Wednesday, December 2, 2020

[Indie] Cyberpunk 2069

During a play session some folks who are alumni of PSO2's infamous Lobby 7 and I were discussing what an adult cyberpunk game might look like. Mid-musing I made the assertion that the perfect name would be Cyberspunk 2069 and announced my intention to Google this name and report what I find. I was sadly disappointed to find this game. Cyberpunk 2069.

A solid attempt:
Last update was in May 2020 as of this posting. The state of the game can only be described as "playable". This looks like a Unity project for a school assignment where all the real attention was placed on neon asset insertion and music choice. Assuming the coder didn't simply reuse pre-existing music and textures and produced all assets from scratch then I'd grade this game, as it is right now, a C. It suffers from a lack of basic features like a context sensitive HUD or useful menu elements. It is also afflicted with what I can only call GMOD map-itis. As examples: Windows and doors have odd placements, textures are reused and stretched in mind bending and eye bleeding ways and the cyberpunk aesthetic isn't a well planned backdrop with foreground elements so much as an unevenly implemented visual assault. All attempted within a 1 kilometre square "Open World". Though, it must be said, the one dollar admission fee is appropriate. That's not a jab either.

How bad is it really?:
Imagine PC gaming in 1998. There's an excellent example in Ritual Software's SiN demo you can grab of Archive.Org (
Here) that, while dated, still offers a short and fun romp along with multiplayer. As a game on Android CP2069 plays like something from this era with visuals on par with what the Sega Dreamcast would be capable of a year later. It even feels like a poorly built Quake 3 Arena mod (minus multiplayer of course). In CP2069 you have to figure out that opening a door requires you to walk through it as if it's not there. Sneaking up on a soldier for stealth knife kill is impossible. The first hit nets you an abrupt amount of facial lead poisoning worthy of Flint Michigan's water supply as the soldier you attacked and any near immediately about-face and open fire. Even picking up item drops using the clunky UI gives you mixed results. Dropped items only loot sometimes or turn out to not be interactive elements at all. The music also gets repetitive quick and audio queues like voices or gunfire lack any punch.

So what now..:
This game is a Work In Progress. That much is obvious. Considering CDPR's Cyberpunk 2077 is due to release in a few days there's really no need to toss a coin at this coder. BUT... would buying a copy of this Unity made Cyberpunk themed FPS get the Dev to give this project some much needed love? Maybe not. At one dollar on the Google Play Store (Here) I cant's say this is a terrible investment. The likelihood that this game will receive any notable updates is minimal at best though. What would be a brilliant move is if the Dev did spend some time updating this game from a C grade PoC to a B grade Beta release candidate. Splash up some Thank Yous to CDPR for the inspiration (which they got from the R. Talsorian tabletop game) and maybe some links to GoG.Com so folks can buy the real thing from the source. Then we have an homage to CP2077 in Android OS form. This would require a better UI with context sensitive elements, some stealth kill alternatives, removing the setting of the story from Half-Life's City-17 and a more even distribution of the neon assets between the background and foreground. The sounds included so far are ADEQUATE but punching those up would push a release candidate to a proper Beta. This game would then be easily worth the dollar donation for the effort and I wouldn't balk at an in game link to a Ko-Fi page for further Donos.

What of "Cyberspunk 2069"?:
It doesn't exist... but it should. Dammit.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

When the grey goo warms.. (Ace/Aro musings)

I'm Ace/Aro, it's just how I'm wired. Just like the 'trans thing'. The issue of being trans for me is like a solid printed circuit. It's wired sure but its so solid messing with it would destroy who I am. The Ace/Aro bit is a bit more like a cable. Every so often something comes loose.

Now my wife is cute. I know this because I study attraction. She has an appreciable amount of conventional beauty. That might sound backhanded. If you knew me well you'd know it's far from a veiled backhanded compliment. If you take offense from that I can only empathize with the fact you feel that way. Trick is, sometimes, I avoid looking at my wife because I fear one of the cables will pop loose This is not to say I fear it would invalidate my Ace/Aro identity. It doesn't. Even if one could argue that it technically does. I don't feel any different about her or my relationship with her afterward. But...

It happened a bit ago. I just caught her mid smile and -POP-. Out goes a cable. My body reacts from the physical attraction. I know it does because it does things it -never does- otherwise without extreme measures. If I had to participate sexually with anybody else and I was specifically barred from using my partner as fantasy material to get the train moving then the force required to simulate me would be wasteful amounts of porn, physical stimulation and dirty talk.

