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Site Discussion / Discord
« on: October 01, 2017, 06:10:56 PM »
It's about time.

As of this posting, I just founded the Discord server for TMK, and a few IRC regulars are there.

General Chat / Worldbuilding vs. Storytelling
« on: April 05, 2016, 10:01:04 PM »
I have been thinking about how these two things meet or make up for each other or eclipse each other. I want to have an open-ended discussion about this and what you think

This is sort of relevant because the thing that gets me thinking about this is Paper Mario. Because what Paper Mario used to be and what everyone's complaining it no longer is, is delivering great storytelling in the context of a world that had already been built...

Because good worldbuilding can make up for a lousy story. Pokémon's best story is Black & White and even that is just kind of okayish, but tell me you've never thought about what kind of trainer you'd be if they existed, or what kinds would be readily available in the area surrounding where you live. Star Wars didn't have the best acting or the most bulletproof story even in the original trilogy alone, but you want to know how blasters and lightsabers work, you wanted to know what the Jedi were like (before the prequels revealed they were mostly a bunch of boring old guys who sat around in a room talking about nothing). Harry Potter; just, Harry Potter.

I feel like worldbuilding is at its most compelling when it is strong and the story kinda sucks, because everyone likes to patch up plot holes, make up headcanons, or outright make up their version of the story. You don't want the worldbuilding to go to waste.

But something weird happens when the story is really good, at least for me. I kinda just stop caring about the worldbuilding a little. Chrono Trigger should by all means have worldbuilding worth talking about. Prehistory was a fight for survival between humans and lizard people. What was the industrial revolution like? In 1000 AD people have refrigerators and running water but no cars or trains, and none of these things existed in 600 AD. Monsters, a post-apocalypse populated by robots Zeal--holy crap, Zeal. And yet... I never think about that stuff. I dug up what I just said on the spot to talk about how good the world is, but when I think about the game that's not what I think of. I remember the characters and the moments and the bosses. I haven't played Cross because I don't feel like I want more of the world, and the story tied itself up well enough. The worldbuilding didn't go to waste.

Going back to Paper Mario, I wonder what people would think of Thousand-Year Door without any prior Mario games existing at all. Some kind of flying thing delivers a letter to the player character... a stretched-out green version of the player character reads it to him and before you know it you're at a port populated by some kind of walking blue balls with bandannas, and talking to a pink blob thing with a mining helmet and fighting a god-knows-what. Imagine what the Glitz Pit would be like. A huge amount of what's great about Paper Mario is seeing a believable living world made out of the elements in the main series, seeing Goombas who aren't just Goombas. But you know they are Goombas.

It's a unique feeling because it's practically all story made out of worldbuilding that had already been done... and I wonder if one game could create the same feeling. You can see the partner Yoshi and never see the standard ones in Paper Mario 2, and you don't think "what an odd-looking fellow" and assume it's a one-off character design like Wonky or Dazzle. You know it's a Yoshi. That's the feeling I'm talking about. That feeling is the core of what I want to figure out by talking about this. Why it's so cool to see the creatures of an already established world applied to a good story/good characters, and why it doesn't feel the same when the good story and characters are there from the beginning. Undertale has a ton of monster designs but since it's doing the worldbuilding and making characters for the story at the same time, monsters of a given appearance come off as one-of-a-kind. Undyne comes across as more like Undyne The Fish Person rather than Undyne, a fish person. The cast of Homestar Runner is a great example of that--they don't look like a bunch of different races, they look like a bunch of character designs probably unique to the individual. There's more people like Pom Pom out there, but the Brothers Strong look nothing alike and are directly related.

My thoughts about all this are clearly not all in order. That's why I want to talk about it.

Video Game Chat / Brawlhalla
« on: March 04, 2016, 12:27:51 AM »
Brawlhalla is this free-to-play platform fighting game (so, like Smash Bros., and unashamed about it) on Steam. It's currently in open beta.

I've tried to start this thread a few times but can't really come up with much to say about it that makes it sound as good as it is. It's a lot of fun and I like it. It's free, it can probably run fine on lower-end computers, give it a go, see if you like it.

My main is Azoth. I like Ember, Scarlet and Koji a lot as well.

General Chat / How do you help depressed people
« on: October 13, 2015, 07:38:11 AM »
An online friend of mine from another community attempted suicide yesterday.

It came almost without warning. He left IRC with a dark quit message the night before, and I missed it.

The really terrifying part is that when he announced it to just the three or four people in a smaller IRC channel, he nonchalantly said he'd probably try again in a few weeks or months... and resumed acting like it never happened. In fact he said he wishes he didn't say anything... doesn't want anyone to worry or treat him different. Went back to talking about games and stuff like normal. And now we know normal wasn't okay. And it makes it really hard to tell how much time there is.

