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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Wonderful 1237 Strategy Guides: Donald Trump

 By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Golfing, anyone?

Welcome to the beginning of a long line of strategy guides for KoopaTV's amazing browser-based Flash game, The Wonderful 1237! The Wonderful 1237 features seventeen unique minigames, all from each of the seventeen Republican presidential candidates you will be competing with.

As explained in last week's Wonderful Wednesday article about those minigames, I'll be writing these strategy guides — one for each candidate, in a specific order. This one is about the guy who ultimately won the whole thing in real life: Donald Trump. As of the game, he's Candidate Donald Trump — one of many other candidates. However, as you can see below, he's among one of the more formidable candidates — though perhaps that will become more obvious as you compare him to others.

Candidate Stats

Base stats and growth:
Beauty: 0 + (0–4)
Cool: 1 + (0–4)
Cute: 1 + (0–3)
Smart: 0 + (0–4)
Tough: 4 + (1–5)

Average untouched stats after 14 rounds:
Beauty: 28
Cool: 29
Cute: 22
Smart: 28
Tough: 46

Average likelihood of surviving Iowa if untouched:
Extremely likely. (Donald Trump will have 17 delegates on average; need 11 to clear.)
The Wonderful 1237 Versus Donald Trump

Monday, March 27, 2017

Rawk's Splatoon 2 Global Testfire Experience

By RAWKHAWK2010 - Splat2n.

Don't ask me why I'm writing this article. Because I'll tell you why: Ludwig doesn't own a Nintendo Switch and can't investigate this “Splatoon 2” on his own. And so as someone who does, the burden was placed on me.

I have no interest in Splatoons. I have no desire to engage with Splatoons. The character models irk me and Splatooners have a showy sense of self-righteousness of what it means to be a “‘90s kid.” And I may like squids, but that doesn't mean I want to squirm around in the presence of these unctuous

That said, I've participated in both Splatoon testfires. My memory of the first Splatoon Global Testfire has since been distorted by a series of unfortunate brain diseases (blame Sierra Leone), and my memory of the second has been distorted by the fact that most of my fascination with Splatoon 2 involved not actually playing the game. Namely, basking my nihilist squid in the sun was infinitely more rewarding than interacting with squid kids and their trifling reindeer games.

Splatoon 2 Global Testfire purple squid sleeping eyes closed ground
Every idiot who goes about with “Booyah!” on their lips should be boiled with his own ink.

Friday, March 24, 2017

JonTron and Yooka-Laylee: The Ends Versus The Means

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - What do we think of this moral dilemma?
[Update 3/25/2017: There's a video version of this article at the bottom.]

And on one corner, we have the forces of JonTron and the “alt-right”! And on the other corner, there is the game developer Playtonic and the radical leftist videogame board, NeoGAF!

The current controversy of the week is this: Popular YouTuber JonTron, who has three million subscribers on YouTube (it's unknown how many of them are actually active), said really dumb/questionable/noble-but-poorly-articulated things in a political debate about culture, immigration, and race, with some left-wing guy. The substance of that issue doesn't matter to this discussion, but the end result is that JonTron, who is a (bad) entertainer, tried pretending like he's some kind of political thinker and it backfired. As a result, it divided his fanbase up.

This article isn't about YouTuber drama, because no one on this site cares about that garbage. What does matter is that KoopaTV's staffers have been warning about how JonTron is bad news in the industry, with particular interest on his voice-actor role for Playtonic (made up of former Rare Ltd. developers)'s Kickstarted game, Yooka-Laylee, which releases this April 11. Here are some prescient Rawk quotes from back in June of 2016:

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Anatomy of The Wonderful 1237's Minigames!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Some overarching game design stories before I write specifically about each minigame.

I think the most technically awesome thing about The Wonderful 1237, which is a free browser-based Flash game that can and should play right from KoopaTV, is that it has seventeen awesome minigames incorporated in it. They just barely are able to be crammed in this jam-packed game, but they're there, modularly programmed, and self-contained. Those are all good programming principles.

Each of the seventeen Republican presidential candidates from the 2015–2016 primaries (with brief introductions to them here) gets their own minigame that you'll have to go through if you wish for their post-campaign-suspension endorsement, and their delegates. In each minigame, they'll give you some kind of instruction, leave you to it, and then tell you your score in the form of how many of their delegates you've won. (Any other delegates for a less-than-perfect score are evenly distributed to the other remaining candidates.)

The Wonderful 1237 screenshot Seek Endorsement drop out candidates selection
The list of dropped-out candidates after Iowa and New Hampshire in a particular playthrough.
If you want their delegates, you'll have to play a minigame.

Where'd I get the idea to make a minigame compilation? (Well, The Wonderful 1237 is a lot more than that, mechanically, but the minigames is where a bunch of the development time went.) Am I going to provide a list of the minigames in here? (Yes.) What design philosophies did I have when making them? All of those will be answered, and more.

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Nintendo Switch Is The Anti-CIA Console!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - There's no built-in microphone hardware!

Two weeks ago, on March 7, WikiLeaks revealed Part 1 of the Vault 7 series (there's no Part 2 yet) — an information dump detailing the Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA's) often-rumoured-but-unconfirmed capabilities. I wrote a (true) story about one of them: Remote vehicle hacking, which can be used for undetectable assassinations.

But there's a lot more, with their Embedded Device Branch and Mobile Devices Branch turning your electronic devices with microphones into covert listening devices.

Gaming consoles, huh? Hey, one of those JUST came out from Nintendo earlier this month. The Nintendo Switch! Did the CIA take over the Nintendo Switch?

Let's take a look at the Nintendo Switch specifications to find out:

Nintendo Switch Specifications Specs console components
There's an audio jack where you can connect commercially available microphones.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Game Reviews: 5/10 is NOT Average

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Anyone who says that either doesn't know what an average is, or don't know how reviewers score games.

Throughout my experience lurking Internet conversations about videogame reviews, there's always been threads about reviews that give beloved games low review scores (such as 8.8 for The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, or 7.8 for Pokémon Alpha Sapphire/Pokémon Omega Ruby) by certain critics. Sometimes there is THAT GUY who says something like...

Source: This GameFAQs comment in a thread about a 7/10 score given to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild by The Jimquisition.
“7/10 is not average... 5/10 is average.

7/10 = great game, far above average”
I don't want to pick on just that one GameFAQs user, but it's fairly representative of the kind of person I see, and they're sort of everywhere. A minority, yes, but still prevalent.

This article is for them. Because they are wrong. I think this next image more-or-less makes why they are wrong very obvious: 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Learning Points from The Wonderful 1237's Mechanics & Dynamics

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - These learning points are along the lines of “about the American political nomination system” than “about game design”, but...

Last week for Wonderful Wednesday — the article series where I try every week to write something about KoopaTV's free, fun, and browser-based game The Wonderful 1237 — I discussed how the Aesthetics of The Wonderful 1237 provided learning points about how the presidential primary process in the United States is treated as a horse race, and how detrimental that is to America.

This week, let's look at what the game's inner mechanics, and the dynamics (how the player interacts with it), can teach us. And by us, I mean you. Though I myself learned quite a bit about the subject matter through making this light-hearted “simulation”. Game development for learning!

I guess I should start by listing some of the mechanics and dynamics from The Wonderful 1237 and talk about each from there:

Monday, March 13, 2017

Making America Great: Abolish Daylight Savings Time!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Hopefully, a bright spot to this presidency...

I am so incredibly grumpy. Yesterday, March 12, was one of the worst days of the year. In the top 3. There's Daylight Savings Time day (yesterday), Tax Day (April 18 this year, usually April 15 — and we'll have an article for it when the time comes), and then my birthday (December 13). All are awful.

I've written before in 2015 that Daylight Savings Time dooms the world. I sincerely believe that. That's why, in 2016, I shared the petition to Congress to abolish Daylight Savings Time. It has a lot of signatures as of now:

End Daylight Savings Time petition abolish congress United States
134,926 messages sent as of tonight. You can add your name here.

I've decided to take my opposition to Daylight Savings Time, shared by everyone on KoopaTV's staff, a step further this year.

Friday, March 10, 2017

The CIA's Assassination Attempt Against Waluigi

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - With Mario's help, the CIA is exporting compromised cars to the Mushroom Kingdom. A MAR10 Day exclusive!

Even if the mainstream media is scared of discussing it, I hope you've become aware of and familiarised yourself with the “Vault 7” information provided by Wikileaks earlier this week. That's Part 1 of the information dump about how the United States of America's Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is doing all kinds of nefarious and illegal spying and hacking activities, most of which are outside the scope of KoopaTV.

One of the many scary things that the CIA is plotting is to gain the ability to remotely control vehicle systems, and other Internet of Things devices. It's unknown what the CIA would plan to do once they have access to those systems, but many speculate the obvious thing to do is to send someone to their death by taking the car over. 

Conspiracy theorists (and I don't mean that pejoratively, because they were correct not to trust the CIA to begin with — though that particular video isn't one worth watching) believe that CIA-hacked remote-access to vehicles is how journalist Michael Hastings was killed in 2013. Michael Hastings was a journalist who was on the trail of the American intelligence agencies and was going to release a big story. Then he died in a Mercedes car that all of a sudden went very high-speed and smashed into a palm tree. His death was ruled... an accident.

Nevermind that the CIA was discussing developing the capability to do that in 2014, and Michael Hastings died in 2013. That's a minor and insignificant detail. Perhaps the CIA members weren't aware that they already could do that in a different department. Communication is always an issue in large organisations such as that.

But that was years ago, and this is now. I have a startling and slightly-personal report to share with y'all about how the CIA's capabilities have evolved since 2013 (or 2014): They are exporting the compromised cars from Earth to my world, and there are already disastrous and almost-fatal results.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Presidential Primary Horse Racing and The Wonderful 1237

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - A total lack of substance from the media, which directed the narratives.

