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Ex-Commitment

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 in full cover.  My mean-spiritedness was bred in like company.

Prior to that, I finally decided to pony up for a copy of EverSpace, one of those "roguelights" which basically is shorthand for "the maps are procedural generated."  This time, it's a very competent arcade space shooter married to a branching sector progression system not unlike FTL.  The combat is fast but not frenetic, precision and tactical thinking is rewarded, resulting in a highly satisfying measure of skill and resource management.  I picked it up partly for the recent patch which improved the VR support...
... but unfortunately, there's a bit of a hardware conflict there.  You play it once in VR, the game insists on routing the audio to the Rift headset regardless of if you're playing it in VR mode or not.  When I posted this on the Steam forums, the developers promptly informed me that it's a known issue related to the current version of the Unreal Engine.  I found that the problem can be temporarily alleviated by reinstalling the game, but that is a pretty annoying fix to employ every time I'm tired of being dizzy in VR, so it has put a kibosh on my further playing EverSpace for now.

Between XCOM2 and EverSpace, I have been distracted from dabbling in Unity long enough that I am drawing an absolute blank about what I wanted to make.  I wracked my brains at length about what the end goal is, but I guess that there never was one.  This was more of an experiment in devising higher purpose to virtual world games than survival or playing in the sand, a rather recurrent theme on my past blog entries.

I need to break this deadlock of overthinking, and perhaps I can do so by scaling back my goal a bit.  There's simply not enough data to draw the conclusion I want, so I need another data point.  To these ends, I am going to try creating a "stepping stone" game: not the ideal game I wanted to make, but a game that may allow me to see further by creating it.

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