I did talk to him one-on-one and I don't know how much I helped, but I'm going to keep trying. I've said the basics. That I'm available to listen, that I think dealing with your problems by yourself is overwhelming and [dukar]ty and that's why other people exist, and not to feel ashamed or like an inconvenience... I know not to say anything that would induce guilt or anything like "life is great and you're just doing it wrong". It seems like he doesn't know why he's depressed and it's been constant for a long time. And I realize that even though he's been my dungeon master for about three years now, I don't know a whole lot about him. Everyone knows a lot about me 'cause wherever I go I never shut up about what I'm thinking and feeling and doing.

My thinking is that, whenever I exhibit any signs of anxiety or discomfort, I can figure out what's wrong and wrestle with the actual problem rather than the feelings. This guy either doesn't know why he's suicidal and what needs to be done to help him recover, or won't tell me (I asked specifically how he tried to do it and didn't get an answer). In order to help, I need to understand, in order to understand, I need to get him to open up. I think I should probably be transparent about that. He's smart.

However, one thing I do know about him is that his physical health is really not good. I'm well aware that can be a major factor in depression. Even I sometimes notice my mood dip if I haven't been eating my greens and getting sunlight. But I realize how difficult a problem that is to knock out, especially when it's not your own health, especially especially when you don't live anywhere near the person.

So... if anyone knows psychology or has been in a situation like this before and has any advice that will help me (and other friends, but, we've agreed that ganging up and smothering him is probably not the best thing to do) save this guy, I'm listening.

General Chat / Now you can finally know
« on: September 22, 2015, 02:30:14 AM »
I was a time traveler from the future, and we've finally caught up to when I left for the past. In the 2015 I knew, I was 12, and I loved Rick and Morty so much I wished I were a 20-something so I could have other 20-something friends to talk to about it, because you know how kids who watch South Park are just there for the swearing and the fart jokes, well, I didn't want to be one of those kids.

When the government sent me back in time they told me I wasn't allowed to talk about the future. Being annoyingly precocious 12-year-old, I went ahead and used a Rick and Morty character's name, Bird Person, for my username here anyway, because that's technically not TALKING about the future, but yeah I've been told off enough times about that, eventually they forced me to change it. And I ended up going with "Skeleton" and variations thereof a little bit too early, a little bit before the Spooky Scary Skeletons memes really took off, but luckily nobody noticed that. I had to make up this awesome story that I made up a [dukar]ty username "because I was 12" but the truth is that I just didn't understand the gravity of spacetime because I was 12.

This is also why I acted like a genwunner ******** when Diamond and Pearl were the newest Pokémon games. I said the new Pokémon didn't look like Pokémon should but the truth was that Gen 5 and 6's new ones were just SO good that I was upset I wasn't allowed to mention them until 2010 and 2013.

But yeah Rick and Morty is really good



These don't mean anything. But. As far as people and temperaments go, Donald Trump seems like an angry human being by nature, so it is easy to make him a pyromancer with computer magic. Maybe that means it would be a bad thing for him to become president, because it wasn't until hours after making the first one that I realized there was a "you're fired" joke in there.

Game Blog / Everything Wrong With the Super Mario Bros. Movie
« on: July 25, 2015, 07:20:23 PM »

"No movie is without sin," is the motto of CinemaSins. And the time has come for Super Mario Bros. to pay for its crimes. Or, at least... be scathingly criticized for them, step-by-step, in a video one-fifth as long as the movie itself.

Everything Wrong With Super Mario Bros. In 21 Minutes Or Less

Justice is served!

If you haven't got 20 minutes to spare, perhaps the also recently-released <a href="[bundle of sticks]">Honest Trailer for the film[/url] by Screen Junkies will hold you over.

<a href="" target="_blank"></a>

I loved it! I'll admit it's a pretty badly-written story and feels unfinished because all we get is a stable time loop with no actual killing of Hitler, but I expected nonstop absurd 80s action and that's what I got in spades

General Chat / Over the Garden Wall
« on: January 03, 2015, 02:21:37 PM »

Did anyone here watch it? It's a ten-part animated miniseries that aired on Cartoon Network over five days in late October, and is supposedly going to run again today and tomorrow. Not to get anyone's expectations up but it's so good

Video Game Chat / The Super Smashing Sale
« on: September 08, 2014, 05:06:19 PM »
In case anybody didn't already know. The Mario one still has three days. More games than what's listed at the link are part of it... you can get currently get some NES games for a slightly less hilariously overpriced than usual, and next week's implies some F-Zero and Kid Icarus games will be involved.

