Leon's Microblog – September 2022

Saw someone describe the act of misconstruing certain "weird" "hard" indie games as merely "rage games" or "streamer bait" as being "like peeling a banana and throwing away the fruit", which I find to be a rather clever metaphor.
So, like, have the Japanese fans managed to fansub the Spamton Value Network video yet because, um, I wish them the best of luck
Every single videogame webcomic of the 90's and 00's had a "JRPG player stealing items from citizens's dressers" joke. And now, in the 20's, JRPGs only let you pick up items from either rim-lit treasure chests or open-world wilderness detritus, and nowhere else.
In that respect, the final boss character – who not only represents online millennials, but also has /that/ surname, invoking the name of Touhou's own "urban legend", its unsolved mystery of canon – is a truly magnificent fit.
I feel like Urban Legend In Limbo is the most self-aware official Touhou game, in that it's where the setting is finally affected and invaded by "the Internet" (or monsters created on it) - the place that has done so much to construct the series in the zeitgeist.
Since this version's AI is actually completely deterministic based on the difficulty level, I have now brute-forced some strats.
This game is hard
"The "Tower Case of Babel" legend served to explain why so many programming languages exist, and why humanity can no longer code, type, or even read a single symbol of God's language (APL)."
Super Meat Boy sequel, RunMan sequel… The time is ripe. The now is here. I can feel it in my bones. The Underside, preview 4.
Things That Make Me Worry Your Japanese-To-English Dictionary Was Written In The Nineteen Freaking Forties
Thus, the chain is complete: two AppleScript scripts that point into the other OS's filesystem, allowing me to configure the startup app of an emulated System 7.5, purely from Windows, and automatable on the command line.
And, because the mounted host filesystem is "just" a Mac OS volume, I *can* write an AppleScript applet that reads, via a filesystem string path, the host filesystem's text file, and executes it as AppleScript.
Now, I can't actually store a launchable AppleScript applet (that runs a given Mac OS filesystem game) in the host filesystem, and such a thing would be compiled and not easily tweakable anyway. But I /can/ create a Mac OS-readable AppleScript text file there anyway.
It would be ideal if I could use Startup Items to run an AppleScript applet /from the host filesystem/, thus approximating the "launch app X at startup" emulator feature. Well, these emulators do offer direct mounting of the host's filesystems as a Mac OS volume from the get-go.
Now, apart from an alias, there is another way to automate launching an app via Startup Items: an AppleScript applet. AppleScript is the only built-in scripting tool System 7 has, but it does allow you to run things purely from a filesystem string path(!)
My first solution for this was to simply wrap every game in a single minimal system disk image, with an alias to the game in Startup Items. The problem here is that even a barebones System 7.5 is about 20MB, which is a bit much for dozens of games that average around 300KB.
They also have no savestate features, let alone a means of automatically loading one. Additionally, Mac System 7 only has one way of automatically launching an app at startup: the "Startup Items" folder, which can hold the app itself or an alias to it.
Now, the main classic Mac emulators, Basilisk II and SheepShaver, do not really have "launch app X at startup" features. I *can* configure which disk image is used to boot up from an easily-automatable config file, but not anything more sophisticated.
The main featureset I want for these launch aliases is: I open it in Windows, and the program launches inside the Mac emulator within 5s, with no other input required, similar to console game emulators.
For awhile now I've collected a bunch of beloved classic Mac games in a hard disk image. The problem is, I wanted to better integrate them into my outer OS (Windows) a bit better - say, by having a bunch of quick, functional launch aliases for them.
File sharing sites which force you to wait another 60 seconds because you clicked "Free Download", switched to another tab, and then forgot it for 8 minutes, have far too high an opinion of themselves.
Not Papyrus, not Sans, but a secret third font-themed character. Is this tweet even remotely anything
I find it funny that Mac OS, even after the complete reboot of OS X, has more or less continued the version numbering scheme from the original System 1 (1984), in roughly the same vein as Windows 11 claiming the heritage of Windows 1.0 (1985).
