• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by ariskany_evan

  1. Idle Thumbs 156: The Holo-Violator

    I think this happens with challenging works of art in lots of other types of expression. Personal receptivity plays a big role, but a cultural shout of acceptance also helps. I like to find out about pieces of experimental music that get great reviews, but don't read the text of the reviews. It's incredible how often I struggle to keep focused and enjoy the piece, but when I go and read about the piece and someone can guide my listening it goes down much smoother. I used to think I needed to listen to a piece of music at least three times to try and account for the fact that I'd probably not always be in the most receptive of places. But now I feel so inundated by media in general that if I don't "get it", and no one's shouting positive things about it in that moment of time, I just move on. Likewise, I don't worry about playing correctly; I don't like diminishing my aesthetic and play needs of the moment for chasing 100% receptivity. Plus it's fun and great to accept that you missed something. Imagine the few (or majority of?) people that heard the first Velvet Underground album when it got released and weren't in the right state of mind to appreciate it. They could always go back after hearing the crazy amount of praise the band got later on and go, "oh shit! I heard that album so long ago! Thought it was shit! Huh, maybe I'll give it another chance." I just think some of us work too hard to be empathetic to the creators. It certainly pays off sometimes, but I'm currently in a state of mind where I think it's more often a bad habit that finds us wondering if we're wasting our time or not.
  2. Android Games

    Hate to be negative, but I'm feeling "alone" on this opinion, and curious to see what others think: Badlands. I hate it. As I play, I can feel my chest constricting more and more as I struggle to "control" the little dude(s). Not that I would want direct control, but the physics they chose makes my body hurt. And it gets worse when he gets bigger... the scroll of the screen with how fast he can move... it's just too much!! I only hear great things about this game, so just curious to hear how other people here feel?
  3. The Dancing Thumb (aka: music recommendations)

    Went to a concert of Brahms last night played by the LA Phil. Had the lucky opportunity to sit very close and it sounded beautiful. Sadly it wasn't Brahms at his best. Piano Concerto No. 2 is a bit... lacking. When I'm sitting through lesser works at these kinds of concerts I'm left imagining the kinds of pieces I wish I could hear played in such a monumental setting. Oftentimes I wish they would do more of a playlist style, and cherry-pick movements from larger works that are actually of excellent quality, and get rid of the chuff. So with that! Here's my favorite Charles Ives thing. 1st movement from the Piano Trio (the rest of the piece hasn't really grabbed me). Ever the experimenter, he starts with just the cello and right-hand of the piano. Then the violin and the left-hand of the piano take over. Then he takes those two parts and gels them together. The best part, though, is that it is actually so amazing to listen to. Some experimental compositional technique stuff ends up sounding like the composer came up with a cool idea and then couldn't figure out how to make it "sound" "well". I would argue that Ives falls into that trap fairly often, but when he succeeds it can be sublime:
  4. Hearthstone: Because what Magic really needed was F2P mechanics

    Flying cross-country tomorrow. Sure, I've got plenty of games to catch up on on the ol' iPad (Year Walk and Device 6 off the top of my head) and I can even get vanilla Civ 5 running on the ol' laptop. But honestly, all I want is to play some Hearthstone... I'm at that point where I'm HAPPY they don't have a mobile version, as it means I don't keep playing it when I'm in bed. I like this game. Even just using the basic decks, I've had some incredibly close matches that make me feel like I have agency, but also am at the whim of chance and fate. I had one that was unbearably close, and then I ran out of cards. He only had enough to get me down to 1 health. I was going to kill him next turn, but then my turn started and I got the "out of cards" -1 health penalty and the game was lost. I lost and I was grinning.
  5. Transistor

    They've been pretty quiet on the PR front. Hope the final days of development are going smoothly for them....
  6. Hearthstone: Because what Magic really needed was F2P mechanics

    That's odd! When you get past level 1 for each class you should get a new card for that class, which should raise your basic card count to 11/20. You don't even need to do the "Play" option, you can do "Practice" to get the basic cards as well. Sounds like a bug?
  7. The Dancing Thumb (aka: music recommendations)

    Yeah! He's great! The track below is just so well put together. Absolutely one of my favorites from last year!
  8. Android Games

    +1 to Pocket Casts! It looks slick, but most importantly it works 100% of the time for me.
  9. It was as if you were opening up one of Elizabeth's rifts into an alternate dimension. Scary stuff.
  10. Hearthstone: Because what Magic really needed was F2P mechanics

