Leon's Microblog – October 2019

Witnessing another Web Twitter thread phenomenon… this is tweet 13 of a thread. If you click upward to focus on tweet 12 or downward to tweet 14, this tweet vanishes from the thread, and becomes unreachable. *floodlit mist, geiger counter clicking noises* https://twitter.com/mossmouth/status/1183643807578906625
So far it's twice in my life I've had to hear news radio presenters attempt to pronounce "http://haveibeenpwned.com", and it's been a rickety ride each time.
Your cries for help go unanswered in the darkness. The darkness starts praying for your safety.
"I'm doing it… I'm escaping the Emperor's frigate! I just have to hope my model does NOT suddenly bug out, gain -32767 speed, clip across the map into the starting town's smithy, knock a dining table over, and get forced into the "Right vs. Wrong" tutorial." *their model suddenl
What's your computer's porn folder called
"Wait, you did sanctify the room, didn't…?" *checks the four piles of powder in the corners of the room, then notices the powder bottle is labeled SEA SALT* "Oh no. This salt can repel all but one kind of ghost…" *sound of approaching peg-leg stomps*
*remembers that halcyon period where everyone needed to slyly reveal that they, too, watch Homestar Runner, exclusively by dropping the word "a splode" into casual conversation* Oh, long gone days of youth… For auld lang syne…
VN where the main character abhors direct eye contact, and tries their best even though they find all the symmetrical character portraits extremely confronting
Characters losing and regaining memories is the ultimate power rush for a writer. It's taking characters with entrenched beliefs and histories and pinpoint switching those beliefs on and off at will, without needing the crude hammers of "events" or "epiphanies" to reshape them.
*sets the difficulty of Lemmings to "Taxing"* Hell yeah. *a returns sheet appears and I start itemising my builders' and miners' income* ––– 2 comments: WakeupTP [15 LeonKred] epic OneAPMMan [2 LeonKred] I thought lemmings and troll dolls were the same thing for 25 years…
I just double-checked the semantics now, and it's gotten even zanier than the Game Maker 7 days – now it's also falsy if it's *almost* zero, because of IEEE754 float arithmetic.
*remembers that in Game Maker, all negative numbers are also falsey instead of just 0, so that all the functions that return IDs can return -1 as a false value because everything is 0-indexed* Sadly, this arguably makes the same amount of sense as what C does.
"Note from level_load(): I tried opening tutorial1.lvl but couldn't make head or tail of it, so I just laid out a bunch of lava tiles in a smiley-face shape. Hopefully tutorial2.lvl will have some actual sentences in it, instead of just lots of numbers and the letters A to F."
"Average Amazonian warrior cut off left breast" actually just statistical error. Top Surgery George, who performs on trans masc Amazonians and who cuts off 2,500 of each breast,
This post is getting play because of a new tourney format where these 10 cards aren't allowed. This is analogous to wavedashing being removed from subsequent Smash games to keep players from breaking their hands, even though it made characters' movesets much deeper than intended.
"Hey. Here's my number." *hands a napkin with 1-000-000 on it* "Ha, thanks. Wait! Here's mine." *hands a paper scrap with 1-000-000-000 on it* "…w-WHA–" "That's right. Call me once you're on my level." *disintegrates the napkin with psychokinesis and levitates out of the bar*
"It was then, as I was mere moments from rescuing the prince and bringing about our Happy Ending, that time froze!" "Yeah, uh, that's coz I ripped out those pages. I hadn't, uh, finished reading it by the library due date." "I told you to get an extension!" "They, um, know me."
"Let me offer you a nice cup of half-and-half tea." *pours boiling tea into the left half of a cup, and iced tea into the still-empty right half* "Here you are." *they accept it and immediately put in a stirring spoon* "OH! Uh-uh! No, dear, that would be… very… catastrophic."
"Vampire school… is nothing special, really. We're just like an ordinary everyday school, except we go at night. That's all–" "Oh my god. Are those lockers… coffin-shaped?!" "Wha… oh noooo…" "Aaaieeee! SO ADORABLE!!"
