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Showing posts from December, 2013

Substitute Your Own Titles For This Sorely Vestigial Blog Entry

Though I was looking forward to having five days off to myself, guilt free, it has been ripped from my hands by having to entertain my four-year-old nephew for a good 40-60% of the free time of any given day.   They didn't twist my arm to do it (much) I just sympathized with how the little boy is often bored over at grandma's house (despite a deluge of new Christmas toys).

A pious fellow may observe that children are a treasure, emerging as pure creatures of boundless energy, true innocence, and insatiable curiosity for this world.  Their potential is as unlimited as anyone's, and any curmudgeon should swallow their egotistical cantankerism and feel honored for any opportunity life grants to interact with them.
Nevertheless, though I may endeavor to be so enlightened to embrace this ideal, I am also very much an introvert who feels drained by frequent interactions with others, and consequently I'm going back to work tomorrow more tired than I was at the beginning of th…

Motion Fever? Bad. Cities In Motion Fever? Good.

I might as well face facts, I'm a boring middle-aged man who loves boring middle-aged man games.

In grade school, I might have been fascinated by catching Pokemon or grinding for phat loot in a virtual environment, but I just couldn't get into Pokemon Y, and I can no longer ignore how much MMORPGs resemble a skinner's box (but it would help if more developers tried to differentiate the two).

So, what kind of games do I find myself interested now?  Simulations, mostly, whether they be about driving semi trucks or building trading empires in space.  Not boring middle-aged man enough for you?  How about building public transport systems for major metropolitan areas?

So anyway, I just spent a solid 24 hours of the past 4 days playing Cities In Motion 2, and loving every damn minute of it.
The foundation of this game is a fairly impressive technical achievement: simulating the cities themselves.  On a properly contoured 3D terrain, the developers have painted quite a few roads…

Delicious Copypasta: Moore's Law, Wildstar Online, and Dungeon Of The Endless

I've been quite verbose today, but my blog remains without an update, so it's time to resort to lazy, cut-and-paste methodology.  Ooh, I feel like a professional coder on the cutting edge of barely not reblogging right now!


Source: My comment on RockPaperShotgun about Moore's Law and its impact on technology.
I think that games may be improving, but it’s actually being done in spite of Moore’s Law. The thing is, the developers had been investing big, big bucks in trying to make really high fidelity games. Such games require big budgets, not because of the cost of the technology, but because of the cost of hiring professionals capable of rendering usable content that actually takes advantage of that technology. (Just read the credits screen for Deus Ex: Human Revolution, it’s comparable to the size of a blockbuster movie!) Only trouble is, these investments tend to blow up in their faces because they’re not recouping the money that went into creating that thing. …

It's Full Of Stars? So What?

Just when I was starting to get some creative expression done, Starbound's early access came out!  So, over the past couple days, I played it as hard as possibly could   I stopped playing just in time to write this blog entry before I need to go back to work, and I'm just a little miffed about that having frittered away my free time like that.
Before anyone takes the time to tell me: yes, I'm quite aware that Starbound borrows a lot from Terraria.  They're both essentially "Minecraft, if it was done in 2D, and the savings in technical overhead was translated to adding more to do."  If you're pretty bored of Terraria, then it follows you should be bored of Starbound as well.

Yet, even though I'm pretty bored of Terraria, I thought Starbound was reasonably enjoyable.  The reasons are pretty simple:
Starbound is slightly more realistic.  It's not about killing mobs and collecting hearts anymore; Starbound is a survival game, you need to worry about hu…

RPG Maker Is Creative Fulfillment Made Easy

My RPG Maker XV: Ace purchase during the Steam Autumn sale has paid off in that I did actually start working on a game right away, and it's actually considerably easier to do than in any game making software I've used before.

The reason it's easier in RPG Maker than the other projects is because it hands the player an actual game to modify.

BYOND gave me predefined data types for turfs, mobs, objects, and areas (and the ability to define my own data types) but I would need to define my own game, there wasn't even projectile simulation, and I could never really make up my mind.  Its coolest feature was that it was a persistent state environment right out of the box.  Its most limiting feature is that it requires players to install proprietary software to use it, and this greatly restricts the potential audience of players of BYOND games.

GameMaker gave me rooms, let me define things to put in those rooms, lots of potential special effects, and robust projectile and physi…