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G (19 Sep 2005 22:06): So, I just learned that there will be an 'SNK vs. Capcom Card Fighters DS.' And it made me want to go out and buy a DS for the express purpose of playing said game. I'm a sick, sick man, am I not?

That being said, everybody loves the DS and hates the PSP, or am I getting something wrong? I mean, they don't all hate the PSP really, but basically, it seems to not have many good games (?). I'm still in love with Street Fighter 3, so maybe I shouldn't care about new games. Console card games seem like the best thing ever, somehow.
G (20 Sep 2005 0:43): And although it's a cool feature that Sony should make more accessible, I would say that the PSP makes a bulky, inelegant MP3 player. It's a decent media player, I suppose, but the resolution isn't great, I don't really want to convert all my media so I can play it with the PSP, and I actually just don't need a portable media device. It's a gaming device with some nice extras, and the games don't really seem to be good enough to make me want to buy it.

But I get excited just thinking about 'Kimi no Tame nara Shineru' and 'Akachan wa doko kara kuru no?' Oh, yeah. And, like, all the rest of the games people are raving about. Except for Nintendogs, which I'll pass on.
m (21 Sep 2005 9:12): What's not to like? Look - that dog's wearing a hat! Cuuuuute!!!1!
m (21 Sep 2005 9:28): Tatsu loves his PSP. I think he put all of Penny Arcade on it, and plays a couple games (something golf and Lumines). But I'm with you on this one: too many frills, even if the design is decent. Too bad my mp3 player is unacceptably shitty. I want an open mp3 player - maybe something that runs a 68K (think that would be fast enough?).
G (21 Sep 2005 22:38): Haha, speaking of MP3 players that rhyme with ditty... (My favorite part is the logo, or rather the pair of logos. Nice!)
G (22 Sep 2005 0:10): And, yeah. The PSP seems to have at least a few nice games. Everybody loves Lumines, it seems. It's just that there doesn't seem to be very many of them. Also, most people seem to say that the DS has a nicer wireless setup. So, if I only bought one...

Of course, if I wanted some kind of picture-viewing musicandmovie-playing thing, too, then the PSP would look a lot more attractive. However, it seems like a pain to convert things for the PSP (especially when fighting firmware upgrades, etc.), and I have a laptop I can take around with me if I ever really care.
z (22 Sep 2005 11:59): I so did not understand any of this. Explain please.
m (22 Sep 2005 12:24): discussion of two contemporary portable gaming systems (though the PSP bills itself as more of a portable media center)
m (22 Sep 2005 12:28): oh -- and some complaints about a few mp3 playing gagets.
m (3 Oct 2005 18:48): My cousin just started at digipen. He's from New York -- I wonder how he found out about the school.
Grant (14 Nov 2005 17:18): So, Magna Carta!
Remember when I was all excited about that, and it was in Korean only for Windows only? It must have been three years ago, or more. Kind of crazy to think about it still going strong (or is it?).
G (14 Nov 2005 17:51): Ugh, so there's two Magna Cartas. The first one is Magna Carta: The Phantom of Avalanche. The second one is Magna Carta 2 AKA Magna Carta: Crimson Stigmata AKA Magna Carta: Tears of Blood. It's the second one that is getting a PS2 release in the US... today?!?
Grant (14 Nov 2005 23:05): I'm still totally psyched about it - and I don't even know anything about it, really. But the 2D art is deservedly renowned, and... the title is kinda cool, I guess. And it's from Korea, which I can't say about many games I play.
m (15 Nov 2005 1:32): that was the thing with the guy doing the crazy concept art, right? like, the dude with a big shoe fetish?
Grant (15 Nov 2005 3:36): Yeah, exactly! Tell me you're not psyched.
Although, I now hear it made a 'top 10 disappointing games' list in Japan..? I don't know, it still seems interesting to me.
(20 Nov 2005 13:34): Let's translate, for people who don't live in Grant's head.
"..still seems interesting..." = "...still seems to have that one guy doing the art."
Grant (12 Dec 2005 15:23): Ugh. In the meantime, though, I'm playing through FFX, which I completely skipped. It's kinda neat. It is, not always pleasantly, very evocative of 'The Wonder Years.' It's uncanny. Unspent time is used on playing Street Fighter III: Third Strike, which remains a pillar of the fighting game community. That, and the timeless Kingdom of Loathing.

There's something about an involved minigame that can hook itself into me. I'm thinking of the card game in FF8, the card game in Xenosaga, and now, to some extent, 'Blitzball' in FFX. In FF8, it actually helped you in-game. In Xenosaga, it had absolutely no game effect (!). I've earned one (1) item for playing Blitzball (I feel dirty every time I type that), but I'm not sure if it's actually 'worthwhile.' Probably not. It's weird, though. Your BB players have levels, statistics and skills. Thus, playing the game makes you feel like your making progress, when it is probably all wasted. Then you can go back to gaining levels in the main game. Ugh.
Grant (13 Dec 2005 18:47): And even as I wrote that, I realized that everything you could say about the mini-games applies to the games themselves. Wastes of time; tedious; illusory, artificial progress...

At least with fighting games, your progress is neither illusory nor artificial. Unless you're trying to unlock costumes in Tekken 5, or something, that is.
(31 Jan 2006 6:18): Man, why'd they have to stop with two?
I was totally waiting for FINAL FANTASY: XXX
Grant (4 Feb 2006 1:35): I think it's official - I'm planning on getting a DS Lite as soon as they hit over here. Then I can play awesome games like.... uh, well, more tetris. But, hey, you just know that DS TETRIS is going to be like ten times better than any other kind of tetris. Or, you know, most.
Although I'm not too sure that having nintendo-mascot-themes for every game time is a real selling point.
Grant (4 Feb 2006 1:45): Also, Valkyrie Profile has to be one of my favorite games of all time, and now it's getting a sequel!
Here's a link, and here's another.
Also, I guess there's going to be a rerelease of VP1 with some goodies for PSP. That's pretty awesome. I don't really see myself getting a PSP for that game, but if I had a PSP, I'd call it a must-buy for anybody who didn't play the original.
Paul (4 Feb 2006 4:19): If you have a system that can run cuyo, I highly recommend it. It's like any other match-up-falling-pieces game, except every level has its own weirdness. Like, on level 4 (the first level with real weirdness) you have to match up arrows that point the same way, except when you rotate the piece, the arrows rotate(!)
Grant (7 Feb 2006 1:45): I'm putting up (on the FTP) some match videos of The Last Blade 2, if you remember that. Some Lee Rekka (fire monk guy) player beasts the competition, but there's also a surprise beatdown or two at the hands of a talented Shigen (big rock-arm dude) player.

Kind of interesting, I thought, if only to get a taste of how that game is supposed to be played. It's not getting any younger, but it still hangs with some of the better of them for gameplay, I think.
m (7 Feb 2006 4:25): oh, no joke. I remember that fella.
Grant (7 Feb 2006 16:34): I don't have any reason to think Sam still reads this, but I read something about a command and conquer compilation coming out. They made twelve of those things?
m (8 Feb 2006 13:16): yeah, but that includes expansions where they, you know, add more guns and stuff. I guess.
Grant (8 Feb 2006 22:40): Or, you know, NERF TEH ROCKET-BIEKS.
Grant (9 Feb 2006 4:50): I'm also uploading some videos from the FFA 3S Ranbat 2. That's the Family Fun Arcade (San Francisco area, I believe) Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Ranking Battle 2.

I know you don't think you want to watch videos of people playing SF3:3S, but it's made somewhat more interesting due to the fact that the... announcer, I guess... is totally high. You might not need to watch all of it, but there are certainly some funny moments. Or maybe it's just funny because I like 3S.
Grant (9 Mar 2006 1:45): Go play Splash Back and tell me what you think. It's pretty simple, but I don't know. Try it out. I think I really started to 'get it' the third time I played it.
(11 Mar 2006 0:20): ALPHA! RITA HAS ESCAPED.
Paul (14 Mar 2006 6:40): Interesting. The "best" strategy seems to be tedious planning to get the whole board as one combo. I got to level 9 with 43 drops before the tedium was too much for me. Since the levels don't seem to get any harder/different, I suppose someone more patient could go on indefinitely(?)
Grant (14 Mar 2006 14:11): Yes, that's absolutely right.
I think they thought that nobody would actually put up with that much tedium, though.
The levels do actually get harder, though - more '1' or '2' puddles and such. It's just fairly gradual, and in addition to that, there's no real need to find a new strategy.
Perhaps if there were a time limit, it would force people to play more spontaneously. And that, in turn, might be more fun.
Grant (11 Jun 2006 18:50): Okay, here's another flash game with geek appeal. Personally, I'm thinking it needs to have more decapitation, or exposed busom to become an internet sensation. Nonetheless, you guys might appreciate it.
m (13 Jun 2006 3:10): sweet game. seriously, though -- needs some boobs.
Grant (13 Jun 2006 22:24): Yeah - and they wouldn't even have to change the game, really.

I envision the new game having a 'boob source,' and the player having to ensure that all of his components are 'boobed.'
Grant (13 Jun 2006 22:28): Speaking of which, how's Budapest? I bet those Hungarians are lining up to buy a PS3. Their thirst for blue-ray has been widely reported.
m (14 Jun 2006 5:13): Hungary's lust for blu-ray (and vicious hatred for HD-DVD) is well documented. But I live in a sort of seedy neighborhood, so all we've got right now is bars motherfucking packed for world cup games between teams that I can't imagine anyone here particularly caring about (trinidad vs. sweden??) -- I did see a videogame store by where I'll be living next semester (more upscale neighborhood, verging on touristy, but a much nicer apartment), so who knows. Maybe so.
m (14 Jun 2006 5:15): hm. I fucked up that first link, but I'm not quite sure how. Carriage return after the <a tag, I guess. Anyhow, here it is again.
Paul (14 Jun 2006 7:08): (mancala converts all linebreaks to
Paul (14 Jun 2006 7:11): (apparently that was a self-referential doh)
Grant (14 Jun 2006 16:35): Since when do you speak Hungarian, by the way?
I imagine they don't get many video games released in Hungarian, but then what do I know?
They say that English is the 'international language,' but I think the future lies with languages where the word for blue-ray is "King Kong." That's what I got out of that second link.
m (19 Jun 2006 6:00): yeah, man -- that second link was something like "what if the man were actually the size of his election posters"
which is to say, big.
Paul (19 Jun 2006 7:18): How many possible outcomes are there from 2 soccer games? More than you'd think
Paul (21 Jun 2006 10:22): No TV to watch the world cup? Just telnet 2006!
m (23 Jun 2006 13:26): that's awesome. unbelievable.
Grant (4 Sep 2006 3:20): Best game ever?
Most Earth-Defense-Force-X game ever?
Grant (19 Sep 2006 3:44): Clips from the new Madden football game.
I laughed.
(4 Oct 2006 22:00):
(4 Oct 2006 22:22): ...
m (5 Oct 2006 11:55): fantastic
G (9 Oct 2006 19:33): You gonna buy a PS3 for Tekken 6?
God, what a farce. Though everybody's jumping on the "PS3 might not be as bad as it looked before" wagon now after a year of internet-tough-guy posturing against a system that's not even out yet.
I'm enjoying my DS, though. Still.
I beat the normal campaign of Advance Wars, which was very fun, but I don't know if I want to start a new campaign or not. I beat the normal levels of Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan! and it was also very fun - I'll probably go back to that one now and again. Now I'm playing CastleVania: The DS One, and it's very good, although I'm struck by just how stagnant the game has been since Symphony of the Night.
Of course, Symphony was a beautiful, ground-breaking game that deserves all the praise that it gets, and it's good enough that I'm actually mostly okay with playing through a remix of it, but it's shocking how there's really only one big change between the most recent game and its six-year-ago, four-game-ago predecessor.
Grant (9 Oct 2006 19:58): Re: CastleVania: Dawn of Sorrow (CastleVania DS, how clever)
Dual Strike, Dawn of Sorrow, Deadly Silence, they're very clever, these marketing types, yes?
Alright, so what gets me most about this game are the points that are very obviously copied from the six-year old Symphony of the Night, along with the points that re completely worse that the game they've been copying for the last 4 or five titles.
When I say copied parts, I'm not talking about general gameplay stuff - I didn't even really expect anything new, there. I'm talking about sprite copies. Yes! The same harpies, weeds, skeletons, axe-armors, frost spirits, and devils (I could go on) are here for more punishment. I knew there'd be skeletons and such, but I really didn't think it would be the exact same skeletons. Soma's animations look almost *exactly* like Alucard's, they're honestly the same. Since he has the same moves, as well, including the trademark back-dash, the sense of deja vu is overpowering.
And then some of the other parts are worse. The character designs have been made into 'for kids' versions, which is incredibly disappointing (Let's compare!). The music can't compare, but you have to let that one slide, since it's on a cartridge.
On the plus side? Looks like the bosses are all new, so there's still some new things to see, at least. The 'soul' system, by which Soma can equip abilities of defeated monsters, lets players play around with some new stuff, which is kinda neat (at the same time, it can require tons of tedious grinding, however). The lack of item and weapon variety is not really made up for by the soul-item-forging, because it requires more tedious grinding and doesn't actually offer anything new for it. Stylus-driven magic seals and touch-destroyable blocks add nothing to the game, but at least they don't come up very often.
Honestly, if you've played SotN, you mostly know what you're getting. It's a good game. If you want to play CastleVania on the DS, it's fine. If you hadn't played one, and didn't need to take it with you, I'd personally say that SotN is a better game, though. I'm still going to play through DS (I'm prolly about 1/3 done?), but unless it gets better, it won't dethrone SotN.
Grant (10 Oct 2006 21:56): It's a good think I like hearing the sound of my own voice!
G (29 Oct 2006 17:17): Now, I realize this is very old news.
But Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is a really satisfying game. Fantastic. To all those people who said it was "Game of the Year" last year - I agree! I also dig the music. It's not super duper hard (yet, anyways), and I don't know how much replay value it has, but it's definitely worth playing through once.
Then again, I'm only on Chapter 3. But it's at the top of my list, right now.
G (25 Jan 2007 16:04): Hotel Dusk / Wish Room is absolutely fantastic. Fantastic. Ffffffaaaaantastic.
The whole thing is done in a sort of sketchy style, where the hotel is 3D and all the people are sketched paper cutouts. It sounds like it might be kinda cheesy, but it works out quite well, owing primarily to the strength of the illustrations. After a while the effect wears off, but I still find myself watching the characters, and waiting for my favorite animations.
m (25 Jan 2007 16:43): looks remarkably attractive!
G (26 Jan 2007 7:22): Yeah. You might not really be able to see in a picture, but even the still poses have three or four frames of animation, so it doesn't just kinda sputter and freeze. The game clocks in at, like, 100 megabytes, which seems ridiculous for a hand-held game to me. But I guess I know where it went. It's all those sketches.
Paul (2 Feb 2007 4:18): WV to use Dance Dance Revolution to slim kids. The title says it all.
G (18 Feb 2007 5:47): Wesker!
I started playing RE4 a little bit. Pretty cool - but it's been a good while since I've played a game you can, you know, lose. Scary!
G (26 Feb 2007 16:33): Pixel (Cave Story) has released a WIP shooter (guxt?)
Windows only for now.
G (3 Mar 2007 5:58): Cleared Portrait of Ruin, but used up all my restorative items to kill Dracula (spoilier!)
And it lets you start a new game as "richiter." :(
R (8 Mar 2007 4:07): Holy crap. Desktop Tower Defense is serious crack.
m (8 Mar 2007 14:40): we need a group name for score comparisons
m (8 Mar 2007 15:25): (mancala)
Paul (8 Mar 2007 17:11): That tower defense stuff is pretty good. Unfortunately my default config of Flash doesn't show anything in the infoboxes, so I can't upgrade my towers, see my lives-count, etc. But I can see the guys getting blown up by my towers, anyway.
G (8 Mar 2007 17:16): Press U to upgrade.
G (8 Mar 2007 17:27): And 'S' to sell! Although you won't be able to see the prices and what the upgrades do, exactly...
In general, though, they just increase the damage. The weak posts get their damage doubled each time, and the fast 'squirt' towers get their damage increased by 90% each time, it looks like.
G (8 Mar 2007 17:47): Although perhaps you need a font on your computer to see text in Flash. :(
G (9 Mar 2007 6:59): Played DTD again, this time I beat it! On easy. And I had to play super cheap, although I think it's expected. Picture...
G (9 Mar 2007 9:28): I beat it on normal! But the flying bosses just zoom right over me. And I think missing the cash for a boss is probably pretty bad... But on the other hand, killing them might require getting max-level darts, and that might eat up all the money that killing them would give me.
m (9 Mar 2007 19:08): those flying bosses are hard!
Paul (10 Mar 2007 6:57): I took down both flying bosses on level 42 using 4 typhoons, 2 four-dot swarms, and upgrading 2 blizzards just in time for 42. But I still missed a lot on 46-48. My computer is quite slow, which I think is an advantage for thinking-time, but makes it easy to waste many hours on DTD...
G (10 Mar 2007 15:37): It gets a little slow when there's a lot on the screen for me, too - but I just turn down the quality to 'medium' and it's fine, usually. Try that, maybe.

