Weekly Update

This week: I beat Kalikan on Pico-8. I didn’t have much free time this week, but I spent all of it on this game. It’s opened my eyes to a few different things…

I really love Shoot ‘Em Ups. They’re what I’ve been looking for in gaming. I haven’t been gaming hardly at all lately. I don’t really have much time these days. Shoot ‘Em Ups are pick up and play – you can do just a few quick sessions. They’re delightfully retro – they can trace their lineage back to Space Invaders, the game that kicked off the golden age of video games. Even newly made Shoot ‘Em Ups have a retro feel.

Even though they’re easy to pick up, they’re often very challenging. You die. A lot. But it’s a good feeling to experience incremental progress. It puts me into a flow state.

From here: The term “flow state” describes a mental state in which a person is completely focused on a single task or activity. They are directing all of their attention toward the task, and they do not experience many thoughts about themselves or their performance. Some people refer to this informally as being “in the zone.”

Tasks that tend to encourage a state of flow often share similar characteristics. These tasks may be: challenging, but not so much that they are impossible. rewarding, meaning that a person gets a sense of pleasure or purpose from doing it. in-depth, involving an investment of some time or energy to make progress.

It’s nice to shut my brain off but be focused, and have fun. After I beat Kalikan, I’ve been looking at a few other Shoot ‘Em Ups to go to next. DoDonPachi is a popular game in the genre. I really like it. I rotated my monitor so it’s vertical.

I’ve also been trying out some TurboGrafx 16/PC Engine Shoot ‘Em Ups, as the TG16 is home to a lot in the genre. I spent a little time with Final Soldier and I loved the vibe. I’ll probably be coming back to this. I want to explore more TG16 games – it’s an interesting system. It’s like a souped up NES. The graphics are really nice!

I also have been playing a lot of Gyruss this week. I remember playing it at a hotel a lot on a vacation when I was a kid. I couldn’t remember the name, so I described it to ChatGPT and found it. I also got my screen rotated for this. This one has been fun to just put on and listen to music and chill out.

I was using my Switch gamepad but I read that the analog stick is bad for Shoot ‘Em Ups. I switched to my SNES controller. The Internet was right! A good D-Pad is much better. I’m hoping to get an arcade stick soon.

Music for this week:
Uncle Skeleton
Omni Gardens
I’ve also been listening a lot to PsyTrance. I go in and out of EDM. All the subgenres are confusing. I’ve been trying to make note of the subgenres I like, so I’m starting the list with PsyTrance. I’ve just been finding mixes on YouTube and Soundcloud. Are DJ mixes the way to go when listening to EDM? It seems like it. I like it better than listening to an EDM album.

Other listening:
Northwoods Baseball Sleep Radio A “sleep” podcast that’s a fake baseball game. Very enjoyable for background music.
Hanging Out With Audiophiles A podcast interviewing musicians and going deep into making music. I’ve only listened to half an episode so far but it seems right up my ally.

This week so super super busy, which has been hard because I’m a low energy person. But I think I’m appreciating winter more these days. I guess it helps that it’s been a mild winter. It’s been nice and cozy though. I even bought a hoodie for the first time in my adult life to help me be cozy!

I also started a 2024 Moodboard. Maybe it’s just a winter moodboard. Who knows.