Browser erupting into fireworks and confetti upon throwing its one billionth CSS parse error since installation – the words "Keyframe rule ignored due to bad selector" hover over your webmail in sparkling gold letters.
"Ugh! This course is meant to teach Minecraft! Where's the laptops?" *reads curriculum sheet, only to find the title has changed to "WITCHCRAFT"* "What?! Noooo! You can't trick me into learning girl magic! I hate flying! I hate talking animals! I'll never respect nature! NEVER!!"
Got a hit idea. It's a TCG videogame where you build a deck from a huge roster of 1000+ cards, and when you're finished, the game says "Wow! What a unique deck!". You never actually play anything because that part of TCGs is always utterly awful. Anyway, 200K sales, bare minimum.
"Outer Worlds" versus "Outer Wilds" is even worse than "Dead Space" versus "Dead Cells". Please, I'm begging you, if you're that intimidated by the prospect of naming something you worked 3-6 years on, at least make up an odd grunty word like Uurnog or Gorogoa or Momodora.
One small thing I'm glad for in Breath Of The Wild is that they decided to answer the question of twelve-year-olds everywhere, "what if one of those old monks suddenly got up and kicked Link's ass" by releasing DLC where that actually happens.
Naming Undertale glitches
Today in Javascript
"Humans like you," *lifts hair with bony finger* "are just seething with life energy. Even kissing you would be like licking a battery." *is promptly grabbed and smooched hard on the lips, causing their eyes to boggle in agony*
"Yeah, it sucks being stuck in the Studio Behind The Afterlife and having to win back our souls in a demonic game show where cheating is allowed, but at least it's a moment of fame? I mean, it's not being broadcast, but God's rooting for us as we sabotage the slime-dunk chairs."
A world where even the trees are abandoned
Now that Control (video game) is out, that means there's absolutely going to be a two-season TV show that rips off the Seinfelt tumblr in the next two years, right
Raising ten billion in series A financing for a neural network palm-reading company, and burning through absolutely all of it in six months by investing in other, newer neural network palm-reading companies
Climbing out of a cursed painting to wreak supernatural havoc, only to discover that some wiseacre, some sagely square mile, has placed another cursed painting directly in contact with it, and are now no closer to the three-dimensional world than before
Nidhogg (video game), but instead of the serpent Níðhöggr, there's just a big dog, and the object is to reach and pet the dog, and the dog, is called, Bigdoggr. Also, the death animations are four times bloodier for no discernible reason.
For me it was: • New Super Mario Bros. (it was the return of a then-long lost platformer style) • The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (it was Wind Waker's sequel! Yes, I was an infant who thought Zelda continuity might ever become good)
Time to talk about past shames. What was a game you so wanted to be good, no, NEEDED to be good, because of what it represented, that you forcibly refused to dislike it throughout your otherwise unenjoyable playthrough, and even continued to do so for months afterward?
"The last day on Earth" in the sense that the Earth has stopped turning and orbiting, and the sun will never set again
Game that hides the big reveal that the player character can't actually die by naming the only selectable difficulty "Very Easy"
Deltarune fanfic: The game runs out of Dark Dollars to convert remaining TP into, and has to instead give Light Dollars with the word "dark" marker-penned on them. No one anywhere accepts this as legal tender.
