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Archive for the ‘Random’ Category

Updates: Everything’s Fine, Situation Normal

Posted by deckard47 on August 17, 2010

The Blacktooth Keep! SO SCARY.

The Blacktooth Keep! SO SCARY.

I’m fantastically busy, so I thought I’d touch on the various (exciting) things that I’ve been doing recently.

I’ve been playing a ton of fantasy-y, TBS games recently, like King Arthur: The Role-Playing Wargame – The Saxons (see, y’all this is why you don’t have a long silly name with a colon for your game), King’s Bounty: The Legend (again!), and Dawn of War 2. That last isn’t really a fantasy game, but A) it’s pretty damn close, and B) it’s a lot of fun. I’ve also been playing Risen (let’s pause as some of our regular readers make ugly faces and go somewhere else), and I just re-installed both Divinity 2: Ego Draconis (Aaaah!), and Stalker: Call of Pripyat.

So, really, there are just too many damn colons in videogame names. Returning to these games, I’m struck (sometimes for the first time, often for the somethingth time) by how all of them have interesting, different-feeling worlds and tones (aside from DoW 2, which couldn’t be more conventional if it had tried). Risen may be Fantasy, but it’s weirdly depressing, rainy jungle isle, pseudo Eropean Inquisition and horrible repression Fantasy, which appeals to me. It’s also as awful and difficult as it always was, which still appeals to me. Divinity 2 is not quite as bleak, but it’s Fantasy stuff is still pretty unique, if not (when examined alone) particularly memorable. The leveling system is a bunch of fun though, so I’ll wend my way back through it, if only to make annoying comments about it to Simon when I see him next.

Dawn of War 2 is only up on that list because I was driven to it by Starcraft 2 (more on that later). It’s less offensive narratively, and for all of the tricks up Blizzard’s sleeve gameplay-wise, Chaos Throne‘s loot and excellent squad play are the more exciting brand of RTS, for me. When’s the next one, Relic?!

Epic. But not an RTS.

Epic. But not an RTS.

King’s Bounty and King Arthur are both vibrant and, but Arthur really nails a kind of creepy, Old World-y approach to fantasy in the British Isles that games don’t give a shit about. I love deciding whether or not my king will spread Christianity or worship the old gods. In the Saxons it’s easier to go Christian, but in the original game paganism is by far the more amusing option. King’s Bounty is well known for its bright, exciting world (full of weird quests worded weirdly), but Arthur‘s England is about a million times more verdant and lush than the real thing (even it’s Winters and Autumns seem more full of life). Plus, you can recruit ogres!

I suspect I’m going to be writing a bunch about King Arthur and King’s Bounty. Both games I’ve played through, in another life, though I’m playing the Armored Princess expansion to KB, and The Saxons expansion to KA, so they’re new games, honest. I also suspect that this hypothetical article will be about games that mess up their play with story crap, and that it’ll be on Game Set Watch, so that’ll be exciting.

Speaking of which, I’ve a new column up at Game Set Watch, about Starcraft 2 and its wretched story (duh), and how it does more to mess with the surprisingly entertaining Single Player gameplay than you’d initially expect. An excerpt here, for consumption:

When I have to sit and watch my units talk, I accept that the single player portion of the game needs a reason, a purpose, for all of that toing and froing (more properly, gamers need these things). Likewise, there’s a certain pleasure to be had in watching quick mission briefings: I’m a commander, and commanders get briefed, or brief people, right? Starcraft 2 goes ahead and makes a significant portion of Wings of Liberty about upgrading a dude’s sweet ship, and about upgrading ingame assets using resources (rather incomprehensibly) earned from previous ingame missions.

Starcraft 2’s upgrade mechanics are mostly lifted from upgrades previously available ingame in Starcraft. If you want your marines to have stimpacks, or want to build medics without having to build a Barracks add-on, you must unlock those capabilities in the Armory. Percentage upgrades to damage and race-specific combat (damage to Zerg only, for instance) can be unlocked using research points collected in the field, and the lab lets players upgrade their forces using alien technology. It’s all here in the beautiful Hyperion, and it means that I’ve spent hours outside of the game proper fiddling with NPCs and upgrades.

Right. It’s pretty awful, and it makes the game bits worse, in a somewhat unavoidable way. The whole post, linked here.

Mafia 2… The music is all purty and old timey, the suits are so crisp, and the gunplay is a sight better than that which is provided us by Rockstar’s various megahits. The acting and writing (in the demo alone) are also better than GTA and RDR‘s affected junk.

