kawatan: (Default)
Things I've consumed in January 2017 worth mentioning and discussing in the near future:

  • "The Universe Unrobed: A Voyage Into the Stars, Fashion, and Film" - Under St. Marks Theatre, January 15 (on science, feminism, and watching the growth process)

  • The Learners, Chip Kidd (on Form and Content, on Credit and Blame, on Illness and Circumstance)

  • Awesome Games Done Quick 2017: Mystery Tournament, Katamari Damacy, TASBot, Undertale (on technical difficulty, on adaptiveness)

  • Past GDQ events: Crypt of the NecroDancer SGDQ 2016, Spelunky AGDQ 2016 (on community shifting, on the roguelite place in larger video game community/fandom)

  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans Episode 39 "Counsel" and Episode 40 "Lit by a Blazing Sun" (on the continuing complex portrayal of polyamory in IBO, on the ways it is and isn't problematic in regards to viewing women and viewing sexual desire, on spoiler-y thngs)

  • 2064: Read Access Memories

  • Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup 0.19 and Trunk

  • Board Games at QED Astoria: Jamaica, Rick and Morty Total Rickall, Fuse, Carcassone Amazonas

  • The Orbiting Human Circus (of the Air) (on Tropes I Happen To Like, on assumptions

  • Overwatch - Year of the Rooster (on the decisions AAA studios make)

kawatan: (Default)
I have a significant egg/poultry intolerance (to the point of practically being an allergy); my primary partner is similar with dairy. I also have a few vegan friends. So lately I've been messing with vegan dishes to see if I can get anything good out of it.

To be added here:

  • Vegan carrot muffins, which didn't really lift but were pretty tasty

  • A vegan mushroom stew-thing, which was a little too sour but really delicious

  • A vegan take on shashuska, where I messed up the ratios but it's okay in the end

  • Spinach and chickpeas

  • Miso-glazed tofu

kawatan: (Default)
So the last time I posed here, I said maybe I'd make IRDC NYC happen but wasn't sure.

Long story short: I made it happen, it was exhausting but worthwhile, I learned so much about the value of delegation.

Short story long: here's how I make an IRDC happen. )
kawatan: (Default)
As of right now, I am not streaming roguelikes or creating Let's Plays until further notice.

I will still be listening to conversations in the community on Twitter and Reddit (and hey, maybe I'll start lurking at RogueTemple again...) If I am invited to contribute to Roguelike Radio or LikeLikeLite to comment on games that interest me, perhaps I will accept, but it will not be a given.

I'm still curious about making IRDC NYC a thing that happens, though, and am always up for talking about games I love and giving recommendations.

I've been burnt out on "sharing the roguelike experience" in these ways for a long time, longer than I'd like to admit. And there's a lot I want to do with my life that's not in front of my personal computers anymore. I still love these games deeply, and love the community that's been made, and want to have conversations about them...I just want to do it on my own time and my own terms, without pressure internal or external.

Thanks for understanding. Now, it's time to go exploring.

<3 Kawa
kawatan: (Default)
So this past weekend, I was at the International Roguelike Developer Conference, also known as one of the most amazing experiences of my life so far.

Read more... )
kawatan: (Default)
Note: I am a mathematician, not an art historian - in fact, I distinctly avoided the humanities and discussing things less than logically in my formal education as soon as I had a choice in the matter* - so I'm sure I'm getting some of the terms wrong and that this post is less than coherent. I think it'd be fascinating to codify this stuff in video format for Youtube (or at least in audio format for Roguelike Radio) but I'm not really sure how.


So I watch a lot of PBS Idea Channel on Youtube (and I recommend you do too), as it's filled with wonderful thoughts on the future of expression, on how we think about and predict what's ahead of us, our continually evolving and morphing cultures, and the role of technology in shaping our lives. There was an episode in January about video games as artistic expression as a response to the Museum of Modern Art displaying games within their design wing. It's not one of the best episodes, but I'm linking it anyway just so you can see it. He talks about Heavy Rain's permadeath and Dwarf Fortress' ASCII and permanence of interactive experiences in general, and it's all pretty fascinating.

Of course, linking those things immediately brought me to roguelikes, because I'm me and that's what I think about. Roguelikes are a "genre", yes (and destroying the concept of genre is interesting in and of itself - the same channel talks about this in terms of music, but it's equally true of video games, and I'll get back to this later), but I'm also going to propose that the roguelike is a form of video games, much like how haiku or sonnets are forms of poetry.

Traditionally, haiku create images of nature or time in tiny, bite-sized pieces, extremely regimented in their appearance and structure. (The same channel actually compares haiku and Tweets as well.) This has changed over time - people have torn away at the tradition of the structure, people have expressed different things, and so on, but the general concept is the same: you can say a lot, emotionally, in an extremely tiny space, and it can be artistically relevant and meaningful. What exactly is said and how it is said is up to the haiku writer to decide, and if they decide that fewer than 17 on are necessary, or that perhaps one can emote without a kigo then so be it.

