John

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Posts posted by John


  1. Though I wasn't close with many, there have been a lot of people I looked up to on OB as I was growing up, and even among them Des was kind of a figurehead. Part of that was just his admin status, I'm sure, but he also composed himself with a pleasant ease and steadiness that was rare on the internet. It distinguished him, and I'll remember him for that.

    This is the first loss of a notable member on OB that we've experienced, isn't it (apologies if it's not and I'm overlooking someone)? If so, we're really fortunate to have gone so long without a tragedy like this.


  2. Oh yeah, let me be clear: this game is absolute garbage in most respects. I love it, I keep playing it, but it is messed up beyond belief. Niantic didn't drop the ball on it so much as they spiked it into a sewer drain. The bugs, the poor gameplay balance (VAPOREON VAPOREON SNORLAX VAPOREON), the nonexistent server stability, and the completely senseless lack of communication from Niantic about any of this just blows my mind.

    Granted, Niantic is a really small studio. Granted, their one PR person had a baby and went on maternity leave just before launch. Granted, there's just no way they could've expected that their game would become the most popular mobile game ever within days. But even just one tweet saying "Hey, sorry, we know about all the issues and we're working on them" would relieve so much frustration. If you've got time to tweet at Soulja Boy, you've got time to give your player base a few crumbs of acknowledgement.

    But on the other hand... I just found my first cubone yesterday! C'mon, that's rad!

     

    • Battery Life – When I have the game open and active, I lose about 1% of my current charge per minute; the discharge rate is faster if I have other apps running, such as Amazon Cloud Music or Pandora, or if I'm in a call.  As stated above, my phone isn't new (in fact it's two years old and was being replaced by the S5 when I bought it), so I have no illusions that my battery is mint condition.  The only remark here is that the game places almost a tenfold increase in strain on the battery, so expect to have to recharge frequently when you're out and about.
    • Internal Heat – Hand-in-hand with increased charge usage is increase heat generation.  I frequently get notices that my device is cooling down, and a couple of times the phone has actually closed my apps for me in an effort to cool off.  When I'm in a car, I can solve this by holding my phone directly over the AC vent (also DO NOT PLAY POKÉMON GO WHILE DRIVING), but when I'm just walking around I either have to kill the game or ... well, basically I have to kill the game.

    I'm playing on a new Nexus 5X. My battery life situation is about the same, and my phone also gets hot, but not dangerously so. For a game that's supposed to be left open—but mostly not paid attention to—for long stretches of time, it's very stupidly resource heavy. A stripped-down, 2D map view or the ability to run the game in the background and get notifications when a pokémon is near would have been much more sensible, IMO.

    I'm curious how Niantic went about deciding on what to make into a stop and what to exclude from the list.

    The data for pokéstops and gyms is all taken directly from Ingress, where they had gathered it early on from manual player submissions before having to shut down the submissions feature due to the popularity of the game.

    What stuck out for me is the fact that, especially around the launch, looking at a crowded area and seeing people walking around with their phones out, it was very likely that those people were playing Pokémon Go. People who you'd never expect to pick up a Pokémon game are playing it and it's had a substantial impact in a few different aspects of daily life (and not just positively - the fact that we need warnings on highways stating "Don't Pokémon and drive" is concerning). That's what amazed me. Just because it's expected doesn't mean it can't also be fascinating.

    Yeah, the amount of people playing the game at launch was just stunning. There was a meetup one night in my city and hundreds of people showed up. The social phenomenon of the game is one of my favorite things about it. There's a lot of grumpy turdbabies who seem to need everyone to know how much they don't like the game and that it's turning everyone into screen-bound zombies, but despite the stunning originality of that sentiment, I actually feel a lot more connected to the people I see when I'm walking around and I can tell that a lot of us are all sharing this same experience. And then there's all the heartwarming stories you guys have referred to about the impact of the game on children's hospitals and animal shelters.


  3. I SEE YOU LURKIN', and I know you're playing. Let's talk about it!

    What's your team? How's the scene in your area? Any good catches (or painful misses) lately?


  4. Career path update: I got that agency job! I'm a designer at a small studio in Madison, Wisconsin now.

    Dessert situation: apparently on Wednesdays everyone goes and gets really good malts, so I'd peg it at "agreeable".

    Boo and James like this

  5. Well, I never knew what I wanted to do as a kid, so I ended up in graphic design almost on a whim. I liked the couple of design classes I took in high school, and my local university had a really well-regarded program for it, so I kinda just went for it. It's always been really important to me to not do something for 40 hours a week for the rest of my life unless I actually enjoy it, so it's lucky that I grew to love design as much as I did. I was never the artsy kid in high school, but design's functional aesthetics spoke to me in a way that pure visual art mostly didn't.

    Right now I'm working as a designer at an odd local company where I split my time between hawking handcrafted luxury furniture, designing for a local microbrewery, and branding new business ventures like hotels, which are slowly starting to see the light of day. As far as an in-house gig goes, it's often really satisfying and interesting work and certainly the best I could hope for within a couple hundred miles, but I'll finally be moving far away from this town very soon, and I've got my sights on an agency job if I can get one.

    I'd describe the dessert situation at my current job as wanting, but not dire.


  6. Hey guys, sorry I missed OtakuBoards day. As people who follow me on Twitter know, I've been dealing with some bad stuff, so OB hasn't really been on my mind. But since I finally remembered, I figured I'd at least drop in to let anyone still around know what's up.

    Wow, I'm really sad to hear that. My immediate family has had a lot of experience with cancer surgery, radiation and chemo, so I know how brutal it is to deal with that. Hang in there, and thanks for checking in.


  7. The new season of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is really surprising me with the consistency of its quality. The show has stumbled at a few points as it ages, and I was expecting that to get worse and worse, as most shows do when their tenure gets into double digit seasons. But damned if the writers don't keep finding fresh story and character angles (even if they do lean a little too heavily on successful running jokes from earlier seasons).

    And I'll tell ya what's not surprising, and that's the quality of this season of Better Call Saul. The only thing that nagged me about the first season was my unfair but inescapable comparison of this show's relatively low stakes to Breaking Bad's nerve-shredding high stakes. Not the show's fault, it's a great story well told, and in season 2 I've finally had enough time for that juxtaposition to fade out of my mind. Now all that matters is watching Bob Odenkirk absolutely destroy in every scene.

    One show that really threw my expectations was Master of None. I'm not usually a big Aziz Ansari fan, but I was nevertheless going into this show expecting greatness on account of the hype it's received. So I was surprised when the handful of episodes I watched left me cold. It was like the writers either watched too many or too few episodes of Louie, and tried too hard to hit that same thoughtful, joke-free comedy tone. I think it's mostly because the performances are so unnatural and the topics explored are so forced and hamfisted that there's no room for any ambiguity or nuance. Reading a plot summary of an episode would be about as edifying and entertaining as watching the episode itself.

    And you know what? Let's give a disappointment shout-out to Love, too. Another show I had high expectations for. I won't spoil anything, but I'll just say that it started out really promising and ended up with me really losing any emotional investment as either of the main characters became harder and harder to relate to (in Gus' case) or root for (in either case). I get that it's supposed to be that way because that's how real life is, but it just felt like the show didn't end up with a strong angle or a point to make beyond "Love! ****'s complicated, yo!"

    At the moment I'm kind of re-discovering Louie - just finished watching the second season. What a great show!

    Also, I've lately been reading Bram Stoker's Dracula, which has been fascinating. I'm about to order Uzumaki, as I only just heard about it recently, and it looks like it's right up my alley; surreal Japanese horror at its finest!

    Great taste! Louie is such a great show, and it just gets better season after season. Uzumaki is also ridiculously good. Junji Ito really takes that one spiral concept and thoroughly mines its potential. Super inventive. You should read some of his other stuff too. I don't ever really read manga, but I'm always up for some Ito.


  8. Aside from running through David Bowie's discography front-to-back, I've been listening a lot to Lil Ugly Mane's swan song LP, Oblivion Access

    If you know Ugly Mane from anything, it's almost certainly his last LP, 2012's Mista Thug Isolation, which was  the culmination of his efforts paying homage to Memphis-style gangsta rap and horrorcore. The grim subject matter and disingenuous boasting on the album worked because, like any good Southern rap album, it didn't take itself too seriously. But in his scattering of small releases since then, Ugly steadily evolved into a more idiosyncratic style and left most of the trappings of Mista Thug Isolation behind, including almost any trace of levity.

    Oblivion Access is as uncompromisingly bleak as hip-hop comes. Its opening lyric is a sample from an audio recording of "The Hollow Men", and as Ugly has long made it clear how over this project he is, the idea of going out with a whimper (in a few different ways) was clearly on his mind. However, the album is made easier to endure through his production, which, though very different from most of his previous work, is as original and beautiful as it's always been. The level of care and thoughtfulness that clearly went into it acts as a welcome buoy when the lyrics have you chin-deep in death-wish and entropy.

     


  9. It's only 7pm here, man, nobody's closed yet.  I have the day off tomorrow, too.  If it's sunny I may go into Seattle and do some personal shopping, but otherwise I'll probably be right here, keeping the Skype thing open for anyone who wants.

    OH REALLY

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  10. Another point that just occurred to me is that many of these tiny mobile games are simply platforms for testing out certain features of their particular medium.  Take Flappy Bird, for example.  Extraordinarily simple concept—tap the screen and make the little birdy go higher.  Tap faster for higher, tap slower and it sinks like a freaking stone.  And people would spend hours and hours trying to get high scores on this thing for the sake of ... I dunno, bragging rights, I guess, but if everybody knew how dinky it was, then what was the point?

    I think by the time Flappy Bird was released, the basic concept of touchscreen games was solidly established. Hell, even the gameplay mechanic wasn't new; there have been games like that around forever, usually helicopter-themed. There was even one such game on Orange Lazarus back in the day, and I vied fiercely (and in vain, iirc) for the top score on it.


  11. just to be doing something with either diet OR exercise (depending on what you're more or less comfortable with)

    I am by no means an expert (for evidence, see my post in the I Forgot What You Guys Look Like thread), but I actually disagree with this advice. If weight loss is the goal, diet is way more important than exercise, and for most people, it's way easier to reduce your diet by 500 calories per day than to run off 500 calories per day.


  12. Ok bear with me, I just thought of this in the shower.

    We've got these fancy new "like" buttons for each post for some reason, right? So let's put them to use with a game.

    Here's how it goes:

    • Post anything funny in this thread, be it a video, image, or bawdy epigram
    • "Like" other posts that made you laugh (you can try not to laugh if you're feeling competitive about the whole thing, but be honest)
    • Don't like posts for any other reason
    • I will maintain and/or neglect a running leaderboard of the users with the most likes in this thread

    LEADERBOARD:

    ...


  13. I think OB--and, more importantly to me, myO--were probably the first places where I became deeply aware that there were whole other worlds out there, both real and virtual, inhabited by cool people, and my identity didn't have to be built around wherever I was physically living if I didn't want it to. That was pretty big for me, as I grew up in a series of small, somewhat remote towns where there wasn't much for me to identify or fit in with.