Leon's Microblog – November 2019

Undertale xreader fanfic: Your car's stalled on the interstate. Suddenly, Sans pulls up on a sidecar motorcycle and asks if you want a lift. You agree. He promptly hops into the sidecar. "good, because i can't drive." You realise it's just been rolling in neutral the whole time.
In that respect, they came across as far more mechanistic and inexpressive than the action outside, revealing the far edge where the game's reach and grasp part ways. It's no surprise, then, that they've largely been discarded, and are rare even among retro-themed modern games.
Their design purpose is to make the world feel more populated, in an era when ROM space could barely budget an entrance door, let alone any tiles for exteriors or interiors (hence the identical underground rooms) or more than a handful of text for each (which was often reused).
I think what made these so striking is how arbitrary and disconnected they felt from the action outside – one moment you're dodging enemies, next you're in a shop, or a gambling minigame, or a healing room, or a boss fight, or an empty room, or a hint room, or a seedier shop.
I'm back to thinking about a favourite forgotten game design trope: how all those 8-bit action-adventure games' levels were characterised by doors leading to interchangeable single-screen NPC grottos, where basically anything could be inside.
Hmm, need to programmatically specify that certain objects are similar. *adds a "type" property* Oh, that's been done. *adds a "class" property* Oh, that's been done. *adds a "kind" property* Oh, that's been done. *adds a "species" property* Oh, that's been done. *adds a "strain"
*polygonal game graphics programmer in 1994 notices a character's model partially clips into a wall surface* "Hmm, regrettable, but someone's guaranteed to fix that problem over the next few years."
Only one month before all Python 2 code stops running, its work finally complete, all the .py files leaving their directories to tour the hard drive, see files the likes they've never seen, meet each other, and silently make love under the light of the screensavers
"The important thing to keep in mind is, no matter what happens to the Earth, the Sun will keep shining for millennia to come, twinkling in the sky of thousands of other worlds. Doesn't that thought cheer you up?"
Patiently climbing up the rainbow, only to foolishly step on green, the treacherous hue, full of tricks and deception beneath its suave exterior. Your foot launches backwards and you tumble all the way down.
Your physiotherapist confirms the worst: you've done your last jump. Your controls menu solemnly rolls onto the screen and rewrites "Jump" to "Walk around the obstacles".
"For too long, the written word has suffered under the rule of graphics… caged in dialogue boxes and labels! But no more. Now that I, the Grand Summary, have the throne, all this realm is now but text, with those garish graphics locked in their little frames, where they belong!"
Back to programming *opens a class declaration and adds a "type : String" property so you know what type of object each instance is, whereupon the heavens depart and an angel descends to reward my strenuous work with a kiss on the nose*
And although file size is largely a meaningless metric, I still find it amusing that the soundfont that was built into Windows and Mac OS for all these years, Roland Sound Canvas, only takes up around 2MB compressed. That's all we had. That's one and a half MP3 files.
Me, Leon, your dear sweet friend, upon grasping, after a long and protracted learning experience, that MAME ROMs only work in specific versions of MAME, because the goal of MAME is to be as accurate as possible, and early versions of ROMs are less accurate than later versions: "U
https://www.kvraudio.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=351893 – The soundfont I'm using is this one… it's possible it's been surpassed since then, and it has some rough spots, but its boast that it has the best piano ever put in a free soundfont is actually convincing.
Technology constantly improving additively, building on the past, rather than discarding it into oblivion. I haven't been moved like this by software radically transforming existing data since Nestopia first added the rewind key, giving every NES ROM the rewind power from Braid.
For the first time in my life, I downloaded a MIDI soundfont that Actually Has Good Instruments, and the transformative effect it's had on .mid files I've kept for over a decade is captivating. It reminds me of what I once thought the future would be like.
The sad part, you think as the oxygen approaches 0, is that you'll never know which of the other generation ships that fled Earth also descended into corruption, greed, disaster and death, and if you're the last one, the last twig of humanity burning to nothing before your eyes.
*collects four keys from each corner of a dungeon, and then uses all four of them at once to open a single door in the middle of the dungeon* This. Is. Epicccccccccccccc
"Oh, I, uh, consider myself a very empathic person." *points to a moth on the wall doing absolutely nothing* "Same."
