Alternate Universe Friends

A peculiar Ren’Py fanfic now available through the website, this probably-copyright-infringing game is liberally illustrated with photoshopped screen captures from the TV show. It’s not entirely clear whether the images are stills, or overlays assembled on the fly.  It’s a Friends episode in a universe where Hitler won World War II.

The narrative frame is introduced from (presumably) the real-world Friends universe, with the crowd all gathered around speculating on what it would be like if the Axis had won the war. They chatter for just a few seconds (Ross: “I’d be half Japanese.”) before the game begins.

So you’re immediately waiting for the punchline, and this (for me) was a major part of the game experience. There’s no one player character. Instead, you’re given little choices, about what the characters say, and a few choice-points that seem to influence the plot. I didn’t play it more than once — I was never into the show, and the game is enough like the show for me.

The minor choices in dialog set up different retorts from the other characters, which are bland-witty in much the way I recall from the TV program. A great deal of the discussion is about a dress of Monica’s, which looks good but is not appropriate for any particular occasion, so the other characters all chime in with ultimately unhelpful ideas about where she can wear it. There’s a sub-plot about Joey’s job, which is a minor acting gig but which may lead to something better.

So what about Nazi New York? (more…)

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Published in: on March 19, 2012 at 10:36 am  Leave a Comment  
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Incredibly Cool Site for Writers…

Here we have fictional characters from various famous novels rendered pictorally by police artists.

http://thecomposites.tumblr.com/

Published in: on February 17, 2012 at 9:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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(meta-review) I don’t play hentai games, but…

I don’t play hentai games.  That’s not a rule of mine.  I would if I wanted to.  I even hopefully, but half-heartedly, checked a few out once.  Just for some reason they don’t do it for me.

However, this short review of an adult “video novel” video game, I guess written in Ren’Py, struck me as kind of interesting:

Played the game and I have to say I liked it was pretty good for a non-professional title, good enough for me to personally go through the game and get all the endings to see the harem ending and the alien invasion ending, keep up the good work and would like to see another…

The author seems to have removed the game from circulation, so there’s no telling if my curiosity would have gotten the better of me.

I don’t think my uninterest in adult VN games stems from prudery.  Once I started to write a script for a porn film, based on the theory that the form does not fully explore the options available to it.  The opening scene went like this: (more…)

Published in: on February 12, 2012 at 7:42 pm  Comments (3)  
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Bullshit Review of _Find the Dog_

Sorry for the bullshit of this bullshit review — a real review would be too difficult to write.

This is a fine game — parser works, pictures work — text does its job — the main problem being you can’t download it.  Which is fine if you have a decent internet connection, but my tubes are slow.

The premise is vaguely amusing.  You play a 50 year old neighborhood woman who makes a bundle ($150 a week) to dog-sit a woman’s dog at her apartment.  The interaction with the 50 year old neighborhood bachelors at McDonalds in the morning is frighteningly on.  I suspect the author lurked and took notes, or perhaps is a 50 year old woman himself.

The complication hits immediately:  The dog dies.  This is almost immediate, but after you’ve played a few rounds and imagine this is shaping up to be some kind of Dog Sim, complete with minigames like Clean Up After Rover (did you bring a plastic bag?)

It’s been established that this dog is your bread and butter — “Are you SERIOUS?  $150 a week to WALK A DOG?” the bachelors exclaim — and you basically have no other income except for a woefully inadequate social security check that on inspection causes your player character to mentally review your older friends who have sold off their belongings, or taken in strange boarders, or so forth, to eek by on theirs.

Therefore, when the dog dies — or more accurately, is discovered dead in the apartment — the correct response is adequately indicated by context, but by no means obvious.  You must [spoiler] (more…)

Published in: on January 29, 2012 at 7:47 pm  Comments (5)  
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OWS in the news

To be honest, I’ve been surprised to see my little blog covered nationally.  But when major lobbying firms are planning a coordinated PR attack, that’s — that’s just out of control.

Published in: on November 19, 2011 at 1:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Latest: Occupy Bangor!

update —

I’m running with the Occupy Bangor crowd this past week. I’m online with a blog relating to that experience, which you can find at http://conradcook.wordpress.com.

That’s an unofficial blog. What you see in the news about the 99% crowd doesn’t really capture the reality.

Published in: on November 12, 2011 at 1:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Latest…

The latest for me is that I seem to be wrapping up my walkabout.  I say seem to because these things don’t involve a decision from me.

Wikipedia tells us the walkabout was primarily about shirking work and institutional regulation, and from my point of view this is a nontrivial dimension of it.  So to speak.  But on the other hand, the rumor really is true:  at some point, you meet yourself.

Hard to explain.

Ron asked if I’m going to be involved in IF Comp 2011.  I expect not.  I’m currently without a laptop, and I’m putting my daily one hour online toward a bigger project.

I remember questioning, two Comps ago, whether interactive fiction had a social code.  This due to that trivial but constant meanness we see, on r.a.if, out of that guy who pretends to be Jacek Pudlo, and so forth.

