Sunday, September 17, 2023

Had a weekend retreat, of sorts, really nice.  But I guess really I feel like my experience starts a bit earlier, on Tuesday when I had some socialization, self-care, other care, and a good night's sleep.  Wednesday I thought for sure that I was sick because I felt incredibly tired, but turns out my body was just telling me to catch up on rest, which I did.  That must have pushed a metaphorical reset button for me because I felt really refreshed afterward.  Thursday I had another outing -- which went well, and then I kicked off my weekend retreat of sorts where I took a short hop over to another city to stay with a friend.

It's been a really nice couple of days and I'm feeling happy, validated, motivated, excited, all sorts of other positive adjectives as well.  Of course, there's that bit of trepidation at the back of my mind about some of the things that I need to take care of when I am back, but it's not really too bad, especially in the face of the positive emotions that I'm feeling.

I was reminded (again) of why I care so much about making Rhythm Quest, but I was also reminded of how far I have come in my personal life as well, on a separate note.  And I know that there is hope that I'll be able to regain both my past happiness as well as my past diligence and motivation.

It's rare that I feel so good about life, especially after some of the things that I've had to go through this year.  It's always hard to take periods of time and point at them as being 5 out of 5.  But it is, now.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

It's 2023.  Let me get this straight...

Flash content no longer runs in any modern browser.  There's a WIP in-browser flash emulator/player written in rust that aims to correctly and safely run flash content, but it's incomplete.

Unity has continued to bloat the engine in addition to making some..."interesting" decisions about pricing fees, contracts with defense agencies, and uh...laughable PR announcements, to say the least.

Godot Engine has recently launched a new major version, Godot 4.  Godot 4's HTML5 exports currently can't yet run on macOS and iOS due to upstream bugs with SharedArrayBuffer and WebGL 2.0.

Godot 3 builds can be exported as threaded builds to help with allowing lower audio latency (among other things), but this requires SharedArrayBuffer support, which in turn requires some COEP web headers to be served, so you need to configure your webserver to provide those (it also doesn't work on Internet Explorer, but let's be real, nobody cares).

If you're hosting on (as many do), there's now an experimental flag you can enable for your project to have those COEP headers served.  However, they determined that using the "require-corp" version of the header breaks the rest of the page, so they're opting to use "credentialless" instead.  Firefox recently launched trial support of this header, but Safari only accepts "require-corp", so your build won't work there.

...yeah, ok.

Monday, September 11, 2023

And so my week "break" ends, just as it began -- quietly, without incident.  I didn't relax a ton, didn't get a ton done, but I planned to do neither of those things, just...step through life as usual, only with a little more time on my hands.  Could I have done a little more on Rhythm Quest, for example?  Yeah, but I also could have done any number of other things, too.  It's totally fine.

Put together another keyboard build and am now auditioning different tactile switches on it to see how I feel about them.  It's a 65% keyboard, so a little more compact, and has reaffirmed my preference that TKL is my layout of choice, but eh, maybe the function-row-less (FRL TKL) layout of the board that I have coming later this year will be a nice compromise.  Anyhow, it's a fun little sidequest in my life right now.

Rhythm Quest work just continues to chug along.  I'm past that sort of initial burst of work on the level editor, but it's come a long way since then...not quite fully-featured, but it's definitely getting closer.  Looking forward to continuing to work on that some more...

In the meantime I suffered some random spurts of anxiety here and there.  It's odd because I never really figured out in particular where they came from.  Perhaps just a life thing.  To be continued, I guess.  It's something I'm going to have to sit on a bit more.  Think about how I am really feeling.  How I want to be.  Whether I'm doing the right thing.

But I'm glad that there are, at the very least, things to look forward in life, of some sort.  I installed a bunch of quality-of-life mods and am giving Baldur's Gate 3 another shot, on Tactician difficulty.  The QOL mods are helping for sure, though they can only go so far.  Going through the story a second time makes me realize how some areas were just....really confusing the first time around.  Took a second time through to kind of understand what was going on, properly.  It makes me wonder what the average experience through games like this is like.  Are other people just as confused by certain things?  Is it just bad design...?

