lea_hazel: Angry General Elodie (Genre: Games)
I tried out the prologue for the new Voltage game. It’s technically a period piece, which is mildly interesting, and it’s prohibition-era, which under different circumstances would probably intrigue me more. Except that there’s already The Blind Griffin, and while it’s very short and has no female love interests, I enjoyed it tremendously the three or so times I played it through. Plus, the heroine of TBG is just fantastic.

Anyway, the new game. Only the first few routes have made their appearance, but the prologue handily introduces all the many, many (many!) love interests. A little clumsily, but at least it’s super clear on what’s going on. There are about seven or eight male love interests, and one woman.

This is the story of a brash and outgoing girl of indeterminate age (if I had to guess I’d say no older than twenty) whose overprotective mother was worried about her hard-partying ways. So she sent her to live with her stern uncle. In Chicago. Which is clearly the best place in which to protect a young girl from the seedier aspects of life, such a good place that they even named a musical after it.

The MC is full of vim, and is meant to be quite clever and qualified. She doesn’t super sell it, though. It takes her the entire prologue to figure out what was immediately obvious to me as a reader, which is that her temperance campaigner uncle is secretly running a speakeasy under his shop. But anyway, she’s a lively and strong-willed girl, and that has its appeal. Runs a little close to “feisty” for my tastes but it’s hard to tell from such a short sample.

Verdict: I don’t know if I’ll get into it. Then again, it’s definitely better than L&L and I read almost a dozen episodes of that before I gave up. The background art is beautiful. The sprites are nice also, a style much more favorable I think than L&L’s had. It also remains to be seen whether there’s an overarching story to the different routes. Bottom line is, Astoria is still the best. If you can’t get more of that, fanfic is the only way to go.

Crossposted to Tumblr.

FFS Jam

Tuesday, 14 February 2017 10:57
lea_hazel: Kermit: OMG YAY *flail* (Feel: OMGYAY)
So, rumor has it that some people other than me entered their games into FFS Jam on itch.io. so here are some carefully curated links to that for your entertainment.

1. Penguin Quest, a cute and silly game about a penguin looking for friends on their birthday so they don't have to celebrate alone. It's definitely in the style of something, but don't ask me what. Browser playable.

2. Corgi Snow Day is exactly what it sounds like, a fluffy cuddle game to brighten your day and warm your heart. It's ultra-short, so I would recommend playing it every morning before getting out of bed.

3. Mao's Adventure, an exceptionally weird game that has to be experienced first-hand.

4. Nature of Colors and Shapes is a strange little puzzle game that involves dragging colorful blobs in certain trajectories. I found it soothing to play.
lea_hazel: Angry General Elodie (Genre: Games)
After having been playing it pretty regularly for about a month and a half, I believe I might finally be ready to make my review of Kisses and Curses. There are 5-6 routes (depending on how you count) and I played two of them to the end, then quit halfway through another. Now I'm dipping my toes into a fourth with hopes of clarifying something about the reasons why I DNFed the last one. I've been trying to review this game for ages so getting this out of my system will be real nice.

In other game news, I made a thread for Wreath of Roses on the Lemma Soft forums, the mythological birthplace of so many OEL visual novels and dating sims. My concerns about text games and game writing and etc. are more or less validated, but it's okay.
lea_hazel: Angry General Elodie (Genre: Games)
The game's full title is Niche: a Genetics Survival Game, and thank Darwin fish for that, because "niche game" is the worst Google search term in history.

Anyhoo. Niche is an eco-bio-something sim that charges the player with raising a pack of vague mammalian critters, collecting food, breeding, fighting off predators, and exploring their surroundings. The game world's science is a biological grab-bag of sorts. Differently colored tiles represent different "biomes" with different physical characteristics. Each critter has its own genome, where some traits divide to dominant versus recessive, and others mix interestingly, like fur color. A "mutation menu" lets the player pick specific traits to introduce into their newly-bred nichelings, rolling the dice and letting the odds determine the outcome. "Immunity genes" exist to discourage consanguinity. Later in the game's life cycle, "alpha/beta" status for critters was also introduced.

Read more... )

Crossposted to hazelgold.net.
lea_hazel: Angry General Elodie (Genre: Games)
The world of Fallen London was yet again enriched this month with the release of the long-awaited Zubmariner DLC for Sunless Sea. A stretch goal of the Sunless Sea Kickstarter campaign, Zubmariner promised to expand on the hints of sub-aquatic travel lore already present in Fallen London, and take players to a deeper and darker place than ever before. As the surface of the Unterzee already features sea-urchins from space who speak the language of stars, and a malevolent living mountain that’s can’t be permanently killed, it seemed a tall order. Still, the early promotional materials were intriguing to say the least, so as a KS backer myself I was very ready to be hyped.

