Ariane and Rachel Go See Star Wars


I was on my way to the local premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens when I was accosted by a stormtrooper.

“Halt right there, let me see your pass!” the stormtrooper said, though I could tell it was Rachel under there.

“Aren’t you a little short for a stormtrooper?” I asked.


“Ha, good one!” Rachael said as she was taking off her helmet.

“Thanks, you look ready to see this. Are you excited?” I asked.

“Of course.” she said, “By the way where is your costume?”

“This is my costume,” I said, “Can’t you tell, I’m Jessica Jones.”

“Ah, of course. I just have a couple of problems with that.” she said.

“First, I recall you wore the same outfit the last time I saw you, and second, Jessica Jones is part of the Marvel universe, and we are here to see Star Wars so you are supposed to dress like someone in the Star Wars universe.”

I of course knew this would come up. Rachel is a sci-fi geek and tends to go all out. I decided to have a little fun.

“I can’t help it if Jessica Jones happens to dress like me, besides isn’t the Marvel universe and the Star Wars universe the same thing?”

Rachel gave me an odd look, so I continued:

“I mean Star Wars and Marvel are now owned by Disney, and if all the Marvel comics are set in the same universe, and Marvel published a bunch of Star Wars comics in the ’80s, then they have to be the same.” I did my Google searching before I arrived.

“Nice try,” said Rachel. I knew some geekiness was about to come. “The Marvel Star Wars comics did not contain any references to other Marvel characters, and even if they did, they are not canon, and even if they were canon, they would be part of the old ‘expanded universe’ which are now called ‘The Timeline of Legends’ which Disney decided to drop for the new movies. Also since 1991, Star Wars  comic books have been published by Dark Horse Comics.”

“Sorry,” I said, “I didn’t understand most of that.”

“That’s OK,” replied Rachel with a sigh, “Someone who is better at explaining stuff is on her way here now.”


I turned around and a red-headed woman dressed similar to “Rey” from the trailers with a BB8 droid rolling beside her.

Rachel made the introductions “Hello Professor, I’d like you to meet Ariane Barnes, the friend I was bringing.”

“Nice to meet you Ariane,” said the professor, “Just call me Paula. As you can guess I teach at the college, and Rachel has taken a couple of classes from me.”

“Well nice to meet you too,” I said, “Nice droid.”

“Thanks,” said Paula, “When I heard that they made a droid like this for real for the movie, I figured out how it works and built one for myself in the college robotics lab. It’s not perfect but it’s a work in progress.”

“Uh, Paula,” said Rachel hesitantly, obviously she prefers to call her Professor, “We were just discussing if there were any connections between the Marvel universe and the Star Wars universe, what do you think?”

“Sure, that’s easy,” said Paula who grabbed a smart phone from a hidden pocket and tapped away for a good minute or so at an impressive speed. Even more impressive is what happened next.


Paula’s BB8 droid turned around and displayed a holographic projection into the street, then Paula started to explain, “As stated in the introduction of every film, Star Wars is set ‘in a galaxy far, far away’ while the outer space adventures in Marvel are primarily set in our own Milky Way galaxy mostly on Earth but also other planets in the galaxy in the case of Guardians of the Galaxy, or even parallel realms like Asgard in the case of Thor. So Star Wars and Marvel could be in the same universe, but on different galaxies which explains the lack of crossover.  Any questions?”

“Yeah I have one,” said Rachel, “How the hell did you just do that?”


“Just some new tech we’ve been working on, I decided to add it to my droid here, even though it still does not work in daylight or under bright lights,” explained Paula.

“What generated this question in the first place?” she asked.

“Oh I didn’t have a Star Wars costume to wear so I just dressed like normal and told Rachel here I was dressed like Jessica Jones.  She as expected, geeked out on me with trivia,” I explained.

Paula laughed, “Rachel actually knows more about this stuff than I do, I’m not even sure who Jessica Jones is.”

“A TV show on Netflix that came out last month, based on a Marvel character, it’s really good if you get a chance to check it out,” explained Rachel as she put back on her stormtrooper helmet. I agreed it was good.

“Oh, maybe I will,” said Paula, “I don’t watch much TV, my spare time has been spent working on BB here.”