I finished my playthrough of Link's Awakening DX.  Didn't bother getting all of the seashells (and didn't particularly care to), but finished everything else, including the "color dungeon".  Overall it was much less enjoyable of an experience than A Link to the Past, but I can sort of see why the game functions that way.  There's a lot more backtracking, it's never straightforward how to get from one screen to another since each individual screen is so small -- sort of like you're zoomed into this big maze, rather than ALTTP which is more open-feeling, both in the overworld and in the underworld (dungeons).  Surprisingly, the dungeons felt quite a lot more complex in Link's Awakening.  Especially the latter few (Eagle Tower, Turtle Rock), they really require you to backtrack a lot and keep track of overarching goals while exploring room-to-room.  Overall the dungeons were more "difficult" in that way (minus maybe Ice Palace in ALTTP?), so I understood immediately why I got stuck so easily when I played this earlier in my life.  I didn't appreciate some of the more obtuse-seeming dungeon areas -- lots of bombing walls or hookshotting in areas that might not pop out to you obviously.  I think part of the issue is that it was never obvious where I should be looking for progression in the dungeon, and it takes a long time to navigate across the various (small) rooms, so it felt like you spend a lot of time wandering around without actually making progress.  I'm sure these are all issues that are probably alleviated somewhat in the Switch remake, though (I'd imagine...).

All I can from here on out is just hope to tap into my "best self", I guess...I mean, what else is there to be doing?

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

I remember the days when it felt like I was actually writing interesting thoughts here, instead of just doing a mind dump.  But then, I remember doing the "daily mind dump" even before that.  Maybe these things just go in cycles.

Rhythm Quest development continues to chug along with my work on the level editor.  It's daunting because there's so much to work on, but at the same time, it's kind of a nice thing because it means you can just pick whatever you feel like working on, rather than forcing yourself to work on any particular thing.  There's no shortage of work to be done, so just do whatever you feel like.

I finished all of Baldur's Gate 3.  I can't really tell where I land on it because it's a solid mix of good and mediocre.  I think the important part is that I enjoyed it quite a bit, despite all of my criticisms.  I'm already contemplating another playthrough on the hard difficulty, but this time....equipped with some community-made mods that might hopefully help make the experience a little better in terms of quality of life improvements.  I haven't started on that, I don't know when or if I will, but I feel like the one thing that BG3 =did= help me out with was giving me something to look forward to.

I've actually been doing a good bit of gaming this week, since I gave myself the week fully off of work.  I played through Mega Man 6 on a whim -- was much easier of a game than I remembered, they are REALLY generous with the e-tanks in MM6 it seems.  But I still remember really struggling with the game when I was younger, too.  It's crazy how much one's skill can improve with these things.

I started playing through Link's Awakening DX too.  I've never played the game boy color version, admittedly, so it's slightly new in that regard, but mostly just the same ol Link's Awakening GB gameplay.  It really pales in comparison to A Link to the Past, despite being released some 7 years later.  They did a good job within the limitations of the system, but there's so much more backtracking and the world takes so much longer to navigate, so overall the pacing just feels very much slower.  I'm glad that I have the benefit of fast-forward to speed things up a little bit.  I'm also of course much better at just reasoning about puzzles, dungeon stuff, and all that, so that is helping as well.  I'm probably what, like 70% done maybe?  I already got the boomerang and am in dungeon like...6 or something?

I played through Pocky and Rocky Reshrined.  It was oddly.....not quite as fun as I expected.  It makes me wonder if the original SNES game actually had better gameplay (or maybe Pocky and Rocky 2 is even better?)  The art and music direction was good enough, just something about the gameplay wasn't really quite on the mark.  The levels either felt really chaotic or encouraged you to stop a lot, or some odd mix of both.  I can't really say for sure.  I'll have to try the original someday to give a better comparison.

I swear there's been other stuff going on besides video games, that's just the thing that readily comes to mind.  I've been continuing to enjoy white tea...really reminds me of the good that can be in life, so there's that...

