Game Review: Overlord

22 Sep 2017 12:07 am
green_knight: (Skyrim)
[personal profile] green_knight
[expanded from the review I posted on Steam]

Review and Discussion )


Bonus review-let: Forced.

Forced, Gamification of Games, Player vs. Designer )

So, yeah. I am learning something about gaming, game design, or myself from every game I play, and I am glad I seem to have broken through the mountain of shame (OMG, so much stuff I've never played, best never look at them) and guilt (OMG, so much wasted money). I no longer feel compelled to 'give every game a fair chance' just because I once spent money on it. (Frequently, in bundle deals, I did not even set out to buy all of the games.)

Overall, I spend less than £5/month on games and, overall, I enjoy gaming. I'm not going to get the same amount of fun out of every game, but if I can average a couple of hours of fun for every £5 I pay, that's actually not bad value for money.

They must be told

21 Sep 2017 12:26 pm
pjthompson: quotes (quotei)
[personal profile] pjthompson

Random quote of the day:

“Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can’t remember who we are or why we’re here.

—Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Lucy and Ethel, Justin Bieber, or the Kardashian Klan. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Mirrored from Better Than Dead.

asakiyume: (feathers on the line)
[personal profile] asakiyume
I'm doing a little bit of writing with some adult learners (there may be some high school students in this class as well)--just ten minutes or so. I don't have any pedagogical reason to believe this is beneficial, except for believing that when people have pleasant experiences doing something, then that thing becomes less daunting. In other words, maybe, if the students enjoy this time writing, they'll feel more able to tackle the sort of writing you need to do to clear the hurdles in front of them. But even if that's not the case, I think people deserve a chance and a place to try out writing, just for its own sake and their own sake. So.

My first prompt for them was this quote from Fred Rogers: "You can grow ideas in the garden of your mind," which I recalled from this autotuned song made from that and other remarks of his.

I showed them some gardens.

A garden in Holyoke, created by "self-proclaimed plant geeks":


(Source)

Randyland, the garden created by Randy Gilson, a waiter and son of a single mom, in Pittsburgh, PA:


(Source)

The magic gardens of Isaiah Zagar in Philadelphia:


(Source)

The blooming Cadillacs at the Cadillac ranch in Amarillo, Texas:


(Source is this Google image, whose original location is given as this video.)

The famous Zen garden at Ryōanji, in Kyoto, Japan:


(Source)

And I said, even when you think a place is barren, nothing growing, life pushes through, like in this parking lot in Boston:


(Source)

And then I asked them--what's growing in the garden of your mind? Several people wrote that they felt like the parking lot and talked about worries, but one wrote about a painting she's planning, and another compared his mind to a potato (and gave me a diagram to show it growing). It was wonderful.

What's growing in the garden of *your* mind, these days?

Down Portalville Way – Chaos

20 Sep 2017 04:25 pm
pjthompson: (bigfoot)
[personal profile] pjthompson

1. Let me thread you a story…(1-30)
2. Mayor Begay has been in office for some time now. We like the job he does and the way he cares for all the people of Portalville.
3. Weren’t always that way. We had us a mayor before who caused nothing but hard feelings and chaos. Mayor Covfefe.
4. As I’ve said before, folks in Portalville are generally accepting of everybody, but even good folks get scared sometimes.
5. If you’ve got an unscrupulous sumbich who likes chaos and playing on people’s fears it’s sometimes hard to break through the stramash,
6. and get people thinking sensibly once more. Mayor Covfefe was one of those sorts. Took over the City Council with his pack of yes men,
7. forcing agendas on the town nobody really liked but were too scared to oppose. Nobody trusted anybody else, see, and figured everyone
8. was out to get them, so no one wanted to listen to what others said without starting a yelling match.
9. So much screaming in the extremes when most folks just wanted to negotiate some peace that the City Council ground to a halt.
10. Weren’t no business getting done, or only what business lined the pockets of Mayor Covfefe and his cronies.
11. They tried to shred every principle we held dear here in Portalville, violating city by-laws like confetti.
12. Pretty soon folks was yelling at each other over every tiny thing that came along and forming parties of folk yelling in the same key.
13. We had us the Portalville League of Lawyers threatening to file suit over anyone who didn’t agree with them.
14. Fortunately, they mostly couldn’t agree with each other so their suits went nowhere or were easily dismissed by Judge Mathead.
15. Then we had us the Portalville League of Opposition. They didn’t really have a point of view except that they were in opposition…
16. to everyone else in town. “What are you opposing?” people would ask. “What have you got?” they’d answer.
17. The Portalville League of Witches got so fed up they put reversal spells on half the town. So many folks walked around
18. with heads on backwards they didn’t know if they was coming or going & got a much closer look at bodily functions than they ever wanted.
19. Finally, Sherman Begay, the town shoemaker, had enough. He formed the Portalville League of the Beleaguered to try to reassert sense.
20. Bar-Bar Shumay was one of the first to join, followed by Madame Mosibelle Nimby and her son Rupert.
21. They held giant clear-seeing resistance rallies where everyone who showed up got the scales lifted from their eyes.
22. Pretty soon, folks saw that Mayor Covfefe was a minor god of chaos, although no god of chaos is ever truly minor.
23. His magic had scared folks into going against their better nature, against what they knew was right.
24. (Then again, some folks ain’t got better natures and think right is only what is right for them. Even the most powerful magic
25. can’t do nothing to heal that kind of perversion. What’s required to fight them folks is a really big stick.)
26. Fear is a great motivator, but I got to believe love is, too. Once Sherman Begay, & Bar-Bar, & the Nimbys broke through the shouting,
27. let people see the truth, most folks came around. They realized that loving your neighbor wasn’t just a passel of pretty-sounding words.
28. It’s a way forward, a commitment to doing what’s right for the whole community.
29. Folks decided that they’d rather live in harmony than have their own way in every tiny thing. Compromise became a holy tenet.
30. Come next election, Mayor Covfefe lost by a landslide. And that’s how the new mayor, Sherman Begay the shoemaker, saved our souls.

