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Active Projects / very, very abstract
June 20, 2024, 08:12:24 PM
A letter in response to jack's "worlds of time."


[ A. Games may end. What do i want an ending to accomplish?
  B. An ending closes the loop and sets you free. It satisfies an entire domain of mastery. The player displays complete understanding. The game acknowledges. ]


[ A. What relationship do endings have to one another? Why have multiple endings? Does one ending need to be 'better' than another?
  B. People develop and become more complex, eventually containing multiple related masteries. One ending may satisfy a player who has mastered every domain; another may satisfy a player who has only mastered one or two. Each ending is a plateau on a developmental path of understanding. ]

Note neither of these speaks to narrative endings, this is about games and gameplay feelings. Narrative is woven in with these, but I have not thought very deeply about how. It is a problem for another droqen, perhaps.

Note on [ A. B. ] structure; the intention of this first post is to summarize the beginning and end of my understanding of the topic. All below posts represent my more complete thought structure. The way that this was written was I created a first post that simply contained "[AB]", I wrote all the below posts, then I came back to edit this first post. It is my hope that this makes for more readable threads.
Regarding Hubert Dreyfus' and Sean Dorrance Kelly's
"All Things Shining"
Hi, newforum! I have been invited to the Polaris Game Design Retreat (!!!) and I am now going to write an application for the Canada Council for the Arts' Professional Development for Artists grant, in the hopes that I can go. I'm in a weird spot, so I don't want to pay for this out of pocket... However, the timing is difficult:

It's exactly three months to Polaris, they of course want to have confirmed spots as soon as possible, but the grant process says that it may take four months! So, here's the conundrum:

1. I want to attend Polaris.

2. I will apply for a grant. IF I get the grant, I will happily and gratefully choose to attend Polaris. If not, then I will not. Easy decision!

3. I will not know if I get the grant until after Polaris HAS ALREADY HAPPENED AND ENDED.

4. Therefore I must choose whether to attend Polaris without knowing the result of my grant application.

So the spot I'm in now is one of . . . gambling, sort of. Well, I don't want to think of it as a gamble. I want to know, simply, am I a good applicant? If I am a good applicant then I will write a good application, operate presuming its success, so long as I am capable of gracefully accepting a possible rejection. If I do not think I am a good applicant, if I do not think I will write a good application, then I will not be able to operate presuming its success, and I will not go to Polaris. A shame but it is what it is.

Luckily, the CCA provides a rubric of sorts.
"Linda Tirado was shot in the eye with "nonlethal ammunition" while working as a journalist during the Floyd protests. The resulting traumatic brain injury to her left frontal lobe has caused her body to forget how to operate her organs. She's dying, and that cop killed her."

I have been doomscrolling, I guess. Twitter swaddles me in the darkness of the world, but with like-and-retweet friendly lenses on. The objects are genuine: a man quoting hitler for inspiration on the news; a screenshot of a soldier's weird, tasteless Instagram post, with commentary; the information that someone is dying. Dying, a real person.

Linda is dying, and dying is expensive. The logistics of death.
1. Catch a single real feeling whole, in a medium of your choosing.

2. Organize multiple parts into a greater whole. Ask: what comes first, the idea for the greater whole or the smaller more immediately pure ones?
It's loose and distant. But in Wanderhome, the player character sheets all have a sentence in large font that goes "Your care is..."

There is something nice about that positive acknowledgment of individuality. Every character cares, but you all do it in your own way.

Weird combination of ideas. Bridgerton gives me this weird feeling that there is only one man, just played by many different individuals, but I know that there are older ones... John Malkovich, Doctor Who? A world composed of only the same character at different times in their life...
Primordial soup / vibes
June 12, 2024, 11:04:48 PM
regarding starseed pilgrim:

"its like a weird platformer where u plant seeds that grow into platforms and run from encroaching darkness but also there's a lot going on???? it's like. an amazing mix of analytical and intuitive contemplation, and of chill vibes, excitement, and dread"

i read this the other day. recently. and it made me feel something, like, especially the latter half, about form and content.

i have thought about starseed pilgrim for a long time mainly in terms of form. it's a weird platformer where you plant seeds that grow into platforms and run from encroaching darkness and also there is poetry.

but then the second half of this tweet wiggled me out of a certain mind-crevice.

