Monday, May 21, 2018

On Ludum Dare

While we're on the subject of Ludum Dare, I should take a moment to give an update on my general feelings toward the jam as a whole, and its (arguably) inarguable blend of awesomeness and mediocrity.

Ludum Dare has always been one of the biggest and most popular game jams, behind Global Game Jam with just over 3,000 entries being submitted for the latest round (GGJ meanwhile has had over 8,000).  LD is quite a different beast than GGJ though -- while Global Game Jam is very structured and involves going to an actual official in-person jam "site" with an organizer running the whole thing, Ludum Dare is this big asynchronous reddit-style mismash that just happens online.  It's coordinated and run by one person (!) and you can do it from anywhere you want -- usually from the peace and comfort of your own home.

The decentralized and lax nature of Ludum Dare has always simultaneously been one of its greatest strengths as well as its largest flaw.  Ludum Dare is super lax and basically anybody can do it.  Yes, there are rules and restrictions (don't steal content, etc.), but there are no prizes and there's no real hard enforcement of the rules.  In fact, since the #1 priority of the entire jam is around people just having fun making games ("your game IS your prize"), there are explicit exceptions made to the rules!  Need to update your game after the deadline to patch up some silly bugs?  Sure!  (Legally) using third-party assets in your game?  Go ahead -- just make sure you opt-out so you aren't included in the respective categories.  And it's for this exact reason that Ludum Dare is great for me -- making a game in a weekend is hard enough by itself, so I really don't want to have to worry about anything else at the same time.  I'm sure GGJ is a great experience, but don't want to go and meet new people and worry about moving my setup to a site and blahblahblah...I really just want to jam on games, by myself or with my best friend.

Ludum Dare is =far= from the only game jam of its kind, but it's the biggest and most well-known.  And really, the whole point of a game jam (versus just choosing a weekend to go off and make a game by your lonesome) is to have a community of people coming together, sharing games, playing each others' games, and giving feedback.  And Ludum Dare really does do that.

That said, Ludum Dare has had quite its fair share of......"issues" in recent years.  From changing to a new website (which many will probably agree is still really mediocre), numerous complaints about organization and administration (remember, LD is run by ONE person!), and more recently, rule violations and allegations of voting abuse, Ludum Dare...honestly could be better.  Ratings feel like a flip of the coin sometimes and this year we had *category winners* that were being ranked #1 in audio, graphics, mood, when they didn't actually create their own content.  ("Wow this music is better than anything else I've heard in all of LD!" ... well, it's also a professional studio album ripped off of SoundCloud that wasn't made during the jam...)

Now, I understand that things will definitely slip through the cracks sometimes -- heck, I've even had to make some small exceptions for myself too.  I think it'd be a mistake to hold people to the letter of the law instead of worrying more about the spirit of the jam itself.  But clearly things could be a bit better.  When people don't even realize they are breaking the rules, that's a bit sad.  When voters also don't realize those people are breaking the rules, it's also sad.  I've done my part as a proper LD citizen and called several people out on their third-party assets -- usually these people actually credit the original source in their game descriptions.  That's always been met with sincere apologies, and the team or individual in question opts out of the appropriate category after I point them to the rules.  Why does this continue to be a thing?  The website has very poor usability; adding multiple people to a team and submitting a jam game together is terribly unintuitive.  There's no search function!!!  If I want to find a game's page on LD by title I literally have to use Google.  The results page is way more confusing than it used to be.  Basically almost everything was better on the old site -- though I understand that the old site was also running on super outdated technology (wordpress???) and simply needed to be replaced at some point.  Still, it's sad that we just have so many issues, after more than a year on the new site.

But it's important to remember again, that LD has sprawled out into a big mess and despite the good citizens of LD's best intents (shoutout to all you good LD citizens; you guys are great), there really isn't anything that the community as a whole can do to fix it.  It's just in the very nature, structure, and foundation of LD to be that way.  It's not run by some organization, it doesn't have funding -- it's literally just one guy's hobby.  Random people from the community can make all the posts they want about how they want to help, or could do a way better job, or whatever...but there's no way a huge decentralized community is going to effect any meaningful change -- it'd be like Reddit trying to get together to write a novel (or think Twitch Plays Pokemon).  In the end, there's no way to call the shots and really effect change without a core person or group.  Could I imagine a stronger core running LD?  Absolutely.  But that's just not the world we live in.

