Leon's Microblog – August 2022

*realises that RPG Maker MV is probably an Electron shell app because Electron is the only framework that actually has seamless cross-platform support in the late-10s* Oh goddd
I think the decision to attach that extra mechanical meaning to deathbombing is more "game design" than just deathbombing in and of itself. I currently have no knowledge of any precision platformers that make a coyote-time-jump behave differently from a normal jump.
In Imperishable Night, deathbombing has a penalty (two bombs spent instead of one) in exchange for slightly increased damage. In Mountain Of Faith, deathbombing simply has a reduced point-item-value penalty.
Coyote time is in some sense analogous to deathbombing in Touhou – an extended forgiving input range to perform an action. The difference is that Touhou sometimes assigns special significance to deathbombing rather than normal bombing…
I can see the argument that coyote time is essentially just programming rather than game design, similar to how nobody really thinks of rollback netcode as game design.
I saw a post saying videogame screen-shake, dramatic slowdown, hit-stop etc. aren't really "game design" but more like cinematic/graphical design. I can somewhat see the point, and it got me thinking… Is "coyote time" game design?
*encounters the characters C Psalmist and C Visionary in Anodyne 2* Oh, I love Kernighan and Ritchie
Patrick's Parabox true ending route where it turns out that all the nested rooms are actually implemented as square teleporters to other contiguous parts of the level (as the ASCII art levels hint at) and that you can deactivate them to just make everything normal again.
I suspect SMW still having a pure design goal of trying to feel like an "adventure" (instead of just a "Mario game") informed a lot of decisions like this. The final stage having a secret "back door" entrance that skipped most of the rooms strikes me as another telling example.
Ever think about how Super Mario World letting you pick from two "level 1"s at the very start of the game is basically completely anathema to how Nintendo has designed Mario games before and since
Star Light Zone has one of my favourite music tracks in the Sonic quadrilogy, and it's interesting how Stardust Speedway Zone in SCD (one of my other faves) is a clear retread of that zone like Green Hill→Palmtree, but develops its aesthetics in such a different direction.
*thinking very loudly* EarthBound is a game by game designers for game designers, which is why its most beloved aspects are stuff like "zany item that's completely useless" and "giant hollow statue that talks encouragingly while you complete the so-called dungeon inside it".
How do I put this… Sokoban-likes like Patrick's Parabox and Baba Is You feel like they're designed by programmers for programmers. But, in the exact same respect, VNs like Umineko feel like they're written by writers for writers.
When you're good at torrenting
What I've always liked about Python is that it's a very sensible and consistent language, without the cute-looking ASCII-art repurposed operators of Perl or Ruby or
Mind equals blown
Found footage VNs 🤝A Monster's Expedition Studying logs for 6 hours
This isn't exactly one of my favourite Sokoban-likes, but I will give this puzzle some credit for showing off this game's very subtle metapuzzle elements rather succinctly.
After the 12-screen monologue, Keiichi confidently chooses a letter, only to find that Mion has already concealed every single other visible object in the classroom which could possibly begin with that letter.
One of the best meta-jokes in Higurashi is how the secret post-credits message in Matsuribayashi invites the reader to imagine several absurd and whimsical hypotheticals to make fanfic out of, and then in Saikoroshi most of those things just end up happening anyway.
I was sitting her for a full minute and a half muttering "how on EARTH can a feature called "conic-gradient" produce a checkered background" but no, I've riddled it out, I've untangled MDN's twisted little conundrum.
I can't believe this one was added in 2017 and not in 1995 by a bored Netscape programmer.
Dang, the latest CSS they've added is unbelievable. They added a property that does this?! *I check browser support and find it was added in Firefox 1.0* Oh………………………………………
Higurashi chapter where they play I Spy and Keiichi enters his mind palace for 12 screens of monologue where he realises that since there's no incentive NOT to change the answer between guesses, it's actually a diplomacy game about strategically choosing someone to give points to
I like it a bit more than what happened in Imperishable Night, where they could have translated "月の民" as the standard "moonfolk" (as other works like Magic: The Gathering do) but for some reason leapt straight for "lunarian" from – of ALL things – Final Fantasy 4.
