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"Your 'reality', sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever."
— Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von M√ľnchhausen

Friday Free Game: SquarO

This week's Friday Free Game is a straight-up puzzler reminiscent of Minesweeper. It's called SquarO, and operates on much the same principle as the earlier game: deduce the correct location of the dots by observing the number of dots adjacent to each square. With four difficulty levels and gameplay that's familiar but challenging, SquarO is the perfect ten-minute distraction. But be careful about that solution button: just mousing over it is a spoiler. Enjoy!

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A is for Apathy

You might call it the alphabet for the apathetic, cool art from an angsty college student at Head Injury Theater.

  • A is for Apathy, the Fire Burns Low
  • B is for Burnout. Four years of this?
  • C is for Computer. A thing of evil.
  • D is for Day Job, Distraction and Depression.
  • E is for Emo Drama. No one loves me.
  • F is for Fans who scare me sometimes.
  • G is Girls. Curse their curves.
  • H is for Hysteria.
  • I is for Inbox which scares me into seclusion.
  • J is for Jared. I am my own enemy.
  • K is for Krull. I am the chosen one.
  • L is for Lazy.
  • M is for Malignant; my tumor's name is Steve.
  • N is for Neurosis. You'll never find me.
  • O is for the Others. Their weird, but they have a great dental plan.
  • P is for Prison (and a Pretty mouth).
  • Q is for Quitting.
  • R is for Routine. R is for Routine. R is for Routine...
  • S is for Sex. Yes, please!
  • T is for Thetans. The Scientologists are gonna get me.
  • U is for Unemployment. "Spare some change?"
  • V is for Vacation. Again, you'll never find me.
  • W is for Warcraft. A lifetime lost to digital fish.
  • X is for Xanax. And drinks make me forget.
  • Y is for Ye Olde Website, why can't I be digital?
  • Z is for Zombie Jesus. Five years ago I felt original.
His art reminds me a bit of one of my all-time favorite comic artists, Bill Sienkiewicz - perhaps it's the fact that he's not afraid to splatter the ink. Sienkiewicz's Elektra: Assassin blew my mind in high school. "Remember, America. Not wind like a watch, but Wind, like the air..." Perhaps a full post on Elektra: Assassin is in order...

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McCain Staffer Disses D&D

From Boing Boing, by way of a friend:

It may be typical of the pro-Obama Dungeons & Dragons crowd to disparage a fellow countryman's memory of war from the comfort of mom's basement, but most Americans have the humility and gratitude to respect and learn from the memories of men who suffered on behalf of others.
—Michael Goldfarb, "Smears the Left Can Fight For"
As if there wasn't enough to hate about McCain, now he's dissing on the grandaddy-of-them-all. No, sir. This sort of anti-gamerism will not be tolerated. McCain owes the gamers of the world an apology. Learn how to "do a Google," Grandpa, before you start messing with the people who control the entire infrastructure of the information economy.

Is it just me, or does every last statement made by the McCain campaign amount to "I was a POW so how dare you disagree with me"? What a fucking joke.

My favorite response from the comments on Boing-Boing: "You know what to do, kids: ROLL FOR INITIATIVE."

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Infernal Sculpture

Awesome work; the stuff looks very wet and organic. Check out Mark Powell: Sculptures from Beyond the Gate., but be forewarned: eew, eew, EEW.

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Friday Free Game: Nano War

I've been playing a lot of games and haven't liked all that many, but this week's Friday Free Game is something pretty special: it's simple, it's challenging, and it offers pretty unique gameplay. The game is Nano War by Benoît Frelson. I ran across the game when I played it on Kongregate, the game-sharing web community driven by shared ad revenue where I recently posted S3QUENC3R.

Nano War is called a prototype by its creator, and there is a certain unfinished quality to the game, the core gameplay feels solid and tested, and even if it's a bit unusual.

The board consists of round cells with numbers in them. You are the red "entity" and the computer is green. The number in every red or green cell is slowly incrementing. You can select a cell by clicking on it (or dragging a box around several) and then click on another cell to fire off half the value of each selected cell in a little floating particle at the destination. It's an odd mechanic, and the interface felt pretty clunky, but it's not too hard once you get the hang of it. The level design is very nice. There's a solid, steady difficulty curve and you will have to start over a few times to be sure, but the tension this very simple game manages with such a bare-bones scheme is pretty remarkable. By level 10 or so, you're starting every board with a major disadvantage. You have to be quick, be persistent, and be aggressive to stay ahead of the computer.

Also, the designer has promised a multiplayer version at some point in the future, and I think that could be the best thing since KDice. I heartily recommend Nano War as a unique challenge.

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Hello, Brett. Goodbye, Chad.

Brett Favre, one of the most popular quarterbacks in NFL history, has been traded to the New York Jets for a conditional fourth-round draft pick. And while it is exciting to acquire a player of Favre's caliber, it also means that the Jets are losing one of the most talented and inspirational players in all of professional sports: Chad Pennington. He has been the heart and soul of the team for many years, and it's a shame to see him discarded for the sake of acquiring a big-name player. Favre is a small-town boy who wanted to play for the Vikings. He's 38 years old and until very recently, had decided that he was done playing football. Does the Jets front office really think they're serving the long-term interests of the team with this move?

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The Red Bull Diary is the personal pulpit and intellectual dumping-ground for its author, an amateur game designer, professional programmer, political centrist and incurable skeptic. The Red Bull Diary is gaming, game design, politics, development, geek culture, and other such nonsense.