This tale can also be found on Twitter @downportalville.

Mirrored from Better Than Dead.

The deep within

20 Sep 2017 10:40 am
pjthompson: quotes (quotei)
[personal profile] pjthompson

Random quote of the day:

“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

—Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Lucy and Ethel, Justin Bieber, or the Kardashian Klan. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Mirrored from Better Than Dead.

Humblebundle: Shadows of Mordor

19 Sep 2017 08:56 pm
green_knight: (Skyrim)
[personal profile] green_knight
This remains one of my favourite games. I am nowhere near finishing it, and it's not an _easy_ game to play, but I love sneaking up on Uruk-hai and stabbing them in the back...

(The trick for this game is that you have to think in three dimensions: climbing up and jumping down are very much a part of it.)

It's the 'pay-what-you-want' bundle, so currently at $6.11 as I speak, and if you've been wanting to pick it up, now might be a good time.

Me? I'm bitter and twisted that the next offering will be Windows-only. (I seem to recall that Shadows of Mordor also took some time to be ported, so I still have hopes.)

And no, I would not pay $80 for a preorder - I have too many games to play - but still - I'd like to play Shadow of War eventually.

Alone in love

19 Sep 2017 10:33 am
pjthompson: quotes (quotei)
[personal profile] pjthompson

Random quote of the day:

“I used to say that the only thing better than being alone was to be seriously in love.”

—Jack Gilbert, The Paris Review, Fall/Winter 2005, No. 175

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Lucy and Ethel, Justin Bieber, or the Kardashian Klan. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Mirrored from Better Than Dead.

asakiyume: (Timor-Leste nia bandiera)
[personal profile] asakiyume
If you're going to meet an actual hero, a freedom fighter and former political prisoner who helped birth a new nation--that's YOU, Mr. Xanana Gusmão--you would do well not to be 45 minutes late. Alas, Google maps misled me about how long it would take me to drive from my house to the Pell Center, in Newport, Rhode Island, where Mr. Gusmão and a panel of distinguished experts were going to be talking about the future of Timor-Leste. And then I made a wrong turn at the very end and got lost. By the time I was driving down Bellevue Avenue, past RIDONCULOUS mansions, I was more than a half-hour late. But damn it! I did not drive all that way just to ... go home again.

Finally I found the place. A guy waiting in a bus kitted out like a trolley told me yes, this was it.

The talk was happening in a room with gilded Baroque-style accents.


Source

between entering and **the kiss** )

I hung back in the hallway, hoping to somehow say something, anything, to Xanana. I knew I wouldn't really ask him if he could shapeshift, or if he'd like to collaborate with me in writing a story based on this experience, and I didn't want to just gush that I was a fan, but I wanted to say **something**.

And I got my chance. He walked by and saw my expectant face and stopped and smiled at me. And I started blurting out that one small thing he'd done that made me admire him was get out and direct traffic one day in Dili, when there was a traffic jam. I think I said more presidents should do things like that. But before I got two words out, he had lifted my hand to his lips and kissed it, all the while looking at me with an expression of friendly affection.

