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Adrift On the Sea Named Desire - Poem

I am adrift on the sea named Desire Longing for an island all my own A place to rest and retire To be free of this turbulent foam Whenever I see an island And the waves, they begin to churn "Could this be the isle for me? The home for which I yearn?" The hope always sparks, A longing of heart Grown deep with weariness Born of the years on the sea The sea named Desire. This sea, it is littered with islands Some have been well loved Made into a rich haven For someone, but not for me Some are pleasant to drift by But though I may circle time and again And delight in their presence They are not the home for me Some are still bubbling With volcanic activity Perhaps they will make a good home For someone else on the sea Most I pass by but once And then I drift on my way Perhaps they'll be a good home But if so, I'll never see I am adrift on the sea named Desire Longing for an island all my own A place to rest and retire For long have I drifted alone Often do I think of my i

Thought Exercise: Media Platform Incentives

I've been thinking some lately about the incentives for media platforms in this current age of "free" content that's paid for by advertising, and what the effects on incentives that revenue model has, particularly when compared with other revenue models. If we assume that these companies are trying to maximize profits, then their goal will be to get as much money from their revenue source(s) as possible while minimizing expenses, with bandwidth being a major expense (notably, delivering high quality video uses a lot of bandwidth). In an advertisement-based revenue model, media platforms are incentivized to maximize user retention—the longer any given user stays on the platform, the more ads that platform can show them, thus generating more ad-based revenue. However, people generally don't like advertisements (a separate problem that I think needs solving, but that's a thought experiment for another time). In general, people are not coming to your media platfor

Psychopomps Are Missing Progress Report for June 2022

 Hello, and welcome to my fourth  progress report  for  Psychopomps Are Missing , the  RPG Maker MV  game I'm currently developing. This is a quarterly report about the progress I've made towards completion of the game. If you want updates more frequently than that, I recommend subscribing to the  $5 tier at my Patreon , as the diary entries at that tier include updates if I've worked on the game that day (along with information about other projects I've got in the works). Videos about the game are  available on my YouTube channel, which you can watch  here . I've also started releasing builds of the game on my Discord server in the #game-development channel. The messages that contain the download links are pinned. As my measures for determining when the game is complete are no different than what I laid out initially in the  first progress report article , I recommend checking it out if you want to know how I am determining the completeness of  Psychopomps Are Mi

Opening the Doors to Authenticity

The question this life asks of everyone is, "Why should you survive? Why should you exist?" When we are children, our parents or other caregivers hopefully answer these questions for us, but when we become adults, we are expected to answer these questions ourselves. I have largely struggled with finding my answer to these questions ever since graduating college over a decade ago. What I now endeavor to reveal here is difficult to share because I am keenly aware that my position is not one that tends to engender sympathy. I fear one group of scoffers, who will look at the vast number of privileges I have enjoyed and would minimize my suffering, pain, and struggle, as if these privileges somehow erase those things. On the other hand, I anticipate those who would call me soft, weak, pathetic, or the like. The kinds of people who would tell me to grow up and act like an adult—and especially those who would tell me to just "man up" and "do what needs to be done.&quo

Psychopomps Are Missing Progress Report for March 2022

Hello, and welcome to my third progress report for  Psychopomps Are Missing , the RPG Maker MV game I'm currently developing. This is a quarterly report about the progress I've made towards completion of the game. If you want updates more frequently than that, I recommend subscribing to the  $5 tier at my Patreon , as the diary entries at that tier include updates if I've worked on the game that day (along with information about other projects I've got in the works). I've also started releasing videos on YouTube about it, which you can watch here . As my measures for determining when the game is complete are no different than what I laid out initially in the  first progress report article , I recommend checking it out if you want to know how I am determining the completeness of  Psychopomps Are Missing . Also, to avoid repeating the same thing over and over again, I'll mostly focus on what has changed since the previous article, so at least giving it a glance

Design Brainstorming: Psychopomps Are Missing, Pokémon, and Types

I've been replaying Pokémon Omega Ruby , and it's been getting me thinking about the element system in my own game, Psychopomps Are Missing . I have 9 types in Psychopomps : Slashing, Striking, Piercing, Fire, Ice, Lightning, Arcane, Divine, and Abyssal. I like these types, as I feel like they give me good coverage for the full range of damage types I want in the game. The way I'm using them is very analogous to Pokémon: weaknesses and resistances to types use multiples of two. However, unlike Pokémon, what weaknesses and resistances exist is not immediately obvious. I do try to be consistent among enemy types. For example, the bandits in an early area are generally weak to Arcane damage (there are caster versions that are weak to Piercing instead). However, what types enemies will be weak to is not obvious, nor is there some clear mnemonic one can use to remember. Again, I try to make it feasible to group enemies into categories to remember that way, but this only goes so

How Getting Lust Wrong Causes Harm

A while back, my sister pointed out something that is quite odd: when the seven deadly sins—greed, sloth, lust, envy, pride, wrath, and gluttony—get anthropomorphized, there tends to be a subtle inconsistency that becomes glaring once you notice it. Consider for a moment Fullmetal Alchemist, an excellent manga and anime series that does this. In it, Gluttony wants to eat everything, Wrath is vengeful, Greed wants to possess everything, and so on. There is, however, a notable exception: Lust. In Fullmetal Alchemist, Lust is not lustful. Instead, she's a beautiful woman, the stereotypical object of lustful desires. Fullmetal Alchemist is not unique in this dichotomy, where six of the sins are portrayed as someone consumed by that sin, but lust is portrayed as the object of that sin. To highlight just how stark of a contrast this is, imagine if some of the other seven deadly sins were portrayed like lust is. As some easy examples, greed could be represented by a bunch of gold, sloth b