So Mikko Rautalahti on Twitter wrote a thread of how video game AI turned a mild player gaffe into a spectacularly dumb display of “logical” behavior [cw: language]. If I ever need to make AI-controlled characters that sophisticated, I think I might accidentally create a situation in which many characters decide the most logical course of action is to smooch each other.

Or maybe it won’t be an accident.

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Iron Pixie Adventure Party

This is a post about Steel-Fairy Pokémon, because it’s my blog and no one can make me not dedicate a post to Steel-Fairy Pokémon. It’s a fantastic defensive typing with 10 resistances, 2 immunities, and only 2 weaknesses, but what I really want to talk about are some amusing coincidences concerning Pokémon with such typing.

There are exactly three species of Steel-Fairies – Mawile, Klefki, and Magearna. It so happens that each one specializes in a different category of move:

  • Mawile is a Physical specialist, having a movepool that’s well-suited to physical attacking, and a good Attack stat that goes sky-high if it Mega Evolves
  • Magearna is a Special specialist, having excellent Sp. Attack and the exclusive Fleur Cannon move
  • Klefki is a Status specialist, having the Prankster ability and learning many status moves, including the exclusive Fairy Lock and the rare Crafty Shield

This may bring to mind the RPG character archetypes of Fighter, Mage, Thief. In fact, according to Pokemon Sun’s Pokédex, Klefki is literally a thief (source).

If a fanartist would do me a favor and draw Mawile, Magearna, & Klefki as a Fighter, Mage, & Thief adventuring party, I’d love that~

Miraian Fashion

This time, I’d like to show you some outfits I’ve put together in Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX! It’s a bit more limited compared to other dress-up systems I’ve played with – you choose 1 head and 1 outfit (with outfits from other same-gender characters allowed), with some pieces allowing you to freely change 1 color. On the plus side, it’s all in Nendoroid style, which means it’s all very cute. 😀

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“Raaa, I’m a pumpkin!”

So HiveMC recently released a wonderfully whimsical Minecraft minigame called “Pumpkinfection”, in which some people are pumpkins and want everyone else to be pumpkins, too. Whenever I play it, I start hearing this bit of video in my head, which only adds to the experience.

“Take me seriously as a pumpkin, please!”

(FYI to peeps from the future, HiveMC says this is a temporary game and might not stick around after Halloween.)

On Mii Fighter Final Smashes

Note: All links go to the same video with different timestamps.

I find it interesting how the Mii Fighters in Super Smash Bros. Wii U / 3DS mimic the Final Smashes of the main cast.

Mii Brawler mimics Greninja.
Mii Gunner of course mimics Samus.
And Mii Swordfighter mimics Wii Fit Trainer for some reason.

Although, it may be more accurate to say “Wii Fit Trainer mimics Mii Swordfighter for some reason.” Shooting sword slashes? That kinda makes sense for someone who’s sharing the stage with Link and Kirby, who have also used swords for projectile attacks. But shooting yoga poses? Wut?

Game Design Analyses for the Week of March 11

Quick Analyses

You Have To Burn the Rope is an amusing case of disproportionate reward. In exchange for a minute or so of extremely trivial gameplay, the game literally sings praises of you.

Redder is a minimalistic Metroidvania game made in Flash. For a reason I hope to figure out someday, Flash-based Metroidvanias typically fail to resonate with me, and Redder was no exception. However, the game made excellent use of its few mechanisms.

Canabalt is interesting in that its setting – the rooftops of a city experiencing a robot-induced apocalypse – seems to be the main draw of the game.

Super Puzzle Platformer is a delightfully literal interpretation of the term “puzzle platformer”. Though it’s basically SameGame, the fact that you must act via an avatar on the board instead of an omnipotent cursor makes a world of difference.

In-Depth Analysis

Rescue: The Beagles is a delightful action-platforming game. It has a fast pace, but because of the gameplay area’s large size and the speed at which you can maneuver it, you have time to think in spite of that pace. And there is much to think about…

The gameplay area consists of four vertically-stacked randomly-generated paths. Each path changes elevation frequently, and advances at a rate which slightly differs from its neighbors. Thus, those parts of the playing field which can be traversed with a given difficulty and a given degree of item usage will mutate constantly. Beagles and items offer a plethora of targets to strive for to motivate your movement across this landscape.

The game gives the same penalty to the loss of a beagle as it gives to damage to your character – one life is lost. This has interesting gameplay consequences, as rescuing those adorable dogs becomes equally as important as protecting yourself, and moves that risk your life become justifiable if they enable beagle-gathering. This makes skill-building in judging which moves won’t cost your life practically mandatory, and contributes to establishing the game’s setting of a beagle rescue mission.

Your limited supply of ropes and parachutes presents an interesting constraint. Use them too much and you won’t have one when you need one. But can the extras that have appeared on the playing field be collected in time? More can appear on the field, but will they come soon enough? Just how much use of them is justified to meet your goals? Will the shifting landscape open a route that doesn’t require them in time? Developing the skills to answer these questions adds to the thrill of the gameplay.

The scoring system – the manipulation of which is the only way to earn extra lives – suffers one unfortunate flaw, which is that the valuable special bonuses are practically only learnable via the text file that is distributed alongside the game. The in-program documentation makes no mention of them, and if you earn one by accident, unintuitive names, which all include the word “Flow” for no discernible reason, make it difficult to figure out how to earn them again.

Overall, a wonderful and exciting game.

Geeky nostalgia

I wanted to go out and do some volunteer work today. I never leave the house without some sort of Nintendo gadget in my pocket. But my DS was badly in need of charging, and I never bothered to repair or replace my worn-out GBA.

So I did all of today’s running around and volunteering with a Game Boy Color in my pocket. Appropriate considering the volunteer work was for California Extreme, an arcade & pinball game show which includes an awful lot of old games.

If anyone’s up for some retro awesomeness, I highly recommend installing ROM CHECK FAIL from www.Farbs.org. It’s available for Windows & Linux but the Linux version seems a tad crash-prone.