Once, Picasso was asked what his paintings meant. He said, “Do you ever know what the birds are singing? You don’t. But you listen to them anyway.” So, sometimes with art, it is important just to look.
- Marina Abramović

Beloved Rapture - Act 1
Highly cinematic, tour-de-force of a jRPG, 7+ years in the making.



President Trump

manufacturing is going to come back to

For every job lost to outsoucing, 8 jobs are lost to automation.

I have no idea how we are going to collectively cope with this new industrial revolution, where we will essentially have the CEO turn a crank and produce the same (or more!) economic output of a corporation, that used to take scores of human workers.

Put your kids in the arts, humanities, craftmanship, or any job that requires empathy (nursing, long term care, counseling, psychology) or creativity (game design (!), scientific research).
Agreed. Such an important point, yet hardly ever mentioned.

I still find myself wondering if Trump knows all this and is being purposely reductive on job displacement, or if it's authentic ignorance. In fact, most of his platform is a red herring.

I'm not sure I share Dhyalto's opptimism that new jobs will emerge indefinitely with technology though.

This sounds a bit nonsensical, but beyond just a rediscovered appreciation of the humanities, I think the automation/AI explosion requires a very large ideological shift in how we deal with human labor. Ultimately (probably well-within our lifetime), we're not just going to be discussing factory robots or self-driving cars...even "white collar" work will be lessened. We don't have any political systems capable of absorbing that. Most of our usual productivity, or work that involves human drudgery, can no longer be the foundation of basic income and survival. That is...unless we want terrifying wealth inequality that's far beyond even what we see nowadays.

Unfortunately, the Protestant ethic and the presumed "virtue" of human labor (the belief that it has inherent value) is so deeply entrenched in the American psyche, most people can't entertain or even imagine an alternative. Unless government conditions change, I'm not sure the transition will be easy or even possible. Until then, I guess we're stuck with very artificial tariffs/trade restrictions to band-aid the problem. And that's a huge part of why Trump's platform is so terrifying; he sees everything in terms of the absolute of economic result, not human well-being and morality.

Old school RMers: what are some communities that you used to belong to that have ceased to exist?

I joined GW in...2005, I think? XD (Also,, Lunatic Gaming & RRR).

As it became gradually larger/impersonalized, and less interested in RPGMaker, I branched off to help create Loose Cannon Gaming with Ocean, Clest, and some others. Although I helped create the site, I was pretty young at the time, so I mostly entrusted it to the older members. Ironically, the forums themselves became more RP-centric and cliquey (in a good way), not nescessarrily with an emphasis on the actual games we were making.

Eventually the site "merged" with Ghostlight to stimulate activity, but it was a disaster debatably a failed experiment, as the communities were very different.

I went back to GW and #rm2k pretty regularly, and eventually just followed WIP etc to RMN.

It's funny, I think we all tend to nostalgia-glaze some of those old sites, but I'm not sure if they were objectively better. The Internet was crazy different at the time, even in the mid-2000s. RMN's definitely stood the "test of time" the best.

Screenshot Survival 20XX


Speaking of which, here's some good old fashioned REFMAP for Rise of the Third Power along with a portrait for one of our adorable little thiefy protagonists. The expressions are all done, just not colored. I was worried the image wouldn't do well resized so small, but I think it actually came out great.

Portrait is looking great.

I wonder, though, is the indentation in the text box completely intentional? It seems like you're making room for a Face-set, which is great, but in situations where the portrait is "above" the box, it seems a bit off/strange.

Happy Holidays! (& Year-End Updates)

Commercial?! Bah Humbug!

Amid a landscape of everybody's RM projects going commercial, why not aspire to create an outstanding free game?

Well, some of them probably deserve to, and some of them don't. XD But yeah what Tau said, this project will remain free.

I was just rambling a bit about future prospects.


Yeah, I'm loving the implementation of the atmospheric lighting, top notch work. XD

The hyper-realism of the face artwork sticks out a bit too heavily though, when placed alongside the more cartoonish sprites.

Screenshot Survival 20XX


Mapping itself looks good.

There's something...a bit garish about those tiles, but I can't put my finger on it. XD Do you think you'd start a new/short project in MV?

President Trump

A president-elect who has no need for intelligence briefings but can apparently make time for Kanye West. You truly can't make this shit up.

Final Fantasy XV

author=Skie Fortress
From what I understand, all of that city footage was cut and put into Kingsglaive. Noctis and his buddies were shunted out onto a field trip to miss the whole thing, while Nomura's initial designs were to have them in the thick of the Niflheim invasion.

It's a bit more boring imo, and it cuts out a huge chunk of the backstory to a movie you'll have to pay to see. But heeeey.
Yeah, I gotcha. I researched it a bit more and I think you nailed it on the head. XD

I'm about twelve hours's a very different sort of Final Fantasy. Most of the main "storytelling" - if you could even call it that, feels very opaque or in the background. I knew the focus would be on Noctis and the party etc...but I didn't realize just how far they were going to take that concept.

Even the game itself, doesn't feel like it takes seriously the events and backstory, if that makes sense - those cutscenes are thrown in very rarely and sporadcally. (And when they do happen, it seems out of left field.) Most of the dialogue in this game is delivered through silly one-liners or side-quests. Perhaps that's the route they needed to go in order to "modernize" Final Fantasy and reinvigorate the franchise; but I also feel like it loses something, too.

On the other hand, I appreciate they at least *tried* to sculpt a larger plot...versus something like Skyrim. Taken solely as a gameplay experience, FFXV is very very enjoyable. You grow to love the combat the longer you play. The environments are gorgeous (if repetitive), and Yoko Shinomura even did a good job filling in for Uematsu.

I'm also not the typical player I guess XD I grew up with the older paradigm of jRPG and maybe I'll always be partial to it. If their goal was to attract a wider audience, and experiment with a new direction for the franchise, they definitely succeeded. I've heard the later half becomes more narrative-focused, so I'll hold off on giving any larger opinions.

Final Fantasy XV

Picked it up today and put about 3-4 hours into it.

(Earlygame Spoilers)
Does... anyone else feel like a huge chunk of the story was cut? As much fun as I've having doing fights and listening to the boys banter in the desert, the game plops you into the open world so quickly without setting up the world and characters that I feel like I'm missing something. Like I was supposed to watch Kingsglaive and Brotherhood to get the full experience.

It's a very weird and uncomfortable feeling. I don't know how I feel about this format of storytelling.

Wow, interesting. XD

When the project switched directors and was revitalized as FFXV, I think that's when the focus seems to have drastically shifted to the open-world format. Nomura took it more in the direction of Final Fantasy/Kingdom Hearts tropes, whereas Tabata gave it more of the "Western" and pseudo-realistic identity that we now see in the finished game. But yeah, having watched the first few hours on YouTube, it leads me to believe if there was a lot of plot-building (like the first few hours of FFVII) that may have been cut out.

There's footage around 3:02 from the VsXIII days that doesn't appear in the game at all, to my knowledge. (I haven't played yet)

Final Fantasy XV

Wow, I haven't seen a cheesy live-action commercial for a jRPG since...I don't remember. XD

Has anyone bought/played this yet?!