I absolutely highly recommend reading these two articles from the Harvard Kennedy School Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy: Part 1 covering the Republican and Democratic presidential primaries from beginning to the end of 2015, and Part 2 covering the Republican and Democratic presidential primaries from 2016 to their conclusion. They're fantastically written, and serve as all of the background you'll need if you weren't following the presidential primary season of 2015–2016. And shame on you if you weren't, since KoopaTV did.

The conclusion is that the media — the gatekeeper of information between what was going on in politics (and the candidates) and you, the American voter — is institutionally unable to provide coverage on what is actually important (issues, substance) and instead focuses its coverage on “horse race” style reporting: Who is winning/losing in the polls, and how the day's events will change that. This is because of the values of news organisations (talk about whatever is... y'know, new and exciting). There's little discussion on actual merits of policy. It got to the point that literally has a horse-racing animation with the candidates, and other websites had similar things going on at the time.

The percentage of media coverage on the horse race vs. substance.
Note how it's the reverse of what's helpful for voters (you want substance to be able to decide early).
This figure provided in Part 2 of the Shorenstein Center's analysis.

While journalists dislike when people describe their reporting as a horse race — it's a pejorative term —  they don't actually change what they're doing. That makes it great fodder for sites like KoopaTV, which thrives on lampooning such absurdities. For example, two weeks ago, I wrote about Game Freak's Pocket Card Jockey, a horse-racing solitaire game with very deep mechanics, and said it was the basis for The Wonderful 1237, KoopaTV's end-of-2016 videogame release that is a satire of the Republican presidential primary process. (It's also a fantastic game in its own right, so if you have a Flash-enabled device, go play it at that just-linked web page.)

Monday, March 6, 2017

Console Launch? On a School Day? It’s More Likely Than You Think!

By LITTLE FRUINI - Now you're learning with power!

The Nintendo Switch launch has been anticipated for a very long time, ever since the existence of the NX, codename for the Switch, has been revealed. People have created an NX Bot, bugged Zelda Williams, and the formerly-known /r/NintendoNX subreddit had gone full on haywire before the reveal (there were tons of Tomorrow posts over there)!

Which is why, as an enthusiastic Nintendo fan, it HURTS that I had to actually WORK on Friday instead of being enclosed in a house filled with adventure… and isolation. It hurts in the same way when Nintendo switched the Super Bowl game (pun ever-so intentional)!

March 2017 calendar free student days high school Nintendo Switch release fake
Here is a calendar of a student’s March schedule. The red hexagons indicate free student days.
This poor soul thought that the Switch would release on March 10. If only he knew the truth…

Now, there’s a new problem: Getting the Nintendo Switch itself.

Friday, March 3, 2017

If You've Picked Up The Nintendo Switch On Launch Day...

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - ...Then congratulations. You're SPECIAL.

It turns out that the reason Nintendo chose the Imagine Dragons song “Believer” for their Super Bowl LI commercial is because of all of the PAIN involved in the song. They were foreshadowing the agony in actually acquiring the JUST-LAUNCHED-TODAY Nintendo Switch!

KoopaTV's never done a new Nintendo console launch before, so if there's supposed to be a ritual involved, I'm not aware of it.

Anyway, despite only having The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and a handful of other titles at launch (like Snipperclips and “Cow-Milking With 27 Bonus Minigames” 1-2-Switch), that's enough for the Nintendo faithful to want to purchase a Switch. I guess that means they all chose the Nintendo Switch version of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild according to my article about which version to buy!

Yet, evidently lots of people bought The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for the Wii U, according to how active its Miiverse community is. Why? Can they not afford a Nintendo Switch... or do they want one, but could not actually get one due to inventory issues?

There are many reports and stories out there about many different retailers, ranging from Best Buy to Amazon, cancelling or delayed pre-orders. If you haven't pre-ordered, then the high demand is just making these inaccessible. Sounds familiar, right?

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

KoopaTV's February 2017 Review Newsletter

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - A new normal?

In the business world, they want people to analyse what's going on in the external environment, keeping an eye out for things like political malfeasance. KoopaTV does that all the time... just not out of concern for our own survival.

...And maybe we should've, since now we're stuck at 3 articles a week (besides this week, thanks to President Donald John Trump) thanks to President Donald John Trump's hate-mongering and bad international relationships.

(Not that we regret our endorsement of him.)

That's been the big KoopaTV thing for February, but for the foreseeable future, it's the new normal. Which means it's a good opportunity for some changes, as seen below:

Consolidated KoopaTV's Pages

If you haven't noticed, as of publishing, KoopaTV looks a bit different. (And I'm speaking purely for the desktop version, since the mobile version is garbage and hopeless regardless.)

It used to look like this:

S-So many pages! Oh no!

But NOW it looks like... this: