3D Wars 4: La Femme to the Rescue

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Since June of 2015, there has been a sometimes less than friendly war between Daz Studio and Poser which basically share a small community of 3D rendering hobbyists.

That was when Daz released their latest advanced model Victoria 7 specifically designed to not work in Poser.  Now some people have found often complicated ways to get Vicky 7 to work in Poser, but because it was not designed for that program its use was limited.  At the time, Daz Studio had features, like physics rendering with their IRay renderer, that Poser could not match.

Then in early 2016, Poser 11 came out with their own physics renderer Superfly, and a bunch of other techie stuff like “Subdivision surface morphing” (what the community now calls “chips”) which allows a better control of the face (or other parts) for the purposes of animation, and adaptable figure weighting making it much easier to create new figures.

This was great and all, but it went over most of our heads.  How does this help us Poser users make beautiful pictures like the people using Daz Studio are doing?

While we got some new models to work with, like Dawn and Dusk by Hivewire3D, Paul and Pauline by Smith Micro, and Project Evolution by Erogenesis there was only limited support and add-ons.  Basically, many hobbyists like myself were stuck with Victoria 4.2 with a bunch of add-ons to fix her many flaws.

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Enter La Femme

A few of the more techie hobbyists got together a year ago to start working on a new figure that would take full advantage of subdivision surface morphing and adaptable figure weighting that most of us still don’t understand and came up with a new model named La Femme.

I made the above picture to demonstrate her features.  This is the model straight out of the box with zero morphs and add-ons.  Notice the joints: Shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, hands and feet.  I didn’t have to adjust a single joint to get it to look good, it did it on its own.

The point is is that the weighted figure can do any weird pose that humans can do and look like a human is doing them.  That is what adaptable figure weighting is all about.

The “free” version  comes with 140 facial morphs and 30 facial “chips” that can be used to make almost any face you want.  At the top of this post is a La Femme version of Ariane I made playing with those 140 dials.

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If you’re into this stuff, you probably want to get the body morphs, too.  This is not free and comes in two parts.  There is the basic body kit, which adds a ton of new dials to controlling the body shape, and the high definition kit that doubles the polygons in certain parts of both the face and body to significantly increase the detail.  These two were designed to compliment each other and make pretty much any kind of body you want.

Bottom line is it surpasses Daz’s Genesis 8 in complexity thanks to the use of tools not available in Daz Studio yet.

The Big Question: Will it be supported?

Even thought I have already created a La Femme version of Ariane, I plan to finish Ariane in Paradise with the V4 version.  Partly because I am too far into the project now to switch models, and partly because there isn’t a very good selection of clothing or poses available yet.

Genesis 8 currently has many advantages.  There are more users of Daz Studio than there are of Poser, and there is a big catalog of characters and clothing available for her.

To be successful, La Femme needs similar and continuing support.  More characters, more clothing, more exclusives.  Because it cannot be used in Daz Studio, that support has to come from us Poser users.

I personally will be watching with great interest.

 

State of the Internet: Filled With Fraud

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In the last year, I wrote about government interference in the internet, and corporate interference of the internet, but there is another group that has to be acknowledged, the users themselves who often use illegal means to make money online.  This group is decentralized and located all over the world.  The internet is filled with fraud.

Advertising Fraud

Hucksters infected 1.7 million computers with malware that remotely directed traffic to “spoofed” websites — “empty websites designed for bot traffic” that served up a video ad purchased from one of the internet’s vast programmatic ad-exchanges, but that were designed, according to the indictments, “to fool advertisers into thinking that an impression of their ad was served on a premium publisher site,” like that of Vogue or The Economist.

Views, meanwhile, were faked by malware-infected computers with marvelously sophisticated techniques to imitate humans: bots “faked clicks, mouse movements, and social network login information to masquerade as engaged human consumers.”

Some were sent to browse the internet to gather tracking cookies from other websites, just as a human visitor would have done through regular behavior. Fake people with fake cookies and fake social-media accounts, fake-moving their fake cursors, fake-clicking on fake websites — the fraudsters had essentially created a simulacrum of the internet, where the only real things were the ads.

Increasingly sophisticated scam artists are stealing millions from advertisers trying to get the word out to legitimate potential customers, whose ads are actually going to robots pretending to be interested customers.

According to New York Magazine where the above quote came from, about 40% of users on the internet are bots using a number of different schemes to steal advertising revenue.

It is not just malware, it is legitimate apps doing it too.

