Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Back on the Bike


I am writing this more for me than anyone else.  Mostly because I am terrible at keeping journals.  Particularly journals that are all in one place.  I have found that this is mostly because I have been writing EVERYWHERE.  I didn't notice I did this but apparently I write stuff literally everywhere.  If there were some way to have this stuff collect itself in one location I would have enough material to write this blog non-stop.

As it is.  I am forced to write more in more places until I get a scrap of writing that ends up here.  This brings me to my next and previous topic.  Recovery, how it went, and if I met my goals.

I am feeling much much better.  I have a follow-up in Nov to make sure I am actually doing better and not just feeling better.  As for my goals... well lets see.

1: my prototype is not playable but is much closer to being playable and I am satisfied with my progress as other things to precedence and my goals shifted (mostly to not feeling like crap... I had no idea how exhausting regrowing a breastplate could be).

2: I have a decently detailed document at least getting my idea down on paper.  A lot of paper.  And some Internet, but not much.  Don't have much research but I have enough to feel like this is possible IF I can find out more about start-up costs and start-up capital.

3: I'll be honest.  I didn't touch this one.  I didn't like computers while I was healing... too much sitting up... it hurt me.

4: I used it a bit but didn't learn a lot.  What I DID do was look at a ton of photographs and learn more about how people do some of the things I want to learn.  Now I won't feel as weird trying to put some techniques into practice.

5: Done and Done.  This one I nailed.  I love it so far and now I'm super pumped about it.  To the point where I am starting to write another campaign AND hoping to translate both into wiki format via Obsidian Portal at some point. (Getting so into DMing its not even funny)

6: This one will bring me back to my original statement and I will now revisit this goal.  My goal is not to write more it is to share more of it and possibly collect more of it and learn from my older writing.  My other goal is to get in the practice of scheduled writing (which would require a real schedule but... whatever) and to help with this I am really looking forward to Nov again as I will probably be trying to participate in NanoWriMo again and failing at it gloriously again.

That appears to be all for now.  It seems my life is slowly shifting and a few big shifts seem to be wanting to take place soon so I'll look forward to writing about these as well.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What's Goin' Down

Alright.  So coming up soon I am gonna be somewhat out of commission recovering from surgery but before that happens I have set aside 3 major goals of mine which I would like to accomplish by the end of my recovery time.  I figure that writing them down is a great way to force myself to follow through on them.  Any encouragement towards these goals would be greatly appreciated as well lol.

The First:  Complete a playable prototype of a card game I have been working on and test it with as many people as I can.  Attached to this would be figuring out copyrighting for the game as I have little to no idea how copyrights on games work.

The Second: Conceptualize and lay out some sort of document or plan for a place of business that has been bouncing around my head for quite some time.  Do some research regarding precedents for this particular type of business and hopefully have some actual numbers to start working with.  Any good resources for modeling business plans would be appreciated.

The Third: Orange box an exterior level design concept I have been working on.  Seriously.  I really just need to go and do it.  For real.... or unreal... unreal 3.  Yup. That's all.  But I felt like this bullet note needed more.  And now I can't stop.  I think I need help.

The Fourth: Use my camera more and learn more about what I am actually doing with it.

The Fifth: Plan out a bit more of my DnD campaign so I don't need to think about it when our group finally decides to sit down and play.

The Sixth:  Do more writing in general.  Document my progress on stuff and get everything on paper.  (Linking to this concept I have been falling in love with post-it notes... they are like bullet notes but more awesome)

So I realize I said 3 but I figure the last three are wishy-washy enough that I can throw them in and not suffer too much.  So that's my plan and I am sticking to it.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Leagues of All Shapes and Forms

Okay, so I have noticed recently that Leagues have been dominating my life recently.

I have been playing a lot of League of Legends (LoL) recently and I have been loving it.  Such a simply game that I can pick up for an hour and be done with.  Its not entirely unique or special in any way it just takes a lot of good things from the genre's it draws from and puts them all in one neat little package.  I'll be excited to see where it goes in the future.

I have also been slowly making my way through the Pokemon League in Soul Silver.  Again, not unique at all as far as games go but puts a well needed coat of paint on my favorite game in the series.  As a side note, pokemon still remains in my top three games of all time.

In addition I have been DMing (Dungeon Master-ing for those unfamiliar) a pretty low key Pathfinder game where the group is starting their own little pseudo justice league.  I am loving this Pathfinder campaign.  I find that I run the game like I run so many other things in my life... completely through intuition, randomness, and a little bit of pulled together logic from what I know of how the game works.  It is working surprisingly well.  It helps that my players don't mind the loose structure but it also gives me so much freedom to adapt to what my players want and need from a given session.  I even drew a small crowd! (though it was only my sister and a few of her friends lol)

Finally, I suppose major league baseball is starting to become sort of the background noise of my life because so many people I know have started watching it.  I like watching games now and again but I can't pay attention to it.  I need to be doing something else while its going on, unless I am right there watching it (which is rare).

Either way, its rather odd how many things in my entertainment life are kinda circling around different leagues... maybe I'll go watch League of Extraordinary Gentlemen later...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Micro Review: Tatsunoko VS Capcom (and other things)

Okay, so having finally officially unlocked all the characters in TvC I feel am ready to give the game a fair micro review.

