About Disco Elysium

I am finding more and more that as I get older, my capacity for long-form RPGs has become very limited. Which is a pity, because in theory I still quite enjoy them; I just find them exhausting to actually play. Yeah, that pretty much sums up Disco Elysium for me: I like just about everything about it, and I don’t want to actually play it. Really makes me feel ambivalent about the whole experience.

Let’s see, where to begin? I find the story of Disco Elysium uncomfortable at times, but that is very much by design. The game starts with the main character waking up after attempting to literally drink himself to death. Amusingly, you can attempt to not wake up — reminds me a bit of the intro to Tides of Numenera, except I wasn’t actually able to make the MC die before the game actually began. Regardless, the MC remembers absolutely nothing about the world around him or himself — he can’t even remember his own name, home, or occupation. A little investigation by the player will quickly reveal that he is a police detective — sort of, there is some ambiguity as to whether the police actually have legal backing and jurisdiction — and he is in this town he doesn’t remember investigating the lynching of a man who might be important, but he doesn’t remember why. And his badge and gun are missing. And the one thing he can remember is that he has an ex-wife, which might be the reason he tried to drink himself to death last night.

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About Zachtronics

Even as I write this, it occurs to me that I don’t actually know much about the development company called Zachtronics itself. A quick look at their website tells me that, one, they are a branch of Alliance Media Holdings (which I know absolutely nothing about and am not sure I’ve even ever heard of before), and two, “all Zachtronics games are free for public schools and school-like non-profit organizations.” Which is really cool. So now I know two actual facts about Zachtronics, and so do you.

What I do know for certain is that I absolutely adore the games made by Zachtronics (henceforth to be abbreviated as Zac). All of them. Including the weird ones. Which is also all of them, in one way or another. Not that the games themselves are all that similar, in setting, tone, or gameplay; but at the same time, it’s really easy to grasp that they were all made by the same group. Mostly.

Anyway, when I think about Zac games, I tend to divide them into two arbitrary categories. –And then I remember that they have a few games that don’t fall into either of those categories, and have to quickly make a third category for them. Therefore, in my mind, Zac makes three types of games: visual/spatial puzzle games, programming puzzle games, and outliers.

As those categories are probably a bit unclear, let me explain. Setting aside the outliers, most Zac games involve taking an input of some kind, manipulating it in various ways, and outputting the correct solution. By specifying “visual/spatial,” I mean games in which you manipulate an “object” of some sort, where you can see it move around, and combine and separate from other objects. “Programming,” on the other hand, is about manipulating numbers (and occasionally strings of text) using a fictional(?) programming language to achieve various results. Finally, the outliers don’t have anything to do with these metrics, literally lying outside what I think of as a typical(?) Zac title.

With that in mind, I’d like to run through the various Zachtronics games, in chronological order, and give my thoughts and impressions.

Spacechem (2011)

This is the first Zachtronics game I ever played, and despite how later titles improved upon it in almost every way, it somehow remains the iconic Zac game in my mind. It is a visual/spatial puzzle game, wherein you use elemental atoms (such as hydrogen, oxygen, carbon etc.) to create specific molecules. You do this using elemental “reactors” which physically rearrange the atoms with the aid of two “waldos” capable of picking up and rotating atoms and molecules along routes that you, the player, determine. If your instructions cause two atoms to collide, production will halt; so the challenge is to build reactors that will smoothly and consistently produce the molecules you need.

So, the puzzles start simple enough, but they quickly become more challenging, especially once you need to start using multiple reactors to make your products. But honestly, I don’t think the game would have caught my attention nearly as firmly if it weren’t for its setting. You see, Spacechem is set — wait for it — in space!

Sorry, couldn’t resist.