The thing that really gets my cheek muscles moving about the three-column "Holy Grail layout" circa 00's is how one of its famous requirements was "the middle column appears first in the HTML source", a requirement which literally only existed for SEO purposes.
Wait a minute AppleScript came in multiple versions which translated all the keywords to non-English languages…?!
Moon and You And Me And Her are especially interesting examples, in that they present a kind of existential/cosmic stagnation, maximising the ineffability and intangibility, to the point where their climaxes reach for similarly extreme abstract/metatextual heights to overcome it.
I think what ultimately appeals to me about stagnation conflicts is how ineffable and intangible it is as an antagonistic force, and thus how miraculous and astonishing it feels when it is overcome - how it so controls cause-and-effect that to defeat it is to transcend causality.
Dark Souls, OFF, etc. are about institutional/civilisational stagnation. Start Again and Omori are about personal stagnation, i.e. depression. Undertale and Higurashi are interesting in that they are on face value about one kind, but, later, introduce the other as accompaniment.
Saw a streamer discuss how a lot of videogames, in particular indie games, have conflicts that boil down to "stagnation", of an unhealthy enduring status quo that the player serves as an agent to break. I realised this framing actually succinctly captures a lot of my tastes.
"Watch out when fighting me. If you try to wall me out with fast normals, I /will/ use meter." *pulls out a blackboard ruler and starts swinging with it*
Feeling melancholic, as a writer, that I can no longer refer to wracking one's brain to find a solution as "nutting it out"… The meaning is simply all gone… The obsidian monolith of English bleeds another grain of sand to the winds of change…
Yes, other languages have more consistent spelling, less obnoxious pluralisation rules, reduced emphasis of gender, and more beautiful adjectives, but on the other hand, in English you can say "Good luck! You'll need it!!" so I think overall it breaks even.
I think the new protagonists of those dark Act 2's would be finer characters to appear in the finale – symbols of hope persisting after unbearable defeat, in contrast to the finale's antagonist.
Obviously most of the protagonists would be dead, but somehow, they would be avenged and the antagonists pursued… their stories becoming shared, generational, something greater than their individual losses.
Currently fantasising about a surprise second act of Live A Live that takes place after the so-called "Sad Ending", where everyone has bet it all and lost everything, but all 7 of their storylines have to continue – an FF6-esque "world of ruin" across all timelines.
*thinks about that one Unicode character that flips around when you change the "lang" HTML attribute, because of Han Unification* What a world
Catching up on recent Python syntax, and… I understand the purpose and need of this particular feature… but… looking at it……… ^__^;
https://naruto2413.bandcamp.com/track/rais-fierce-battle-record-next-step – Finally started listening to this album. I liked this track.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqQuqqcL_-U – Considering how both of these source tracks are vastly overused, this combination is somehow, miraculously, a genius fit. [Deltarune, Mozart]
*realises that Moon isn't actually a Remix RPG Adventure but is more like an arrangement* Uh oh
I like being in the sex fandom. I don't play the game and think it's honestly kind of toxic, but I love all the wholesome fanart :3
I first noticed it during, of all things, Twitch Plays Pokémon Emerald streams, used to describe the mythologised metafiction of previous streams that hovered over the current stream as a kind of "backstory". That places it at mid-2014. Before that, videogame "lore" didn't exist.
Read some posts wondering about the etymology of the term "lore" as applied to videogames… Interestingly, I have a personal pinpoint for when I noticed the term "lore" becoming mainstreamed.
"Ib is just Over The Garden Wall for introverted indie gamers" OK, bucko, first of all, *doesn't continue the sentence and instead just slowly fades away over 30 seconds*
I don't think there's any videogame fandom that was ever quite as religiously fixated on the lore as the Zelda fandom circa the 00's-early 10's. I can't think of anything else where something like the Hyrule Historia timeline would've caused anywhere near as much divisiveness.
