Did some woodworking for the first time in a long while this morning. Nothing fancy, just a little three-sided box-like platform to lift our older dog's food plate closer to his mouth so he doesn't have to work quite as hard to eat.
Felt good to work with my hands again. Also felt good to work on something that will directly and tangibly improve another life in a very visible way.
Meanwhile, trying not to think of the shambles that the shop^H^H^H^Hguest bedroom is currently in. Should probably do something about the plywood glitter sooner rather than later.
Long shot, but are there any more open, accessible game stores other than itch?
The itch app hasn't been updated in a while, and more worryingly hasn't accepted a series of significant accessibility fixes I submitted. Sure, maybe it does what it needs to well enough, but I'd expect a bit more attention to be paid to an app installer/launcher, especially regarding accepting someone else's free work. And that doesn't even address how many developers pop into the itch discord asking about backlogged support requests.
Steam is, well, a steaming pile.
Working on getting into the Microsoft Store right now, but offering a demo with an IAP upgrade requires digging into and understanding win32 APIs, which seems overkill.
I'm almost tempted to start my own distribution platform. Co-op game storefront, anyone?
Oh thank the gods. After a long and thankfully civil Discord discussion, the game engine I'm using has agreed that the "whenever it's ready" release cadence they've been using is no longer sustainable, and that it's time for something a bit more frequent.
For me, this means I finally get accessible profiling, which was accidentally removed prior to last April's release and was since added back, but isn't in an official release yet. Granted, the feature isn't specifically called "accessible profiling," but it was a helpful feature whose side-effect just happened to be accessible when the alternatives weren't.
I've probably lost months tracking down performance issues because none of the current tooling is accessible, and I'm not smart enough to build my own accessible versions of every inaccessible tool I come across.
I'll take my happiness where I can get it. :)
Called yesterday a sick day, even though I didn't feel sick, because I was just too tired and mentally fatigued to get anything productive done. Also sometimes it's hard to be productive when just about everyone with any say and power in your immediate surroundings are hell-bent on wrecking them.
From now on I'm just going to call those days what they actually are. Fuck-it days. I'd love to take fewer fuck-it days going forward, but I'm not optimistic.
In brighter, not-so-cranky news, I think I just fixed an issue that bogged down performance when massive numbers of robots were swarming. That one's been a huge thorn in my side for a while now, and was particularly difficult to track down without accessible profiling.
Cautiously optimistic. This feels a lot more like an arcade shooter now that it doesn't randomly lag. :)
Game accessibility, barriers, and representation
So to be clear, I don't begrudge anyone their successes, and I'm glad that games like Blind Drive and The Vale have brought audio-only games into gaming zeitgeist, as it were.
But I wish more games for blind people were made by blind people. I won't knock anyone for liking bop it-style combat or story-heavy games. I like those too, sometimes.
I write fast-paced, strategic, tactical, arcade-style games because I like those elements, and because I don't think many audio games handle those well. That isn't all I'll ever do, but some of those are sorely missing from these masses of Blind Legends or Blind Quests with comparatively amazing reach and production values.
So why can't I, a blind person, get the funding to design the kind of game I want to play that The Vale and others got for their game? Can we please stop treating blind people as if we all want this same left/right/center action + narrative experience?
Here's something I don't get, and this applies equally to the Taliban and to the Texas legislator:
If you think that your ideas on, well, anything are how people should live, then don't oppose immigration. Let every fucking idiot who agrees with you move in. And help those of us who don't agree to move out.
I mean, if you want right to life and unrestricted carry, great. Helping me get the fuck out of this hellscape means you've got one less no vote, for whatever that's worth anymore. And help the people who think these things are good to move in. I know my life would be much less stressful if my own government wasn't trying to kill me and mine in several ways I can currently imagine.
I get that the situation is more nuanced, but if we really had a free market, I and a lot of others would choose to GTFO and not continue putting up with all of this.
What I meant by that: https://www.lightsout.games/news/system-fault-early-access-demo-released/
Glitchy as hell, but I make no apologies for the fact that getting physics/AI/visibility right as a blind person who can't see the map is hard. That's why I updated and integrated my old map-browsing code and added a map explorer which, in keeping with everything else, is also a bit buggy.