But yeah, Spacechem is set in a future where humanity has expanded into space, and taken its bureaucracy with it. I don’t remember all the details of the setting at this late date, but I do remember that you are working for a company that specializes in synthetic products (including some extremely suspicious artificial fish cakes), and you go from planet to planet creating and optimizing production of various molecular products. But all is not well; rumors of deaths and unusual incidents abound, and you witness strange behavior among your fellow employees…

Sadly, I never finished the game — I’m telling you, the puzzles get tough, ok? It is still one of my favorite games of all time, though, based on the unique puzzle mechanics and the great background story. Zac games often like to combine the banality of working life with the creeping undertone of existential dread, and this game is definitely the progenitor of the tone.

In retrospect, the game has some definite weaknesses compared to some of its later siblings. Most noticeably, the later games will come to lean harder on a programming point of view, and allow you to “step” through a solution to get a feel for how things are shaping up. In Spacechem (and Infinifactory, incidentally) you have to basically make a complete solution for the machine, before you can run it and make sure things are proceeding properly. Well, I suppose that isn’t completely true, you can deliberately make a half complete solution and let it hang or error out; but I’ve got to say, the ability to move step-by-step through a solution and make sure you haven’t missed something is invaluable.

Oh, and unlike any other non-outlier Zac game, Spacechem has boss fights. Seriously. I admit, they are thematically appropriate, but they don’t really feel right from a mechanics standpoint. Which is probably why they never came back, right? Right.

Ironclad Tactics (2013)

Ironclad Tactics is an outlier in the Zac catalogue. In fact, it is such an outlier, when I was compiling the list of Zac games I nearly completely overlooked it. I didn’t really remember what it was about, or how it played, either — which is why I quickly reinstalled it for a short refresher course. Now, about three weeks later — no, I’m kidding, I played for less than an hour. Not because I wasn’t interested, mind, I just got kicked off my computer for a bit right after starting…well, let’s set that aside.

So, Ironclad Tactics is…some strange combination of deck-building game, board game, and real-time strategy game. As for the deck-building elements, it seems to me that it came out at a time when we were seeing a lot of deck-building games, so they may have been following a trend there… But, I might be misremembering, it’s been a long time. Anyway, it’s a bit of an odd choice of mechanics, since on one hand you are trying to play strategically but you can’t always count on what cards you will draw.

Anyway, I don’t really want to delve much into the mechanics because the story is much more interesting. Set in an alternate past, the American Civil War has been set off slightly early due to the development of coal-powered robots known as Ironclads. The story follows a smart but lazy engineer as he gets involved in the battle to control the nation, along with a supporting cast of colorful characters. Literally colorful, in fact; the story is told comic book style, with panels of wonderful hand drawn art and a punchy storyline. In my opinion, the story is worth the price of admission alone, even if the gameplay seems a bit clumsy at times.

Infinifactory (2015)

So, in Infinifactory, you play as a person who has been kidnapped by aliens. To build factory lines for them. Why? Hard to say. The aliens don’t seem to have much in the way of empathy or understanding, so maybe they’re just bad at building things? But then where did they get the tech to travel interstellar distances, all to kidnap humans to build the tech that allows them to travel interstellar distances? The story, for the most part, is told from the point of view of recordings left on corpses of people who died on the factory floors — macabre non-survivor logs, I suppose you can call them — but no one human actually has anything other than guesses to offer.

As for the gameplay, it’s a block-based puzzler where you build lines out of conveyors and other various parts, to assemble and disassemble input blocks into various forms. A typical visual/spatial Zac game, except that instead of a 2D playspace, you are actually designing objects to move in 3 dimensions. It gets tough, and a bit tiring, surprisingly fast; but watching an complicated assembly line you created at work is still a wonderful feeling.

TIS-100 (2015)

TIS-100 is the first of the Zac programming puzzle games. It is extremely minimalist, with very limited graphics and minimal sound work. And the puzzles are literally programming challenges: you have a strange, old computer of unknown origin called the TIS-100 (we are treated to the boot-up sequence every time we start the game) made up of interconnected nodes. Puzzles (which represent “corrupted” segments of code) are solved by taking input data, passing them through the TIS-100 system of nodes and transforming them appropriately before passing them to an output. Simple in concept, difficult in practice, especially considering that the TIS-100 has a very limited assembly code you need to use to work with it.