It seems like to kill the bosses you either need two 5-dot swarms (storms), or a whole pile of typhoons. Or a compromise between the two. The other important thing is to have two blizzards towards the entrances to slow them down before they get to your guns.

I've been trying to have two storms and a typhoon near the middle, a couple blizzards towards the top and left, either one or two darts, and then putting the rest into sniper towers. I'm not sure about it, though - maybe I should make more typhoons. Snipers don't help as much for the planes, but they're way, way cheaper.
G (10 Mar 2007 18:04): Getting close, there!
G (10 Mar 2007 19:12): Sorry for clogging up the scoreboard, by the way. In the future I will only submit a score if it's higher than my last one. But you guys should submit all of yours until it doesn't look like I'm a social recluse.
Paul (11 Mar 2007 7:53): Oh, I totally hadn't noticed that I could change the Flash quality to speed it up. With 'low quality' it runs decently on my machine, which is good!
G (12 Mar 2007 15:27): ...You guys give up, or something?
The advanced play seems to all revolve around 'juggling' the enemies between two exit paths. By unblocking one and blocking the other, you force all the enemies to trudge back to the beginning and start over - and it only costs you $2 to do it.
G (13 Mar 2007 19:15): I think I could beat 8000 maybe, but I'm losing the will to try.
Paul (24 Mar 2007 0:56): just broke 7000
G (8 Apr 2007 19:47): Who wants to play SRWA3 now?
G (9 Apr 2007 0:16): Desktop Tower Defense was just updated.
m (9 Apr 2007 7:31): I don't like those spawn dudes jumping through my diagonals.
G (9 Apr 2007 8:12): Yeah, it's kinda obnoxious. It makes diagonal layouts much much worse. They can't jump far enough to cross over straight horizontal/vertical lines.
G (15 Apr 2007 18:19): Time to buy an XBox?
G (22 Apr 2007 16:38): I'm not exactly in line for an MMO, but if I were, it would have to be this. Man! I could play dress up all day!
G (22 Apr 2007 18:15): If you guys wanna warfish invite, hit the link.
If not, that's cool, too.
G (8 May 2007 16:48): Hydrophobia. All the world really needs is more water in games.
G (8 May 2007 18:24): Well, that and fewer detainees in Gauntanamo.
G (31 May 2007 1:43): You can find videos of Odin Sphere on YouTube, but be warned that half are people playing very poorly, and you might get spoilers (oh noes!) in the other ones.

It's some kind of 2D beat-em-up cum RPG. The action is certainly the former, but you also have rich item usage and a basic level system that makes it feel like the latter. A good score and a great visual style rounds out the package.

I think there was one time on PA when one of them said that he planted a seed in the stage, and when he defeated enemies, they released photons which the plant absorbed. The plant grew, and finally bore sheep as fruit. If you then attack the sheep, they turn into little roast meat things. And when you eat those, not only do you regain health, but your hit points gain experience.

It's really just a 2D beat-em-up at heart, but the gorgeous art and animation, plentiful bosses, obtainable items/recipes/etc., and multiple characters (which are only unlocked sequentially) help keep it fresh. Or if you're just a sucker for anything based on Wagner's Rings, y'know. And the US version lets you select between English and Japanese voice tracks!
m (4 Jun 2007 3:00): currently waste much time writing/playing mmatch.
I made that webpage just for you, grant. I hope you have X header files on your machine.
G (4 Jun 2007 15:49): I'm into the MMORPSGGH craze! But I don't actually play.
No, no. I just watch videos of in-game dancing.
G (4 Jun 2007 18:39): I guess Neversoft is going to turn Judy Nails into a generic video-game ho-bag.
G (9 Jun 2007 1:53): GOD HAND! It's better than Odin Sphere!
G (13 Jun 2007 3:27): GOD HAND!
Japanese ad.
Trailer 1, 2, 3.
Ending credits (English).
Some guy who's way too good at the game.
G (24 Jun 2007 7:48): New version of Desktop Tower Defense.
If anybody still cares.
There's new towers and creeps, but...
It's still basically the same.
G (25 Jun 2007 1:22): Let's join Weewar and play a game.

Basically, it looks like hex-based Advance Wars in your browser.
m (7 Sep 2007 19:01): sounds like they had 37,400 folks at PAX.

G (27 Sep 2007 19:46): I played Rock Band at the UW today, and got to talk to a Harmonix employee about it a little. It was pretty funny, although the guitars they had up on stage seemed a little finicky. Good time, but I was a little disappointed by the turnout, and that the UW made them turn off all their amps. The two may have been related slightly.
R (9 Apr 2008 14:03): Miles Edgeworth: Perfect Prosecutor
G (9 Apr 2008 16:42): I saw that! Alright, Edgey!
G (17 Apr 2008 11:17): Street Fighter 4 watch.
New characters, huh?
Finally, we get our long-awaited fatty fat man.
m (17 Apr 2008 21:22): Wow. I like how (a) to the point, and (b) technically detailed that post was. Information-dense. Of Sagat: "C.FP is no longer the Evil Bringer of Retribution it used to be. Now, it's just a normal move. Seriously lacks pokes. [etc]"
G (18 Apr 2008 13:10): Yeah, it's true - FITE-GAMERZ are real gamers. They don't waste no time.
It's all about figuring out what's effective as fast as possible.
G (20 Apr 2008 23:11): Of course, nobody really cares about Street Fighter anymore.
Not when there's MORTAL KOMBAT!!!!!!
I just hope it's as good as MK4!!!
G (30 Apr 2008 23:32): If, for some reason, you needed something to waste your precious time on, SkyRates is pretty cool.
m (1 May 2008 14:42): always in such need
G (1 May 2008 15:53): Also, I think it's actually supposed to be pronounced to sound like 'pirates.' But you never know, you know?
G (1 May 2008 23:43): Actually, one of the cool things about it is that it is designed with sporadic play in mind. Although, that's still more time than it takes to not play.
m (3 May 2008 11:57): here you do know! The "old version" link backs you up on the pronunciation:
G (3 May 2008 13:20): Trying to dictate how I pronounce my words is un-American.
I've noticed a high level of un-American-ness around here.
G (20 May 2008 15:43): From Waxy: 16% of US science teachers are young-earth creationists.
G (20 May 2008 19:36): Whoops. I was going to post this in 'Danger.'
G (1 Jun 2008 1:12): Ooh, "Front Mission 2089" was just released for DS. In Japanese.
Here's a screenshot. Allow me to translate!

Odd-eye: My code-name is Odd-eye.
My eyes are odd-eye.

So, looks like I'll be playing this one, if only for the dialogue.

(Odd-eye is a japanglish term for heterochromia)
R (4 Jun 2008 14:37): I will probably also be playing this one ... because it's Front Mission! (Not true - have not played FM2 or 3. Did 4 come out? I can't even remember.)

However, because it is Front Mission, I will probably start with plenty of excitement, but tire of mecha dress-up + grinding somewhere between 5% (Side-scrolling action FM) - 95% (FM1) through.
G (4 Jun 2008 15:24): FM4 is for PS2, and is really good.

I think I talked to you about it - it has repair-capable backpacks for your mechs, which makes things much more forgiving, and 'attack links' which are hard to describe, but essentially allow you to attack as a team.
G (4 Jun 2008 15:25): I hear FM5 was good, too, but doesn't seem to be getting an english release.
G (4 Jun 2008 22:54): FM5 Gameplay. I'm actually tempted to try to play it in Japanese... Of course, if I ever turned on my PS2 again, I've got several games waiting. :(
G (5 Jun 2008 16:31): Wow. FM 2089 even has a lot of the same music as FM1. It's very much in the "this would have looked pretty good on a SNES" territory.
G (8 Jun 2008 15:14): Ultimately, TWEWY is a game about cross-dressing.
G (8 Jun 2008 16:11): You keep it classy, Nintendo.
G (12 Jun 2008 17:41): Anybody remember Rose & Camellia?
R (18 Jun 2008 7:15): Easy to use (if you haven't applied the very latest update) hack for running homebrew on the Wii.
G (18 Jun 2008 15:23): Yeah, I read about that.
And I guess the latest firmware won't de-install the homebrew channel if you've already got it set up. Good for emulators, it looks like.
G (26 Jun 2008 13:56): Disgaea DS is out in Japan. Also, Daigasso Band Brothers DX, which can be used in a quasi-'rock band' mode, it would seem, allowing for 8-player simultaneous. If you've got a Wii, it can use your TV's speakers.
G (26 Jun 2008 15:21): Holy carp, Megaman 9. Including... the first female (?!) robot master, Splash Woman.
G (26 Jun 2008 19:44): Also, a CastleVania fighter... for the Wii! Screens are here.
R (2 Jul 2008 7:57): OH SHI-
G (2 Jul 2008 17:11): Yeah! I saw that!
Now I can actually play that game, I guess.
m (5 Jul 2008 20:45): It's just a goddamn clock -- as far as flash games go: terrible.
G (13 Jul 2008 22:32): Metal Slug 7 for the DS is out!
I don't know anything more about it than that.
Space Invaders Extreeem is pretty awesome, Arkanoid DS is... much more slowly paced.
G (30 Jul 2008 19:32): These screenshots of Dragonball DS suggest some interesting gameplay.
G (30 Jul 2008 19:48): Also, an exciting new trailer! Wow! I'm excited!
G (2 Oct 2008 16:45): WWHAAAATTT?!?!?
R (2 Oct 2008 16:47): NERDGASM
G (2 Oct 2008 16:48): I'm thinking the screenshot in the article may not be a real one, though, since there have been several cave story mods, and since the Nintendo press release didn't have any pictures with it (that I saw). Although if it is real, that's kind of exciting.
G (2 Oct 2008 16:48): Wow! Ninja post, R.
G (10 Oct 2008 7:35): The WiiWare Cave Story Blog. Has a single picture of the new graphics for comparison. I guess the music will also be different.
G (19 Oct 2008 22:40):
G (20 Oct 2008 8:17): CastleVania: Order of Ecclesia out in NA tomorrow.
G (21 Oct 2008 23:08): It's out. Looks fantastic.
G (5 Nov 2008 8:02): You guys were totally right about Cammy. :P

I guess there's a new DS game out in Japan called "The Wind of Nostalgio." Sounds pretty awesome.
G (4 Dec 2008 9:26): I beat Cult of Ecclesia! Pretty fun. Do I go through for boss medals? Albacore mode? I'm kinda thinking about it, but by the time I go back to my DS, it might be to play Chronotrigger. Mmmm.
R (5 Dec 2008 15:36): Somehow, I stopped playing for a bit, and haven't made it back. Was torn about facing Dracula vs. more grinding. I like your title translation better than the official "Order of Ecclesia". I wanted to close this post with "Soon, Dracula will taste my whip," but there aren't any character-usable whips in the game. What the hell? Soon Dracula will taste my magic back tattoo?
G (6 Dec 2008 8:56): Haha, yeah, soon he'll face motherfucking nitesco. That shit does fire/light damage, son. Yeah, light.
G (6 Dec 2008 16:41): Wow, why play 'real' games when you could be playing a juvenile, hacked version?
G (10 Dec 2008 11:11): Beat.
G (13 Jan 2009 23:51): Why Mother 3 has music in 29/16 time.
m (14 Jan 2009 1:28): Terrifying. You tried it?
m (14 Jan 2009 1:28): Hey, don't you live in the same city as me?
G (14 Jan 2009 14:18): I totally do!
Also I just dropped one of my classes, so maybe I'll have some free time.
R (15 Jan 2009 14:10): Actually, both of you live in MY town. Mine.
G (15 Jan 2009 15:11): "This town isn't big enough for the two of us!"
"Yea, I reckon we'll have to annex part of the county."
G (28 Jan 2009 22:26): If you've been waiting for Street Fighter 4 to hit consoles, this is some kind of crazy bomb-shell.
G (26 Feb 2009 0:00): I bought Street Fighter Four.
If you wanna know how to play, I can break it down for you.
m (26 Feb 2009 14:58):
Is he close?  ->  Yes  ->  SHORYUKEN!!1
-> No -> Fuck it -> SHORYUKEN!!1
G (1 Mar 2009 15:43): Come on!