That’s it. More on the Kings of fantasy strategy soon?

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Straight Out of New Haven

Posted by deckard47 on October 22, 2009

Or, as the local residents (and most Connecticut residents) hilariously call it, New Hayv-en. It’s as if someone taught an entire generation of people to emphasize stuff wackily.

By all this, I mean to say that I think it is awesome that (apparently) the main hub in Borderlands is called New Haven. When Owen and I roll out of here, killing mutants and wasteland goons, it is going to be significant on a whole other level. In just as exciting news, apparently Owen’s new laptop runs Borderlands wonderfully. Delicious.

I’ve been frantically playing games I want to play, games I am obliged to play, and those that qualify as both. Risen still (strangely) has its hooks in me. My hideously plain, white, unchangeable avatar has voiced so many badly emoted lines of dialogue, I can’t believe I’m still playing. One thing I know: no other game besides Demon’s Souls makes you feel so small and afraid. At least in Demon’s Souls you can win by hook and by crook. In Risen, you know you’ll die, even if you try really hard. As Owen repeatedly tells me, this game just doesn’t sound fun. I know.

Aside from that, I’m enduring various games, and enjoying them, occasionally. Torchlight lurks on the horizon, still, waiting to claim me. I expect (again to Owen’s surprise) to enjoy Tropico 3, somewhat (despite never having played any of the previous titles), and then, of course, Borderlands will consume us both, come next week. It’s going to be a crowded few weeks , and then, of course, Dragon Age will hit us like a ton of bricks. Bricks full of dragons, that is. It’s a busy time to be playing games, and a busy time to be reviewing them. Good times, hopefully. See you, hopefully, in Uncharted 2. Goodnight.

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Hey, Bro!

Posted by deckard47 on October 19, 2009

You know, normally I wouldn’t post this, but I just got an excellent comment on the blog. Enjoy:

Hi Bro,

Good site. Some useful and knowlegeable comments man :) I know, I am creeping,lol. Hopefully I can produce something like this myself. Where did you buy your templates from? Hopefully some of you folks might possibly help me out a little here. I am hoping to find someone who I was informed told was a member here. They used to use the name ‘wizardwebthree’.

You see I am trying to start my own site on cosmetics type goods for products such as: professional teeth whitener (hence the where did you get your templates from,lol) but am having realllll difficulty getting hold of dropshippers for these goods. I had been in touch with this guy but my PC got stolen and unfortunately had all my contact details on it (I know, I know, should have backed it up :( ). So if you guys have heard or seen anything of him could you let me know please? Failing that maybe one of you folks knows someone?

Also, which hosting do you use as I keep hearing bad tales about the host I am considering of placing my site with. And any other helpful tips you can give re starting up my website would be most useful and much appreciated. I do hope that someone has useful knowledge about this

Thanks Bro

No. Thank you, Bro. Real post soon!

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Take A Little Walk to the Edge of Town…

Posted by deckard47 on October 15, 2009

Where the viaduct looms like  bird of doom, as it shifts, and cracks.

Which totally relates to Borderlands! Because it sounds like Nick could be singing about  borderlands, somewhere. Maybe. I think about 3 of you enjoyed that. Including me. Sorry.

On a more relevant note, Owen demanded that I post the Borderlands skill trees, for easy access. Look no further: mage-fighter Lilith, sniping Blood Crow-owning Mordecai (the blood crow alone might mike him my guy when I pick this up), the heavy-hitting Brick, and the warrior/healer Roland. I did steal all of those links from RPS, by the way.

I’m getting kind of excited for this game. Among Thieves is wending its way toward a grand finale, I feel, and while multiplayer will doubtlessly keep me going a while (as will a host of review games, including the interesting Cities XL, and soon, Magna Carta 2), I’m really looking forward to playing co-op Borderlands on the PC, where I can aim my guns like a real boy. Sorry, console types, but I’m bad enough at online games. I don’t need to hop onto a console and use analog sticks to badly aim at enemies: it’s like I’m using a divining rod to fire bullets.

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Dragon Age Creation!

Posted by deckard47 on October 14, 2009

Yes, I have just downloaded the character creator, and I plan on making several different characters, that way I have some good choices when I start the game in a month. I’m thinking mage, thief, fighter, of course, but I’m also thinking Dwarven Commoner (female), City Elf (female) and Woodland Elf (male). I’m such a huge dork. Join me!