The thing I like about TIS-100, and also the later Zac programming games, is that they actually created a printable manual for the system, which tells you the (limited) syntax you can use, and some other details about the system. It’s only 14 pages, and I like it as both a prop establishing tone, and a usable manual in itself.

Surprising for such a minimalist game, it actually has a story in it, as well. You received the TIS-100 after the death of your uncle Randy, who picked it up at a swap meet years ago. There are notes left from Randy in the manual, and on the TIS-100 itself; and as you progress through the corrupted segments, the notes he left behind become stranger and stranger… Because as I said, it wouldn’t be a Zac game without that slight sense of existential dread.

Shenzhen I/O (2016)

In a way, Shenzhen I/O is something like the full version of TIS-100 — or more like, TIS-100 was the prototype of Shenzhen. Like TIS-100, it is a programming game with a unique coding language to learn; but there are prettier graphics, nice music, and a fuller, fleshed-out story.

Speaking of the story, it is set in near-future (2026, apparently) China. You are an embedded systems engineer — or you want to be, but your home country doesn’t really do embedded systems anymore. So in order to pursue your career, you’ve decided to take a job in Shenzhen, China, working for the company Longteng Electronics. I admit, the game doesn’t have that existential dread of previous Zac games, but despite only interacting with the world in emails and assignments, the game really hits the “fish out of water” feel of living and working in a place you don’t really quite fit into, yet.

As for the gameplay, similar to TIS-100, you are given various tasks to accomplish via programming, with the added complication that the code needs to go on circuits that you place on the board, which then have to be connected with input/output nodes and each other. This adds a visual/spatial element to the experience, although it is clearly a programming game. My favorite part is, again, the printable manual, which is not only significantly bigger than TIS-100’s, but is also designed to be placed in a standard 3-ring binder. I like it a lot, it really puts me in the mood to do some programming.

Incidentally, I’m actually extremely bad at programming (in fact, I have an anecdote about Shenzhen I/O that more or less demonstrates it, but that’s nearly an article in itself); so the fact that I love these programming games so much is a bit strange. I do love them, though.

Opus Magnum (2017)

Absolutely my favorite Zac game. The visual/spatial puzzle game has a concept similar to Spacechem, wherein you take molecules, disassemble them, and then reassemble them into new forms. But Opus Magnum not only lets you assemble your own tools on the board, allowing you to work on many different pieces at once, but it also incorporates a programming-style interface for commanding your machine, allowing for step-by-step testing of your designs.

The story and setting are among my favorites as well. Unlike the majority of Zac games, Opus Magnum is set in a pure fantasy setting, in a great city where large feudal houses are supported by institutionalized alchemy. The story follows a promising young alchemist who joins a declining House, with the intention of revitalizing its prospects; but things don’t go as well as he had hoped.

Opus Magnum is the only Zac game that I have completed (for the most part; there are some bonus levels that I never finished) and I truly believe the excellent story is what kept me going. It is presented extremely well, too: before each puzzle, you can click through a conversation of the two main leads and others, explaining why the product of the puzzle is needed and how it fits into the story; and after you complete the puzzle, another conversation detailing the result is unlocked. The increasing stakes of the story is matched by the increasing challenge of the puzzles due to the main character’s change of circumstances, and it all comes together beautifully. I highly recommend this game.

Exapunks (2018)

The third of the Zac programming games, Exapunks is also probably the easiest — not easy, mind you, but the game provides a very visual way of rendering otherwise pure programming puzzles, so you can literally see where mistakes are being made. The systems in the game run EXAs, which are graphically represented as little robots that you program to travel through networks, create and modify files, and then delete themselves to leave no trace — because, y’know, you aren’t actually supposed to be inside those networks.

Exapunks is set in an alternate 1997, where a strange “phage” is causing some people’s bodies to turn into random piles of computer parts. Yes, you read that correctly: people turn into computers. Not functional computers, mind you, just mostly random assortments of parts. You play as a hacker who has contracted this phage (ah, there’s that undertone of existential dread again), and in order to afford the expensive medicine available on the black market for your condition, you have to carry out a series of hacks for a mysterious client… Oh, and occasionally you need to hack your own body to make it keep running. As one does.

