Sunday, 19 February 2012

terrible design choices

What were the developers of this program thinking???

Up until now it's worked fairly well. A little too much focus on romaji which I'm not sure is terribly useful. Kana introduced slowly with big displays and lots of practice screens for you to draw them, simple little games that are just about tracing the symbol over and over until you can do it without the prompting.

Their choice of fonts leaves a bit to be desired as any time they're not on the Big Friendly Demo Screen the diacritics are absolutely unreadable (to the point that you can't even tell whether or not they're present on some kana) but context in vocabulary is usually good enough to guess.

So we get to the first kanji lesson, and what do they do? Show you the symbol ONCE, with absolutely no options to practice it or trace it or even get them to repeat the strokes on the page, and then expect you to be able to draw it perfectly from memory, with 'correct' stroke order, on a blank screen. WTF???

on development speed

One of my current projects, I first had the idea for three years ago.

I started fooling around with artistic concepts for it to see if it was feasible to develop it one year ago.

I began looking at the RenPy code to implement the above concepts five months ago.

How much of this game is actually written by this point? About 7000 words.

On the other hand, LLTQ's entire development cycle could have been less than three months if not for other people slowing things down slightly - art isn't done overnight and Spiky got quite sick.

And to be fair, the above project which still hasn't been named publicly has only ever been in what I would call 'active' development for a few weeks total in all that time, as other priorities and trouble with art pipelines have tended to leave it in limbo. It was pretty much cancelled for a while there.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

icewind dale

My party has now reached the dizzying heights of "somewhere around level 5" and is now no longer likely to fall over and die in a stiff breeze.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Solomon Dark

more wizard-blasting-monster action, hopefully without the vague hints of girl-hating that made me uneasy about magicka?

I think it's for phones though and therefore not something I'll ever get to play, but the effects are cute at least. :)

Saturday, 11 February 2012

helping hands

Some people complain about the near-nonexistence, in many medifantasy RPGs, of people engaged in the majority of jobs that such peasants would be in order to keep their society going, in favor of things that are expected to be 'interesting' to the adventuring party. Which largely boils down to magic, weapons, booze, and sex.

However, there's a lot more needed to actually have a comfortable life, and all that gets handwaved.

I ponder an RPG in which your adventuring party also has squires/servants/whatever following you around. People whose job is not to fight, but to keep the fighters happy and in good condition. People who can cook, wash clothes, mend armor, gather mushrooms, bind wounds, dig latrine trenches, safely extinguish fires, stand a watch and so on. ***

At a system level, they would function like another piece of inventory. Keep your squire safe and upgrade it when possible, and it will give you bonuses for fighting. But from a sociological perspective it would be interesting to try and instill some respect for roles that aren't just about killin'stuff.

*** - which is another thing. Much as we love the Infinity Engine games, it's a little ridiculous that you are 'awakened from your rest' by monsters spawning practically on top of you. But hasn't every D&D party ever got a watch rotation, and in many cases an exciting setup of strings and bells just in case? :)

Maybe it's supposed to represent the time spent struggling into your armor after being woken up? Which is another thing that would be a lot easier with trained squires around!

Friday, 10 February 2012

King Arthur 2

I know nothing about this game series, but I am intrigued by the RockPaperShotgun screenshots showing hints of a choose-your-own-adventure lurking in the middle of smashing things.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

what, no more?

so, my absent-minded adventuring between working finally reached the end of BG2/TOB (Whose plot I have fewer complaints about, and therefore haven't had much to say. Did I mention taking down Demogorgon?)

I'm now downloading Icewind Dale. I never played the Icewind Dale games - well, I played a little of the intro of one on my sister-in-law's computer once, but I don't even remember which one and I certainly didn't get very far.

I'm not expecting epic storyline, but I don't really know WHAT to expect. May be more difficult to get them running, too, as I expect they're less popular and thus less modded?

Sunday, 5 February 2012

job simulators being used for hiring?

Well, I always did complain that some of the 'time management' games were about as much fun as having a real job. Maybe now you can get paid for them?

(Article on hiring via simulation)

Saturday, 4 February 2012

ubisoft continues to suck

Idiots who bought games from ubisoft continue to suffer.

Various DRMs will be intentionally broken for server relocation, so the legit players can't play. The pirates, on the other hand...

Friday, 3 February 2012

a quest for meaning

This weekend's GOG sale is 'activision' (ZOMBIE SIERRA) quest games - King's Quest, Police Quest, Space Quest.

I went to a lot of trouble many years ago to find a legit police quest collection CD. After I did, I never actually played the games because they were a bit hard to get running smoothly on my computer setup at the time. (Similarly, I have obtained Leisure Suit Larry: Love For Sail but not gotten very far into it because running it was a little awkward.)

I never owned KQ7 afaik, but my then-boyfriend bought a copy, so I did play it through once. Means my memory of it is much hazier than it is for the others. Mask Of Eternity, which is a travesty and not KQ8 at all, I have not played. That probably doesn't surprise you.

And weekend sale or no, I don't think that's likely to change now.