I can see why people would die for him--or better yet, live and struggle for him. He was EVERY BIT as charismatic as I thought he would be, and then some.


source

Little big things

18 Sep 2017 10:55 am
pjthompson: quotes (quotei)
[personal profile] pjthompson

Random quote of the day:

“Little things are big.”

—Yogi Berra, What Time Is It? You Mean Now? by Yogi Berra and Dave Kaplan

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Lucy and Ethel, Justin Bieber, or the Kardashian Klan. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Mirrored from Better Than Dead.

green_knight: (Default)
[personal profile] green_knight
This is part 'moar spoons' and part displacement, but I've started to work through some of the assorted games I have, with the goal of at least touching each game for a bit and either enjoying them or ditching them altogether.

7 Mages
7 impossible moves before dinner )

And that's just the tutorial. Nope, nope, nopety nope.

Casual Games x4 )

Don't know what I'll play next, I'll probably burn through a number of casual/freebie games next week before going back to Skyrim.
pjthompson: (bigfoot)
[personal profile] pjthompson

  1. Let me thread you a story… (1-17)
  2. Portalville has been on summer vacation. Yep, that’s right, the whole danged town. We needed a break from our day-to-day reality.
  3. So we hired us a whole mess of buses and drove them through the portal after which Portalville is named.
  4. We came out in another plain of existence, somewhere folks could all agree about things and where no one felt better than anyone else.
  5. Clearly, not any place on this earth.
  6. Now, Portalville is a pretty friendly place under normal circumstances and we mostly get along with each other right nice.
  7. But sometimes it all gets a bit much, especially when outside agitators come to town and demand we take sides in their outside arguments.
  8. It gets wearying, and if you add into that the tendency of most folks in town towards summer seasonal affective disorder…
  9. Well, like I said, time for a break. So, Mayor Begay ordered up those buses. We had the dire wolves manning the barricades on Route 40,
  10. let the Rock tribe seal up the passes through the Imogen Mountains, and told Dennis the Toll Troll to shut down the Wynotte Bridge—
  11. although the mayor told him he still wasn’t allowed to eat anyone who tried to cross. We sure hope he kept his word there.
  12. With the town sealed off from the world and our minds at ease about invasion, we took to the portal and had us a fine time.
  13. ‘Course, vacation always has to end sometime. The kids had to get back to school, the maintenance crews had to get back to work.
  14. And running away from problems never does any good in the long run. Not while you’re a living, breathing human being.
  15. Ain’t none of us dead yet, and while you’re drawing air into your lungs you need to be part of the world. Or you ain’t really living.
  16. So yep, we’re back. We’re still breathing. For now, anyway. All I can truly say for sure is that we’re back for today.
  17. But then, today is all you ever have, ain’t it?

This tale can also be found on Twitter @downportalville.

Mirrored from Better Than Dead.

Dancing sense

15 Sep 2017 09:55 am
pjthompson: quotes (quotei)
[personal profile] pjthompson

Random quote of the day:

“Common sense and a sense of humour are the same things, moving at different speeds. A sense of humour is just common sense, dancing.”

—Clive James, “Exploring the Medium,” The Observer, 4 February 1979

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Lucy and Ethel, Justin Bieber, or the Kardashian Klan. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Mirrored from Better Than Dead.

pjthompson: quotes (quotei)
[personal profile] pjthompson

Random quote of the day:

“Books don’t offer real escape, but they can stop a mind scratching itself raw.”

—David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Lucy and Ethel, Justin Bieber, or the Kardashian Klan. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Mirrored from Better Than Dead.

Wise

13 Sep 2017 09:55 am
pjthompson: quotes (quotei)
[personal profile] pjthompson

Random quote of the day:

“There is absolutely zero correlation between intelligence and wisdom.”

—Junot Diaz, interview, National Public Radio, September 11, 2012

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Lucy and Ethel, Justin Bieber, or the Kardashian Klan. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Mirrored from Better Than Dead.

a Garnet fan

12 Sep 2017 11:32 pm
asakiyume: created by the ninja girl (Default)
[personal profile] asakiyume
I was driving to the post office, and I noticed that the car in front of me had a sticker of Garnet, from Steven Universe, on the back of the car. Also, the car was from out of state.

Garnet



I haven't watched much Steven Universe, but I've really enjoyed the few episodes I've seen. I felt warmly toward that car. Then, coincidence of coincidences, it turned into the post office parking lot too. "Wow, someone from New York is going to the post office here in B'town," I thought, and also, "I can tell them how much I like their Garnet sticker." I followed the driver into the post office. They got in line; I had to fill out a customs form, so I was standing nearby.