But I'm tired of working on this mostly in a vacuum, and it's lonely work. So I'll be pushing out regular (hopefully) less buggy releases until this thing is done. And soon I'll start charging for it, because I need to pay bills too. :)
Is it possible to follow an account and not have it available on your main timeline somehow? There are a couple news bots I want to follow, but they generate lots of statuses and I'd rather read those as a separate list. RSS isn't an option for all of these, since the HN bot filters stories with a certain number of upvotes which (I don't think) any RSS feeds do.
What I'd like to do is filter the accounts from my main timeline and add them to a separate bots list. This doesn't seem possible.
The only way I can think of is adding all non-bot accounts to a list which I then treat as my main timeline, but this is opt-in vs. opt-out, and these bots will be the exception rather than the rule. I'd rather not have to always remember to do something when I follow someone, vs. just opting noisy accounts out and putting them on another list.
Thoughts? Right now I'm guessing this isn't possible but maybe there's some feature I'm missing?
Mental health, burnout...
That begs the question, what should I do about this? Having done a bunch of it, I don't think therapy is the answer. I'm considering a week-long staycation, because what the hell else can I do? Then I have to figure out what to do with myself during what looks to be an unseasonably rainy week, when I'm kind of done consuming more and more media. I wish I could just hop in a van, toss in my camping gear, and run away for a week, but of course the whole blind thing rears its ugly head again. I'm running out of options, and for better or worse, my give-a-shitter for playing society's games is pretty thoroughly broken at this point. I'm glad that I have the choice to just fuck off for a week, but I and many others wouldn't be pushed to this point if the world was a better place than so many seem determined to make it into. I need a plan, because continuing to do what I have been without change is not going to work out.
Mental health, burnout...
I've seen burnout pop up in my feeds several times lately, and I think I'm on the verge of that myself. I've been fighting the same accessibility battles for decades. I've written multiple screen readers from scratch, but can't get a job that pays well enough to even approach the poverty line, much less go above it. I'm lucky in that I have benefits, but they're nowhere near enough to do anything beyond covering basic needs. Gods help me if an emergency strikes.
So in other words, highly skilled blind developer can't get paid what his work is worth, and is tired of scraping by. And every day there's some new disaster, or some new braindead thing the government is doing that's no good for me and mine.
About a year ago near the beginning of the pandemic, I quit my job. At the time I felt afraid, guilty, and a little entitled. But a year later, I recognize that as one of the best decisions I've made. Now I read article after article about Americans no longer willing to put up with pre-pandemic working conditions and quitting. It's about damned time. Our relationship to work has been unhealthy for a long time, and I hope that the shift away from living to work to working to live starts to manifest meaningful change across the board. It's not the solution, but I hope it's a meaningful piece of it.
I did an awful. I opened and read a piece of spam.
I kept reading subject lines like "get paid to help business owners avoid lawsuits" and thought "Hmm, I wonder if I know what that's about?"
And sure enough, some fucking slimeball spammer, the best parts of whom didn't even make it to the egg, is using the ADA to claim that websites will be sued heavily for non-compliance, After a healthy dose of fear-mongering, he then sells his accessibility-checker which you can either use on your own website or, as he puts it, to "finds Websites that are not compliant & generates Accessibility Reports". I don't care enough to dignify that direct quote with grammatically correct sentence structure.
So in other words, if he hasn't extorted you with his spam, he's sold his "tools" to someone who might. And never mind that, while accessibility is important, commercializing and stoking fear about disability is despicable. Enough people fear us already without some spammer making it worse.
My receipt for the penalty payment, however, did end up in Doctor Who. Go figure.
-Earlier today, I saved a PDF of my franchise tax extension filing. I briefly wondered what folder it had landed in, but figured I could always find it later.
This afternoon I'm arrowing through episodes of Silicon Valley and find a mysterious lost 11th episode in season 4 entitled Franchise Tax Extension.
I thought "Wow, what a timely episode, it's almost like I'm living it right now!" Then, 30 seconds later, "It saved in *that* folder? Would've been a hell of a lot less confusing if it ended up in the Doctor Who folder."
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