Despite all its shortcomings, though, LD still really does serve my needs as a game jam.  It gives me an excellent excuse to craft my art, and it provides a community of people who will actually go and try your game and provide feedback.  Sure, the site...kinda sucks a bit...and really the whole thing ought to be run better...but I can deal with that.  Probably the most relevant downside of LD for me is that the ratings are really a crapshoot, and that can feel invalidating at times, but even that's really not so bad now that I've sort of "been there, done that", so to speak.  It's also a shame that LD suffered in popularity due to its more mediocre aspects.  But LD is still a great time for me.  I've made *22 games* for Ludum Dare, and each time it's been a blast, and super fulfilling.  For that I'm thankful, and hope that it will continue to be a great experience (while also hoping that it can get its stuff together someday, haha).

"...but if there's a time when everything can go back to the way it was, that'll be great.
I hope things don't change anymore.
Because the most important is the memories.
I don't want a future.
So even though I'm here right now, there's no meaning to it.
If everything goes back to the way it was,
then maybe I'll disappear.
There's no meaning to my current existence.  As I could disappear at any time."
--Ritsuka, Loveless 2

Thursday, May 17, 2018

LD41 results, Goodnight Meowmie, Big Dance 2018, OHC500, etc.

I am fearful of everything
thorns pushing in from all directions
With an outstretched hand, you
reach out to me and remind me
what it feels like to be home

Ludum Dare results and Goodnight Meowmie

Before we knew it, Ludum Dare 41 results were out, and though I did not get as much of a chance to play and rate other games as I would have liked, we at least got a good number of people who played our game (~57 ratings).

I'll be writing up a full post-mortem reflecting on the process and result of the game, but these were our results from the voting:

Overall:    14th  (4.352 average from 56 ratings)
Fun:        276th (3.645 average from 57 ratings)
Innovation: 217th (3.773 average from 57 ratings)
Theme:      115th (4.236 average from 57 ratings)
Graphics:   42nd  (4.500 average from 57 ratings)
Audio:      4th   (4.509 average from 55 ratings)
Mood:       2nd   (4.574 average from 56 ratings - highest ever!)

Average Score: 4.23

We have still not promoted or linked to Goodnight Meowmie as we are still at work revising some key parts of the game.  The current version as it stands is fine, and was well received; however there are actually some important things that it does not really do justice to.  I'm not sure how it happened, but somewhere along the road, Goodnight Meowmie actually became an intensely personal project for me and I think it has taken on a significant emotional meaning.  It is really not often at all that I will be on the train thinking about how to structure a certain part of a game and start crying, haha.

This is what people mean when they talk about making works your own, and making works that only you can make.  As an artist there is a certain something that you can only bring to something if you are truly speaking from and bringing your own strong feelings and perspective about it.  And that is why it is so hard to write a compelling story about a subject that you don't really understand, or draw from a reference photo without really working with the real thing.  Not that there isn't value in trying to just "fake it" and great things can still come out of it, but it's really not the same experience artistically.

Anyways, as an artist this game is really starting to mean a lot to me.  Just like our failed project, "Bird" (which would go on to become "Rain"), taught me a lot, too.  "Bird" was a story about my struggle about loss, the past, and moving on -- the one story that I keep coming back to over and over again.  And I struggled a lot to figure out what the ending of "Bird" was supposed to be, because I was struggling to figure out the same answer in my own life, too.  The happy end was a fairy-tale ending that I knew would never happen.  But I couldn't accept the "we learn to move on" ending either.  I just could not.  And this story along with a lot of other soul-searching and life experiences taught me in the end that there was a way, my way, to continue on without reaching each other, yet without letting go too.  To accept the pain that comes with knowing that you will never see someone again, while still choosing to treasure them and yearn for them.  Because you would never forgive yourself otherwise.

We struggled quite a lot with the ending of "Rain" too.  In the end it ended up telling quite a different narrative than "Bird", but ended up being very meaningful to me as it was the first time we were able to create such a rich and meditative experience through the medium.  Like with "Bird", Goodnight Meowmie also deals with things that are very personal and important to us, and as we think about the experience and the narrative there are things that are very obviously wrong or right to us and we know it just because we feel so strongly about these feelings in our real lives too.  As an artist I think that is how you know that something is rich and "real", that it really has something behind it -- when decisions are made because of real experiences and feelings, not just "because I thought it would be cool".  And as we think about these narratives it informs our life stories as well.

I can never give up being an artist.

