Animal Crossing End of Day Report

I've spent 8-12 hours in the last 24 hours playing Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. Not good for productivity, but eh, launch day and sorta holiday break.

Once you get every active NPC's quests done and get all the fruit, which doesn't take too long, all you can do for the next 3 hours is fish the ocean & collect shells, collect bugs, fish the river, repeat. So go get some work done instead. I can see a daily schedule built around AC:PC won't be too disruptive.

The IAP is nothing to complain about. Every previous AC has always cost $40-60 AND been timer-based, grinding bells and rep with NPCs. 3-day timer on growing trees or harvesting fruit in Wild World was a pain. Having to talk to every NPC with the same pointless responses every day for a slim chance they'd tell you their birthday, or give you a gift. Check both stores every day for new items, buy them and sell back so they'd be in your catalog, because there was no other way to advance. That was the AC console & DS experience: SLOW.

In AC:PC, I haven't spent a buck yet, it shows the timers (3 hours for most things), and shows XP and level meters. I'm now Level 16, and earned enough tickets in-game to unlock all 3 crafting slots and get K.K. Slider to sit on his stool and play for me, got 8 NPCs in my camp, and I'm working on an advanced level 3 Cool Tent.

The NPC crafted set requirements before they can be invited are getting familiar: 4 easy items and one super slow one, which would be annoying but I need the break. The premise is ridiculous, "I'd love to visit your camp… if you install exactly the furniture I want!", but it drives you to gather resources and do stuff. Good game mechanics don't have to make sense.

Clothing is very limited. IIRC, AC:WW had 9 or 12 items per day, plus your custom clothing patterns. AC:PC has 3 every 6 hours, and so far all I've got are a few shirts and hats, no new pants or shoes. I'm very disappointed by the Abel sisters this go around, but crafted clothing is "coming", someday, somehow.

Expanding the camper like a house is possible (I now somehow have a loft with a ladder in my VW hippie bus), and a nice easter egg (people have to go into your camper to see it), but you can't switch between multiple custom paint jobs, it costs 5000 bells each time; so I bought the 8000 bell camo job, which at least costs me nothing to restore.

Only thing I can't unlock is the Shovelstone Quarry, I need 5 friends to "assist", and even tho I've friended and requested help from the 6 random mostly-Japanese players who show up in my world, it hasn't unlocked yet, but I'm not spending 20 tickets on it!

Friend ID: 1227 6011 048

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp

On December, 2005, Animal Crossing: Wild World (AC:WW) came out for the Nintendo DS, I immediately got it, created a town called Yama, and played at least 15 minutes, often hours, every day for years.

I finally got to the point where my house was maxed out, filled with trophies, mail storage was being used for excess items, I had every K.K.Slider song, most of my town was covered with tree farms, flower farms, or stickers to make roads (and force digging holes to be in specific areas).

I was spending too much time in Yama, and couldn't stop checking it every day, so around 2008 I deleted my town, I couldn't break the habit any other way. I still miss Yama.

Animal Crossing: Wild World Snowman

Now Animal Crossing Pocket Camp (AC:PC) is out on iOS, and I can see I'll have the same problem eventually, but for now it's nice to have anything like it back.

AC:PC Squirrel

It's a little frustrating at first, being forced to do tutorials with no freedom of action; I'm of the theory that a game should have chargen, and then you're loose in the world. If you want tutorials or information, leave NPCs or books around, but don't make the player tap on a person or box to progress. The IAP doesn't seem too aggressive in this, I know I could buy "leaf tickets" (and I have to have them, to get K.K.Slider and Tom Nook for my camp), but I'm building them up at some pace in-game.

The camp is much smaller than a town or expanded house, and I don't like the outdoors theme and hippie bus as much as AC:WW, and you can't alter other camps. There's a really annoying siren wail when you're dragging items around, it's piercing and the least Nintendo-like sound I've ever heard; I'm going to try to file a bug report if they have any way to do that. As usual, Nintendo has never heard of scaling servers, and I'm getting constant errors, which will only get worse as more of the world wakes up and starts playing today.