    How do people feel about the concede option? At this point I've only seen one other opponent use it on me, but I use it pretty liberally. There's a rough calculation where if I see that my cards are terrible and I have a one in a million chance of coming back I'd rather concede and move on to the next game. Is this bad form? We had a pretty huge discussion about this sort of thing in the Dota Today thread, but something about 1v1 makes it feel like a different case. I only use it when I'm very close to sure that I'm going to lose. Had a game last night where I was down to 5 health, and my opponent was at 25, and I managed to pull out a win, so this is more a question of how I'm affecting my opponent that I'm conceding to, rather than thinking about it from my perspective. Very surprised that I haven't had any opponents idle. Some take a ton of time to think, but no one's run down the timer yet. Also had my first horrifying moment last night: had been playing on my iPad 2, and decided to move it to the computer. Find a match and it asks me to pick which cards to discard. I immediately start poking the screen. Made me feel like a huge idiot.
  11. Hearthstone: Because what Magic really needed was F2P mechanics

    I LOVE the design on this game. I find myself looping around like a maniac, and everywhere I go I'm learning how to play. - Practice when I'm fitting in a game at moment I could be distracted or taken away, or when starting out a new hero. Losing to a computer feels so much easier. - Play to complete the daily challenges. Because I have those daily challenges to keep an eye on, winning or losing feels secondary to the inevitable attrition towards completing these short-term goals. 1v1 games have always scared me away because the focus is so heavily weighted towards simply winning or losing. Hearthstone side-steps that. - Earn enough gold to compete in the arena where I'm FORCED to build a deck. Knowing that I'm not going up against people's perfected decks makes this less daunting. Not knowing all the cards or the meta game makes the prospect of making decks early on feel like a chore, so I would normally just not do it. But the arena FORCES me to learn. I lose three games in a row and I get a pack of cards. Cool. Everywhere I go I'm learning and it's fun!
  12. Gah! I love that the cultural reference to Proust's smell-nostalgia trope has been downgraded to "an insane flashback Ratatoullie moment." Actually, wait. I don't! F Nick Breckon.
  13. Plug your shit

    Album is finished today! Weird, dark, but still very much so pop music.
  14. Hearthstone: Because what Magic really needed was F2P mechanics

    It really does chug along on the iPad 2... Wish there was a way to turn off or simplify animations.
  15. FTL

    Thanks!! Appreciate the details! I was definitely ignoring the engines. I'll give it a go during my lunch break tomorrow!
  16. FTL

    This is a super basic question, but I just realized it was the reason I had stopped playing FTL originally: Are missiles just the worst to defend against? In the vanilla game I ended up ALWAYS targeting attack systems to disable missiles if the enemy had any. Shields have a guarantee, whereas the piloting just gives you a dice roll. Seemed like a no-brainer to pick the former for upgrading, but then I'd spend every fight against missiles just making sure the enemy couldn't bring them out. Felt really stale after awhile. Am I doing missiles wrong? Is there a complexity that I'm missing out on?
  17. Android Games

    Going through my apps almost all of the games have been from Humble Bundles, except for a few. Threes. Mmm. Double Fine's Dropchord is installed... but haven't gotten to it yet... threes.... The original Kingdom Rush was in a bundle, but the sequel Frontiers hasn't been. It's more of the same, which is fine by me!
  18. Hearthstone: Because what Magic really needed was F2P mechanics

    After maybe 10 matches, I began to see the beauty of holding onto cards. I had initially been slamming down every card the moment I could, while my opponent slowly carefully removed them all while taking a bit of damage. By the time I'd have 8 or 9 mana per turn, I'd only have 1 or 2 more cards in my hand while my opponent would have 6-7. Then I'd just get crushed. Lesson learned! Hold back! And thanks for the ranked matches tip! I didn't realize you could change that as I figured "casual" was a descriptor for my current rank. I'm doing my best not to read other people's deck builds. I feel like I'd take a lot less ownership in my wins especially when I'm still learning all the cards. Just keep reminding myself that failing is learning.
  19. Titanfall

