Diofield Chronicle: An Almost Great Tactics RPG

In short: -Solid gameplay on the micro level -Less interesting macro (leveling, skill building, crafting) -Very polished experience -Somewhat convoluted story and lack of likable characters -Can we give the “Catholic Church is secretly evil” trope a rest? It’s in far too many jrpgs at this point. -Worth buying at a discount, but doesn’t feel like a 60-dollar game. Obligatory book links:

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10 Games I had fun playing in 2022

I played many games in 2022 as it is one of my favorite ways to wind down at the end of the day, after I finish my work and before I go to sleep. I figured this out when I was writing horror—when you are working independently from home, it’s beneficial to do something to help you disengage from work before sleep. I was lucky enough to get a steam deck when they released this year, and I also was lucky to get a PS5 (back in 2021 when they weren’t so readily available). Despite these shiny new toys, most…

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The AI art controversy

I’ve already said everything that can be said on AI image generation months ago elsewhere, but I’ll sum up everything you need to know about the controversy: Problem 1: People thinking that AI art is “art.” That is to say, it has some expressive artistic value. While valuation of art is in the viewer, intent is in the artist. 20th century artistic trends, both in academia and in pop culture, have divorced both the artist from the art as well as the intent of art from its effect. Thus people can, with a straight face, say that Disney gets to…

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Twitter bots, author style

It’s well-known by users that the majority of Twitter accounts are automated; that is, they are bots, not humans. Most posts are also automated, but Twitter works to keep these facts hidden from certain users. First, with journos, their follower counts are often very high, but their engagement is low, except when they post key pieces of (dis)information. Journos are often blindsided when they get ratio’d by anons because their followers are bots, and the anon has real humans interacting with him. The writer in question likely doesn’t realize his 500k followers are mostly fake accounts created to make his…

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Google Nest and the Internet of Shit

As I write this, I’m sitting comfortably in my new house, where it is cool and dry. Last week in Houston, however, it was 100 degrees (near record-breaking), and humid. I’m no stranger to heat, having spent most of my life in central California with a brief sojourn in Las Vegas, but it was particularly brutal when I moved here and, of course, the air conditioner immediately broke. There were actually several things that went wrong in succession, but one of the most frustrating by far was the thermostat, a “Nest” device produced by Google (who bought the Nest company…

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Generation Y: The New Lost Generation

Before I get there, let me quickly mention that I’m off of social media until Easter, and I’m very busy with moving preparations so there may be less YouTube content coming out. If you need me, shoot me an email at stu@dvspress.com. But to the point: Edited by JD Cowan, and containing content by him, Brian Niemeier, and myself… and available now for free! But what is this collection and what is it about? In short, it’s about the generation of people born in the late 70s through late 80s and their perspectives on the massive gulf between the world…

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Ain’t No Free Ride

I just found out today that infamous bodybuilder Bostin Loyd has died, apparently of a heart attack, though he was also in stage 5 kidney failure due to the (according to him) the use of an experimental peptide. It’s convenient to either take special note of Bostin Loyd’s massive steroid use or to lump him in with the slew of recent deaths in the bodybuilding world and forget the point of Bostin’s online content as well as the fact that these untimely deaths (or health crisis) have been going on for a very long time. The great lesson Bostin was…

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Time to Diet

It’s February! That means it’s time to diet for summer. But… Isn’t it still winter? Yes, but truthfully, waiting until February to start a diet is cutting it close. Most people vastly overestimate how much fat they can lose and underestimate how much time it takes to lose it. So, this is my friendly reminder: the time is nigh if you want to get lean for summer! With that, let me share a few things I’ve learned over the years about dieting: It takes a long time to lose the weight. You can expect, if your diet is actually working,…

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Moonsong book 3 – Shadow and Smoke now available for pre-order

I’m proud to announce the conclusion of the first trilogy of Moonsong books, Shadow and Smoke, which is available for pre-order in ebook form. The physical (8×5 paperback) will go live several days before the ebook to allow for shipping time from Amazon’s print-on-demand facilities. Yes, I said the first trilogy. As I mentioned when I released the first book, City of Silver, this series was something I had already written 5-6 books worth of material for. So, why aren’t they all out? The short answer, which is also the answer to why this third volume took so long to…

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Dungeon Encounters (early impressions)

Dungeon Encounters is a game, though the title doesn’t quite sound like a game as much as a category of play. The name is simple, but it’s got a lot of talent backing it up: directed by Hiroyuki Itou (of Final Fantasy 6, 9, and 12 fame) and produced by Hiroaki Kato (who has been involved with some of my favorite Final Fantasy games, including Tactics Advance 2), and with music overseen by Nobuo Uematsu. Despite, or perhaps because of, these particular personalities, the game comes across as decidedly stripped-down and old school. It’s a dungeon crawler and nothing more…

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