Posts

Showing posts from 2016

Longterm Storytelling

Overwatch is a rousing success for Blizzard, and not in the primary ways that everyone expected.  Yes, the game is being praised for its gameplay, style, audio, music, and Blizzard's may-as-well-be-patented "easy to learn but difficult to master" formula.  However, I feel that there's one certain part of Overwatch where Blizzard took a bit of a gamble, and from what I can tell, it seems to be paying off in spades.  It's also got me thinking about the concept of something I like to call "longterm storytelling", which will be the entire basis for this post.

People are fascinated by Overwatch's cast of characters, which is something of a misnomer when it comes to a game such as this.  It's a multi-player only, team-based shooter with MOBA elements.  We're talking about a specific set of genres that are known to have either sparse or completely non-existent story to them.  Let's look at the precedents.  The major behemoth on the field is Lea…

Lifesuck

My blog posts have been very inconsistent over the last several months.  I was giving this some thought this morning, though my actual thoughts on it aren't all that clear to me.  That's one of the reasons why I'm writing about it, because that always helps me to compartmentalize my thoughts and put them in order.  As with everything, the reasons for my erratic posts are complicated and multi-layered.  The reason "I just haven't been inspired to write anything." is not a reason at all, but a symptom of other things.

Lack of time is always the first reason most people give for no longer partaking in an extra-curricular activity, but I see it as more of a scapegoat.  Or an escapegoat if you're my boss.  It doesn't take long to write a blog post.  If I've got a good topic that I'm really interested in discussing, I can knock out several good paragraphs in a very modest amount of time.  The actual issue that a lot of the time, there are simply oth…

At First I Was Afraid...

Fallout 4's newly revamped survival mode is currently in open beta, and last night I gave it a try.  Yes, I was petrified.

First, let's talk expectations versus reality.  People keep referring to this as "survival mode", but I find that to be a bit of a misnomer.  It's true that the game changes a LOT, more than when you bump the game up from Normal to Hard.  It's also true that changing to Survival will dramatically change the way that you play the game.  When I heard a game "mode", I think of something like...an Iron Man mode, where the game ends when you die.  Or, something like in Diablo 3, where you can play in Campaign Mode, or Adventure Mode.  Fallout 4's Survival setting is sort of in between a difficulty setting and a game mode.  As a result of this sort of technical misunderstanding, I had some hopes for this that were not exactly fulfilled.

I was hoping that I could start a new game and immediately set out on my survival adventure.  U…

Old McDonald Had a Farm, Your Mother Sucks Cocks in Hell

I was attacked by four moths at once on level 19 of the mine and died.  I was then presented with a message that I must have "hit my head pretty hard" and therefore "forgot the last 9 levels of the mine".  This was the event that prompted me to uninstall Stardew Valley from my computer.  For one thing, I didn't hit my head.  I was attacked by four mother fucking moths at once, which was pretty fucking unfair.  And two, how the fuck did I forget 9 levels of a mine, but still remember my name, where my farm is, the names of all the people in the valley, and every other task I've ever done over the last 15 hours of game play?

I'm arguing semantics, of course.  This is simply a means of offering punishment for dying in the mine, and I'm complaining about it because I don't like it.  I do not play games that punish mistakes by deleting progress, so that is why I will never play this game again.  It got me thinking, though, because this is yet another…

Mole Your Enemy

We recently had a mole in the house.  This is, quite honestly, a very strange and rare occurrence, because unlike a mouse, moles don't particularly like being inside of a house.  They eat grubs and earthworms, which they're simply not going to find indoors, even if it's a basement.  If you look up how to get ride of moles in the house, the most common answer you will find is "Open the door, they'll leave on their own."  Obviously, this isn't really an option in a basement.  I'm assuming that it came up through one of the floor drains.  I've noticed that there are quite a few mole mounds outside in the yard, so I know they've been active in the ground around our house.  One of them probably found the exit drain from the basement and followed it up.

Moles aren't destructive creatures, unless you don't like mounds of dirt in your yard.  They actually help to aerate the soil.  However, that doesn't mean I want one in my house.  And, as …

Mama Murphy

Mama Murphy is more terrifying than any of you might think.

My current house is in Sanctuary, and I just used a pre-fab building.  It more than served its purpose, and I was quite happy with it.  But lately, I've been inspired to create my own house from scratch, and last night I finally said, "Why not?"  I have all the materials I could need, since I've been scavenging quite a lot of stuff for a while now.  And, since I've finished all the main quests, most of the side quests that I could find, and my playtime these days is mostly spent looking for bobbleheads and magazines, I figured it'd be a nice change of pace.

So, on to the planning stage of my grand construction.  First things first:  Gotta pick a great spot for my new house.  My first decision was that I was going to stay in Sanctuary.  It holds sentimental value to me, since it was my character's old home, and that is where I have the majority of my followers stationed.  I like having them in the …

Mad Max (The Video Game, not the Movie)

Mad Max was released in September of 2015, and it was a game that interested me a little bit before it was released, and a lot more after the reviews turned out to be quite favorable.  However, it had the unfortunate luck of releasing in the same year, and just two months prior, to a far superior open-world post-apocalyptic action game.  Open world games are a substantial time investment for someone who doesn't have loads of that precious, fabricated commodity.  Therefore, I refrained from buying the game at release.

Fast forward to the holidays, and the Steam winter sale.  Mad Max was 66% off, and John picked it up for me.  I've not technically finished Fallout 4, as I haven't done all of the exploring, but I've finished the campaign and quickly ran out of things to do after that.  So it was certainly a good opportunity to start a new game, at least until the Fallout 4 DLC starts popping up.

I will admit that I know of the Mad Max franchise, but I have not seen any of…