Profile for Student of Trinity


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While We Wait for the Next Chapter in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #47
Mercury.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
While We Wait for the Next Chapter in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #45
Hans Christian Andersen, thou shouldst be living at this hour.

[ Sunday, April 13, 2008 10:18: Message edited by: Student of Trinity ]

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
While We Wait for the Next Chapter in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #40
What fish species are fishsticks? I'm thinking they must at least be a saltwater fish, because if you only fish on a lake it's a bit much to call yourself Captain Highliner.

But then they don't really seem well evolved for the oceans. Their body shape doesn't seem very hydrodynamic, they're pretty small, and they evidently swim in schools of only 15. Also that crumbly surface layer seems like a pretty lousy budget alternative to scales. Is it even waterproof?

I'm beginning to think the existence of fishsticks is clinching evidence for intelligent design.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Shaping Spawners in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #8
All the Geneforge games already include player-controlled mobile spawners.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Future Series - What Would You Like? in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #16
Roll-your-own-game engines don't seem to make anyone money unless they're capable of turning out a product that can be resold, because then you can charge a bundle for them. The people willing to pay so they can work hard building free games are the few, the proud, the wait I think we just said 'few'.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Future Series - What Would You Like? in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #6
Keeping in mind that this is Jeff's livelihood, I don't want or expect him to change too much at once, and risk his business on the hope that his first stab at something totally new gets enough new things right to be profitable. So I'd expect to see a new setting and theme, a new graphics engine, and only a few major changes to the game mechanics (though perhaps with mass re-naming of familiar elements).

Further cranking up the variety of combat tactics is a trend Jeff has been pursuing for a while now, so I think we could expect that to continue. I don't see a big advantage in radically overhauling his character development system (meaning classes, levels, skills). It might be nice to change it, but it works, and changing it is not going to be a 'wow' factor for his next game.

Some sort of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" game, with martial arts and magic, would be cool. And with A5 battle disciplines already online, Jeff has the basis of a cool martial arts mechanic.

Sci-fi could also be cool. Some sort of post-holocaust world, with mutants and rare artifacts, would fit the mechanics Jeff already has pretty easily, I think. Might be asking for a lot in the way of new graphics, though. But if A5 and G5 sell well enough, maybe Jeff could just afford to commission a big bunch of stuff.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
The Time has Come in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #163
quote:
Originally written by Emperor Tullegolar:

quote:
SoT:
I don't think any real oldbies were involved.
Did you not read what I just wrote?

No. Your post appeared while I was composing mine.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
The Time has Come in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #138
Hmmm; maybe recent Geneforge debates have been ugly. I've avoided them because quick samples showed levels of clumsy reasoning and violent rhetoric above my currently low tolerance threshold. So for all I know, they were above anyone's threshold.

But if this is so, then as Slarty says, this is not a 'mean oldbies' problem, because I don't think any real oldbies were involved. Maybe the Geneforge mods were just all snoozing for a while there?

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
The Time has Come in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #130
The double standard with respect to CoC violations was really only two people who got away with a lot because they were old here. The worst offender has been permabanned for some time, and Alec has been civil on his recent visits, which are rare. So I think the double standard is gone, as far as CoC violations are concerned.

There remains a double standard / hazing period for strangeness, as opposed to outright obnoxiousness. If you come here with some gimmick, you will have to work for a while before you can carry it off without mockery. If you're stubborn enough you can reach that point. Eventually other people will even defend your gimmick for you, against the pretensions of upstart newbies.

That's the whole point of gimmicks, right? If just anybody could get away with them, yours wouldn't be worth anything. The more extravagant your gimmick, the harder you will have to work to get it accepted. But you can get there if you stick with it. It beats me how a guy who wears a big red feather in his hat, and posts his personal flag at regular intervals, can complain about the way this works. He paid his dues and eventually earned the spot he claimed. Every new member has the same opportunity.

The initial hassling of weird gimmicks can often be confused with the beating down of puerile obnoxiousness. If the hassling doesn't seem to be dying down after a while, it's probably worth asking oneself if there might be an obnoxiousness aspect to the problem.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
The Time has Come in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #105
Those of us who try not to be too annoying are just being meta-stubborn: no so-and-so Spiderweb groupthink is gonna make a monkey outa us, bub!