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Amazon Fraud

For sellers, Amazon is a quasi-state. They rely on its infrastructure — its warehouses, shipping network, financial systems, and portal to millions of customers — and pay taxes in the form of fees. They also live in terror of its rules, which often change and are harshly enforced. A cryptic email like the one Plansky received can send a seller’s business into bankruptcy, with few avenues for appeal.

Sellers are more worried about a case being opened on Amazon than in actual court, says Dave Bryant, an Amazon seller and blogger. Amazon’s judgment is swifter and less predictable, and now that the company controls nearly half of the online retail market in the US, its rulings can instantly determine the success or failure of your business, he says. “Amazon is the judge, the jury, and the executioner.”

Amazon is far from the only tech company that, having annexed a vast sphere of human activity, finds itself in the position of having to govern it. But Amazon is the only platform that has a $175 billion prize pool tempting people to game it, and the company must constantly implement new rules and penalties, which in turn, become tools for new abuses, which require yet more rules to police. The evolution of its moderation system has been hyper-charged. While Mark Zuckerberg mused recently that Facebook might need an analog to the Supreme Court to adjudicate disputes and hear appeals, Amazon already has something like a judicial system — one that is secretive, volatile, and often terrifying.

A recent article on The Verge called “Prime and Punishment” documented the cut throat underbelly of fraudsters undermining legitimate businesses using any tactics they can to get to the top of the search results.

For example, people used to buy five star reviews to get high on the search results, but then Amazon started deleting accounts that paid for five star reviews, so now some merchants are buying five star reviews for their competitors, then reporting their competitors and getting their competitors kicked off of Amazon. Read the full article for other dirty tricks.

This reminds me of the craziness that occasionally happened in Second Life‘s virtual marketplace for virtual items.  Every week new drama emerged on the forums of a new fraud attack. It comes with the territory of online sales.

But Amazon has become so big, they need more than just automated processes to settle billions of disputes.  It is making the worlds largest shopping site completely untrustworthy.

One could make the case that these are individuals using the site to be fraudulent to others, not the fault of Amazon.  But Amazon is far from faultless when it comes to being honest in business.  Just look at their underhanded fleecing of government in the “headquarters 2” debacle.  It’s like they are encouraging fraud.

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App Fraud

The last week there were headlines about a version of the Facebook app that monitored everything you do on the phone.  They paid teens $20 a month to use it.  This violated Apple’s terms of service, prompting Apple to block Facebook’s enterprise license, deactivating all beta versions of Facebook app being used internally.

But it is not just Facebook, a day later Apple did it to Google as well.

In both cases these license revocations only affected beta versions of apps that might be released in the future, not the popular apps used by most people.  Apple determined that both companies were distributing these beta apps outside the company, and that is what triggered the terms of service locks.

Meanwhile, it seems every few weeks there are articles like this one about popular apps that do a lot more than what they are supposed to be doing.

Fraud seems to show up a lot in the app stores.  If you search for “Messenger” thinking you will get Facebook Messenger, you will likely get instead one of a number of ad filled message monitoring apps that will cause unwanted pop up ads all over the place.

You know those Flashlight apps?  You don’t need them. You can turn on a flashlight on your phone very easy without an app.  Ditto apps with Q code and bar code readers. Your phone’s camera does that automatically without an app.  Then there are popular religious apps with bible quotes.  All of these are filled with ads.

Worst are “free” security apps like software cleaners and virus protection and “anti hacking” apps.  If you are not paying for a service, your phone is being flooded with ads.  These will hack your home screen and are sometimes very difficult to remove.

While I am on the topic, let me point out the fraud of “Freemium” games that Facebook was illegally pushing on minors at their parents expense.  Gaming fraud deserves a post all its own.

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Millions Lost

These are three areas where the internet has become the wild west.  It seems there is no software to protect yourself from fraudsters that isn’t itself also a fraud.  Promises of easy money online are just that: promises.

Want another example? Here is an article about defrauding kickstarter campaigns by publishing articles “for a fee”.  I wouldn’t be surprised if similar scam artists are defrauding gofundme pages of people trying to fund life saving medical treatments.

For every person who has gotten rich off the internet there are dozens that have lost.  It’s like in the movie Ready Player One, where if you kill a player, you collect all their gold, and the dead player has to start over at square one.  It’s a very good metaphor for internet based businesses today.

It seems that everyone has a scam to sell, and the internet has grown so thick with these scams that many actually support government and corporate take over to get rid of it.  Then only the big boys will make money online, and the economic hopes of the internet will be lost.

