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Currently working on learning some Python, both for my own interest and in hopes that it will prove useful in my career. I decided to start out working on a kind of old school text adventure game. The project is both fun and interesting and already I’ve learned quite a few things (aside from the little bit of Python that I’ve learned from it).

  • Everything that everyone tells you about learning to code is true: you learn more if you have a project you are working on. There are several reasons for this, motivation being the least of them; the biggest reason, in my opinion, is that having a project in mind will push you to stretch the limits of what you know and try new things.
  • The guys who wrote the classic text adventure games were amazingly talented writers. It is really hard to make a game interesting when you are limited to text to convey everything. I’m doing text as a placeholder, but even so, it’s hard to strike the balance between evocative and tl;dr.
  • The more details you have fleshed out about your setting & characters, even if you don’t convey 90% of it in-game, the richer your game will be. I started out with a seed idea and haven’t really done a lot of world building yet, and it shows.
I’m pleased with the amount of progress I’ve made in a short period of time and I’m looking forward to continuing to work on it. Right now my goal isn’t really to necessarily make something that I can share but mostly to explore some ideas and gain some knowledge of Python; if I do decide to share some of it I’ll post it here.
The main resources I’ve been using for this project have been reddit/gamedev and the tutorials at
Originally published here.

Oops, I missed a post. I bought a Kindle Fire and I was preoccupied with rooting it and playing with it last night and my blog (and SWTOR!) was sadly neglected. You’ll get a full Kindle Fire post later this week but for now, it’s back to the meme.

30 Days of Video Games, Day 3: My Favorite Series

This is a tough one, because there are a lot of video game series that I have loved over the years. Elder Scrolls, Baldur’s Gate, Warcraft (the RTSes as well as the MMO), Civilization, Mass Effect, Fallout… but I think for the sheer number of games in a single series that I have loved, credit has to go to Ultima. While I did not love Ultima VIII, and Ultima Online was a disappointment (I did not play Ultima IX, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it), I deeply loved IV, VI and VII especially (ignoring Serpent Isle) and enjoyed the rest quite a bit (yes, even Ultima Underworld). I think I played the third one on the NES first; I later played through the entire series when the Ultima Collection was released. I was quite sad when I upgraded my computer and couldn’t play through the collection any more – it wasn’t compatible with the DOS emulator on WinXP.

30 Days of Video Games, Day 4: Favorite Game of Your Favorite Series

Ultima VII was by far my favorite Ultima game. It was big and expansive, with player choices and consequences, crafting, rich story, etc. I probably played it all the way through 3 or 4 times.

Originally published here.

30 Days of Video Games, Day 2: A game I’ve played through all the way twice

So, there are several games that could qualify for this one, especially if I count games that I’ve tested. But like I’ve said before, testing is not playing. Even setting that aside, there are several choices; in the end, I settled on one of my favorites, Mass Effect. Of the two so far, while ME2 had somewhat better mechanics, I think ME1 had a far better and more cohesive story. Of course I had to do at least two playthroughs (and I will probably do a third) for each game, to experience both the Paragon and Renegade storylines. I think Jennifer Hale is awesome and will forever be my Commander Linnea Shepard regardless of the role she’s playing.


Originally published here.

As one of my resolutions this year was to blog more often, I thought I’d start the year out with something relatively simple: a meme. A variant on the popular ’30 Days of Movies’ meme, this will be 30 Days of Video Games.

30 Days of Video Games, Day 1: 
Best video game you played last year

Without a doubt, this is Skyrim. Although I’ve set it aside for a time in favor of Star Wars, it is still by far the best game I played last year. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only who thinks so, considering how much amazing fan art, music, mods and memes (arrow in the knee?) the game has inspired.

Skyrim is, in fact, kinda metal:


It is also pretty epic:

Be back tomorrow, with Day 2: a game that I’ve played all the way through at least twice.


Originally published here.

The Scimitar of Baron Slaying +3

Best part are the augments:

Know-It-All     Learn all the rules. Even the really obscure ones.  +30% Sense of Self-Importance.
Space Geek     Memorise quotes from fictional science plays.      +90% Damage vs Space Elves
Oh, The Irony  Try desperately hard to make fun of stereotypes. -50% Self Awareness.

Originally published here.

Oh, blog… I owe you a post. After all these weeks (months even!) of neglect it should be the best post ever, crafted with love and attention and care.

But that’s not what you get.

Instead you get a hella weak “what I’ve been playing” post because I’m tired and I want to make sure I write something even if it’s not very substantial.

So if you’re still with me, here it is:

  • Fable III – those of you following me on twitter or FB have already heard a few things about this. I’m having fun with it but it’s incredibly buggy (always rage inducing for me as it feels like work has followed me home or something) and I think there are some significant flaws in the writing. The “non-menu” menu system is interesting and not quite as annoying as I’d feared. However, if their purpose was immersion, their little popups telling you where you rank in comparison to your Xbox Live friends definitely undermine it.
  • Bastion – sadly I’ve only played a few hours of this. It’s a clever and beautiful little game and lack of time and energy to devote to it have caused me to neglect it even though it may be one of the best games in my collection that I haven’t already played (yes, I know, why am I playing Fable III instead? Because when tired and stressed, I’ll go for the familiar and mindless every time.)
  • I had a brief fling with Kingdom Rush (and by brief fling, I mean I played it endlessly and obsessively for about 3 days straight and haven’t touched it since). I blame Felicia Day.
  • Terraria – I plan to go back to this one. It’s fun and mindless, the sort of game I can play while listening to an audiobook or something (ie, my idea of the perfect escape).
I won’t promise that the next post will have more substance than this but I do intend to write more frequently than I have been. New job and all, my brain’s been kinda eaten by that.
Oh, also, if you have any interest in working in the industry, you should read The Trenches.
Originally published here.

E3: the Previews

Obviously I checked out a few upcoming titles at E3 (playing demos of some of them, looking at trailers and gameplay for others); here are a couple of the highlights.

Star Wars: the Old Republic
This one I was really looking forward to and I waited in line for about 3 hours for the 10 minute video and 15 minute playable demo. I played a Sith Inquisitor Assassin (I was more interested in the Sorceror spec but that was already taken) and honestly, it felt like playing a magicky sort of rogue in WoW. I am disappoint; the game feels very much like WoW with a Star Wars skin, and as I’ve said before, I’d rather be playing a Mass Effect MMO, so if it’s gonna be WoW with an SF skin, it should be Mass Effect. Maybe the story and content will make up for my disappointment with the gameplay, but we’ll see. For now, though, I agree with this guy.

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I’ve had my breakfast and my coffee and my shower, so I guess it’s time to get my E3 wrap-up under way.

We didn’t go for the full day because we had a long drive ahead of us. Probably a good thing we left early anyway, as I heard there was some sort of bomb threat or something (but I can’t find any news about it now so I don’t know – just something one of my travel companions reported to me as we were driving up I5 heading back to the Bay Area).

I will do more of a write-up on my thoughts and impressions on the various sights when I’m feeling less tired/more coherent but for now you get picspam.

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E3 Day 2

Day 2 ended up being a short day. We decided to drive because we were thinking of staying after for the WIGI Mixer, but left kinda late so had trouble finding parking. Very frustrating. After waiting in line for a couple hours at the Capcom booth, I had the beginnings of a migraine so I headed back to my hotel early. But I did pick up a bit of swag.

The badge holder I had trouble posting last night

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