yhlee: icosahedron (d20) (d20 (credit: bag_fu on LJ))
[personal profile] yhlee
Raph Koster's A Theory of Fun for Game Design (2nd ed.) has been on my wishlist for something like the past five years. I picked it up recently by ordering it through my local game store (which is technically also a bookstore and is in the process of signing on with distributors or however that goes). It is an absolute delight.

I'm glad I sprung for the hardcopy of this for two reasons: one, I like to mark up my nonfiction, and two, its formatting! The left-hand page in every two-page spread is text; the right-hand page has an illustration related to the material on the left-hand page. While the illustrations are not technically the most accomplished, they are generally extremely effective communicative cartoons or diagrams.

This book comes with a ton of blurbs, and Cory Doctorow's--"Does for games what Understanding Comics [by Scott McCloud] did for sequential art"--pretty much sums up how I feel. I've read other game design books that were insightful, or thorough, but the Koster is accessible and very interesting in its approach to what makes games games, and how to make them fun (in the instances where that's a thing--cf. Brenda Romero's Train).

One of Koster's arguments is that "with games, learning is the drug" (40)--a game that interests us is one that strikes the necessary balance of not too easy (Tic-Tac-Toe, for most adults) and not too hard (multiple failure modes possible, depending on the individual--witness me and chess or go [1]). He suggests that games (and play, which is common in a lot of young animals!) are an artifact of how we try to learn survival skills, and moves forward into making suggestions as to how to move the form forward into values/skills more suitable for the modern era than "kill things" or "jump over things" or "search for all the things."

[1] Joe gave up on teaching me go when I told him I have severe difficulty with visual patterns. In fact, I am starting to wonder if aphantasia just screws me over for this kind of game in general. :p

There's also a particularly interesting chapter on ethics and entertainment where he discusses the difference between the game system and the flavor/dressing:

The bare mechanics of a game may indeed carry semantic freighting, but odds are that it will be fairly abstract. A game about aiming is a game about aiming, and there's no getting around that. It's hard to conceive of a game about aiming that isn't about shooting, but it has been done--there are several gmaes where instead of shooting bullets with a gun, you are instead shooting pictures with a camera. (170)

The bare mechanics of the game do not determine its meaning. Let's try a thought experiment. Let's picture a mass murder game wherein there is a gas chamber shaped like a well. You the player are dropping innocent victims down into the gas chamber, and they come in all shapes and sizes. There are old ones and young ones, fat ones and tall ones. As they fall to the bottom, they grab onto each other and try to form human pyramids to get to the top of the well. Should they manage to get out, the game is over and you die. But if you pack them in tightly enough, the ones on the bottom succumb to the gas and die.

I do not want to play this game. Do you? Yet it is Tetris. (172)

In general, Koster has a background in game design AND writing AND music, and he draws on all three in his analysis of games, as well as other disciplines (e.g. psychology). It makes the book a scintillating read. I can't believe I waited so long to read this--but it was exactly what I wanted to read last week, so hey. Highly recommended.
umadoshi: (W13 - Claudia crying (vampire_sessah))
[personal profile] umadoshi
When I posted about A Girl and Her Fed last week, I mentioned that [dreamwidth.org profile] davidgillon had warned me that the very beginning of Act 2 of the comic had a major spoiler for the as-yet-unwritten/unpublished Rachel Peng novels.

I did indeed press on, bracing myself for a spoiler. (And now I'm completely up to date on the comic; yesterday was the first new installment I read as a Caught-Up Reader. I think the only material I have left to read now is the handful of mixed comics/prose shorts on Spangler's store site, and I've made it as far as buying them all.) And many things happened, because there'd been a five-year timeskip since the first act of the comic, and I thought, "Okay, I don't know which of these things is the spoiler [dreamwidth.org profile] davidgillon mentioned, but many things happen very early in Act 2 that leave things in a very different place than they are as of the published Rachel books, so presumably it was one of those..."

Except then I read all the way back through the posts at [tumblr.com profile] agirlandherfed, and due to a couple of Asks there, the nature of the early-Act 2 spoiler was spelled out.

It was an offhand reference--a panel's worth of mention, at most--and so far the comic hasn't mentioned it again, and I completely failed to process it for what it was. But now, belatedly, I know.

And my heart broke a little.

