@grissallia@aus.social
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grissallia

@grissallia@aus.social

Neurodivergent Australian with eclectic interests, apprehensively approaching a half-century.

#music, #computers, #gaming, #movies, #theology, #writing #AuDHD #TechSupport, #trans

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grissallia, to random
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I’m not saying it’s definitely a kidney stone, but I’m pretty sure it’s a kidney stone.

tillybridges, to random
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i was gonna go on a rant about this until realizing paladin/bard actually sums me up way too well 😶

grissallia,
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@tillybridges TILLY WHERE IS THE LINK?

grissallia, to coffee
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Was trying to work out why my was taking so long to brew. See if you can troubleshoot the problem…

grissallia, to random
@grissallia@aus.social avatar

Our 11yo, as we got back into the car after his swimming lesson:

Him: “You know, I thought you’d be invisible.”
Me: “uhhhh, what?”
Him: “Well, because you’re a trans-parent.”

Reader, I howled with laughter.

grissallia, to random
@grissallia@aus.social avatar

Not enough people.
People.
Enough people.
No more people.
Too much people.
>Way too much people.

Close to blue-screening and I've got two more days of this.

grissallia,
@grissallia@aus.social avatar

I am Not OK.

I cannot explain why I am Not OK, because I cannot find the words to explain why I am Not OK, particularly in a way that neurotypicals could understand and find acceptable.

I have commitments and responsibilities and demands on my time that have reached the point that I "should" be able to cope, if I was neurotypical.

I will grind out the next two days, and then my weekend will be a write off.

Then I'm into another on-call week, which is this, but on steroids.

mattblaze, to random
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Watched the Steve Martin doc on AppleTV. I hadn't noticed before (this is my observation, not the film's) how much Andy Kaufman honed characters that seem at least inspired by Martin's early work. Both did "bombing comedian" characters; Martin's was a clueless blowhard, while Kaufman's was a clueless innocent.

Anyway, fascinating career (and life) arc.

grissallia,
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@mattblaze I saw that on the home screen the other day, sounds like I should add it to my watchlist.

I went through a special interest of American Late Night Talkshow Hosts, which somehow lead me to "Andy Kaufman Revealed".

https://www.qbd.com.au/andy-kaufman-revealed/bob-zmuda/9780091874070/

verge, to random
@verge@mastodon.social avatar

Tesla’s year-over-year sales dropped for the first time since 2020 https://www.theverge.com/2024/4/2/24118950/tesla-q1-2024-sales-decline-ev-competition-ford-gm

grissallia,
@grissallia@aus.social avatar

@verge area business genius resolves supply and demand issues by reducing demand.

melissabeartrix, to random
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grissallia,
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@masterdon1312 @melissabeartrix

Looking forward to the Cocaine Bear sequel, Cocaine Pig.

grissallia, to random
@grissallia@aus.social avatar

Breaking a tooth isn't just for Christmas any more.

😭

grissallia,
@grissallia@aus.social avatar

@jo Tan was just "It's a holiday. Of course."

twipped, to random
@twipped@twipped.social avatar

@rick first impression from my first two hours in HFW: Oh my god why is there so much bruised male ego on display?! Every single one of her guy friends is like “you hurt me so badly by leaving before I could woo you.”

The sun king begging her to come be his consort, and she’s like 😬😬

grissallia,
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@twipped @rick I opened up the first game again last night for the first time in a year. I just want to sink into it and play it exclusively, and finally finish it (I’m like only two hours in!)

But I’m just struggling for brain space at the moment, and to lock into just one game.

grissallia, to gaming
@grissallia@aus.social avatar

I'm not one for "New Year's resolutions", but I am one for overly ambitious projects.

For 2023, Project365 is "One New Game Per Day".

Given that I have 634 unplayed games in my Steam account and {mumble} unredeemed bundle Steam keys, there's a reason my unplayed collection is tagged "Pile of Shame".

I'll pin this to my profile, and give a brief summary here each day (or x, if I miss x days due to work or stuff).

I'll play 15-30 minutes of (at least) one new game I've never played before (or played less than 15 minutes of). I'll give every game at least 15 minutes, even if I hate every minute of it.