I don't know whose idea it was, but the Touhou community's decision to translate Issun-bōshi's (lit. "one-寸(sun)-tall boy") species as "inchling" is actually a pretty wry choice for such a decentralised translation effort.
OK, it's been over a decade, so I think it's OK to finally let it out: I think calling Aang's gang in Avatar: The Last Airbender "the Gaang" is just grotesque. Terrible mouthfeel. I'm sorry about how petty this is.
Oh my god
The sepia flashback about Plok's grandfather going to Legacy Island and fighting the Bobbins Bros. is a Live A Live storyline.
Be right back, gotta post "Nintendo, hire this man" in reply to one of Masahiro Sakurai's YouTube videos
Thinking about how Ryukishi07 essentially fridges Ange in the middle of Umineko and then unceremoniously un-fridges her later, presumably because he realised that she's actually a top 3 character… ah, the travails and humiliations of writing…
Just saw a post voicing with complete seriousness that they think JPEG artifacts have more personality and warmth than the artifacts of more recent image formats like WebP, which instead resemble frames of compressed video.
I do appreciate that Parabox helps this playstyle by taking pains to make most of its puzzles extremely easy to comprehend (in the sense that it's obvious what the goal is and the general thing you want to do to reach it) which makes bite-size consumption very palatable.
I feel like I'm getting more out of stuff like Patrick's Parabox by simply playing it like this, as a daily ritual. (In part because the main game's aesthetics are so plain and lifeless that I get a lot out of simply not playing long enough to engage with it… haha.)
I feel like the thing puzzle game designers should take from Wordle is the possibility of offering a "daily mode" version of the main game mode, which is exactly the same but restricts you to one specific puzzle per day. Launch .exe, play puzzle, close.
Elden Ring mod where every time a boss does a jump attack with extra long roll-baiting hangtime, they do the leg-flutter and "hrmmnggg" grunt from Yoshi's Story.
The Nexus of Hatred #HananoPuzzleLevel50memes
I'm finally doing it… I'm going back to solve the one puzzle I left behind… the last mystery​…
Can't believe all non-fiction stories are set in the same universe… when will that franchise finally die
Assembled the team and I'm going in You may never see us again
Secret Higurashi minigame where you play as Ryukishi07 and have to rapidly type "あぁあぁあぁあぁあぁあぁ" with perfect alternating rhythm at the end of every line of dialogue
It's gotten to the point where I've started wondering if these games could take the Sokoban aspect out altogether, and just have you manipulate the blocks by clicking and dragging. It'd be simpler, yes, but also purer.
Sausage Roll, of course, had its two-sided cylinder boxes, which A Monster's Expedition expands on. Patrick's Parabox feels like this trend taken to an extreme, where the spatial-movement component of Sokoban almost vanishes entirely.
I'm coming to feel like the trend of recent Sokoban-likes after Stephen's Sausage Roll is to focus on giving the elements a lot of possible states that they can transition through, and make the puzzles mainly about navigating those state transition graphs.
🌚Writing commit messages in present tense 🌗Writing commit messages in past tense 🌝Not writing commit messages 🌞Writing commit messages in future tense
My takeaway from this page is mostly that 00's Windows icon design was theoretically decent but was badly let down by an overall uninteresting colour scheme along with being constantly downscaled into muddy blurs.
Being able to manually customise the icons for every file extension is making me attempt to develop synesthesia by force of will so that I can answer questions like "what colour is the .wav format" before the mere act of asking causes me to fully mentally detach from reality.
This program adds a "wrap selected files in new folder" command to the standard right-click menu, and I'm legitimately surprised at how many times I've found myself using it just today.
Overhead, without any fuss,
This set has icons for two CSS preprocessors but gives .rtf the same icon as .txt??? Ohh what hideous world have we created
Browsing some open-source desktop file icon sets… the trend of having these icon sets consistently use brand logos (instead of simplifications) for various technologies means that the overall visual language fluctuates wildly across the logos and the generic concept icons.
