kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
If you're playing Zen Koi on Android and you're loss-averse, you need to separately back up your app data: while you can log into Google Play Games or Facebook, that doesn't sync your progress, and apparently the developer can't or won't transfer games between devices.

If your device isn't rooted, you'll want to use the Helium app (free, but you'll have to get the resulting files off your device by going into your file manager of choice and sharing them to email or the cloud; it will back up to cloud storage if you buy the app). This is a little fiddly to deal with, unfortunately; among other things, it requires you to hook your device back up to your computer whenever you restart Android. But it does work for Zen Koi--I tested it by transferring my game data from my tablet to my phone successfully.

Note: any app data backup, as far as I can tell, only works for data associated with the primary user of the Android device. If the game is being played on a restricted account or even a regular account that isn't the one that was originally set up, you can't get the data off.

(I have no idea what the situation on iOS is.)
kate_nepveu: ASCII symbols representing creatures in the game NetHack, text: "Mines of Moria, NetHack-style" (LotR (NetHack style))
After a 10+ year hiatus, indeed.

I almost certainly won't be playing, because I have so little time for games at the actual computer [*], but wow, the nostalgia hit when I heard that. There is a rather small but real circle of the Internet in which I am not "the one with the wood cat icon" or "the runner of Con or Bust" or "the Tor.com LotR rereader" or "SteelyKid's mom," but "the one with the Demogorgon, Elbereth, and Monk FAQs."

It's probably for the best, because I literally gave myself RSI ascending an extinctionist in law school, but still. I think I'm going to load all my old ascension posts now (which I still have as text files) onto my tablet and reread them later.

[*] Yes, I know that prior versions have been ported to Android, but I tried them and it's just too weird, I can't remember any of the commands without muscle memory and that makes it work not fun.

Android games

Thursday, March 12th, 2015 10:56 pm
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

That I have played and liked since the last time I wrote about this. A lot of these are really well-known, but I just beat 80 Days and thus was in the mood to jot down quick notes.

  • The Room and The Room Two, puzzle-box (usually literally) games. I have zero idea what the purported story is, and don't really care, but the moving things around to open/unlock/etc. is great. I don't think there are any jump scares, despite the horror trappings, but I'm open to correction on that.
  • Monument Valley, in which you use optical illusions in impossible architecture to travel through a very pretty world. Occasionally I felt like the solutions were more brute-force than something I could reason out, but then, my spatial skills are really weak, so maybe I'm just not good enough. Beautiful, though.
  • Another Case Solved, via [personal profile] rosefox. Mixes single puzzles of different types with "cases" that use multiple puzzles (see the screenshots for examples), has actual ongoing narrative with a definite ending. Does have in-app currency for purchase but you get enough of it just by playing (open the thing up every day) that you don't need to pay to win.
  • Out There, in which you are a frozen astronaut newly-woken in the far future and trying to make your way... home? I wish it wouldn't force you to play as a straight dude, but the combination of exploration, resource management, and tiny snippets of SF worldbuilding, were pretty addictive. After I got all three endings, I set myself to visit every solar system on the map (hey, I once ran an extinctionist in NetHack, I have these completionist urges, okay)? Ended up being 181 of them. So, it's a big map.
  • Quick Logic Problems, you know, the kind with the grids that you check things off. Includes a free puzzle every day.
  • 80 Days, a choose-your-own-adventure in which you're Passepartout but in an AU world with lots more gender parity and steampunk machines. I got this free from Amazon and then, when I couldn't get it to install on my phone, bought it so I could have it on both devices. Great writing, fabulous worldbuilding (I suspect Verne is rolling in his grave at my Passepartout kissing a mixed-race man in New Orleans), slightly fiddly inventory management system, and a incentive to bone up on my geography so I can ask characters about plausible routes to take.

What have you all been playing lately? (I wish I could play Sunless Sea, but the pace and the need to be at my desk is just no good.)

link blogging

Friday, October 18th, 2013 06:58 pm
kate_nepveu: portion of map from browser-based game (Fallen London)

1.

Back when the news that Ben Affleck was going to play Batman broke, I said elsewhere,

The thing is, I don't really care about casting for Batman because Batman is fundamentally a boring character. All he is, is a vehicle for manpain and an opportunity for more interesting people to aggregate around him. (Usually people who deserve a better protagonist.)

Superman's boring too. So there.

*drops mic, walks offstage*

And I stand by that. But [livejournal.com profile] glvalentine's Strange Horizons column Ten Worlds About Ben Affleck's Batman is still awesome with awesomesauce on top. (Why aren't we in world #5?)

2.

Know anyone starting law school or thinking about it? Recommend to them A Student's Guide to Law School, freshly-published and written by a co-worker and one of the smarter people and better attorneys I know (and I know a lot of smart people and good attorneys).

