So I've decided to try listing out my triggers, in hopes that putting them in the context of a large and frequently contradictory list makes it clearer that I'm not necesarily making a moral statement etc, and so I have something to link to when I'm feeling too freaked out to explain things. Some of these things I do have an ethical/moral objection to, but my emotional reaction is totally out of proportion, and there are other things I have zero objection to as long as I can avoid them personally.
I am not up for arguing about any of these (and it's not like you can convince me not to be triggered! That's not how triggers work!), but I can possibly offer clarification.
WARNING: Contains a whole bunch of common triggers!
( All the triggers, ALL OF THEM )
Diabolik Lovers (ep 1): So since I'm making a dating sim about vampires it made sense to watch the anime adaptation of the Dating Sim About Vampires. But as expected it was really not my thing: it's all creepy vampire dudes stockholm syndroming the sweet protagonist. At one point a sexy evil lady vampire showed up briefly but I looked up spoilers and that plot does not go anywhere I'd enjoy. Still, it was interesting as research, and now I'll know more context when people talk about it.
Monument Valley: fantastic, beautiful, understated little phone puzzle game. You are a little girl wandering minimalist fantasy landscapes with Escher-esque topology that uses forced perspective in very creative ways. I found it fairly easy, there are a few minor timing puzzles I didn't always like. It reminded me a lot of Journey.
Descent (Dragon Age Inquisition DLC): really not worth $25, but otherwise moderately entertaining Deep Roads story. Focused very much on two not very interesting DLC-only NPCs with basically no other background characters and nothing for the companions to say or do. Some mildly interesting environments and dwarf related worldbuilding, but the (level adjusted) fights were difficult and dragged on and on, making the fun bits feel stretched out. Sidequests were dull as dishwater.
Cute Demon Crashers: Cute free sex positive dating (well, friends with benefits) sim. A college girl gets to know 3 incubi and a succubus and possibly has sex with one. Strong emphasis on consent and fluffy happiness: you can say no at any time and there are no bad endings. I did the f/f path and it was endearing but a bit too sex focussed for me (which I knew it would be but THE ART WAS TOO CUTE) The demons are all aromantic, it's the fantasy of the perfect calm, knowledgeable, non judgemental older partner with no expectations who wants nothing for themselves but to make you happy. Which is not really my thing (I prefer pining losers haha) but is certainly a contrast to the Diabolik Lovers style love interest.
Dark Parables: Ballad of Rapunzel: Servicable continuation of this series of fairy tale themed hidden object games.
Love Chronicles: Salvation: really quite terrible hidden object game. I didn't mind the previous games in the series but this is set in a demon underworld and is just ugly and unpleasant, and the puzzles aren't much fun.
Unexpected science festival in the city! I GOT TO HUG A CHICKEN.
Tasty food I could eat at a wheelchair accessible place I'd never been before, and another place discovered to try later!(*)
The local IGA having frozen cubed pumpkin!
And something people may find interesting: I finally got around to attending a Perth Science Fiction Fans meetup. It was fun! 10-12 people, roughly equal mix of genders, with an average age of about 30 but going up to maybe 60. The conversation tended to be about current mainstream tv shows/The MCU etc but there were some digressions into Asimov and anime etc. Despite the username no Dr Who, Supernatural, or Sherlock was mentioned. Everyone was friendly and welcoming. I only lasted an hour before getting sleepy, I don't know how things progressed after that.
If you subscribe to the group you get all the meeting updates and can just go when it suits you. I've been subscribed for like...a year, but now I know they're fun will probably go again much sooner. Most are at the Dome in Perth, I didn't bother looking at the menu but it's fairly wheelchair accessible.
(*)Today: the Malaysian restaurant PappaRich, next time the Asian dessert place Sweetfix, both on James st in Northbridge near Gelare.
Homestuck: deeply weird and eclectic huge long scifi humour horror interactive musical EXPERIENCE.
Freefall Gently funny and intelligent space opera about created intelligences and societies. Moves amazingly slowly, it's one of the oldest webcomics I know of still going and has covered like...3 days in universe.
Gunnerkrigg Court Bittersweet? Something like that. Fantasy set in a magical school.
Band vs Band Fun bubblegum about girl bands.
Family Man 18th century, university and (were)wolves. Very intelligent but a bit slow.
Girl Genius Steampunk and SCIENCE. Lots of fun.
TJ and Amal Finished roadtrip m/m romance. Really funny and sweet.
Johnny Wander Gag strips and strange, funny little stories.
Questionable Content Kind of like Friends but with more robots.
