What’s New on SirTapTap.com?

It’s been a busy month on SirTapTap.com, but perhaps not in a particularly visible way, so I thought I’d post a little update.

$100 a month on Patreon!

Before getting into the nitty gritty of the site changes, I’d like to thank all my Patreons! My monthly contributions have grown, just recently activating the $100 goal, reducing ads on this here site! I keep ads sparse in general, only putting them on Guides (the highest effort and highest traffic pages), but the moonshot goal is to not need ads if my Patreon grows large enough.

That’s why the next goal is $200 where I can turn off another ad unit, leaving only a max of 2 adsense ads per page (no fishy ads here, adsense only). I’m not in the financial situation to throw out my ad money at the moment, but if the Patreon ever gets large enough that’s one of the first things I want to do.

The support from my Patreons has been great and makes it so much easier to plan my spending and use of time around my site and videos.

New Host

SirTapTap.com is now hosted on Linode! Linode is a Linux Virtual Private Server hosting company and basically by moving to them from “managed hosting” I gain more control over my site and faster speed in exchange for complete responsibility for making sure everything worked.

Sort of like getting a shot, it hurt a lot at first but once the initial panic left I realized it wasn’t so bad after all. I got it all running in about 3 moderately confused days full of learning Linux commands, file structure and so on, and now the server runs beautifully without any babysitting at all. I even save money compared to my old hosting plan!

New Slogan

I updated my little blurb at the top left: I wanted something short, descriptive and upbeat. The one thing I never wanted to be is one of those “Angry Gamer Hates Games: The Screamening” type YouTubers. You know the ones. Hell, statistically, you probably even subscribe to one of them! But that’s okay too, no worries.

The new slogan is “Love Games. Share Love.” It’s sappy, but I think it shares my message pretty well; games are for enjoying, and my mission is to help you enjoy them even more.

Faster Pages

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A Word on Reviews

When I started SirTapTap.com, the core intent was to have a place for more detailed, written reviews since I felt more detailed and deliberate analysis didn’t really fit in with my YouTube channel. My attempts at “reviews” had little distinguishment from the Quick Look/Let’s Play videos and their view counts would never justify the additional effort. So, a website specifically for reviews was the clear solution!

I wrote a few, as you can see in the Reviews section. I tried to keep myself to a high standard and go over the games thoroughly. Covering even one game turned out to be an impressive degree of effort and, again, the actual amount of people reading each didn’t really justify the effort.

So long story short, I’ve decided I’m going to be reviewing games less, and talking about them more.

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Alex Mauer Debacle: The DMCA Abuse That Is (and Isn’t) Possible on Youtube

So YouTube has a DMCA problem. We all knew this, since the DMCA itself sucks and YouTube doesn’t have the best track record regarding copyright. But what do you need to know if you’re affected? What’s the long and short of it?

Editor’s Note: I don’t have an editor.

Sir TapTap’s Note: If I did have an editor, they’d probably note that I’ve already written an extensive timeline on the Alex Mauer DMCA Debacle here, so if you don’t know what that is or wish to learn more, start there. This article is mostly about YouTube’s process and it’s problems and solutions, not the Alex case itself.

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A Factual Timeline of the Alex Mauer DMCA Debacle

In June 2017 Alex Mauer began a series of events including DMCA claims, death threats, and releasing personal information of countless parties due to a contract dispute with her former employer, Imagos Softworks/Imagos Films. The dispute also spread to include River City Ransom Underground and includes several other games as well.

As sick as I am of talking about, hearing about, and generally being in the same plane of existence as this issue, it’s a very confusing and fast-moving topic and no one really has the full story. And unlike other articles, this one will be kept up to date with new events and will be corrected as needed.

So, here we are; a timeline of events in the Alex Mauer DMCA situation. There will be little analysis in this piece for various reasons; the horse is dead, I’m sick of talking about it, discussion on the issue turns nasty fast, an objective analysis isn’t easy to find, etc. etc.. Most of Mauer’s actions speak for themselves when presented in proper context anyway.

Times may be approximate. Feel free to contribute or correct anything you feel is relevant and I’ll update the list as necessary, but some of the more minor issues are not tracked due to the extreme depth of this ordeal.

If you’re curious about the YouTube specific situation, see this article by me on how YouTube’s DMCA system is being exploited by Alex (and could be exploited by pretty much anyone else).

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Fan Art: The Biggest Question in Night in the Woods

From Rad again! This one’s based off a funny moment from my Night in the Woods Let’s Play, where I have a brief existential crisis every time a Person Cat and a Cat Cat are on screen at the same time.

I love the visual of Mae carrying me around as I make all my stupid comments and generally interrupt her life.

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Comparing Review Key Distribution Sites for Youtubers

So you’re a Youtuber, or maybe a Streamer. Maybe you have a website. Or maybe you’re whatever the hell we call a ‘Content Creator’. And if you’re one of those game-talker-abouter-things, whatever you choose to call them, you’re probably going to want review access to games. Steam keys, PSN codes, itch.io download links, whatever works.

Corrections: 2017-04-07 – It turns out Terminals does now have the coverage-checking feature I initially found it lacking.

Fortunately in the last couple years, a number of services have popped up to make this easier than manually dredging through the internet looking for contact details, searching PR databases, and waiting breathlessly for replies (please breathe; email is not a consistent delivery mechanism).

The main ones that I have found and use are Keymailer, Terminals.io, and Distribute(), and here I’m going to explain and compare all of them. Note I’m talking explicitly from the content creator side of things here, I don’t have the developer-side experience to comment significantly on the other side of things.

As a note, all services mentioned in this article are in Alpha/Beta. This whole developer <-> content creator thing is so new that even the world “content creator” is controversial at best, and more importantly all of these sites (and all of the developers, and all of the PR people, and all of us content creators) are still working out the kinks here.

All these services have had multiple issues I’ve watched get fixed over the last year, and all of them still have some growing to do. Most started out only supporting Steam keys but now all include the most popular consoles, for example. But are they worth using? Let’s find out.

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Style Guidelines for SirTapTap.com

Wasn’t really planning on having official style guidelines in the first place, this since until this week this was explicitly a one-person-site (and it still is >90% of the time), but it was suggested I have style guidelines if I’m going to have guest writers and it’ll help me to solidify my own intents, tone, and habits.

Pitches

I don’t usually have guest writers on, but they are welcome if they’re topical. This site covers indie titles, game design, game guides, and specifically the Hyperdimension Neptunia franchise (due to the lack of a nice, high quality home for fans online). Email contact@sirtaptap.com if you’re interested in writing.

Updates

These are usually used for guides, but I like to have an Updates section at the very top, after the intro but before the Read Mode block, inside an Expand block like the following. A header 2 should be used for guides so it’s easy to find and check the latest updates. If it’s a more minor change feel free to call it “corrections” instead and use a Header 5 instead of a Header 2.

“Read More” Block

The Read More block should be present in any post longer than a page as presented on a 1080p screen, or roughly three or so paragraphs or two images.

The More block keeps long articles from crowding the front page and their exact positioning is a soft science; try to make it very clear what the reader is getting beyond the More block and why they should be interested to continue past it.

Content warnings (including for spoilers, partial/full nudity, disturbing content etc) should always be placed before the More block.

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Hyperdimension Neptunia’s Gamindustri Font

Style has a big impact on a game’s tone and perception, and one of the strongest ways a game can create that sense of style is with it’s own font. Hyperdimension Neptunia has a unique, in-universe font we’ll just call the Gamindustri Font (keep reading for a download link too!).

The font was prominently featured in the first Neptunia game and its promotional works:

Large holograms spell out "Area C" etc in HDN1 Planeptune
Large holograms spell out “Area C” etc in HDN1 Planeptune
The planeptune font, behind Neptune, spelling out "Are you ready for Program execution?"
Is your body ready?

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The Problems with Rain World

A Torrent of Small Issues

I recently played Rain World on stream, and as anyone who tuned in would know, I don’t hate the game but it has far more problems than I was expecting. A core issue of the game is…there is no core issue; it’s a big messy tangle of small issues that wouldn’t even be problems if not tied to other small issues, and they all bundle up into a big ball of frustration.

This isn’t quite a review so much as a critique on how to make a much more approachable game. I’ve only played about 4 hours, but it’s flaws are so readily apparent (and so well agreed on) I don’t feel that’s a problem. If you haven’t played the game, Destructoid has a good run down on the issues in it’s review.

So let’s go over the individual problems that add up to a greater, incredibly frustrating hole. Note pretty much all of these are fairly innocuous alone and I’m not calling any of them inherently bad design; instead I’ll go over how each interacts negatively with other factors to result in more frustration than funstration, a word I just made up and must now swear to never use again.

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Localized Terms in Hyperdimension Neptunia

Welcome to the second article about Neptunia localization. In our first article we discussed about how character names have been localized and the rationale behind the changes (or lack thereof). This time we’re going to talk about different terms that have been used through the series.

Some information was obtained from this interview:
http://www.siliconera.com/2016/04/18/hyperdimension-neptunia-editor-nick-doerr-talks-localization/

The list

Neptunia ← ネプテューヌ (neptune)

In Japan the Neptunia series is just called Neptune. When NISA localized it, they were worried about potential trademark issues (this was around the time companies were being sued over the word Edge), and so the word was changed slightly into a non-existent word.
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Name Changes in Neptunia Localizations

Of all the issues discussed in localizations, characters’ names are often the most contentious issue. Hyperdimension Neptunia has had just about every possible different style of name change across its history: different name but same meaning, direct romanization, and even completely made up replacements.

An aspect of localization that’s often hard to grasp is that sometimes wording has to change for the meaning to stay the same, but sometimes things are changed for other reasons (or worse, no reason).

What was changed, and why?

The List

Arfoire ← マジェコンヌ (majekon’nu, romanized “Magiquone”)

Probably the most well known of the name changes. Her Japanese name is taken from a DS flashcart sold in Japan called Majikon. Her English name is taken from the R4 flashcart (which is essentially its Western counterpart), and also happens to fit more in line with the French-style naming.

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Welcome aboard Sik, a new Neptunia focused guest writer

When I started this site I didn’t plan on bringing other writers on board, but plans always change. So today I’m announcing two changes.

First, this site will be somewhat of a home for Neptunia information, as I’ve found it frustratingly difficult to scrape together information on what’s a fairly popular series (for it’s budget/pedigree). These stories will be collected under a new top level menu item for Neptunia. I’ll keep making import guides and covering the release of new games in Japanese, as well as guides once (or before!) the English version hits western shores.

Second, welcome aboard guest writer Sik, who will be assisting in writing about Neptunia!

Sik is a Genesis Homebrew Game developer from Argentina and artist who does lots of Neptunia art, it so happens. Some of his stuff is on itch.io as well.

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SirTapTap.com Year In Review 2016

I originally posted this over on my Patreon but I’ve been meaning to cross-post a bit more between these two sites, so here we are.

I know the year’s not exactly over, but I started writing a post like this in December last year and…never posted it.

Anyway. 2016 was a trying year in more ways than one.  But for the channel and my website, it’s been a good if uncomfortable time.

How We’re Doing

Streams have come back to regularity, even if they’re still not without issue (my ISP stood me up for an appointment check things out.) Streams aren’t huge, but I’m not wasting all my time moderating yet there’s always enough people to maintain a conversation, and Restreamio’s enabled me to have nice cross-channel chat which has been really great. Beam in particular has made chatting a lot less painful due to low-latency.

Patreon pledges went from a couple spare bucks late last year to a reliable chunk of money I can easily plan my spending on (this year’s biggest expenses were Sony Movie Studio Platinum, my new editing tool, my GTX 1060 to keep up my ability to record intensive games, and a PSVR that’s significantly there just for my ability to cover VR games). I’m still not super comfortable promoting Patreon and such, but Iv’e gotten better and Im’ quite pleased with the support you’ve all given (pretend one of those heart emojis the kids like is here).

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What Peach Beach Splash (Might) Mean For Senran Kagura’s Future

Senran Kagura has always been a series at odds with itself. It showed even in the first game, but it became strikingly clear in Shinovi Versus. Each story ran down a rollercoaster starting off mostly serious, veering quite silly, then back dead serious for everyone’s backstories, then usually back to silly again (and in a few cases a few more twists).

A Pair of Worlds

There are two sides to Senran Kagura: The Fun, and what I will (only somewhat derisively) refer to as the Edge. The main story has always had a sharp edge hidden into it; the very start of Estival Versus ponders on how a Shinobi’s life is a brutal, short thing. Then most of the game returns to Fun as the girls enjoy what is more or less a huge beach party with the opportunity to visit many beloved dead relatives. Fun and Edge battle left and right through the game and indeed, the series as a whole. The other games follow similar whiplash-inducing arcs between drama and silliness.

While I definitely enjoy Senran Kagura for far more than the simple boob fan service, I’d be lying if I didn’t find the Edge side a bit less satisfying than the Fun. When it was just backstories it was very touching and intriguing; a sequence in Estival where circumstances force Miyabi to explore her Post Traumatic Stress Disorder related to her mother’s death, I felt very connected to her, and the writing felt so real it was a bit uncomfortable as someone with invasive memories of my own.

Mixed Feelings

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AbyssRium Theme Update

Note: This page isn’t updated with the latest themes, check the Customization section of my AbyssRium guide for the latest.

Abyssrium updated today, and while I updated my guide to have all this info, I thought I might post a more concise article since it’s a lot of info to skim. All updates will always go to the main guide, but if there’s a significant update I might also post little one off articles like this.

AbyssRium’s New Themes

Themes for Coralite, Coral and background have been added; click the new Palette icon between Photo and Menu (Cardboard VR for Android is now under the Camera menu).

It’s mostly a way for them to give you more reason to spend gems, but a few items in every category are free, and all the Halloween visual effects were converted into themes for you to use.

All theme options have previews so you can see what it looks like before buying. If it doesn’t cost gems, it’s actually free once you’ve met the condition.

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