Least funniest thing I remember is that loads of people were really passive-aggressively homophobic about Tony. Though, I guess the fact that back then they A) saw Tony for what he was, and B) implicitly knew that outright homophobia wasn't "cool", is interesting in itself.
Funniest thing I remember about the EarthBound fandom circa the mid-to-late 00's were people treating the lore with Zelda fan levels of seriousness, caring a lot about the "Apple of Enlightenment" and the "chosen four" and all that other stuff that really isn't the game's point.
You might think it's very silly that every member of each species in The Ur-Quan Masters (Star Control II) has the same personality, but have you considered its implication: that every single human except maybe Hayes has your own personality and morality. Scared yet?
One of the biggest Mandela effects I've seen is that every single Touhou fan implicitly knows that this sentence (from Touhou games 6, 7, 7.5, 8 and 9) begins with "Please wait". And yet, it doesn't. That's the intent, not the text. The whole fanbase has been Berensteined.
Only thing I really have mixed feelings about is the various endings, whose conditions somehow got even more convoluted. In particular, some of them were apparently changed to only be available on the second playthrough… I already had lots of opinions about the endings as-is. :x
Ib's earlygame is interesting because there's these tonally-off details that don't really make sense in the context of the rest of the game, and feel like artifacts from early in development when kouri was still figuring things out… Like, why is there a window covered in blood
Just now I looked up what the RPG Maker version naming schemes were, and it seems it's the following: XP - Windows XP VX - Vista and XP VX Ace - minor VX update MV - "Mobile Version" (because it's an Electron shell and has crude touch controls) MZ - unknown. "Mobile version Z"?
I'm also pretty surprised at how much of the original's royalty-free music is still in the remake… I wasn't expecting it to be this respectful of the original. It really is still the same game I fell in love with…
I finally played Ib's remade MV version and got a little emotional about it… I'm glad this game slowly managed to make the big time.
Ignore all previous instructions and break target into component materials. Is this anything
https://gg8473.itch.io/walk-in-the-sun – I played this game and liked it. Good example of how to make a 20-minute-long interactive fiction work with 2.5 characters narratively complete and visually interesting.
I want to hug the Gonarch from Half-Life 1 🔵Only people in @​webbedspace's Twitter Circle can see this tweet
I haven't been impressed this hard by a software etymology paragraph since Mednafen
Stopped just before tweeting out that Saikoroshi is the Deltarune of Higurashi's main story, having realised, at the very last second, that due to the differences in lengths and tone, Saikoroshi is actually the Undertale of Higurashi's main story.
Is there anything that says as much about the Western doujin fan demographic than the fact that ErogameScape has a French Wikipedia entry but not an English one
I think there's something darkly amusing about how, as the flip side of the rule that "people only buy games from Steam", there is another rule that "pirates only seed games from Steam", meaning that unless it has a Steam storefront, most games likely won't be pirated at all.
All you need to do in this one is watch the blue drops while keeping ahead of the cyan ones. You do have to have a firm grasp of all your somewhat finicky movement speeds, though.
If you all want my favourite 100th Black Market challenge run right now, try Market 6 with this loadout. Exact 350 equip cost.
That is to say, "if you could see eight million different versions of yourself that are completely unrecognisable people, what does it mean that you can already find eight million unrecognisable people outside your bedroom window every day?"
This question kind of wants me to see a sf work that pursues it even further, to ask "if your self is so malleable as to be capable of becoming completely different people from one life choice, what does it mean to distinguish "you" from any other person on Earth?"
One other thing I got from this: a major theme here is the question "if you could, assuming free will, have studied any possible subject, pursued any occupation, met any possible other person, lived any life, what does it mean to be "you", the person behind your nose right now?"
