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Reviews & reflections / the Pikmin series of games
October 26, 2023, 03:05:25 PM
my experience with Pikmin (1) as a child was one of trepidation, fascination, resignation.

i was exposed to a breadth of emotion, both positive and negative: when my pikmin died, when i wasted time, i felt.

Lars Doucet's "Oil it or Spoil it" suggests that it is generally good to remove pain from our games:

Quoteadding "oil" is literally about smoothing off the sharp corners!

through a new lens, Question-Asking, i suppose that these sharp corners are good to experience exactly enough times to want them smoothed off.

through an old lens, Mirror of the Self, i suppose that this is because a game that contains a larger body of feeling is more alive.

pain is feeling.
Primordial soup / Timers on folders
October 23, 2023, 12:07:34 PM
I was tidying up my disorganized Documents folder and thought about where to put all these files, and it made me think I wished I had something like xkcd's refrigerator with timers for my files, for organizing my files. Maybe not something that would delete/destroy the files, but I'm imagining a file organization scheme which includes some kind of purpose-flagging and timestamp about the future; not just "When was this made?" but "Why am I keeping this?" "For what?" "For when?"
Primordial soup / strategic depth in living
October 20, 2023, 10:00:14 PM
people talk about strategic depth in games... you move through little local maxima. strategies for playing the game more productively in the language of the game
im interested in the idea of playing well... but designing for playing well... depth in playing well
playing the game more productively in the currency of the soul
i wonder if it's better to prevent someone from playing badly, or to let them play badly and then help them to dig themselves out
the latter feels like an experience with more strategic depth, which is often lauded when it exists in the realm of winning/losing. i haven't seen it much applied to the realm of living well
Primordial soup / the role of progress
October 20, 2023, 09:17:37 PM
chants is what it is and there is another way to play it. but maybe most people who play chants will play it in a way which may be the worse way? as a designer or artist, is it your responsibility to predict or discover that ahead of time and decide what you want the experience to be? to 'fix' it? to fix it according to what principle?
as a player or a critic is it your responsibility to notice these statistical things, these patterns, and to... to draw attention to them... hmm not to fix it, but to bring an awareness of them? to whom? to anyone who will listen? to anyone who could use them? to future designers who might stumble upon that problem themselves? to illuminate the path better for future designers and artists
is this all 'good' stuff to do or is it just what naturally happens, what is inevitable
if this is technology (and i think it is) then is technological progress good? is it good because it is inevitable? is it inevitable because it is good?
is it always better to move forward faster than slower? is moving forward even good? or is it only inevitable? is it inevitable?
My first thought was tech companies X the lyrics, "I don't want to set the world on fire // I just want to set a fire in your heart."

I thought about what Chris said w/r/t Hayao Miyazaki's "longing, or desire." ... It's easy to miss, or forget, when working and thinking at an internet-enabled global scale, about this second kind of fire.
Close reading / Spin
September 29, 2023, 08:58:02 PM
Regarding Robert Charles Wilson's
the real world has lossless compression

uncompressed real world infinite file size

damn there's something to that... the feeling of trying to calculate the file size of the real world, or anything real. just watching the number go up forever
Close reading / Invisible Cities
September 15, 2023, 12:19:14 PM
Regarding Italo Calvino's
"Invisible Cities"
Synapses / The Mirror of the Self
September 06, 2023, 12:38:59 PM
Both Christopher Alexander and Rick Rubin use this exact metaphor.

SYNAPSE ~ Process for identifying the feeling
(What is the feeling? The Mirror of the Self.)
1. In ~ The Nature of Order Book Two, Alexander wrote (paraphrasing):

The artist putting their feeling into the work:

The work generating feeling in me:

There is a subtle but critical error here: Alexander is contrasting a process (what the artist does) with a goal (what the art does). I agree, one thousand percent, with what he wrote... but how is the artist to move forward, knowing this? The two items are not immediately usefully comparable and I'd in fact argue that choosing to pursue a goal over a process is extremely detrimental.
(See ~ Atomic Habits - todo: link to more detailed/specific notes when I have them)

2. In ~ The Creative Act, Rubin wrote:

QuoteA point of view is different from having a point. . . . It's of no use to know [or portray] your point of view. . . . The true point is already made in the innocent act of perception and creation.

