expressing a story as a map of guys

ok so in morrowind the mages guild is a sort of map of guys.
theres the guy you talk to when you're small, the guy you talk to when youre middley, and the guy you talk to when youre big. something like this. these correspond to -sort of, three phases of a story.

so is it okay to have it be specified like that- these three specific dudes in this order - well, it's in games so it is okay, but is it better to do it some other way?

morrowind isnt really linear like this, i have lied to you, you can choose your quest givers, even in the mages guild. if you dont like drathsa in balmora you can go talk to perniculus or whatever, the guy in aldrun.

in the mages guild, theres - when youre a small guy in the mages guild you talk to - i think her name is drathsa in balmora, and because you're small, too small to bother with, she sends you down to the basement where the khajiti alchemist, her name is ajira - she greets you warmly, she is your friend. and she sends you out to collect ingredients - this is tedious work and if you play a lot of morrowind you might pick up all the mushrooms and flower petals on the way over there.

the thing is youre gonna want to be in the mages guild no matter which guy you play. you might not even be a mage. but if you want to use the guild guides, to get between the imperial hubs, and you are gonna want this - you need to be in the mages guild. and if youre gonna be in the mages guild either way, you might as well pick the mushrooms and the flowers on the way to balmora, and even though you havent gotten the quest yet - listen, we're all players of games, here. sometimes you do the thing because its quicker even though it doesnt make sense. you race the guy, you cut the corner. it's okay.

im not really sure what a good quest is, to be honest. but ajira is a friend. the person you talk to, that's the face of the guild for you. and more than this - a unique voice. not literally - like all female khajiit have the same voice - khajiit are rare but they take up odd roles within the imperial establishment. ajira is one of the first characters you meet who's happy to see you. now she has you, she can finally get one over on her rival, galbedir, who we hate.

and like - galbedir's kind of rude to you, and she has some nice stuff, like rich guy stuff, filled soul gems, rare ceramics - and and you can steal it. and so you make a bit of money. and ajira keeps your secret for you even though - even though you're not allowed to steal from fellow mages. so, you can see that she is a true friend.

now, none of this is mage stuff, you dont have to cast any spells during this bit. and each time you do a thing for ajira she hooks you up with some good potions - and she buys moon sugar. so you trust her with your secrets and she trusts you with hers. a true friend.

so like, the mages guild is more than just a place for mages to gather, its a complicated political structure with intrigues and shit. none of this is even really about the magic. so what's that? it's a map of guys.


k so theres this datatype i want to build which is a 4d sprite, but which should be represented logically as a map of 32 bit integers to 32 bit integers.

oh wait i should mention what this is for i guess. for sprites, levels, palettes and particle effects. and whatever else i can think of that it works for. im thinking about sorta 4d voxel applications. this sounds kinda dumb and unnecessary but listen: its not. if you have trouble imagining 4d spaces it might be easiest to think of it as like an array of cubes. why do you want that? voxel animation.

keys to values - thats really easy to do in python, its just a dictionary.

so yeah: a map of 32 bit integers to 32 bit integers. the key is a place in the sprite, the value is whats represented there. you could have one data point for each cell in the hypercube but thats gonna be a pretty big data - hard to parse. its probably an empty dictionary with just some points represented. the limitation is you can only have one value at each point, but of course you can have an array of hypersprites if you want to have multiple things exist at the same point. i think in general i explicitly dont want that- i want to do per point collision detection.

im pretty sure thats just a dictionary in python. im pretty sure you can make games in python using pygame or pyglet or pyopengl, cocos2d, something like this. there will be a python graphics library that i like, that can be used, that doesnt suck. they tried to teach us graphics at the uni using the turtle library which is dumb, a waste of time. fucking logo. im paying for this.

the values up to 24 bits are colors, using the web color space. the last 8 bits of the value will correspond to lambda functions or whatever, theyre configurable. something something metadata. i want to use those on game levels the same way rpg maker uses events i guess.


i disconnected this blog from twitter and i dont really have to worry about anyone reading here, noone does. so it should be okay to blog freely. I'll try to keep it legible.

i'm having - basically a major depressive episode. i've lost a lot of faith in myself and what i'm doing.

i was doing four classes to start with at uni. i dont have to do four to qualify for full time, only three. but i figured i could handle it. i've now dropped one of my classes. 101, which is impact of it. that subject is core, so i'll still need to do it, but not this semester. i wish i'd dropped it before the census date but i never did, so i'm still paying for it. bliss. so i'm left with:

-102, Computer Technology Fundamentals, which is the raspberry pi class, which covers a bunch of different low-level things, understanding of how computers and the internet works, OS, things like this. I'm sure I can pass this one.
-103, Designing for IT, which is or was a lot of fun - its group work - but its coming up on the assessment, and i'm not sure if its going to come together.
-104, Building IT Systems, Python and databases and html stuff. which at least i'm on top of. sort of.

but i also have a bunch of stuff i promised to do, outside the course, that i want to get back to.

