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Valor

If I have been quiet lately, perhaps it is because I am content. Dark Souls is a lot more satisfying than anything else I have been playing lately.

What is so satisfying about this game?  Perhaps it's the intricate attention the developers have paid to the idea of medieval swordplay, where a wide slash in a narrow corridor does not work for obvious reasons, and an armored warrior has inertia enough that they control a bit like a tank on legs.  But if you drive this tank closer to hit an enemy with your sword, you had better be ready to block or dodge, because everyone in this dark world has forgotten how to pull punches.  Yes, I think it is the difficulty I enjoy most of all.
Given that modern gaming has been inundated with casual friendliness, a truly challenging game feels like an impossibility.  Yet, here is a game that makes you walk everywhere across its tight, treacherous expanse.  Here is a game that not only has no quicksave, it spaces its save points like oases in a merc…
Recent posts

Thoughts On Overcoming Game Development Analysis Paralysis

I am not really any good at this, either.  But I have developed two-part theory on how to get over it.

Part 1: Keep the game development habit going.

My #1 problem with game development is that I get derailed constantly.  It's partly because my immediate family is apparently addicted to drama and can't seem to avoid making messes to needlessly complicate my life nearly every week.  But I'll take some of the blame as well: even left to my own devices, I am often prone to distraction, perhaps an inevitable consequence of being a lifelong computer gamer.

The obvious consequence here is you get rusty at game development and completely forget everything about your project, leaving them half-completed messes.  How did this happen?
Lately, I have learned of the power of habit, probably thanks to motivational speakers who literally name their book that.  But the simple point is basically this: human beings are creatures of habit, and if you slip out of the habit of doing something…

The Madness Of Animal Crossing

Looking at how I spent the majority of the last few weeks, a lot of was watching too much Game Grumps.  Arin and Danny are the two likable art school roomies I never had.  However, I suspect a greater part of my impetus towards progress was robbed, one or two hours of each and every day, via a sneaky little time thief known as Animal Crossing: New Leaf.  Why do I feel like my reasons for playing this game are not entirely pure?

Part of that was because I recognized that this game is a quadruple-reinforced Skinner's Box.  The villagers give things out constantly for a wide variety of reasons.  Even the very trees are like slot machines: pull them and see what falls out.  In these ways and many others, everything the player does gives them a little endorphin hit, and so an association with such a game seems a tad unwholesome.  Am I playing this game, or is it just an addiction?
The other part of this is because I'm probably a bit of a closet furry.  Never enough to attend to a f…

Twitterpation Nintendation Expotation

I had four days off to watch streams of E3 2017, and boy, is my brain tired. Not that I am here to give you great coverage on that, as there's probably a thousand and one reputable Internet gaming outlets doing that already.  My perspective is more reactionary, that of a computer gamer, albeit one who has been at it for over thirty years...
...honestly, what passes for gaming these days is not quite as interesting as those early halcyon days when we there thrilled just to see pixels move.  Clearly, the bar has been raised.

For the most part, I ended up fixating on Nintendo's efforts.  What I saw from Microsoft and Sony was a whole lot of staying the course with bigger and better hardware.  Compared to that, what Nintendo does is fun.  (Granted, they are all out for our money, like any company with AAA budgets to recoup.)

On the low end of Nintendo's innovation was Mario Odyssey.  It was just sad.  Super Mario Galaxy was perhaps the perfect 3D Mario game, and I guess tryin…

Progress! Progress? Well, Better Than Nothing

Twice as much time off means twice the blog entries, right?  Honestly, when each entry gets less than 50 hits (and most of them are probably spam bots) I find myself concerned that the effort I put into writing these entries would be better spent elsewhere.  But my first bizarro weekend (so named because it's the opposite of what most people would consider a weekend) in a long time is at an end, so lets talk about what happened with that.  Two things, basically.

1. Elder Scrolls Online Alt-O-Holicism: Settled.

After much finagling over the perfect character for me (see the past two entries) I basically came to the realization that there's no such thing.  None of the character builds by this game are any more satisfying for me to play.
However, one thing that is satisfying for me to do in the game is consume content.  I've said before, that the content is one thing that Elder Scrolls Online does quite well.  It should be noted that, as of the One Tamriel update, there's…

Procrastination Intensifies

I am still dabbling with trying to get into Elder Scrolls Online.  Probably because this was the last week before I went back to part time hours.  The inner ape is in turmoil over a change of routine.  Unhappy inner ape equals difficulty staying on task.  Difficulty staying on task means increased procrastination.  If I absolutely must procrastinate, MMORPGs beat what idle hands would do with the Internet.

Pity, then, I've been miserable with trying to decide on a character to play in The Elder Scrolls Online.  Each of the five "classes" play with an over-the-top feel that has more form than substance.  It as though the designer psyched himself up with this kind of inner monologue when creating them:
Dragonknight - DRAGONS ARE COOL! FIRE BREATH AND SCALES!  RRAWWWR!Sorcerer - MAGIC IS COOL! LIGHTNING BOLTS AND DARK MAGIC!  ZAPPO!Nightblade - ASSASSINS CREED IS THE BEST! SHADOWS AND HIDDEN BLADES!  STABBY!Templar - PRIESTS ARE BORING, BUT WHAT IF THEY, LIKE, BURNED STUFF WI…

Bouncing Off ESO's Awful RPG Mechanics

Argh, I am wasting my time!  I just finished trying to get into Elder Scrolls Online, primarily because I felt like playing an MMORPG for the same old reasons and my top choices were basically this:
World of Warcraft - The game you should all be bored of by now.  Sure, it's still #1 in the West, but all it ever did was turn the theme park approach of MMORPGs into a science, and the fact it's so popular is why online virtual worlds have done little better than that.Final Fantasy XIV - A legitimate pretender to World of Warcraft's throne.  If you (somehow) still like theme park MMORPGs but you want a change, you might as well ditch your cowman and sign up for your chocobo license.Guild Wars 2 - This game's unconventional methods make it a nice respite from the traditional theme park approach.  Unfortunately, it still fails to not be a theme park.  Oh well, if you can't change your routine, you can at least try to look at it in a new way. Well, when I last bounced…