So yeah, I have been hard at work on Goodnight Meowmie -- not to mention, Samurai Shaver still needs that calibration screen put in too...ugh.  I was thinking about it the other day and realized that I am too much of a workaholic in my personal and artistic ambitions to ever be a workaholic in my career.  I know I'm quite fortunate to be able to say this, but when you pit my artistic dreams against job and career, there's just no question which one I need to prioritize...

Big Dance 2018

Well, that's one for the books!  This was a fun one for sure, definitely more so than I remember from last year, actually.  This year was sort of ridiculous in that me and Gem both had Deca rehearsal the morning after from 10AM-1PM (with Gem helping to teach, no less).  Big Dance runs from 9PM to 6AM, so...yeah.  I ended up coming before 9PM too, so I really did it all.  I ended up catching roughly 2 hours of sleep between Big Dance and Deca rehearsal, and successfully made it through before crashing until dinner, haha.  Apparently Gem had had enough caffeine that she didn't even sleep in between...

Let's see...performances were actually pretty great this year; I liked DL's choreos, and oh, Swingtime's new choreo was quite fun too!  "Wopening" was pretty epic and Bob's performance in Ceili was top-notch, hahaha.  Speaking of Bob, I got to partner with him for Dawn Mazurka again this year -- we had a solid set, and as I once did years ago, I got to sprint around half of Roble during the "chase" until he finally was able to cut me off.  Oh yeah, and we also did a lift after the genuflection.  Good times.

I also brought home 1st place in the Intergenerational dance contest with Elise (whom I had never danced with before), which was super duper fun omg!  With a Lindy Hop, no less??  I talk about this again and again, but there is always something exhilirating about dancing with someone you don't know and trying to play off of each other in a way where neither of you really knows what will happen.  It's something that makes me wonder if we can have more Luck of the Draw (ok, fine, "Jack & Jill") events (hint hint) in our community.

Other than that, good dances, good seeing everybody, and I even got to spend some time sitting out by the fountain, which was super nice and relaxing >w<.  My foot cramped up again but only way into the night...will have to use better insoles next time.

System Shock 2

I started up my Impossible playthrough of System Shock 2.  I hope to be continuing that soon (whoops), but in other news we also finished up the game in our co-op playthrough.  Getting through the Body of the Many fight was quite exhilirating, feeling more like a traditional FPS than anything as we tried to just rambo our way through all the rumblers and psi reavers (which seemed quite buggy in multiplayer).  The Shodan fight, on the other hand, was a walk in the park as I just blasted her away with a few shots of my EMP rifle, lol!  That's that...


That's right, OHC round 500 happened last week!  It's been forever and a day (basically 100 OHCs) since I last compoed, so it was nice to do it again.  I definitely felt rusty, and whenever I do OHC again these days it always feels like I'm suuuuper slow and clumsy compared to how I remember myself being, but part of it I know is also that I have higher standards for quality and I like to put more attention into detail into things now.  But anyways, that was quite fun and it was nice seeing everyone in chat again and seeing old and new faces alike.  We had some pretty epic entries too...twas a good compo.


In general, things are....rough.  I realized today especially that I need to find a better balance instead of my current pattern of alternatively working my butt off and then giving myself a break when I can't really handle it anymore.  It is really difficult with so many things bouncing around and when I don't have the proper balance and peace in my life, I get really cranky and it just feels like everyone is asking me to do more things and I hate having all of these responsibilities and expectations and UGH!  Gimme a break, guys.  It almost feels like I went back to being in high school again =/  Not really a good look.  In any case, time spent to my own devices is at a premium now and I think the best thing I can do for myself is just to say no, and remember that Drowsiness Is Red Alert.

In my near future coming up, I have...more work on Goodnight Meowmie, more other work on...Samurai Shaver, music, etc...System Shock 2, maybe Super Metroid Randomizer (I'm a bit more familiar with the SM map now)...FNW, Deca rehearsal, and good lord, Fanime is already next weekend (plus GCC dance, wow).  Gotta just hang in there...

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Song Spotlight

Continued from, but I'll repeat some of those here too because they still deserve more attention...

This time with YouTube streaming embeds!

Raven Delivery Service
A song I wrote for Ludum Dare!  The B section of this song is EPIC.  This song has been coming up quite a few times on my playlists lately and every time it is awesome.  It's a keeper for sure, that progression is just wonderful.

Take to the Skies
Another Ludum Dare song and a solid one that made it into my "Best of DDRKirby(ISQ) - Volume 1" collection.  It's actually got a similar progression to Raven Delivery Service...the whole VI-VII-I thing is one that I fall back to a lot because I love the feeling of it.