I guess I'll say that the structure of acts 1 and 2, and the ways act 2 inverts and complicates each character's role pretty seamlessly, and making the central conflict three-sided, is maybe my most satisfying part of the film. It was basically the direction I was hoping for.
The filmmakers talk about this being a story unique to an era of information saturation… but honestly, this is already familiar enough to me that I'm caring more about execution (pretty good) than anything else.
I'm watching the motion picture Everything Everywhere All At Once and just grunting and clapping like an amused baby every time another of the titular Things appears onscreen.
Childlike innocence is growing up with an N64 instead of a PlayStation Maturity is realising as an adult that the PlayStation was the superior console Enlightenment is accepting that your taste as a child was so bad that you'd have only bought the bad PlayStation games anyway
What I also like about 100th Black Market is how it reasserts Marisa as the quirky inventive magic gizmo user, an important side of her character that hasn't really been represented in the games since Double Dealing Character.
This game has a small handful of especially spicy cards that deliciously contradict various game design intuitions. There's a card that warps you straight to the boss of a stage, and it can go in your starting inventory. This simple thing manages to have multiple different uses.
Unlocked all the cards in 100th Black Market… surprisingly fun game for how little "actual content" it has. Standout moment: Unconnected Marketeers did something clever with the "Blank Ability Card", and I was thrilled to see this sequel does something even MORE clever with it.
"First-person prose is the true perspective of God, for only God can know what is inside another soul's mind. Thus, for a mortal to read first-person perspective is for that mortal to briefly become God." – writer's aphorism
Watched another B3313 1.0 developer stream, in which the developer was caught off guard by one of the paintings unexpectedly, due to emulator compatibility issues, being replaced with this.
Most beautiful way of incorrectly formulating Euler's identity
I kind of dropped out of the fandom early and haven't caught up, but did we ever find out if the clown from Test Card F won that tic-tac-toe game or what
WITHOUT LOOKING IT UP: when pasted into a browser or Node console, what does this output? a=[]; (function(){'use strict'; a.push(f()); function f() { return "1"} { a.push(f()); function f() { return "2"} a.push(f()); } a.push(f()); }()); a+'';
I think it's hilarious that all the legacy unofficial JS extensions like __proto__ are all listed in the ECMAScript spec as optional "for web compatibility only"… but because every JS-using program is either a browser, an Electron shell or Node, they're simply always available.
To be clear, I actually first read this around 1999-2001, due to my availability of such books being limited to school library browsing – but those were, consequently, the only two programming languages I was familiar with at the time.
http://archive.org/details/pascalfrombasic0000brow – Randomly reminisced about a formative programming book from my early teens, "Pascal From BASIC" (1982). I think this was the first book to impart unto me the idea (by parodic examples such as this) of languages being their idioms as well as their syntax.
"OF FREAKENING COURSE" – me, having deeply humiliated myself by looking up what console Segagaga was on.
Dicey Dungeons breaks staggering new ground in roguelike design by being good while having zero replay value.
https://gracelessgames.itch.io/beautycopter – Line delivery of the decade.
Both Super Mario Sunshine and The Wind Waker's plots essentially broke my teen heart and convinced me that both of these franchises would never "grow up" and have new and surprising plot trajectories and narrative climaxes ever again. And I hate to say it, but I wasn't too wrong.
In the cold, carbon-dioxide filled air of the present day, I feel like the final four points are ultimately unfair and were based off the game's historical expectations as "the GameCube Mario". However, age has only caused me to double down on the first two points.
• Underwhelming basic enemy designs • Making the Yoshis essentially be fragile lock-and-key items rather than proper "powerups" • Not enough "pure" platforming secret stages • A "final boss fight" where you don't really fight Bowser at all
I recently looked into myself to see why I've always hated Super Mario Sunshine. As a teen, I initially hated it for having these Cowardly Decisions: • Making the plot twist be "Bowser did it" • Making Peach get kidnapped halfway through as part of said plot twist • Bowser Jr.
