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First little test using the Google Maps API. Github will be updated as I work on it.

I have a problem with getting excited, starting projects, then getting excited and starting something else. I think this will the one I work on until closing (either by completion or failure).

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Darkness in Gaming

I’ve spent a long time thinking about my ideal video game. It seems to change every time I talk about it, and even when something comes along that seems to fit what I’m looking for, there’s always something missing. I think that the idea of “my ideal game” is an impossible goal, both because it’s unlikely that a game producer has the exact values and aims as me, and because my “ideal game” is a constantly moving target and likely will always be. I could have complete control of an excellent dev team and still wouldn’t know how to create it.

Instead, I’ve started to think more about components of games that I value strongly. Perhaps together these will form that perfect game I’m looking for, but I might doubt that.

The first component I want to talk about is darkness. Few games treat darkness as the horrifying, sensory-depriving environment that it is, often because it’s just not fun to play without being able to see anything. Night in games is certainly darker than day, but is often awash in bright moonlight. I can’t see very far at night (well, except in light polluted LA), and I expect that to be true in-game as well. 

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The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was one of the first games where I felt that night was this dangerous and lonely time to be out. It’s quiet, dark, full of monsters and absent of anyone that generally makes you feel at “home” or “safe”. But Ocarina of Time has a wonderful sense of mystery throughout that is amplified by the darkness. 

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Darkness became an important driver of gameplay with the popularity of a lot of survival games. Mining better materials and building bigger forts in Minecraft helps protect against what comes out from the dark and survive if you go into it. Don’t Starve basically requires that you stay still and close to fire a night, since visibility is nearly zero and the monsters are incredibly potent.

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A game that does darkness particularly well is Fallout New Vegas with some choice mods (the screenshot above is in-game). Light becomes a precious and scarce resource at night since the monsters and bandits of the wastes can easily sneak up and overwhelm you. Darkness prevents the player from having knowledge of their surroundings– it doesn’t just buff/debuff or change the game mechanically in any other way, but only impedes the ability of the player to make decisions and act.

Also I’m just a sucker for goldenrod/midnight-blue color schemes.

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mrspeakers alpha dogs schiit magni and modi ive


MrSpeakers Alpha Dogs, Schiit Magni and Modi

I’ve spent a while trying out (and being unsatisfied with) a good pair of closed headphones for use at work. Of the stuff I’ve owned: I started with a pair of Brainwavz IEMs, which broke (well, they were $15) and SE115, which also broke (never buying IEMs without a replaceable cable…), followed by the DT770 and then T70p. Finally, I traded for these Alpha Dogs and am finally happy with a pair of closed headphones.

Quick comparison with my HD600: The Alpha Dogs definitely dig lower, but that’s not to say I don’t like the HD600 bass. Highs on the alpha dogs are a bit, well, weird and I’m having a hard time getting used to them. They have a surprisingly similar soundstage. The ADs are a lot bigger and heavier, but the pads are insanely comfortable. One note about the pads– I wear pretty thick glasses and noticed a pretty big difference in sound with and without them for the AD’s, but no change for the HD600.

The ADs have better clarity almost all around, with maybe an exception in the highs. I have been listening to a lot of darker, low-end-focused music, and the AD’s excel with it. But overall, I’d probably still say I prefer the HD600.

Upradeitis is in remission.

(btw my monitor isn’t broken, I just tried to garble it a little)

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I posted this on Reddit after getting the Alpha Dogs almost a year ago. I still get excited every time I put them on.

The keyboard is a Ducky DK9008P. I’ve since swapped out the function keys with a sample pack of random colors from WASD (shout out to them for doing that for me!)

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