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Among Thieving Demon’s Souls

Posted by deckard47 on October 7, 2009

Yes, that title makes no sense, but it does combine my two favorite distractions (Dead Space and PoP have taken a momentary backseat. Did I ever say I was fickle?) these days. Simon just picked up Demon’s Souls, and is, of course, way the hell ahead of me already. Apparently his super awesome Royal starts out with a wand (I think I started and scrapped a Royal build back in the beginning). Bully for him. He can help me kill the giant knight. Except maybe he can’t. The Wiki says that Asian import and US versions won’t work, unless their servers are updated to the same version…. I think. So we might not be able to play. Which would really piss me off. Hey people reading. Any of you work for a site (that I don’t already work for) that needs the US Demon’s Souls reviewed? I will do it. So fast.

Next up, the Among Thieves multiplayer demo finished downloading last night. I dig it a lot. Movement-wise, it feels just as right as the first one did. The same goes for gunplay, although I’m still getting used to how this game punishes you for going full auto. It’s all about the controlled bursts, as the deadly people online show me, over and over. I think this may be new (as in, it’s only in Among Thieves), but I love the way people leap. They go all spread-eagled, like flying squirrels. It really sells how much they are throwing themselves into the jump. And by that, I mean it sells how Drake throws himself int oeverything. Because the reason all of these animations look so amazing is because they’re based on Drake’s animations.

The two maps I’ve played (Temple and Ice Cave) are excellent, as are the weapons. I’m still getting the hang of melee. Often, another character and I will somehow manage to punch each other to death simultaneously. Not ideal. I’m sure I’ll play a lot of it tonight, when I’m not hoping against hope that Demon’s Souls will let me play with you American types. Also, I hope any of you with PS3s (who are planning on picking up either of these games) message me your user names. It would be awesome to get some 3 player Demon’s Souls or co-op/adversarial matches of Among Thieves going.

At this rate I’ll never do that PoP post. I bet you’re all so sorry.

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Simon Saves you From Elika and the Prince

Posted by deckard47 on October 6, 2009

So this was going to be another post about Prince of Persia, Elika, dialogue, and exploring the game story as opposed to exploring the game world. But, luckily for you, Simon is here to save you (and here I am, without any good car jokes).

To make a long story (that is in fact short) short, Simon Ferrari, the purveyor of Chunking Espresso and News Games delights, is now an Associate Editor at Sleeper Hit. This is awesome for Simon, because he’ll be reviewing totally sweet games and writing about them, so we all win. It’s good for me, because I get to work with him. This may actually force me to inject a degree of professionalism and restraint into my writing (out of sheer embarrassment) , which I think we can all agree might be a good thing. Until it goes too far and I turn into a cruel, precise writing machine, that is.

In almost as awesome news, Simon called me a narratologist. I’m pretty sure that’s partly a code word for badass. To punish him for this slight, I’m going to make my next post about narrative and PoP (although it was already going to be that, so…), and nothing else. I promise you, strangely loyal readers, the PoP onslought will end soon. Probably with the arrival of Among Thieves, actually.

On a completely unrelated note, what versions of Borderlands will you all be getting? Are you all going the 360 route? It would be really sad if I picked up the PC version and had to play with random assholes on the internet.

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Birthday Blogging!

Posted by deckard47 on September 30, 2009

So I missed the Blog’s second birthday by 5 days. I’m sorry Blog. Will you come back to me? I swear I’m slightly less profane and slightly better at posting (and actually writing non-shit) than I was a year ago. To another fruitful year, Blog. May your pages be full of posts.

And I just realized I missed the first birthday. Oh Blog. I’ll make it up to you.

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Mini-Post

Posted by deckard47 on September 30, 2009

Busy lately, as the drab, bare pages of recent days would indicate. This is partly due to my own laziness but (I would hasten to add) is also partly due to a crapload of reviews (NFS: Shift, Wallace and Gromit Ep. 3, Monkey Island Ep. 3, Red Alert Commander’s Challenge [I know… Really?], and an editorial). Which makes me sound so diligent. It’s also due to Dead Space on the PC being “only” 30 dollars. I know, I know. Really Tom?

