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I went on an absolute rampage over the past few days tackling a number of projects on my blog like accessibility improvements, a new footer, styling code snippets in posts, and fixing how posts without titles appear in feeds.

Moguri Mod breathes new life into Final Fantasy IX

Moguri Mod breathes new life into Final Fantasy IX

Final Fantasy IX turns 20 years old today and still stands for me as the best entry in the series. The scale of the game, the fascinating characters and their backstories, the music... it all adds up to an experience I'm not sure Square Enix will, at least for me, ever be able to top.

While the game holds up relatively well after all these years, it isn't without its visual and technical issues. This is where Moguri Mod comes in:

Moguri Mod is a faithful revamp of the PC version of Final Fantasy IX helped by deep learning techniques (ESRGAN). The most important changes are in the background arts, that are now cleaner, more detailed and higher resolution.

The mod looks very impressive. Here are a few of the features:

  • HD backgrounds (aided by AI and polished by hand)
  • Manual redraw of all 11k layer edges and area names
  • Features from Memoria Mod (16:9 widescreen, original font, analog support...)
  • HD textures (worldmap, NPC, battles...)
  • Many bugfixes

The team have put an immense amount of time and effort into Moguri. Since the project is fair use, there isn't any way to support the team financially but — as the team mentions — sharing the project is highly encouraged and helps everyone involved get the recognition they deserve.

I haven't played Final Fantasy IX in a long time but I'm going to install Moguri Mod and give the game another spin. It'll be nice to return to Gaia after all these years away.

Microblogging, Ghost CMS, and RSS feeds

I've struggled for a long time getting Ghost to properly display posts without titles via RSS but I finally cracked it. If you've wanted to do the same, here’s how I split out the post types into their own feeds and got them to display correctly. Read more

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I caved this past weekend and upgraded my smashed iPhone XR to an iPhone 11 Pro Max. I had convinced myself I didn't need the better camera, the OLED display, etc but now that I have it, I don't know that I could go without it.

Slime Tunnel by Gavin Fullerton

Art by Gavin Fullerton

Slime Tunnel on Gumroad:

A 26 page Horror comic. A man discovers a strange tunnel in his late father's bedroom.

Slime Tunnel is visually harsh, in a good way, and reads quickly. That said, if you're anything like me, it'll stay with you for a while after you're finished reading.

Personally, I love horror stories like this. Books where there's nothing immediately "scary" but the entire experience is unsettling and errie, which I don't typically find in a lot of horror comics but I think is exactly the case here. Gavin has another comic on his personal site called Strand that has a really similar vibe to it too.

You can pay whatever amount you'd like to own a copy of Slime Tunnel and I'd encourage you to help support these sorts of projects in some way.

Good artists copy, great artists steal

Raymond Wong for Input:

There used to be a time and place for pointing fingers and bashing one company for blatantly copying another’s ideas. But now it feels juvenile. Who really cares? “Good artists copy, great artists steal” as the saying goes. Everyone borrows. Everything is inspired by something before it.

‘Nuff said.

macOS: Big Sur

macOS: Big Sur

There's almost too much to unpack from the update but I wanted to touch on a couple things that I've had a chance to take a first-hand look at so far. Specifically, the updates to Safari, the addition of Control Panel, and the new system sounds and icons. Read more

Demon's Souls is coming to PlayStation 5

Demon's Souls is coming to PlayStation 5

Michael McWhertor for Polygon:

Demon’s Souls is getting a next-gen remake. FromSoftware’s original Souls game, originally released on PlayStation 3 in 2009, is coming to PlayStation 5, Sony Interactive Entertainment announced today.

It pains me to say that I will be getting Demon’s Souls on PS5.

Writer/artist Cameron Stewart accused of sexual misconduct

Joe Grunenwald for The Beat:

The first allegation came when artist Aviva Artzy revealed on Twitter that Stewart had groomed her when she was 16 years old and Stewart was in his early 30s.

As Artzy’s tweets circulated, other women came forward alleging that Stewart had done the same to them. Writer/artist Kate Leth tweeted that she was either 20 or 21 when a 32-year-old Stewart groomed her.

As a longtime fan of Stewart's work, this is so disappointing to hear and it's shocking that it was apparently so well known among other creators. As some have pointed out on Twitter, it seems like a startling amount of male comic book creators, many of which you'd have to think heard about these incidents over the years, remaining silent online instead of condemning the behaviour and supporting the people coming forward with these stories.

The comic book industry has a terrible history with older, male professionals misbehaving around younger, less experienced women who are new to comics. How many more stories like this are we going to have to hear before things actually change? How many men in the industry are going to just continue to stand by and watch it happen? If you see it, say something.

I've unfollowed Stewart, who has since set his social media accounts to private, on both Twitter and Instagram and I'd recommend others do the same. It's the least many of us can do in this situation. I'd also shared some of his work on my Tumblr page a few years ago and have removed those too.

HEY

HEY email by Basecamp
HEY, a new email service by Basecamp

I was lucky enough to secure an invite (Thanks, Jason!) and have been taking HEY for a spin this afternoon — well, as much as one can take an email service for a spin I guess. First impressions? It's quite nice, easy to set up, and packed with features.

As I was explaining the service to my wife, it dawned on me that I don't exactly dislike email, it's just not great. Between the screening feature, a unified place for all attachments, no ads, and the peace of mind knowing the gang at Basecamp aren't scraping my messages, maybe HEY could be great for me.

We'll just have to see how the trial goes.