Showing posts from November, 2017

A Turkey Day Slingshot Manuever

Long time, no update.  What have I been up to?

Well, since Dory's taken over, I've been a lot more successful in my personal game development efforts.  I still don't quite have something playable, but I feel I am making progress.  Almost 6 hours of every day off now goes into the Unity IDE or the drawing board, with only occasional bouts of absolute idle failure to commit to either.

Oculus did indeed approve my return of From Other Suns.  I turned around and got X Rebirth VR Edition instead, it's significantly improved from my attempts to enjoy the disastrous original launch, but it's not quite perfect.  No wonder it has not left early access yet, but fortunately it seems Egosoft is still releasing monthly patches for it.  I am quite impressed they have tried to make amends, this game has four years of improvements in it, and most of the bumps have been ironed out.
X Rebirth: VR Edition is not as immersive as Elite: Dangerous, in that the presentation is much humble…

With A Laser Pistol At My Side

I bucked the trend this week and picked up something new and niche, From Other Suns, an Oculus Rift title.
Truth be told, I barely played the game, I was too busy with my own game development endeavors to create a persistent state version of a tile-based 2D RPG of yore.  Dory is doing a good job of keeping me task.

But From Other Suns is not a bad game.  It is basically a mix of excellent games that came before it:
By and large, you are playing from a first person perspective with a reasonably-effective implementation of VR shooting mechanics.  If you played Robo Recall you know the drill: grab weapons from your holsters and fire away.  The gunplay is not as well implemented as Robo Recall, but it is professionally done, this isn't the developers' first game like this.The most exciting feature of From Other Suns is that is open world, not fixed scenarios.  You actually start off in your own little spaceship.  From the bridge, controlling your own ship plays somewhat like FTL, b…

Blocked And Loaded

This week marks both a departure from the norm and more of the same.  No wonder I feel weird.

The change comes from my choosing to install Leechblock to my browser.  It's not the first time I did that, but it is the first time I set it up to block anything remotely entertaining during what I have designated "the 6 most productive hours of the day."  I even have blocked this very blog!  If I try going to any blocked website during that time, instead I get a picture of Dory doing a pretty good impression of my browsing reflex.
The point of Leechblock is to curb that habit.  Combined with closing down my instant messengers, and not launching games, my distractions have been dramatically reduced.  I've "gone dark" so I can hunker down and get to work, something increasingly more necessary in a world full of easy distractions.

(At least, that shuts down most of the the distractions from my own procrastination.  Life's distractions still work to full effect, …

Shoot, It's Destiny

As is often the case with this fellow burnout gamer, I generally agreed with what Yahtzee had to say about Destiny 2 during his Zero Punctuation review... that it is, in a word, derivative.  It does not see further by standing on the shoulders of giants, but rather it is afraid of touching the ground so it created a huge Frankenstein monster out of the assorted parts of all the giants that seemed to be successful before it.

I can look at just about any part of the game and see the usual tropes, all overwhelmingly things you have probably seen somewhere before:
Regenerating health bar with shattering shields on low health, complete with bloody screen so real.  In fact, Bungie might have pioneered regenerating health bars in their Halo series.  Beats having to dole out health packs in your level design, amirite?  At least the lore explains where the damage goes, and that's more than most developers bother to do.The core of the gameplay is overwhelmingly standard first person sh…