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Title: I F5'd this way too much
Posted: March 02, 2010 (11:51 AM)
Homage to a Hitch-hiker's Guide Character
I mean, I was just completely unsurprised someone did this once I saw the link name.
I actually had a much more serious post and reflective and thoughtful post to write, but this'll have to do, for now.
Title: 2 faqs down, 2 to go
Posted: February 04, 2010 (08:19 PM)
I don't have plans for any new guides but nailed down 2 that'd been floating around with half circles on GameFAQs.
Dark Heart of Uukrul
Lode Runner 4(Arcade) -- final level was on nicovideo.
Still to go, Super Lode Runner 2 (Famicom) and QBert 3(SNES)--the 2nd, I may pull.
It's good to get a sense of completion about these things. I'm hoping I'll finally sink SLR2 this weekend. I have the last gold chest in the last level...but it's nice to have a burst of stuff done.
Title: what the heck, 2009 rewrites in reviews
Posted: February 04, 2010 (10:24 AM)
Maybe people will find ideas for what they want to rewrite, etc.
The ones before 6/1 helped keep me afloat in HGWars.
4/6: Taxman: warming up with a Pac-Man clone is as good a way as any to just write.
4/7: Gamma Goblins: this was mostly an exercise in weeding out the really awkward bits.
4/8: Galaxian: I finally got to where I could roll the 6-digit score. Actually, it clogged at 99990. That was cool. This was the sort of rewrite I was just happy I could do better than when first posted.
4/15 Progress Quest, Zork I, II, III: Still proud of PQ, overwritten as it is. Submitted with no changes.
4/15: Jawbreaker: see 4/6.
4/15 Beyond Zork: I modified this after cashing in some cheap HG points. I remember this being significantly cut down, and if I see minor edits, I think it was great practice, and it's one of those reviews I find technically solid.
5/20: Sammy Lightfoot: Thanks to Bloomer for revealing the game's history on my rewrite.
5/22: Hard Hat Mack: We oldskoolers all have our favorite 3-level platformers.
5/28 Leisure Suit Larry: This is a review where I was sure I said x y and z, as they were the most obvious bits of the game, but on rereading, I didn't even come close. This game works so well because it's not about sex but about far more basic needs and stupidity. Plus, no fourth wall stuff.
5/28 Laser Blast: I laughed my way through this rewrite. I'm happy with it. Very happy. I got all sorts of stories of youthful starry-eyedness going to smash.
6/12 HHGG: on rewriting this I couldn't believe some of the stuff in my GameFAQs review. This was fun to rewrite and about the best chance I could hope for, for a text adventure. Except maybe...
6/12: Trinity: Still some stuff to fix in this very "feeling" Infocom game. They had medieval fantasy, science fiction, and humor, but Trinity is the most naturalistic.
6/12: Snake Byte: straightforward and unspectacular but I think it pegs snake-chase games well.
7/8: Bloodstone: I had the first line/boat idea in mind for a while and kind of squeezed the review out. It was painful. I got a sore back from staying up late. Worth suffering for. A former GameFAQs review of the (week/month.) I was happy with it years ago but (rightfully) mutilated it completely in July.
7/19: Decathlon: A last minute team tourney entry, I'm happy with what I did. I hit a lot of jokes & fondly remember button bashing sessions just reading the conclusion. Also, I zapped the bullet-list from my previous version of the review.
8/5: 2400 AD: this lost 0-3 to Wolfqueen's entertaining Earthworm Jim review but I like it. I'd start the story differently though. It was a gamble worth taking. "Vaudeville dystopia."
8/15: Ballyhoo: I don't hate this review but I know it ran out of steam a bit. I really wanted to work with text adventures as I figured their reviews would be easier to proofread. It turned out to be tough to avoid souding like a book report or a college essay written with one's grade-point held hostage.
8/20: Robotron 2084: very proud of this effort, as I have played this game too much and was able to translate the knowledge into something substantial. Disappointed in my screenshots.
