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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 humbler, it feels like a cheap diorama in comparison. However, in terms of long term gameplay, I have a lot more to look forward to. The X series is one where you can run an empire. While you might be stuck in the same ship, you can own a whole fleet of ships that work for you, and even build your own space stations, and the economy is actually a real one where the numbers have a real impact outside of how much you can sell goods for. Also, the touch controllers work in X Rebirth VR, probably the most advanced implementation of touch controllers I've seen in any game.

Black Friday/Cyber Monday ran me over like a truck.  A fool who seeks an excuse to spend his money will soon find himself parted from it.  I ended up getting:
  • A Geforce 1070Ti video card for a ridiculous amount of money, about the price of a stock Xbox One X.  My two GeForce 970s were more than sufficient for most games, but unfortunately very few VR games work in SLI and so I was finding VR performance to be sub-par.  My new 1070Ti fixed that, but my performance is not significantly better than two 970s wherever SLI worked.  I sincerely hope I can sell off those two old cards for a reasonable fraction of their cost, or this was one hell of a bad use of money.
  • Prey, the 2017 game, discounted from its current $40 for under $20.  A first person shooter role-playing game that take places on an corporate space station with alien problems, Prey is basically the best parts of Half-Life and System Shock 2, executed by the same talent behind the marvelous Dishonored series.  There's absolutely nothing wrong with it, and this makes it hard to discuss.
  • I picked up a cheap HOTAS for Elite: Dangerous, $25 for a normally $50 kit.  Well, it definitely helps me feel like I'm piloting a spaceship, but I have not figured out how to place it comfortably on my desk.  I feel somewhat apathetic to really getting into Elite: Dangerous right now, it's become quite The Ordeal lately, but it seems to be one of the few games my boring adult sensibilities seem interested in playing.
  • Planet Coaster, also for under $20 from its normal $45.  Imagine if the people who made the third game of the RollerCoaster Tycoon series were able to run a successful enough crowd funding that they can make it again with simlish spouting characters, a theme song, spiffy new 3D graphics, a micro-transaction store, and a few gameplay innovations.  What you're imagining is pretty much exactly what Planet Coaster is, for good or ill.
  • I played and beat Everybody's Gone To The Rapture, which I picked up for $5 instead of the usual $20.  So far, two people found my review helpful, one person found it funny.  The game is a mystery: was it poignant with an undertone of pretentiousness, or was it sheer pretentiousness with an undertone of poignancy?  I didn't hate it, but I can't recommend it.
It is shaping up to be a busy holiday season, but I can't help but feel I finished all of my important spending a month before Christmas even got here.
There's no point in buying more games.  These ones can probably last until this time next year.
We meet again, debt.  Lets just forget Christmas and move along in paying you down for awhile, shall we?  No, I didn't think I could get away with that, just a suggestion.  Bah, humbug.
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