Welcome to my lair._

So, I got to talking with some of my friends about game design, because I like game design. One of them pointed out Splinter Cell: Conviction's multiplayer, specifically the deathmatch mode.

In SC:C's multiplayer, you get dropped into a map with another player. You are also surrounded by NPC enemies who will attack either of you. Your goal is to kill everything; NPCs net you a single point, while a successful kill against a human opponent gains you five points and takes three from the target. Splinter Cell is a stealth game, so much of the combat revolves around taking shots from an unseen position, and PvP is similarly focused on not being seen.

I also brought up Watch_Dogs, which had a multiplayer component in a similar scope to Dark Souls; multiplayer was not a separate mode, but something that happened in regular gameplay. One player's goal would be to stay within a certain distance of the other player, and wait for a progress bar to finish; the other player's goal would be to hunt the first player down and either kill them or exit the 'trace zone' and force the other player to lose by distance. One popular strategy, apparently, was to simply shoot into the air to chase away NPCs.

Both of these games had good ideas. Watch_Dogs had some flaws--most notably, there was no punishment for simply going gung-ho. In Splinter Cell: Conviction, starting a gunfight is a terrible idea; the gunfire can draw attention from your opponent, and fighting in the open underneath a streetlamp is a recipe for lead poisoning, administered from a dark corner. In Watch_Dogs, firing into the sky is the easiest way to find your opponent. Another flaw in W_D's implementation was a lack of cover--encounters occured on open streets with wide, clear spaces and very few things to hide behind. SC:C fills its maps with waist-high structures, dark corners, walls and doors and hallways and crates; breaking line of sight is shockingly easy. If W_D had such a variety of hiding places, maybe shooting into the air would simply give the enemy a way to take cover.

I would like to see something that combines the level design elements of SC:C and the focus on tracking instead of killing that W_D tries to use. SC:C clearly did a good job in trying to bridge the gap between stealth and competitive multiplayer, but I think the best way to create a multiplayer stealth game would be to emphasize something other than straight combat. It's hard to keep the players from just shooting each other when the goal is to just shoot each other.

It's been a little while again. Honestly, I need to spend more time on this place; rambling bits of inane text into the emptiness of the Net is a good way to relax.
Work has been pain, as it was before, and I've come to the conclusion that the point of a job isn't necessarily to be fulfilling as much as it is to give you a means of finding fulfillment, if that makes sense. You don't seek employment to change the world; you seek employment to fund your change. As such, I am at peace with whatever I run into in the future, so long as I get paid decently.
And I desperately need to get paid decently--I can't remember a time when I wasn't just a little sick, not hungry enough to be worth buying a feast, not tired enough to sleep, but sick, tired, and hungry all the same. Maybe once I nail this certification--second time's the charm, especially when you find updated study material--I'll be able to get a nice apartment somewhere in Hot Springs or Dallas or wherever I damn well please.

Is it weird that I like being left alone? I mean, I've been growing more and more upset with the state of politics; Hillary's campaign came and went, and Trump came and stayed, and it all feels like so much caricature of Bush v. Gore and Obama v. McCain, only this time both the candidates were actively under investigation for various crimes (which of course are false allegations against my candidate, but completely true regarding yours). Of course, Syria surprised me--with all the rumors flying, I realized that this would've been the first time in my understanding of US history that we've meddled in foreign affairs, possibly given weapons to our enemies, and then come out on top. Not the first time we would've given weapons to our enemies, though. You'd think that after Al Qaeda blew up in our faces, we would've learned.
And all of that to say, I'm more convinced than ever that I need to save up for a nice artificial island out in the Pacific. Which is concerning, since I'm already not getting enough social contact. The loner feels lonely, how ironic.

There's an awful lot of connection in the world. We have the power to read things from across the entire globe, to see things happening across the sea, to talk to our friends from miles away.

And yet we're lonely. Most of our lives revolve around being near massive numbers of people--handling the groceries, phones, or even the connections of hundreds of people a day. In an hour, we see more people than we could ever actually talk to.

And yet...

Part of the problem, as various psychologists have pointed out, is that we tend to think that being distant and closed off is cool. And, ironically, connecting the world actually makes it easier to pretend that we've got everything, and that means we all pretend we're perfect to keep up with other people who pretend they're perfect.

All of this comes together to mean that we don't connect to each other. We hide behind emotional firewalls, and serve up cleverly-pieced-together Facebook feeds, and all the while we make sure port 22 is never, ever open. Nobody ever gets to see the real world behind that mask, which is why nobody ever feels like a real person.

It's been a while.
I'm staring at the first E-Ink advertisement in my local Kroger. It's a short animation, little more than a powerpoint about the benefits of buying a too-expensive health-food TV dinner. It's cheap and it catches attention and it works just like every other ad in the world.
In a sense, we enjoy hearing about the dystopian future because it lets us feel better about seeing it coming. When you hear about how amazing the world is now, it makes you wonder if you're insane for not seeing it.

In other news, I've done some gamedev (nothing too amazing, just a simple shmup, I'll link it later), and I've been doing some musical experiments, making a whole album from the comfort of my phone screen. I broke out of wageslave land, and now I'm sitting on the beach of Retail Island, watching the college ferry come to take me to Having A Life. I want the boat to move faster, but it can't, so I'll just have to keep typing away to distract myself until the boat runs aground.

Noticed a new bug in my pilit.sh, the script that builds this page out of text files in my ~/notes directory.

Apparently this:

>sed '/\~$|\.swp/d'

is nonequivalent to this:

>sed '/\~$/d' | sed '/\.swp/d'

And the former was matching weird, leaving only two posts on the front page.

That has been fixed now.
I need to put this thing on github, start showing it off.

There's lots of things to do if you just .