom of the mountain is the lecture hall from Pleasuredromes of Kubla Khan, and every time you land back there, you get another long swathe of thecatamites-style mock-academic discourse.
"One Thousand and One Nights", and its prequel "One Thousand Zero-Days"
https://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?mode=medium&illust_id=63994978 – Anyway, do check out the whole account, please.
https://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?mode=medium&illust_id=60292253 – I'm honestly astonished at how much this little bit of slightly incongruous framing launches these things into the stratosphere.
https://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?mode=medium&illust_id=66270018 – This account's artist did 365+ drawings of original dark fantasy monsters, and presented each one as a birthday card for a person born on that day?? Here's just one example.
*thinks about how dryly hilarious the name "TypeScript" is, and how it bespeaks a state of affairs so dire that the inclusion of static typing is a feature so dramatic as to occupy half the language's name* Oh, to think there are times when I believe myself in want of mirth
https://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?mode=medium&illust_id=5582478 – I like this *I more closely examine the description and discover that it's het* I like this compositionally
It has come to my attention that Easter Sunday and April Fools' Day are on the same day this year. You know what that means, right?? You got it!! All those poor people who have birthdays on Apr 1 finally catch a break!!!
Remember how Final Fantasy 7 ended with Cloud doing like fifty hits to Sephiroth that each did 9999 damage, and it was "epic" because that's the highest amount of damage you can do in a single hit for some reason? What if a Paper Mario-ish RPG did that but the number was, like, 3
Let's just accept the horrible truth: literally the only way Flash will ever be brought to HTML5 is by WASMing an entire copy of Windows XP containing an entire copy of Firefox containing an entire copy of the Flash plugin. This is our fate. Nothing we can do will prevent this.
One of my favourite moments of dramatic, weighty understatement in videogames is when you're playing a parser IF and you finally get to take some critical plot-relevant item, and when you input >take it the parser just replies Taken. in the same tone as every other item.
Now for an exclusive, scandalous look at my browser history right after I was trying to remember that derisive term certain Lisp programmers use for curly-brace languages
Some additional information
OK, programmers… it's time to end the indentation debate once and for all.
There's, like, huge swathes of both Limbo and Inside that have far less interest in being horror than in just being cinematic and moody. It's quite admirable. "Leon "cinematic" isn't how you spell "zany physics puzzles"" Yes thanks noted
I watched a stream of the game Little Nightmares (not to be confused with the webcomic Little Nightmare) and I regret to report that the Limbo clones are continuing to rot away that game's legacy of measured restraint.
Someday I want to make a videogame that's entirely in 1-bit monochrome, except for one level that's in full colour, but a message beforehand informs the player that due to budget constraints necessary to provide colour, the level will have no audio.
https://paraki-la.deviantart.com/art/Marlee-659835115 – *emerges from 2 hours of intense study into how exactly this character manages to be Maximum Soft Butch* It's the expression. Don't ask me how it's only the expression with no other contributing features, but it's the expression.
"Oh sure, my fantasy world is loaded with dazzling places, like *tries to quickly remember some Kamandi place-names* Necro-Stoat Headbutt Zone, or Vortex Of The Self-Sniffing Dogs,
Little did I expect that technology would advance to the point where such a fantastical scenario would not only be possible in reality but a daily occurrence.
In the 90s I remember stumbling onto an episode of Stargate where the cast develops strange powers of speed. A scene depicted a character having finished typing a long report so fast, the computer's word processor spent several minutes just buffering and catching up to her input.
https://jowybean.deviantart.com/art/Project-Snow-Ocean-ago-726842793 – This is someone's OC teen superhero couple… I'm into it.
*thinks about how pre-internet humourists would typically write this kind of joke in dictionary format, opening with "Antachronist (n):", thus getting the entire delivery completely backward* Just, god, I mean, just, god, I mean,
If a story's villain is sending their forces back in time to change history, that makes them an antachronist.
Meanwhile, in speedruns,
Most ambitious crossover event in history
Most ambitious crossover event in history https://twitter.com/MindlessMellon/status/977718159321919488
(Sorry, Graveyard Quest…… *mutters under breath so it doesn't hear* but BACK is just everything you wished you were.)
http://gunshowcomic.com/700 – I didn't mention this but at the time I'd gone on the site to reread The Dog's Sins. Originally a standalone from some zine or bundle, it's by far the best storyline on the site.
That's it. I'm out of posts.