The story of Exapunks has a slight feeling of a visual novel, where you can make occasional choices that produce a different response from the NPCs — nothing big, just dialogue changes, but enough to bring across the feeling of shaping your character a bit. You can once again print out a physical manual for programming EXAs just like TIS-100 and Shenzhen I/O; although in this case, the manual comes in the form of unofficial ‘zines, with other articles inserted for flavor as well. Including an interesting short story.

Eliza (2019)

Eliza is a visual novel. I don’t own Eliza. I can’t tell you much about Eliza. Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of visual novels in general, though I do appreciate the art form. I’ll probably check Eliza out sometime in the future, though, as I have great confidence in Zac’s ability to tell a good story.


MOLEK-SYNTEZ is somewhat strangely minimalist. It’s a visual/spatial puzzle game about creating molecules, again, but it has a very different set of controls from Spacechem or Opus Magnum. You basically place base molecules in a small space and bombard them with lasers that move them around, add or remove hydrogen atoms to manipulate bonds, and create drug molecules. The graphics and sound are very minimal, and the puzzles are tough. There is a story, but I’m not really sure about the details. You are in some kind of drug production facility, and someone has stolen a batch of formaldehyde? The story is told in occasional messages after completing a puzzle, which don’t really manage to explain much, but do manage to be rather creepy.

It is on the cheaper side for a Zac game. So there’s that.

Möbius Front ’83 (2020)

The most recent Zac game, Möbius Front ’83 is set once again in near past America. Only this time, America is being invaded…by America. Specifically, from a different dimension’s America. Seems legit, right?

This is another outlier game, being a strategic tactics game. Unfortunately, I don’t know how it plays yet; despite being available on Steam and Itch.io, it is still listed as “Coming soon” on my usual platform, GOG.com. This isn’t unprecedented, by the way; Opus Magnum almost wasn’t released on GOG at all, for unclear reasons. A bit disappointing, though.

So, yeah. That was way harder than I thought it was going to be. Zachtronics games are great, though, I recommend all of them. Well, I don’t recommend the ones I haven’t played, but I am still cautiously optimistic about them. If you are going to choose just one, I think Opus Magnum is the best realized on almost every level.

Speaking of just choosing one, I think I’m going to just choose one game to talk about in the future. And on that note, next week…hmm. Well, my friend gave me Disco Elysium for Christmas, why don’t I sink a few hours into that? The art style is quite distinctive, if nothing else…

Running late… T.T

Sigh… To think that I would be posting late. Again. Turns out that writing a few paragraphs about eight games takes just as long or longer than writing several paragraphs about a single game — who knew, huh?

But I’ll definitely be done sometime tomorrow, so please accept my apologies, and I’ll see you then. 😉

About Spiritfarer

Uh, I actually had this done yesterday, I swear. I just…forgot to post it. Uh, oops.

It’s a bit disappointing, but I don’t actually think Spiritfarer is a very good game.

Let me be clear, I don’t think it’s a bad game, either. I also wouldn’t call it average, or mediocre. It does a lot of things well, at least to begin with, and I found the art and animation very appealing — again, to begin with. As the game began to wear out it’s welcome with me, well…

By the way, there will be ending spoilers in this article. Although I have no intention of going into great detail, I’m going to talk about the “twist” of the setting, so if you are interested in playing the game yourself, maybe do that first. It is worth playing — which I suppose is a weird thing to say after claiming that I don’t like it much, but again, there were parts that were unequivocally good about it. Just not as much as I would like, sadly.

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About Satisfactory

To begin with, I’m extremely adverse to “early access” games, for the obvious reason of not wanting to pay money for an incomplete product. I don’t think I need to justify that position further.

I’m also not a huge fan of the Epic store. Don’t rabidly hate it, though; not like I hate Steam. Maybe I’ll go into that some other time; not today.