My partner is an ounce of prevention a few dozen pounds of cure would be needed to reproduce.

Here's the cute (and by cute i mean irritating) bit; when I get blood rushing to fun bits of my body (specifically because of her) it goes to three places, in this order:
1) nose (like I'm a f!cking anime character)
2) tits (both at once)
3) la saucisse de la dysphorie

1 is the most annoying. Because it had to be pointed out to me..
Blood rushes to the vascular system in my nose the little hairs in there stand on end. It tickles. Sometimes I sneeze. If I do it's just after blood gets to my tits. So I extra feel it and have a mini climax. Very embarrassing.

2 is less an issue. Bras and layers do a lot to hide nipple boners. But if my nose tickled badly enough then I'm in trouble and it can feedback. This has caused nosebleeds in the past.

3 gets interesting. Because right about the time I might be experiencing nasal blood loss the boys down at Mission Control decide it's prime time to launch that rocket. Depending on what I am wearing this can be anything from mildly annoying to physically irritating to very painful. This also happens (like any well designed rocket) in stages.

Not funny.

Luckily she's the only known trigger outside of weapons grade porn, petting and cunningly erotic linguistics. A situation I'd not endure voluntarily.

So we come to the deconstruction phase. How does this Demi switch affect our relationship? Sadly it means I have to take precautions should I so much as glance at my own partner. Because I don't know if my body will react and to what degree. Luckily it's had no lasting negative effects. Most of the time she's unaware it even happened. If I could predict these incidents I think I'd feel much better about giving her spontaneous attention.

Because what woman doesn't love well timed spontaneity?

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Kinysis' notes on affirmative disassociation.

(Note from WarSong: Kinysis encourages readers to follow her on Twitter. Her Twitter handle is @Kinysis and here's a link just in case: @Kinysis :3)

(Note by Kinysis: This bit of writing was originally a Twitter thread I wrote as a way of working through a dysphoric attack in real time. I've edited it here somewhat for clarity, as I was more focused on working through things during the process of writing)

I'm lying awake at 4am, and I can't sleep because of the dysphoria. Existing in my body feels so wrong. I want something else, a different shape, but the raw truth of it is that I can't quite understand *why* I want it.

On a rational level, it makes no sense to desire the impossible. But…

But somehow I seem to be deeply fixated on the idea that my body is misshapen or wrong.

Why? Wrong for what? 

The first thing that arises to that question is a sense of dissatisfaction with the roles I'm expected to play in life. The second thing is a sense of feeling left out.

I didn't realize until I wrote it that those two are the same feeling from different angles.

It feels like the ticket to changing role is my skeleton. And that my skeleton is too clearly built for fucking labor.

And that's kind of the crux of the issue: I just really really LOATHE manual labor. I hate farm work, like digging ditches, trimming trees, building fences, picking up rocks. I fucking hate lugging things around and having to get dirty while I'm at it. It makes me feel like my skin is shrinking and dry and like, no.

On the other hand, this sounds ridiculous but I really like home type chores. I love to clean and organize and decorate. I love to cook, especially for others, and I'm good at it. I want to live a life where my responsibility is the home domain.

That feels natural to me, normal. Going out into the fields and plowing is not just back-breaking, it's excruciatingly boring.

But when you're a man that's more or less what other men expect from you. If you're a man, you have to get dirty and work hard.

And I don't want that.

I get that stereotypes are breaking down, but I was raised in the old way and it fucks with my head. I see my body and it gives me anxiety that some asshole is gonna draft me for his pointless war. I want to hide all vestiges of my masculinity.

This is the feeling that always comes up like a wall of spears whenever I rebound off the fact that I'm aging, or the fact that I'll never look like someone who won't be automatically conscripted for manual work.

And I don't really know how to get past it.

I don't know how to have a life I want to live, because the life I want is basically ridiculous. There's no place for it in the normal world. But what I want to do is be a healer. I want to follow synchronicity from place to place and stop worrying about stupid shit like my body.

I feel like I come to this place of deep dysphoria, realize I can't fix it, and then accept it, rebound to being okay with my body, feel great and confident for a day or two, and then slow spiral downhill again until the dysphoria clouds over.

It's like a wavelength pattern
So what needs to happen? How do I stop this cycle?

