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Aaron Blain

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Everything posted by Aaron Blain

  1. Aaron Blain

    "Industrial melancholic" atmopshere of the 90's

    Alien 3 looks like it's in the style of every mid-90's grungy brown music video, but it predated most (all?) of them and helped create that visual stereotype. Look at David Fincher's filmography. BTW I dislike this movie.
  2. Aaron Blain

    Favorite website?

    Project Gutenberg
  3. Aaron Blain

    New M1 Pro/Max Macbook Pro laptops

    My wife does moderately resource-intensive design work on her new M1 laptop, often while using Zoom. There are occasional hiccups, like with the key software suites being incompletely migrated to the new architecture and being buggy or running through emulation, but those issues are gradually improving and she's generally pretty happy with it. The key question seems to be how well developers are going to make use of RISC and the new memory model. I've never owned an Apple device and can't imagine ever wanting one. Open source is always my first choice, though I do have one machine that dual-boots Win 10 for some things. Many of the people I know are Apple users, and from the way they talk about it the primary "value" that Apple offers is lock-in, which I feel speaks volumes about the nature of market incentives.
  4. Aaron Blain

    Have you ever changed your opinion on a game?

    Witchaven: Played it endlessly as a kid, with cheatcodes. Recently played through with the GDX sourceport and was shocked to find it genuinely enjoyable, with some fun ideas in the level design you don't see until you're legitimately playing. Could be pretty decent with some small improvement mods. Dragon Spirit (NES): As a kid, it was one of those things that I sunk many hours into simply because it was one of the few things I had available. I've been playing it again recently and recognize it as genuinely excellent. Shinobi 3 (Genesis): I beat this scores of times growing up. I thought of it as being a pretty solid game, and took it for granted. Now I see it as an utter masterpiece. Halo 1&2: I put so many hours into these in the 2000's, and I was a little surprised and disappointed in recent years when I tried to play them and they gave me virtually no joy. Same for Max Payne, which I must have beaten at least 10-15 times back in the day. Classic beatemups: I did two full about-faces on these over the years. As a kid, I would play absolutely any beatemup to death, although for some time I considered the X-Men and Simpsons arcade games the pinnacle of gaming ecstasy. When I got older, I used emulators to play through heaps of them. After a couple years of that I became totally disenchanted and walked away from a genre that I considered utterly vapid. Recently, though, I've come around and find the core gameplay actually quite interesting. I prefer the simpler ones that are just about timing, distance and telegraphing. Golden Ax 2 is a favorite, and I played some co-op King of the Dragons online and had an absolute blast.
  5. Aaron Blain

    More open source games?

    https://osgameclones.com/ Granted, most of these aren't going to be fun, but if you're willing to put in some time searching you'll find some gems. "Flare" is a pretty good Diablo knockoff. I will also recommend Daggerfall Unity every chance I get. The remade engine runs beautifully, has tons of mods, and the vanilla game is downloadable free of charge so you can easily obtain the assets.
  6. Aaron Blain

    What fictional dystopia would you want to live in?

    Avernum seems to be a good place to be a small business owner. You could set up a B&B next to one of those hidden hot springs.
  7. Aaron Blain

    Earworm Thread - What Song Is Stuck In Your Head?

    I've been reading a few books about the USSR, and was shocked to discover that my wife had never heard of Trololo Man. I had never questioned the narrative that this was a wordless protest of Soviet censorship. Turns out the guy writing the lyrics was being a dick and the singer/composer decided to ditch him.
  8. Aaron Blain

    Explain to me what the deal with Skyline Chili is

    Skyline/Gold Star are great, though I much prefer cheese coneys over a threeway. A coney dog with chili, cheese, and preferably a little tabasco on top. But, really, it's a Macedonian working-person's bolognese. The chili contains some unusual seasonings like cinnamon and cocoa, from the above-mentioned mediterranean influence. I know for many westerners the idea of those flavors in a savory dish is nauseating (not counting Latin food -- mole, etc.) but I think it's delicious. I have a Moroccan pasta recipe that I make every couple of months involving tomatoes, cumin, cinnamon and toasted almonds. I once drank a beer with a Palestinian woman who told me as a kid she had never conceived of cinnamon OTHER than in a savory dish, and when she got to the US and someone gave her a bite of cinnamon roll, she gagged. The excessive cheese is because working-class cuisine in the USA involves an even higher proportion of flavorless hyperindustrial garbage than in most other countries. Look at horrors like 'Ambrosia Salad' and '7up Salad'. I'd prefer a moderate amount of a sharper cheddar, maybe some minced red onion. I'd take cheese coneys over White Castle ten times out of ten. Oh, and I'm from Columbus, Ohio. Up the road a bit. Only a few Skylines and no Gold Stars there AFAIK.
  9. Aaron Blain

    What are you listening to?

    I saw King Crimson last week. It was fucking awesome.
  10. Aaron Blain

    Classification of "cheating" in games

    Hehehe 212? I first played Doom on my 486/25 with 8 megs of ram, though I believe it can run on 4 megs. I had the great luxury of never needing to reduce the screen size in either Doom or Wolf to keep my framerate steady. I love boardgames, and I've come to find something magical about the fact that the rules are entirely enforced through the conscious will of the players. Not only does it make the mechanics come alive, but the game is also imbued with a certain 'quantum uncertainty', because there's always a shadow of doubt that somebody made a mistake somewhere and something happened slightly outside the bounds of official gameplay. Avernum (and I believe many or all of Spiderweb Software's other RPG games) comes with a 'Character Editor', which seems to have been added initially as a failsafe in case of game-breaking quest bugs, but what you end up with is a game that's sort of always optionally in 'Edit Mode', and you can largely do whatever you feel like. As far as I can tell, people love messing with this. Me? I'm the sort of person who always adds extra 'House Rules' that aren't enforced by the game, because I feel that they make the game more interesting. I think it's only 'cheating' if it keeps you from having fun.
  11. Aaron Blain

    How much coke do you drink a day?

    'Coke' is short for 'Coca-Cola' in much of the USA, but in some places, especially the South, it can refer to any type of soda pop. For example, the sentence, "Pepsi is my favorite kind of coke." makes sense in some regions but sounds very strange to other people.
  12. Aaron Blain

    How much coke do you drink a day?

    Is OP from the southern US? Using the word 'coke' to refer to all soda pop is a regionalism I've always found charming. It's funny, I used to love Dr. Pepper as a kid, and since I grew up in Appalachia there was usually Mountain Dew around which wasn't my favorite but I didn't mind it from time to time. Now I don't really care for Dr. Pepper and I find Mountain Dew unbearable. I do enjoy a Coca-Cola on occasion. Maybe twice a month. It's still my first choice with a burger and fries or a slice of pizza (none of which I eat very often). My lunchbreaks are usually a deli sandwich or salad, and I'm firmly converted to Hal's New York Seltzer. I also have an old-fashioned soda siphon at home (think Bugs or Groucho), which I use a few times per week. Great investment. The pleasure really comes from the bubbles and the tartness of the carbonic acid. Maybe throw a lemon wedge in there. I don't miss the sugar, though once you've gotten the knack of it whipping up a flavored syrup on the stovetop is actually very quick and simple. Whenever I see people wearing themselves out hauling heavy loads of soda pop around on public transit, I'm always dumbfounded.
  13. Aaron Blain

    How old are you ?

  14. Aaron Blain

    What’s your Doom framerate?

    Vanilla framerate, for the same reason I use vanilla resolution. The art assets look much more cohesive in their original form. Full-3d games (post Quake) are generating animation inbetweens automatically, so they look better when the framerate is scaled up, though with more primitive ones the lack of nuance in the animations becomes more pronounced. Even with Quake 1 I think I prefer my own 'cognitive' interpolation.
  15. Aaron Blain

    What are you currently reading?

    Gosh, I've been trying to read Perdido Street Station for years now, but . . . let me just say that I don't think fantasy or sci-fi need to 'elevate' themselves above the implied inferiority of 'genre fiction'. I made it through The Etched City, hoping it would grow on me, but honestly I'd rather re-read Hawkmoon and Corum, or Conan, or Barsoom, or The Silmarillion, or anything else earnestly joyful and unpretentious. I recently re-read Good Omens, and I really don't think it's very good. I admire Gaiman's craftsmanship even though his work doesn't speak to me, and I love Terry Pratchett, but for me the collaboration is the worst of both worlds. I think the streaming series did a great job of rearranging the good elements into something more compelling. I also just finished volume 1 of Marx's Capital. The beginning is a little difficult, with all the talk of trading coats for watches and so forth, but once I realized he needed to differentiate between price ('exchange value') and utility ('use value') before the rest of his argument could proceed, it was smooth sailing. Jesus I'm glad I wasn't born in 19th-century England. I'm re-reading Dune currently. It's very interesting revisiting it for the first time in ten years. The phrase 'neoliberal horror show' keeps popping into my head, but there's so much about it that I still deeply enjoy and admire. I do think it's about five times longer than it needs to be, though.
  16. Aaron Blain

    Classic Fps Universe

    I find this pretty amusing. So it goes without saying that Doomguy is the chairman of the Shootiverse equivalent of the Justice League. Jill of the Jungle broke up with Duke Nukem, and now she's with Quake Dude, causing a schism in the team. BJ tells them to leave their drama at the door. Since the settings don't overlap you could weave them into a Marvel-like tapestry.
  17. Aaron Blain

    What Are You Ingesting?

    I'm fixated on cooling food lately. Cold soba noodles, cold grain salad, ceviche, cucumbers, eating lots of melon, anything I can think of. Ceviche is nice because, if you follow a recipe, you're basically mixing up a quick salsa/guacamole but with fish in it, but everybody hails you as a culinary genius. You're literally just chopping some stuff and putting it in a bowl.
  18. I followed the peak of pro BW in the year or two before SC2 came out, and it was just stunning. I always wanted to root for Jaedong, but Flash's relentless macro destroys everyone who doesn't beat him quickly enough with some clever micro or lucky engagements. Bisu is a ton of fun to watch but no one is in the same league as Flash. So is BW Remastered still going strong? Are there any good YT channels with quality English commentary? If you've played a bit of BW, there's a good chance you'll find a well-commentated pro match highly entertaining. The oldies were Moletrap and Klazart. Dunno what's up nowadays.
  19. Aaron Blain

    Are you vaccinated against COVID 19?

    Here in the USA, - Influenza kills very roughly 50k per year. - Radical islamist terrorists have killed 3k-4k, and we take that as a pretense to upend our society and let our empire bleed out into the sand. - We lost about 420k people in WW2. Covid killed something like 600k people here in one year. Now, we can't say how many lives could have been saved had there been any semblance of a response, but if you look at how many US citizens Hitler and Osama Bin Laden killed . . . My family has a history of fibromyalgia, which involves severe chronic inflammation, so when I hear about "Post-COVID Inflammatory Syndrome", that's something I really don't want to fuck with. I have a day job in a cafe, so I got vaccinated fairly early.
  20. I highly recommend "The Founder", starring Michael Keaton: My favorite part of the movie is a telephone shouting match between Ray Kroc (who keeps compromising quality for the sake of profit) and the McDonald brother played by Nick Offerman, who is outraged by Kroc's latest debasement of his beloved restaurants -- replacing the real ice cream in the milkshakes with a cheaper dehydrated powder. McDonald screams something like "This is not some kind of . . . money-making machine! This is McDonald's!"
  21. Aaron Blain

    Free Game Deals

    I also recently got the Windows port of Nights Into Dreams for free. I'm surprised they got a Saturn game to run so well. Shadowrun Returns free on GOG
  22. Aaron Blain

    Who here plays Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition?

    I've been getting back into ROR lately. I never liked AOK as much, though I do go on an occasional SpiritOfTheLaw kick. I've been watching pro Vietnamese matches and working on my basic quick bronzing technique. I'm not great though. I could go for some AOK.
  23. Aaron Blain

    Crime, if it didn't happen?

    The Ring of Gyges, from Plato's Republic.
  24. Aaron Blain

    here is a debate

    Put another nickel in the jar labeled "M/KB?" I'll try this one again: has anyone made use of mouse MOVEMENT? It's incredibly powerful in Wolf3d, where you can slide in and out of cover by gesturing with the mouse, but in Doom the player doesn't accelerate as quickly.