Something Positive cynically funny slice of life with a kind heart deep, deep down.
XKCD funny stick figure comics about science and life (hey someone might not have heard of it)
Chaos Life Funny gag comics, often slice of life.
Desden Codak Weird, beautifully drawn but confusing transhumanistish science fantasy.
All tend to have female main characters or a mixed-gender ensemble cast, and have a high possibility of canonical queerness and/or robots. I'm also still subscribed to Megatokyo but I don't actually read it, I just go "hey! it updated!" the way one enjoys a shooting star.
Borderlands: Fun, cool first person shooter set in a post apocalyptic/wild west-ish planet. I've played like half an hour but it was fun and I wasn't totally bad at it! You choose one of four pre-generated characters: a white woman, a black dude, and two white dudes.
Remnants of Isolation: A cute rpg by someone I know, about people escaping a prison for magic users. Again, haven't played for long but it was cute and interesting with a diverse cast.
And for both I need to find out if you can grind to make the game arbitrarily easy, cos then I'll be safe from getting stuck and not seeing the end. Once I know that I'll feel more motivated to trek all the way to the windows machine to play them :)
Genshiken (first two omnibuses): A slice of life comedy about a university club of anime/manga nerds who are all into porny doujinshi. Starts off very male dominated, ends up with more and more female yaoi fans. Fairly funny and charming and not as skeezy as it sounds, reminds me of both unisfa and fanfic fandom. Can be a bit...well, the author obviously respects his female characters, but it's written by, for, and about moderately conventional Japanese male nerds, talking a lot about sex. Also one of the characters cosplays as Hitler in a character title image WHY WHAT.
Snow White of the Red Hair (first 4 episodes): well made, fluffy, fairytale-ish wish fulfillment about a Miyazaki-esque feisty, hard working, sweet natured girl with unique red hair who overcomes adversity to strike her own path. Adversity seems to often take the form of dudes who are struck by her beauty but don't respect her agency, and she's usually rescued by her male friend who is clearly secretly in love with her but not saying anything because he respects her desire for freedom. In the first two episodes there's threats of being forced to be a concubine, but it's free of explicit sexualised violence or creepiness.
A Season for Scandal by Theresa Romain: This is an arranged marriage regency romance which was mostly quite enjoyable but occasionally so annoying I had to give up. Spoilers for why below the cut:( spoilers for A Season for Scandal )
Before I forget: my wheelchair kept refusing to turn every now and then, turned out some of the ball bearings had fallen out.
Other than that I have mostly been resting up for my colonoscopy on Tuesday. Urrgghhhh am looking forward to that being over! Have cooked up a large amount of chicken broth, and am going to make some jelly tomorrow.
I have had a total of ONE PERSON give me feedback on SOON, and that was Alice who is (a)my Copper Rose cowriter and (b)beta-ed the game in the first place. DID IT AT LEAST WORK IN LINUX, PEOPLE. YOU DON'T HAVE TO ACTUALLY PLAY IT TO THE END.
Being disabled has vastly cut down on my ability to do a lot of stuff, emotional labour included. I found presents increasingly stressful so just stopped doing them. Most of my friendships have gotten more distant and I don't see my family as much. But looking back I've always felt really guilty at being bad at certain kinds of emotional labour(*), I'm this weird mix of extrovert and...socially anxious or something (I've intermittently suspected myself of being on the autism spectrum) I tend to feel like it should just be ~natural and spontaneous~ and worthwhile in it's own right. I should just want to spend time with people because I am good and caring, and wanting to spend time with them means I will want to do the things that leads to it: sending cards and presents, making phone calls etc. And most of the time I don't want to do those things, I find them stressful and difficult and often unrewarding, even when in the long run I really like the person and enjoy their company. And I feel bad about that, and that bad feeling just makes everything more fraught.
But thinking of it as work is helpful. A friendly interaction doesn't have to be fun in it's own right, it's ok to think of it in cold/meta "I have not spoken to X person in a while, and I like them, I should maintain the friendship, what is the most efficient way to do that?" terms.
So I sent out short friendly texts to a few people I wish to better maintain friendships with! And it did make me happy, but it also made me stressed, so in and of itself I'm not sure it was a net positive experience. But two of them replied and we organised to hang out/skype and that made me (and hopefully them!) very happy. Hmm!
I'm finding it useful when approaching my inbox too. Like a lot of people I get overwhelmed by guilt about neglected correspondence, and thinking about replies in terms of what I want to achieve with them is making them less scary, especially when I remind myself that replying at all sends a positive message. But that it's ok to not reply sometimes, because it's work and I only have limited energy.
