Backblog

The Evolution Revolution

Archive for the category “Blog Crap”

One year later — What’s Thedude3445 been up to?


I ended my tenure on this site about a year ago, so I thought it’d be nice for anyone who happens to stumble onto the site (since it still gets about 3-8 views a day even now) about my current projects. Some of these came around when this blog was still active, and others have just begun:

The Madoka Series, by Thedude3445 – My fan fiction series lampooning the anime Madoka Magica that has gone on much, much longer than I originally anticipated. As of this writing, there are two main stories, a one-shot, and two spinoffs, and they’re all hopefully very funny.

Barty Anderson 4: Tale of the Legend of the Crystal Chubacabra – I directed the Official Fan Sequel to the Barty Anderson Trilogy by Byron Hussie. I put my heart and soul into making it as dumb and unprofessional as possible.

Sandswept: The Squiddle Session – The long-running Unofficial Fan Prequel to Homestuck, wherein we get to watch the forty-eight Squiddle players play Sglub and create the Troll Universe! It’s a labor of love, and is the project I’m most proud of out of all of these.

Visions of Etherflow (old) – An old serial that was a collab between myself and three of my friends. It’s silly and pretty dumb, but hey, you might enjoy it.

Beforus: The Album – I just help out occasionally with this one, but it’s a very cool Homestuck fan project; a music album for the Alpha Trolls.

MSPA Prophet (old) – I Am the Prophet.

And, introducing: Home Clipart Animal Deer – A new site run by my friend and I, where we post stories and other things. It’ll be a lot more professional and less bloggy than this place, though it still has a .wordpress.com right now because we have no idea how to make websites.

Maybe you’ll enjoy one or two of these, I dunno.

I don’t understand these Top Searches


Once again, the top searches on this site have been inspiring enough to make a post about:

will vance astro be in the movie

yuri furry

little mac ssb4 sprites sheet

black man with willy stuck in xbox 360

This is simply astounding. I know why the first one is a search result, the other two I have no idea, and the last one? Not even going to try to guess.

 

QUICK EDIT WOAH WAIT. “black man with willy stuck in xbox 360” was IN MY PREVIOUS ONE. That means, not only are people searching this on Google and finding my blog, they are doing it consistently for months at a time. This is horrifying.

Commission Me (if you want)


As I’ve started to get into college more I’ve been writing a lot more (though not things that you are seeing on the 365-Story Challenge blog, unfortunately), and I think I want to try my hand at commissions, if anyone is interested. Visit my Commissions Page at the link at the top of the page, or click right here if you want.

A Discussion on Casual and Hardcore Gamer


I was asked an anonymous question on Tumblr earlier today, in response to this post I made.. I ended up writing an essay about it.

http://thedude3445.tumblr.com/post/75544115916/reddit-did-a-poll-on-dark-souls-out-of-around-2400

I’ll post it here so you don’t have to click that (you will have to click the first one for context if you need it though)

Anonymous asked: “Reddit did a poll on dark souls, out of around 2400 people, only 66 were women. Those polls of “45%” and “55%” were made using games played during childhood and stuff like Angry Birds, facebook games played once a year, etc. as making you a “gamer”. I’m not sexist, but I can be angry when people mess with statistics, fuck them. Women need to WANT to play normal games, it’s not a sexism problem, it’s an education problem, which I guess is the same, but not my fault.”

Now this is where we can have some interesting discussion unrelated to gender representation in media. Tumblr’s all about that shit, but fuck that I want to talk about video games.

Now, my question to you (you being the collective readership of this post), what is a /normal/ video game? Is there a specific definition of what makes a game casual, or hardcore, or any other terms? Can a game cross a certain threshold and “evolve” into a different category? When you say the word casual, you immediately think of a mobile game, something that your kid cousin or your uncle would play; Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, Brain Age, Wii Sports Resort, among many others.