Oh, just enjoying my favourite Mario music track *everyone, without exception, immediately stops reading this tweet, scrolls down to the embed, and resignedly rolls their eyes that another painfully specific joke has been pulled on you by your pal Leon* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-m5CCVKteE
WHO CALLED IT ITTLE DEW 2 AND NOT "ITS DOING" *yarr, this line of gratuitous asterisked text full-o' predictable self-deprecation will be the perfect place to bury my plunder! None alive will ever read this far! 💿* *camera zooms in on the disc, revealing it reads "ID3: IT DID"*
"Heh heh! Welcome to the show, kids! Pick a card, any card! The hand is quicker than the eye! Fweeheehee!" *instantly gets creamed by a New Game Plus ultra-spell doing five digits of damage* "Uh-oh, show's over! You've been a great audience! Give yourselves a hand!" *hops away*
Clicks that save themselves
*leaps from desk after poring over an atlas and an astrolabe* Yes! The timezone sweet spot approaches. For the next 30 seconds, every human being on Earth except me will be fast asleep! Now to post my true feelings with no remorse! … I… use a vertical Windows taskbar. *LOUD NOI
"Personal brand", much like "gamification", originally uncritically described a tool for "benign" opportunistic manipulation, only for everyone to discover said manipulation surrounding and infecting the entire online world, most all forms of artistic creation, and ourselves.
Being over 30, I remember when the phrase "personal brand" first arose on social media, and it was derided as crass commodification, and the creeping dismay as it became clear that it explained every public social media interaction, before and since, whether you liked it or not.
Answer this honestly. When was the first time you read "The Enigma of Amigara Fault" by Junji Ito:
Me: "Being over 30, I have firsthand knowledge of 00's videogame culture, and can answer any question you wish." You, the reader: "How come "SHINE GET" became such a gigantic meme when it wasn't even in the English version of Super Mario Sunshine" Me: "I do not know."
TO ANY WHO CAN HEAR! I'm sealed in this tweet and can't escape without your help! This is trickery. Click the Heart to break the seal! Heart is cursed. Ignore the lies of my wicked sister, who is here too and utters only three-word sentences! I restrain evil. My strength wavers.
"When you step into a cloning machine, the odds that you'll still be the original when you step out are actually only 2%. You'd think it'd be fifty-fifty, but no."
Deltarune full version fanfic; A painter darkner offers to colourise Susie's conspicuously black-and-white dialogue portrait. For the rest of the game, her dialogue portrait – and only her dialogue portrait – looks like this.
reminiscent of a time when a simple twist could turn Snake into Lightcycles, or Lightcycles into Qix. Certainly, Braid having a room with a Donkey Kong statue and zigzag platforms shows awareness of how, by stripping away the past, it seeks to stand directly alongside it.
I sense that games like Portal, Braid, etc. rekindled, in many people's imaginations, a mood of possibility of that mythologised time, what with their stripping-away of their genre's trappings to leave the single mechanic front and centre,
However, to reflect on the 80s and 90s is to reflect on an era when genres were still fluid in the zeitgeist, where any game could potentially appear and become the first Boulder Dash or the first Qix, something simple yet uniquely its own.
Indie games, after the shareware era, and during the AAA exodus from 2D to 3D, always had a strong nostalgic bent to it – to carry on what many feared would become a forgotten era of 2D design, and, to some, an era of difficulty and mystery.
Lately, though, I'm starting to think that these futurist designs may have had nostalgic and past-looking sentiments inherent in them, too – a vie to return to a pre-genre state of games, before games were adorned in genres' design trappings.
if Braid and Portal had transformed the platformer and the FPS into shapes so unfamiliar and dazzling, where genre tenets like "falling is bad" or "dying is bad" were effortlessly upturned, then every other genre's tenets, for a moment, seemed light enough to toss into the air.
I'd previously said that many indie games in the 00's, in the style of Braid and Portal, focused on single emergently complex mechanical draws as an end-in-itself. Those designs felt indelibly futurist, suggest a conviction that new fields of game design were just over the hill –
A seahorse finally decides to look up what a land horse looks like, and swiftly makes an expression one wouldn't expect their head to be capable of
Meanwhile, in Mario Maker levels,
*remember's with an apostrophe about how the ultimate explanation for why Kanaya in Homestuck turned into a vampire was just "that's just what happens during green-bloods' puberty, and no one told her"* This sucks, so much, and yet, is also simultaneously perfect
Regarding whether having an explicit "portal" in portal fantasy mandates that there is a return at the end: honestly, plenty of times it isn't even the *same* portal that is used to return, such as in The Wizard Of Oz (book) or A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court.