Friend: "I'm getting groceries. Want anything?" Person Who Thought This Time They Were Resilient Enough To Read A Climate Science Article, And Is Now Suffering "Ash Mood": "No" Friend (Face Crumbling Into Ash): "OK" Person: "Did you know the MTG card Manamorphose is a $20 common"
Artist trying to imagine post-apocalyptic urban environment design while living in a reality where it's increasingly likely a ruined city centre would be completely uninhabitable due to A) no arable land, B) being partly submerged, and C) no surviving sea life: "Hmm…… Hrmmmm…"
"Halt! You made your last mistake… angering the world's deadliest musical witches, the Midi Maidens!! Now you must face me, Acoustic Grand Piano, and my sidekicks, Bright Acoustic Piano, Electric Grand Piano, Honky-tonk Piano, Electric Piano 1, Electric Piano 2, Harpsichord, Cla
*dusts off hands* Well, it's taken a lot of drafts, but I've finally picked myself a cute porn fic pseudonym to write size kink fluff erotica under. Now for a quick websearch to see if it's taken– *types in "Microsoft" and gets 2.4 billion hits* What in the he
Reminder to all that the word "deep" in neural-network words like "DeepDream" and "deepfake" is a callback to Deep Blue, the 1990s chess engine, itself named after Deep Thought, the computer from Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, a.k.a "the 42 character". It's all a 42 reference.
Today I'd like to give thanks to whoever named those floating pixel lumps "sprites". You did good. You could've given the world some awful multi-syllablic word like "pixects" or "graphels", but no, you found a clean mythological metaphor with little semantic traffic. Thank you.
Finishing Kero Blaster is like… hmm, I guess Pixel really does love tricked-out three-form secret final boss difficulty cliffs with all his heart, doesn't he
An angel, after exporting the entire Earth to JSON format to see what the hell's going on, pasting the entire file into an online JSON beautifier app, then noticing their solar-powered computer suddenly suck up so much power that the sun is extinguished: "Well, time to go home."
You ever listen to a playlist you made of your favourite songs, and then a bunch of wonderful hits come on in a row, and you abruptly find yourself thinking "Damn, who's the hot lump of cutie piss that picked out all these smoking wet tunes"
It's kind of a miracle how much Punch-Out Wii just happened to mask all of those weaknesses – fighting games being a genre almost entirely based around character animation and environment design.
Realising the Luigi's Mansion 3 devs are also the Punch-Out Wii devs immediately explains every strength and weakness of the former. NLG seem to be very strong in detailed character animation and environment design, and mediocre at actual narrative, or non-repetitive gameplay.
Getting a head start on all those nostalgic "twitterpunk" indie games everyone will make in 2040 by making it now while Twitter is still in front of me *creates a text file called "NPC_POSTS.txt" and hunt-and-pecks "sir mix a lot knights and knaves joke"* …Damn, out of ideas.
VN that models social anxiety by making every single dialogue tree option display an "Are you sure?" confirm box every time you select it
Today, I'd like to give a small nod of thanks to wget. Thanks, wget, for continuing to seamlessly handle HTTP-to-FTP redirects to this day.
The fundamentals of FPSes are larger and more monolithic, because of how much the bullet distorts the meaning of space. An FPS with hitscan bullets will always have to have cover, strafing, the same distance ranges at which certain guns are easier or harder to aim, etc.
I can more easily forgive RPGs, the other AAA genre, continuing to use turn-based combat mechanics – HP, healing, spells – because the fundamentals of TBC are very basic, little more than quantified decision trees upon which character and world details can be draped.
If it weren't for the fact that FPS gameplay is marketable as resembling "real-life" gunfights to the gaming public, this genre would be left to only the game designers that care about what having guns as weapons actually means to how a level/fight can be constructed.
Here's my lastest and gravest opinion: The mechanics and design space of single-player FPSes – cover, sniping, strafing, terrain traversal, melee, shotguns, pistols, grenades – are simply not deep enough to justify multiple decades' worth of AAA games repeatedly excavating it.
These seams are one of the unseemly facets of the game medium that to this day makes it appear coarse and toylike w/r/t other linear forms, but perhaps it's in tune with the toybox nature of fiction in the imagination, the narrative opened and taken apart.
Of course games don't, of themselves, offer very much more play with its pieces than other artforms – their pieces are still just organs of the narrative – but they rather suggest recombination and separation – more loose seams between the pieces – in ways that other forms don't.
I think it's interesting that videogames make this fiction-as-space concept much more explicit – apart from the small latitudes of play allowed within the mechanics themselves, the story's pieces are explicitly separated from the narrative, as distinct game objects and assets.