I have observed that it usually stops when I'm paying close attention to other people and things they're going through. In-person conversations with others that lead in positive directions for them end up being tremendously helpful for my self esteem. 

Thinking critically, it's clear that if I am capable of reaching a place where I can love my body for what it presently is, then whatever it is that's causing this ache is not inherent: it's an idea of some sort.

In fact, wait. I see!

I'm falling prey to a kind of energy drain pattern in which the idea that I need to fit into an identity is causing me to waste energy on pointless mental gyrations as I clutch for new pieces. 

This means that what I'm doing wrong is clear.
During times my self esteem is on the up and up, I latch on to that feeling as if that's a true identity when it's actually an emotional high. When it settles, I've set my expectation of how I feel high, and that expectation has become an ego-identity.

So then I start looking for pieces that will get me back on that high, and drain myself in the process, leading to a wave of dysphoria because I keep making the mistake of blaming my body instead of the pattern of thought itself.

I see.

So the solution is to x out of it.

Stop worrying about my body. It's a waste of energy and time. Easier said than done, and... Oh, okay. That's where the highs come from. Around others, I tend to be focused on them and how they feel, so I've closed the program. But when I'm alone, I stop paying attention. I cut out of my environment and instead begin to pay attention to identity.

I'm already feeling better.


So this means that my suffering is a direct result of attachment. Hah. Therefore, the answer is to detach. Let go. Stop trying to control the world.

It always relates back to control, doesn't it? This masochistic pattern of magical thinking that subconsciously believes punishing myself enough will balance karma in my favor so the world around me does what I want.

Suddenly I want to laugh :D

Sunday, March 29, 2020

The tools never changed, A personal extrapolation.

TL:DR; Today was a crap day for me. At least emotionally. I remembered how I used to deal with stuff like this and it still works.

Let's look at how feelings are treated online; There's always some balking about some LGBT eCeleb getting "triggered" and the whole internet has a big laugh at the oversensitive crybaby. Sadly this minimalizes when something actually bothers one of us on a personal level. We don't want to be "That Person". So when some stuff that went down today took me to a darker place I tried to clam up and just roll with the punches. So we bottle it up. Pre HRT, pre-transition, this was just how it was done. You go into a numb state and pretend it doesn't bother you. That carries onto the online world. It's BS but that's the state of things on the General Admission internet. Don't like it? Don't go on the internet. Right? Problem is the world wide web has become a utility. You can no more 'not go on the internet' as you can 'survive without water'. We need it for work, for entertainment and sometimes out mental well being as it become the only way some of us find time to socialize.

So let's run at the issue head long by ignoring it completely and talking about something else. Recently, I felt pretty damn good. I've malefailed publicly and while that worries me when I get clocked while in boymode it also encourages me. So let's segue into the problem. I had a few set backs happen within a short time of one another that threw me right out of any joy I was still running on. Someone I've repeatedly explained my basic pre-existing medical issues to and is a sub-contextual, passive-aggressive, asshole made me snap as I had to explain AGAIN that my cough had nothing to do with COVID-19 and everything to do with allergies. This is always a drain because this particular jerk loves to see people riled up and had a shit eating grin plastered on his face the whole time. So that wipes out a good chunk of my 'tolerating society' battery. It's the end of the day so no biggie right?

Then I make the mistake of trying to socialize online to recharge a bit and wind down. Well, a family member messages me and reminds me HRT or no I'm still a dude in their eyes. I swallow the fire. I know they mean well but if there was a time I didn't need that information it would be now. My battery drains. I entertain them for a bit longer but find an excuse to leave the convo. What little reserve I have for dealing with people is leaking into a puddle of acid and is eating at one of my emotional pylons. I can't proceed without repairing this one or constructing additional ones. But I've no resources. So I go to get some from another social media site.

Now, I like to spread positivity. If I can make other feel good the I feel better. I just need enough good vibes to reinforce some personal weaknesses and repair some damage. Damage taken internally. No one cause it directly. I was a result of how I reacted and I reacted according to how I perceived the situation. It's a flaw from within so it is my responsibility to fix it. But then I'm positive to the wrong person at the wrong time. A friend recently came out as lesbian and while we've been pretty chill the second I reached out to be a positive influence I get the harsh reminder that THEY don't see me as anything but a dude as well. So by this point the battery has exploded. All cells have failed. The acidic pool is now eating away at every surface it touches and I'm in some considerable emotional pain.

