Skip to main content

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.
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

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…

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…

Ancient Warfare - What Is It Good For?

The Ancient Warfare mod for Minecraft threw me for a loop.  I was looking for "villagers" that would perform useful tasks while simultaneously resolving the glut of food with a need to eat, thereby turning Minecraft into a bit of 4X game you can play from the inside.  Millenaire wasn't quite there, partly because recent updates to Forge had broken its compatibility with Minecraft 1.7.10, and Minecolony's development is not quite fast enough to keep up with the state of mods in general (they probably need to make a core API).
In comes Ancient Warfare, which does indeed provide workers and soldiers who need to eat, you can even order around a little army of them to defeat your enemies.  It has working waterwheels and windmills, something I thought was awesome in Resonant Induction.  It has a warehouse with a built-in sorting system, as well as courier NPCs that can move things from building to building, and crafting NPCs that can create things for you automatically - w…