    Had a long weekend off from work that my wife didn't get, so it was a perfect time to play Titanfall for the first time! Overall, I really enjoy it. It's fun. I'm a bit surprised by the lack of polish with the world-building. The "room" that you start and finish training in, for instance. I found it odd that they built that entire sequence of you getting into a training pod, etc. only to never go back to the space. I thought maybe it would be a hub-like element, but the rest of the navigational stuff is menu based.... So the training pod thing felt tacked on, like they had planned on doing more with it, but didn't have time to get to it. Also it was on rails!! Weird. The menus are fine and clear, and nothing more. I like to judge a game by its loading wheel. Titanfall's feels placeholder. The campaign is total nonsense! I was playing at slightly odd times, so every time I would jump back into the campaign it couldn't find other people playing the same mission, so it would start me over at the beginning. I played the opening 3 missions a few times, and never got a sense of grounding. By the time I finished the campaign I figured out that the IMC is some sort of corporation/govt thing and the militia is a rebel group? And we're on "the frontier"? And there was a cutscene with a dude shoving large cylinders into something? When I really tried to focus in on what they were saying it all seemed really specific to the particular mission: we're going to the planet because we found a giant broken spaceship and we don't know how it got there, so go! Nothing seemed to link the missions together. There was a sense that "the real story" was going on elsewhere while all us foot soldiers did the heavy-lifting, but that wasn't very clear, either. I finished the campaign feeling more confused about the conflict that the general game is situated around than when I started. As far as AAA FPSs go, though, I very much prefer a dry, obfuscated narrative than something over-the-top and "emotional". Though Titanfall's didn't feel purposefully that way, it felt unpolished. Curious to see if playing as the militia will be any different. (I'm going to go read the wiki after posting this, so no need to fill in the gaps for me.) ALLLL that being said. The game is fun. Just expected the whole package to be more cohesive.
  20. Hipsters

    When you choose to self-identify, you're lumping yourself in with a whole bunch of people. Unless you say you're self-identifying as a wacky zoo-bat balloon kind of person, then maybe you're not identifying as part of a group. But by calling yourself a hipster you're necessarily throwing yourself into a pool of people. Clyde's personal definition of hipster sounds inclusive, and his exclamation about being the only self-identified hipster seems to say that he wanted to consider it a group of like-minded people. All I was saying was that if he wanted to call himself a hipster, he'd have to deal with explaining the sort of hipster he is. I don't think I'd know of any current counter-cultures! I tend to find out about them after they've happened. I feel like the movie "Paris Is Burning" is a great document of something that was counter-culture. It was a group of people sharing in a cultural activity that was completely against the norms of the society in which it occurred. It ceased to be a counter-culture, though, once it was co-opted by the likes of Madonna. That cartoon is a great example of the elusiveness of counter-culture. Many people in the punk scene at the time knew that the movement was over by 1977. It was co-opted. It was diffused. It was marketed. It became a part of culture. And it happened almost instantaneously. So I just thought it was counter-intuitive to ascribe being a hipster by Clyde's definition to being a part of the counter-culture tradition. What Clyde is describing is more like you're a lone hawk (hipster), and you spot a dying animal (counter-cultural movement), so you swoop in and start to eat it. It will very soon be dead. Either the vultures (culture) will find the corpse and pick it apart, or it will just rot and disappear.
  21. Hipsters

    In middle school I stopped self-identifying as a hippie (I was DEEP into a jam-band phase...) once I realized that I was constantly struggling to tell people what KIND of hippie I was. It's a sisyphean feat to try and reclaim the meaning of hipster, which I think is a word even more nebulous than hippie. Also, isn't wanting counter-culture something to be identifiable as a group just making it a part of culture? Counter-culture to me is something ineffable, always on the fringes. Almost never applicable to a person or movement for any set amount of time. Most certainly not something anyone can claim to be a part of in the moment. Side note: On St Patty's Day, a double-decker bus full of men drove through my neighborhood. They all pointed and shouted "HIPSTERS!" They thought it was a moment worthy of high-fives. It's a pretty harmless thing to say since I feel the term lacks any punch due to its nebulosity, but I still had hopes that the bus full of people who get joy out of putting other people down would just crash a little. No fatalities or anything. Just that that unwarranted burst of negativity would come back and touch them all.
  22. Idle Thumbs 154: Super Good

    Wow, the fleet command thing is like a really rough version of a play-and-wait game! Playing it now and it's makes 1 million times more sense on mobile. This'll prolly break the economy a bit...
  23. Titanfall

    On sale for $48... So tempted, but I'll need to reinstall Windows 8 with a much larger partition on my macbook.... Anyone ever reinstalled Windows a second time on a mac before? I've got tomorrow off, maybe I'll chunk off an hour or so to see if it's feasible (I don't remember how I installed it, if was from a disk on online or what...). Edit: Found the install disk and gave myself a solid 250gb this time. Should have it downloaded for the day off tomorrow! And here I thought I'd get a bunch of chores done...
  24. Quitter's Club: Don't be ashamed to quit the game.

    That's a bummer! ): Now I feel like his ghost must have heard me saying I wasn't a fan and he's like, "damn son, too soon."
  25. Quitter's Club: Don't be ashamed to quit the game.

    OMG: SgtWhistlebotom unveiled as super old, world famous author of books I don't like!!!!! (Also, I deserved that...)