3-4.

A writer at the A.V. Club is dismayed to revisit the first Xanth book (because it may not be obvious if you're not familiar with Piers Anthony's work: trigger warning for discussions of pedophilia):

Here’s how this article was supposed to go down: As a kid, I lived in Florida. Back then I loved the books of Piers Anthony . . . . For this installment of Memory Wipe, I was going to reread A Spell For Chameleon . . . . Then, in poignant prose, I would revisit the magic of my own Floridian childhood, even though that childhood was actually pretty fucked up, but maybe not quite as fucked up as it seemed at the time. The big takeaway: Thanks, Piers Anthony, for the swell book, not mention giving me a tidy epiphany about how fantasy, geography, and nostalgia overlap in the hazy mists of reminiscence.

Instead, this happened: I reread A Spell For Chameleon, and during those excruciating hours all I could think about was what a sad, misogynistic piece of shit it is.

It seems like realizing the awfulness of Piers Anthony is a rite of passage among people who read SFF when young, so I offer it to you all for the sympathetic wince/cathartic rant factor.

Also because of this:

Ultimately, Anthony is the worst kind of misogynist: one who defends his offensive views by saying, in essence, how could he possibly hate women if he’s drooling over them all the time?

I'm not convinced that that's the "worst" kind, but it is a particularly infuriating kind, and it strikes me as relevant to sexual harassment. And that is on my mind because of recent revelations of sexual harassment by Bora Zivkovic, a very prominent man in the science blogging community (context). The most recent report (with links back to others) is by Kathleen Raven. Among other things, this prompted a massive Twitter conversation of people sharing personal tales of self-doubt caused by even much milder forms of harassment (on Storify, or try #ripplesofdoubt if you hate Storify for long things the way I do). Difficult stuff, but worth reading if consistent with your well-being.

(To be clear: Bora is not, at present, using this defense, though I am morally certain that someone somewhere has offered it on his behalf. Reading these links in the same day merely made an association that seemed a useful transition.)

5.

Fallen London players, follow this link for a tiny gift from a Rubbery Man (one not generally available since 2010, can you believe this game has been around that long?), and check out your Lodgings for some seasonal content.

6.

I think about unfollowing Elementary's writers on Twitter every Thursday, when they live-tweet the show that I don't have time to watch. But it doesn't seem worth the effort, and they do things like last week's "feud" with the writers of Sleepy Hollow, which was adorable and hilarious. And then this afternoon they started in with the knock-knock jokes and I gave up and followed @sleepywriters too just so I didn't miss anything . . .

(I have not seen Sleepy Hollow; I appreciate the comparisons everyone's making between it and Elementary regarding the dynamics of the lead pairs, but I've given up trying to watch anything but Elementary and Face Off, and I'm also a little dubious about the mythological elements that [livejournal.com profile] abigail_n points out. As for SHIELD and Korra, I'm letting those scroll off the DVR, and if someone tells me they get to be worth watching, I will pick them up from that point.)

7.

A Dark Room is a really neat minimalist web game about discovery and exploration. I hesitate to say too much about it because of those themes, but it's not too long or demanding and has a definite end, and the minimalism works very well for it. (You should run it in a browser tab that can stay open while you're away from your computer.)

ETA: now some spoilers in comments.

ETA 2013-08: apparently there are some content differences in the iOS app which sound very much not my thing.

8.

‘12 Years a Slave,’ ‘Mother of George,’ and the aesthetic politics of filming black skin, a fascinating article at the Washington Post about the racism embedded in the very "technology and grammar of cinema and photography."

kate_nepveu: alchemical symbol for antimony (Gunnerkrigg Court)
I was in a ferociously bad mood over not-very-major things [*] a little bit ago and set about trying to fix that with a comfort snack and something nice on the Internet. And I said, oh hey, it's a new month, it's time to catch up with Gunnerkrigg Court! (I can't read it a page at a time so I try to catch up monthly.)

That did the trick. I so like mild spoiler for chapter 42 )

Also, though this is not comforting in the least, it is rather interesting so far: Black Crown Project, a new browser-based game from the Fallen London folks that is kind of like a Choose Your Own Adventure horror novel—fittingly, as it was commissioned by Random House from a debut writer. It's free to play but you can speed things up with micropayments (I saw in an article that the game folks estimate that taking all the shortcuts would amount to about ten bucks). I'm actually kind of liking the current pace, however: you accumulate a maximum of twenty actions, with a new one every twenty minutes, so you stop in two or three times a day for a concentrated dose of extreme weirdness and then close the "book" for a while. They're still shaking out some bugs, but if that interests you, check it out.

not-very-major things )

epic Nexus 7 post

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013 11:27 pm
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

I've been meaning to write up my new tablet, the Nexus 7, since shortly after I got it for Christmas. I'm bumping it up the queue now because at Lunacon I said that I think it ought to be the default for someone who wants an electronic device to read books on. There are sound reasons you might want E Ink, but absent those I think people should go for the general-purpose tablet rather than a Nook or Kindle device.