So how did I end up with an Early Access game that’s only available on Epic? (Yes, and Steam, I told you I’m not going into that.) Well, I saw someone else streaming it, and thought to myself, “Yes, that is exactly what I want to play right now.” And so, when I saw it was (moderately) on sale, I decided to give Satisfactory a try.

Judging from the 80 or so hours I’ve spent in the game in the last month, this wasn’t a bad decision.

As I play it, there are many points that show very clearly that it is an unfinished game — for instance, the big pop-up window that appears every time I start the game that shouts, “Hey! This game isn’t finished yet! It might screw up! Sorry about that!” (I’m paraphrasing.) That said, I’ve played a number of supposedly finished games that felt even less complete than the current state of Satisfactory. I think if they polished up some systems and rough edges, they might even claim the game to be complete; however, I’ve got to give props to the developers for being madly ambitious in scope. On the negative side, this is also why I have rather severe doubts as to whether the project will ever be “finished.” Happy to be proven wrong, mind you.

I suppose I should take a moment to explain the game to those who haven’t heard of it. Put simply, Satisfactory is a factory management simulation, complicated by the fact that you are building said factory on an alien world with unknown and dangerous beasts. At the behest of your faceless corporate overlords, you must build your factory from the ground up: first processing ore at a workbench by hand to make the basic materials you need, then using said materials to make various machines to automate the process. Sending piles of certain materials back to your corporate masters unlocks new technologies and parts, which you can then use to make bigger, more complicated assembly lines. Rinse and repeat until you run out of tiers to research, I suppose, though I personally am nowhere near to that point yet.

If I was to pick out one thing to praise about the game, it would be the “progression.” After the tutorial (worth praising itself, but never mind) you will always have multiple goals to pursue at any one time, many of which are broken up in various ways to be more attainable. For instance, the main progression through the game is measured in “Tiers” from 0 (the tutorial) to 9. Each individual Tier consists of several individual goals which can be pursued in any order, and meeting the requirements of these goals unlocks new technologies and expands your capabilities. In other words, you have a clear, obtainable goal, and the means to achieve that goal; but the specific actions you take, or rather the sort of factory you design with the tools at hand, is completely up to you.

Another major system is the MAM (I forget what the acronym stands for, doesn’t matter) which you use to study various things from the alien environment to unlock new equipment, special parts, and other various “quality of life” improvements. It works more like a traditional tech tree than the “Tier” progressions: each node researched unlocks another one or two further down the tree, until you have completely researched the subject. And then there’s the Space Elevator, which sits as a chokepoint on progressing the Tiers until you send a (relatively) huge amount of materials up it…

I also like how the game becomes more difficult as you progress, from a management perspective, in a way that feels natural. Let’s take power management as an example. To begin with, you have Biomass Generators. They are fairly cheap to make, and they provide a limited amount of power by burning various types of biological material — leaves, wood, the remains of alien lifeforms that were trying to kill you, whatever. They work pretty well, in the beginning; but as the parts you need to make get more complicated, your assembly lines will need more machines, and bigger machines, and building more biogenerators will become a big chore — especially since biomass can’t be automatically harvested, you’ll have to collect fuel manually for each generator.

At about the time that this is becoming untenable, you can unlock Coal Plants. Each coal plant provides about twice as much power as a biogenerator, and coal can be automatically mined, meaning you can set one up and just let it run — but wait! Each coal plant also needs a constant supply of water to function… and chances are good that the coal you have found is not near a good source of water. So in order to use a coal plant, you need to manage and bring together two resources, instead of one; but if you manage it, you will be able to greatly expand your power load and therefore your maximum machines in use.

There are many other tweaks you can make when it comes to power, but hopefully I’ve made my point; progression doesn’t just unlock new options, it also adds complications to be managed, which I believe to be the perfect balance for this kind of game.

