terriko: Adorable icon care of John (bubble bobble)
The thing with steam sales is that while the game itself may be $5, my penchant for buying copies for everyone who I might want to play with adds up... to another $20.

Okay, I guess I can live with that. ;) It's awesome being an adult with disposable income to spare!

The game in question was, incidentally, a Dungeon Siege pack (It's on sale for another 15 mins or so). My sister and I enjoyed the first two games in part because if you set yourself to follow another player, it treated you as a minion and basically played the game for you. Many people thought this was a bad thing, but Susan and I thought it was awfully convenient for the purpose of getting a cookie. The 3rd game got such terrible reviews that we never bought it, but... $5! For all 3 plus an expansion! Even if it just saves me finding the discs for my copies of the 1st two games, I'm willing to pay that. And let's be honest, we even kind of thought the dubious Dungeon Siege movie was fun, so we'll get $5 worth of enjoyment out #3 of this one way or another.
terriko: Adorable icon care of John (bubble bobble)
And, to offset the griping in my private posts today, here's a pretty picture of something I'm working on:

Knitting big and small

I took this photo for the Active Assignment Weekly flickr group, which gives a weekly photo challenge. I haven't been participating much for a variety of reasons, but this week's challenge was "big and small" and the knitting was right there.

I have to say, though I love the final look of knitted cables, they are the most hand cramping awfulness at that size and my level of experience. The metal needles are new, purchased because I have horribly bent the wooden ones in that size that I was using. Glad I started on the wood, or I'd have given up in despair over dropped stitches on slippery needles, but I'm also glad I switched because it's so much easier now that I've got the hang of it. And I'm glad I didn't give up, 'cause gloves are a nice size to carry around and now that the first one's close to done I'm so darned pleased with myself for managing it! I have clearly leveled up in knitting between this and the chunky lace scarf I've been working on.

Next up: finishing my long-neglected pony for Katie (she has hair now, but I'm rubbish at embroidering cutie marks on crochet...) more crocheted angry birds for people to play with at the Albuquerque mini maker faire, and finishing my set of mane 6 teensy tiny felted crochet ponies. Plus a Top Secret present project that must be done before the end of September.

I am also trying very hard not to get drawn into making an arcade sona dress. I've been playing some more LoL specifically because she was free in the pax swag bag and not only do I like playing support (something I didn't have a char for in LoL) but I also enjoy the cute little video game touches they put on that skin. The DDR attack forces people to dance!



Unfortunately, I'm not interested in spending a day wearing nothing but a bra on top, so it's not likely cosplay for me. But I am obsessed with her skirt right now with the pixels and the rainbows. I have a problem, I know.

Edit: because the Arcade Sona costume idea is in my brain now -- wouldn't it be cool to build her console and have the buttons make the light effects, including the DDR attack? I could totally find a little set of projector lights that would let me do that... Darnit, I'm not talking myself out of this anytime soon, am I?
terriko: Evil Soup (evil soup)
My brother provided the best review I've seen of Diablo III when I asked him how he liked the beta: "You click things; they die." That sums up the Diablo experience in a lot of ways.

Other people may tell you that "Diablo III: Lords of Disconnection" sums things up too, but to be honest, that hasn't been my experience. Since launch day, I've rarely had to wait more than a few minutes, and I haven't played alone at all, so it's clear many of my friends are getting in too, including some who I haven't played games with in years since we stopped playing the same games. Even on launch day, sometimes the disconnections just gave us more chance to voice chat on another server.

So I've been spending a lot of my spare time over the past few days clicking things with friends, and it's been fun. The Diablo experience, for me, has always been about playing with other people. Back when Diablo II came out, my siblings and I learned networking and bought equipment just so we could hook up our machines and click things together! My first laptop, mostly a linux box, kept its windows partition just for playing Diablo. That game was probably also one of the experiences that really fermented my opinion that the players make games a lot more interesting: We still reminisce about sitting in my parents' basement, running around with broken armour, trying to punch Diablo in the nose. That wasn't part of the intended narrative of the game at the time, but that and the Diablo-killing polka became part of our personal narratives of the game.

Playing Diablo with my siblings in the early morning of launch day was all everything I wanted out of the new game right there, especially since we don't even live in the same country anymore. We had a laugh when my sister noticed that "punch Diablo" is an achievement in the new game.