-theres the website for the russian community center. this is a real paying job, and i ought to prioritise it, but i cant right now.
-one of my tutors is making an iphone game, i agreed to work on this with about ten other people i dont know. but it seems sketchy. and im not gonna find time for it. so i should bail early, i think.
-the tetraton, for the watch the skies game. but i havent been paid for this. and i dont really want to do it anymore. i could give them the lowfi version. i should talk to the guy. but im avoiding it.

what am i actually doing though? i'm hiding in my room. i'm sleeping away good days that i need. i dont feel qualified to make anything. i dont have any faith in information technology, in games, or in myself. i dont believe i can find work. i dont believe i can find love. i dont see any good outcomes. anything good that happens to me, i push it away.

so uh, what does my focus have to be? work on the things that are due for 102 and 103. keep my head up.

as well as this, i gotta make sure i get some counselling at uni and get a new prescription.

What I Know So Far

so what am i able to teach, then?

there are the five sons:

-writing (and i could stand to know a lot more about stories. study keightley, study grimm, 1001 nights, etc. )
-code (build. web dev as well, the interface between web and games is pretty opaque. how computers actually work. )
-music (which i never have time for. )
-design (everyone thinks they know this. at best i know it more now than before. )
-art (animation, color theory, perspective, etc. criticism. how to see.)

anyway, i can try to teach all this stuff, im some kind of expert on all this stuff (well, probably not music). but we can spread ourselves too thin this way, and not really achieve anything.

so the main three sons for me are design, code, and writing. sorry other son, perhaps every other developer will serve you better. these other sons are lovely but we spent too many resources on them already, and starve the others. minimalism would serve us better. minimalism against what? against final fantasy, to be honest. lets have more fantasies after than one.

what else? what i want to teach is justice, philosophy, and statesmanship; we will need these. build a community that supports itself. and how to run that on a skeleton crew. so chaos theory as well. am i qualified to run this and teach this? probably not. but lets do that anyway. qualifications dont really mean anything.

so tocky-brand social justice, what is that.

first of all, know history. know the history of philosophy, if you dont want to learn this - well, i will learn it for you. but it can not be ignored, the lessons will have to get through, because we done had these arguments already and we cannot fail to listen to the learned persons who came before us, we do not have this option. that means first of all, the physicists, the sophists, the platonists, and the stoics. and then the enlightenment dudes. and the eastern canon, about which i know almost nothing. and the kooks. theres a lot to learn. but we must learn it because we must learn how to argue. because we're arguing anyway. but most people are sophists and we need more platonists and stoics. and buddhists and taoists, is my guess. fewer abrahamists imo but if we must have these then lets have more focus on the lessons and less on the prophets and the worship of these. none of you nerds are going to heaven.

second of all, know feminism. we can hardly have a social justice without a knowledge of feminism. the feminisms, there are many. three waves, but really this waves model gives us a sense that things are moving forward but in truth... we are stagnant. if you want to feminism you must fight all feminists, and this is just to begin with. you must fight all the sjwahs and all the anti-sjwahs, nobody agrees on anything.

but um, if the fems can agree on anything its that all men are gross. and the antifems seem super excited to prove this to them. so we need that third kind of heat: the non-binary sort.

there are three kinds of argument that i know.

-you have your MODERATION. shut the other guy down. delete him. everybody knows this one. moderation is weak because it says nothing. this is why forums are going out of style.
-you have ABSURDISM. which is recombination. show the guy that his one thing is really two things that are strange bedfellows. show that his two things are really one thing and not opposites as he claims. in short, show that the guy doesnt know what he's taking about. this is better because it asserts something, it shows that arguments can happen and we can make our own interpretations. and then,
-you have ACCELERATION. keep pushing towards your conclusion. whether the other guy gets it or not. they will have many chances to get it, and you are not his dad. assert a thing, assert your thing.