To start off, the game feels similar enough to its predecessors to be comfortable to fans of the series.  However, it gets major points for being a simple fighter (in the scope of fighting games) and thus appealing to people who might not otherwise give it a second look.  I think people in general would enjoy the game if they gave it a shot.  That being said... NO ONE knows who or what Tatsunoko is (not even my spell checker...).  That is a major problem with the game gaining popularity in a casual market.

Moving on past the general appeal of the game we get into the actual control scheme.  Quite literally it is 4 buttons and a control pad/stick.  Easy.  No swapping of control modes.  No major flaws.  Not even elaborate controller inputs (THANK GOD).  The most you are asked to do it like a half-circle and two buttons at the same time.  This is a godsend for those of us who dread seeing two full circles and a six button sequential combination when we pull up our favorite character's move list for the first time.  I personally use a gamecube controller (the D-pad seems faster to me so I am working on a thumb callous).  I have tried the standard Wii controls... they don't feel good to me but a classic controller fixes the problem.  I imagine an actual fight stick is probably the best (as always with these games) BUT the $70+ price tag is a bit of a deterrent for a cheap gamer like myself.

The art style is perfect for this type of game... the only thing that bothers me about it is I wish I could see more of Tatsunoko's animation not just still frames...

The music is quite good but nothing that jumps out to me.  Some songs really strike me, others seem to just fade away... and none of them seem original to the game (save perhaps the opening cutscene? which isn't remarkable).

As far as game balancing and design goes I think the game is quite elegant.  It doesn't get convoluted but it has enough complexity to make me feel like there is always something new for me to learn.  For example, you can do a super move.  Cool.  But you can also do a double supermove with your partner.  Awesome!  But it doesn't end there, you can do a supermove followed by a supermove to switch your characters.  The game also has a thing called a Baroque combo, which while silly sounding makes for some very very fun and overwhelming results in a fight.  When done right it can make a supercombo look like childsplay.

The characters themselves are also fairly well balanced and not many stand out as too incredible/unstoppable or just plain terrible.  I can see all of them having their own unique uses.  The only thing is the game seems totally directed to all out assaulting making turtle characters hard to play the way they were meant to.  When the pace gets set for all rush-down style play blocking takes a back seat to whooping ass (which again lends itself to a casual player very well).

The online play is great only held back by the Wii's inexplicable ability to suck at using the internet.

Finally, the game's sense of humor is the icing on the cake.  The fact that there is a mini shooter game that you unlock by beating the credits minigame (yes... there is a minigame in the credits).  Makes me smile like not many other unlockables have in a long long time. (mostly unlockables make me groan to be honest).  And even though it is a trivial thing... I love dealing damage in billions.

Overall, I approve of the game.  It doesn't break too much new ground but makes the genre of fighters seem a lot more interesting as a whole.  It is great as a way to break the massive learning curve barrier into the genre if you are willing to go out of your way for it.  It doesn't seem like it will be a superstar in the marketplace but it has a place in my library as one of the games I am proud to own.

Friday, February 5, 2010

My Trip

Man, it felt good to catch up with people.  I got to see a lot of friends I hadn't visited in a while and even managed to meet a few new/cool people.  It was nice to get my mind away from home for a while and helped me get motivated and inspired to use what little free time I have wisely.  Battling the dredge of winter has been difficult but I feel somewhat revitalized now.

SO.  With that said I have recently been playing a couple different Wii games.  Namely, FFCC: Crystal Bearers and Tatsunoko VS. Capcom.  Both have been holding my interest to a good extent and I will definitely be going into some detail about them when I feel I have gotten a sufficient taste of them.  First impressions are good though.

I have also been sort of dabbling in a few games that are not quite as new (I tend to be behind the curve because it saves me money) but I finished Arkham Asylum, and I am playing through a few other games in the Eidos pack from Steam (mostly Tomb Raider Legends).  When I say playing I really mean like an hour of gameplay a week... maybe.  I am also supplementing this with a bit of LOTRO and getting a feel for the skirmishes which are a breath of fresh air for the game and have really kept my interest in it alive a bit longer.

On the non-game side of things I started working on a Pathfinder campaign which I hope to run in the future.  Its based in a metropolis city filled with all sorts of evil.  A major theme in the world is going to be villains trying to fix the city in their own twisted way.  It is more than a little inspired by comic books but I am loving the feel of it so far.

I think that's about all I got for now.  More coming.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

An Overdue Update

It has been some time since my last update but I have good reason. I started a new job, I'm still applying to positions as much as possible, I am still working on a few personal projects.

My last update I was working on nanowrimo. Unfortunately I didn't quite finish but I am going to continue writing my story. I'll let you know when I complete it.

In the mean time I hope to write a few more micro reviews on games that have crossed my path recently. I also hope to write a more detailed post on the topic of card advantage at some point so that should give me something to keep me writing here for a little while. Looking forward to warm weather and visiting friends in Burlington soon so I'll probably be posting about that at some point. (maybe with pictures?) So I guess thats something else to look forward to. That's all for now.