mental health cat

Three Projects and a Managed Decline

I’ve started to think a little more positively today. I’m marking this possible change of ground state with a post, to highlight the things that might keep me on track for a while.

Hacking a Roguelike

I am definitely a video game enthusiast. I will never identify as a “Gamer” because that implies a culture I do not like. But I love games, and I love the way, like with electronic music, the classification of games has become a cult all to itself. Roguelike games are one of the foundational concepts in that model.

The aspects that appeal to me about my favourite roguelike games are:

  • Procedurally generated maps (usually with some significant constraints).

  • Death means death (that is, you always start from the beginning).

  • Power tools and upgrades are available through the game, but are lost upon death.

  • New power tools and upgrades are permanently enabled by achieving goals (that is, you will not keep the new thing when you die, but it will be in the game next time).

Thematically they vary widely. I have a plan for my roguelike, involving my crypto-fascist neighbour. It will be called “Fashy Gary”, and I will write more about it later.

Geological Motorcycle Trips

This year I started riding a motorcycle again for the first time since 2003/4. I’ve been such a mess the last while though, that I haven’t really been anywhere interesting. I have a few problems that I need to get past.

  • I have become “denatured” by not living wild for a long time. I have physical issues which are real, but none of them really get in the way of getting out there. Once you’re out, it becomes metabolic - if you go for a brisk walk in the morning for example, you’re more wakeful for the rest of the day. Similarly, if you ride through 10 minutes of drizzle and wind, you start to vibrate at an appropriate level to stay comfortable, no matter how little appeal it has from the living room.

  • I have no interest in looking at most of Ontario, and I don’t like to ride in Canadian cities. This keeps me on my ass on days when I might spontaneously head out.

  • I have no compatriots to ride with. This is tricky, because I don’t want to ride socially, and I don’t trust other riders enough to join a group that plans to ride together. Partly that’s because riding for riding’s sake attracts people I generally dislike.

Yesterday it occurred to me that what I’d like to do is find a bunch of people who would be interested in identifying, locating and visiting places with particularly interesting or impressive geology. Canada has a bunch of those, many not particularly easy to get to, but good fodder for adventure riding, even if what I mean by that is mostly asphalt.

So, I hereby bookmark my plan to make that into a real thing.

Build out a Jam

I’m not sure what to call this really. It arises from thinking about the first project, the game making project.

I don’t play well with others, particularly in a corporate environment; this much is very clear by now. But just because I am not very good at suspending eye-rolling actions does not mean that I dislike the energy that comes from like-minded people engaged in related or similar activities with related or similar aspirations. Just working adjacently to indie game devs was a pleasure I did not realize I valued so much until the pandemic killed Gamma Space.

So this is pretty vague. Max has something going on with a shared space; Henry’s stuff is all remote now, though I might still ask him for some help with my stuff if I get far enough into it to make it seem like it might lead to a release of some kind. Flying Squirrel was a dumb idea. But… something.

Whether it is a shared industrial space for anarchist collectivists, like Motion Twin, or a two month tropical island rental twice a year with roughly the same crew, I honestly don’t know yet. That last one sounds fun though, if I could think of anyone that doesn’t immediately make me want to call in sick.

Finishing up

That’s my insights for the day. Quite often I’ll produce a lot of content like this in my own notes and then happen across them a few years later and read them avidly as if I’d found someone else’s droppings, only to suddenly recognize them about 3/4 of the way through.

At the very least, another shriek has been uttered.