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Below are the 12 most recent journal entries recorded in Shanya Almafeta's LiveJournal:

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009
3:25 pm
Sunday, June 14th, 2009
3:22 pm
Game Knols Continue
I've been resposting some of my old gaming articles to Knol. Here are two:

RIFTS BESM d20
RPG Chakats

In other Knol news, my knol on the Commodore 64 has been deemed good enough to enter the rotation for the articles on today's front page!
Sunday, June 7th, 2009
11:07 pm
Help me decide what to write
I'm torn between three settings. Choose one of these three (just one) that you'd be interested in playing in.

#1: Bankrupt Conspiracy. Black humor urban fantasy. A conspiracy has kept the truth about magic from humanity for the last two thousand years. This year, the conspiracy ran out of money, and the truth suddenly becomes obvious.

#2: Democratic Mandate. Magical cyberpunk. The Celestial Bureaucracy running the world undergoes a democratic revolution. Human corporations introduce the concept of 'lobbyists' to the groups running physics and magic.

#3: Sixth-Age Space: Kung-fu space opera. Tens of thousands of years from now, slow-boats have colonized the galaxy. Fast FTL suddenly becomes very real thanks to magic.
Monday, March 23rd, 2009
9:47 pm
Knol updates
I have written two knols lately, both about constructed languages.

First, I was bored at work, so I wrote a knol about an obscure international auxiliary language, Pasilingua.

Second, I was asked to write a brief tutorial to help people learn the language, so I wrote an article which had just Enough Interlingua To Fake It.
Monday, February 16th, 2009
10:13 pm
Life is crazy, crazy, crazy.
Friday, February 6th, 2009
12:39 am
New review: Sword of the Stranger.
Thursday, January 22nd, 2009
1:26 pm
How to Blow Up the World
The last chapter of my RPG, How to Blow Up the World, has been released. (Due to the amount of research needed to assign TLs to all of dozens of pieces of equipment, it took more time than most.)
Wednesday, December 17th, 2008
11:59 pm
How to Blow Up the World
The RPG I have been working on for two years now, How to Blow Up the World, has reached a point where I feel safe making it public.

Yes, publishing it on Knol is experimental. But hey, Knol itself is an experiment, an RPG can be an authoritative source of information (in this case, about characters in end-of-the-world scenarios), and this way people can comment on rules in individual chapters if they see fit to do so.
Saturday, November 8th, 2008
7:29 pm
New knol: Commodore 64
Friday, October 31st, 2008
8:44 pm
Sunday, January 27th, 2008
1:17 pm
So, since the first day I've been coming to Radford University, I've noticed that there are sometimes... extra doors, I guess you could call it. Doors on the third floor of most buildings that open to classrooms when logically they should open to air, and buttons on elevators that don't align to any floor of the building I've been on.

Of course, I always ignored those doors and buttons, just out of the corner of my eye. When I wasn't rushing to classes, clubs, and back to my dorm for homework, I was frantically rushing to classes, clubs, and back to my dorm for homework. So I've been here two years without taking a peek. Besides, there was a logical explanation for all those optical illusions, right? A prankster architect, no doubt.

But today, I had nothing to do for several hours, and all my games were boring. So, I decided to take a peek. Right in my own dormitory, there's an elevator with one button too many: 1, 2, 3, and A all stand for the first three residential floors and the medical annex, but "P"... I have no idea what "P" stands for. So I hit it, and I took a look around. Notably, the elevator went up, instead of down. I think. It was a few hours ago.

This section of the building is ancient, and except for the floors (which seem to have been swept... poorly...), I wouldn't think anyone has been here in years. Some of the dates I've seen on things like fallout shelter signs and the like date the building to the 50s, which means it's been used as storage for at least that long, if not longer. There's some steam pipes in one room, and what looks like used to be a row of water heaters, but they've all been long disconnected -- the power cords are unplugged and there's a mass of spiderwebs over all the connections.

There's even what seems to be an old common room, with books in pretty good condition. I think I lost a few hours just reading them, and looking at old yearbooks, of graduating classes gone by. Even if the chairs pushed out some sort of moldy dust every time I sat down or wriggled in them.

But now I have a slight problem. I can't seem to find the elevator to get back out again. I've even done the left-hand-rule for getting out of mazes, and though I eventually return to the same spot, sometimes I pass 19 doorways when I do it, and sometimes I pass 24. Luckily I brought my laptop with me, so I can post wirelessly, but I can't find a plug-in and the battery's getting low.

(What's going on?)

Sunday, September 17th, 2006
1:09 pm
Public: Books that rock: "Urban Planning and Design Criteria"
So, with a utilitarian name like "Urban Planning and Design Criteria," what's to love?

An easier question might be what's not to love. This is one of those obscure references of information you always thought you might find handy, but you have no idea how to get.

This book tells you how to design a city. The entire first chapter, from page 3 to page 35, is basically a giant list of flowchart. A flowchart that directs you to other flowcharts, which occasionally directs you to entire other chapters, the ultimate in breaking it down in simple terms for the unedicated.

There are charts, references, and discussions for just about everything. How many children a family have, and from there, how many school (and from there, teachers) a town needs; the essential services that a town needs to provide to grow; exactly how much space is needed for various town essentials (from roads to baseball fields. There are numerous time-tested guidelines for how much of utility Y you need for a town of population X -- for example, for every thousand people, about 2 acres of parks (not medians, not playgrounds, not wildland, but parks) are reccomend, and no residence should be more than a half-mile away from these parks, for the maximum psychological benefit.

There's a bit over 700 pages of this, and while the depth gets very deep, there's also a number of charts that offer simple summaries -- and, thankfully, the references (TOC and indexes) are comprehensive and easy to use.

Being the ever-hopeful Utopian I have, this is useful to me in many of my dreams of grandeur. However, there's probably elements in here that anyone could find something of interest within -- for designing realistic cities for your next roleplaying game, or criticizing your own city, or understanding better all the expenses in a government that are normally invisibile to Joe Q. Public.

Reference info, if you want to find it at your local library.Collapse )
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