Pixel Warriors
This one isn't actually released yet, but dang, this is definitely the best 2A03 (NES chiptune) work I've ever done.  Short but sweet.  Look out for my upcoming all-8bit album someday.

Still really proud of this one.  Probably my favorite waltz song that I've written.

Memoirs of a Whale
Remains my most involved and proudest work to date.

Although "Fortitude" is more interesting, this one is a perfect example of my root style -- upbeat, intense chiptunes.  The halftime drums breakdown at 2:38 is pretty epic.

Frozen Here
From the YouTube comments:
"A quiet town covered with snow, and a hooded girl walking down a dimly lit street at night." -- Mi

Thursday, May 3, 2018

We struggle to stay afloat
when everything precious lies far beneath the surface

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

In this place where our story began, 
even if there are nothing but our promises, 
I will always be alive in your memories.

In this place where our story began, 
no matter how much time should pass, 
I will always be alive in your memories.

I'm on my way to the place of our beginning. 
I have nothing but our promises, 
but in order to meet you, I'll continue my journey.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Just how much of myself have I lost?

Ludum Dare 41, Birthday, Life, more System Shock 2

Ludum Dare

I participated in Ludum Dare 41 this past weekend with my best friend, and we made it out alive, with a game!  I'll get around to writing a full post-mortem at some point later, but a brief summary of how it all went down:

- The theme was "Combine 2 incompatible genres", which seemed to lend itself to some pretty interesting/wacky ideas.
- Our first idea was "farming game + horror game" which we were pretty interested about.
- We struggled a LOT after getting some initial things down.  This has happened quite a few times before but this is the slowest start we've ever had.
- Eventually we scrapped the entire plot and decided to do "virtual pet + horror game" instead, with an entirely different narrative.
- We still had a lot of uncertainty and stress even after figuring out the new idea.
- It felt like we threw the entire game together in 24 hours really.
- We ran 4 hours over the submission deadline putting in the ending of the game (it's ok, we wasted way more than 4 hours of time at the early stages).
- "Dinner" was in-n-out at 11PM, lol.
- Despite all that I'm really happy with what we ended up with and I'm glad we went down the path that we did.  This project actually meant a lot to me, somehow.

There are a ton of features and ideas that of course needed to be cut from the game during the process of development, even major plot points that just couldn't be executed at all.  I don't think we'll be getting all of them in, but we will probably at least make some minor changes and add some small things that would make it feel more complete.

Anyhow, if you don't want to wait until we patch things up and start sharing the game full-heartedly, the current version of the game is hosted here:

Let us know what you think if you try it!

Though it was very stressful, Ludum Dare was a spot of brightness and hope in this life.


I turned 29 on Friday (the day that Ludum Dare started).  It actually sort of snuck up on me and I almost completely forgot to disable FB timeline posting this year, whoops!  But I remembered in time, haha.  Thank you to those of you who sent me well-wishes and/or gifts, and apologies that I responded pretty hastily to all of them (since I was busy with Ludum Dare).

I honestly...don't have too much to write about my birthday, mostly because it was such a non-event.  I could write about life in general, but that's literally the next section here, so...


...right then.  Life in general right now is.......not good.  I mean, there's not really too much point in hiding it so I'll just be honest, things are not too happy right now.  Work-related stress has been a large part of it, but I'm also recovering from Ludum Dare so I'm running low on sleep, which always affects these sorts of things more than you might realize.  In general though, I am just really sick and tired of having to do all these things.  It's not physically exhausting, but it is tiring to have to think of what is happening in my future and only be stuck with things that I'm not particularly looking forward to.  There are small things...Ludum Dare was a breath of fresh air, insomuch as a stressful game jam can be at least, melee is fun, and I'm still pretty enamored with System Shock 2 for some reason, haha.  I general I am just sick and tired.  I think it feels like I don't have things that I do look forward to, but it's really more that I am tired of the things I don't look forward to.  I guess I just need to rest.