8/28: Wasteland: lost 0-3 to Bluberry then won review of the week. Kick ass! I worked a lot on this one, cutting up the GameFAQs review into something specific and flowing.
9/5: Nord and Bert: hm, I think I see what to say better now. I'm happy with the word count, but I missed some of the confusion I remember as a kid. It was a different confusion from the usual Infocom games!
9/11: Mind Forever Voyaging: nearing the end of my Infocom rewrites. It sort of felt like a book report, and I actually had tougher times rewriting Infocom stuff than other games. Fewer images to note down.
9/18: Bureaucracy: rewriting this and researching gave me a fascinating insight into why Douglas Adams didn't make this game as funny as I hoped. He left the project midway through.
11/21: Wizard's Crown: won RotW though I liked BT3 a bit better. On GameFAQs I remember McFadden giving this mention and saying I may or may not be an up and coming writer. I had lots of fun trying different starting parties to figure how to get going well early.
11/22: Bard's Tale III: I'm pleased with this revision of my old GameFAQs review, though I sent it in after playing just 4 worlds--where I thought the game crashed AppleWin the last time. Whoever sent up the new images, thanks! The final 3 are terribly atmospheric. I should mention that.
12/5: Might and Magic II: I had a hard time capturing just how wonderfully this overcompensates for the absurd slog that is MM1. Crazy details are necessary here.
Title: 2009 (new) Reviews in Review. TLDR n stuff.
Posted: February 03, 2010 (12:08 AM)
I'm happy with how I kept the word count down on my reviews this year. I set goals for them and hit them, for the most part. I got progressively happier with my proofreading both before RotW/judge evaluations and after. I got used to determining what screenshots worked best, and that helped more than I expected. However, I still see problems when I proofread/add 1 last detail/forget to proofread. Connectivity can go poof.
Pre-6/1 games are HGwars fodder, largely.
4/3 Miner: My first exclusive HG review. It was rather short and I was half worried I was scamming HG points for such a small review. I shortly dropped the guilt once I needed to buy that next piece of land.
4/3 Secret of the Silver Blades: captured my frustration with AD&D games nicely but I really have good memories of what this game tries to do
4/7: Champions of Krynn: Overdrive caught me out on this. I thought I'd review something after 1990 but I didn't remember it as well as I thought I did. I read a lot from the FAQ. I don't really want to play it again. I don't even want to revisit editing the review.
4/17: Gegege no Kitaro: This review spins me around a bit now but I'm glad I wrote it. It's a fun fan-translated game.
4/24: Secret Scout: for the NES completion project. The review feels vanilla but I claim, self-righteously, that it does a good job of why the game sucks even when you know what to do, which is not really THAT hard.
4/26: Bard's Tale 2 NES: I think I was too excited about getting through the game and didn't settle my writing down enough for a proofread to smooth it out properly. I'm more pleased with my FAQ than my review. I had fun collaborating with odino about translations.
5/15 Defenders of the Dynatron City: I fell back on a starred list for this one, and other parts are wobbly--but I think I string together observations well. Still, I feel like I moved on from this, not least because the game kind of sucked. But Radium Dog biting Dr Mayhem's ankles at game's end is too funny.
6/12: Super Black Onyx: I wrote this review with energy and proofread it that way too, but if I'd stepped back and calmed down I could've weeded out the FAQ-y bits. I think this review, and my revision a week later, was pivotal in pegging what was an important detail and what was too narrow.
6/19: Usurper Mines of Qyntarr: I giggled my way through this bash of a rotten, rotten text adventure. Yet--it did bring back memories of how bad my program was.
6/22: Airball: Very very happy with this. Suskie's proofreading helped. I'd hoped to start strong in the team tourney and I did.
6/29: Hoosier City Return to Oil City: I should have waited longer after solving the game to write this bash. I think we've all been upset that a series doesn't continue its gentle humor but--it's understandable a developer feels pinned down by it. Oh, I am proud of the first sentence.