Read more... )

Crossposted to hazelgold.net.
lea_hazel: Angry General Elodie (Genre: Games)

The Interactive Fiction Technology Foundation runs a yearly competition for interactive fiction called IFComp. Though it’s been flourishing for many years, I hadn’t heard about it before this year, and too late to be able to plan and execute a worthy submission. Still, nothing’s preventing me from browsing the 50-odd submissions and looking for something to catch my eye. As a novice to IF I’ve only had hands-on experience with a very few platforms for writing or playing it. IFComp, though, exposes a whole array of techniques and manipulations that I wasn’t previously familiar with. Needless to say, this affected my play experience significantly.

Eight characters, a number, and a happy ending – K.G. Orphanides

This was the first entry I played. Eight characters is a parser game, where commands can be entered in the text box or through navigation links. Some of the commands are helpfully explained in the in-universe manuals. Some are fairly intuitive, once you catch the trick of it – another effect of my being a novice player. I fussed for a long time over trying to open a simple chest before I learned to adjust to the game’s expectations.

Crossposted to hazelgold.net.


lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
This is basically for my own reference and not meant to reflect as any kind of fandom meta, or anything.

Read more... )
lea_hazel: A frowning white theater mask (Feel: Sad Face :()
I have a couple of short blog posts queued for this week and next. No big, substantive reviews. Part of me still wants to get that aromantic post out of my system but I'm not sure how well I'd weather the process. Meanwhile I have been playing a lot of 7KPP and Affairs of the Court, which I probably still should review, at some point.

Other things in my tabs: Why Being a Writer is an Exercise in Cognitive Dissonance from Kameron Hurley's blog (via Goodreads). Coffintree Hill has a whole bunch of magazines and anthologies calls for submissions. I have been reading a fair amount of Asexual Agenda posts and links, lately.

Soon I will have a cellphone again.
lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Genre: Fantasy)
I’ve been obsessed with mermaids since I first watched Disney’s The Little Mermaid when I was six years old. Reportedly, after the movie I menaced my father with complex natural science questions like ‘what do mermaids eat?’ Fairy tales never really stopped having an appeal for me, even as a teenager when I grew frustrated with their simplistic and formulaic nature. It’s a good thing, too, because studying fairy tales taught me more about writing than almost anything else. To this very day, there are some words that, if I see them on a book cover, will spark an immediate interest: "dragon", for example. Or "mermaid".

Read more... )

Crossposted to hazelgold.net.
lea_hazel: Angry General Elodie (Genre: Games)
Masques and Murder is a dark historical revenge fantasy taking place in Renaissance Italy. The historical setting lends the game a richness of language, combining with the art and music to give the game its particular aesthetic. The plot is as grisly as requisite. You play a young woman whose family was murdered in a power-grab, where the combined goal of the game is to extract vengeance, as well as escape the prospect of marriage to one of your family's murderers. The game's atmosphere is meticulously put together.

Read more... )

Crossposted to hazelgold.net.
lea_hazel: Angry General Elodie (Genre: Games)
Queen at Arms, a strategy and romance visual novel, first became known to me under the working title 'The Silent Princess'. Thankfully this title was dropped pretty quickly since, despite being accurate in the literal sense, it gives an entirely false impression of the game's content. Read more... )

Ultimately I would say QAA is a compelling game, although not an excellent one. What recommends it is that it tries to bring something new to the table, and in the experience it can offer to the player. Despite multiple romance paths, achievements and hidden secrets to discover, it has limited replayability value. Recommended with reservations.

Crossposted to hazelgold.net.
lea_hazel: The outlook is somewhat dismal (Feel: Crash and Burn)
The first half of February was pretty intense.

I had one exam at the beginning of the month which I very nearly fucked up, but managed to rally for on time and will probably be all right on. I missed the deadline on the last two assignments on my other class. Hopefully though I have still accumulated enough credits to sit the exam, which is in a week.

I started a part-time job.

And I'm starting another writing workshop.

And next month I start my next math class. Joy.

Meanwhile I have been plugging away at a few ongoing projects, a Twine game and a card game (yes, real paper cards in your hand). I have a project in Hebrew which I've been working on translating. And I have a blog post drafted that needs proofing before I post it next week.

