Horizon Zero Dawn

Running in the beautiful Horizon Zero Dawn.

I played Horizon Zero Dawn twice before needing to stop to help my own family in-real-life. Time passed, a lot happened, and I returned to other video games, though I did not forget this one.

The sheer size of open world video games makes one pause.

Here is a list of my few streams of this beautiful game, to be, some day, perhaps in another life, continued:

🌅 HyperTextHero Plays Horizon Zero Dawn 2
🌅 HyperTextHero Plays Horizon Zero Dawn 1

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Using a SmartPhone Camera as a Webcam on Mac or PC

The easiest way I’ve found to use a smartphone camera as a webcam on a Mac or PC in a pinch is vdo.ninja, which has good documentation and open source code.

If you want a local setup that avoids routing traffic through another server, I recommend Camo, that I’ve used for my stream setup for a while. Overall I’ve been happy with it, though the camera does freeze at times when streaming through OBS.

Currently I’m experimenting with a cheap USB webcam in order to have the least amount of software running, and will update this page with any new findings.

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Do High Refresh Rate Monitors Make it Hard to Go Back?

I’m considering getting a high refresh rate (up to 165Hz) 27in screen as a primary monitor to take center-stage away from my 75Hz Asus ProArt PA278QV, which would become the secondary screen for gaming and streaming, and primary screen for graphic design.

A concern is whether I’d become ‘spoiled’ by playing games at higher refresh rates and thereafter perceive 60fps in games as ‘slow’, thus ’creating’ more of my own graphics performance issues.

Any thoughts on this?

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Todd and Ted Talk Starfield

Two game designers discussing the design systems in Starfield.

Ted Price:

Well okay, one more question about systems. I know there are designers who are listening and watching who probably spend a lot of time designing systems.

If you had to give them one piece of advice for how to design a deep but accessible system, what would it be?

Todd Howard:

Hmm, I have a lot. I mean, there are main rules of game development advice to find the experience. How do you want it to feel? What’s the end result?

Don’t start with a list of specific features, because you’re going to get yourself into some traps that might not take you down the right roads.

The other thing is, every time, keep it as simple as you can because you’re going to start adding complexity and you need a good base to build on.

In terms of: This is a simple, elegant system that people can understand, and then as you add other, I’ll call them simpler elegant systems, when they…if the player understands the rules of those, when those start colliding, that’s where you’re getting some really good gameplay that, the player is the one who figured it out. The player is the one who expressed their creativity, and they’re feeling this moment, of, they did this. You didn’t do it as a designer. The player did.

This style of design, building several simple systems that interact with each other and form emergent gameplay reminds me of the Unix philosophy, favoring composability as opposed to monolithic design.

Via Graham Smith at RPS.

Warren Spector Writes a Blog Post

The guy hasn’t worked on that many good games. Only Wing Commander, Ultima Underworld, System Shock, Deus Ex, Thief…oh, wait.

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is that if your game doesn’t have a clear vision, and you can’t express and “sell” it and if you don’t hire people better than you are, you’re likely to fail.

We’ve developed an entirely new art form. We’re the only medium in the history of humankind that can turn every consumer into a creator and, astonishingly, we do that through the power of play. Think about that!

I’m looking forward to the next game Warren is working on, whatever it may be, and I think System Shock did introduce environmental storytelling to video games, which reminds me I must play the recent remake.

Reignite Passion

Start. Now. Don’t wait.

Get away from the computer and go for a walk every day for at least 30 minutes, preferably during work hours, to break up your day and think.

Sit down somewhere and simply watch other people going about their day, and daydream.

Write to your friends and try to meet them regularly.

Get a paper notebook and a pencil or pen and keep it by you. Write ideas and thoughts as they come, not later. Write about what interests you and what you would like to happen in your life. Write ideas for personal projects and break them down into small items that you can do to move them forward. Tick them off as they get done.

Spend time doing things other than programming. Draw. Take photographs with a digital camera and make sure to look at them after some time has passed (a few days to a few months) and mark the ones you like and put them in a folder.