7/1 Esper Dream: a game I felt I must talk about, but I felt I didn't describe as much as I could--if there's one game here I'd say JUST PLAY IT, it's this--or Super Black Onyx. Or Airball.
7/1 Lutter: I'm satisfied with this review, but I don't like it as much as Esper Dream, which had more to work with. Lutter is workmanlike. They were two of my first FDS game reviews for the site.
7/3 Power Sokoban: This was an emergency backup, in my book, for the team tourney. Randxian correctly pointed out I should figure what red powerups did, and I'm glad I did. I'm pleased with this review as I think sokoban needs some action and the game almost works, yet I feel I missed some complaints. I don't want to replay the game to nail them down though.
7/6: Number Munchers: I always wondered if this game were any good or if I'd have enjoyed it, or if the cut scenes really were as funny. It, Word Munchers and Fraction Munchers were fun to make screenshots and FAQs. Considering if I should review the other two brought CLEARLY into focus the specter of repeating myself across reviews. I'm pleased I collapsed the other two games into a few sentences. I think it works well in a concluding paragraph.
7/10 Valkyrie no Bouken: overdrive bashed this one already but I decided to see if it was still wretched even if you had a FAQ. It was.
7/12 Knight Lore: another straightforward bash of a simple game. I don't like to pull too many of them, but it keeps me sharp and it was another letter for the Alpha Marathon.
Jawbreaker II: a silly review for the Alpha Marathon. It nicely parallels the game (I hope) in that Chuck Bueche took a break from the real stuff to do something silly.
7/15 Sanrio World Smash Ball: A review I had fun with and though I missed chances at Hello Kitty cuteness, my second foray into SNES reviewing was satisfying.
7/17 Munchman: a keep-warm review for the team tourney. I played this too much at a friend's house and reminisced by playing it too much during an extended lunch break.
7/23 Order of the Griffon: written to satisfy the "I want a TG16 review" requirement, it was an awful slog and had me worried about the team tourney. I think I did the right thing passing on this for Decathlon.
7/25 Rocky's Boots: kids' game? Heh. Took me a while to solve the upper levels.
7/29 It's Mr Pants: I tried to put a little mustard on this but I still find few ways around describing the mechanics of a puzzle game. It's raucous and fun, though.
12/24 Flappy/Times of Lore: I hustled these out staying late at work after they let us leave at 1 PM. My proofreading angel seemed to have left early too. Jerec pointed out some errors, and I hope they are fixed. I wasn't enthusiastic about either game, but I managed to update the second's FAQ a bit.
12/27 221B Baker Street/Quattro Arcade/Xyphus/Yo Noid: Compilation reviews are hard to make "sing." I'd meant to write Xyphus for a while, and the last was a game I always meant to play. Xyphus is pronounced Zi-foo-is. Well, wikipedia thinks so. It's Greek for sword. Xyphus is my favorite of this last swath of reviews. 221B has a bit too much name dropping.
12/29 Wrath of Denethenor: I finished this a bit earlier but re-proofread after making sure I missed nothing huge on replay. After submitting, I googled the creator's name and found he was 20 when he wrote it. I'd have been a bit more understanding then. I had some prospective changes to the FAQ from replaying but forgot to modify things. Looking back I'm shocked at the time I wasted saying "should I FAQ this game" -- energy that could be later spent on verifying stuff in the FAQ, which needs it.
12/30 Zak McKracken: I didn't find a terribly creative or amusing angle here, but it completed my Alpha Marathon, as I'd hoped.
Rewrite summary soon whether you want to see them or not.
Title: Shadow Brain and...FAQ fatigue
Posted: January 29, 2010 (06:14 PM)
So I wrote a FAQ for Shadow Brain, leaving open a few small questions. I generally mark them with ?? -- this works with other writing as well, e.g.
It's normal not to feel the immediate inclination to correct these. What wasn't, though, was that I didn't get any of the maps I intended to, posted to GameFAQs. There are details to fill in but one was in PNG form and I wrote it on my to-do list every day this week.