But what about Call of Duty? It’s one of the best-selling franchises of all time. Men in their 40s and 50s are active fans and have already played the newest in the series more hours than I played any game in the year 2013 (for the record, I played 394 hours’ worth of games on my 3DS, and my rough estimate for other systems is probably another 75 onto that, and with PC games another 15 onto that.). My uncle, my father— they have all expressed great interest in the franchise. And it’s a First Person Shooter, the most prevalent genre in modern gaming. It would hardly be considered casual. And for another example, Assassin’s Creed; it’s nearly as celebrated as Call of Duty, and yet its broad appeal has surprised even me in the past. My cousin almost exclusively plays Assasin’s Creed games on her Xbox, rarely turning it on any other time except at family gatherings to play Just Dance. I don’t think that would be considered casual, would it?

Now I have to ask the most important question— what does a casual game even mean? If it means something that can broadly appeal to the masses, the people who do not regularly play their game systems, then why are we calling them casual games? Why not call them simply successful games? Popular games? To one person, Angry Birds can be just as fun as Heavy Rain. Sure, it doesn’t have a story, and it’s a simplistic game, but they are both interactive experiences that can captivate and enthrall the player. To use a more relevant comparison, how are Angry Birds and Portal different? They are both physics-based puzzle-action games, and they are both fun in their own way. Sure, Portal’s got nice and shiny graphics and some clever writing, but gamers are always the ones that want to make the case for visual style over graphics, and I would definitely have to say Angry Birds has a good visual style, one that has been able to spawn an entire media franchise.

If you wished you could make the argument that causal games are ones that you don’t have to put any effort into, that you can sit back and relax while playing. Then you’d immediately realize that games like Mass Effect, Super Mario, and God of War hold your hand the whole way through, at least on lower difficulties, and games like Battlefield serve the same purpose to some people as would Where’s My Water; to help you unwind after a long day of school or work.

And if we’re going with the Casual = Popular distinction, does that mean unpopular games are automatically hardcore? Is Toki Tori 2+ a hardcore game? Is Nidhogg a hardcore game? Is Touhou a hardcore game? The only real distinction you can make about these games is that they aren’t well-known to a wide audience, but each of them is a completely different type of game, and ones that have direct analogues to very popular games. Toki Tori is a puzzle game, a favorite of mobile gaming, Nidhogg is a multiplayer dueling game, which is essentially a simplified version of something like Super Smash Bros. that sells tens of millions a year, and Touhou, the most hardcore of them all, is not entirely unlike the Dash genre of games that have permeated the mobile market in recent years. And if a game truly is hardcore based on popularity, does that mean once a game sells well enough, it becomes casual? Fire Emblem Awakening was the first in the entire series to pass one million copies sold. Its quotes and jokes have become memetic for a large segment of the online gaming community. But could a strategy-RPG with dating sim elements actually be considered casual? Could it?

Now, to figure out what we actually want to refer to as a casual game, we must also figure out what to define as a hardcore game. This I suspect will be even more difficult. What first comes to mind when we think of the phase “hardcore game”? We think of Batman: Arkham Asylum. We think of Dark Souls. We think of Baldur’s Gate. We think of Fez, we think of Spelunky, we think of Touhou. In reality, what do these games actually have in common? I myself cannot think of anything to unite them. A game like rymdkapsel, on my smartphone right this moment, has just as much appeal to me as my copy of Super Hexagon. I’ve played Spelltower just as many hours as I’ve played the new Bravoman, or Star Wars Tiny Tower. And I cannot say that any of these games are casual or hardcore.

Each of the potential separations between a casual and hardcore game falls apart almost instantly. Free-to-Play vs Paid? League of Legends. The Old Republic. Pick-up-and Play or Large amounts of time investment? Hell, any 3DS game on the market today lends itself to playing in quick bursts. The only reason I couldn’t finish Project X Zone is because I burnt myself out trying to play it all at once. Popular vs. Unpopular to the population at large? The many examples I have already provided.

