Saturday, January 27, 2018

Handwritten Social Media

I have been wondering what various forms of social media would be like if we handwrote all of our messages instead of typing them.  I have always been a believer in handwritten works but I don't believe that they are or should be mutually exclusive with other forms of online interaction.  Can you imagine what it would be like when your posts and comments involve that sort of pensive sort of self-reflection instead of being throwaway responses?  When instead of single-click "likes" you have actual, physical stickers you can affix to your comments?

Now that we live in the era where taking and posting photos is so easy, it's more than possible.  I will probably try an experiment one of these months and try to use physical handwriting for all of my posts and comments for that month.  Let me know what you think and whether you'd like to join me :)

If I try hard enough, will I be able to return to whom I once was?

Will I be able to escape your grasp?

Monday, January 22, 2018

DDLC, Sanrio Danshi, Passing Notes, etc.

Skipped FNW this past week and we finished playing through Doki Doki Literature Club instead.  It was indeed creepy at parts and had some jump-scare-ISH moments, but (lucky for us?) it was wayyyyyy tamer than I had imagined.  For me personally, 90% of the horror came from those times when I was only half-conscious and drifting in and out of sleep while also thinking about the game...basically my imagination was way more frightening than what was actually there.

So, there's that.  They definitely could have pushed that element a LOT more if they had wanted to, but having played the game I don't actually think that is really what they were trying to achieve at all (even though it is the most infamous aspect of it).  It was more of trying to explore the VN genre a bit and provide some deeper "what-if"s, I think.  There is quite a bit of breaking the 4th wall a-la OneShot, albeit with a different sort of flavor.  There are a good number of easter eggs and little tricks along those lines as well, which I enjoyed.

Overall I found it pretty interesting...there was definitely a lot of suspense and anticipation, haha.  There were a few parts that were definitely falling into the "mediocre VN" territory, though I think those were more intentional than not.  So yeah, overall pretty interesting.

I watched the third episode of Sanrio Danshi and...unfortunately I was right -- they resolved the issue at the end of the episode and are moving on to other things now.  So now we all know what to expect from now on; it's just going to be a "topic-of-the-week" sort of deal, and pretty light-hearted.  Which is a bit of a shame to be honest, since some of these issues are pretty important and deserve a better treatment.  But eh, some light fluff is okay too.

On Friday I went to an interesting event called "Passing Notes" that I heard about from Aivi & Surasshu, who were going to be showing up as the guests.  It was a small music producer gathering where we met up to make music for two hours and share...basically an in-person compo of sorts.  It actually ended up being a ton of fun -- I haven't compo'd in quite a long time and it was a real rush getting in the zone and just letting the music flow out again.

Instead of a theme, we were provided with some different piano riffs that Aivi herself had recorded beforehand to base our tracks off of.  I've never really made a track built around sampling something else before in this way, so it was really fun to give that a whirl!

It was also just really fun meeting up with other producers in person, as that's not really something I've had the opportunity to do.  It definitely had the same vibe as OHC did, only a little cozier since we were all actually there at the same place.

Anyhow, I'm hoping to release that track in the near future, so stay tuned for that!

Went back to Mission City Swing on Wednesday, which was kinda fun...obviously my WCS is really rusty, but it was nice to do some again.  It's really interesting -- I feel like I could sense through my dancing that I have loosened up a little, not just as a dancer, but as a person.  It' odd feeling, to have that change shown to you so readily.  I don't really know how to feel about it.

Been working my way through Tyrian2000...I'm on the last episode and have gotten to a super-difficult Gyges level.  All of these later episodes are actually brand new to me, as I've never played them before, but to be perfectly honest, it doesn't really feel like I was missing out on all that much, haha.  You can assemble a max DPS combination around halfway or maybe a little bit further through the game (laser, rear mega pulse, zica supercharger, and battleship class firebomb), so past that it's just a bunch of flying around and blowing up a whole bunch of stuff.  Still, Tyrian really is a classic, and it's one of those games that just has a seemingly endless amount of content...there's arcade mode in addition to the normal full game, there's local co-op, there's a collection of secret ships to play through, there's minigames, and even a realtime scorched earth-type game called Destruct.

Samurai Shaver is finally out for iOS and Android and I can breathe a little easier knowing that I'm all done with that project.  It felt really nice last night especially, just going to bed and not feeling like I'm scrambling to be on top of everything.  Of course, there's still always more stuff to work on...currently my missions are to finish up the song from Passing Notes, and then to get started on the work for my Journey cosplay, but before that I think I can afford to take a bit of a breather and just treat myself nicely.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

A happy birthday to My Melody today, and happy belated birthday to Chi Chai Monchan!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Can't sleep, Sanrio Danshi

Well...I woke up at 3:30AM for some reason half-delirious, so here I am now.  Also, allergies have been kind of bad these days =(

We started Doki-doki Literature Club, hahaha.  No spoilers -- nothing has really happened yet, except us being pleasantly surprised at how the writing doesn't suck (we have low expectations for VNs)...I'm terrified though.

In much happier and brighter news, I'm of course following Sanrio Danshi (Sanrio Boys)!  After what was a pretty generic (though slightly entertaining?) first episode, I was actually pretty pleased by what came out of the second episode.  Sanrio is perhaps my biggest "fandom" if you could call it that so it's actually really cool to see and experience these things that they put into anime form, as well as some little details and things.  In episode 1 for example when Kouta notices something about Yuu, for example, I knew he had spotted some Sanrio merch -- there's a sort of "Sanrio sense" that you get after being a fan for so long, where you have the ability to pick out Sanrio items in the middle of a crowded scene.  And the Gift Gate that they mention in episode 2 is a real place -- haven't been to that particular one though...  It seemed like they pulled from real photos in that section, and also the bag that Kouta walks out with is actually a bag design that I recognize too (and have some extras of...)