Play an instrument made of wood. Go to a concert or an art exhibit. Drink a beverage in a place that feels cozy. Seek out and listen to music that you like and watch movies that you like.

Play video games that you like, especially ones with good sound and good humor, and cooperative PvE ones with friends. Some good ones are Zelda Breath of the Wild, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Everything, Noita, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Arma 3, Broforce, Jagged Alliance 2, Watch Dogs: Legion, and GTA Online in private lobbies with friends.

Beware of sociopaths. They are few and far between, but can also work at FAANGs. Read The Psychopath Code by Pieter Hintjens.

Spend time in a park or a forest walking and listening to the sounds that trees and birds and other things make. Seek out nature.

Try exercising at least once every other day. Search “7 minute workout”.

Practice cooking something you really like yourself, and once you make a version you enjoy, make it a habit to do it once a fortnight or so. Go out and eat your favorite junk food once in a while, too.

Read books made of paper about things that interest you. Use a pencil to draw lightly on the pages around the passages you like. Try a book like Think on These Things by Jiddu Krishnamurti and A Village Life by Louise Glück and Letters to a Young Poet by Ranier Maria Rilke.

Always work on your own projects, at least in your paper notebook or in your mind or on your computer, even when at work working for someone else.

Don’t worry about what other people who are not dear to you say. In the end, it doesn’t matter.

Love someone. Help someone. Be kind.

Good luck!

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Pencil on Paper

A pencil drawing of a pencil, made for the UN Archives.

Hate is a strong word, and I hate typing on phones or tablets by trying to hit small shapes behind glass with the tips of my fingers.

I like the feel of pencils, particularly softer ones like 2B, 3B, or 4B, on paper, preferably those with texture like recycled brown paper that is often used as tablecloth in Italian trattorias, the good ones, that aren’t too expensive.

The smell of pencils and paper and the sound that a pencil marking paper makes both help me absorb and remember things.

Betty Edwards wrote Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, and Frank R. Wilson wrote The Hand: How Its Use Shapes the Brain, Language, and Human Culture.

Both books are warmly recommended, as is the practice of writing notes on paper using pencils.

Signed on a text editor on a computer with a fun emoji in place of an EM dash for the whole internet to see on a blog post never edited on a mobile phone,

😄 HyperTextHero

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HyperTextHero Flies Around The World

View from the cockpit of a C-152 Aerobat in MSFS.

This is an ongoing plan for a flight around this world in simulated airplanes primarily but not only in Microsoft Flight Simulator:

  1. A circumnavigation of planet Earth passing through at least two antipodes, using various aircraft, primarily small single-engine general aviation (GA) aeroplanes, but also twins, warbirds, and even the occasional jet.
  2. Use tools like Littlenavmap for planning, and record completed legs on an open source map interface, probably using Leaflet, published here at HyperTextHero with links to notes and images from the trip.
  3. Publish the entire endeavour on a sequential playlist with episode numbers on the HyperTextHero YouTube channel.

This journey, a recurring dream of sailors and aviators, will take time and be long, and you’re very welcome to come along!

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This site is a register of pilots who have flown around the world in light aircraft (maximum weight 7000 kg). It records the pilots and their aircraft in chronological order, and aims to inspire others who have similar flying dreams.

Here is the list of single-engine airplanes that made the trip. I love that there are photos of many of the aircraft.

Microsoft Flight Simulator Feel of Flight

Best “feel-of-flight” planes in MSFS for me, probably because their sounds and flight physics “match up” to make the machines feel weighty and real:

  1. PT-17 Stearman by DC Designs
  2. Spitfire Mk. IX by Fying Iron Simulations
  3. The default C-152

I’d add Ant’s Airplanes’ Tiger Moth to this list, but the sound is not there (no Wwise 3D sound it seems, unless it has been updated. Been a while since I’ve flown it).