I’ve already lost hope that the internet would be the Great Equalizer that was promised. I suspect that what we will see is the continuous rise and fall of internet based empires.  If you want to play in this environment, my best advice is to watch your back.

Erotic Visual Novels Part 6

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Another year another group of erotic visual novels to check out.

Coming to Grips with Christine

Written and programmed by Tlaero
Graphics and sex scenes by Mortze
Download Link
Online Link

Coming to Grips with Christine is the latest game by Tlaero and Mortze, it is a sequel to a previous game by Tlaero and Phreaky Getting To Know Christine, an 8 year old game that is currently raked #2 dating sim on Playforce One.

Coming to Grips was distributed in pieces for subscribers to Tlaero and Mortze’s Patreon page, but last month they made all 5 parts available to the public for free.

Acknowledging the previous story, you have been in a relationship with Christine for some time now.  The main paths of the story involve either renewing your love for her, or drifting apart from her, especially when you meet her cute younger sister.

The two games demonstrate the changing maturity of this genre.  Getting to Know had what I call a “porn plot” — a series of crazy pretenses to get to the next erotic scene. I did a bit of that myself in SITAComing to Grips has a more mature “real life” feel to it, and it works.

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The Academy Part 1

Written, Programmed, and Graphics by dsp3000
Online and Download link

Speaking of “porn plot” pretenses for sex scenes, vdategames has recently moved the first game of the 5 part Academy series from the member section to the free to play section.  The academy series is created by dsp3000:

The Academy series takes place over one week, with each part representing one day. Parts one, two three and four were Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Part five will be Friday.

The basic plot is that you have been hired as a media expert at a female only college academy for girls.  The last person was fired for fraternization.  You have to write a report with your recommendations, but the sexy girls keep distracting you.

Part 1 makes some rookie mistakes, the introduction section is a bit too long, as I had to repeat it a few times as I kept on getting fired myself.  The graphics are not that interesting either, though I have already seen his later games and the graphics are improving.

What does work is some of the puzzles.  The first involves finding login codes to the cameras so you can see what’s going on from your desk. The second involves fixing a secret camera hidden in the girls locker room fire detector, and you have to get in there to replace the battery.  This is where I kept on messing up.

I’m trying to create some puzzles of this sort for my games. His ideas are better than mine.

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These Nights In Cairo

Written, Programmed, and Graphics by Salamandra88
Published by 7DOTS via Steam
Link to purchase

This past June Steam decided that they were tired of trying to censor every game on their library and allow erotic games on their system, so I decided to look into what was being offered there, especially during the December sales.  Unfortunately most of them looked pretty bad.

One of the games I decided to try out was These Nights in Cairo, a Renpy based classic visual novel made in Russia. It got a lot of very positive reviews, so I bought it.

The story is set about a century ago, you play a female character Margaret Dawson whose father is looking for a lost Egyptian temple.  There are curses and strange twists in the story to keep it interesting, and similarities to the 1999 version of “The Mummy” are purely coincidental.   The story is interesting, the translation to English is very good (the game was originally in Russian), and the original music is well done. The images are hand drawn hand painted and look like western style comic illustrations rather than the traditional manga style you see in most visual novels.  It’s very beautiful.

My only real complaint is that many key action scenes are not illustrated.  The finale has about 5 or 6 important things happening at the same time, only one of which is actually illustrated.  This includes many of the love scenes, there are naked backsides and side boobs but nothing very explicit.  There are at least three potential lovers (two males, one female), the heroine is a modern female trapped in a male dominated era.

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One of the things they did in this game (which is actually common to many visual novels) is that when the character you are playing says a line, it shows a portrait of your character along with the line.  They also added in different expressions.  I liked this feature so much, I’m adding it to Ariane in Paradise, the Renpy visual novel I am working on.

Of course that is the reason I play these games, it inspires my own games.  Plus the games themselves are fun.

An Interactive Adventure writer reviews an Interactive Episode of Black Mirror

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On December 28 2018,  Netflix released a stand alone episode of their hit series Black Mirror called “Bandersnatch”, which was a first of its kind experiment that allowed you to change the story by picking options along the way.

Before I delve into spoilers, here is my brief non-spoiler review of the episode: As an episode of Black Mirror, it is actually one of the weaker ones.  Most episodes go with the “Speculative sci-fi” premise of introducing a new potentially great technology that may theoretically exist in the future someday, and tell a story about that technology creating some kind of drama.  I’m a huge fan of speculative sci-fi, so I am also a huge fan of Black Mirror — most of the time.