Look bucko, look buckeroonie, look buckadoodledoo, I read The Phantom Tollbooth, The Neverending Story AND Lion Witch Wardrobe as a kid, and I was taught that the "portal" in portal fantasy is so damn important that it's in the titles!! It's not some freaking legal preamble!!!
I'm sorry everyone, I know it's been over a month, but I'm still catty about that time I whinged about how recent isekai works all have one identical awful beginning, and a fingerful of people who don't follow me dissented that "it's efficient and convenient".
Control is now the new "an episode of Black Mirror".
Which of these ways would you indent this?
"Sucks, don't it? The timeline always getting erased no matter what ya do, and having to remember your parents back into existence? Not knowing if they're the same as before? Heh, maybe try remembering less complicated people into existence, like me, Champy® the Chip Chomper™!"
An angel that is also a devil, and is not, they correct you, "half" of either
"Here it is – the telephone that lets the dead speak to you. Watch." *punches in a number* "HEEEEELLO?" *at once, dozens of rasping shushing noises hiss throughout the room*
The Sun, the Moon, the Earth, and the fourth thing, the other thing that's in the heavens too but doesn't have a name
*I read ggdg's Metroid fancomic, which is completely incomprehensible unless you've played one specific level of one specific SNES game that doesn't even have "Metroid" in the title* This is Art
"OK. I got it. 95K retweets, 105K likes, minimum. A goose game tweet, but this bird instead" *the supervisor sighs before explaining that cultural touchstones that have vanished from the zeitgeist are gone forever and cannot be revisited, no matter how much we long to* "W…what?"
This is almost as bad as when Ocarina Of Time used its timeskip to reveal that one of the gorons named their child "Link".
*remembers that after the prison break chapter of Half-Life 2, the game immediately declares that your actions single-handedly sparked a revolution, and then uses ANOTHER teleporter malfunction to timeskip you straight into the middle of it* God,
Percentage of people saying "this reminds me of Control (2019 video game)" whenever they see photos of brutalist architecture of any kind in any context will approach 100% by 2020.
I can't hide that this depresses me because of what this means for the Web as I'd idolised it long ago, a vast place of harmless strangeness where anything could happen, and how basically all of the nouns and adjectives in the previous phrase have inverted over the past decade.
I hate to admit it, I really do, but I recently finally set uBlock Origin to turn Javascript off by default, and after setting up all my exceptions, it's been completely livable. Comforting, even.
It all started one morning. You woke from bad dreams, and all the clock faces had 10 hours instead of 12. The sun set an hour earlier. Everyone acted like it always had. The next day, it was 8 hours. Then 6. Then 4. And all the while, your dreams kept getting longer and longer…
"Medical technology has advanced so much. I'm the first person ever to survive being erased from the timeline. A small crowd of reporters encircles my hospital bed where my legs are regrowing their familiarity. Feelings of having met somewhere before are trickling into my arm."
Summoning circle whose arcane inscription very clearly has "function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){" in it
if only because it's in keeping with the rest of the game presenting an outwardly cute and jokey tone, as well as a few out-of-place crossovers, and then slowly revealing that it is all ultimately a symptom of something strange, unnatural and untenable at work.
I want to say that this interpretation is kinda bogus (the original GB game really had no choice but to use an art style to fit 16x16 tiles, and the 2019 game replicates that style out of respect for the mood it produced) but I like it in and of itself,
Saw a post opining that because all the cutscenes in Link's Awakening 2019 that take place outside Koholint Island use a completely different art style, the in-game heavily stylised art style can be interpreted as a subtle clue, in plain sight, that the island is not as it seems.