It’s interesting how playing the game on the PC highlights several things I probably took for granted before. First, the aiming is ass slow. It’s so slow I have the mouse sensitivity up to 100%, something I never do. And it still isn’t enough. It makes the elephantine, sloth-like camera in Mass Effect look like a fucking cheetah. Second, the game is very very pretty. It really is. My computer is absolutely up to the task, and I, being a bold man, went into the ATI widget thingie and artificially bumped up all of the settings. So it looks really amazing. Third (and most importantly), it’s scary. I’m not sure what happened during my first playthrough, but the presence of the stupid sped-up slashing guys really bored me. In the early game, the devs were much more willing to slow things down, cut off the flow of bad guys, and just let weird sounds and whispers fill the air. Oh, and it helps that as a PC gamer this time round, I’m sitting a foot from the screen. When something starts eating my face (only twice, so far!), I feel the spray of my own arterial fluids.

By the way, how many people really think that sitting on a couch 10 feet from the screen is an optimal setting for interesting, fulfilling experiences? It means that I have to turn up the brightness and sound just to see and hear half of my games, and it means I miss all of the little details to distance and aliasing (because, cats and kittens, let’s not even talk about the difference in visual fidelity between my 360 and my PC, especially in Dead Space. I don’t want to start crying again). I suppose for racing games, sports games, and some of the more loose, fun action adventure games like Ratchet and Clank and Tomb Raider, it actually works. These games definitely feel better from afar, lounging (as I’m want to do) on a splendid IKEA couch.

For games like Drake’s Fortune or Prince of Persia (man, when I break down and pick that shit up on Steam, I expect to be blown away), or Thief 3 (or Deus Ex, which, like an amazing bottle of scotch, drew me back in the other day. It is so delicious), I want to be close up to the narratives and stories being told. I mean, how else will I count the stubbles on Drake’s face?

So this post is partly a rant about couch gaming, partly another, “glowing” (ironic, that!) look at Dead Space, and an explanation of how I am Steam’s man, no matter how far I run. Fail.

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Champions!

Posted by deckard47 on August 31, 2009

Tonight, it’s going to be for real. I’m not sure who will be fighting crime in my stead tonight (it may be Captain Obliviox, who moonlights as a badly-coiffed guitarist in our badly named Rock Band band), but I assure you I will spend way too long designing my silly outfit. And then. Crime!

Also, Wolfenstein may get finished, and I’ll try to break into Planescape‘s main quest (I’m still fussing about in the initial areas, having conversations with physical manifestations of holy alphabets… Which is as sweet as it sounds). Oh, and now that I’ve unlocked my silver guns in Bound in Blood MP, it’s time for Gold Guns (and that really expensive guy with the good sniper rifle). Whichever way you swing it, it should be awesome times. Later.

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I’m Back!

Posted by deckard47 on July 30, 2009

I don’t even know which movie to quote here (it says something about me that I always try to connect my clever post titles with movies I like). Never mind.

I’m back from my exciting non-blogging adventure, which I won’t talk about, except to say that San Fransisco is steep. Like super steep. I didn’t get much gaming done, and I’m blaming Steam. I’m actually contractually obliged (that is so deceptive, it makes what I do sound so classy) to review both the Secret of Monkey Island remake and the new Tales of Monkey Island game. I just finished the Tales game, but could not play the Secret game, because it turns out that when Steam asks you if you want to run Steam in “offline” mode, what they really mean is this: “Try to run our service sans internet, and you’ll be fucking rejected, and told that ‘that service is not available when not connected to the internet.'” Well shit, the “Offline” mode not being available offline is a bit weird, isn’t it Steam?

Regardless, I’m well on my way to completing Secret, which I’ll write about later. I’m also gearing up to start playing East India Company. Which means Ill be listening to Marcy Playground a lot, obviously.

Also, while I was gone, a lot of people visited my site. More than normal, actually. Excellent. Thank you. Amusingly, the posts most in demand were my Trine pseudo-review (good, go buy it!), and my mocking post directed at Miley Cyrus. Even better. I’m doing my job, I guess. I gotta go, lots of work to catch up on, but I’m sure I’ll be back soon. Adios.

Also, I’m writing and editing for a new site, if that is the sort of thing you might be interested in. It’s called Sleeper Hit, which (and this is a bit sad) I thought was some kind of almost deadly martial arts manoeuvre, until someone reminded me of what it really means. I do catch on to these kinds of things, eventually. Nothing by me up yet, but there are two articles you might want to read (especially if you’re an iPhone game review fiend, as Owen is. Weirdo), and there should be some authentic-smelling, unkempt Tom Cross writing posted soon. So soon.

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Wizards, Thieves, Pirates, and, of course, Eureka!