AC:PC Communications Error

But problems aside, I live there now. If you want to be my friend 😳, my ID is: 1227 6011 048

What I'm Watching

  • Hand of God: Ron Perlman as a Judge who has hallucinations leading him to the man who destroyed his family. I saw S1 last year and loved it, but the cliffhanger dangled annoyingly. S2's chasing down the consequences of his God-or-not-fueled crimes. I love his desperation and horror. And Dana Delany is still the hot slightly older chick. ★★★★★
  • Stranger Things: S2 is a predictable, fairly lame repeat of S1. I'm not done, but maybe won't finish. I want new horrors in new crappy '80s towns. ★★★☆☆
  • Michel Clayton: Boring person's name is a terrible movie title. A good slow-burning, tense, psychological thriller, in the style of Grisham novels/movies but less trite. I'm a little astounded this got made, tho Hollywoo inserted one good explosion scene, and played it 3 times. ★★★★☆
  • Jack Taylor: In this show, all Irish people are drunks, sluts, crooks (mostly learned from the English), and bums. Which is fine, if rude. But it makes it hard to empathize with Jack or his shitty clients or shitty suspects. ★★★☆☆
  • The Gates: Trashy suburban drama with vampires, werewolves, witches, and a new cop with an even more fantastical panopticon surveillance system. This isn't high art, and it's not the kind of grim horror or splatterpunk I usually like, but I'm amused, at least when drunk, at the stupid catty shenanigans they get into. ★★★½☆ but don't judge me for watching this.

Bloggerating

I normally don't do the self-analysis, why are we here thing, and certainly no self-promotion or "personal braaaaaaand". The joke's only funny until you die, then you leave a stink-bomb corpse and it's really funny, and then they shovel dirt in your face. Until then, I mostly do things I find fun and maybe post them for others.

But what is blogging for?

Social media in the form that Twitter and Facebook have produced, is now clearly seen a mistake; it used to be fun, and is easily compulsive, and I'm the next-to-last guy who could say with a straight face "don't do things that are fun but possibly dangerous to your body or mind", but the toxic side-effects have gone from heroin, to a cocktail of PCP, bath salts, and krokodil. It has turned and is eating your face. Get out while you still can.

Reading blogs is quieter. It can happen when you want, a pull request from a bunch of servers instead of a constantly pushing firehose. I can pick thru categories, since I organize feeds into a score of folders. Not everyone has a useful feed anymore, and there are times when a blog or comic stops updating the RSS and I don't notice until an annual sweep of stale feeds. I don't read everything, I read what I want and clear the rest.

My current OPML export has something like 1200 feeds, which is ridiculous, but with my organization it's not that bad. If I want to read comics, SF blogs, Mac news, dev blogs, etc., it all adds up pretty quick. Many only update a few times a year, which is probably not enough; I only keep a few "Tech Bullshit" blogs that spam more than a couple posts a day.

I used NetNewsWire back when Brent Simmons made it, but switched to various others when iPad came out. The NNW iOS rewrite and the years-delayed Black Pixel re-rewrite were unacceptable, but the Google Reader-pocalypse forced me to finally do something, so ever since I've been using FeedBin; apparently not the most popular since it costs $5/month (paying for the things you use! What a bizarre idea!), but a near-desktop quality interface with great keyboard controls, that works well in Safari, is more useful to me.

In the Dark Ages, Before Computers, you'd read, hear, or think of something, and then spend the next week telling everyone you met a distorted version of it, jabber jabber jabber. Some would write letters and then copy them for different correspondents, and the real maniacs would write letters or columns for newspapers or magazines; the Dragon Magazine Waldorf letters are archetypical.

Now we have the unlimited reach to annoy everyone with the noise in our heads. Many people use Twitter as a stream of consciousness of their food 🍔 and bathroom 💩 habits. It's too easy to type in a box and hit send. And if you "like" that person, and want to see anything halfway smart they write while distracted by everyone else's firehose, you also have to take their bathroom posts. UGH. You were so preoccupied with whether or not you could, that you didn't stop to think if you should..

Take my music posts (please!). On Twitter, I'd sometimes spam a music link every hour or more. Now, I typically have one song in mind, link the album, then use my amnesiac-encylopediac memory of the last 50 years of blues/rock/metal/electronica (a bit more for blues) to find a day's worth of similar albums. Then I keep the post open and hit links for iTunes. It reminds me of my teenage years, pulling a few vinyl or tape albums from my small library and spinning them in between bursts of radio; whole albums, every track unless something annoying was at the start or end of a side; I can't stand the random train-wreck of commercial radio. And my 20s DJing at http://kuoi.org/ with my playlist, I did a lot of deep cuts or half-albums. It's nice if someone else likes my music, but that's not why I post.

This post has been building for a day or two. I write a little, leave it in drafts, change the title, rewrite parts, find le mot juste, a few coherent thoughts, or Suck-like links to emphasize or subvert meanings. When I think it's worth reading, I'll hit Publish. Thinking and writing at any depth is simply impossible in the social media engines.