Maybe I've finally had it with FAQing? Maybe I'm really ready to move on for good? I hoped that I would get to the point where writing-writing took over game writing, but all the same I hope there are spare games to pick off when I have the time.
I have a few miscellaneous games it would be fun to write for. But I'm at the point where staring over a 75% complete manuscript is more worthwhile than being sure I'll get through a game.
Title: Best technical foul ever
Posted: January 20, 2010 (10:40 PM)
After Purdue's odd technical foul for an illegal player (assistant coach forgot to fill John Hart's name in after Hart was gone on Saturday for a funeral) I thought back to the best technical ever. Bobby Knight had that chair throwing incident you can see on YouTube, but I think this is harmless--well, except for the refs' egos. So quick and to the point. The whistle interrupts his PSA!
There's also a video of Gene Keady getting an impressive technical, which also Lou Henson's comb-over too, but while Keady tosses his blazer, there's not enough yelling.
And for those who didn't see, the Knight Chair Throw.
Title: numbers as security
Posted: January 13, 2010 (04:16 PM)
So with my fiction writing I had a constant question--how much had I gotten done? And in what ratio?
Two scripts in the last 24 hours were useful: one, that just says what sections in my text file are how big, and two, that says how much of the sections have ideas organized.
My chapters generally are organized like so:
Billy went to the beach. He found a dollar in the sand. Bully Bobby said "Hey! That's my dollar!"
Billy spent the dollar on a Flakey Jake and a can of A&W Root Beer.
B asks BB if know serial number
Is BB trying to impress girls?
B has friends at beach?
So the % done is the stuff above the equals. The ?? means something needs to be connected. All this gets recorded, and I see the chapter is 50% organized. I can also record for subchapters or groups of chapters.
It's been very useful to me as I tend to say "are we there yet" to myself about, well, anything, and now with writing I have an answer where I don't need to go in detail. I've already had fun tweaking it.
Title: My old school cred takes a hit
Posted: January 07, 2010 (01:55 PM)
It happened as I placed a hold on a library book today.
I was #86 in line for the regular-print version of the book, when I placed an Internet hold. That was major dungus, so I saw if the Large Print version was more available. Yahtzee! Two branches, one 7 miles NW of downtown and one 13 miles south, had the book "not checked out."
So I figured I'd place an Internet hold at the NW branch, then walk there this weekend.
Checking an hour later, one copy was "in transit between libraries" from branch #2 to branch #1.
I asked about this at the main branch. They said I could call the librarians to hold the book nonelectronically a few days.
Oh, right! That whole talking to people thing. It's ancient, but it has its positives.
Title: Words/phrases we love to hate (oops...)
Posted: January 06, 2010 (02:01 PM)
Maybe others here have probably seen this, but I was pleased to note "in these economic times" made the list. I'd had a small joke with a couple of coworkers, e.g.:
"Should I learn more about this PERL package?"
"I don't know. In these economic times..."
I'm also amused that this came out of Lake Superior State. I always had it hammered into my head that if I didn't speak/write correctly I might wind up at an odd sounding school like Lake Superior State.
Of course, lists like these are a dime a dozen, (you see what I did there?) and while I can largely say "whatever" or even (the now-with-ironic-distance) "it is what it is" when someone uses these, whether I like or hate that person, there are obvious applications to reviews, or any sort of writing.
And I'm amused and pleased that some academics out there DO care.
Title: Today's a palindrome, kind of sort of
Posted: January 02, 2010 (08:24 PM)
My daily miscellaneous-writing notes go
YYYY/MM/DD. (And if anyone in England or Australia balks, quiet down. As Denis Leary said, WE GOT THE BOMBS.)
So it was by accident that I noticed 20100102 as a palindrome. But then I thought we could have 2010-10-2 (dropping the zero) and a lot of other cool dates like that too.