Pre HRT I'd have dealt with this differently. "No", I say to myself, I'm supposed to do it differently now right? I can't rely on the old coping mechanism because those were the tools that kept me in the closet. So I'm struggling to find a way to cope. I'm still in one piece but this stack of failures is eating at me in ways I never dreamed possible. Then it hits me. When I was in my darkest places I'd seek out comedy. This seems like a guy thing to do. But then again so would any other distraction. Working on a car. Playing a video game. Anything I did pre HRT to cope I had barred myself from doing because 'that was the old me'. Thing is: New me wouldn't exist without the foundations built by OLD me. I had created a conflict where none existed and now I was suffering for a lack of ways to cope. I had gated them all off.

I'm not some contagion risk. I am nothing like a dude to the point where people publicly clock me as femme while hiding behind the masc. Why do I feel this Impostor Syndrome?? Why do I feel like a health risk to other and a ball of leaking dysphoria? Well... it's me. It's a me problem. Yes one person was intentionally being a jerk but I know this person well enough that I should not have taken the bait. Yet here I am. Trying to find a graceful, ladylike way of coping because I couldn't use older methods that worked as I (just me) had labeled them as no longer suitable for the "new" me. The person who I was is exactly the same as I am now save for some extra free estrogen and reduced testosterone. That's it. So why am I torturing myself? To prove something? To grow as a woman? No. It's all psychobabble fluff.

When a tool works to fulfill a specific function you don't throw it away because you're working on a modified piece of equipment. A serving spoon still serves. A screw driver still drives. A phone still makes calls. It doesn't care if the hand using it has nail polish on or not. So what do I do? I look up some god damned comedy specials on YT. Lo and BEHOLD! Christopher Titus. This great guy has decided to release several of his specials for free because of the pandemic. I set one up to play. Hop on the bed with the volume up. I allow time to pass as (emotionally) the acid is hosed off, repairs made, and a social battery replaced. All while this delightful epic failure in a denim button up tells his audience about how he made cringe all over the The Boss and the E-Street Band.

Who you are now does not exist without who you were. Everything you learned by flashlight in a dark closet for how-ever long you were in there doesn't fail to be effective or valid the second you leave the closet. You need to bring those tools with you. They helped you cope then when things were really bad. They'll easily get you though whatever is eating at you now. You know them by heart. You know what they sounded like. Their effectiveness. Even when two mechanisms are similar you know from experience which one does the better job in specific situations. Use those tools. Because the guitar, the keyboard and the sewing kit all work exactly how they did. With or without the nail polish.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Mario... Lego..

Interlocking Brick Man?

So how long do we have to wait before someone figures out how to execute code on the thing and people are playing Doom Shareware off it?

It's an interest idea for a toy. I find it fascinating because it combines what these two companies excel at. Nintendo is good at taking off the shelf components and making some great innovations. Lego is great at cross promoting licensed IPs. They've apparently even expressed an interest in doing other Nintendo IPs. Could an iteration of Animal Crossing be the next Lego/Nintendo project? Probably not. But it's fun to think about.

During the social distancing period of the current epidemic toys are going to become very important not just to children but adults as well. Toys with a shared interest will be especially useful to distract child and parent from the boredom that can come with a crisis. Lego is just a natural fit. You mix in video games and you have a entertaining mixture of physical and soft media that disrupts generational gaps. I'm all for it!

I don't have kids and I don't think I want any. Honestly don't think I can anyhow. But if I were care taker for a child I'd encourage them to try out old school games. They would inevitably draw a conclusive line between pixel graphics and building games like Lego's own Lego Worlds and Minecraft. With the folks at Lego and Nintendo having draw this conclusion as well they've made a promising toy that might spin off into more sets. I certainly hope so.

Also Jim Sterling's take on Lego Mario is pretty dang entertaining. I had to re-watch the video he post three times because I kept bursting into laughter. Thank go for that man.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

[Switch] Sky Gamblers Afterburner

If it were the only game you had and you were about 12 to 15 AND bored you'd likely grow up having fond memories of this replay friendly (if grindy) title.
But only if you could justify spending the 20 dollars for a copy.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Refurb HP EliteDesk 800 G1 and an RX 580.

I ordered an i7 HP 800 and an RX 580 in hopes of putting them together an inexpensive gaming rig. Well... You know what they say about 'best laid plans'..