Sunday, September 30, 2012

Status Update September 2012

Work is about to get pretty crazy, basically for the next two weeks.  My twitter followers are likely to hear me complain about lost parts of my feed, as twitter isn't very good at maintaining a timeline longer than 11 hours.  There are some things that need to get done soon, and my lack of free time is going to force them ahead, though all non-essential functions are obviously still subject to my whims, as my creation is to my muse.  
I'll also say this now:  Barring some highly unusual circumstance, I won't be doing NaNoWriMo this year.  The idea that I had won't be served by NaNoWriMo any more, and I haven't had time to flesh out anything else.  I've learned from previous years that I basically won't be able to finish a novel without a thorough outline, so this year's is at a loss.  I'll use the time instead to catch up on a few personal things, and also to work on a few other creative endeavors.  
Oh, and there's going to be Halloween and Thanksgiving and eventually Xmas and stuff.  At least a few of those require me to plan ahead of time.  Buh.  

Sudden Short Story 39

The rain was heavy outside the cafe.  Charles stared out the window, skyward.
"Something on your mind?"  Charles snapped out of it.
"Oh, I was just thinking."
"About what?"
"about the lightning... Ours is a just god, right?"
"Ours is a just god.  Lighting is just the most obvious manifestation of this."
"Does it seem a little short-sighted to you?"
"How do you mean?"
"Well, it's treating the symptom, not the disease, isn't it?"  Charles sipped at the last of his coffee, finding it too cold to be worth finishing.
"How do you mean?"
"Well, lightning only strikes rapists, right?  So, nobody rapes, for fear of being struck by lightning when it storms out.  Or, at least, almost nobody does.  There are invariably a few who think that they can get away with it."
"And, sooner or later, they get hit.  It sounds like a pretty good system to me."
"True, but it obviously has its inadequacies.  Perhaps if the desire were removed from the would-be rapists altogether, this would be better."
"But that would interfere with free will, and besides, there would be no object lessons around to stop lesser crimes."
"Something else bothers me, though. ... Lightning only strikes rapists, right?"
Charles leaned in close, and gave a questioning look.  "Right?"
His friend's faith was shaken for the first time.

Regarding Mann vs. Machine

In an attempt at getting some recreation in, I've played some Team Fortress 2 in the past week or so, which I haven't done in several months.  I took the opportunity to try the new "Mann vs. Machine" format, which pits players cooperatively against a bunch of bots.  Being the fan of cooperative play that I am, I figured that I'd give it a shot.
That said, there wasn't much of anywhere to go for TF2 as far as cooperation is concerned.  Being a team game (hence the name), it's already fairly cooperative.  While the opponents weren't manned by humans, there were a lot of them, and they seemed to have more hit points - especially the gigantic ones that can apparently come along.  Also, weirdly, there seems to be a limit of 6 players on the defending (read: human) team.
There's also an upgrade system, whereby one's weapons - and even one's class itself - can be temporarily upgraded with money found around the map.  It's entirely necessary to survive the tougher waves, which at least removes repetitiveness from a long map.
There is one thing that's just really odd, though:  There's no full health/ammo cabinet in spawn.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sudden Short Story 37

"You never used to strike me as a big meatspacer, you know that?" asked the first.
"Between the two of us, I think that you're the less surprised one," said the second, with a relaxed nod to the side.
They paused for a moment.
"Are you still on that love kick?"
"always am, always will be"
"They're doing new things with sex bots these days, you know."  This comment received a raised eyebrow.  "You know what I mean.  They walk and talk - they've got the language down pat - and there's even an option to have them run on food, if plugging them in turns you off.  You can even get one that's a bit of a puzzle, you know."
"Oh, now you're just trying to appeal to my love of puzzles.  What do you mean by 'puzzle,' anyway?"
"Well, they're not just automatically pleased by whatever you do, and you have to figure out which one makes yours happy, just like if she were human."
The second sipped his tea for a bit, then set it down.  "I think that you're losing touch with reality.  It's not a matter of finding what pleases one or what makes one happy."
"Well, you can get them straight, of course, but I thought that a man of your tastes would want it.  Somehow, anything short of flesh and blood isn't good enough for you."
"It's not that.  You've forgotten something very basic."
This time, the first was at his tea, and finished it off.  "And what's that?"
"Nothing pleases them.  They have sensors, sure, but you're not really doing anything for them."  He finished his tea and then sat back, looking to the trees.  "What do you think?  I chose New England for this time of year because of the leaves."
"I guess that they're nice, but I should be getting back.  You're not the only one with anachronisms, you know?  My guildies and I have a raid soon."
"What, WoW?  That does take me back.  What's the level cap these days, 120?"
"135," said the first, as he stood and turned to leave.
"Feel free to say hi to your Waifu™ for me, if it helps."