Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Want to make the world aware of the crimes of some utter sociopaths

Recently, Joshua "Null" Moon of the Kiwi Farms, has released information about some utterly morally bereft scum who decided to psychologically torture and blackmail a mentally ill man for their own greed and sick amusement.

I will not belabor anything he has already stated with more clarity than myself, but I urge anyone with conscience to spread the word about the crimes Joshua Moon has uncovered and the criminals responsible as far and wide as humanly possible.

The party these crimes were aimed at harming is legally known as Christine (nee Christian) Weston Chandler, and the sociopaths who decided to extort thousands of dollars out of him as well as force him to commit degrading acts under threats to his reputation and legal safety are utterly beyond the pale.

While CWC has been the target of various trolling schemes for years, the actions done that Joshua Moon has revealed to the world are in no way funny or morally, legally, or ethically justifiable, and I urge anyone with further information that may be of legal help to the victim of these crimes or those who are acting as his legal advocates to contact Joshua Moon and provide him and any relevant law enforcement whatever information you have leading to arrest and convictions of anyone responsible for such acts of utter evil.

For my part, I can do little but help spread the word in my own small way, but I urge the re-sharing of the information Joshua Moon has uncovered for the sake of the public interest so that these utter scum can not continue their acts of crime nor harm another innocent person.

As for myself, I can only hope the justice of both Man and God intervenes as harshly as can be allowed and puts an end to the evils that have been committed, and that I pray for the success of Joshua Moon and others advocating in defense of Chandler in putting a stop to these monsters.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

How to deal with unreasonable superiors

I write this as a reflection how I've learned to deal with people above me in various who are unreasonable.

This can range from an unreasonable boss or employer to some asshole mod on a website, but the advice applies equally to all unreasonable superiors wherever you go, and I hope this advice helps you deal with them.

For starters, NEVER respond in kind: It is a basic impulse that when someone is a prick, you lash out in kind yourself, as no one like to be insulted, browbeaten, or treated like shit, especially if they are in a position of authority and are clearly using that as a justification for shitting on you.

But never respond in kind for the following reasons.

1. Never give them the high ground: People who do this want you to give them justification for their asshole behavoir, especially superiors, bosses, or some other figure in a position of authority looking for an excuse to justify punishing you for whatever reason, justified or not, even if they do or don't have reason to be legitimately displeased.

The point is that they don't have to be unduly cruel, spiteful, or vicious in their reprimands, but they often can be, and honestly, it's a just fragile way to assert power that reveals them as weak people.

The reason you refuse to give them any justification for being an asshole is that you don't want to be seen as the bastard. Not only because you wish to deny the boss in question any right to say their asshat behavior was justified by your responses, you want to be able to say you showed respect throughout and they chose to be the asshole of their own free will anyway.

It also backfires on them later if their asshat ways come back to bite them, not many will defend someone who acted like they were above showing respect while demanding it of others when they no longer have power, so bite your tongue and let their spiteful antics be currency that will be their undoing later.

2. Rob them of any ability to get people to agree with them: Even if they do have legitimate points in their displeasure, if they are being assholes about it, don't let them make people sympathize with them despite their undue spite. Show basic decency to all involved so none defend them on moral grounds even if they try to cower behind the very rules they try to enforce as an excuse, and the only people left who will still defend them will also be those of ill moral repute at best.

And most importantly, at least you can look in the mirror and say you never gave them cause others would concur justified their cruelty.

3. Make them the villain, no matter what: And you do this not by lashing out, or worse, calling out their hypocrisy, even if it's richly earned or they are the vilest of hypocrites, these people are in a position to screw you over, and even if you are in a position to shit all over them and not be punished for it despite their outranking you, you still lose, because it will be said later you were no better than them even when pressured.

4. Don't throw away a chance to justifiably strike back better more effectively.: If you are verbally abused by a superior at a job and it eventually culminates in them dreaming up a dumb reason to shitcan you, if you have a spotless record of not returning the favor, you deny them the ability to taint any wrongful termination suit you may launch later.

If on something like a webforum when you are expelled because of the capricious whims of someone in power, it still pays to never return their hatred in kind. Once free of them, you are free to spread your story of their dickhead ways of course, but even then restrain your urge to blast bile everywhere, it prevents them from retroactively justifying their ways later, and if the old administration falls and a new one allows an appeal of your termination, your previous decency will mitigate in your favor.

5. If you must show dissent regardless, bend every effort to be as polite as possible: If someone does something wrong in their position of authority or what you perceive as wrong, either way, show any dissent as polite and respectfully as possible while still acknowledging the ultimate authority they hold.

By the same token, if they make accusations loaded with bullshit, politely admit you disagree with their assumptions of your actions and character, but leave it at that if you must defend yourself, and if they do have a legitimate case against you for misconduct, still acknowledge their ultimate authority to mete out a reprimand, even if you are disgusted with the venal and petty means they delivered it you.

6. Show proper gratitude to authority figures who do show you legitimate courtesy: In a dispute with multiple authority figures involved, make a point of practicing the above while showing the utmost respect to the authority figures who don't act like human sewage. Not only does their grace and humanity deserve acknowledgement, you make clear the ones who couldn't be civil are regarded with contempt without being petty about it, while you make a good impression on those who chose to be the better people while still doing their jobs.

It pays off in your favor in future cases because even if the dickhead(s) tries to screw you over later, they look worse in the eyes of their peers, especially if they did so out of petty spite despite never giving them justification to rationalize their contempt.

Musings on how to be a good website leader

Recently, I have been been musing what makes a good website leader, especially if you have to enforce order on said website, and based on my own experience and that of others whose moderation I've witnessed, I've come to a few conclusions.

1. Civil behavior is a two-way street: As a site moderator, you are obligated to enforce civility, especially if you want it returned. If you can't yet have rules to be civil, you are making it impossible to be taken seriously.

1a: While enforcing the rules, be civil: Even if a troublemaker is annoying you, keep your temper in check. Even if you are otherwise reasonable, you make it clear that you cannot deliver effective discipline without acting childish, which future troublemakers can exploit to make you angry. You should always present a wall of dispassionate calm in any official capacity.

This also applies to reading out the riot act or whatever other rules to those who have doubts or questions. Just because you don;t like having to repeat yourself or clarify why certain policies were passed or enacted, it is your job to explain these things, and if you have to be an arrogant douchebag while doing so, you are showing you are exempting yourself from your own rules on civility, thus setting a bad example.

2. If you request feedback, it should be responded to appropriately but reasonably: For example:

A. You get an obvious insult like "Kill yourself". Just delete it/disregard it and punish whoever couldn't give proper feedback without getting emotional over it.

B. You get a disagreement about the enforcement of a rule or policy (uncivil): See A.

C. You get a disagreement about the enforcement of a rule or policy (civil): Calmly and dispassionately explain the logic behind it and remain civil so long as the feedback is civil. Make it clear the policy will stick if you are unwilling to change it, but don't be uncivil while explaining, you degrade the ability of the people you are dictating this to to respond in kind and prove you cannot abide by your own rules on showing proper courtesy.

3. Mocking others for civil disagreement or dissent is counterproductive.

CAVEAT: If your website has a culture of irreverence and generally allowing this sort of thing, you may need to modify the below for your needs.

While this mostly goes without saying, if you ask for commentary on how you do things then insult the people who give it, why should they bother if all they'll get is disrespect for it?

If they are being unreasonable and uncivil in the process, then don't respond, just File 13 it and move on, resist the urge to make a public pillory, it just tells the world you allow being a jackass despite your own rules saying people shouldn't, it sends mixed messages.

Another reason is that even if you DO allow some degree of discourtesy as part of your site culture, you need to establish some form of limit on how far you take this, lest all respect for your authority goes out the window and the site members and staff cannibalize each other in a frenzy of insults and disregard of any rules.

4. If you are given a request from a user to be given a clear directive on a site policy, grant it insofar as it's possible to do so.

As everyone who has ever enforced rules is aware, while they are considered rigid and obvious on their face, taking this too far is asinine.

For instance: "Thou shalt not kill".

This Biblical law makes little sense unless you consider the added context it was given. It's a prohibition against wrongful death, as in, murder.

Otherwise, this means self defense or killing a creature for food would be verboten.

Likewise, if you have a site policy that is vague in some ways or has multiple interpretations for certain situations, and you are asked to provide a "what should I do in X case?", you have no good reason not to establish clarity. Otherwise, you will just have people walking on eggshells, wondering what is kosher and what isn't, and that makes enforcing rules harder on you because uneven application of your own rules means people will either be too scared to contribute or they'll disregard your authority because you refuse to set clear boundaries.

Basically, refusing to do this just makes your job harder for no good reason.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Skyrim Modding and how to reduce load order nicely on Skyrim SE

It's been awhile since I wrote a post here, so I'd like to cover a few tricks for reducing one's load order on Skyrim Special Edition.

There is a program written for merging plugins I used to use, but I have since discontinued use, it tends to bug out quite a bit despite Skyrim SE native support.

