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Messages - ironmage

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1
Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued
« on: October 08, 2018, 08:59:42 AM »
The Fionavar Tapestry (Guy Gavriel Kay):  I quite enjoyed Kay's "Under Heaven", which was set in a fictionalized version of Imperial China, so I was curious to see his take on High Fantasy.

Unfortunately, Fionavar was written over twenty years before Heaven, and it is clear he wasn't nearly as mature as an author at the time.  His critical failure here is that he didn't prune his ideas; it feels like he put every single idea he ever had into this book, and it's too much.

This book has light elves, dark elves, dwarves, giants, King Arthur, gods, half-gods, demons, nomadic horse riders, a Dark Lord, a High King, princesses, high priestesses, wizards, Dave, seers, sea monsters, tavern wenches, dragons, unicorns, spirit animals, ancient evil, isekai, magic tiaras, magic rings, magic daggers, magic stones, magic forests, force fields, ghost ships, the Wild Hunt, cursed lands, exiles, necromancy, resurrection, telepathy, teleportation, drought, and endless winter.

That's just off the top of my head.  I probably missed a few.  The book was 774 pages.

I wouldn't say this book was particularly bad, but it was often a slog to get through, and I can't say I recommend it.

I should have checked the rear cover of this book before I picked it up.  I have a rule:  Don't read a book with Tolkien's name anywhere on the cover, unless the book was actually written by Tolkien.  Oops.

2
General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: October 03, 2018, 07:04:53 PM »
American-style yellow mustard (like american processed cheese) is best served only as a cautionary example.

I like old-style french mustard; it's basically just mustard seeds soaked in vinegar.



3
Single-Player RPGs / Re: Dragon Quest XI looks glorious
« on: September 22, 2018, 09:42:58 AM »
I just had a thought.  The PC and Playstation 4 versions of this game have trophy / achievement support.  How much of a task is it to remove that from the Switch version for when it eventually comes over?

Uh... maybe a couple hours for a reasonably bright intern?  Compared to the effort of porting something to different hardware, that doesn't even warrant a line item in the development budget.  PC and PS4 will already have different code for handling trophies, adding a third path for "do nothing" is trivial.

4
General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: September 20, 2018, 09:37:15 PM »
^ Canada's too cold for t-shirts.

In Saskatoon, the average daytime high in summer is 25C (77 F), with this year hitting ~37C (98F) at one point.  We don't all live in Tuktoyaktuk, you know.

I thought it was obvious I was kidding. My fault for not using Facetia font.

Don't worry.
All of this is according to plan.

5
General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: September 20, 2018, 06:09:00 PM »
I don't wear T-shirts

I'm interested, tell me more.
To be strictly accurate, you might see me wearing a plain white t-shirt if the weather is really warm, but mostly I just don't like clothes with logos or text.  My standard uniform is black pants, and a long-sleeved dress-casual shirt, in a shade of blue or grey.

^ Canada's too cold for t-shirts.

In Saskatoon, the average daytime high in summer is 25C (77 F), with this year hitting ~37C (98F) at one point.  We don't all live in Tuktoyaktuk, you know.

6
General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: September 19, 2018, 09:17:43 PM »
I went to the local entertainment expo (comic-con) last weekend.  It was quite crowded, which pushed me close to my limit, but I managed to decompress by hiding in a semi-enclosed anime/manga booth.  Although I spent about 15 minutes in that booth, and found a few interesting titles (turn-A Gundam), I didn't buy anything there.  The prices were reminiscent of the early 2000's, and it's not like I'm suffering from an anime shortage.  I also ran across a copy of Koudelka that wasn't absurdly expensive ($60), but decided to pass on it.  That booth was operated by a local videogame store, and I will probably have another chance at it, if I reconsider.

I spent about twenty minutes at the robot fights (1-pound class), which was pretty entertaining, even if the teenage girl next to me didn't have good spatial awareness regarding her elbows.  Watched about 30 seconds of a Society for Creative Anachronism fight, but it was just stupid.  They were just slapping at each other randomly with foam weapons, and falling over dead when they got hit.  I'd rather watch HEMA on youtube.

I eventually found an artist whose work I liked, and ended up buying a print of 2B, and another of Matoi Ryuuko.  My only other purchase was at a confection booth; unfortunately, the "cherry cheesecake fudge" I got was cloyingly flavourless.  Bleh.  I should have gone with the meat booth instead.