you can see why i like these better. its a weapons triangle: moderation beats acceleration beats absurdism beats moderation. but moderation only works if you're on top, or if the other guy believes you are. these others only work if you are right, and they help you to rise up and destroy the moderator in your head (mods willing). it is better to be right than to be on top, though.


wanted to do a not-secret more-vanity blog to keep track of how i'm going and also game dev. that maybe people read. on a service where people expect long-form text posts. remembered this one, hence this post.

i've been acting weird lately. 2015. turn your shame into slime. and do not listen to bad advice from weak nerds. this is the tocky mindset in 2015. but i've been obtuse, opaque. where i could be more opalescent.

this is what i need in a community:

-support. obviously. everyones a troll on forums, even the moderators. im used to the new flesh. no moderators, just you and your followers and the gods. we can moderate ourselves.
-willing to read. like, the things i'm making are gonna be a little hard to parse. but dividends, for the careful student.
-reverence for tocky. because i have learned these things and am qualified to teach them, and even if i'm not clear what they are - well fuck it, i'll list that also. thats the next post.

i'm back at uni, half way through the first semester, and the classes im in, they may be losing their lustre, and i'm trying to keep on top of myself and the work, which today is:

- python 'take home task' which is drawing little sigils. can do this but im really not keen. writing code as directed by your moderator. lame. python is such a free lanuage, doesnt need all this constraint.
- a presentation on the bottle shop app, TIPSY, designed with my team from the team design class. good dudes. presented today, because the unending annual celebration of the death of christ took the end off last week. should be fine. we got the goods.
- a 5000 word report with hella apendices and shit. on those little RFID smart cards. and their application within a specific company. too much moderation again, i'd much rather write about any other technology than this. but whatevs.

so what it always comes down to with assignments is 'do this one specific thing and do it the way i tell you. use your creativity, but use it the way i tell you.' even while they're excited to teach us how you motivate a person, which is not that. tey teach us the new way and then they have us work the old way.

the fiction that we're building towards something

there's this thing in a couple of podcasts - kind of obviously with harmontown, but also with the supertrain thing in roderick on the line - and i think a lot of podcasts have a version of this, it's the fiction that we're building towards something. like we, the hosts of this show, and you, the audience, are part of a community, and we're trying to figure out how to all live together in a colony on the moon, or we're splinter cells all over the world, outside of society but still appearing as part of it, and we're building towards something, and this is what it'll be like when we're in control.

and this is kind of a beautiful fantasy, that we're a community and everyone else is muggles, but you, by virtue of hearing this, you're part of us, and we can solve things and everything will work the way we want.

and there's a kind of idealism in there that i'd like to bottle up and use.

inquiry about group-think decision-making with arbitrary agents

you have a set of agents - people, whatever

each agent has a list of preferences - things they want to do.

each element on these lists is weighted.

the set of agents (abe and barb) have to decide what they will do as a group, based on the set of abe's preferences and barb's preferences.

the simplest case is binary - abe wants either A or !A, barb wants either A or !A, and you apply some logic gate that decides to do either A or !A based on whatever rule (but what rule should you use, in this case?)

but in a more complex case, abe wants 50% A, 30% B, 20% C. barb wants 40% B, 40% !B, and 20% D.

if they want multiple things, should you try to do all of the things, or only the things they most strongly want to do? if they want to do things that contradict each other, should you want to do neither thing, or both, or roll the dice, or what?

message failure states

the message gets wet and is (%) illegible
the message gets burned and is (%) illegible
the message gets transliterated and is (%) scrambled
message-is-destroyed but the messenger doesn't notice


the messenger accidentally carries the message to the wrong destination
messenger is delayed in a magical labyrinth
the messenger's means of transport fails and is they are forced to continue on foot
[messenger-is-beset] but manages to escape

the messenger is a spy
the messenger is a thief
the messenger is a doppleganger

the messenger decides to make away with the message and its contents
the messenger decides to take the message to your enemies

messenger-is beset
flesh plague
bad castle

notes on medieval currency

copper coins are mice. anyone who can carve or stamp a mouse on a piece of copper, that's a valid coin. a live mouse is worth exactly 1 copper. you can trade with live mice if you don't have copper ones. also, you can eat the mice (mice are a staple of the peasant diet).
silver coins are owls. 1 owl is worth 10 mice.
gold coins are sentinels. an owl-sentinel is a mythical blackbird that hunts at night and eats owls. nobody's ever seen one, but they find casings. the picture on the coin has about ten legs. 1 sentinel is worth 10 owls.
an ounce of salt is worth 100 sentinels.