Further COVID measures were lifted here this week: masks are no longer required indoors with the exception of medical facilities and public transport. I’m not sure this is entirely a good idea, but The Rest of the World apparently demands it so we’ll have to see what happens now.
Coincidentally, but so quickly that it can’t be related to the above, someone from work tested positive the day after they were at the office with a bunch of other people (I was home that day). That understandably got some worried and we made plans to work remotely for the rest of the week.
I was meant to meet Rob one final time before he went home to the UK, but then his whole family came down with something and we had to cancel. Thankfully, not Covid. Note to self: get a flu shot soon.
Kim left on Sunday for a work trip, which gave me time to try out Ooblets, a cozy new indie game on the Switch which has you moving to start a new life on an island called Oob (definite Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing influences here), but throws in cute creatures (the titular Ooblets), card-based dance battles, and a lovely low-poly pastel style that recalls Untitled Goose Game. So far so fun; it’s very light hearted and the busywork doesn’t feel like a chore yet.
The introductory price of $20 (down from $30) and their very nice FAQ sealed the deal for me:
Q. Will Ooblets be a phone app or free to play?
No, it’s just a normal game you buy with money, like you might buy a vacuum cleaner or a kebab
Can I submit ooblet designs for you to use in the game?
Unfortunately we can’t use any designs you send in due to intellectual property stuff we don’t really understand.
I also started playing Wolfenstein: The New Colossus which I also got on sale, and boy are the Switch and its Pro Controller not ideal for FPS games. It’s a quality production underneath, if overly violent and depressing, but the low detail and sluggish response time simulates having cataracts and about 30 extra years of age. When I found a YouTube clip recorded from the PC version, the quality difference was shocking.
The reading slump is over! I returned to Neal Stephenson’s Seveneves, which I started back in May (over three months ago!!) and made some very enjoyable progress. I’m now about halfway through and at the end of Act 2, where the book’s title is finally explained. Since I’ll have quite a bit of alone time next week, I hope to keep going and maybe catch up on my annual reading challenge. Stephenson’s books should really count as three each, at least.
I minted my first artwork from Art Blocks in quite some time: The Inner World by Dominikus appeals to the part of me that likes glitchy abstract pieces, especially with the pseudo-3D shading that appears in roughly of these. I might be mostly alone in my appreciation though, as only 88 out of 400 have found owners so far.
My MidJourney use this week was limited to playing with their new photorealism-centric beta model (–testp). I generated a ton of portrait photos trying to make someone who looked like me, with no success, but the improvements are stunning. Where we used to be afraid of how faces would ruin an otherwise beautiful image — almost all of them were distorted and unnatural — they are now really coherent.