Today’s entry for The Forge is based upon a correspondence between me and an old friend over the idea of exactly how much of a game can and should be programmed (pre-designed), how much should be flexible and open to ad hoc manipulation, and what the consequences of these conflicting deign principles really mean.
Of course in tabletop and role play games (non-electronic versions) the ad hoc and “open” elements are much easier to develop and fully exploit in comparison to exactly how much of a computer or electronic or video game must be pre-programmed. But in my opinion the ultimate goal even of computer and video and even virtual reality games is not just to mimic or emulate open choice, but to actually develop program parameters than allow a sort of “open interface” with the gaming world in the same way that an individual can interact with the Real…
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This is not my article, but I post it for the Design of Things to Come because it so poignantly displays to me how easy it is to convert the new 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragon Rules to various types of Fantasy Role Play milieus. Similar to how easy it was to convert AD&D in the same way.
I think that fact alone is an important lesson for Game Designers and Developers. Be they Computer, Electronic, Parallel Reality, Role-Play, Tabletop, or eventually, even Virtual Reality game designers and developers.
Behind the Screens
I’m a longtime D&D player, but I’m also a sucker for urban fantasy. With the Dungeon Master’s Guide and some tweaking, I’ve begun to use the fifth edition rules to explore the possibilities of gunplay in a modern fantasy setting.
When Wizards of the Coast released the…
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I had an excellent idea today for a new fictional short story while on my morning walk through the woods with my Great Dane Sam. (We got soaked, by the way, in a rainstorm, nevertheless the rain was mostly warm and it was quite fun.)
Since I am writing a non-fiction book about Christian Wizardry that I call, cleverly enough, The Christian Wizard, the idea occurred to me this morning to write a fictional story about a young boy at an archaeological dig (at a cave on a Greek island) who accidentally discovers the tomb of long dead man, the tomb being filled with the artifacts and paraphernalia of the dead man’s life and craft.
For a reason the boy cannot immediately explain he decides to keep his discovery a secret and plunders the tomb for all he can recover: scrolls, books, artifacts, relics, tools, and devices, etc.
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It’s Thursday meaning Hammer, Tongs, and Tools.
For the past few years I’ve been developing Tools to assist me in my career as a fiction writer, songwriter, and poet. In preparation for pursuing those careers.
I have decades worth of Tools regarding my business-careers as a business, copy, and non-fiction writer, and inventor (and as a poet, I’ve been a poet since I was about age 8 or so), many of which I have been posting to my Business Blog, Launch Port.
But here in Wyrdwend I’m going to start making it a habit to post some of my more useful Writing Tools in the form of Templates. I’ll arrange them all into a sellable book, or e-book, or workbook, something like that, maybe in a year or so. I’m too busy right now.
I’m giving you permission to use these tools, or to use them as idea-generators to…
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I disagreed with him on many things. I thought him an outright fool on more than one issue and occasion.
(Yes, yes, I know how literary “icons” and the modern intelligentsia and the types of men who believe politics to be the answer to all existence – human or otherwise – like to cluster around each other to breathlessly and mutually glorify their own supposed genius. But I am far more skeptical of “modern genius” in all its many fictional forms. As a matter of fact I rarely see any real evidence of the supposed “modern genius” of self-styled “modern geniuses,” and their numberless cohorts, ever, or at all.)
But narrowing his views down to the strictly literary disciplines I did often agree with him on these scores: there is a new illiteracy (not in the inability to read and write, but in the poverty of having…
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This is an older review I did for the Codex Martialis, a role-playing game supplement that heavily concentrates upon the way Real World weapons behave in actual combat. At least as closely as it is possible for imaginary games to truly emulate such weapon characteristics. That being said here is my review.
First of all, let me begin my review by saying that the Codex Martialis is simply one of the best-written gaming supplements I have ever read. It displays a high degree of professionalism in the effort.
As an example of this let me quote from the work itself:
Thanks to the unique weapon characteristics the choice of weapons becomes a major tactical consideration rather than a cosmetic adornment for a character. Weapons are not just rated for damage, but also for reach, defensive value, speed in follow-up attacks, effectiveness against armor and suitability for different types of…
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Finally, we wanted to show you this beautiful video of a 16th century Irish castle…
A very interesting perspective and one I agree with to a large extent. Actually I think one should set out to create a Brand – with a certain type of Vision, and adapt accordingly as one meets particular circumstances in and through the world. (Which is basically what he says later in the article.)
