nora at inkstain

June 9th, 2008

I sent the Mayor a Blastoise

Posted by nora in gaming, internet drama, politics

If you were wondering, Blastoise shoots water a lot, which would work well both to power hydroelectric dams and to bring water to the ever expanding, thirsty metropolis that is Albuquerque. I just solved all of the problems with Mesa Del Sol with a Facebook application and so probably deserve a fucking medal. You can Photoshop it onto my delightfully androgynous new default picture, thank you very much.

May 21st, 2008

wishing for Harajuku Fun Madness

For anyone interested in a “rabbit hole” of a possible new alternate reality game that JC Hutchins found, check this out. I know some of you are clever/obsessive enough to be interested in this kind of a game, but I don’t have any ideas of where to go with the information given so far.

April 5th, 2008

another list post

  • Barcodes that actually make some kind of design: what a cool idea!
  • I’m really excited about Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse.
  • If you don’t already read Octopus Pie and you like similar comics to me (Questionable Content, Scott Pilgrim, etc) you probably should. Up until recently their tagline was “officially ‘it’s complicated’ with New York City,” which is a kind of nice use of the “it’s complicated” relationship classification.
  • Beth and I beat the final boss of Tales of the Abyss trading off on playing Guy with a DDR dance pad. It doesn’t work as well as a main controller with the Gamecube, but with the Playstation 2 it’s awesome.
  • And here’s another novel excerpt. This is for a scene that I’m sort of sketching out and may not actually include:

“Sythe,” she said, putting her hands on his shoulders and turning him to face her. “Listen to me. You can’t be stubborn right now. He’ll come after us if he gets out of this alive, but if he didn’t, we’re not just going to give up our lives too. Let’s go.” She ran, then, in the opposite direction, toward the airship, tethered on top of Buffalo Exchange. He followed, helpless.

“Where to?” He asked as she strapped herself into the pilot seat.

“As far from here as we can go,” she said.

The ship rose. It was somewhat unsteady because Sythe’s fingers were not used to the controls, but they managed to speed out of the University area, heading West, toward downtown. They got slower as they left the Center of the Universe’s sphere of influence, then landed in a church parking lot in Old Town.

“We should be safe here,” Dagger said, looking out the window.

April 1st, 2008

Zelda movie


And thanks for not just rickrolling us, IGN. Shame on LiveJournal for that.

March 30th, 2008

jumping on the bandwagon + personal crap + book excerpt

Posted by nora in fiction, gaming, internet drama, personal

I guess I haven’t mentioned that I got a Facebook and Twitter. Here I am. Mentioning.

In theory, my blog entries are importing into Facebook as notes, so you might end up double-subscribing to me if you friend me there and don’t take me off your RSS catcher/friends page.

Oh, and life is really quite good. I had a good birthday. Took Remus (the scooter) out to Tramway with Matt on the back wearing a trenchcoat (flap-flap in the wind) and smoking. I’ve got to get a picture of that sometime, we are the most awesome combination of badass + dorky that can be imagined. I also got my ass handed to me at Soul Calibur, even when playing Sophitia.

I’m apparently just as bitter and cynical as ever, which really goes to show that maybe that’s my personality and not an actual indicator of my mood, since I’ve been damned near on top of the world lately.

And to round this out here’s another excerpt from the book. It’s fucking heartwarming.

She looked at him. He apparently was fairly comfortable, sitting on his trenchcoat, his hair whipped out of her face by the wind as hers was. He squinted into it, his brown eyes becoming thin slits. “Thanks for checking on me,” she said.
“Of course. You want to come back inside?” He asked, standing up.

“Yeah, sure.”

He offered her a hand– he was wore thin leather gloves– and she brushed the gravel that was stuck to her own and took it.

He pulled her into a quick hug. “You’ve got more friends than Sythe here if you’ll let them in,” he said, leading the way downstairs.

March 25th, 2008

I Went Left Instead Of Right In Pitfall And Kept On Tickin’ And Now I Believe In Miracles

Posted by nora in art, fiction, gaming

You know what’s the best thing ever?

Absurdist plays about Atari games.

Crocodile. See? We are different here. We are at the absolute furthest end of the spectrum from the Right path, which you are used to.

Pitfall Harry. How do you mean? Do you mean opposite?

Crocodile. Well, certainly!

