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Aug. 14th, 2014

08:39 pm - Yep, it's dead.

Either the hard drive has gone, or it's the psu. It starts up, but powers off before boting completely. It also won't boot from cd, so I'm leaning more towards the psu. Oh well, it kind of needed to be rebuilt, anyway.

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Aug. 13th, 2014

07:02 pm - Whelp.

I just destroyed my computer. But thanks to my spare electronics, now you can have live updates of how I'm, fixing it!

Or, more accurately, how I'm buying new parts.

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Jul. 14th, 2014

08:20 pm - A Comment on Walking Dead and The Wolf Amongst Us

Since the Steam Sales (oh god I spent HOW MUCH it's supposed to be a sale and CHEAPER dammit) I've played through The Walking Dead and The Wolf Amongst us, the latest adventure games from Telltale. Actually I'm not even sure that they quite fall into the adventure genre: there will be absolutely no getting stuck until you've rubbed every item on every other item, and tried every possible combination of verbs available on the skeleton statues, because the puzzles are short to non existent. No, these are all about the character interactions and how they melodramatic they can get in reaction to your choices.

First off: I'm probably going to sound as if I'm criticizing the games (and the format), so I have to say that I enjoyed playing these games, and would recommend them as enjoyable in themselves, as well as being useful experiments on the format of story delivery in interactive media. Now that the disclaimer is out of the way: The big problem with these games is the lack of effect your actions really have. Throughout, you are told that your actions are having a big effect on the world, but if you play through twice, you still end up in the same place, with the same characters living and dying. If you have the choice between saving one or the other, you can be sure whoever you save won't have much impact. Successfully save someone? Well, they'll be dead soon anyway. Nothing you do really changes the plot.

That's another problem: the story must move constantly forward, because these aren't really games that you play, they are shows that you watch, occasionaly making some input. Good shows, compelling and well written, to be sure, but a show nonetheless. The quicktime events are especially grating: these are success / failure states, where success means more of the story, and failure means doing it again. They are rather frustrating, but it's a case of limited interactivity, or no activity at all. Every now and again, there is an interesting take on the formula - like the babysitter zombie in Clemantine's house, where it only take two hammer hits to kill it, but there's so much time available that you can keep smashing away until there's nothing but a pulp left. You have to question: do you go for overkill, and if so, why? Panic? To be sure it's dead? Venting anger?

In a way, that is the great strength of the format. Because you don't have a huge amount of control over the character's actions as events overtake them, what you do control are their motivations. The player characters are well defined in most cases; you can be sure that Lee is never going to toss Clem to zombies for a distraction, and Bigby is never going to tear out Snow's throat. However, within the limits of how they are, you can still choose the reason they act the way they do. Basically, these are analysis simulators: you get to decide what is driving them, not what they do. Perhaps that's part of the reason these games are loved by reviewers, who love to analyze things deeply.

In summation: enjoyable games, with a heavy dependance on a scripted narrative.

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Jun. 30th, 2014

10:22 pm - NanaMango 2014

So NanoMango, 30 comics in 30 days? I was halfway through it before I realised that my scanner wasn't working and had to buy another. Anyway, I completed it - 30 pages of 'The Seven Hour Cure', along with some commentary on what needs changing.

These are sketch pages: I'm planning out how this should look, experimenting with the layouts and I'm already planning on switching up the script a bit. Criticism and comments are welcome!

This is a prequel comic for another project I'm working on, the furry space opera that I tried last year. While it's all about Doctor Fairchilde, he's not the star.

30 Pages under here.Collapse )


Mar. 23rd, 2014

11:20 pm - DIY


I changed the washer on a tap. And it has stopped dripping.

For now.

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Dec. 22nd, 2013

08:21 pm - Well, that was fast.

The UK's porn filter has been up for what, maybe a week? And already they've started blocking political websites. The ones that have been blocked, though? Both Lib Dem and Conservative (Boris Johnson is a big name Con). Given that both these parties are in the government that set up this filter, and they are both targetted by it, the conclusions we can draw is that the technical people behind it either really don't want to be working on it, or are totally incompetent. No doubt we'll find out which soon enough.

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Nov. 30th, 2013

08:07 pm

I am now a home owner.

I keep finding myself wracked by self-doubt, lying awake at night wondering whether I have done the right thing, or if I have made a terrible mistake, and will regret this. Of course, the answer is yes: I just have that kind of personality, that way of thinking that I always dwell on the road not taken. The only thing to do is take ownership. Sure, I may make mistakes, but at least they are my mistakes.

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Sep. 21st, 2013

08:05 pm - Getting old

The ride back and forth to work is knackering me. I swear, I used to be able to cycle that far and then actually carry on, but by the time I get home in the evening I'm worn out and not good for anything. It's pretty depressing.

My new flat, however, should be much closer, so I should have a lot more energy once the sale is done. That is moving along with the typical slowness of bureaucracy, although I have been told that the seller has found a place to move into that's already empty, so it should go (comparatively) quickly. No news on the final date, of course.

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Aug. 19th, 2013

08:34 pm - This should be all over every news site

Partner of journalist held after journalist publishes Snowden-related documents.

...."clearly intended to send a message of intimidation to those of us who have been reporting on the NSA and [UK intelligence agency] GCHQ"...

Well, now the government is making it pretty clear: if you're investigating them, you and your family are targets for harassment now.

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Aug. 18th, 2013

10:46 am - Well, that was a busy week

I bought a new car - about two weeks ago, now, it's been a long time since I posted. It's a Ford Fiesta, and a 1.4 5-door rather that the 1.2 3 doors I've had in the past. It's still a little cramped in the back, but simply being able to get in and out means it's a lot bigger. The extra engine size makes it a lot more nippy than the Corsa was. I managed to get a reasonable price for the Corsa as well, a thousand pounds, which is far more than I was expecting given that it's only a matter of time before the engine frags itself. I did explain how much damage there was in there, so they can't blame me when it does.

Also? I've put an offer in on a place, and it got accepted! It's on a flat rather than a house, and it's at the upper end of what I can afford, but still within my price range. The block is a newer block, and the flat itself is very well maintained and big inside - most new builds (flat or house) tend towards the tiny box rooms due to the British obsession with having more rooms, not usable rooms. I've never lived in a flat, so this should be interesting.

So now it's back to the waiting game. I'm not sure what's worse, having something to do that I can mess up, or having nothing to do and having to blame someone else when something goes wrong.

Probably the second, because then you've got someone to swear at.

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