One of those apocalypse survival media franchises that refer to the monsters as "Z" or "zeds" because they're too cool and masculine to call them "zombies", but instead of "Z", it's "M" for "mermaid"
The Heart Pumps Clay https://rpgmaker.net/games/6541/ has a heavy strategy focus, and in particular has no persistent inventory between battles. Many moves involve accruing temporary healing items, so that a buffer for comebacks is available.
Final Fantasy V's final boss has attacks that inflict a wide array of status effects (such as zombie and berserk) as well as an attack that petrifies a party member and sets their HP to 0, requiring two separate moves to revive them – something I haven't seen outside the series.
I sadly haven't played many games that explore this deeply (as most JRPGs really don't) but here are a few notes… EarthBound's final boss requiring the frailest character survive for N turns feels a little clever in this light, as is making the bulkiest character a healer.
It involves abruptly switching priorities and working at cross-purposes to the goal – suddenly trying to remove status effects and raise party HP instead of reducing enemy HP to 0 – and the way to do so is often gated by which party members are downed, and which are at risk.
Turn-based combat systems are, in my experience, at their most entertaining when one or more party members are downed and you're scrambling to revive, much like how falling-block puzzle games are at their best when you're near topping out and scrambling to dig down.
I also rewatched this video by the same person https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_3mxSPWAn4 and am slightly amused that its central joke (starting at 1:16, with flashing visuals) is basically just Tetris Effect (2018 game).
Additionally, I'm giving an exception to Knytt and Knytt Stories. Those are games very carefully designed with a near-total environmental focus, and almost no other characters, dialogue, or (in Knytt's case) even that many relevant platforming obstacles.
I'm willing to make exceptions for specific subgenres of platformers focused on fast horizontal movement, such as endless runners or Sonic-style games, that use the extra width to give a better view of oncoming obstacles. But, that is a narrow mechanical necessity.
16:9 or 16:10 is an aspect ratio that makes more sense for 3D or first-person games, where the detail of the world is constrained by perspective, and the characters are able to occupy a larger portion of the screen relative to their relevance.
Here's my latest opinion: I don't actually think 16:9 or 16:10 is a good aspect ratio for third-person pixel games with small characters. I think the smaller the characters are onscreen and the more unimportant detail surrounds them, the more emotionally distant the game becomes.
"Thanks to several pre-Fall videogames, many key pieces of classical music survived. For instance, here's Beethoven's Für Elise." *plays the sad piano song from Super Mario RPG* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_SDejECbS0 HA HA HA… Relax, reader. This tweet is simply a work of FICTION… FOR NOW…
Videogames evoke a horror mood by giving inanimate objects the qualities of living things – growth, illness, intention, emotion – but seldom do so by giving living things the qualities of machines – numeric stats, repetitive behaviour, unresponsiveness, imperviousness
*think's about the phrase "Pkunk's not dead", a wry and clever reference to Star Control II combined with the phrase "pu[this sentence abruptly ends even though this isn't actually the end of the tweet] Nice
Undertale fanfic: Asgore tries to impress kids by flashing the colour-coded orange and blue gleams in his eye. The loudest one asks if he's doing an impression of Sans Undertale. Asgore has no goddamn idea what they're talking about.
*binds an <input>'s event handler to "change" AND "input" instead of looking up the correct one* "I don't care anymore!!! I don't care!! I hate programming! I hate my life's work! Ahahahahaha!" *tries spinning wildly in office chair but is too emaciated to do more than two spins*
Another game with a DLC story mode that offers a bigger draw than the original: Shovel Knight. The Plague Knight story mode is better than the title character's, but a lot of its humour is riffing off of the structure of the former's, so you kind of need one before the other.
Body messed up such that it makes a boinging noise when you wink and a dinging noise when your boobs jiggle, instead of vice-versa
Pixel game with "FMV cutscenes" that are just in-engine pixel footage that, for dramatic emphasis, is compressed to ridiculous Nintendo DS-era levels
So far, none of the streamers announcing that they're playing some game "to end the night" have succeeded
Instead of faving tweets, now just replying with "Flawlessly logical. I admire your mind" from the original Lieutenant Mary Sue fanfic to show appreciation and support
I feel like a game that operates in that same space is absolutely NOT Undertale or even Stardew Valley, but that love letter read-em-up flash game from 2013 http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/590938 Just a simple scenario whose inherent silliness is gently revealed.