Reading an article that mentioned how linear fiction is, beyond a crafted narrative, moreso a possibility space for play – a suite of characters, scenes and premises, instruments of personal expression. Fanwork, public domain reinterpretations, performances, etc.
"Be Gay Do Crimes" is just the queer version of "The Cake Is A Lie". *prepares to mute notifications but the menu item has mysteriously disabled itself* W-what?! No… no!! I can't face consequences for my actions! I can't fa
*suddenly realises all those Seti@home processor cycles we donated in the late 90s were ultimately a complete waste of electricity* What the
New Leon user feature: timeline scrubbers for each tweet! Simply click and drag the tab to navigate anywhere between the start and end of the tweet. No more having to reread it from the beginning to get to your favourite parts! 0 ––––––––––––––⬜️–– 270 Wow, you're near the end!
Heroic RPG where once you and your party start busily collecting the Orbs, your "supervisor" appears to unemotionally "pull you off this project" which is "no longer mission critical", abruptly moving you to another world with another party that's busily collecting the Cubes.
"Using a yellow polo beneath a blue polo, combined with his phone light, Dave Anders, a 25 year old unpacker for Floyd-Dan-Williams Inc., has created green – a colour prohibited on franchise premises since 2017."
The sad part is that, speaking as someone who needs to be one click away from an open zsh tab at all waking moments, this statement is correct in dozens of aspects, to the point where even saying it aloud feels trite and performative.
Just been revisitng Bret Victor's website to see whether he's still on-brand
The last time Wizards Of The Coast was forced to ban a card from MTG's main format (which was last month), they simultaneously announced an all-new tournament ruleset to distract everyone. I don't know what they could announce now. Maybe they'll finally make mana weaving legal.
"Ahh… it seems the "Random ModArchive song" function has finally found a relaxed, soothing tune…" – Me, Leon, your cute friend, moments before the ridiculously fast 00's bassline kicks in
I mean, it's understandable – games do tend to have a heavy spatial component that suggests spatial descriptors – but I dislike that it results in this faintly condescending tone, as if the size of the game is some emotional statement in itself rather than a mere choice of genre.
I'll be honest: I'll be frank: I'll be cranky: It kinda bothers me that the common parlance for games of a certain brevity is to call them "small games", or the even more cutesy "tiny games", when at this moment, the more neutral word "short" is used for stories and films alike.
Game where the "Dark World" is just the normal world, the exact same, after you realise that it never had your best interests in heart and was against you and your friends since before you were born.
Can't believe it's almost the year 200020 and PC calculator apps still can't let you flip them upside down after typing 58008, a fundamental feature of every phone calc app
Imagine being one of a species where 9 million of your own kind abruptly died, but since you aren't extinct and your population has stabilised, humans just don't care. Simply insufferable.
Completing a planet-wide survival death maze in order to ask Prime Intellect about the action-potential of rewriting System Shock 2 so that SHODAN wins, thus causing me, the one millionth asker, to be banned from all death mazes for eternity.
"I start fights I don't finish because I want to leave something behind for the next generation to build on."
"Yeh heh heh! You beat my minions, but can you foil a mighty wizard? Meet your doom!!" *immediately starts pounding the ground to make shockwaves, but the shockwaves have glowing runes around them this time*
"This is a foolproof plan." – Every platformer boss, just before throwing a bomb.
Some twelve-year-old walks into a multiple-choice exam, writes "yup. i'm one of those turds who only answers "c" to every question. and you know what? you're gonna have to give me some points instead of 0. sad, isn't it?" at the top, fills in all the C's, and hands it in.
What? Oh, nothing, I'm just relaxing and enjoying the Yume Nikki soundtrack.