I'm also open to suggestions; if you reply to this thread with a game, I'll schedule it, or tell you what I thought of it.

One of the things that's come up is that I have a bunch of games that I've played once, and not touched again.

Unplayed games:
Trying a game again:
Going live on Twitch:

I'll hashtag these with so you can mute it if you're not interested.

grissallia,
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March 26, 2024 - Day 451 - NewPlay Review
Total NewPlays: 486

Game: The Forest Quartet

Platform: Steam
Released: Dec 9, 2022
Installed: Mar 14, 2023
Unplayed: 378d (1y12d)
Playtime: 22m

The Forest Quartet is a third-person puzzle game that's part narrative adventure, part jazz-themed exploration of grief.

It tells the story of a quartet of jazz musicians whose lead vocalist, Nina, has passed away. You play as Nina, a spirit interacting with the physical world to reunite her former bandmates, and help them come to terms with her death.

It's a beautiful little game, and very moving.

The Forest Quartet is:

5: Excellent

grissallia,
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March 27, 2024 - Day 452 - NewPlay Review
Total NewPlays: 487

Game: If Found...

Platform: Steam
Released: May 20, 2020
Installed: Jul 27, 2022
Unplayed: 609d (1y8m)
Playtime: 24m

If Found... is a 2D hand-drawn visual novel, that's telling two seemingly disconnected stories.

One is the story of an astronaut, Cassiopeia, and her entry into a black hole.

The other is the story of Kasio, a young Irish trans woman in the 1990's, and the fallout of her coming out as trans.

The UI is unique in my experience; you only have an eraser. You move through the story, partly as presented in Kasio's journal, by erasing your way through Kasio's life, and experiencing different memories as you go.

Sci-fi? A trans woman's coming out story? It's very much right up my alley, thematically.

I just wish I enjoyed it. There's a story there I want to engage with, but I wonder if it's the autistic part of my brain that's just struggling to connect with the story of a early-20's trans woman in a queer share house in Dublin (I think?).

The metaphor inherent in the UI is lovely, but it starts to get frustrating after a while.

I appreciate the love that's gone into the story, but I just found myself struggling to remain engaged, and that's something I often experience with visual novel style games, so I found that particularly disappointing in this regard.

I wonder if it's the kind of game that I could play in a different context and would be more enjoyable (perhaps remote Steam on the iPad).

In the end, I would say that for me If Found... is:

3: OK

#IfFound... #2D #HandDrawn #VisualNovel #Gaming #ProjectONG

grissallia,
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March 28, 2024 - Day 453
March 29, 2024 - Day 454
March 30, 2024 - Day 455
March 31, 2024 - Day 456
April 1, 2024 - Day 457
April 2, 2024 - Day 458

No NewPlay Reviews

Total NewPlays: 487

It was at this point that circumstances finally forced me to take a break. I just couldn't do it any more.

When I started the project, it was about playing through my unplayed games. I've made a huge dent in the list, but added more, and it's been a pretty great experience.

However, it's become more and more like work, and I already HAVE a job.

When those two things conflict? Well... this happens.

The other thing that's occurred is that it's now taking away from my ability to settle in and enjoy the games I've reviewed.

I tried to settle in and play Horizon Zero Dawn last night. It had been a year since I'd played it.

I couldn't remember how to play it, and I couldn't settle in because in my head was the drumbeat "I have to write those reviews, I have to write those reviews, ihavetowritethosereviews" and I quit after 10 minutes.

I want to be able to have some fun again without feeling that self-imposed burden.

So I have a new plan... the April Humble Choice dropped on the 3rd, and that's going to take me to 495 games.

I'm going to go to 500 games, and then call it a day on this version of the project.

It's been a fun journey, and I've really appreciated the feedback, but I feel like right now I need to put a pin in it, and let it have an ending.

I still might do some reviews (I've got many months of pre-paid Humble Choice bundles to come), but I think I need to finally say goodbye to in this form.

grissallia,
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April 3, 2024 - Day 459 - NewPlay Review
Total NewPlays: 488

Game: Victoria 3

Platform: Steam
Released: Oct 26, 2022
Installed: Apr 3, 2024
Unplayed: 0d
Playtime: 21m

Victoria 3 is a grand strategy game from Paradox Interactive. It's the first game in the April Humble Choice bundle, and if you're a Paradox fan who doesn't already own it, would probably make the whole bundle worth the purchase.