And it got me to thinking about 300 years in the future. Some people will never have a palindrome day, unless they live a long time. They'd have to cheat with 2301-03-2, and even after that it'd be tough to get anything. Switch days/months to get 2311-13-2, 2321-23-2 and then...nothing. Which is sort of vaguely sad. Stupid date/number tricks are fun. Amateur numerologists have been spoiled, since the start of the millenium.
Title: EmP finishes second to last...
Posted: December 30, 2009 (12:54 PM)
...in the Alpha Marathon.
Unless Suskie makes a surprise attack, which would be nice to see.
Finishing was an interesting, quirky goal of the sort I like to have over a year to go with the more serious ones. I remember writing my first "Y" review back on GameFAQs--it's a tough letter--to do the Alpha thing. I think it took 2 years.
EmP coming along and doing it made me wonder why I took so long, especially as I took less to write each review. It's like the four minute mile example used in so many motivational books. Once one person did it, others followed quickly.
It's good to have that formal structure even in offbeat goals, though.
And now, back to fiction writing.
Title: Christmas Loot + (almost) final count
Posted: December 29, 2009 (04:40 PM)
First, the loot. I had a $10 coupon off a $10 purchase at Kohl's, so I bought a fleece for my cats and a bath towel. The dollar store had daily planners for $1.50, but credit purchase was a minimum of $5, so I bought some green olives and a kitty squeak toy. I also stopped at Jerry's in Niles on the way home, and along with their usual cheap produce they had two new flavors of these cool Polish sponge cookies with chocolate on top and fruit filling. Small pleasures and stuff.
I currently have (not counting W, which is submitted, and Z, which should be in a few hours--I hope:)
--57 total reviews
--4 cut/pasted from GameFAQs/my own files for quick HGWars points
--28 were actually new
--25 were modified from GameFAQs, much for the better I believe.
Some stuff was left for next year. I want to rewrite a lot of my Apple II reviews, because although they say a lot, they can say it more succinctly. I don't want to set any number, but here are rewrites and new reviews, in approximate priority:
REDO: Magic Candle I/II/III, Dragon Wars, Centauri Alliance, Ultima IV & V (these have rough drafts)
(I may even redo Deathlord. It'll be the last time I bang on about THAT game, wonderful as it is, but it'll be definitive--and hopefully only 8kb.)
NEW: The Castle (SG1000), a IIgs review after Bloomer gets the first--as he should. Any other Apple game I wrote guides for. Ultima Warriors of Destiny (NES.) I'd hoped to hit more platforms, but I didn't quite find the time.
Thanks to all who offered criticism and praise. RotWers, judges, teammates. Having that, and having the reviews so easy to edit, have been important to help me do what I want. It's nice here.
Title: Procrastination, Alpha Marathon, etc. May be TLDR.
Posted: December 27, 2009 (04:48 PM)
EmP making it to the Alpha Marathon finish line was a lesson in procrastination for me. I still do it. I figured he might sneak something in at the end, and I thought it might be fun to do it a day before he did it or something, or find some time near the end of the year to pip him. I could've done it earlier--though while planning, I suspected he'd pick things up if I did. The self-fulfilling prophecy came about anyway--he wrote his last couple without knowing I was on 23, 24, etc.
Over the past month I had some open time to look over half-written reviews--ones from as far back as the team tourney--but I never really sat down and did so. Sometimes I put it off with something bigger, and other times I put if off with lesser stuff. I thought I could make 2 reviews a day from 12/24 to now and I am pretty close. Of course, I needed a break. It was too much at once without any semblance of quality control. I know before I proofread a review I make sure it makes sense 2 hours later, then I reread one last time. That seems like the minimum.
I had less than a review a week at some point, and then that ratio slowly increased, and I figured I'd just do it if I felt relaxed and had the time, which I did--once I finished something else I'd put off.
