Diabolic Mind

New House

So I'm 100% moved into my new house. Which is to say my bed and the internet work. Those two things are worth 50% each, unpacking boxes is irrelevant.

There are a lot of things I'm looking forwards to about living here. Most of them (but not all, I like Holly and Ed) are things that are really about not living in my last place. Not taking all of my meals in my room, not timing my cooking to make sure everyone else is out, not flinching every time someone knocks on a door anywhere in the house, not having to hide guests in my room...mostly it boils down to not living with a miserable waste of human life who'll go out of his way to make my life miserable by lecturing me on why I should thank him for it.

Not living with my ex should be a close second, but really I still want to be around her. I'm very bad at stopping loving people, I'm not sure that I've ever done it, I'm not sure it's compatible with what I feel love is. It's very hard not to take her up on her offer to stay friends and meet up occasionally to do fun things, which I know I'd enjoy and that would be the highlight of my week - but if I do that there'll be no moving on. I'll just spend my whole life waiting for her to decide it was all a terrible mistake and that we should be together. That's not healthy, I don't know how to stop loving someone, but I can stop seeing them and that's for the best in this case. (Right?)

I've not been entirely honest with how I'm doing. I use phrases like 'functional' a lot, which strictly interpreted means 'I have not yet killed myself or been destroyed by an external force'. I often say 'better' by which I mean 'This exact moment is at least slightly better than the worst moment I can think of in the past month'. Breaking up was hard and made me very unhappy, but the last few months have been much much worse. Kinda like stabbing someone with a knife and jiggling it around for a bit - the stabbing was the bad part, but you're not going to start recovering till the jiggling's over. I've been told a couple of times that I should've gotten over it by now, but I don't think I stood a chance, this is probably the first day I'm going to get to start healing.

I feel like I've lost a lot of things about myself that are important. People used to describe me with words like 'happy' 'easygoing' 'confident'...I don't think that happens anymore (or if it does people are blinded by friendship, which I'm thankful for). Some of these things I've lost because being constantly miserable for long enough makes you tear the good parts out of yourself. Others I lost earlier because I thought, for various reasons, that cutting them out might save the relationship (Which falls into the category of really bloody stupid). I think words like 'depressing' 'meanspirited' and 'workshy' are better descriptions these days. I don't like that and want to do something about it.

To my friends who've stuck with me I say thank you. To those who didn't, I understand and don't blame you. It's only going to get harder from here on out, but I'll try to make everything work out in the long run. It's just...I'm pretty slow, it might be a *long*run.

(And as a quick aside to those who knew me when Jenna broke up with me, isn't it going better this time? I haven't once felt the need to tell everyone who has ever cared about me that they're worthless and the time I've spent lying on the floor feeling too unhappy to justify the effort of standing up hasn't even approached a day at a time. Being only deeply unhappy after three months is positively a lightspeed recovery for me.)
Diabolic Mind

Space Station 13

So I've been trying out this space station 13 thingy, with the intention of possibly getting a group together to play sometime over the summer.

It's really good, but there is a lot to do. I don't understand 90% of the things that happen. So far in my best game I appeared as an assistant and asked if anyone needed help. I got told to go to engineering which was apparently to the south through a yellow door. On the way I got jumped by a mime who edited my brain to make me a revolutionary, apparently I had to kill the department heads.

When I got there I was greeted by the chief engineer who was really friendly and helped me learn lots of things about playing the game. He was also a department head. I didn't know this so I just followed him around and asked questions. He showed me how to trap a wormhole and told me how to make it expand and kill everyone. I wasn't sure that killing everyone counted as a win (though the dept heads would die) so I decided to follow him and learn as much as I can.

He got me into radiation gear and doing all sorts of unsafe but interesting things. I nearly got shot into space, but it was all good in the end. Eventually we realised someone had locked down all of the doors, so he hacked it open allowing us to wonder and find out what was going on. At which point the lead revolutionary ran at him with a crowbar, a brief fight later he was badly wounded and the revolutionary was unconcious.

So I brained him with my own crowbar and shook the revolutionary awake. He told me that I was a hero of the revolution and caved in the unconcious engineers skull winning us the game. Hurrah.

