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I just posted a link to a Polygon video about the architecture of Control, a 2019 video game. I both liked and hated this game [mild spoilers coming]. First, a warning: I don’t play a lot of PVE-intense games. I had enough problems getting past boss stages that I almost quit. I’ve seen reviews of the game crowing about how Control wasn’t difficult, these other video games are difficult. Etc. Apparently the thing to do in Control if you can’t fight a boss is to go fight some other boss, and level up your abilities. Boss #2, same as boss #1. Boss #3, even more difficult. I was about 2/3rds finished.

The skill tree for abilities and gun improvements is random. Tons of comments about how the “Grip” gun was their gun of choice but I never got good pickups for it. All my other guns, nearly maxxed out. It was bizarre. “You can’t see that I’m not getting pickups for this gun? Why do you keep giving me shitty pickups?” On top of that, the UI for the skill tree is incredibly poor. You have 24 slots, and if you don’t keep pruning the shitty pickups, they fill the slots and now you ... can’t pick up any more pickups. The game could have done this automatically for me, automatically upgrading/pruning garbage around 80% of the time, but no, I’m in a boss fight, there’s a pickup I need, and now there’s a giant-ass rectangle on the screen glowing red no more room, can’t pick this up oh you died. Just as an example: there’s a pickup for “rate of fire.” It is expressed in a random percentage. So say you have a 12% rate of fire increase pickup. You will, over the course of the game, run into about 20+ pickups for rate of fire that are less than or equal to the pickup you already have. “Look it’s random!” But you just filled up a slot with garbage. And again. And again. Multiplied by all the different types of pickups. Keep trimming, Billy boy.

There’s a lot in this game that reminds me of the same sort of problems in the Tomb Raider reboot. But again I don’t play many of these, perhaps it’s a SOP plague. Keeping the books is not entertaining. Fighting enemies is entertaining because you get to throw chairs and shoot and throw filing cabinets and shoot. Which lasts for a good long while but after you go through a section, well, there are more enemies. Clear out a place, turn around and perhaps (more randomness here) within seconds there are more enemies. It never stops. Because of the way the missions are organized, you’re constantly back-tracking into areas you’ve ... not cleared out, clearly. I just wanted a checkbox “cleared-out areas remain cleared out.” Some enemies are invisible, one of my own personal eye-rollers ("hahah let’s put the player in a small enclosed space with ole’ Inviso” #stale). Same type of enemies that level up as you level up for the most part. After awhile, it becomes ... tedious. After the novelty wears off, the fights all feel the same. “Remember when I threw that chunk of wall at your identical brother dude, right here in this same fucking spot, two minutes ago? [throws large cabinet at dude]”

The maps are dog food. F-. Higher areas cover lower ones, but there’s no way to see the lower area floorplan. Along the same lines, the UI for the gun/health stats is needlessly complex. Not as bad as GTA5. Still, I’d rather not have to back up into a higher-level menu then go back down to change the gun mod I want to swap out. Playtesting: it’s a thing. Intentional/lazy? You get another F-.

I liked the story, the janitor, really liked the chattering pyramid (hey dude I want to hang out sometime call me), probably enjoyed The Threshold Kids a little too much.

Those three bosses, I gave up but then later the same day ran across a post about an invincibility update on the options screen I hadn’t seen. Sold! I danced through the rest of the game so I could see the architecture and follow the story. More entertaining floating in the middle of the room while being shot at by eight guys: “Okay, where were those stairs to that weird corridor?” I’ll be buying the DLC when it’s on sale again.

There’s a lot more. I just grabbed some of the biggest slices.

I don’t want any sour notes about any of this. I’m not writing this to be persuaded that my experience is non-canonical/wrong/etc. This is all I have, videogames and then complaining about videogames. Thanks for thinking of me though. Also I have coffee, ice cream, and coffee ice cream. Also images/short videos of dogs, cats, and birds. Licorice, that’s another one. Sleeping, I like that. Bread. Big one, bread. Watching billionaires self-immolate. Cake, but mostly pie. Pie is way more than cake.

2022dec03.

CGP Grey: The Maddening Mess of Airport Codes!

2022dec03.

Polygon: Control taught me to love the ugliest architecture

2022dec02.

Billie Eilish: Same Interview, The Sixth Year ‒ Vanity Fair

2022nov29.