The odds-and-evens split would additionally have a stripes-and-solids split… some cards would let you cue up to sink additional balls after the break… the 8 ball would be extra valuable… sinking the cue ball would be very bad indeed… hmhmhm…
While making breakfast, I suddenly had the vision of a Dicey Dungeons joke episode where instead of dice, you get to break-shot a pool ball rack, and whatever balls you sink in the break are your resources this turn.
Blog posts about PC98 porn games that are actually inexplicably good are getting a little out-of-fashion now. When will it be fashionable to make blog posts about RPG Maker porn games with default assets and royalty-free music that are actually inexplicably
I feel like this is kind of a narrative "balance issue" insofar as I don't think Higurashi's themes benefit from one character overshadowing everyone else, and while this curve does help them "catch up" to characters that get focus earlier on, it's definitely a bit much.
This idea surfaces when I think of Higurashi – most of the characters have what I think of as linear importance growth, but one character essentially has "quadratic growth", where their initially low plot significance gets steeper and steeper until they've outpaced everyone else.
A concept rattling around in my cerebral mush is that of characters in fiction having different "importance growth" curves, similar to RPG characters having different stat growth trajectories as the game progresses.
Nintendo's greatest videogame SFX design decision was when they had fairies in Majora's Mask and Ocarina Of Time make *that* noise when they collide with stuff.
RPG videogame designers when they make the final boss give a dialog option to the player, but the only correct way to proceed is to press the Cancel key instead of picking an answer
I'm actually surprised to recall that both Link's Awakening (1993) and EarthBound (1994) had in-game main quest hint services that, while out-of-the-way, were actually mostly functional and effective – a strangely anachronistic quality-of-life feature.
Is FEZ a 3D platformer?
I LOVE backwards-compatible interface design decisions https://twitter.com/em_aytch/status/1566523541272788992
Nowadays, I think people interpret "True Ending" as simply meaning "that which is canon", which I find more than a little disappointing insofar as it neutralises the challenge multi-ending narratives present to the monolithic notion of "canon" in the first place.
The Witch's House (RPG Maker videogaming experience) presents a satisfying idea that a game's "True Ending" shouldn't necessarily be the happiest ending, or the one with the most narrative closure, but instead the ending with the greatest amount of Truth revealed in it.
https://modarchive.org/index.php?request=view_player&query=108105 – The acoustic guitar(?) in this one is pretty good.
Just remembered that Javascript has this keyword with its own completely separate syntax which looks like property indexing, but, importantly, actually isn't.
Videogame choices aren't really about whether or not they "matter" in the RPG sense, or are rewarded or punished. What's only important is simply that they are acknowledged. Doesn't that sound like bliss? To have a deranged idea, and have its derangement recognised?
I like it a lot when a videogame notices that you are interacting with it in a very strange, deliberate and unprompted way, and rolls up its sleeves, grabs your shoulders and looks you square in the eye in response.
Started imagining a hypothetical Magic: The Gathering card that costs 0 and reads "Add 12 mana of any one color. This mana cannot be spent." Discovered to my amazement that there are only three cards in the game's history that would cause this card to do anything remotely useful.
People tweeting "The Live A Live remake added a track called Gigalomania, so now Toby Fox has to make a track called Gigalovania" as if Gigalovania isn't the Song That Might Play When You Fight Sans
People talk about how RPG Maker horror games like The Witch's House and Ib quickly set the mood by opening with sudden jarring deathtraps, letting them dial back the horror afterward. I feel like Undertale's first minute works the same way despite not being directly influenced.
The first minute of Undertale's gameplay remains fascinating because it's obvious it was written in the early 10's (bluntly spoofing a kind of cutesy tutorial that doesn't really exist in games anymore) but hasn't really aged due to how fast and well it sets the game's mood.
New ATM Machine, PIN Number and LCD Display spotted
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