I propose that roguelikes do something like this: there is a core message that the act of making a roguelike states, and messing with this message and bending it to one's will is the exact reason roguelikes are interesting as a set of videogames just like haiku are interesting as a set of poems.

I also propose that the roguelike message is this: the world is a random place and you only get one chance, so you will always need to think given what it has dealt you, and you will often need to run away.**

Some games mess with the "one chance": from turning permadeath off entirely in Dungeons of Dredmor to earned lives in Tales of Maj'Eyal. Some games also posit that you get limited time to think, like Spelunky. Some games discourage running away (sometimes I feel Faster than Light is like that, but I may just be terrible at playing it.) Some games encourage fully exploring to get the rewards and arm yourself for the next battle, like Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup's autoexplore. Angband claims you can never go back to where you've once been, with its regenerating levels. Vicious Orcs messes with the discreteness of "level" itself. You are driven by hunger and greed in many, a relic of the original Rogue; you are tasked to even temporarily halt the insanity of the world in Ancient Domains of Mystery, or just your own insanity in Infra Arcana.

And of course: at what point have you broken away from the form/genre, and when is it no longer roguelike? (When is a haiku no longer a haiku, and why do we care?) Is it when you are no longer confined to the dungeon? (ADoM and UnReal World would disagree.) Is it when you are no longer confined to rectangular movement? (Not according to HyperRogue and Rogue Rage.) Is it when death is not permanent? (Dredmor and ToME would disagree.) Is it when you reward the hero instead of the rogue? (Some easier builds in Sword of the Stars: The Pit and DCSS would disagree.) Is it when you move too fast to think? (Spelunky would disagree, and if you play it without pausing so would FTL.) Is it when the hero is no longer solitary? (Steam Marines would disagree, and arguably so would FTL - and so would every summoner/necromancer build in NetHack and DCSS and ADoM and ToME.)

Do other genres work this way? Can one read first-person shooters and fighting games as commentary about war and violence, romantic visual novels on the beauty and futility of romance, sandboxes as commentary about post-scarcity economies? (Okay, that last one is stolen from Idea Channel too***.)

Are there things other roguelikes are "saying", overtly or not?


* I did actually go to a very prestigious humanities/liberal-arts focused private school from puberty through the end of high school. And while I did terribly at it, a lot of it HAS rubbed off whether I like it or not.
** For more on how roguelikes are about running away, check out Darren Grey's concept of "The Hero Trap". And you know, Darren Grey's games, which are more overt in their artistic messages than what I'm talking about but still worth a mention.
*** Did I mention that I watched a LOT of Idea Channel today? Like, half of the channel's content? It made for good listening while doing pushups, what can I say.
kawatan: (Default)
Here's a repository of licenses for all of the games I feature on my Youtube channel allowing me to monetize the videos of the games.

Minecraft: http://minecraft.net/brand
Faster Than Light: http://www.ftlgame.com/?p=388
Dungeons of Dredmor: http://community.gaslampgames.com/threads/youtube-monetization.5578

Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup is under GPL General Public License version 2. The copy of the license sent with the game is available upon request.

Red Rogue is under GPL version 3, as seen here in its source code.

I have permission in my e-mail to use Frozen Lights.

PS: researching these things, my crush on Nicholas Vining continues to grow. halp.
kawatan: (Default)
Hi there!

You're most likely here because you've offered to give me a physical gift of some sort, but you probably don't know me in real life. Perhaps you're here from Reddit Gifts or a [livejournal.com profile] yuletide swap. I've found I really enjoy these gift exchanges, so I've decided to make a more permanent list of things you should know before sending stuff, to help you!

The biggest thing you should know is my allergies: I am allergic to poultry of all kinds and the eggs such fowl create. "Fowl are foul to me", basically. I still do love homemade food and baked goods, but be cautious! I also happen to be allergic to both cats and dogs. I do still think they're cute, but I'm definitely not as obsessed with them as your average person on the Internet, so if you're going to give me cute animal-based merchandise, I'd rather see something more unique than cats or dogs.

I like caring for my talons! I own a stamper but have yet to use it. I have a list of what I already own here, and I'd rather not get dupes if possible (though feel free to surprise me). I'm still searching for the perfect base coat and top coat, since my eczema means I have rather pitted nail beds; I'm trying really hard to get more of my collection to be 3-Free or better (ideally with no dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde resin, toulene, camphor, or phthalic anhydride copolymers, though I know that's a lot to ask!)