Sunday, August 27, 2023

But what =should= a friendship really be like?  I'm still not sure I know the answer.


And I finally found a name for the emotion.  Not sadness, nor grief, not anger either.  Just, disappointment.


There's only 5 days left in the month and I've made it through with my little experiment of dancing every day.  I actually =have= seen some improvement, minute as though it may be.  There's still all this stuff that I'm horrible at, but at least there are some things that I'm slightly better at now than I was before.  Perhaps that is all I can ask for in the end.


BG3 continues to be...just fine.  Enjoyable.  I was really worried about Act 3 in multiple ways, but the performance issues seem to have been a little mitigated, the camera issues, okay, bearable, I guess, and I've managed to just avoid talking to most people in the city and just skip all the sightseeing, dashing straight for whatever the objectives are.  It's...really a mix.  There is this half of the BG3 pie that I think is really good fun; thinking about character builds, seeing your prowess increase in combat, that kind of thing.  Then there is some stuff that's perfectly serviceable.  The dialogue trees, the little D&D "moments", etc.  There's stuff that's kinda...mediocre, or just "there" -- the companionship/romance systems, the meaningless lore.  There's the bugs and unexpected situations -- areas being explored out of order, cutscenes not triggering, quests bugging out.  And there's the "why is it like this" moments of inventory management, having to click on 8 different traps individually to disarm them.  Overall it's....fine...


One of my two 5:4 monitors finally crapped out -- nearly, anyways.  Noticed a buzzing sound start all of a sudden tonight, so I removed it from my setup despite the fact that it still works (for now...).  Probably something going bad with the electronics/power in there, so it's time to take it out of commission.  That puts me in a slightly awkward spot as I now have to rearrange my desk a bit to go back to 2 monitors.  I could invest in a second LG Dualup (probably the ideal / my current dream endgame setup) but I can probably make do without for now, if I'm being honest.  Maybe compact stuff a little bit more.


Over the past week, had a couple of experiences with people who.......didn't seem super empathetic, or aware?  They didn't seem like they were very good hosts.  I don't really know what I want to say about it other than maybe it makes me appreciate other people (even myself?) a little more.  It's important, isn't it?  to check on the people you share company with.  But then again, maybe I only opt to do that in a specific way, too.


The whole keyboard hobby thing continues to keep me pretty interested.  I've got some new parts coming in next month, but for now I got some keycaps to try out.  They don't go as well with my current keyboard in terms of aesthetic, but I don't have the other board to put them into yet, so I decided to try them out anyways.  They're thicker and sound nicer, despite being perhaps slightly worse for typing speed due to them just being all flat.  It's a nice aesthetic and feel, something I could definitely get used to.  I'll switch them back in the near future, but I'll look forward to using them again.


I'm gearing up for more attempts at Super Metroid Any% speedruns.  I've been grinding the rooms and strats a lot, so I'm certain I can set a new PB if I just get more attempts in.  Right now Phantoon and Ridley are still big run-killers for me, especially Phantoon at the moment.  So I'll have to not only practice the Phantoon patterns more (always...), but perhaps even think about skipping some damage boosts on the way there to conserve energy for the fight, maybe.


I've somehow been put in a situation where I'm...not trying as hard.  Not living up to my standards.  I still don't know what to make of it, except that I believe it's wrong.  It's something that needs to be fixed.


Rhythm Quest level editor continues to progress, both quickly and slowly at the same time.  It's good that I've been working somewhat well on it, but it also feels like not enough at the same time.  It's a weird mix.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

There's been a lot of stuff, I guess...

JaSmix came and went.  Besides a few very minor hiccups, everything went well; better than expected, even.  I knew that we wouldn't have the numbers that we once had, but I was also afraid we wouldn't do good numbers at all, or that nobody would stick around.  Seeing the energy level at certain points (and at the end) of the night harkened back to an earlier time in 2018 or 2019 when I realized that I had something great on my hands.

Really though, one of my main worries was simply that I wouldn't enjoy the event.  I haven't enjoyed many a dance activity at this point; I thought JaSmix would just be added to the list and then I would realize that there's no longer a reason for me to do these sorts of things anymore.  But it surprised me a bit in that way, too.  I could tell that I enjoyed it, that it was worthwhile.  I think it remains to be said, though, "why" I want to organize JaSmix.  That answer for me was more clear, in the before times, when I felt more of a sense of responsibility to the community at large, more of a sense of providing something for a space that I was involved in.  But I don't think I feel that way anymore, at least not in the same degree.  Does it matter to me whether people are offered a space to teach and learn at my event?  Does it matter to me how many people stay dancing through the night?  What would have made it different, made me decide that I didn't enjoy it?  Things going wrong?  Less people showing up?  One particular person not being there?  Those are questions that I can mull over.

My month of dancing continues.  I at least have made a few realizations about things that need "fixing", so there's that.  And even if it's a little bit at a time, I am getting practice in, though maybe not the most quality practice.  We'll see.  I'm keeping it up, at least.

Rhythm Quest continues to be blocked by both my schedule as well as my lack of energy, surprising for someone like me who is so constant with these kinds of things, but this isn't really the first time that this has happened for the project, not even the first time this year.  I'll be back at it, surely enough.  As long as it doesn't happen too late...

Baldur's Gate 3 has been fun.  Despite the critiques and complaints I may have about it, at the end of the day it's got enough fun elements (and tactical gameplay) that I can give it a pass, and spend time on it.  AT the very least, it's something that I have on hand to look forward to; that's something that I had been sorely lacking in recent months.

I'm taking a little break from Super Metroid Any%, but only after achieving a new PB, a 57:23.93.  It felt good!  I'm demonstrably better at not only a lot of the individual room strats, but also just techniques in general (stutter 3-tap short charges are no longer just a pipe dream).

Yesterday I felt soooo tired in the evening.  I barely managed to finish up an art piece for the month somehow before calling it a night.  Today I.....didn't actually achieve that much, but I also had to get dental work done for some hours, so I gave myself a pass for the rest of the day and didn't really have second thoughts about it.

So yeah.  I dunno.  There's good and there's bad.  There's the JaSmix success and the having to get a tooth crown.  There's the Any% PB and there's getting a parking ticket.  There's playing Baldur's Gate 3 and there's not working on Rhythm Quest.  It's sort of just a mix, ya know?

Friday, August 4, 2023 was a mixed bag, for sure.

For various reasons, I haven't been having the most restful sleep.  Chalk it up to either that, or a general lacking in mental health, but I was definitely suffering from anxiety at various points through the day, making it a little difficul to focus on stuff, be it work or play.

Still, I managed to record my daily dance video (day 3 of 31...can I keep it going?), and finish off a letter which I needed to get written.  That's not too bad, honestly.

I'm really liking the KTT switches in my keyboard; I'm glad that I decided to go with them in the end.  I can tell because there will be times when I simply want to press and hit / roll keys on my keyboard for fun.  Sure, I miss having the UT4xs installed, but I don't think I got this much pure enjoyment out of just pressing keys down when I had them.  ...and besides, I have another keyboard coming later this year, hahahaha... yes, I know I know, but this one fit the bill -- TKL (well, sans function row), well-built, comes with a pink option, and was being touted as being insanely cheap for the value.  I don't know which switches I'm going to be putting in that board, but I've got a couple of different options, and the aesthetic is going to be really different since this one is not going to be built around the POM Jelly keycaps (it also doesn't have RGB lighting...).

I still have more work to do on the stabilizers for my current board, but eh, not a super high priority (I'd like to do it at some point though).

Baldur's Gate 3 released today, to widespread excitement!  I checked it out briefly and it looks like it might be something that I could have a lot of fun with, actually, so I went ahead and took the purchase; the game is downloading now.  At the very least, it will give me something to look forward to and think about idly as I ponder what class / multiclass combination I want my main character to be.  That alone will provide me fuel to get through the days, I'm sure.

In other news, I started doing Any% (KPDR) speedruns of Super Metroid!  I've learned a few rooms worth of any% strats before (as I was trying to get better at execution for randomizer) but I decided that I really need to kick my SM execution into shape, so I decided to just try the KPDR Any% route.  It's been...quite fun, actually!  I finished my first two runs and have a time of 1 hr 2 minutes.  I'm sure with just a minimal amount of practice I can get that down to a sub-1hr time easily; then I'll have to see if I can shoot for sub 50 minutes, which I'm sure will be a lot more involved of a process.  But the run is a fun one; pretty intense at points but it's got a large variety.  I appreciate that I'm already somewhat practiced at some of the strats (the climb...) so it's not like I'm starting from square one or anything like that.

The day started to turn around later at night when I decided to drink some of my white peony tea.  This is not a tea that I find myself really craving; it's got a pretty bland / light / mild taste, I usually prefer something more earthy like a genmaicha.  But it has special significance for me since it was something I was really drawn to a while back, when my personality was more airy and ethereal (and frail...).  Drinking this tea reminds me of that time, of the peace and calm that can be wrought through simple tranquility -- disassociation, even.  "Retreating into one's inner sanctum", to put it a different way.  I reminded myself during a mild altercation today, that I don't =need= to do anything.  That silence can be safety, for me.  And nobody can take that away from me; at least, not for now.  I dunno...maybe it was just the caffeine that perked me up a bit, but maybe it was also the gentle reminder of doing something that I associated with calmness.  That feeling of staying up late, but not for any sort of stupid degenerate reason.  Just spending time by myself, getting my own thing done.  Peacefully.  Free of judgment from others.  That kind of thing.  That's what this tea reminds me of...gently.

There's still a bunch that I need to get done.  JaSmix logistics have, despite a hiccup here and there, rolled along smoothly...though I'm still nervous for whatever reason that nobody will show up.  Well, I'm glad I don't have to worry about teaching a workshop there, at the very least.

I have an ALTTPR video that I already recorded footage for that I need to narrate and make into reality, just haven't done it yet.  More SM running.  An ALTTPR seed that I'd like to run.  Some healthcare stuff to sort out.  But most of all, Rhythm Quest has been taking a backseat for a bit longer than I'm comfortable with.  Part of that is that my next big action item is a litlte daunting, but a big part of it is just that I've been in pretty poor condition to work on it.  Well, I'm sure I'll be back at it...taking care of myself comes first; I can force myself to work on it later...

I was back at doing One Hour Compo today, but didn't really come up with anything that I was satisfied with.  That's OK.  I've supposedly learned this over years and years of making music, as well as experience with can't always have successes every single time.  Sometimes your creative output just kind of falls flat, that is just going to happen.  For me, it's easiest to just accept and expect that, and when a song isn't working out, just call it quits and move onto the next one.  I actually started three different songs during the hour tonight, and posted two of them, and wasn't thrilled by either of them.  But yeah, that'll happen.

We'll see how tomorrow goes, I guess.  I'm feeling a little more hopeful about it now than I was earlier in the day, at least.

Sunday, July 30, 2023

I've always hesitated to do one of these "30 day" challenges, I guess partly because I believe in moderation, and partly because I often try to just do things at a slow and steady natural regularity rather than forcing myself to a strict routine.  But maybe a 30-day dance challenge might be worth thinking about for August.  I seem to be in a place of pretty high interest and motivation when it comes to improving my movement right now.

I kind of...want it all, when it comes to dance.  Well, not all of it, just, many different styles.  Popping, liquid, tutting, lyrical/contemporary, Chinese dance, ... all have elements that I'm drawn to.  There's so much to learn, and at some point "just practicing" doesn't quite cut it, I think that practice has to be a little more intentional.  The good thing is that I can tell that my isolations and such are beginning to be ingrained into my movement patterns.  Comparing back to old videos from 2010, that's a big difference, although to be honest there's a bigger difference simply in posture and quality of movement, just kind of being a little less janky in general (but not perfectly un-janky yet).  The popping is worlds apart, too.  So it's not like that effort over the years was for nothing; far from it.

