Catching the Hylian Loach in Twilight Princess HD

Over the weekend I completed The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD to 100%. I acquired everything this game offers and had a terrific time playing it for two months. The last thing I had to do is complete the fishing minigame (with the 64 rollgoal levels) and the very last collectible was catching the legendary Hylian Loach. I spent the whole weekend trying to do this – I eventually succeeded.

I got so enthusiastic that I also had to make a tutorial video. While struggling with the Loach, I couldn’t find a decent one on the internet, especially not for the Wii U HD remaster. Here it is:

I really come to like this game, the HD version is amazing. It offers an entirely new dungeon experience, called the Cave of Shadows, which is not a traditional dungeon, but one where you need to fight interesting enemy combinations in wolf form. When I first heard about it, I scoffed, but in hindsight, it was perfect, challenging and rewarding.

Then it was time for the fishing minigame: you need to catch 4 fish to fill your fish journal, then lure fish the same types in the Fishing Hole. I spent 20% of my time catching everything but the Loach and 80% trying to get him. We’re talking hours. Most of the time, when I got his interest, it went away and I was like this:

Or rather like this:

Looking back, I can’t even believe I did it, but then again, this challenge made me appreciate the whole minigame and, as with many minigames in the series, you really understand the game mechanics when you catch the hardest.

This photo almost feels like real now:

FWIW, Here is a list for bobber fishing and where to find them:

Greengill, Hyrule Bass – go to the Hole, it’s easy from the banks
Hylian Pike – at Lake Hylia, just outside the spring there are a few
Hylian Loach – at Lake Hylia Howling Stone, there is a dig spot with many inside the cave
Ordon Catfish – at Ordon village, cast from the mill

Cool. I will now 100% the Wind Waker which I left to rot back in 2014.

Thoughts on Hyper-reality

Keiichi Matsuda made this video that shows what a mixed-reality world could look and work like:

The graphic design is vivid, crazy and pops all the time. To the fresh eye it’s very chaotic and is very difficult to comprehend what’s going on, but that lasts only for a couple of seconds and suddenly you immerse in the rich interactions and visuals. It’s not very hard to draw a parallel line between the user in the video and one who has a miriad of apps installed on their Mac. If we showed a video of that Mac screen to someone living in 1981 the effect would exactly be the same.

At 3:50 in the narrative the AR device is being restarted, so you get to see how many layers were composited on top of the original footage:

If you notice there is a fake ceiling in the AR version of this scene. What is the extension of actual structures are good for? If you’re walking on the street and you see people with augmented objects around them, your senses get confused after a while and you might end up doing things that can end up in potential danger. In the video the AR shows incoming traffic on the street with expressive visuals, but I see this something working the other way around in practice:

What if some visual obscures real traffic on a busy street like this? Seeing stuff appearing around people on the street you won’t even be able to walk among people. By forcefully pushing the line from real to augmented you’ll inevitably end up creating real chaos. Then again, this is nothing different than having many apps running at the same time.

The Paradoxical Commandments of Leadership, by Kent Keith

The Paradoxical Commandments were written by Kent Keith in 1968, when he was 19:

1. People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway.
2. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway.
3. If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.
4. The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
5. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.
6. The biggest men with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men with the smallest minds. Think big anyway.
7. People favor underdogs, but follow only top dogs. Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
8. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.
9. People really need help but may attack you if you do help them. Help people anyway.
10. Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway.

UX of the Honda CR-V 2nd gen

We have an old family Honda SUV (which is now clean as new by the way). At some point the remote control of the car stopped opening the rear door, but I didn’t care, we can still open it up with the keys. The process for opening the door was so weird, I thought it warranted for a UX blog post. 😀 Here is the lock:

The question: how do you open and close the rear door with the key? I wanted to post this question on Twitter, but then I realized it’s not how real life works. In real life you don’t UX-analyze things. You go to the rear door with a screaming girl in one hand, a melting chocolate bar in the other, and there is even a TV remote sticking out of your back pocket. How did the remote end up in your back pocket? Who knows! The only thing you want is to put SOMETHING into SOMEWHERE then expect the result to happen. You don’t have the time or leisure to look at things.

I didn’t even see the dots! This is exactly how I, as a user of this interface, went about it: I inserted the key into the lock and turned it left, then I was expecting the door to either open OR close depending on the previous state it was in.

And I did that exactly. The door opened, and when I was out in the city (in an even more complicated child situation) wanting to close the door, I put the keys in, I turned the same direction and the rear door was still open. I tried turning the other way around, then the back window opened. I retried the whole thing a couple of times, then I labeled the issue as something that a car electrician needs to fix. I even took the car to the expert who almost started to tear the whole lock down when it dawned on me.

[cue in cloud explanatory music from Captain Disillusion]

If you’re sitting in a comfy chair sipping precious liquids of your choice while looking at this photo, you can immediately see three dots as markers. Maybe they indicate something. At first I thought there is two information hidden in here and this is the grouping:

You can do one thing by turning the key to the left and you can do another by turning the key to the right. I figured if I turned my keys to the left, I opened the rear door. If I turned my keys to the right, I opened the window, right? In reality this is the grouping:

The solution: red – open, blue – open window, yellow – close. You need to feel how far you can turn that key until it closes. Turn it a bit more and you pop the window open. You need to learn all of this.

Did the designers of Honda make a horrendous mistake? I honestly don’t know. How would you have solved this design challenge? You have a lock and a key, but you need to operate three things with it.

First of all, it was my sole assumption that by turning the key to the left it reversed the previous state it was in. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s not even a good thing because then you need to manually check, by pulling the lever, if the door is really closed. I don’t mind that, but maybe you do.

I have a quick fix for the whole mechanism though: let’s leave everything as is for now, but switch the the yellow and blue dots. You rarely open the back window, but you do want to close the door frequently. This way if you need to open the window, you need to turn it halfway. All you need to learn is: left – open, right – close, in between – window.

But here is the thing: I don’t want to learn. I want to use. I see a keyhole, I want to put my key inside and I’m expecting the mechanism to either lock or unlock and maybe give me a feedback about it. A short chime perhaps?

Sketch 3.7.2 wrongly calculates combined shapes’ shadows

Here is an icon:

Let’s turn the fill off. What should we see? The outline cast shadow inside, bottom cast unchanged. Yet, the cast shadow renders at a different value:

Turning off or deleting the fill doesn’t matter. Actually, when the fill is applied, the Y Offset for the shadow gets halved, on the first screenshot it’s 1 pixel (instead of set 2).

According to my testing, this only happens if we have combined shapes. If I have a simple path with a fill, a stroke and a shadow, it’ll play out as expected. You can download the test .sketch at the end of this post.

My previous bug report from February still remains unfixed in 3.7.2. 🙁 Now I have two reported bugs. The plot thickens. update 170102: this has been fixed

update 20160519: