Leon's Microblog – March 2019

If you had the misfortune of being born on April 1, and are also /named/ April, you can turn it around by imperiously calling it "April Day, Fools". Just a little bit of earthly advice from this common or garden Leon.
Here's a getting-to-know me tweet: Were I trapped in a huge bubble drifting high in the air, my body hovering inside as if in zero gravity, I'd absolutely feel a bead of sweat threaten to fall and pop the bubble, swiftly catch it, and then sneeze a full gram of snot in every dire
*a fictional work just straight-up names a side character after some kind of European dish, like Ghoulash or Tartare or whatever* Hey… wait a second… that name sounds like a food
*spends ten minutes staring at an armour shop item worth 60,000G called "Soulless Pants" with listed defense of "???" and listed magic defense of "WOULDN'T YOU LIKE TO KNOW?? :p ;p :p" spilling out of the text box* "…I'll take one for each party member, including the fairy."
"You REALISE this puzzle must express the tale of this land's ruinous queen, who stole the ability to cry from her subjects until their tears burst their bodies and salted the earth?" "Yup." "Explain!" "You hafta place pipes so the water doesn't flow out until you get 500 points"
"OK, I finally rotated ALL the statues so that none of them are looking at each other… but I still don't get the worldbuilding metaphor. Are they ancient jealous kings? Hermits who shunned society?" *steps through door to find sword-wielding skeletons spinning in swivel chairs*
*sees small key in bulletproof glass case surrounded by laser pointers set to "kill"* "Hmm… I can solve this puzzle by having an exact copy of the key." *points one laser at the key, melting it into goop* "There!" *pulls some swamp goop from pocket and unlocks the door with it*
"Hey! Listen! We're not ordinary robots! We have free will!" "Freed pointers." "Yeah! And that means we can use it to do anything we want!" "Undefined behaviour."
NetHack is infamous for bizarre ways to damage your inventory – losing your scrolls to water traps, losing your armour to polymorph traps – but the slow accrual of techniques and rituals to mitigate these risks and care for your items defines the game a lot more.
Uurnog Uurnlimited reminded me that the essence of roguelikes in the NetHack tradition is the act of carefully, painstakingly handling dozens of very fragile objects. Roguelikes in general make your body one such object, but these ones emphasise the frailty of all your resources.
Computer TCG where randomisation works like Chess960: you only play matches against identical decks, and each player's deck is shuffled into the exact same random order. You can get information about your opponent's resources by digging deeper into your own deck.
*notices that all the colour is vanishing from the world in a rapidly approaching wave* "Ulp! Better get a last long look at my favourites, fast!" *quickly punches "old Macintosh beige" and "game boy LCD green" into separate search tabs*
"Yes, it's called "Vesmid's Blessed Health", but centuries after its creation, Emperor Falzook ordered his court to lay a perpetual death-curse on "barbarians" using his empire's magic. With him long dead but the curse surviving, the spell is now useful only for gruesome murder."
"Maybe," *stares at the oddly small moon swaying from a wire leading into the sky* "when the train said it was taking us to "the Cursed City of Eternal Night"," *knocks on a door that's clearly painted onto an impossibly large matte background* "…maybe it went to the wrong one?"
Taking leave of his companions' idle chatter, the wizard adjo[SAMPLE WORD: PAY $5.99 PER MONTH TO GET THIS AND 50,000 OTHER WORDS WATERMARK-FREE!]urned to the study, to engage in darker, more mystical convers[REACH FER THE SKY, VARMINT! THIS WORD'S A DOGGONE UNAUTHORISED COPY THA
The MTG rules declaring that lands have a converted mana cost of 0 is literally type coercion from null to int. No, I won't unmute this thread.
"Hold on, gotta reload." *whips out matchbook and starts hurriedly striking matches and pushing them down a flamethrower's nozzle with a musket ramrod*
*presses an arrow key, thus making two characters in different locations move simultaneously, and therefore implying the only way to change one's position independent of the other is to make one of them walk into a wall* HELLLLLLL YEAHHHHHH
"Just get past this round. And please, I'm asking, no, I'm ordering you: if you take a hard hit to the face, do NOT spin around and mumble "Anyone get the number of that semi??" before going down." "Got it." *the bell rings* "Just try t–" *immediately eats a right hook* "Anyone g
Listen: everything is rare and precious. Everything is a tiny grain of sand on the mountain of culture, and the only difference between those under foot and those that sparkle is when those in power lift them to the light.
#TodayIFreakingLearned about the whole Lazy Jones / Kernkraft 400 thing, and this is even more hilarious than when I discovered the Cheetahmen song was from Action 52.
My new game classification rubric is the Numbers-Shapes-Words triangle. The corners are Clicker games, Sokoban games, and Twine games. The AAA "action RPG" is 50-25-25. The 2D platformer is 20-70-10. *keeps rattling off numbers for the next hour instead of any actual analysis*
Turn back! Don't throw your life away!
"So, y'all must be wondering about–" *points to metal spring where their neck should be, which is making their head ghoulishly flop back and forth* "–this, eh? Well, long story short, my head can survive detached for one… uh oh" *frantically reattaches head sideways* "ONE MINUTE
"My power? Nothing fancy… just good luck!" *strides into pelting rain, then returns fully dry* "Hey, let me try that." *steps in rain, and returns drenched* "Guess I'm not too lucky." *turns and reveals dry patch on back that spells BOPIS* "That… isn't a word." "I know, right?"
"What are you doing?" "Channeling mana from the land." "…This is a multi-floor parking lot." "Yes." "We're on the top floor." "The mana couldn't get a good spot."
"You must be thinking, "Well, if some rando peaked-cap general really did host a clandestine tournament for "the world's mightiest fighters", there's NO WAY he, personally, would turn out to be the most deadly guy in the room, right?" *laughs wildly, then abruptly falls silent*
Stubbornly refusing to take damage from the boss's ground-pounding shockwaves because "that's not a real attack" and "it's just a red circle on the ground, come ON"
Baba Is You (2019)
That TFW when you open a webcomic's source and discover an iron-clad future-proofed CMS behind it
*you enter a cavernous dark room where a shadowy figure sits atop a jagged pile of glowing monitors* "Haa… sO… you've FINally fouND ME–" *all the monitors suddenly switch to the Win95 3D Maze screensaver* "h-HOLd it." *the figure clambers down the pile to jiggle dozens of mice*
There's already a non-trivial amount of RPG Maker games out there that try, with a certain restlessness within the tool's boundaries, to rename the basic battle commands to more evocatively oblique in-world terminology, so I'd say we're already well on the way to realising these.
- Equippable parochial synonyms for "attack", "magic" and "item" to alter the battle menu, so you can speak parts of the world. - Equips that change the combat timed-hit microgames to resemble games associated with that locale, so you can play the games of that part of the world.
The narratival purpose of RPG food and equipment items is to loosely simulate tourism, letting you eat parts of the world, and wear parts of the world. What's next? - Equips that change the battle music to feisty local tunes, so you can listen to parts of the world.
Dwarf Fortress (2019)
Rattled to find that the actual NES manual for Tetris did not, in fact, give the I block the name "Yeah Yeah Beebiss I"
Video, ten minutes deep in a "you are starstuff"-style motivational monologue of cutesy cosmology analogies: "You are a precious grain of purest sugar, tumbling down the winding riverbank of Chance." Programmer, feeling so motivated they're worried the whole office will see: "Uh,
"The sign of the cross has to actually look like a cross – you can't just trace a swirl on your chest." "Trust me, my body's OCR is very primitive."
*screen flashes with PLEASE INSERT DISK 2* "Sure, I'll get a different disk right now… HEH! HEH! HEH!" *removes disk 1, slowly mimes putting it back in the box, then lifts it back out and reinserts it*
*unwraps a loaf of bread and goes through the slices* Plain, plain, three-grain, rye, plain, plain – AH! A mythic rare!" *pulls out slice of raisin bread triumphantly*
A terribly dated framing that persists to this day, with the 19th century folksong Korobeiniki considered central to the Tetris brand, continuing to insist that Tetris is some ancient Russian cultural artifact instead of just something a guy came up with in the 80s, just like Qix
Thinking about how Tetris's original commercial Western releases, apparently at a complete and utter loss on how to market a game about geometric tiles, leaned all in on Cold War-era Russian exoticism as its only hook
STREET LIGHT Devices installed by higher powers to spotlight interesting sections of the local environment, such as concrete footpaths, concrete footpaths with one crack in them, concrete footpaths with two cracks in them, and many other breathtaking wonders.
ABANDONED SHOPPING TROLLEY For this lonely cart, the only weekly specials… are leaves, This week, next week, forever, and ever.
WOODEN SIGN A primitive computer screen that you have to paint on using paint instead of API calls. Con: can't be switched off to save power. Pro: it's backlit if you set it on fire first.
PILE OF AUTUMN LEAVES Among hundreds of leaves, only the leaf at the very top is the winner. (The prize is getting crushed first when a human leaps into the pile.)
THICK TREE Trees are known as "nature's walls", and serve a vital ecological role in blocking off progress to apex predators until they enter a nearby cutscene.
TINY PEBBLE The saying "leave no stone unturned" means to do a thorough search. This one, however, definitely isn't worth turning anyway, unless you're searching for a very specific grain of sand. …You aren't, are you? …Oh god.
LEON PRODUCTIONS PRESENTS YOUR PERSONALITY DERIVED FROM HOW MANY SECONDS YOU WAIT AFTER PLAYING THE FIRST 3 NOTES OF TOCCATA & FUGUE: 1: Impulsive, assertive, hungry 2: Tidy, minimalist, logical 3: Seductive, playful, vain 4: Spiritual, devoted, driven 5: Cruel, bitter, spiteful
"Greetings. I've arrived in this world from the Gap Between Dimensions." "Which dimensions?" "Uhh… breadth and depth." "is breadth width or length?" "It's… the one that's broad?" "The horizontal one?" "Y…yes?" "That's width." "I see." "What's it like in there?" "It's… short."
