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Showing posts from August, 2017

Ex-Commitment

If there is anything sure to interrupt my own game development endeavors, it is already-released games that are really, really good.

Freshest of these experiences being yesterday's release of the extensive XCOM 2 expansion, War of The Chosen.  Adding a heady mix of personality to an already-riveting tactical combat experience, I spent the entire day feeling taut with an equal mix of caffeine and adrenaline.  And then there's the newly-added feature of creating your own propaganda posters...
...which rankles of the nauseating taint of social networking, but is not entirely without entertainment value.  Though I found myself assigning cruel taglines to my XCOM propaganda posters for the sheer schadenfreude, the game itself is crueler yet.  I had thought this game's virtual GM would cut me a break or two, as it did in past installments of the Firaxis reboot, but it's developed a mean streak where it would land fatal one-shot critical hits on squaddies dutifully cowering i…

Returning To The Universe

Got to hand it to Hello Games.  Despite No Man's Sky being a major thorn in their side of public ridicule, they kept patching and improving it.  It's quite a bit better than it was at release.

Is it perfect?  Well, there's still the annoying texture pop-in, and it's pretty much a grind of getting more minerals to power your equipment and build a lot of blueprints.  Space travel feels pretty weak, too, especially if you put it next to something like Elite: Dangerous or even Descent: Freespace; space travel in No Man's Sky is very rudimentary.  But this is about the worst I can say about it.

What No Man's Sky excels at is being a chill walking simulator of a practically infinite universe.  As such, most of the time you just walk around a procedural generated planet, scanning rocks, flora, and fauna.
Your backpack's resource needs are never off your back, so nearly everything you can scan is also able to be broken down with your mining beam (although the f…

My Oculus Arrives

Funny enough, my first exposure with a motion-tracking head mounted display (HMD) was back in high school, about 20 years ago.  Of course, there was not nearly as much graphical firepower for PCs of the day, but the technology was still accessible enough for my high school tech teacher to be able to invite over some graduate school geeks to show it off.  A lot of time has passed since then, and it's safe to say that VR is now something that nearly every consumer can finally get their hands on.

To these ends, if Facebook was hoping to increase the consumer base for its acquired Oculus Rift hardware by running a summer sale, subjective evidence from my house indicates they may well have succeeded.  By dropping the price of headset and touch controller a full 33%, to $400, they convinced me that it was now accessible enough for me to take the plunge.  What's $400 in 2017 money anyway, a month of fast food?
So far, I'm somewhat glad I splurged.  I say "somewhat" beca…