Skip to main content

Turn Skipped

Another week come and gone, whatever have I been up to in my free time?   Well, in this case, I would have to ask, "What free time?"  In addition to working a lot more hours than usual, my only two days off were almost completely consumed by entertaining the five-year-old nephew while he was in town.  As much as I needed that time, I just can't say no to an innocent kid who loves his uncle.  Better luck next weekend, me!

I guess I could talk about what he had me play: Nom Nom Galaxy and modded Minecraft.   Both excellent games in their own right, although the nephew was calling the shots how I was allowed to play them.
In Nom Nom Galaxy, you play on a cutaway side view as an intergalactic soup worker, constructing a factory, locating ingredients, and racing against an off-map opponent to ship the most soup!  It's a pretty novel formula and a very solid game.

We played the two player split screen mode, which is a pretty effective way to play it.  The young nephew is getting better at replanting ingredients and is less prone to destroying our base and farms with his soup worker's saw than his last visit.  However, he was not very interested in contributing to a steady output of soup production, so I had to do the heavy lifting.  This game would probably be better suited to those a few years older, but as an adult I can appreciate the slick Pixel Junk brand game mechanics at work.
In Minecraft, the nephew is so in love with the Necromancy mod that it was hard to convince him to do anything else.  In that mod, you stitch together reanimated horrors out of a head, torso, two arms, and a set of legs.  These parts belong to the various creatures of the unmodded game and you can mix them anyway you like.  Want a squid-headed spider with iron golem arms and villager feet?  No problem!  (Especially if you play in creative mode and just spawn the parts in like we did.)  Unfortunately, aside from their appearance, they are all pretty much the exact same critter with varying hit points and damage potential, so I am a lot more bored of them then the nephew is.

The nephew also introduced me to the Blocklings mod, one that has you leveling up and upgrading your own Minecraft block derived pet.  The little blocklings are kinda cute, but I don't find them all that much more useful than the Necromancy Mod critters.  They seem to have pathing issues and it's a shame to have to go through all the effort of leveling them up when they're just going to run off and get themselves killed somehow.

What bothers me about both the Necromancy mod and the Blockings mod is that these pets don't do much.  They won't even bother to attack anything less you hit it first.  I far more prefer the Thaumcraft golems, which are autonomous in their functions and also capable of doing a lot more useful things than just attack.

Anyway, so went my weekend.  Now that I have a few hours off after work to contemplate what I ought to be doing, I find myself stalemated by exactly what I was trying to accomplish when I wasn't being hijacked into daycare.   I need something more fulfilling to do with my free time than play games, especially considering I'm too picky to enjoy many of them anymore, and the world domination gig is booked solid.

Maybe I'd rather make games, my lesser excitement of them partly being because I can, and having seen what goes on behind the curtain reveals far more potential fun than just playing them.  I am now thinking that my major hitch in the game development process is in the design phase.  To a great extent, the actual assembly of the game is the least important bit: I need to finalize a design I'm excited about, from beginning to end, before I bother to actually try to realize it.


Popular posts from this blog

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…

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…

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…