When I vanished on my first walkabout, it turns out a few of you guys got together to try to find me.  You were worried.  I got an email about it later.  It was very kind, and I realized later how definitively it answered my question. IF does indeed have a social code.

Thanks, guys.

I have a few ideas for games, which I mean to write up sometime.  But I’m really into this calamity prevention and recovery planning, and I’m not sure when I’ll get around to text games.

My college friends would often end up with spare computers kicking around.  If you’re reading this and you have an old laptop that you’re not using, it’d help me be more productive.  An hour a day doesn’t give me much.

Currently, I’m working on what (minimal) knowledge set would be needed to bootstrap modern high-tech civilization.  It’s a peculiar problem.  Currently, it seems you need kilns, to make bricks for blacksmith’s furnaces, and plenty of steel digging tools, for mining.

Without those tools, you end up in a catch-22:  The most accessible coal is deep underground, the stuff on the surface already being used up, and you can’t easily set up a blacksmith shop to make steel mining tools without coal…

It’d be tough.  It’s not inescapable, but it’d be tough.  Especially with a serious knowledge gap.  Some picks and shovels scattered around would help tremendously.

Anyway, yeah, if you have a laptop you don’t need and aren’t using, email me.  It’s taking me longer than I counted on to find work.

Published in: on October 22, 2011 at 3:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Kyle tells me he’ll kill my family….

One of the remote viewers, Kyle, tells me he’s fed up with me and is going to kill my family.  “You have no idea how rough we play.”  This because I changed my password on Gmail, which they revealed they’d hacked into.  The other remote viewers on the line assure me he’s serious.

IP Address:  64.134.101.175 [Label IP Address]
ISP: At&t Wi-fi Services
Entry Page Time: 14th April 2012 15:58:02
Visit length: 23 seconds
Browser: Chrome 18.0
OS: Win7
Resolution: Unknown
Location: Austin, Texas, United States 
Returning Visits: 14th April 2012 15:58:25
Published in: on April 15, 2011 at 4:55 pm  Comments (1)  

remote viewer podcast

http://remoteviewer.podbean.com/

A podcast, mostly audio journaling.

Published in: on April 14, 2011 at 8:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
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100-1 data compression ratios! (sci-fi comes true)

This leaked according to Tim Ouellette, currently with Sonalysts.  Not entirely Tim’s fault — I was curious about what he was doing, and since it was just a corporate secret and not a state secret, and since I know a little about conversational hypnosis, was good friends with him, and he was drunk, well…

(My friend who works for Sikorsky I go the other way with.  I tell him, Chris, tell me nothing about the helicopter.)  Anyway, someone got this out of me recently who, after the food stamp thing, it was indicated to me Tim would lose his job and be forcibly recruited.  So rather than keep it a secret, I’m making it public.

The trade secret, developed by a polymath named Dan who Tim worked for back in 2001 in a company named “Solarity,” in New Haven, CT, is to apply the Reimann hypothesis to chi orbitals.  This allows you to somehow carry a signal with electrons in a weird way that is not electricity.  Understanding this, you can operate a standard CPU in such a way that you don’t need a hard drive:  the hard drive is kept in the CPU, all information stored quantumly.  Alternatively, you can open an “electronic subspace” where a single bit now holds 100 quantum bits.  Then it gets weird:  you can recursively open inside that another electronic subspace, such that you can store at any depth of recursion as much information as you want and care to do the work to set up.

The sad story is that this technology got nipped on the vine by, as I recall, one of the billionaires who owns AT&T.  This is third-hand information, and entirely unreliable.  The story goes that said billionaire was approached for an investment and to be put on the board of trustees.  When the stock offering happened, the contract stipulated that he would own 51% of the shares.  This was declined.

After this, the billionaire called the FBI to complain that the claims being made were demonstrably impossible.  100-1 data compression is not possible with existing technology.  Since this was a credible claim of impossibility, and since no doubt he was a billionaire, the FBI took this very seriously and investigated the company for fraud.  This made it illegal for them to get more investors.  Without an income and with accruing expenses, they would die.  The billionaire also sued them — I don’t know what; basically on the same claim that they had defrauded him, I believe — with their own money.  Since he was on the board of directors, this was perfectly legal.  Dan continued to pour his own money into it, but he was a millionaire going up against a billionaire and the Federal government.  Thus, last I knew, the company, the idea, and all the derivative technologies died.

They had at least one patent out, as I understand.  The patent was designed carefully to conceal, rather than reveal, the core insight that made the technology work.  I’ve done a few Google searches for all this, but without Dan’s last name, and perhaps not knowing how to correctly spell the name of the company, I’ve been unable to make any headway.

However, if one of you bright MIT boys or girls wants to look into this one, I recommend it.  You’ll probably have to put the information in the public domain, though, or there are likely to be lawsuits and all kinds of such nastiness.

Published in: on April 14, 2011 at 3:27 pm  Leave a Comment