“Well good job on BB8, I’m thoroughly impressed with him,” I said.

Rachel agreed, then said, “I think it is time we go in and find our seats.”

stormtrooper and BB8 TM Lucasfilms Ltd.
Female stormtrooper and BB8 by rduda
Jessica Jones TM Marvel Inc.
App enabled BB8 droids are available from Apple

Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns Review


Welcome back to Tyria. A week ago Arenanet released the first expansion of Guild Wars 2 called Heart of Thorns. That has basically taken up a lot of my time this past week, so I thought I’d post my own review.

I have previously written about Guild Wars 2 a few times, but nothing lately, even though I have been playing on and off for 3 years now.

It was technically a smooth opening, but there was a bit of a revolt of players over access to new stuff, which Arenanet addressed, but more on that later.

Guild Wars 2 is Free to Play

Back in late August, Arenanet decided to release Guild Wars 2 as a free to play game. It has always been a non subscription game, which is one of many reasons I prefer it over other MMORPGs, but now you can sign up and play for the cost of a 26GB download.

I created a free account and created a character for testing purposes. With a free account you cannot trade with other characters in any way, including guild bank access, so I can’t send better gear from my paid account to my free account. I could buy a second account if I really want to trade stuff between accounts, but this was all just an experiment.

The thing is you pretty much have to start from ground zero on a free account, so I fought my way through 12 levels with substandard gear until I got enough money to buy better stuff.  Also you are bombarded with ads to buy the full game. Other than that, a free account gives you the full Guild Wars 2 experience.

But that is the way all MMORPGs start, if you play long enough you will eventually get your player equipped with all sorts of goodies.


Heart of Thorns players have similar struggles at first

I had to remind myself of this because Heart of Thorns started with a similar struggle.  There is a lot of cool stuff in Heart of Thorns, but you have to work to access it.

Basically when you pay your $50, all you get immediate access to is a new personal story and 3 new large zones with lots of events going on constantly.  The cool stuff like gliding and new abilities for your characters has to be earned.

They are earned through a “Mastery” system which combines game achievements (Mastery Points) and good old XP which you get just by doing stuff.

Without access to gliding and other abilities, the new zones are hard to play, and many areas are basically impossible to get to.  This of course reminded me of the struggle I had playing with my free account earlier.

That is the bad news. The good news is that once you spend enough time playing to access gliding and other stuff, those new abilities are immediately available on every character on your account. So once I learn gliding on one character, all the characters know it.  The mastery system is generally a big success.

The player revolt over Hero Points

“Hero Points” are a game currency that has never worked. The way it is supposed to work is you earn hero points by leveling up and by doing specific events in the game. With hero points you buy skills to make your player better. The problem is that after you unlock all your skills, you continue to earn hero points, so regular players eventually were awash in hero points with nothing to spend them on.

They eventually changed some stuff which I won’t bore you with the details, but now any character that you completed the map with comes into Heart of Thorns with about 200 hero points. Characters you play less start with less, and new characters you create start with zero.

The expansion added new skills for every profession, but to unlock the skills, you had to spend 400 hero points, and they made points rather hard to come by, so we are looking at weeks of play before you could access the new skills. These are not account bound either, you had to do this with every character, and I have like 10 of them.

This didn’t sit well with players who wanted to use the new skills in the new areas, and 70 pages of complaints on the forum got the price of new skills lowered to 250, or just 50 points above max you can get pre-expansion.

Like a lot of players, I created a new character with the new profession “Revenant”, I then used “Tomes of Knowledge” which I have been saving to level her up to 80 in about 20 minutes. To get the new elite skills, I basically had her tour every zone in the core game and earn every hero point there for 190 points, which surprisingly is easier than earning them in Heart of Thorns only.  Then I got the final 60 in Heart of Thorns, and now in just a week, my brand new character is a vet.

Some of you are probably thinking that sounds like a lot of work, but it was really helpful. The “leveling to 80” part that I skipped is where you learn how to play your character. I just substituted that with “get 190 skill points” and along the way learned all the weapons and utility skills and joined random events. The Sword/Axe combo is best for melee, Hammer is best for range.  Yes, your player uses a “hammer” for ranged damage like Thor.

