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The Steam Summer Sale 2013 Comes To A Close

It was an unusually busy work week for me.   As I sit here writing this blog entry, I somewhat feel as though I am just trying to recover from 26 hours of work in 4 days... yeah, I know, "What a panzy, haven't you ever heard of a full time job, and what about overtime?"  Well, hypothetical smart aleck, before the recession hit, I worked a full-time schedule for almost a decade, and I can tell you this: being a substitute with a random work schedule is a little tougher because you never get used to it.  (Or maybe I'm just getting older.)
With the exception of karōshi, but what would "The Ambassador Of Golf" know of that?  Anyway, it's generally true: effort focused on the right place is how anything of significance gets done.
Anyway, not to complain, because I'm glad for the opportunity to work... partly because I'm spending my money too quickly.  Much of that goes to eating out... little wonder I'm not losing any weight despite exercising so much at work.  I also bought myself some affordable computer speakers on my last paycheck, which turned out to be a downgrade in bass resonance capacity but an overall upgrade in fidelity and sense of stereo proximity.  I probably would have been better off pinching my pennies and getting a computer power supply unit upgrade so I could eventually move on to upgrading to that RAID 10 setup I've been wanting.

Yet, maybe frivolously spending on food and speakers was a good thing, because the Summer Steam Sale took the rest.  I budgeted $100 towards that, but ended up spending nearly $150, and now am looking at barely squeaking into my next paycheck in the black - foolish of me, really.   In addition to the previously mentioned titles, I ended up getting:
  • Carrier Command: Gaia Mission - Not exactly a feather in my cap, this game didn't do so well on reviews, but I will say that it's also listed as being "3D Vision Ready" by NVIDIA and, ever since I got these 3D Vision glasses, I've been wanting to give it a spin.  I do sort of appreciate the simulation factor of controlling a carrier with 4 deployable air units and 4 deployable ground units, it makes for a nice little war sandbox, even if the game does not have a very good hook and the campaign is too much of a grind.
  • Psychonauts - When Yahtzee Crowsaw was asking the rest of you to injure yourself for not buying this game at release, I was able to pass on his offer, because I bought this game's collector's edition when it was released.  I just absolutely loved the style and imagination in this game, which is otherwise just a slightly-above-average example of the platformer genre... but then, sometimes the style and imagination can be the most important part of a game experience, and Psychonauts is a very memorable game because of it.  Anywho, I snapped it up again for $2.50 on Steam just for the honor of being able to list it as one of my all time favorite games on my Steam profile.
  • Warframe - More specifically, a "Starter Kit" that was 75% off, which granted me a nice gob of Warframe money in this F2P game.  This game is apparently doing very well for itself despite not being finished, and I'm glad: as I've said as much before, space ninjas are an excellent thing.  Considering the amount of fun I got out of the game, I think they've earned at least as much as the $10 this set me back.
  • Risen 2: Dark Waters - Risen was basically Gothic, spunoff by the original creators after they gave the rights to someone else, and ended up pretty much a spiritual successor: a comprehensively-wrought, European-made, third person action RPG.  Unfortunately, Risen 2 dropped the ball somewhat, becoming clunkier and less enjoyable but,  for the roughly $5 I paid for Risen 2, I see no reason to complain.
  • Garry's Mod - I probably should have picked this up years ago.  Gary's Mod basically turns the Source game engine (the one used to make Half Life 2) into a giant physics sandbox.  Some people use it to make movies.  Others like to mess around with the physics.  Some have even explored their sexuality with the thing by playing doctor with the character models... adolescents will be adolescents, I suppose.  Lets just stick to calling Garry's Mod a physics sandbox, and the integrated Steam Workshop support means you can download all the wacky creations from other Steam users pretty much hassle-free.
  • Sang Froid: Tales Of Werewolves -  An interesting looking game.  You're basically a lumberjack (and his brother in cooperative play mode) looking to prevent werewolves from wiping out your sleepy berg by first laying traps and then going out to engage them in hand-to-hand.  There's an unusually high amount of focus to realism here, including a fatigue system that makes swinging a heavy weapon more than a few times prone to leaving you defenseless.
  • Elder Scrolls V Skyrim: Dragonborn - Dragonborn is the latest, greatest, and probably last expansion to Skyrim, Bethesda's infamous Nordic role-playing game.   It basically adds content related to your Dovahkiin character encountering the first of his kind... from what I gather, this antagonist swoops in and steals the souls from the dragons you killed: sounds like a grade-A jerk to me; did I really just buy an expansion that facilitates griefing myself in a single player game?   Oh, and I guess you can ride dragons now, but not actually control them.  I've said a lot about this game, and was looking at my Skyrim stats in Steam and apparently I spent 453 hours playing this game: no wonder I'm sick of it!
  • Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine - Finally got my grubby hands on this marvelous indy game.  Several time winner of many indy festivals, Monaco is basically an action puzzler that involves performing elaborate heists while controlling a single criminal (up to four player co-operative play is available).  A good deal of attention went into simulating the systems of the various pieces of the board game - electrical systems, guard pathing, and so on - and basically this is going to be a really great time for game nerds such as myself.
While it's all very well and good that I managed to get so many games 50-75% off, I am still having the same problem now as I was two entries ago (an issue I've had for years now, really): I don't play enough of what I already have, so why buy more games?!  Given how much I've been working over the past few days, I even neglected my poor Animal Crossing: New Leaf village to an extent, and stopped my Brain Age: Concentration Training training entirely.

What was I thinking?  Well, I guess I was just confronted with a really good deal on the things I wanted at one time I decided just go for it.  Considering $150 is not quite the price of 3 new triple-A games, it's hardly a major financial crisis, I just know implicitly that buying a bunch more software is kind of silly considering my existing situation: do I even play games anymore?  Yes, but not nearly this many.  What am I - a collector of games now?
Apparently I'm not the only one that feels this way.
Thinking back, the problem may have began when I started taking game development seriously in BYOND, which was about five years ago.   I don't know if that was when my brain underwent a change in maturity or if I just found making games to be severalfold more compelling than playing them, but I have never felt as excited about playing games as I did before that... it's been a major existential crisis for me.  I am worried that I really don't feel very strongly about the games I make, either.  I just don't have a clear sense of purpose anymore... if I ever did.

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