Yet I think it's this sort of lesson about procrastination that stays with me, not the YOU KEEP WAITING AND ****ING AROUND AND YOU WONT GET ANYWHERE IN LIFE AND EVEN THOUGH YOU HAVE TALENT YOU DONT HAVE WHATS REALLY IMPORTANT LIKE PERSON X WHO DESERVES TO FEEL UNDERDOGGY COMPARED TO YOU.
This (and the implications life should be a competition, which took a LONG time to shake) often left me with the feeling that I maybe didn't deserve to do stuff because of previous procrastinating, or that I needed to be all gung ho at other people to stop it.
I quite simply see a lot of ways I wasted time and could've achieved this (fun) goal & it will lead to me getting rid of other stuff that's not what I want. I'll still achieve the overall goal--all 26 letters and a number--without gamefaqs rewrites, barring some crazy accident.
And recently I've found things that are more effective to help me do what I want. It could be as dumb as "Ooh, I came in in the last day of a 2 day sale and they didn't have the flavor of spaghetti sauce I wanted." Or it could be joking to myself that proofreading is -still- a form of procrastination (as I found during the team tourney)--though in college/HS I never even did that.
Obviously to some degree the start/end date of the Alpha Marathon are artificial, but it makes me aware of stuff I say I better not do yet...eg I can't do X til I pay off my condo...and look for ways around it. But whether or not this is known, I've looked back at a lot of silly stuff that I used to put off something less predictable--but more rewarding. The Alpha Olympics is one such thing. I will probably forget soon enough that I did it. But I certainly wanted to, and I had some goal for those reviews.
I'm at 26 now, assuming nothing egregious. I got a Z game. I'll sit back and enjoy it. I've read it's enjoyable. It's started well.
Title: 10000 review hits.
Posted: December 24, 2009 (11:06 PM)
Hoped I'd hit it before year's end. Thanks to all that viewed, and who've helped me make it more worth viewing. And of course happy holidays to all.
I noticed I'm within 8000 of #50. I think I was within 10000+ back in March. It'd be fun to get there, but I won't kill myself with quantity. I'm happy with what I've done. And hey, I'm not getting doubled up by #50 any more.
Hope others are happy with what they've done this year too. Earlier today I was able to finish some scripting (merging 2 scripts) that I worried would take much longer than it did. I'm sure there are small bugs in there for special cases...but hey, I've been there before with proofreading stuff here, right?
Proofreading here makes script proofreading easier and vice versa.
Title: Spam-Scam that deserves credit...sort of
Posted: December 24, 2009 (10:10 AM)
It's interesting how this bends back on the distrust people already have of spammers...and despite the usual bad grammar, this is cleverly done, with lots of manipulative tactics I'm sure we've all seen. I'm glad my spam filter didn't squelch this one.
DIRECTOR OF PUBLICITY SAYS EVERYONE CLAM UP
RE: PAYMENT OF FOUR HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND GB POUNDS TO INTERNET SCAMMED VICTIMS.
I am delegated from our company to pay internet scammed victim the total sum of four Hundred and Fifty Thousand GB Pounds (GB ?450 000.00) each. Your particulars was mentioned by one of the syndicates using the name of our company who was arrested here in London as one of the victims of the operations.
During the last general meetings held at Norwich - London, it was alarmed so much by the rest of the world in the meetings on the lose of funds by various foreigners to the scams artists operating in syndicates with our company's name today, in other to retain the good image of our company, we are now paying victims of this operators four Hundred and Fifty Thousand GB Pounds (GB? 450 000.00) each.
Presently I am in Lisbon Portugal for an investment projects. You are to contact my secretary via his email address as soon as possible to assist you to claim your four Hundred and Fifty Thousand GB Pounds (GB? 450 000.00) compensations funds. His contact is as below.
Name: Mr. Steve Woodgate
You can receive your compensations payments via bank draft or bank transfer; he shall feed you with further modalities as soon as he hears from you. And you are hereby warned NOT to communicate or duplicate this message to those internet scammers for any reason what so ever, the British secret service is already on trace of the criminal acting as job agent.
Mr. Andy Morgan
Director of Publicity.