Tao of the Machine

Programming, Python, my projects, card games, books, music, Zoids, bettas, manga, cool stuff, and whatever comes to mind.

On being colorblind

Consider these three colors. If you're not red/green colorblind, you'll probably see the difference easily. I assume.


The point is, I am red/green colorblind, and to me there's not much difference at all. The colors get a little bit darker, that's all. I could easily mistake them all for yellow.

Same here:


The differences are a bit more obvious here, but still the colors look suspiciously similar to me. Now, you may think: he's talking about red/green colorblind, but the color examples he shows are yellow/green and purple/blue? Indeed, that has been puzzling me for a long time as well; why do I have problems with discerning certain colors other than red/green? (Besides the ones mentioned above, pink vs light blue is a notorious example.) The answer becomes clear when you look at the RGB codes for these colors. The red value for the three colors is 255 (full), 127 ("half"), and 0 (no red). So, in other words, the red value makes little difference to my eye.

I could create more interesting examples, but none as interesting as this page. Wait for the Java applet to load, then click the "Protan" button. The picture will change to the colors I see. Well, I guess that is what they are, because I hardly see any difference between "Normal" and "Protan", especially with the flowers and the fire truck.

This is one of these things that are hard to understand when you're not colorblind yourself. Fortunately, these days there are sites, so you *can* see for yourself. Now if they could only make a site where *I* could see the colors like everybody else...

Posted by Hans "red is just another kind of green" Nowak on 2003-06-06 23:56:36   {link}
Categories: general

RPGs and adventures

RPGs and text adventures (also known as interactive fiction) are among my favorite types of games. They are not without problems, though. Adventures usually have little replay value. (The next time you play it, you already know what to do and what is going to happen.) RPGs theoretically have lots of replay value (never the same game twice), but I find that they get boring really quick. (You can’t get past that guy yet, so you have to level up, by picking lots of fights with lesser creatures. Repeat.)

When my daughter played Final Fantasy X (on the PS2), it looked like fun at first… interesting beasties to fight with. But after watching it for a while, the same creatures came up over and over again, and she was running pointlessly around in the same area, so random fights would start, in order to get to the next level and obtain some decent stats.

C’mon, even 3D shooters are more interesting than that. When I killed the baddies in Doom or Quake or Duke 3D, or recently in Heretic 2, then that had a purpose… they barred your way to progress. Such games are less repetitive because you move on. That is even true for breakout games, dissed by some as the most repetitive games ever.

I wonder if text adventures and RPGs can be mixed. I mean, adding RPG elements to an adventure should not be too difficult. Such a game could be very interesting. In fact, I’ve been playing with that idea for a while. I don’t think anybody would want to play it, though. :-(

Posted by Hans "critical hit" Nowak on 2003-06-04 23:59:59   {link}
Categories: ideas, games

The M.D.

by Thomas Disch

Several times I saw the Dutch translation of this book in stores (called De Duivelsstaf), but never got around to reading it. This week I read the English version.

The cover calls it “a horror story”, and elsewhere it’s advertised as “fantasy-horror”. I’ve been reading this book, waiting for it to become horrific… to no avail. Maybe my senses have been numbed over the years… even though I try to avoid the news, live surgery on tv, horror movies, gangsta rap, and goatse.cx. Anyway, the book has the obligatory deaths, but they aren’t very gruesome. There is not much suspense either.

The book is about a boy, Billy (later William) who wields a caduceus?, given to him by the god Mercury, that grants him magical powers. He uses it to make his grandmother’s hair fall out, to make bullies’ teeth rot, and more. Indirectly it also maims and kills people. The short book summaries I’ve read make it seem like he is an evil kid who puts the vilest curses on people close to him whenever they do something he doesn’t like. This isn’t the case though; Billy is smart and sometimes out for revenge, but not evil, and at first doesn’t really understand the consequences of his actions. Unfortunately the caduceus is mostly meant for destructive acts; it feeds on those, while acts of healing drain its power.

In the end, we learn that William (then an M.D.) got rich by unleashing a virus, worse than AIDS, on the world. This last part of the book seems separate from the rest and doesn’t make so much sense. Oh, and just about all the characters die in the process.

Not the greatest book, but no so bad that I had to stop reading, either.

Posted by Hans Nowak on 2003-06-03 23:22:32   {link}
Categories: books


Oops, I just discovered a bug in how Firedrop2 handles permalinks. Let’s see if this fixes it…

Posted by Hans "imagine that" Nowak on 2003-06-03 01:12:32   {link}
Categories: Firedrop

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