Mar. 24th, 2017 09:25 pm
korafox: (lilacs)
As previously mentioned, today was a day off work for me--the college has been off on spring break this week, but staff still were expected to be there except for today.  It's been a long week of cleaning and organizing, interspersed with the kind of fatigue that comes of working in an office without an outward-facing window, for longer hours than I'm used to in order to make up for the day off, and with very little of interest actually going on.

Today, though.  Today I did whatever I felt like and nothing I didn't.  I slept in until 9:30 and felt so refreshed and alert afterwards.  There was a nice leisurely cup of coffee and then breakfast (which is the order I prefer when I have my druthers).  The weather was gorgeous, sunny and warm with a little breeze, so I went to the park.  With this week's nest migration on Pokemon Go, there were Teddiursa at that park and I was finally able to get enough to evolve an Ursaring!  Plus I brought my sketchbook and drew some trees, though the wind was making things difficult.

Then it was home for a nice hot relaxing bath, making more progress on reading It, and playing sooo much Torment.  I am liking it even more as I get deeper into it, and I really hope I don't run into any more interesting-looking party members because I like the three I have quite well thank you!  For the TNT peeps:  I totally have Shadow in my party~~  (Seriously, she's a little girl with the ability "God of Hiding".  It makes me happy.)

So all in all, it was an extremely relaxing and batteries-recharging day.  And I still have two more days off in front of me before it's back to work again.

korafox: wheat field with cypresses (Default)
The past few days I have been working against my brain rather than with it, which has unfortunately meant that not much is getting done.  Besides having to disbelieve my bad!brain telling me untrue things, I'm just finding it damned hard to concentrate on much at all.  I have about half a dozen things on my to-do list that I really ought to get to, but I'm pulled in all directions and can't manage to sit down and start any of them. 

Plus, the new Torment game came out last week and I started a play-through.  I'm trying (mostly successfully) to limit my play time so that it doesn't eat my life.  So far the game is quite fun and fascinating in the same way as the original.  I'm purposefully avoiding anything like a strategy guide so I can try to work through it without any spoilers or direction.  My dominant tides seem to be tending towards Blue and Silver, and I feel slightly guilty whenever I do something that adds to Red.  : /

The art is gorgeous though, and much more colorful (un-dreary) than the first Torment.  I can see why this took so long to make.  I look forward to finding out what the heck is up with my party members, also.  There are Stories there, I can tell.
korafox: (lilacs)
Meeting log progress: 5/8 notes pages written up.  Yes, I know the page count went up.  I finished typing up the half-a-scene that I didn't have notes for, which ballooned the file a bit.  Remaining: shotgun wedding (inasmuch as a member of the local constabulary is standing by with a shotgun in case the bride goes mad with power) and gryphon fight.  Should be easily manageable tomorrow night.

Worked some more on the pencils for my new watercolor piece.  It's going well, I think.  I am excited about this piece, though I will have to do a lot of boring color tests before I start to make sure I don't screw up the palette terribly. 

Have been playing more Gyakuten Kenji 2, finally, and the second case is starting to get weird.  Or at least, it's definitely not going the direction I was expecting.  I think I have to disagree with Edgeworth though, and agree with Judge Mikagami--following the law should be higher than "finding the truth"--or at the very least, you should be willing to take whatever consequences the law hands out for breaking it.  I suppose that's a way of respecting rule of law, anyways.

I'm actually kind of glad I waited to play this game and worked my way through Gyakuten Saiban 1-3 in Japanese first.  My vocabulary is much improved in the interim.  I was very happy to see a kanji I just learned on Wanikani pop up in an interesting compound word: (slippery) showed up during the investigation when I found a pulley-and-tackle (滑車, literally "slippery car"). 

Now I desperately need to get some sleep to be ready to face tomorrow.
korafox: wheat field with cypresses (Default)
Though sometimes it feels more like crawling.  I was successful at sitting down and getting more work done on the Visionary, which is going soooo slowly and requires so many shapes.  I have figured out the Photoshop shortcuts to make the program do some of the heavy lifting there, but it still requires me to visualize what I want.  This is difficult when I'm attacking a lot of subject matter I'm not familiar with.  And I'm still somewhat worried that once I have all the bits constructed  I won't be able to make them fit right and it will all turn out a mess.

Thankfully, Husband took dinner from the "chicken patties are in the oven" stage to "plates done, ready to eat" while I crashed on the couch and passed out for a few minutes.  Work was very ridiculously busy today, being the first day of classes, and I had a very long day of feeling like I was not at all getting things done for people and they are going to give me the Judgment of Shame. 

Now I'm probably going to do some video games before bedtime; I finished Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright over the weekend (so Masque-y, y'all), so it's either back to FF3 or Gyakuten Kenji 2.  I'm feeling much more confident about the latter since the last time I was playing it; I've progressed to something like 1,300 kanji and I know a lot of the more specialized vocab now.  This is very necessary, since this is the first game in the series to have a portion of gameplay with a timed element.  I could flail around wildly and keep reloading my save file, but I might as well try to do it properly.

Player One

Nov. 15th, 2016 02:16 pm
korafox: wheat field with cypresses (Default)
I've been playing Assassin's Creed: Syndicate lately, because it is a good coping mechanism and also because I really need to finish it so I can give the disc back to my dad.  This is the first main game that lets you play as a female assassin; technically the two main characters are twins, Jacob and Evie, but while there are some missions only Jacob can play, I can spend 85% of my time as Evie. 

