Skip to main content


The Ordeal

Another Bizarro weekend come and gone, and I have only one thing to show for it: a new ship with a "Black Friday" paint job.
I have successfully swapped my Python for an Anaconda in Elite: Dangerous.  Three times as expensive, it is a very large ship.  I think the Anaconda is a lot more interesting to fly, thanks to having unlocked tons of slots to play with, leading to it being overwhelmingly viable on every conceivable front.  However, the variety of activities available to me is still not quite as good as the Python thanks wholly to the fact that not all locations have a large landing pad, closing off half the destinations of the universe to me.

Considering the high costs involved in its utilization, upgrading, and basic maintenance, I've christened the ship, "The Ordeal."  The placement of the cockpit high and towards the back reminds me of its size constantly, as well as giving me a good view of the two large hardpoints in action.  That's quite satisfy…
Recent posts

Vapidly Vacating Vacation

When I wasn't trying to work on my own game or writhing in self-serving angst about how my staycation was effectively nullified, I was still largely playing Elite: Dangerous.
I have discovered that the missions offered by stations do offer an opportunity to diversify my tasks from mere mining without negatively impacting my credit balance.
Namely, there seems to be a lot of "boom delivery" missions which offer somewhere between 200K and 1.2M credits to a fellow with a good reputation, and all these really involve doing is going to a nearby destination and landing there.  Upon encountering a destination that does not have a similarly lucrative mission, I might load up with some limpet drones and make a mining run out of it on the way back to my home station.  This also widens the net to find some missions for mined ore.  Having these missions is a stroke of luck that largely multiplies the yield of the mining grind.    This additional variety has spiced up my Elite: Danger…

Decompression Stress

It's vacation week!  I supplemented my usual four days off part time schedule by scheduling to take the three days off that goes between them, and suddenly it became eleven days off.  I probably can't get away with a part time schedule forever, but it's good to enjoy it while it can.

I have not been using my time as productively as I planned.  I wanted to focus on my game development endeavors.  Instead, it seems having more free time makes focusing on doing productive things very difficult.  It is not so much that I work better under pressure as it is that there is a certain sense of weightlessness that comes with being depressurized.

Elite: Dangerous.
Speaking of which, I surprised myself by sinking some time into Elite: Dangerous.  Not a lot, mind you.  Frankly, what I do in the game is boring as snot.  I have reached the end game, and basically it is a long, torturous climb to attain one (or all) of the three big ships left above my current ship, the Python.  That requ…

Great Games Captivate The Imagination

Seeing that title, you're probably thinking, "No duh," but I'm being a little more literal than you might be expecting.  What does it really mean to captivate the imagination in games?  What are some features that should entail?  The answer lead me to a minor epiphany that truly great games do this, and specifically this.

This Bizarro weekend went pretty much the same as the last two: Factorio and Divinity: Original Sin 2.  But the interesting thing about these games came about when I wrote a little thing on /r/roguelikedev today:
[When developing a roguelike game, your audience is] the ones who are enticed by the potential for endless gobstoppers introduced by procedural generation, and can look at a wall of text and see a world... these people have imagination! [...] Give us some interesting decisions. Our imaginations need something to chew on. Both Factorio and Divinity: Original Sin are actually pretty competent sandboxes along these lines:
Factorio contains…

Time Sunk

As I mentioned last week, many an epic game has been soaking up my time like multiple sentient chronological sponges.
Factorio took the bigger bite this week.  As always, it's a glorious sandbox of factory construction, where you can start from humble beginnings of trying to wedge coal out of ground with a stick, but end up with a huge, beautiful, pollution-spewing factory complex that produces and consumes hundreds of thousands of minerals an hour!  I had been watching the Yogscast play it on their Monday stream, deeply enriched with mods, and this got me interested to give the game a spin and see what has changed.

Well, under the hood, I'm sure many little things have changed.  On the outside, though, the main difference I am noticing is that boilers have been re-implemented.  Where they were once just single-unit sized blocks, they're now considerably larger (3x2 unit size?) with fixed points for water and steam, so this requires additional planning.  
I am tempted to gi…

Epic Campaigns Apleanty

My fun in XCOM2's War Of The Chosen expansion has more or less petered off.  It was a really good time while it lasted, but I find myself re-encountering a problem I had with the original Firaxis reboot of the series: the difficulty level is either too easy, or too hard.

This week, I finished an "Ironman" mode Veteran-difficulty run.  "Ironman" meant I was not able to save scum, each and every move was final.  However, after I unlocked the third tier of weaponry, all the difficulty of the game largely vanished.  The three "Chosen" were effortlessly defeated, and I was pretty much able to wipe out every pod of aliens encountered on the same turn they found me.  The tension was gone, the last half of that campaign felt rather monotonous.
I started over on "Commander" mode, the difficulty one level higher, and the excitement had returned.  But I found myself rapidly tiring of the futility of the brutal war of attrition I was up against.  …


If there is anything sure to interrupt my own game development endeavors, it is already-released games that are really, really good.

Freshest of these experiences being yesterday's release of the extensive XCOM 2 expansion, War of The Chosen.  Adding a heady mix of personality to an already-riveting tactical combat experience, I spent the entire day feeling taut with an equal mix of caffeine and adrenaline.  And then there's the newly-added feature of creating your own propaganda posters...
...which rankles of the nauseating taint of social networking, but is not entirely without entertainment value.  Though I found myself assigning cruel taglines to my XCOM propaganda posters for the sheer schadenfreude, the game itself is crueler yet.  I had thought this game's virtual GM would cut me a break or two, as it did in past installments of the Firaxis reboot, but it's developed a mean streak where it would land fatal one-shot critical hits on squaddies dutifully cowering i…