I've been fiddling with this thing for the past couple hours, and the simple fact of having a decently-featured file manager which does NOT sort all folders to the top of lists is making me feel like I've downloaded a whole new computer.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbVqRicmfwM – Another old and very satisfying one I forgot about. [Super Mario Land, Super Mario Bros.]
Higurashi anime adaptations should have been toon characters rotoscoped into live-action sets. No live actors. It's the only way to be true to the source.
It's kind of depressing how many Windows utilities in the 20's still struggle with calculating and sorting folder sizes, especially when Everything and WizTree have that one mostly solved. https://twitter.com/webbedspace/status/1561225671631769600
I am detecting some haze.
I respect that this installer knows exactly what you're here for and wants to break the bad news early.
Signs that your popular Windows utility was written in the 00's
My personal favourite is how both games essentially revolve around an omnipresent Satan-like tempter-god whose central, reductive thesis about the world permeates every conflict within it.
I find it amusing when Undertale fans play Live A Live and immediately point out the "obvious influence" that the Ninja storyline counts your kills, when there's plenty of much better parts of Live A Live that one can falsely mistake for an Undertale influence.
One other Live A Live tweet out of nowhere, but I feel like gaining the ability, in the finale, to level up characters that don't level up in their own storylines is inherently sacrilegious somehow.
It's killing me that RPG Maker MV's "Common Events" scripts are internally just arrays of JS objects exactly corresponding to the C structs that would've been used in VX Ace and earlier.
"The high fashion of the 2040's… a tie with a cravat tied to the end. Write it down, inscribe it in stone – the endgame of human attire is coming, and civilisation is not ready."
An information site for JPEG XL (that's the high-compression lossless image format with the truly terrible name) has a page for "demos" that use less than 1KB. And here's one of them: "Elephant".
People incorrectly calling it "Evo Moment 34" is kind of funny, insofar as both numbers were chosen simply to sound arbitrary and to suggest a much greater, unknowable list.
https://gilvasunner.bandcamp.com/track/it-was-only-through-the-siiva-wiki-that-i-noticed-a-real-boy-is-supposed-to-have-an-exclamation-mark-in-it – Super short incidental tracks are always a risk for this account, but this one's probably the best you could do with this particular track. [Deltarune, Super Mario 64]
I mean, for actual live orchestral recordings it's one thing, but for a MIDI file………… you didn't have to. No, really, you didn't.
I find it equally interesting and annoying when I listen to classical music MIDIs which are informed by the conditions of live orchestra, which means the loudness of the piece greatly varies based on which instruments are actually playing – something unheard of in other genres.
Look, I've got the answer. All we have to do to stop the neural-network fabricated blog posts is make a neural network that's smart enough to detect neural-network fabricated blog posts,
Which popular OS-level task-automation programming language is more blisteringly awkward to use
https://modarchive.org/index.php?request=view_player&query=137931 – When you're in a forest in a JRPG, but it's disc 2 so the forest has to step up its game.
*mucks about with unminified RPG Maker Javascript code for several hours* Everyone, I've decided Electron shells are good now. I'm sorry, everyone. This is my corruption arc.
GitHub bringing back square avatars (that's millennial slang for PFPs) but restricting them to non-human accounts (bots, orgs) is only giving people yet more motivation to resign from humanity.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJZ4fLviAfA – This one's maybe a little too fluid with all 3 tracks' melodies, but it's clever anyway. [Mega Man 2, ChoRenSha 68K]
I'm going to be peeved when I finally play 100th Black Market and it turns out that the "100th Black Market" is just an extremely mathematically imprecise rebranding of 7/11.
Everyone talks about how God Of War 2018 had a single camera shot for the entire game, but nothing about how RayForce already did it in 1994. I see how it is.
Having fun reading the Brotli Dictionary (Brotli is a compression algorithm optimised exclusively for web pages, so it contains hard-coded cases for numerous common substrings)
Of course, being a website from the 00's, MetaFilter's average age is a bit under 40 and its low-effort memes are stuff like Soylent Green and Planet Of The Apes, which we millennials all put up with for decades because we just assumed it was "pop culture".