Having a jolly time imagining using version control with Commodore 64 BASIC, and seeing a multi-screen-tall diff because you had to change all the line numbers because you finally had to insert that 10th line in between lines 20 and 30
"Transformative justice is when a harmful cartoon protagonist is shrunk down or turned into a small animal to slowly teach them empathy for the tiny creatures their actions are harming, right"
• Main Theme [1:51] • Final boss song… no really, trust me… why would a song title lie to you? [0:08] • Temporal Abyss – Phantasmal Stillness Requiem (Pause Theme) [13:01] • If You Listen To Me On Loop While You Sleep You'll Wake Up Inside The Game (Minigame Theme 1) [0:14]
*notices two lines of code that are slightly similar to two other lines of code* W-WELL!! We'll see about THAT! *immediately types "function
If your fiction is revealing that a human activity is "actually" the ancestral memory of some vast event of cosmic significance, know that Douglas Adams did that to cricket in HHGG, and made the Ashes a key sealing an ancient evil. What I'm saying is it stopped being cool in 1982
Person in the mid-00's: "OK… we all know cats always land on their feet, right… but what if… we took a cat, and a slice of buttered toast… and strapped the toast to the cat's back…" *eyes start welling up with joy* "…buttered-side up, and then… and then we dropped the cat,
Time for a joke. When's a horse's favourite time of year? The equinox! ………Just mull it over………… Just think about it……… Take your time……… You're getting there……… No, the "ox" bit isn't the joke……… Think about the rest of the word……… I SAID, THE "OX" BIT ISN'T
"According to the eyewitness, it made a moaning noise–" "Definitely a werewolf." "–hovered a foot above ground–" "Werewolf." "–was glowing green–" "Again, werewolf." "–and leapt into their body and took control of them." "Werewolf. Let's go." *grabs wreath of garlic cloves*
Does anyone have a link to that tweet whose text was "HelloGames, apologize." and its video attachment was No Man's Sky footage of a T-rex with horse hooves? I keep thinking about it.
"Fortunately, and to our amazement, the seemingly catastrophic rise of sandstorms and bushfires soon reached a stable equilibrium. Every time a bushfire starts, a sandstorm puts it out. Just another example of the strength and resilience of nature."
"Nice big sword. Very normal. Real "I love stabbing people across state lines" vibe. Bet you wake up early to finish sharpening before dark. When the smith called it her life's work, she wasn't kidding, eh?" –me wittily intimidating an assailant with a sword that's bigger than me
There's a handful of double-page spreads in this that I shall refrain from posting out of respect for their effort, but are a real treat of light and contrast.
This panel's basically a thirty-page volume in itself.
https://gumroad.com/squinkyelo – Finally reading this comic.
Isekai RPG where your party is abruptly transported into the world of your older brother's 100% save file, and have to slowly befriend their jaded, minmaxed alternative selves who've been named "Dookie" and "FatBlunt".
"You have HP. It stands for "Human Points", and the more you have, the more human you are! I only have MP. That's "Monster Points", and it's what makes me a monster. Strange… Now that I look at you… you seem to have MP as well. And it's as high as your HP! What are you…?!"
*prepares to write another "it's cracking me up that" tweet* I watched that Classic Tetris tourney last month and it's cracking me up that they need entirely separate scoreboard software that screen-reads the NES game because the NES's in-game score doesn't have a millions digit.
"This code works perfectly… as long as a convex polygon's perimeter can only collide with a line at <=2 points. That's true… right…?" *suddenly visualises a convex polygon colliding at 3 points* "Wait… that's imp–" *searing light shoots out of eye sockets, hovers out of seat*
The UGG goose walks past one of those "no geese" signs and, in a puff of smoke, transforms into a DK coin from Donkey Kong Country 2.
*galloping maniacally like a medieval Danse Macabre skeleton because Magic: The Gathering players are currently miserable*
I'm visiting the Flashpoint archive (https://bluemaxima.org/flashpoint) and, I understand what they meant, but I'm cracking up that the most they can say about their archive being virus-free is "we try our best".
The whole thing is an "endless-scroll" AJAX app that progressively loads the entire thread as you scroll, but if JS is off, it actually gracefully degrades into static pages of posts! With functioning "Previous" and "Next" links! I'm sad to report that this is surprising.
I've been viewing a forum that use Discourse, and I'll admit, it's a little depressing it arrived when forums were supplanted by the walled apps Slack and Discord, because Discourse itself is not that bad. For one thing… the posts are actually displayed when Javascript is off!!
Spring is here, and so too comes the seasonal ritual: delinquent harpies stockpiling their eggs and pelting the top-floor windows of skyscrapers with them
"Look, it's simple, if there's exactly two octopus, it's "octopii", three is "octopiii", and four is "octopiv". For everything else, use "octopuses" if you don't know the number and "octopodes" if you do but are deliberately withholding it for dramatic purposes."
Hmm… seems there's a blockage in the net. *sticks arm shoulder-deep into comically big ethernet cable and empties out clumps of "Pokédex Brexit" tweets* Ah, that should– hang on, *pops out a chunk of "Pokédex climate change mass extinction" tweets* Uh… a little too on the nose.