Posted by deckard47 on July 6, 2009

I’ve been attempting to blog recently, but The Gaming (and, thankfully, The Writing) keep on getting in the way. No longer! I’ve ben playing a whole lot of stuff (I’ve even managed to finish some games), and, as the final bit in the post title denotes, eagerly awaiting the re-emergence of Eureka upon our world. I’m not sure if you know, but Nathan Stark is (oh shit, spoiler, sorry) gone for good, banished to the land of True Blood (sweet!), and Ketel One vodka adds. We’ll try to forget about that last bit, it makes me sad. But (omg) this half of the season will focus on relationships! I’m so excited. I should probably have a post label that warns you all away from the posts that have nothing to do with gaming, and are just me getting excited about my favorite, awesome, clueless-white-guy-comedy-sci-fi-show.

Luckily for you, there are games, in my house, that I’ve been playing. What games, you might ask? Thanks to the villainous Steam, I now have the 2K complete pack. This means I just this weekend downloaded both Freedom Force titles, Sid Meier’s Pirates!, and, surprisingly, Prey (along with all of the X-com games… weird). I’ve been playing a lot fo the first two, and a bit of Prey as well. I don’t have much to say about the first two, other than this: they are both really fun, amazing games, with Pirates! being one of those “stay up til 3am” kinds of games. Good times.

Now, Prey. A very pretty game, I’m happy to say. Really, I’m surprised at how much I like these late-id Tech 4 engines. Riddick and Prey have now both done a lot to wipe my mind of those horrid Doom 3 days. It does things Doom 3 wishes it could have done, geometry and level design-wise (it also includes much more inventive colored lighting… I knew thisday would come). Obviously, it’s helped by the addition of portals to the mix, which add a very disorienting, surprise monster attack, otherworldly sense to things. I really liked it when a box tipped over, and a portal on one side of the box disgorged an angry bloody alien dog. So far, guns, enemies, and combat are all slightly above average. It’s not memorable, but it’s not bad at all. The main character (“Tommy,” or, as Wikipedia informs me, Domasi Tawodi), is Cherokee. The opening scene takes place in a bar, with him, his grandpa, his girlfriend Jen, and some white thugs hanging around making Pochahontas jokes. Oh, and I guess he’s a former US army officer? That makes things interesting…

In al honesty, it looks like once Tommy gets up onto the Evil Alien Sphere of Doom, things are going to stop being interesting and mostly become straight-up, Duke Nukem/Doom 3-style combat and “exploration.” Apparently Tommy’s ancestors (lead by his grandfather?) meet him regularly in the spirit world and give him powers. Not sure how it’s going to be handled, so I’ve no idea how far along the “not actually that caricatured” to “super-racist” scale it gets. My guess is, it can’t be that bad, otherwise somebody would have called it out back when the game was released (although I didn’t pay much attention to 360/fancy PC games news then, so who knows…). So far, it’s interesting to see a Native American hero (and all of the other characters, for that matter), one who isn’t a noble savage in a Western.

And then there’s this from Michael Greyeyes, the Plains Cree man who played Tommy: “The writers [at 3D Realms] were always open to my comments — which I freely offered — and took my notes seriously, in nearly all instances changing dialogue or thematic content.”

Oh, and Human Head, the people who made Prey, also made Rune, my all-time favorite 3rd person action Viking game. No really, I liked it when it came out, and spenta large portion (for a teenager) of my money on it. It looks lke the work on the planned sequel (Prey was a big hit for a new IP, I guess, selling at least 1 million units) might be done with, since Human Head was working in conjunction with, yes, 3D Realms. This would sadden me. Prey may be all about space mutants and weird goo guns, but it’s about those things in a refreshingly solid way. It’s the same feeling I get when I fire up an old UT engine game and see that inescapable, wonderful UI, with those shiny windows and resolutions options. It’s definitely worth the $3 dollars  I spent on it, that’s for sure. Plus my grenades are little crawling bug-aliens. Who doesn’t like that?

Oh, and the titular Wizards and Thieves of this post are from Trine. Which I will write about in another post. It is a lot of fun though. In case you were wondering. Stupid Prey distracted me. Never again!

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I’d Give Real Money if He’d Shut Up

Posted by deckard47 on June 30, 2009

Good for you if you know who says that. I don’t normally do this, but I’d like to write a post (a small one) using an amusing idea cribbed from John Walker’s RPS post (of course, I “normally” say mean things about other people and their work and then hide behind the Internet, so it’s not like this is a step down). In the style of “I would play”:

I’d pay $150 dollars for Irrational Games to become Irrational Games again, and make all of those Freedom Force sequels they’ll never make (this is a good time to link to an interview at IGN [IGN, I know, sorry!] with a lot of the people behind Freedom Force and its sequel).