This episode actually introduces a technology of an interactive TV episode (which has only existed in a limited way with interactive DVDs, this is the first of its kind for streaming) and proceeds to create artificial drama with the technology itself.  This is ultimately a rather cheesy thing to do: You are introducing a potentially groundbreaking and profitable technology, in a way that satirizes the same technology making it less desirable in the future.

The rest of this review contains spoilers.

Bandersnatch Black Mirror

The story is about Stefan, a promising young programmer in 1984 who is working on a computerized version of a complex and very thick choose your own adventure book called “Bandersnatch” by Robert B. Davies.

I have a personal connection to this story as in 1984, I was also writing adventure games in BASIC on a TI 99/4a that did not have enough memory and constantly crashed. I was writing text based adventures in the style of Colossal Cave or Zork, though at the time mine were pretty lame.  In the last couple of decades I have been independently writing and publishing my own choose your own adventure games, formally known as visual novels, some of them are rather successful.

Bottom line, not only do I know what writing interactive fiction is like, but I also know what programming was like in 1984.  I’ve experienced “the hole” as one character calls it, though I have never ever in my life heard it called that.  I could actually be a technical advisor on this episode, and nit pick all the stuff they got wrong, and maybe that is why I am giving it 2.5 out of 5, but I’d rather just stick with reviewing the episode itself.

There are basically 8 endings, only two of which are satisfying, I’ll call them the “TOY” ending and the “Perfect Game” ending.  Most of the endings have the main character dying or in prison.  The three exceptions are easily the worst.

The first ending you are likely going to his is one of those bad ones. The main character sells out to the gaming company, and produces a bad game. I’ll label this the “tutorial” ending, and if it was the first ending you got, so did almost everybody.  The other two awful endings are the “Netflix” endings (“Netflix/Window” and “Netflix/Fight”) which are 4th wall breaking cheesy plots that some viewers will probably find entertaining, but it ultimately just shits all over the whole concept and ruins it.  Basically I stopped looking for new endings after I saw this one.

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The next two bad endings are also fourth wall breaking, and involve visiting Colin and dropping acid. Colin breaks the fourth wall by saying we are in a game, stuck in a loop, but the speech worked much better when delivered by the Luteces in Bioshock Infinite.

Colin tries to prove his point by saying either he or Stefan should jump to their deaths off the high rise balcony.  Choosing Stefan leads to the “nozedive” ending, choosing Colin leads to Colin jumping rather casually and opening up an ending I’ll call “PACS” which is a less meta version of the Netflix endings, where Stefan is the subject of an elaborate conspiracy.  This is actually the second ending after “Tutorial” that I got.

The third ending I got, is the last of the eight, which I’ll call “Kill dad, bury dad” named after the choices you do to get there, which actually has a number of versions depending on whether you dropped acid with Colin or not. They all end basically the same: Stefan never finishes the game, goes to prison for murder, and the game company goes bankrupt.  While not as bad as the meta endings, it lacks a coherent story.

The two good endings

“Toy”, or to be exact “any cereal, any music, refuse, yes talk about your mother, no don’t go with mom, either album, yell at dad, follow Colin,  Yes, Colin, pull earlobes, flush them, hit desk, pick up book, enter TOY, yes go with mom” is the story of a troubled young man that blames himself for the death of his mom who died in a train derailment when he was five.  Thanks to an LSD trip he has a realistic vision of himself going back and changing things in the past and being with his mom at the time of the accident.  This results in him dying along with his mom.  Since he really isn’t time traveling, he can’t actually save her, but he can be there and make her last moments happy.  His real body just suddenly dies in his psychologists office.

“Perfect Score”, or to be exact “any cereal, any music, refuse, no don’t talk about your mother, no don’t talk about your mother, any album, yell at dad, visit Dr Haynes, pull earlobes, flush them, hit desk, pick up either, JFD, Throw Tea, Glyph symbol, kill dad, chop up body.” is the story of a novel “Bandersnatch” that drives people mad.  The original author of the novel went crazy while writing it and chopped off his wife’s head, the author of the video game adaption went crazy and chopped off his dad’s head, and the episode ends in the present day with a woman named Pearl (Colin’s daughter?) adapting the novel/game for Netflix, and showing the same early signs of madness.

These two work on their own, the first sad, the second creepy, and could probably be released as stand alone episodes.  If you want a whole map of the show you can find one here.