The distinction between casual and hardcore seems to be arbitrary; something that gamers use to seal themselves away and block outsiders. And that is what creates a niche audience. The video game industry is the most rapidly-expanding section of the entertainment industry right now; do you really want video games to become like comic books, where the stories are mostly catered to longtime readers with heavy nostalgia, or anime, which relies so heavily on otaku and their love for moe that most shows won’t be renewed if the CDs don’t sell well enough? By creating a barrier between what you perceive to be a threat to what you have claimed as your community, and yourself, you are creating a culture of toxicity and hipsterism.

Twenty years ago, the base of the video game audience was children and teenagers. The best-selling games were Mario and Sonic and Earthworm Jim, things easily marketable, yet still very fun. Now, once again, the video game industry has reached this point. The newest generation of children, those who were born in the post-9/11 era, those who can barely remember a time before the iPhone, are becoming the new base for the industry, and what trends they latch onto will dictate how the industry moves. Their lives are different from yours— While you may have had fond memories playing Clayfighter Sculptor’s Cut, rented out from Blockbuster, while you waited for your dial-up to load the Buffy fansite you wanted to visit, these children are creating fond memories of their own, but with a completely different life perspective. When they enter high school and college, what type of video games will they want to play, having spent their formative years with Disney Infinity and Flappy Bird, rather than Luigi’s Mansion and Sly Cooper? What will we be able to call a hardcore game in ten years, when the vast majority of games are free-to-play? Will you reject their games as casual once their preferences become the dominant force in the industry—and they will—, and be that 45-year old Marvel fan who sends death threats to Fox because they are making Johnny Storm black in the new Fantastic Four?

So, can you really say a woman is not a gamer because she doesn’t play normal games? No. Because there’s no such thing as a normal game at all. They are simply video games, that all serve the same purpose— to entertain, to impress, and to generate positive memories.

Please feel free to discuss this, debate this— I like discussion, not just back-and-forth rants. I want to see other peoples’ opinions! Tumblr is often a place where dissenting voices cannot thrive, and where one will automatically overshadow the other. But I hope that is not the case here. So please, do comment if you want. Even about the gender representation part that I barely discussed.

—-

Of course, that last paragraph applies here too. If you want to comment on how wrong I am, go ahead! I would like to hear what you have to say, regardless of what it is (unless it’s like “Go fuck yourself and die in a hole”; that’s kind of stupid and pointless).

 

 

 

New page – Donate Bitcoins to me


Donate Bitcoins to me.

I have set up a page where you can donate Bitcoins to me if you want. I suspect this will never once be used, but being the impoverished college student I am, I would be overjoyed at any amount of generosity. (And probably make you something cool)

Another Round of “Top Searches”


black man with willy stuck in xbox 360,

word count for jedi academy book,

star wars the clone wars yaoi,

fabecbook.

I assume the fourth was due to an intentionally mispelled tag on one of my posts, but the others… How could they POSSIBLY have led to my site?! I’m scared. That first search is incredibly disturbing, by the way.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The Rebellion – October 26


 

Are you pumped? I’m pumped. Sure Thor 2 and Gravity and a bunch of other cool movies are coming out, but are any of them nearly as exciting to me as this? No way.

 

Spoilers for non-Madoka watching people (who should remedy that immediately)

 

This is the best bingo card of all time.

Madoka-Movie-3-Bingo-mahou-shoujo-madoka-magica-34245672-438-500

Leaving the Internet until August 4th


I know I haven’t even made a post on this blog in forever, but I will notify you that this dearth of content will preside for even longer.

Starting at midnight tonight, I am going to involve myself in an experiment. I haven’t gone a full week without the internet since I was in the 5th grade, so what would it be like to go an entire month and a half without it? This reprieve will hopefully increase my productivity so that I can write my novel Cosmic Dreamers, as well as finish some books, movies, and games that I have been putting off for years.