Pitfall Harry. How can that be? An entity and its opposite are linked closer than anything else can be.

Crocodile. Your logic confuses me.

Pitfall Harry. Observe. What is the furthest thing from “love”?

Crocodile. Hate?

Pitfall Harry. Wrong! Wrong. The furthest thing from “love” is “a sock”.

Crocodile. I cannot understand.

Pitfall Harry. Yes, you can. It’s abstract versus real. General versus specific. Vital element of humanity versus “a sock”.

Crocodile. I will not understand.

This is what the internet is for.

March 5th, 2008

a thousand fans

Interesting thing on BoingBoing today: being an artist is sustainable when one has 1,000 “true” (read: hardcore) fans. Nice application of the Long Tail bit:

A True Fan is defined as someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce. They will drive 200 miles to see you sing. They will buy the super deluxe re-issued hi-res box set of your stuff even though they have the low-res version. They have a Google Alert set for your name.

It does make me a bit worried, though. I’m a member of fandom, which would make be a fairly hardcore fan, but I’m definitely not someone who could be counted as a “True Fan” of anything I’m a fan of. I’d love to see this idea applied to webcomics, where one would have to switch out their entire wardrobe to be a “true fan” who’s bought everything in the Questionable Content store.

Many BoingBoing readers seem to think the entire idea is overly optimistic, though:

“In the Big Rock Candy Mountains, there’s a land that’s fair and bright,
The handouts grow on bushes and you sleep out every night
Where the boxcars all are empty and the sun shines every day
On the birds and the bees and the cigarete trees,
The lemonade springs where the bluebird sings
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains”

February 12th, 2008


Posted by nora in art, comics, fiction, gaming, tales series


I am, of course, still learning, but I’m pretty happy with this attempt at a Daniel Clowes style drawing of Sheena Fujibayashi from Tales of Symphonia. Done using Shipainter Pro, an oekaki program.

February 11th, 2008

First Church of Mario

Posted by nora in gaming, internet drama, lazyweb

Kotaku must be the best blog that everyone doesn’t already read (IE: not BoingBoing) since I feel an overwhelming need to link to them every day. They had an interesting post up today about adult content in video games versus the Bible:

Bruce Everiss, an industry vet who’s worked at companies like Imagine and Codemasters, feels that games are being judged for content in a much harsher manner than other media. So he picked a comparison text at what we’re sure was completely random (the Bible) and scanned it for adult content.

The best part, though, is what happens in the comments:

The difference of course is that Bruce is comparing a work of fiction to the historically accurate Mario.

Also, I really wanted a picture of Mario on the cross to go with this post, but I couldn’t find one. Think the internet (anonymous or otherwise) could deliver that? Kthx.

February 10th, 2008

Apple making consoles/Graphics don’t matter

Posted by nora in fiction, gaming, tales series

via Kotaku:

According to the application, Apple is upping its trademark to include “Toys, games and playthings, namely, hand-held units for playing electronic games; hand-held units for playing video games; stand alone video game machines; electronic games other than those adapted for use with television receivers only; LCD game machines; electronic educational game machines; toys, namely battery-powered computer games.”

I’m going between that being fucking brilliant or the worst idea ever.

However, maybe if Apple got into the console biz, electronics would get a new aesthetic gimmick– one other than that whole white plastic thing.

Another interesting Kotaku link was to this Rock, Paper, Shotgun article that discusses how we stop noticing graphics after a little while of playing a game, focusing instead on the storyline.

This ridiculous race for incremental steps toward photo-realism is a self-perpetuating tail-chasing exercise. Publishers will not support a project that doesn’t implement the latest technology, developers live in abject fear of not including the decorative features of their rivals and gamers all too eagerly buy into the whole charade. We have sold ourselves the lie that graphics matter, and it’s looking increasingly unlikely that we’ll ever manage to untangle ourselves from it.

This really just takes graphics into account as “how close to photorealism” it is and not “how pretty it is”, which is problematic, and divides what makes games good into “graphics” and “storyline”, leaving out “gameplay” entirely. The Final Fantasy series has gorgeous graphics and fairly compelling storylines (with the fatal flaw of substituting angsty backstories for dynamic character development); it is the gameplay that continually fails to keep my attention. The Tales series has subpar graphics (compared to Final Fantasy), but what graphics are there are very focused on character and place design as opposed to polygon count.

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