2009 May 27 aeris

Guy Blade Guy Blade---06:04:00

On Voting
Last Tuesday, I went to vote in our special election. Every other time that I've voted since coming out here, I've voted at a public park/recreation center about 4 blocks north of my apartment. I went there again then and was told that the voting districts had been redone and that my street was only covered at that precinct down to the 3300 block (I'm in the 3100 block). After consulting the map quickly, I went to what I thought was the correct precinct: a charter school about half a block south and two blocks west of my apartment. It turns out that they had my street, but with the north end stopping at the 3000 block. Instead, I had to go to a precinct approximately 1.5 miles west of my apartment. Part of me wonders if this bizarre gerrymandering is due to the ethnic makeup of the 3000-3300 block (I'm the ethnically caucasian person on the block), but I suspect it is just incompetence.


Today, the California Supreme Court issued its ruling on Proposition 8 (which outlawed same-sex marriage in the state). They ruled that it the proposition was legal which in effect maintains the ban. Frankly, while I hoped that it might go otherwise, this is the correct ruling. Both arguments presented were incredibly weak and, in the interest of a well functioning judiciary, should have been rejected. Hopefully, someone will get a nullification proposition on a mid-term ballot where it will almost certainly succeed. Unfortunately, I fear that such a proposition might require the two-thirds vote in both legislative houses as it could be interpreted as a "revision". Luckily, looking at the original results from a demographic perspective seems to indicate that, if nothing else, the problem will be solved actuarially.

Published by XPost

Permalink to this post     Com/0

2009 May 25 anthy

Guy Blade Guy Blade---11:24:00

Script Profile
Today, amongst other things, I wrote a plugin for Pidgin. The plugin is a simple, yet powerful thing. I call it Script Profile as it allows you to define a script, which gets executed periodically, the standard output of which is stored as your profile. I have no idea why there isn't a plugin to do this already. These is only one other plugin (as far as I can tell) which even manipulates the profile, and it is a twitter thing.

Currently, I'm using the plugin to dump my current Steam and Xbox Live status into my profile. As such, you can see what game I'm currently playing (if any) by looking at my AIM profile (more or less). In theory, though, you could use it for anything: IM statistics, fortune files, whatever. I currently know that it works on Linux, but it should work on Windows as well (so long as you have ActivePerl (>= 5.10.0) installed.

Published by XPost

Permalink to this post     Com/0
Guy Blade Guy Blade---05:55:00

This weekend, I finished two games. The first game was World of Goo. It is essentially a physics simulator based puzzle game. Despite this, it manages to have a very clean learning curve and an interesting plot. Since the game is almost free ($20 MSRP and routinely discounted), I'd suggest it to anyone. Basically, the gameplay works by having you attempt to use (possibly sentient) balls of goo to build a structure from a starting locatation to an exit pipe while keeping enough balls to fulfill the exit requirement. Although this sounds simple, the game slowly introduces additional kinds of goo (such as goo balloons and undead goo who are immune to spikes) and more complicated terrains to keep things interesting.

The second game that I beat was Mirror's Edge. Though the game was hyped to death, I'll reiterate the premise for those living in caves. Basically, you're doing free-running (ala, Prince of Persia or Assassin's Creed) in a white, shiny distopia from a first person perspecive. The game itself tends to play pretty well. There are, however, some nagging issues. Firstly, the game lacks the "rewind" feature found in the Prince of Persia games. Instead, the game offers frequent checkpoints (mostly triggered silently) to which you will restore if you miss a jump. The problem with this is twofold: the places where you tend to be most likely to fall are right before these checkpoints, and the game removes any guns that you had when you hit the checkpoint when it restores. Thus, if you've managed to drag a weapon along part way through a run, the game punishes you doubly for missing a jump. Another major irritation is a type of enemy added late in the game, most early enemies are police officers. They generally fall in a few punches or kicks, dropping a weapon with which you can clean up their friends. Later on, there are enemies who attack using hand to hand combat and tasers. These enemies can generally dodge your attacks and take up to 6 hits to drop whereas your character will fall to their attacks in two to three hits. These enemies also seem to break their tasers when they fall meaning that when you inevitably are attacked by a pair of these enemies, life is made of pain.

Nevertheless, the game tends to be well laid out have a relatively small number of problematic areas (though it does have at least one that required me to look up the solution in a video walkthrough).


In an unrelated note, I'd recommend watching the first episode of Guin Saga. It is another show that (at least based on the first episode) takes refuge in audacity quite well. You can find it in the usual places.

Published by XPost

Permalink to this post     Com/0

2009 May 18 emeralda

Guy Blade Guy Blade---10:25:00

Recent Triumphs
This weekend, I managed to beat two games. As per the standard operating procedure, I'll provide my thoughts on each.

