Friday, 27 June 2014

"I know I wrote it down somewhere!"

Brainstorming ideas for making wussy wizards in old-school dungeon crawls less miserable to play / a better part of the group dynamic...

Instead of having to memorise all spells, you can cast spells from your spellbook - at least, those with a reasonable casting time that don't require a zillion components or anything. However, this is awkward, occupies both your hands, and limits your ability to defend yourself or see trouble coming, so you probably need someone to cover you. As well as reading a spell aloud being slower than casting from memory, there's also the time required to flip through pages in your spellbook trying to find the right spell.

Which in a computer game situation could lend itself to a game in which you play the wizard, the rest of your party is your hired minions that you order around, and turning spellbook pages takes a round, so the strategy of how you've organised your spellbook before the fight is relevant.

"A wraith? Dammit, why didn't I put a bookmark in front of the On Matters Of Undead section?"

"... note to self, next time put the 'Banish Demon' spell next to the 'Summon Demon' spell, just in case..."

If you go further along the line of being brilliant and in charge of all these goons, then minions might have basic AI (which can be tweaked in dialog between fights) but if you want them to do something particularly clever in a battle you have to spend your round yelling commands.

"No, backstab the hobgoblin! The hobgoblin!"

Monday, 23 June 2014

Digging in the Bargain Bucket

I don't really do Steam sales if I can help it (being a rabid anti-DRM freak). On the other hand, I'm part of the system, and I manage to obtain small amounts of Steam Wallet funds from the trading cards that materialise on my doorstep without my having to pay for them, so I may as well send those funds back to other game authors, right?

So this leads to the confusion of trying to figure out what to do with it.

I won't buy anything that costs more than $2. I don't have very much free money, after all.

I won't buy anything that I could get on, because if I could get it there I'd far rather get it there. (I've already bought a handful of random gog games this summer sale...)

I won't buy anything that there is zero chance of me playing. Ugly 3D games are a no.

I prefer not to buy from a featured/flash sale because those are not the games that need my stray quarter. :)

I do read reviews - if it's broken or there's some other reason that it's a bad idea, I'm not going to do it.

This doesn't leave a whole lot. Right now I'm eyeing an adventure game that has 'meh' reviews and a little exploration platformer.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Dead Princess Brigade

Look what I found!

I don't want to die! by CaitRua on deviantART
(She's posted a whole set of cosplay photos but this one seemed the best introductory item to put here)

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

meaningless and terrible statistics

/v/ took issue with the complaints about lack of female protagonists and decided to assemble a list.

Their conclusions:

I have to be honest. There ARE more guy protags. That’s just a fact. But honestly, so many of them are unmemorable at best, or fucking awful at worst. No one’s saying they’re not. We’re saying there are also a healthy sample of female ones.

I don’t think anyone is arguing there’s the same number. But the line is usually “there are only a few games” or some shit

Which we've clearly just proven wrong.

Well I’m really proud of everyone that contributed, great job, everyone! Sure, there are gonna be more male protags, it happens, but it’s dumb to say that this is some work of discrimination, it’s simply what a lot of people decided to make games about, and you can’t shame people for making whatever they want to make. There are a lot of great examples of female protagonists out there as this list contains, and that’s good enough.

Now, while I'm not going to make any comments myself about the actual preponderances or what they say about gaming, or the fact that /v/ missed entire genres of games because /v/ either doesn't know they exist or doesn't think they count as games (casual games, otome games), the list they DID come up with is interesting because

1. It covers at least 25 years worth of gaming, based on the titles listed.
2. It covers PC, main console, and handheld titles.
3. It wasn't dupe-checked, some entries are on there more than once.
4. Some of the characters listed are shared protags (you get a choice of multiple characters in the game, or are required to play multiple characters throughout the game, or the girl PC is only an unlockable bonus after finishing as male)
5. Some of the characters listed are not even playable characters. Period. (Akane? Really?)
6. With all that, they came up with a list of less than 500 entries.

(Again, hardly a scientific survey, not something you can draw much conclusion from other than eyeing the anons in the particular thread.)