I’d pay pay $100 for all PC games released in 200-fucking-9 to have full widescreen support. Come on, PC game companies, let me hold your hand as we walk into this frightening new world.

I’d pay $60 for the worlds inhabited by Solid Snake, Master Chief, and Marcus Fenix to be sucked into a black hole. They aren’t compelling worlds! No, they are not!

I’d pay $10-15 dollars to play a game where Indiana Jones, Lara Croft, and Nathan Drake hang out and realize that they’re all splitters now, and should just admit that they recycle each others’ ideas with impunity. Then they accidentally unleash an ancient (fill in old-timey, possibly “exotic” culture) curse, and have to romance attractive people to save the day, possibly while engaging in witty, sexy banter.

I’d pay $50 dollars for somebody to release  a co-op game that isn’t dumb and offensive, so my brother will play it. Come on, it can’t be that hard, just make HoMM VI if you can’t think of anything.

Come to think of it, I’d pay quite a lot for HoMM VI. Get on it.

I’d pay $700 if people would stop pretending games, movie, and books can really be compared so broadly and unthinkingly.

I’d pay $70 if someone would admit that the Wheel of Time game was actually quite good, and get the team that made it together to make another game.

I’d pay all of the money I will ever make, for ever, to play games with interesting, inoffensively chracterized and sexualized people, who have a complete understanding of human speach and emotion, and never force me to choose between 10 stupid doctors and my stupid “love interest.”

I’d take that last sum of money and quadruple it, if someone would make a game out of the Alanna books.It would make a dream (that I never knew I had) come true. Of course, I’ve no idea how you’d do it well. No clue. To make things better, here’s the original cover (not those shitty new ones) from the copy I bought when I was like 7 or something. Yeah, I just went there.

Awesome!

Awesome!

I guess I’m done now. That went off course a bit. Sorry. Not really.

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The Beginning of the End

Posted by deckard47 on June 23, 2009

Yeah, that’s me, twittering over there on the right. Twitting. Blech. I just broke my brother’s brain, I think. He’ll never read this blog a gain. So far, it’s not very exciting. That will change. It’ll change, and then my twit-feed will be the most exciting place on the internet. I’m thinking it will become exciting if I hire Alexander Siddig and Rene Auberjonois to hang out on my twitt feed and Twitt in character. I bet they’d do it!

As I (strangely) eagerly await Age of Pirates II in the mail, I hurtle toward Red Faction‘s conclusion. Owen is ahead of me though, damn him. That’s what happens when you have a “job” being and academic like he does. As it is, I need to wrap that shit up, because there is actual work to be done, as opposed to my non-sanctioned Red Faction tomfoolery. Oh, and my second article on narrative and plotting in games will be up soon at GSW, I hope. Let’s hope the whole thing doesn’t collapse in on itself before part 3 gets written.

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Absolutely Shameless Me-Talk

Posted by deckard47 on June 12, 2009

The new Diamond in the Rough (that name seemed silly then, and it seems silly now, but what are you going to do) column is up at GameSetWatch. I really liked this one, it grew out a conversation Owen and I had about some articles we were both reading, and the games we were playing (and wish we were playing!). Here’s a bit of it, it’s all about plot, narrative, and games:

There’s a future for “emergent narratives” not just in story spaces and their ilk, but in further developments in narrative proper. Thus, I want to claim that “narrative” is and always will be distinct from the kind of storytelling that we will see in story spaces, and that the future that both narratives and story spaces have in gaming will allow exciting, “emergent” narrative forms in both categories, not just the more freeform, less scripted world of story spaces. I also think that there are crucial aspects of storytelling that can only be accomplished with the aid of narrative, and can’t with largely user-generated content from story spaces. But to make this claim, we need to more fully explore what’s meant by “emerging narrative” and “story space,” and get a better sense of what narrative really is, and how it differs from the first two.

I know. So exciting. As I said, this came out of thinking and talking about Steve Gaynor’s articles, some Clint Hocking discussions, Doug Church’s presentation, and other arguments happening here and there. Owen (at Bonaroo, the lucky asshole) tells me the new Edge has three articles about similar stuff, so I guess all around I’m in good company? Hope you all find it interesting (really, I hope you do, because there’s at least one more piece that’s going to follow this one).

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