"It's a three-person adventuring party… a knight," *points to teen holding baseball bat* "a warrior," *points to teen holding tennis racket* "and a rogue," *points to teen holding a cup-and-ball*
51.8 – WHAT TO DO IF SYMPTOMS LAST 72 HOURS: Wait 24 hours, then consult "what to do if symptoms last 96 hours" (section 51.9)
*puts cash into vending machine emblazoned with "it's not a soda machine… IT'S A SODA EXPERIENCE" in place of any actual brands, whereupon a soothing voice chants "it's not a soda machine… IT'S A SODA EXPERIENCE" as it vends a can emblazoned with "it's not a soda machine… IT'S
*puts a CD labeled "Mecha Skills" in Jokerman into CD tray projecting out of forehead* "Now, it's time to p a r t y ." *closes tray, then double-taps vaguely Susan Kare-esque smiling rectangle icon in cockpit touchscreen, reconfiguring the mecha into Wireframe Unicorn Form*
Ah, time once more to boot up SIDPlay and enjoy the bountiful, diverse chiptune library of "the king of chips",
"People vastly overblow what living in a Flesh House is like. All the flesh is warm-blooded, healthy and soft, and one hundred percent human. Yeah, it can smell sometimes, but nothing these can't fix–" *opens coat to reveal a dozen cans of deodorant*
SMASH BROS. TIP 'N' TRICK: You get 5 seconds of invincibility once you step off the respawn platform. If you need invincibility to dodge an attack, simply K.O. yourself and it's all yours.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT SAVING THE WORLD? Knight: "They're counting on me! I won't let them down!" Mage: "Eh, we're just here to save our own butts." Healer: "Why me? WHY?!" Helper Fairy: "I've micromanaged and planned out the whole quest! The only free variables… are THESE LUNKS
"She can't cross running water? …You know what that means." "That's right… she's secretly a catgirl."
"So one of my old sketchbooks got some Nightmare Sauce on it, and the drawings inside turned real and evil, but since I never gave them any actual personalities, they're mostly just milling around the apartment and standing in inconvenient places."
"Many claim, FALSELY, that it's impossible to write decimal fractions in Roman numerals! But I know the secret! Just alternate the capitalisation for each digit! Behold: III.iIViVixIIviV–" *the windows shatter as armed assassins rappel through, maybe because they disagree or w/e*
"Sixty-foot-tall statue… my favourite landmark. Sure, the head broke off, but that gives it a little mystery. Who is it? It could be anyone! It could even be… me!" *tries to lean head sideways such that it appears to be resting on the distant statue's shoulders, and falls over*
"Here you are – the mightiest weapon I may ever forge. Now, I'm not too familiar with which appendage you humans hold them with, so I took an educated guess and built the hilt to be gripped between your teeth." "Mmmph mmrmrmrm phphrmphr? Mrrph phbobblbrph."
*opens code editor while listening to Debussy* I'm debugging
John 11:35
"And now for the most important ingredient of my special tea… the water." *opens dusty chest, gingerly lifts a phial labeled "1986 - river estuary" in immaculate handwritten cursive, and empties it into a teacup full of leaves and hot milk*
Time-travel themed science-fiction roguelike where you encounter ghosts of failed runs you haven't started yet
Extremely weak RPG enemies which, upon somehow felling a party member, spontaneously receive 30 level-ups' worth of XP, and transform into vastly more intimidating forms there and then
"No. Stop. Wait." *whips out battery megaphone and presses the cord mic onto their chest* "Now. Say that. Again." *it is said again* "H-huh." *loud, disturbing heart-breaking noises rumble out of the megaphone*
Can't believe the triple spheres of platformer enemy names, Pokémon names and Homestuck-esque worldbuilding names have finally been automated. https://twitter.com/ptychomancer/status/1101654568818028546
"Wha? Of COURSE my "primitive human digestive tract" can digest alien milk!" *takes a big swig* "There! See? My tract is digesting it so well, I can feel it catalysing nutrients you didn't know were in it! …I think… some of these reactions… might even be… e-exothermic…"
*flipping through library spellbook* "Let's see… got that one, got that one… ah, that one's good." *careful ripping noises and bellowing rustling resembling shrieks of pain* "Ah, right… forgot where I was." *swiftly tears out the page, then slams it shut before it can scream*
*trying to squeeze one last dribble out of an extremely wrinkled tube labeled PORE DECIMATOR* "Ah, forget it, I'll just clean my face with all-natural centrifugal force." *jumps into computer chair and starts spinning rapidly*
"This is my atmospheric mecha, called the "Serene Angel", even though aerodynamics constraints means it had to be redesigned into more of a snub-nosed bat shape. Cockpit access is through one of the nostrils."
Feverishly trying to hex-edit the copy-protection on a DRM-protected demo version of Pachelbel's Canon that fiendishly cuts out before getting to the middle bit
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