I feel kind of a dick for doing that to someone who was so nice to me in showing me the ropes though :S
Diabolic Mind

Friends Purge

I'm going to go through my livejournal and facebook friend pages soon and delete a whole load of people. Generally people I've only met once at a party, added and then never spoken to again. Or folks I fell out of contact with years ago and haven't seen or spoken to since.

If this might be you and you don't want to fall out of touch, drop me a line, or just grab me on some chat thing someday and start talking again ;)
Diabolic Mind

Lets play: Project Zomboid II

Day One

Smother her? I didn't. We're still here together. Happy. Look, I even share a bed with her. Today I raided the cafe across the street. We have all the food we need for weeks. We're safe. Aren't we Kate?

Day Two

I threw together some barricades in the front garden. I'll go out the back way. Stupid zombies won't find the back way. One of them is scratching at the barricades but it'll take him months. Went to the pub, took ALL the booze. For me and Kate to share. It's our anniversary, we must celebrate. Found an isolated cottage in the woods nearby, perhaps surprise her with it there?

Day Three

Why is the house full of zombies? Where are my barricades? Why is the door in ruins. Good thing there is another way out. Made it. Kate didn't. I'm sure she's holed up in the bedroom safe and sound. Didn't get a chance to grab supplies, just took all of the whiskey and legged it. Sweet sweet whiskey.

Day Four

I'll get my house back, I'll come rescue you Kate just you see. Holed up in the shack in the woods now. Slowly filling it with food and medicine. Found hundreds of shotgun shells, but no shotgun. When I find one they will pay. You shall see.

Day Five

Zombies scatching at the door. Best let them in or else they'll break it down, I like that door. Ahh! There are zombies in here. Run! How could I be so stupid. Exhausted, injured, tired...drunk? Found an apartment and collapsed on the bed. Too tired to barricade the door. Also no wood. Perhaps I could cut down the door for wood to...nevermind. Sleepy.

Day Six

God bless you owner of this house. I raided for food, but I found 50 shotgun shells, a shotgun and an axe. I'll have my shack back now you fuckers. CHARGE... Where did they all go? Guess they got sick of waiting for me to get back. Ah well, will look after the shack better this time. More care not to be followed.

Day Seven

The zombies torment my sleep, running and attacking while I'm resting. I try to axe them but they just disappear. Cheats. That bite I took hurts a lot, wound keeps opening up. Feel kinda funny. Need more whiskey and drugs. Yes, that'll sort me right out.

Day Eight

I'm coming Kate! Made it to the house. Killed HUNDREDS of them. Kate won't talk to me. After all this effort I've went to. Bitch. I'll burn this place down with you inside, you hear me Kate? Took everything of value in the house, very heavy, made me slower than the zombies. Didn't matter, shotgun is my friend, aren't you shotgun? Got back to the shack. Very few shells left now. Didn't get followed, axed the ones near the shack to be sure. Quieter that way.

Day Nine

Eheheeeheehe. Found it. Fuel. Made two molotov cocktails, more than enough to start a fire. I'm coming Kate. You won't ignore me ever again. Fire some shots into the air first, make sure the zombies come visit the inferno in numbers. Got my fire and my shotgun...going to go do this thing. Drank the last of the whiskey in preparation.

To be continued.
Diabolic Mind

Gaming

This post is somewhat inspired by conversations last night and by Catherine Goode linking to this.

When I was a kid I had an Amiga. I played games on it.
Games cost a couple of quid, sometimes they'd cost as much as a fiver. Occasionally I saw one go up for a tenner, but it was barely a week or two before the price dropped below this outrageous threshold.
Once I bought a game, I owned it and could do whatever I liked with it. If I didn't like a game, or if I finished it, I would swap it with one of my friends for something they had. I could even copy-paste the entire game off the disks if it suited me, though I never felt the need to do that.
New games were exciting, I'd eagerly await PC magazines which would have the latest demos and talk of other things that were coming out. Over the course of the coming years I'd see all sorts of exciting things happen, people were coming out with new ideas all of the time, for every sequel there was a game that was trying to define a new genre. Some of them failed badly, but some worked better, the FPS was invented, the RTS too (Okay, I was a little late here, I played Hexen and Warcraft rather than Wolfenstein and Dune)

Then some decades happened.