Anyhow, I'm trying to not get my expectations about the anime up too much, since I expect it to be a lot of fluff, but like I said, so far it has not been too bad!  They set up for a pretty juicy topic at the end of episode 2, and I feel like there's two ways it could go.  The more likely possibility is that they spend episode 3 covering it and it'll get resolved, then they'll move on to something else -- if that happens, I think it's pretty safe to say that we're in for your ol typical episodic slice of life which is "pleasant".  The less likely outcome is that they introduce the topic in episode 3 but don't resolve it until later on in the season...if that happens it will be much better, because these kinds of topics aren't things that should be so lightly resolved -- it feels like if they are, they aren't being treated seriously enough.

But let's be honest here, you all know I'm just waiting for Ryo and Seiichiro to show up with Little Twin Stars and Cinnamoroll, hahaha.

Joking aside though (am I really joking??), they're sending a really nice message and I actually love the atmosphere that they have set up.  I'm also sure that it will be a nice respite from whatever horrors DDLC has in store for us...

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Life goes on...Jammix this Friday was actually one of the better ones I've had in quite some time; I was really feeling it for some reason.  It wasn't like the music was spectacular or anything special like that, just I was in a good mood I guess.  It was a pleasant time hanging out with people and all.

Been thinking more about life, but have not really reached any conclusions that I haven't already.

Playing through Tyrian2000 at the moment!  Blast from the past indeed.  Still have yet to start on Finding Paradise, but am continuing to go through Inuyasha, haha.  At some point I also want to play through Star Control 2, and then of course there is the mysterious Yume Nikki project and associated countdown timer that is making everybody go !?!?!?...

There's an interesting beat cypher / compo / ??? event next week in Oakland that apparently aivisura will be making an appearance at!  I might end up going, though that means I'll have to try and get a decent-ish setup on my laptop for music production, which will probably be a bit of a pain.

Will have to work on my Journey cosplay towards the end of the month as there's actually a pretty nontrivial amount of stuff to add:

I'm taking it from the 2nd-most complicated to the most complicated embroidery, so I'll have to add the half triangles, then the tiny triangles, two more straight horizontal lines of bias tape and the plus-shaped symbols on top.  And then it'll be all done!

Glad to have the 3-day weekend...

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Aaand we're back.  Feels like I'm still not really on top of everything that I want to be on top of, but I'm making forward progress, at the very least, so I am thankful for that.

Ludum Dare results came out and...we took first place!  I've actually been spending the last few days putting out a super detailed post-mortem writeup of the experience -- you can read that here.  I already said most of what needs to be said in the post-mortem itself, but on a more personal note, it actually does feel really great to have done so well.  I don't think getting 1st place in Ludum Dare was ever really a personal goal of mine -- I was pretty happy with the two second place rankings that I already have (Ripple Runner and Match Girl) -- but I think it's a nice marker, especially for us as a team, that we really know what we are doing.

A lot of my time since then has been put to post-jam improvements on both Goodnight Sheep (now available on iOS and Android!), as well as Samurai Shaver.  I'll be putting out a mobile version of Samurai Shaver as well, but before that I wanted to finish rounding out the game with a few more levels -- I've already done two more since Ludum Dare ended and I'm working on a third one right now, featuring a whoooole lot of shamisen.  This whole soundtrack has actually gotten me super intimately familiar with my shamisen patch, hahaha.  It's been tricky to work around some of the limitations with my sound set, but also really fun at the same time.  Music is great!

The holiday vacation season has passed and it's pretty much back to the daily grind for a lot of us, it seems.  Weird though because I was working on game dev stuff throughout the break anyways.  Well, at least my life is pretty consistent, I guess.  Heh, there are actually some times when I am in a car or train or whatever and I actually feel somewhat appalled at just how fast things are moving, at the distance that people travel, and just in general the way that people and things seem so prone to flight.  How change is in the air, everywhere, and everyone is going everywhere because they are never content with where they are now.  I mean, I get that, and if that's you then all the more power to you, but I think I try to keep my life as insular as possible to avoid that.  Everything I need is already here with me; I don't want or need anything fact, there are already too many different things in my life; I could use a few less...

It's difficult, though, even for me.  To know where to draw the line, and around what.

I've been on an old game kick recently; been downloading a bunch of super old computer games from back in the day.  I actually have quite a number of different games on my bucket list to go through at some point.  Nothing too remarkable at the moment, but maybe soon.

Dance has been neither good nor bad recently, though Jammix tomorrow ought to be fun, probably.  Sometimes it's a bit of a crapshoot, haha.  I kind of detest that about dance, but I feel like that's really just the way it is sometimes.

Hadn't played much melee over the break, but getting back into it now, and I've been grinding out some stuff that I had been meaning to work on.  Falco combos and tech specifically, which has helped a lot, though there's still a lot to work on of course.  If I really did just main Falco (not that I would) I'm sure I would have picked up all of this stuff already but...all these other characters are just so fun!

Work is OK.  Life is mostly "OK" but I have been pretty stressed lately about not having enough time to just get all the things done that I want to.  Like I said, I am making progress though -- on Samurai Shaver, on the post-mortem, etc.  Pretty soon it'll be time to start working on the last level of embroidery on my Journey outfit as well.  But yeah, just mostly hoping to keep working on everything.  I think I really feel the whole "what you do defines who you are" thing because whenever I feel like I am slipping on all of the things that I want to do and keep up with, I feel like I am losing myself and feel like I don't know who I am anymore.

Just continuing to walk forward for now...

Monday, January 8, 2018

I don't know what mistakes I am making in life.  Only that everything is wrong.