Archive for DIY

Linksplosion: T-shirts, ‘Hefty Seamstress’, and more

Screenshot: "I'm no genius": Heavy Seamstress in action

I’d promised to write something, anything!, for Artifice Books, but its editor Tadd was not too sure about my very first pitch, a catalogue of movie clips in which women get punched in the face.

So I scrapped that plan, and instead I have written on the subject of George Buckenham and Jonathan Whiting’s Hefty Seamstress. I recommend playing the game, too (it’s over here).

A screenshot from 'The Sea will Claim Everything'

I got a really nice, personalized press email from “Gnome”—his real name is Konstantinos Dimopoulos, I’ve just learned!—and he is campaigning hard for the Bundle-in-a-Box Adventure Games bundle. As with many other bundles, this collection is pay-what-you-like; not only are seven games included, a copy of the well-received Ben There, Dan That! is in the mix. Why, yes, the games are DRM-free, since you were wondering. In the meantime, the Bundle-in-a-Box heralds the launch of The Sea Will Claim Everything. All this can be yours for just hundreds of pennies! PC adventure gamers, you can’t beat that!

How They Died by Aled Lewis

Aled Lewis’s “How They Died” is now available as a T-shirt.

Photo: New Buff Monster minis look a lot like Katamari

I’m not sure Buff Monster’s new series of minis is supposed to look like Katamari, but ALBOTAS is right to make the comparison anyway.

Foldschool Heroes: turn classic systems into papercraft

Foldskool Heroes (via it8bit) is a downloadable template that you can turn into custom papercraft of your own. I really like this! It sort of reminds me of those blank vinyl Soopa Coin-Up Bros figurines.

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The gAtari looks silly, sounds rad

I think my favorite part about the gAtari 2600—besides, you know, the body of the guitar is an actual 2600—is how the “frets” are just these ginormous footpedals, all fused onto the “fingerboard” in a row.

No, I realize the pedals are actually being used to play loops (Right?? And then the “whammying”), but they look hilarious. This machine does not sound hilarious, however. Rather, it sounds awesome.

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‘Love Plus’ now playable in English

Screenshot: Rest Mode in 'Love Plus'

I have, more than once, written in defense of Love Plus, a game I have never even played. (In fact, I have only played and critiqued one high school dating simulation, Brooktown High for PSP. My review appeared in Electronic Gaming Monthly in 2007; I remember feeling very conflicted, because that game was hardly The Worst.)

In early 2010, the Japanese-language dating simulation got a ton of maybe-undue coverage, mostly because the types of people we figure are playing Love Plus on their Nintendo DSes are, we imagine, Akihabara-dwelling hikikomori who have never touched a breast that isn’t made of plasticized vinyl.

In April of last year, I admittedly got a little agitated and said too, too much about Love Plus+’s “Rest Mode.” Soon after that post, someone anonymously asked me to go into more detail, so I did:

…I can’t condemn a love simulation like Love Plus+ because that game only asks the heart to do real things in artificial situations.

Much worse, I think, is behaving artificially during true situations. And that is a truly human behavior. I guess in that way, some games train us to be better than ourselves.

So if Love Plus+ really is about manipulating girls and playing romantic odds, to hell with it. But if it instead teaches painful moments of human connection, which are rare in these times, that’s awesome! Embrace it! “Personal Trainer: Heartbreak.”

The point of all this is, I’ve always wanted to play Love Plus, since God knows I’ve already stormed the Internet with all my readymade assessments of the game. No more excuses: an English-language fan translation is now available as a patch.

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I made you something!

So yesterday I decided it was time to get serious, grow some professionalism, and brand my Twitter page as if I were suddenly some sort of social media maverick. And wow, what a bad fit. I don’t think putting my email address on my Twitter page was the right decision for me at all. It’s just so douchey, right?

My friend Chris has said to me—and I think this might be true—that my tweets are all “snark and mortal peril.” Ugh, I hate when Chris is right. I generally tweet only when I’m annoyed, or if something has just almost hit me. I can’t brand that stuff! And I will need to be extra-careful with Google+, because there are only so many ways I can announce that I’m angry before everyone in my “circles” “mutes” me. We’ll see.

Nonetheless, while I was working on my Twitter background in Photoshop, I started thinking of the 1982 short film Arcade Attack, which is all about how Space Aliens are Invading the City and Murdering Pinball.

Inspired (sort of), I found a Manhattan skyline, complete with a Radiator Building—which looked more like a Chrysler Building until I sawed the top off—and then I grunged everything up using Eduardo Recife’s Photoshop brushes. The Invaders are just dingbats, anyway, so I basically did zero work.

My new Twitter background, as I discovered seconds after I uploaded it, makes for a terrible Twitter background. So I debranded it, rebranded it, and uploaded it as downloadable desktop wallpaper for you! I don’t know who on Earth would ever want Infinite Lives desktop wallpaper, so I’m sorry.

Here’s the good news! The image’s dimensions are 1920×1440, which is the size of nobody’s monitor, so if you clip the top of the image to fit your widescreen monitor, it’s debranded again like magic.

On my MacBook, using the “Fill Screen” desktop setting:

A live screencast! JK.

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Could you run as far as your WoW character?

“My character was running all over the place,” I wrote in 2005, “and I freaked out because I was like, ‘If I were running this much and this often, I would weigh 90 pounds.’ And then I quit playing because I felt like I should have been investing more time in, uh, moving.”

I’d just sworn off playing Final Fantasy XI for PS2. That version of the MMORPG had come bundled with a proprietary hard drive; consequently, I’d felt obligated to play the game for months. I had tired of levelgrinding, and of fetch quests, but above all I was tired of running.

Over at Hack a Day, there’s a blurb about two guys who wanted to “see what it would be like to run as much as their World of Warcraft characters”—I guess the existential weirdness of watching your avatar live more healthily than you do had gotten to them, too.

These WoW fans rigged two treadmills up to their computers and, in full WoW regalia, commenced on what they’ve christened the RL Race Across Azeroth. The whole write-up (edit: since removed) is hilarious, the rig itself is extremely clever, and the corresponding video (edit: since removed?!) is adorable.

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