📝 Whoops

2023 August 11

I missed last week's check-in and I almost missed this week's, too. It's just too hot to function, honestly. Lots of stuff happened, so let's see if I can remember it all to write down here.

Tokyo Game Dungeon 3 was very very good

The Nice Gear Games booth at Tokyo Game Dungeon 3, showing off Indie Tsushin on the left and Nice Disc on the right

Nice Gear Games at Tokyo Game Dungeon 3!

It's true! Lots of people stopped by our booth to play Nice Disc against Daikon and rifle through the print copies of Indie Tsushin. We also got to hang out with our buddy Ben afterwards! It was a really good time. I wrote about some of the games we played, either at the event itself or by buying the games or download the demos and playing them at home. We also streamed some of them on Happy Hour:

Indie Tsushin is BACK baby

It's August, which means our one-month vacation from Indie Tsushin updates is over. Today I put up what is in my opinion a really cool interview with chart, who did the English localization for Enjoy the Diner aka ファミレスを享受せよ.

I also spent a lot of this month doing tedious behind-the-scenes stuff that nobody will ever notice or care about. It all started when I wanted to self-host my fonts instead of pulling from Google Fonts. Doing that was easy, but then I ran into horrible loading times for the sites. Not only would the fonts fail to load, but images also would stall out. So I ran some tests on all my sites to see what I could optimize. This took forever, especially with Indie Tsushin's archives, but now that that's all behind me, I am incredibly smug and self-satisfied with how quick things are. The only way to make things even faster would be to pay for a CDN, which... I mean, never say never and all that, but at the moment I just don't see the point in doing that when the entirety of my Neocities account, ALL of the sites hosted on it, only take up about 44MB 😎

I also fixed some colors for the Indie Tsushin sidebar to have better contrast using this handy dandy tool, and replaced the Ko-Fi buttons with a picture that Daikon drew. I mean, I just need a link to our Ko-Fi, I don't see the need to link to an off-site Javascript button just for that. Plus, LOOK AT THIS PICTURE OF ADELE DRINKING COFFEE:

Adele the purple penguin happily drinking coffee out of a white mug with a red heart on it, just like the Ko-Fi logo

LOOK at how happy they are to get their morning caffeine. LOOK

Stuff I've been playing


Puzzle in Storyteller titled 'Tiney and Hatey wait forever' with two dwarves standing under a tree for six panels.

Lovely game with some... questionable puzzle choices.

I loved this game when I was playing it, but I also don't recommend it. It's gorgeous and the idea is solid, but the puzzles are far too easy. I wasn't expecting mind-melters, but I also wasn't expecting it to only take about half an hour to clear all of the levels, but that's exactly what happened.

A couple of the achievements and the last few puzzles were approaching what I wanted, but even they never quite stumped me. I got all of the achievements in about an hour, which is pretty dissatisfying for a game like this. I hate to be one of those Gamers™ who complain about the dollars-to-minutes content ratio, but I really did reach the credits and let out a disappointed "Is that it?"

I do know that they're going to update the game next month with more levels, so at least there's that to look forward to.

Last Call BBS

After my disappointing run with Storyteller, I wanted a puzzle game with more teeth. Luckily, all of the Zachtronics games were on sale on Steam, and I figured... it's time. It's time for me to give in to all of my friends' recommendations and play these dang games. Like any normal person, I started with their final game and am going to work my way backwards. I am a sucker for anthologies, be they SFF or games, and so this game is catnip for me.

Right now, Daikon and I are working our way through 20th Century Food Court. It took me forever to realize that I could rotate the machines, so my first attempts at these puzzles are far from the most efficient. I am quite enamored with the record-to-GIF function that these games have, so I'm gonna post my janky solutions here for posterity.

Here were my original solutions for the first five puzzles. I'm hiding these behind spoiler warnings just in case, but also, as I said, these are not at all optimized and barely cleared the mark, so you'll still have your work cut out finding better solutions.

2 Twelve My solution to 20th Century Food Court: 2 Twelve

As I said, it took me a while to realize I could rotate the machines. Plus I didn't quite understand at this point what I was supposed to be doing, let alone that I could be doing things more efficiently.

The Original Hot Pocket Experience My solution to 20th Century Food Court: The Original Hot Pocket Experience

Same comment as above, only it took MUCH longer because I couldn't figure out how the counter worked. For the longest time I thought it was a timer, so I kept trying to calculate in seconds how long the microwave would work, and getting frustrated when that wasn't leading anywhere. Then I actually looked at the instruction manual and it straight up gives you the numbers to input 🥴

Wine O'Clock My solution to 20th Century Food Court: Wine O'Clock

At this point, I roped Daikon into helping (read: doing all the work) and we both broke our brains a little trying to get this one sorted out. Seeing that huge tangle of wires on the left stresses me OUT 😭

Mumbai Chaat My solution to 20th Century Food Court: Mumbai Chaat

After Wine O'Clock, this one was a lot easier because of the router. The sequencer sure was fun to play with too.

Mr. Chilly My solution to 20th Century Food Court: Mr. Chilly

I'm gonna admit, Daikon did this one by himself and I wasn't paying much attention. I do know that he cleared it pretty quickly. Wine O'Clock still holds the record for longest time we got stumped on a puzzle.

All of the Narrat Jam 2 games

I posted about my experiences playing all of the Narrat Jam 2 games on Mastodon and cohost. I need to clean that post up and then repost it here, along with some of my thoughts on Girls' Day. I'm going to try to get that post up sometime tomorrow. I also need to get started playing and rating all of the O2A2 2023 games, but yikes, there are so many...

Stuff I've been reading

Rikka Zine Vol. 1, still

Yes, I know that I started on this ages ago, but you know I am easily distracted! I'm still only halfway through, but fingers crossed I'll get through this tonight and have my thoughts up about all of the stories sometime this week.

And finally, a plea

Reading about the wildfires on Hawaiʻi Island and especially Maui has been a punch to the gut. I don't really have the words to describe what it's like seeing Lahaina, a town I used to frequent with my friends and family, burned almost entirely to the ground. It's too much to deal with.

If you have the means, I would ask you to consider donating to the Maui Community Power Recovery Fund, organized by Our Hawaiʻi. From the website:

Support Immediate Relief + Long-Term Recovery, Community Organizing, and Power-Building after the Maui Fires

We are devastated and heartbroken to see Maui set ablaze by wildfires, worsened by decades of global fossil fuel CEO greed, political inaction on the climate crisis, and local issues like land grabs and water diversion. As we work together to provide relief and address immediate need, we also know that recovery won't happen overnight. After the ash settles and the cameras leave, we will need long-term organizing and political-power building to help Maui recover from August 2023's devastating fires.

A big fight over the future of Maui is coming, as opportunists will seek to capitalize on crisis to make a profit as Maui rebuilds.

We can build a Maui that works for everyday, local people — kānaka maoli and kama'āina. The big money special interests who have held back progress in our islands for too long and helped create this mess can not be the ones to profit or lead us on the way out.

Chip in to support our long-term recovery, community organizing, and political power building efforts.

All contributions will be split and distributed amongst Our Hawai‘i and our organizing and relief partners including:

Please stay safe and healthy, and do what you can to build up community. We're all we've got.