All around impression: It’s all good

The new character profession Revenant is fun to play, though a bit different than the others.  You can’t customize your skill bar like you can with other professions. Like other professions, the first 5 skills are based on the weapon you are holding and there are around 6 to choose from, which you can easily switch between 2. Unlike others, you can only pick from 5 utility skill sets for the last 5 skills, the upshot is you can also switch between 2. So basically you have 20 skills immediately available, and you will find yourself using all 20.

The new maps are complicated and filled with lots of dangerous mobs.  Complaints that the game could be beat easily by going with the “Glass Cannon” DPS build (all damage no defense) has been addressed by making defense and condition mitigation much more necessary. My “Berserker” (all damage) ranger struggled, but my “Nomad” (all defense) ranger was able to handle things a lot better.

Gliding literally adds a whole new dimension to the game, and 3 zones with up to 4 different levels of play, its a fun way to get around. The only negative is wishing you can glide in the 24 core zone after gliding around the new zones all day.

It’s a fun expansion and hopefully there will be more to come soon.  The difficulty of the game can easily be overcome with one piece of advice: find a group and follow them and do whatever they are doing.  There are very few good areas in the new zones to play solo, that is part of the experience.

Why Playboy’s New “No More Nudes” Change is a Bad Sign For America

Since Hugh Hefner started publishing in the 1950’s Playboy Magazine has featured nude pictures of the worlds most beautiful women. The tradition is ending in March 2016 with a new updated style. There will still be pictures of beautiful women, but no longer fully nude.

In other words, Playboy is moving away from competing with Hustler and Penthouse, which has been getting more and more X-rated porn oriented, while Playboy sticks to tasteful artistic nudity, and has pushed its way into competing with Maxim, Esquire, and GQ which often get “A-list” celebrities to get nearly undressed but leave their “bits” covered.

I am not saying the move doesn’t make financial sense. They probably will get a bigger audience for their magazine, so I’m not actually against it.

What is worth talking about is the reasons behind the move and what it says about today’s society.


Blame the Internet

There are two reasons why this needed to happen, and the first is obvious. If you want to look at naked pictures there are plenty of sources online. The demand for professionally photographed, and perfectly airbrushed nude pictures has pretty much dried up due to online competition. has taken down their nude picture library, with the accompanying pay-wall, and offered their article archive free, and has seen visits go up four fold.

For now, at least, that is the economic reality of the internet. (it will probably be changing soon but that is a whole different essay)

Welcome to puritanical America, where nudity = sex = evil

The other reason is “puritanical” America. Without nudity, Playboy can be sold on the iPad and Kindle, and in every grocery store magazine rack instead of behind the counter of a small number of convenience stores, thus becoming much more widely available.

Playboy is an international magazine, and in most parts of the world, it is not sold among the porn magazines.  That is because, most of the planet understands there is a difference between nudity and sex.  Here in America, we do not seem to understand this, somehow we have developed a unique mindset where nudity = sex.

And it is not just the prudish people who don’t get this. The reason why there are practically no public clothing optional beaches and pools in America is because too may people think that public sex is also OK in these places. (it’s not, get a room)

But it is also the prudish people, and the pervasive anti-feminist culture that believes that sexy outfits are a sign of consent.  I keep having to remind people, if a naked woman says “NO”, it means “NO”!

Then there is the even more dangerous belief that sex = evil.  This seems to be a belief shared only by around half of America, and it is almost exclusively the social conservative half.

The key difference between “social conservative” and “social liberal” is that social conservatives are pro violence and anti sex, and social liberals are anti violence and pro sex.

Social conservatives, tend to be pro guns, pro military, pro war, pro death penalty, pro police militarization, pro tough punishment for law breakers, etc. = pro violence.

Social Liberals tend to be pro-choice, pro gay rights, pro legalization of drugs and prostitution, pro birth control availability, pro women’s rights, etc = pro sex.

It is the social conservatives who censor sex from media, and because “nudity = sex”, nudity also gets censored as well.

Because the mainstream media has to appease the social conservatives, magazines with non-sexual artistic nudity gets sent behind the counter, and off of Facebook and Instagram, and off the app store.

Artistic nudity has always been a sign of a freer and open society.  Is our society getting more open with the internet? Or more closed off due to mainstream censorship?

