Thursday, January 31, 2013

Control Freaks: Gatecrash

I don't think I've actually mentioned this on here yet, but I'm a huge Magic: The Gathering fan. I've been playing for a little over a year now, and I've really gotten into it.

One of my friends I made back when I played Team Fortress for the Xbox helps run the webcomic Legacy Control, where he does stuff mainly on the technical side of things, and helped start up their blog section, Control Freaks. He asked people he knew if any of them wanted to write some stuff for them, and being a guy with little to do, I accepted. This was back in August of last year, and you can find that article I wrote this thing. It, like most of my writing, is pretty amateur hour.

It's been almost 6 months, and I finally wrote another one for them. It's about Magic: The Gathering and you can go and read it over here. I feel like it's a lot better than most of the writing I've ever put up, so that's good.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

2012: Games I Cared About

So 2012 is dead now. Dead forever and it's NEVER coming back.

There have been worse tragedies.

Anyway, 2012 had a good number of video games come out during its 365 day lifespan. Some of these were really good, and others were somewhat lacking. Here are the games I cared about. Either because I played them and they were good, or bad, or they raised a good deal of interest from me.

Let's just pretend that it hasn't been thirteen days since New Years.... yeah?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

I Made a Video Once

So like my friend and I have a youtube channel. The content is of below average quality, but HEY WHAT YOU GUNNA DO ABOUT IT?

So yeah this is the best work we've put out. YES THIS. I KNOW. WE ARE ASHAMED.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

On Medkits and Suspension

"Short version: If [XCOM: Enemy Unknown] were consistent, it would be so much more than just a turn-based combat game."

The quote was from a friend of mine, JPH. He runs the pretty cool website Ninja Game Den. Our other friend McNutcase, who has a blog over here, was also involved. This pretty much started out when JPH went to Twitter to talk about how in XCOM, which is a Turn Based Game about aliens and you have a squad and junk (If you want to know more there's a lot of places for it, like this video by Total Biscuit), if you have a downed squad member with a medkit, other squad members can't run over and use the medkit to save the downed member themselves.

Obviously, in a real world situation an actual soldier could, and probably would, use another's equipment in order to save their life. However, XCOM has coding and stuff, and like McNutcase says, they used a coding shortcut to get around complications. Pretty much, when you equip an item, there is no actual item, you're just giving a stat increase or an ability to the soldier, thus no soldier can use any other "equipment" that any other soldier can unless they are also equipped with the same "equipment."

Both JPH and McNutcase stated that this creates some dissonance, as it doesn't make any sense in real world logic. And that's true. I proposed, however, that this aspect of gameplay adds enough strategic depth to make up for this. JPH disagreed, and said that without immersion any game just becomes "a meaningless pile of binary code." I mentioned that we were probably coming into the game at different angles, which spurred him into writing a new blog post (Which if it ends up making him famous I demand royalties).

The quote at the top is his self stated "short version" of the post.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Visual Novels, Why Not: Digital: A Love Story

So, this post only took 6 years to make. This is due to school work, and the fact that I constantly procrastinate from said school work, so I end up doing nothing whenever I get home.

But, without further ado, let's talk about some video games.

Digital: A Love Story was released in 2010 from Christine Love's website, which you can visit here, for free. It takes place "Five minutes into the future of 1988" all entirely on an old computer running an Amiga operating system, called an "Amie" in game. The majority of the game involves the player dialing up Bulletin Board Systems, think current day message boards or online forums, and reading/responding to either posts or private messages on said BBSs. While in most other games the tedium of typing in the numbers of these BBSs and waiting for the dial-up to work would be, well, tedious, but here it works in the game's favor.

See, this is a game about love.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Visual Novels, Why Not: Christine Love

Hey, um.... introduction? I guess? I play video games, Magic: the Gathering, spend a little bit too much time on the internet, and go to school. You call me PinkPutty if you want too... I mean I'm not forcing you or anything but it'd be nic-


Now time to talk about Visual Novels. I'm not an expert on this kind of game, but I do enjoy them for some reason. Probably because the one's I've played (or read, depending how much of a novel you consider it) are well written and have garnered way too much emotional investment out of me. There is the connotation of these kind of games focusing "adult themes", and some do. In fact, probably the majority of them do, but those aren't the ones I play nor do I want to play them. More often than not they're more focused on the "adult content" than anything else, which hurts the narrative and writing. Most people don't watch the films of Sasha Grey for the acting or writing after all.

But, there are a good number of visual novels not focused on that kind of stuff, and they're the ones you want to search out if you just want a narrative or story with good writing and well developed characters. Of course, that's not to say that this type of content makes it a bad game intrinsically, since it can still be done tastefully. To use movies as an example (again), just because a Hollywood action movie has a sex scene does not mean it's inherently pornography. Katawa Shoujo is a really good example of this. It's a very well done romance story, with "adult content" scenes never being exploitative or disrespectful towards the characters (With one exception, but that's for another time). It also helps that you're given an option to turn off the "adult content" from the options screen at any time.

Katawa Shoujo. This is one of the more typical visual novels...  Kind of.

However, I'm not here to talk about those games, or at least not yet. Right now I'm talking about three games with no actual pornographic content in them. The visual novels created by Miss Christine Love.