The Ghost who walks, and sometimes drives, and sometimes parties with the desert creatures

Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Cave Story - Chocolate Sunday Demo released.

0 comments by Ambient_Malice on Apr 1st, 2013

Here's the demo of my Cave Story mod - chocolate Sunday.

It's got a heavy focus on story and exploration, and tries to do something new and different.

The mod is available on PC (Windows) and PSP.

Download 1.0 (PC and PSP) - Mediafire.com

Report abuse Improved Project 64 1.0

0 comments by Ambient_Malice on Mar 11th, 2013

I decided to make a bundle containing everything you need for a good N64 emulation experience. It's still a WIP, but it has:

Project 64 1.6 + 1.6.1 update.
Glide64
Latest Unofficial RDB
Controller presets.
A plugin guide I found online.

Mediafire.com

Hope some people find it useful.

Report abuse Orson Scott Card myths.

0 comments by Ambient_Malice on Mar 8th, 2013

Myth: Orson Scott Card wrote a homophobic version of Hamlet.
Truth: His version of Hamlet has no homosexual characters. Hamlet's father is a paedophile. When OSC does write homosexual characters, in novels such as Songmaster, his portrayals have always been sympathetic.
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Myth: Orson Scott Card wants homosexuality criminalized.
Truth: Orson Scott Card opposes the criminalization of homosexuality. In his own words, "I have no interest in criminalizing homosexual acts and would never call for such a thing, any more than I wanted such laws enforced back when they were still on the books."
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Myth: Orson Scott Card advocates violent overthrow of the government if same sex marriage is legalised.
Truth: OSC has advocated "destroying" the government if the government undermines democracy and legalises same sex marriage without the consent of the people. As a Democrat, OSC is staunchly pro-democracy. In addition, Card has never mentioned violence.
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Myth: Orson Scott Card is a member of NOM, who are a hate group.
Truth: While NOM are hated by some, they have never been proven to be a hate group using the Southern Poverty Law Center's definition of a hate group.
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Myth: Orson Scott Card is right wing, and advocates violence in his novels.
Truth: The Ender's Game series is not pro-war. And Orson Scott Card rejects the left and right wing, and is a centralist communitarian, although he is also a Democrat.
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I hope this list of myths has been informative. There is so much ground to cover, and so many lies people are willing to believe.
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Here is an informative post from OSC where he defends his Hamlet, his position on the government, and his history of writing gay characters - Hatrack.com

Report abuse Golden Rules of Flaming.

0 comments by Ambient_Malice on Feb 24th, 2013

Here are the Golden Rules of Flaming. At least, that's what I think they're called.

1. Tell your opponent that the argument is over, because it's degeneratedinto pointlessness.... doing so at the end of your post giving you the lengthy last word in it.
2. Predict the imminent death of the Internet. ("Film at 11!")
3. Call your opponent a Nazi.
4. Change the subject by pointing out all of your opponent's grammar and spelling mistakes.
5. Post some horribly vicious and insulting note about your opponent.... several minutes later, post a profuse apology, claiming that you'd intendedto send the message privately to a friend.
6. a: Refer frequently to pretend hordes of lurking supporters, who have mailed you privately to express their agreement and gratitude.... but aren'twilling to come out publicly and say anything.
b: Accuse your opponent of trying to intimidate your hordes of supporters.... add indignantly that you "will not be silenced".
7. Attempt to impress/silence your opponent by discussing your professional credentials and experience related to the topic at hand, which clearly make your opinions better and more correct than anyone else's.... be vague about details if your credentials and experience aren't actually all that impressive. (Also known as "dueling resumes".)
8. Accuse your opponent of being overly sensitive, or suggest in a patronizing tone that they "must be having a bad day".
9. Claim that an insult or other rudeness was "just a joke", and suggest thatyour opponent has no sense of humor.
10. Claim that *everything* is a matter of opinion, that there are no such things as facts or truth.
11. a: Claim that facts are absolute.... that there's never any such thing as dispute or disagreement about a fact.
b: Assume that everything you learned in college, no matter how many years ago nor how much a field has advanced in the meantime, is completely unchanged.
12. Redefine words to mean whatever you want them to mean. (Also known as the "Humpty Dumpty" defense.)
13. Refuse to look something up, if challenged to do so.... no need, surely your memory is perfect.
14. Ask your opponent to supply lengthy and detailed references for their every statement.
15. Claim that if something works for you/your spouse/your kid/your parent/your best friend/your boss/your hairdresser's first cousin's dog's veterinarian, it will always work for everyone.... and if it doesn't, it's because they're not doing it right.
16. Tell your opponent that you've traced their IP address, and if they don't let you win, you'll post their personal information in the public forum.

I didn't create these, of course.

Report abuse Amazing speech from Tale of Two Cities.

0 comments by Ambient_Malice on Feb 21st, 2013

One of the most remarkable sufferers by the same axe—a woman—had asked at the foot of the same scaffold, not long before, to be allowed to write down the thoughts that were inspiring her. If he had given any utterance to his, and they were prophetic, they would have been these:

"I see Barsad, and Cly, Defarge, The Vengeance, the Juryman, the Judge, long ranks of the new oppressors who have risen on the destruction of the old, perishing by this retributive instrument, before it shall cease out of its present use. I see a beautiful city and a brilliant people rising from this abyss, and, in their struggles to be truly free, in their triumphs and defeats, through long years to come, I see the evil of this time and of the previous time of which this is the natural birth, gradually making expiation for itself and wearing out.

"I see the lives for which I lay down my life, peaceful, useful, prosperous and happy, in that England which I shall see no more. I see Her with a child upon her bosom, who bears my name. I see her father, aged and bent, but otherwise restored, and faithful to all men in his healing office, and at peace. I see the good old man, so long their friend, in ten years' time enriching them with all he has, and passing tranquilly to his reward.