I am reading Seanan McGuire's One Salt Sea and I got pretty close to the end before stalling for mysterious reasons. I've also picked up Inkheart, which I've had my eye on but hesitant about for some time. And I've been playing Queen at Arms.

This week, though, I've mostly been dedicated to Fallen London on account of the Feast of the Exceptional Rose. And the fact that I'm finally making progress on becoming a notable person. There's a certain unusual joy to playing an agender poet and detective who's "irresistible, compelling and sagacious" as the game phrases it. Hell, playing an agender anything is pretty compelling.

It is needful.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016 16:07
lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)
This version is which links. It's like the fangirl trash equivalent of a bucket list.

This is literally an HTML table of 7KPP shipping options. That's it. )
lea_hazel: I am surrounded by tiny red hearts (Feel: Love)
I submitted another story today. Something pretty low-key, I had a story ready that just needed some hefty editing. Fortunately I keep a Word doc full of submission opportunities and their deadlines so now I can set myself another deadline. Since working under crunch time seems to be the only way to force myself to consistently produce new material.

I am still waiting to hear back from another publisher about another submission, and I have some feedback material I have put off going through while I was in an editing haze. And next week I am (hopefully) starting a part time temp job, which will take one load off my mind.

My most recent review got some pretty good attention! This pleases me a lot. I, uh. I also finished reading Sorcerer to the Crown. Yeah. Yes, it took about three days, maybe less. Thoughts forthcoming, of course, and I also have a post about Solstice due once I've edited it to my satisfaction. Also, I'd really like to post it on the day of release.

Hello 2016

Sunday, 3 January 2016 11:52
lea_hazel: Don't make me look up from my book (Basic: Reading)
Year, we got off to a rough start. I acknowledge this. I'm not sure how I feel about you just yet, but I am willing to give you a chance.

Tomorrow, my 2015 writing retrospective will go up on the WordPress blog. I will probably crosspost it here. It has charts! And numbers! And colors!

I also have some Yuletide recs that I've been gradually accumulating. I will post them once I've grown a spine and read the reviews on my own story.

Meanwhile I'm drafting a review for Solstice.
lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)
The main problem I've had so far with Cards Against Humanity is that a lot of the jokes are really super-specific culturally.

So.

Cards against humanity - Israeli homebrew edition.

Heart of Gold

Thursday, 26 November 2015 09:44
lea_hazel: Arthritis: It does the body bad (Health: Arthritis)
I am increasing my vitamin D dose to approximately "metric fuckton" (I think it's actually 1000mg or thereabouts) in hopes of doing something about the "always tired, always depressed" thing. The bottle has ninety pills! It should last me until the ritualistic murder of the solar deity has expired and the world is born anew in a flutter of chirping swallows and almond blossoms. Or something.

I downloaded and played the demo to the new Dark Parables game, "Goldilocks and the Fallen Star". It's... okay? Like, I want it and I want to play it. I just don't feel any huge urgency or attachment. The puzzles are good. The art is pretty. The story is about as overblown as you'd expect. There are secrets and fables to collect, but there don't seem to be morphing objects, which is a shame.

I will probably play and replay it eventually. Right now, I'm in 7KPP hell. When I'm ready to buy a new game, I might favor Botanica over this one.

Results

Wednesday, 25 November 2015 09:44
lea_hazel: Arthritis: It does the body bad (Health: Arthritis)
The results on my thyroid-related things are not encouraging. Therefore I am going to do two things, the first of which is to go to the pharmacy and buy some 1000mg vitamin D gel caplets (and a hot water battle because it is terribly cold in my hobbit-hole). Then I am going to make an appointment for an endocrinologist, by phone, which will be very fun. So much fun!

No, I have not gotten around to watching Jessica Jones yet, although I am confident from reactions that it will probably meet 80-85% of my expectations. Roughly. I have also not yet watched the midseason finale of HTGAWM. And I have not finished reading Baru Cormorant.

In fact, I exited Sunless Sea hell only to immediately dig myself a chest-high ditch in 7KPP alpha hell. Yes, there is a new alpha update and I am flipping out every which way. As usual, with a branching storyline the new content is scattered across multiple playthroughs and so unlocking everything I want/need to see is taking some time. I have had a hard time resisting playing the game late at night on my laptop, which has done my circadian cycle no favors.