Just pick Ken, already!
G (2 Mar 2009 23:40): Auto polo.
m (3 Mar 2009 12:14): also: incredible.
G (13 Mar 2009 23:34): Stolen joke: Dream Club Website Cannot be Accessed

Do you have a pure heart?

-> No.

I'm sorry, but we can only allow those with pure hearts to enter.

G (27 Mar 2009 15:07): Hey, it's a Wii game!
G (25 May 2009 1:33): HRAP EX with Sanwa buttons and an octagonal restrictor plate GET.
Although I'm not sold yet on the octo-plate. I'm thinking it might be nicer for, say, Marvel, but not as nice for Street Fighter (where I do a lot of diagonal-to-diagonal movements, since I probably play as Chun Li and Boxer most frequently.)
Paul (25 May 2009 4:37): I checked google images to figure out how exactly it restricts, but it's still not clear to me. I guess if you push the joystick NNW, it tends to slide it toward the stable corner positions at N or NW? Does the game care about magnitude of joystick movement or just direction? And does the restrictor plate limit that magnitude? And why am I suddenly curious about this "restrictor plate"?
G (25 May 2009 14:53): Okay, well, I'll try to explain.

First of all, most arcade joysticks only register 8 possible directions. Essentially, they are the arrow keys, except you can't press left & right or up & down at the same time. So the joystick never reports magnitude in any direction; these are not analog joysticks.

I would be remiss not to mention the very detailed explanation of all this here. Sometimes I find the opinions there to be highly biased, however.

Here we have a standard (for Japan) square-gate joystick. The white section with the circle in it is 'dead' space where you can move the joystick. The American standard is a circular restrictor, by the way.

When you change the restrictor plate, the basic joystick is the exact same - that means that the dead zone of the joystick remains identical. All you're changing is the 'throw,' the boundaries to which the joystick can physically be moved.

As you can probably see from the diagrams above (cough, cough), the diagonal area is reduced quite a bit with an octagonal restrictor plate. The basic tradeoff seems to be that as your restrictor plate becomes more smooth, circular motions become easier, while hitting diagonals becomes more difficult.

Since I don't think of myself as having trouble making circular motions, the smaller diagonals seem kind of annoying. Then again, I haven't actually tried it out, yet! Maybe later tonight.
G (25 May 2009 15:00): Specifically, I consider much of that guys' treatment of button layouts to be garbage. My two cents.
G (25 May 2009 23:23): Yeah, I don't know if I really like the octo-plate.
Doing balrog's low rush punch (charge DB -> DF + P), I seem to frequently get his rush punch (charge DB -> F +P). :S
G (28 May 2009 1:06): Oh man, Perfect Prosecutor Miles Edgeworth is out! In Japan, anyway.

I may have to yoink that DS at some time.

Maybe trade it in for one that works. :S
m (28 May 2009 9:43): understandable. I'll get on this Phoenix Wright thing.
m (28 May 2009 9:51): And I too am totally in love with the idea of these bespoke custom joysticks.
G (28 May 2009 23:52): They're pretty cool!

Plus, there's never been a better time to be building a custom joystick. Thanks to Street Fighter 4, there's a lot of info, schematics, pre-built boxes and stuff out there. And both the 360 and the PS3 use USB connections, so you should be able to use it on your computer for emulation and stuff, too!
G (26 Jun 2009 10:40): No, not really.
G (10 Jul 2009 15:13): Street Fighter 4!
G (10 Jul 2009 15:36): Oh, man
G (18 Jul 2009 2:50): Next in the series I like to call "relinking to everything from Waxy":

Creating the Illusion of Accomplishment
m (19 Jul 2009 22:31): progress quest is great, I don't care what you say
G (20 Jul 2009 2:31): No argument here!
m (20 Jul 2009 15:57): Back story:

Since time before time the Vorlak had held the Crosshutch at Thraeskamp. The ancient reckoning held that the Five Skrelkampi (and their Truebine) would return when the great Trond-feast could be held anew and the Belnap reunited. But this legend became lost to all but the Papperboxen at Horbug. One of their own was Yallow the Speldrig, who found an unlikely pupil in Torbole Understeady, the discarded illigitimate waif of Wainthane Topknox, whom Yallow renamed Grumdrig and began to school as a boar-pulmet's apprentice. ...And, as it was said by some, in aberdoxy.

As our story opens young Grumdrig has returned to Horbug following a trying stint in Spilwaer Spond where his laconic disposition and fertile mind bred a series of misadventures which had landed him outside the good graces of the Jordref there, Welham, who had secretly begun a long term course of slow but disaccomodating illpeel in the lad's morning fanwael. Meanwhile, though scarce a tuft of mansefur had yet made its appearance on the boy's manssach, a number of visiting Roilwachhs have begun to exhibit a discreet and seemingly inexplicable interest in the boy. Strange indeed, as he would not reach his krouchensterm for another harvest or more. And when Grumdrig's resiliant compatriot Paedri appears at Grumdrig's lochnotat with a Scrolstamp from the old Speldrig, a woozy foreboding feeling rises from his young gut...
G (21 Jul 2009 1:15): Wow, I'm getting really good at Progress Quest.
m (24 Jul 2009 11:28): BlazBlue. Talk to me.
G (25 Jul 2009 0:09): Yeah!
G (25 Jul 2009 12:10): BlazBlue!
Blaz "these combos are not actually good enough to be worth using in a match" BLUE!
Seriously, though, I'm very interested. Will probably be picking this up when possible.
G (25 Jul 2009 12:18): After I get a stick for my new console, that is.
G (26 Jul 2009 3:54): Because SF4 is dead, anyways.
Look. Look! Look! Oohhhhh LOOK!
G (28 Jul 2009 0:09): So, I'll probably get it in a little while.

But you know what fighting game I also really recommend? SF2: HD Remix.
No, seriously! Because even if you think there's a lot of BS in it (SF2: BS Remix), and there is some, I still say there's a lot less than in any 'modern' fighting game you're likely to pick up. As far as the learning curve goes, HDR has a lot going for it - not only is it simpler to begin with, but its various aspects are already well explored. It's easy to just jump in and play, without feeling like you're missing too much.

Also: Do I need to get a second stick? (or at least an adaptor...) I'm not totally averse to the idea, but it's hard to imagine somebody else wanting to play a fighting game with me... on a pad.
G (29 Jul 2009 8:27): Oh, right - and MVC2 is out for XBLA, now!
(This post filed under: Mango Sentinel)
Paul (22 Aug 2009 20:42): Hey! It's a port of my old Alice in Wonderland game, and it runs on my current computer! (The original basically didn't work after Win95, partly due to its copy protection schemes.)
G (23 Aug 2009 23:50): New Layton is out@!
Sandra wants the DS back...
m (24 Aug 2009 1:15): we need to meet tomorrow for doughnuts - I'm about to go out of town. Call me.
G (24 Aug 2009 10:02): I'm a' callin.......
G (27 Sep 2009 23:30): New capcom teaser. Must be street fighter. I'm posting because I know you guys would be upset if you didn't have two days to speculate.
R (27 Sep 2009 23:39): SFIV Championship Edition. Am I rite?
G (28 Sep 2009 23:05): That's my guess.
G (28 Sep 2009 23:06): They actually already released tons of info about it, and you can find screenshots online. T.Hawk and Juri are playable; T.Hawk looks absolutely miserable, as you'd expect.
G (28 Sep 2009 23:10): Oh. I guess it's out already. "Super Street Fighter IV"
G (28 Sep 2009 23:12): Oh. I guess it's out already. "Super Street Fighter IV"
G (11 Nov 2009 12:48): Critter Crunch reminds me of Money Idol Exchanger. I guess other people would have said "Magical Drop," but I know what's up.

How's that Modern Warfare 2?...
m (11 Nov 2009 13:08): you do know what's up!
R (11 Nov 2009 17:21): Pfft, whatever, OLD MAN G.

Don't tell my housemate, but... I'm pretty underwhelmed so far, at least with the single player. I don't know if I would have needed to play through the first game to feel more engaged with the story. It feels very much like Call of Duty 2, except with cool James Bond-type bullshit (e.g. escape from the enemy base on a snowmobile, climaxing in a huge jump). Multiplayer is likely to be more of the same in a good way, I hope.
R (11 Nov 2009 17:24): I don't know how they did it, but CoD:MW2 immediately generates a total suspension of belief. Or I might just be a hater. Or both.
R (11 Nov 2009 18:08): It may be worth noting that I played a lot of CoD2, but did not beat it, a bit of CoD4:MW and didn't finish, and am really wondering why I should keep playing CoD:MW2 at all. The difficult seems really uneven so far, and I'm tired of the unlimited-enemy-respawn-until-you-cross-an-invisible-line mechanic. I've been told to just drop the difficulty down, but I'm no longer interested in the story, either.
G (17 Nov 2009 3:33): Woo, murder simulator.

MW2 chat tends to be worthless, but last night a group started talking about LOL AIRPORT MASSACRE and it was a good time. Everybody made fun of it. Congratulations, Infinity Ward.
(17 Nov 2009 22:58): dentata fleshlight.
R (18 Nov 2009 12:26): Previous post is not mine, but: "thanks." You'd better watch out for the Thread Police, though.
R (18 Nov 2009 12:28): Just so everyone is aware, I don't think the current level of VD postage deserves a new thread. The Thread Police will continue to monitor trends, and activate new threads as necessary. Carry on.
G (2 Jan 2010 23:08): Games was awesome! I'd love to play it again, if we can.
We can try for a game with a more clear/strict understanding of acceptable table talk, maybe. In retrospect, I feel like we weren't actually that close to losing (thanks to cheating, perhaps?), because we still had the grail, etc. we could have cashed in. Although at the time, it certainly felt like it was getting close.
It seems cleverly balanced - as each player's turn consists of a 'good' and 'bad' action, it means that more players result in a greater number of both. Of course, each player begins with a reserve of life and cards, so ultimately games with more players should have an easier time of things. I wonder if perhaps large groups shouldn't start out with 1 less life & 1 less card, if not a more crippling handicap.
G (2 Jan 2010 23:12): Also, I'm kind of torn regarding the discussion of strategy! I think that with ruthlessly optimized play, the game would become sort of easy without a traitor - and maybe even with one. Some of the fun is surely in figuring out what choices are advantageous, but if we're following a flowchart instead of making decisions, it might be less entertaining. Also, if I ever get to be the traitor, I want to be able to deploy for maximum effect. >:D
G (3 Jan 2010 0:11): In particular, it seems that many people online complain about the tactic of siege engine spam from the traitor. Of course, I don't have any first-hand experience with it, but it seems like there are two parts: 1) Siege spam is much more effective when the traitor gets more turns (fewer players), 2) This tactic is particularly braindead, so the traitor is forced to choose between something fun and efficacy. I'm not sure how good siege-spamming is, but let's just assume that it really is that good, your group of players is aware of that, and they are all die-hard play-to-winners who will take the boring, effective choice every time.
It seems like you could alleviate this via some house rules. Perhaps you wait until turn 3 or 4 before you look at your loyalty card (a variant on 3-player rule), giving the loyal knights a slight head-start in the race. Alternatively, you could play with an 'auto-traitor,' and simply start placing siege engines on their behalf from the start. This simulates playing with an extra player (which, I'm told, is generally easier) while at the same time giving each player a role that is fun.
G (9 Jan 2010 3:38): I was thinking about buying a couple games, since now I think maybe I could play them with Mike & friends. So my question is: Do the following games sound potentially fun? Do you own them already? Dominion, Pandemic

Slide 5 seems to be out of print most places. I might deface a couple decks of playing cards and make my own.
m (9 Jan 2010 9:22): I've played pandemic. It's a lot of fun.
Never played dominion, but I'm curious to try.
And see potentially in-print versions of Slide 5, "Category 5" and "6 Nimmt!". Looks interesting.
G (9 Jan 2010 13:23): Slide 5 is the potentially in-print version. Except that it's completely not. The others have been out of print for years.

I somewhat worry that I'll hate Dominion, but the lure of card games is nigh irresistible.
G (11 Jan 2010 20:22): There's a new hatsune miku arcade game out in Japan. Looks kinda lame.
G (13 Jan 2010 23:34): Megaman 10 robot masters. I never got MM9, but I dunno. Maybe I will someday, when they mark it down or something.
m (14 Jan 2010 10:16): Sheep Man! Pump Man (with awesome hair)!
m (14 Jan 2010 10:17): actually, sheep man made me think of murakami...
G (14 Jan 2010 10:23): Yeah, or maybe it's a PKD reference? But I'm not too sure about that.
G (24 Feb 2010 10:38): Shiren the Wanderer 4 is out...
I can't find anything that says what's new in this version. Then again, it's a DS roguelike, so... the answer is probably 'nothing.'
R (25 Feb 2010 18:07): Cave Story release date: May 23. All the bonus features are included, no additional cost DLC. 3-save slots. Mix and match upgraded graphics and music. I probably won't be living in a place with a Wii by then. But, still excited, somehow.
G (25 Feb 2010 20:18): If I'm correct, 'hard mode' is essentially an enforced no-items mode, i.e. only 3 HP.
I dunno, seems like 'hard' would be, like, half life. I think 3 HP deserves to be called, "very hard."
G (25 Feb 2010 20:19): Also, they should at least give you turbo fire in hard mode.
m (26 Feb 2010 16:58): have you guys seen This is the only level?
G (27 Feb 2010 2:58): I have! Achievement unlocked was also surprisingly entertaining.
G (27 Feb 2010 9:32): Also, Level End.
m (27 Feb 2010 10:15): surprisingly fucking great!
m (27 Feb 2010 10:29): @Level End: amazing!
R (28 Feb 2010 18:21): Oh man. Robot Unicorn Attack is free flash fun in the canabalt format. Top score for me is 59k. Kind of shockingly fun compared to getting beat down by actual teams in MW2. Hm. Although the illusion of progress is completely lacking in RUA. But Erasure (yes, Erasure) makes up for it.

