Isqua Istari

The Wise Wizards

Pondermull Campaign

Posted in Articles by Ziggy Wednesday March 22, 2017 at 16:16

Back in 2010-2011 I ran a D&D campaign. It was my first real attempt at “doing it right” and I feel like I learned a lot in the process. Most of those lessons you can find elsewhere, and I certainly didn’t innovate to any great degree, but as a means of closure (and since I intended to do so eventually) I’m going to chronicle as much as I can of what happened and why. I’m doing this without most of my notes, so many of the details are incomplete.

To start off, here’s:

The Grand Outline (more…)

Composite VTOL

Posted in Articles by Ziggy Saturday January 28, 2017 at 09:05

Our aerospace industry could be more efficient if we built airplanes in two pieces, a take-off tug that did launch assist for a long-range mission core. Details in this report: http://www.tryop.com/Innovation/CompositeVTOL.pdf

Or just read the text below (more…)

Planet by Oskar, Now with Saves and Keyboard Shortcuts

Posted in Articles,Other by Ziggy Sunday September 18, 2016 at 08:46

Oskar Stålberg wrote this lovely little piece of software which he titled his “Polygonal Planet Project”.

Unfortunately, it had no keyboard shortcuts or save/load functionality… so Dru hacked it in! It’s currently a single-file “quicksave” sort of functionality, but it seems to work in the cases we’ve tested. It makes the game much more enjoyable, we think! Currently saves are hard-coded to /path/to/Planet/planetsave.cfg.

F5: Save to File
F9: Load from File

(more…)

Principles of Animation

Posted in Articles by Ziggy Tuesday July 19, 2016 at 10:11

There are a classic set of “Twelve Principles of Animation” which some Disney guys came up with based on their experiences, and by all accounts they have held up fairly well. What I’d like to do here is explore the principles, draw out some patterns I’ve noticed, and then offer some guidelines of my own.

So, for reference, here’s the video that kicked off my drive to write this article. And here is the list of the 12 principles that he lists, and which I’ll be exploring: (more…)

The Bible and IP

Posted in Articles,Other by Ziggy Thursday June 9, 2016 at 09:26

I have already endeavored to examine (and dismantle) the logical foundations of the idea of Intellectual Property, but before this writing the religious justification or refutation has gone largely untouched.

For this study I will be sourcing exclusively from the KJV translation of the Bible, which you can download for free here. I will be referencing by book and chapter only, and will quote sparing context, as the full text is available and searchable.

But first, I feel it is healthy to address a few of the…

Common Scriptures Referenced in Relation to Intellectual Property

Exodus 20 is often quoted as evidence for the validity of IP. However, this argument presumes both that ideas are property and can be stolen. I would say that neither are true, but either way this passage does not enlighten us on the definition of theft. It does, however, bring up a much more interesting point which I will go into further on, as regards both dishonesty and covetousness. (more…)

SpoOratory Ep3

Posted in SpoOratory by Ziggy Thursday February 11, 2016 at 16:56

Taking death seriously, but joy more seriously.

Spiritual Tapestry

An interwoven trialogue across a broad range of related subjects, starting at

1:10 Russion song “Not for me (Не для меня)” (more…)

Septacrypt Decoding

Posted in Articles by Ziggy Friday February 5, 2016 at 19:40
SeptacryptOverview

Two of four major sides of the Septacrypt visible here.

This is the Septacrypt. I designed it as a riddle and a message. What follows is a step-by-step guide to unraveling its intended meaning. But first, the…

Motivation

This project started several years ago, as I pondered the philosophical quandary in which the creators of Penny Arcade found themselves. I have been a fairly regular reader of both the comic and the news-post, and both their honesty and epistomological despair have often struck me. They both clearly have knowledge of the Scripture, but do not know the Power of God. I was not infrequently moved to attempt a communication, but never with such force as would spur me to action. Further dampening my desire was the knowledge that a great many other persons daily vie for their attention, and if I was not willing to make myself either obnoxious or exceptional, my attempts would surely be wasted to no lasting effect. (more…)

Real Theoretical Conundrum

Posted in Other by Ziggy Wednesday January 13, 2016 at 12:31

I am struggling with a system I don’t completely understand.

Running a sequence of tests.

Suddenly! Struck by an expression which is exactly what I wanted. An image of my deepest hopes, long longed for but never fully expressed. A glorious flash of perfection.

But I realize that the problem still exists. The perfection is fatally flawed. In fact, the flaw is now dreadfully obvious, and what I love in the system will be destroyed when the flaw is addressed.

I fix the flaw, and the system is mundane again.

I am struggling with a problem I don’t completely understand.

Speculative Delusions

Posted in Delusions of Grandeur by Ziggy Wednesday January 13, 2016 at 12:28

I think about how to use the things at hand. It’s kind of like this but for tools and equipment. It happens with skills as well, but much more rarely. My psyche is more focused on possessions than personal powers. Of course, being a young man, a lot of these hypothetical scenarios involve using whatever is at hand as an improvised weapon in some sort of violence-driven cinematic sequence.

In any case, I’m often rather startled by the incongruity of the speculations that come to mind. I’m going to start posting these under the Delusions of Grandeur category. Hopefully these missives from my imagination will prove interesting and worth reading, in keeping with our high content standards here at Isqua Istari.

To add some content to this article, here’s an example. (more…)

TUNR: Charge More for Violence

Posted in Other by Ziggy Wednesday January 13, 2016 at 12:22

My response to: TUN Slow Down the Violence
People play to learn. We want to learn things that are expensive to learn. Killing people is the most expensive thing that we know about, so it makes total sense to learn about it in games instead of through real life.

Also, “shooting” is much easier to implement than other forms of personal violence (wrestling, swordplay, etc). It’s basically just a mouse click on a target, and doesn’t usually involve much reaction other than target tracking.

I agree that adding needless violence is a bad habit, but violence in itself isn’t bad. Employing violence is a good idea in the right context. Given the insane cost of killing actual people, killing people in games seems like a pretty good context to me.

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