alias_sqbr: (dreamwidth)
This is my personal/fannish journal. For topics I feel require a more serious and moderated approach I have [personal profile] sqbr.

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alias_sqbr: (spoons)
As always, bear in mind that my standard go way down when I'm sick.

Books:

Sword of the Guardian by Merry Shannon (On sale right now!) This is basically a cheesy, tropey 90s-esque eurofantasy romance... with lesbians! AND I LOVED IT. Stoic, protective, crossdressing butch bodyguard and feisty, headstrong princess yesss. Many of the tropes are questionable-if-iddy (eg there's a bunch of dub con kisses that "don't count") to outright unfortunate ("swarthy barbarians", really?) and it is SUPER earnest but the ratio of cheese I enjoyed to cheese I didn't worked for me. nb the cover art whitewashes the bodyguard, who has a dark olive complexion which is a bit exoticised.

Apparently the sequel is about the buxom lesbian chambermaid, SOUNDS GOOD.
Books! Games! Movies, even! )
alias_sqbr: Asterix-like magnifying glass over Perth, Western Australia (australia 2)
So! After further discussion Cam and I are going to Disneyland for a few days after our Montreal trip at the end of July. Anyone who lives around that area (or Montreal) want to meet up? I can't travel far by myself, unfortunately.
alias_sqbr: (I like pi!)
Since he is laaaate hooome ;_;

Julia Among the Stars: An interesting, plotty Czech science fiction puzzle game with some of the feel of a hidden object game. You are a (female!) scientist on a space probe trying to figure out what happened to the rest of your crew with the help of the ships's (also female!) computer. Some of the dialogue was clunky, possibly because of the translation, but overall I liked the characters and story, it was about your average Dr Who/Star Trek episode level of scifi. The puzzles were mixed but overall enjoyable. Has some moderately dark/depressing/gory moments.

Amnesia: Memories: My first proper Japanese dating sim that's not about pigeons! Bought because it was on special and I heard one dude liked maths. I really enjoyed it, but (a) Cam is away, so tall, glasses wearing, mathsy dorks are very appealing right now (b) a fair proportion of that enjoyment was horrified laughter. The premise is that you are an 19 year old Japanese uni student and have lost your memory because a spirit basically collided with your head and got stuck there. You end up in one of several alternate realities trying to regain your memories with the help of the spirit, who is a lovely ally in sometimes scary and lonely situations, but whose existence means you can't just tell people what's up. In each reality you turn out to be dating one of the dudes, and you are motivated to get to know him to learn more about yourself. So even on paths where I didn't like the dude I enjoyed it as suspense/mystery, but it gets QUITE SUSPENSEFUL, culminating in a surreal and kind of meta final path with SEVEN DIFFERENT increasingly violent bad ends where you die in various ways (and 2 happy endings where you don't die ;)) The love interests are basically: tsundere, playboy, spock, technically-not-your-actual-older-brother, ????. You have to be prepared for some sexist douchery from even the nicest love interests on the good ends and some AMAZINGLY awful behaviour from the less nice ones on the bad ends. Like, trigger warnings ahoy, though there's no sex scenes of any kind which limits the inevitable consent issues. There's some "craziness" handled about as badly as it usually is. Also, the maths dude makes you solve actual algebra problems (The answers are online though :))

The Bridge: I enjoyed the first two levels of this Escher themed puzzle game but then there was a thing that can kill you and it stopped being fun :(
alias_sqbr: (genius!)
Stuff made by me:

My new best friend CASHEW CREAM. I kept seeing dairy free recipes using it and finally got around to making some, and it was as easy and creamy as they said. Just cashews and water in a food processor! You have to soak the cashews first but there isn't any complex straining etc like with almond milk. I've put it in pasta sauce, salad dressing, sandwiches, and on frozen fruit with sugar and vanilla essence, and they were all great. It's like a cross between ricotta and tofu: very bland, but a good base for other flavours. I used up my first batch and have another soaking to try ICECREAM :D

Second: The demo for Northanger Abbey: the Game, which I can objectively say is the best video game ever produced in the history of the world. And it's not even finished yet! So you should all play it and tell me what you thought. Criticism welcome, assuming you can deal with the responsibility of helping create an even better game.

Other people's stuff:

Neko Atsume: The cute cat based phone game everyone's playing. You put out food and toys to attract cats, who then reward you by playing adorably and with currency you can use to buy better food and toys and thus attract rarer cats. Impossible to lose and a little pointless but adorable enough that I'm still enjoying it. Free, with the option to buy in-game currency with real world money, but I haven't needed it.