System Shock 2

I don't know why I'm so into this game right now despite not even playing it very often, lol.  I think the character building aspect just really intrigues me and I even want to just try doing a run on Impossible difficulty, probably with a psi + energy weapon build.  Speaking of psi + energy, in our co-op game we've gotten up to deck 5 now (recreation) and my power level has really shot through the roof!  Whereas before I was mostly support, taking out cameras and eggs with cryokinesis (weak but really cheap psi attack power), I finally spent the modules getting my Energy weapon skill to 6 (I also have the sharpshooter OS upgrade now), and I'm now carrying no less than 3 fully-modified laser pistols.  With all of those upgrades, the laser pistol does a pretty good amount of damage to normal hybrids and monkeys (basically anything that isn't a spider), as well as being really effective against all manner of turrets, security bots, and even the cyborg assassins, but the fact that I have 3 also means I can keep them all on overcharge mode and cycle between them while they're cooling down, so I actually have quite a bit of firepower.  Not to mention, I've also been using the EMP rifle which can 2-shot the huge robots, so that's a great feeling.  I also finally got my Maintenance skill up to 6 (so I can maintain the emp rifle) so our weapons are set for maintenance.  As we get further on we're going to start meeting the more powerful annelid enemies at which point I'm going to need some sort of plan B since the energy weapons aren't really going to be effective there.  I've got two main options: either invest in PSI 6 (7 with a psiboost implant) which will mean pyrokinesis does 13 incendiary damage (that's 26 to an annelid) -- comparable to a sharpshooter modified assault rifle shot (around 28?).

Soma transference would actually do only 20 damage at psi 7 since there's no double damage bonus, and costs almost twice as many psi points.  I probably have the option of getting it, but it doesn't really seem to be worth it.

Rumblers and psi reavers have a LOT of health though (220 and 120).  Even against arachnids (60) I still wouldn't be able to kill them in 2 hits unless I wear annelid armor to put my psi at 8 (maybe an option if I get replicator expert and just buy tons of psi hypos?).  Maybe that's just how it should be though; it's been a long time since I fought either of those two enemies so I guess they are just supposed to be super tanky.  I mean 10 anti-personnel shots with an assault rifle (for a rumbler) takes some time to shoot as well.

The other option would be to go and get exotic weapons (along with molecular duplication) and use the viral proliferator and worm launcher, which would dispatch these in a heartbeat.  That might actually be a better idea (and potentially more fun), so I might go for that.  Theoretically I should have enough cyber modules to go for both of these routes eventually, but maybe going for exotic weapons first.  That will also inform me of how fun the exotic weapons are for if I do end up doing that impossible playthrough.

Other stuff

- I must be some sort of masochist but I'm thinking I might try my hand at playing through x-com again, lol!  No...not the newer x-com game...I mean the original (ufo defense), haha...we'll see.
- I don't know if I ever mentioned this, but I received PICO-8 as a gift a while back and haven't tried using it for anything yet.  I fired it up the other week just to explore the demo projects and get acquainted with the program and it seems
- No recent progress on Rhythm Quest =(

Friday, April 13, 2018

Finding Paradise (and Gakkou Gurashi), other stuff

Frumple Sad Camper Times
I don't want to really write about it nor should I anyways, but last week was so *frumple*.  The *silly cows* were *squeezing the juice*.  It does not even helping!  This week *silly cows* are more like *happy campers*, so we are again doing the *GO! GO*.  I am tired of *spitting* the meaning.

Finding Paradise (and Gakkou Gurashi)
I started and finished playing through Finding Paradise! (the sequel to To the Moon)  I was quite looking forward to it (while trying to temper my expectations) and it certainly did not disappoint.  On a high level it's really more of the same, so you kind of know what you're getting into if you've already played To the Moon.  I was actually surprised that the walk speed was so slow; maybe I just don't remember To the Moon as well, but I didn't really find it too tedious or anything, just a little slower than I expected (surely a deliberate choice?).  All in all though I did enjoy Finding Paradise more.  In both cases I think the plot development is quite interesting and Rieves/Kan Gao tends to really be good at the whole weaving a mystery together thing, stringing you along and pacing things well.  But I found Finding Paradise to present an ultimately more interesting and less kitsch story.  Kan Gao commented on that himself and I think I see what he means.  Anyways, I really appreciated that, especially because I think if there was something about To the Moon that I would criticize it's that the ultimate story was a bit generic in the end; a story about hope, dreams, and love, with a happy ending, yadda yadda.  When I see stories that present a different narrative and a different spin on things, it's always refreshing.