  • analytical and intuitive contemplation.

yes, these are good. what else though.

  • chill vibes,
  • excitement,
  • and dread.

it made me want to think about games like this more... hmm. it's funny how you can take this tweet and map it perfectly to the MDA framework. in order, even! it's wild.
Active Projects / mantra.
June 11, 2024, 09:29:29 AM
(in progress.)
I was reflecting on HANDMADEDEATHLABYRINTH issue 0 in the shower while thinking about haiku games and thinking about war on the games industry. Here are my thoughts.

HMDL is a joke wrapped in a videogame.

I think a lot about videogames and also the industry or whatever, and I had the idea for HMDL a long long time ago. It is a joke of the form, "What if [GAME YOU KNOW], but then [SURPRISE]?"

There's a problem there. I wanted to make that game, I really did, but the joke is at the expense of the game that I wanted to make, reducing it to a joke . . . or worse than that, I think, reducing it to a mere act of passing.

An act of passing. I need to unpack that, but it's the crux of the entire reflection.

There is a book called Game Poems that I love to complain about, but I find myself exploring it and quoting it over and over again. Anyway, here is the part that I will complain about today, or rail against:

Quote from: p81-82? ish?Conceived through the lens of lyric poetry that we have been utilizing, we might say that game poems are artifacts positioned as videogames that are [pg break] short and subjective, make use of poetic address, exist in a ritual space, are hyperbolic, are bound to metaphor, and juxtapose signified meaning with material meaning (keeping in mind that, as in the case of lyric poetry, all of these characteristics are simply tendencies).

Specifically, "positioned as videogames."

Quote from: p105. . . the core material of the videogame poet is the language of videogames: a vast tangled web of visual, auditory, and procedural signifiers, with all of their established ways of signifying (both denotatively and connotatively) in relation to one another and to the world at large.

What I am about to say is not targeted at Game Poems but around it:

issue 0 expended
too much effort
PASSING as a vid-

Quote from: p113. . . intervention in the established language of videogames can be pursued with intention, and that we might consider such work (for lack of other present alternatives) the special domain of the videogame poet, and the game poem.

I think a great deal of my resistance to Game Poems, as a text, has come from a desire to shed videogames entirely, and even the role of "intervener" in videogames is not one I desire. I wish for my shedding to be entire, complete.

In practice I think Magnuson is correct. Or, rather, Magnuson's thesis does direct its fangs towards me and my practice; mine, too, is an act of game poetry. I do not want to save videogames. I do not want to change videogames. I just want to make my art. But I cannot avoid the relationship that what I do has to videogames. Through attempting to make videogames and finding some kind of subsidiary practice made of the same parts, it would be accurate to say that my "core material" "is the language of videogames".

Oh, I'm losing my point. I'll post this and think about anything else I have to say afterwards.

- 36 to 40 dried bamboo leaves (2 to 3 leaves per zongzi)
- 5 cups uncooked short grain sticky rice (also called glutinous rice, or "sweet rice")
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce (plus 2 teaspoons)
- 2 teaspoons salt (plus 1/2 teaspoon)
- 2/3 cup raw peanuts
- 1 pound pork belly (450g, cut into 12 equal pieces)
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons shaoxing wine
- 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1 teaspoon oil
- ½ cup water
- 6 salted duck egg yolks
- 3 Chinese sausages


Previous day

1. First, soak the leaves overnight. The next day, wash and rinse each leaf front and back, keeping them in a large bowl or tub of water until wrapping time so they don't dry out.

2. Soak the sweet rice overnight. The next day, drain completely. Mix the soaked, uncooked rice with 2 tablespoons light soy sauce and 2 teaspoons salt in a large bowl and set aside.

3. Soak the peanuts overnight. The next day, boil for 5 minutes, drain, and set aside.

4. In a bowl, toss the pork belly with 2 teaspoons light soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoons sugar, 2 teaspoons shaoxing wine, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and white pepper. Marinate overnight. The goal of this step is to make the pork belly slightly too salty, because the rice will absorb the excess salt, giving the zongzi its distinctive savory, umami flavor.

