m. c. de marco: To invent new life and new civilizations...

A Brief History of BDOs

Via reddit: Today’s Big Dumb Object (BDO) story is a non-fiction recap of the genre, “A Brief History of the Big Dumb Object Story in Science Fiction” by James Davis Nicoll at Tor. He thinks “the heyday of the BDO seems to be over,” because of the zeitgeist or the stock plots—I would say it’s the difficulty of fitting a human-sized story to an inhuman-sized setting—and he laments the lack of women writing BDO stories, though the commenters come up with plenty of recent examples, one of them even female.

Myrmex 1.3

Happy new year!

Myrmex is one of my JavaScript implementations of solitaire games for the Decktet. The latest version, 1.3, now autosaves and has some additional options you can check out in the settings. Myrmex is set up to play offline and/or save to your iDevice home screen.

Many thanks to Myrmex’s devisor, both for Myrmex itself and for beta testing version 1.3.

Magnate Roller 1.1

Magnate Roller has been updated to version 1.1, now with a rules cheat-sheet, since in our first game Peter and I managed to get wrong almost every possible thing you could get wrong, despite the rules being open right in front of me. (It didn’t help that I’d found both an old version of the rules and a new one, and it was apparently the old version that I still had open.)

Magnate Roller 1.0

I got some stacking counters to use for suit chips for Decktet games, but when I went to play Magnate, I couldn’t find my old D&D dice. So I made a little tool to roll for me: Magnate Roller. I used Vue.js just in case I ever decide to expand it into the full game.

Peter and I tied our first game (including tying on the tie-breaker).

Graphing a Global Blackout

About a month ago I reviewed a few modern hyperfiction stories from my then-free trial of Kindle Unlimited. I also decided to graph the one children’s book among them, Can You Survive a Global Blackout? (You Choose: You Choose: Doomsday) by Matt Doeden, in which, my assiduous reader may recall, I got shot for “looting” an apparently abandoned bike store.

I was curious about the back buttons at the top of each story passage which at the time seemed to imply a lack of merging paths in the graph of the story, so I graphed the whole story. (I typed the choices by name into Twine and made the graph with DotGraph.) While going through all the paths, I noticed that sometimes there were two or even three back buttons at the top after all, making the graph more traditional than I expected.

The stats I got out of DotGraph (39 nodes, 17 leaves, 42 links, and 1.08 links per node) still didn’t quite add up to the advertised numbers (40 choices and 17 endings), but then “choices” is a bit vague.

choicemap of Global Blackout