I will try to keep a log (diary lol) of each day, in hopes that looking back, I will find a positive increase in my life, rather than a descent into boredom and madness. This log will be posted soon after I return, on August 4th.

Fare ye well, internet.

(the reason I’m returning August 4th is because of Pikmin 3, btw!!!!!)

 

My farewell present: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/9394185/1/Madoka-in-Mexico

021 – Madoka Precure


021 – Madoka Precure.

 

If you have watched Puella Magi Madoka Magica, you deserve to read this, and then cry in shame. I probably should have posted it here, though? whatever.

My Bandcamp Adventure of 2012 (And 2013!) (Or, How I Accidentally Became a Hipster)


It’s almost been a year in my journey, so I guess I should make a status update.

Background: One day in February or March, I decided to explore Bandcamp. I wasn’t very well-versed on the actual independent music “scene”, so I thought I should look and maybe find some good video game OSTs like Bastion. I found a bunch of really cool albums like Impostor Nostalgia, Unearthed, Tower of Heaven, and stuff by the MarchFourth Marching Band, and decided to start an all-out journey of musical discovery; a pilgrimage of epic digital proportions.

This is what I did: I went through pages upon pages of the tag lists for things like Chiptunes, Experimental, Progressive, 2a03, World, and Alternative (among many others), and bookmarked anything that looked remotely interesting. I ended up with about 50 bookmarks in this “To-Listen” folder by the end of this, and when I started listening to them all, I would go to their recommendations page, if the artist or band had one, and bookmark each of those. I assumed that eventually all recommendations would loop back to people recommending only things I’d already heard of, and I would stop finding new albums to listen to. Obviously when I started this I didn’t think about exactly how much music there is out there in the world.
Now, somewhere around 9 or 10 months later, I am sitting here with a “To-Listen” bookmarks folder well over 100 long, and a “Listen Again” folder with even more than that (interestingly enough, my To Buy folder is only about 15 long, because I haven’t had time to actually listen to these albums again because I’m busy in the To-Listen folder). I’ve discarded more bad music than I can even think of, but I’ve also discovered so, so much. If I hadn’t done this, I wouldn’t have ever found amazing groups and artists like Torley, Ubiktune, Chiptunes = Win, Inverse Phase, Virt, Gamechops, Disko Warp Music, Cloudkicker, NickelPUNK, and so much more. I’ve come to enjoy almost every single genre of music, even ones that I previously hated. ESPECIALLY ones that I previously hated. I never thought I would see the day when I found good metal, folk, or dubstep until I started upon this quest. (I still haven’t found any good hip-hop though :|) I was even introduced to the “weird genres”, like future beats, and noisecore.
My goal is to actually finish this To-Listen folder by the time I graduate high school on May 31. The problem for a long time was that, for every one album I listened to, I added 2 or 3 to the folder, and at one point it literally was over 225 bookmarks long. That isn’t so much a problem, anymore, except when I find compliation albums, like ChipWin, 9-Bit Records, or Chip For Cancer, I try to find the bancamp pages for each artist whose songs I like in the compilations. Not that it’s necessarily a bad thing to listen to so much music; it’s just incredibly time consuming!

I think anyone who is interested in finding new music should do this. Bandcamp is absolutely filled to the brim with good music of every conceivable style, and you’re bound to find something you like. This is all you have to do:

1) Explore Bandcamp’s tags, even the more obscure ones. Try to find music from your local area, too.

2) If you like an artist’s music, bookmark other albums they’ve made, and look at their recommendations page if they have one.

3)Listen to your bookmarked albums in order. Skipping around to the ones that look the most interesting is easy, but you aren’t giving the other ones that you are unsure about a fair chance.

4)Try everything!

 

This may or may not turn you into a hipster in the end. I’m not sure. I don’t THINK I’m a hipster… but when 4 of my top 5 favorite albums of all time are all independent, this may be a problem 😛

Post Navigation