Idea: Strategy discussion video, in the style of fighting game vids. There could be some slow-motion showing "single-frame" combos, in choppy, frame-dropping flash.
G (28 Feb 2010 19:01): So, uh, what are your guys' high scores?

I just got 10,338 for one run, 20,858 for the three together.
Are you talking about a 'strategy combo video' for RUA, or other games, in general?
Like, chess...? KNIGHT TO QUEEN.... CHECK MATE IN FOUR!!!!
G (28 Feb 2010 19:11): I take it back. 18,424 for one, 41,798 for the set.
You can 'double jump,' but dashing will give you an additional jump after that(!).
But only for, like, five or six jumps.
m (28 Feb 2010 20:45): Erasure?
R (28 Feb 2010 22:29): Erasure? ERASURE! Erasure.

And here's the vid for the song in RAU: Always.
G (1 Mar 2010 7:28): Erasure? ERASURE! Erasure.
R (3 Mar 2010 22:50): The Witness
"An exploration-puzzle game on an uninhabited island."

Okay, not exciting until you find out it's Johnathan Blow (of Braid fame)'s new game!
There's a blog, too, with quite a bit more info than that. Why did I even link the info page.
A couple of pictures in the concept gallery are causing me to sport a not-so-furtive Ico boner.
G (4 Mar 2010 0:09): LOL, it looks like Myst.

Speaking of ICO, I should play Shadow of the Colossus some time.
R (4 Mar 2010 10:38): Somehow I knew I didn't even have to remind you.
G (4 Mar 2010 22:07): I got 52k on RUA. 59k? You're a beast.
You can go underneath the screen, but some islands extend down there and will kill you. And you can't ascend quickly enough to escape when that happens.
R (6 Mar 2010 18:01): Well, my top one-run score is around 30k, but that was really lucky. I can usually get 20k+ on at least one run... and I was playing for a while... so I think I just lucked out.
G (10 Mar 2010 13:48): So, the last new Street Fighter 4 character has been revealed.
I, uh, don't wanna spoil anything for you... Just watch it.
R (11 Mar 2010 1:00): What the hell. Why, Capcom? How many existing characters are there that would have been preferable to this ... thing? Many. Many many. I don't even play SF and this annoys me.
G (24 Mar 2010 23:22): I beat R's score on Pac-Man CE... (barely)
G (6 Apr 2010 14:21): So I bought another DS (lite), as my old one was having some issues with its screen, hinges, buttons, and d-pad.
G (6 Apr 2010 14:25): Oh, right. And I tried playing a little Infinite Space; it's not bad! The gameplay itself seems like it might be very simple, but you can really tell they're trying to make it an epic tale of grandeur and adventure and stuff. It doesn't sound like much, but things like panning the camera along spaceships in space. Like, they're just little blocky models, but when I saw it I really thought about how few DS games would even try to present a sequence that was so... 'cinematic.' Game itself seems suspiciously like rock-paper-scisssors.
m (6 Apr 2010 15:09): yes, I know your old DS!
R (6 Apr 2010 16:19): I'm guessing... black?
Is there a way to steal/purchase Japanese content? Like that perspective game?
I think the only things that worked well on you old unit were the speakers and battery.
G (7 Apr 2010 2:35): As I understand it, DSi-ware games have been dumped, but can't currently be played.
G (7 Apr 2010 2:36): And no, they won't let you buy Japanese stuff. The DS (lite) is region-free, but the DSi introduced region locking -- a first for a Nintendo handheld as far as I know. :(
G (8 Apr 2010 1:26): Hey I guess Cave Story is out for Wii, right?
G (11 Apr 2010 20:06): Knights in the Nightmare is craaaazy. Wikipedia says it's a "strategy-shooter role-playing game hybrid," probably just because including "action-puzzle" would have made it too long. It's intricate, deep, original, beautiful, challenging... And it'll take you about an hour(!) to go through all the in-game tutorials, if you choose to do so.

Or you could supplant some or all of that by watching this series of tutorials on YouTube, although the in-your-face commentators don't really do the game's somber mood justice.
G (27 Apr 2010 18:57): I guess Super SF4 is out.
G (30 Apr 2010 16:38): Cave Story Wii...

It seems the only differences are:
- Remixed graphics and music modes.
- Extra game modes
-- Easy mode (half damage)
-- Hard mode (no life capsules)
-- Curly mode (sprite is different)
-- Boss rush

I dunno. I guess it's still a really great game. I was just hoping for something new, gameplay-wise. A new weapon, or area. And I guess the new music is buggy.
G (5 May 2010 17:40): Borderlands! Game of the (last) year!
G (8 May 2010 16:40): New MvC3 info. Barely...
1. Controls will be 'TvC-like.' That means 5 buttons instead of 6 - Light, Medium, & Heavy attacks, along with two 'Exchange' buttons... that will also be used for all launchers!? I was following along right up until the end, there.
2. The exchange buttons will be used for calling assists and switching characters, we assume. But MvC3 will also introduce a switch counter. Unexpected!
3. I guess they confirmed a bunch of characters. Dante, Deadpool, etc., whatever, BLAH WHO CARES.
G (9 May 2010 2:39): Oh shit.
--Uppercut move is further simplified from TvsC, it receives it's OWN button, called the "exchange" button. Now in addition to uppercutting, you can choose the direction you slam them in, and continue the combo (like slamming them into the ground)
--Catch to that is if your opponent presses the same exchange direction as you do in a combo, than they escape your combo and counter with their own. "This exciting rock-paper-scissors element complements the simplification of launching foes into the air, integrating a new fold of strategy for hardcore MvC fans to chew on."

Please wait, cross-posting to incredibad...
G (2 Jul 2010 7:59): Regarding Front Mission Evolved: “Looking globally, we thought about what franchise could have worldwide appeal. Shooters are popular and Front Mission’s theme of war was suitable for a shooter, so we thought it was a perfect fit,” :S
G (18 Oct 2010 21:16): Dominion.Isotropic.Org
Fantastic. We could even play some games together.
Paul (19 Oct 2010 20:43): Sweet! That's a lot better than my text-only version which you had to play by iterating your hand yourself in a text editor.
G (18 Jul 2011 7:35): I cleared Portal 2's single player campaign this weekend
R (21 Jul 2011 16:46): SPAAACE!
Paul (4 Sep 2011 8:32): Dominion log: Outpost + Possession = 4 turns for the price of one
m (5 Sep 2011 9:23): I tried to make sense of that log, but without knowing the cards it's not very easy.
Frozen Synapse (3 Oct 2011 0:04): I've been playing some Frozen Synapse and can't recommend it enough. It's for Mac/Win/Linux, and is currently available as the current Humble Indie Bundle for 'pay what you want' (normally it's $25 for two keys). And there's a demo if you want to try it out for free.

You should all check it out.
m (3 Oct 2011 17:15): Paul, your spam filter missed one
m (3 Oct 2011 17:20): Just kidding!

I always buy the bundle (for $5, which maybe is a little stingy, but they're the only games I buy, period, which means that even at a lowly $5 it's a remarkably effective marketing device) - being able to download my games for ever and ever (I just went back to Bundle number one and grabbed a couple that I never tried) is just the best thing ever.
G (3 Oct 2011 21:39): Okay, then! Add me in Frozen Synapse, and let's play a game or two some time!

My in-game name is: HardDischarger

I'm on the UK1 server... if that matters.
(5 Oct 2011 14:45): "...Dark Souls was going to be called "Dark Ring" at one point. The reason this didn't happen is because Dark Ring is slang for anus in England.

But Dark Ring wasn't actually the original conceived name. Originally, prior to the game's unveiling point at Tokyo Game Show 2010, they were planning on going with the name "Dark Race." The game's setting has players being of a race of cursed people, and this race was known as the "Dark Race."

The Dark Race name didn't hold because there was worry that it would be viewed as a racist expression overseas. This concern popped up two days before Tokyo Game Show, which is why the game ended up being announced with the placeholder title of Project Dark."
G (6 Oct 2011 20:21): :O
Must buy game of the season!?!?!
m (8 Oct 2011 13:33): I'm not very good at Frozen Synapse. I keep losing pretty early on in the single player campaign. I don't like the idea of playing against real people.

But I do like Space Chem!
G (8 Oct 2011 15:26): That's okay. Sometimes things just go sour.

If you think the map's kind of conspiring against you - it might be. Die, restart the mission, and it will be re-randomized.

I currently have one win against humans to my name. I wouldn't sweat it. So: What's your uid?
G (19 Nov 2011 7:25): Have you guys seen any in-game footage of Skyrim? :P
R (20 Nov 2011 11:50): I thought they were supposed to have fixed the faces in this one! D:<
G (12 Dec 2011 21:04): A Historical Perspective on the Fighting Game Community and E-Sports Communities

If you want to read 17 pages about the current state of the fighting game community, look no further.

You know the only thing we’re opposed to? The word “esports.”
Paul (12 Dec 2011 23:15): are you e-opposed?
G (13 Dec 2011 0:28): I think he said it pretty well: an incredibly sad, self denying, misguided attempt to borrow legitimacy from the world of traditional sports.

Hard to get too worked up about, but dumb nonetheless.
G (13 Dec 2011 18:45): Humble indie bundle 4 is live with... Cave story pluuuuus???
Why would I rather play that. Again than anything new?
G (18 Jan 2012 12:32): No enemies in Fez!?
Does that mean you shoot your friends?
I don't understand.
R (27 Jan 2012 15:31): Unofficial Domion for iOS is out now and free! I guess when the official iOS release is made, it'll be pulled, so all cheap-asses out there (100% of mancala) with iOS devices should grab a copy now, regardless of whether you'll actually play or not. Hoard 'dem bits.
G (27 Jan 2012 22:06): Done and Done.
m (12 Apr 2012 17:11): Reading an article in Kotaku about how Phil Fish said something like "your games just suck" in response to a Japanese developer's question about what he (Phil) thought of the Japanese game industry today (After pointing out that Fez clearly owes a debt to the Japanese game industry of yore: it's a platformer, it's doing that pixel-art thing, and actually I just saw its mechanic compared to Paper Mario which seems pretty modern to me (hm. 2001.)) - anyhow I got to a line in the article "Has Canada ever had a famous game or game maker? wrote a 2ch commenter." and - I'm rapidly running out of the ire that drove me to post to mancala in the first place - better wrap this up quick. The article started out sloppy, and by the time we start referencing 2chan I know to stop reading and close that browser tab.
G (22 Apr 2012 14:18): I guess Spaceward Ho! is out for iPad. ???
Fez is super great.
R (22 Apr 2012 15:15): Fez is indeed great! Kinda stuck on what looks like an obvious puzzle, but Eff getting hints online. That just ruins it. Although, G, I may ask you for small hints in email (so as not to spoil our other Mancala players... Or something)
m (22 Apr 2012 15:41): I don't have an xbox! How come everyone has an xbox! I can't even get the trailer to play on my computer. (I want to blame vimeo, but it's really my bad)
G (22 Apr 2012 20:06): Did you send me an email?
I totally support the position that "I need a hint, but don't want to read a walkthrough."
G (22 Apr 2012 20:23): This trailers is better anyway. You can watch it on YouTube if you... can... watch things on YouTube...

I don't really know how exciting the trailer is anyway.
R (23 Apr 2012 2:55): Oh hey - Fez soundtrack is here:
Forgotten is a stand out, and free! Fear isn't as good without the in-game fx, oh well. Still good.

Is it weird to worry about spoiling the soundtrack?
m (23 Apr 2012 11:34): totally watching it on youtube. Thanks html5!
m (23 Apr 2012 11:35): (totally just broke chrome when I tried to fullscreen it)
m (25 May 2012 12:06): I just played Portal for the first time a couple days ago. There was some cheap Portal/Portal2 bundle Ann got for her Mac. What a great game.
m (26 May 2012 15:29): Arimaa?
G (28 May 2012 12:16): Portal really is pretty cool. I enjoyed Portal 2 a lot as well, but never had an opportunity to play 2 playr coop. Which sounded quite interesting.
G (28 May 2012 12:17): Arimaa also seems interesting. It looks suspiciously like a game That's designed to have enough decisions and choices per turn as to make it intentionally difficult for computers to play, but I guess I'm okay with that.
Paul (3 Sep 2012 4:04): buying 7 colonies in one turn
G (28 Nov 2012 8:23): I guess there's a Magical Drop V for PC? Huh.
Just didn't think that that was still a thing.
m (3 Jan 2013 10:56): Knights in the Nightmare looks kind of like Bastion.
G (3 Jan 2013 18:32): Kind of, in that they both have that isometric view thing going on. But they don't really have much else in common, I don't think. I mean, I think they're both good...
g (22 Feb 2013 22:36):
Relevant to mancala blog.
m (23 Feb 2013 1:02): now I want to play mancala
R (22 Mar 2013 22:54): M, glad you played Portal. Finally. Last year. It's a good game!

Just this week, Miami Hotline got released for Mac. And this weekend, the game and soundtrack are 50% off! $5 a piece!

On the unreleased beta tip, Teleglitch is really great. Sort of a rogue-like (permadeath / top-down) survival horror Doom thing? Linux and Windows versions available now, Mac demo version in beta.
m (25 Mar 2013 9:15): Teleglitch is really hard. Just got to level three. Always with the dying!
G (1 Apr 2013 21:48): Torchlight II update adds (real) mod support, steam workshop support.
Next stop: OS X version? Probably in a few months, don't hold breath.
m (2 Apr 2013 7:22): Brogue!
R (16 Apr 2013 19:50): Glad to see that M tried out some Teleglitch. I actually beat level four once and am pretty excited for the full Mac version to be released.

Anyway, back to FEZ, because FEZ-time is every-time. There's a new remix album coming out on April 20th (if you don't have the original album, it's highly recommended by me!). Also on the Fez music front, there's a VICE interview with the composer, Rich Vreeland / Disasterpeace, about the track "Glitch", that has a pretty full breakdown of all the elements. I found it fascinating. In this interview, he mentions a track called "Loom" that isn't on the soundtrack, but it turns out to be about six notes and is not a bit deal to have been excluded from the soundtrack.