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Lessons for future interactive TV producers

Interactive stories have been around for decades, and there are a lot of really good ones. A recent famous good one is Detroit: Become Human by David Cage who also made Heavy Rain and Beyond Two Souls.  These stories generally have one good happy ending, and a large number of tragic bad endings. This is also the general pattern of most of the Tell Tale Games before they closed.

Another really good interactive story writer is Ragnar Tørnquist who did the trilogy The Longest Journey, Dreamfall, and Dreamfall Chapters.  His stories branch off in many directions, but then tie themselves together in a big finale.  Any path in which you survive leads to the same ending, but the differing paths lead to more details about the story, characters, and settings.  This is how my game Rachel Meets Ariane works.

My favorite kind of interactive story is rare, and the most difficult kind to pull off.  It is where every path leads to a different and interesting ending on its own, but there is a greater story if you follow all of the paths.  This is what I was going for with Something’s In The Air, it was successfully done in Tlaero and Mortze’s Saving Chloe I have heard that Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors is designed to work this way, but I have never played it to find out.

I’m hoping that “Bandersnatch” is not the end of interactive TV programming.  Charlie Booker is a very clever guy, but his lack of experience writing branching stories shows. It takes years of practice.  My message for future interactive TV producers is learn from Black Mirror’s mistakes: Don’t add branches just for the sake of adding branches, if you can’t make every branch interesting, then trim those dead branches.  Stay the hell away from “meta” stories.  Learn story structure from interactive games, the best ones don’t always fit the usual three act structure of linear story telling.

Rachel Meets Ariane: The Game

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Being that it is close to the holidays, and the game is set during the holidays, I thought I should finally release the Rachel Meets Ariane game.

How do I download?

Links to the PC, Mac, and Linux versions are available at the bottom of the “Rachel and Ariane” page.  As of now, it is only in English, and there is no android version.

Why the delay?

Two fold. First, It was just easier to share the short story online than put it in a game.  Second, this was a bit of a failed experiment.

My original intent was to start with the two characters meeting, then based on 4 possible scenarios from Something’s In The Air and new choices along the way, come up with multiple stories.  Unfortunately, only one of those multiple stories was interesting enough to share: the one that I did.

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Is there different material in this game?

Yes. What I have done is kept the four scenarios from Something’s In The Air, and created four versions of the story which ultimately end the same way.  So basically the beginning and the ending are the same, and many of the plot elements are the same. but there are some interesting twists to the story depending on choices.

What four scenarios?

The online story is based on the scenario that the player dated Ariane again in Something’s In The Air and ended up in a threesome with Lydia.  The other three scenarios are: the player dated Ariane again but did not end in a threesome, the player dated Rachel instead and Ariane dated Rebecca, the player dated someone else and Ariane dated Rebecca but the storm still happened.

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These other scenarios will affect the story because if Ariane never meets Lydia, then the two scenes with Lydia cannot happen.  If the player dated Rachel, then the storm never happened, so Rachel cannot ask Paula for help with the photography assignment, etc.  I basically had to write substitute versions of various scenes, some of which are better than the originals.

There are other choices along the way that change the story.  One in particular will drastically shorten the story.

Any other extra features?

There is no background for the text except for a black outline.  If you find the text difficult to read, you can change the color and font in preferences.  I made sure self voicing works (press ‘v’ to toggle it on and off).  To avoid accidentally missing text, the text scrolls in, but you can disable this feature in preferences, too.  Hitting ‘tab’ skips over scenes you have already seen.

Will there be an Android version?

Maybe.  The truth is I’m not sure the game will be very popular. 90% of the material is in the online story.

Bottom line is that I am releasing this game for completeness sake. This game picks up where Something’s In The Air leaves off, and Ariane in Paradise picks up where Rachel Meets Ariane leaves off.

Porn Bans Are Just The Beginning

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This month the most popular unfiltered social media site Tumblr has banned porn, nudity and any other sexual content starting December 17th 2018.

Of course sites have every right to ban whatever they want, I’m not that upset about the ban itself, although it likely means I’ll be off the platform in the future.

I maintained a couple of pages on tumblr including Rachel Spahr’s modeling portfolio mentioned in Something’s In The Air,  a few of the pics have already flagged for nudity.

Even though the nudity doesn’t involve actual human nudity, the new Tumblr Community Guidelines now include this line: —this includes content that is so photorealistic that it could be mistaken for featuring real-life humans (nice try, though). 