Cocks Not Glocks

There is a lot to say about sex vs. violence in America. A lot of it is sad and pitiful, like how social conservatives keep lifting important restrictions on guns, but put as many restrictions as they can get away with on abortions, even though both are constitutionally protected.

But I at least got some relief on this front when a group from University of Texas Austin decided to protest a law allowing open carry of guns on campus by openly carrying dildos on campus.  If that is not the perfect symbol for sex vs violence, I don’t know what is.  If “ammosexuals” can display their signs of manhood openly, why can’t normal people?

The Bigger Problem

I have had a few misrepresent what I am saying here (not in the comments but elsewhere) so I thought I would add some clarification.

Now that Playboy has gotten rid of the nude pictures, it CAN NOW be sold openly in grocery stores and in major app stores, etc. where it couldn’t before. Available in more places will probably mean more sales.

This is just a symbol of a bigger problem.

Society allows certain stuff as MAINSTREAM and relegates everything else to HIDDEN status. Of course the internet has made accessing the hidden stuff much easier, but mainstream is still where the bigger audience is that is willing to spend money.

What we hide and what we make mainstream is a measure of openness in society. Quoting from the Guardian piece I cited earlier:

This hatred for the body, enunciated by key Christian thinkers including St Paul, expresses itself in art as a contempt for women, a portrayal of the supposed poisonous truth behind the lie of beauty.

When you realise this is what they were rebelling against, it is impossible to keep up the unhistorical, hackneyed view that sees artists like Titian and Rubens as old sexist masters slavering voyeuristically over naked women.

Not only do medieval images exclude or demonise the nude, but late medieval portraits in northern Europe cover as much of women’s flesh as they can with tightly fitting headresses. The bodies of women are dangerous, they can bewitch you.

By contrast the loving, luscious nudes of the Italian Renaissance can be properly understood not as 500-year-old icons of the patriarchal gaze but liberating, even empowering images of women set free from religious hatred. […]

Surveying art history, it just does not seem that nude images have ever been the best way to oppress anyone. Societies that praise naked beauty tend to be democratic – the nude was invented in ancient Athens and revived by Italian republics – and forward looking.

Cultures that fear and suppress naked art are more likely to be religiously hidebound and to control and fear women.

So what do we hide today? Where do we draw the line dividing MAINSTREAM and HIDDEN?

The line is drawn at female nipples.

Hide nipples and you can be mainstream, show nipples and you are relegated to the hidden pile.

Historically, women are better off during eras where nudity is not a big deal. Unfortunately, in America today it is a big deal, otherwise prime time broadcast TV and Facebook wouldn’t be so scared of it.

And it shows in today’s society: Abortion restrictions, lack of equal pay, lack of women in the growing tech sector, crap like gamergate still going on with the goal to suppress women, rape culture, etc.

I’m not saying that allowing nipples on TV will suddenly solve all our gender issues, I’m saying that we need to move the line to change social attitudes towards women that will make gender issues easier to deal with.

Because also in the HIDDEN pile is more explicit stuff that objectifies women, sending the wrong message. Lumping positive images of female sexuality in with the negative makes it equal in societies eyes leading to the oppression of ALL female sexuality.

An open society, would have allowed Playboy level nudity to become mainstream, instead Playboy has to drop the nudity to become mainstream, that is my bigger point.


Something’s In The Air now works in Android


It has been a long time coming, but Something’s In The Air is now available for Android. You can download it at

The early version of Renpy that Something’s In The Air was written in was not Android compatible, and when I tried to upgrade to the latest, it broke a lot of the game puzzles. After a couple of weeks of figuring out how to fix the puzzles and doing a full play test, I decided to upload it to my site, only to find out no one was able to get it to work.

I finally got a hold of an android tablet and confirmed that there was an issue. In my attempt to fix it I made a special Android only version of the game with smaller pictures and removing the player name feature (input prompts are a known bug in Renpy android). Neither of those were the issue as it turns out, and I finally found that the issue was a misplaced file. Still I am keeping the smaller pictures and no player name feature out of the Android version. I play tested all the potentially problematic puzzles and they seem to work.

It takes a while to load, and some of the animations stutter a bit, but it works.