In other words one begins with a Vision and then discovers and develops as one goes along. It is not either/or, but both…
Writer & Consultant
April 15, 2015
Over $500 billion is spent on advertising each year. The average American is exposed to an estimated 3,000 ads per day. Fifteen minutes out of every hour of television programming is devoted to commercials.
Branding: 2 Key Lessons in Brand Building
That’s a lot of marketing. And a lot of marketers. With six million…
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There is something somewhat ironic about this (how good a shape the carrier still appears to remain in despite repeated attempts to utterly destroy it), but if you ask me, not very…
Our ancestors built extremely well and with great purpose.
We could still learn much from them.
(For slideshow and video see original article link in title.)
By Brad Lendon, CNN
Updated 2:15 PM ET, Fri April 17, 2015
USS Independence was sunk in 1951 after weapons tests
Carrier was close-in guinea pig to two atomic bomb tests
Agency: Ship looks remarkably intact 2,600 feet below surface of the Pacific Ocean
(CNN)A former U.S. Navy aircraft carrier that survived a Japanese torpedo strike and was a massive guinea pig for two atomic bomb blasts looks remarkably intact at the bottom of the Pacific, according to federal researchers who surveyed the wreck last month with an underwater drone.
The USS Independence was scuttled in January 1951 during weapons testing near California’s Farallon Islands. Although its location was confirmed by a survey in 2009, researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration went looking for it again in March as part of a project to map about 300 wrecks that lie in and around the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.
“After 64 years on the seafloor, Independence sits on the bottom as if ready to launch its planes,” mission leader James Delgado, the maritime heritage director for NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, said in a statement.
Indeed, sonar images show what looks to be an airplane on one of the elevators that took planes from the Independence’s hangar deck to its flight deck. The ship sits upright with a slight list to starboard, according to NOAA.
NOAA’s survey of the 623-foot-long, 11,000-ton carrier was conducted by the Echo Ranger, an 18.5-foot-long autonomous underwater vehicle provided by the Boeing Co. The Echo Ranger traveled 30 miles from its base in Half Moon Bay, California, and hovered 150 above the carrier, which lies 2,600 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean. The drone used a three-dimensional sonar system provided by Coda Octopus to get images that showed how well the warship has weathered 64 years in the deep.
“This ship fought a long, hard war in the Pacific and after the war was subjected to two atomic blasts that ripped through the ship. It is a reminder of the industrial might and skill of the ‘greatest generation’ that sent not only this ship, but their loved ones to war,” Delgado said in the statement.
In its 20 years in the Navy, the ship played a role in some of the most important events of World War II, earning eight battle stars in the process, and the dawn of the nuclear age.
Independence was seriously damaged by Japanese torpedo planes during the Battle of Tarawa in late 1943. The ship returned to California for repairs and made it back across the Pacific by July 1944 to participate in the Battle of the Sibuyan Sea and the sinking of one of the Japanese Imperial Navy’s biggest warships, the battleship Musashi. Later, in the Battle of Cape Engano, planes from the Independence were involved in the sinking of four Japanese aircraft carriers.
After the war, Independence became part of a fleet used to measure the effects of atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific on July 1, 1946. It sat just 560 yards from ground zero in the first test, a 23-kiloton air blast of a fission bomb similar to the one used over Nagasaki, Japan, a year earlier, according to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization. Twenty-four days later, Independence was 1,390 yards from the center of a second atomic blast — also a 23-kiloton device but an underwater detonation.
The ship was later brought back to California for nuclear decontamination before being sunk during the weapons training in 1951.
NOAA said no signs of radioactive contamination were noted during the survey of the sunken carrier last month.
The agency has no plans for further missions to the ship, according to the NOAA statement.
I came across this story last week and thought it would be perfect to share with you all for our Music Monday and also as an entry in the One Cool Thing catalog.
It was from an NPR interview with a rock drummer who by a series of unexpected events, found himself in centuries old churches in Syria recording this amazing ancient music that is still being performed by remarkably dedicated people in some of the oldest sites in the Christian world.
In the audio version of the interview (which you can find at the link at the bottom of this post) you can hear a version of The Lord’s Prayer in Syriac, an ancient language, approximate to Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke. I think it’s remarkable that these things are still being preserved to this day (although they are being lost now to the ravages of war tearing through…
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In recent months I have written a lot (and thought a lot more) about the replication crisis and the proliferation of direct replication attempts. I admit I haven’t bothered to quantify this but I have an impression that most of these attempts fail to reproduce the findings they try to replicate. I can understand why this is unsettling to many people. However, as I have argued before, I find the current replication movement somewhat misguided.
A big gaping hole where your theory should be
Over the past year I have also written
a lot too much about Psi research. Most recently, I summarised my views on this in an uncharacteristically short post (by my standards) in reply to Jacob Jolij. But only very recently I realised my that my views on all of this actually converge on the same fundamental issue. On that note I would like to thank
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I am not for coddling or taking it easy on kids because they face a bad situation. Not at all. That can only harm them in the long run. And make them weaker, not stronger.
But I am very much for understanding the realities of the hardships they face, for accommodating them wherever possible to compensate, and to assist them in learning to problem solve what they can resolve, and to realize that some things are because of the actions and choices of others and that neither they (the kids themselves), nor society, can fix everything or save everybody.
Problems like these are not the teacher’s faults, they are not the fault of society at large, nor are they the fault of the kids themselves.
Hardships happen. That is a part of life, Things like this should be neither excused nor elevated to some special status of victimhood. Nor should they ever be simply ignored. You never want either a special set of problems that are to be indulged, rather than resolved, or a set of problems that are to be ignored, rather than conquered.
But rather all problems should be resolved in the best way possible. As earnestly and effectively as possible.
Because in the end the end and eventual objective of all problems lie in their solution, not in the eternal continuation of the problem.
Asking relevant questions is at least a good way to start.
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Second World War service
Terpsichore was commanded by Cdr. Alfred Charles Behague, OBE, DSC, RN from November 1943 to 5 January 1945 and Cdr. R.T. White, D.S.O. from 5 January 1945 until October 1945.
Between 1946 and 1953 Terpsichore was held in reserve at Devonport. Between 1953 and 1954 she was converted to a Type 16 fast anti-submarine frigate, by Thornycroft, Woolston, with the new pennant number F19.
In 1955 she was placed in reserve in Devonport, undergoing a refit there in December 1957.
Decommissioning and disposal
Between 1960 and 1966 Terpsichore was held in reserve at Lisahally. She was subsequently sold for scrap and arrived at Troon on 17 May 1966.
What does it look like to be successful?
This is a question that I have struggled with a lot. For my generation it seems as though success is the only aim and that we are worthless unless we succeed.
Over the last few years, I have spent countless hours searching the internet for careers advice, work experience, internships and ways to make myself stand out on a CV.
Before university I lived in an area where exam results were everything. People at my school felt as though they were defined by their grades and teachers taught always focusing on the exam and not on enriching our knowledge.
I remember a phone conversation with one of my friends after our A Level grades came out. She hadn’t got what she was predicted and hadn’t got into university either. She basically felt as though she had failed at a defining point of…
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So its the start of the work week which means the start of this week’s adventures. Today my main focus was The Japanese Garden in Encino, CA. On the way home, I decided to stop at The Cascades in Sylmar to check one more California Historical monument off my list but more on that later.
From the front, the place is pretty unassuming. You would never expect what I found behind those gates.
I was taken aback upon my first steps in. The garden sits on 6 acres in between walls between Woodley Park and the DWP water reclamation plant.
You may be wondering about all of this greenery in California while we are going through a significant drought but here’s the back story of the garden.
Suiho-en “Garden of Water and Fragrance” (the garden’s Japanese name), was designed by Dr. Koichi Kawana. Dr. Kawana who is from Hokkaido has designed dozens…
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An online militant video purportedly shows ISIS militants hammered, bulldozed and ultimately blew up parts of the ancient Iraqi Assyrian city of Nimrud, destroying a site dating back to the 13th century B.C. Nimrud’s destruction located near the militant-held city of Mosul, came amid other attacks on antiquity carried out by the group now holding a third of Iraq and neighboring Syria in its self-declared caliphate. The attacks have horrified archaeologists and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who last month called the destruction at Nimrud “a war crime.”
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It’s going to be a fascinating campaign…
Spend any time studying Scripture and eventually the question, at least to me, comes up about how the translators can come to the conclusions about a particular text and its rendering in English. Moreover, why there can be such distinct differences between translations. It is necessary to understand the underlying philosophy of those doing the translation.