Face Off through 3.1

21 Aug 2017 22:21
yhlee: rose in a hexagon (hxx emblem Andan)
[personal profile] yhlee
Read more... )

Also, now I have an incredible desire to watch the Clone Wars cartoon so I will have to save up for the DVDs. Maybe Christmas? XD

(no subject)

21 Aug 2017 23:03
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
This isn't really a post. It's a notice that I am still alive and hope to post tomorrow. Today kind of wrecked me, and I must sleep.
yhlee: Sandman raven with eyeball (Sandman raven (credit: rilina))
[personal profile] yhlee
For S.B.
Prompt: hexarchate, "calendrical sword."

Ajewen Cheris and her girlfriend Linnis Orua paused outside the shop. A banner of ink painted onto silk fluttered in the flirtatious artificial breeze. Orua had grown up on a station with less naturalistic ideas of aesthetics, and found this dome-city with its aleatory weather nerve-wracking. She still spooked whenever there was a wind, which entertained Cheris because Orua also had long, luxurious waves of hair that rippled beautifully. "We were always told to be aware of strange air currents as a possible sign of carapace breach!" Orua had protested when Cheris teased her about it.

"Blades for All Occasions," Cheris read. She had been saving for this moment throughout the first two years of academy, and practicing for it besides. Orua didn't understand her fondness for the sport of dueling, but she had agreed to come along for moral support.

"Well, no sense in lingering outside," Orua said. She grinned at Cheris and walked forward. The door swooshed open for her.

Cheris followed her in. A tame (?) falcon on a perch twisted its head sideways to peer at her as she entered. The falcon was either genetically engineered or dyed or even painted, although she wasn't sure how she felt about any of those alternatives: its primary feathers shaded from black to blood red, with striking metallic gold bands toward the tips. It looked gaudy as hell and quintessentially Kel.

Orua was busy suppressing a giggle at the falcon's aesthetics. Cheris poked her in the side to get her to stop and looked around the displays, wide-eyed. Her eyes stung suspiciously at the sight of all those weapons, everything from tactical knives to ornamented daggers with rough-hewn gems in their pommels and pragmatic machetes.

But best of all were the calendrical swords. Deactivated, they looked deceptively harmless, bladeless hilts of metal in varying colors and finishes. Cheris's gaze was drawn inexorably to one made of voidmetal chased in gold, with an unusual basket hilt. It was showy, extremely Kel, and an invitation to trouble. Only a cadet who had an exemplary record and was an excellent duelist would dare carry such a calendrical sword. And besides, the lack of a price tag told her there was no way she could afford it even if she could, in honor, lay claim to such a thing.

Cheris sighed, then looked up into her girlfriend's eyes. "I wish," she said, her voice soft.

"Let me help you pick," Orua said, ignoring the sales assistant who was watching them imperturbably with his arms folded behind his back.

Cheris blinked. "I thought you didn't know anything about dueling?" she teased. Orua paid more attention to the special effects and makeup on dueling shows than the actual dueling.

"I don't know anything about dueling," Orua said, as the sales assistant radiated disapproval. "But I know a lot about you." Her eyes turned sly, and Cheris hoped that Orua wouldn't get too specific here of all places. She grabbed Cheris's hand and tugged her along to a completely different display. "Look!"

At first Cheris wasn't impressed by the calligraphy-stroke plainness of the calendrical swords on display. Then she saw that that the metal evinced a faint iridescence, like that of a raven's feather. She particularly liked the one whose textured design incorporated the first digits of the base of the natural logarithm.

Orua stooped to whisper right in Cheris's ear, "Tonight I'm going to see how many digits of that number you can recite before I get you to--"

"I'll buy this one," Cheris interrupted, very loudly, and pointed.

Unseen, the sales assistant and Orua exchanged winks.
emceeaich: A woman in glasses with grey hair, from the eyes up, wearing a hairband with 'insect antenna' deelie-boppers (bugmaster)
[personal profile] emceeaich

It's the weekly report on the state of triage in Firefox-related components. I apologize for missing last week’s report. I was travelling and did not have a chance to sit down and focus on this.


The components with the most untriaged bugs remain the JavaScript Engine and Build Config.

I discussed the JavaScript bugs with Naveed. What will happen is that the JavaScript bugs which have not been marked as a priority for Quantum Flow (the ‘\[qf:p[1:3]\]’ whiteboard tags) or existing work (the ‘\[js:p[1:3]\]’ whiteboard tags) will be moved to the backlog (P3) for review after the Firefox 57 release. See https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1392436.

