This Kurt Russell sinking boat show was more awful than you can really imagine. Fake-dark orange/cyan lighting constantly, everyone overacts and has the most cliché lines, which set up character that's never explored after the start. Captain's completely passive and useless; Captain Stubing would've saved more lives. Hispanics all die, and the Captain's the only black person on the boat AFAICT, but the richer and whiter you are (for fuck's sake, Richard Dreyfuss?) the more likely you are to live. Women do nothing but scream until a man can save them.
The disaster scenes are pretty nice, though. The casino flipping, and big rooms flooding, are violent and electricity and shrapnel go everywhere. That's what we pay for.
Oh, screenwriter's Mark Protosevich, the same piece of shit who wrote the Wil Smith "I Am Legend" that utterly missed the point of the book even more than the last 3 adaptations, and the ripoff "Oldboy" that discarded everything good about Chan-wook Park's amazing Oldboy (2003). I actually liked The Cell (2000), but I attribute that more to Jennifer Lopez, who looks good in a bodysuit.
I'm rooting for the ocean and the ship to eat them all, but sadly some have obvious plot immunity, especially the dumb kid and screaming useless single mom. Kurt Russell as a firefighter who became Mayor of New York is a slightly funny callback to Escape From New York and Backdraft, but the bosses would never let someone like him be elected, and he's phoned this one in.
A good terrible end to a terrible year.
Let's watch Poseidon — Only available on Netflix until tomorrow! Normally I watch Strange Days, but I feel an upside-down sinking ship is a more accurate metaphor for the year than failed love and revolution and pretty Angela Bassett. Maybe for Chinese New Year (Feb 5), Gabriel Dropout's New Year/armageddon episodes.
I don't go super intimate online, but it's been a rough year. I've lost a friend and two of my last few relatives to cancer, my dad's had some close calls, and his dog died. Doing any kind of work under the stress load is… not great. And I'm not a good friend or coworker in this state. My new puppy is a terror, both looks and behavior like a jackal puppy, but the one really good thing.
State of software I touched on yesterday. This is the year a new Perilar rises from the ashes, and Learn2JS is moving along nicely, I think that's going to be a big deal, it's a sweet environment.
I goofed off yesterday and started writing tbasic, a Tiny BASIC interpreter in C, because that's a useful thing to do! I've done this before, but made a messy parser. The new one is a tiny single file and much cleaner. Might be published tomorrow morning sometime. While nobody needs BASIC, it's good C programming exercise, and I can link in SDL2 and give it cross-platform graphics and sound, which is actually kinda neat.
"It is practically impossible to teach good programming to students that have had a prior exposure to BASIC: as potential programmers they are mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration."
—Edsger W. Dijkstra, EWD 498: How do we tell truths that might hurt?
[mdh: In case you can't read the paper and get the joke, he's joking. Sort of.]
I got a little writing in on Delvers in Darkness, I'm thinking about more adventures for it, solo gamebooks and Refereed.
Poseidon is really terrible already. Everyone's a ridiculous caricature. Oh, this is gonna be a good shipwreck.
I've decided there is no Game of the Year 2018. Everything's been mediocre sequels or ripoffs; that a shitty deathmatch shooter is the most popular makes me disrespect your species nearly as much as sportsball.
I'm still playing old games:
- Elder Scrolls Online: Mixed bag this year. Summerset's a fantastic "chapter"/DLC they make even subs pay for. Murkmire DLC is awful, its only virtue is that Shadowfen's no longer the worst zone in the game. Mac client performance has been garbage since Murkmire, and the nerf to Sorc shields has annoyed the shit out of me. But, close to 5 years in it's still the best Elder Scrolls game.
- Unturned: France map is fun and moderately hard, but 3.0's reaching EOL and who knows how buggy 4.0 will be. Ominous.
- Minecraft: 1.13 update was a buggy shitshow for a while, but it's made the waters interesting. But I build bases in taiga or mountains. Very little time in it this year.
- Animal Crossing Pocket Camp: Least bad gachapon/daily clicky-toy game in its second year. The monthly cycle of garden event, fishing event, scavenger hunt is pretty solid now. The Cabin recently added lets me save a few favorite animals outside the ever-rotating camp roster. It's OK.
This year's failed contenders:
- EXAPUNKS: Haven't bought it yet because like TIS-100 and the rest of Zach's games, real coding is more fun than fake-coding, but maybe if I was more fun-not-GTD it'd be on the shortlist at least.
- World of Warcraft Classic demo: The most exciting pre-release was a 10-year-old version of the most boring MMO.
- Dragalia Lost: Good but compromised design. I loved it for a few months, the characters are fun and cute, action dungeon's great for quick play, but the gachapon store drives the game and creates too many identical heroes, dragons, and cards, and it nagged me out. This could've been GOTY if it was paid up front, earning heroes by questing instead of random pulls.
