Friday Filler – Sometimes the Writers Get It Right!

Thank Grog It’s Firday!

In an effort toward full transparency, I admit readily to not only rushing Act III of this unbelievably boring event, but to being happy that I did.  And in an even more transparent move (if I get any more transparent, I’ll disappear!), I am writing this well before Friday (or Firday if you prefer) because the topic came to me while rushing through the Act.

As I mentioned last week, the primary benefit of rushing (binging) is that you get to read the dialogue quickly, and in more of an unbroken script.  The length of time it takes to play this event in real time, kind of sucks the fun out of the dialogue, because it takes too long to get to it.  But, by rushing, you get the whole thread quickly…even if the thread is broken into weirdly disparate parts.

The best part of this act, was that the writer(s?) who wrote it (it felt like two different writers, cobbled together…but, I’ll get to that), had fun reveling in their own shortcomings as storytellers for ALL of the Springfield citizens.

Representation of ALL citizens became a fun, and pretty hilarious theme…at the cost of admitting how little we see most of the characters we win.

Let’s take a look.
The first part of the update actually starts off in a bit of a  “let’s admit we have a problem” tactic, with stereotypes of both sides of the argument (the lazy, Brother in Law and the clueless, fat, ignorant, cop), exchanging predictably (when written by a white, Ivy League school writer) lines about current social morays.

This dialogue is hilarious…and a bit cringe-worthy at the same time. It starts out with a new term, “Regularly Recurring Residents,” which most of us realize is referencing the profuse use of the SAME characters in almost every update these days.

It does flip into acknowledging that there is an “Overly-PC” bent on everything in today’s media. But, again…coming from a bunch of Ivy League, older, rich types, it does feel a bit defensive…even when spoken by a moron like Wiggum.

However, everyone in the “humor business” seems to be on tenterhooks these days. It has to be hard to remain “current,” have a voice, and remain on the good side of the PC Police.  I laughed that this comic from one of my favorite comic artists came out in the paper (remember newspapers?)  the same day as the dialogue from this act.

Stephan Pastis is not afraid to take on those who attack him in social media…and he makes good points…even when bashing people in tights. They’d get their panties in a wad…but that would show through the tights.

However, in defense of the TSTO writers (I’ll wait for you to recover from fainting, after I defended anyone from the TSTO franchise), they really did a great job of making it clear, just how little we see most of the more than 250+ (or is it up to 300??)  characters in our game, after we win them, and play the original quest-line that comes with their introduction.

In this case, we are introduced (by way of another silly/lazy portal), to the place where characters go after they stop being used in dialogue.

So…the first question is, “who is the kid with the glasses?”  Do I have him? Does he have a name?  Maybe the fact that I can’t remember, makes my point.

But, it gets funnier with the search for Lewis Clark (remember Lewis?).

So…yes…this is funny, and makes the point that after we win a character, they are almost always “shelved” in regards to the updates.  Some argue that they use the same basic characters repeatedly. so newer players (are there actually Newer Players these days???) have a chance to play the event….or spend money/donuts to acquire someone they don’t have.   Pfffffffttttttt….  Lazy. It makes it so the PROGRAMMERS don’t have to go too far outside of their regular programming bag of trick(s?) to do an update.

To make my point just how lazy…the kid in the glasses is GARY… a “nerd” who was available in the “Secret Agents/Easter” event of 2017.  We never heard from Gary again…even though he was part of a PREMIUM offering.  You can win Gary, as part of the Mystery Box offering “University Nerds.”  But why would you care? Once you have him…he is just another character who won’t be used.

BUT, AT LEAST YOU CAN GET HIM… Unlike Chester…who is actually key to the opening bit in this Act…but is NOT available, even as a “Returning Character” in this Black History Month event.

But…I get it. Because of all of the characters in TSTO who seem perpetually relegated to not be a  “Regularly Recurring Resident,” Chester also has the proud distinction of NEVER BEING IN THE ACTUAL SHOW.  He is only referenced by Hibbert at one time…and was the talk of TSTO when he actually appeared waaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in Level 41.   But, to use him in dialogue, and then not make him available as a Returning Character, just seems mean.

Of course, all of this is silly stuff.

If we start trying to use ALL of the characters we win during events, we would actually be making the game more diverse, more interesting, and more challenging. And, we certainly wouldn’t want that!! 

I was pleased to see the writers make it clear that they are at least aware of the dearth of dialogue for the vast majority of characters in our game. It does nothing to correct it. But, at least we know that Chester, Gary, Lewis, and countless others, are likely having a hell of a lot more fun in the “Land where forgotten characters go” than we are, stuck here playing the same characters ad nausea.

So let’s recap!
Funny dialogue.
Rush? Yes please.
Suggestion: Take the time to look at all of the characters in your game once in a while….because the writers aren’t going to.

Mathematical Proof that the SPLASH SCREEN FINGER, ISN’T A FINGER!!

I was willing to let this topic die…(or shrivel) but, was challenged by one of our stalwart readers, NicoRox13- who wrote:
“I took a look at the sky finger monument, the sky finger icon that you boink to collect income and the animation after you boink it. They all look consistent with the splash screen.

So, when there are for of these appendages together, there is no comment, but have one solo and the conspiracy theories start emeging?

What’s up with that?”

So. Let’s break this down.