Games cost £40 new, the technology to run them is more than ten times as expensive as it used to be. Many of them will have some part of the game held back unless you pay more for some DLC. Some will rely on a subscription model to get you to pay for it more than once.
Once you buy a game, the company owns it. You can't swap it with a friend and you're definately not making a quick copy for multiplayer (Presumably because games that allowed multiplayer spawns didn't sell very well. Starcraft for example.). You need to authenticate who you are to play them, having a internet connection that never fails is a must (but also an impossibility) and in some cases your (well the companies, you never own it) game stops working for no good reason, such as having too many hard disk fails and reinstalls.
New games seem unexciting and bland. Almost everything announced is a sequel, which isn't a problem in its own right, but so many are unimaginative sequels. We don't see truely new genres very much anymore, but we see the death of old ones. There are more games but less choice.

What the hell happened?

I had more to write, about exceptions to these problems, hope for the future, things that might work out alright in the end. Also a big rant about companies engaging in DRM that increases piracy, someone should be hanged for that. I'm going to leave it be for now, I'm curious as to what you guys think and what you'll pick out as important.
Diabolic Mind

Lets play: Project Zomboid

I gave this a whirl the other day. It's in very early alpha, but that seems to be the style of things these days. In it you play a zombie apocylpse 'survivor' and it's the story of how you die. There's no way to win, just to die, it's about finding an interesting way to do that.

Day One

Had to run from looters again, Kate fell and broke her leg. I carried her to a house and she tearfully apologised for getting injured in a way that'll kill us both. I told her that it was okay, dressed her wounds, got her some painkillers and held her as she fell asleep. Then I smothered her with the pillow. It had to be done. I keep telling myself that.

I left the house in a hurry, I couldn't bring myself to stay there. I didn't really pay much attention to where I was going, it was mostly running madly from zombies and crashing through houses picking up anything I could find. When night fell I had just enough to barricade myself into some dead saps room and sleep the night.

Day Two

I explored the area more carefully, looking for somewhere to stay more permenantly. I knew what I was looking for, a single floor building with more than one exit and as few windows as possible. Tried the bank first, Knox indeed, I've never seen a less secure building. I came across a store with all of the food I could eat, along with who I assume is the only living soul left in the world, he said he'd shoot me if I came into the store so I left.

Eventually I found a place and barricaded the doors before searching the place. I struck gold, a flashlight, batteries, shotgun and shells. The flashlight might save my life, the shotgun I left behind, too noisy to use anywhere near here.

Day Three

I left my new safehouse and wondered past the store again to say hi. He might threaten to shoot me everytime I go anywhere near him, but he's the only human contact I've got. He didn't wave back.

I spent most of the day raiding a seven story apartment building. I found all of the food I could carry and a fire axe, which might come in handy. Also a pile of drugs, this must be a seriously bad place to live, everyone in the whole building had antidepressants in their bathrooms.

Evening found me unprepared, I was still raiding and foolishly decided to stay to finish the last apartment. By the time I made it back to my safehouse I was ready to drop, from tiredness, hunger and exhaustion from carrying so many things. I ate and then nearly collapsed on the floor.

Day Four

I might just survive this. I spent the morning organising my things and found that I'd nearly filled every container in the place with food, batteries, ammo, drugs - you name it, I have it. The only thing I'm really short of is planks, I need to tear up my barricade every morning to leave this place, which means using more in the evening to make it safe again. I better find a big supply somewhere soon.

Waved high to my psychotic neighbour again, maybe if I stay alive long enough he'll run out of food, then he can have some of mine and we can be friends. I miss having friends. I miss Kate too. I have a photo of her, but it weighed too much so I had to leave it in the safehouse. I decided to go for a walk in the park today. If you squint just right the zombies look like other people, it felt almost normal.

Then I spotted the groundskeepers shack, a zombie tearing away at the door. Someone might be inside! I ran up behind him and did for him with my axe. I hear noises on the other side of the door! I throw it open and run into the waiting arms of more zombies, I defeat them too, but not before being wounded. Stupid. Best get back to the safehouse to recover.

I feel kinda woozy. Took a load of painkillers to make the pain go away, ate a huge meal to help myself get better sooner. Bleeding a lot. Really need some bandages. Why didn't I get any earlier when I was looting? I don't seem to be able to make one out of a napkin, guess I need some sheets, oh well, there's a bed in the next room maybe I can...

Lasted four days and two hours, bled to death in a barricaded house filled with guns, ammo, food and everything else a zombie survivor could possibly need that wasn't a bandage.
Diabolic Mind

I think this section needs work

At ingroup positive interactions 60 and above there is a very clear pattern of an increase in positive interactions leading to an incrrease in group size, with lower levels of similarity desire producing slightly higher identification scores. This can be simply explained, more positive interactions produce more identification increases which lead to a higher identification. Additionally a lower similarity desire means that group agents are more likely to be in contact with nongroup agents, which leads to extra identification increases through the rejection-identification rule.
The results when ingroup positive interactions are less than 60 are far less intuitive, as an increase in the number of ingroup positive interactions appears to lead to a decrease in identification. That's just fucking wierd and makes no sense.
Diabolic Mind

Urtweichs letter home #2

Dear Mother,

I have been on many more adventures since last time I wrote. I have fought a dragon! Well, perhaps it's more accurate to say I have seen a dragon fight. By which I mean I watched a dragon eat someone - but it was because we won, honest!

I'm getting ahead of myself. After being rewarded with the fanciest hat you ever did see and singing songs about it in the tavern, we left the town to the cheers of the townsfolk. They really like us here. The wilderness was complicated and frustrating in places as one of my companions told me:
"Gah! I hate these uniques so much!"
"Huh? Why is that?"
"They're always hiding. We could come out here dozens of times and never see their faces. I'll kill them if I ever find them."
It's a mystery to me why they are always hiding, but we did not even see one during our whole trip.

We did meet a nice cultist, I played music at him until he agreed to change sides and work with us. I said that I'd feed him and clothe him and call him Martin, but the others didn't like that very much so I told him to guard the rock and we went away to do other things. I hope he's okay.

Then we found a dungeon full of evil things and a wizard who lived there to escape evil things, after fighting our way through to him he decided not to live there anymore, which was very clever of him. No wonder he's a wizard. Also he had the BEST THING EVER! There was this lever and it was all sticky outty and pully and could be changed between one position and the other. I pulled it and the others groaned, I thought I had done something wrong, but then realised they were upset because the door they were running to closed and a different one opened, which had nothing to do with my lever. As they ran towards the other one I pulled it again, then guess what? That door closed and the first one opened again. Anyway some of them sprinted back to the first door and I gave the lever another pull. The door closed on them again and they were starting to look at me upset. I knew they wanted my help solving the mystery of the doors, but I'm not good at mysteries and wanted to play with the lever some more. There was some shouting and aggravation, someone went towards the other door as I played with the lever some more and it shut right in front of them again. Eventually I blacked out and came too with a big lump on my head, but we'd got to the other side of the door somehow, the women (and dwarf) I'm with are so clever they must've solved the problem after dealing with whatever attacked me.

On the way out we met a nice cultist, I managed to play music until he gave in and joined me as well. I decided to feed him and clothe him and call him Martin. The others said something about "apocalypse cult" and "end of the world" and insisted I not be friends anymore. I liked my old friends better than Martin (no offence Martin, but they're really nice and pretty and stuff) so I dismissed him as a friend. He seemed angry at this and tried to dagger me to death, so I killed him. This worried the elf sorceress:
"I'm not sure we should be friends if you might do that to us."
"Don't worry! I'm really bad at fighting*, I couldn't hurt you."
"That's not very reassuring"

Then we went to go and kill the dragon and save everyone! Only those other adventurers got to fight the dragon while we watched. I tried to jump over the gap but some invisible force stopped me, which made me sad, but (I am told) less dead. Eventually we found it being controlled by a squid faced man. It seemed pretty upset about that, someone broke a big crystal thing (I think it was the dwarf) which was careless, but then the dragon ate the squid man and flew away. After that we ran into that wizard (The one who lives in caves full of things that try to kill you, apparently he lives near a dragon now, I am not sure he's any safer) who seems pretty sure that we saved everyone, but I don't think we did anything.