Mockumentary interviewer: "When you sing "fwizzly-mizzly" or "tiddle-diddle-dee" while doing household tasks, are you practicing being twee?" Me: "Actually, I just say those things in reaction to back pain." Me out loud, thus implying the previous sentence was NOT out loud: "Yes"
Confirmed canon by FIDE: the Chess queen can move 8 squares in one move because she can do the Princess Toadstool float from Super Mario Bros. 2. *a vast cacophony of appalled grumblings rumbles throughout the hall as I make my escape*
Leon internal dialog live feed: > The rabbit is mostly just a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, right < Yes > Ultimately, the Lonely Wolf Treat games are a better version of this exact premise, complete with the femme one being a pink rabbit and the butch one wearing a scarf < Yes
Enjoying some classics from the golden age of internet music videos
Having a great time with this filename
Imagine being only the 5th item when a trainer finds Missingno ––– 896 comments: Kirby64TheCrystalSharts [9 LeonKred] LISTEN! There's a safehouse in the next post that can repel the E's, but we need 80+ LeonKred to defend it! FireFlour [1 LeonKred] epic TM69 [1 LeonKred] epic
I Used To Roleplay Kanaya A Lot, And Then The Wind Changed, and Now I'm Stuck With This Capitalisation Quirk And Everyone Thinks Everything I Say Is A Light Novel Title: This Bit Actually Is A Light Novel Title Though
3) The Desktop UI's playlists only displays game names, even though the Console UI can show emulators as well. (These are Game Boy and NES ports of Parodius.) 4) Auto-downloaded boxart doesn't display in the Favourites playlist for some reason?
2) Apparently, the only way to get nearest neighbour scaling in windowed mode is to use this filter, which only works for 1x and 2x scaling?
RetroArch user experience complaints thread: 1) In order to make the Desktop UI appear on startup (which I need because I am on desktop) you need to check THIS, because checking THIS is insufficient.
Making fan versions of those "game dev kludges" confessional tweets. "If you pause and zoom in, each spark emitted by the sparking fuses is actually a tiny yellow-tinted crop of the Riddler's face from the Batman Forever theatrical poster, which I had available for some reason."
The "science fiction promised us flying cars" tone-of-voice reprised in 2060 as "science fiction promised us dust tornados, glowing rain and endless howling noises" while suffering through much less picturesque climate disasters like medicine shortages and mosquito plagues.
Really, it's probably an urge to grasp onto my past, to curate a library, or possibly a mausoleum, of the Leons I used to be, for me to revisit at will, exactly as I left it, as alive as I want it to be – gaining entries by the year, pretending I am only growing without decaying.
and it deeply satisfies my order-and-control instincts to take something so large and inherently resistant to being glimpsed in its entirety, put it all together in one ordered list of JPEGs, and be able to tell myself "that's it, that's the Work. That's six years, in one place".
You all know, or are about to know, that I'm a fan of downloading local copies of entire webcomics' archives, not just for preservation insurance but just to have them on hand to peruse at will, in defiance of the implicit disposability that the update feed grants them,
I've been getting my HD's media organised lately, and I have to say that there's something almost cathartic about taking the entirety of a vast work – a serial comic, or a series of albums or soundtracks – and putting it in a uniformly labeled folder or a playlist.
Toby Fox is doing one music track in the new Pokémon game *my mind suddenly decides to dredge up this song https://homestuck.bandcamp.com/track/fiduspawn-go-2* Okay, first of all,
Two incompatible visions of the future – one where incomprehensible, dreamlike human prosperity leads to raising the dead, and one where incomprehensible, dreamlike natural disaster leads to raising the dead.
"Ya know, when *I* came to life, I did the responsible, mature thing: I marched down to town hall, got myself a social security number, and registered for the dole. None of this "turning our owners into dolls" to "take their place" toss. What, too lazy to get a job yourself?"
You smile because it's your umbrella I grin because I bear it
*thinks about how many Australian and Japanese children's sleep schedules were almost certainly completely dynamited by this once-in-a-lifetime convergence of the heavens* What a world *looks wistfully up at the stars* What a world
*remembers how last year Toby Fox announced a special event would occur at midnight in exactly 1 day's time, and then, WITHIN THE HOUR, the official Smash Bros. account announced a Smash Direct would occur at midnight in exactly… 2 days' time* Phew, talk about a close haircut…!
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