In this video
Dr. Wayne Grudem examines the philosophies and explains how certain renderings can actually cause confusion and why multiple translations can be benficial to understanding the text.
Why We’re Homeschooling
My wife and I made the decision to home school our kids instead of sending them to a public school. There are two reasons we chose homeschooling. The first was the rampant political correctness that is infecting the teachers and administration in our schools. I hear stories all the time were a student was sent home because a shirt with a cross or an American flag on it MIGHT offend someone. Seriously now… let our kids express themselves and have an opinion! When these kids grow up they WILL offend someone sometime in their life and they need to know how to deal with it.
The second issue I have are the low standards for public schools. Schools these days only tend to get them the basic knowledge they need to survive so they can work at a place of manual labor. I see huge potential in…
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Sandra Gomez-Aceves – Special to the Southern News
On one of the first and sunniest days of spring, the rays of sun beamed down on Hilton C. Buley Library’s new bright tinted windows making them stand out even more than they have been since the libraries new addition opened.
“How great does this new addition look,” said Dr. Frances A. Viggiani, an SCSU Business School professor, as she walked in.
She thought the sunny day, was the perfect day to stop by and take a glimpse of the windows.
he three windows that have caught more than one person’s eye, not only for their color or brightness but because they all feature a Christian religious figure or phrase or both.
“Everyone is talking about these,” said Viggiani as she looked at them for the first time. “Aesthetically, they are really beautiful.”
Viggiani, a Connecticut native, said she has been to many…
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In the midst of MCC’s series “Dis-Illusioned” (seeing the truth behind illusions about Christianity), here is an article from a mainstream media source The Daily Telegraph (UK), “The Passion of Jesus Seems Much More Believable These Days” Charles Moore addresses an illusion that Christians have had about the interaction between their faith and the society around them:
But for Christians, the situation has become clearer, much closer to the one familiar to the founder of their faith. It was an illusion, though a pleasant one, that our social order was ever very closely related to the religion that seemed to uphold it. Now that the connection is almost completely severed, it is easier to see the faith for what it is – always despised and rejected, always virtually impossible to sustain, yet always reborn at Easter.
Strive Masiyiwa was born in Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, in 1961. He attended primary school in Zambia, completed his secondary education in Scotland, and obtained a degree in electrical engineering in Wales. In 1984 he returned to Zimbabwe and set up an electrical engineering business, which by 1989 was quite large and successful.
With the global rise of cell phone usage, Mr. Masiyiwa determined to start Econet Wireless, but the government, which had a monopoly in telecommunications, refused to grant him a business license. Ultimately Mr. Masiyiwa prevailed and obtained a license, but only after a five-year legal battle that nearly drove him into bankruptcy. By 1998 Econet Wireless Zimbabwe had its first cellphone subscribers and was listed on the local stock exchange. Within a few years it was the second largest company in the country.
In 2000, Mr. Masiyiwa moved to South Africa and founded…
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I love the way God speaks to His children (that’s you and me). About a month ago, my job took a turn for the worse and I decided it was enough. I put my notice in and April 30 will be my last day as Acting Director at the fitness center where I work. I’m going back to my old job doing website design & development, but just part-time. That will leave time for me to do personal training and teach group exercise classes on my own. I’ve never struck out to try to be my own boss, so it’s a little scary, but exciting too. I’m trying to figure out what to name my company, get liability insurance, etc.
In going through this, Rick Warren’s blog has spoken to me so much! The image above came from “Get Out and Try Something New” – you should go…
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I agree with his general thesis.
Maybe you’re like me? You’ve read over 50 books, watched video upon video, and even watched movies like The Secret, all in hopes of finding the key to unlock your this talked about road to success and wealth. Maybe you’re like me as well, you don’t accept that only 1-2% of the world’s population are divinely inspired or privileged because of their family ties or profession, to control all the wealth while the rest of the world struggles. It just doesn’t make sense, especially when you study history and realize most people got into power because of brute force.
You start to believe that they know something you don’t. You’ve followed the advice of successful people to the letter. For example, you studied for several hundreds or thousands of hours, but their teachings still don’t work. Then you begin asking yourself, silently and aloud, why isn’t it working for…
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HMS Berwick (65) was a Royal Navy County class heavy cruiser, of the Kent subclass. She was built by Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company (Govan, Scotland), with the keel being laid down on 15 September 1924. She was launched on 30 March 1926, and commissioned 12 July 1927.