"Excuse me," I said.

"Oh!" they said, startled, and made to get out of my way.

"No, no--you're fine! I just wanted to say, I really like your Garnet sticker, on your car."

"Oh!" they said again, but a pleased and happy one this time. "Thanks!"

Then it was their turn at the counter. On their way out they smiled at me and said goodbye.

I had no clue what gender, if any, they were, but they inhabited their skin and their space with a pleasant, easy charm. They looked more or less like this:

(no subject)

12 Sep 2017 07:35 pm
tolcath: A daylily flower. (Default)
[personal profile] tolcath
Did a little watering today and moved a few plants around in the shade bed. It's not shady enough for the three more ferns I have in pots - the shadiest places are filled. The astilbe look pretty unhappy; I think they wanted more water. A couple of things may have vanished. The thalictrum r. did better - at least the one that survived did.

I have a reserve of autumn crocus in the corn bed, luckily, because I can only find one in the garden beds proper, and that one is buried at the end of the shade bed. I may have to dig out some of the white iris and some other plant, but carefully, or I'll dig the autumn crocus bulb and kill it.

Have lost most of my knitting enthusiasm but am hoping it comes back enough to finish at least a few half-finished things. Thinking about finishing some miniature furniture kits soon. Soon, before it's too cold to have windows open for ventilation.

The rotted onions from a couple of months ago left a smell in the garage that isn't gone but has gotten worse. I will have to clear out that area and see if I can find the residue, I guess, or it will be there forever.

It was a gorgeous day. I watched three birds flirting about in the tops of the neighbor's trees before the sun started to set. Now the trees are almost black and in the sky behind them I can just see a faintly darker cloud blowing northeast in the blue.

Water music

12 Sep 2017 10:46 am
pjthompson: quotes (quotei)
[personal profile] pjthompson

Random quote of the day:

“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”

—Berthold Auerbach, On the Heights (tr. Fanny Elizabeth Bunnett)

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Lucy and Ethel, Justin Bieber, or the Kardashian Klan. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Mirrored from Better Than Dead.

#amreading

11 Sep 2017 11:45 pm
green_knight: (Default)
[personal profile] green_knight
I just finished - well, finished Saturday night after going to bed - Stephanie Burgis' Snowspelled, which I thoroughly enjoyed, with a big fat caveat: its (perceived-by-me) weaknesses seem very much intended. This is a short book - not much beyond novella length - and it's very clearly influenced by Genre Romance, though that is not the main focus.

This is an alternate Regency story, with lots of magic and interesting politics and a main character who messed up her life really badly and now has to come to terms with that failure. And who _then_ stumbles into a political intrigue of great urgency which has to take precedence over her personal challenges. It's well-written, amusing, has characters you want to hang out with because they are _nice people_, and an interesting magic system. (Through absolutely no fault of its own it clashed a little with the Fey *I* am writing about, but for the duration of the book, I could put that aside.)

'Why, despite keeping me up beyond midnight, this is not my kind of book )

So if you like alternate regencies, particularly one where women DO worry about politics, this is an enjoyable offering. I'll probably pick up the next one, but I don't think I will reread it too often, and I don't intend to buy it in paperback.

slow gin

8 Sep 2017 12:29 pm
asakiyume: (nevermore)
[personal profile] asakiyume
Actually it's sloe gin, after the dark berries ("her eyes were sloe black") that flavor it, but I've always liked thinking of it as slow gin, moving so leisurely, like this phantasmagoric swan metamorphosing slowly, genie-from-a-bottle style, from? I guess? the still in which the gin was made?

Wakanomori brought this bottle back--full--from England, and I did drink it slowly, in tiny sake cups, but somehow now it's gone! Maybe that means the swan is now free, but I missed its triumphant departure.

pretty label



Image from Edward Gorey's Gashlycrumb Tinies, this version at goreystore.com.

But was it sloe gin, Zillah? And did you see the swan's broad wings and bandit mask? Swans are bastards, I'm told, but if you fling your arms around their long necks, they may still carry you places--especially you so tiny and they so big.

Qué pasa, baby?

8 Sep 2017 09:31 am
pjthompson: quotes (quotei)
[personal profile] pjthompson

Random quote of the day:

“Birthdays are soul chasers, ghost bounty hunters that track you down to ask the usual question, ‘Qué pasa, baby?’”

—Jim Harrison, The Raw and the Cooked: Adventures of a Roving Gourmand

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Lucy and Ethel, Justin Bieber, or the Kardashian Klan. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Mirrored from Better Than Dead.

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wayfaringwordhack

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