Also! A PC version of Fez will be released on Steam on May 1st!!!111 Super great. They had to change a couple of puzzles to accommodate the potential lack of game controller (which is a minor detraction, IMHO), but overall, if you didn't have an XBOX 360, or didn't play it for some other reason, I'd recommend the Steam version unreservedly. My GOTY 2012 by quite a ways. Go in cold, if you can, and puzzle Qs can be hinted at gently by G or me. Supposedly and Mac and Linux version will also eventually be available, but again — don't hold your breath.
G (16 Apr 2013 23:03): Antichamber is pretty cool, although after playing for an hour I did start to feel sick.
G (17 Apr 2013 20:38): The starting room is called the ante-chamber.
G (22 Apr 2013 23:56): Fez is out. 10% off on Steam (which is not much, but hey).
G (23 Apr 2013 21:31): I lied. It's available for pre-order.
I will probably get Starseed Pilgrim if it goes on a significant sale.
m (24 Apr 2013 18:48): Starseed Pilgrim?
G (24 Apr 2013 19:10): Or maybe it's not that remarkable. See for yourself.
It's deliberately obtuse. Is that good? I don't know.
m (25 Apr 2013 7:33): no idea what's going on there!
m (28 Apr 2013 8:38): Worth getting as part of that Probability 0 plus friends thing?
G (28 Apr 2013 11:11): I have no idea if any of those games would be entertaining for more than even a single minute.
Just, for some reason, I was thinking about that one.
m (29 Apr 2013 22:09): monaco?
G (28 May 2013 18:06): The new humble indie bundle is pretty durn good.
Hotline Miami
Thomas Was Alone
Other stuff?
G (28 May 2013 19:08): Speaking of which, that leaves me with a couple extra keys for Hotline (bought it) and Dear Esther (previous bundle).
m (28 May 2013 19:32): Bundle looks good!
G (15 Jun 2013 11:41): I will predict that Dustforce will go on sale within two months based on its previous sales history.
G (15 Jun 2013 12:30): Source: Steamprices, graph at bottom.
Paul (15 Jun 2013 13:14): Just removed my bubbly screen protector and applied a new one carefully, having wiped all dust particles off the screen. Now it's like, way better and I can see the screen really clearly ..
G (18 Jun 2013 14:40): New humble bundle has frozen synapse in it again! Worth it just for that, probably, didn't look at the other games? Does this mean I have an extra key? Also unknown. Sometimes they can't be redeemed individually.
G (18 Jun 2013 18:43): Also Mark of the Ninja on sale for $3.75 on steam. It's a good game.
R (1 Jul 2013 16:34): Not actually out or anything, but remember that cool, 80's-looking FPS set on the moon? (It's called Routine) There's an alpha gameplay trailer now! Still looks cool, 80's.


Looks like the "gameplay" is enjoying the thrill of battling retro computer interfaces while standing defenseless in a hallway. It's like a monster closet — without the closet.
g (3 Jul 2013 19:13):

I'll just leave this here while I take a few showers.
m (3 Jul 2013 20:19): terrifying
m (3 Jul 2013 20:20): If the shift from skill game to money game is done in a subtle enough manner, the brain of the consumer has a hard time realizing that the rules of the game have changed. If done artfully, the consumer will increasingly spend under the assumption that they are still playing a skill game and “just need a bit of help”
R (17 Jul 2013 21:27): Hey, M! You on Steam? If so, let's be "friends".
G (17 Jul 2013 21:36): Fez is on sale 50% off for the next four hours.
G (24 Jul 2013 8:28): It says you were online 13 hours ago, mike.
Y U no firnds
m (24 Jul 2013 16:55): SAD KITTEN
G (29 Jul 2013 1:14): Fez 2 cancelled, get the sad kitten out again.
m (29 Jul 2013 20:13): Fez: fun! But confusing.
G (31 Jul 2013 19:02): Frozen Synapse is on sale for 5 bucks again.
G (1 Aug 2013 0:07): Sale goes until Fri. night.
G (13 Aug 2013 19:04): If you would play Frozen Synapse if I gave you a code, post up.
G (16 Aug 2013 17:42): Man! Tough crowd.
m (16 Aug 2013 18:08): Already have. Humble Bundle a while back. I was extremely bad at it when I tried, though I really do like the simultaneous predetermined strategy mechanic. But the upshot is inevitably that the AI winds up killing me. Haven't even tried against real people. Presumably they like killing even more than the AI did.

Heard anything about Gone Home? Graphics look straight out of the 90s, but reviews are good!
m (16 Aug 2013 18:09): Also: nobody ever replies to anyone else on mancalablog. It's like one-way communication. Almost.
G (16 Aug 2013 22:16): Yeah, I blow at FS, and it can be really frustrating. But it is so clever.
Gone Home looks really interesting - would be a pretty awesome game for the Oculus Rift.
G (16 Aug 2013 22:32): *awkulous rift
G (11 Sep 2013 22:22): New Humble Bundle has FEZ, FTL, and Mark of the Ninja (!!!!!). Five bones. Don't wait.
m (12 Sep 2013 6:56): FTL: want?
m (23 Oct 2013 20:00): Kentucky Route Zero?
G (25 Oct 2013 20:21): I played the first episode - I liked it!
I think the trailer actually does a fairly decent job of giving you a feel for whether you'd like it or not... Would you like to continue watching the trailer for an additional two hours? With some dialog trees and stuff?
m (26 Oct 2013 16:11): I know! Want more trailer!
m (1 Dec 2013 20:50): Papers, please
G (3 Dec 2013 23:10): If you like that game, you should also check out Cart Life!
The trailer kind of makes it look like some sort of dystopian cooking mama, but I think there are some pretty strong parallels.
m (5 Dec 2013 6:52): Whoa! Interesting trailer. Weird.
G (5 Dec 2013 10:22): Teleglitch is part of this bundle.
Limited time offer.
G (5 Dec 2013 10:23): Teleglutch in a bundle
Won't be up for long
m (5 Dec 2013 17:46): Like a link posting Grant-bot
m (5 Dec 2013 17:48): also: I think I'm going to get that bundle. I really do want the full version of teleglitch. Anything else in there worth playing? I haven't heard of any of them.
m (5 Dec 2013 17:52): Also, an observation: Ann and I like totally different games. Like, almost no overlap. Isn't that weird? I think it's weird. She can't stand teleglitch.
G (5 Dec 2013 18:44): None of the other games look good to me, but I've been surprised before. Teleglitch normally sells for $12, I think, so even if that's the only one you play, it's a steal.
R (8 Dec 2013 17:47): Horse Master Class Anxiety Dream Review
m (9 Dec 2013 16:12): Strange! Funny!
m (10 Dec 2013 7:39): but I'm a little confused about the John Campbell hoo-ha
G (11 Dec 2013 19:19): I didn't think that the teleglitch bundle would be up for very long but it's still up. Shows what I know!
G (11 Dec 2013 19:20): Did you miss this? Some people were offended by it.
I think it is kinda fucked up, but also pretty funny, and I think that 'kinda fucked up humor' was always sort of what he did? I also didn't see it as some kind of tirade against depressed people.
G (11 Dec 2013 19:20): So what games does Ann like?
m (12 Dec 2013 7:53): here are two she funded (though to be fair, those aren't great examples since jesus christ who doesn't want to play a myst sequel)
G (12 Dec 2013 20:49): Got an extra key for Zeno Clash if you want it and you don't want to get the new humble bundle.
Seems like there would be zero people that I have just described? I dunno, let me know.
G (12 Dec 2013 20:49): Answer to Mike's question: People who played Myst and Riven. :P
G (12 Dec 2013 20:51): bring me.... the bloooooo pages...!
Nooot the red pages...
G (15 Dec 2013 20:09): Seriously, though.
'Adventure' games are a pretty narrow niche in games. It's cool if that's her thing. Have you guys taken a look at The Walking Dead or Telltale's other stuff? I'd be curious to hear what you both thought.
m (21 Jan 2014 20:59): (a) I am curious about this game, Nidhogg.
(b) now I am curious about the controller setup featured at the bottom of that page
m (21 Jan 2014 20:59): (a) I am curious about this game, Nidhogg.
(b) now I am curious about the controller setup featured at the bottom of that page
R (11 Feb 2014 23:00): Man, first Fez 2 was cancelled, now Flappy Bird got pulled down. Please think of the flappy birds. Stop the hate.
R (11 Feb 2014 23:00): Man, first Fez 2 was cancelled, now Flappy Bird got pulled down. Please think of the flappy birds. Stop the hate.
m (12 Feb 2014 17:04): First I've heard of Flappy Bird. Sounds like it was a big deal.
R (14 Feb 2014 22:34): Hey M, saw this thing about the Blackwell series on RPS - sounds like something A might like? DRM-free, Mac compatible, on sale at GOG...
G (19 Feb 2014 8:09): New Humble Bundle is fantastic, has a lot of mac games.
m (20 Feb 2014 12:51): Doing it!
G (20 Feb 2014 22:13): And for A, maybe the adventure game bundle?
G (20 Feb 2014 22:21): (but has few mac games)
R (11 Jun 2014 11:18): Terry Cavanaugh's Naya's Quest is pretty great! Flash-based and free. I'm posting about it so I can take a break from being frustrated. Starts off sorta easy and gets way crazier. You probably have a lot of assumptions about isometric-looking games, and Terry sets out to trash ALL OF THEM.
m (11 Jun 2014 17:39): DIFFICULT
m (11 Jun 2014 17:39): DIFFICULT
m (11 Jun 2014 17:39): double post. grumpy
m (12 Jun 2014 11:52): hexagons? grumpy!
G (14 Jun 2014 19:30): Oh god hexagons
G (15 Jun 2014 11:08): Cool! I got stuck for the longest on the red-blue room. Was most angry when I saw the number-matrix room, although that one was easy when I saw the X.
m (23 Jun 2014 23:05): Stanley Parable!
G (24 Jun 2014 10:43): Steam sale is happening right now if people weren't aware. Nidhogg is on sale for 8 hours, looking forward to playing it when I get home. KRZ is at 50%, lots of good stuff in general.
G (24 Jun 2014 10:50): Stanley parable is a game where you could watch some YouTube videos and see everything in the game very quickly, but the experience of doing it yourself is very different.
m (25 Jun 2014 7:03): It's a good one, I think.
R (27 Jul 2014 11:47): Another free web-based puzzler? OK! A Game About Squares is, uh... well anyway it works on an iPad, which is nice. I got to level 14 so far, but he difficulty seems to be ramping up fairly quickly.
m (27 Jul 2014 19:22): I really like the dialogue at the end of each level!
m (28 Jul 2014 6:42): 22. Liking it, though no longer really digging the inter-level chat
m (28 Jul 2014 21:02): "From time to time you might feel an impulse to quit"
m (28 Jul 2014 21:02): "You must resist it"
R (29 Jul 2014 0:09): "Do you consider yourself a patient person?"
"Just asking."
I've had good luck with putting the game down for a few hours, level 26 seemed difficult late last night, and took just a minute when I picked it up again just now. Might a been tired...
G (4 Aug 2014 18:50): Started last night. Got to level 24 just now. Hmmm.
m (22 Aug 2014 8:16): Lost all my progress when I closed my browser. But picked it back up again on my phone, where the built-in browser doesn't give a shit about my privacy.
R (19 Sep 2014 3:31): Here's a really short game using just mouse movement. Requires Unity Plugin. Superdimensional
R (15 Oct 2014 1:16): Damn, a team of folks recreated Midgar in FFVII in Minecraft. I think I might have to install Minecraft to check it out. Like, the internals are there — Reactors, Slums, working rail line (!!!).
m (15 Oct 2014 7:52): wow
m (18 Oct 2014 18:13): Holy shit, you guys ever see what this guy did with SMB?
G (25 Oct 2014 14:12): So how do you like Hatoful Boyfriend?
m (25 Oct 2014 15:57): I don't know. It's about what you'd expect from a pigeon dating-sim.
m (25 Oct 2014 16:07): We'd watched some guys from geek-and-sundry play through it a while back, so I was initially grumpy when Ann told me she'd bought it (that is to say, an exchange of actual money for a game in which you're the only human at an elite pigeon academy). But it's grown on me. Some of the humor is a little dumb (god, I hate the word "everybirdie"), but some is absurd and great (i.e. the post-apocalyptic fallen skyscrapers you pass during your jog to the shrine that never even get a mention)
m (9 Nov 2014 14:05): Free Teleglitch(!) at humble bundle through thanksgiving.
m (10 Nov 2014 9:41): Forgot how creepy Teleglitch gets as you run lower and lower on ammo. Ominous!
m (15 Nov 2014 18:58): jesus christ FINALLY made it to level 5, which means that for new games I no longer have to start over from the beginning but can begin on level 3. Oof. So difficult!
G (28 Nov 2014 16:32): I always thought that Battle-Girl was a Mac-only game, but it seems that it was released on PC in 1997 before being ported over in 1999. Probably it was just harder to get noticed over there, or it had already been forgotten after a couple years.
G (28 Nov 2014 16:34): Oh wow I don't remember it looking SO BAD.
G (9 Mar 2015 23:40): Steam family sharing requires coordination to the tune of being willing to share your password (potentially allowing credit card purchases on your account). If that's not a problem, a phone call is probably the right way to do it - get at me.
m (12 Mar 2015 23:30): ok. We'll figure this out yet
R (7 Apr 2015 0:35): Neil Cicierega is making a point and click adventure game, sorta about being a graphic designer in the 90's. Updates on twitter

Did you know you can paste a twitter user's URL into BazQux and it will find the feed address, so for low-ish traffic tweeters, you can just read them via RSS? Also, add a "/rss" to a tumblr user's URL to get a feed for that. It's nice. Never did see URLs for anyone else sharing stuff. I should just start posting here more, since that way I can talk to M.
R (7 Apr 2015 0:36): This was predictably exciting for me.
m (7 Apr 2015 7:47): Palette-cycle WIN. Brilliant.
R (9 Apr 2015 4:03): What time is it?


