Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Future Sailors

An interesting topic was raised on Empire Avenue by InGame reader and smart cookie extraordinaire Lyraxsis. Questions were lobbed in the original post, but the thought brought up by Lyraxsis that I zeroed in on immediately was this: “I hear people say that they want innovations in MMO (and other) game design but no one is ever very specific about what they want to see happen.After some back and forth, I figured a blog post might be in order.

I think the first thing you have to look at is what makes any experience fun at all – novelty. New experiences give the human brain a unique playground within which to navigate. There are slides, those cool bars you can hang upside down from or hand-walk across. There're swings. There's a see-saw. The ground is made of lava. In your brain. That's where headaches come from.

And nightmares, maybe.

When MMOs first surfaced, what did we have? MUDs and their like, basically. Here we were, interacting with other living, human brains. Sure, the world was entirely represented in text, but that world was relatively MASSIVE and there were hundreds of others to share it with at the same time. Provided you could read and type, this was a magical playground unlike any other.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Update About Nothing

I'm gonna warn you...my problems sure aren't very serious when compared to those of...pretty much everyone else in the world. Since I acknowledge that fact, everything that comes after is TOTALLY ACCEPTABLE GRIPING.

I've been resisting for days the urge to cave in to the critical and popular acclaim and purchase Deus Ex. First, I saw the “Digital Super Who's It's What's Collector's Designer's Cut” edition for $59.99 and scoffed that way that I do when I see companies trying to sell PC games higher than the absolute maximum any PC game should rightfully cost.

I yield. I am ready to look like Park Bench Keanu Reeves.

Here's the thing: DVDs of movies with multiple hundreds of millions of dollars in budget...they cost about 20 bucks. You get a physical disk, a case, and probably some other paper ridiculousness. You know. Things cavemen use to build fires or throw at small creatures for amusement. Digital distribution gets rid of all this crap and yet I'm still paying AT LEAST $50 for a AAA title clocking in at, in most cases, a fraction of the production budget.

But I digress.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Welcome back, Space Cowboy!

I haven't spent nearly as much time as I'd have liked playing the games I discussed in my previous post. Bastion I was able to dip my toe into and I've waded into Age of Empires Online. I haven't even gotten started on From Dust at all yet, but I have a mostly free weekend to indulge so everything should be in its right place shortly.

At any rate, there's still stuff to talk about. There's the aforementioned which I'll get to in a bit but there's also a great deal of noise flying around regarding an upcoming release from those masters of cash shop shovelware (thanks, Joe), NCsoft. The game is called Wildstar and sports a suitably spiffy trailer which admittedly made my jaw drop. Then I watched gameplay video and couldn't help but shake the feeling that this is stuff I've seen before. Stuff I've BEEN seeing before. For seven years. From Blizzard.

I'm rolling as a pair of goggles.

More after the break, you dolts!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Have You ever Danced with the Diggle in the Pale Moonlight?

No, I'm not too ashamed to pick up where I left off as if I hadn't neglected to update the blog in half a year. In short, I left World of Warcraft again because...well...World of Warcraft. I could describe in great detail the trevails of the intervening period between then and now but what sort of fun would that be? 

I've made a habit of picking up and talking about games that had already been out for awhile. This is largely due to the fact that these games end up becoming incredibly reasonably priced (or a downright steal if Steam is having a tremendous sale) and my day job doesn't exactly pay a great deal.

I'm not going to lie – I will still practice this behavior going forward. However, this week is one I've been looking forward to for awhile. Today sees the launch of two games I'd been keeping tabs on for some time: Bastion, making it's debut on PC after showing up on XBLA a month ago, and Age of Empires Online, the...well...you know. Age of Empires. Online. Tomorrow, From Dust hits Steam after trolling aimlessly around XBLA for a month as well. From Dust is a “spiritual successor to Populous” from “that dude that made Out of This World.” The price for this game could be several hundred dollars and I would buy it. Luckily for me, it's actually only fifteen bucks.

Thanks. Now. Should I be offended? Oh! I know! More like offenDEAD!

Oh! Dungeons of Dredmor!

Click "Read more", dudes (and dudettes)!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Alright, already!

I know, I know. I mean no one REALLY complained, but for the sake of convincing myself anyone cares, I'm sorry. I keep saying, "Oh, I'll update tomorrow" and then tomorrow comes and I realize "tomorrow" actually seems to mean in about a month and this has to stop NOW...ish.

A lot's happened in a nothing's-really-happened sort of way. I mean...the Native Americans won. Hiawatha is the new lord of our observable universe and also over 6,000 years old. This is how my grand Civ V game played out in which I initially intended on going into far more detail here but then I kinda felt "meh" about the whole thing. It worked great as a kind of sordid alternate universe that may or may not have been visited by the Doctor in his TARDIS.

How, White man...do you like your nuclear armegeddon AHAHAHAHAH!

Oh, I'm back in Azeroth.

Keep reading after the thing I guess.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Okay, so...I'm lazy.

Honestly, I feel super ultra terribly terrible about not updating in so long. There were holidays you see? Then holidays turned to buuuuuuhhhhhhhrrrrrrrgggggggg and suddenly you wake up and there's a new number at the end of the calendar and this is REALLY confusing for everyone. Especially me.

God, what even IS time?

Anyway. I'm updating NOW to let everyone know I'll be posting an update FOR REALZ soon. Like probably in a couple days. Exciting right? So I guess look out for that. It's going to have something to do with Civilization V or something.

Damn yes, Hiawatha.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

EVE-Online - Still Pretty, Dangerous, Complicated

I've dabbled with CCP's hasn't-quite-been-underground-anymore-for-awhile-now EVE-Online from time to time over the past few years. At its best, it's a gorgeous looking piece of software with what amounts to the perfect soundtrack for what the game is going for, even when it's not.

Ahh. Space porn.

Isn't that nice to look at? Now imagine some Swedish guy falling asleep on a keyboard and you've got the perfect recipe for a low-stress ride through one of those peaceful lazy river things at those fake fancy hotels only in space. So it's like a space hotel lazy river you navigate with a mouse. So you're buzzing along, happily riding the mood-high of a...


God dammit. Someone turn that god damned music off. DO YOU SEE WHAT IT GOT ME? Last time I ever listen to your new age John Tesh knock-off bullshit while I'm trying to find a god damned wormhole to investigate and NO that wasn't a euphemism, alright?


No big deal. Let's all just relax. I'll just...I'll just get a new ship. I'll just stroll back to a starbase and take a look in the market and see what we've got going on. Let me just open up my definitely-easy-to-navigate menu system and...


You know what? On second thought I'll just set some random skills to train and come back tomorrow.