It's better to have blogged and lost, than never to have blogged at all.
It's been a while since I had such a rough all-nighter, yet there's something about the small hours of the morning that stirs some slumbering memories or highlights some lingering thoughts that one tends to forget during the cold rushing of a normal business day. This post is an example of the stranger routes the mind takes when it's been overtaxed.
Warning: This is just one looooong rambling with no real point
(Before I forget it)
"In cyberspace, we all live next to each other"
Submitted by Lailoken on Fri, 2004/05/14 - 2:12pm.
, each in our own parallel universe.
Trevanian is a god and henceforth, my new Zen in both art and design shall be known as "Shibumi"
No...I am not on drugs
(I shall post a more in depth review on Trevanian's work at a later stage).
Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 2004/05/13 - 3:49pm.
You mispelled "the" in the title
Submitted by MordracK on Thu, 2004/05/13 - 5:54pm.
Nope - I see no error.
Perhaps the word's true form has not manifested itself onto your psyche. Have you achieved inner-peace?
I R TEH L337 [-] A >
Submitted by DemiGoddess on Thu, 2004/08/12 - 12:16pm.
And THAT was another stellar example of the special brand of effervescent wit (in the face of astounding stupidity and ignorance to netspeak) that makes me come to your site every day :)
I am a Goddess. You are a mere mortal. I have no use for you. DIE.
I R TEH uber
Submitted by MordracK on Wed, 2004/08/18 - 2:01pm.
And THAT is a stellar example of why I let you stay. :)
Most games have a random element, it's an unfortunate reality. Reducing the random element improves the skill level required to win at that game, and here's my reasoning:
If a player in any game needs to roll a die six, more often than not, it's either the 1 or the 6 that holds the most power. To roll either of those on a die six is always 1 in 6.
Now compare that with one die 20, where the odds are 1 in 20.
A common way of reducing the random factor in dice rolls by many game designers is to add modifiers to the rolls essentially improving/decreasing the odds of said die roll - despite that, I think a modifier on a die twenty holds way more ground over modifiers on 1 in 6 odds.
The above examples, of course, only applies to games that use dice. I shall further elobarate by examples from my favourite games, by explaining their random factors, and how they are reduced.
Let's just kick off with Magic the Gathering: The random element here; The shuffled deck, of course. Because MtG gives the player a selection of literally thousands of options in the construction of a deck, the player has the power of choosing the 60 cards that best suit his underlying strategy and it is thus possible, in theory, to construct a deck where any card drawn at any given time during the game could be considered usefull. On top of that, there exists several cards that manipulate the library, vastly reducing the random factor. Clearly, the biggest part of winning a game of magic lies more in the construction of the very random element...the deck itself. Making it skill based.
Next, Magic's predecessor, Robo-Rally:
The random element, again, the cards dealt to a player. It is common for a young RR player to complain about this very factor, but any experienced player could tell you, that simply planning ahead a bit, improves your game exponentially. Use your hand to your advantage, and use board-elements to get rid of useless cards (like saving that move 2 card in your hand while rotating on a conveyer belt - it doesn't set you back as much you might think - play towards the long-term goal). By keeping cards in your hand that you will need the next turn, takes away most of the random factor.
What about Backgammon? I'm not an experienced player and can't even begin to tell you all the rules or any of the subtleties - but I can tell you why I think it's rated so high internationally. The dice roll's value has little to no relevance, except for the time it's played. Rolling a 6 or a 1 or even a 3 can be considered a good roll only when the player in question needs that particular number - I believe the same could be said for bridge, making the most of what your dealt with.
Last not but least, Settlers of Catan - a game that's rapidly making waves and already has variants and expansions popping up everywhere. The dice roll in Settlers, affects all players, not the rolling player - as simple as that.
It's a pity the game designers of the WarCraft board game did not recognize the value of that simple fact when they came up with the combat system.
The only reason I think 6 sided dice, to this day, plays such a major role in game design, is because it's cheaper to produce little cubes than to contemplate alternatives to the random factor.
Disclaimer: These are my opinions based on personal preference and my reasons behind these choices. You can love your inferior *koff* games for your own reasons ;)
I'm sure most people believe that the very first disruptive technology was invented by some caveman millions of years ago when he harnassed fire, or chisseled his first wheel...
I believe it to be the stick.
Everybody knows that almost everything works on a stick. Meat on a stick (kebabs), Candyfloss, Lollipops, the list goes on, really.
I've recently purchased a sponge on a stick, with this very thought in my mind, and hark...it works like a charm! Washing dishes will never be the same.
All day today I've had this incredible energy, working like a beast and crossing off to-do's like a maniac. I feel great! (babies!)
The questioning side of my brain wonders what the cause might be and how I can feel this way everyday...is this what 3 meals a day has to offer?
Oh yeah...and what the hell is up with all this rain we're getting?
Today's technological breatkthroughs are the ones that alter the way we live. The devices that succeed in the 21st Century, seems to be the ones that combine 2 or more older devices that people cannot live without (e.g the PDA cellphone).
To me it's obvious that the next destructive technology will be the combination of a fridge, microwave and a sub-woofer..
It's been a stressfull year so far, and no signs of that diminishing in the near future either...So instead of working at my problems this past weekend, I succumbed to some much needed sleep and caught up on some of the media I've accrued.
This near-decadent lifestyle would've spilled over into Sunday, was it not for my need to eat and an emptyness in my cupboards as only a bachelor could achieve.
I through caution into the wind when I drove to the biggest supermarket I could think of...
Here's what I've learnt:
- Shopping on a Sunday is viable, without the massive crowds, but with less than adequate stock.
- Buy yourself something that you wouldn't have if you gave yourself time to think about it on a regular basis.
An electric toothbrush has an odd, though not completely unpleasant sensation in your mouth - not completely what I had in mind, yet novel enough to have me brushing my teeth regular enough to make most dentists proud.
Yes All Evil fans...An electric toothbrush has given me a sliver of happinnes.
There's something about traditional South African foods that's, for lack of a better word, simply unappealing. Which part of lower grade meat, boiled for several hours with a number of items (more often that not, a variety of questionable vegetables) ever seemed like "a good idea"? Something like "Potjiekos" could only be conceived by someone mentally challenged enough to even consider trekking over a mountain with wooden wagon. The day I see a bag of "microwave-in-minutes-potjiekos" at my local Woollies, is the day I'll admit "there must be something more to it".
I'm a proud South African, don't get me wrong - and to fit in with the rest of the crowd, and to be the owner of a line like "that's because you haven't tried MY potjiekos", I've decided to come up with my own little recipe:
- 3kg Woollies Mild Cheddar cheese
- 2x300g Woollies Rindless Streaky Bacon
- 2-3 onions, peeled and cut into rings
- 1^H 2 bottles of fine red wine (preferably a Shiraz, go for something in 2000)
- 3 loaves of fresh white bread
- Some Virgin Olive Oil (Woollies has some nice ones)
- Black Pepper
- About 4 cases of beer
Method: SautÃ©e the potjie with the olive oil - when the temprature is just right, add the onions. Cut the bacon into tiny pieces and add to the onions until they're almost cripsy and brown. Place the cooked bacon and onion bits into a seperate container and leave close to the fire, so they remain warm. Cut the cheese into blocks, and again in olive oil, melt slowly adding the copious amounts of red wine to avoid streakyness (feel free to pour yourself a glass while preparing). When the cheese has sufficiently melted, gently stir in the bacon and onion mixture. Add Oregano, Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve over 300g prime rump steak (medium) with beer or use the white bread for dipping.