So, I guess modders are doing cool weird things with Fez. There's a pot, and he breaks it at 1:45 (nothing happens as a result of this)!!!
Also, multi-player (???) is now a thing in development.
R (9 Apr 2015 4:09): Actual working link to vine sample of Fez MP in development
R (9 Apr 2015 4:16): Also, there is a viewing program available for Mac and Win, but to extract the level files you need the Windows version of Fez (or an Xbox).
R (19 Apr 2015 21:25): How Design Trends Ruin Great Games
R (19 Apr 2015 23:36): Sounds like a Spaceteam-style Star Trek sim. Sold.
R (20 Apr 2015 14:19): Hm, forum threads indicate stability and mobile versions may have lots of problems. Devs do not respond, either. Not super inclined to pay $3 for a broken iOS version.
R (21 Apr 2015 4:26): Relativity is a first-person puzzle game to be released on Linux, Mac, PC, and PS4 in Spring 2016. Just saw via @Jonathan_Blow (creator of Braid, and forthcoming The Witness) that it got a nice chunk of funding from Indie-Fund. (There are some cool gifs on the Indie Fund page that show a little gameplay)
m (21 Apr 2015 8:12): INTERESTED
m (14 May 2015 21:23): The gratuitous violence/gore is a bit of a turn-off for me, but damn if this highly pixellated game isn't shockingly good looking. Those lo-fi animations: SO GOOD. Careening truck, spinning helicopter, crashing through a window, slicing heads with a sword... it's like an 8-bit action movie up in there.
G (20 May 2015 10:30): So I played some Hatoful Boyfriend (!).
I would recommend it! If you play it, be sure to clear a few different routes to see how some of the storylines interact.

M, I snooped on your Steam achievements to see which routes you did... you should do a couple more!
R (17 Jun 2015 4:09): SUPERHYPERCUBE

Just a teaser, but nice to see a Polytron title announced. For VR even! Even if it's just an abstract puzzley thing.
R (19 Jun 2015 22:52): The ancient dreams of THE INTERNET have mostly been SQUANDERED by fools and charlatans, but there is one dream left alive. GOLD. Yes, if you are still reading this paragraph, you are SMARTER THAN YOU THINK, and more importantly, you have come to the RIGHT PLACE.

"CORDIAL MINUET: a two-player ONLINE STRATEGY GAME played for REAL MONEY by Jason Rohrer."

(Contest for GOLD is actually over, sorry)
G (22 Jun 2015 23:02): I remember reading about Cordial Minuet.
I don't really wanna play games for money, though. ;_;
G (24 Jun 2015 20:22): Arc System Works buys rights to Double Dragon, River City Ransom, et al
m (24 Jun 2015 21:20):
m (28 Jun 2015 12:33): Just bought Her Story on the strength of the review Reed linked.
R (4 Jul 2015 11:55): Uh. Hope you like it? I played a little at G's, seemed interesting? It's only $5, I will probably also buy it, jeez.

OTOH. Snakebird is fucking murder. MURRRDEERRRRR>
R (12 Aug 2015 22:24): Obduction will have VR support - CONFIRMED
m (14 Aug 2015 15:45): Hey we backed Obduction. Is that still on track for release this year?
m (19 Aug 2015 10:19): Starseed Pilgrim!
R (19 Aug 2015 23:52): I found it too hard. I remembering having a pretty good idea of what each seed did, but not a lot of luck getting the star and back. Got to the second platform before giving up at least. How're you doing with it?


I didn't beat any of the hellacious puzzles I have left, but I cleaned up a few of the small ones, enough to see more plot. Haven't looked at hints yet! Also, haven't found any of the secret things? Hmph.
m (20 Aug 2015 7:40): Great game! Did not find any of the secret rooms(?). :(
m (20 Aug 2015 17:34): Darkest Dungeon is cheap(ish) right now. Thinking about it.
m (20 Aug 2015 17:37): Hit a few different platforms in Starseed Pilgrim. Rounds started from different platforms play by different rules. There also seems to occasionally be a triple-key lock among the stars that behaves like the rest of them, and which you need to hit three other stars to unlock - haven't managed this feat yet. Curious where it leads.
m (21 Aug 2015 11:12): Mostly(?) done with Talos Principle. Still missing most of the stars. Worth playing through for them? Just had a sort of frustrating time with the very first one.
R (22 Aug 2015 15:57): I can see you're playing *right now*, but, uh, I think they're worth getting. If you don't get the stars, you can't see all the puzzles. Also there is a different ending. Also also, it's less frustrating than RAOD TOH GENENA. The guide for the stars is nicely spoiler-tagged, so you don't have to get any more hints than you want, and they start out nicely — "where is it?" is usually most of what I want to know, really.
m (23 Aug 2015 9:09): Yes! Very happy with the spoiler-tagged "where is it?" section of this guide.
R (24 Aug 2015 16:37): I beat The Swapper! I also found four of the achievement things and I can offer some pointers if anyone wants. Although I started a second play-through with the intent of being kinda meticulous about searching around, and it didn't take all that long.

Anyway, I think G started The Swapper and did not finish, so I think he should give it another go. It got easier for me after leaving it a while and coming back.
m (26 Aug 2015 12:28): Nice work on Swapper!
R (5 Oct 2015 1:04): "The trouble with time travel"

I shared this out a while back, but as the original RSS post was from years ago I'm not sure if people saw it, and also it's a good post. The game he wrote actually tests for and prevents paradoxes caused by (in-game) time travel. I'm super impressed.
G (7 Oct 2015 10:27): Last episode of Life is Strange out on 10/20 (dumb trailer)
Can't wait to UNLEASH THE STORM and rip shit up, Crysis style.
G (7 Oct 2015 10:29): PS we need to discuss event predictions so I can potentially look real smart later.
m (7 Oct 2015 17:02): Thread Police likes that "The trouble with time travel" is followed by Life Is Strange posts.
G (9 Oct 2015 23:40): R bought me The Beginner's Guide and I played it and I think it's really great. It's by Davey Wreden of The Stanley Parable, it has a more somber and serious tone, and maybe that's all you really need to know going in. It's a linear experience and it will take you maybe 90 - 110 minutes to go through it all, front to back.
m (10 Oct 2015 7:08): We watched the trailer and were kind of on the fence. Will get!
G (10 Oct 2015 9:47): R gifted it to me, so you should be able to play it from my library.
m (10 Oct 2015 15:28): Even better!
m (12 Oct 2015 16:42): Bernband! (thanks Reed)
G (21 Oct 2015 12:58): LIS final episode is out. I want to make a prediction to sound smart before I play it, though... Maybe mancala needs spoiler tags. :P
G (27 Oct 2015 15:13): I played through the final episode of LIS and give it a more-or-less thumbs up. Lots of little things to criticize, I guess, but enjoyed it. Some of the parts I enjoyed the most were just little vignette scenes (?), maybe that's why I liked Kentucky Route Zero so much. I should finish that.

None of the suggested chromium DIY spoiler tags work for me, so I'll just say vague spoilers: It seemed obvious which mechanism Max would use to deal with the final predicament. I didn't foresee the final moment, but feel like I should have. I'm considering playing it through one more time (probably just the final ep.) but... maybe I could just watch a video.
G (27 Oct 2015 19:04): <marquee>Looks like marquees don't work anymore, either.</marquee>
m (28 Oct 2015 12:27): maybe that's why I liked Kentucky Route Zero so much. I should finish that.

This is a boat that I am also in.
R (30 Oct 2015 5:39): You want to finish KRZ? Me too! Also, Cardboard Computer.

Less snarkily, the little free interstitial things are nice.
G (30 Oct 2015 10:31): Oh! Haha. I had just assumed... Hm.
m (17 Nov 2015 7:14): Pandemic Legacy - Pandemic is tons of fun, and this adds some sort of multi-playthrough Legacy mechanic to it I guess? People love it. Any thoughts?
G (17 Nov 2015 15:07): Seems like a pretty neat gimmick squarely aimed at groups that gather to play games regularly. That's not me, and I think it would consequently be less interesting for players who can only play occasionally for single sessions. It's interesting to see progression mechanics being included - is this the influence of video games and the age of RPGs? - and it's convenient for them that this might prompt bigger fans to buy multiple copies. I don't have a problem with it at all, although the idea of hiding rule information in a competitive tabletop game (which pandemic is not, but risk legacy (?) IS) seems a little problematic to me, potentially.
G (11 Jan 2016 15:23): Interesting data for Steam garbage is here:
R (22 Jan 2016 1:26): The Witness is out next week on the 26th (01-26-2016, heh). And Jon Blow is handing out partial steam keys on twitter. Gotta figure 'em out fast, though. I actually saw this most recent one in real time and flubbed it, someone said it took less than 20 seconds from the clue to key redemption. Anyway, in 2016 you're gonna draw lines and it is serious business. And I guess an iOS port was planned and maybe VR support? I'm curious what the iPad version would sell for.
m (27 Jan 2016 8:17): any updates on Witness?
m (27 Jan 2016 8:18): see Tycho raving about it
G (31 Jan 2016 0:47): It is certainly at the top of my list.
G (2 Apr 2016 11:30): Hyper Light Drifter dropped a couple days ago and I redeemed my steam key.
Did you like Fez, but sorta wished that the game was a grimdark sci-fantasy isometric-view action game instead? Then you'll love HLD!
G (2 Apr 2016 11:43): We all know I'm just gonna play SF5 though.
R (2 Apr 2016 15:47): Also, instead of no combat, there's lots of combat and hard bosses. It really looking like a thing I'd like, though!
m (3 Apr 2016 6:57): It is a little ridiculous how much I am enjoying stardew valley
G (3 Apr 2016 10:12): HLD definitely has combat, but it seems like the weight is a little more on the side of exploration. Seems good.
I heard people talking about Stardew as the newest bestest Harvest Moon-alike. I'm not sure if it's something I'll get into, but at the very least I'm happy if it will keep you from Starving so damn much.

P.S. Who did you marry? Does Anne know?
G (3 Apr 2016 10:32): Wait hold up, I didn't realize this game had teh mods. Skepticism retracted.
Seems like a real party! Bongs! Nudes! Oh, fuck it, let's just replace every single item with a naked person.
G (3 Apr 2016 14:24): I love navigating invisible mazes!
m (7 Apr 2016 19:29): game isn't quite the right word
m (30 Apr 2016 17:51): Kate Beaton Fat Pony Mod
G (10 May 2016 19:10): Playing The Witness with R! It's great!
Also - happy birthday! ...To Kentucky Route Zero Act III! Two years old.
R (29 Dec 2016 5:44): Stereo implementation in Dolphin

The Youtube playlist at the end is pretty sweet if you have anaglyph glasses. And surprisingly bad in YouTube with Cardboard due to YT's incredibly shitty bitrates and codecs for mobile! Worse than coping with Red-Blue. Fuck.
G (28 Jan 2017 9:41): There is/was a Fist of the North Star fighting game. It's famous for a very something that cracks me up every time I see it. I give you... the dribble combo.

This game (Hokuto No Ken) has some special combo jargon for... obvious reasons. It's all basketball terminology, even in Japanese. Here's an excerpt from the SRK wiki:

Dribble Combo: A 'Dribble' combo can be performed after a roughly 31-hit air combo by repeatedly dashing and hitting and opponent just as they rebound off the floor, much like you would dribble a basketball. At the beginning the 'dribble' only causes the opponent to bounce a little and the timing can be very severe - however, as you keep following up with more hits, the victim starts to bounce higher and higher, eventually reaching the 'Basuke state.' ("Basuke" is Japanese for Basketball)
m (28 Jan 2017 22:32): dribble combo is pretty hilarious
R (4 Mar 2017 12:50): Fragments of Euclid

Pay What You Want (PWYW), Win, Mac, Linux.
R (5 May 21:33): "In a parallel universe, I start this article by declaring how sodding tired I am of games about the 13th-century Catharite heresy and its persecution by the Catholic Church. Sadly, in this world, there is only L’Abbaye Des Morts."

Not sold on the game, but this is some fun writing with a short juxtaposition with Braid towards the end. Also liked their essay Fuck The Holodeck.
R (26 May 19:18): "You’ll be surprised by how many problems can be solved by hitting a golf ball at them."

Golf Story. Uh, OK.
m (27 May 7:58): Either of you guys got a switch? I have been having an awful time trying. Showed up at Fred Meyer 15m after it opened and they tell me "ooh, we had two this morning".
m (22 Sep 18:00): Cook Serve Delicious 2!!!$!!2!


R (7 Jun 2011 21:29): Smooth Jazz
R (8 Jun 2011 16:35): Oh hey, if y'all want to keep it PG here, suggested replacement topic name would be: "SMOOTH FAMILY JAZZ".
m (8 Jun 2011 19:18): I read that "If y'all want to keep PG here" and wondered when we started using Paul's middle name.
G (9 Jun 2011 7:04): Yes. We have been hanging out with PG Dex, meanwhile his foul-mouthed twin R Dex has been cussing and fighting on the bad side of town.
R (13 Jun 2011 23:31): I thought this had been posted, but if so, I fail at finding it. Anyway, it's great, listen to it again. Enter Sandman
m (15 Jun 2013 13:11): SMOOTH FUCKING NIC CAGE
m (5 Jul 2014 17:47): Soccer Is Fucked
m (6 Jul 2014 17:28): Boozing your way through Pynchon

Drunk Pynchon blogger is not sipping his way through the books in order, but rather swigging all over the place, skipping between chapters and books and enjoying the palette-driven experimentalism of it all. For a postmodern author, that methodology seems wholly appropriate.
m (8 Jul 2014 9:59): Milton Friedman
m (6 Jan 2015 16:09): Inherent Vice is out in the next few days. I hate going to the movies. But I liked the book. Don't know what to do.
R (23 Feb 2015 14:18): Hm. Kinda mixed reviews, did you end up seeing it?
R (18 Oct 2015 4:03): Front Mission Shop Theme
m (13 May 15:34): Snakebird WHY U SO DIFFICULT?