General Chat / Something you want
« on: August 10, 2014, 05:32:11 AM »
I think whether you're a good, generous person or a self-righteous narcissus, there's something weirdly specific that you want to have. And not something corny like true love, or world peace, or a clone of Mr. Rogers, or to travel the world. Even if it genuinely comes after stuff like that, I think we all want something wasteful and unnecessary and expensive. And not money, either--money is just a resource with which you can get such frivolous bull[dukar]. Forget about money and fame and experiences and other people's well-being for this topic. Judge no one for not wishing to cure AIDS. There's a thing you've fantasized in detail about having, maybe even so far as to assert that one day you'll have it. And I think it's an interesting subject that can say a lot about a person. Or not. Who knows.

The thing I've always wanted and would seek to have is a huge jacuzzi. Like a heated pool, probably outdoors but somewhere no one can see, and looks half natural, like a pond, and half like an in-ground hot tub. Clearly big enough for maybe ten people to fit in comfortably but only ever used by one or two people at a time, bottle of wine optional. No TVs. You don't look at it during the day because the little fake (but convincing) candles on the fake (but convincing) lilypads aren't lit then. Nor the post-mounted lanterns all around it.

I don't really care to have an excessive amount of money, or an excessively pretty car, or an excessively luxurious place to live to frame it with. The excessive material thing I want is this hot tub. And I think I'll always want it, in the back of my head, until I'm 40, have a permanent living situation and whatever the future has in place of financial security, and start building it myself, 'cause that is the type of person I am. The type who makes whatever he wants but doesn't have.

Mario Chat / Super Waa Hoo World
« on: June 03, 2014, 12:19:59 PM »
<a href="" target="_blank"></a>

Fair warning, Wendy says an M-rated word

Video Game Chat / Project M
« on: December 16, 2013, 09:32:12 PM »
1. Project M is 100% playable on an unmodded Wii or Wii U
2. It is made with the competitive scene in mind--players who liked Melee. But the ideology is that Melee was fun for everyone and no one working on this forgot it is a mascot fighter series.

Sorry to go bold right there but I wanted to clear up two misconceptions that turn some people away from Project M before anything else.

So if you haven't heard about it, Project M is a big mod that changes Brawl into a faster-paced and more balanced game that plays like Melee. Every character returning from Melee uses their SSBM properties as a floor but no one is exempt from changes. Even Fox or Falco. The Brawl newcomers have new toys, different toys, and some mechanics that have never been seen in Smash Bros. before. Almost every character feels stronger in some respect, especially the ones who really needed the buffs, like Samus, Link, Bowser or Zelda. It's a lot of fun.

And if the main draw to Smash Bros. to you is the same as for me--"I can make Mario fight Link!" then Project M should be up your alley from all the new love letters to the characters' original games, and stuff like that.

This is a playable alternate costume for Peach.

Dry Bowser and Dry Giga Bowser. They went to the trouble to give Giga Bowser alternate colors matching Bowser's color changes including this one for his model change.

These guys are back and do not replace anyone already in Brawl. The entire cast plus Mewtwo and Roy are fully playable as of 3.0 (except Red the Pokémon Trainer, whose Pokémon are now completely independent fighters).

<a href="" target="_blank"></a>
Ness's smash up-taunt.

<a href="" target="_blank"></a>
Wario's moveset and animations are the Wario Land-inspired attacks that even a 'Ware fan like me thinks he obviously should have had to begin with.

It's all a very professional labor of love. If you've got an SD card 2GB or smaller that you're not using, give it a whirl. You won't regret it.

General Chat / Gallant Adventures
« on: October 06, 2013, 12:32:59 AM »
It's me and my taste in webcomics again. Or me and my affinity for frogs again. Whichever

I give it a frog/10

Video Game Chat / Death from above!!
« on: August 23, 2013, 09:49:34 AM »
Divekick is this new "fighting game" for PC and Sonystuff controlled with only three buttons, one of which is only used to pause. The other two are dive (jump) and kick (diving kick). If you get hit even once, it's a KO, and the first player to get five KOs wins. It is a huge joke about fighting games, fighting metagames, and the people that play them.

And the punchline is that it's an awesome game on its own.

It's crazy, more fun than it sounds, and easy to get into. Even if you don't know anything about fighting games (I believe there are a few jabs at Super Smash Bros. in it), there is still humor to appreciate in the characters' win quotes, entire characterizations and storylines, and the useless loading screen tips from Uncle Sensei.

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