Other notes:
  • Attack on Titan is still in style; I spotted at least three scout uniforms.
  • Dragonball, My Hero Academia, and Re-Zero also made a fairly good showing (at least in the merchandise areas).  I also saw one or two sailor scouts (couldn't tell you which ones, I'm not a fan).
  • The imperial storm-trooper constume that incorporated a miniskirt was a good look.
  • T-shirt:  "I'm not tsundere, I actually hate you."  I don't wear T-shirts, or I'd totally have picked that up.
  • Furries creep me out.

7
General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: September 10, 2018, 09:55:41 PM »
Arguments over "objective" vs "subjective" are seldom productive.  I'm of the belief that art can have objective qualities, but that it's pointless to claim that those qualities mean you must appreciate it.  The subjective aspect is simply more important.

James Joyce's Ulysses is apparently one of the greatest books written in the English language.  I tried to read it, one summer.  The prose was absolutely gorgeous;  if you told me this book was objectively good, I wouldn't dispute it.   But Ulysses did nothing for me.  I don't doubt a student of English Literature would find many fascinating themes and hidden references, but there wasn't any plot or characterization for me to lock onto.  It exceeded my limit for boredom, so I had to put it down.

I also read "Atlas Shrugged" that summer.  It was absolute garbage in almost every respect, but I did manage to finish it, because there was actually a plot present (and observing Rand's thought processes was kind of like watching a train wreck.  Horrible, but still fascinating).

If you were to make me choose between a literary masterwork like The Scarlet Letter and a pulp novel like one of Ian Fleming's James Bond novels, I would pick James Bond because that's closer to what I'd enjoy reading.
I read a James Bond novel a while back.  It wasn't High Art, but it was pretty entertaining.  I'd recommend it over Ulysses any day.

8
General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: September 08, 2018, 11:22:29 AM »
Like does the nature of the person who made a craft affect how much you like the craft?  For example, do you like a band's music less if the people in the band are douchey?

Wagner was anti-semitic, and had some *cough* ideas about racial purity, but I still like Der Ring des Nibelungen. (The music, anyway.  The libretto is sometimes a bit weird).  Now, if he was still alive today, I wouldn't be sending any money his way (by buying albums, attending his operas, or whatever), but I try to separate my appraisal of someone's work from my willingness to support them.

9
General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: September 07, 2018, 07:26:00 PM »
People only have kids because they're searching for some shred of meaning in their existence.
Or because they like children, or they need more hands to help work the fields, or they're attempting to cement a failing relationship, or they need a successor to the throne, or they're answering the biological imperative, or just by accident.
Having kids because you're looking for meaning is a good a reason as any.  Those kids are likely going to be valued, which is a good start to life.

People often look at me like some sort of 2 headed alien because I'm 40, but I'm not married, I don't have kids, am not in a relationship and do not want to be in one.  I simply prefer to live my life on my own terms.  I feel lacking in nothing and do not wish to disturb my pattern of life.  And it seems to be a trend in my family that a lot of the 30-something men of marriageable age simply don't desire to marry and have "dat life."  What's funny is that the grandma generation are the ones who are cool with folks like me not wanting to marry.  Whereas it's people my age or younger who always say stuff like, "You're a handsome dude.  Why aren't you married yet?" 
I'm 39, and I might be married with kids if I wasn't so shy.  I don't blame anyone else for not wanting that, though.

Haps:
I was getting a little flabby, so I bought a scale.  Stepped on it, and was appropriately shocked.  Anyway, I guess I'm gonna lose 20 pounds.  ("Possible side-effects of medication:  May cause weight gain").

ironmage's special diet plan (guaranteed!*):
  • Eat whatever you want.
  • Estimate the calories.  When you hit 1500ish, you're done for the day.
  • Let the diet slip, one day a week.  If use your willpower for weeks on end, you're going to snap.
  • If you're not going to bed hungry once in a while, you're probably cheating on the calorie counting.

The "eat whatever you want" bit isn't as great as you might think.  You know how all snack packages are single-serving size?  Well, that bag of potato chips is 1000 kCal.  I want to open that, I've gotta skip two meals that day.

*Small print small print small print.

10
Single-Player RPGs / Re: What are you favorite jokes in JRPGs
« on: August 19, 2018, 02:51:41 PM »
Disgaea: Prism Rangers!

Quote from: Etna
Bang <3

I love how Etna subverts the superhero transformation trope.

11
General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: August 12, 2018, 08:09:04 PM »
I wired the garage door into the doorbell, so now if I forget to close the garage, the doorbell rings.  The signal is three consecutive rings, and it triggers once 90 seconds after the door is opened, and then every fifteen minutes after that.  The project dragged out much longer than I expected, entirely because a certain Chinese ebayer apparently interpreted "expedited shipping" as meaning "via rowboat" (currently three weeks late and counting).  I ended up ordering the same transceivers from a company halfway across the province, and got them a week later.