Every time I try to read a MetaFilter thread now, all I can think of is how sorting comments by upvote circa Digg and Reddit (which that website predates) really did make threads more bearable by filtering out low-effort memes. I hate to say it. Not very much, but I hate it.
Picked up and carried away by a claymation UFO for calling the fake RPG opening of Moon Remix RPG Adventure "the Question Arc"
Leon Productions Presents: the "Open the file's folder in Windows" right-click menu collection
Sigh… when will GiIvaSunner spoof the game music *I* like (royalty free music composed in 2017 that two Japanese-only indie games used)
*Patrick's Parabox introduces a new kind of box which can teleport other blocks while also rotating them* Wow – the power to rotate blocks!
https://www.twitch.tv/videos/1559276502 – Watching some Smash Bros.
So like, is anyone over 30 actually nostalgic for glow-in-the-dark star and moon stickers on their childhood ceiling, like in Gone Home and such? This just feels like simplistic romanticism. When I was a child, all the glowing stickers my ceiling had were Simpsons characters.
Forget the surface-level details of identity reveals, ontological mysteries and other high concepts – to me, the biggest plot twists all boil down to the mental state of a character finally being revealed, and it is utterly off the planet of what you'd been made to assume it was.
Most enlightening VN-related thing I've done recently is learning the word "nakige", and then immediately afterward learning that "nukige" is a pun on it.
"The best part about screaming internally is that you never have to stop and take a breath." – inspirational quote
These people really get what this hack is about.
Watching a stream VOD (https://www.twitch.tv/videos/1439584063) where B3313 (the Super Mario 64 level hack) is played using the SM64 online multiplayer mod.
Now, two decades on, is absolutely the ripest time for ZUN to reveal that the correct romanisation was actually "Frandle" all along
OK, it's past midnight in my timezone, and I won't remember it tomorrow, so…… HAPPY 515th BIRTHDAY FLANDRE SCARLET FROM EMBODIMENT OF SCARLET DEVIL plus happy 520th to the one the game is named after as well. (Note: Flandre does not appear in the screenshot below.)
https://modarchive.org/index.php?request=view_player&query=150779 – The train solo at 1:21 is enough reason to post this, without mentioning the other above-average sample choices it has elsewhere.
Oh, and one other cute idea: some specific thematic backreference to the Prehistory storyline in the Distant Future storyline. I mean, if you're going to lift from One Movie, you might as well lift a few ideas from its famous intro scene and its juxtaposition of two human eras.
I always thought having two stories about martial arts was a bit of a weird overlap, and it'd be nice if that overlap had been exploited like this. Plus, it'd be an opportunity for a cute character interaction in the finale (not that it used very many opportunities in practice).
One cute idea I'd been kind of wishing was in Live A Live was having the Kung Fu storyline's art pass down in some form to the present day Wrestling storyline, which could then reappear via the protagonist's offscreen cameo in the Mecha storyline – the master's legacy enduring.
I love how when you try to rename a folder to "..", Windows 10, one of the modern standard interfaces for human-computer interaction, comes up with this error message.
Retweet if the girl on the right is just as beautiful as the girl on the left https://twitter.com/Shinnew/status/1111624156670504961
Reading the articles for the "super medleys" on the GiIvaSunner wiki constantly invokes the strongest "who is this even FOR" emotion I have in my body.
FINALLY managed one capture of this card. Even though there's only hard ways to do this, simply learning how it works and how to think of each of its parts was enough to get me one win. There's always something you can learn to give yourself a hand, always a little something.
I'm not even going to bother posting a single screenshot because it's just going to look like absolutely nothing. My only personal impression of the film is… I really wish I'd seen this in my 20's. For purely personal reasons. That's all.
Shortly after I checked the spoiler thread the person did, and discovered this movie is A) a spinoff of a spinoff of a popular 2016 anime series, and B) stars the two absolute most boring minor characters from that series. This is definitely an unusual and inexplicable flex.