(the post has also got me thinking about the same gender related issues everyone else has been talking about, but I have nothing new to add there)
(*)I'm really good at other kinds, in that typical female-socialised way. And of course I'm sure that same socialisation is a big part of why I feel defective for not being good at other kinds.
Luckily the plan is to paint over everything like I did with the SOON backgrounds so it doesn't have to be pretty, just roughly the right colour and shape.
(*)And in that vein, am appreciating this course.
So! For the last few years I've been selling art, shirts, stickers, and cards at redbubble. I make very little money off this (about $20 a year, looking at my receipts), but I also put in very little effort. In general, I've found it a pretty positive experience just challenging myself to try and be at least semi professional, making polished designs I think people will like and then having people like them. I sold a lot more when I was adding works to groups, commenting on other people's art, and promoting things on social media. This is probably necessary wherever you go.
And now, all the options I know of, and what little I know of them. I have only used redbubble.
These all sell clothes, prints, cards, and homewares with original designs:
- redbubble The objects are fairly expensive even if you only add a small profit margin, but they're of reasonably high quality and the site is inviting for purchasers. The only criticism of redbubble I know of is that one time they refused to ban some offensive shirts, though I think they backpeddled after enough complaints. Also the shirt colours come out muted.
- Society 6 Very similar to redbubble as far as I can tell.
- Cafepress A bit cheaper/tackier, wide range of options, very easy to get started. You used to have to make a separate shop per design but I'm not sure you do any more.
- Zazzle similar to cafepress, apparently better quality.
- Threadless Send in tshirt designs, they get voted on and if you win you get a set payout of a thousand dollars or so.
- Teefury Send in tshirt designs, make $1 per shirt for 24 hours and keep your copyright.
- Spoonflower: sell fabric, gift paper, and wallpaper with repeating designs.
If you google "cafepress redbubble society 6" you get a bunch of people comparing them and suggesting several other sites I'd never heard of, as well as suggestions on how to use them best. I found How to Make Money with Zazzle Redbubble and Cafepress interesting. Apparently I make double the average of $10 per year /o\
Finally: while you're here, check out my redbubble follows and buy some of my friends' stuff ;) (though I'm not friends with tanaudel I just think she's cool)
Fandom: Original Work
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: Major Character Death
Additional Tags: Visual Novel, Canon - Original Game, Interactive, Games, Genderless, Choose Your Own Ending, choose your own gender, Humor, Science Fiction, Australia, Perth, Time Travel, Mad Scientists, Science, POV Character of Color, Disabled Character of Color, Canon Disabled Character
That Dr Fang thinks she's so special just because she solved global warming and never blew up any of Switzerland. But now you have a time machine and soon, soon they will ALL PAY.
A humourous visual novel. Choose your own gender, choose your own ending, choose your own path to GLORY! (or death. But hopefully glory)
Now in version 2.0 with SOUND and PRETTY PICTURES. There's also a text based Twine version.
I've posted some backgrounds and a tutorial to my tumblr. Feedback/bug reports would be fantastic. Anyone with a Linux machine who could just test that it runs and what the icon looks like would be greatly appreciated.
And now the THREE non Dragon Age arts I have drawn in the last six months, two for exchanges.
( Addicted to You, Original, Puella Magi Madoka Magica )
It's like a cross between Long Live The Queen and The Royal Trap: you're a noble from one of six not!18th century!European countries at a diplomatic summit, and your choices about skills and dialogue affect your success and relationships. You can choose to play on story mode which makes it easier to pass challenges and impossible to die, or challenge mode if you LIKE failing and dying (I have not played challenge mode. I have heard it is fun if you like that sort of thing)
It's only a demo, afaict it stops at the point where the plot would split into love interest (or lack thereof) specific paths, but it makes for a fairly satisfying little story as it is.
( No spoilers just more details )
A Season for Scandal by Stephanie Laurens: marriage of convenience regency romance I was enjoying until the Evil Irish Villain got a bit too irritating, will go back to it eventually.