Strategy games are not my go-to choice for gaming. It took me a long time to connect the dots between my general lack of enjoyment, and my ADHD.

The number of things a strategy game requires me to keep on top of simultaneously, is inversely proportional to how much I enjoy the game.

Then there are games with a steep learning curve. If a game requires me a drop a dexy to stay focused long enough to learn the game systems, that generally doesn't go well.

Paradox Interactive's games tend to be both of these things at once. They are deeply complex games, with steep learning curves, that require patience, tenacity, focus, and the ability to multitask.

I already have a day job, I don't need a second unpaid one at night.

21 minutes is not enough time for me to make a fair objective judgement of Victoria 3, but this project was never about objectivity. It was about whether I enjoyed a game enough to keep playing it.

Victoria 3 seems to be a well developed, and incredibly deep grand strategy game. Will I play it again?

1: Nope

grissallia,
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April 4, 2024 - Day 460
April 5, 2024 - Day 461

No NewPlay Reviews

Total NewPlays: 488

grissallia,
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April 6, 2024 - Day 462 - NewPlay Review
Total NewPlays: 489

Game: The Callisto Protocol

Platform: Steam
Released: Dec 2, 2022
Installed: Apr 6, 2024
Unplayed: 0d
Playtime: 34m

The Callisto Protocol is the second game in the April Humble Choice Bundle; it's a third-person narrative-driven survival horror game.

I went into it knowing it's classed as a survival horror game, and a great demonstration of why I try to go into these game without knowing what kind of game I'm getting into.

I don't like "survival horror" games as a category. But there are "SURVIVAL horror" games, and "survival HORROR" games. Outlast is an example of the former, The Callisto Protocol is an example of the latter (at least so far?).

Horror games take me places that feel too close to emotional spaces that aren't good for me; I'm not good with that kind of fear-based adrenaline. Occasionally, though, it's doable.

I found the first half hour relatively... OK. You play as Jacob Lee, a poor victim of "names pulled from a hat".

After the intro, the camera pans forward to the cockpit of a ship, and you come face to face with good old Kirkland-brand Timothy Olyphant, Josh Duhamel.

Voiceover and mocap work was done by Josh Duhamel, with the apparent antagonist played by Karen Fukuhara, best known as Kimiko Miyashiro from The Boys.

However, when Sam Witwer shows up soon after, it becomes clear who the real bad guy of the piece is. The fact your first interaction with him is him throwing your innocent character into a maximum security off-world prison is pretty much a "I don't know what I expected moment".

What these actors bring to the game is a sense of this being more than just another survival horror shooter, a game that might actually be serious about its narrative intentions. Whether they can pull it off, I have yet to find out.

In terms of gameplay so far, I was intrigued enough to keep playing, in spite of my nerves. There are a couple of things about the game that make me uneasy.

I don't mind a bit of gore, but The Callisto Protocol is a gorefest. Which brings me to the other thing. You don't just loot bodies in The Callisto Protocol (you little murder hobo), you actually need to perform a "corpse stomp" on them for them to give up their shinies.

That just feels a bit gratuitous.

The graphics and sound design create an incredible atmosphere, and if I'm in the right mood, I might end up trying to escape from Callisto.

The Callisto Protocol seems:

4: Good

grissallia,
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April 7, 2024 - Day 463 - NewPlay Review
Total NewPlays: 490

Game: HUMANKIND

Platform: Steam
Released: Aug 18, 2021
Installed: Apr 7, 2024
Unplayed: 0d
Playtime: 23m

Humble really decided to lean into the strategy games this month, with the third game in the bundle being HUMANKIND. It's a hex-tile based 4X strategy game.

It does a lot of things in a strategy game that Victoria 3 doesn't, which gave me a considerably easier on-ramp.

It purports to allow you to progress from a hunter-gatherer tribes, all the way to a space-faring society, but I didn't get that far in 23 minutes.

It could just have been because I was tired, I just didn't quite connect with it, and I don't really have much more to say about it.