"I see that I hold a sanctuary in their hearts, and in the hearts of their descendants, generations hence. I see her, an old woman, weeping for me on the anniversary of this day. I see her and her husband, their course done, lying side by side in their last earthly bed, and I know that each was not more honoured and held sacred in the other's soul, than I was in the souls of both.

"I see that child who lay upon her bosom and who bore my name, a man winning his way up in that path of life which once was mine. I see him winning it so well, that my name is made illustrious there by the light of his. I see the blots I threw upon it, faded away. I see him, fore-most of just judges and honoured men, bringing a boy of my name, with a forehead that I know and golden hair, to this place—then fair to look upon, with not a trace of this day's disfigurement—and I hear him tell the child my story, with a tender and a faltering voice.

"It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known."
Charles Dickens

Report abuse November 2012 development update:

0 comments by Ambient_Malice on Nov 2nd, 2012

After finishing up The Magnificence of Decay, I've resumed work on Chocolate Sunday, my Cave Story mod, as well as taken on mapping duties for the Far Cry mod The Delta Sector 2.0

I'm quite happy with the volume of downloads TMoD is getting, although I do wish for more feedback. I haven't played the mod since I released it. I just felt like taking a break. I think time gives clearer perspective when it comes to self-criticism. TMoD is a remarkable achievement, as far as I am concerned. I created something which exceeded my original ambitions.

The Delta Sector is a different kettle of fish. I'm working on it, alternating with development on Chocolate Sunday. TDS needs polish, but the basic framework of the mod is already in place. Right now, I'm focused on making the mod more playable. My first big change was reducing the AI sound distance for all the silenced weapons. Previously, they were useless in a stealth context.

Chocolate Sunday is still clunky and fragmented, but I'm slowly building it into what I hope will be one of, if not THE most captivating Cave Story mod ever made. I'm carefully polishing the writing, trying to give the mod overlapping layers of meaning.

The part I'm most proud of is the extensive sequence in which the player takes control of Sue when she first arrived on the island. The flashback is depicted in black and white, which was a significant technical challenge given Cave Story's limited sprite and entity tables.

I'm hoping for an April Fool's 2013 release date. It should be a delicious prank to unleash a REAL Cave Story mod on a date usually reserved for prank mods.

Report abuse You can check out any time you like.

0 comments by Ambient_Malice on Aug 13th, 2012

I was recently pondering the endgame scenario for The Magnificence of Decay (or the lack thereof).

I decided that I don't need one. Because the true escape from virtual reality is not a bunch of events simulating the event; instead it is the simple act of pressing ESC, and clicking QUIT.

TMoD is a personal meditation on the nature of social media, the internet, and the important place physical media must forever hold in a stable society.

Just as I decided that dialogue was too intrusive, and usable PCs are a logical method of conveying information to the player, the removal of a literal endgame scenario is a natural outpouring of the vague design ethos which has led me to this point.

When we build space-ships and venture out into the galaxy, we don't expect to find a questline. Exploration of the new and the unknown is an end in itself. That feeling of meaningless joy and discovery is what I am trying to replicate in this mod.

I'm rambling. To be honest, I'm having issues writing PC UIs. But I think everything is going to work out. I'm going to make people smile, remind people of the joy of exploring the landscape of a dream.

Report abuse Thoughts on Videogame characters. (edited from twitter)

0 comments by Ambient_Malice on Aug 2nd, 2012

The difference between being and doing is often lost in videogames. We have very little idea what or who our character really is, because the character is defined almost entirely by what he or she does. Whether that's saving kittens or punching reporters in the face.

Games as an art form use words and actions as a proxy to express who the character is as an individual. Often poorly, I might add. A character can be just as defined by what they do _not_ do.

I honestly can't think of one that does it well. Games have tried, sure. I think of Tomb Raider letting you explore Lara's home.

The trouble, I think, is game devs having this "projection" obsession. They try to create universally relatable characters. But a character everyone can relate to tends to become a shallow stereotype.

Character is a slippery thing. You or I, we are still the same person before and after a change in opinion. But game characters are often defined by a single attribute; a like or dislike, a political opinion.

I think perhaps Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker did a good job by having, literally, recorded audio interviews with Naked Snake. Naked Snake is a deep, poignant man. He is not defined by the running joke that he repeats nouns as questions.

Report abuse Influenced by Strangers

0 comments by Ambient_Malice on Jun 28th, 2012

First things first: my twitter is back online. After being suspended twice in a week for really complicated reasons I don't feel like explaining here.

Let's just say that some games journalists are opinionated, and can't handle anyone who disagrees.

I was browsing through tweets on my spare account, and I saw a mention of Analogue: a Hate Story. I'd heard of the game before. I googled Christine Love, the designer, and quickly came to the conclusion that she would probably block me on twitter if I dared to talk to her.

That aside, reading her feed caused some of the raisins in my skull to shake around. I realised that the missing element from Chocolate Sunday is a female lead.

So I've begun the task of adapting my script, written for Quote with Curly Brace as the supporting character, to a Curly Brace starring script. Things are going rather well. It has solved plot problems which arose from me trying to shoehorn Curly into scenes starring Quote.

So if Chocolate Sunday is the masterpiece I hope for, we will all have Christine Love to thank.

I'm also working on my vampire novel. In short bursts. Usually about midnight.

Report abuse Twitter Account suspended.

0 comments by Ambient_Malice on Jun 24th, 2012

First my email account was suspended, then my twitter. Sometimes I get the feeling someone doesn't like my awesome self very much. Ah, well, it's no big deal. If anything, the isolation will increase my productivity.

I went through the motions, and all I can do now is wait for Twitter to deal with the problem.