The Other Updates

The PC, Mac, and Linux versions have been upgraded, taking advantage of the new Renpy features, as well as sharing the same “theme” as the recent Date Ariane version.

I am calling the newest version the “third edition” like a normal novel would. There have only been minor changes to the text and story, predominantly where it comes to events of the “last date with Ariane”.  I dropped the ability to import dates, it was not that popular anyways, and instead created 33 “last dates” that cover most of the major events from “Date Ariane”, I left a few events out and left out details to prevent “spoilers”  for players who play Something’s In The Air first.  Unlike previous versions, you can change the “last date” in the middle of the game. You used to have to start a new game.

Another change from the last version: No more on screen keyboard. It felt a little tacky and not Android compatible. However, there still may be issues with people playing on tablets who cant use their keyboard to type a name in.  As a back up, you can pick from a list of 48 male names.  Names can also be changed at any time in the middle of the game. (this feature is not in the Android version)

Also, buttons are bigger in height, smaller in width. This makes them easier to touch when playing on a small tablet or phone. I changed the main font as well to make it easier to read on smaller screens.  I also fixed a few pictures either because they looked bad or they were not consistent with the new Date Ariane.

A new added feature: You can turn off the “soundtrack” music without turning off the important to the plot music. Music in dance scenes, movie scenes and concert scenes will play as normal, but theme music and background music will not play when soundtrack is off.

Unplanned Obsolescence and “Lost” Art


The above picture is the oldest picture from the oldest version of Date Ariane. The modified date is listed as August 6, 2004.

As I was finishing the Renpy version of Date Ariane, I decided to dive into my archives and attempt to play the oldest version I could find.

It wouldn’t run on any browser, not the way it is supposed to anyways. The game was written for Internet Explorer 4 using some HTML coding that only worked on IE4. Over the years I updated the code to run on as many browsers as I could, but the first version is now completely obsolete.

It gets worse: Date Ariane was written using Microsoft FrontPage which basically has ceased to exist. This week I upgraded to Windows 10, and FrontPage loads on Windows 10 but it is unstable. I have been forced to switch to KompoZer, a nice open source HTML editor, but I can’t mass edit a thousand web pages at a time which makes further upgrades to Date Ariane Online version way more difficult. Besides that browser security issue is already a reason to throw in the towel and stick with Renpy version from now on.

But it is a little sad that a piece of my history, a “work of art” I created, is likely lost to the future.

I’m not the only one facing unplanned obsolescence

Obsolescence is becoming an issue on the web now.  Recently security flaws were found in Flash Player, one of the most used programs on the web. You Tube, once the biggest supporter of Flash has now basically stopped using it. Worse yet, Mozilla turned off Flash by default until Adobe released a secure version, which they have now done, but who knows how long it will last.

So now as the world scrambles to move to HTML5 or some other substitute to flash, what happens to the millions of flash based videos, and online games which someday soon may no longer run?

Preservation efforts for the internet?

We humans like to preserve the past.  There are whole industries devoted to film preservation thanks to the unstable nitrate most of the old films were originally filmed in. More than half of the movies made before 1950 no longer exist.

This is why film gurus get excited about discovering a lost reel to a classic movie thought lost.

Similarly we are slowly losing our musical heritage as most master tapes before 1990 or so are on a medium which also degrades over time. Most all of it has been digitized, but many music gurus will tell you music is better in the original analog, and the original analog sources are decaying.

We see it also in video games. Many of my old games will no longer run on my computer, and the ones that do run in a tiny 800 x 600 window, since that is how they were designed. Some classic games like Age of Empires II or Leisure Suit Larry, have gotten the HD treatment, but hundreds never will.

Will much of the internet content suffer the same fate?

Yes, I know about things like The Wayback Machine which archives lost text and picture content, but what will preserve online games?

The “medium” problem

When the medium by which we distribute content changes, it becomes necessary to find ways to bring old content to the new medium. Entire libraries are being digitized, although paper books have largely proven to be a resilient medium, sometimes finding that rare volume is a lot easier online.

Except that “mediums” themselves are radically changing every few years it seems, so we are constantly having to convert, especially as popularity wanes in the old medium.  Sometimes we lose some things in the conversion, even as recent as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Simpsons.

