Sunday, April 1, 2018

Houston visit, being out of it, finished Celeste, System Shock 2, etc.

Okay...let's catch up on everything.

Visiting Houston
Last weekend I visited a good friend in Houston!  It was a really nice trip in many ways for me and I'm really glad that I decided to go.  Just being able to see someone again that I care about really meant a lot to me and I was so happy being able to spend that time with them.  I got really sad at the end and didn't want to leave...I feel like I would definitely go again someday.

It was also really nice getting a a 4-day weekend (I took Friday and Monday off), especially since I had been working a bit hard leading up to this time.  Sometimes I get a bit more stressed than I realize and it actually felt nice to not have to worry about so many things anymore.  During the first night of my trip my back actually ended up being pretty sore but I couldn't figure out whether it was because I sat wrong on the plane or something or whether it was just stress manifesting as psychosomatic pain...but either way it was gone after that and I felt really refreshed as a whole.

In terms of the trip itself, I feel like no matter what we did it would have been a lot of fun, but I got to see the NASA space center, see the huge rest stop (more like a department store) called Buc-ee's, and of course eat some yummy food while I was there!  I had BBQ, TexMex, this bun thing called a Kolache, good ice cream, and a Cajun crawfish boil, mmm~  And my friend introduced me to an anime that just finished airing called A Place Farther than the Universe (Sora yori mo tooi basho) which I quite liked so far!  I'll probably watch more of that on the train at some point.  But yeah, all the food was really yummy...

On a side note, I spent a good amount of time during my plane rides...actually working on music!  But not in the usual sense -- I was working with FamiTracker (a music tracker used for writing NES-style chiptunes) to make a Mega Man-styled track.  It actually works quite well since, well, you don't really need a lot to do chiptune tracking, so it's super portable.  I mean, I already don't use much of anything for my normal music production, but with FamiTracker I don't even need a mouse!  I ended up being able to mostly finish the track with the time I spent during that trip, which was pretty nice.

Being out of it
This past week I've generally not been on top of my game...I don't really know why, maybe I'm just off, but in multiple aspects of my life I've just been forgetting loads of things or not concentrating or just not making good decisions.  Not really anything to be super concerned about, but more's unfortunate.  Hopefully I will have better luck this next week, but I guess it's also important to remember that in the grand scheme of things these mistakes (mostly) don't matter too much so although it can be good to express my dismay, it's not something I really need to beat myself up over.

Finishing Celeste
Well, just yesterday I finished the final C-Side level of Celeste.  It's been quite an amazing journey through this game and it really is true what they say about the design leaving no stone unturned.  It really makes me get the feeling like nobody can ever make a game with this same mechanic anymore.  Well, not really, because I know it's already been done, but more like it's really hard to believe that any more could be brought to the table.  I know that's not 100% true, and I'm sure if they really wanted to the developers could come up with another twist or mechanic that they could build another level out of.  But it just =feels= that way, because of how complete everything is.  I guess if there was one thing that felt a bit missing, it was that the C-Sides were fairly short -- mostly it was two or three "warm-up" rooms and then one specific long challenge room that was the brunt of the level.  I think that works too, but I wonder if it would have been more satisfying to have a longer setup, like in the B-Side levels.

Anyhow, I'm not going to bother 100%ing Celeste (leave that to all of the super dedicated people), as the things I have left are the golden strawberries (finish each stage without dying...A, B, and C-side...), and the secret 200th strawberry, which I started trying but gave up once I learned that the jump tricks you need to do to get it are really painstaking to nail.  I think that's super cool...but for me, I'm onto other things!  The absence of Celeste will surely leave a gaping hole in my life ("what do I dooo noowwww??!?") but I think next up is supposed to be Finding Paradise!  So we'll finally get to see how that is...

System Shock 2
Actually I lied!  Next up wasn't Finding Paradise, but surprise surprise!  I've been building up this itch to play System Shock 2 again and I finally installed it along with all the community mods and patches.  I hope to play co-op with a friend soon, but for now I actually just ended up starting a game on Hard difficulty (OSA character), and I've actually made it quite far -- to the end of hydroponics, actually!  I'm certainly much better at navigating the corridors and objectives in SS2 than I was X years ago when I last played it; that's for sure (to be fair, it was probably well over 10 years ago).

I started getting a little bit of the 3D game motion sickness that I tend to get for some games, but it seemed to help when I turned the FOV up slightly and disabled any view or weapon bobbing, so that's quite cool.

Stardew Valley
We just reached Winter!  As I mentioned earlier, I've been having brain farts left and right so I made some really silly mistakes this last session -_-;  But anyhow, we've reached winter!  We have 2 sheep and a pig now (we just installed heaters in the coop and barn), and we've got a bunch of crops happily growing in the greenhouse.  I think my goal for the start of winter is to ensure that we can still have a steady cashflow coming in...expanding the amount of crops in the greenhouse (I finally got enough iridium ore to make one or two iridium sprinklers), and then maybe starting to plant wild seeds for winter.

Other Stuff
Spring has definitely made its presence known this past week -- it felt like the seasons changed during my trip to Houston.  My respiratory system is....not pleased, so far. *achoo!*

Decadance rehearsals continue...I've finished rehearsals for my first piece and I'll be starting the second one up next week...

I skipped dance last weekend since I was in Houston, and skipped this week as well...should be good to go back again next week.

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