This is, as far as I'm aware, the 7" tablet with the best hardware out there. The screen is gorgeous, it's fast and responsive, and it runs the latest version of Android (which automatically updates). I love the built-in swipe typing, which is practically magic, and the N7 in portrait orientation is just the right width to make that really comfortable. The only minor flaw is that its camera is front-facing, meant for Skype etc. (which I haven't had occasion to try yet), and so it's very difficult to use for anything else. I've taken it on a couple of trips now as a netbook substitute (with a Bluetooth keyboard), and it's been great; the only ordinary things it hasn't been able to do are a few things in WordPress.

As for reading, here's why I think it actually should be the default choice for that purpose: the available apps mean that you can get books from anywhere and extensively customize your reading experience; together with the screen, that means the N7 can be very versatile, simple, and comfortable to read with.

more detail )

Great Big List o' Apps )

Final notes:

I like this cover (don't get this one, it started coming apart after a month), this Bluetooth keyboard (picked because it was in Staples when I needed one and had comfortable keys, unlike the Microsoft keyboard also there), and this travel charger (though it does not play nice with my Sony ereader, unlike the included N7 charger).

The manual fails to tell you the critical piece of information that you can paste text into an empty text field by a long press on that field.

If you're moving files onto the N7 by plugging the USB cable into your computer, the N7 has to be awake and not in the lock screen to start.

I was going to do a screenshot of my home page, but I would have had to fuzz out so much it wasn't worth it. I have: a Weather Channel widget with the forecast; GMail and Google Calendar widgets showing my inbox and schedule for the next few days; three Remember the Milk widgets (one showing current/upcoming stuff, one showing (sigh) overdue stuff, one linking straight to my shopping list); and a whole lot of folders for apps.

What else would you like to know?

Digression regarding Calibre Companion )

three links

Monday, December 17th, 2012 10:33 pm
kate_nepveu: The One Ring on green background (LotR (The One Ring))

MTV asks Martin Freeman, Ian McKellan, and Andy Serkis, to play Fuck, Marry, Kill with Tolkien characters, and it is amazing: three-minute video.

(Nb.: not seeing The Hobbit until this weekend, no movie spoilers.)

The Gameological Society has an ode to Glitch, for those of you who played.

Tobias Buckell, "How I used Kickstarter to reboot a book series, and my career (and maybe my life?)".

Okay, I'm done now, honest.

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

is currently downloading on my computer. Not actually sure if it's my kind of thing, as spatial puzzles are not my strength, but hey, it's currently free, so I figure the worst that can happen is I get a little motion sick and then uninstall it. Right?

P.S.: The Game Is a Lie, by by faviconyhlee (spoilers).

Black cherries in syrup feature prominently. I would never think of substituting radium, which blackens on exposure to air, for the cocoa. Although the blue glow is delightful, Aperture Science has no further need for experimental data on that recipe variant.

(Yes, I know spoilers for a game I had no intention of playing. Geek culture, after all.)

miscellany

Thursday, December 9th, 2010 10:52 pm
kate_nepveu: ocelet in profile, lying on shelf with head hanging slightly over edge (ocelet)
  • I have a Starveling Cat in Echo Bazaar now! Thank you again, [personal profile] yhlee. I can't express how much this amuses me. Anyone who's playing that I don't already know, leave your username in comments and I'll follow you under my game account.
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (recorded off cable, half-watched while stitching) is not a very good movie. Granted, it wasn't a very good book. But I wouldn't have thought it possible to make the action sequences of the ending so boring on-screen.
  • Reinventing the stitching wheel, part 25 in a series: linen turns out to not be a good fabric for blackwork.
  • My car needs major repairs for the second time this year. I will not have put enough money into it to equal the payments I would have made on a new car this year, but I'm worried that I'm on the downward slide (it's a 2003 Prius with almost 94K miles). And I'm sad that I no longer love it. Any suggestions for feeling happy with one's older car again?
  • The problem with Horton Hatches the Egg is that Horton is a Mary Sue, specifically the kind where the virtue of the protagonist is demonstrated by piling absurd pain and indignity on top of absurd pain and indignity. (Like an early Mercedes Lackey novel, or an SGA post-"Trinity" fic, except that Horton hasn't blown up a solar system.)
  • I haven't done a SteelyKid post in ages, so those of you who don't follow Chad's blog won't have seen this recent picture. I have to point it out because it is so characteristic: open book, bare feet (she will not wear socks if she has a choice about it), random item of clothing she saw and insisted on wearing, stuffed animals, and big grin. That's our toddler.

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