Skip to main content


So, in accordance to a school project, I ended up not using the computer (or any other digital device if I could help it) on Friday and Saturday. I managed to stave off the resulting madness by reading about 1250 pages, finishing off the last two Harry Potter books in the series. In a way, so many hundreds of pages simply to cover the events of those last few books was an unnecessary grind of its own, leading to a reasonably interesting tangent.

In much the same way I'm disappointed to discover I reached the maximum level in an MMORPG, only to discover that there's really nothing left to achieve, it's a bit of a bother to complete an epic series just to realize that the story's over. The characters, whether they live happily ever after or not, are done, their role in your imagination finished - they might as well be dead (if they were ever alive). Perhaps, out of grieving, fan fiction results.

At least, with a book, an ending is expected. In an online persistent state universe, or a roleplaying game, there's an unspoken promise that the story will never end. Define your own character in a story and play them until the end of time. A storytelling campfire that is always burning, the ultimate entertainment for any who would sit and listen. Perhaps, this more than anything else, is the appeal that keeps pulling us back to MMORPGs.

However, in cooperating with this appeal, our expectations are set perhaps on an irrational goal: we lose sight that the point in playing a game, or reading a story, is the journey, and not the destination. Much like the Mirror of Erised in the Harry Potter books, an RPG reflects a heartfelt desire that can captivate endlessly unless one acknowledges and accepts that what's being reflected is illusion: unattainable.

Yes, the everlasting gobstopper is truly unattainable, in a catch22 fashion. Even if the RPG succeeded in being a story that lasts forever, we would merely waste away before we reach the end. And, on that morbid tone, my Spring Break vacation has come to an end.


Popular posts from this blog

Resonant Induction Really Grinds My Gears... In A Good Way

From about 2pm yesterday until 8pm today, I've been dabbling with my latest custom mod mix for Minecraft 1.6.4, which is this time very much Universal Electricity focused.
Aside from the usual GUI enhancers and Somnia, the primary contenders in this mix were:
Calclavia Core - Of course: this is the base of the Universal Electricity system.Resonant Induction - This seems to be largely focused on increasingly more advanced methods of refining ores divided across 4 ages of technological progression.  It also includes some really cool things such as assembly lines.  I'll primarily be talking about just a few blocks out of this mod today.Atomic Science - A mod dedicated to generating more of those lovely universal electricity volts via the power of splitting the atom.  Build your own nuclear reactor!  Deal with nuclear meltdowns!  You maniac!ICBM - A mod dedicated to generating more destruction using those lovely universal electricity volts (and more than a little gunpowder), it cer…

Empyrion Vrs Space Engineers: A Different Kind Of Space Race

In my quest for more compelling virtual worlds, I have been watching Empyrion: Galactic Survival a lot this bizarro weekend, mostly via the Angry Joe Show twitch stream.  What I have concluded from my observations is Empyrion is following in Space Engineers' shadow, but it is nevertheless threatening the elder game due to a greater feature set (the modding scene notwithstanding).

Empyrion is made in Unity, whereas Space Engineers is built on a custom engine.  While this does put Empyrion at a disadvantage when it comes to conceptual flexibility, its developers nevertheless have a substantial advantage when it comes to adding features due to a savings of time spent that would have gone into developing their own engine.  Examples include:
Planets.  Empyrion already has planets and space to explore between them, whereas in Space Engineers planets are in the works but still awhile away (so you just have asteroid fields to scavenge).Enemies.  Space Engineers' survival mode boasts onl…

Greasing The Grind: Adding Lasting Appeal To Virtual World Sandboxes

Game design, being about entertainment, is not as much science as art.  We're coming up with interesting things that the human mind likes to chew on that "taste" good to it.  Different people find different things, "Fun," and a game designer is tasked with coming up with fun, appealing things.  As pertains to virtual world sandboxes, I identified three of them.

Challenge Appeal.

Dwarf Fortress and Fortresscraft Evolved have the same end game appeal preservation mechanic: wealth equals threat.  The more money your Dwarf Fortress is worth, the bigger the baddies who will come for you, including a bunch of snobby useless nobles who do nothing but push dwarves around and eat.  The more energy you make in Fortresscraft Evolved, the more and bigger bugs come to shut down your base.  Rimworld does something a little different based off of which AI Storyteller you choose, but it generally adds time to your wealth accumulation when deciding what kind of threats to throw a…