Author Archives: Luke Maciak

Strong Female Protagonists

There was a comic floating around on reddit the other day which was attempting to “prove” that the complaints about gender diversity in video games are false by listing few dozen “strong female characters” in a rapid fire sequence of … Continue reading

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Broken Age: Mog Chothra

In Tim Schafer’s Broken Age, Mog Chothra is a large, nearly indestructible, man eating Lovercraftian monster. It is the latest in the long line of monsters that have been terrorizing the game’s universe for untold centuries. Mogs live and breed … Continue reading

Posted in video games | Tagged | 1 Comment

New Computer

My old gaming rig has started to fall apart lately. Last year my video card blew up and took one of the PCIe slots with it. It took me a few weeks to sort it out. I purchased a replacement, … Continue reading

Posted in technology | Tagged | 4 Comments

Let’s have a serious talk about Gamer culture

I have been playing video games most of my life. It all started in middle school. I don’t exactly remember how old I was when one of my friends invited me to his house to check out his brand new … Continue reading

Posted in video games | 15 Comments

Clade by Mark Budz

I have built up a SF book review backlog that’s dangerously close to going into double digits, so I need to start knocking them down. First up on the chopping block is Clade by Mark Budz which is a book … Continue reading

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Non Mechanical Info on Character Sheets

Let’s talk about character sheets for a second. About a year ago I stumbled about a short and interesting blog post in which Jeff Rients asked his readers what “non-mechanical” information they like to put on their character sheets. I … Continue reading

Posted in rpg and tabletop | 1 Comment

Every time you touch the UI you break someone’s workflow

Let’s assume your app is currently in production, and has a non-trivial number of users. By non-trivial I mean a number that makes it impractical for you to write a personalized apology email to each and every single one of … Continue reading

Posted in programming | 5 Comments

Picking a Dark Elf Sorceress: Adventures in Male Gaze

Recently I have been shopping around for a new Sorceress miniature for my Dark Elf army and I realized that I didn’t really like most of the existing games workshop miniatures. I read a really great piece of advice with … Continue reading

Posted in rpg and tabletop | Tagged | 2 Comments

Tectonic Craft Studios Movement Trays

In Warhammer tabletop game most models move and fight as units anywhere between five and sixty models strong. To simplify the game, they are mounted on square bases that can be arranged into neat unit grids that look a little … Continue reading

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Spectacular Computer Failures: Part 2

My PC has died once again. This has happened before but it turned out to be a video card failure. I was able to identify the problem by listening to the beep-codes, ordered a new card and I was back … Continue reading

Posted in sysadmin notes | Tagged | 11 Comments

Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy was surrounded by so much fan hype none of us could possibly have had reasonable expectations for it. Over the last few months a steady stream of teasers, reveals and info dumps have kept us giddy … Continue reading

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Arrested Development: My Troglodytes are Different

Some time ago I brought up the issue of technological progress and magic. The gist of post was a contemplation on why most of “fantasy” settings seem to stuck in perpetual middle ages. The obvious in-universe answer is of course … Continue reading

Posted in rpg and tabletop | Tagged | 5 Comments

Stop Reviewing Bad Movies

Michael Bay’s Tr4nsformers came out few weeks ago and judging by the box office numbers, every man woman and child in the country has seen it at least once already. This includes me unfortunately. Sometimes you’re out with friends, and … Continue reading

Posted in movies | 10 Comments

This is Marvelous

I was planning to write a short blurb about the new Batgirl costume design, and then Marvel decided to be awesome and this redesign is no longer even relevant or important. But let’s talk about it for a few seconds … Continue reading

Posted in comics | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Iron Council by China Miéville

China Miéville’s Bas Lag series is somewhat unique in the realm of fantasy literature in that it keeps me coming back for more over and over again. I am not a huge fan of epic sagas or cycles spanning countless … Continue reading

Posted in literature | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

The Banner Saga

Spoiler Warning: this review contains some mild, setting related spoilers. No major plot events are revealed. The gods are dead… – those are the opening words of The Banner Saga. This is a hell of a way to open up … Continue reading

Posted in video games | Tagged | 3 Comments

WordPress: Vanishing Categories

Roughly a month or so ago, something weird happened to this website. It was one of those weird and a bit scary glitches that make you question your own sanity because they come out of nowhere and they have seemingly … Continue reading

Posted in sysadmin notes | Tagged | 2 Comments

3D Printing and the future of Tabletop Gaming

3D printing has been around for quite a while now. It has always been something I considered kinda cool, but mostly inconvenient to use. You either had to build your own printer from scratch, or send your 3D model to … Continue reading

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Short form Blogging

You might have noticed my post output has been consistently dropping lately. This is partly due to the fact that over the last few years this blog morphed into a collection of essays and long-form reviews rather than a daily … Continue reading

Posted in meta | Tagged | 13 Comments

Saga

Saga made by the creative duo of Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples is one of the hottest selling comic book series on Comixology. There is a reason for that. It is a damn good comic book. Few months ago … Continue reading

Posted in comics | Tagged | 9 Comments

Nidhogg

My favorite part of the original DOS version of Prince of Persia was the sword fighting. I didn’t much care for the super hard platforming and the only reason I ever put up with it, was that there was a … Continue reading

Posted in video games | Tagged | 6 Comments

Dwarf Women: Miniature Collectors Guide

I really don’t like the single sex race trope in fantasy. Which is not to say I’m against exploring non-binary gender dynamics though fiction. Far from it, I think it is a grand idea, and can be incredibly interesting if … Continue reading

Posted in rpg and tabletop | Tagged | 5 Comments

LaTex: Continous Background Compilation

What I’m about to propose here is a bit unconventional, but it really works for me. I’ve been doing a lot of front and back end web stuff lately and as a result every machine I own or work with … Continue reading

Posted in programming | Tagged | 7 Comments

Scraping Reddit’s Json for Cool Pics

Did you know that you can add /.json to any Reddit URL to get a machine readable JSON document you can screw around with? You can test it yourself. For example, go to /r/vim/.json. It works for pretty much any … Continue reading

Posted in programming | Tagged | 5 Comments

Keybase: Mostly Painless Public Encryption

Public encryption is great. It is a mature technology an an industry standard. The problem is, no one is actually using it. Or rather, whenever it is used, it is abstracted away, and hidden behind layers of misdirection. Why? Because … Continue reading

Posted in technology | 18 Comments