Day of

5. The next day, heat the oil in a wok over medium heat. Cook the pork belly for a few minutes before adding the water. Cover the wok with the lid, and cook for 5-10 minutes until the liquid is gone. Remove from the wok and let cool.

6. Cut the egg yolks in half. Cut the sausages into 12 equal pieces. Set aside in separate bowls.

7. Follow the step-by-step photos to wrap the zongzi. Remember: You must cut away at least half an inch off the bottom of every leaf you use. Make sure the kitchen twine won't break easily. To do this, it's best to wet the twine first by soaking it in a bowl of water. It's best to tie one end of the twine to an anchor point or kitchen fixture (e.g. you kitchen sink), because you will only have one hand to tie the zongzi. Your other hand will be holding the zongzi. Or have someone help you out! If leaves rip anywhere during the wrapping process, you'll need to start over and discard the ripped leaf. That's why I call for more leaves than is technically needed. Some of the leaves are bound to rip.

8. To cook the Zongzi, get a medium-sized pot and neatly nest the zongzi inside, avoiding large gaps. Put a large plate directly on top of the zongzi to weigh them down. Fill the pot with cold water, until the zongzi are submerged. Place the pot on the stove over medium high heat. Once the water boils, turn the heat to low/medium-low, and let it simmer for at least 7-8 hours. *INSTANT POT NOTE! there is another recipe that says using an instant pot you can do 90 minutes.

9. The water should be "moving" while simmering, but there should be no large roiling bubbles. You must check the pot fairly often to make sure the zongzi are always submerged in water. Only add boiling water to adjust the water level—do not add room temperature or cold water. Keep a kettle of hot water on the stove so that you're prepared throughout the 7-8 hour cooking time.

10. Once the 7-8 hours is up, eat the zongzi while they're hot! Sweet zongzi can be enjoyed at room temperature, but savory zongzi are really the best when they're steamy and delicious.
Active Projects / beepbox vibe songs. (ongoing.)
June 04, 2024, 02:39:51 PM
a place for posting every beepbox song i write.

- odd rhythms, reminds me of etrian odyssey a bit. chill.

- listening at the door (beepbox ver), originally made in musagi and posted in "THE PURPOSE OF MAKING GAMES AS ART (nobody can give you permission to love)"

- whistling, has a sort of spooky vibe, is pretty over the top
Active Projects / geomoth, an adventure game
June 03, 2024, 10:31:18 AM
I have a problem with geomoth as well as the underlying "adventure game manifesto" upon which it was founded, but before i get into that let me get all my eggs in one basket.
PROCEDURES / Doing one thing a day
May 30, 2024, 08:04:27 PM
Quote from: @GateEightyEight. . . if i'm happy i stay up too late bc stuff interests me, and if i'm sad i stay up too late to try to find the joy that i felt i was denied during the day. i basically only get enough sleep when i'm unenthused about life.
~ tweet
Sometimes . . . I forget what it's like to solve a problem, and I mean really solve a problem. I want to record this so that I have a reference point for what it's like to recognize a problem and solve it appropriately, completely.
Active Projects / first moon's reflections
May 28, 2024, 11:33:52 AM
make a thing every day in the spirit of 31 unmarked games, but not necessarily a game; respect the work you've done; see (the badly named) wholeness of action

when the moon becomes new, stop gathering; start connecting and reflecting

release something on the night of the full moon.

do not make plans.
Primordial soup / wholeness of action
May 28, 2024, 10:53:54 AM
- sylvies sylvieish games ("Scattered Self")
- my comments in 'roleplaying games', esp on self-playing ("to play a role so well you need not make any decisions at all . . .")
- sylvies discord thoughts on improvisation
- (collaboration)

~ backlink first moon's reflection
Active Projects / the train to nowhere
May 24, 2024, 03:42:32 PM
short narrative game in four parts
- the train(s) to nowhere (and subsequent bus to nowhere)
- the birthday of '24
- burning plastic and choking on the smoke
- chris, no sonia, and the short long way home