Communication mediums eventually get replaced, by better mediums that we all convert to.  But in so doing we lose some of the “art” of the old medium.


For example: “Twitter”

Here is one I bet you didn’t see coming: Apparently Twitter is dying.  Yes, one of the most popular web sites on the planet is seeing a sharp decline in active users.

My solution to fixing it is pretty revolutionary: Drop the 140 character limit.  We can thank twitter for the abundance of short link generators. Those links leave Twitter and go to other web sites that allow long essays. Why can’t Twitter users write long essays on Twitter itself and have it show up as a title with a “read more” button, instead of a link to another site?

Yes, I know the 140 character limit was what made the site famous, but the novelty has worn off, and prevents people like me who can’t write in 140 characters to not even bother using the site.

If twitter dies then so does the hashtag. (Yes I am aware that other sites support hashtagging, but they also support other types of tagging, which are more useful except they can’t be printed on a t-shirt)

That’s a whole chunk of internet culture lost if it happens.

Date Ariane is Now A Real Game


I have gone ahead and released Date Ariane in Renpy. This is like the ultimate edition of the game that has been a dream since I started working on Something’s In The Air.  All the favorite moments are here on a format that is faster and smoother than ever before.

I have temporarily taken down the online version. My web traffic has increased 40% with the better graphics version and I could almost never get into my own website.  Since I don’t rely on advertising, traffic is not that important to me.

Now when you go to you get a website where you can download the game. I made it available in Windows, Mac, and Linux, and there is an experimental Android version which I have no idea how to use.  You can still download the offline HTML version.

What’s so cool about the Renpy Version?

Aside from the obvious, no more “page not available” errors, you can now save games, auto advance, go back much more reliably, skip whole sections you have seen before, hear actual music when you dance which you can customize if you want, and the game is full of immersive sound effects as well.

Go to the options screen and you can turn on hints, go full screen, and turn off music and sound effects if you want.

A lot of this stuff is available on the lower right corner of the screen. Try clicking on “Auto”, it is probably the funnest way to play. you can control the speed of the auto advance in Options.  The lower right menu is very helpful if you are on a tablet as well.


Anything else new?

There is also some new content, the majority being expanded scenes that existed before, especially in the museum, night club, and dress shop.  There is a short new “ice cream” scene, an a new little dance puzzle at the night club.  The museum and nightclub play a little differently depending on what Ariane is wearing.

There are also a handful of little surprises I won’t spoil.

I also added a new character, a pizza delivery man named Evan. An online friend for 12 years named Evan Kirk recently passed away suddenly, and as a tribute, I have immortalized him as an NPC.

Like me, he was way more famous online than off, with a sharp twisted sense of humor and a community leader.  He was a gay dude from Alabama which he joked about all the time.

This is not a picture of him, this is a young Chris Pratt, who he idolized and used as his avatar. My tribute NPC uses the “Chris Pratt” look, which he would have appreciated.

The Gallery of Achievements

One of the things that people enjoyed about Something’s In The Air was the gallery of endings and trying to fill out the character notebooks.

That really won’t work with Date Ariane as there are basically only two endings, a kiss goodnight, or getting kicked out of the house.

Instead, I went the traditional route and created 78 “achievements” for you to try and achieve. They range from easy and obvious, which you will probably pick up naturally, to some spectacular failures, which some of you may get naturally as well but veterans may not realize are there.  There are also some hard ones that require some knowledge of the game mechanics to complete.

Speaking of game mechanics, besides the reliance of traits explained here, there is actually now a scoring mechanism. When Ariane says “On a scale from 1 to 10, you get a _”, that score is a real value, not just something made up like it used to be.  This score is used to calculate some of the achievements.

Once you complete an achievement, open up the gallery, and click on the name to see why you earned it.  There are some other cool “extras” in the gallery.