I'll possibly poke it again, but it does feel a lot like Civilisation in some ways, and if I wanted to play a game that felt like Civilisation, I'd just play Civilisation.

The version of the game included in the bundle is the definitive edition, so you immediately have all of the DLC expansions right there, but I'm not sure I'll ever get that far.

HUMANKIND is:

3: OK

grissallia,
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April 7, 2024 - Day 463 - NewPlay Bonus Review
Total NewPlays: 491

Game: Techtonica

Platform: XBox Game Pass UItimate
Released: Aug 16, 2023
Installed: Apr 7, 2024
Unplayed: 0d
Playtime: 11h6m

Techtonica is not in the Humble Bundle. If it was, I'd be torn between yelling "BUY IT IMMEDIATELY", and "RUN AWAY, SAVE YOURSELF!"

It's a first person factory automation adventure game set on an alien planet. It's not Factorio, because it's first-person, and it's got an actual narrative built into the game, instead of tacked on as an afterthought.

You're a "breaker", who's been woken up from artificial hibernation, because something has gone in this mission to colonise an alien planet.

The design and lighting and music are all utterly gorgeous, and I wish I'd never met it.

GG.deals had a link to Pacific Drive on special (that I can't afford), and when I clicked through to look at the pricing, I saw Techtonica in a bundle with Pacific Drive (that I also couldn't afford), and I went back to GG.deals, to discover it's included in XBGU (oh no).

I lovehate factory automation games. I own several of them, and I shouldn't play them.

My theory is that they scratch that DEEP itch for systemisation that my autistic brain loves so much. I have lost entire days of my life in this kind of game.

What Techtonica does, however, is that it ties the narrative progression to the in-game tech-tree progression, and producing enough widgets to open the next level of the tech tree and find out more of the story.

I barely moved all day. I barely ate. I managed to drink a little bit of water here and there, but I was fundamentally staring at the screen for 11 hours straight.

They built a damn Skinner box that was specifically tuned for my brain, and I locked myself inside.

This game is a dopamine-hit nightmare, and I love it, but I'm not sure if it's healthy for me to keep playing it, because it verges on "addictive" territory for me.

I hate to say it, but I must; escape while you still can, don't do what I did, because Techtonica is:

5: Excellent

grissallia,
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April 8, 2024 - Day 464 - NewPlay Review
Total NewPlays: 492

Game: Fashion Police Squad

Platform: Steam
Released: Aug 16, 2022
Installed: Apr 8, 2024
Unplayed: 0d
Playtime: 16m

Fashion Police Squad (FPS) is a retro 3D first person shooter (FPS) and marks a change in pace, for game four in the April Humble Choice Bundle

As Sergeant Des of the Fashion Police, you patrol the streets putting an end to fashion crimes.

I swear I am not making this up.

Initially armed only with your trusty 2DYE4 gun, you shoot the boring grey-scale 2D business-sprites, with fashion, taking them from drab to fab!

As you move through the game, you unlock more weapons; unlike most boomer shooters, you need to match the correct "weapon" to the fashion crime.

Overall, it's pretty goofy, but it plays the concept straight, and it's kind of fun. I'm incredibly amused that it's in the same bundle as The Callisto Protocol, but I'm glad that I didn't try to play them back to back, because the mood whiplash might have killed me.

Fashion Police Squad is a groovy:

3: OK

grissallia,
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April 9, 2024 - Day 465 - NewPlay Review
Total NewPlays: 493

Game: Terraformers

Platform: Steam
Released: Mar 10, 2023
Installed: Apr 9, 2024
Unplayed: 0d
Playtime: 1h34m

Game number five in this month's Humble Choice Bundle is Terraformers. It's a "turn-based colony builder and resource management game with roguelike elements", built around an Earth expedition to terraform Mars.

You start with a single base, and need to explore and colonise various areas of the planet, gathering a whole load of different resources, which in turn pay for the various "research projects" that are delivered in a roguelike card-shuffle each turn.

Some turn-based games could be categorised as "just one more turn" games. Those games in which you're so deeply engrossed, that you look up, and the sun is coming up, and you need to call in sick so you can get some sleep, and then play for the rest of the day.

The key to those games is that they're scratching a particular itch, in an enjoyable and satisfying way. There's a constant series of build-ups then payoffs, and the effort->reward loop keeps those sweet dopamine hits coming at the right intervals.

I think this is why an integrated and well-planned narrative is so important; that's frequently the key to the payoffs.

Terraformers prods at the same territory, without delivering on the same satisfaction. I clocked out at just over 90 minutes, and just felt frustrated.

At the start of the game, you're presented with a choice of two leaders. Each leader has three skills, and a permanent buff. That bit's critical, because after each in-game year, you have to select a replacement leader.

I get why it's done from a gameplay mechanics perspective, but it feels like it repeatedly broke my sense of connection with the colony.

The game sets itself up as an "ancestors planting a tree" kind of story. It makes it clear that the colonists are doing this with the realisation that they'll never enjoy the fruits of their labour. I think that might be one of the key problems with the game.

I understand that the in-game population is building towards a long term goal with little short-term payoff, but the player needs some short-term payoffs, or else it feels more like a job than a game.

On top of everything else, Terraformers gives the population a hedonic adaptation loop. As they game goes on, it requires an increasing amount of effort to keep them happy, as they adapt to life on Mars.

With the repeated loop of disconnection, the cost of research projects grinding upwards and needing more resources, and the population becoming increasingly demanding, I eventually just tapped out.

Terraformers has some interesting ideas, but ultimately it felt like the gameplay was a lot of effort for little reward, and left me feeling pretty:

2: Meh

#Terraformers #TurnBased #ColonyBuilder #ResourceManagement #Roguelike #HumbleChoice #Gaming #ProjectONG

grissallia,
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April 10, 2024 - Day 466 - NewPlay Review
Total NewPlays: 494

Game: Symphony of War: The Nephilim Saga

Platform: Steam
Released: Jun 11, 2022
Installed: Apr 10, 2024
Unplayed: 0d
Playtime: 25m

Symphony of War: The Nephilim Saga is a JRPG-inspired pixel-art turn-based tactics RPG. Number six in the April Humble Choice Bundle.

Sometimes, if you can't say something nice about something, better not to say anything at all.

Did I enjoy it? No. Am I the target market for Symphony of War: The Nephilim Saga?

1: Nope

#SymphonyOfWarTheNephiliSaga #TurnBased #PixelArt #Tactics #JRPG #HumbleChoice #Gaming #ProjectONG

grissallia,
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April 11, 2024 - Day 467 - NewPlay Review
Total NewPlays: 495

Game: Coromon

Platform: Steam
Released: Apr 1, 2022
Installed: Apr 11, 2024
Unplayed: 0d
Playtime: 17m

Coromon is a top-down pixel-art ... Pokemon clone. I'm sorry, it's a Pokemon clone, and I'm not even going to try and pretend it isn't.

Seventh game in the April Humble Bundle, and if I wanted to play Pokemon, I'd play Pokemon.

Which is the problem with this game, because I don't want to play Pokemon.

Can I get back the 17 minutes of my life I spent playing Coromon?

1: Nope

grissallia,
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April 12, 2024 - Day 468 - NewPlay Review
Total NewPlays: 496

Game: The Excavation of Hob's Barrow

Platform: Steam
Released: Sep 8, 2022
Installed: Apr 11, 2024
Unplayed: 0d
Playtime: 27m

The Excavation of Hob's Barrow is the eighth and final game in April's Humble Choice Bundle. It's a 2.5D pixel-art point-and-click horror adventure set in Victorian England.

You play as Thomasina Bateman, a grave-robber... sorry, "barrow-digger", who's been asked to come to a small village in rural England to excavate a barrow (a large, round, ancient grave).

When she arrives by train in the village of Bewley, the man she's there to meet is nowhere to be found, and the locals claim to know nothing of the site known as "Hob's Barrow", with the mystery unfolding from there.

In this case, the narrative does lift the game above my resistance to pixel-art games, but it's definitely a game I'd need to be in the mood for.

The Excavation of Hob's Barrow is:

3: OK

#TheExcavationOfHobsBarrow #PixelArt #PointAndClick #Horror #Adventure #HumbleChoice #Gaming #ProjectONG

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