LOOKIT. IT'S BUBS.
He is a good boy. He started as just a foster, and we failed utterly. Very snugglesome. Gets very offended when anyone pays attentions to things that are not Bubs. Mistakes taking a shower for drowning sometimes.
What a good Bubs.
My grandmother died over Memorial Day weekend. She was 84, and her health had been in decline for a while. Was a fall in the kitchen that did it; bleeding in the brain. I got to visit her in the hospital before she went, but she wasn't conscious when we were there. We put on some Sinatra for her - her favorite - and I hope she was able to hear it. She loved giraffes and The Godfather and had a little cabinet full of Santas in the dining room.
I think I got to every ending in Citizen Sleeper (sans the post-launch stories they added), though I think my favorite remains the first. The Garden might be the 'best' ending, but I am a sap at heart, and the Len & Mina ending is just the right amount of heartbreak. Stabilizer be damned. Wouldn't be right to let them go all alone.
BEST DEVIL POWER, NOBEL-PRIZE WINNER AND PRIME MINISTER OF JAPAN.
Sold some copies, people said nice things about it, I do feel proud of it. Livestream plans for it fell through, though. Educational, experience overall, though. Main lesson being A) layout can be fun! B) I could never do this full time. Can't say when another book will happen. Thanks to all who bought a copy (tell your friends!)
Never got around to finishing it - stumped right at the end. Did copy a translation guide - doing that by hand is tough. But all that aside, it is a fantastic game. I love the manual and the runes, I love the vibes, I love the fact that I, for the most part, didn't get stuck.
Rogue Legacy 2
One of those sequels that eclipses the original in its totality. Never finished it, though. Got to the final boss and realized that I didn't want to keep grinding out incremental improvements at the end. Maybe I shall House Rule my way through the end.
A game designed to trigger the addiction loop in your brain, except not in the way video games usually do. Good game.
My opinion has previously been established, and so I re-iterate: game good, except for the few places where it is not.
Everything, Everywhere, All at Once
That was this year, right? I don't go to the movies much anymore, but EEAAO was a good reason to break that habit. Legitimately hurt myself laughing with the 2001 gag. Months later at a convention I saw a couple going as the chefs from the Raccacoony bit and was quite disappointed when they mentioned that we were the only people who recognized them for it.
My opinion has previously been established, and so I re-iterate: game very good.
This has been a very good year for games, and Pentiment stands in great company. This is a special game. Clearly made by folks who understand what they're working with and have a great love of the craft. People have compared it to Disco Elysium and they are correct - it is shared substance, differing in the accidents of form. Chocolate and marshmallows.
I recommend it without reservation, of course. I can't say a whole lot about it, so as to avoid spoilers, but I will rant about the way it uses fonts.
The contents of characters' text bubbles are portrayed as if they are written manuscripts, complete with pen scratches, corrected misspellings, and gaps filled in last with red, blue, or green ink. Characters have different fonts according to their social class (with accessibility options that simplify the fonts while maintaining the visual differences, important to note), and they'll occasionally change what font their using when they find themselves in changed circumstances - we get code switching in a purely text medium using fonts! And if characters are angry or upset, there are ink splatters in the word bubble.
But then there's Klaus the printer - he and his family not only have their own font (complete with s-t ligatures that no one else has), but their text gets laid out in type face before they talk and is accompanied by a wooden ka-thunk instead of pen scratches.
The thing that sold me on the game, though, is Sebhat. He's a side character you meet early on, a visiting priest from Ethiopia, and where you and everyone else is drawn in the style of early modern Germanic illustrations (barring the elderly, who harken back to older styles), Sebhat is drawn in the style of icons from his own church.
You don't do that unless you care a whole lot.
It is an excellently written game, containing all those things I value in art; it is perceptive, humane, heartbreaking, and a carrier of little joys. The characters are wonderfully sketched - vibrant and lifelike in all ills and good graces, and you come to love them all as the game goes on. The game eschews the cliches and tired tropes we would expect of the time period for something much more real. It's certainly one of the few games out there that understands the functioning of religion and belief, especially in that era. I made choices I regretted, I was uncomfortable with how things played out, I was _invested_.
Agh, there are things that need to be said that I cannot say in detail here. I laughed, I cried, I cursed the heavens for their blind obscenity. There's a direct reference to _Name of the Rose_ at one point, one you'd only recognize if you've read the book. It's the kind of game where the opening scene, the literal first conversation you have, is a dream sequence featuring Socrates, Beatrice, and fuckin' St. Grobian.
Steam achievements say less than half of players have made it out of Act 1. This is a shame. There is so much more.
The New Sun Re-Read
An excellent time all around. Still amazed at being able to write those monstrously huge posts, and quite pleased with the outcome.
Can't believe it's finally out. Still figuring out the ropes, but I shall have good stories soon enough.
Reducing Twitter Usage To Bare Minimum
Best life choice I've made in years. Now if I can just get this fuckin' collage zine together...
HOO BUDDY do those friendos do some work. We've been acquainted decades after we should have been, but now is better than never.
This was a rough year, and most of it was not a good time - especially through the summer. But I end it in better places than I began - a new & much better job (so, so much better - less money, but I actually like being there), proper medication, a very good cat, a published adventure under my belt and very nearly 500 posts on the blog.
Who knows what new hells and wonders the next year will bring.