I've actually spent so much time clicking things that sometimes I go to bed with a sore hand to match my sore ankle. (This week I ditched the cane; It's been good, but tiring and my ankle now has a dull ache from use.) Obviously, repetitive strain is a bad thing, but it does make a nice testament to having fun that I don't even notice 'till it's time for bed! My only real complaint is that I can't play with more than 3 other people at a time. Good games + good friends always equals good times.
terriko: (Default)
I started writing this for the CU-WISE Wednesday fun feature, but it kills me that it won't be shared for a couple of weeks, so you get it now:

There are a lot of covers are the mario bros theme, but this one Jimmy Wong's version is especially cute and singable because it goes beyond the source to make something really fun:



And as if the song itself weren't amazing, the artist himself is a pretty neat guy. Check out the NPR story on him: Jimmy Wong Saves The Internet:


Jimmy Wong reminded me that the tools that can be deployed by the so-called cyberbullies are also freely available to those they harass.

[...]

The lyrics are funny and good-spirited, and effectively turn the tables on the original rant. And the song itself has a catchy hook, has been viewed about 800,000 times, and is now for sale on iTunes.

When I was a kid, here's one thing I never thought of saying to a bully who was about to pummel me:

"Hey, don't mess with me. I've got a quirky sense of humor, a great singing voice, and I know how to code!"

But Jimmy Wong and many others are proving those types of creative skills could be a decent way to put up a defense.


Jimmy's Mario song is available on iTunes along with a bunch of his other music, and proceeds are currently going to the Japanese relief efforts.

Other game fans might also love his legend of zelda medley, which is what I'm listening to right now.
terriko: (Default)
When we were playing Kinect games at Dan's on Saturday, a few of us got into a conversation about what other genres of Kinect game we thought would be cool, and we came up with this idea for Kinect Conductor, the symphony conducting game.




I was reminded of this idea when I saw this video promo involving paint, speakers, and a conductor. (More behind the scenes pictures and even a link to the 3d version here). And now I've spent a bit of time this afternoon contemplating what exactly the Kinect Conductor game would be like.

Brainstorming ideas from the weekend and from while I was making lunch today:

Basic Gameplay

  • You'd have to learn the basic conducting patterns: 4/4, cut time, 3/4, 6/8, etc. and keep them up/change when necessary
  • Gameplay could include giving cues to various sections (in real life musicians will often be fine without cues, but in game maybe we'd make them more reliant upon you? Or with a % chance to fail if the conducting isn't great?)
  • Will the game speed up/slow down the music with you, or will you have to keep up with a runaway orchestra? Both modes might be interesting for game play (and both happen sometimes if you conduct...)


Celebrity conducting gigs

  • Celebrity symphony orchestras? I'd love to conduct the Boston Pops, or my local NACO... (And, ok, I admit it, I'd love to have real symphony orchestras getting bonus income from video games!)
  • Mickey Mouse mode, where instead of seeing a symphony you get to do something like Mickey in Fantasia with stars and waves and awesomeness. Like those paint-covered speakers in the image above, maybe? Might be too trippy, but fun?
  • Speaking of cartoons... what about conducting to match other famous ones, like the Bugs Bunny/Barber of Seville one?
  • Or what about musicals? Famous movie-musicals?


Advanced Modes

  • Will you get a full score with actual sheet music on screen? Maybe a simplified one? Is real sheet music too hard to use or is it enough to get the shape of things even for those who can't read music? (I think it's doable, but I've got a lot of musical training, including conducting.) Would full sheet music be "expert" mode? Would full sheet music even be legible on a TV screen?
  • Will you have to turn the sheet music yourself? Again, could be a different game mode/advanced mode like racing games that sometimes force you to shift a manual transmission and sometimes go all auto.
  • Soloist game mode, where the conductor has to follow a soloist who may interpret the piece in a different way on different run-throughs? Hard for people who are only really good at pattern repetition and not improvisation and adaptation, but probably more reasonable.
  • Actually, I wonder if you could work improvisation into some sort of disaster recovery mode for the main game? Some conductors are amazing at skipping a beat and grabbing us again if necessary.
  • Stage musical game mode, where the conductor needs to learn when to cue music into a scene and needs to learn to repeat sections if something happens on stage and the scene goes too long?


I'm much too excited about this and kinda want to try some kinect hacking, since it seems doable if I set up a little midi orchestra to make some music... but I don't really have time, so I'm braindumping it for now and hoping that'll help me clear the fixation and get back to my day job.

But I kinda wish I could just put this in the xbox downstairs and play now!

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