I've really struggled with posing and body posturing lately, so that is something to focus on, in addition to being comfortable with more lyrical-type movements.  The short and snappy controlled movements are easy to look good, but the bigger, slower, supposedly-graceful motions are really sloppy, I think.  Well, we'll see if I end up working on it.


Sayuri is not =just= quiet though.  That quietness belies a strength, one that I am still trying to understand.  How is it that she would carry herself so well?  Like a top, spinning perfectly still, repelling everything that it touches.  She used to be frail and weak -- delicate and vulnerable.  Something, someone that needed to be protected, and nurtured.  But now no longer -- she is just as quiet, but stands up on her own instead of sitting in the corner.  That quiet strength is something I am still trying to learn from her.

Saturday, July 29, 2023

While it was Tina Boo's choreography video that really sold me on "INVU" by Taeyeon, the song itself is really enjoyable as well.  I wasn't floored by the music video at first (probably because I felt that the complexity of the dance paled in comparison), but it's really grown on me as well.

I didn't spend any time on Rhythm Quest these past two days, but that's okay, really -- I accomplished the goals that I needed to get done, which was a drawing (still need to post it) plus a letter.  Even managed to do some vacuuming, too.  I haven't been the =most= productive (keep getting sidetracked onto other things), but I've been productive still, which is about all I can ask for.

Some days I can't tell where my mental health is; I feel like logically and empirically it's probably pretty low just given the data points.  Like, there are points that are pretty normal, but then there are the data points that signal a worse diagnosis, so I can't really ignore that in good conscience.

I've been trying to let in some more natural sunlight in the morning to help me wake earlier.  I had one or two days when things were really working out in that regard, but now I'm back to my natural mode of being up late after sleeping in this morning.  Well, some habits just don't die, I guess.

I've been spending a lot of time on VOD reviews and educational content for ALTTPR - it's felt good and I've been able to learn a thing or two here and there, but I think I'll need to take a break and just play a seed at some point, it's been a little bit since I've been able to.

Mmm...what else is there to say, really?  I modded one of my keyboard stabilizers, which seems to have gotten rid of the ticking successfully -- note to self, next time, do this before applying any lubricant.  I'll have to take care of the rest of them later.

Give me something to believe in, someone to believe in?  Right now, I'm disappointed in everyone, everywhere, but it only gets worse, since now I'm just looking for it in everything that I think about and see.  Sometimes it tends to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Of course, I am the one that can break myself out of it.  But what if I don't feel like it?

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

TAEYEON - INVU / Tina Boo Choreography

I remember back in middle school, maybe high school, when it would happen more often -- that I would become obsessed, infatuated with one thing, to the point where I simply couldn't help but be entranced, fixated on just looking at the same thing over and over again.

It happened when my brother introduced me to SSX Tricky, the sequel to one of my favorite games at the time.  It was a sort of nightly ritual, watching that grainy 240p (if even that) downloaded clip of the intro to the game, getting hyped for it and wishing that I could just play it already.

It happened for some of the glowsticking videos that I came across, too.  And okay, yeah, sure.  It probably happened with some people who I thought were beautiful, too.

And of course, it happened with music, too.  Getting "stuck" on a song, hearing it over and over again because it's just THAT good.

That sort of thing doesn't seem to happen to me as often anymore.  Maybe it's because our experiences are so diverse; our entertainment constantly feeding us new imagery, new content, new videos.  You refresh your page and all of a sudden you're provided with a fresh slate -- all of those videos, tweets, posts that you were just looking at, vanished into the aether of the algorithm and the feed forever.

But it still does happen.  Sometimes.

 Sometimes I get so captivated by a simple movement.  Even just the way that someone is standing.
I search my mind in hopes of rationalizing just what it is that makes this person's motion speak to me.
But I'm helpless to explain it.

I can barely see it anymore as something that I admire, or even aspire to.
Rather, it's something that I can only witness and behold.
I just watch it again and again.
...I'm not really learning or gaining anything each time.
It's just something I can't help.

And that's okay.  It remind me that there are things for which I can still feel love in this world.

(source for clips is Tina Boo's Choreography of TAEYEON - INVU)