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The Best (Video) Game Ever

January 24, 2019

Two days ago I finally got to 112% in the hit 2017 game Hollow Knight, by three Australians and a very talented composer who collectively call themselves Team Cherry. In this game you play as a small bug knight who explores a large underground world and fights/befriends all kinds of other bugs.

complete_game

This means that I completed all of the percentage points of ‘completion’ in the game. While there are still challenges remaining like the Pantheon of Hallownest, a boss rush where you face over 40 of the game’s bosses in a row, and the aptly named Path of Pain, a section where you have to avoid much too many spikes for me, these don’t increase the completion percentage you see on the menu. That’s OK with me, I’m not in any rush…

If you have squinted you will be able to see that this took me 66 hours, 33 minutes of in game time. However, this is actually the second time I have bought this game. I bought the game on my laptop last March, and then got to 107%, the highest possible at the time. After the 3rd DLC came out, I decided to buy it on the Nintendo Switch, and now play that exclusively instead as it’s just more convenient and the controls feel better. So in total, I have probably played over 150 hours of Hollow Knight.

Why?

I think the real question is, Why not?

Single player video games are something you pick up and put down, and the length of time between these events is usually determined by how fast you feel like you’ve had enough for the day. In many games, it’s easy enough to do one or two levels, and then feel like you’d rather go do something else for a while. I felt that during Mario Odyssey. In Hollow Knight, I usually wanted to keep going. And I think that’s because the design of Hollow Knight doesn’t have any glaring holes in it that come up and frustrate you. A game can be amazing in almost every way, but have one thing that really sucks, and that pulls you out of the game. Hollow Knight doesn’t have any glaring problems that cause this, and I think that even though it may not be as huge as some open world, large budget games, the most important thing for games is to be good in all areas instead of great in some and terrible in others. I’m really impressed by what they managed to do with such a small team and I’m waiting for the sequel to come out.


Delete This

May 17, 2018

I may be removing quite a few posts from this blog that have personal information, identifying photos, etc. sometime this week (read: month/when I get around to it). Nothing is wrong, but I have realized that I post less and less content nearly everywhere online than I have in the past. This website is the most public way to see my stuff - anyone with my name can find it quite easily, and I believe there’s only one other Luka Lawford in the country, so I figure it’s a good idea to review all the posts (which I’ve never done before). Of course, all the stuff about how bad Stack Overflow and Bill Gates are will be staying. If you know me well enough to miss any of the vacation pictures or content, just ask me and I can either send you the old posts, or just talk about whatever to you until you get bored. If you don’t know me, hi and why are you here instead of a more interesting website? Enjoy it while you’re around, I guess.

Why am I posting less? I don’t mean on this blog, I mean in general across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and others I forget. I find that, firstly, I barely take pictures, as people know, but that hasn’t changed. I also find that when I have pictures that I want to share I just end up wanting to send them directly to my friends or show them on my phone to Grandma. Instagram, specifically, seems more like a Big Life Highlights Reel, and I don’t have too many Big Life Highlights (since I didn’t graduate this spring like most people, I don’t have all the Goodbye Forever pics or the upcoming Square Hat Stuff) so my content is not fresh weekly. Facebook is a total mess now. It loads really slowly compared to a ton of other sites on my computer. I think this is because of the video content clogging up the news feed, but the chat also seems to be really bad, and the chat windows jump all over the place. So I use messenger’s website instead, although I keep having an issue now where the bottom won’t have an input area and it just says “Cannot display composer” and I’m like Bach? Hadyn? which one? and reload the page AGAIN… What I’m trying to say here is the Facebook website is trash tier now and lags like crazy, the only thing you go on for is the chat, which has its own website and app, and the tag yourself memes, which are good. I am definitely not uploading any pictures to there. I think the last time I uploaded pictures to FB was in Japan, which was almost a YEAR ago now. Time flies. To get back to the idea of this paragraph, I prefer just sending stuff to my friends directly, cause honestly, when you’re posting pictures of yourself goofing off at whatever event, you only want maybe 50 to 100 of your friends on FB/insta to see them, and you probably have a couple times that many added.

I love snapchat so much now. Yes, they keep jerking around with the UI every two weeks, but it doesn’t actually affect how anyone uses it, you never NEED to swipe to the right screen to look at the ad/news/garbage page, the filters and stickers are crisp, I thought bitmojis were stupid but now that I have it going I can’t stop myself, and it’s just more fun sending dumb pictures from your daily life to 5 people who care instead of throwing pictures to 495 others who don’t.

Remember when twitter came out and everyone was like Haha who is going to use this, I don’t care what this random guy ate for lunch? Turns out people do find it interesting to know what their friends ate for lunch, and the friend with the lunch finds it juuuuuust interesting enough to hurl as an expiring 10 second mini-GIF to the two people who they know will laugh at it. People have always ALWAYS loved to talk to their friends one-on-one online. Think of any forum you’ve used in the past. People chat on the main topics but everyone has a few friends they just want to send dumb stuff 1-on-1 to, and that’s why messenger is its own thing now and FB is infested with sponsored “not an ad” stuff, and why snapchat is still fun, and why people my brother’s age use instagram DMs but never post any content (I assume).

Also, work is going well, and I hope you’re having a good summer, or winter, depending when you read this, whoever You May Be.


QHacks: I Missed the Point

March 6, 2018

Last month I went to QHacks, where I made Daypath. QHacks is 5 years old now, but this was the first hackathon I’ve been to. I ended up decided to work by myself, but I was sitting with my friend Cam and his partner the whole time, and he helped me out a lot (thanks again Cam). Before going into the weekend, I thought I should get an idea of what I wanted to make, so I thought of things that I personally would want to use. That’s how I settled on the idea of a route algorithm for your day. I got the name from the idea of pathing in video games, where there’s usually an optimal route to go through an area or level, especially if the player is trying to save time. After the weekend, I realized I made some mistakes that meant I didn’t really do the hackathon “properly”. Here they are:

  1. Not working in a team. Since I had an idea I decided that I could work alone on it. I also knew I was way behind compared to most people who were attending. It was good that I was able to make the webpage myself and learn how javascript works, but as one person, you can only make so much, and I think I should have saved this project to do on my own sometime.

  2. Not using APIs, sponsor tools etc. They had a billion prizes but I didn’t use any APIs and I wasn’t eligible for anything. It does seem, though, like a lot of people based their idea off what APIs and prizes were available. That would have been more challenging, but a better idea. I don’t really know how many of them work, though. I tried to add Google Maps’ Distance API to DayPath but it was a real struggle so I gave up for the time being and I tried to just finish the main app. Right now you have to manually enter distances which is a pain, plus, no one really knows how long it takes them to walk from certain places to others especially if it’s a pair they rarely travel between.

  3. Not attending enough talks, or talking to recruiters I guess

However, I do think that the event was a good push to get me to learn something new, and since it was right on campus, there was no loss in trying it out. I hope that next year, I’ll be able to make something a little more spicy.