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Stop Mulling And Just Procrastinate

I've little time to blog this morning, but I should probably put something up as my poor departed cat has bogarted the front page for long enough.  Phil was a neat cat, affectionate, energetic, and independent.  He passed too soon, and I'm partly to blame.  However, the thing about caring about the departed is that they are beyond the need for care, you end up feeling silly if you do it overlong.  Life goes on, just without them, and it's been happening since the dawn of time.

What shall we replace this riveting subject with?  Lets try the easiest subject for me to blog about: the things I've been doing this last weekend.

Game Development:

My indie game development efforts have been going lousy, truth be told, but check out this cool grass effect I made by accident.
It's one of those situations in which I come up for air after a protracted period of being immersed in something.  That something could be real life drama, or it could even be implementing a major feature.  

Regardless, I now find myself lost in a sea of doubt.  Where do I go from here?  What it is I wanted to make, exactly?  Really?  Then how did I get here?  There's only one way to answer these questions, and that's to chart a map, retracing my steps.  

The drawing board hosts unlimited potential, but precious little progress.  Gone is the lovely flow of adding things in the IDE.  It's drawing board or bust, at least until I get my bearings.

Play Skyrim (Again):

Once again, as my character reaches approximately level 50, Skyrim has largely thrown its hands up in surrender.  It's a bit of a disappointment, as my current Dovahkiin doesn't even use smithed weapons, and has yet to perk expert Destruction spells, so I've gimped myself as much as possible.  

In practice, I've largely been zapping them with apprentice-level lightning bolts, mere bites of a gnat to scaled level 50 health point pools.  However, thanks to the impact perk, these piddling little zots are enough to keep them perpetually staggered.  As long as I have mana to keep zapping them, the challenge is neutered.  No problem: I have invested in having mana for about 40 of my levels.  

Thus, my impotent foes die rather slowly as they are whittled away by my attacks.  Their defeat is mildly accelerated by the Daedric Lord I summoned to distract them, and possibly even by each other as I throw a bit of illusion confusion in there to get my foes really proper clusterfudged.  I've let my follower go, the job is getting done, albeit slowly.

It's boring.  Might as well have just smithed a bow into a portable ballista and got it over with fast.  Higher level combat in Skyrim is trivialized no matter what I do.

To help break up the monotony, I installed a good bunch of mods as recommended by the Skyrim mod reddit.  Skyrim is now a lot prettier, less buggy, the NPCs act with a bit more variety, and a lot of cut content has been restored.  

In addition, I installed the Useful Alteration mod, which honestly largely neuters the threat of survival mode, but I find it essential because Skyrim's weakest link is inventory management and it gets around that by allowing you to designate containers in any house you own as a permanent trans-dimensional storehouse for your junk.  The acceleration spell also allows you to run at ludicrous speed all over the map, which largely takes the dreariness out of lack of fast travel, but at the cost of a lot of immersion.

I'm about done with Skyrim.  Again.

Play Subnautica (Again):

Subnautica is finally out of full access and fully released.  Does this make it fully Nautica now?   Not unless they patch in a lot of trendy clothing.  In any case, it's a fantastic 1st person survival game that takes place on a ocean-covered alien planet.
Everything in Subnautica is a bit of a spoiler.  What the heck is this supposed to be?!
An interesting thing happens as you play Subnautica.  You encounter claustrophobic undersea caves full of all sorts of weird creatures, or sometimes just generally scary fish, and for a little while it becomes a psychological horror game.  Then you learn how to survive them, it stops being scary, and starts being a cool sci-fi adventure with undertones of marine biology.

If you were to ask me what the coolest feature of Subnautica was, I would be torn between the environment, the vehicles, and the base building.  They're all excellently well implemented, among the best in a genre that is surely not short of entries

They even made a fair stab at implementing VR.  It's fully playable in VR via a gamepad, which is no minor feat.  However, without proper motion controller support, it's a sub-par VR experience.  Another major Achilles heel of VR is standard font text, which is hardly legible through the screen door effect, and Subnautica is lousy with things to read.  As is often the case, seeing a game in proper VR makes it painfully obvious where the developers felt there was no need for better textures.  Though true 3D adds something, you're better off playing Subnautica on a widescreen monitor with proper mouse and keyboard control.

But absolutely do play it.  It's a steal at its release price, and is paced in such a way that it will last you well over a dollar an hour.


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