Tsurimita: cheerful and deeply confusing story about teenage boys in a seaside town where one of them is...a fish? Or an alien? Or something?? I only got through the first episode, I may watch more when I don't mind being confused. The main character seems to have some sort of magical anxiety disorder (EDIT: apparently not magical)
( Read more... )
Inside Out: Pixar cgi odd couple roadtrip movie about anthropomorphised emotions inside an 11 year old girl's brain. I really liked it! The overall theme is growing up and accepting change and negative emotions and I thought this was done pretty well, even if it was about sane, relatively well adjusted people and I had bittersweet memories of my own much less cheery childhood. The psychology felt plausible and was apparently pretty good, I can see children (mentally ill or otherwise) finding it a useful way to conceptualise things. It wasn't THE BEST movie ever but it was funny and cathartic and had WAY more female characters than pretty much any other Pixar film: the three main characters are the girl Riley and the two female coded emotions Joy and Sadness, and the secondary characters are Riley's parents and the other three emotions who are two guys (Fear and Anger) and a woman (Disgust). I now ship Joy/Sadness which was unexpected. Not especially subversive, or diverse asides from gender but...it's Pixar :/
Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries: All caught up! Season 3 ends in a pretty satisfying place, even if it dragged a little in parts. They even briefly remembered she has a dead sister! EDIT: Have been reminded that it was actually kind of cheesy and odd, even if I enjoyed it anyway.
Utena: Am slowly rewatching this every now and then at TV night, it's interesting now I (vaguely) know how everything fits together, and I'm enjoying it. The remastered animation is surprisingly crisp. I am also enjoying watching my unspoiled friend react to everything :D
Love Chronicles: The Sword and the Rose: replayed the first Hidden Object game from Big Fish I encountered, it was actually pretty fun, the shallow plot suited my need to just click a bunch of puzzles mindlessly, the art is mostly very pretty and I really like the "building wacky devices" puzzles.
Fairway: Finished it! Played it through again! Definitely worth $5 if you like solitaire with variations and increasing difficulty.
Hmmmmmmm I know there were more but I have blanked entirely.
It's been a useful distraction to keep myself resting, Cam's going away for a week on Friday so I want to make sure I have my energy stored up for any emergencies I have to handle alone. I feel way more emotionally ready for it than I did for the trip six months ago, hooray for meds and therapy and nothing awful happening recently. Once again I have benefited from a Steam sale at just the right time, expect reviews of cheap games :)
It's a game about database searching, woo! WAIT NO IT'S ACTUALLY GOOD. Like a more non linear Analogue: A Hate Story, you are puzzling through a mystery via old logs. In this case, they're videos of a woman being interviewed about her missing husband. As you watch new videos you get new search terms to try, which leads to more videos. I haven't managed to get them all, but it's pretty easy to get the basic gist of the story. Really, I got the basic gist a few videos in, and the rest was just figuring out the (sometimes quite interesting!) details.
This very positive review is what inspired me to buy it, and I have to say I was a bit disappointed with the cheesiness of some of the twists, they allow for interesting story telling but I was expecting something more plausible and less "Oh I've seen this movie". But once I got over that I really enjoyed the game: the underlying story has issues, but it's told REALLY well. The non linear, player controlled aspect is very cleverly done, and the actress makes you care about not only her but the characters you never meet. Since I wasn't overwhelmed with admiration for the plot I haven't bothered untangling all the complicated clues that might clarify some of the ambiguity. But there's definitely some sneaky clues to puzzle out if you're inclined that way.
But I CAN'T FIGURE OUT HOW TO FIND ALL THE VIDEOS. I'm stuck at around 75% /o\ For anyone else in this boat, here's my search terms thus far, roughly categorised by number of videos returned. I'd ignore the one video words unless you get REALLY desperate, most of the time they were the already seen video where I'd heard the word. EDIT: Have seen them now, wasn't missing anything significant.
Note: without spoilers, the game deals with some heavy subjects. I mean, the first suggested search term is "murder", and it goes on from there.
( Spoilers! )
It's as expensive and pretentious as it looks but they HAD FOOD I COULD EAT and the staff were all very friendly and helpful, so I'd still rec it to anyone with dairy/soy/gluten/meat issues who's ok with most of the dishes containing raw vegetables or coconut (sigh) and drinking out of a jar.
I drank a blackberry smoothie made with their in house almond milk, which was SUPER creamy and quite nice once I added extra sugar (which Lily had thoughtfully brought with her, the provided sugar is all made from the nectar of coconut flowers) And at least the jar didn't have a handle. (WHAT'S WRONG WITH CUPS)
The only mains I could (mostly) eat was lupin tempeh with grilled mushrooms, quinoa, and cashew based creme fraiche. Would probably have been nicer with the mixed greens I had removed but was still pretty tasty once I added (pink) salt, and satisfyingly different from the usual things I eat out.
Lupin tempeh was less "a thing I can eat" and more "a thing I did not even realise was a food so let's give it a shot" and it tasted ok and didn't make me horribly ill but I think next time I'll ask them to replace it with an egg. I got the same "This tastes weird and will also probably make you sick" feeling I get from eating soy bean stuff, so congratulations on mimicking actual tempeh I guess? The creme fraiche, while satisfyingly creamy, was too sour for me to eat quite so much of.