The “sky finger that you boink” is incorrect. You don’t “boink it,” (unless it really is what I am implying that it is), you TAP it.

Second. Dude. Proof read.

Third, when you compare the SkyFinger Monument with the appendage displayed in the splash screen, they are not remotely close.  One is clearly a finger…with knuckles. The other is…well…something else other than a finger.

Let’s start with a picture of the SkyFinger Monument. Which we will use for comparison purposes.

Fingers…thumb…knuckles…it’s clearly a hand with an extended finger.

Proof is in the comparison shot.  Using Photoshop to match the renderings in exact size (see the overlay shot), it is clear that the thing in the splash screen is NOT the same. Nor remotely the same.

Click to enlarge

I showed the math/pixel ratios for a couple of reasons.  First, to prove that the two images are exactly the same size (64 pixels in width).  I show the transparency on the right, to show the exact fit of the overlay.

Now…if you look at the statue Sky Finger…you see that at about 62 pixels…you see the natural appearance of the other two fingers, and at 125 pixels, the thumb.  The fingers have knuckles. The SkyFinger is clearly a statue.  The other thing…no fingers…no thumb…no knuckles…NOT a  finger.. 

And when compared to an actual finger, the differences really become evident.

And even though Safi has broken all barriers of what can/should be displayed in a post on this blog with his Gangrene post on Monday...I will refrain from comparison pictures of the Splash Screen appendage, and what it resembles in human form.  Nobody needs that.

So…in closing…I am going to say that either Matt was trying to slip one by on us…or was lazy, just like the programmers and writers who have decided it’s OK to send the vast majority of our characters in TSTO off to the place where “All Of Forgotten Springfield Goes.”  Which is where this picture of the appendage that is not a finger, should also go.

Finger or not…I am bummed that Chester is still relegated to a place that is even worse than Limbo.  A place where he builds a shed, that never appeared in a show, and never gets mentioned in game dialogue.  But, today….he finally got his chance to be a Social Warrior! And then disappeared again forever. 

For all of you “Chester Fans” out there…here is a link to “Real Story of Chester Dupree”

Keep on Tappin’! (and boinkin’)


20 responses to “Friday Filler – Sometimes the Writers Get It Right!

  1. *… current social mores.
    (A moray is an eel-like fish)

    You should proofread your own work as well.

  2. I read the dialog as referring to the show, not (necessarily) the game. Lewis Clark did appear more frequently in the early years of the show, and has basically vanished since. “The people we meet once, laugh at, and then never see again” fits the show better than the game (I see all of my 400-whatever characters every day as I tap to harvest their earnings).

  3. Statues are regularly built out of proportion (big head, appendages etc) so that when seen from the ideal viewing angle (normally from below as they are raised up on a dais) the lines of perspective give the appearance of a regularly shaped object
    As we’re looking from above on the screen, perhaps the finger only looks short as we are looking from the wrong angle!

  4. Spinning donut, can’t connect, has EA switched the servers off

  5. I really wish that EA would program the events so that a random assortment of the non-“Regularly Recurring Residents” could participate in the event tasks/quests, with different characters available for each act.

  6. Does nobody else here know the Skyfinger was based on Nelson’s pointing finger! When he points and says HAHA??

  7. Hope I’m not missing the point of your post, but Chester was available for this event, at least for me. I got him with my first token in the Black History Month Mystery Box.

  8. Just for the record, we’re at well over 400 playable characters. I’m at 430some, and I know for a fact I’m missing characters.

  9. MangoFusion01 (FKA NicoRox13)

    Quoted two weeks in a row, with typos too!

    Glad you picked on the subliminal messaging in the boinking.

    Now to the images, I don’t notice a fingernail either, surprised you didn’t pick up on that. Perhaps that is because of a latex glove. If that is a latex glove, let’s imagine it being stretched, effectively obliterating the view of any knuckle.

    Further, if you fit a cubic spline to the latex glove and apply a non linear least squares regression on the overlay, you will see that a knuckled finger could very well be under that latex glove.

    Wow, I haven’t used that many two bit words in a long time.

    Sure hope I don’t have any typos in there.

    Have a great weekend.

    • Sorry…..but unless the fingers and thumbs were also removed (perhaps the latex is just dangling deceased digits?) it just doesn’t work. I would ask you to try and pull your fingers and thumb back far enough to be removed from the shot…but be sure and have a physician on hand.

  10. Best. Essay. Ever. Thank you. I am aggravated by people who are “offended by proxy.” That is, white folks who think, “Ooooh should be offended so I’m going to be offended, too (even if they aren’t).” Now, I believe that as a privileged white male, I need to be in solidarity with brothers and sisters who are not as privileged, white, or male as I am. However, standing in solidarity is not the same thing as flying off the handle when it looks like it is for the benefit of someone else. Usually, that’s for your own benefit and not the benefit of others because you become the focus, the white savior. And that’s wrong.

    • That is also evident in social media with the “so sorry for your loss…” with people you don’t know hardly at all. I prefer to try to be part of people’s lives when they are alive. Right?

      I prefer to contact those in mourning outside of social media…and especially a few weeks or months afterward, because that is when they often need it most.

      But as far as race, or other hot button minorities, empathy without true interaction is hollow.

      Be part of the solution. Do more than talking about it.

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