Which isn't of course to say that all those stories about "let's go on an adventure, come back with something learned, and change our lives for the better, also LOVE" are terrible, because that's not true either.  Gakkou Gurashi was ultimately a story about letting go and moving on, so by that metric you'd think I'd really disagree with it, but on the contrary, the way that it presented the struggle to let go of the past was something that really resonated with me; I think it truly made me feel that it was respecting the past and that even though we know that in the end we must move onwards from it, it's not vilified at all.  It's really amazing how it can tell a story where the main "antagonist" who represents the past is not a villain at all.  Compare that to Inception where the person who represents the past is literally named "bad" in french ("Mal").  So yeah, while I think there always needs to be more stories that explore different outcomes other than just "Let's move forward and onward with life, look forward to the future, become a shonen hero, and FIND LOVE", on the other hand there is also room for stories to still tell about moving onward but in a way that is more respectful and resonant of these ideas.  In summary...I love Gakkou Gurashi.

Ludum Dare
Round 41 of Ludum Dare is coming up next weekend!  Team Cocoa Moss will be entering; we're looking forward to working on it with just the two of us again (for the first time since 2016!).  I was worried last week that things would be super hectic around this time so I wouldn't be able to focus on Ludum Dare like I really want to, but maybe that won't actually be an issue, which is good.

System Shock 2
We're well on our way through the Von Braun in our multiplayer playthrough!  With me as the OSA psionics guy with energy weapons, and my partner as the Navy guy who hacks all the crates and wields all of the standard and heavy weapons.  In other words, he is the one who actually does all the useful stuff since the pistol and shotgun are way more efficient at putting out damage (provided the right ammo types) than my psionics or dinky laser pistol.  My laser pistol is *ok* though!  Plus, infinite ammo is nice.  I took the adrenaline psi ability pretty early on and that plus the laser rapier have not actually been terribly useful so far, so I fear that might have been a bit of a waste.  Melee is always tricky, heheh.  We'll see about it I guess, but my guess is that for now I'll be using a lot of pyrokinesis (man that guzzles up a lot of psi points!) along with my energy pistol, which will later be replaced by the EMP rifle, at which point I will at least have a good role because that will hose down any robotic enemies super well.  We're about to stumble on the crystal shard soon, which might be a nice weapon to pick up, but honestly melee is a liability once the Navy guy starts gunning everything down.  Maybe it's best to just skip that and try to shoot for tier 5 psi so I can pick up soma transference.  With soma transference plus emp rifle I actually will be packing quite a bit of power, though of course it'll be expensive to get there.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

COGIATI (2018), Gender Sux

There is this question from the COGIATI (haven't looked at that in ages) which goes like this:

"Suddenly the entire world is magically changed. Now you exist in a world utterly devoid of gender. All bodies are hermaphroditic, utterly androgynous in appearance, both male and female at the same time. The culture reflects this, as does all human interaction. You, however, are still yourself inside, with all of your memories of living in our world as it is now. Your feelings are intact, only your flesh has been changed. In this new world, everyone dresses, acts, and lives however they feel at the time, and there is no such thing as being male or being female. You alone remember the world of gender. In such a world, would you still need to dress like a woman?"

A) Without question. I really love being feminine. It would be a very disturbing world, too.
B) Yes. I really enjoy expressing femininity. I would miss it a lot.
C) I don't know. It would be easier to live how I wish though.
D) how I dress is not really the issue for me. I would just dress how I felt.
E) I guess it just would not matter anymore, would it? This is my dream world.

The question is a little different from how I was remembering it just now, I thought it was asking about "how do you like this world" rather than specifically feelings toward your own desires (which of course makes more sense for this test), but anyways...

I was just thinking about this, and I realized...before I pretty much thought that although gender caused quite some unfortunate things, including but not limited to sexism, feeling out of place or constrained in terms of gendered roles, assumptions, blahblahblah, even despite all of that, I =also= thought that it was a pretty nice thing too, the idea of expressing oneself as masculine or feminine or whatever.  That even though it is terrible to pigeonhole people into these boxes, the boxes themselves are actually pretty cool.

I think nowadays I'm quite a bit more jaded about it.  I think the more and more I think about gender and all of these problems the more I feel like it would just be better if it were to just not exist.  If all of these stupid terrible things could just go away.  Then I wouldn't really care about those boxes; even if they are not inherently bad, they are just causing way too many problems.  It would be better gender just didn't exist.  Or...maybe humans would just end up finding some other way to @%&* it up anyways.

Anyways, just for kicks, let's actually try taking this thing again!

I took it and got exactly 0, lol (pure neutral??).  That makes sense though, given how apathetic I am about it nowadays.  Apparently I took it in 2011 and got a -5, then again in 2015 and got a 20.  That really doesn't tell you anything about the whole story though, as the perspective I have on these sorts of things is quite different than what it used to be.