Good Music

m (14 Aug 2004 21:57): teh good: Ugly Casanova
well - good if you like Modest Mouse (also real good)
m (3 Jun 2005 10:48): Mirah, Ben Gibbard, Elliott Smith, Calexico, Nick Drake, Low
I guess I got a little lazy with those links.
sam (8 Jun 2005 23:37): three interesting reads. especially for somebody like me, who missed out on music during the second millenium.
m (9 Jun 2005 10:15): jesus. KLF is tremendously bizarre. I'd never heard of them.
G (9 Jun 2005 23:34): Seems crazy that you'd have missed out on the early-high-school-years single 'Justified and Ancient.'
'All bound for moo-moo land,' anyone?
sam (10 Jun 2005 8:35): ... there is at least one cow in scotland, at least one side of which is black.
R (4 Oct 2015 19:37): The Mountain Goats have a new albumen out, "Beat The Champ" (wrestling themed, obvs). It's pretty great, have had it stuck in my head for weeks now. The Legend of Chavo Guerrero has a music video, Heel Turn 2, that and Foreign Object are probably my other favorites from this album.
R (4 Oct 2015 19:45): Also, Chavo Guerrero is a real person, which I just found out today. Neat.
R (18 Oct 2015 4:09): Bob James - Take Me to the Mardi Gras — check the list of songs that sampled this, gawd damn.

Gift economy

Paul (30 Nov 2005 14:39): So I was in line at a produce-stand-area in the Reading Terminal Market, carrying about $5 of produce, and noticing that there were a lot of people at the produce stands compared with other shops, when suddenly the woman in front of me gives me a $5 produce coupon(!) Apparently the coupons are from "FMNP" and they all expire today. She says it's important all the coupons get used, lest the government stop offering them.
(30 Nov 2005 21:21): Huh. I don't really understand that, in an economical sense. But, that's great. I guess.
m (30 Nov 2005 23:59): Is it immoral to take advantage of someone bad for personal gain? If I know that starbucks gives free drinks to interviewees and I walk in on a hiring day, should I fill out a form and sit down with a manager and a free latte? I certainly wouldn't feel right doing it at a local coffee shop (here you might point out the irony of my being in a starbucks to begin with, but thankfully this is all just hypothetical) but from a big company that I don't really like, it's different. This is standard practice with government appropriations, right? Like, if you're under budget, you sort of burn the rest to make sure that they don't cut your funding for the following year?
Paul (1 Dec 2005 5:24): Well, it may be less than 100% moral. It seems half the government's purpose is to support local farmers by buying their produce, so at least that's accomplished. And the other half of the purpose (feeding the poor) may be doomed to failure as the amount they allow---$20 per person---is not enough to make it worthwhile to seek out the coupons.

As for the topic, I meant to link wiki:Gift economy (although it's more technical and less inspirational than it used to be).
Grant (1 Dec 2005 19:10): Yeah, that is all I've ever heard about government appropriations-type stuff.
It seems absolutely awful, too - worse the more I think about it.
The biggest problem is that responsible spending (here, coming in under budget) is punished (budget cut next year) instead of being rewarded. So, it's completely backwards. They should offer some sort of bonus to organizations which don't spend their whole budget, like funneling a portion of the unused budget into next year's budget.
G (7 Dec 2005 16:58): I know it's way too complicated, but imagine this:
You come in under budget by X dollars on year Y.
On every subsequent year Z, you get X/(2 ^ (Z-Y)) dollars added to your 'standard' budget.

In that way, coming under budget doesn't affect the amount of money you'll receive, asymptotically. And highly theoretically. I think there are a number of clear reasons why this wouldn't work.
G (25 Apr 2013 21:38): "Doesn't have a business plan" is the new "gift economy."
m (16 Dec 2014 14:24): Has the term "sunk costs" ever been more apropos?
R (23 Feb 2015 14:22): Man. I am on pins and needles re: the repair and restarting of the huge drill, cruelly named after a good mayor. Such a fucking waste. Although a nice way of deterring young idealists from engaging in the political process. We could redub the drill "Ozymandias" maybe.
m (27 Feb 2015 7:43): Jesus Christ, it's such a nightmare. Not least of all because of the ugly anticipation for whatever the two shady companies behind STP are going to wind up doing to maximize their payout from the state/city, failure or no.
Paul (5 Mar 2015 4:47): wtf. Maybe I can take comfort in not being in Seattle anymore... Wiki says it demonstrates the Seattle Process but a close read reveals a really bad backroom deal struck in the wake of Seattle Process deadlock.


Paul (29 May 2004 2:12): I am pleased to report that in case you forget "", you can now get here by typing This also probably means Google will index links posted here, such as to MikeLog.
mike (30 May 2004 23:54): no, still no love from the google. they never bring me flowers.
Paul (14 Jun 2004 4:45): Darn it... now this page is no longer listed on Google either.
Come to think of it, wasn't there once a way to get Google to cough up the names of other sites that link to a given site? Is that still possible?
Grant Laughlin (15 Jun 2004 6:48):

But, nothing is listed...
The syntax is in the search bizox.
Paul (15 Jul 2004 18:42): Finally Google again lists both mancalablog and mikelog. A search for Mikelog Yale yields mancalablog as the second hit, with its link to Mikelog. However, a search for does not yield any results. Am I doing something wrong?
m (15 Jul 2004 19:43): gah. I don't know. I've tried to find links to me but have never turned up anything. bzzzzht!
Paul (11 Feb 2005 18:44): Google Maps is pretty fun if you like maps. Unlike MapQuest and Yahoo, which appear to render maps dynamically, Google has prerendered all mapped areas at each zoom level, and just patches them together. This means a human could actually fix wandering labels etc...not that Google has gone that far yet...but we can expect better mapping to come, especially if competitors adopt Google's model. Now if only we could get international maps.....
(11 Feb 2005 21:32): Like for Japan. This whole 'streets don't have names' thing is kinda cool at first, but...
m (16 Feb 2005 10:55): when did google pick up blogger? I'd never noticed.
(16 Feb 2005 16:44): It was a long time ago - basically, when Google decided that it would begin to specifically index blogs.
m (16 Feb 2005 21:02): are the no-name posts all grant? Is he the only one who keeps fucking forgetting to put a name in with the posts?

link back to the original page with a button that says "post without name" maybe as a reminder?
zong (16 Feb 2005 22:48): As long as he is the only one...
Think of it as free compression for mancalablog =)
Paul doesn't much mind missing names...or...missing messages :-) (17 Feb 2005 16:53):
Grant (17 Feb 2005 23:31): I'm lazy and forgetful. Also, I'm scared that my coworkers who also read Mancalablog will notice my posts and then notice the timestamp and then realize that I'm posting during work and I'll be fired.
Still, was it really that hard to tell? What's with all the HATE? We're just trying to have a good time, NARC. We don't need your HATORADE!
m (24 Jun 2008 14:30): Anyone tried google maps lately from elinks?
No-map rendering! Just directions!
(25 Jun 2008 15:53): It's the same as always for me, because I don't have javascript or image-loading turned on.
m (26 Jun 2008 10:52): blink tag disabled, too.
G (26 Jun 2008 13:42): Yeah, unless you're running Netscape 3, or something. Kinda sad. :(

This guy's still angry, though.
G (26 Jun 2008 13:43): In other news, if you search for 'blink sucks,' all you get is stuff about blink 182, along with... so I guess 'blink' is an ability in World of Warcraft.
m (27 Jun 2008 10:45): Good idea, though, leaving implementation up to the browser with <HEINOUS> tags.
G (27 Jun 2008 16:01): Oh, god! That's horrible!
You guys probably can't see it, though, because your browser doesn't support <HEINOUS>.
m (30 Jun 2008 11:14): (don't worry, mancala sanitizes HEINOUS tags)
m (13 Dec 2008 0:32): What the fuck? Google screwed up its maps simple-interface, so now it no longer works with elinks. Damnit!
m (18 Dec 2008 2:19): yahoo does something right!
Paul (8 Jul 2009 5:19): ready for all apps to be web apps?
G (8 Jul 2009 13:21): No, not really.
m (9 Jul 2009 10:40): old idea
G (13 Feb 2010 14:34): I guess not all of you guys probably don't read my Google Reader Shared Items™, so here you go.
m (15 Feb 2010 11:06): Teabaggers Finally Google "Teabag"
Paul (24 Apr 2010 5:20): Upgraded to Lenny so I could get Chrome. It works as advertised---pretty fast even on my ancient machine.
R (25 Apr 2010 21:24): Chrome is pretty great. Key bindings are way better than Firefox, as is the speed.
m (28 Jul 2011 9:09): Grumpy? Grumpy!
those may look like random weird addresses, but they're run by google, so don't worry to hard. just log in to your google account to view them.
don't have one? click here!
Google (28 Jul 2011 15:10): They're run by google, so don't worry too hard.
m (1 Sep 2011 10:39): Forged Google certificate? SSL broken? Noooooo!
z (1 Sep 2011 13:48): So trust has been removed from DigiNotar, seems like the system is working.
G (13 Mar 2013 16:18): In a post to the company's official blog, SVP Technical Infrastructure Urs Hölzle said that Reader's numbers have declined over the past few years, and Google will thus retire the service on July 1, 2013.
m (13 Mar 2013 16:36): wait, really? that's unfortunate!
m (13 Mar 2013 16:37): aw, shit
G (13 Mar 2013 18:02): "While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined."
I translate into:
We have no idea why people stopped using it right after we butchered it.
m (15 Mar 2013 16:28): what should I use when Reader is gone?
m (25 Mar 2013 9:15): rather sizable graveyard of dead google products, and a funny article (linking the graveyard) that draws a line from Google Reader to indispensable services that get taken over by the government (because: indispensable) and become public utilities. Interesting notion. Doesn't seem too plausible, but who knows? ICANN, IETF (ISOC), W3C - these are all private nonprofits whose services I could see being subsumed by some governmental body (maybe?)
m (25 Mar 2013 21:10): digg's doing a replacement for google reader? Interesting. But with weird value-added social components? Don't want that!
m (3 Apr 2013 21:11): Cory Doctorow gives a (tangential) shout to Newsblur as his likely RSS Reader replacement.
m (11 Apr 2013 9:10): Newsblur is impressive, but I'm not keen on seeing "premium feature" as often as I do. Too used to not paying for things. Might be a deal-breaker.
m (11 Apr 2013 10:16): Hm. Counter-argument: Don't be a Free User
m (11 Apr 2013 12:14): I like to think that Blink, the new in-house(?) rendering engine Google(?) is switching to for Chrome/Chromium is named after the unfortunate HTML tag.

Also: I'm clearly confused about Google's relationship to Chromium, to say nothing of Chrome vs Chromium.

(note: this whole post was just an excuse to do that with the link up there. fingers crossed that your browser listens to me and renders something so obviously not in your best interests)
G (16 Apr 2013 23:07): Yeah, doesn't work for me.
"I see what you did there," though.
m (14 Jun 2013 11:11): Our benevolent despots!
m (25 Jun 2013 7:21): need new RSS feed reader urgently!
m (25 Jun 2013 15:42): More rss readers: Feedly, The Old Reader, Bloglovin(??A?), and Vienna (on Ann's computer).
You guys try any of these / anything else?
m (25 Jun 2013 16:31): Feedly looks really slick, but their marketing guys seem a little too gung-ho
m (25 Jun 2013 16:56): so far I think I like The Old Reader the most, but it can be a little slow to load...
m (25 Jun 2013 17:11): CommaFeed?
m (26 Jun 2013 18:52): I don't know why, but the feed for mancala isn't updating in my TheOldReader -- maybe I made a malformed rss feed? Is there an RSS-validator somewhere?
m (26 Jun 2013 18:53): hm
R (28 Jun 2013 15:01): Yeah, this is getting dire. Feedly seems to be far and away the most popular, but they have no business model... which isn't great. Inoreader seemed OK at first, but checking the forums makes me think that the project is far too close to hobby status. Similar story with The Old Reader, it was slow and a little clunky a year ago, and it's not a commercial project. I keep pushing NewsBlur, but the "mark-things-read-after-two-weeks" thing is pretty irritating. Ugh. M, please give NewsBlur a shot real quick and see if you can convince me. I command you.
m (29 Jun 2013 8:52): NewsBlur was actually the first reader-alternative I loaded my feed-list into. But I'm not sold on it: the start page is noisy with all kinds of stuff I don't want, it loads slowly (as does everything I guess. google reader spoiled me on that), and what it does with my more-than-free-accounts-are-allowed number of feeds is confusing. It keeps the whole list of them but only updates some? What? I tried paring down to 64, but gave up. I guess you see this premium accounts thing as a feature, but I'm not so sure.

Feedly won't let you export an OPML of your feeds? Christ.

The Old Reader still refuses to update mancala's feed. I don't know why it hates me.
m (29 Jun 2013 8:56): The Old Reader is both slow and clunky. Agreed.

Also I remember Feedly asking to know too many things from my google account when I tried to register, so I never even made it past that step.

CommaFeed: definitely slow. But other than that I think I like.
R (1 Jul 2013 9:25): Well, today's the day. I think everyone has already done this, but definitely hit up and back up your Reader data.

Then go to and grab the very nice python scripts and run reader_archive. Looks like I have around 3.6 GB of feed data, so don't wait too long. OTOH, your internet connection is likely faster than mine. It took a couple of runs (it'll pick up where it left off!), but eventually succeeded, seems to like having almost 1 GB of real mem, fyi.

Looking for alternatives... I was checking out the Mr. Reader app blog, and he's got a some useful info 1 2 on the APIs that are out there. TL;DR: Newsblur API sux, and he's not currently supporting things that aren't reimplementations of the Google Reader API, which makes a lot of sense, bang-for-buck wise, since there are already a handful of sites, including Feedly, which implement that API.

Lastly, I tried Feedwrangler, and didn't really like the web interface much - too barebones. But Bazqux looks pretty good? There's a 30-day trial, so I guess it couldn't hurt. And if you get it going today, there's a star-import from a working Reader account. He's working on getting stars from the takeout export, but that's not done yet.

I guess that leaves Feedbin and FeedHQ if anyone has time to goof around further on this.
Sentence Clarity Police (1 Jul 2013 9:30): "TL;DR: Newsblur API sux, and he's not currently supporting things that aren't reimplementations of the Google Reader API, which makes a lot of sense, bang-for-buck wise, since there are already a handful of sites, including Feedly, which implement that API."

R (1 Jul 2013 16:38): Really liking the BazQux! It imports tags and stars! Super compact view options! Pretty much the exact same key commands you are used to for the Web! 30-day free trial, paid options from $9/year!