**Rank**   **Component**                  **2017-08-07**   **This Week**
---------- ------------------------------ ---------------- ---------------
1          Core: JavaScript Engine        449              471
2          Core: Build Config             429              450
3          Firefox for Android: General   411              406
4          Firefox: General               242              246
5          Core: General                  234              235
6          Core: XPCOM                    176              178
7          Core: JavaScript: GC           —                168
8          Core: Networking               —                161
           All Components                 8,373            8,703

Please make sure you’ve made it clear what, if anything will happen with these bugs.

Not sure how to triage? Read https://wiki.mozilla.org/Bugmasters/Process/Triage.

Next Release

**Version**                               56      56      56      56      57    57     57         
----------------------------------------- ------- ------- ------- ------- ----- ------ -------
**Date**                                  7/10    7/17    7/24    7/31    8/7   8/14   8/14       
**Untriaged this Cycle**                  4,525   4,451   4,317   4,479   479   835    1,196      
**Unassigned Untriaged this Cycle**       3,742   3,682   3,517   3,674   356   634    968        
**Affected this Upcoming Release (56)**           111     126     139     125   123    119        
**Enhancements**                          102     107     91      103     3     5      11         
**Orphaned P1s**                          199     193     183     192     196   191    183        
**Stalled P1s**                           195     173     159     179     157   152    155        

What should we do with these bugs? Bulk close them? Make them into P3s? Bugs without decisions add noise to our system, cause despair in those trying to triage bugs, and leaves the community wondering if we listen to them.

Methods and Definitions

In this report I talk about bugs in Core, Firefox, Firefox for Android, Firefox for IOs, and Toolkit which are unresolved, not filed from treeherder using the intermittent-bug-filer account*, and have no pending needinfos.

By triaged, I mean a bug has been marked as P1 (work on now), P2 (work on next), P3 (backlog), or P5 (will not work on but will accept a patch).

A triage decision is not the same as a release decision (status and tracking flags.)


Age of Untriaged Bugs

The average age of a bug filed since June 1st of 2016 which has gone without triage.


Untriaged Bugs in Current Cycle

Bugs filed since the start of the Firefox 55 release cycle (March 6th, 2017) which do not have a triage decision.


Recommendation: review bugs you are responsible for (https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/page.cgi?id=triage_owners.html) and make triage decision, or RESOLVE.

Untriaged Bugs in Current Cycle Affecting Next Release

Bugs marked status_firefox56 = affected and untriaged.


Enhancements in Release Cycle

Bugs filed in the release cycle which are enhancement requests, severity = enhancement, and untriaged.

​Recommendation: ​product managers should review and mark as P3, P5, or RESOLVE as WONTFIX.

High Priority Bugs without Owners

Bugs with a priority of P1, which do not have an assignee, have not been modified in the past two weeks, and do not have pending needinfos.


Recommendation: review priorities and assign bugs, re-prioritize to P2, P3, P5, or RESOLVE.

Stalled High Priority Bugs

There 159 bugs with a priority of P1, which have an assignee, but have not been modified in the past two weeks.


Recommendation: review assignments, determine if the priority should be changed to P2, P3, P5 or RESOLVE.

* New intermittents are filed as P5s, and we are still cleaning up bugs after this change, See https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1381587, https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1381960, and https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1383923

If you have questions or enhancements you want to see in this report, please reply to me here, on IRC, or Slack and thank you for reading.

I am fail

21 Aug 2017 18:01
yhlee: Drop Ships from Race for the Galaxy (RTFG)
[personal profile] yhlee
I'm not going to do it but I crave to someday write a training cruise/school/dance academy/conservatory/??? mashup disaster story.

Alas, I have this novel to work on. :p 2,000 words on Dragon Pearl today! (I'm doing revisions, but I had to rip out a few chapters that weren't working and replace them with all-new ones, always thrilling.)
surovmag: (Default)
[personal profile] surovmag
Сегодня вышло солнце, но задул холодный ветер, так что желающие повялиться на солнце снова обломались


doubt72: (Default)


...to my Dreamwidth blog, full of text and images and occasionally, perhaps, media. Especially media.

December 2015

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