Derik Badman's Journal

2021-04-14 08:46

Keep getting sucked into work earlier in the morning which then steals my time for working on any of my now rather numerous projects. Started a conversation with the boss about changing my role at work a bit, hoping to be able to shift into more front-end development work and less back-end work. I am much better at the front-end work: I enjoy it more, so I keep up with it more, so I am more skilled and knowledgable about it. Plus all the back-end server, performance, infrastructure, etc. stuff really stresses me out.

Started playing Disco Elysium on the Playstation. Have heard great things about it for more than a year now, and they finally ported it to PS. Trying to limit my playing to 1 hour max a day. It's a extremely strange and interesting rpg. It's a detective narrative in a sci-fi/fantasy alternate world, not explicitly futuristic just... other. Recognizably like our real world but just not it. It makes it rather disorienting at times, which plays into the narrative, because the character you play (a detective) starts the game without any memory (even of his own name), so you basically learn the world as he re-learns the world. It is extremely well written, there is a lot of text as you have not only lots of conversations with other characters, but also intense series of conversations with... aspects of yourself, I guess you would say. The voice acting of all these various characters has also been excellent. A lot of the mechanics of it appear to be happening silently in the background, a noticed once after the game crashed and I had to replay a couple bits, that the internal voices changed on the second playthrough, that is, which aspects talked to me about the same event, as if there is some kind of randomization going on based I assume both on my chosen attributes and skills but also how I've acted in the past. I also really like that when you try something using one of your skills it shows you a percentage chance of success and then shows you a 2d6 roll to determine success. So far it's just been a lot of walking around, talking to people, looking at stuff, and just learning what the hell is going on. I'm supposed to be solving a murder, but haven't even managed to examine the corpse. Your character starts out not only amnesiac, but really hungover and missing his stuff (even his badge), so everything starts out as a struggle. Quite enjoying it.

About halfway through The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold which takes place in the same world as (and precedes I guess) the Penric & Desdemona novellas I read last year. As a fantasy novel it is quite unusual, almost all political intrigue so far. No real fights, no monsters (other than human ones), extremely little in the way of the supernatural excepting a few occurences related to the gods of the setting, and the main aspect of that didn't happen until about halfway through. There's no real quest narrative either, just a protagonist trying to do his best at his job (secretary/teacher to a princess of sorts). Bujold doesn't info dump, but rather just lets the world building happen as necessary for the plot. You have to infer a certain amount as you go. Curious to see where it ends up.