The lack of a damage model does make the sim feel flat. If damage modelling was there for at least landing gears, propellers, and control surfaces, with accompanying sounds, no big fireballs necessary, I think it’d go a long way to making the sim feel better.

One of IL-2 Great Battles’ lead developers is working on MSFS now, so I’m looking forward to next year’s update.

Zelda Breath of the Wild Stream Links

Kaysa, Zelda Breath of the Wild.

Kaysa in Zelda Breath of the Wild. ❤️❤️❤️ I’m updating my videos with episode numbers in the thumbnails and you can find links to the ongoing, if somewhat haphazard Zelda BotW playthrough there.


♫ Thom Yorke live from Electric Lady Studios. Also listen to Suspirium, from the same session.


Happy equal day and night length everywhere on Earth day!

I went to a stadium where folks wearing helmets and shoulder pads chased an oddly-shaped ball and each other in brief bursts, then stopped to chat for long periods while a boss-type yelled at them.

My favorite part was the musician from New Orleans’ performance with an oboe, or was it a clarinet? Beautiful and full of soul.

More images are coming here along with text and hypertext, and custom merchandise that will designed on and off the stream.

Cyberpunk 2077 Out of Phantom Early Access

Time to try it again?

Potential Fixes for Low Audio Volume on Windows

  1. Open Control Panel from the Start menu.
  2. Click Hardware and Sound.
  3. Click Sound.
  4. Click the Communications tab.
  5. Check the Do nothing radio button and click Okay.
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What is Procedural Generation?

Procedural generation is two big words for one simple thing: the creation of data by computers. Procedural generation is usually used to create content for video games or animated movies, such as landscapes, 3D objects, character designs, animations, or non-player character dialogue.

KISS Principle

Keep it simple stupid.

Nvidia Noise Suppression in OBS

Have an Nvidia card and want to try their noise suppression tech?

  1. Download the Audio Effects for your Nvidia card from the above link and install the package.
  2. In OBS open Filters for your mic, then add “Noise Suppression” and choose the Nvidia option from the drop down menu.

Be advised that I tried it and didn’t think it did any better than OBS’ regular Speex method, so I uninstalled it.

I Walk On Guilded Splinters

♫ Dr. John with Promise of the Real.

Come Again

♫ Banjo and distorted electric guitar.

Play Pong

Several versions of the classic video game playable in your web browser.

Keep Starfield Running With Music Playing in the Background When Not in Focus
  1. Start Starfield, wait for the main menu to appear.

  2. Open the Console by pressing ~ located above the Tab key.

  3. Copy and paste the following into the console and press Enter:

    SetINISetting "bAlwaysActive:General" "1"

  4. Copy and paste this text into the console and press Enter:


  5. Close the Console by pressing Esc and restart the game.

Thanks to forgenvash in the above thread for this!

Retro Achievements

Achievements for classic games for consoles such as Atari 2600, NES, and SNES/Super Famicom, played through supported emulators like the open source, cross-platform Retroarch.

The process to add achievements to a game is fascinating.

Elite Todo List

Elite is often on the back of mind when playing Starfield or other space games.

Noita and Other Game Articles

Unless you start, it is difficult to finish something, so I’m publishing in-progress articles for each game I stream with notes that’ll eventually become full reviews. Links to past streams of each game are also being added to each post. Here are the pages for Noita and Elden Ring.

Happy Birthday to Steam

Valve is an employee-owned company with a boss who thus far understands and cares about their customers and employees, which is why Steam is so successful.

Much respect for helping video gamers be free from Windows with Proton, and for making it easier for game makers to help us play with our friends with Steam’s transport layer.

Bravo! And onward to another 20 years during which I hope to experience video game artform changes brought by artificial intelligence and ridiculous hardware power.

Text to ASCII Art Generator

Lovely tool by Patrick Gillespie.

Omega: The Last Days of the World

A book with beautiful illustrations by the “French Carl Sagan”, long lost in my reading list, was brought to mind’s surface again through Starfield!

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