Oh my goodness, it so wonderful to be able to play as a character who looks like me.  Especially wonderful to play as a woman who is strong and smart and competent without being sexualized.  The series as a whole is actually pretty good about this sort of thing; female NPCs generally have agency despite how easy it would be to play into stereotypes of history, and hardly anyone questions their ability to handle intrigue and violence (Arno from Unity gets a bit of a side-eye here though).  There are even a couple transgender characters, who were real historical personages.

Having a woman as the actual player character instead of an NPC is so much more satisfying, though.  And I admit, my love of Evie is partially because she's pretty much exactly how I imagine Dahlia looking, and her personality and skill set are what Dahlia would be like if she were trained from birth as some sort of Loom assassin, so.  I get to imagine my character being awesome.  : P
korafox: What the hell is going on? (phoenix wright)
I started a beta account on WaniKani over the weekend.  It's basically a supposedly-better way of learning kanji/vocab, and I am sick and tired of having to relearn half my vocab every time I put down my Japanese for a few weeks.  So, we'll see how that goes, and if I like the system I'll probably shell out the money for it once the free trial is through.  I was in dire need of a refresher on some of the basics, anyways, and most of my mental energy while playing Gyakuten Kenji goes towards being competent with terms like "blunt force trauma" and "diplomatic immunity" for the duration of a case. 

Also looked into a freelance art thing for one of the departments at local university.  Promptly boarded the nope rocket once I found out the details.  Turns out they wanted not 50-60 images, but 50-60 sets of two or three (somewhat complicated) images each.  On a two week deadline.  For $200. 

I mean, I know you're a university research project and your budget is going to be crap, but it is literally not worth my time to tear my hair out doing 100-180 pictures for somewhere around $1 or $2 each in the span of two weeks.  I know there are people in my life who would be spouting "beggars can't be choosers", but actually yes I can choose not to wreck my mental health for $200.  I'd rather put the time and energy towards the Noema project, which hopefully someday will make me money and in the meantime I can just love on. 
korafox: Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite (elizabeth)
Last time I saw him, youngest brother loaned me a pair of video games and said that I absolutely had to play them.  Well, okay, turns out he was right.  I spent the weekend blasting through the first one and finished it up today and now am very much trying to put off starting the sequel.

9 Hours 9 Persons 9 Doors.  Yowza.  It's like...Saw meets Memento meets the paranoia of Throne War.  The story was amazing.  The basic premise is that you, along with eight other people, get kidnapped by a mysterious figure named Zero and taken to a cruise ship.  Zero then forces everyone to play the Nonary Game, which which involves numbered bracelets and doors (and math.  Lots of math.  I am now very good at calculating the digital root of a series of numbers), and gives them nine hours to figure out how to escape the ship.  There are tons of puzzles and choices that affect the course of the story, and the various endings are actually quite different. 

And let me tell you, things get freaky real fast.

In any case, I've played enough of it over the past two days that things are starting to creep into my dreamspace.  And there is some stuff in that game that I do not need to have in my head all night long. 

Also: the first game had 6 endings.  The second one, apparently, has 24.  I should really take a break.

korafox: What the hell is going on? (phoenix wright)
So I just wrapped up a case involving an in-flight murder and some sort of smuggling ring.  Franziska left me with vague insinuations of a secret shadowy criminal organization, this being only the tip of the iceberg.  What's next, I wonder? 

Then Edgeworth gets a call from someone he knows, saying his son has been kidnapped and please help.  The next case opens with me about to make the ransom money drop-off.  The kidnapper calls me up and tells me to go into this amusement park, into the haunted house.  They finally say to leave the money inside a room there.  And as I'm leaving, a figure starts creeping up on me from down the hall.  At the last minute, I can see that it's someone in a costume of the police department mascot, and then they knock me over the head with a sword.

Edgeworth just woke up in a basement, bound and gagged.  I love this game.
korafox: Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite (elizabeth)
So, I finished Bioshock Infinite yesterday, and husband is in the last hour or so of it as I am writing this.  Am still processing the whole thing, and there is a lot to process there, let me tell you.  It's definitely a game that I enjoyed more than any I can remember since, well, maybe the first Bioshock?  Which just goes to show how good the creators of the series are at what they do.

Seriously, I can't think of any other games that have used the medium of interactive gaming to its fullest the way these do.  You literally could not tell the story of the first game in any other medium, and while I can think of a book series that analogues nicely to a main theme of Infinite, the experience of the story unfolding could never be the same in a book or movie.  There's a capacity to show rather than tell that is unparalleled in video games, where you can allow the player to run across pieces of the story in the course of their own explorations.  One of my favorite things is looking around at all the posters and paintings scattered around the world that tell you just as much about the place as the dialogue does.  Likewise the music, likewise the lighting...really, their control of atmosphere and environment is impeccable.

So anyways, looking forward to a replay to catch all the things I missed this time out, and still amazed at the experience they've created.

korafox: (lilacs)
Because even though it's nominally about video games, there is plenty of grist for meta-consideration of roleplaying games also.  Particularly in terms of story design, pacing, and yes, even mechanics. 

And can I just say that after watching this week's episode, "How To Start Your Game Narrative" , I have even more appreciation for [personal profile] kilroy and the fact that he's more than willing to let us run with whatever crazy story we end up causing in any given session rather than shoehorn us into a pre-conceived plot.  Kudos to you, sir.

(Even if the gryphon problem we ignored is about to come back and bite us in the ass.)

September 2017



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