Despite my mostly positive feelings for the game, there are plenty of rough edges to the experience. The one that most annoys me personally is a certain lack of in-game documentation of secondary features and functions. I realize that’s not a very clear way of explaining things, so let’s just pull as an example, the parachute. You can make parachutes after studying…I forget, but I think it was something like alien biomass? Anyway, you learn to make fabric, and then you can learn parachutes. Well, it’s clear that you equip them on your body, but how are they actually used? The game doesn’t say “jump again in the air to deploy the chute” which would have been nice to know, and explained to me why all the chutes disappeared from my inventory before I got anywhere near a high place. (Yes, I spam the jump key; a bad habit from my World of Warcraft days.) Yes, this is a small thing, even I don’t think of it as a huge deal; but it is something of a pet peeve of mine when a game has systems, vital or otherwise, that are nowhere explained within the game itself. See: World Tendency in Demon’s Souls.

It’s not like I hate having to look up important information online and in wikis… Oh, wait, no. It’s exactly that.

Well, setting that aside. There are plenty of places where Satisfactory could use several layers of polish, but I’d say the essential experience is already very solid. As to whether I’d suggest for anyone else to buy it…probably not, actually. If you do enjoy base-building, resource management sorts of games, you’ll probably enjoy it like I do. But I personally don’t want to recommend an unfinished game, even a solid experience like Satisfactory. I’d like to see whether a lot of the small problems get ironed out in a final release — and given the extremely ambitious scope, I’m quite worried that a lot of small problems will end up ignored in the end.

Oh, and I’d like to have a look at the endgame Tiers and functions too. I mean, I’ll be getting access to monorails and a jetpack soon. And maybe I should find someone to help me, multiplayer style, because laying out an entire monorail system across the map by myself seems like a huge job…

By the by, if you have any questions about the game or my experience with it, just leave them in the comments; I could easily do another article about how I’m building my factory, or my experience with the holiday content last month as well. For next week, though, I’m going to be sharing my thoughts on a game that is…surprisingly similar, while being completely different: Spiritfarer.

A new year. Still the same me, but I do what I can.

Hey, welcome to 2021. As for 2020, the less said about that one, the better, right? Well, I can’t say the year was particularly horrible for me, but I certainly didn’t accomplish much regardless. I remain hopeful that the upcoming year will be more productive. And safer, too, of course.

On that note, my new year’s resolution is, once again, to write more; and as a corollary, to post more often on this site. At this point, even I’m skeptical about how seriously I mean that, but…hey. I don’t have any big plans, as such, but I’d kinda like to talk a bit about the games I’ve been playing. Nothing as formal or helpful as reviews, as such, just my thoughts and impressions about what I’ve been playing lately. And if I somehow run out of things to say… Well. I can always start writing fiction again. *sips drink*

I’m aiming to release an…essay? Whatever…every Sunday or so. What day is it today, again…? No, how can it be Saturday already? *cough* I mean, this is fine. Sometime tomorrow, I’d like to post my thoughts about the game I’ve dumped the most time into since I acquired it last month: Satisfactory.

Anyway. Stay safe, be well, and have a good new year. I’m cheering for y’all. 😀

The Book of Pahrees Island

I’m actually not sure how to start this, since I didn’t realize until now that I could actually write in the Book. Until now, everything in the Book added itself automatically, and I wasn’t actually sure why. I mean, I’m still not sure why, but it looks like I can add my own, actual thoughts in the back here. Uh, obviously, I guess. Since that’s what I’m doing now. Moving on.

And I needed this Feather Pen, too, apparently. No ink. Just the feather. I’m glad I don’t expect things to make sense anymore.

I was thinking of keeping a diary back here, since I’m fairly sure no one will ever see it. But just in case I’m wrong, I’ll introduce myself. Hi, I’m Brian. I’m from Kingston, Ontario, and I used to work in insurance. Not anymore, though, because I currently live on an unknown island in the middle of a vast saltwater ocean, with a bunch of plants and animals I’ve never seen before. And I have no idea how or why this happened.

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Before the Hearth-Fire: A short story

My full story begins when I was a youth; barely older than you, young one. I had become a hunter for the tribe, as my father was before me, and I was over-proud of what he had taught me.

It was some time into the coldest season, and the tribe was well. With the gathered and preserved food sufficient to our needs, only three hunters were sent forth for fresh meat at that time, and I was one of the three. One of us went moonward, towards the sparse forests which were the most common hunting grounds in those days, before the musk-deer moved on. One of us went coldward from the tribe, hoping to trap a badger or stoat, or perhaps the rare-furred marmots; a riskier proposition in those days, when the golden bears still roamed the craggy hills.

As for myself, I should have headed windward, across the grass plains, towards the foreign tribes, and the lands of the Spiritual King. I was to snare rabbits and ground fowl, if possible; I should have also brought words of greeting to the near windward tribes. But I was prideful, and confident in my skills as a hunter, as though I had been blessed by The Pursuer himself. It sickens me, now, to think of how I was in those days: how arrogant, and disrespectful of elder, tribe, and gods. But that youth did not understand what I now understand, so perhaps I might allow a verse of forgiveness, at this late date. I certainly paid for my disobedience, in the end.

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Statement of November-ing intent

Good evening. I hope you’re doing well.

It’s been a long time since I’ve even attempted to post anything, huh? Long enough that the WordPress editor looks wholly unfamiliar. Seriously, what’s going on with this thing…? But let’s set that aside.

So, as I was saying. It’s been a long time since I posted anything, and an even longer time since I did anything for Nation Novel Writing Month. So I said to myself, why not do something about that?

That said, I’m not actually going to do the traditional challenge of NaNoWriMo, e.g. a single 50,000 word manuscript in 30 days. Instead, I’m going to do something a little different.

First, I’m not aiming for a set wordcount per day; instead, I’m setting aside the same hour every day to sit down and write. (I definitely won’t hit the requisite 1667 words per day in a single hour, in case you’re wondering, but it’s an amount of time I know I can definitely get to myself.)

Second, I’m not trying to write a single, long form story. I’ve got two or three short story ideas in mind, and I’m going to try and finish as many of them as I can in this month. I was recently reminded that a) short stories are things that exist, and b) you can actually do some interesting things with them. Not to mention, this blog is basically a big pile of projects I start but never finish, and I think it would be just lovely to post something that actually has a beginning, middle, and critically an end, for once.

And I suppose that’s the takeaway: once I finish a story (to the degree of finish-ness of ‘actually has an ending, of some sort’) I’m going to post it here on the blog. Not that this is the most amazingly hype development ever, but it’s very much looking like this is the only new content this site will be getting this year, what with one thing and another. (Let us just take a moment to consider what ‘one thing and another’ might mean in this year of 2020, and then quickly move on.)

So. My first story will be about a hunter, who makes some bad decisions and loses his way. As I write this, I’ve already done today’s writing, so things are definitely at least somewhat started. I might be stating that too strongly; barely 800 words in, and my storyteller is already getting bogged down in self-recrimination. Now who does that remind me of… 😏

Stay healthy, everyone! 😀

How is this site still getting occasional views, anyway?

…Is probably not something I should be asking out loud, but there has been no new content since — [checks] — December. Bad news first: still no new content. As such.

However, my son has recently started playing La Mulana 2. (Rather, I recently allowed him to start playing La Mulana 2. He wanted to play something a bit more engaging than Smash Bros. Which is fair, I think.) I remembered that I had did a…guide? Sort of? — back when the game first released two years ago. I never finished it, to absolutely no one’s surprise, but when I went to look at it again, I realized that I had never made a table of contents for the project.

So I just did.

Timely it ain’t, but better late than never, I suppose. I guess it’s mostly for my own reference at this point, since I decided to actually finish playing the game. I’ve noticed some interesting inconsistencies between the PC version I played initially, and the version on the PS4 I’m playing currently. It’s still quite fun, though. 😉

As for actual new content, I just don’t know. I’ve tried sitting down to write a few times, on Anubai or new projects, but I haven’t really been able to get into it. Doesn’t help that I’ve been my kids’ homeroom teacher since early spring, and will be likely serving in that capacity in the upcoming school year as well… but hey. It is what it is, right?

Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay entertained, y’all. 😀