This presents a better angle towards a potential system or process for achieving Alexander's ESSENTIAL AND IMPORTANT feature of art, although it's by no means complete. (Maybe I could mine The Creative Act some more and find a good quote, but I don't really care to do so at the moment)

The artist puts their feeling into the work,
expressing, communicating, or portraying their felt feeling

The artist looks at the work and notices how they feel,
working to enhance their received feeling
(Alexander actually says this more or less directly in that chapter, but I'm highlighting how his big-picture summary fails and how we must summarize it differently -- through describing two processes: a good process and a bad process)
Reviews & reflections / Battle Brothers
August 31, 2023, 10:10:07 AM
I do get so drawn in to these grand simulation games, but I find it so frustrating to recognize how slow this process of mastery is -- and exacerbated by the somewhat artificial pacing of grinding out resources. Does that make sense? When my fellas die, it means I have to get new fellas, I have to gather more gold to get more done, and this allocation of resources and time is just not that enjoyable.

It's compelling to gain control over a system that has control over my time. OTOH it's more empowering to reject the system into which I've opted; I take control of my time back by quitting rather than by learning how to earn my time back from the clutches of the game.
When faced with any body of data, I...

1. decompose it into a 'good' ~SEMI-LATTICED ~LIST that captures the whole
-> and note further thoughts & elaborations as necessary

2. write a second list of second-order thoughts, compositions of the decomposed ideas into a collection of connections, new and old

3. write a third list of smaller versions of the above thoughts, reducing both the first and second list into a new minimized list which might be seen as 'concluding'

4. from this newly processed raw data, note how to move forward as a practical creature, as a finite being; these notes are about truth but truth, being inaccessible, does not help us move forward; if these notes are about a conversation, what might we talk about next? if these notes are about an idea, what might i think about next? if these notes are about a project which i am actively working on, what might i work on next? this step is absolutely key and critical.
Recipes & Ingredients / MEAL TODO: BREAKFAST
August 22, 2023, 04:33:34 PM
-Eggs Benedict
Close reading / Atomic Habits
August 19, 2023, 09:48:43 AM
Regarding James Clear's
"Atomic Habits"
Close reading / The Creative Act: A Way of Being
August 15, 2023, 04:35:38 PM
Regarding Rick Rubin's
"The Creative Act: A Way of Being"
Primordial soup / buoyancy
August 03, 2023, 11:53:39 AM
I was developing a simple buoyancy algorithm and it all just made sense, at some point; it was such a simple set of forces capable of producing such lifelike floating and bobbing.

In the foreword of Positive Disintegration, its author, Dabrowski, began describing the trajectory of the human psyche as affected by various factors: "This constellation of genetic features determines the type and extent of development possible. . . . genetic traits . . . a strong sense of needing to be oneself, . . . over-excitability. . ."

It was during this foreword that I began to loosely perceive a person's psyche, their state of mind, their life, their whole self, as a buoyant object.

Buoyancy seems like it should be complex, because it is so seemingly unpredictable, and yet this complex self-balancing system can also be so easily understood and thus simulated as two simple forces acting in opposition.

And even then these two forces can be made... not simpler, exactly, but more elemental? The metaphor of forces is easier for us to hold in mind, but is not easier for the universe, is unnatural. What is natural is every particle acting upon every particle all of the time in an infinite smooth field, the infinite complete graph...
Close reading / Book Three
July 26, 2023, 04:40:28 PM
the third book in a four book essay
Close reading / Ugly feelings (2nd read)
July 26, 2023, 09:43:39 AM
~ i read ugly feelings before
i want to read it again, now

Sianne Ngai's "Ugly Feelings"

Quote from: Ezra[re:] using platformer controller as a test case for building a video game sequence. @droqen what would your first stab at that look like, if you had to specify a sequence that would result in a platformer controller in, say, 7 steps