For my next trick, I think I'm going to see if I can get the microcontroller to send me text messages, as well as ringing the doorbell.  Being able to open/close the garage door via internet (in case I forget to close it after leaving the house) might also be interesting, but would be difficult to secure properly, and I'm running low on I/O pins.

12
Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: August 05, 2018, 01:02:56 PM »
Finished Trails in the Sky FC, loved it.
Please don't flood this thread with details.  It's not like this is meant to be some kind of "journal" for you talk in-depth about "games".  :P
Hey, I posted a whole two sentences over on discord.

Anyway, I don't agree with the general sentiment that TitS:FC is a "slow burn".  I thought the pacing was perfect.  It starts out with a slice-of-life vibe, but with the sense that there are some big events happening in the world, which our characters are only indirectly aware of.  The natural (unforced?) progression that follows is the sort of plotting I wish I got more often in Tales games (which does characters really well, but doesn't always deliver on story).

Speaking of, Estelle was one of those rare characters that clicked with me almost immediately.  If this was an anime series, she would have earned it a "one-episode endorsement".

The gameplay was okay for a turn-based RPG, but I didn't really have much fun with it until I got some gladiator equipment, and could start abusing S-breaks.  I never did get around to orbment optimization; Earth Wall, La Teara, and an attack spell or two was enough to get me through the end game.

I think I've already expressed my dislike for fast travel, but the gist is, that if a game needs fast travel to be playable, somebody screwed up somewhere.  Trails FC is a textbook example of how to design a game that doesn't have (and doesn't need) fast travel.  Just enough exploration to be interesting, without getting tedious, and no need for backtracking (...if you don't count book collection).

Is that better, @Arvis?  Or do you want me to gush about the music, too?

13
Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: August 03, 2018, 10:24:21 AM »
Finished Trails in the Sky FC, loved it.

I've started on Horizon Zero Dawn.  The gameplay feels like a cross between Witcher-3 and Batman (mostly a good thing, but the tracking segments feel a bit forced).
I haven't figured Aloy out yet.  She seems a little too well-adjusted.  I'm hoping for more character development later on.

14
General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: July 29, 2018, 10:40:43 AM »
People who live in the far north survive on an all-meat, or nearly-all-meat diet, but they need to consume a fair amount of fat to remain healthy.  Trying to live exclusively on lean meat is apparently a really bad idea.


Anyway, I saw one of my mother's Chinese friends gardening with a coolie hat, and asked her to find out where I could buy one.  Well, I intended up receiving a hat as a present instead.
I've worn the hat a couple times while picking beans in 25-30C weather, so it's time for a review.

Positives:
The angle of the hat is such that it shields my eyes from sunlight from almost any direction, but still gives me a very wide field of vision when gardening.
This hat is physically very light.
The cone of the hat sits on my head via a small plastic frame, so there's quite good airflow; it's not so much on my head, as slightly above it.

Negatives:
This hat is pretty wide, so lateral clearance is an issue when walking inside.
The hat sometimes makes a faint creaking noise when I move.

Summary:
Although the aesthetics of the hat are what caught my interest, this is a very practical design, and a significant improvement over the ballcap I usually wear.  I don't know why I don't see more people using these; they're awesome.
I still want to know where I can buy one.

Overall score: 9.2/10

15
Quote
In your "full" version, I hear no guitar at all
In the original version, there isn't any guitar. Exhibit A: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sx6L5b-ACVk. Perhaps my ears just aren't hearing it.
In your full version, I hear synthesizer music in the background, and see you playing the guitar, but I don't hear you playing the guitar.  It's all synthesizer.  Whether or not there is a guitar track in the original is immaterial.  Did you not listen to your video before uploading it?
Quote
Here's the one I released this week, the "Diddle's Organ" from Legend of Mana. Full version is here
Now you see, that's what I'm talking about.  You're doing things with the guitar, and I can hear it making noises.  I think.

Quote
Meh, I guess I disagree. I simply made something, and wanted to share it, nothing more.
I apologize, I misunderstood your intent.  I had assumed from your repeated requests for youtube subscriptions, and your newly-minted patreon, that you were a small-time spammer trying to monetize his hobby.  But if you're just here to share your talent, I guess that's okay.

Quote
Plus it costs nothing to subscribe.
It's not costing me anything to click "dislike" on your videos, either.

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