And sometimes, blogs

November 2023 Update

This was a really good month for getting things done.

A New Productivity Tracking Era

And that’s mainly because I’ve retired my Daily Doings 2023 Google Doc and replaced it with Sprintlog Tasklog 2023.

That’s right, I’m back to doing my doings in the form of sprints, with goals and deadlines and estimated timelines and all that junk that burned me out back in 2021 after doing it for years.

Is that going to happen again? Probably, at some point. But I was already getting burned out on my “Daily Doings” method of self-tracking. Just making a bulleted list of what I did every day, while interesting, wasn’t enough of a system for me. I needed more direction. I needed sprints.

This time around, they’re just 1 week long instead of 2 weeks long. So it’s really just, every Sunday night I make a plan for what I hope to accomplish in the next week. Wowee zowee, I guess that counts as sprints? Anyway, I’ve been doing it for 4 weeks so far, and it’s been keeping me on track.

Game Dev – Shifty Squares

For a little while back in college, I was addicted to a mobile gacha game named Puzzle & Dragons. It’s a match-three game where you can drag your selected tile all around the board, rather than to a single adjacent tile. You can thus string together long chains and combos and cascades and it’s really cool.

I’ve wanted to make a game like that for a long time now. A match-three game where you drag your selected tile around and it alters the entire board. A game where dragging the tile to the right, for example, will drag the entire row it’s in, and then dragging down will drag the entire column that you put it into, and the tiles will wrap around the edges of the board, and you can chain all those moves together to do cool combos.

A game like… this.

Seriously, I need to get some actual screen recording software if I’m going to keep doing this.

Tentatively titled “Shifty Squares” until I come up with an actual game aesthetic other than “colored blocks I made in MS Paint.”

It may be a simple concept for a game, but I don’t care. I’ve been daydreaming about it for years and it’s finally real AND it’s fun to play! And that’s with just a core gameplay mechanic and literally nothing else. So, I’m feeling pretty satisfied for now.


I’m deep in working on Porydex again! After being on and off with it since the summer, it’s now at the top of my priorities list, and it’ll stay there until it’s fully up to date again.

Unfortunately, it’s an even bigger mess now than it was the last time I mentioned it. I’ve realized I need to redo how a lot of its data is stored. In particular, move data and ability/item/move descriptions ought to have been stored by game rather than by generation.

For most of the series, any in-generational differences in that data used to be negligible. For example, who cares if the description of the move Pound changed between Ruby/Sapphire and FireRed/LeafGreen? The move still has all the same effects, PP, type, and so on. In fact, to my knowledge, the only time a move’s true details changed in-generation was Hypnosis getting a mild accuracy change from Diamond/Pearl to Platinum. A good trivia factoid, but not enough of a reason on its own to duplicate (or triplicate) all the move data across every version (or version-group, technically).

But then came Let’s Go. And then came Legends: Arceus. And now, it’s not so unheard of anymore for a move to have different effects from one game to the next in the same generation. So, in the pursuit of perfectly accurate data, the data from the older games needs to be re-imported on the new per-game basis.

Sigh. Normalized databases are a pain sometimes.

Attack on Titan

About a decade ago, this weird anime named “Attack on Titan” came out and took the world by storm and then went on indefinite hiatus to give the manga more time to finish. Okay, I thought at the time, I’ll just wait for the anime to finish and then watch the whole thing at once.

Well, it finally happened. I found out that “Attack on Titan: The Final Season: Part 3: Part 2” came out the day before, and I just kind of instantly dropped everything in my life and did nothing but binge AOT for the entire next week.

It was a good series, for the most part. Season 1 was insane and I could tell exactly why it blew up in super-popularity; it seemed almost tailor made to be a show that blows up in super-popularity. Season 4… was bad. It went in bad directions and did bad things with all the characters. And I had such high hopes after the revelations at the end of season 3…


Currently reading: the Bobiverse series by Dennis E. Taylor

Okay, technically I just finished reading it, but I haven’t started my next book yet, so Bobiverse wins this coveted review placement for now.

These books are an absolute delight from beginning to end. Brief teaser summary: a cryogenically frozen software developer is woken up centuries after his death as an artificial intelligence, to be the brains behind a self-replicating Von Neumann space probe. Chaos ensues.

(Tbh, you can probably summarize just about any book with “[Chapter 1 summary here.] Chaos ensues.”)

But for real though, these books are SO FUN, and the audiobooks especially are just a masterful performance. Read them. Listen to them. And then join me in waiting for book 5, which will hopefully be out in the next few months.


  1. joimassat

    Y A Y !

    Pretty soon you’re gonna need your own Unregistered Hypercam 3.

    I used to be extremely into Attack on Titan. Reading the first few chapters online, then seeing the first episode drop on Anime Club like a meteor with a really great backing orchestra, and including a full-page spread in my 10th grade Frankenstein presentation…good times. One Christmas my aunt accidentally got me the Japanese volume 6 instead of the translation. I don’t know how this happened (maybe it wasn’t actually out yet), but it just made the story seem all the more mysterious and legendary.

    I bought volumes for a while and kept up that way, but then I dropped off and forgot to keep reading or learning how it ends, as tends to happen with me. Then I heard random bad things about the story, but instead of learning what actually happened to contest or substantiate that, so I could Epically Burn the story with a blog post or something, I just never found out. Could now/soonish be the time?

    Speaking of, for all that I say “I am a science fiction fan,” I sure do only watch or read ~1 relevant piece of media per month. Ever since I got stressed about random life stuff recently, my reading game has just decayed. I should go read Bobiverse after I chew through like 6 other books currently on my desk, and then I might make it in time. People’s media bubbles are so separate these days that I forget how stimulating things like groupreads and watch parties, or just eyeing the same piece of fiction, can be.

    • Jesse

      If now IS the time, I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts on Attack on Titan. Tbh, my post probably made it sound worse than it actually is. It remains a compelling story throughout. I just *really* dislike the directions it took certain characters. But there are plenty of people who like what it did, so maybe this one’s a solid “YMMV.”

      You’re starting to sound like me a few months ago, aka “I’m a science fiction + fantasy fan… wait, I haven’t read a fantasy book in years? It’s all been science fiction lately?” THAT SAID… All year I’ve been aiming to read at least a single book per month, and usually that’s as much as I did… until the Bobiverse this last month. I chugged those books like water, and my thirst wasn’t quenched until there was nothing left. So yeah, I support you reading them, if you think they’ll tickle your fancy in the slightest.

  2. nah

    OBS is pretty good, I recommend that one

    • jpirnat

      For screen recording? Thanks, I’ll try it!

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