OK, here's //my// Best Of Tumblr thread 1: http://majou-no-ryoudo.tumblr.com/post/41729658940/
Massive security crisis worldwide at the discovery that every cat keyhole sweater manufactured in 2015 can be unlocked with the exact same cat.
https://vongulli.deviantart.com/art/Valentines-Day-730922760 – This is just gift art between and starring two strangers, so I have little business showing it to you, but… every time I see it I'm enchanted by this style of nb fashion… this perfect triangle of space-age jumpsuit, childish sleepwear and dapper tux.
https://smalljoy.deviantart.com/art/Above-and-Below-392655127 – One visual effect I'm reminded I like a lot is coated water surfaces… like permeable ground, or a horizontal curtain.
"IT'S FRIDAY WHO'S UP FOR OFFICE SLALOM" *groans of feigned enthusiasm as the manager cranks the lever that tilts the entire office 20 degrees*
This reference site, which in a former design was exclusively a dictionary, now has this crappy "trending words" box on every single page which I'm 80% certain is currently being gamed by nazis.
Every page of What Birds Know (http://fribergthorelli.com/wbk/). Its fairly standard layout is sprinkled with occasional breaks in lighting and gutter angles for emphasis.
4. When I saw the arena mode called "The Ultimate Choice" I was SO convinced the titular Choice would be "Friends or Food" (i.e. beat all bosses solo OR beat them without healing between fights) instead of just a difficulty slider.
*think's about how very Utena the narrative of the final part of this comic is* Mmmm… that's very Utena.
3. The boss transformations caused by the dark objects are A) more than three in number, and B) relate in some obvious way to each other, or to the final boss, instead of just "Hmm… maybe that one…? But the others… hmm…"
2. Every boss fight beside the generals ends with throwing a food to befriend them. Bosses that don't join the Dream Friends, like Whispy, appear in the background of certain future levels for situational assistance, akin to K64.
1. Instead of hearts, Kirby throws food to befriend enemies. The three generals are now chefs. Their elements are Entrée, Roast, and Dessert. The evil hearts are now dark cake slices or something. Bang, suddenly the subtle food and cooking themes build up to a coherent whole.
I want to be a bit more positive and constructive today… so here's a few thoughts on how I'd improve the new Kirby on a purely thematic level:
I mean, think about all the unique obstacles that were in Triple Deluxe or even RTDL: tanks, mirrors, logs, snowballs, dark rooms, etc. After world 1, you'll almost entirely just see moving and sliding walls, like a bad New Super Mario Bros. level. It's extremely depressing.
* Free DLC two weeks after release * Reskinned/repeated bosses * Only five(!) minibosses * Very few unique environments * Loosely reskinned/palette-swapped environments for the entire last world * A shocking lack of unique level obstacles
People are being way too forgiving of the new Kirby. Not only is its plot poorly imagined, but it's painfully obvious that the development was badly rushed.
Mars Bringer Of War but it turns into Bolero after the first 30 seconds, and the concert hall doors slam shut when the audience turns to flee
Most ambitious crossover event in history
Most ambitious crossover event in history
The "most ambitious crossover event in history" meme was created by Marvel as self-deprecating viral advertising. Look between the lines, people.
Been running http://animatedscreenshots.tumblr.com/ for six years and only now do I do a GIF of the ultimate video game… smh… smdh… smgdh…
Mod that replaces Catherine's story mode with Celeste's. This idea sounds zany but is actually infallible.
When's someone going to hack the PUBG death circle into NetTrek and Bolo yet
Butch enough to greet your partner with "hey babe", femme enough to immediately blush upon doing so
Man, the DKC2 sound design was good… *thought balloon over my head reveals I'm just thinking of all the reused DKC1 sounds But With Added Reverb* Ahh, reverb… "the pre-rendered 3D of sound"…
"Hmm, I haven't played World Of Goo in several years. I should fondly revisit this artifact of 2008." – Your pal Leon, several minutes before admitting I may have made a tactical error.
Hey!! Leon Tip incoming! If you're a twerp who needs to force quit their NWJS app-in-progress because of an unending while-loop, you ALSO need to force quit THIS secret stinker!! Just a Leon Tip! A Leon Cautionary Tale! I'm shouting because the walls of Hell are thick!!
OK, we've had some rocky disappointments lately, but today's a new slate. Nothing can ruin this fresh *realises that Pontypool was actually just a zombie story* FRIG
Can't believe the Smash Bros 2018 roster got leaked this quick *I proceed to link to one of these OC compilation images in a wiseacrely, potentially wisehectarely fashion* https://ikatere.deviantart.com/art/January-Character-Design-Challenge-Winner-Lineup-591056002
Landlord: "So… "Wrath", huh." Wrath: "…" Landlord: "No last name?" Wrath: "…" Landlord: "So, like… where's the other six" Wrath: "…" Landlord: "I mean… heh… did you ki–" Wrath: "I KNEW YOU'D S
Me: Time to think about how good Dragon Maid would've been if eps 4+ actually focused on the main characters instead of repetitive side-character garbage Brain: Emergency Override Activated. Reverting to default topic: how OP was Lightning+Chaser in Gunstar Heroes Me: pretty OP
Stymied by the user's utter refusal to resolve a merge conflict, the version control system decided to make both versions of the file compete for survival in a series of intense, life-threatening quests.
The adventures of a lone fill tool pixel that decides to try and burrow under an unfillable pixel, which eventually results in every window of every application gradually overflowing with red.
Papyrus's Smash Bros. up-B, referencing the only time he canonically jumped, spawns Undyne's living-room window in front of him
Speedruns of RPGs would be much better if you had two text-skip buttons – one which accelerates the rate of text output, and another which stops acceleration briefly but preserves output speed when "jumping" between text boxes.
RT if you can hear this GIF
Meanwhile, in speedruns,
It's 25 past on a quiet, starless night, so here's a Leon Tip: if your code editor's default comment colour is extremely faint gray… please… change it to something strong and readable. Deep green, perhaps. That's a Leon Tip, drifting on the electronic wind from my heart to you.
Game called "Another Metroid 7 Remake", reimagining a pre-imagined seventh 2D Metroid whose formula and plot has mutated far out of recognition from even Fusion, and whose remake design is in opposition to an imagined trend of "Metroid 7 remake" that overly mimics Metroids 8+
A scene of kids narrating old ghost stories around a campfire, but the victim from the first story keeps inexplicably barging in during the events of the remaining stories. And when called on it, the kid always says "but, that's… that's how the story always went…"
Twenties gamer: They can't call their user-generated levels "near-infinite" if their game isn't even popular. Thirties gamer, in the half-hour between dinner and bed: Yes they can.
*thinks about how good the Nintendo Switch library will be when I emulate it in 15 years* Aww yeah
13 Rings Brain: Sonic Mania 2 that brings back Ice Cap and Mystic Cave 13,000 Rings Brain: Sonic Mania 2 that brings back this Sun Wukong Eggmobile from Sonic Blast for the Game Gear
I like this article, and thinking about how my favourite games with flashy centrepiece mechanics approach these questions (or don't) https://twitter.com/emshort/status/973536576256045058
88 seconds of beauty, not violence
88 seconds of beauty, not violence
88 seconds of beauty, not violence
Thinking of how the super-monopoly one-company-for-all-retail futures of WALL-E and other satirical films of the 00s is slowly coming true, but because the perpetrators are snazzy tech firms instead of the vulgar working-class department store, their commentary is rendered inept.
"Your youth isn't over until you say it's over. Plenty of people die at 30. I'm here to tell you it's entirely possible to die at 30 at 60."
I'm amused that "village of whimsical comic-relief NPCs with identical names and appearances" is present in both EarthBound, FF4, and Exile 1. It seems to be a trope inherently suggested by RPG towns – their stiff, mechanistic nature begging to be subverted.
Mar 10 and May the 4th are just corporate welfare. I only endorse Knytt Stories Day (Jun1), 3 In Three Day (3/3) and VVVVVV Day (six 5's = 6/5).
"As God and all Heaven bears witness," *runs git diff* "the amount of work I accomplished today–" *runs git diff again* "–is greater–" *runs it a third time* "–than ZERO!"
Not reading your feed in case of spoilers for a live airing but sending tweets anyway is actually what monads are.
I'm glad the Wayback Machine is *reads MIME types* archiving for smellovision
Literally nobody notices the Wilhelm Scream until it's explained to them, and then it just becomes a distraction whenever they encounter it. It's like a continuity error that the director puts in on purpose.
