TagVideo Games

Python Games

Yesterday, I posted about being generally uninterested in programming. Burnout is a pretty common case, and add on my preexisting condition, and you’ve got yourself an issue. In order to combat that, I decided to take up learning a very popular language: Python. I’ve always admired Python from afar. It seemed like a well-organized language with some interesting components. There is a module for everything and while performance isn’t quite as fast as C, it’s interpreted, so it’s to be expected.

To that end, I began writing a small game. Just guess a randomly chosen number in a range. You get a couple of attempts. Nothing hard, nothing that I’d have to dig too deep into learning how the whole thing works. A test to see if I enjoyed it.

I did enjoy it. For the most part. Learning (or relearning) the Python grammar after being embedded in C-styled languages for so long was a little bit of a hurdle. Overall, I was able to get things put together pretty well. I think I’m going to continue to extend and learn more about the deeper functions and modules available in core.

I’m not unfamiliar with programming, though, I’m sure Gordon Ramsay is not far off, eying my bread for a little sandwich making.

Idiot Sandwich

If you want to follow along, you can check out the edits and commit history I’ve posted to the repo. I may even enable issues to allow people to chime in where I might have done something wrong.

Ranch Slime

I’ve been playing a fair bit of Slime Rancher recently. It’s a cute little game that runs semi-decently on this laptop, and (more importantly) runs on Linux. It’s been a good time waster and distraction from everything going on in the world. Plus it’s something I can play while Garrett is around and not get in trouble for “violent content”.

My biggest complaint about the game is summed up in this post from 2019:

Trying to get out in Slime Rancher and explore while farms are overflowing with fruit and veggies that will rot if you don’t grab and store them, and pens that are dangerously low on food, but overflowing with unclaimed plorts is something that can take in-game days to sort out. I’ve got a bit of a system down, now, and I’ve reorganized some stuff to make it easier, but without drones, I need to keep a careful eye on resources to ensure things continue to move.

Overall, I’d say if you’re a fan of games like Stardew Valley, and want something you can sink into comfortably for a while, this is a great game.

Press (Y) to honk

Yes, I’ve been playing that game.

More than that, I’ve enabled a little feature on my site. Seems to only work with Blink/Webkit browsers, but it’s too good to not keep. But first, a story.

Way back in the day, I administered a little website for a law school. This was, at times, painfully boring. As one does when one is bored and feeling a little overworked at times, you tend to add “features”. Easter eggs is their technical term. One day, I had a particularly bossy client who had rapid fire changes that needed to be made to this static site he had forced us to use for his pet project. I was getting annoyed because the code was in shambles and I was required to support it, which meant fixing it all. In addition to fixing up the code, I added an easter egg to the site behind the Konami code that would invoke Cornify to… redecorate… the site.

I obviously had to show it off to my co-workers. It was a great success and people loved it. They wanted me to show it off to everyone who came by for meetings. I eventually cleaned up the original trigger code and applied it to the site template for all the pages on the site. That way you could get your pink unicorniness on regardless of the boring subject you were reading about.

Yes, that was all a massive aside to tell you that if you press Y on my site, and click on a link or other element, you’ll hear that good ol’ goose honk.

End of an Era

I got rid of my Linux gaming workstation the other day. The ~10 year old machine had served me well, especially considering it had cost me less than $1000 when I built it. Additionally, I only put minor upgrades into it. A generally unneeded extra 8gb of RAM and a sorely needed Nvidia 1060 6gb graphics card. The decision didn’t come lightly. I have been a gamer on some level for most of my life. I’m moving on from that, generally, now.

The decision to stop playing PC games was not one I wanted to make, but it was somewhat forced on me. As I grow older, I’m loosing out on time to more important tasks. I have schooling I’m trying to focus on, and I have a job, family and other responsibilities that I can’t ignore. Couple that with the fact that I don’t really need multiple gaming systems dividing my attention for entertainment, and that I just got a laptop that more than covers my mundane needs. I made a choice to remove excess.

Right now, I’m siting here, looking at all there is left of that system. A stack of Corsair RAM, several HDDs/SSDs and the 1060. I can’t help but wonder if it was the right decision to make. I’ll miss out on Doom: Eternal and probably the PC port of Monster Hunter: World – Iceborne. I find that I don’t care, though. I’m well enough entertained and the future is bright as far as the Switch, 2DS and iOS gaming goes. Maybe when I retire I’ll build myself a gnarly-ass rig and go all out — I doubt it, but it’s a nice thought.

Here’s to you, old PC, you got me through more than my fair share of downtime.

DDLC

Warning: The game I’m about to talk about is not for minors, people who aren’t up for handling intense themes or really bothered by suicide and self-harm.


Doki-Doki Literature Club (henceforth “DDLC”) is a “visual novel” game that appears, at first, to be another game following the “Dating Sim” trope. Released in 2017, it has been a cult hit and free-to-play. That all being said: It is not a dating sim game, it’s cleverly packaged computer/horror.

Suffice it to say, if you’re not into it, you can read a summary of the game and the various acts it goes through on this wiki, or watch any of the playthroughs on YouTube. Honestly, you’re not missing much “gameplay” by doing so. I will be discussing spoiler like material, so if you want to play blind, read no further. Otherwise, it’s a almost three-year old game, get over it.

One of the biggest shocks, and painful moments of the game (and there are many) is the death of Sayori. While I’m sure not everyone who plays the game is sympathetic to every character, I identified with her especially.

You see, Sayori is depressed. Deeply so. She hides it behind a carefully designed mask of cheerful aloofness. This throws people off, even if she lets the mask slip (on purpose, or by accident). Her behavior of sleeping in, clumsiness and desire for others to be happy is a really clever cover and one that I identify with. Needless to say, it didn’t take long for me to see through it. As the kids say: Game recognizes game.

DDLC even goes so far as to drag you into a false sense of relief as you “end” her segment of the game, making you believe that, while not better, things are on the up-and-up. Only to throw it back in your face. I know I was warned. Still, I felt it.

Obviously the game begins to slide right off the rails into surreal horror/computer spookiness, subtexted by realistic people issues. The Yuri character enjoys self harm, which is something people suffer with every day. Natsuki is the child of abuse and neglect and offers up a tough front because of it. All of these characters are sympathetic and probably why the game is so popular. Additionally, the developer did some neat behind the scenes stuff with files in the game directory.

Overall, I really enjoyed the relatively short play through. It’s packaged as a type of game that I’d normally avoid, on principal, but recommendations and mild spoilers directed me otherwise. If you’re not bothered by some of the material in the game, then you’re in for a treat. It’s got more depth than it has any right to, and delivers real emotional stuff in a genre rife with the direct opposite.

The best part is that the game is free to download and play. It runs on Windows, Mac and Linux and if you’re so inclined, the developer has some extra special stuff in the $10 DLC.

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