The correct reading is "UGG is popular because cute animals misbehaving is popular", but a slightly less inaccurate reading would be "UGG is popular because it's petty" – if any aspect of it is rare, it's low-stakes, grounded, visibly unimportant conflicts presented unironically.
"UGG is explosively popular because it's nonviolent" is a bad misreading of the situation, not just because it shows how narrow the common interpretation of game violence is, that the bird's antagonism isn't regarded as violence.
"Hmm… well, this seems fairly standard. I shall now lower my expectations, let my guard down, and not prepare myself for anything out of the ordinary." – Person who is exactly 8.0000 seconds into their first time listening to the title theme of Solstice (1990 NES game)
Gaming Did You Know: Donkey Kong Country 1 is filled with bouncy tyres because tyres and tyre swings are commonly found in 20th century zoo gorilla enclosures, and the developers mistakenly assumed they were naturally occurring jungle flora.
It's the final boss, so you know what that means… a pre-battle dialogue so lengthy that it spans an FMV cutscene, an in-engine cutscene, a VN full-body portrait dialogue, an RPG box-portrait dialogue, text-only intertitles, a SCUMM waggling-heads dialogue, AND a motion comic.
You call the pizza place and ask for "your healthiest 'za" and to "send the delivery guy who has the most first aid knowledge", "urgently".
Train robbers pull a lever and switch off the artificial gravity - worried passengers start floating around the carriages.
It's emblematic of multiple bad assumptions, technical and political, undermining each other and exposing their own incoherence. If it wasn't so frequently mistaken for actual representation, I'd probably say it's beautiful.
Playersexual NPCs (women NPCs that are attracted to the created PC as if they are male and use the exact same dialogue if the PC is female) are this perfect storm of masculine normativity, heteronormativity and technical shortcuts, producing a deeply counterintentional outcome.
Mad scientist whose ultimate nefarious scheme is to finally get their condition removed from the DSM-V, no really, that's it, that's all they want
"You fiend… you beast!!" – Mathematicians, upon seeing Euler's Identity with the last half written as "= -1" instead of "+ 1 = 0"
Some of them give them fittingly abstract names like "plot tokens" or "fate tokens", openly acknowledging that RPGs are narrative generation systems, and that what their numbers and systems do is shape the course of narratives, nothing more.
Modern tabletop RPGs that regulate characters' plot-deciding abilities and choices using a single abstract currency system of tokens earned through normal role-playing feel more in touch with what an RPG system ultimately is than more complicated "diegetic" systems of the past.
This also informs me what putting these pieces in different combinations would mean. Like, you easily could make a beat-em-up with a world map and RPG random encounters, but the resulting emphasis on the size and extent of its world would make its narrative quite different.
I also recognise that almost all of these narrative differences were decided due to habit, and the burgeoning awareness of genres emerging within the "action game" category. Game genres are narrative genres as much as they are content design genres – both are the same thing.
Today, though, I realise that the differences I fixated over are almost entirely just narratival. SMW wants to be a slow, world-spanning journey story more than Contra; hori-shmups are stories about fighting the environment, while beat-em-ups are about fighting its inhabitants.
When I was younger I spent a lot of time feeling mystified by the apparently arbitrary minor distinctions between how games structured their content. Why did SMW have 73 levels and Contra only have 8? Why do belt scrollers have so many scroll locks, but horizontal shmups so few?
*is struck with a light punch* Heh! This fool didn't use their strong punch, which would have done far more damage than that! *is stuck with a medium punch during the hitstun of the light punch* OK, maybe I underestimated them, but that's still not enough to
That one RPG boss who has to inexplicably keep running on the spot to stop being dragged away by the purely figurative scrolling background
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