I also had a free sample of the date and nut based peppermint fudge which was ok, but much like other date-and-nut based bars I've had. I think my main enjoyment was the peppermint, since I haven't been able to eat that in larger than free-sample level quantities for a few years. Looking at the site it has coconut oil in it because OF COURSE IT DOES.
All that cost $32. Right now I feel a little odd, but it was worth it to have a genuinely interesting and original meal. I don't get those very often. Lily can eat more of the menu and speaks well of all the mains she's tried.
And it was GREAT. We've been trying to organise a get together for LITERALLY YEARS but mutual health problems and distance made it difficult. But we prevailed and it was great!
I'm kind of sleepy now but not too wasted, and managed to write some
What I would like to be thus doing over the next few days: I have been WORKING ON WEDDING IS DESTINY. YES REALLY. I have about 4000 words written and am moderately confident I can get these wacky kids together within another 3-10K. (For those who have only tuned in recently, eg within the last three years, this is my eternal Anne/Mary Pride and Prejudice WIP that has not been updated since 2012)
And I just had a nice chat with lilysea!
Also my cat is adorable. We watched fish videos this morning and she was FASCINATED. And then it all got too intense and she went to sit somewhere else for a while.
Cam is going away in a couple of weeks for work but I have a bunch of games I got in the Steam sale and should be ok.
Natsuyuki Rendezvous: A bittersweet josei romance about a young man who falls for a florist but then comes into conflict with the ghost of her dead husband. About grief and love and moving on. I really liked it, it had a happy ending but still made me cry. The husband had what is heavily implied to be cancer since childhood, I thought the show did a pretty good job of showing the ways chronic illness can affect a relationship, and while it did have a young healthy guy telling an older sickly guy to give up on his wife seemed to have the reasonable moral that ill or dying people can make perfectly good partners, but dead people not so much. The "two guys fight over a girl" aspect was a little annoying sometimes but it makes the "women are not actually objects to be fought over and the first priority should be making them happy" point pretty clearly, and we got her point of view some of the time. I liked that neither of them are too Alpha Male Shoujo Hero, though I'm amused how similar the hero is to the floppy haired (and often taciturn) younger LIs from other josei like Gokusen and Kimi Wa Petto (thank you josei writers, floppy haired younger men are the best)
Fairway: A golf themed solitaire game which I have been quite enjoying. I found a lot of the golf aspects annoying and turned them off/skipped them, but as a game it's quite well designed, there's lots of levels of increasing difficulty and you can "grind" for money and wild cards. After 27 hours of play I've bought all the powerups, gotten all but one of the trophies, and gotten 3 stars on almost all the levels. Not sure I'll play much once I've done all that but I can see myself just playing through all the levels one by one and seeing how well I can do using as few wild cards as possible. Unlike Regency Solitaire the money you earn is always useful since you can use it to buy wild cards, though I am earning way more than I spend even on the trickiest levels.
At the start you wander around as the starting character and have the chance to talk to different people/do different things. At some point you trigger a cut scene/scene change etc, and there are multiple different ways to do this.
The game then switches to a new character with a different point of view, possibly even a flashback. This is chosen to connect to whatever scene you triggered last time. The game keeps switching between scenes, each scene chosen to connect with the story/plotlines created thus far. There will be scenes/plotlines that show up in every game but in different orders depending on the player's choices, and others that only show up in some games.
A simple example:
A1: You start out as character A, and can talk to B or C.
A2: something happens to continue A's plot
A3: something happens to continue A's plot
B1: Flashback to B's past where we play as B
B2: continuation of B flashback
C1: we flash to an assassin coming to murder C, play as the assassin
C2: Assassin plot continues
AC: Scene involving C and A
AB: Scene involving B and A
ABC: Assassin attacks, A, B and C defeat it. Everyone's arc is finished.
We always start with A1. If the player chooses to talk to B, the order would be:
A1 B1 A2 B2 AC C1 A3 C2 ABC
If they talk to C it would be:
A1 C1 A2 C2 AB B1 A3 B2 ABC
But with more continued player choice. Maybe some random plotlines that only show up sometimes, too.
I am still pretty sleepy so I hope this makes sense. Needless to say the version in my dream was fairly incoherent and silly. I can see a bunch of ways this could be difficult to implement and make enjoyable, but it's interesting to ponder. If any of you have encountered games anything like this I'd be curious to hear about them!