I have a friend who I've been playing with a bit. We've jumped through a lot of different games trying to find a good 'fit'. He also has a friend who plays with him quite a bit. I suggested EVE the other day and with the 21 day free trial, they both agreed to give it a shot.
Apparently EVE is now on steam... but if you have an account that wasn't purchased through steam, you won't be able to use the Steam client. (Though some people are saying if you download the steam trial it works...) So after spending all night yesterday downloading, we were both ready to jump in tonight.
I blame games like Trade Wars (BBS) and Elite (x86) and later on Privateer (Colour!) for this obsession. And this title has attracted me for a long time, but I haven't been able to justify it to myself despite it seeming as if I'm doing a damn good job right now.
The gods of fate and fortune put it on sale and for the price of a cup of coffee I wasn't going to refuse. Besides, I now have a G27 so this may just work out well...
I’m a nerd. A huge nerd, actually.
I started playing roleplaying games when I was 9, and I’m still doing so despite fast approaching the big four oh. Not as much as before, mainly due to time constraints. It’s hard trying to balance time between work, time with the kids, time with the significant other and time for games and hobbies. I’ve tried to come up with some RPG system that would be simple enough that my kids at 10 and 6 would be able to understand them. Heck, I’ve even tried to create a system myself, from scratch. But nothing has really fit the bill well enough…
Until I found a game about a month ago…
I came over a game called Hero Kids, spesifically aimed at kids from 4 to 10. I read through the rules and immediately thought “Hey, this might actually work!” And so I printed out the character sheets and the initial adventure called “Basement o’ Rats”.
I've invested a few hours in this, so by no means can I say I *know* this game. Today, however, I dropped the blinds and killed the lights and wandered into the mechanically magic world that Corvo lives in. From the first moments when your ship docks and you're lowered into the water Bethesda draws you in, engages you in events. And it is subtle - as subtle as having a first person perspective for so many aspects of it.
Tan: What are you playing today?
Stout: TF2, what else?!?
Stout: Those people don't even wear hats!
Tan: The guy in Dishonored has a mask. It's like a skew hat.
Stout: 'rotated hat'. I'll allow it!
Tan: X:Com however, yeah. Somehow going 1 on 1 with mind-bending aliens with powerful weaponry and none of them wear helmets.
Stout: that is a weird word to spell out
Stout: How were your holidays? get anything exciting?
Tan: Clearly you don't watch enough porn.
The past month has been heavily influenced by roleplaying games. No, I don't mean those pixelpased things that you have in these newfangled fancy magic pee-cee things, but rather graphite- and imagination-based games with actual social interactions.
In late November I gathered a good friend and two colleagues from work over to create a setting and characters for a game. We knew we'd likely not be able to play until early January, but this only gives me, as the GameMaster, plenty of time to prepare all the nitty gritty details.
Brainstorming in the asylum
I heard somebody was going to be coming out my way soon and wanted to give a little write-up about DC. Having grown up an hour north of DC and now living about 40 minutes NE of DC, I've been there quite a bit. DC is extraordinary, especially when you factor in the free museums and monuments that dot the landscape.
I have actually never stayed in a hotel in the city, I always made day trips or stayed with friends and family.
Earlier this week I started reading a book by Carla Sonheim called "Drawing and painting imaginary animals" where she describes many different ways to create abstract and funny animals. One of the techiques involved splattering several large blobs of transparent watercolor over a sheet of paper, then blow on it or turn the paper to make it run, and then make an animal out of whatever shapes and patterns emerge.
I tried this on four 3x5 inch papers. One I used as a test to try different techniques, but the remaining three turned out pretty well. Just look for yourself:
It was Guild Wars 1 that made me play MMOs and it was Guild Wars 1 that forever gave me a love of minions. Summoning a horde of bone fiends to do your bidding, fresh from each corpse ... ah. That first time you ventured out of town and knew you had to kill something to get the spiky steamroller of death moving - that fear of even the lowest Skale.
Until you had the power, summoned from the grave and a veritable army, all clacking and chittering and devouring every warm morsel of flesh they came upon ... it was brilliant. You really were a dark Necromancer.
And I loved the patterns in Guild Wars 1 of skills and building your own decks as it blended collectible card games with a more involved fantasy experience. It reminded me of playing M:TG and V:TES in my studying days and of how we spent hours and days pouring over decks and combinations. Small surprise that my favourite decks were Green / White heavy and littered with creatures both great and small. Craw Wurms and Forces of Nature. Ah, the Force of Nature ... 8/8 trample and the bane of most of my foes.
But wait Tan? Weren't you going to talk about engineers?