My own failure to ship is appalling. I can't justify it. Perilar gameplay is excellent roguelike tactics & resource management, but some dungeon generation's not right yet.
Delvers in Darkness, my new tabletop RPG, is getting another rewrite of the adventure and I haven't done any art direction. I think it's fun in solo tests, but still need table testing.
On the horrible state of software:
Me Wearing a Scruffy, Profane T-Shirt: "Yeah, man, we should just code in bare metal like back in the '70s! Programmers should control machines, not the other way around! Liberation now!"
On shiny new things:
This is hard to talk about without spoilers, but I'll be vague enough to be useless without watching. Go watch it first, if you liked S1-2.
Every ep is resolving something from S1-2, there's almost no "new missions" as such. Everything has gone very wrong with the Faction taking over people, but that's more or less cleaned up, all the bystanders get mind-wiped and mostly don't recover their memories initially… But there's now Traveler conspiracy/support groups meeting. The boy from S1E3 returns, and I don't think a day of hanging out with a cop is gonna make a sociopath not 'path. Amanda Tapping as 001 returns, briefly, but then she's someone else again.
An AI that's been utterly useless so far gets upgraded, and the messengers aren't as safe as previously thought. Philip and the historians get a showcase episode, which mostly involves interrogating a dead man. The Trevor episode is somewhat annoying: If consciousness transfer works the way it has been described, the problem described can't happen, he'd be in a nice fresh brain every time.
In the only actual two-episode plot of the season, nuclear terrorism and data archives in the silliest possible storage medium, and a Wrath of Khan type ending for someone.
Protocol Omega somewhat contradicts previous explanations of how the Traveler program works, but some of the pieces from the season are assembled to get a hard reset.
I dunno if they're going to do a season 4. They sort of pushed parts together for it, and the last scene with Marcy & David suggests someone made changes already. But I could see them dropping it now and it's at some kind of a stopping point. I don't want another season like this, I want more of S1-S2 when it had plots.
Nic Cage, always competent, sometimes fun. Here a bureaucrat for a sinister post-apocalyptic dictatorship tells people they have to relocate to New Eden, nobody wants to go because obvious plot. Then he decides to run off to Canada with his next "clients", a woman and a kid.
There's some personal drama that's not bad, but it's thin. The bureaucrat seems awfully good with a firearm, and his buddy/superior goes hunting him with goons who literally can't hit the broad side of a station wagon with machine guns.
I'm a little surprised by the ending; normally you either have a heroic ending, or a total shitshow ending, but this is terrible and also somewhat optimistic.
But it's more or less Logan's Run without the sex or fun or pretty laser show, I can't recommend watching it.
I wake up, either to alarm or naturally (I'll sleep a random 4-8 hours and just blink be awake), turn off White Noise, play podcasts or music, read messages, usually play Animal Crossing or a gachapon game for a few minutes, then get up.
Before social media, say from 1999 to 2010, I had a Sharper Image white noise generator/travel alarm, and a GameBoy Color or DS.
Before that, all the way back to the '80s, I had my stereo playing softly, would crank it up and read or play Game & Watch type games. I can't remember what I did as a kid, I think I didn't sleep much.
How is it possible to sleep or wake up without electronics? Wouldn't the silence/incidental noises wake you up? Wouldn't the lack of stimulation make you fall back asleep?
I love the Hellboy and BPRD comics, the novels, and somewhat the two Del Toro movies; the second one is much closer to the comics than the first. So this drops:
No Del Toro or Ron Perlman.
The makeup on David Harbour (drunk loser sheriff from Stranger Things) prevents him from using his face, which he can't anyway, or speaking clearly. They should hire Ron Perlman to dub in his voice, like James Earl Jones did over David Prowse. Harbour's mouth full of oatmeal sound is unacceptable.
Billy Idol's fun, but is completely inappropriate in tone for Hellboy, which is Brothers Grimm seen through a Lovecraftian lens. Maybe go Celtic and have Faith & the Muse, or Nightwish. This is bullshit.
I've seen a couple of Neil Marshall's movies: The Descent and Dog Soldiers. Both are good B-grade horror, on cheaper than nothing budgets, mostly single shaky-cam following about 4 amateur actors through a dark wilderness; his other two movies are more of the same, though I haven't seen them. I have zero confidence that he can run a big-budget thing with characters and try to get acting from them.
Lots of big action scenes, which rather misses the point of Hellboy; there's usually one or two fights in an entire Hellboy comic story, mostly quiet investigation and character interaction.
Yeah, no. Waiting for streaming on this steamer.
Update: This was also scrubbed.