The Room: a puzzle game for phones, where you try and unlock a multi-part locked box. I haven't gotten very far but it's enjoyable enough. Requires a payment of about $1.50 once you get past the free intro.
alias_sqbr: (happy dragon)
Including a bunch of very cheap games still on sale on Steam, unless the sale is done.
Read more... )
alias_sqbr: (genius!)
I've reached a point where I'd really like feedback on the game, if anyone would like to give some! Any sort of feedback is good, whether it be about the gameplay, characters, dialogue, art, etc, whether you're familiar with the original or not.

Download the game for Windows, Mac or Linux:

It's a visual novel based on Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, where you can choose the main character's name, gender(*), and behaviour. Depending on your choices you can (in the full game) form romantic or platonic relationships with five love interests: two men (John Thorpe and Henry Tilney), two women (Isabella Thorpe and MYSTERY LOVE INTEREST NOT SHOWN IN THIS DEMO), and one non binary (Eleanor Tilney, though she doesn't come out as non binary yet) If you behave exactly like the book's main character the book's plot unfolds unchanged, but if you don't things start to get quite different!

If you're familiar with the book, it stops just at the point where the main character gets invited to the Abbey (or doesn't ;)).

Current plans for this section of the game:

  • Neaten sprites, redraw any expressions lacking whites of eyes etc
  • Fill in all the dialogue currently marked ???
  • Add expression changes to some scenes which are missing them
  • Backgrounds, title screen, menu screen, pretty user interface (the current backgrounds are all going)
  • Music

(*)You can choose to be a man, woman, or non binary, choose to be afab, amab or intersex, and choose to present as male, female, or genderqueer. The 19th century is a very gendered society so this lets you be, say, a trans woman who crossdresses as a man to dance with women, but still thinks of herself as a woman and is referred to as one by those close to her. Eventually you will get the chance to come out to your LI, if relevant, and probably change your gender presentation again. Setting this fluidity up was easier than I expected and made writing the game much more interesting. Amab non binary "Catherine"/Henry Tilney is my new unexpected otp :D I'm cis myself, though, so feedback from trans people of all types would be very much appreciated!

There's less control over your sexuality: canon Catherine is attracted to pretty much everyone and develops a crush on Henry Tilney, and to begin with the main character is much the same because it got too hard otherwise. I need to edit to allow more flexibility, both for MCs who don't like Henry in particular and for those who don't see themselves as into men at all.

EDIT: updated with some suggestions and corrections!
alias_sqbr: (up and down)
This pile of links got so big I got intimidated and just... forgot about it. So it goes back a while. There was a broken link to a post that seemed to be about "missing e" (what we used to fix tumblr before xkit). And then I decided half of them weren't worth keeping, or belonged elsewhere, so in the end it's not even that big!

Given What You Now Know, What Would You Have Done Differently With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)?

Colloquial catchy statements encoding serious mathematics

Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Was Learning How to Code

Self-help for Anxiety Management I used this a few times, it didn't do a lot to help but might work for someone else.

What Sanguinity Likes (and dislikes) About Mathematics

Visualizing Algorithms

‚ÄčA Beginner's Guide To All Things Dragon Age

Hapax and Heyer, Austen and Irony, or, What I should have said The differences between Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen

PAX Australia And The Strange Catharsis Of Video Game Violence

Star Wars!

Dec. 17th, 2015 10:39 pm
alias_sqbr: A stack of turtles against stars (turtles all the way down)
So: I quite liked it! Not the best movie ever, but about as good as a Star Wars movie by J J Abrams was ever likely to be.

Spoiler free reactions! Has some very broad information, if you want to go in totally unspoiled then... well, I wish you luck, but you should avoid this post as well as most of the rest of the internet :)
Read more... )
alias_sqbr: (genius!)
And it was pretty great.

There was pretty good access, microphones for panelists and audience members asking questions, and Auslan (Australian Sign Language) interpreters, who were lovely. The Diversity in Gaming panel went very well, though I discovered I had inadvertently declared myself the leader by making notes haha. There were some clueless questions, and we got bogged down slightly in discussions of Gamergate, but everyone was polite, and my copanelists were 100% on the same page as me, even though none of us really knew each other, which was great. Also right at the start someone asked me in particular what my first game was, which was odd, but luckily the answer was "An Amstrad game called Citybomb in the later 80s, which I then reprogrammed" so I felt very unfake Geek Girl. Had a few people approach me afterwards to thank me for a good panel and ask extra questions.

My two hour exhibition slot went pretty well! I offered people SOON (finished time travel visual novel), Copper Rose (unfinished f/f vampire steampunk dating sim) and Northanger Abbey (very unfinished Jane Austen adaptation dating sim), people only chose the first two and seemed to enjoy them! Had some kids play SOON and realised it's a bit confusing if you don't remember 1993 because you weren't born yet, but they managed to get as far as the bad end and then happily took my card to download it and find the good one :) Was introduced to a woman who was very chuffed to see so many images of Perth in my game, she turned out to be the mayor which may explain her slightly offended look at me clearly having no idea who she was, oops. Handed out a bunch of business cards, had to apologise for their rustic hand crafted look since I misunderstood the ordering process and the professional ones I ordered won't be here until next week. If I go again next year will try and have a shiny banner, that definitely attracts people too.

