Blag moving to the old new domain

A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far away, my website was hosted under the domain name Then life happened and I lost the ownership of it, having to settle for instead–which has really bugged me ever since, as I am not, technically, an organization. I have reclaimed my old domain name a few years back but never got around to really setting it up again–just waiting for a proper time, I guess.

That time is now.

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My website was upgraded to Joomla!

Just as a quick heads-up: my main site ( has finally been updated to a modern CMS engine, namely, Joomla!. And just for the laughs, I have archived some parts of the old website under

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Tips for Fiasco RPG

Having discovered Fiasco–an amazing narrativist pen-and-paper RPG–a while back via Tabletop, I have played more than a few games in the meantime and had some thoughts on how to improve the RP experience, particularly with inexperienced players at the table. Continue reading

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Three of the highest-paid programming languages

Have you ever wondered which computer language gives the highest salary to computer programmers? Programmers are very much in-demand now, earning around $100,000 a year, thanks to the boom of mobile adoption.

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Summary of 3 Minute Game Design

Recently, I have come across a series of YouTube videos by one Keith Burgun, presenting his ideas on (video) game design. While I do not necessarily agree with all of his conclusions, I do find his insight into many aspects of gaming keen and valuable, which is why I’d like to edit his main points, as I understand them, together in this post. For more in-depth explanations and examples, please check out the original videos.

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Science Fiction vs. Fantasy

The question of the differentiation between science fiction and fantasy is a common, even contentious topic, especially when the two genres (along with horror) are lumped into more generic “speculative fiction”. Not claiming to be an expert on the fine distinctions, I look at how the fantastic elements are used in a particular plot to tell whether it belongs to the fantasy or the sci-fi camp.

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Importance of Cultural Archetypes in RPGs

Having recently quit playing Star Wars: The Old Republic (for good this time… I hope), I have been thinking about the game a lot lately–specifically, its class system and how it manages to feel both appropriate to the Star Wars universe and relatively¬†unhackneyed. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how important the cultural archetypes are to RPG design.

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More thoughts on karma meters and personality profiles

This is a follow-up to my earlier post on Karma Meters, inspired by several games I’ve played, thoughts I’ve had, and articles I’ve read in the meantime. Two particularly influential¬†treatises have been this article on problems faced by interactive storytelling and this one on the three types of RPGs. When writing this post, I mainly had the narrative RPG subgenre in mind (since other subgenres don’t really profit from such sophisticated morality/personality subsystems), but I imagine they can be of interest in other story-based video games.

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Powershell, SVN Log, and Encodings

To automate packaging changes for our system, we use Powershell in conjunction with the default SVN client to extract relevant commits and then export all files therein to a package directory. After upgrading from SVN 1.6.12 to 1.8.1, however, I have noticed a weird encoding compatibility problem with SVN output and Powershell: the umlauts in filenames that were read from the SVN log became garbled in the process and the subsequent SVN exports stumbled over “filename not found” errors.

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How to import user group memberships from AD to an SQL Server database

I am currently setting up an Active Directory import for a non-.NET system at work with a very limited set of tools. Essentially, I only have what the standard LDAP query can fetch me and what little logic I can implement in Transact-SQL on our SQL Server. The big problem is that LDAP refuses to output N-to-M relations as anything other than “unique N + all related Ms concatenated into a single string” tuplets. Relational databases, on the other hand, refuse to split a single string field back into multiple records. This conflict of interests can only be solved by application-layer logic but the application I am working with cannot do that and I don’t want to involve any more middleware here.

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