Question Time

I got tagged by alamantus to answer questions, more than happy to answer questions.

What is your favorite number and color?

6 as it is the lowest perfect number and orange as it is the objectively best color.

What country/state do you live in, and have you ever been to another country? Where did you go?

I live in Vermont, USA. I’ve been to Canada (I live so close to the border so it doesn’t really count), France (school trip, I didn’t want to go but my Mom did and so she used me as an excuse to go. The one thing I wanted to do in France was see the Louvre and yet even though it was a SCHOOL TRIP we never went. I was kinda pissed (also I pissed in a sink because I didn’t realize that in Franch hotel rooms it is common for toilets to be in rooms adjacent to the shower/sink room).) and Germany (my Mom has friends there somehow and my family went to see them). I might of been other countries (my parents like to travel, I don’t especially enjoy it) but I don’t think so.

Where is your favorite place in the world and why?

My room because it has my computer and my bed.

What is your favorite memory? Explain it!

This is actually one of my favorite memories.

What is your favorite food/meal and why?

Cherry Coke and string cheese. I feel no need to justify this.

What is your favorite piece of art, book, movie, TV show, video game, and song/album? (Answer as many as you care to or can if you don’t have favorites of certain things)

Game: Psychonauts
Art: Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow by Piet Mondrain
Movie: The Big Lebowski
TV Show: MST3K
Book: Catch-22

Who is your favorite author, actor/director/producer, (game) developer/studio, artist, lyricist, musician? (same condition as the last question)

Director: Coen Brothers
Game Developer/Studio: Tim Schafer, Double Fine
Author: Neil Gaiman

What is a game you used to play all the time as a kid? (video game or physical game, doesn’t matter)

Chrono Trigger

What is something you find yourself obsessed with? Or if you choose to believe you are not obsessive, what is your “favorite thing” (to do, see, study, etc.)?


What do you never leave home without?

Phone and headphones (the phone is mostly for music)

Describe an ordinary weekday. Weekend?

Weekday: Wake up at 7:40 and walk to work, be there by 8. Work. Walk home. Games!

Weekend: I play video games, make video games, and then write about video games (see above question about my obsession).

One thing that makes me so mad about the Wind Waker is all the little delays/cut scenes the game keeps inserting. Like how Link gets a little cut scene for every chest he opens even if it is just another Joy Pendant, or how the game absolutely needs to show you what you just did even when you can clearly see it happening. 

Some things that Wind Waker thinks warrants taking control of the game away from you for a moment to show you something:

  • That switch you hit with an arrow lit up
  • That wall you dissolved by pointing your mirror shield at it is disappearing
  • Hey when you stepped on this switch you unlocked this door
  • Now you got off it so it is locked again
  • Now that item you dropped on it is weighing down the switch so the door is open again

Each cut scene is really short but you do these actions so fucking much and the results of these actions aren’t surprises. It the Navi “Hey, Listen” problem but instead of it being an in game character who is annoying you it is the game itself who constantly feels the need to show you things you already knew.

2 years on tumblr Giveaway happening on the 6th

September 4th 2012 was the date I posted my first essay here on tumblr, I compared Super Mario RPG and Final Fantasy 6. With my 2 year anniversary coming up I thought a fun way of thanking tumblr for listening to me rant would be to giveaway 10 really good games.

The giveaway will be on Saturday the 6th (sorry it won’t be on the 4th but I have a job and they like me to stick to job related things while I’m there). I’ll post more specific details when it actually starts but the broad outline is that from 12pm to 9pm I will post, on the hour, a gaming related question (the question is not intended to be difficult, but to make sure you can’t spam me with automated messages on the hour) and the first person who sends me an ask with the correct answer (I will define ‘correct’ quite broadly) gets to pick the game they want off the list of remaining games. All games will be given away over Steam, and I will need your Steam email to send the game to you.

There will be 10 games, there is only 1 copy of each game and it will be first come first served. The games are:

  • Shovel Knight
  • Crypt of the NecroDancer
  • Transistor
  • Papers, Please
  • Mark of the Ninja
  • Gone Home
  • Banished
  • Spec Ops: The Line
  • Long Live the Queen
  • The Binding of Issac + Wrath of the Lamb DLC

Problems With Story Taboo

Story Taboo was a game idea I had but there were some pretty big problems with it so I made  a new version of the game.

