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My SIGBOVIK 2020 papers, lovingly aged one month (30 Apr at 23:25)
Well, April felt simultaneously short and long! I should have just posted these at the beginning of the month, my SIGBOVIK papers from 2020:

Is this the longest chess game? is another needless chess paper, here trying to figure out the longest possible legal game. There are several rules that make sure games can't go on forever, and some surprisingly subtle details/ambiguity to those rules. The whole game is of course included in the paper (17697 moves), but I was far from being the largest waste of space in this year's proceedings, as one provocateur had a paper with 150 pages of citations. Mathieu made a 5-hour video of the chess game I computed for his companion blog post.

What is the best game console? A market-based approach is a silly idea taken too far. It was a year in the making (mostly waiting) and didn't quite turn out the way I was expecting due to world events, but that's part of the "fun" I guess!

Conditional Move For Shell Script Acceleration was another collaboration with Jim (mostly his doing, but I like to lather on an additional patina of absurdity).

This month I have mostly been trying to keep sane and healthy during the shelter-in-place order. It's been harder than usual to find the energy to be creative, but I have had some spurts. I basically only leave the house to run (not going anywhere near other people). But I have been doing that pretty regularly, so between that and the prohibition against going out to bars and ice cream, I'd say I'm currently in the best I have been in ~6 years. Yesterday I claimed some course records for some Strava segments in my neighborhood! I also finished up Doom: Eternal, which was good but you pretty much already know what it's like and I'm playing Animal Crossing and haven't yet gotten sick of that. The timing for the release of that latter game couldn't have been more perfect, huh? Sometimes I need something with a little challenge, so I just started Nuclear Throne. I'm liking it but not sure if I have decided whether it's good enough to invest the time in to win (I almost always play games to the end but these randomized roguelikes demand a certain kind of potentially infinite investment. Like I never did beat the last boss in Wizard of Legend, and even in Dead Cells, which I loved, I had to settle for some modest personal criteria for "winning.") Any other recs? Could use a good Metroidvania perhaps?
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Adhesion (66.30.119.69) – 05.03.20 12:09:16
Well chess is pretty much solved now, are we gonna see some Go papers next SIGBOVIK? :)

Yeah roguelikes are pretty hit or miss for me too. I liked Dead Cells enough to beat it on 0BC, but for whatever reason I was just done with it after that. Combat felt a little bit weird to me.

As for metroidvanias, I was gonna recommend Hollow Knight but I have a feeling you played that already - I finally got around to playing it earlier this year and it was phenomenal, absolutely deserving of all the praise. Did you play Bloodstained? I loved that one too. Heard good things about Touhou Luna Nights as well but I haven't played it yet.

BTW, I know the prospect of doing creative stuff is a bit of a mixed bag in quarantine times, but is it time to revive the AAD?! Would love to hear some new music from you either way...
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Scott F (52.119.123.120) – 05.04.20 03:03:15
I too want to revive the AAD, in theory, but feel enervated. You should do it first, Adhesion, and give us FOMO.
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Paul B (212.51.151.105) – 05.04.20 07:45:53
Will there be a companion video to one of the papers?
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jonas (176.63.12.50) – 05.04.20 09:34:30
Paul B: Tom's previous blog entry says “No talks from me this year” clear enough.
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Anonymous (108.214.186.59) – 05.07.20 00:11:32
I'm sure you've played Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup, but if you haven't, it's a very solid (and free) roguelike.

A Robot Named Fight is a roguelike metroidvania, though it is (by necessity) a little thin.
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Tom 7 (74.98.228.161) – 05.10.20 23:48:08
Thanks for the recs everyone :)
I played Hollow Knight and loved it! I can't believe it was made by four people... what an inspiration!
Tohou Luna Knights is on the list. Bloodstained I skipped because of the graphics (that should-be-2D-but-is-3D look rubs me the wrong way — I think N64 and PlayStation scarred me for life) but it has come up a few times now and it seems like it's officially worth putting back into the running.

I don't plan to make videos for the papers (it's so much work and I'm quite over those two projects!) but I do have some videos in the works.

AADs: This is a double whammy because it needs a rather extreme burst of energy (hard to come by) and is a bit selfish to monopolize the house for a whole day. But I do have the guitar out recently for a project and have been occasionally making computer tunes (Cakewalk is now supported again, and free??). Maybe a quarantime EP is achievable...
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