Merman Santa. Top half human, bottom half blubbery seal. Selkie Claus. He stores the presents in his pelt, and whoever steals it becomes the new Selkie Claus. Wow, amazing. Don't send tweet, though, I'm keeping that for– I said DON
Frog Squash was apparently considered so evocative of Chrono Trigger's epic high fantasy theme that it was included in the attract mode.
"It was a massive waste of money, but…" *gestures to the arm of the rusted mech, plaintively reaching skyward* "…at least capitalism is also undercutting the romanticism of its wreckage." *above the arm is a billboard depicting a dog running away with tax returns in its mouth*
"Yeah," *leans over boxing ring ropes to the mic* "I got him where I want him. I hit once everywhere except the left armpit, so that's gotta be– hang on, forgot to reload." *detaches left glove, shakes the withered hand out of it, and, in a smooth motion, drops in a fresh hand*
"Warning: Unsaved changes…" *gentle piano music as the camera pans to some Changes wandering a black snowy forest* "…will be lost."
The lifelines are replaced with various tiers of Asking the Prizes, who either want you to advance (if they're the complimentary prize) or do not (if they're the top prize).
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire but the prizes consist of being bodyswapped into sentenced white-collar criminals with increasing net worths. Why thank you, I also like how equally radical and horny this idea is.
Super Metroid confirmed to be Land Of The Lustrous canon
The "unfinished giant war mechs" were, it turned out, the product of not one but three distinct civilisations: the first who constructed them for peace, the second who acquired and weaponised them, and the third – their victims – who attempted in their twilight to dismantle them.
The marginal Free The Trash From The OS X Dock movement advocates giving the Trash desktop space equality with the boot drive, as once it had, restoring balance to the duality of creation and destruction, of value and its absence.
Day ninety thousand of All Other Lifeforms v. Humanity, and most of the plaintiff is now convinced that the defense team's cross-examination, consisting of mocking laughter at each witness's inability to fit in the stand, is just stalling and not actually intelligible speech.
It is known among your fellow Habitation Module 754ers that Module 755's wealth is owed to knowing the Supply Node firmware vuln that let them clandestinely access unmetered water and light, but the threat of a patch begs them to guard the secret with deadly force.
The statues carved during the regent's reign were made in full knowledge of their destruction within days of the emperor's return; he never did, and these coarse, slapdash works and their awkward poses survived to inform a century of intentionally distorted statuary since.
Many in your village grotto suspect that the five-limbed merchant's body is merely a single organ of a much larger creature, but their insistence on trading during deathlight hours makes venturing outside to behold them a lethal prospect.
Building custom development tools for your game is much like constructing a ramp, with the intention that your future, mentally drained, utterly demotivated body will vacantly slide down it, face dragging against the wood, limbs drooping over one edge or the other.
"It returns the first argument concatenated with the second, while the third argument supervises to make sure no funny business is going on."
later rereleased in 2018 as "Panother Petroid Poo Peemake", with a change in theming widely regarded as "very
That last bit sounds contradictory, but it boils to this: while everyone knows that lies exist, no one can willingly choose to doubt anything. They can only fully believe, or fully unbelieve.
Movies have done "protag magically can't lie" and "everyone except protag magically can't lie" so where's the ultimate evolution, "everyone can lie, but everyone magically believes everything no matter how outlandish, unless evidence disproves it, and everyone is aware of this"
There wouldn't need to be those "10 hour extended" versions of game songs if YouTube videos just had loop markers you could carefully place when uploading the video. Think of the savings!
I strongly feel like, specific directors/teams aside, Nintendo and its first-parties simply can't and won't break an established series out of its artistic rut unless goaded by situational circumstances.
I feel like this is how Majora's Mask got to be as good as it was - having to diverge from Ocarina on the narrative level, given an equal technology level. It also heavily speaks to the creative limitations of Nintendo's style of AAA development.
When I think about how good Robobot was, I always think of these two Miiverse posts by Kumazaki, about how Robobot was designed specifically in juxtaposition with Triple Deluxe... how it needed to have an "on-model" game on the same system, so it could risk to go "off-model".
Kirby 64's use of curving and circular 2D planes worked similarly to give its environments presence, and these techniques were forgotten in Return To Dream Land, and only rediscovered in time for Robobot. Now both it and Triple Deluxe's innovations are back in the cupboard again?
It's easy to think it wasn't that big a deal because Triple Deluxe rode it very hard to the point of semantic satiation (and made a bunch of missteps, esp. with bosses) but IMO it really did a lot to give each room its own sense of place, of spatial presence.
Reason 5 why the new Kirby won't be good, by Leon, age thirty-pblorp: warping to platforms in the background is good and cool and not just a 3D slider gimmick to be discarded when the next console discards that technology.
*a band of delinquents knock off an elderly gent's top hat with snowballs* "Huh… heh heh… heh!!" *a huge pompadour uncoils from his scalp with a sproinging noise* HEHHHH!! *the children turn to flee but he's already fastened a microphone to his cane*
Supervisor, to me, while I'm trying to convince the alien emissary that the phrase "hey baby" is actually an appeal to a sex-positive alternative deity to "god" and "geez": You're supposed to be begging them for humanity's life.
http://gunshowcomic.com/800 – People forget this easily because it's a gag-a-day comic suffused with self-effacement, but Gunshow has lots of scenes of absurd beauty throughout. I just pulled this one up at random and it's gold, plain gold.
*thinks about how Hyperbole And A Half coined the idiom "all the things", Three Word Phrase coined "because of reasons", Gunshow coined "this is fine" and Achewood coined "a fake idea"* And people think webcomics aren't the strongest medium in human history… pfft… gamer fools…
No one faved this because they know this scenario will absolutely happen. Too raw.
45 Degree Slope Brain: Sonic Mania 2 with a bigger budget 90 Degree Slope Brain: Sonic Mania 2 but the bigger budget is used to give the project to a more expensive developer
Challenge speedruns
Someone do me a favour and tell me a more formal term for "anime snout" without using either of those two words. Attached is an exaggerated example of this trope, which exclusively appears in profiles.
Really, though, being reminded that Mega Man's 200X is actually 50s futurism has suddenly clarified a lot of its design for me: its slow, measured movement and shooting, its cute peppy music, its fixation with flat-shaded, rounded hard plastic, the repetitive Dr. Wily plots…
I feel like Capcom has willfully forgotten that Mega Man is rooted in 50s styles, in the same way Sonic Team has kept modernising Sonic through the decades with dubious results, and that a "new" Mega Man game needs to re-embrace the 50s to fully revisit the originals' vision.
The Worlds Collide comic made me wonder why I feel like the original Sonics have such a stronger stylistic identity than original Mega Mans, and why it seemed so much less obvious to me what Mega Man's aesthetic is "about" compared to classic Sonic's.
I was reminded just now that Mega Man, the franchise, is heaviiy inspired by Astro Boy, and his 50s and 60s cartoon world, and that if Mega Man's aesthetic has a core, it's in the 50s in the same way Sonic's aesthetic core is in the 90s.
As the founder and chair of the Society Of Anxious Vegetarian Sexlikers, I'm putting forward the Stop Naming Sex Acts After Meat Foods Gentle Suggestion, and stand fully committed to abandoning it as soon as even slight resistance arises.
Additional observation: for whatever reason, OS-supplied buttons dramatically lower in quality when you add a filter instead of just a transform.
Content-aware healing potion
"It can still be a kissing world record if we secede our bedroom from reality first."
Referring to humans as "shapeshifters" because they use tools and weapons to transform the shapes of their arms, and make those added lengths impervious to force and heat
A rather cute part of CSS filters and transforms on my Firefox Mac setup is that they also affect the rendering of the HTML element's standard OS X Aqua scroll bars.
Was randomly served this song on Radiooooo dot com… the song itself sucked but I like the album art.
I mean, I get the rhetorical tactic of the latter – to implicitly push a value statement that any opinion should be protected from banning – but the fact that they elide the opinion itself so consistently seems a clear tell that they know it was made in knowing provocation.
Thinking about how when some people get banned from/punished by a service, they self-describe it in specifics like "banned for posting sexual health information" or something like that, whereas other people self-describe it in generalisations like "banned for having an opinion".
Which is an extremely fortunate thing, as its combat system is my least favourite sub-system in the game, and its sidelining in favour of textual narrative progression seems simultaneously archaically retro and anachronistically modern.
The Ur Quan Masters, aka Star Control II, is a somewhat surprising 90s AAA game – it's initially presented as a tough exploration/scavenging RPG, but as you max out your ship's armaments, it swiftly refocuses to humourous point-and-click style NPC puzzles.
The detail of this alien – the first one you meet in the whole of The Ur Quan Masters – being accompanied by a translator toad which is not remarked upon, is a really striking worldbuilding move that I admire to this day, even though the toad eventually became a major plot point.
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