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Alexander Williams
1,752 followers -
I'm the Abyss. Pleased to gaze into you.
I'm the Abyss. Pleased to gaze into you.

1,752 followers
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This article went a little further afield than I really intended. What I started to do was talk about the ball joint that I designed as a result of failing at designing the bipedal robot that I was talking about in my last article.

Somewhere along the way I felt compelled to talk about Maker versus Creator culture in our modern online digital world. There are some significant differences. There are places at which never the twain shall meet. One day I feel that I need to produce an article that goes into that with considerably more depth.

But today is not that day.

Today we talk about building a project which integrates parts that you can buy at your local Home Depot or Lowe's, commodity parts which you don't make but which you can integrate into your designs. Easily.

Hopefully that's something you want.

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No Man's Sky continues to be ridiculously attractive. Just ridiculous.

Also I finally got my Colossus, and that is gratifying, even if it does move like a sluggish leech.
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The last week has kept me face down in Fusion 360 in the pursuit of a design that made me happy, putting together I ball jointed digitigrade giant robot.

This is the story of that failure.

This is the story not only of that failure but the learning that came of it and how it turned into an entirely different project.

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Looks like we still have a little problem with things breaking loose once uprooted and flying into the heavens. I also saw a tree follow suit.
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4/21/17
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I just had a really good surprise upon waking up:

The Gor RPG has just sent out the PDFs for the mechanics book and the setting book to the people who backed it on IndieGoGo.

As one of those people, I suppose that makes me one of the elite few.

I have been interested in the John Norman core novels since – well, like a lot of us, I was exposed to them in my early adolescence. Also like a lot of us -- that is, people who have come to love the series, it made an outsized impact in my understanding of not necessarily what I was (though there was a little of that), but what the potential scope of human behaviors and interactions in a sexual and personal sense could and might expand to be.

Fantasy is one of those settings where the outward manifestations of the cultures you run into are really conservative, in a lot of ways. This is good; this is evil. Anything that deviates from the culture that the writer considers "his own" is the latter. Anything that makes a culture in the setting more like the writer's own culture is good. (Interestingly, taken in that light, the current obsessive Left orthodoxy pursuit in a lot of indie game circles is literal conservatism, but that's a post for a different day.)

Norman starts with a culture which deliberately subverts several of the axiomatic beliefs about what "good culture" is all about – and gives you a protagonist who not only drops on in and doesn't try to change everything, he becomes part of that culture, adopts that culture, and expresses his appreciation and admiration for that culture. He feels and sees happiness, and both himself and others. That said happiness comes in and aware around the culture of obligate slavery, that's really subversive stuff. Perhaps more today than even when it was written, and it was subversive then.

I haven't got around to cracking the covers on these books yet; I'm literally 20 minutes out from waking up and going through my email, but I was so excited to see that +Grim Jim had finally gotten the books together and out to the backers that I would just wanted to tell people that they're there, that they're ready to go, that they'll be up for sale on most of your major digital distributors next week, and you should probably think about picking up a copy.

I can guarantee you – this is the most subversive fleshed out setting that you're going to find in an RPG or wargame this year. Possibly in the last several years.

Material like this emerges at an interesting time for us as gamers, and as connoisseurs of free speech. Recently, a Drupal developer was kicked off the open source team he had been an active and appreciated member of for over 11 years – because it came out that, in his personal time, he enjoyed sexual role-playing in the world of Gor (http://reason.com/blog/2017/04/18/drupal-developer-ousted-over-kink#slide1).

Not that he'd harassed any woman, not that he treated anyone less than respectfully, not that there were actually any complaints about his work on the project or what he did in his own time. It was enough that he was a themed BDSM enthusiast for some of the people at the top of the group to kick him out.

I fully expect there to be horrible, horrible online protests, much stopping of feet, and much shaking of fists and shouting "how dare you!" about the Gor RPG. If it wasn't for the outrage brigade, how would we ever know what to be offended by?

Ignore them. Go check out the original source media yourself; John Norman's novels are available from several fine e-book providers. Go check out what Desborough says about his own work, because if anyone gets to talk about it – it's him. And if you're really looking for a subversive swords and sandals setting where your modern cultural standards will be challenged and you might actually have to think about what you prefer and why you prefer it, and whether or not other people can choose differently (not just should choose differently) – I think you'll find it here. I think this is what you will be looking for.

Keep your eyes open for the books to go up sometime next week:

PDF at:

http://www.rpgnow.com/browse/pub/384/Postmortem-Studios?affiliate_id=50144&test_epoch=0

Or in print at Lulu:

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/grim1031
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4/21/17
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Progress has been made on the design for the ball joint giant robot, and by that I mean that I finally come up with something that looks a lot less like a monkey head with robot legs for ears. That can only be an advantage.

I feel pretty comfortable that I can get the center of balance over the feet once I start attaching some gun pods to this thing, and it's parametrically created so it's easy enough to edit the underlying sketches to move things forward and back.

Hurray!
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4/20/17
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Progress is coming along with the most recent project. At a pace.

Yes, I use the Fusion 360 "center of gravity" system to do things like make sure the torso's mass is centered over the feet in the neutral position. I blame Kerbal Space Program for that.

The sculpted torso form has the CoG in the same place thanks to starting with the very blocky BRep volume and then sort of sculpting around it. That helps a lot, as process goes, and once you've sculpted a bit, right back into the Modeling mode you can go and use all your standard parametric tools to interact with the formed body -- and even pop back into Sculpt to modify it and back.

The only real drawback is that there's no history kept in Sculpt.

Very neat stuff going on, indeed.
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4/18/17
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