"What?" "YES." "Like, on Slog?" "YES." "AVOIDING THE SHITTY POP-UPS??!" "YES!" "YES!" "I TOLD YOU." "Yesss." I'm tired of dealing with looking for Reader alternatives.™
m (1 Jul 2013 17:47): Bah, gonna try BazQux. But I'm not into subscription-pricing!
m (1 Jul 2013 17:47): Also totally doing the reader_archive thing right now
R (1 Jul 2013 18:18): Well... just today Feedly implemented star import from Reader and OPML export? So, go that way if you like. As a back-end, it should have very similar client support to the rest of the Reader API clones, and it has a early start.

OTOH: Don't be a free user.

I predict Feedly will: Start adding advertisements / add "Premium Features" / sell your user data / start charging / go out of business. At least one. I'm not saying you need to pick BazQux — there's no sharing built-in, so it doesn't matter much — but I would have been happy to pay more than $9/year for Google Reader without sharing. And if they'd charged, it'd probably still be running.
R (1 Jul 2013 18:22): If it makes a difference, the Google permissions requested seem minimal, and they don't need or ask for CC information to start the trial.
m (1 Jul 2013 18:36): I understand the mechanics, and especially don't like that little free-to-use smorgasbord you just presented (and think you're totally right - at least one of those, if not more) - but that's only a certainty because of the hefty service they're providing caching/updating everyone's feeds, right? Should I just do that on my own locally with a piece of pay-once software? Is it that b/w intensive to poll a hundred feeds for modification time? I like the comments thing and love the community of slog commenters, but I never had that with google reader and can certainly live without if it means one fewer monthly fee.
R (1 Jul 2013 19:13): Ha, if you're willing to self host your back-end, there are definitely options out there: Fever ($30), tt-rss (free!), and newsblur (free... but jeezus-lord that looks ugly to stand up) all come to mind.
m (1 Jul 2013 19:32): Fever looks nice! The essential/supplemental dichotomy works well (maybe?) with how I think of my feeds. And I want a what's-hot sifting various entries to the top (which google did in its own way, I think just the feeds I checked most frequently).
m (2 Jul 2013 7:19): maybe we should get something running on grza?
m (23 Jul 2013 17:55): SAD KITTEN
G (24 Jul 2013 0:45): Cute cat, though.
m (29 Jul 2013 19:52): OLD READER NOOO
m (17 Dec 2014 15:56): Migrating from TheOldReader to Bazqux. Significantly happier with bazqux interface.
m (17 Dec 2014 16:28): Not thrilled about having recently-read posts vanish on me - only thing I can think to do is default to view-all instead of view-unread, but it doesn't look like there's even a keyboard shortcut for switching between the two (just the dropdown in the upper left) -- Reed, you able to help here?

Also: I want to default to list-view instead of expanded-view. Anywhere I can find settings like this? (will I get them after I start paying for a subscription?)
R (17 Dec 2014 18:09): Yeah, it does not appear that there is a quick and easy toggle for unread/all items. There is a mention of a UserVoice site to make feature requests. I've never done so, but the Dev responds amazingly quickly to help requests, he seems like a skilled and stand-up dude.

WRT list view - I think there isn't a way to set the default view, but changing it should stick - it's one of the options right below the search button.
R (17 Dec 2014 18:22): HEY M, CHECK IT
Thread Police (17 Dec 2014 18:24): smdh
m (18 Dec 2014 21:23): That filter/stream thing looks strong! And you're right - the button in the upper left was totally what I wanted.
R (4 Jan 2015 20:33): Hey, M! If you've moved to BazQux — do you have a tag that you are sharing? Right-click any tag, and there should be an enable button for making an RSS feed of the things you tag there.
m (6 Jan 2015 16:02): Neat! Just made 'starred items' into a public feed.
Paul (31 Jan 2015 6:23): Like a video game for linguistic nerds: Google Translate Community asks you to provide and rate translations. All the phrases it asks are absurdly short and provide no context---it explains this is just like the phrases people actually type into the Google Translate box, and it asks you to handle them according to what you expect to see Google provide as the resulting translation.

So I'm finding myself arbitrarily making up rules for how I think it should handle the resulting translation (this is for rating translations from Spanish to English):
* If the Spanish input can be interpreted either as a sentence fragment or as a complete question, then I expect it to translate as the complete question and add a ? mark. When adding a ? mark to the output, if the input was all lowercase, I accept either capitalizing or not capitalizing the first letter. (eg "que viste"->"what did you see?" or "What did you see?" but not "that you saw")
* If translating a word which English always capitalizes but Spanish doesn't, always capitalize. (eg "yo lo crei"->"I believed it" but not "i believed it")
* If the Spanish input is all lowercase, and the only reason to capitalize a word in English is for the first word of a sentence, yet the output hasn't added any punctuation to end the sentence, I disallow capitalizing the first word. (eg "hablame espanol"->"speak to me in Spanish" but not "Speak to me in Spanish")

I'll probably make up more rules as I go...
Paul (31 Jan 2015 7:22): ok, another capricious rule:
* If there's no additional clue, "su" should always be translated as "their" although it also accurately means "its", "his", "her", and "your" (formal). My extra justification for this is that "they" is taking over in English for all unknown-gender 3rd persons.
Paul (31 Jan 2015 7:36): * When the input is a 3rd person singular active verb with ambiguity of he/she, output the 3rd person singular verb still without a subject, although any of he/she/it are also accurate translations. eg "ya sabe"->"already knows" although it could be "he already knows", "she already knows".
Paul (31 Jan 2015 12:43): Ok so I got tired of Spanish so I switched to Latin. Wiktionary is good for Latin. Google is getting all the declensions and conjugations wrong. After much searching for each word, I'm putting "This user has disabled their account."->"Hic ūsuārius calendārium offēcit."


G (19 Sep 2005 18:25): So, I failed to pay my bills, and they cut off my internet at home. Frown frown.

I called up the 'place' and asked about it, and I guess if I don't have the bill they sent me, I have no way of actually paying. They're sending another bill, so I'll pay that one when I get it. They also said they'll send me an application form for automatic bill-pay from my bank account, so hopefully I'll be able to decipher that. Paying my bills each month is like living in the dark ages.
m (22 Sep 2005 12:30): when I moved into my first apartment out of college, I didn't realize that I was supposed to, you know, start paying the electric company until one morning when I woke up and nothing would turn on. doh.
m (22 Oct 2013 8:08): ok, first I'll follow up on this 8-year-old post, since I think at the time I was too embarrassed to relate the extent of my (our!) idiocy:
That first apartment was me and Tatsu living together when I first moved down to Los Angeles after college. When the power company cut us off (after several months of I think not having the power in anyone's name at all) the first thing we did was call up our landlords and yell at them, then call up the power company and yell at them while they promised to get us reconnected quickly. Then the next day while I angrily related this all to my dad, he just laughed and explained that it was we who were the stupid ones, not everyone else. Oops.
m (22 Oct 2013 8:25): Then why was I just reading these ancient posts from Linkfest? And I can't quite tell if I ever picked up on them at the time(???) I do see not long after a few careful thank-yous going out to G. Maybe I didn't get that it was a joke? Or was my initial "thanks Paul" some sort of ironic dig at G? Long time ago, that was. (also, while linking I figured out why I was reading those old posts - it was the [fF]uck search)
G (23 Oct 2013 0:17): I got my gas cut off in Japan for not paying it on time. Same thing, only the bill expires, so after I didn't pay it, I couldn't pay it unless I went down to their office in person.

Also I got my car towed shortly after I bought it (but not that shortly!) and then found out that I hadn't actually done the part where you get the registration in your name and pay sales tax (!). Man, I was so pissed that the towing lot wouldn't release my car! I had the bill of sale and everything! -_-

That was a long day.


m (3 Sep 2013 7:45): Oh no!

Global Warming

Paul (6 Jan 2007 17:05): Isn't it spooky how today's actual stories read like the dramatized future-scenarios from 10 years ago...
Paul (16 Jan 2007 3:36): Maybe we're in for serious weirdness, as Greenland's 630,000 cubic miles of ice may be already melting at 80 cubic miles per year.
m (16 Jan 2007 9:03): that phrasing makes me think of all of the mailings that say "you may already be a winner..."

only this time it's loser.
m (22 Jun 2013 8:14): Oh, China!

Grand Juries are garbage

m (27 Feb 2013 20:25): Jesus, they're just awful.

At least this tenuously may-day pair finally got released. After five months at Sea-Tac, two months of which in solitary confinement.


Paul (8 Jun 2006 12:51): Sounds like now is the time. :-S
Paul (8 Jun 2006 13:04): (Seattle Times article)
Paul (9 Jun 2006 18:25): I might've tried to make it to the reunion bash, but I'm kind of far, and I only really heard about this yesterday. Nostalgia is weird like that.
Grant (11 Jun 2006 18:01): I'm kinda far, too.
(12 Jun 2006 23:21): I went, for all of 15 minutes. I was very late, and only saw one person I recognized, besides Rick. I walked through all of the hallways, and remembered things. I tried to get out onto the roof via the annex, but the windows were locked, at least to a superficial inspection. It still smells bad.
Paul (3 Oct 2011 20:02): Reading a NYTimes article, and then I see "Isolde Raftery contributed reporting from Seattle." How many of our classmates can get positions of influence on the scale of NYTimes reporting?
m (18 Jan 2013 11:32): Down with standardized tests!
m (18 Jan 2013 12:07): (more at npr)

Gender Equity

Grant (21 Mar 2005 23:12): This is a link to the Daily Mainichi Newspaper.
Japan is awesome because of the gender equity they enjoy.
It's like the fifties, or something.
Grant (23 Mar 2005 21:16): Also like the fifties - people not wearing seatbelts, and everybody smoking.
R (5 Feb 2008 12:47): Goodbye To All That (#2) by Robin Morgan
m (12 Feb 2008 7:31): Most cogent pro-Hillary read to-date.
G (12 Feb 2008 9:52): Except even if I admit that Clinton has been treated unfairly by certain sexist jerks, it doesn't entail that she's the best candidate or even that any of the other people who don't support her are doing so because they are sexist jerks. It's a general airing of grievances towards Clinton, her campaign, and women as a group that doesn't mention any of Clinton's actual campaign issues or even really deal with the whole "She is competing against another actual politician" angle.

Also, the conclusion (I’m voting for Hillary not because she’s a woman—but because I am.) would seem to suggest that all women should vote for Hillary, and no men. Kind of undercuts the entire piece, if you ask me.
m (12 Feb 2008 13:26): The message I got from the piece (or, which seemed rather pointedly to address my own specific take on things) was: Yeah mike, racism is still going strong, and it's wonderful that we've got the likeliest black candidate for president yet, but if you think that gender-discrimination was an issue settled back in the sixties [as you seem to, impossibly], you should take a closer look at the world. Hillary's politics aren't perfect, but nor are Obama's, and this is far and away the best chance we'll have at a good female president in the next twenty years. Probably the next fifty. Try not to fuck it up.
m (12 Feb 2008 13:27): also: the last line doesn't make sense to me either.
G (12 Feb 2008 15:06): Yeah, that's fair. It certainly makes a strong point that gender inequality is still a huge issue.


Paul (19 May 2004 12:43): So I'll be graduating in a couple weeks. The good news is various people come and see me graduate. The bad news is, then I have to figure out what to do with myself.
asdf (7 May 2004 23:12): test message again
mike (1 Jun 2004 8:17): You done yet, dude? I just drove back to seattle (via tucson, where my roommate's family lives) - pretty intense drive. I'd post to my blog about it, but the cs lab computers are being upgraded to red hat enterprise linux, so no blog (or programming) for me.
How about you, grant? This quarter your last?
mike (2 Jun 2004 15:00): Paul - you going to be stopping back in seattle at all?
Grant (4 Jun 2004 20:07): Monday is my last final. I'm sure I'll have a few things to keep me busy, but overall I think my free time will be on the up and up. Or perhaps more importantly, needing to wake up in the morning will be on the down and down.
mike (7 Jun 2004 17:03): you done, yet? I'm only around for a couple more days...
Grant (8 Jun 2004 13:47): Who's 'you'? I'm done.
It's the 206 to the 286 to the 1994 if you wanna leave a message the old-fashioned way.
Paul (13 Jun 2004 5:49): So I graduated Thursday; in attendance were Carla, Mom, Dad, Cheryl (stepmom), Gee-gee (grandmother), Betsy (aunt) and Audrey (cousin). It's nice to visit everyone, though the visiting is brief. This picture shows a PhD on the subway; I took the bus.
mike (20 Jun 2004 16:08): Tatsu and I have an <A href="">apartment in LA now. He starts work tomorrow. I am still very unemployed.
(20 Jun 2004 16:09): wait - what? Do you only allow lower case a tags?
Grant (21 Jun 2004 17:50): Haha. That's hilarious.
I'd suggest running futaba or something on here, but I guess image boards have a habit of eating up massive quantities of bandwidth.
mike (21 Jun 2004 19:29): I'm dumb. I forgot to close my tag.
mike (21 Jun 2004 19:30): I'm dumb. I forgot to close my tag.
mike (21 Jun 2004 19:30): woo. watch out, guys. I'm on fire.
Paul (23 Jun 2004 6:56): Sounds good--what's Culver City like?
Also, what is futaba? ("Futaba dominates F3A World Championship!")
(23 Jun 2004 17:46): Futaba is the image-board script that they run on, uh, futaba-chan. Think 2-channel, but for images. "Futaba" can also mean "two-leaves" in Japanese. 'Chan' is a shortening of 'channel,' as well as the well-known name suffix. So, you see, it's actually quite clever. Chortle!

NOTE: You may not be able to read Japanese very well, or well enough to be bothered (it's an image board, after all!). But, uh, if there's like a warning page before that particular gallery, do the math. Me, I just check the NEKO board (cats).
(7 Jul 2004 17:36): more ayanami rei pornography. awesome.
Grant (8 Jul 2004 17:12): Just check:
I mean, that's what I do.
Grant (8 Jul 2004 17:27): Actually, while we're at it:
Kingdom of Loathing!
(10 Jul 2004 18:52): Automated fun. Because manual fun is simply too taxing.
G (29 Jun 2005 0:20): Just an update, here:
Kingdom of Loathing has implemented ascension! It's as good a game as it ever was, and maybe it's now better, even.
Also, is searching by text slightly broken?