Watched a movie called "Liz and the Blue Bird" based off some random person's rec – turned out to be an elegant, concise relationship drama that's almost stiflingly cinematic in its use of silence and icy shots.
EarthBound QOL ROM hack changes that inspire distrust
*hears my brain make squeaky balloon-inflating noises*
And by the way, the real reason I was investigating this is to obtain the ultimate of powers: copying text out of dialog boxes, which is now possible and easy.
"Leon, do you really want to save a few hundred megs that badly?" Yes, badly, but in addition to that, you should know that A) you can use an NWJS version with F12 enabled, and B) MV's game engine is seemingly shockingly mutable.
This works: You can take an arbitrary RPG Maker MV game, delete everything in it except the /www folder and package.json, then create a shortcut to your own copy of nw.exe. Maybe it won't work if the game uses some out-of-the-ordinary MV plugin, but the ones I tried worked fine.
Thinking about my SMB1 ROM hack (https://fairysvoice.net/smb1romhacks/Super_Mario_Bros_Time_And_Place/) that adds Braid world 4 mechanics (sort of) to the game. Probably the most tinkering I'll ever do with NES assembler.
On face value this doesn't seem much different from other NES games with limited room layouts, like Kid Icarus, Zelda 1 or Guardian Legend, but the way Metroid's UI and map design encourages losing your way in an expansive maze makes the overall effect very different.
The very large amount of "copy-pasted" rooms in Metroid 1 lends it a very unique psychological mood – rather than just a game where you can get lost, the environment actively resists being recognised and memorised.
I still love Parodius music… even basic stuff like this track jumping from Hall Of The Mountain King into the midst of Fantasie Impromptu brings a smile to my lips.
https://modarchive.org/index.php?request=view_player&query=164990 – This has some uncharacteristically refreshing samples and is honestly very soothing to modern ears. This is one of those authentic 90's tracks that vapourwave is trying to imitate.
I find it interesting that each RPG Maker horror game diegetically explains different parts of the formula. The Witch's House explains the puzzles and hints, Ib explains the monsters (more or less), and this game explains the secret gems that also appear in Mad Father.
#IPlayed Amayado Bus Stop (https://tosiaki7.tumblr.com/post/119499999622/amayado-bus-stop). The translation is pretty amateurish (on grammar and vocabulary) and the chase sequences are not exactly well-designed, but I had fun with this. The decent character dialogue sets this apart from most RPG Maker horror.
…Arcade game map screen?!
The cursor is cute…
*you walk in to find me leaning over a summoning circle finger-painting the words "Facade Annapurna Remake" in red hair dye* I, uh, I, I don't actually want it, I just, um, thought it'd be funny
It's putting into perspective that even monumental works like Mother 3's translation were not historical inevitabilities by any means, but struggles against the natural order of things.
Reading about other VNs with increasingly deranged and tragic translation situations like Cross Channel is reminding me that it's a wild, untameable world out there. There's no limit to the amount of misfortunes that can come your way.
Eliciting a symphony of groans by calling the Dicey Dungeons DLC a "fandisc"
I often say that Umineko is cursed with having too much music. Higurashi also has too much music, but for a completely different and more utterly bananas meaning of "has".
http://pansound.com/panicpumpkin/music/mp3/BGM085-100610-nazotokinomorinite-mp3.mp3 – Music befitting the jokey staff rooms in RPG Maker games.
http://pansound.com/panicpumpkin/music/mp3/BGM122-110921-yakouseisystem-mp3.mp3 – This track starts kind of aimless but gets decent after the 1:10 mark.
Haven't gotten far in this game yet, but I like the title screen and its palette choices.
I like to imagine that Karin (implied unused character found by datamining Higurashi's 2002 build) and Rin Satsuki (implied unused character found by datamining Embodiment Of Scarlet Devil) are both good friends.
The impact of C) isn't just that audiences are having to pay for that, but that fan translation of these games is put in an awkward situation – the early-10's scene was able to reach English audiences easily primarily because they were all already freeware.