Version 2,  Version 1

So, lets talk about some of V1’s biggest problems and how I went ahead and tried to solve them for V2.

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Story Taboo AKA Tongue Tied v2

This is the second iteration of a game, the first version is here.

A game of manipulative story telling where you have to tell the best story while remaining unpredictable. Assets in this game are a large vocabulary and a keen insight into your opponents’ minds.

Players: 3-8

What is needed to play: Paper and pencils/pens for every player


The player who is going first (as determined by who has the most talented eyebrows) starts by setting down the story foundation. They will do this by:

  1. Naming a character and then using three adjectives to describe them (“Lord Blongspot Jr: egotistical, knowledgeable, curious”)
  2. Give the character a goal or desire (1 sentence MAX. “Win a science fair”
  3. Name where that character currently is (“Blongspot manner”)


  • Regina Starheart: slacker, creative, bold. Wants to get out of work today. Intergalactic Trade Federation Headquarters.

  • Arnold Splink: cowardly, intelligent, neat. Wants to finish doing his taxes. Middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

  • A totally normal frog: amphibious, cold blooded, wet. Wants to eat flies. The Battle of Gettysburg.

One these have been decided on all players choose 3 words (see acceptable words for details on what words can be used) that will be your Point Words (see getting points for details). No one is allowed to use any of the words used to set up the story (in the above example this would exclude “egotistical, knowledgeable, curious, win, science, fair, manner…” The person setting up the story should make it clear what words are acceptable and which ones aren’t, they can add to the list.

Then every player will write down (preferably on a different piece of paper then their Point Words) 1 criteria by which to judge other people’s section of the story.

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So the problem with journalism here is the fear of rocking the boat when the whole thing needs to be capsized and the rats drowned. The thing is those decrying games journalism at the moment don’t realise they are the rats.
(Reblogged from discovergames)


Brand new episode of Tropes vs Women is online! Please heed the content warning on this video. It contains some especially triggering scenes of sexual violence.

(Reblogged from gamerisms)

New Game+

So, you just beat a game you really like, congratulations, now what? Well, in many games you can start a New Game+ which is basically starting over but carrying over stats, levels, and equipment (though it can vary wildly what carries over). The advantage of this over simply unlocking a new difficulty and having the player start again from zero is that the player doesn’t have to lose everything in order to keep playing. The characters they have been growing, the customization and care they have poured into the game gets to stick around.

Playing the game’s story over again is already going to be repetitive, but add into that unlocking the same moves and abilities all over again and the whole idea of playing the game over again can feel far to repetitive. But, if we have New Game+ and carry over abilities we can let them unlock completely new abilities, or simply give them more time with the really fun and powerful ones they didn’t get until the last stage. That said, there is something to say about being given a blank slate to be able to build a completely different kind of character as you make your way through the game again.

The story though doesn’t have to be exactly the same the second time around. Games with branching story lines and multiple endings, games that really want you to play it more that once, can really benefit by giving you a chance to CONTINUE your play through of the game and see everything as opposed to starting over several times to be able to see everything. In order for seeing new things story wise to really work though you would need a reason for players to go through the whole thing again as opposed to re-loading the last save before the final boss and selecting a different ending option (Mass Effect, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Dragon Age…), so games with an ending that is built on many little choices (hopefully gameplay based) that culminate in an ending (Dishonored, Bioshock…) would work best with a New Game + mechanic.

If the game also happened to have a plethora of aspirational achievements for the player to work on while going through the game a second time all the better. Having already beat the game the previous interim goals of beating a level have all been accomplished and so now feel hollow to the player, but with interesting achievements to work on it gives them something more immediate to work on while they work on the larger goal of beating the game a second time.

Game Design Challenge: Story Taboo

The challenge this time was to make a game that focused on manipulating other players.

With that in mind I eventually came up with an idea for a game where your opponents had to trigger your win condition and you had no way to win except through them. It is an early iteration of the game, and is one I hope to work on a bit more.

Story Taboo
A game of manipulative story telling where you have to trick others into giving you the win. Assets in this game are a large vocabulary and a keen sight into your opponents minds.

Read More