Here are the names of the 78 achievements, with some notes on the harder ones.  You can probably figure out the rest by their name:
Multidate achievements
1. kiss (1, 10, 50, 100, 500, 1000)
2. sex (1, 10, 50, 100, 500, 1000)
3. date (1, 10, 50, 100, 500, 1000)
4. All 5 Dinners

House Achievements
1. Rochambeau
2. Couch Sex
3. Six Pack
4. Yahtzee
5. Dance Champion (dance at home until she won’t anymore, then dance at the nightclub)
6. Three Naked In Bed (a Rebecca achievement)
7. The Quickie
8. Green Fairy
9. Ariane Owes You A Favor
10. Lucky Spin
11. Impromptu Strip Show
12. Kitchen Disrobe
13. Cheap Thrills (before dinner touch her boob, then walk in on her while changing)
14. Boobie Prize

Backyard Achievements
1. Hide and Seek
2. Hot Sex
3. Hand Job (involves the hot tub)
4. Wet Clothes
5. Backyard Play
6. Steal From Rebecca
7. Wrong Breast (lose at Marco Polo)
8. You Got Mail
9. Swim Champ
10. Underwater Explorer
11. Voyage to the Moon
12. Squeeze Play

Downtown Achievements
1. Designated Driver
2. Dizzy
3. Trivia Buff
4. Devil In A Blue Dress
5. Topless Model
6. Bottomless Model
7. Twinkle Toes (win the new dance game without cheating)
8. Art Expert
9. Rebecca Shirtless
10. Let’s Go To The Mall (finish dinner at home with extra “nice” points and then let Ariane drive to town)
11. Shopping Spree
12. Downtown Nudity (a multi date achievement involving different locations)

Neighborhood Achievements
1. Nude Pics in the Park
2. Shutterbug (all 5 versions of the park photoshoot over many dates)
3. Three for Three (Ariane has to hit all 3 of hers, too)
4. Air Ball
5. Nice Uniforms
6. Naked Ball
7. Great Outdoors
8. Playing Without Pants
9. Playing Without Clothes
10. Naked Beer Run
11. Well Protected (involves buying lots of condoms)
12. Ice Cream Run

Lake Achievements
1. Ski Trip
2. Moonlight Serenade
3. Wet Dress
4. Head Stand

Scenic View Achievements
1.  Moon for the Camera
2. True Artist
3. Money Shot
4. Blow Job
5. Kiss Where it Counts

Cabaret Achievements
1. Amateur Night Victory
2. Win Without Nudity
3. Live Sex Act
4. Two Nude Dancers
5. A Dirty Mind

Special Dates
1. Casual Date (finish a successful date without changing clothes)
2. Friendly Date (finish a successful date “as friends”)
3. Perverted
4. Kiss you all over
5. Sex Endurance
6. Not So Smart (get a perfect 10 date without the “smart” trait)
7. Not So Sexy (get a perfect 10 date without the “sexy” trait)
8. Not So Nice (get a perfect 10 date without the “nice” trait)
9. Not So Funny (get a perfect 10 date without the “funny” trait)
10. Exceeding Expectations (finish a successful date with only two traits)

Any other hints to playing?

The walkthroughs have now been updated to the Renpy version.

How Victoria 7 Is Killing A Hobby


As someone who does a lot of work in Poser for my games and other projects, that means I am involved in the 3D Rendering community, which I have written about before. About 3 years ago the community started getting bigger thanks to Daz3D releasing Daz Studio for free.

Until then, the community primarily consisted of users of Poser software, which is a fairly expensive program to get started on.  Daz Studio can do a lot of what Poser can do, though it has always lagged behind in certain areas, but it was sophisticated enough to give Poser a challenge, and it offered an inexpensive entry point.

The biggest difference between Daz Studio and Poser is the user interfaces. Both programs have a bit of a learning curve, and once you learn one, you are probably not going to want to learn the other.

For the last 3 years the community has kind of fractured in a friendly rivalry between Poser people, and Daz Studio people. Friendly, because a lot of content could be shared between the programs, and both programs produced some really great images.

One of the stumbling blocks you run into in this hobby is incompatible models. I have been playing with Poser since the “Posette” days which is one of the first female models.  A company called Zygote (now part of Daz3D) came up with the first really great anatomically correct models for Poser called Victoria and Michael. Clothing and accessories made for Posette would not work on Victoria and Michael.

This pattern followed with each model. Victoria and Michael were replaced by Victoria 2 and Michael 2 then Victoria 3 and Michael 3, then Victoria 4 and Michael 4.  Poses, skins, hair, and clothing designed for one model are incompatible with other models.  Not by design, it is just the nature of the constantly improving technology.