The first game that I beat was Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II. It is a real-time strategy game that is not particularly like any other RTS games that I've played before. The game completely lacks the idea of base building, instead you control a small number (4-6) of hero-type squads which advance from mission to mission. This means that the game focuses distinctly on tactics and equipment to the exclusion of higher level abstractions. Suprisingly, this makes the game more exciting. Since you begin every mission at your peak of strength, you dive right into attacking objectives and assaulting enemies rather than waiting to build up an unstoppable force. This also leads to each level taking less time. Generally speaking, even a hard level can be cleared in under 30 minutes and most can be done in under 15 once you become proficient. The game also presents a relatively non-linear world in which to fight. You are given a set of possible missions, some required, many optional, and allowed to pursue them as you see fit. This, however, is my main complaint about the game.

The game measures your ability to do missions in terms of "deployments". By default, you get one deployment per day. By doing well in a mission (killing lots of enemies, completing it quickly, not having your squads fall over), you can earn additional deployments per day. Why would you need more than one per day? The answer, of course, is because some missions have a time limit. Also, the game penalizes you quite heavily by letting a mission expire, thus you spend a great deal of time just trying to complete all of the time limited missions before they expire. This is especially troubling in the end game. At that point, missions are continually randomly generated, all with time limits at a rate faster than it would be possible to deal with them without getting at least two deployments per day. Once I realized this, I just did the last mission.

The second game that I beat this weekend was F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin. It was similar to the previous F.E.A.R. game and its expansions. Overall, the game played well and was as atmospheric as ever, but being the fourth F.E.A.R. game that I've played at this point, I've become somewhat resilient to its form of "scariness". Also, since the game doesn't actually follow/respect the two expansions to the first game, we're left with a completely new group whose purpose is never really clear. Also, near the end of the game, they do what seems like it might be meant as a suprising reveal, but the reveal is just the same reveal as the previous game has (Alma's history) which seems silly given that I've played that game, dammit. Regardless, the gameplay was pretty solid, though enemies can take too many shotgun blasts to the face (more than 1). It was also relatively short. I started playing it this afternoon around 2 or 3 and had beaten it before 10:30 while also doing 6 loads of laundry, making cookies, doing the dishes, and cooking dinner.

Published by XPost

Permalink to this post     Com/0

2009 May 12 emeralda

Guy Blade Guy Blade---09:11:00

So, I also recently picked up Left 4 Dead and have been having a lot of fun with it. Tonight, however, I had my first experience with people who weren't worth playing with. I set up a public pickup game so that I could play through the last of the 4 main missions that I hadn't yet played: Blood Harvest.

In my group I had two problem people. First was the person who talked, constantly, about nothing interesting. I initially engaged him in banter because I expected it to die down once action begun, but once he asked how he could turn down the game's music and sound effects so that he could hear talking during "loud" moments, I knew he was worthless. He was also one who constantly complained about the pace that the faster people in the group were setting which was fast, but by no means unreasonable.

The second problem person was more difficult because he wasn't always a problem, he oscillated from being a useful team member to being a pain. He occasionally would play music over VC ("What is Love?" and "Clubbed to Death" (from the Matrix OST) were his favorites) or start attacking the party seemingly without provocation. Near the beginning of the third act, he shot an exploding tank while all of the survivors were within the radius (and there were no zombies about). When he and I were isolated in the same act, he began shooting me for no reason. I shot him to incapacitatedness and told the rest of the group to just leave him. Unfortunately, the rest of the group voted to restart the campaign.

At that point, I had had enough and quit for the night. Maybe better luck tomorrow.

Published by XPost

Permalink to this post     Com/0

2009 May 08 rinoa

Guy Blade Guy Blade---04:25:00

So, last night I went to X-Men Origins: Wolverine with a few other people that I know through work. The movie is generally fun and the action sequences are well done, but it suffers from the problem of most prequels: it has to end without resolution. Unfortunately, my enjoyment was also hampered by having recent read the Laser Guided Amnesia TV trope which negatively impacts my feeling about the ending.


They did however manage to make Ryan Reynolds a convincing Deadpool, so maybe I can have more hope for that movie.

Published by XPost

Permalink to this post     Com/0

2009 May 07 anthy

Guy Blade Guy Blade---03:30:00

Some things never stop hurting.

Published by XPost

Permalink to this post     Com/0

2009 May 05 terra

Guy Blade Guy Blade---01:41:00

So, I got back from Toulouse on Friday, but I'm still seriously jet-lagged. I only slept like 2 hours last night, so I gave up early at work today and am taking the rest as a sick day. My plan is to force myself to stay up until 7 or 8 and then crash for the night and (hopefully) get back to a normal schedule. I didn't think I'd have accomplished anything useful at work in this state anyway.

Alice Pizza

I found this restaurant in Toulouse. I do not understand it. If someone would like to explain the French anime-themed pizza place, feel free.

Published by XPost

Permalink to this post     Com/0

Copyright 2002-2023 Blade Libergnosis//Powered By Blogger