Instead, I recommend the following:

1. Turn small mods in ESL files in the Creation Kit: The ESL limit is far higher than the ESP limit, and if the mod is under 4000 lines of content, this should work quite nicely.

2. Merge Plugins xEdit Script; While written for Oldrim, it works fine for Skyrim SE, but I have some caveats I must mention.

A. Refrain from use on mods with BSA archives: The BSA structure is bit different on SE, and while merging many non BSA mods into one mod that uses a BSA and replacing the name of the merge mod with the name of the mod needing the BSA should generally work, the other way round tends to cause a lot of issues.

B. Save the original mods in case things break: This goes without explanation.

C. Make sure the mods don't have too many overlapping conflicts: While inevitable for leveled list mods and the like and thus generally benign save any edits that wind up the loser of the conflicts, this can cause issues if things like facegen data clashes, resulting in black faces and and other anomalies

D. Patches are generally safe to merge: So long as they have small changes and the above stricture on overlapping conflicts is kept to a minimum, mods with a ton of patches like Legacy of the Dragonborn can have their patches shrunk down to one file.

E. DON'T merge ESMs or master mods: Just don't if they have subordinate mods that require them. If this is not the case, you can still do this, but mind the above caveats.

F. ESLs don't merge: You will crash xEDIT.

G: Use LOOT to reorder mod order after you are done, Wrye Bash is also useful for making sure mod order is proper.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Have turned over the keys of DQ1 Remake, or rather given a copy of them to another

I have put my DQ1 Remake project on hold for now, or rather, I have given developer access to Jaimas of the Kiwi Farms to examine it and make any improvements he deems fit.

Jaimas has proven to be an exemplary beta tester, having pointed out many flaws and imperfections that needed addressed, and since he has a copy of RPG Maker and the associated material needed to work on it when he has the time to devote himself to doing so, I have since provided him access to a developer build of the current project.

This means any further progress will be on hold until he gets back to me, but I consider this important to do since he is someone whom I trust to do a good job shaping up the rough edges of this project, and it is my hope this collaboration results in an exemplary production.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

DQ1 Remake 2.25 Beta Release

Jaimas of the Kiwi Farms has been playtesting my game of late, and noted many issues with graphics, sound effects, music, game balance, and some other minor concerns that have necessitated a new game update, with will be 2.25, which will replace Beta 2.20.

It has the following:

1. Redid translations of many items, weapons, armor, enemies, and so on to match later DQ game translations.

2. Lots more musical variety.

3. Additional sound effects.

4. Many enemy graphics redone and retouched for better fidelity.

5. Several balance changes to make bosses less a joke at some points.

6. Several minor bugs and a few crashes fixed.

It can be downloaded here:!ZQcTGQ4C!DDFiIrVXYwohZr4FCNSp3A4WTo5Mq8S67t0Otf7BPKY

Thursday, August 24, 2017

DQ1 Remake Beta 2.30 in progress

I'm writing this post to give a progress report on Beta 2.30 of DQ1 Remake.

Thankfully, this build won't force me to add too much more content, but it has presented a new problem that forced me to take my time.

The main new area I have to complete is Charlock Castle, and while I generally made my own versions of DQ1 locations out of whole cloth while maybe taking some minor inspiration from the level design of the originals at best, I wanted to do a nigh perfect homage to the original level design of Charlock Castle since I plan to reuse this in any possible sequels, but I had an issue.

The level design of this Castle between DQ 1, 2, and 3 was VERY inconsistent.

DQ1 was the worst offender. On top of being oddly small and cramped, the bottom floor had a tileset that looked like it belonged on the surface, so I decided not to use that one.

DQ2 was simply a slightly expanded version of the DQ1 version, and it wasn't much better.

DQ3 had the best and most logical floor plan and a tileset design that made actual sense from top to bottom, so I'm going with that.

However, even though I'm trying to mimic the original floor plans as well as I can within the VX Ace engine limits, that means I'm having to make some design alterations, mostly to account for having better tiles and tiling methods at my disposal. I'm also having to make a custom tileset for this area, but thankfully I have all the pieces I need, I just need to put them all together in GIMP.

As for custom character graphics, good news is that I'm completely covered on this front, and I commissioned some special art from Fumirei awhile back for the Dragonlord that looks just like the original artwork while not running into any copyright issues (though the original design is still based off that by Enix and it's artists and will be credited appropriately).

As for events and scripting, again, this won't be an issue.

I do plan to alter how the sequence of events plays out in the next build, so the dialogue tree for when the Dragonlord is encountered will be subject to change by next build.

Progress is mostly done on the maps for now, more as I continue development.