Meanwhile writing is proceeding sort of apace with 3-4 stories running in parallel. And writing in Hebrew now, because I'm doing a workshop. And thinking of gathering a local writers' social group for chatty meetings twice a month or so.
lea_hazel: Angry General Elodie (Genre: Games)
I adore the world of the Echo Bazaar, the world of the Neath, damned to a shadowy existence both literal and figurative. Horror isn't usually my jam, but this world has undeniable character and a creepy kind of charm. I've played Fallen London, on and off, for a while. Though I was initially very enthusiastic about it, I found the game mechanics wearying and never progressed as far as I liked. As such, I was terribly excited when Failbetter Games announced Sunless Sea, a desktop game exploring a new, wider horizon of their addictive fictional realm.

As a Kickstarter backer, I got access to the earlier, incomplete (and sometimes buggy) versions of the game. Not surprisingly, it was an up-and-down journey. The earliest versions had a somewhat notorious problem raising enough cash to buy fuel and supplies. Sometimes, just as I was setting out, only starting to get comfortable with my explorations, a new update would throw me for a loop. At one point map-shuffling was introduced which, at a stage of development when many map tiles were blank, was a major challenge to the player.

Still, new content kept coming out, expanding and improving the game, and I knew that eventually one of my captains would survive long enough, and raise enough cash, to reach the later stages of the game's many quests. The major thing that changed this perception was the Steel beta. Sunless Sea updates were rolled out in batches, coded by color. The Steel update was added to the development plan rather late, and hadn't been part of the Kickstarter game concept. It changed the game's combat system from a turn-based mini-game to an integrated, time-sensitive style.

I wasn't enthused for the Steel update. I don't do well with time-sensitive portions of games, and I had been generally pleased with the turn-based combat, except for the over-abundance of low level opponents at mid-level gameplay. Naturally, I did want to give it a chance. I was a little apprehensive because I was launching a mid-level captain into a situation where I didn't know if I'd be able to defeat (or survive) mid-level zee monsters. Even though I was resolved to give the Steel beta a chance, the game I was playing became less relaxing and less fun.

I didn't play for very long after the Steel update. I had no intention of abandoning Sunless Sea altogether, even though, with the number of hours I'd already sunk into it, I'd definitely gotten my money's worth. Because the game was in beta, I decided it would be better to wait and see whether future updates would compensate for the change I was so impatient with. I had little interest in re-learning combat, to begin with not my favorite part of the game. If my screenshots folder can be taken as reliable witness, I swore off the game for a little over a year. It was only lately that I picked it up again.

A lot can happen in a year. The game I launched three weeks ago was very different from the game I'd played pre-Steel. A little disorienting, with certain features having been removed or replaced with more elaborate, dynamic variations. But overall, the game benefited from a huge addition of content. The early parts of the game were still a trial, and I did find myself consulting more than one informal player's guide. At least, though, the game no longer felt unplayable -- or playable, but not enjoyable. Combat remained fairly stressful in the early stages of the game, but then I've always been a gun-shy game player.

After three weeks of intense preoccupation, my third captain achieved her life's ambition to write the zong of the zee, and I achieved the much more modest ambition of making peace with the Sunless Sea combat system.

Crossposted to hazelgold.net.
lea_hazel: Arthritis: It does the body bad (Health: Arthritis)
Doctor has some suspicions regarding my persistent fatigue (and also seemed concerned about my tendency for heavy sweating). Sent me for a bunch of blood-work and heart/lung tests today. I'm worn out. I don't know when/if/how I will get back to studying, which is a high priority, and trying to fucking write something, which likewise.

Meanwhile Baru Cormorant is screaming good. There are things in this book that I didn't know I wanted to read, you know?

And the second update of the 7KPP alpha is out, too. Just in time, as last night I won at Sunless Sea for the very first time. Wow. Maybe now playing out the other ambitions will feel less urgent? I kept the captain's lineage (despite the fact that it lacks the handy bonuses you get from playing Fallen London) and that left me in a pretty cushy position for a novice captain, but the map regenerated and it must be Salt's revenge or something. Last time I had the Salt Lions right next to London and the map overall was very convenient. This time the tile just east of London is the Snares, which means I've got bound fucking sharks prowling right near London. Boo.

I think I might go lie down a little. Or try to rally the energy to make myself some tea.

Profile

lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)
lea_hazel

May 2017

M T W T F S S
12345 67
89 1011121314
15161718 192021
22 23 2425262728
293031    

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit