Archive for the ‘gaming’ Category


If you’re not addicted to this inside of 3 minutes, you’re not into puzzles. Check this out.


I had forgotten

It has actually been many years since I’ve been GM in a campaign. Yes, its quite a good amount of work to come up with all the right information to keep things flowing smoothly, but its worth it. I had forgotten how much fun it was, this world creating. Read more



Yeah, so I do this thing. Every time we get started on some new online game, I go completely stats hungry on it. Its just what I do. I’m a numbers freak. Games with more complexity in their stats and character information aren’t confusing or a ‘put off’, instead they appeal to me. Read more


Revisiting D&D

So I made mention awhile ago about wanting to revitalize our D&D campaign, and throwing some new ideas into the mix. Read more


A generous waste of time

Sid Meier’s Pirates


So I’m browsing through Best Buy, wondering if there’s anything new to get, and suddenly I turn a corner and walked right into a mysterious zone with noone else around, and everything freshly surrounded by an aura of wonder. Amidst all of this was one shining box, colored brightly and artistically displaying images of swords, parrots and eye-patch’ed scurvy bastards. Read more



Ok, so I broke down and bought one. I got ‘Lumines‘ and ‘Mercury‘ for games, both puzzle style games. They’re both great, and promise hours and hours of time wasting goodness. I’ve heard complaints of dead pixels. I have none to speak of, unless I’m just not noticing them. The picture is crystal clear, and the sound is crisp and the scores for these two games is just great. I will continue my report as more data presents itself.


Upgrade Ahoy!

So I decided that instead of spending the money to buy myself the laptop (see previous posts), I’d dump it into a computer upgrade for myself. Its been a long time in the waiting, and I figured I’d do it right. Read more


RPG idea

Every once in awhile, I get struck with some idea when I’m in bed, half asleep, and after that, my mind won’t rest as it explores the possibilities of that idea. I just had such a moment.

One thing we’ve been talking about recently is to revitalize our pencil/paper/dice RPG experience again, and I offered to GM. So I’m lying there almost asleep (having woken up to hit the bathroom or something), and it strikes me that I could modify the ‘stock’ ad&d d20 rules to emulate some of the rich gameplay that Asheron’s Call has. I’m going to make a few notes here to whet my appetite, and then start opening some documents to get this down more formally.
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Evil Genius

Ok, I just played through the demo of Evil Genius and I have to say, it rocks pretty hard. I’ll be going to get the retail version today so I can unlock all the stuff the demo didn’t have in it.

I can’t wait. As far as quick summary, imagine Dungeon Keeper combined with modern day James Bond/Austin Powers style heroes/minions/effects. The execution could have sucked, but it doesn’t. My only complaint so far is that in addition to having a zoom/rotate (around Z axis) in the view, I’d also like to rotate my view around the X and Y axis so that I can get right down in that shizzat. Minor complaint though.

I need to rule the world.


MMOG evolution

I’ve had this conversation with quite a few people at this point, so this is perhaps reiteration. Oh well, such as it is…

Every single massively multiplayer game I’ve ever participated has gone down a very similar road, eventually. And I’ve played in ALOT of them. This starts all the way back into the very first ones, including the long series of MUDs, MUSHes and MUXes that are out there.

The way I see it, they all start out with some ‘hook’. In the early days of MUDing, it was a new type of mob, or in the cases of the social MU*es, some new area that has been built, or someplace to explore, a new code or program you can utilitize to customize the environment, or whatever. Some of the oldest of them, like TIM or similar, had a large following of players and a just immense area to explore, fun objects to play with and trigger, and so on.

The graphical era moved in, so games like Ultima Online, Everquest, Asheron’s Call began to suck up the players. And the current influx of games is immense. There is alot of room in the market for them, and they continue to be successful, but eventually that will peak out as well.

The interesting part is what happens to ALL of them once the initial push wears off. They all become, at the core, a social construct. They are supported by the community that has developed there, and that continue to visit to maintain the contacts and touch points with all the people they’ve come to know and call friends. With the MUDs and MUSHes, it stopped being a game to explore and play, and just became an extended chat room. In the case of the pay-to-play style games, they continue to update content and exist as long as the player base that continues to visit is strong enough to keep paying the bills. Thats a really important point.

So no matter how much you may want those games to return to their ‘glory days’ of major activity and interactivity, you eventually have to embrace their new role.

One thing to keep in mind. I’m not saying that these games become ‘static’ or unchanging shadows of what they once were. While that may be true in some cases, I think that ones that have a dedicated development staff that believes in the game will continue to invest (once again, so long as they are able to continue being paid) in keeping the content fresh, updating on a monthly or at least regular basis, and keep the people who continue to play drawn in to the world. If they didn’t, it would eventually die. I don’t believe even the social constructs survive a pure stasis.

So what is the point of all this? It kind of sounds like I’m nay-saying the whole concept of MMOGs. Quite on the contrary, actually. What I’m saying is to embrace them for what they are. Every single one of them has formal or informal concepts of guilds, allegiances and other manners in which their players group up and have fun together. FIND A GOOD ONE! I think you’ll find that the core group of those players who’ve become fast friends over the time spent on these games will move as a unit from game to game as their interests vary. In fact, in some cases, participating in multiple games at the same time to keep the content fresh for them. I believe with MMOGs, eventually, it stops being about the game you’re playing, and eventually becomes about the PEOPLE you play them with.

And quite frankly, thats just FINE with me.



I’ve been playing the World of Warcraft beta for about 2 months now, and I figured I’d post a few thoughts about that. The first though is: THANK YOU FOR GIVING MY WIFE HER OWN ACCOUNT.

There, now that I have that out of my system.

Its fun. It still has the level churn and burn. The quest system is one of the best developed I’ve seen. They can also thank AO for instanced dungeons in their design. They took it a little further, especially with the group play and how death affects it, but its there. Loot gradiation based on level. YAY! No more power levelling folks with tremendous loot they could not have gotten themselves, since its level restricted. Graphically excellent. Combat is easy to manage, but with quite a bit of depth, especially in group play. A well tuned group can complement each other class-wise by using their abilities to the group’s best advantage. Nicely done, Blizzard. Player economy is very rich, and the soon-to-come ingame auction system should only further that end. I’ll probably add more comments as I continue to play.

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