Category: Notes

Thinking In Two Directions

Some notes about writing and notebooking in the
body of a book as it pertains to fluid thinking
once you get into the habit of thinking of ‘who
told me that,’ you’ll start verifying ideas, of ‘to
me, this makes sense,’ becoming less common.
The problem with much of us these days, with the
world, is a feeling of emotional certainty about what
is not necessarily true or even scrutinised. I’m
gunna admit my own habit of accepting ideas that
roll with how I already think, ideas that tell
me, ‘you are doing okay’ and to be honest
I don’t think that’s necessarily an evil. You
ain’t going to stop your brain doing it, so
the next best thing is to refine your responses to the
sharpest point possible to look at reflection as a
tool for critical self-engagement to make it
in an otherwise unexamind and uncritical world.
The next thing to do is examine the first word on each
shed.


this was originally written at MOAB, hand on paper

Notes: Daniel Solis on Tuckboxes

Disclosure is that Daniel Solis is a designer who also publishes on DriveThruCards and his work has heavily informed some of my own work.

  • The damage tucks get over time is a real thing and I don’t have a good solution for it
  • Top-and-bottom tucks are actually harder to get into and can have the bottom fall out; I really don’t like those for larger, heavier games
  • DTC Tuckboxes are easier to put cards away into and get out of too:
  • UGH that backwards design is so much smarter than what I do, ugh, dangit

Notes: How Disney Uses Language

  • Comparisons between Frozen and Moana are sort of a sign that right now, because they’re only one of a small number of films with the similar premise (woman-centered narrative).
  • The riff in both Jungle Book and Aladdin feel kinda like the Oriental Riff, aka Aladdin’s Cave that opens a lot of other things like Turning Japanese. Like, the iconic ‘Oriental Sounding’ music isn’t from anywhere in the Orient anywhere.
  • Cultural Appropriation is a big topic and it’s hard to talk about it in Youtube spaces, and it’s even harder to talk about on Twitter.
  • The Bulgarian choir music thing is just straight up super interesting.
    • Is this fusional, using Bulgarian choir style with the Inupiat lyrics?
  • The thing about Librettists and Operatic Composers amuse me juxtaposed with a Gilbert and Sullivan quote because they hated each other so much by the end, because they couldn’t see it as a synthesis of their work.
  • English is a fixed-stress language; words have a proper emphasis in them, but words don’t have a proper emphasis in a sentence, or rather, the emphasis tends to indicate the subject.
  • Vocables! There’s like, a language for singing, in a language? That’s super cool! I wonder if it’s also part of transmission/commonality between cultures, so they can all sing the same songs even if their languages change over time and space.
  • I really do want to see Moana. It looks really great.
  • God, Lilo and Stitch was also great.
  • The question of cultural appropriation between Hawai’i and France and Polynesian narrative.
  • I really, really love the detail that the characters are singing the song in its original language, and then they stop singing it when the language shifts to English. It becomes nondiegetic, which is really cool.
  • This form of video isn’t actually so demanding of production values. I can do this. I can do this even with Microsoft Movie Editor.

Notes: Secrets

  • Hidden identity small-box game
  • The materiality. Tokens can’t be mistaken for cards can’t be mistaken for the mat for the arrows.
  • Observing it seems too much of the game is invisible
  • Ways to keep people engaged in the off-turn
  • The draw-and-share cards mechanic is appealing based on games like Secret Hitler too, I like that
  • Can the game be handled with a low-material tool for agreeing/refusing?
  • Think about this in light of HMS Dolores
    • Oh they made Dolores
      • Well then
  • Aesthetic is super important, lots of cool, vibrant art, minimal background work
  • Giving people positive/negative score cards/trying to force busts/breaks
  • Alternate mechanism ideas?
  • I expect I’ll try doing something with this – the secret identities/common pool of cards thing is very desireable, but it needs to have some extra way to get some teeth

Notes: Bad Games By Great Designers

Today, a healthy chunk of video watching people talk about their experiences playing games, found via Youtube random suggestion:

Notes

  • Most of these complaints about games are about what this player experiences and how they prefer to experience games.
  • Sam Healy’s complaints about Codenames point to one of Codenames’ strengths as a weakness: The game is largely intense, engaging, and quiet. It’s a communication game.
  • The complaints about Citadels suggest that games can have truly terrible failure states, failure states so deep players can be left without any way to play at all.
  • Even if the overreaction is comical, the frustration these things speak to is very real.
  • Consider that Zee complains about Bloodborne having a very grim theme.
  • Reiner Knizier’s huge library makes it possible he can have his weaknesses shown up. Iterate more you’ll see the problems you have as a designer.
  • Seafall is such an elaborate experience people are really resistant to call it bad first-up, but with enough time to percolate, all the good memories of the game fade away.
  • Mathy games are hard to love.
  • Werewolf as a game requires everyone to be bought into it, to work; yet the game sells itself as inclusive to large groups with a player count sometimes into the sixties.
    • This suggests there’s a base assumption the game has that lots of people want to play a game where they inherently can’t trust
    • It also suggests an assumption that lots of people want to play a game with knockouts as solutions
  • Almost all these complaints are exaggerated and gently so, but can be sorted into individual subjective preferences (such as the Bloodborne theme) and exacerbations of the game (such as Citadels being capable of leaving a player without a turn).