Van Neistat: Why Veteran-Artists Don’t Quit

2022nov24.

Not Just Bikes: The Great Places Erased by Suburbia (the Third Place)

2022nov22.

USPTO Trademark Gazette. 31,219. POWDERED CHOCOLATE. Hance Bros. & White, Philadelphia, Pa. Filed Nov. 23, 1897.

Essential feature. ‒ The representation of a man beating a boy.
Used since October 29, 1897.

2022nov11.

JESUS CHRIST CAKE PANIC

ドキドキ!ケーキパニック』12月発売予定。
ケーキを飾り付けるとプレートが飛び出す!
"Doki Doki! Cake Panic" will be released in December. When you decorate the cake, the plate pops out! (link)

2022nov11.

Toy Captain Badge, “made in Japan.”

2022nov10.

Veritasium: The Most Important Algorithm Of All Time. “The Fast Fourier Transform is used everywhere but it has a fascinating origin story that could have ended the nuclear arms race.”

2022nov03.

[Not Just Bikes] Groceries Delivered ... in 10 Minutes!?

2022oct31.

Van Neistat: The Romance of Being an International Artist

2022oct28.

I forgot to mention the woman doing whooshy-whoosh with her hands in the Anigrate animations was from a UK LSD documentary called The Beyond Within (1987) (at 59:16).

Here’s that short bit isolated. “I can do everything.” I love the coincidental “I live in a monochromatic world.”

2022oct21.

The thing that interests me the most about Banksy is the keen method of authenticating works [2], which is handled by Pest Control, Banksy’s official office/authenticator. A code is written on a Banksy Di-Faced Tenner, the note (and code) is ripped in half. Banksy keeps half, half is attached to the artwork. Pest Control also recommended the following short Antiques Roadshow segment [2 minutes] featuring someone w/a potential Banksy piece:

There is a ridiculous hearty trade in fake Banksy pieces. Here’s a few I’d seen awhile ago on Ebay (Pest Control: “[..] There are hundreds of stencils of Banksy images online, and unscrupulous people use them to make fakes ‒ especially road signs for some reason"). I reported them all, because I’m a fun guy.

And then there are the Fake Fake Banksys. Do a Fake Banksy piece, but use your signature. You could even pretend you’re the wife of Banksy. Mrs. Banksy. Use a real ten-pound note because less work. This one was priced at USD2285. Get it while it’s hot.

A Reverse Fake Fake Banksy: take someone else’s art, call it a Banksy. This piece was created by Meek, an Australian artist, then someone else added Banksy’s name, then someone else copied that because this can’t be the original copy of the copy of the copy. Then it ended up in a thrift store when someone was tired of it, and Doc took a photo of it.

Here are some more. Hang it in your dorm, show the world you care about it enough to buy a thing.

2022oct20.

While I was whittling away on Large Current Project #72a I went too far back in time and tripped across Anigrate, my abandoned raster/vector animation program project from around 2007. I bailed because even though I was working twelve actual hours a day on it, I did the math and decided I didn’t want to work another three years or so to get a polished whatever out the door. Here are some quick milestone images/animations, mostly just checks on functionality, not quality. The larger images give a better idea of original frame quality (the tv/movie clips were a bit low-resolution). The last animation is entirely vector, for you vector fans out there.

Note: Firefox makes the downsampled animations even more downsampled. Try Vivaldi or Opera.

2022oct16.

Confetti, Meats, Piles, Enemas.

2022oct07.

Back when I was a old child somehow sweat pants became a thing and everyone was wearing sweat pants. I thought sweat pants were awful. “They’re awful,” I thought. One day I thought perhaps I was wrong so I bought a pair of sweat pants. I wore them one day.

“I was right, about the sweat pants.”

I never wore sweat pants again.

2022sep27.

Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared (television series episode 1: “Jobs"). NME interview

2022sep27.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I really enjoy reading old selling guides; this one is called The Grocer’s Idea Book (1937). “You could use a hat. People will ask about it. Write a thing on it.” I gather these in a separate folder, for when I’m senile. “Ha ha, hat.” I still need to dig up a 191X article I read detailing how a “sign in a window” can unlock elusive product sales.

2022sep27.

action button reviews boku no natsuyasumi

this review is four hours long and essential

it is essential

2022sep25.