Irrsinn.net: taking joy in human unreason

2006 July 31

Won over by Pratchett

A few months ago, I was cajoled into reading [tag]Soul Music[/tag], by [tag]Terry Pratchett[/tag]. Couldn’t stand it. I got at least half way through, and found it to be boring and the humor contrived.

A couple of weeks ago, though, I picked up [tag]Going Postal[/tag], and proceeded to laugh my way through 400 pages of wonderful stuff. I immediately read [tag]Monstrous Regiment[/tag] (WO’s only other Pratchett book here), and although I chuckled less, I appreciated the increased sense of suspense as much as I appreciated Going Postal‘s humor.

If WO has more Pratchett books here, I’d be tearing through ’em. As it is, I’ve started Palahniuk’s Survivor, which proves, as always with his works, full of useful information. Like how to remove stains of the violent sort. Or the protein-based sort.

Games Torment me

This summer has been an enlightening one for me in terms of my career as a gamer. (1337 gamer that I am.) For this summer, I started playing Planescape – Torment.

Now I have trouble playing just about any other game. I blame it on WO’s quasi-experiment to determine what kind of gamer I am.

[tag]Wizardry 8[/tag], which I’d been playing since last fall (dear god, that’s a long game!), seemed boring and annoying after Torment. Turn-based combat doesn’t appeal to me, and never has, although I endured that annoyance for the sake of the character development (and decent plot) of Wizardry 8.

[tag]Diablo II[/tag]… well, honestly. WO and I started playing this cooperatively at the begininng of summer, and as much as I like some aspects of the game, it’s… well, it’s Diablo II. Click-click-clickclickclick! It doesn’t help that I’ve beat it quite a few times already, and that the game is lonely when playing single-player. (Mama always told me not to talk to strangers on the Internet.) What I do love about Diablo II, though, are the character skill trees. Wizardry 8 was the only other game I’ve played that could match or surpass Diablo II in character customization in that way, although Torment is fine in this regard.

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On podcasts

Ah, podcasts. These things have saved my sanity throughout the summer. Some of these are worthy of linkage and sharing.

Not all–luckily, since I listen to entirely too many–but some.

First, the [tag]Performance Poetry[/tag] podcast I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. Amazing stuff.

Another favorite of mine is Next Big Hit. The announcer kills me and the music played probably won’t be the next big hit. That doesn’t make it bad, though, really. It tends to be pop [tag]music[/tag] (and there’s plenty of that new rock stuff I can’t stand), but has recently increased the number of R & B and rap artists played. A fun trick is to try to identify why the songs won’t likely hit the Top 40 charts. Sometimes it’s a singing style that’s out of favor right now; sometimes it’s a too-1990s beat.

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Recent Posts

Exploit: Zero Day “Headless Swarm” Landing December 1

So we’ve been working on Exploit: Zero Day for a couple of years now, but I haven’t talked nearly enough about it here. It’s a web-based cyberthriller puzzle game where you play as a hacktivist, uncovering and battling against oppression and exploitation.

*innocent whistle* Totally not the sort of game I’d want to make or play, no…

It’s been in closed alpha for a while, but we’re ready to offer a prelude season of paid story: “Headless Swarm”. For details on the plotline and how it relates to the continued free alpha access, check out the announcement blog post over at FPG.

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Attending a Charlottean Protest

I visited uptown Charlotte tonight, amidst the current protests and unrest after Keith Scott’s death. My friend and I had a few tidbits of info on where people were meeting, but nothing concrete, so we wandered along several streets.

In areas where people weren’t protesting, businesses were closed, and the streets were unusually silent for 20:30 on a Friday night. Troops stood in clumps of three on corners, waving or saying hello when you passed them. The occasional humvee or police SUV drove by.

Things were more lively at the Omni Hotel, where folks had covered the sidewalk in chalk. There were lots of media there: it was clearly an “allowed”, acceptable, media-consumable gathering. I’d maybe characterize it as a space for quieter expression of grief, although it was criticized by another gathering as essentially being for the white people. The writings were names of people killed and sayings that many of us are familiar with: “hands up don’t shoot”, “when will we have justice?”, etc. Religious figures were around, praying with people.

Further down Trade St., past the bus station, a group had gathered in front of some government building. My friend and I stayed there for a while. They were chanting “I am my brother’s’ keeper!” and folks were stepping up to share their perspectives. Four National Guards and a cop stood between the crowd and the building (with the aid of crowd control barriers), utterly stoic when the crowd shouted questions at them.

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Remastering “The Majesty of Colors”

Folks probably know that I make video games as part of Future Proof Games, but maybe not what we’re doing at the moment. Many, many (many) years ago, Gregory made “(I Fell in Love With) The Majesty of Colors”, a very sweet Flash game about balloons and drowning.

As the site stats geek for FPG, I can tell you “Majesty” remains pretty damned popular. (Hell, it just got linked by Buzzfeed a few days ago.) It’s an evocative game that continues to appeal to folks wanting to explore the soft feelings of a big, weird, sessile alien. Problem is, Flash is finally actually dying — no phone/tablet can run it, and some browser configurations require user action before it’ll run Flash.

So we’re bringing “Majesty” to modern devices: Android, iOS, and Windows/OSX/Linux. And holy crap, this game feels great on a phone; moving the tentacle with your finger just feels real in a way that the tiny, mouse-controlled Flash version doesn’t. I’m excited to test it on tablets.

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July 3rd 2016
Tags: On Life and Love, , No Comments

First Hair Highlights

The first time I dyed my locs.

One of the first pictures taken of my newly-dyed locs.

I did it! I’ve had locs twice now, for a total of almost five years, and each time I’ve gone, “I should be bold and dye my hair!”

But it’s very permanent, especially since my natural hair color likely needs to be lightened for color to show much. Plus, lightening hair can be damaging. Last thing I want is to have my locs falling out. I’ve literally spent years growing these things; I’m not ashamed to say I’m a little attached to them, even if I don’t name them or count them.

But finally, with the aid of recommendations from friends and family on a beautician, I got my hair did.

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Ossuary 25% Off on Steam!

Steam Summer Sale 2016 Offer

Ossuary—Future Proof’s first commercial game release—is part of the Steam Summer Sale and will be 25% off until July 4. If you haven’t had a chance to play yet, it’s only $7.50 (USD). If you’re on the fence, the demo, “The Hodge-Podge Transformer,” is also on Steam.

It’s been on Steam for a year and a month now, and it’s been a fascinating experience. After watching a few Let’s Plays of Ossuary and “Hodge-Podge,” we released an update in December to improve the tutorial experience and solve some colorblindness issues.

EZD Logo Color Our current work in progress is Exploit: Zero Day, a cyberthriller where you roleplay a hacktivist by making and solving puzzles. It’s pretty cool, and our alpha players are making really friggin’ awesome puzzles and stories. If you want in, hop on the monthly mailing list and you’ll get a key in the next newsletter.

When a Nasal Polyp Isn’t a Nasal Polyp

I had a pretty gross thing happen to me today.

It started with a long, thin scope being poked into my nose — deep into my nose. They need to see where this mass in my nose was attached before they removed it.
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Questionable Decisions: Hot Yoga

I made a questionable decision this afternoon.

After coffee with a yogi friend, I was inspired to start climbing back on the yoga horse. Most yoga studios in my area only have Saturday morning classes, so I had very few options for something in the afternoon.

Whatever. I was feeling brave. I signed up for an all-levels Vinyasa hot class at a studio I’d never been to. Ninety minutes.

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