I'm trying to become more polished/fashionable/classic-styled, so buying me graphic t-shirts or novelty jewelry is probably not a good idea as I won't get to use it much, sorry! If you want my sizing regardless, I range somewhere between 8-12 (petite) in women's sizes, have a body type between ruler and hourglass (I carry my stomach weight forward, but am overall 'hourglass' shaped), have short legs and not-quite-huge tracts of land (for /r/ABraThatFits folk, I'm somewhere around a 32F/34E UK), and my shoes are generally women's 6 1/2. [Dress and shoe sizes are American.] I have one lobe piercing in each ear and don't wear much jewelry beyond a dual tone watch and occasionally minihoops or studs (or sometimes something dangly for fancy scenarios) and simple necklaces. I do have a personal fondness for soft scarves and cute hats. Feel free to surprise me with jewelry and accessories, especially if it's handcrafted!

I do play video games with some regularity, especially indies on PC! My username on Steam and Desura is kawa-tan, and you can check out my Steam wishlist. I prefer turn based games over real time, generally speaking, but real time with pausing (like FTL or Baldur's Gate) also appeals to me. I love games with procedural/random generation that force me to make interesting decisions, but I also love games that attempt to tell deep and interesting stories. I grew up playing old Final Fantasy games on emulators and VI was my favorite (and Celes is my favorite character in all of Final Fantasy), so if you want to appeal to my retro gaming side that's the best way to go. (That or Pokemon. Vulpix/Ninetails is my favorite of the original 150; I have also always wanted a shiny Milotic.)

Oh, and I LOOOOOOOOOOVE roguelikes. Roguelikes roguelikes roguelikes. I've logged over 70 hours into Dungeons of Dredmor, and probably hundreds into Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup. I'm kind of stupidly involved in the roguelike community, but there's still plenty of games I haven't tried yet. (Oh, and an exception to the graphic t-shirt thing: goddamn do I want this NecroDancer shirt. Also if you can find me an @ pendant that actually looks good, I will find a way to wear it ALL THE TIME.)

I do play a good amount of Minecraft as well under the username KawaTan, especially on Flatcore public. (Feel free to gift me there! That would be fun.) I also own a modded PSP 1000, an unmodded PSP3000, a Nintendo DS, and a Nintendo 3DS.

If you couldn't tell by my frequenting of /r/mindcrack and my running of [community profile] mindcracklove under an alt, I'm a big fan of online video in general and Let's Plays/streams in particular. I find the LPer community awesome and inspiring. I started with Mindcrack and still love them best (and got to meet over half of them at the Mindcrack party at Firkin and Kegler before Minecon 2013!!) but I'm working on branching out. (I am actually also a moderator for Nebris. Team Nebsy <3 <3 <3.) I also make my own, but I know the quality isn't there yet. I'm also a bit of a Nerdfighter and have watched all of Vi Hart and PBS Idea Channel.

Do chicks dig giant robots? THIS CHICK DOES, especially Universal Century Gundam! I am team Federation for all the things, and Unicorn in Destroy Mode is probably my favorite suit, though I have a soft spot for Gundam Wing related stuff, particularly the Shenlong/Nataku line. I have an HG Unicorn in regular mode and a MG Physalis on display near my computer and could always use more model kits and other merchandise.

Other anime-related stuff: my favorite anime in the whole world is Ghost in the Shell. I still don't own DVDs of the movies or the second season of the TV series and that is a shame. I think Tachikomas are adorable, Kusanagi Motoko is my favorite fictional character ever, and I ship Batou x Motoko with teenaged levels of fervor. I love series with strong character development and a sci-fi/fantasy/supernatural flair, and have a weakness for crossdressers done properly. I would have liked Bakemonogatari better if it was more about the "inner monsters" and less about the moe (though I did like how Hitagi and Koyomi's relationship developed). I think Haruhi would have been done better if it was more about everyone's "weirdness" and less about the moe. I love everything 5pb. has done so far, and my Minecraft skin is Makise Kurisu from Steins;Gate because she is fantastic. I really need to buy myself all of Wandering Son because it's gorgeous. Said love for supernatural (...and crossdressing *cough*) has led me to fall head over heels for Jojo's Bizarre Adventure. If I had to order the completed parts in terms of most favorite to least: Battle Tendency, Stone Ocean, Steel Ball Run, Diamond is not Crash, Stardust Crusaders, Vento Aureo. I don't see myself becoming a figure collector any time soon, but other merchandise would be pretty neat, or fanworks. (If you want to write me fanfiction or draw me fanart for anything mentioned, I will be starry eyed. Seriously.)

I am a mathematician/Operations Research/data analyst by trade, with a passion for math education and explaining math to non-mathematicians. Vi Hart is probably my favorite living mathematician, followed by Steven Strogatz and Nate Silver; Blaise Pascal is probably my favorite dead one, with Benoit Mandelbrot close behind. (I have read The Signal and the Noise and the relevant New York Times columns done by Silver and Strogatz, but have yet to read Strogatz's books.) As you can tell, I lean towards statistics and optimization (as evidenced by the OR degree). I think e is more interesting than pi or tau or phi, the standard normal function is fascinating, and fractals are awesomesauce. One of my favorite things in the whole world is the Math Girls series, though I've only read the first novel. Tetra is another female character I like!

I hope this helps, and if you have any other questions, feel free to ask!
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