The thing that upsets me is how this came about.  Despite there always being rules against it, the site was used by criminals to share very illegal child porn. Tumblr shut it down as soon as it was reported, but the incident caused Apple to remove Tumblr’s app from their app store.  That was enough to trigger the ban.

In other words, one company forced another to change its rules. That to me is a bad sign for the future of the internet.  No it is not the first time something like this has happened, but it is the biggest case I can remember, and likely to be the first of many.

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Corporations influence on the internet

Tumblr is not some indie site. It was when it began, but then they sold out to Yahoo, who in turn sold out to AOL, who in turn sold out to Verizon.  Such is the nature of the internet right now.

My last post on the status of the internet was primarily about government policies negative effects on the internet, but the status of the internet is also heavily affected by corporate interests.

Websites need advertisers to generate revenue, and advertisers are getting picky about the websites they are willing to advertise on.  One of the biggest losers of this is You Tube.  Once a great place for smart and talented people to make money, it is not that way anymore.  One such star Comic Book Girl 19 breaks it down like this:

Corporations don’t like to advertise on controversial parts of the internet. The good news is that far right wing websites are losing a lot of money as advertisers pull away.  The bad news is that LGBT friendly websites like You Tube and Tumblr are forced to become less friendly to that community as well.

Targeted Advertising is crap!

Another thing I pointed out last time is that “targeted advertising” which is the buzzword of Google and Facebook for the last two decades is proving to not be as effective as promised.  I really think it is a scam like blockchain and bitcoin.

I visit a lot of tech sites, and as a result, tech ads follow me around.  I also visit a lot of entertainment sites, and what shows up? Tech ads.  When I go back to the tech sites, I get a bunch of entertainment ads.  To Google I ask, “How is this more effective?”  To advertisers I ask, “How is this more bang for your buck?”

It seems to me a much better way to “target advertise” is to advertise on sites that potential customers are likely to go.  That way there is no incentive for Google, Facebook, and other associated scammers to collect personal information.

VC Money is out! Consolidation is in!

For the last decade or so, the main source of income from the internet came from investors looking to get in on the next big thing.  It seems that VC money is drying up, thanks to too many lost investments, and that means you have to make money by selling a service, selling advertising, or getting bought out.

The biggest trend right now is that internet media sites are consolidating, or closing their doors.  The ones most successful at it, like Vox, Vice, and Buzzfeed are moving into multimedia and offline content.  The less successful ones are closing their doors and putting up “for sale” signs.

The overall health of the internet: Bad!

While researching this page I came across a report by Mozilla about the health of the internet. Between personal data collection, bots, “fake news”, fraud and abuse online, and a number of other factors, it looks pretty bad.

Click here for the full report.

What can be done about it? That’s a whole other post for later.

 

Ariane in Paradise Status Report: “Day 1” Done

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Ariane in Paradise is divided up into 3 days, each one being sort of a mini visual novel, which if successful leads to the next day.

I recently completed  “Day 1”, meaning I’m a third of the way done.  Day one, like act 1 of a story, is about establishing character and settings.  Day 1 objective is to learn 4 things about Ariane: She likes dancing, gymnastics, astronomy, and outdoor activities.  Of course if you play Date Ariane, you already know these 4 things about her, but it is all about getting her to talk about herself and ask the right questions. to get the right responses.

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Meanwhile, you can talk about yourself and make decisions about your character as you do.  The main decisions:  business trip vs. vacation trip, rich vs. middle class, business degree vs biology degree vs never went to college,  outdoor enthusiast vs science geek.  There are a couple of others, but they only affect minor dialogue choices.

Finally, Day 1 is about establishing the setting. There are three main paths the story can take.  One focuses on the island’s past, one on the present, and one on the future.  From a Date Ariane perspective, Day 1 = before and during dinner.

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It took me about 9 months to finish day 1. So far there are 235 pictures, and over 1000 lines of dialogue.

I practically have to start over to establish day 2.  From a Date Ariane perspective, Day 2 = downtown and outskirts.  Day 2 involves 5 new paths, 5 new sets, and different wardrobe and dialogue for each and a “game” of some sorts in each, without repeating myself from DA or SITA.

This last part is the biggest challenge.  One of the 5 sets is set in a casino, so creating a “game” challenge is pretty easy for that one.  Another one is going to a beach. Besides swimming, tanning, drinking and getting sand everywhere, what is there to do on a beach?  and how do you make a game of it?

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These are the challenges I give myself, and of course the fun is in solving them.  Maybe in another 9 months or so I can say Day 2 is done and then I can start Day 3.