I've decided my new quirk will be that, whenever I stub my toe or bang my elbow, I shall make the pained wheeze-giggle that the Jester from Dicey Dungeons makes when they get hit.
Just had the experience of finding an RPG Maker game translation that "didn't feel like" translating one of the routes and just used unedited machine TL – and upon investigation, found the "translator" doesn't actually know JP at all and was just editing MTL for the whole thing.
http://pansound.com/panicpumpkin/music/index.html – Finally discovered the royalty free chiptune site that's the source of a bunch of Japanese indie games' soundtracks, including The Witch & The 66 Mushrooms (the platformer I played a few days ago), some Grow games, and more.
Very grateful that the serendipitous coiled string of my life happened to lead me to a video that casually mentioned, as an aside, that 7-Zip has a preference pane for the Windows context menu items, which no broken-spirited Windows user would ever assume would even exist.
Parts of your body that shouldn't have collision
Is this actually why the gender field is mandatory
Number one best menu for a Windows application to hide the "Preferences" item:
The authentic "registering an account for a 00's online service" experience
By-and-large the so-called "early-10's" RPG Maker indie horror game still exists and is still being developed. The problem is that they A) only exist on Steam, B) aren't being well-curated for English audiences, and most importantly C) actually cost money this time.
I feel like even Undertale, a game widely accepted as not a horror game per se, gets better proportions of its horror-to-non-horror content (although it does approach horror on multiple differing levels – the horror in the worst route is very different to that in the best route).
I find it a little amusing that Omori is widely accepted as a horror game, when, if you actually look at the runtime of an average playthrough, it's something along the lines of 75% Adventure Time, 15% life sim, 10% horror.
I believe this moment is as counterintuitively effective as it is because A) it takes place in a horror story, where astonishing events and obscured cause/effect are the norm, and B) because the extremity of how astonishing the moment is leaves no doubt as to authorial intent.
Thinking about how one of my favourite moments in Higurashi is just a dead-straight deus ex machina, in the classical Greek sense of "something astonishing which happens for no reason/pure coincidence, which strongly reaffirms the morality of the play".
Trying to finally cash in my 2005 NetHack ascensions for 2022 gamer cred, only to be told by the teller that "NetHack post-castle is literally free" and that all three of them barely stack up to my 100% Super Meat Boy save file from 2011. "Come back with a speedrun," they holler.
*realises that 7/11s in Higurashi are rebranded as "Seventh Mart" because you're supposed to realise that it's actually "07th Mart"* Goddamnit
I'd like to thank everyone who smacked that follow button because of my recent Higurashi tweets. I think Spinning Seesaw is better than Digital Network. *my follow count doesn't drop because this take isn't actually that big of a deal and everyone just politely disagrees*
Posting Elden Ring screenshots on your porn art alt account to trick people into thinking that it's normal, completely normal, for horny people to play Elden Ring
One other thing… the Ib similarities started to get a *little* thick near the end, so I checked it out… and Ib did indeed come out first. By just 8 months, though…
Also, I do have to give this game credit for whipping out some kind of diegetic explanation for all the puzzles and puzzle hints at the last possible moment that didn't feel like a huge reach.
#IPlayed The Witch's House (https://vgperson.com/games/witchhouse.htm). Near the end I was gunning so hard for /that/ to be the real ending, and I'm very glad the game agreed with the opinions it had carefully primed me to have.
Thinking about how Cave Story (2004) is technically a contemporary of Higurashi (2002-2006) and Touhou 6-8 (2002-2004), but isn't considered as such because the latter two are very heavily connected to Comiket culture, and the former was just a file on a website.
Important character design update
Tunic (2022)
#IPlayed The Witch & The 66 Mushrooms (https://store.steampowered.com/app/891170/The_Witch__The_66_Mushrooms/). I was delighted to start it and instantly recognise the developer from an old freeware favourite of mine from 2009 (http://dotzogames.blog45.fc2.com/blog-category-9.html, right) with that same puzzle style replicated faithfully in 2020 (left).
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