On the way back someone started firing arrows at us, so I sang at him until he changed sides. I shall feed him and clothe him and call him Martin. We would have been such great friends, but he was up on a platform and he couldn't hear me shouting. He seemed content to just sit there and watch the path from where he was, I hope he's okay. I'm not sure how he gets food up there.

Either way we went home and got a heroes reception. I sang again and they told us that they'd already booked us passage on a boat to a bigger and more exciting far away city - how nice is that?

Anyway, thank you for reading my letters, it's nice to be able to tell you how well I'm doing. If my brother is around tell him that I miss him very much and that none of the new Martins is as good as him. Bye!

* - This is true, you should see the scar I got on my face for trying to hunt rats for a copper each. I'm much better at singing
Diabolic Mind

Urtweichs letter home #1

I am writing to thank you for showing me the wonderful opportunities of Korthos. I did wonder how tipping me overboard was supposed to be a reward for my wonderful singing, but now that I have met such wonderful people here I understand.

I washed up to find a small person checking my pockets for scorpions. He told me that sometimes they sneak in there when you're asleep, it is good that people are so friendly here or I might never have known. Anyway, all of my money washed away in the ocean, but the little man gave me an easy job. All I had to do was walk in front of him while he checked for traps, which was easy-peasy.

It turned out to be a little harder than we expected as we were attacked by Sowhar... Soohar... Sauhaw... Fish-men. Everyone battled really hard and it filled me with joy. I felt a song welling up inside of me and the music exploded through me, lighting my comerades hearts on fire and filling them with the glory of battle. I have never seen such rage. Shortly afterwards we arrived in Korthos Village and they said they had to go far far away, which was sad, but they seemed to leave in good spirits so that's something.

Anyway, I really landed on my feet here! I answered a notice looking for arcane help (I have learned a spell mother, it's called sonic blast, I just play like I usually do and the bad peoples ears bleed until they go away) and found the most wonderful group of people. I wasn't the only person who answered the note, a sorceress was there too, she's all powerful and stuff and I was sure they were going to pick her, but then they said something about "Fragile" and "Back up" and decided I could come as well. They are all vallient heroes!

Father will never believe this next bit, make sure he's reading it with you okay? They're almost all women! And the other one is a dwarf! How does that sound Mr "Son at 30 you really should have found a wife by now, or at least a girl who can stand to be around you"? Are you impressed with me?

Well you will be, we saved the village three times in an afternoon!

That's right, we ran into someone who left some piece of paper in a cellar, someone who was worried about there not being enough rubble in the crypt and someone who said that the crystal of korthos that is keeping everyone alive was being attacked RIGHT NOW!?!

So obviously we did the cellar thing first, I was hoping that we'd find beer, but there were only rats and fish-men and the tiles that looked like my dream of pipes. Then we did the crypt thing, the little one who always stabs fish-men in the back of the neck said something about "liberating" (which is a good word that good guys use) which meant we had to go check out the crypt. Between you and me I think she's a little clumsy, she was always breaking the sarco... sawrco... stone tomb thingies and accidenlty putting the dead guys copper into her pack rather than back into their grave. I didn't want to say anything because it would be rude to make fun of her disability. You brought me up well mother.

Anyway, once we'd done that we went to deal with the crystal being attacked thing. The cultists and fish men were ever so nice, they waited for us to get there and get organised around the crystal before they attacked. They even gave me enough time to sing a song and boost my new comrades morale before they attacked (It was such a good song, one of them was screaming "C'mon, attack already" before I was even through the whole thing). We beat them all and saved the day, the nice man outside even told us how we'd saved the whole village.

Then we did it again, since the cult decided to attack the crystal once more. Maybe they do it every evening or something? Or perhaps they send a letter? I like letters. I hope you like this letter. Anyway, that's the story of how I found my feet in Korthos, saved the village three times and made friends with a big group of ladies (and a dwarf). I hope you are having as good a time with the rest of your journey as I am here.

Lovingly,

Urtweich Heimlich