Notes: Procrastination, with Tim Pychyl

Here’s a thing I’m going to try and do more often. I watch educational programming or advertisements or reviews on Youtube from time to time and I take notes, and then I try to make sure I remember those notes. With that in mind, here’s a little talk about Procrastination I watched today and the notes I took on it.

Shout out to SJA for putting this video in my path.

  • Emotional intelligence helps you with resisting procrastination
  • Economic models are very cold and require rational actors
  • Delays are not procrastination, but procrastination are delay
  • There are actual developmental barriers here, and you can’t expect everyone to handle this the same way
  • Negative reinforcement is about avoiding negative things, not about being punished
  • ‘People who are procrastinating,’ not ‘procastinators’
  • Working Under Pressure is a persistent myth
  • Procrastination can be connected to more optimistic thought patterns, which I imagine makes it difficult with mental patterns like depression
  • Goal intentions vs Implementation intentions not ‘I’ll work on the assignment tonight’ but ‘I will do the structural outline of section 2, after dinner.’
  • Having definitive plans makes tasks seem more handleable.

Rando Identification Guide

We’re all familiar with randos – uninvited assholes brigading into our conversations in shared communal spaces. Randos exist in a whole range of contexts. They are sometimes in real spaces, but more often than not, randos are enabled by online spaces, places where they can be independent of their actions, and those consequences. Randos can often be harmless, but they do represent a drain on your time and resources. Try to bear this in mind if you ever go out of your way to identify and define the randos in your environment.

For the purpose of this discussion I will be using the word ‘he’ to describe all Randos. Note this is not an absolute gender thing, I am sure there are people who do not use ‘he’ who could be randos. But every rando I’ve dealt with has been a he. Which is I’m sure, just coincidence.

Ayn Rando: Well, he says, I don’t see why I should have to do things for other people. What’s courtesy and kindness do for me?
Marlon Rando: Insists on offering you his time, which you, of course, do not want. This does not seem to perturb him. This is an offer you can’t refuse.
Rando Calrissian: Seems to be your friend. May even have some signals to indicate camaraderie. Then he’ll tag the conversation into some complete dickhead and suddenly you’re off to the races.
Rando Lee: Starts a conversation and is quite obnoxious, only to disappear around the fifth or sixth response. The account is deleted. They are never seen again.
Rando Munroe: Doesn’t seem to have any opinions of his own, but really likes quoting XKCD comics that tangentially relate to what you’re talking about. Ha ha, yes, someone is wrong on the internet, yes.
Rando Newman: You can tell there’s a cohesion there to their thoughts and arguments, but they’re just stating them in this pointless, stilted way that just doesn’t have any useful or meaningful connection to what you’re saying.
Rando Paul: Like the Ayn Rando, but thinks the real reason you don’t agree with him is because you haven’t heard all the evidence.
Rando Savage (Macho Man variety): Doesn’t seem to have anything to say except Oh Yeaaahh. Harmless and in its own way, kinda charming.
Rando Savage (DC variety): Jesus christ, where did this asshole come from? Believes in neanderthal population dynamics, and ‘it’s just biology,’ he’s convinced he’s the superior human because he’s embracing ideas that haven’t been useful since the development of agriculture.
Rando von Winkle: What year is it? Where are we? What’s ‘third wave’ feminism, even? Somehow this Rando wants to talk about current events or recent history without having an awareness of anything that’s happened at all in easily either of your lifetimes.
William Rando Hearst: Convinced he is the real source of news, wishes to inform you about current events as he understands them. Especially in speciality fields like science or videogame journalism where you may, in fact, be quite confident and familiar. Still, without his valuable insight, how would you ever know that Videogame A is better than Videogame B even though you weren’t talking about either of them?

These are not all the kind of Randos you might encounter! There are quite a lot of randos out there in the world. Be sure to document any that you spot, and maybe you’ll find a totally brand new type of rando*!
* You won’t, these tired chore behaviours are representative of a very limited set of social parameters.