Unfortunately I didn't get much chance to check out the other games since my train was AN HOUR LATE thanks to a mechanical problem, luckily I'd left myself an hour's grace but it would have been nice to spend that time looking at games instead of on the station twiddling my thumbs. The two I played were a blackmail themed word game, which was fun, and Bellus Mortem which is a very pretty game about fighting battles as a magic using cat that I was predictably awful at. Both are still in production, which made me feel more confident about showing people my in production games.

I didn't get to see any other panels for similar reasons, but they looked interesting. It was PACKED, but lines weren't generally so long as to be too off-putting and the wait encouraged impatient players to try less popular games (like mine!)

And then on the way home I found a cheap, open, wheelchair accessible Korean place (Took Bae Kee 2) then stumbled across the Maylands Markets where I had a quite tasty elderflower and basil iceypole. And once I got home I saw I'd made a sale of SOON! So all in all a good day.

Of course TODAY I am wiped, but I made sure not to have any plans until Tuesday. When I am getting some of this damn hair cut off!
alias_sqbr: (genius!)
Did I mention I'm going to the Perth Gaming Festival? I'm even exhibiting (from 3-5) and being on a panel (at 1).

My rough panel notes for Diversity in Gaming, feedback welcome!
alias_sqbr: Asterix-like magnifying glass over Perth, Western Australia (australia 2)
It seems set that Cam's company is sending him on a work trip to Montreal in June for about a week, and I am thinking of coming along with him. He'll be working during office hours so I'll have a lot of time to kill. We're also considering turning the layover in LA into a few days in Vegas (apparently very wheelchair friendly!) but that's less certain. EDIT: We are instead going to Disneyland.

So! Any of you live nearby and willing and able to come say hi? I am probably going to be a puddle for quite a while after arriving, and am not up to much solo travel, so it's difficult for me to come to you, but if that's the only option and you live very close let me know and at least I'll have the option.

Anyone who's been to either place got tips, especially on wheelchair friendly stuff? I know some of you are in Canada but, well, Canada is really big.

I'm open to hanging out with anyone I know to some extent as long as you're not like an axe murderer. And I will wave sadly South and West to all you guys who will be closer but still too far away.
alias_sqbr: (genius!)
Was going to just comment to [personal profile] lizbee since she was asking me about tablets but WHY NOT GET PROMPTS AS WELL.

So! Art prompts! Original or fannish! No zombies or porn! Preferably something simple because I want to try out the new software, Artrage, that came with the tablet ([personal profile] whatistigerbalm cheers in the distance(*))

And for Liz and anyone else who's curious: it's a medium sized Intuos Pen and Touch Creative from Wacom. Which has been discontinued and replaced with some very similar tablets (eg the Intuos Manga) with no eraser. *clutches eraser* I like it so far! I am a little sad it's not compatible with my old Bamboo pen, since it would be nice to have a spare. Also it has a custom USB cable which will be annoying when I inevitably break it >.>

(*)That is the one you're a fan of, right? It seems pretty nice so far! I only got the older version, 3.5, and not the Pro, but my needs are relatively simple.
alias_sqbr: (genius!)
Not sure how this is going to look on tumblr BUT WE WILL SEE. Also, one reason there's not much here is that my tablet is dying, if anyone has recs for a reasonable quality graphics tablet that's not too pricey I'd love to hear them!

First, Femslashex treats! Didn't feel like signing up but doing treats was fun and my recipient was lovely.

Dragon Age:

Dragon Age: Fluffy Shoulders (Velanna/Sigrun)

Mass Effect, Undertale, Band vs Band, Seven Kingdoms: the Princess Problem )
alias_sqbr: (dreamwidth)
Yes, people I follow who have been doing that for ages, I did think you were just typing it all out consistently each time.

So, let's test it out!

(via this post by [personal profile] snarp)

EDIT: The crossposted post.
alias_sqbr: (happy dragon)
Just finished this and it was a great end to the series. Same flaws as the others, especially the tendency to heavy handed anvils about Privilege, but still overall really great, thoughtful, thrilling space opera with lots of delicious non human intelligences and questions about ethics and The Nature Of The Self.

Pretty much everything I have to say is covered by this spoilery post and the comments to it, I had even been thinking of how to best capslock summarise the exact section she capslock summarises, teehee.

Two extra, VERY SPOILERY thoughts:
spoilers )

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