I created the first Date Ariane version using Victoria 3, and created and acquired quite a library of Victoria 3 and Michael 3 hair, clothing, and skin textures.  When I started “Something’s In The Air” Victoria 4 had been out for 4 years, and all the latest clothing and accessories were being made for the Victoria 4 and Michael 4 models. I made the leap to the superior model, and never looked back.

Victoria 4 has proven to be a great female model. Extremely versatile, and still the most popular today. It was also the last “Victoria” natively designed to work with Poser.

Daz3D moved on to a “Genesis” modeling system that was much more flexible than the Poser system, and incorporated it natively in Daz Studio. Poser users needed a converter to use Genesis models.  The DSON converter has never worked right, as neither Daz3D or Smith Micro (the makers of Poser) do not have much incentive to get it to work right. Because Genesis was not a huge improvement over Victoria 4, most Poser people did not bother upgrading.

Soon after giving away Daz Studio, Daz3D released Genesis 2.  Genesis 2 is an improvement over Victoria 4 as the joints look more natural in motion.  That has made Genesis 2 popular with all the new Daz3D users and even converted some Poser users to the model despite the broken DSON converter.

Many of us Poser users still stick to Victoria 4 as we can use the powerful “Morphing Tool” to fix minor joint oddities, or find other fixes available.

Third party vendors have found it most profitable to support both Victoria 4 and Genesis 2 models and as a result there are now plenty of skin, hair, clothing and accessories for both models.

Genesis 2 V6 on left, Genesis 3 V7 on right.  Not a huge difference.

And then Victoria 7 / Genesis 3 happened.

This week Daz3D released a new model and dubbed it Victoria 7 to get the name recognition. They are touting the higher polygon count allowing more details like the wrinkles in knuckle joints for example, to make the most realistic human 3D model ever. (Are we at the uncanny valley yet?)

This new model is making rather negative waves in both the Poser and Daz Studio communities.

Daz Studio fans are finding that, as in model generations past, their Genesis 2 clothing and accessories will not work on Genesis 3. That means shelling out lots more money to get all new clothing and accessories for Genesis 3, or just sticking with “obsolete” Genesis 2.

The sad part is Genesis 2 was just finally becoming supported enough by third party vendors that it could compete with Victoria 4 in versatility, but now third party vendors may start having second thoughts if Genesis 3 becomes a thing.

Poser fans are finding fine print on the Victoria 7 page:  Compatible Software: DAZ Studio 4.8
In other words, barring some miracle addition to the upcoming Poser Pro 2016, Genesis 3 models are not compatible with Poser.  That will be a further disincentive for third party vendors to support Genesis 3 as most of the community simply cannot use it at all.

As a Poser user, I have never felt a need to upgrade to figures higher than Victoria 4 and Michael 4, they are still widely supported and clothing, skins, and accessories for them still sell better than any other figure. While each of the Genesis models got more detailed, for my purposes (low res internet images), the details aren’t going to make much difference.

Poser is still better software than Daz Studio, with numerous tools not available in Daz Studio like the above mentioned Morphing Tool, numerous rendering engines to make your images look like drawings, paintings or comic books, including a native photo realistic renderer comparable to the best available for Daz Studio, also tools to fit clothing between models and dynamic clothing for animated cloth motion.

That’s not to say Daz Studio is bad, it handles the tasks most important to hobbyists, photo realistic still rendering and basic animation, as well as Poser does, and its memory management is superior enough to handle higher polygon counts, which is why it handles Genesis 3 and Poser does not.

If Daz3D no longer wants to support Poser, that’s their loss. I foresee a fracturing of the community that is already having negative effects.  The 3D rendering community is already a very small niche group, we do not need to make it smaller.

Here is my hope: There is ONE way this could go right for everybody. There should be a new version of Poser out later this year if they stick to their “every two year” upgrade pattern.

If Poser Pro 2016 were to include support for a complex 173 bone figure, and if Daz3D were to release a “Victoria 7 For Poser” product (no DSON conversion needed) then that would generate lots of interest for both upgrades.

It is such a good idea part of me wonders if this is the plan all along.  I wouldn’t bet on it though.