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Another picture thread. in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #36
The startling thing to realize is that Darth Vader's head really is that big. They just used clever camera angles and stuff so that in the movies you never quite noticed it.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Episode 5: 'Spiderweb Resistance'. in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #133
Alorael can make skribbane canisters.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Geneforge 5 - April Update in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #0
This may be a bit premature, but:

intense e-mail discussions between Jeff and a group of early pre-beta testers has made it probable that G5 will include a certain simple multiplayer option. Discussion began from the fact that Jeff was going to include both the traditional Shaper classes and the rebel classes from G4, with separate starting points for Shaper and Rebel PCs and parallel plots strongly reminiscent of Nethergate. It became clear that two essentially separate plot threads would be relating to each other, and stored in parallel in every save file. At which point several of us simultaneously pointed out that there was no real need for the same player to complete both halves of the tale. At first Jeff balked, but at some point late last night, he suddenly took the ball and ran with it.

Many details are naturally still to be hammered out in testing, but this is the basic concept. Two players can take opposite sides of each chapter, then merge their save files before starting the next one. (Arranging a centralized server to handle this might be one side-benefit of the coming board overhaul.) Then each player can continue, with the other player's previous actions affecting the events they experience in the next chapter.

It's not clear how far this will eventually go. With more than two factions, perhaps several players will be able to combine. It may also be possible, at least on higher difficulty levels, for one or more players to die, permanently — in a sense. They will always be able to save-load and continue their own games, with the default plotlines, but their actions will have no further influence on the games experienced by the other players.

The last idea raised was that the final climactic battle would be a chapter all to itself, with preparations and basic tactical directions submitted in the final merged save file. So you would still only be fighting the AI, but it would be running the parties built up by your fellow player adversaries, including some of their basic strategic choices.

That last save file merge would be pretty complicated, especially with five factions competing. But Jeff's great brainstorm last night was that, once UBB is retired from running these boards, it will be available for repurposing as the multiplayer engine of Geneforge 5.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
The Survival Thread. in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #37
As a CRPG survival story I can't beat the one I posted a while back in the G4 forum. It seems to be gone from there now, but it's preserved elsewhere for posterity.

For pen and paper, I remember once running an intro game where I provided pregenerated characters. There was one too many, so the ranger was left over as an NPC, which the first player whose PC died could take over. So when one player's magic-user had cast his one spell and been reduced by some mishap from 4 hp to 1, leaving him fragile and unable to accomplish anything anyway, playing a 17 hp ranger looked pretty good to him.

I forbade suicide, but he started banzai charging every possible trap or monster. I forget the details now, but with a series of amazing rolls, the berserker 1 hp magic-user somehow survived the game. The player was not happy.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
The Time has Come in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #45
No, no: Aran was quite right. The link he provided was a fully effective gullibility detector.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
A Question in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #76
I basically discovered text messages in the last two weeks, on a 2-family vacation with my brother and his gang. None of us had ever found any use before for a medium between e-mail and cell phone calls, but with three cell phones, four adults, and five small kids all in a foreign country, there were a lot of short messages that had to be conveyed quickly. It was remarkable how fast we adopted texting.

With our particular phones there was little sense in abbreviations. My brother had a tiny Blackberry keyboard, but our other two phones just had the usual 12 keys. Hitting 7 four times to make 's' was bad, but the optional 'T9' word recognition system was a bit better. With that, it was actually easier to generate 'are' than 'r', and 'can' than 'cn', etc. The disambiguation worked better with longer words, so it was actually faster to write a more bookish word with T9 than to bat out something shorter with multiple presses on number keys for each letter.

An interesting side effect of texting in our situation was that it made everything seem more efficient. Instead of phoning up and spending five expensive minutes politely trying to let the other person decide what food to buy, we would send a shopping list and get on with the job. The medium is the message, and there's a time to be terse.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Mona Lisa in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #0
I'm no art maven. Maybe once or twice a year I go to a gallery or exhibition. I race blithely past everything that doesn't capture my interest. But I usually find a few things that do strike me, and I can happily spend long minutes staring at them. What impresses me most about an artwork is that I can't explain what impresses me about it. I once hit a short stretch of pieces like that in an exhibition of blown glass, and only after becoming fascinated by those few pieces in particular did I read the artist's name. Before then I had had no idea that Pablo Picasso had ever done glass. So I may not know art, but I'm convinced there really is something to be known.

The week before last I saw the Mona Lisa — the original, in the Louvre. It's behind a thick slab of glass, and you have to stand a few meters away to view it. (Vandals have damaged it a couple of times over the last century, so this isn't curatorial paranoia.)

Anyway, the original does seem to be more impressive than the reproductions I've seen many times, but in a curious way. I didn't find the famous smile particularly mysterious. She looks like a politely amused movie star who has graciously posed for a quick snapshot. She has an actress's calm stillness for the shot, but in a moment she will be getting on with her big league life.

And that's what I found odd about the Mona Lisa, that its subject is simply sitting still and staring at the viewer, but looks so natural doing it. It made me feel something was missing in most other paintings, something I hadn't missed before. Those other painted people just don't look so real. Their artists have managed to paint the shape of a human being, but have fallen short of capturing some array of subtle cues that register a real person on our attention. Leonardo seems to have gotten this, at least for this one pose and in this one painting, five hundred years ago.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
The Time has Come in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #30
Ah, the snobs of yesteryear.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
The 2008 Elections in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #60
I don't have so much reason to care about this now, thank goodness, but I glanced at those lists. Man, people are getting nitpicky now; this is just not productive.

To seize on the one example I personally know well: for Obama to call himself a law professor when he was technically only a 'senior lecturer' would only be misrepresentation if he were addressing the University of Chicago faculty club, or something like that. And even then it might not be, depending on how particular Chicago faculty are in their colloquial terminology about job titles.

At many other schools than Chicago, analogous non-tenured positions are called 'Adjunct Professor'. And throughout North America, Assistant Professors normally never have tenure, and even Associate Professors sometimes do not. All these non-tenured people are normally called professors even within academia; and calling them professors is certainly the only reasonable way to explain to a general audience what they do.

[ Friday, March 28, 2008 01:50: Message edited by: Student of Trinity ]

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Why can't we just be happy? in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #31
I never really wanted to fit in with the crowd, but that was what everyone else seemed to want, so ...

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
New user titles in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #106
Hey, I think 'Infiltrator' is the best title. Even better would be 'Interloper', but this is as close as they get for now.

I think it isn't exactly a changing of the guard, that now Geneforge takes over from Avernum. A5 is proof that Avernum is anything but dead. But Geneforge is the other half of Spiderweb now, so it's only fair that it gets a turn.

'Law Bringer' does seem a bit lame, though, somehow. I'd endorse replacing it with 'Thorn Flinger'.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Why can't we just be happy? in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #19
Life is hard, and many things are bad. Maybe being happy is simply inappropriate. On the whole I'd rather accomplish something in life, something whose value won't change with my own mood, instead of merely enjoying my own endorphins. Gunk in a Petrie dish can do that sort of thing.

That having been said, a certain basic level of happiness is in fact an almost essential requirement for accomplishing anything meaningful. Depression lowers productivity. So, the best goal is some sort of balance. Not necessarily a steady one; a business cycle is probably a good idea.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
The Time has Come in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #14
UBB is not dying. It is readying itself for further travel.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
The 2008 Elections in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #50
That's certainly what I would expect. If your airfield is insecure enough to have a hail of sniper fire, you shell the surrounding hills and send in a battle group to secure it. You don't land high dignitaries and tell them to keep their heads down.

If your airfield is secure there are no hostile snipers, but if you are still in a potentially dangerous country, then I expect you still tell the dignitaries to keep their heads down and run, just in case. If some of these dignitaries remember that experience as involving a hail of bullets, they're pretty out of touch, but not necessarily lying.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
The Graveyard Thread in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #44
Huh — I'll have to try that at some point. My only loyalist game was in beta, but I kind of short-circuited the whole thing by just charging straight down the center, leaving various enemies to follow me, and throwing a couple of buffed Rotghroths through the final barrier before the control room. They even survived, I think. A few rounds later it was all over. I regarded it as a big plus for the game that that worked — if you're really attacking a strongpoint, speed and violence are the watchwords. But it would have been interesting to see the Unbound hatch.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00

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