Play ALL the games.

December 8, 2011

So I still haven’t played Manhunt.
This would be understandable if it were the two years of CIT, or other hobbies, or women.  But I’ve played through Mass Effect, Kingdom Hearts 1 & 2, and a whole slew of other games in the time.  It makes me wonder what is stopping me from opening that box.  Maybe it’s Sovereign indoctrinating me.

Cross-Dressing in New Vegas

November 29, 2010

In short, I recently finished playing through Fallout: New Vegas with a ‘normal’ character, sided with Mr. House and was awesome.

So I created a blonde american woman who beats up people with her fists, but still has high Speech.  In addition, she recently came into possession of a large bladed gauntlet.  At first glance, it did not appear to be particularly amazing.

Then I realised that it was, in fact, a hand-mounted face blender.  What I expected to be a challenging fight through several armed guards degraded into target practice, as NPCs lived only as long as I couldn’t catch their face.

And I’m not even up to Nipton yet.

If the entries in this blog so far are anything to go by, a random bit of day-to-day life rambling is very out of character for me.  So let me just get it out of the way.  I got my wisdom teeth out on Thursday.

************************************************************!!!!  My face hurts!!!  And this is the internet so I can complain as much as I want!  Exclamation points!!!

Okay, I’m done.

Now, where were we?  Oh, yes.

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO: ObJective?

Originally a ‘serious’ parody of Red Vs. Blue (an online machinima series which was a parody of military life), ObJective went through several re-writes before becoming its own, fairly well-defined series.  It exists now, as it did then, an action-drama set in a non-specific science fiction universe shot in the Halo engine with plenty of silliness and funny lines and characterisation to keep things entertaining.

I currently have the first arc/season/whatever of eight five-ish minute episodes sitting on Smarmy’s (my computer’s) desktop, barring episode seven, which was destroyed in a freak idiocy accident.  The first three scripts are even up on FaceBook, just to show everyone that I actually do this stuff.  Episodes 9-11, and the start of 12, all sit tantalisingly beneath the first season, reminding me that I have a whole lot of other stuff to do.

Anyway, the basic storyline (of the first arc) follows Sean, Snare and Price as they escape from their Attack-of-the-Clones style clone soldier breeding and training facility.  Sean (played by my brother, Stevie) has discovered that he has telekinetic powers (thankyou, Forge Mode) and is escaping with his team-mate and supposed-brother, Price (played by Rob Offner, a genius friend of mine who will probably appear on this blog repeatedly in the future).  Price is convinced that Sean is his brother even though they are all supposed to be clones of each other.  Their sergeant/captain/commander-guy Snare tags along when they promise money and that his homicidal urges won’t be regarded as some twisted kind of self-loathing from being trapped with a million copies of himself.

They are chased by Evan (played by my buddy Paul) and Kennet (played by me).  Along the way, several other antagonists and random characters are included, all played by people on my FaceBook friends list.  And my ‘friends of friends’ list.  In theory.

See, that’s the biggest problem with ObJective – the fact that all the casting and stuff was done in theory and was always going to be a bitch to organise.

Oh, that and I realised my characterisation was actually terrible when looked at by random people on the internet.

And I lost interest.

Sort of like what I’m doing now.

P.S.  As an addition to my previous entry, I have also just bought Naruto: Rise of a Ninja, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, and Lost Planet: The Game Without a Secondary Title.  And I’ve gotten interested in the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer, and Stevie just bought Bioshock 2.
Looks like my girlfriend’s not going to have to break up with me after all.  (Apparently WoW is grounds for divorce…  Makes sense.)

P.P.S.  My girlfriend’s name is Kirstyn.  I just don’t want her to feel left out with all the names I’ve been dropping today.

Okay, so in the middle of two weeks off work (one of which I’m spending in bed with my wisdom teeth out) and I decided that now was the time, if any, to download the free WoW trial.  Surprise surprise, it’s just as entertaining as people claim it is.

Obviously, since I started with a 1st-level character, there wasn’t much to do.  But the couple of “go here, kill X monsters” missions up front weren’t that bad.  They got me familiar with the area and gameplay, and didn’t take too long to complete.  A few levels (about 2 hours) later, I was sent to a small town, walking distance away, for my next quest.

As I walk in, the first thing I notice is the much larger number of Player Characters running around this town.  Obviously this is the real starting point so many games introduce you to so you don’t embarrass yourself while you’re learning to beat deer to death with a stick and shoot fireballs at rabbits without setting the forest alight.  The second thing I noticed was the circle of twenty players around two duelling 80th-level Player Characters in the middle of town.  I walked up, watched the fighting, the virtual applause and fell in love.  Nobody told me about something this cool in WoW.

Of course that doesn’t mean I’m actually buying the game.  Heavens no.  I’m about to start CIT, and squeeze a job, a girlfriend and at least two paper RPGs around it.  Maybe then we’ll see if I have the money and time then.

Plus I just bought Manhunt.

After a joke in this comic, my friend Rob’s response that he could and would make a Lego game stunned and inspired me. After some contemplation, I decided on the game I wanted his help for. Thus became the idea of LEGO: Saw.

Originally it was a simple matter – redesign some characters, design a few levels, job done. LEGO: Saw awesomeness. But then came the innovation. Oh God, the innovation.

The Level Editor
First came the Level Editor. Originally a brilliant feature (in my mind) that allowed you to build your own Saw traps à la Saw II & V, with each component draining a certain amount of health or resolve from your victims, it was met with a sudden realisation. There is no such feature anywhere in the LEGO franchise we were stealing from. I mean parodying. And that would mean making it from scratch, which was never part of the deal.
(For the record, running out of health would result in death, and running out of resolve would ‘fix’ you. Running out of resolve again would turn you into a disciple, Amanda-style.)

The Design Plotting
The obvious next step (in my mind) from the Level Editor was to setting up timers and such that caused traps to go off by themselves after a certain period of time. From there, I started thinking about setting up traps that would convert victims into disciples, then leaving instructions for the disciples who would automatically capture victims, set up traps and execute my whims automatically. For fans of the franchise, Saw III, IV, V and VI are all set up in this fashion. Think about it. While it didn’t seem as hard as it sounded, it was, again, way more work than I was bargaining for.

So, basically, that’s it. LEGO: Saw failed to get anywhere past the brainstorming stage because it overstepped its boundaries and became too much work. As much as I would love to see it come to completion, I’m not a game designer and I don’t have the time. Boo hoo.

Free Money

February 7, 2010

Damn.  Well, this is old news, but it’s news nonetheless.  Good Games in Lanyon had a midnight Prerelease on Friday 29th, making Jacob, Stevie and I (plus everyone else in the store) some of the first people in the world to open up the new set.

Went 0-4.  That’s zero rounds won, four losses.  I repeat: Damn.  I didn’t even get anything useful for my fledgling deck.  I did however, get one of these:

To the Magic: the Gathering plebs out there, this is a utility card that searches out other utility cards.  It doesn’t seem like much, but if MtG were the Sims, this card would be the equivalent of the free money cheat.  I could rant about how ridiculously expensive cards like this are ruining the chances of anyone like my brother and I, who don’t sink their entire income into the game, in even semi-competitive play, but I have an agent who fixes this problem for me.

My wonderful soon-to-be-step-brother Jacob.  He and I have an arrangement – he takes my cards and trades them in the Magic Market he is so involved in, gets me the stuff I need for my deck and in the process manages to get cards for himself.  He’s like some kind of uber-geek investment banker.

Best.  Idea.  Ever.  It means I can let Jacob do all the work of actually constructing my deck while I spend my time having sex with my girlfriend.  Priorities, people.

Manga Overview: Bakuman

February 5, 2010

I’m going to blog today about Bakuman, currently one of my favourite mangas of all time. I know it sounds stupid, but it’s a manga about mangakas (artists) trying to get published in Shonen Jump, the same magazine where Bakuman is published in the real world. Unfortunately it doesn’t go the existential route and have the characters competing with the manga depicting their efforts to become manga superstars and compete with the manga depicting their efforts to…

On second thought, that might have made the whole thing a little too complicated.

Bakuman is written and drawn by the same duo that did Death Note, and if you’re familiar with the series, you’ll understand just what I mean when I say that Bakuman is a talky manga. It’s really not like they could squeeze in a few random battle sequences, so the manga maintains its popularity by being genuinely interesting and fun to read. And also by being a bit of a mindfuck at times.

The two main characters (one writes the mangas and one draws them… just like the authors) are supported by a plethora of similarly aged competing mangakas with their own personalities, looks and writing styles. While we only see passing moments of the characters’ mangas, the references to each character by their manga and the parallels drawn with other mangas running in Jump make for an excellent distinction between the characters.

Clicky on the piccie for a linkie to OneManga.com, an awesome free scanlation site. Also, read Right-to-Left, Top-to-Bottom.

And on that note, I’m going to the gym.

~Mike.