Saturday, February 23, 2008

Badges Demystified

Okay, back to the thing I liked to do, demystify!
Today's Topic: Badges.
What are badges first of all?
They are a symbol of achievment representing the time and toil you took
to complete the badge.
Basically it gives you not only bragging rights, but ,more importantly, increased social status.
Let's turn to the internet now, on sites like
Kongregate gives the player badges for completion of challenges and tasks in a certain game.
While these badges merit no tangible gain whatsoever, they give the player a sense of accomplishment in his interwebz life.
Think about this a little deeper though, what really motivates people to obtain these badges?
The answer: Social status.
The more badges a person earns the more other people respect that person.
This creates a social system that varies with the amount of badges total,
For example,
If there was only one badge, then you either have it or you don't, so Kongregate would be split into two distinct nonoverlapping classes the quote on quote "n00bs" and "1337's".
However the more badges are added, a gradient begins to form. The original "n00bs" and "1337's" begin to split into smaller and smaller classes of gamers, until we know specifically how good a gamer is. Like the "semi-1337's", "1336's","pr0l3s", etc.
Badges also serve another purpose, one that is often not looked at but acknowledged nonetheless: An ego boost.
With so many badges, a gamer is bound to get one in his interwebz life, obviously boosting his ego by a perceptible amount and leaving the gamer more happy than he had been before.
I dub the following law, the Ego:Badge Ratio:
S = E = B(W)
S = social status
E = ego
B = badges
W = D/A = Difficulty/Amount = Worth
With worth being how much the badge is worth relative to the amount of badges as in if there was one badge it's worth would be quite large compared to a 100 badges of equal difficulty.
Badges Demystifi'd!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Fold/Manifold-The Story


It was the year of our lord, 20XX, when the humans had finally launched WWIII. Petty squabbling degenerated to outright violence as the humans fired attacks on each other eventually deploying nuclear weapons as a last resort. The ensuing nuclear holocaust eradicated nearly all lifeforms on Earth…
except cockroaches…
Left to their own devices, cockroaches quickly inherited the Earth and grew rapidly. Within centuries cockroaches had evolved into two-legged creatures with two arms as well but still retained their antennas. Cockroachians were very civilized and spoke mostly in Newspeak in order to conserve the energy for talking. By 30XX, Cockroachian science had evolved to the point of creating never before seen technology such as quantum computers, ray blasters, portal guns, and even the Gravitational Manifold Anomaly Device or GMAD for short.
Eventually extraterrestrials grew jealous of the Cockroachian empire and decided to move in and capture Earth. In order to combat future alien invasion, the cockroachians decided to host a serious of tests using the GMAD to determine who could best defend Earth from alien onslaught.
Thousands of cockroachians entered, including a little boy named Mani.
Although Mani was young, his determination was strong, and he went to the recruiting station to apply.
“Many will enter. But only a few will be selected” started the President of the Cockroachians, “You are all very brave, and we will need your support for our nation in its time of need. Our enemies have already prepared their forces, smugly thinking they will win, but they will not! We will fight tooth and nail if we have to, deploy nuclear weapons if we have to, but whatever we do we shall eliminate our enemies as we are the one and only superior race in the entire universe! We shall prevail!”
The whole crowd that had gathered for the speech roared their approval and Mani found it difficult not to join the mob in their praises for Cockroachia. Attaching his GMAD, Mani hurried to the entrance of the testing arena. “May the fundamental forces of physics be with you brave volunteers” said the President with a smile and declared “Let the tests begin!” Taking a deep breath, Mani entered the testing arena, knowing he must pass the tests to serve his nation.

Areas-The Legend


Meh, I was bored so I decided to come up with a storyline for Areas.
In the future… There are no colors… There are no sounds… And most important of all…. THERE.. ARE… NO… CLICKS.
What is this?
This is Areas.
The land of our people is one of perpetual darkness, and we prefer it that way. But the seeds of revelution are being sowed as we speak.
Countless citizens, annoyed by the darkness and overall blandness of our people have banded together into a new threat, we call them… the Lights. (For lack of a better name _)
The conformists also banded together, we call them the Darks.
For centuries the Darks and Lights have fought until the Darks were exterminated, or so we thought…
Wandering the universe was a Dark hatchling, searching for the rest of his race.
As he wandered he pondered, was black considered a evil color?
Was white considered a evil color?
Who made up these connotations anyway?
What was his purpose?
Did he have one?
All of a sudden, a Light popped out of nowhere and started expanding. His futile attempts to run was met by another Light that expanded from the other side.
Enraged the Dark hatchling triggered a synapse he never knew he had and fired a bullet at the Light.
Suprised at the firing he tried firing again, and again, until he was firing so fast the Light was reduced to nothing.
He wondered why he had infinite ammo and the gun was permenantly attached to his skeletal structure but knew better than to question the so called “programmers” of his kind.
But what is that? A circle?
The hatchling, now almost fully grown, was sitting in the midst of a vast multi-ringed circle. He cautiously fired a few shots at it.
The shots were instantly absorbed into the circle and a new ring was created.
Excited, he continued to fire shots until the circle had many rings but in that second a Light popped up right next to him taking him offguard.
Then another came, and another, and all of sudden Lights were frantically popping up, there was no use now, the Lights have finally got him thought the hatchling sadly.
One of the Lights chuckled and said, “It’s time for your enlightenment, traitor.”
When it looked like hope was finally gone, the circle bursted beneath him creating a white wave of horror that extinguished all the Lights.
Staring at the remains of the Lights, the hatchling finally knew his purpose now. To shroud the world in eternal darkness once again…


When I made this blog I orginally intended just to "demystify" ordinary occurences,
but due to some sudden inspiration,
I decided to write and post backstories for great flash games.
Once this gets popular (if it does =p) I intend on taking challenges to write backstories for games. It's a great creative excercise for me because it fuses my two favorite things : writing and gaming. So enjoy the future stories, and if you don't, leave some comments on what went wrong =p.

Walkthrough Justification

I know it's been a long time.
And trust me for those few that read me, it will only get longer.
With that said, I'd like to jump into the topic of this post.
Bascially the Internet is evolving.
And with it, flash gaming.
Gone are the days when you could Right-click and press Forward to beat the game.
Beating the game has become even more critical when you get badges for it.
I know one site that does this:
Sign up if you want, it's pretty cool if I do say so myself.
But back to the point, until recently players had no problem beating games but with the increasing difficulty many have resorted to walkthroughs.
Ever since walkthroughs have been created, there has been a wave of backlash from the internet claiming the walkthroughs shouldn't be used. Even the user of walkthroughs sometimes feels guilt or remorse in using the walkthrough.
I am here to show you why this guilt and remorse and hatred of walkthroughs are all unjustified.
First, you must realize that walkthroughs are aides only, they don't do the game for you, just help you finish it. That's not so bad is it? But then there are the accusations that walkthroughs "spoil" the fun.
This is also not true.
If a certain person was, let's say, doing a puzzle for an infinite amount of time, you can agree that he would eventually exhaust all possibilities and find the answer. Now in real life, we don't have that much time, so walkthroughs simply "speed up" the process. Now instead of spending infinite time, you solve the puzzle instantaneously.
Moreover you achieve the same result as if you had taken an infinite amount of time.
So in reality the only difference between these two methods is time.

Now using induction I can finish by saying that any player ,given sufficient enough time, can solve any game.

If you achieve the same result both ways, are we correct then to say that one method is better than the other?

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Fancy Pants Man - Is he alive?

As you may or may not know, Fancy Pants World 2 has recently been released.
Here's a link:
I'm not going to talk to you about the game itself, as it's awesome without
saying but there is one thing that bothers me.
Fancy Pants Man - What is he?
In World 1 we surmised he was his own creature on an alien planet but
in World 2 another human appears.... who speaks English...
So if Fancy Pants Man really is on Planet Earth, he must be a superhero as he:
  • Defies gravity (Level 5)
  • Runs at enormous speeds
  • Has incredible stamina and indurance
  • Has muscles at all only a skeletal structure ... with hair

Then there is the matter of his pants...

  • They can withstand the tremendous friction without any signs of wear or tear
  • They are as flexible as he is
  • They instantly change colors with the signal
  • They can be exchanged for a second chance at life ingame (They must be pretty valuable to Death...)

So I surmise the following backstory:

Mr. Fancias Pantolonias was once an aspiring pants salesman just like everyone else. Then everything changed...

In an unfortunate accident involving a spontaneous combustion at a factory, Mr. Pantolonias was scarred forever... literally... His muscles, skin, and even his brain and organs all burned away leaving a mute unseeing skeleton. Mysteriously only his hair survived and his precious pants were scattered across the world. Ashamed at his condition he would wear oversized pants to try to cover up his skeleton but it was no use and passing children would often ridicule him, calling him "Fancy Pants! Fancy Pants!".

A passing deity took pity on him and told him these words:

"Thou art burned, and scarred but thou art not defeated. With thy magical pants I have given thou, thou shalt defend thy people from animal tyranny forever"

With those words the deity embowed his pants with magical properties, ( the same ones discussed earlier) and sent him on a quest to find his long lost pants and defend the nation from the attack of charging penguins, lonely rabbits, and other animals of that ilk.

He now wanders the world searching for his pants, abandoned and alone, the pantshifting skeleton moves on...

Egyptian Rat Screw

Ah, yes, Egyptian Rat Screw.
A popular game among school children this game actually has occult meanings.
We can surmise the meaning of this game from the name.
"Egyptian" obviously tells us this game predates our era by a long time.
"Rat Screw", this is very interesting...
I doubt that "screw" has anything to do with our contemporary definition of it, so I surmise
a "Ratscrew" was an ancient device used by the Egyptians to communicate.
My interest was now piqued, so I dug deeper and uncovered some startling information.
A "Ratscrew" similar to tarot reading in that Egyptians used this game to reveal fate.
That is the reason why face cards are more powerful than common cards in this game,
They represent the royal families in current rule and if a royal is placed after them it means their rein has ended.
"Doubles" are also used for divination purposes.
When a double is played a player slaps the pile and claims it signalling the end of a previous era from a mistake already made i.e. history repeats it self.
"Sandwiches" represent the old culture's assimilation into the new culture by being "sandwiched" between two cultural boundaries, once again ending the previous era.
"Jokers" represent unexpected occurences or divine intervention in the form of a disrupted era of time.
"Ratscrew" was obviously not very effective in predicting far into the future as it used 52 or 54 cards as opposed to a tarot deck with 78 cards so it was eventually abandoned for divination purposes before being rejuvenated by the incoming next generation who had no idea of it's original purpose.